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3/9/2012 News Review


SPOTLIGHT: MIGOP war on workers

DFP: Brian Dickerson: Gov. Rick Snyder can't just shrug off right-to-work issue
I share Snyder's anxiety that a knock-down, drag-out fight over right-to-work will suck valuable time and energy from more urgent legislative priorities. But the governor all but guaranteed this distracting sideshow when he refused to put the issue to rest by promising to veto any right-to-work bill that came his way. He just said he didn't want to see one. . . . So whatever you think about their proposed amendment, no one can fault labor leaders for exaggerating the hazard the governor so stubbornly refused to defuse.

AP: Michigan lawmakers approve school union dues bill
MLIVE: Unions say dues collection bill passed by state Senate 'retaliation' for collective bargaining ballot proposal

“Why are Lansing politicians wasting time solving problems that don’t exist instead of creating jobs, supporting public education for students and a better future for Michigan?” David Hecker, Michigan president of the AFT, said in a statement. “Keeping local school districts from deciding how union dues are collected is a waste of time and taxpayers’ dollars.”

MLIVE: Gov. Rick Snyder disputes ruling on union workers hired for public construction projects
Gov. Rick Snyder is appealing a U.S. District Court judge’s ruling that a Michigan law banning governmental units from requiring project labor agreements for state-funded construction projects is unconstitutional. Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a notice of an appeal on behalf of Snyder on Tuesday. . . . "It’s more about politics than the law," said John Canzano, attorney for Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. "This law is designed to appeal to a certain constituency of basically non-union employers, that’s who wrote the law and that’s whose benefit it’s for."


DN: Op-Ed by House Democratic leader Richard Hammel: Governor shouldn't fill vacant court seats
Last week, the governor inexplicably reversed course and said he will appoint two judges, bringing the number on the Court of Appeals to 28. This announcement is shocking, considering the governor's strong previous stance, and considering his expressed desire to implement cost saving reforms. I don't see the rationale and urge the governor to reconsider. I hope anyone who opposes wasteful state spending will join me.

DFP: Gov. Rick Snyder: We need to step it up in fight on crime
DN: Snyder safety plan adds troopers
LSJ: Gov. Snyder's public safety plan puts more officers on the street - but not in mid-Michigan
ANN: Sheriff: Snyder's plan an OK start, but doesn't help Washtenaw County

Larry Burdick, president of the Michigan Prosecutors Association, called it "very ambitious." Hiring more state troopers is critically needed, he said. And focusing efforts on the four designated cities "makes sense," Burdick said.|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s,4668,7-277-57577-272936--,00.html

DN: Snyder to stop home buybacks
Governor says plan helps break cycle of neighborhood blight
Gov. Rick Snyder wants to stop owners who owe back taxes or have blighted properties from buying more land at the annual county tax foreclosure auction.

DN / DFP: Activist targets airport official
Gov takes no action on removal request over Mullin hiring
"This is an evolving issue, what's going on with the county," Snyder said in an interview with The Detroit News."As things evolve, I'm sure we'll do our duty to follow through."


DFP / DN: Oakland County Democrats win victory as court backs districts map they drew
In a 2-1 vote, the court said the practical effect of its ruling will be that the county board will continue to have 25 commissioners and that district lines drawn by a Democrat-controlled commission must remain in effect until the next census, in 2020. . . . Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a Republican who pushed for the legislation, said the ruling will be appealed. "We've already got the brief written," he said. "Now we'll take it to the Supreme Court." He said the appeals panel was stacked with Democrats.

DN: State cuts lottery winner's benefits
Lincoln Park woman who won $1M continued to collect $200 a month in food stamps
In a statement, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing., also called for federal legislation requiring states to prevent lottery winners from getting food and cash assistance. "At a time when so many out-of-work Michigan families are in real need of assistance, it's outrageous for people to cheat and defraud the system like this," said Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, which oversees funding for the food stamp program through the Farm Bill.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

LSJ: Teen begs Blue Cross to cover mom's rehab
On behalf of his mother, Andrea Duling, Tyler has written letters to Gov. Rick Snyder, state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, and the State Journal. “I turned 16 on Jan. 1,” the letter says. “I cannot care for my mom on my own. My parents are divorced. ... Please help me convince Blue Cross Blue Shield that my mom is worth supporting.”

