Happy Monday, Everyone. This Week 3 Chics features movie soundtracks. Today’s song is from the movie:
Wiki: Pretty Woman is a 1990 romantic comedy film set in Los Angeles, California. Written by J.F. Lawton and directed by Garry Marshall, this motion picture features Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and also Hector Elizondo, Ralph Bellamy, and Jason Alexander in supporting roles. Roberts played the only important female character. The story of Pretty Woman centers on the down-on-her-luck Hollywood prostitute Vivian Ward who is hired by a wealthy businessman, Edward Lewis, to be his escort for several business and social functions, and their developing relationship over the course of Vivian’s week-long stay with him.
Originally intended to be a dark cautionary tale about class and prostitution in Los Angeles, this motion picture was reconceived as romantic comedy with a large budget. It was widely successful at the box office, and it became one of the highest moneymakers of 1990.
Today it is one of the most financially successful entries in the romantic comedy genre, with an estimated gross income of $463.4 million. Boxofficemojo lists it as the #1 romantic comedy by the highest estimated domestic tickets sold at 42,176,400, slightly ahead of My Big Fat Greek Wedding at 41,419,500 tickets.
REAL WILD ONE
It Must Have Been Love
Photos from PBO on the View, at the Rubin Museum, and Barnard College today.
Elizabeth Warren is on Maddow tonight.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, rumored VP possibility, criticizes Romney’s immigration strateg
Source: Boston Globe
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, discussed as a potential Republican vice presidential pick, chided presumptive nominee Mitt Romney when she knocked his immigration strategy in an interview published Monday.
“‘Self-deport?’ What the heck does that mean?” Martinez said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign.”
Martinez referred to a plan Romney outlined during a January debate in Tampa, where the Republican National Convention will be held in August.
“The answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can’t find work here because they don’t have legal documentation to allow them to work here,” Romney said. “We’re not going to round them up.”
Read more: http://bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2012/05/14/new-mexico-governor-susana-martinez-rumored-possibility-criticizes-romney-immigration-strategy/0FzwWB9I4XGdSYlnFQmBPI/story.html
Dr Boyce: CNN’s Racist Depiction of The Black Church and Gay Marriage
*On the front page of CNN today, there was an interesting article about the divide between the Obama Administration and the African American church.
The author of the piece seems to be implying that black church opposition to gay marriage is hypocritical, in large part because the bible being quoted by Christians is the same one that promoted the institution of slavery.
I was immediately irked by the insinuation that somehow, anyone who opposes gay marriage is driven by the same ignorance that led some enslavement of other human beings. CNN is a network that has shown itself to be in support of gay rights (Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon are members of the gay community, and the network supported Lemon’s book about the agony of being black and gay). The position is admirable, since we can appreciate the concept of providing equal rights to everyone.
I don’t oppose gay marriage myself, but I was annoyed by the CNN article. What bothered me most about CNN’s depiction of the black church is that it is one that wreaks of the kind of liberal paternalism that treats African Americans as if we are savages who need to be educated by white folks. The comparison of gay marriage opposition to slavery is a deliberate effort to poke at the political pressure point of African Americans, reducing our most painful collective experience into a political football. It’s no different from telling a woman that she should protest the labor practices of Wal-Mart because she was once raped by a Wal-Mart employee.
Note to liberal Democrats: Black people don’t owe you anything. We bring our beliefs about faith, family and society to the table in the same way you bring your own beliefs about global warming, animal rights, and the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Our issues are not always going to be in lockstep, and you have no right to scold us like children when we do not see eye-to-eye.
An even bigger secret is that there are millions of African Americans who are actually closet conservatives, and their thin loyalty to the Democratic agenda is one that is driven by Democratic support for civil rights, affirmative action and various social programs. If the disrespect continues and Republicans let go of some of that racism, you might see millions of black people jumping ship. I say all this as a person who hasn’t gone to church for months, and a man who will never vote Republican. But one thing I have that many liberals do not is the desire to respect opinions that differ from my own.
Black people are not meant to be politically imperialized Democratic puppets. We can think for ourselves.
THIS: “Note to liberal Democrats: Black people don’t owe you anything. We bring our beliefs about faith, family and society to the table in the same way you bring your own beliefs about global warming, animal rights, and the torture of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Our issues are not always going to be in lockstep, and you have no right to scold us like children when we do not see eye-to-eye.
