Morning Briefing: April 17, 2012

The New York Times editorial board ran an editorial hitting corporate front group ALEC and highlighting the mass exodus by companies uncomfortable with their association with a group fighting for controversial “stand your ground” laws. The editorial board notes companies are “embarrassed” by their association with the group.

Although gas prices have fallen, they remain high, so President Obama will speak this morning about curbing oil market manipulation. According to the AP, Obama will propose a $52 million plan for getting such price manipulation under control.

Rick Santorum is still not ready to endorse Mitt Romney, telling supporters on a conference call Monday night that he has not had a chance to speak with his former competitor. And when asked if supporters should still vote for him in upcoming primaries where he’s on the ballot, Santorum did not dissaude them.

Aides downplayed Mitt Romney’s comments about raising taxes on the wealthy, saying he was only tossing around ideas while chatting with donors instead of making policy announcements. Romney opened the door to higher taxes on the wealthy in comments at a closed-door fundraiser.


Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik said in court yesterday, “I would have done it again.” Breivik, the anti-muslim, anti-immigrant man who killed 77 people in Norway over the summer, is defending himself in court on the basis that his attacks were in self-defense — against Norwegian immigration and multiculturalism. His trial will last five days.

A federal court rejected a challenge to the nation’s ban on contractor contributions to federal candidates, citing a history of corruption. An appeal in the case, Wagner v. FEC, is likely.

Musician and conservative activist Ted Nugent made an appearance at the NRA’s annual convention last weekend, and during an interview laced with violent rhetoric, he said that if President Obama wins re-election in November, he would “either be dead or in jail by this time next year.”

And finally: Remember that Herman Cain ad with aide Mark Block staring at the camera while smoking a cigarette? Fans do, and Block now “carries around a small pen to sign cigarettes for fans who recognize him at the airport.”