MLIVE: New, unedited video shows state Rep. Bob Genetski struggling during drunken driving stop with heel-to-toe walk


DFP: Headline: Mayor Dave Bing: I will not give up on fixing Detroit
DN: Bing asks state to help force concessions
DFP: Editorial: Bing spells out small steps in answer to huge problems
DFP: Stephen Henderson: Dave Bing needs to start delivering on his big promises for Detroit

"As you may have read in the newspaper (Free Press) this morning, Gov. Snyder and I both agree that an emergency manager is not the best option. We're working hard toward a solution to resolve our city's financial challenges." . . . "The governor continues to be just as committed as he always has been to work with the city and doing the work that needs to be done to really put the city back on the right financial track," spokeswoman Geralyn Lasher said. "As the governor has said many times, the success of Detroit is linked to the success of Michigan."|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

DN / DFP: Headline: FBI indicts 2nd Ficano aide
Grundy accused of enriching self as head of Wayne health plan|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

DN: Hackel: Invite to fundraiser via email a mistake
County exec says problem corrected, won't happen again


LSJ: Editorial: Congress, hear scientists on FRIB - Project is too vital to let it be derailed
DFP: Guest commentary by executive director of Michigan's University Research Corridor: Funding cuts for MSU's isotope research facility would hurt state's economic future

Hundreds of scientists are lobbying to protect the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, under development at Michigan State University. Lawmakers must pay attention.
President Barack Obama and members of Congress should be listening carefully as scientists from across the country plead the case of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.|newswell|text|Opinions|p|topnews|text|Opinion

DN: Op-Ed by chairman and CEO of Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation: Train military vets to fill needed manufacturing jobs
President Obama has called for revitalizing U.S. manufacturing, while also promising to create 20,000 jobs for unemployed veterans. Both are laudable goals. So why not combine them?

THE HILL: Op-Ed by Sen. Stabenow: Continued growth for agriculture industry critical for creating jobs

MAC: With Perry out, Candice Miller pushes for Romney
Miller declined to label her comments as an endorsement of Romney or a call for Santorum or Gingrich to bow out. She did not address the candidacy of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, except to say that he has made it clear that he will go all the way to the summer convention, regardless of the primary results.

SPOTLIGHT: President Jed Bartlet speaks

HUFF: Martin Sheen Has Harsh Words For Progressives Critical Of Obama
“It’s unrealistic,” Sheen told The Huffington Post Canada in a backroom at Montreal’s Theatre St-Denis after speaking at Free the Children’s latest We Day youth rally. “I wonder how many of those progressives are black? How many of those progressives understand historically what happened? “There’s one face in that crowd that night in Lincoln Park that was the expression of absolute miraculous reality when Barack Obama took the stage with his family as president-elect. Did you see that night when they showed Jesse Jackson?” he asked, mentioning the civil rights icon who spoke earlier at the same event. “I wonder how disappointed Jesse is with Barack Obama?” Sheen dismissed the complaint from the left that Obama has failed to match the intense umbrage of his Republican opponents. “People say he ought to start getting mad and start yelling at these people,” Sheen said. “He didn’t get here by showing an angry man; this is a very important job. The whole world is watching every move, listening to nuance that he breathes in public.” The actor pointed his finger squarely at Republicans for Obama's problems, arguing that they have been an unprecedentedly obstructionist congress, especially since the 2010 mid-term elections. “It’s been fighting tooth and nail to get anything on the table with these morons,” Sheen groused, adding that the GOP is being directed by the Tea Party, which he called “the professional against-ers who are really to be identified as radical extremists who have no agenda and no purpose.”


