Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11th, 2012 Edition

Arpaio Defiant in the Face of Federal Lawsuit
May 11, 2012

PHOENIX (AP) — As defiant as ever, get-tough Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio faces a federal court showdown over charges that deputies on his trademark immigration patrols racially profiled Latinos in violation of civil rights law.

After months of negotiations failed to reach a settlement over the allegations, the U.S. Justice Department took the rare step Thursday of suing.

“We have invariably been able to work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies to build better departments and safer communities,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez said.

Arpaio and his department “have been a glaring exception,” said Perez, who heads the civil rights division.

The main issue that caused talks to break down last month was federal officials’ insistence that Arpaio agree to a court-appointed monitor for the department. Arpaio objected, saying it would undermine his authority.

“I am not going to surrender my office to the federal government,” a visibly angry Arpaio said at an afternoon news conference. “I will fight this to the bitter end.”

Rasmussen Poll:  Walker Leads Democratic Rival in Wisconsin Recall Battle
May 10, 2012 

Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker held a narrow lead over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the first poll released publicly since a Democratic primary on Tuesday chose Barrett to face the embattled governor in a recall election.

The poll taken on Wednesday showed that 50 percent of likely voters surveyed would choose Walker and 45 percent would pick Milwaukee Mayor Barrett, according to a Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released on Thursday.

Wisconsin Democrats on Tuesday nominated Barrett to face Walker in the June 5 recall vote, which also has been seen as a test of labor union strength in a potential battleground state for the U.S. presidential election in November.

Walker infuriated Democrats and labor organizations weeks after taking office in 2011 by driving a measure through the Republican-led legislature to curb the collective bargaining powers of public-sector unions.

The law required many employees to pay part of their health insurance and pensions, capped wage increases to inflation and required unions to hold member votes yearly to stay certified.

The proposals set off massive protests at the capitol in Madison.

Walker's opponents submitted more than 900,000 recall petition signatures to the state elections board in January, triggering the recall election.

Read more: Rasmussen: Walker Leads Democratic Rival in Wisconsin Recall Battle 

Mystery Mitt: Who is He Really?
by Howard Fineman

May 10, 2012

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney has a lovely corner office at his Boston campaign headquarters.

Two walls of tall windows give him a view of the inner reaches of Boston Harbor, Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown and the "Old Ironsides" battleship. A large desk is positioned so that he can survey the soothing and inspiring vista should he ever have a few moments off the campaign trail.

But he rarely uses the office -- which makes the handsome but empty space a perfect metaphor for the grave risk that Romney now faces in this early but crucial phase of his general election race against President Barack Obama and the Obama machine.

Most of the American people don't know who Mitt Romney really is. They don’t know what is good and decent about his life story, his family, his work, his philosophy or his personal ethics. They don't know the bad news either. They don't know much of anything except a few caricatured, cartoonish facts.

The former governor of Massachusetts remains largely an empty canvas, onto which the Obama campaign, the Democrats and a voracious media are slapping paint as fast as they can.

Read more:

Franklin Graham: Obama has 'Shaken His Fist' at God
by Andra Varin
May 10, 2012

Evangelist Franklin Graham said President Barack Obama has “shaken his fist at God” by voicing support for gay marriage. 

In an interview Wednesday with ABC News, Obama said his opinions had evolved and he now believes same-sex couples should have the right to wed.

“At a certain point, I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama said.

Graham, son of the Rev. Billy Graham, said the president was defying God’s will by changing his opinion on the issue.

“President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more,” Graham said in a statement.

“This is a sad day for America. May God help us,” he said.

Read more: Franklin Graham: Obama Has ‘Shaken His Fist’ at God

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