Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times: "The share of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth in 2011 from the previous year, the largest annual decline for any age group since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting the data in 1997, according to a new report released on Monday." P.S. Thank you, Democrats.
New York Times Editors: Citizens United notwithstanding, there are still ways for states & the federal government to impose some restrictions on campaign financing, as a ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court demonstrated last week. Obstructing those restrictions at the federal level: Republicans. Big surprise.
Once Again, It's Paul Krugman v. a Panel of Idiots. You are looking at a screenshot of two powerful know-it-alls who in fact don't know shit about what they're talking about but are unashamed to go on national teevee & flaunt their ignorance:
... Paul Krugman: "... you’d expect government employment to grow with population (remember, the typical government employee is a schoolteacher). And here's what has happened to government employment per capita:"
Michael Schmidt & Thom Shanker of the New York Times: "American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States."
Ethan Bronner of the New York Times: "The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states. In the last few weeks, nearly a dozen decisions in federal and state courts on early voting, provisional ballots and voter identification requirements have driven the rules in conflicting directions, some favoring Republicans demanding that voters show more identification to guard against fraud and others backing Democrats who want to make voting as easy as possible. The most closely watched cases -- in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania -- will see court arguments again this week, with the Ohio dispute possibly headed for a request for emergency review by the Supreme Court."
Sex, Lies and Tax Cuts. That's because all [the Republicans] got to offer is the same prescriptions that they've had for the last 30 years -- tax cuts, tax cuts, gut some regulations, oh, and more tax cuts. (Laughter.) Tax cuts when times are good; tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. (Laughter.) Tax cuts to improve your love life. (Laughter.) It will cure anything, according to them. -- Barack Obama, at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Read the whole post.
E. J. Dionne: Right now, Obama has the advantage. BUT. "The debates next month are Romney's biggest opening, and he's very disciplined in his approach to such encounters. He used them effectively to turn back primary challenges from Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. The president, on the other hand, is out of practice. And although Obama performed well in the 2008 debates against John McCain by directing almost every word he spoke to swing voters, debating has never been his strongest suit. Indeed, some of Obama's most loyal supporters see an additional debate risk for him: The president can look arrogant and dismissive when he doesn't respect an opponent or when he feels he has the upper hand."
John Heilemann of New York profiles Joe Biden. No mention of the biker lady.
Annie Lowrey & David Kocieniewski of the New York Times try to figure out Mitt Romney's arithmetic-challenged tax plan: "Mr. Romney has pledged to cut individual income tax rates for everyone, and to do it without increasing the federal budget deficit or putting new tax burdens on middle-income people to make up for the lost revenues from the rate cuts. But he has provided no further specifics, confounding analysts.... Asked on ... 'Meet the Press' ... which tax deductions he would eliminate, he said only that he would target 'some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end' while lowering the 'burden on middle-income people.' Democrats -- as well as a broad range of economists from the left, right -- and center -- say that the consequence of ending tax breaks substantial enough to offset the lost revenue from income tax rate cuts would be to hurt middle-class Americans. Many independent analysts contend that the only way to raise the revenue Mr. Romney is talking about would be to eliminate breaks like the preferential treatment of investment income or the mortgage-interest deduction."
Paul Krugman explains, for the umpteenth time, Republicans' cynical obstruct-and-exploit policy. He mentions something I noticed this weekend, too: "Right now Mitt Romney has an advertising blitz under way in which he attacks Mr. Obama for possible cuts in defense spending -- cuts, by the way, that were mandated by an agreement forced on the president by House Republicans last year. And why is Mr. Romney denouncing these cuts? Because, he says, they would cost jobs! This is classic 'weaponized Keynesianism' -- the claim that government spending can't create jobs unless the money goes to defense contractors, in which case it's the lifeblood of the economy. And no, it doesn't make any sense."
CW: I've been looking for a good synopsis of Greggers' interview of Willard. Haven't found it yet. But a number of them -- like this post by Michael Barbaro & Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times -- mention this: "When the show's host, David Gregory, asked Mr. Romney what elements of Mr. Obama's health care program he would maintain, Mr. Romney said..., 'I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform.... There are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.'" But, so far, none of the reports has mentioned that this is a change in policy. Earlier this year, Romney told Jay Leno that people with pre-existing conditions should be denied coverage. ...
... Incredible Update. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones: "Within Hours, Mitt Romney Takes Back Everything He Said About Preexisting Conditions." A few hours after promising on 'Press the Meet' that he would guarantee insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, a Romney spokesman "'clarified' what he meant: '... He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.'" CW: in other words, he assures a national audience that they can get coverage if they have pre-existing coverage -- that his program will be as good as ObamaCare; then he tells the insurance companies, sotto voce, "Don't worry. I'm not gonna make you cover those losers." What a despicable, lying prick. ...
... PLUS Judd Legum of Think Progress: "A Romney campaign aide sends a statement to BuzzFeed stating that Romney 'will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited.' This does not mean he supports the protections in Obamacare and would leave millions uninsured." ...
... Driftglass: "Half of Gregger's interview spent on Mitt and Ann's campaign bus with Mitt's arm half-around him asking giggly, open-ended fluff. Greggers spent the other half of the interview in big, comfy white chairs on the roof of the Romney campaign headquarters tossing Mitt softballs (nothing on Mitt's taxes, one-count-em-one question on abortion, etc.) which Romney deflected with big wads of pre-chewed talking points -- 'I'm as Conservative as the Constitution!' -- for which Gregory had no substantive follow-up questions of any kind."
