These are my links for June 19th through June 20th:
Obama grants Holder request on ‘Furious’ documents as contempt vote looms– President Obama has granted an 11th-hour request by Attorney General Eric Holder to exert executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents, a last-minute maneuver that appears unlikely to head off a contempt vote against Holder by Republicans in the House.The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is expected to forge ahead Wednesday morning with its meeting on the contempt resolution anyway.If the vote proceeds, Republicans have more than enough votes on committee to pass the resolution. However, Holder would not be considered held in contempt of Congress unless and until the full House approves the measure.The move by Holder and Obama to lock down some requested documents only complicates the fight over the botched anti-gunrunning operation between the legislative and executive branches.After Holder made the request to Obama via letter on Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole wrote to Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on Wednesday informing him that the president has granted the request.
Obama asserts executive privilege on Fast and Furious documents– President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.”I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents,” Cole wrote in a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.”We regret that we have arrived at this point, after the many steps we have taken to address the committee’s concerns and to accommodate the committee’s legitimate oversight interests regarding Operation Fast and Furious,” Cole continued. “Although we are deeply disappointed that the committee appears intent on proceeding with a contempt vote, the department remains willing to work with the Committee to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of the outstanding issues.”
Food Stamp Fiasco – The Senate refuses to cut $20 billion out of $770 billion– The next time someone moans about Washington “austerity,” tell them about the Senate’s food stamp votes on Tuesday. Democrats and a few Republicans united to block even modest reform in a welfare program that has exploded in the last decade and is set to spend $770 billion in the next 10 years.Yes, $770 billion on a single program. And you wonder why the U.S. had its credit-rating downgraded?When the food stamp program began in the 1970s, it was designed to help about 1 of 50 Americans who were in severe financial distress. But thanks to eligibility changes first by President George W. Bush as part of the 2002 farm bill and then by President Obama in the 2008 stimulus, food stamps are becoming the latest middle-class entitlement.
So, What’s up with Marco Rubio? – This morning, I reported that Mitt Romney had not asked Marco Rubio to take the first steps in the vice presidential vetting process. As my report said, “He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.”
This afternoon the Washington Post matched that reporting. And in a taped interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Romney brushed off questions about whether Rubio was being vetted.
“I get a kick out of some of the speculation that goes on,” Romney told Hannity. “And I’m not going to comment on the process, of course. But I can tell you this. Only Beth Myers and I know who’s being vetted.”
A few hours later, however, Romney called in reporters traveling with him to give an entirely different response.
“Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process,” Romney told reporters, adding reports that said Rubio was not being vetted were “entirely false.”
“There was a story that originated today, apparently at ABC, based on reports of supposedly outside, unnamed advisers of mine,” Romney said. “I can’t imagine who such people are but I can tell you this. They know nothing about the vice presidential selection or evaluation process. There are only two people in this country who know who are being vetted and who are not, and that’s Beth Myers and myself.”
Obama’s grandfather Stanley Armour Dunham tortured by the British?– A new biography of Barack Obama has established that his grandfather was not, as is related in the President’s own memoir, detained by the British in Kenya and found that claims that he was tortured were a fabrication.’Barack Obama: The Story’ by David Maraniss catalogues dozens of instances in which Obama deviated significantly from the truth in his book ‘Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance’. The 641-page book punctures the carefully-crafted narrative of Obama’s life.One of the enduring myths of Obama’s ancestry is that his paternal grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, who served as a cook in the British Army, was imprisoned in 1949 by the British for helping the anti-colonial Mau Mau rebels and held for several months.