2:09 PM EDT, Monday May 14, 2012
Obama Shouts Out Hilda Solis In Barnard Commencement
President Obama urged Barnard College graduates to aim high in a commencement address Monday that included a story about Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
“I think of a friend of mine who is the daughter of immigrants – when she was in high school, her guidance counselor told her, ‘You are just not college material. You should think about becoming a secretary,’” Obama said. But Solis did go to college and ultimately, he said, “Hilda Solis did end up becoming a secretary. … She is America’s secretary of labor.”
Tell Romney and Republicans: Stop LGBT Bullying
Nine out of ten gay and lesbian students are bullied in school.
Congressman Jared Polis and Senator Al Franken have taken on this difficult issue by offering the Student Non-Discrimination Act. The bill would simply give gay and lesbian kids the same civil rights protections guaranteed by other anti-discrimination laws. It’s common sense.
Republicans in Congress won’t bring it to a vote and Mitt Romney refuses to say whether he supports it.
Posted at 02:11 PM ET, 05/14/2012
The Romney campaign’s strange response to Bain attacks
By Greg Sargent
Today, the Obama campaign began airing an ad attacking Mitt Romney over layoffs at Bain Capital, which the Obama team is holding up as emblematic of Romney’s economic philosophy. Byron York reports that the Romney campaign has settled on a line of pushback — compare what Romney did at Bain to what Obama did with the auto companies.
“Few remember today how many (non-union) workers lost their jobs in the Obama administration’s handling of the matter,” York writes of the Romney camp’s counterargument. York adds: “in the auto bailouts, whatever else one thinks of them, Barack Obama pushed for downsizing and laying people off in a failing business he had taken over.”
If this is indeed the comparison the Romney campaign plans to pursue, it’s a curious one. After all, Obama didn’t personally profit when he bailed out the auto companies. By contrast, Bain walked away with at least $12 million in profits after its episode involving GST Steel, the company that is the subject of Obama’s ads. More broadly, Jon Chait notes: “Romney’s career produced huge gains for owners of capital, and the auto bailout forced them to swallow huge losses.”
Beyond this, what’s really curious about this counterattack is that it only helps underscore the philosophical difference between the two that the Obama campaign is trying to highlight with the Bain attacks.
Romney defends his Bain years by arguing that any criticism of it constitutes an attack on free enterprise itself. Romney does acknowledge that the layoffs that occured in cases such as that of GST Steel are unfortunate — when turning around companies, you win some, and you lose some. But his philosophy, ultimately, is that such occurences, however unfortunate, are necessary for the greater good, and don’t alter the larger truth: An unfettered free market is the best hope for expanding opportunities for those who lack them. That’s what drives his anti-government rhetoric; he continually tells us that we need to “get government out of the way” to unlock America’s “potential.” Romney believes the best way to to foster shared prosperity is with a near-total commitment to liberating the private sector.
But when Romney invokes the auto bailout, all he does is remind us of an instance where his economic worldview broke down — where his philosophy compelled him to advocate for what likely would have been a disastrous course. This worldview led him to originally argue that the bailout would guarantee the auto industry’s certain demise. This worldview obliges him to continue arguing that the auto industry would be in better shape today than it is now if Obama had not pursued a government “intervention.” Many experts dismiss Romney’s claims about the bailout as thoroughly wrong on several levels .
Obama, by contrast, argues that an unfettered free market is not a total cure-all. He argues that sometimes active government is necessary to help those who have been damaged by free market excess or to step in when the consequences of allowing unfettered capitalism to run its course could damage thousands of lives. In service of this larger point, the Obama campaign is very happy to engage in a dispute over the auto-bailout, a clear cut case where this argument turned out, by most accounts, to be thoroughly vindicated. If anything, invoking the auto-bailout in the context of the battle over the Bain years only reinforces the larger contrast of economic worldviews the Obama team hoped to draw with the Bain ads in the first place.
One-Man Florida SuperPAC Finances Attack on Obama in Ohio
By Greg Giroux – May 13, 2012 7:00 PM CT .
A Florida-based investment firm run by a frequent Republican donor is the sole contributor to a group that is airing television ads comparing President Barack Obama’s leadership unfavorably to that of former Democratic presidents.
The commercials aired in two cities, Youngstown, Ohio and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, both of which could be critical to Obama’s re-election chances.
