The Morning Flap: These are my links for May 7th through May 9th:
Wave of violence in Germany over party’s use of anti-Muslim cartoons– GERMANY is beginning to regret its decision to allow a far-right political party to display anti-Muslim cartoons near mosques as part of an electioneering campaign.Spikes in violence at recent gatherings – including a major riot on Saturday that left two police officers seriously injured with stab wounds – have triggered fears of more bloodshed.Courts in Germany took the view that cartoon images of the Prophet Mohammed and Allah – both outlawed under Islam – were acceptable in a country where freedom of expression is enshrined in the constitution. But with resistance growing to the tactics of the radical Pro NRW party, Germany is looking to defuse tensions.More than 100 people were arrested at the protest in Bonn on Saturday where the police officers were stabbed in the legs; a further 27 officers were injured. One man has been charged with trying to incite the deaths of three policemen among the crowd of 600 Salafist Muslim demonstrators outside the King Fahd Academy in Bonn.The far-right Pro NRW party has said it intends to send activists to 25 mosques in the run-up to the state election in North Rhine-Westphalia on 13 May, staging protests in Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Aachen, Wuppertal and Solingen.
Roots of Lugar’s Defeat Began Back Home – The tea party, an unsteady movement that was beginning to resemble a wayward ship in 2012, found its north star in Indiana on Tuesday night.
State Treasurer Richard Mourdock defeated six-term Sen. Richard Lugar in the Republican primary, a victory owing to the incumbent’s inept campaign, the outside groups that lashed him on the air, and a story about his out-of-state residency that would not go away. But well before those issues got a foothold, a grassroots-driven, local movement to unseat Lugar was well under way.
Sixteen months ago, a collection of tea party organizers met in the city of Tipton. Their goal was to address flaws in the movement that were exposed in 2010, when infighting and competing agendas largely driven by national groups and consultants hindered its ability to make lasting gains. What resulted was “Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate,” a network of 60 tea party groups dedicated to retiring Lugar.
“We didn’t have the unity [in 2010]. Once we built the foundation of unity, we went out and educated people about Lugar’s voting record,” said Monica Boyer, one of the group’s cofounders.
The group endorsed Mourdock after a September straw poll showed that he was the preferred choice of conservative activists. National groups like the Tea Party Express that in 2010 were responsible for the rise of Christine O’Donnell in Delaware and Joe Miller in Alaska had yet to enter fray in a major way. The national group FreedomWorks had met with Boyer’s organization, but it didn’t jump in with full force until Mourdock emerged as the consensus candidate.
Will gay marriage haunt Obama in November?– Gay marriage is in the news — because Vice President Joe Biden put it there. He let the genie out of the bottle and got ahead of his boss on an issue the president has been trying to straddle for the last year and a half.President Obama’s coalition — minority voters and young voters — have very different views about gay marriage, evidenced in 2008 in California, when young voters came out to oppose an amendment that would ban gay marriage, while African Americans supported it.And then there’s the money, according to the Washington Post, one in six bundlers — the people who raise the big bucks for the Obama campaign — is gay. They are still raising money for a man who continues to twist himself into a pretzel over gay marriage, and whose White House still can’t figure out how to message it. Why? Because they believe wholeheartedly that he actually supports gay marriage, and if re-elected he will come out in full support of it and flip his position.
Obama ‘disappointed’ by North Carolina same-sex marriage ban– President Obama’s campaign said he was “disappointed” that North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state.”The President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” Obama North Carolina campaign spokesman Cameron French said, in a Tuesday statement on the vote over Amendment 1.
Recall that in a Capitol Hill news conference three years ago, Pelosi (D-Calif.) vehemently denied being told about the use of waterboarding at a CIA briefing in September 2002. “We were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used,” Pelosi said. She later changed her story, telling reporters, “We were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used.” She claimed she learned about the use of waterboarding the following year, only after other lawmakers were told by the CIA. “I wasn’t briefed, I was informed that somebody else had been briefed about it,” she said.
Elizabeth Warren’s embattled campaign: Cherokee tie found 5 generations ago – Desperately scrambling to validate Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s Native American heritage amid questions about whether she used her minority status to further her career, the Harvard Law professor’s campaign last night finally came up with what they claim is a Cherokee connection — her great-great-great-grandmother.