Elizabeth Warren loses it, lashes out at “right wing extremist” (me)– As you know, Elizabeth Warren has been caught in a series of at best misleading and at worst false responses since The Boston Herald first broke the story in late April that Harvard Law promoted her as Native American in the mid-to-late 1990s.First she played dumb and said she didn’t know why. But over the course of several weeks digging by bloggers and newspapers punctured Warren’s story, and revealed or forced Warren to admit she listed herself as Native American to get on a list of “Minority Law Teachers” in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, that she informed both Penn Law and Harvard Law that she was Native American for federal reporting purposes, and that she was on a list at Harvard during her “visiting year” of “Women of Color in Legal Academia.”Genealogical tracing of Warren’s alleged Cherokee ancestry by a group of Cherokees led by Twila Barnes has shown that Warren has no Cherokee heritage. The documentation and research has been posted for all to see. Anger at Warren extends beyond Cherokees.Yet Warren persists in the claim to this day, raising bizarre defenses such as her Aunt Bea told her her ancestors had high cheekbones “like all the Indians” and that her parents supposedly had to elope because her mother was 1/16 Native American.
Working-Class Whites a Barrier to a Democratic House – Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill famously remarked that all politics is local. But this year, it’s the rhetoric of John Edwards that rings truer–in assessing the House race landscape, there are indeed two Americas. President Obama believes the way to win a second term is by rallying elements of the party base, but House Democrats trying to take back the majority face the added burden of winning the votes of increasingly disillusioned white working-class voters.
These are my (Flap) links for June 18th through June 19th:
A White House mess– One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced.Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid.Even more striking, these journalists aren’t conservatives indulging in their deepest wish, but rather liberals who admire Obama and want to see him win a second term.Al Hunt, who was for decades the voice of liberal conventional wisdom as the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, declared yesterday in his Bloomberg column that Obama “needs an intervention.”
The Sad Demise of the Occupy Movement– Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement
Another Ridiculous Lie From Liberal Media – Distorting Romney’s “WAWAs” Hoagie Speech– Another example of how ridiculous the media is in their uncompromising struggle to distort the truth in order to make sure Obama wins and Conservatives lose.Today it’s being widely reported that Romney had a moment were he was amazed at the existence of WAWAs, a convenience/gas store, and the electronic touchtone ordering of sandwiches. They have spun this to make it seem like he’s out of touch – BUT THE VIDEO IS EDITED DECEPTIVELY:
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks– MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
Will GOP demand Plame-style leak investigation?– A lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are angry about the damaging national security leaks that have come out of the Obama administration. But Republicans are probably angrier, and their feelings can be explained in two words: Valerie Plame.The Plame affair was a complicated, tortured episode in which the George W. Bush White House was accused of having deliberately leaked classified information — the identity of an undercover CIA agent — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the Iraq war. Now, many Republicans believe the Barack Obama White House has deliberately leaked classified information — among other things, details of the U.S. cyberwar against Iran — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the presidential campaign.
Dem hopes of taking House dim– Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber — but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.“The environment certainly isn’t as good as it was six months ago for Democrats,” a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.“Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority,” said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate– Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
After spat with former construction management company, officials get projects back on track– Months after the El Monte Union High School District cut ties with its former construction management company, details are emerging about related issues that have come at a hefty expense to the district.A construction update last week revealed that the district is paying the price for design plans that didn’t have the required state approval before the construction work began at several campuses.In one case, work began on a new two-story classroom building without the plans getting state approved, resulting in the district being forced to make extensive revisions.In another a much publicized case, the state didn’t sign off on plans for new heating and air conditioning systems in two high school auditoriums before they were installed. The buildings have been closed for months as officials work to rectify the issue.The projects are part of a $148 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. After parting ways with its construction management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM) last year and hiring another firm, officials have been working to get projects back on track. But it hasn’t been easy, or cheap.The costs of some construction projects under the bond measure have increased by up to 36 percent over what was originally budgeted, according to last week’s construction update.