THE WAR ROOM: Video: Call to Action: Raise your voice against Rush
THE WAR ROOM: Flush Rush! How you can join the campaign to get him off the airwaves
DFP: Ex-Gov. Granholm pushes 'Flush Rush' campaign to get Limbaugh off the air

FJ: Holly native Tracie McMillan calls Rush Limbaugh comments 'unconscionable and sexist'
FJ: Rush Limbaugh's 'authorette' is gender attack on Holly native Tracie McMillan, UM-Flint students say
GRP: Protesters try to run Rush Limbaugh off Grand Rapids airwaves for 'slut' comment
DFP: Letters: Limbaugh's offense goes beyond words
POLITICO: Carl Levin: Armed Forces Network should can Rush

"To say that women who have worked their butts off to get a B.A. are over-educated... do you think any women shouldn't go to school?" McMillan said.|mostview

WAPO blog: Rush Limbaugh’s show targets jerks, judging from the latest ads
But AshleyMadison, the Web site for people seeking extramarital affairs, and, which is, as Politico reported, the self-proclaimed “world’s largest sugar daddy and sugar baby dating website” — they’re now both firmly on board. Some rats run onto sinking ships. Who listens to Rush? we ask. People who would like extramarital sex right now, please, or are eager to exchange money for sex, advertisers answer.


MSNBC: Headline: Election, economy spark explosive growth of militias
There were 149 militias and patriot groups when Obama took office, compared to more than 1,200 today — an increase of 755 percent, the nonprofit civil rights organization reported. "The increase has just been astounding," said Mark Potok, editor-in-chief of the SPLC report. "The reality is that many of these groups are becoming more and more fearful that Barack Obama will win the re-election. You can see the anger rising along with that fear." . . . The center also reports a steady rise in the number of hate groups in America — from 604 in 2000, to more than 1,000 last year. Those include anti-gay groups, anti-Muslim groups, black separatists and "Christian Identity" groups, which hold racist and anti-Semitic views that overlap with neo-Nazi beliefs. The spike in these groups can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the sluggish economy, radical propaganda and anxiety over the election of a black president, Potok said.

WAPO: Obama’s reelection team releases campaign video trailer narrated by Tom Hanks

FL: VP Joe Biden raises money in St. Petersburg
Vice President Joe Biden slipped into the bay area for a fundraiser Wednesday, where he cheered for the spirited Republican presidential primary to continue for as long as possible. "God love them, as my mother would say. I hope they have another 20 debates," Biden told more than 200 people gathered at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg.


WAPO: GOP activists say Romney will be the nominee, but protracted primary may hurt him this fall
But Mike McKenna, a GOP consultant from Richmond, Va., said Romney’s struggles in the primaries and caucuses point to serious problems this fall. Romney won 41 percent of the primary vote in his native state of Michigan to Santorum’s 38 percent, McKenna noted, calling it “hardly a dazzling performance.”

Mitt Also Walks Back Contentious Statement About Minimum Wage

POLITIFACT: Mitt Romney says the Iranians released hostages in 1981 because they feared Ronald Reagan's approach to foreign policy
POLITICO: Op-Ed by Reagan biographer: Please, Romney is nothing like Reagan!

Romney made a claim that flies in the face of history and offered no evidence to support it. We rate the statement Pants On Fire.

NYT: 538: How Would Santorum Do Without Gingrich?
Mr. Santorum would have carried four states that he actually lost. The first two are the ones Mr. Gingrich won originally, South Carolina and Georgia, although his margin would have been very small in South Carolina. His share of the Gingrich vote would also have been enough to push him past Mr. Romney in Ohio and Alaska. He would not have won Michigan — Mr. Gingrich received very few votes there so there was little marginal benefit to Mr. Santorum — although it would have flipped one Congressional district and therefore given him the majority of delegates in the state.

ABC: Rick Santorum Breaks Twitter Record For Most Talked About Candidate on Super Tuesday
Santorum also topped the charts as the most-searched candidate on Yahoo Tuesday. . . . William Powers, director of the election project for Blue Fin Labs, said Santorum’s Twitter spike was the “highest percentage of clearly negative sentiment than any other candidate got all day.”

