Look at Amendment 1 in NC! Obama narrowly won the state in 08, and probably has a narrow edge right now.Is it worth the risk of losing even (a) few crucial supporters?Let Obama lose the election on this issue, because Romney would be wonderful for[...]
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Fair Elections Ohio, announcing its successful petition effort, now in question. (Fair Elections Ohio)
The Ohio House, dominated by Republicans, is trying to pull a fast one on Ohio voters, and still keep Democratic-leaning voters away from the polls in this critical election in a decisive state.
Last June, the legislature passed House Bill 194, to restrict early voting, prohibit counties from sending absentee ballot applications to registered voters, and eliminate the requirement for poll workers to help voters find their correct polling place, among other restrictions. In September of last year, Fair Elections Ohio succeeded in getting enough signatures to get a referendum on the new law on November's ballot, effectively nullifying the law for the 2012 election.
The Republican-dominated legislature didn't want its voter suppression work entirely undone, so it has now passed a repeal of the law to prevent voters from killing it entirely.
"By taking the action that we're proposing to take today, we discourage people in the future from taking advantage of the initiative and referendum right," Rep. Dennis Murray, a Democrat from Sandusky, said on the House floor. "This goes fundamentally to the question of who it is in this state that holds the power of government. I think that's the people of this state, and I think the action we're taking today violates the constitution." [...]The Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says the referendum won't be on the ballot because "there is no longer a question to place before the voters." But Fair Elections Ohio disputes this, because determinations of what goes on a ballot are not made by the Secretary of State unilaterally, but by the petition committee that organized the referendum.
Democrats and voting rights advocates argued the legislation is not a "clean" repeal of HB 194 because it leaves in place a prohibition on in-person early voting the weekend before an election. The restriction will remain in effect because it was duplicated in a separate bill.
This is an entirely unprecedented action, so it's unclear now whether Husted or Fair Elections Ohio has the law on their side, and if the referendum will be on the ballot in November. Also unclear is whether the in-person early voting will be available, since it's both subject to the referendum and was passed in a separate bill. These are determinations that are likely going to be settled by the courts.
The Greek public simply could not accept the forced depression they were being pushed into by their bailout masters, and the elections showed clearly that was over. So now the Germans are trying to talk themselves into the idea that Greece could exit[...]
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Indiana Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock wants you to know he believes the rescue plan that saved the auto industry "was a serious mistake."
Whatever Mourdock believes would have happened if he'd gotten his way, the one thing that we know for sure is that thanks to the very same rescue plan that Mourdock calls "a serious mistake," auto manufacturers are doing well.
When President Obama took office in January 2009, there were 77,400 Indianans working in the automotive manufacturing sector?one in 38 jobs in the state. Today, there are 99,700?one in 30 jobs. And those are just the jobs directly in the automative manufacturing sector, they don't include the other businesses that are supported by those workers, they don't include dealerships, and they don't include auto service. And they certainly aren't the result of "a serious mistake."
We're having a gay old week, aren't we? The White House press corps battles poor Jay Carney about Obama's eternally evolving position on same-sex marriage after the president's presumed proxies, Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, come out in favor. Meanwhile, North Carolina?an important swing state?reveals exactly why, in an election year, Obama might be just a little cautious about openly endorsing what his administration clearly backs: Why would any candidate in a high-stakes election make himself a target on an issue that has significant opposition in key states? My colleague Gabriel Arana wrote the definitive piece on yesterday's loss in North Carolina; I don't really have anything to add. But the National Journal's Alex Roarty has some excellent reporting and analysis on that consideration here, including the obvious:
Obama?s description of himself as ?evolving? on the issue amounts to a public flirtation, and has prompted speculation that he?ll become a gay-marriage supporter in time for the Democratic National Convention this summer in Charlotte. But the president is counting on North Carolina and demographically similar states, like Virginia, to lift him to a second term. Assuming an unpopular position on such a high-profile issue is politically perilous in those states and others where he may need every last vote to beat back Republican foe Mitt Romney.
Sure, national polls show Americans slightly in favor of same-sex marriage. But Presidents don't get elected nationally; they get elected state by state. At TPM, Kyle Leighton has still more intelligent analysis, including:
A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed gay marriage supported by two-thirds of Democrats, but only 46 percent of independents. Essentially, Dems are asking Obama to endorse something that they are already for, at the cost of possibly losing votes in the middle.
