Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on.
- The controversial Wisconsin law signed by Gov. Scott Walker that dealt with collective bargaining rights for state employees was struck down by Dane County Judge MaryAnn Sumi, reports the Wisconsin State Journal. The law is effectively dead until the Wisconsin Supreme Court decides on it or if the Legislature decides to pass another version of the law.
- According to Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the Obama administration has granted waivers from their signature health care law to 3,095,593 individuals or families. Must be a great law! How do I sign up for my own personal waiver?
- Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski* wrote an op-ed for Politico on the hot-button issue of immigration. He stated boldly: “As Washington fiddles on immigration, the rest of the nation burns.” Archbishop Wenski said that if Washington did nothing, things would only get worse: “[A] permanent underclass is likely to remain in our country’s shadows, working in an underground economy and unable to fully contribute to its communities. The chaos that is now our national immigration policy is then only likely to worsen, making the American public more frustrated and dividing more U.S. families.” *Initially, I had mistakenly had his name as “John.”
- And on immigration, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 today that Arizona’s law targeting businesses that hire illegal immigrants is indeed Constitutional. (This case dealt with the 2007 Arizona law, not the more controversial SB 1070 law passed in 2010.)
- Former Speaker Newt Gingrich‘s presidential hopes are in dire straits. Considering his rocky tenure as Speaker and his multiple divorces, a Gingrich candidacy was not going to be easy. But his approval rating among the American public sits at an anemic 19 percent, while 64 percent disapprove. Gingrich’s approval rating among Republicans is also underwater, sitting at 38%. Pollsters attribute his poor showing to Gingrich’s slamming of Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan as “right-wing social engineering” as well as the discovery that Gingrich had a no-interest revolving charge account at glitzy jeweler Tiffany’s of New York, with a limit between $250,001 and $500,000. Fair or not, this news development will likely make it hard for Gingrich to win over primary voters in a party that is accused (unfairly, I think) of only caring about the rich. Adding to the headache, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner discovered that former Gingrich-aide Christy Evans is now a lobbyist for Tiffany’s.
- Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr Robert Gruss as Bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota.
- To better compete in the international marketplace, House Republicans want to lower the highest corporate tax to 25% from the current level of 35%.