AL: New poll shows Rick Santorum leading in Alabama GOP primary (23% vs. 19%)
AL: Alabama Education Association poll shows Gov. Mitt Romney with 10 point lead as GOP primary approaches

HUFF: Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Bill In Utah Passes Senate, Prohibits Talk Of Homosexuality In Class (VIDEO)


DN: Deb Price: Mitt's mixed record
Romney success in Massachusetts marred by slow job growth
While corporate and individual tax rates didn't change under Romney's tenure, businesses were upset by Romney's successful move to close tax loopholes, which cost businesses $350 million a year, or a 20 percent increase in what they had paid, says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank focusing on Massachusetts fiscal policy. . . . In terms of actual jobs, only 24,400 net new jobs were added. Other states were booming, but Massachusetts had the 47th worst record for job creation, according to PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checker. Only Ohio, Michigan and hurricane-ravaged Louisiana did worse. "As governor, his record was pretty weak," political scientist Cunningham says.|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

DN: Nolan Finley: Forget spin, Mitt's headed to Tampa
Meanwhile, the punditry sees the lack of closure in the GOP contest as a windfall for President Barack Obama, spinning the story of a resurgent presidency. Yet in national polls, Obama leads Romney by just 45-42, within the margin of error. And the president leads Santorum, a candidate written off as having little appeal to a general electorate, by just 45-41. That hardly suggests an incumbent who can't be beat.|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

WAPO: Op-Ed by Sen. John Kerry: Romney’s wrong-headed assertions about Iran
Why does it matter that Mitt Romney would distort the administration’s policy to drive a wedge in our politics? Because the stakes are gigantic, not for the president’s reelection but for our security: . . . We decide big issues in the United States through debate. But let’s have an honest debate, not a contrived one. Romney should take on the man in the White House instead of inventing straw men on op-ed pages. He should depend on facts instead of empty rhetoric. If we are to avoid a nuclear Iran then at some point we must all act like statesmen, not candidates. We need to be clear-eyed about what we have accomplished and what we have yet to do. Americans deserve no less from their commander in chief.

SPOTLIGHT: Rush & the mass murderer

HUFF: Joseph Kony 2012 Video Goes Viral, Invisible Children Highlights Lord's Resistance Army Atrocities
Kony's Ugandan rebel group is blamed for tens of thousands of mutilations and killings over the last 26 years. The militia abducts children, forcing them to serve as soldiers or sex slaves, and even to kill their parents or each other to survive.

MMFA: When Limbaugh Backed Mass-Murdering Warlord Joseph Kony
HUFF: Rush Limbaugh Defended Joseph Kony, Leader Of Rebel Militia Accused Of Atrocities

While conservatives like Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) supported the Obama administration's effort, Limbaugh saw the announcement as an opportunity to bash the President. Limbaugh told his audience that Obama was sending "a hundred troops to wipe out Christians" in Uganda, and that he was "help[ing] the Egyptians wipe out the Christians." On the headline was "Obama Invades Uganda, Targets Christians." Here's what Limbaugh said (transcript and audio of the segment are still available on his website, no corrections or retractions included):

MMFA: Rush Limbaugh Closes First Hour With Dead Air
Rush Limbaugh closed the first hour of his radio show on his flagship station, WABC, with 1:03 of dead air Monday. From WABC's online feed:


THINK PROGRESS: Republican Lawmaker Now Supports Obama, Says GOP Presidential Candidates ‘Would Take Women Back Decades’
She also took an apparent shot at Republicans’ opposition to President Obama’s birth control mandate, saying, “It’s disheartening for me to see our party move away from what it was always about and that is to stay out of people’s lives, let them live their lives, don’t impose their religion on anybody else.”
HUFF: Headline: GOP vs. UTERI
On International Women's Day, Congress Debates Measure To Limit Reproductive Rights

DN (AP): Obama, GOP governors share many views on education
After Obama spoke recently to the nation's governors, Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal publicly praised the administration's efforts on education, and Virginia Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell said there was a lot of room for "common agreement" on fixing schools. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, another Republican, introduced Obama in September at the White House before the president announced that states could be freed from stringent rules under the No Child Left Behind law if they met certain conditions. GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels freely credits Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan for helping to pave the way for a "tectonic" shift in education, including comprehensive law changes passed in his home state of Indiana last year that include the rigorous use of teacher evaluations and one of the nation's most expansive uses of vouchers to help parents send children to private schools.