Agree or disagree, there's a coherence to the current position.
But my goal today is to broaden our focus beyond the should-he-or-shouldn't-he debate. Randy Roberts Potts, Oral Roberts' grandson, wrote a beautiful and moving essay in the Washington Post linking Maurice Sendak's death with the North Carolina vote and his own upcoming marriage:
Some gay and lesbian couples have lived with each other in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for sometimes 20, sometimes 30, sometimes 40, and sometimes, including the case of Maurice Sendak, for 50 years, while religion and society simply looked away.
?And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.?
That?s how I felt, when I came out at 31 years old, surrounded by my fellow wild things and shunned by my family and my church. Angry. Alone. Mean, even. We were wild things, I was told, and we embraced our wildness; but I didn?t really want to be wild. I wanted to raise my children, go to their softball games and school plays, watch them grow up and, someday, have a husband who wanted to do those things with me.
Sendak was also gay and he lived with his partner, Eugene Glynn, for over 50 years, but it was not quite long enough - Glynn died in 2007, only a year before their home state of Connecticut finally allowed two men in love to apply for, and receive, a marriage license. A year after Glynn died, Sendak told the New York Times ?All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.? A gay man writing children?s books could not even think about coming out, even a man some consider the greatest children?s writer of the last century.
Meanwhile, the Guardian offers up an impressively readable chart showing how where and how LGBT rights are protected (or not) in partnership recognition, parenting, housing, employment, hospital visitation, and school, by region and by state. They really do an amazing job of showing the wheel of fortune that LGBT folks spin when we are born somewhere or, later, pick a place to live. My brother loves the Texas climate and wants all his siblings to move there, too. But looking at the Guardian wheels-of-rights, you can easily see why I live where I do.
Last night, Wisconsin Democrats chose Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as their candidate to go up against Governor Scott Walker. Barrett's pretty well known to Wisconsinites, both as a U.S. congressman and as a previous gubernatorial candidate. But most of us weren't all that interested in Wisconsin until Walker passed his anti-union laws and the widespread protestss began last year. Since then, the race has developed a national following?and some say, has national implications. With only a few weeks until the recall, meet the man Democrats are hoping will beat Scott Walker:
1. Irony of ironies, he's hardly a union favorite.
Even though the recall has largely been painted as a fight between pro-labor and anti-labor groups, Barrett was hardly the first pick for Wisconsin unions. Rather, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk had the bulk of union support early on. From the state AFL-CIO, the the Wisconsin Education Association Council to AFSCME, almost all the major unions backed Falk. In fact, they were so intent of a Falk victory that they actively discouraged Barrett from running. It's not shocking?Barrett went up against the Wisconsin teachers union in a fight over reform in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
Barrett waited until hours after the recall was official to throw in his hat, and in his declaration, specifically labasted Walker's anti-union policies. It may not have helped him much then, but immediately after his victory Tuesday night, Barrett had labor support. Both the Education Association Council and the AFSCME sent statements endorsing Barrett against Walker. It's a good thing, too?without union support, it's unlikely It's not the first time Barrett has enjoyed union support of course. When he ran against Walker in 2010, his top ten donors were unions, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
2. He's going to be outspent. By a lot.
Barrett faced Walker in the 2010 governor's race, losing by 6 points. This time around, however, Walker has a lot more money on his side. Thanks to a loophole in the recall laws, Walker was allowed to raise over $14 million, largely in unlimited and out-of-state gifts before the recall was made official. Barrett, meanwhile, has had to conform to the standard rules (which now also apply to Walker). That means while Barrett's raised around $830,000, with about $475,000 still on hand. Walker still has almost $5 million on hand, which means he can spend over $1 million each week between now and the recall date.
3. He may still win.
Barrett just proved that he can handle being outspent?outside groups supporting Falk spent close to $4 million in an unsuccessful effort to make her the Democratic candidate. Barrett also had to contend with negative ads from pro-Walker forces, who saw Falk as an easier candidate to beat. In many ways, they're right. While Barrett is sure to fall short in money, the race is quickly shifting from a focus on collective bargaining to an emphasis on the state's economic woes, and Barrett can build appeal among both angry union members and those who are just concerned about their livelihood. Walker's campaign promist to create 250,000 jobs in four years is far from on track, and last year the state lost more jobs than anywhere else.
