Morning Briefing: April 18, 2012

Despite a Secret Service investigation, Mitt Romney supporter Ted Nugent said he is not backing down from his perceived threat against President Obama at the National Rifle Association last weekend. “I spoke at the NRA and I will stand by my speech. It was 100 percent positive,” Nugent said on Dana Loesch’s radio show yesterday of what many considered a reference to an assassination attempt.

Allen West is not backing down from his remarks last week in which he brazenly claimed that there were 80 known communists in the Democratic Party. He told Reuters yesterday, “there is a very thin line between communism, progressivism, Marxism, Socialism…”

While politicians may still be debating the existence of global climate change, most people in the United States tie this year’s extreme weather to global warming. According to a new poll from Yale University, 69 percent of respondents said they believe “global warming is affecting the weather in the United States.”

Warren Buffett will continue to lead Berkshire Hathaway as he fights a treatable form of prostate cancer, the Wall Street Journal reports.


Just 7 percent of taxpayers are voluntarily designating $3 on their tax forms for the presidential public financing system, way down from 29 percent in 1980. President Obama famously opted-out of the public financing in 2008, and it may never be used again as the political process becomes increasingly infused with big money.

A vast majority of Americans agree that George Zimmerman should have been arrested. According to a CNN poll, 78 percent of Americans agreed with the arrest last week of the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

Drug testing welfare recipients doesn’t save any money. Studying results of the drug testing policy’s implementation in Florida, the New York Times found that “[b]ecause the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test.”

It seems like just yesterday that every Republican in Congress was hitting Democrats for using a legislative maneuver known as “deem and pass.” Yet now that they are in the majority, Republicans have embraced “Demon Pass,” and used it just yesterday to advance Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R) GOP budget.

And finally: Beloved and cantankerous Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) will marry his fiance Jim Ready before he retires from Congress later this year because, he told New York Magazine, “I think it’s important that my colleagues interact with a married gay man.”