While some of the rising costs were the result of upgrades desired by district leaders, part of the increase is related
A Guide to How Obama’s New Immigration Policy Will Work, And a Word of Caution– The policy memo directs ICE and Customs to begin using their on-the-ground discretion immediately. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ordered to implement what is known as “deferred action” for this category of immigrants within 60 days. It’s a good sign that the administration is moving quickly. But bear in mind, deferred action is exactly what it sounds like. It means the federal government isn’t placing you in removal proceedings now. In fact, the memo says specifically that the deferral is good for two years before the next re-evaluation. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. “The question becomes: What if the person is granted deferred action and then they turn 30,” Schwamkrug asks. “Does that mean it won’t be renewed?”If it isn’t, and that person doesn’t have some sort of legal status, current policy is to automatically forward them to immigration court for removal proceedings. Two years-worth of work authorization may be small recompense for imminent deportation.Perhaps the biggest wild card here is the November presidential election. Obama’s policy is just that. It doesn’t amount to citizenship, nor is it law, enacted by Congress. You can bet one of Mitt Romney’s first acts as president would be to rescind Napolitano’s memo. And then what? Young people who have lived their lives as Americans announce their presence as undocumented immigrants and become subject to removal proceedings. “You’re luring people out, dangling a carrot of employment authorization in exchange for putting themselves on the radar,” Schwamkrug says. “As attorneys, we’d have to lay everything out to our clients and let the clients make the choice. We can’t tell them what to do. But I personally think there’s cause for concern.”In other words, the undocumented American may rejoice, but must remain mindful that there’s no permanence to Obama’s extended hand. And in just five short months, it may be snatched away altogether.
Scalia and Ginsburg Drop Hints about Obamacare’s Fate at the Supreme Court– The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the epic Obamacare case, Florida v. HHS, at the end of June. Two of the High Court’s justices, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dropped hints this weekend as to what the Court might do. Between what they said, and the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing, we can start to think about what the Court may do—and when.On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”
In Wisconsin, the Left Picked a Fight—and Lost– It’s important to remember, as Democrats cope with their failure to topple Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s recall, that this was a fight they chose.Unlike the vast majority of elections, which occur on a regular schedule, the recall was a fight the left picked on purpose. They picked it because they thought they could win. And they were wrong.It wasn’t even close. In the final tally, Walker led his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by 53 percent to 46 percent.
The idea behind the recall effort was to send a message: a warning to conservatives across the country that there was a line not to be crossed when it came to messing with the hard-earned gains of public worker unions. By losing, however, the consortium of unions, progressives and Democrats that worked so ardently to send Walker packing may have sent the opposite message. If Walker can survive, what’s to stop any other right-leaning governor from pushing the envelope?
“This really is a test case. The far right made Wisconsin its petri dish,” said Robert Kraig, executive director of Citizen Action Wisconsin, a grassroots progressive group that supported the recall effort. Walker’s win, he said, will embolden the Koch brothers and other national conservative funders to get ideologically sympathetic Republicans to push their agenda across the country.
Wisconsin recall: The biggest losers– Vince Lombardi, the man who taught Cheeseheads to think with clarity about the severe consequences of victory and defeat, once offered this gem about life: “Show me a good loser, and I’ll show you a loser.”Scott Walker last night showed Wisconsin and the country a bunch of pretty good losers in his recall election triumph. In the spirit of tell-it-like-it-is St. Vince, POLITICO offers up a guide to the top five: Democrats, President Barack Obama, public unions, conservative critics and money monks.Here’s why:
“If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”
Well, politics is all about keeping score — and Democrats suffered a good old-fashioned beatdown. They invested seven months of effort, tens of millions of dollars, exhausted volunteers to collect nearly 1 million signatures. Then, they litigated an extremely divisive primary and spent millions more — all to get back to exactly where they were when they started: with Walker on top.
There’s no other way to slice it: this was a crippling blow to a party in Wisconsin that not long ago controlled both U.S. Senate seats and the governor’s mansion. Sure, Walker spent gobs of money in unique circumstances to pull it out. But the psychological blow is impossible to ignore and will certainly echo in the state’s first open U.S. Senate race in 24 years.
Why Scott Walker won the Wisconsin recall– Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) escaped a recall effort championed by organized labor and touted by many within both parties as a preview of the fall presidential campaign in the Badger State.How much — or little — Walker’s victory tells us about the state of play heading into the fall election remains an open question that won’t be easily answerable for days or even weeks (or months).What we can answer — or come close to answering — is why Walker won. We put that question to a number of Democratic and Republican strategists in the final days of the recall campaign and, out of those conversations, developed a clear image of what went right for the incumbent — or, as accurately, wrong for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) — that led to tonight’s result.