While Barrett was trailing Walker in polls for the last few months, the gap has been narrowing, and at this point the race is a dead-heat between the two men, despite a barrage of ads from Walker these last few weeks. (Here's the latest.)
4. In a Ryan Goslin moment, Barrett once got battered trying to call police as a woman fought with a violent young man.
Okay maybe this isn't quite so relevant to Barrett's bid for governor, but worth knowning. In 2009, Barrett, walking out of the state fair with his family, heard a woman yelling. Barrett sent his family to the car and approached the scenario, as a young man fought with his ex's mother. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, when Barrett took out his cell phone to call 911, the guy flipped out, hitting the mayor in the abdomen so hard Barrett fell over. After telling Barrett to lie on the ground, Barrett popped up to fight back?when the younger man came back with pipe. Barrett lost some teeth, and his hand had to be reconstructed in surgey. He was in considerable pain, but back to work soon after, earning a call from President Barack Obama. Still, that's a guy you can't count out.
Conservative author Jonah Goldberg has an impressive resume. He is the founding editor of National Review Online and its current editor-at-large. He's a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
But take a look at the dust jacket of his latest book, "The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas," and you'll find another accolade: two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.
The problem? Goldberg has never been nominated for a Pulitzer. His work has simply been entered. "I'll check it out and have 'em remove it if you're right," Goldberg told MSNBC, who first reported the story. "Happily. If it's not kosher, I shouldn't have it in there. Period." Goldberg did not immediately respond to TPM's request for comment.
The book's publisher, Penguin Group (USA), insisted it was an "honest mistake."
In a statement provided to TPM after the MSNBC report, Adrian Zackheim, president and publisher of Sentinel, a Penguin imprint, said: "There's no conspiracy here, just an honest mistake at worst. In casual conversation, whenever a news organization submits one of their writers for a prize, people say that person was nominated. By that standard Jonah Goldberg 'has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.' You've brought it to our attention that the Pulitzer authorities don't approve of that usage, and that technically Jonah was 'entered' but not 'nominated.'"
His statement continues:
"We appreciate the notice, and we will treat it just like any other innocent mistake brought to our attention, such as a misspelled name or factual error. Specifically, Sentinel will correct the reference on future printings of The Tyranny of Clichés, and we will submit the correction to online retailers like Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com, which use our flap copy for their descriptive copy. Jonah is also correcting any other bios that have the error.
"However, it would be completely inaccurate for you to conclude that there was any intent to inflate Jonah's credentials or deceive anyone. His credentials are extremely impressive already and don't require any extra hype."
The Pulitzer Prizes' website makes clear the distinction between entrant and nominee: "Since 1980, when we began to announce nominated finalists, we have used the term 'nominee' for entrants who became finalists. We discourage someone saying he or she was "nominated" for a Pulitzer simply because an entry was sent to us."
As of this writing, Goldberg's bio on Penguin's website still lists him as a Pulitzer nominee. Will Weisser, an executive at Penguin, echoed the company's statement, saying it "was a simple misunderstanding of the language." Weisser told TPM that Penguin is working to update Goldberg's bio page on its website. "These things take time to update," he said.
MSNBC received the same statement as TPM, but also -- it would seem inadvertently --an email chain between Goldberg and Penguin. "It's a bull@!$5# story and I think this walks the line between acting in good faith and making that clear," Goldberg reportedly wrote of the statement.
Here's the dust jacket in question, posted by MSNBC:
Here's our piece about why Obama thinks endorsing gay marriage is terrible politics. Unless he changes his position at 3 PM, in which case it will no longer be relevant. [...]
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In about an hour, at 1:30 p.m. ET, President Obama is scheduled to sit down with ABC News for a taped interview during which, "everyone" now seems to think, he will clearly and unequivocally express his support for gay marriage. I say "everyone" because[...]
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The rumor mill is off the charts on this. And there's no indication that the White House is trying to dampen expectations. Very interesting.And remember, it was AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay who got President Obama to say, in an interview at the White House, that he was "evolving" on gay marriage.Q So I have another gay question. (Laughter.)THE PRESIDENT: It?s okay, man....