“She would be 1⁄32nd of Elizabeth Warren’s total ancestry,” noted genealogist Christopher Child said, referring to the candidate’s great-great-great-grandmother, O.C. Sarah Smith, who is listed on an Oklahoma marriage certificate as Cherokee. Smith is an ancestor on Warren’s mother’s side, Child said.
The missing link comes after Warren’s embattled campaign faced sharp questions about her Native American background in the wake of Herald stories that showed both Harvard Law School and Warren herself had touted her tribal lineage and claimed she was a member of a minority for years.
Norman Ornstein to the Press Corps: Stop Covering the GOP Fairly to Stop Their Success – Norman Ornstein is the in house pet liberal at the American Enterprise Institute who they let out of his cage once in a while to lament the free market, conservatives, and the like. I’m not sure why groups like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute ever allow their supposed scholars to team up with the Brookings Institute, but whenever they do it results in intellectual underwear stains for both organizations.
In today’s quasi-bipartisan inane ramblings, Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institute want the Washington Press Corps to know the GOP is extremist, destroying the country, and they should all stop paying attention to the GOP or treating them with balance.
Nothing says marginal extremism like holding the US House, most statehouses, most governorships, and a plurality of national party ID.
We on the Estrogen Express thought we’d finally found our Golden Girl.
This could be your Seamus moment.
This could be the beginning of your end — like when Rim Tim Tim Murray rope-a-doped about releasing his cellphone calls.
I just can’t shake the ridiculous image of you, Liz — a blue-eyed blonde almost as pasty white as me — letting yourself be described as a minority professor, a Native American, for years.
You’ve played the Indian card. You’ve grabbed for minority cred without enduring the minority grief. It’s poached diversity. It’s glommed onto, what, five generations removed, assuming there were some facts way, way back when, as your campaign aides claimed last night.
How long before wise guys in feathered headdresses start dancing around parking lots at your events? Somebody told me yesterday your campaign needs to lie low and “circle the wagons.” Whoops. That same someone quickly realized it was the pioneers who circled the wagons when your Cherokee ancestors were blazing across the prairie on the warpath.
Here’s the problem for you, Liz: We’re not talking some elaborate, arcane, confusing financial irregularity here that nobody can understand. Everybody gets this. It’s letting everyone think you’re something that you’re not. It’s letting stand the idea that you’re part of an aggrieved class of people. It’s a sin of omission, which is not as bad as a sin of commission — like, you know, the typical political ploy of pumping up resumes with fake claims of combat heroism and purple hearts. But it’s a huge problem nonetheless.
IN-Sen: Indiana – Is it already over? – The PAC that was supporting Richard Lugar, the American Action Network, has pulled its ads. They officially come down today. “We’ve decied to let this race play out,” Dan Conston, spokesman for the group, confirms. The group spent about two-thirds of the $600,000 it booked. Republican thinking is that they are coming to grips with the idea that state Treasurer Richard Mourdock is the very likely nominee, and the party now doesn’t want to damage him. Strategists say Lugar didn’t started campaigning in earnest until too late and waited too long to define Mourdock. They didn’t know what to do with him.
Walker raises $13 million since January – Gov. Scott Walker raised an unprecedented $13.2 million over three months to fight off the recall bid against him, outdistancing his Democratic challengers and driving home the challenge they will have in beating the Republican incumbent.
Crisscrossing the country on fundraising trips, Walker has raised more than $25 million since January 2011 and has $4.9 million in cash on hand – numbers unlike any that have been seen for a political candidate in Wisconsin. Two-thirds of Walker’s money came from out of state.
His stores of cash dwarf what his Democratic rivals have raised. But a report filed Monday showed an independent group supporting Democrat Kathleen Falk received $4.5 million, nearly all of it from unions and about a third of it from out of state.
Walker’s fundraising is on par with that of second-tier presidential candidates. For instance, Rick Santorum raised $18.5 million between Jan. 1 and March 31, and Newt Gingrich raised a little less than $10 million during that period.
Walker has been able to raise so much because of the national appeal he developed with conservatives after his high-profile fight with labor unions and a quirk in Wisconsin law that allows unlimited fundraising while recalls are pending.