It’s always important to remember that no win/loss in politics is ever (or, at least, very rarely) attributable to a single factor and so all of the reasons we list below worked together to ensure that Walker won and Barrett didn’t.
Red Flags All Over for Obama in Wisconsin– Democrats reserved nearly $19 million more in broadcast airtime this week across 24 House districts, throwing down yet another financial marker for the fall elections.The reservation marks the second stage of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s $46.3 million television spree scheduled for after Labor Day.The competition for ad time is steeper than ever this cycle, with presidential campaigns and well-funded outside groups plotting billion-dollar blitzes this fall. By reserving time in the hottest television markets early, the DCCC ensures the best rates and placement for its spots.
To be clear, the DCCC can cancel its reservation or shift money to different markets as races fluctuate. Nonetheless, the planned spending is far ahead of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has yet to announce any fall TV buys
DCCC Reserves $19M Worth of Airtime– Democrats reserved nearly $19 million more in broadcast airtime this week across 24 House districts, throwing down yet another financial marker for the fall elections.The reservation marks the second stage of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s $46.3 million television spree scheduled for after Labor Day.The competition for ad time is steeper than ever this cycle, with presidential campaigns and well-funded outside groups plotting billion-dollar blitzes this fall. By reserving time in the hottest television markets early, the DCCC ensures the best rates and placement for its spots.
To be clear, the DCCC can cancel its reservation or shift money to different markets as races fluctuate. Nonetheless, the planned spending is far ahead of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has yet to announce any fall TV buys
Ten ways you know the Bain attack is bombing– Unless you’ve really drunk the Kool-Aid, you probably have the idea that the President Obama’s campaign has misfired on the Bain attack. How can you tell? Well:1. Democratic critics of the Bain attack are piling up.2. Politico, the ultimate home team paper (root for those to whom you want access), has gone pro-Romney, big time. (h/t David Freddoso)
3. Chris Matthews is having a meltdown.
4. The Romney team is sending around headlines with the subject: Not “The Tuesday Headlines President Obama Was Looking For…” And there are lots and lots of them.
Cantor says Obama’s ‘hostility’ to Bain discouraging investors– House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suggested Wednesday that the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at private-equity firm Bain Capital could be discouraging others from investing in struggling companies.”I’m thinking it’s when we were talking with the president about politics and wanting to provide an incentive for entrepreneurs and investors to put capital at risk, because that’s what’s hurting right now, we don’t have enough people with confidence to put capital at risk right now, we don’t’ have people who are willing to seek a loan from a bank and take that risk because they hear the hostility coming from the White House,” Cantor said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”
Biden: Tea Party stopped us from growing economy– Vice President Joe Biden admitted to a group of supporters in New Hampshire this afternoon that the President would have been able help the economy “much, more” if the Tea Party hadn’t taken the House.Biden showed the audience the Obama campaigns chart of job growth during the President’s first term in office and accused the Tea Party for stalling the recovery, because of the debt limit fight.”Imagine where we’d be if the Tea Party hadn’t taken control of the House of Representatives,” Biden said adding that they were “a group set on obstructionism.”
“They have one overwhelming goal: prevent President Obama from a second term, with no – apparently no care of the consequences to the economy,” he said. Biden insisted that the president persevered in spite of their obstruction and demonstrated “important progress” that could be measured.
Colin Powell on Obama: Is the wind shifting again?– The Associated Press reports: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is declining to renew the endorsement he gave Barack Obama four years ago, when he called Mr. Obama “a transformational figure.” … Mr. Powell told NBC’s “Today” show, “I always keep my powder dry, as they say in the military.” He credits Mr. Obama with stabilizing the financial system and “fixing the auto industry” but said he should have spent more time on the economy. … Mr. Powell, who served under President George W. Bush,also said, “I don’t want to throw my weight behind someone” at this point in the campaign.Conservative foreign-policy gurus will have a hearty guffaw over that one. To be blunt, Powell has no real weight to throw around; it’s hard to fathom that voters are hanging on his decision.
