Voters head to the polls today to consider a number of issues, none more important than a draconian anti-abortion measure in Mississippi that would give “personhood” to an unborn fetus and all the protections thereof under the law, and a measure in Ohio that would repeal the state’s tough anti-collective bargaining law.
Republicans on the deficit super committee may consider raising revenue by limiting tax breaks for the rich — a major concession for Democrats who have long insisted that new revenue must be part of the deal. Republicans said they are willing to limit tax deductions that benefit the wealthiest Americans, like breaks on mortgages for second homes, if there is a permanent reduction in tax rates.
A federal judge yesterday “gave final approval to a $410 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit affecting more than 13 million Bank of America customers who had debit card overdrafts during the past decade.” “It’s really undisputed that this is one of the largest settlements ever in a consumer case,” said Aaron Podhurst, one of the attorneys arguing on behalf of consumers.
The Census Bureau released a new poverty measure Monday that paints an even worse picture of American poverty than its previous measure released in September. According to the report, 49.2 million Americans are living in poverty, 3 million more than the previous measure. Poverty among the elderly was 9 percent in the old report; it is 15.9 percent on the new measure.
The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to consider whether juveniles convicted of killing someone may be locked up for life with no chance of parole. The justices will examine two cases from the South involving young killers; the Equal Justice Initiative brought both cases and says six dozen people in 18 states are under life sentences and ineligible for parole for crimes they committed at 13 or 14.
After facing a barrage of criticism about his performance, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is handing off some of his responsibilities to longtime Obama aide Pete Rouse. Daley was chosen in part because of his close ties to Wall Street, but his management style has ruffled the feathers of many White House staffers, and he is said to have an ineffectual relationship with Congress.
Unaware of the live mics in the room at last week’s G20 summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Obama that he “cannot bear” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because “he’s a liar.” Obama responded, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you.” Netanyahu’s office declined immediate comment.
The State Department’s inspector general will “conduct a special investigation of the handling of the pending decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in response to reports of improper pressure on policy makers and possible conflicts of interest.” The investigation may delay President Obama’s decision about whether or not to allow the construction of the pipeline.
A new poll finds that a plurality of Americans believe the sexual assault allegations against GOP candidate Herman Cain are true, while just 24 percent did not. Cain will hold a press conference today to address the latest allegations.
Black and Asian teens are less likely than whites to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to a major news study led by researchers at Duke University. About 9 percent of white teens indicated abuse or dependency of drugs or alcohol — twice as high as the percentage for blacks and three times as high as for Asian.
And finally: Austerity budgeting claims another victim as New York’s Suffolk County decided to sack Santa Claus this year to save $660. The amount seems like pittance compared to the county’s $2.7 billion budget, but nonetheless, the municipality will not be paying “David McKell, 83, a World War II veteran and former homicide detective, to don his Santa suit for the tenth year running and greet children on Long Island.”