Four years ago, when Obama won Ohio by 5 percentage points, he took 62 percent of the vote in Mahoning County, which includes Youngstown. A poorer showing by the president because of depressed Democratic turnout could help Romney take the state in November.
“Ohio polls show it’s a jump ball, and they’re trying to keep the enthusiasm for President Obama down in the Youngstown market,” said Bill Binning, a Youngstown State University political scientist who headed the Mahoning County Republican Party in the 1980s. The Youngstown and Johnstown regions include many older white Catholics who have long voted Democratic, and the ads are “trying to bust up the old Democratic coalition,” Binning added.
Easy to Influence
The activity of Real Leader PAC illustrates the ease with which one person can organize a super-political action committee and attempt to influence the outcome of the 2012 presidential race in large and small ways. Creating a committee simply requires depositing money in a new bank account and filing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission.
“We will see more of these types of PACs springing up during the course of this election year,” said Anthony Corrado, a political scientist at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
The president’s re-election committee didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Real Leader PAC, which aired three anti-Obama television ads last month, is underwritten by a $250,000 donation from Lexington Management Group Inc. of West Palm Beach, Florida, according to federal campaign records current to March 31.
Lexington’s chairman, William Lee Hanley Jr., is on the board of directors of Eagle Publishing, which publishes books that promote limited government and open markets, according to Eagle’s website
CNN : Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to end active campaigning in GOP presidential race but will continue efforts to win delegates. BUH BYE!
I got a gift card for The Body Shop. Have never bought anything from them. Does anyone have suggestions?
I don’t do perfumes, fragrances etc. So when I get gift cards, I usually buy bath sponges, brushes, etc.
I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. … The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.
–Marc B. Walpow, former managing partner at Bain Capital, the firm where Mitt Romney was CEO, who worked closely with Romney for nine years Los Angeles Times, 12/3/11
WHY MITT, WHY?
Romney Campaign Massively Downgrades The Number Of Jobs It Claims He Created From 100,000 To ‘Thousands’
By Alex Seitz-Wald on May 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm
In its effort to sell Mitt Romney as someone who understands the economy and knows how to create jobs, one of his campaign’s early talking points was that he helped create 100,000 jobs during his tenure at Bain Capital. The campaign repeated the claim throughout the primary, despite a glaring lack of evidence to support it (even Sarah Palin doubted it).
Romney eventually stopped repeating the talking point, which advisers had difficulty defending under pressure, and now it seems Boston has completely Etch A Sketched the number and severely lowered the number of jobs Romney is supposed to have created at Bain.
BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller reports that, in the wake of the Obama campaign’s new ad attacking Romney’s record at Bain, the “new Romney jobs math” is significantly more modest than the old. This time, the campaign is asserting that Romney created a meager and vague “thousands of jobs” at Bain and “tens of thousands” of jobs as governor of Massachusetts.
this is funny.
‘Engaging’ on foreign policy — after the election
By Steve Benen – Mon May 14, 2012 1:01 PM EDT.
Mitt Romney has assembled quite a few advisors on foreign policy, many of whom worked for the Bush/Cheney team, and given the former governor’s inexperience and limited understanding of international affairs — Swiss bank accounts don’t count as proficiency in this area — those who have his ear are getting a closer look.
With that in mind, the New York Times reports today that many members of Team Romney disagree with one another — and at times, even the candidate — about foreign policy, and occasionally, Romney’s own advisors have no idea what he’s trying to say.
On Afghanistan, for example, Romney’s advisors support negotiations with the Taliban, as so most U.S. military leaders. The candidate, however, instead boasted at a GOP debate, “We should not negotiate with the Taliban. We should defeat the Taliban.” A Romney advisor conceded, “none of us could quite figure out what he was advocating.”
Similar problems have come up when Romney has talked about Iran, China, Russia, and nuclear proliferation — he contradicts himself and his advisors, who in turn contradict one another.
So, how would Romney operate in his capacity as leader of the free world? Apparently, he’ll figure that out a year from now.
“There are two very different worldviews in this campaign,” said one adviser who aligns more often with [John] Bolton. “But as in any campaign, there are outer circles, inner circles and inner-inner circles, and I’m not sure that anyone knows if the candidate has a strong view of his own on this.” Another adviser, saying he would be “cashiered” if the campaign caught him talking to a reporter without approval, said the real answer was that “Romney doesn’t want to really engage these issues until he is in office.”
