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Archive for April 13th, 2012

Mayor Rushes into Burning Building

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:55 am by HL

Mayor Rushes into Burning Building
Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) suffered smoke inhalation and burns after going into a burning building Thursday night near his house to rescue a trapped woman. “He ran in — without thinking for his own safety — ran upstairs and assisted in rescuing the young lady,” said Det. Alex Rodriguez, who witnessed the incident. “He burned his hand trying to pull the lady out.”



Mitt Romney’s Gaffes of the Future

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:49 am by HL

Mitt Romney’s Gaffes of the Future


Campaigns Will Almost Certainly Reject Public Funds

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:46 am by HL

Campaigns Will Almost Certainly Reject Public Funds
“Aides and leading donors to Mitt Romney are preparing a major expansion of the campaign’s fund-raising efforts to prepare for a general election contest against President Obama, with the goal of raising up to $600 million,” the New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, Obama is expected to exceed the $750 million he raised in 2008 and super PACs for both sides will provide several hundred million dollars more in campaign ads.

“Those goals make it virtually certain that neither party’s nominee will accept public funds for the general election or the spending limits that come with them — the likely death knell for a cornerstone of the post-Watergate campaign finance reforms intended to limit the influence of money in federal elections.”

No Meeting Planned for Romney and Santorum
Although Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have back-to-back speaking appearances at the annual NRA convention today, The Note reports that there are no plans for a meeting between the candidate and former candidate.

Said a source close to Santorum: “Not gonna happen.”

“Next week could be a more likely time for a get-together between Romney and Santorum, however it’s also possible the meeting could be put off until after the Pennsylvania primary”

Obama and Biden to Release Tax Returns
“Punctuating a week of political assaults on Mitt Romney over taxes, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to release their own income tax returns on Friday, along with a statement calling on Mr. Romney to do the same,” the New York Times reports.

“The release of the returns, four days ahead of the Internal Revenue Service’s tax deadline for the public, will set the stage for another week of wrangling over taxes, with the Senate scheduled on Monday evening to take up the White House’s proposed “Buffett Rule” minimum tax for the wealthiest Americans.”


Kevin Powell: Why a College Education Still Matters

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:46 am by HL

Kevin Powell: Why a College Education Still Matters
A college education allowed Powell to escape the poverty of his childhood. Now he’s striving to keep the college dream alive for kids in similar circumstances.


Huge Racial Divide On Belief In Trayvon Martin’s Innocence

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:43 am by HL

Huge Racial Divide On Belief In Trayvon Martin’s Innocence
There is a huge racial divide among those who believe that Trayvon Martin was unjustly killed: 91 percent of African Americans do, as do 59 percent of Latinos. By contrast, only 35 percent of whites think that George Zimmerman was not justified in killing Martin. Reuters also reports that “in a sign of how riveted […]

There is a huge racial divide among those who believe that Trayvon Martin was unjustly killed: 91 percent of African Americans do, as do 59 percent of Latinos. By contrast, only 35 percent of whites think that George Zimmerman was not justified in killing Martin. Reuters also reports that “in a sign of how riveted Americans have been by the case, 93 percent of those surveyed said they were aware of the shooting.”


GSA scandals shows watchdogs needed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:42 am by HL

GSA scandals shows watchdogs needed

The recent GSA scandals over clowns and such at a Las Vegas conference reminds us, among other things, of the importance of having an inspector general in place in all federal agencies.

But the Project on Government Oversight noted this week that, with the addition of the Department of Labor over the holiday weekend, there are now four agencies in the prized watchdog community’s “1,000-day vacancy club.”

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No election commissioners? No problem.

Wait, isn’t this an election year? The kind that will see voters stepping into booths and casting ballots, pulling levers and punching buttons?

Bad timing then for the Election Assistance Commission to be completely leaderless. It’s the body that was created in the wake of the 2000 presidential election’s hanging-chad debacle and tasked with overseeing federal election standards.

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Why Obama (probably) won’t endorse gay marriage this year

The at-times-uneasy relationship between President Obama and the gay community hit another bump in the road this week when the White House declined to push through an executive order banning government contractors from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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If a Recession Is Coming, Why Are Stocks Up?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on April 13th, 2012 10:35 am by HL

If a Recession Is Coming, Why Are Stocks Up?
Gary Shilling, Bloomberg
I have explained why I believe there may be a U.S. recession this year, spurred by renewed consumer retrenchment amid further declines in house prices, stagnant incomes and uncertain job prospects. So why are investors continuing to show such an appetite for equities?Stocks have been volatile: Over the past month, the Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) Index had three trading days when gains exceeded 1 percent and three when losses exceeded 1 percent. And major stock indexes dropped sharply in the early days of April.  

Taking a Different Look at the Gender Gap
Stuart Rothenberg, Roll Call
I have found over the years that when a narrative works its way into the collective wisdom, there is no way of changing it. So my goal here is quite modest: to get at least a handful of people to pause, take a deep breath and simply chew over the data a bit before using it to draw unshakable conclusions.In this case, the conclusions involve two different Gallup polls and an interpretation about the role of women in President Barack Obama’s standing in a general election ballot test against likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. 

Jim DeMint on the Future of Republican Party
Gillespie & Welch, Reason
“A lot of the libertarian ideals that Ron Paul is talking about…should not be alien to any Republican,” Sen. Jim DeMint said during an interview at reason’s Washington, D.C., offices in late January. Encouraging words from a South Carolina Republican who has earned a reputation as one of his party’s strongest voices for fiscal conservatism during his six years in the House of Representatives and six years in the Senate. 

Cannibalize the Future
Paul Krugman, New York Times
One general rule of modern politics is that the people who talk most about future generations — who go around solemnly declaring that we’re burdening our children with debt — are, in practice, the people most eager to sacrifice our future for short-term political gain. You can see that principle at work in the House Republican budget, which starts with dire warnings about the evils of deficits, then calls for tax cuts that would make the deficit even bigger, offset only by the claim to have a secret plan to make up for the revenue losses somehow or…

Paul Ryan’s Savage Spending Cuts
Jonathan Alter, Bloomberg
Grover Norquist, the tax-cutting champion, famously said he wanted to shrink the federal government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bath tub."With gargantuan deficits, that seems like a pipe dream, but it may be time to start running the water.The new plan offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and approved recently by Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans puts the Republicans on record supporting a federal government that within a decade will consist of little more than national defense, entitlements and interest on the national debt.