GOP discovers that Mitt Romney could win– Top Republicans, long privately skeptical about their presidential prospects, are coming around to a surprising new view — that Mitt Romney may well win the White House this November.Margin-of-error polling, fundraising parity last month, conservative consolidation around Romney and a still-sluggish economy has senior GOP officials increasingly bullish about a nominee many winced over during a difficult primary process.
The Emerging Democratic Divide– Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s off-message criticism of the Obama campaign’s attacks on Mitt Romney’s background at Bain Capital gave the campaign an untimely, unwanted headache this week. But more significantly, it exposed a tension that’s developing between the Democratic Party’s centrist wing and its more-outspoken liberal base —one that threatens to fester more openly if President Obama fails to win a second term.Conversations with liberal activists and labor officials reveal an unmistakable hostility toward the pro-business, free-trade, free-market philosophy that was in vogue during the second half of the Clinton administration. Former White House Chief of Staff William Daley, who tried to steer the Obama administration in a more centrist direction, is the subject of particular derision. Discussion of entitlement reforms, at the heart of the GOP governing agenda, is a nonstarter. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats are now nearly extinct on Capitol Hill.
How the Recovery Went Wrong– President Obama, in speech after speech, proudly makes the following point: Although we inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression, we have generated net new jobs every month, and while we need to do more, we are going in the right direction.Of course, recoveries always go in the right direction —that is, things get better over time. But merely going in the right direction is an incredibly low performance standard. Moreover, since deep recessions are generally followed by more robust recoveries, this should have been one of the strongest recoveries ever.So what went wrong? All the available Keynesian levers for achieving economic growth have been pulled, yet the recovery is one of the weakest since World War II. The problem lies with the way the “stimulus” was carried out, the uncertainty of looming higher taxes, and the antibusiness rhetoric and regulatory strong-arming of this administration.
Dental Abuse Seen Driven by Private Equity Investments – Isaac Gagnon stepped off the school bus sobbing last October and opened his mouth to show his mother where it hurt.
She saw steel crowns on two of the 4-year-old’s back teeth. A dentist’s statement in his backpack showed he had received two pulpotomies, or baby root canals, along with the crowns and 10 X-rays — all while he was at school. Isaac, who suffers from seizures from a brain injury in infancy, didn’t need the work, according to his mother, Stacey Gagnon.“I was absolutely horrified,” said Gagnon, of Camp Verde, Arizona. “I never gave them permission to drill into my son’s mouth. They did it for profit.”
Isaac’s case and others like it are under scrutiny by federal lawmakers and state regulators trying to determine whether a popular business model fueled by Wall Street money is soaking taxpayers and having a malign influence on dentistry. Isaac’s dentist was dispatched to his school by ReachOut Healthcare America, a dental management services company that’s in the portfolio of Morgan Stanley Private Equity, operates in 22 states and has dealt with 1.5 million patients. Management companies are at the center of a U.S. Senate inquiry, and audits, investigations and civil actions in six states over allegations of unnecessary procedures, low-quality treatment and the unlicensed practice of dentistry.
Democrats look to California in bid to retake House– No state figures more prominently in Democratic plans to retake the House than bright blue California.With 25 seats separating them from the speaker’s gavel, Democrats have settled on a blueprint targeting nearly a dozen seats across the Golden State — a yawning figure that highlights the emphasis party officials have placed there.
Exit, stage Wright– Yesterday’s breathless campaign hysteria arose out of a not-really-much-of-a-scoop from the broadsheet across town: A rich guy in Omaha wants to spend a lot of money defeating Barack Obama.Stop the presses. Eek.Said rich guy sought the advice of a controversial consultant (who’d very much benefit from getting the rich guy’s commission) on a strategy. The consultant proposed reviving the 2008 controversy over Obama’s relationship with his egregious pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
You’d have thought, from the mainstream-media tweets yesterday morning, that the mere act of mentioning Obama and Wright in the same breath was nothing less than a hate crime in itself. How dare anyone mention the president in the same breath as the anti-American demagogue who officiated at his wedding, baptized his children and gave him the title of his second book.