How reassuring. Neither Romney nor his team has a coherent vision on foreign policy, despite a multitude challenges around the globe, but once the former governor is the president, then he’ll “engage these issues.”
In this case, Romney isn’t being secretive so much as he’s being lazy — he hasn’t bothered to give international affairs a lot of thought so far, and he doesn’t feel the need to do so now.
About a month ago, Romney said President Obama’s campaign strategy is to “re-elect him so we can find out what he will actually do…. Unlike President Obama, you don’t have to wait until after the election to find out what I believe in — or what my plans are.” Looking back, it was one of the more ironic things the Republican has ever said.
President Obama Receives his Most Important Endorsement Ever!
LOL Betty White couldn’t be cuter.
Romney Looking to Play it Safe
Mon May 14th, 2012 at 09:25:10 AM EST
John McCain fanboys Mike Allen and Jin Vandehei have an article in today’s Politico that discusses Team Romney’s desire to avoid John McCain’s mistakes. This means that they don’t want to look like idiots in the middle of a financial meltdown, they don’t want to pick a half-witted moron as a running mate, and they want to successfully build themselves up as a safe alternative. In the Romney camp’s view, John McCain failed on all three scores. Of course, they’re right.
The most interesting stuff in the article involves their thinking on a running mate. If their reporting is accurate, Mr. Romney is more keen on Paul Ryan than his team who thinks he’s too much of a lightning rod. Despite his mantra that he’s not ready to be president, Chris Christie is seen as the guy who wants the job the most. Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Susana Martinez are seen as too inexperienced and too unvetted. Selecting Mike Huckabee is seen as naked pander to the base, which would be too Palinesque.
“If not [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio], [former Minnesota governor Tim] Pawlenty, [Indiana governor Mitch] Daniels — some other incredibly boring white guy,” the official said. “If there was a fourth name on the list, it’s [Virginia Gov.] Bob McDonnell.” One argument for Pawlenty is that he would help the ticket with evangelical Christians who are suspicious of Mormonism…
…Campaign officials have floated the idea of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, now a Fox News and talk-radio host, as a pick who would strengthen Romney’s hold on the base. But Romney does not want to signal weakness. So under current plans, the pick will not be a blatant pander to the base – once again, the opposite approach of 2008.
How accurate and how important is that line about Romney not wanting to signal weakness? If he thinks picking Huckabee would show weakness, then the same would be true for anyone picked merely for their excitement value. He’d be saying, in effect, that he isn’t good enough on his own. If this is the kind of logic Romney is using, he really could pick someone like Tim Pawlenty. He would figure that Pawlenty is a northerner and not a fire-breather, so he wouldn’t scare the crap out of suburban voters. But he’s an evangelical, so he’d help reassure the base. It’s not bad logic. It at least addresses two concerns with one stone, but it would hardly kill those concerns. On the other hand, didn’t Romney watch Pawlenty’s campaign for the nomination?
I think he’ll lean harder towards Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Both of them have worked in the White House before and have a more plausible case to make as presidential material than Pawlenty. They both serve in more plausible pick-up states than Minnesota. The only problem is that they both worked on Bush’s disastrous economic team. They can argue that they understand economics, which is good, but their record on economics is terrible. It’s like trying to beat FDR by picking a running mate from Herbert Hoover’s economic team. If the issue is the economy, experience matters, but so does the record.
My money is still on Sen. Portman
PLEASE SHARE THE LINK1
GST Steel: Bankruptcy and bailouts
Posted at 11:52 AM ET, 05/14/2012
EXCLUSIVE: Wisconsin Dems furious with DNC for refusing to invest big money in Walker recall
By Greg Sargent
Top Wisconsin Democrats are furious with the national party — and the Democratic National Committee in particular — for refusing their request for a major investment in the battle to recall Scott Walker, I’m told.
The failure to put up the money Wisconsin Dems need to execute their recall plan comes at a time when the national Republican Party is sinking big money into defending Walker, raising fears that the DNC’s reluctance could help tip the race his way.
“We are frustrated by the lack of support from the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association,” a top Wisconsin Democratic Party official tells me. “Scott Walker has the full support and backing of the Republican Party and all its tentacles. We are not getting similar support.”
“Considering that Scott Walker has already spent $30 million and we’re even in the polls, this is a winnable race,” the Wisconsin Dem continues. “We can get outspent two to one or five to one. We can’t get spent 20 to one.”