POLITICO: Headline: Mitt Romney's media charm offensive
POLITICO: Mitt's cash on hand: $7.3 million
DAILY KOS: The effect of the Republican primary on Mitt Romney (it ain't pretty)

MDP: Jocelyn Benson: The Corporate Accountability Amendment: It’s Up to Us


DN: Dems seek plan to cover college costs for all Michigan high school grads
MI SEN DEMS: Michigan 2020 Legislation Introduced
Amber McCann, spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville of Monroe, said Senate Republicans are open but "cautious" about the idea. . . . "Something like that sounds good, but how do you pay for it?" said Ari Adler, spokesman for Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger of Marshall. "Many of the tax credits they're referencing are already gone, so you're going to be taxing into credits that are for food and medicine and we don't think taxpayers are ready to give those up now, if ever."

DN: Editorial: Snyder's 'smart justice' plan offers cities hope
FJ: Lawmaker [Ananich, D-Flint] calls Snyder's public safety plan 'right approach,' but more police needed
WJBK: Skubick: Snyder's Crime Plan Excludes Most of Michigan for a Reason

Snyder's "smart justice" strategy isn't the blockbuster some might have wanted, especially those such as Attorney General Bill Schuette, who with Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee proposed hiring 1,000 more cops with state budget surplus money. Those looking for the governor to solve the immediate violence problem in Detroit with an infusion of state funds and manpower may be disappointed.'s-crime-plan-excludes-most-of-michigan-for-a-reason-20120308

DN: Editorial: Few answers to city's crisis in Bing's speech
Mayor's address didn't adequately address continuing management failures in city hall
Gov. Rick Snyder, in an interview Wednesday with The Detroit News, said there will be no cash infusion to Detroit from the state, although he offered to help the city in a number of ways to restructure its operations.

DFP / DN: Judge orders Moroun's bridge company to surrender Gateway project to MDOT, pay $16 million|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE


: Benson to lead campaign finance reform; MIGOP, of course, objects

DFP / AP: Petition drive launched to disclose corporations' political donations

Benson said U.S. Supreme Court rulings had opened the door to vast amounts of undisclosed corporate spending. The ballot campaign will send a signal that "the era of unlimited campaign contributions without transparency is over," she said. Critics wasted no time denouncing the proposal as a power grab by special interests within the Democratic Party. Eric Doster, a Lansing attorney and counsel to the Michigan Republican Party, said applying strict new disclosure rules to corporations but not to unions is "transparently partisan."|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE


DN: Frank Beckmann: Union ballot plan may backfire

Gov. Rick Snyder told me the unions are "provoking a divisive discussion" in Michigan, and because this issue raises such emotional debate, he fears the focus of policy discussion will be pulled away from crime, transportation, education and the like, and slow his efforts toward "relentless positive action." "I would encourage them to reconsider what they're doing," said Snyder. "As a practical matter, if they take the approach of (changing) the constitution, it's almost 100 percent certain you're going to see a counter effort going the other way."

GRP: Grand Rapids Democrats raise ruckus over state appeals court appointments

“We’re supposed to be shrinking and he’s expanding,” Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, said. “It flies in the face of everything this governor and House Republicans have said that we need to do this year. “This idea about shared sacrifice, it’s lip service and rings hollow when you do this after forcing schools to cut, passing tax increases on seniors and then enacting corporate tax breaks.” . . . “If not for Gov. Snyder, we would have been at 28 judges for years and years to come,” Lasher said. “We are on a path to bring the number down.”

