Chad’s Morning Brief: Government Favorability Numbers Lowest in 15 Years, Child Labor on Farms, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of April 27, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.
1. No One Really Likes Government (link)
The federal government is pretty much despised right now by Americans. According to a new poll out, just one in three Americans have a favorable view of the federal government. That is the lowest in 15 years. According to Politico:
The majority of Americans remain satisfied with their local and state governments — 61 percent and 52 percent, respectively — but only 33 percent feel likewise about the federal government.
In 2002, nearly double that figure, 64 percent viewed the federal government favorably, and Americans held their local and state governments in similar esteem, at 67 percent and 62 percent, respectively.
There’s the expected partisan gap: A majority of Democrats, 51 percent, view the Obama-led government favorably, compared with 27 percent of independents and 20 percent of Republicans. During the Bush presidency, a majority of Republicans viewed the federal government favorably, while support for it faded among Democrats.
The poll also reveals that more Americans trust their state governments to be honest, efficient and less partisan than the federal government.
Not surprising at all really. This country is very divided and no one really likes what is going on in Washington. As far as local and state governments go. I'm not sure it's that people view them that more favorable. Instead, I think many people just have no idea what's going on.
2. Obama Backs off Farms and Children (link)
This story broke months ago, and we called it ridiculous at the time. Good to see those in Washington agreeing.
Under heavy pressure from farm groups, the Obama administration said Thursday it would drop an unpopular plan to prevent children from doing hazardous work on farms owned by anyone other than their parents.
The Labor Department said it is withdrawing proposed rules that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment, including tractors. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards.
While labor officials said their goal was to reduce the fatality rate for child farm workers, the proposal had become a popular political target for Republicans who called it an impractical, heavy-handed regulation that ignored the reality of small farms.
"It's good the Labor Department rethought the ridiculous regulations it was going to stick on farmers and their families," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. "To even propose such regulations defies common sense, and shows a real lack of understanding as to how the family farm works."
The surprise move comes just two months after the Labor Department modified the rule in a bid to satisfy opponents. The agency made it clear it would exempt children who worked on farms owned or operated by their parents, even if the ownership was part of a complex partnership or corporate agreement.
Thoughts? It may be politically motivated, but it's the right move for the administration to make.
3. Police Make Arrest in "Justice for Trayvon" Beating (link)
I'm sure this won't be called a hate crime though.
Mobile Police made their first arrest in the mob beating of Matthew Owens. 44-year-old Terry Rawls surrendered Wednesday on assault charges.
"This here is an ongoing dispute with neighbors, that's what this is," explained Corporal Chris Levy with the Mobile Police Department.
Police say the tension between Owens and Rawls had been escalating for three years. In fact, that wasn't the first time police were called to Delmar Drive. Police say Rawls has attacked Owens before, but charges were never filed because they say Owens instigated it.
"Unfortunately that's what this is, and these things can lead to violence and that's what happened," said Levy.
Matthew Owens suffered severe head injuries and was taken to USA Medical Center after witnesses say a mob of 20 or so people attacked him with paint cans, pipes, and chairs across the street from his sister's house. But police only expect to arrest three more people. They claim most of the mob were just bystanders.
"What we know is that Mr. Owens was fussing at some kids about playing basketball in the street," said Levy. "These kids then went back and told their parents about the exchange they had with Mr. Owens, who were having a get together down the street, came down to where Mr. Owens is, and there was a series of racial slurs exchanged, and there was a fight."
Witnesses claim one of those attackers screamed, "That's justice for Trayvon" as she drove away. That comment has created has created an uproar nationwide, but police say Florida's Trayvon Martin case has nothing to do with this.
"I can tell you without a doubt 100 percent that the Trayvon Martin case was not the motivating factor, said Levy. "That 100 percent, it is an ongoing incident between people that have been fighting for a few years now."
So even though a witness claims that someone said it was justice for Trayvon, police say it wasn't? You have got to be kidding me.
4. Karl Roves Map Should Scare You (link)
Yes it's early, but Karl Rove's new map scares me when it comes to the election. According to HotAir:
On the one hand, how seriously should we take a projection that has South Carolina as a toss-up? Maybe this is Rove knowing that his map will get attention and using it to scare conservatives into donating and GOTV volunteering. On the other hand, none of his other state projections look obviously wrong to me. Even if you take New Hampshire and Nevada out of Obama’s “lean” column, he still gets to 271 and a second term.
The big difference with Rove’s map? Blumenthal gives Florida and its 29 electoral votes to Obama. I’m skeptical that O will take that state again this time, partly because of how well Romney did there in the primary and partly because Rubio will be stumping for him there either as senator or VP nominee. Put that back into the toss-up column and Obama’s at 269, but even then, all he’d need is one win among Nevada, Colorado, or Iowa to give him another four years.
Check out the maps and details in the link above.
5. Dumb story of the morning (link)
Sure he apologized, but the comment was stupid in the first place.
A top EPA official has apologized for comparing his agency's enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion -- as Republican Sen. James Inhofe launched an investigation and told Fox News the comments are part of a campaign of "threats" and "intimidation."
Al Armendariz, the EPA administrator in the Region 6 Dallas office, made the remarks at a local Texas government meeting in 2010. He relayed to the audience what he described as a "crude" analogy he once told his staff about his "philosophy of enforcement."
"It was kind of like how the Romans used to, you know, conquer villages in the Mediterranean," he said. "They'd go in to a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw, and they'd crucify them.
"And then, you know, that town was really easy to manage for the next few years," he said.
Armendariz went on to say that "you make examples out of people who are in this case not complying with the law ... and you hit them as hard as you can" -- to act as a "deterrent" to others.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the remarks did not reflect President Obama's view.
"What he said is clearly not representative of either this president's belief in the way that we should approach these matters or in the way that he has approached these matters -- either from this office here in the White House or at the EPA," Carney said.
Armendariz also issued a statement apologizing after Inhofe slammed the comments on the Senate floor, and fired off a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson highlighting them.
"I apologize to those I have offended and regret my poor choice of words," Armendariz said. "It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation's environmental laws. I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws."
Twenty-five-year-old Ray Fearing had waited 10 years for a new kidney.
At 15, he had been diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) – a disease that causes scar tissue to form on the part of the kidney that filters waste out of the blood, ultimately leading to kidney failure.
“Try telling a 15 year old that he’s chronically ill – it didn’t set in right away,” Fearing said of being diagnosed. “Then I had to go on all sorts of medications to improve kidney function, and that’s when I really started to feel sick. It was a really difficult time back then.”
After a decade of living with FSGS, Fearing finally received a new kidney from his younger sister Cera.
But just days after the operation, Fearing’s illness started to come back – even worse than before.
“A week after surgery, we did a biopsy, and that didn’t heal very well,” Fearing said. “I had a lot of internal bleeding, and it was probably the most painful experience of my life.”
Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, where Fearing was being treated, informed him that they would most likely need to remove the new kidney. But instead of just throwing the organ away – which is the case for all failed organ transplants – Fearing was told he could do something that had never been done before: donate the kidney to another person.
“They gave me the option to see if I wanted to keep it in longer,” Fearing said. “But with the fact that it was three days after the transplant, and there were already signs of the disease recurring, and it didn’t seem like they could turn it around - the decision was a no brainer.”
“The choice was either to destroy this gift to me or try to help someone else,” he said.
Fearing’s decision to “re-donate” his kidney paved the way for the first ever donated kidney to be removed from its original recipient and transplanted again into a new patient – the third person to have the organ.
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