According to the Wisconsin Dem, the party has asked the DNC for $500,000 to help with its massive field operation. While the DNC has made generally supportive noises, the money has not been forthcoming, the official says — with less than a month until the June 5th recall election. The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Obama’s political operation is providing volunteers with info on how to get involved in the recall battle and how to register to vote, but isn’t investing any money in the race, according to officials. Labor unions are expected to invest sizable sums in the ground game, but the top Wisconsin Dem Party official says it won’t be enough.
“This idea that labor has unlimited resources is a fantasy,” the Wisconsin Dem says. “Our needs go well beyond that.”
Polls suggest that very few Wisconsin voters are persuadable at this point — after huge pro-Walker ad expenditures, the numbers have barely budged — which means that the race will likely be decided by turnout. So the investment in the ground operation could be pivotal to the outcome; Wisconsin Dems are counting on their field operation — with more than 40 offices — to carry the day and offset Walker’s advantage on the air, but it needs more money.
What makes this all the more galling to Wisconsin Dems is that a Walker win could be bad for the national party’s prospects in November.
“Scott Walker has made this a national election,” the Wisconsin Dem tells me. “If he wins, he will turn his victory into a national referendum on his ideas about the middle class. It will hurt Democrats nationally. The fact that [national Dems] are sitting on their hands now is so frustrating. The whole ticket stands to lose.”
Wisconsin gov could still bend space-time continuum
By Laura Conaway – Mon May 14, 2012 10:29 AM EDT.
✔@GovWalker “CA announces soaring budget deficit”: big cuts to ed w/out reforms, sales & income tax increases… lat.ms/IS58Lo
Remember when Mitt Romney said the U.S. needs to be adding 500,000 jobs a month, but it turns out that kind of job growth almost never happens? This weekend, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wrestled with his pledge to create 250,000 jobs in his state during his first term. So far, he has led the state in losing more jobs than other in the country. But if voters don’t recall him next month, Governor Walker said, he could still reach his mark. From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
It appears it will be difficult for Walker to achieve his job-creation goal. Jobs data is available through March, and from this April to December 2014, Walker would have to create nearly 7,400 private-sector jobs a month, or 88,800 a year, to meet his mark.
Nothing close to that has happened over the past two decades. The most private-sector job growth came in 1994, when 72,400 jobs were added, according to average annual employment figures from the state Department of Workforce Development.
No wonder he’s directing voters’ attention to California this morning (tweet above).
Meanwhile, this weekend Wisconsin Republicans said they’re not out to pass a law banning union shops in the state. “It just wouldn’t pass,” Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald told the Wisconsin State Journal. Recalls of Republicans over last year’s stripping of union rights have erased the Republican majority in the chamber. They’re down to a even split, with an empty seat and one GOP member who votes with Democrats on labor questions.
Romney Spokesperson Strikes Back After Bain Attack Ad Airs
Romney campaign spokesperson Andrea Saul responded indirectly to the Obama campaign’s new attacks on Bain Capital Monday with an email titled “Obama’s warped view of the free market.” In the statement, Saul doesn’t mention Bain, but attacks President Obama’s record, throwing in a mention of Solyndra and the stimulus.
We welcome the Obama campaign’s attempt to pivot back to jobs and a discussion of their failed record. President Obama has many questions to answer as to why his Administration used the stimulus to reward wealthy campaign donors with taxpayer money for bad ideas like Solyndra, but 23 million Americans are still struggling to find jobs. If the Obama Administration was less concerned with pleasing its wealthy donors and more concerned with creating jobs, America would be much better off.
In a separate response to BuzzFeed, the Romney campaign added a line defending Romney’s claim that he has created jobs during his career: ”Mitt Romney helped create more jobs in his private sector experience and more jobs as Governor of Massachusetts than President Obama has for the entire nation.”
May 14, 2012 8:09 AM
Warren: Bank self-regulation “wrong and dangerous”
CBS News) JPMorgan Chase’s admission last week that it lost more than $2 billion in one set of trades should be used as a wake up call to end the practice of banks regulating themselves, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said on Monday.
Warren repeated her call for the bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, to step down from his role as a top official at the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which oversees the nation’s largest banks.
“We have to say as a country, no, the banks can not regulate themselves,” Warren said in an interview with “CBS This Morning,” adding “what has happened here is not just about JPMorgan Chase.”