Conservative billionaire Diane Hendricks gave Walker $500,000. Hendricks co-founded Beloit-based ABC Supply, a roofing wholesaler and siding distributor, with her husband, Ken, who died in a 2007 fall.
Her donation was the single largest ever to a gubernatorial candidate in the state and tied the $500,000 given to Walker over recent months by Bob Perry, owner of Houston-based Perry Homes and a chief backer of the Swift Boat Veterans ads against Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 race for president.
“I say any president, Jimmy Carter, anybody, any president would have, obviously, under those circumstances, done the same thing. And to now take credit for something that any president would do is indicative of take over campaign we’re under — we’re — we’re seeing…So all I can say is that this is going to be a very rough campaign,” McCain told Fox News in an interview set to air Monday night. “And I’ve had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. And, you know the thing about heroes, they don’t brag.”
The Tea Party’s Moment – The Tea Party movement shook up the Congressional campaign landscape in 2010, electing a slew of unconventional candidates, pushing Republican candidates rightward, all while upsetting a few establishment favorites in the process.
But the next month could prove to be even more consequential for the movement, with major Senate primaries coming up, pitting conservative favorites against candidates backed by the GOP establishment. Already Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is looking like the underdog against Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock in the state’s May 8 primary. Meanwhile, three other insurgent conservatives are looking to pull off upsets by winning their party’s nomination in Texas, Utah, and Nebraska
These are my links for April 25th through April 26th:
Biden: ‘The president has a big stick’ – Referring to President Roosevelt’s foreign policy quote about “speaking softly and carrying a big stick,” Biden told the crowd that Obama followed a similar path while negotiating with Iran.
“I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you,” Biden said as the crowd laughed.
Dick Lugar trails by 5, poll says – Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar has fallen behind state Treasurer Richard Mourdock by five points, according to a new poll released Thursday.
The survey, taken Tuesday and Wednesday by Wenzel Strategies on behalf of Citizens United, places Mourdock at 44 percent and Lugar at 39 percent. Nearly 17 percent remain undecided with just 12 days to go until the Indiana Senate primary.
Old Troubles Dog GSA Official Jeff Neely – Jeff Neely, the embattled General Services Administration official at the center of a scandal over a lavish Las Vegas conference, was reprimanded in 2011 for appearing in a campaign ad for Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), documents obtained by Roll Call show.
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel said Neely’s participation in the ad for Inouye’s 2010 re-election campaign violated the Hatch Act, but it did not discipline him beyond a warning.
The footage of Neely used in the ad was from a June 2010 groundbreaking ceremony heralding the $212 million renovation of the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building and Courthouse in Honolulu.
The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by Aaron Scheidies, a 30-year-old athlete. Scheidies says the rule violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Having a legally blind person compete in the running portion of a triathlon with blackout glasses “poses substantial danger to not only the competitor but those around them,” the complaint says.
Surveying the crowd, the globe-trotting secretary of state added: “I was delighted to see our wonderful governor Andrew Cuomo is on the Time 100 list, along with others, like Marco Rubio, and … the two of them and I have ended up on some other lists this past couple of months.”
Clinton had barely finished the sentence before the crowd laughed knowingly. Yet with that coy nod to two other people who are frequently mentioned as 2016 presidential contenders, Clinton fanned the speculation about whether she’s planning to make a second-act presidential run in four years.
Gingrich to end White House bid – Newt Gingrich will officially end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and formally express his support for Mitt Romney next week, two sources close to Gingrich tell CNN.
While details are still being worked out, Gingrich is likely to hold his final campaign event Tuesday in Washington, DC where he will make the announcement surrounded by his family and supporters.
It is not surprising that Gingrich is suspending his campaign for the White House as he has all but acknowledged it is winding down and Romney is the presumptive GOP nominee.
“When he says he is transitioning, what he means is that he is trying to determine as a citizen how he will pro-actively help Mitt Romney become president and the Republican Party win back the Senate and help (House Speaker) John Boehner keep his majority in the House,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
It appears that Gingrich’s focus will be much broader than the presidential campaign, as the former speaker, who made his name and career in the House, plans to be actively involved in helping the GOP take back control of both sides of Capitol Hill.