For those of us who enjoy seeing such folk sputter and squirm, the idea of a Wright attack against Obama instantly seemed rather piquant. But it only took a moment’s reflection to see how senseless and even stupid such an approach would be.
Ricketts’ aide: Jeremiah Wright plan was DOA– The head of the Super PAC that considered a proposal to attack the president based on his associations with controversial preacher Reverend Wright said Friday that the pitch was a non-starter.“I was immediately troubled by the proposal. It surprised me,” Brian Baker, president of Ending Spending Action Fund funded by billionaire Joe Ricketts, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We run an organization based on fiscal responsibility. They know we asked for a document based on ending spending, fiscal responsibility and jobs in the economy. This is far afield from that.”
Romney Launches First General Election Ad– Mitt Romney’s campaign is out with its first television ad of the general election, describing what a Romney presidency would look like on “day one.”The spot will be launched in four swing-states –Ohio, North Carolina, Iowa and Virginia — with a $1.2 million buy, CNN reports.A generally positive ad, the narrator outlines different Romney initiatives that he would launch from the start of his time in office, which include approving the Keystone XL pipeline and replacing President Obama’s heath care reform legislation.
Explaining Why Minority Births Now Outnumber White Births | Pew Social & Demographic Trends– The changing profile of the nation’s youngest residents also stems from the fact that some groups, especially Hispanics, have higher numbers of children than do non-Hispanic whites. One illustration of this difference is in the “total fertility rate,” or the number of children the average woman is predicted to have in her lifetime, based on current age-specific birth rates. For the U.S. as a whole, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of American Community Survey data, the number is 2.0. (American Community Survey data in this posting come from a Pew Research Center analysis of the 1% sample of the 2010 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series [IPUMS])Among Hispanics, the total fertility rate is 2.4. For non-Hispanic whites and for non-Hispanic Asians, it is 1.8. Non-Hispanic blacks (2.1) have higher fertility than whites but lower fertility than Hispanics.Immigration is an important contributor to higher birth rates among Hispanics, because foreign-born women tend to have more children on average than U.S.-born women. Most growth in the Hispanic population from 2000 to 2010 was due to births, not immigration, a change from the long-time pattern. But most births to Hispanic women are to those born outside the U.S.
Latinos will soon be California’s largest ethnic group, Census says– Latinos will become California’s largest ethnic group very soon, a new Census Bureau report indicates.The bureau issued its first post-2000 census estimates of population growth, birth rates, age cohorts, and racial and ethnic characteristics.It pegs California’s Latino population (it uses the term “Hispanic”) at 14.4 million, 38.2 percent of the state’s 37.7 million residents, while the non-Hispanic white population is just under 15 million or 39.7 percent, dropping below the 40 percent mark for the first time.
For several years, demographers have predicted that the state’s Latino population would surpass whites by 2015, but the new Census Bureau reports indicates that the crossover may occur somewhat sooner.
Although immigration from Latin America has slowed to almost a stop, other findings indicate, Latinos tend to be younger than the white population and have much-higher birthrate, thus expanding their population while that of whites continues to shrink..
USC sued in deaths of 2 students– A wrongful death suit has been filed against USC by the parents of two USC graduate students slain near the campus on April 11.Wanzhi Qu and Xiaohong Fei, father and mother of Ming Qu, and Xiyong Wu and Meinan Yin, parents of Ying Wu, filed the suit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. They are seeking unspecified damages.Wu and Qu, both 23-year-old electrical engineering students from China, were fatally shot during a downpour about 1 a.m. while sitting in Qu’s recently purchased 2003 BMW, which was double-parked in the 2700 block of Raymond Avenue.
Wu was found in the passenger seat and Qu on the steps of a nearby house where he collapsed while trying to summon help, Los Angeles police said.
USC attorney Debra Wong Yang today issued a statement in response to the suit.