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“This was household income when President Obama took office. This was the national debt. Under Obama, families have lost over $4,000 a year in income, and the national debt is now $16 trillion and growing. Barack Obama: More spending, more debt — failing American families.”Read full article >>
Nearly all of the independent advertising aired for the 2012 general-election campaign has come from interest groups that do not disclose their donors, suggesting that much of the political spending over the next six months will come from sources invisible to the public.Read full article >>
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has offered President Obama some unsolicited advice on who to pick to replace outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Cruz, who in two years would like Obama’s job, decided former senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrat turned Independent from Connecticut, would be a perfect choice.Read full article >>
1. Jill Lepore looks at the historical artifacts from American legal history that have vanished into thin air -- or flames.The papers of Supreme Court Justices are not public records; they’re private property. The decision whether to make these documents available is entirely at the discretion of the Justices and their heirs and executors. They can shred them; they can burn them; they can use them as placemats. Texts vanish; e-mails are deleted. The Court has no policies or guidelines for secretaries and clerks about what to keep and what to throw away. Some Justices have destroyed virtually their entire documentary trail; others have made a point of tossing their conference notes. “Operation Frustrate the Historians,” Hugo Black’s children called it, as the sky filled with ashes the day they made their bonfire. Read full article >>
It's hard to reiterate this point, which you've no doubt heard numerous times, often enough: There is no good data kept on officer-involved shootings. And, therefore, it's hard to know how often officers that kill people face criminal charges for doing so, in the line of duty or not. And, therefore, it's hard to know what to expect from the grand jury considering charges against police officer Darren Wilson. (An announcement on the grand jury's decision is expected tonight.)Read full article >>
President Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 19 people Monday, including actress Meryl Streep. Obama really, really likes Streep.
"The Onion once ran this headline: 'Court rules Meryl Streep unable to be tried by jury, as she has no peers,'" Obama said. "And I’ve said it publicly: I love Meryl Streep. I love her. Her husband knows I love her. Michelle knows I love her. There’s nothing either of them can do about it."Read full article >>
Longtime NBC anchor Tom Brokaw was given a presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama on Monday, further cementing the newsman's role as a total and complete bad ass.
"At pivotal moments,Tom got it" Obama said of Brokaw, according to a tweet from former NBC New President Steve Capus.Read full article >>
The Democratic National Committee on Monday announced three finalists to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016: New York City, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio.
“We’re thrilled to move to the next step of the selection process to determine where Democrats will come together to nominate the 45th President of the United States,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement.Read full article >>
Elections help Americans to focus on their political priorities. One of those priorities has to do with the appropriate role of business in politics and society. The 2014 midterms again called our attention to the dark money “social welfare” organizations that attempt to sway the outcomes of races through independent expenditures, heavily funded by corporations and wealthy individuals And yet, business influence doesn’t just involve election-related expenditures and conventional lobbying. As my academic research shows, business also has real consequences for civic engagement and political participation, both during elections and in the arguably more important moments between them.Read full article >>
Journalists pay much more attention to predictions, turnout and results of midterm elections than to the ways that citizens participate in politics between elections. For the 60 million Americans who report being involved in voluntary associations, elections are only one way in which they advocate for issues, hold elected officials accountable and build constituencies. How do these individuals as well as business groups and advocacy organizations influence changing patterns in non-electoral civic participation?Read full article >>
Now that a St. Louis County grand jury has finished three months of deliberations in the case against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, some aspects of the process will remain secret while others will be publicly disclosed. The Washington Post asked Ed Magee, spokesman for Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, and other legal experts to help explain the law that governs the grand jury process.Read full article >>
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) is headed to South Carolina next month, as speculation mounts he may run for president in 2016.
Bush will speak at the University of South Carolina's winter commencement exercises on Dec. 15. The university announced Bush's planned appearance on Monday.Read full article >>
Here are a few stories that caught our attention on Monday:
Fixing federal pay requires reliable facts: Pay consultant Howard Risher says that the current models for comparing public- and private-sector pay are flawed, arguing that the methods being used to show how compensation matches up are “locked in a time warp” and “unable to respond to labor markets trends.” He expects this to pose a big problem when the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee begins hearings on federal pay under its incoming chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who has signaled a desire to tackle the contentious issue. “There is broad agreement federal pay should be competitive. But until the facts are accepted, the argument will continue,” Risher said in a Government Executive editorial.Read full article >>
More than half of Wyoming residents support marriage for same-sex couples, according to a University of Wyoming poll.
The poll found 53 percent of respondents supported marriage for same-sex couples, and 39 percent did not. It’s an sizable increase from a decade ago. In 2004, only 24 percent of Wyoming residents supported marriage for same-sex couples.Read full article >>
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham went on the Sunday shows this past weekend to talk about a recently-released report from the House Intelligence Committee. The Republican-led group decided that the Obama administration responded to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya as they should have, and that there was no intelligence failure.Read full article >>
Are you ready for some football? How about some Senate runoff campaign action?
The two worlds are set to collide Monday evening when underdog Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) appears at the Saints-Ravens game in New Orleans to commemorate National Adoption Month and Day.Read full article >>