"I Didn't Vote for the Bill I Voted for." -- Paul Ryan. Zack Beauchamp of Think Progress: "Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has gotten in hot water before for criticizing President Obama for the very same defense cuts that he voted for in 2011. When confronted with this incongruity today on Face The Nation, Ryan simply denied that he ever voted for the cuts, telling an incredulous Norah O’Donnell that he didn't actually vote for the cuts he's on record as voting for.... Moreover, Ryan's statement after voting for the bill contained not a single word of criticism about the defense cuts...."
... Paul Ryan Again Demonstrates His Uncanny Ability to Look Directly into the Camera & Lie:
... Jim Fallows of the Atlantic: "Paul Ryan's fame has depended on his reputation as the man who knew the obscure details of federal budget policy, and who was brave and honest enough to tell the public the unvarnished truth about those details.... Therefore questions of selectively presented truth, or incomplete honesty, count against his reputation more than they would someone who is seen as a run-of-the-mill partisan.... In his speech at the GOP convention, Paul Ryan really laid on the 'selectively presented truths,' more than other major speakers from either party." Fallows gives kudos to O'Donnell for knowing the facts & repeatedly challenging Ryan's lies.
Steve Coll of the New Yorker doesn't really say anything you haven't read before or figured out for yourself, but he does write a good, short synopsis/compare-&-contrast of the conventions.
Jillian Rayfield of Salon: "Could this be the final straw for Erick 'David Souter is a “goat-f*cker"' Erickson? Erickson, who's both a CNN contributor and blogger for the conservative website Red State, is being targeted by a women's advocacy group after he tweeted this about the female speakers during day one of the DNC:
First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected.
... "He tweeted an apology shortly after... But that wasn't enough for the women's advocacy group UltraViolet, which shortly after launched a petition to get him yanked off of CNN.... The petition [also] noted how Erickson defended Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke." CW: you can sign the petition here. I did.
Steve Coll: "Some of the Senate races ... look like Three Stooges punch-ups. In Florida, Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, is in a dead heat with Republican congressman Connie Mack IV (half-Mack, as he is known to those who thought his father, Mack III, was a better politician). Nelson's TV admakers introduced their Republican opponent this way: 'Florida, meet Connie Mack IV. A promoter for Hooters with a history of barroom brawling, altercations and road rage…' (Incidentally, Florida Politifact, a fact-checking nonprofit, rated Nelson's ad 'Mostly True.')"
If you're a New Yorker subscriber, you can read Jeff Toobin 's profile of Elizabeth Warren. The profile will probably be available to non-subscribers in a few weeks.
Reuters: "The first eight months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National Climate Data Center said on Monday. Each of the last 15 months has seen above-average temperatures, something that has never happened before in the 117 years of the U.S. record...."
New York Times: "After nearly a year of discord and delay, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reached an agreement on Monday to resume construction of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero in Manhattan."
AP: "Another prisoner has died at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. military said Monday, two days after the man was apparently found unconscious in his cell at the isolated, high-security prison."
AP: "An airstrike killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along with six others traveling with him in one car on Monday, U.S. and Yemeni officials said, a major breakthrough for U.S.-backed efforts to cripple the group in the impoverished Arab nation. Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi national who fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, was killed by a missile after leaving a house in the southern province of Hadramawt, according to Yemeni military officials. They said the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S.-operated, unmanned drone aircraft."
ABC News: "A Taliban spokesman said Monday that the terror group would use 'all our strength' to kidnap or kill the U.K's Prince Harry, who has just begun serving a four-month tour of duty as a chopper pilot in Afghanistan."
New York Times: "Tests commonly recommended to screen healthy women for do more harm than good and should not be performed, a panel of medical experts said on Monday."
New York Times: "President Obama announced Monday that he would nominate Robert Stephen Beecroft, a career diplomat, as the next ambassador to Iraq after his first choice was forced to withdraw after the disclosure of racy e-mail messages. Mr. Beecroft is now the No. 2 American civilian official in Baghdad and therefore already set to run the embassy temporarily until the Senate votes on his confirmation."
Boston Globe: "The Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, 65, of Boston faces one count of assault with intent to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. The crimes allegedly occurred over a 10-year period at the St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville..., prosecutors said. The victim is 26 years old now.... LaCharite, who is currently affiliated with the Old North Church in Boston, 'vehemently denies' the allegations against him...."
New York Times: "A supporter of Anonymous, the loose hacking collective, claimed responsibility on Monday for an attack that apparently brought down Web sites hosted by Go Daddy." ...
... "Millions of Sites Down." Tech Crunch: "According to many customers, sites hosted by major web host and domain registrar GoDaddy are down. According to the official GoDaddy Twitter account the company is aware of the issue and is working to resolve it. Update: customers are complaining that GoDaddy hosted e-mail accounts are down as well, along with GoDaddy phone service and all sites using GoDaddy's DNS service."
NBC News: "The federal government is expected to recognize that rescue workers and people living near ground zero on September 11, 2001, got cancer as a result of the terror attacks. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is expected to announce Monday that 14 categories of cancers, for a total of 50, will be added to the illnesses covered in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act."
Chicago Tribune: "Striking for the first time in 25 years, Chicago's teachers set up picket lines this morning after talks with public school officials ended over the weekend without resolution. 'Rahm says cut back, we say fight back,' picketers chanted this morning outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced late Sunday night that weekend talks had failed to resolve all the union's issues."
Washington Post: "The U.S. military prison in Afghanistan known as Bagram, infamous for its association with abuse of detainees during the 11-year war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, was officially transferred to Afghan control Monday. The long-demanded handoff occurred amid tensions between Washington and Kabul over the Afghan army's ability to guarantee security at the prison, and the Afghan court system's preparedness to competently adjudicate detainee cases."