My column this week is a follow-up to last week’s piece on ALEC vs. the progressive mob/corporate appeasers. Be sure to read the entire column (plus my e-mail exchanges with several cowardly businesses that caved to the Van Jones crowd), click on all the links, get educated, educate others, and use this information to help fight back. The conservative movement needs all hands on deck.
Related: ALEC now faces a frivolous IRS complaint from longtime nemesis and anti-ALEC mob partner Common Cause.
Assembly member Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) putts on the 18th green as other attendees shake hands during the Speakers Cup, a golf tournament fundraiser hosted by AT&T at Pebble Beach. Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
These are my links for April 20th through April 23rd:
As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state’s top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf.
With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker’s Cup was in full swing.
Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.
At the 2010 event, AT&T’s president and the state Assembly speaker toured Pebble Beach together in a golf cart, shaking hands with every lawmaker, lobbyist and other VIP in attendance.
The Speaker’s Cup is the centerpiece of a corporate lobbying strategy so comprehensive and successful that it has rewritten the special-interest playbook in Sacramento. When it comes to state government, AT&T spends more money, in more places, than any other company.
Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.
Here is how it works.
The most oppressive aspects of the ObamaCare law don’t kick in until after the 2012 election, when the president will no longer be answerable to voters. More “flexibility,” he recently explained to the Russians.
Of them, six are incumbents and one is a Democratic candidate in Massachusetts by the name of Joseph P. Kennedy III.
Only one Republican challenger nationwide outpaced Strickland — Joseph Carvin, of New York, a partner in a hedge fund who outpaced Strickland only because he wrote himself a $1 million check.
Strickland, the lone Republican among six candidates running in Ventura County’s 26th Congressional District, raised $781,804 from the day he entered the race, Jan. 17, through the end of the first quarter, March 31 — an average of $10,424 a day.
Unless they can find ways to begin convincing the nation’s fastest growing population — Hispanics accounted for half of all the growth of the U.S. population over the last decade — that the GOP is a potential political home for them, they won’t remain a credible national party in 2016, 2020 and beyond.
Some within their party understand this. Take Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who is pushing a Republican “Dream Act” designed to show the Hispanic community that the entirety of the party is not lined up against them. And even former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who took a hardline stance against illegal immigration in the presidential primary, is starting to moderate his positions.
Resurgent Republic, a conservative-aligned, polling conglomerate has produced a snappy infographic that details everything you need to know about the Hispanic vote including the fascinating chart below that allows you to experiment with how much of the 2012 electorate will be Hispanic, how much of it Republicans will win and what that means for the outcome of the contest.
A 2006 report from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrates the explosive growth of the Hispanic population in the U.S. From around 15 percent of the population today, it is on pace to grow to nearly a quarter of the population 40 years from now. Just 40 years ago, Hispanics were only 4.7 percent of the population.
The Washington Post recently identified nine swing states that will decide the 2012 presidential election. Three of them have major Hispanic populations: Florida (primarily Cuban and Puerto Rican), Nevada and Colorado. According to estimates by Matt Barreto of Latino Decisions, only eight states have Hispanic voting-age populations greater than 13 percent, and among those, five are likely to be hotly contested in 2012: New Mexico (42.5 percent Latino), Arizona (21.3 percent), Florida (19.2 percent), Nevada (17.3 percent) and Colorado (13.4 percent). If Republican former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins 31 percent of the Hispanic vote in those five states, the rate that McCain won nationally in 2008, he will likely lose four of them, and perhaps even Arizona.
That could happen Tuesday, when five states will hold the first presidential primaries since a daunting delegate lead and Rick Santorum’s exit from the race made Mitt Romney the presumptive Republican nominee. For voters in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the put-a-fork-in-it race at the top of the ticket isn’t much of a draw.
Except that history shows there’s a group of hardcore voters who show up even when the presidential primary has been settled. George Mason University associate professor Michael McDonald, who specializes in turnout, calls them “expressive voters.’’ For a candidate like Romney, viewed in some Republican circles as a consolation prize in an election year in which stronger and more conservative politicians took a pass, Tuesday’s turnout could help “express’’ the enthusiasm gap, if it exists
Can the Tea Party Defeat Dick Lugar? – ‘You can’t beat up on Grandpa. You shouldn’t beat up on Grandpa. But still, there comes a time when it’s time.” So declares Richard Mourdock, the Indiana treasurer who is trying to unseat 80-year-old Sen. Dick Lugar in the May 8 GOP primary.
