TOP NEWS: Democracy: September 20th, 2012
More top news and analysis excerpts below:
ELECTIONS 2012/ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: Who’s in Charge? - VANITY FAIR
In every election cycle there generally comes a moment when one of the campaigns cries out desperately for an “intervention.” It’s not clear who could stage one for Mitt Romney—or if he’ll even admit he has a problem.
Senate Race: Democrats Hold Momentum in Battle for Senate - NATIONAL JOURNAL
Even as the overall picture holds many possibilities, this week demonstrated how the seeds are in place for Democrats not only to hold the Senate but also to prevent any losses at all.
Obama Incumbency: In a Tight Race, Obama Draws on the Levers of His Power - NYT
PETER BAKER and ERIC LIPTON: Some of President Obama’s most significant recent policy announcements have been keyed to important voter blocs as his campaign seeks to maximize the power of his incumbency.
Young Voters: Struggling Young Adults Pose Challenge for Campaigns - NYT
Millions of working-class young adults, many in battleground states like Florida, Colorado and Wisconsin, make up a potent but often overlooked voting bloc, experts say.
Romney Campaign: Time for an Intervention - WSJ, OPINION
Peggy Noonan: The campaign seems to be slipping out of Mitt Romney’s hands. What to do about it.
Swing States: How Romney Could Survive a Loss in Ohio or Virginia - RCP
Scott Conroy: Of the eight states that likely will decide the presidential race, Ohio and Virginia are the ones most frequently cited by Republican strategists (in private conversations) as worrisome for Mitt Romney heading into the campaign’s final dash.
FISCAL CLIFF: Fiscal cliff talks heat up - Politico
A jolt of reality is rippling through the Capitol as discussions over how to solve the so-called fiscal cliff are suddenly swinging into action.
FISCAL CLIFF: Gates: Sequestration will take adults to handle - WP, OPINION
Walter Pincus: Former defense secretary Robert M. Gates: “My hope is that following the presidential election, whatever adults remain in the two political parties will make the compromises necessary to put this country back in order.”
MILITARY/DADT: One Year Later, Military Says Gay Policy Is Working - NYT
It has been a year since “don’t ask, don’t tell” was repealed and by most measures the change has been a success, military officials and gay service members say.
MILITARY VETERANS: Vet jobs bill knocked out in Senate - WP
Veteran jobs bill falls to political squabbling in spite of bipartisan support.
FAST & FURIOUS: Holder cleared on ‘Fast and Furious’ – FT
US justice department recommends discipline for 14 employees
FAST & FURIOUS: Guns Inquiry Urges Action Against 14 in Justice Dept. - NYT
CHARLIE SAVAGE: The Justice Department’s inspector general faulted a group of federal prosecutors and drug agents in the botched gun-trafficking case called Operation Fast and Furious.
FAST & FURIOUS: 2 out at DOJ after ‘Furious’ report - Politico
JOSH GERSTEIN: No evidence that leaders knew about gun-walking.
CONSUMER PROTECTION: A $447 Million Consumer Alert - WSJ
Randy Neugebauer: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pays 60% of its 958 employees more than $100,000. But Congress can’t really tell how else the agency’s money is spent.
LEGISLATION: The Do-Nothing Congress Pretends to Do Something - BLOOMBERG
Deborah Solomon: If you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, you might view today’s Senate agreement to move forward with a stopgap spending bill as the kind of bipartisan cooperation Washington so desperately needs.
USPS: Seeking Revenue, Postal Service Plans to Deliver More Junk Mail - NYT
Its first-class mail volume dropping, the Postal Service hopes to substitute marketing material, even as consumers seek ways to block the catalogs and credit card applications.
HEALTH INSURANCE: More Expected to Face Penalty Under Health Law - AP via NYT
Congressional Budget Office analysts said that by 2016 nearly six million Americans would face a charge for not having insurance.
TEACHER’S STRIKE: School Days Resume in Chicago as the Lessons From a Strike Are Assessed – NYT
Many in Chicago and around the country debated which side had won and which had lost in the weeklong strike by teachers.
TEACHER’S STRIKE: Winners and Losers in Chicago’s Teacher Strike – BLOOMBERG
Tobin Harshaw: Chicago public-school teachers have suspended their seven-day strike and look set to approve the compromise reached by their union and the city. So, who won?
TEACHER’S STRIKE: Next School Crisis for Chicago: Pension Fund Is Running Dry – NYT
The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund is paying out more than $1 billion a year — much more than it has been taking in — and experts say the fund could collapse within a few years.
SUPREME COURT: Happy (Un)constitution(al) Day - NYT, OP-ED
By LINDA GREENHOUSE: Has the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Affordable Care Act case made Constitution Day unconstitutional?