DFP: Editorial: Gov. Rick Snyder sets smart priorities on public safety

Targeting four Michigan cities ranked among the nation's most dangerous -- Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw -- shows Snyder understands the importance of urban regions to Michigan's overall ability to attract investment and talent. His message made up an important piece of an overdue urban agenda for Michigan.

GRP: Gov. Rick Snyder on immigration debate: 'All of us are from different places'

“The politics of fear is part of what is keeping us from accomplishing the greatness we can achieve,” [Eastern Floral CEO Bing] Goei said, talking about how China is often inserted into politics like Pete Hoekstra’s Super Bowl ad. “We need the talents from anyone around the world to re-establish ourselves as an economic engine.


DN: Bing wants state to loan city $150M

Short-term loan to be sought in fiscal crisis, mayor's office says

"I think the governor is pretty coy," Bing told the Journal. "If Detroit fails or doesn't make it or doesn't come back as soon as we would like it too, it's going to cost the state money anyway. It's you pay me now or pay me later." . . . One Senate Republican source said it's unlikely Republicans would approve funding for Detroit, sayingthere is "no political will" for a bailout. . . . Lasher wouldn't say whether the governor would consider a short-term cash bailout from the state. "I'm not going to discuss that part; they're looking at everything," Lasher said.$150M

DFP: State lawmakers willing to help get Detroit out of trouble

Hunter said his colleagues, even the most conservative Republicans who might want to posture about Detroit not deserving help, recognize that if the city sinks into bankruptcy, it will be detrimental to the entire state. Still, lawmakers will be looking for city leadership to restructure city government.

DFP: Lawmakers, business groups to meet about regional transportation needs

"The public is welcome at this meeting, but it's designed for legislators from both parties to come together" with key business, consumer and planning organizations, said state Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, who organized the event.

GRP: Attorney General Bill Schuette calls for $100 million in mortgage settlement to be used to help families, scam victims and homeless

DN: MEA, other unions endorse Peters for Congress|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s



U.S. employment showed sturdy growth for the third straight month in February, demonstrating that the recovery continues to chug along at a modest pace. The Labor Department reported Friday that employers added a

larger-than-expected 227,000 jobs last month

, while the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent. Economists had expected the economy created 210,000 jobs last month, according to a Reuters survey.

It marked the first time since early 2011 that payrolls have grown by more than 200,000 for three months in a row. The economy created 61,000 more jobs in December and January than previously though

t, and the jobless rate held steady even as more people returned to the labor force.

WASH MONTHLY: Column: The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama

He’s gotten more done in three years than any president in decades. Too bad the American public still thinks he hasn’t accomplished anything.

Measured in sheer legislative tonnage, what Obama got done in his first two years is stunning. Health care reform. The takeover and turnaround of the auto industry. The biggest economic stimulus in history. Sweeping new regulations of Wall Street. A tough new set of consumer protections on the credit card industry. A vast expansion of national service. Net neutrality. The greatest increase in wilderness protection in fifteen years. A revolutionary reform to student aid. Signing the New START treaty with Russia. The ending of “don’t ask, don’t tell.†. . .

In short, when judging Obama’s record so far, conservatives measure him against their fears, liberals against their hopes, and the rest of us against our pocketbooks. But if you measure Obama against other presidents—arguably the more relevant yardstick—a couple of things come to light. Speaking again in terms of sheer tonnage, Obama has gotten more done than any president since LBJ. But the effects of some of those achievements have yet to be felt by most Americans, often by design. Here, too, Obama is in good historical company.