It’s hard to find a better symbol of the “Washington establishment” than Mr. Lugar, who has lived in D.C. since he was first sworn into office in 1977. But the avuncular senator is beloved by many Hoosiers—and for the very reason that tea partiers want to send him home: He’s a statesman, not a warrior.
An early test of the tea party’s strength this year will be whether Mr. Mourdock can unseat the iconic incumbent. At 60, the challenger is no spring chicken, nor is he a national rock star like freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But he’s “capable, competent, and conservative,” as he says.
Mr. Mourdock spent 30 years in the energy business as a geologist, executive and consultant. A heightened sense of civic pride spurred him to run for Vanderburgh County commissioner in 1995. Ten years later, impressed by his business background and political service, Gov. Mitch Daniels recruited him to run for treasurer. “I am known as a hard-working politician,” says Mr. Mourdock. “I go everywhere in Indiana to help the local Republican parties.
6 things to watch for at the John Edwards trial – John Edwards’s trial is the latest chapter in a “sex, lies and videotape” saga involving a politician’s reckless affair, a brazen cover-up and a spurned wife who later lost her battle with cancer.
But to those in the world of campaign finance, it’s also about the fuzzy line between the political and the personal, vague legal standards and questions of prosecutorial overreach.
Now that Mitt Romney, an active Mormon, is aspiring to the more mundane office, new attention has come upon the faith that guides him. And much of that attention has been accompanied by controversy, confusion and concern about how Mormonism fits into American society.
For a glimpse of how Mormons see themselves, though, it’s worth visiting the Church History Museum of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here. Created by believers, for believers, the museum shows how close to the center of American life Mormons consider themselves to be.
But U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein isn’t a bit worried. Her campaign is on cruise control, her re-election all but certain — yet again.
After holding elected office for all but five of the last 42 years, Feinstein is the doyenne of California Democrats. She’s so politically bulletproof that no A-list candidates are wasting their time and money trying to dethrone her.
At 78, Feinstein has become the rare lawmaker who plays to her own political base while not overly riling her opponents. “She should have her easiest re-election ever,” said Gary Jacobson, a UC San Diego political science professor.
Senator Rubio wants DREAM Act in time for fall semester – Rubio, in two separate events in Washington D.C., said his plan is still being hammered out, and important details – such as the minimum and maximum age of those who would qualify – were yet to be determined.
“We’re involving the DREAMers” in the drafting of the measure, he said, using the term that refers to undocumented youth brought to the country by their parents. “We’re involving the kids themselves.”
Asked by a reporter when it will be introduced in the Senate, Rubio said: “When it’s ready. It won’t be next week.”He said he hopes it gets introduced by summer and passed by fall.
“There are a bunch of kids. . .who want to go to school this fall,” Rubio said at an appearance at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.. “I’m also cognizant that this is an election year,” he added, saying it wouldn’t be easy to get bi-partisan support as the parties vie for elective offices.
The number of undocumented youth who would benefit from the DREAM Act has been estimated at between 1 million and 2 million. An estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States.
Rubio said at different events throughout Thursday in the nation’s capital that criticism about his plan creating “a permanent underclass” was “not true.”
The senator said that critics who dismiss his plan before it is even finalized are just interested in keeping the inability of undocumented youth to attend college “a political wedge issue,” and are not really serious about finding a bipartisan solution.
“The general concept is that [students] would receive the equivalent of a non-immigrant visa, it legitimizes you,” he said of his alternate DREAM Act proposal. “It doesn’t allow you to to become a resident or citizen, however it doesn’t prohibit you from applying.”
“There’s no limbo” that the students will be stuck in under his plan, he said. “The limbo is what they’re in now.”
Orrin Hatch pushed into primary in Utah Senate race – Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch will face off against conservative former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist in a June primary after the six-term incumbent failed to win 60 percent of the vote at the state Republican convention on Saturday.
