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Ear to the Ground

Dubya’s Presidential Tab, Jon Stewart on Political Gaffes and More

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Posted on Jun 12, 2012
White House Photo by Paul Morse (via Wikimedia Commons)

President Bush signs his signature tax cut law in 2001. A new CBO report shows, among other things, the law’s negative effects on the U.S. economy.

Arizona to Hold Special Election: Voters in Arizona are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide who will fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The election for the Tucson-area congressional seat pits former Giffords aide Ron Barber, a Democrat, against Republican Jesse Kelly. Barber is considered the front-runner in the race. The election is considered a critical one for Democrats, especially given how badly they lost in the Wisconsin recall last week. (Read more)

The Economic Damage Left by George W. Bush: A new report released by the Congressional Budget Office finds that, contrary to what Republicans would like the country to believe, the current economic woes are not really President Obama’s fault. Mainly, the fault lies with George W. Bush, and the damage “he did to the country’s core fiscal health.” In fact, according to former Reagan and Bush administration official Bruce Bartlett, the economic policies put in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have created a budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011. It bears repeating: A budget surplus of $5.6 trillion! Andrew Sullivan discusses the implications of the CBO’s report in terms of the current campaign between Obama and Mitt Romney: “I’m tired of being told we cannot blame Bush for our current predicament. We can and should blame him for most of it and remind people that Romney’s policies—more tax cuts, more defense spending—are identical.” (Read more)

Bryson Takes Medical Leave: Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who was cited for felony hit-and-run over the weekend after his involvement in two separate car accidents, is taking a medical leave. A Commerce Department spokesperson Monday said the 68-year-old Bryson had suffered a seizure after the crashes and was found unconscious. According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, Bryson will be on leave “as he undergoes tests and evaluations.” (Read more)

Dueling Lawsuits Threatened Over Florida Voter Purge: Republican Gov. Rick Scott is determined to purge the voter rolls in Florida, if only the federal government were not in his way. Now, there’s the looming threat of legal action between the federal government and the state of Florida over the matter. The Department of Justice and the Sunshine State announced Tuesday their intentions to sue over Florida’s controversial effort to purge noncitizen voters. The DOJ intends to sue the state of Florida, alleging it violated federal voting laws; Scott said the state would file a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to gain access to a federal database that would aid Florida in its voter purge. And so it continues. (Read more)

Police Officer Demoted Over Controversial Obama Photo: An Arizona policeman is appealing his demotion over an incident in which he posted a picture of President Obama on a T-shirt covered with bullet holes on his Facebook page. Officer Pat Shearer was demoted and suspended for two weeks without pay over the Facebook post. He said he regretted posting the photo, but insisted that the image was innocuous. Said Shearer: “I was an idiot for putting it on Facebook, but to have all the pluses in my career forgotten over this one incident, which harmed no one, I think is taking things too far.” (Read more)

Video of the Day: Jon Stewart examines the life cycle of a political gaffe, using the recent gaffes by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as examples. Yes, Democalypse 2012—to borrow the phrase that Stewart titled the segment—is truly upon us.

—Posted by Tracy Bloom

 

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