“They are financial institutions that run the risk of taking down everyone’s job, run the risk of taking down everyone’s pension, run the risk of taking down the entire economy and that means it is appropriate to have some government oversight,” she said.
Dimon told NBC on Sunday that he was “dead wrong” to dismiss concerns raised a month earlier about the bank’s trading practices as a “tempest in a teapot.”
Why the ’80/20 rule’ matters
By Steve Benen – Mon May 14, 2012 9:36 AM EDT.
It’s struggling poll numbers notwithstanding, the Affordable Care Act is already doing several things very well. There’s one key quality, however, that may especially relevant in a political context.
We know, for example, that the law offers protections for those with pre-existing conditions and extends coverage to millions of young adults who are now able to stay on their parents’ plans. “Obamacare” has also closed Medicare’s prescription drug “donut hole,” expanded access to contraception, brought new coverage for low-income children, slowed the growth of Medicare spending, and given a boost to small business through tax credits.
And then there’s the 80/20 rule, which we covered on Friday night’s show.
The provision of the law has never really generated much attention — most Americans are convinced they don’t like Obamacare, though they still don’t know what’s in it — but as Rachel explained in the segment, the rebates are likely to get noticed.
A rule created by the 2010 healthcare law and finalized Friday will yield about $1.3 billion in insurance rebates for nearly 16 million Americans, according to estimates by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The rule, known as the medical loss ratio (MLR), mandates that insurers spend roughly 80 percent of all premiums on healthcare rather than on marketing, executive bonuses or other administrative costs.
The rebates — which the Obama campaign reportedly sees as a “stealth weapon” for improving opinion of the health law — will arrive no later than August 1.
imagine some folks see the phrase “medical loss ratio” and their eyes glaze over, but the you don’t need to be a wonk to appreciate the policy. Obamacare forces insurers to spend 80% of the premiums they receive from consumers on actual health care — not advertising, lobbying, or giving executives huge salaries. When insurers fall short, they’re required to — you guessed it — send you a check for the difference.
It’s the kind of thing that may have an election-year impact.
Over the summer, 16 million Americans are going to get some nice checks in the mail from their insurance company, due entirely to the fact that the much-derided health care law is looking out for consumers, not insurers.
As the segment explained, folks like getting unexpected money in the mail. When they realize it’s because of Obamacare, maybe the law will start to look a little better in those consumers’ eyes.
That checks will hit mailboxes a few months before the election probably doesn’t hurt Obama’s potential benefit, either.
It’s also worth keeping in mind these rebate checks will disappear if/when Republicans kill the entirety of the law, replacing it with nothing: “Some House and Senate Republicans are now admitting what’s been obvious from the start: that the Republican vow to ‘repeal and replace’ Obama’s health law has always been a bait-and-switch.”
9:30 AM EDT, Monday May 14, 2012
GOP-Backed Super PAC Looks To Attract Younger Voters
A new Republican-backed Super PAC is hoping woo young voters over to the GOP’s side, the Associated Press reports:
Crossroads Generation, a new super PAC formed with the help of a handful of established GOP groups, is tapping into the economic frustrations of under-30 voters facing dim job prospects, crippling student loans or the prospect of having to move back home with their parents.
Starting Monday, the PAC is launching a $50,000 social media ad campaign targeting younger voters in eight swing states, including Ohio and Virginia. Their ultimate goal: woo younger Americans to the Republican side, including some who supported Obama in 2008.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Wright Between The Eyes
Posted by Zandar
Remember, the GOP wants to talk about the economy. Or so they say. Since of course they can’t actually win by talking about the economy, Rev. Jeremiah Wright is now back thanks to our friends at the New York FOX News Post. And surprise, it’s our old friend Edward Klein again.
Man, the media ate me alive,” Wright told me when we met in his office at Chicago’s Kwame Nkrumah Academy. “After the media went ballistic on me, I received an e-mail offering me money not to preach at all until the November presidential election.”
“Who sent the e-mail?” I asked Wright.
“It was from one of Barack’s closest friends.”
“He offered you money?”
“Not directly,” Wright said. “He sent the offer to one of the members of the church, who sent it to me.”
“How much money did he offer you?”
“One hundred and fifty thousand dollars,” Wright said.
“Did Obama himself ever make an effort to see you?”