The Weekend Interview with Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus – Now, however, the Golden State’s fastest-growing entity is government and its biggest product is red tape. The first thing that comes to many American minds when you mention California isn’t Hollywood or tanned girls on a beach, but Greece. Many progressives in California take that as a compliment since Greeks are ostensibly happier. But as Mr. Kotkin notes, Californians are increasingly pursuing happiness elsewhere.
Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.
The Toyota Camry hybrid that Hernandez was driving the night of his arrest, March 27, was an Assembly pool car assigned to the West Covina Democrat for travel in the Capitol area, according to Jon Waldie, Assembly administrator.
Lawmakers are making more extensive use of personal vehicles or pool cars after California’s independent salary-setting commission eliminated a lease-car program serving Assembly and Senate officeholders.
The general rule is that Assembly members not take pool cars out of Sacramento without prior permission. Officials prefer that out-of-area trips be for a legislative or governmental purpose, Waldie said.
Poll Watch: American cities favorability poll – The Pacific Northwest has a good reputation nationwide–the two most popular of the 21 prominent cities we asked about in our national poll last weekend are Seattle and Portland, OR. 57% of American voters see Seattle favorably and only 14% unfavorably, edging out Portland (52-12) by three points on the margin.
The most unpopular is Detroit, which only 22% see positively and 49% negatively. Americans have net-negative impressions of only two other of these cities, and both are in California: Oakland (21-39) and Los Angeles (33-40). In February, PPP found California to be the least popular state in the union. It does have the 11th most popular city, though: San Francisco (48-29).
Between the pack are Boston (52-17), Atlanta (51-19), Phoenix (49-18), Dallas (48-21), New York (49-23), New Orleans (47-24), Houston (45-22), Salt Lake City (43-20), Philadelphia (42-22), Baltimore (37-24), Las Vegas (43-33), Chicago (42-33), Cleveland (32-25), Washington, D.C. (44-39), and Miami (36-33).
Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.
Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.
Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.
So just as Congress could therefore ban the speech of nonmedia business corporations, it could ban publications by corporate-run newspapers and magazines — which I think includes nearly all such newspapers and magazines in the country (and for good reason, since organizing a major publications as a partnership or sole proprietorship would make it much harder for it to get investors and to operate). Nor does this proposal leave room for the possibility, in my view dubious, that the Free Press Clause would protect newspapers organized by corporations but not other corporations that want to use mass communications technology. Section 3 makes clear that the preservation of the “freedom of the press” applies only to “the people,” and section 2 expressly provides that corporations aren’t protected as “the people.”
We’ll be here all week. But seriously, folks, we have a man-bites-dog story for you today.
First, some background. Last week Byron York of the Washington Examiner reported that “some Obama staffers are reportedly obsessing over a nearly 30-year-old story about [Mitt] Romney’s dog”:
In 1983, Romney took his family on vacation and, faced with a packed station wagon, put his Irish setter Seamus in a travel kennel strapped to the roof of the car. Romney constructed a special windshield in an effort to make the dog more comfortable, but Seamus ended up relieving himself on the roof, which reportedly caused much consternation among the Romney boys. Ever since the story got out–it was reported by the Boston Globe in 2007, during Romney’s first run for president–Romney opponents have used it in semiserious and sometimes fully serious ways to portray him as insensitive.
“I have heard, in focus groups, the dog story totally tanks Mitt Romney’s approval rating,” Chris Hayes said on his MSNBC show. The Washington Post reported last month that the Seamus story “is ballooning into a narrative of epic proportions”:
Late-night host David Letterman has been giving the dog near-nightly shout-outs. There are parody Web videos, “Dogs Aren’t Luggage” T-shirts and Facebook groups. (“Dogs Against Romney,” which protested outside last month’s Westminster dog show, has more than 38,000 Facebook fans.) The New Yorker featured a cartoon, with Rick Santorum riding in Romney’s rooftop dog carrier, on its cover last week. In the five years since the story was revealed, New York Times columnist Gail Collins has mentioned Seamus in at least 50 columns.
