July 2012

Jul 24, 2012

President Criticizes Romney Over Foreign Policy

By Helene Cooper and Richard A. Oppel Jr., The New York Times

President Obama directed a sharp assault on Mitt Romney’s foreign policy credentials on Monday, as the weekend political truce that followed the shooting rampage in Colorado dissolved into the more familiar political punch and counterpunch. In a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here, during which he never once mentioned Mr. Romney by name, Mr. Obama nonetheless directly took on the latest salvo from the Romney camp — Mr. Romney’s recent assertion that America under Mr. Obama is in decline.

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Jul 23, 2012

Colo. Shooting Suspect Booby-Trapped Apartment

With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

The alleged shooter's apartment was rigged to explode if somebody entered.

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Military marchers wear uniforms in gay pride parade

By Susan Davis, USA Today

Last week, the Defense Department gave a one-time exception to a longstanding policy that bars military troops from wearing uniforms in public, non-partisan parades. Conflicting decisions by military commanders who got requests from subordinates to wear uniforms in public apparently prompted the Pentagon to review its policy, and a July 19 ruling allowed troops to wear their uniforms, but only for the San Diego LGBT Pride parade.

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On Display in Aurora, the Obama Ammunition Economy

By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

Two of the hottest-selling items in Tom Lewis’ gun shop are a once-banned model of semiautomatic rifle and a series of palm-sized pistols easily stowed in a purse or coat pocket. Together, they represent a firearms industry on a tear, soaring while the rest of the country struggles through an anemic recovery. President Obama – or more specifically, gun owners’ fear of some still-phantom anti-gun agenda from his administration – has helped drive the industry’s gains.

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After Colorado shootings, Romney cautiously returns to campaign trail

By Sam Youngman, Reuters

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gingerly returned to the presidential race on Sunday, telling a San Francisco fundraiser that he would not be "as partisan." Addressing donors at roughly the same time President Barack Obama was speaking after meeting with survivors of last week's shooting spree in Colorado, Romney sought to focus his remarks on the state of the economy and not Obama's handling of it.

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Why Are Entitlements Growing? Your Budget Questions Answered.

By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

QUESTION: I did wonder if it was a little misleading to cite the 46% who paid no taxes in 2011 without putting this figure in context. Wasn’t this an abnormally high number last year because of the recession and because the government was intentionally trying to stimulate the economy? Isn’t the normal rate closer to 1/3? Not great, but not half. –Robert Fletcher

ANSWER: Using 2011 as a snapshot has its shortcomings, as you suggest. It was not a normal year. Taxes, in general, were lower; spending, in general, was higher. The fraction of Americans who have been exempted from the income (though not the payroll tax) is higher in bad times because more people have low or no income. There are three reasons so many people don’t pay income taxes (although many of them do pay payroll taxes): (1) Their incomes are low, (2) They’re retirees whose Social Security benefits aren’t taxed, (3) The big way the federal government fights poverty is to give tax breaks to low-wage workers and families with children (and, through the Earned Income Tax Credit, actually gives cash to low-wage workers.)

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Jul 20, 2012

Mitt Romney hopes overseas trip will show him as statesman

By Philip Rucker and Dan Balz, The Washington Post

Mitt Romney plans to depart next week for a visit to Britain, Israel and Poland, and the Republican presidential candidate hopes the trip will help him project the aura of a statesman and signal to voters back home that he would make a plausible commander in chief. He will listen to leaders of important U.S. allies, make symbolic appearances at historical sites and build personal relationships. He plans to meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing St. and catch up with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, an old friend from their days as business consultants, while aides are preparing speeches for him to give in Israel and Poland.

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The Upside Down Smile: Would Obama be able to govern in a second term amid acidic divisions widened by his own attacks?

By Major Garrett, National Journal

It’s only July, and President Obama’s campaign has already called Mitt Romney an outsourcing, job-killing, company-bankrupting whiner who may also be a tax cheat and a felon. The brass knuckles are out, the presumptive Republican nominee is bleeding, and Obama is selling off his likability as if it were an inexhaustible commodity. But is it? Can voters tolerate the lurch from preaching hope and change to mocking Romney’s off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful” and hurling contestable allegations that he oversaw the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries? And even if they do, does Obama’s team see a governing path for a reelected president who has so toxically attacked his rival?

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Will Romney's VP Pick Excite the GOP? Who Cares?

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

The biggest question looming over Mitt Romney during the combative Republican primary was whether he would be able to unite the party. How could the former governor of true-blue Massachusetts and a onetime supporter of abortion rights, gay rights, and health insurance mandates excite the Republican faithful? Yet what is known about Romney's vice presidential search in recent weeks suggests that he doesn't think his ability to excite voters is a problem. The names at the top of the presumed short list--Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal--are solid Republicans more likely to let the establishment rest easy than to make the rank-and-file stand up. None of these men would overshadow Romney, nor would they make voters like him any more or less than they already do.

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More News Reports Show Up in Campaign Ads, to Journalists’ Chagrin

By John Harwood, The New York Times

While hiking the Appalachian Trail the other day, I became part of a Republican campaign attack on President Obama. Save the Mark Sanford jokes; I was (really) chaperoning a church youth group. Only after returning did I learn that my prevacation reporting about second-quarter job growth on CNBC had led off a television ad assailing Mr. Obama’s economic record.

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Officials name alleged gunman in Colorado theater shooting

With Pete Williams, NBC News

The masked gunman who killed at least 12 people at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in a suburb of Denver was allegedly a 24-year-old man named James Holmes, officials told NBC News on Friday.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Jul 19, 2012

Oops: What Bernanke Said Five Years Ago Today.

By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

Five years ago, July 18, 2007, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee as he is today. The housing bubble was bursting, cracks in the global financial system were just beginning to appear, but Bernanke didn’t sound terribly worried or prescient.

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