“Yes,” Wright said. “Barack said he wanted to meet me in secret, in a secure place. And I said, ‘You’re used to coming to my home, you’ve been here countless times, so what’s wrong with coming to my home?’ So we met in the living room of the parsonage of Trinity United Church of Christ, at South Pleasant Avenue right off 95th Street, just Barack and me. I don’t know if he had a wire on him. His security was outside somewhere.
“And one of the first things Barack said was, ‘I really wish you wouldn’t do any more public speaking until after the November election.’ He knew I had some speaking engagements lined up, and he said, ‘I wish you wouldn’t speak. It’s gonna hurt the campaign if you do that.’
Then Obama apparently had Wright killed, and reanimated him as a zombie with his Obamacare witch doctor powers right after Bill Clinton called him an amateur and showed how how REAL Kenyan witch doctor reanimate things.
So, since nobody actually has proof of this, it’s cool. We’ll just assume the President is the most evil human being in history based on the word of a guy who writes political slashfic for a living. Way to go, New York Post. The goofballs running this story look like numbskulls, but not as bad as the folks who figure this will sink the President in the end. Because that worked so well in 2008.
The only thing they can’t stand more than a black man in the White House is the thought of him winning a second term.
TEAM OBAMA is going after Romney’s BAIN CAPITAL YEARS. Thus the media and rightwing talking heads are distracting with this bullshit. It.IS.ON.MOFOS!
Are Democrats Falling For Rubio’s Trap On The DREAM Act?
Sahil Kapur- May 14, 2012, 4:42 AM
As he prepares to release his scaled-back version of the DREAM Act, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is simultaneously laying the groundwork to blame the White House for its impending failure — and Democrats appear to be falling into his trap. It’s election-year jujitsu for Rubio, who is helping the GOP court Hispanic voters and keeping the door open to the vice presidency.
“One of the things that has already been documented is that the White House has been — the articles that have been written, two or three by now — the White House has been calling in DREAM Act advocates and asking them, almost ordering them, not to work with me on this issue,” Rubio told Laura Ingraham last Thursday on her radio show. “They have been counting on using this issue as a wedge issue in October to drive up turnout.”
Blaming the White House papers over the fact that Republicans have fiercely opposed measures that benefit people living in the country illegally. House Speaker John Boehner has signaled that Rubio’s upcoming proposal won’t change this dynamic. By contrast Democrats voted overwhelmingly in 2010 for the DREAM Act, which unlike Rubio’s alternative includes the promise of citizenship for undocumented people raised in the U.S. who attend college or join the military.
Even so, administration officials and top Democrats may be playing into Rubio’s hands by resisting his effort. Part of the political calculus is that they believe the issue will help energize Hispanic voters for Democrats ahead of the election. Hispanic voters are not happy with President Obama but they prefer him by a huge margin to Republicans, who have repeatedly thwarted efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis recently called Rubio’s ideas “half-cooked” and said they don’t go far enough. “His notion of the DREAM Act would only provide you with residency and the ability to stay, go to school but not lead to a path to citizenship,” she told MSNBC.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a Sunday interview with the Spanish-language channel Univision, voiced disapproval of a DREAM Act that excludes the promise of citizenship. He didn’t take it off the table, but criticized Rubio for selling his plan differently to different audiences and called on the Republican senator to stop talking about his proposal and release it.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is chairing the Democratic convention this summer, said the plan would create a “second class status” for children of illegal immigrants.
This leaves the White House in a tricky situation. Even though immigrant-rights advocates prefer the actual DREAM Act, they still consider Rubio’s version progress — he says it’ll provide non-immigrant visas to some undocumented people and let them apply for citizenship through the regular channels. If Democrats undermine Rubio’s effort, that makes it easier for the senator to blame them when the proposal goes down, with the aim of confusing voters as to which party is on their side.
“How do you get Hispanics who voted for you in 2008 — who now have higher unemployment, have lost their businesses, have lost their homes, have lost their jobs?” Rubio told Ingraham. “You need an issue like this. So I have no doubt about the fact that [Obama’s re-election campaign] would use this for that.”
The important election-year context is a Republican Party eager to save face with Hispanic voters, after its likely presidential nominee Mitt Romney — who is noncommittal toward Rubio’s effort — took a hardline stance on immigration during the primary by calling for the “self-deportation” of DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants. Analysts say Romney’s path to victory is fairly narrow, and Latino votes could be vital in swing states. The GOP’s top strategic minds believe that warming up to the principles behind the DREAM Act is one way to reach out to them.