The Dog Days of the Presidential Campaign Begin – I would note that in 2008, John McCain’s presidential campaign wouldn’t have touched this anecdote with a ten-foot pole. Between this and the Romney camp’s rapid response to the Rosen comments, we are seeing a Republican presidential campaign that is exponentially faster on its feet and way more nimble than the previous general-election campaign against Obama.
Lugar’s problems, however, have nothing to do with the “anti-incumbent” mood or Congress’ poor reputation. Instead, they have everything to do with his record and his horrible campaign.
Lugar’s record and style don’t fit comfortably with where his party now is, yet he made little or no effort to sooth conservatives or to prepare for a battle. If he had, he might, for example, have purchased a house or condo in the state so that he wouldn’t need to stay in a hotel when he returns to the state to campaign.
More than a year ago, I wrote in this space about Lugar’s vulnerability in a possible one-on-one primary. Almost immediately, I received a call from a Lugar staffer telling me how wrong I was and pointing out that the Senator was hugely popular and had a large campaign war chest.
In other words, Lugar’s team didn’t understand what could happen if voters were presented with a credible opponent who either had money or would be supported by outside groups willing to spend heavily to defeat the Senator. And later, the campaign didn’t understand why anyone would care that Lugar didn’t own a residence in the state.
A new book offering an inside look at the US House of Representatives depicts Weiner as a desperately ambitious loudmouth who berated his staff and would do or say anything for TV airtime.
Weiner “would enter his office in the Rayburn Building screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Why the f–k am I not on MSNBC?!’” journalist Robert Draper wrote in “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives.”
He finally got his wish, Draper wrote, when Weiner pushed to become the liberal spokesman for ObamaCare.
“He was now on MSNBC every week, sometimes every day — to the point where he was carrying his own makeup kit. (Or rather, his press guy was.)” Draper wrote.
Excerpts of the book, due out Tuesday, surfaced yesterday on the Web site Politico.
The President’s health law will be partially paid for by tax increases and the creation of new taxes. When Obamacare first passed, the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that its tax hikes would total $502 billion over the next 10 years. But most of the new, higher taxes don’t kick in until later in the decade, which means that once all of the law is fully implemented, the taxpayers’ tab will be much bigger than originally estimated.
A new study by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) revealed today that Obamacare will impose higher taxes totaling $4 trillion between now and 2035, with substantial hits on working Americans. That works out to more than $1.7 trillion over a decade—more than triple the original 10-year score.
Below is a list of 10 of Obamacare’s most costly taxes and fees, drawn from research by Heritage tax policy expert Curtis Dubay:
In-Sen: Mourdock Leads Lugar in Internal Poll – Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock leads Senator Dick Lugar by one point according to a poll commissioned by the Mourdock campaign. Conducted between April 16 and 17 by the firm McLaughlin and Associates, the poll surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters and found Mourdock in the lead, 42–41, against Lugar. The poll had a 4.9 percent margin of error.
Since January, Lugar’s favorability rating has fallen ten points, from 57 to 47 percent, while Mourdock’s has risen by eleven, from 35 to 46 percent. “These results clearly demonstrate that Richard Mourdock has the momentum to win,” a memo from pollsters John McLaughlin and Stuart Polk notes.
Menthol Cigarettes Double Stroke Risk – Menthol cigarettes more than double the risk for stroke compared with regular cigarettes, a new study shows. In women and nonblack smokers, the risk for stroke was more than tripled.
No significant associations were observed between the tobacco additive and other forms of cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The mechanism by which menthol may increase stroke risk remains unclear.
One potential mechanism is that menthol stimulates upper-airway cold receptors, which can increase breath-holding time, which may in turn facilitate the entrance of cigarette particulate matter into the lungs, notes Nicholas Vozoris, MD, from St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Another possibility is that menthol cigarettes exert some selective effects on the cerebrovascular system.
“It must be a slow news day if this has made the air,” Daniels told Fox News on Wednesday. “But for what it’s worth, I did send a congratulatory note to Gov. Romney the other day offering to anything I could to help him, and here I am.”
It didn’t come across as a particularly strong endorsement, and the Fox News anchor noted that Daniels has a dry, self-deprecating manner.
“He’s already won our nomination,” Daniels continued. “He’s earned it, he’s proven himself the best nominee we could put forward, and I’m just happy to sign on and help him.”