Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of April 26, 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. Ted Cruz Rising (link)

The race for U.S. Senate is getting closer. Despite the efforts of David Dewhurst, Ted Cruz is continuing to rise in the polls. The Lt. Governor's lead has fallen 12 points and now only leads Cruz 38% to 26% in a Public Policy Polling survey. According to the Texas Tribune:

The Public Policy Polling survey of Republican primary voters found Dewhurst drawing 38 percent of the vote, followed by Cruz at 26 percent, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert at 8 percent and former ESPN analyst Craig James at 7 percent. Eighteen percent remained undecided.

January PPP poll found Dewhurst leading Cruz 36 percent to 18 percent among Republican primary voters.

So what does this mean? For one, it shows that Ted Cruz has all the momentum right now in the race for U.S. Senate. Dewhurst is not close to the 50% mark which he would need in order to avoid a runoff. I think we will continue to see Cruz rising in the polls and force a runoff between himself and David Dewhurst. At that point, it's anyone's ball game. Cruz is raising money and gaining support. Dewhurst should be very worried.

2. Supreme Court Casts Doubt on Obama Administration Immigration Stance (link)

The Solicitor General isn't real good at arguing before the Supreme Court it seems.

Supreme Court justices took a dim view of the Obama administration’s claim that it can stop Arizona from enforcing immigration laws, telling government lawyers during oral argument Wednesday that the state appears to want to push federal officials, not conflict with them.

The court was hearing arguments on Arizona’s immigration crackdown law, which requires police to check the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally, and would also write new state penalties for illegal immigrants who try to apply for jobs.

The Obama administration has sued, arguing that those provisions conflict with the federal government’s role in setting immigration policy, but justices on both sides of the aisle struggled to understand that argument.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. said the federal government has limited resources and should have the right to determine the extent of calls it gets about possible illegal immigrants.

“These decisions have to be made at the national level,” he said.

But even Democratic-appointed justices were uncertain of that.

“I’m terribly confused by your answer,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who went on to say that the federal government can always decline to pick up illegal immigrants when Arizona officials call.

3. Gingrich to Drop Out (link)

Newt Gingrich knows it's all over and has said he would drop out next week, but he will first continue some of his "campaign" stops. Why? He needs money to pay off campaign debt.

Despite an acrimonious relationship during the campaign with presumptive nominee Mitt Romney, the sources close to the former House speaker said Gingrich was “very likely” to endorse Romney on Tuesday. But it remains to be seen just how hard Gingrich will campaign for him.

The delay in the dropout announcement is to allow for family and staff spread around the country to travel to Washington to participate in the announcement, a source explained.

Now, the only Republican with a serious operation left in the presidential contest is Ron Paul, though he hasn’t won any primaries or caucuses and poses no threat to Romney’s grasp on the nomination.

Time for Gingrich to go. Well, past time really but it's good to see he can bow out.

4. The Next Bailout? (link)

Interesting story from CNBC about student loan debt. Student loan debt totals around $1 trillion which is more than credit card and auto debt. It's second only to mortgage debt.

Borrowers in their 30s today owe $28,500, on average. The debt burden has soared just as — and partly because — the recession hit, so younger graduates carrying the highest balances are hit with the double whammy of a weak job market (that still isn’t showing any sign of rapid improvement).

And this all comes as globalization and technological change have upended once-reliable career paths, wiped out many mid-level professional jobs and leave low-paying fields in health, food and beverage services, and retail as among the fastest growing job markets over the next decade.

Oh, and consider that student loan debt remains one of the most difficult types to forgive or discharge in bankruptcy, in part because the federal government (i.e. taxpayers) made or guaranteed 80 percent of all outstanding student loan debt as of last year. And finally, that once loans in deferral or forbearance are excluded, the delinquency rate on student loan debt was an estimated 27 percent as of the third quarter of 2011, according to a study by the New York Fed.

“This law is unnecessary and unjust,” said Wendy Wiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s law school.

Wiser spoke about the law on a conference call — organized by New America Media, a collaboration of ethnic news organizations – along with Myrna Perez, senior council at the Brennan Center, and state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio. The conference call is part of a series being held through November in response to what critics call restrictive voting laws and executive actions that have passed across the country since the beginning of 2011.

So, could this be the next bailout? Read the link above to find out.

5. Dumb story of the morning (link)

People really want to see Tim Tebow fail.

Well, controversial website apparently wants to challenge one of Tebow’s core beliefs. They’re offering up big money to any woman who can prove she has slept with the NFL sensation.

CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted the rumblings of a $1 million bounty late Monday.

The company retweeted Rovell and on Tuesday morning issued a confirmation via Twitter: “@darrenrovell @TimTebow – It’s true Darren…we’re just worried it might cost us millions!”

Ashley Madison provides matches for those seeking an extramarital affair. The company is described on its homepage as the “most recognized name in infidelity.”

6. Good Brews Good News of the Day (link)

Joplin Tornado victims and prom.

Nine months after a tornado destroyed their high school, prom couldn't be a priority when it came to fundraising.

The senior class survived a tragedy, they grew closer, and Travis knew they needed a better way to end this school year. So she wrote a letter to national talk shows, big corporations, and the woman who answered in Kansas City.

"How could I not want to help?" said Melissa Blayton who gathered an army of volunteers to tell the senior class something very special Thursday as they filed into their cafeteria. It sits what used to be a Venture store because this year, they went to school at the local mall, unscathed by the storm.

The seniors had been wondering all day what was going to happen. They only knew they were finding out something about prom. That's when Travis' announcement got interrupted by a video with a familiar face.

"Hi Joplin seniors! I'm Katy Perry!"

The pop star gave words of encouragement and told them an ambush team was there to give them the prom of their dreams. Blayton brought up the people there who were making it happen. Fed Ex donated $2,500 and helped donate a corsage or boutonniere for each and every senior.
Megan Green from Rockhurst University helped gather donated prom dresses, more than 150, so each girl can pick out a dress new to them.

Senior boys can rent their tux for just $50 from the local Men's Wearhouse. A popular Joplin-area DJ, a photobooth company, a photographer, and event planner are all donating their services to make this prom a spectacular production.

For seniors like Yainer Oviedo, who's family lost everything, the help to pay for prom is a relief.

Everyday, Good Brews Coffee & Tea Lounge brings you the Good News of the Day! 

Other Top Stories:


Friday 4.27.12- KFYO Lunch Rush at Stone Gate Golf Course with Chad Hasty Details

Saturday 4.28.12- Chad Hasty Show broadcast from Heroes & Legacies. Longest Ash Competition! Details

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