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: Chick-fil-A and Chicago Alderman Reach Agreement -NYT
An alderman said Tuesday that he would support a new Chick-fil-A restaurant in his ward after the company agreed to re-evaluate which groups its wealthy foundation supports and to strengthen its internal anti-discrimination policies.
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION: Chick-fil-A retreats from gay rights fight - FT
US fast food chain pledges to stop funding campaign groups
CRIMINAL DEFENSE: Ineffective Counsel in Georgia – NYT, EDITORIAL
How bad must a lawyer be before the courts will do something about it?
EDUCATION: A Digital Tool to Unlock Learning – NYT, OPINION
DAVID BORNSTEIN: PowerMyLearning, a program that any student, parent or teacher can use for free, helps students take ownership of their learning.
EDUCATION: Wisconsin’s School Choice - WSJ, OPINION
Allysia Finley: How a judge’s ruling on Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms might impact school districts.
EDUCATION: Segregation Prominent in Schools, Study Finds - NYT
White students account for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970, but they are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites.
JESUS PAPYRUS: Mr. and Mrs. Jesus Christ? - NYT, OP-ED
JAMES MARTIN: Does a new discovery of an ancient papyrus mean that Jesus was married? Probably not.
HEALTHCARE: Washington State Makes It Harder to Opt Out of Immunizations - NYT
The share of kindergartners whose parents have opted out of state immunization requirements more than doubled in the decade that ended in 2008, raising alarm among public health experts.
CRIME: Fewer Children Are Found Exposed to Violent Crime - NYT
From 1993 to 2010, the number of children living in households where another member had been a victim of a nonfatal violent crime decreased by 68 percent, according to a government report.
CHILD ABUSE: U.S. Is Seeking to Stem Endless Abuse of Tribe’s Children – NYT
After dozens of cases of sexual abuse on the reservation of the Spirit Lake Sioux were not properly investigated, federal officials are moving to take over the tribe’s social services.
SCIENCE: Study reveals evolutionary innovation - WP
A single strain of bacteria mutated in order to use a new food source.
SPACE SHUTTLE: Endeavour’s Last Journey, Through Contentious Space - NYT
Space shuttle Endeavour traveled 122,883,151 miles in 25 missions, but its final 12 miles in Los Angeles may prove to be its most difficult.
MORE ELECTION 2012 STORIES:
SENATE CAMPAIGNS: Dems surge in key Senate campaigns - Politico
They put the party in its best position of the election cycle to keep its majority in November.
ROMNEY POSITIONS: Romney’s best pitch - WP, OPINION
George Will: Why not treat voters like grown-ups?
ROMNEY POSITIONS: Romney rescue plan: More Mitt - Politico
Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei: A big focus will be on Romney talking a lot more about how his ideas will help regular Americans.
ROMNEY/HISPANIC VOTERS: Romney Makes Push for Hispanic Vote - NYT
MICHAEL BARBARO: Mitt Romney is intensifying his push for Hispanic voters, ratcheting up his Spanish-language advertising and putting himself in front of a growing number of Hispanic audiences.
ROMNEY/HISPANIC VOTERS: Mitt: I’m for the ’100 percent’ – Politico
Jonathan Martin: Romney repeated the phrase “the 100 percent” three times in a Univision forum.
ROMNEY ADVERTISING: Romney Campaign Cautious With Ad Budget, Even in Key States - NYT
JEREMY W. PETERS and NICHOLAS CONFESSORE: Mitt Romney’s campaign has been tightfisted with its advertising budget, leaving him at a disadvantage in several crucial states as President Obama blankets them with ads.
ROMNEY VIDEO: Video of Romney Turns Spotlight on a Magazine - NYT
A left-leaning magazine is garnering attention with the release of a video showing Mitt Romney calling 47 percent of the public “dependent” on government and feeling like victims entitled to help.
ROMNEY VIDEO: The Missing Two Minutes of Romney Video? Everyone Has a Theory - NYT
On Wednesday morning, Twitter users created a viral hashtag, #Missing2Min, that speculated and cracked wise about what occurred during the moments missing from the recording posted by Mother Jones.
ROMNEY TAX PLAN: With Tax Comments, Romney Wades Into a Conservative Rift - NYT
ANNIE LOWREY, MICHAEL COOPER: Despite conservatives’ goal of reducing the burden on the poor with tax credits, Mitt Romney tapped into an anxiety that “takers” are overtaking “makers.”
ROMNEY/POOR: Romney Says He Can Help the Poor - NYT
Mitt Romney tried to confront the notion that he is not the candidate of the poor and others who are economically challenged.
GOP FACTS: It Takes One to Know One – NYT, OP-ED
NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF: Extremism in opinions is one thing. But the Republican Party is becoming extremist in its facts.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.