1) Neck And Neck In Michigan - PPP’s final Michigan poll, which was released within the past hour, finds Santorum ahead: Much has been made of Democratic efforts to turn out the vote for Santorum and we see evidence that’s actually happening. Romney leads with actual Republican voters, 43-38. But Santorum’s up 47-10 with Democratic voters, and even though they’re only 8% of the likely electorate that’s enough to put him over the top. The big question now is whether those folks will actually bother to show up and vote tomorrow.
- Arizona Primary Fails to Inspire Republican Voters - Arizona caught the country’s attention by passing controversial immigration laws, but Republican voters don’t seem too concerned with the state’s presidential primary this week. Arizona Republicans go to the polls Tuesday in what could be one of the least-watched races of the GOP election cycle. “People started with the assumption that Arizona is safe for Romney because there are a lot of Mormons here,” said Merrill, whose recent polls showed Romney’s lead shrinking to just a few points.
- Michigan primary could reset GOP presidential race - The magnitude of the Romney vote in Michigan will be closely parsed for clues about the strength of his appeal in an industrial state that Republicans would like to make a battleground in the fall. But conservative challenger Santorum, a long shot when the campaign began, is making a powerful bid to throw the 2012 race into chaos with upsets, particularly in Romney’s native state.
- Democrats don’t want Democrats to vote Democratic in Michigan - In other words, Democrats who vote Republican tomorrow don’t just meddle with the GOP primary, but they also meddle with Republican electoral efforts into November, if not beyond. So if you’re a Democrat in Michigan squeamish about voting for Santorum, then vote for someone else! Either way, you’re making Michigan GOP’s job that much harder in the future.
2) Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has conceded his all-male anti-contraception hearing was not ‘my greatest success’ - Eight days after getting roundly-chastised for holding an all-male anti-contraception, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) admitted on Friday that the episode did not go as well as he expected. “I won’t call it my greatest success to get a point across on behalf of the American people,” said the six-term congressman.
3) Rush Limbaugh: America’s Least Favorite News Personality – A new Harris Poll out today finds that conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh is America’s “least favorite” news personality, with 46 percent of respondents picking him for the dubious honor. Runners-up Bill O’Reilly and Nancy Grace come in a distant second and third, at 31 percent and 23 percent, respectively. But more interestingly, Limbaugh is universally disliked. He is the only person whom Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike chose as among their top three their least favorite people.
4) Elderly Bachelor Tells Women How Jesus Will Allow Them To Get Pregnant - Dressed in flowing silken capes and a bejeweled silken hat, the childless old man described his religion’s required process for creating new human life forms: “The human and Christian dignity of procreation, in fact, doesn’t consist in a ‘product’, but in its link to the conjugal act, an expression of the love of the spouses of their union, not only biological but also spiritual,” the Daily Mail quoted Pope Benedict XVI as saying. Sperm or egg donation and methods such as IVF are banned for members of the Catholic church. The man, who spent his youth as an actual Nazi in the “Hitler Youth” army, is also stridently against the legal prosecution of his fellow Catholic priests who fuck little boys.
5) Rick Santorum will require we all live under Catholic sharia law one day - Rick Santorum is very confused. Santorum today: The former Pennsylvania senator told about 300 people in Lavonia: “I’m for separation of church and state. The state has no business telling the church what to do.” Santorum yesterday: I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.
6) 2012 or Never - The Republican Party is in the grips of many fever dreams. But this is not one of them. To be sure, the apocalyptic ideological analysis—that “freedom” is incompatible with Clinton-era tax rates and Massachusetts-style health care—is pure crazy. But the panicked strategic analysis, and the sense of urgency it gives rise to, is actually quite sound. The modern GOP—the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes—is staring down its own demographic extinction. Right-wing warnings of impending tyranny express, in hyperbolic form, well-grounded dread: that conservative America will soon come to be dominated, in a semi-permanent fashion, by an ascendant Democratic coalition hostile to its outlook and interests. And this impending doom has colored the party’s frantic, fearful response to the Obama presidency. The GOP has reason to be scared. Obama’s election was the vindication of a prediction made several years before by journalist John Judis and political scientist Ruy Teixeira in their 2002 book, The Emerging Democratic Majority. Despite the fact that George W. Bush then occupied the White House, Judis and Teixeira argued that demographic and political trends were converging in such a way as to form a natural-majority coalition for Democrats.
7) Not Good Enough, Politifact - PolitiFact has revised its piece from Feb. 14, which found U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s contention that “the majority of Americans are conservatives” to be “Mostly True.” It’s now “Half True.” NO! It’s not even “half true.” It’s false by every measure. Not even a plurality of Americans are “conservative” according to Gallup. From Politifac’s write-up: For 2011, Gallup found that the largest group of Americans identify as conservative, at 40 percent. Another 35 percent identify as moderate, while 21 percent identify as liberal. [...] See that? 56 percent of Americans aren’t conservative. Not a majority or a plurality. So to suggest that a “majority of Americans are conservative” is FALSE. UNTRUE. Period.
8) Over Last 10 Years, General Electric’s Effective Tax Rate Was 2.3 Percent - General Electric, one of the nation’s largest corporations, found itself at the center of the corporate tax debate last year when the New York Times discovered that it paid nothing in taxes, despite billions of dollars in profits. GE responded to the outcry by promising that its 2011 rate was “slated to return to more normal levels” because of the recovery of GE Capital, its financial arm. But according to an analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice, the company’s 2011 effective tax rate was just 11.3 percent. Even worse, over a 10-year period from 2002-2011, the company paid $1.9 billion in taxes on $81.2 billion in profits, giving it an effective tax rate of just 2.3 percent for the decade. [...] In 2009, in fact, only Iceland had a lower effective rate, and only two countries collected less in revenue as a percent of GDP.
9) “…The corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP were 1.2 percent, $180 billion. That’s just about the lowest we’ve seen. So our corporate tax rate last year, effectively, in terms of taxes paid for the United States, was around 12 percent, which is well below those existing in most of the industrialized countries around the world. So it is a myth that American corporations are paying 35 percent or anything like it. Incidentally, 1.2 percent of GDP or 12 or so percent of corporate profits actually paid, that is a rate far, far, far below what we’ve seen in the United States. … Corporate taxes are not strangling American competitiveness.” – Warren Buffett, responding to Rick Santorum’s op-ed in the WSJ, calling for the corporate tax rate to be halved from 35 percent to 17.5 percent to “[r]estore America’s competitiveness.”