MEDIAITE: Limbaugh Accuses Washington Post Of Running ‘Out And Out Lie’ About Ads, Calls Reporter ‘B-I-Itchy’ (w/ audio)

“Ms. Petri, I don’t know who feeds you your information – I have a pretty good guess – but you might want to double-check here because you’ve written something that’s patently false, it’s an out-and-out lie complete with your b-i-itchy opinion in it, and it is untrue.â€

WAPO: Sorry, Rush Limbaugh: A response from the writer he called ‘b-i-itchy’

Speaking of jerks. Limbaugh listeners, I am sorry for calling you jerks yesterday. Yesterday I had no proof. I should have waited until today, when your phone calls and tweets (“Ivy league preppy elitist no talent hack†) gave me ample evidence. No, I’m sorry. That was snarky, if not “b-i- ,†well, you know. You aren’t jerks. You may enjoy listening to a man who calls people much worse things than jerks, and you may indulge in the practice yourself, but you are probably nice if one gets to know you. I bet if we had a sandwich together, we would have a good time.

DFP: Leonard Pitts Jr.: With today's conservatism, Limbaugh will survive

"Severely conservative," said Mitt Romney some weeks ago in self-description. He had been driven to Freudian candor by the need to out-conservative his opponents and, thus, spoke more truly than he perhaps intended.

So "severe" are conservatives now that Ronald Reagan would not know them.

Nor, given that he raised taxes and was not above compromising with opponents, would they know him.

That's because what now passes for conservatism is less an ideology than an excuse for ideological rigidity, extreme language, shameless (indeed, proud) ignorance, and situational ethics wherein the only thing that matters is victory and any tactic -- fear, misogyny, bigotry, lies -- is acceptable so long as it advances that goal.|topnews|text|Opinion


ABC: Video: President Obama Talks About Joseph Kony

Obama explains decision to send troops to help eliminate Lord's Resistance Army.

THE HILL: Study: Votes in favor of healthcare reform cost Dems 5.8 points in 2010 vote

Voting for President Obama's healthcare reform law cost Democratic incumbents 5.8 percentage points of support at the polls in 2010, according to a new study in the journal American Politics Research.


BOSTON GLOBE: Romney takes VIP detour to renew license

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used a private, VIP Registry of Motor Vehicles office Wednesday to renew his Massachusetts driver’s license,

avoiding the lines and the aggravation that have been synonymous with the agency

. . . . The Registry officials said such drivers receive different treatment because their presence in a public Registry branch could cause a disruption. “Particularly because he has Secret Service protection, we thought it was a prudent request to let him do it in that fashion,’’ said Cyndi Roy, a Transportation Department spokeswoman.

POLITICO: Headline: Mitt Romney money machine calls in cavalry

Romney has put out a rallying cry to his supporters in Congress, asking them to kick in cash and get their best donors on board, too. He asked the 80 Republican lawmakers who have endorsed him to raise $10,000 each for a fundraiser at the end of the month in Washington. By law, they can personally contribute $2,000 from their reelection committees; the rest would need to come from their supporters. . . .

Bringing in reinforcements is particularly important given Romney’s burn rate. In February, reports showed Romney spending cash more than twice as fast as he was raising it.

WAPO: Scott Brown’s Mitt Romney problem
SALON: Scott Brown’s triumphant makeover

Colin Reed, Brown’s chief spokesman, used to work for Romney. Robert Maginn, chairman of the state Republican Party, who is responsible for helping to get Brown reelected and boosting Romney’s chances if he becomes the party’s presidential nominee, is a Romney ally and a former board member at Bain Capital, which Romney founded.

HUFF: Kansas Abortion Bill Could Raise Taxes On Women Seeking Procedure (UPDATE)

The sweeping anti-abortion bill working its way through the Kansas Legislature would levy a sales tax on women seeking abortions,

including rape victims.

MSNBC: Want Viagra? Ohio lawmaker wants men to get second opinion

“I’m fed up over all this concern, consideration and conversation over the feeble and fragile minds of women who are unable to make decisions on their own,†Turner said. “I thought it was time to show our men some love and some regulation. It was time to level the playing field for all.â€


DFP: Mike Thompson: Mitt Romney and the minimum wage

And since Rush is still he who must be appeased among Republicans, Romney has spent the last few days backing away from his comments. Romney made perfect sense on the issue, yet he must apologize to someone who’s been making no sense whatsoever lately.|topnews|text|Opinion

DAILY KOS: Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Zombie Republicans

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