“Some of the concepts are clearly attractive,” said Haley Barbour — the former Mississippi governor and RNC chairman who is now advising Karl Rove’s pro-Republican super PAC — of the DREAM Act recently. Urging Republicans to work to win over Latino voters, Barbour said during a CBS appearance that it was unserious of congressional Democrats to bring up the DREAM Act during the 2010 lame-duck session, when Senate Republicans filibustered it.
As Boehner has signaled, DREAMers ought not to expect any action from Congress in the foreseeable future. But the political upshot of Rubio’s effort is to obfuscate a clear and important distinction between the two parties among a key constituency that may potentially swing the outcome of what is expected to be a close election.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
The not-so-volatile electorate
The 2004 presidential election was the first one I watched with access to the internet. I was just as addicted to watching the polling results back then as I am now. At the time, the one that was aggregating state polls to track the electoral map was Electoral Vote Predictor and I checked in there daily to see what was up in the race. There are many to choose from now.
What I’ve been thinking about lately is how, as I watched it unfold, the news wasn’t all that good. But I kept watching for trends or signs that things were changing. They never did.
This morning I went back there to see if any of that had been archived. What I found was this map from May 2004 that shows the race at Bush 281 Kerry 257. When the election was over the following November, it was Bush 286 Kerry 251. In other words, not much changed in the intervening 6 months.
That’s the reason I keep suggesting that Romney is going to need a game changer to pull this one off. If we look at state polling aggregates and assign states based on those, its currently Obama 294 and Romney 170 with 5 states (74 electoral votes) as basically ties.
When we watch the national popular vote totals (that are dominated by Gallup and Rasmussen), we can get the idea that the electorate swings with a fair amount of volatility. But I’d suggest that’s not the case. The truth is that things get locked in pretty early with only a few states up for grabs.
So I’d love to see someone like Nate Silver take a look at how often a state like Virginia – where Obama leads by 5 based on current polling averages – actually swings the other direction. I don’t know the answer to that – but I suspect not very often.
Taking this one step further, Harry Enten wrote a column last week demonstrating that 5 events we think of as game changers in presidential elections really didn’t have much impact at all.
I’m not saying all this to suggest that the race is over or to claim any pre-emptive victory. Instead I’d simply suggest that the idea of a volatile electorate plays into certain people’s hands…namely the media. They need to keep us thinking that the latest dose of daily hysteria is of profound importance so that we’ll give them our eyeballs and ears. We need to remember that this is a long game we’re waging on an ocean liner that doesn’t change course on a dime.
Posted at 09:02 AM ET, 05/14/2012
The Morning Plum: Turning Romney’s biggest asset into a liability
By Greg Sargent
When Mitt Romney’s GOP primary rivals began attacking him late last year over his record at Bain Capital, many Republicans argued that this could be a good thing in the long run, because it meant this attack line was getting fully aired out before the general election got under way.
But the Obama campaign believes this story has not been told to swing voters yet, and it will be central to efforts to define Romney early on, just as general election voters are starting to tune in — and even more crucially, it will be central to defining Romney’s vision of the country’s economic future.
The Obama campaign is going up with a hard hitting two-minute ad in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Virginia on GST Steel, a Kansas City company that Bain acquired a majority stake in, leading to hundreds of layoffs and at least $12 million in Bain profits:
The ad is accompanied by new Web site, RomneyEconomics.com.
This isn’t just about attacking Romney’s wealth and character. It’s about turning Romney’s number one asset — the aura of economic competence created by his successful business career — into a liability, about painting a frightening picture of his vision of our economic future as one that would be founded on a flimsy foundation of unbound Wall Street profiteering and risk-taking. It’s designed to sow doubts about whether a President Romney would truly have the economic security of middle class Americans at heart, and to make him the walking embodiment of the economic behavior that led to the meltdown and to years of widespread economic misery in its wake.
The message is about fear: Romney = middle class insecurity.
Civil rights for all: DOJ files suit against Arpaio
Friday, May 11, 2012 | Posted by Deaniac83 at 3:52 PM
8I usually don’t wade into immigration, and I’m not about to today. It’s not because I don’t have an opinion on immigration, being an immigrant myself. But as readers here know, I hate the pretense among many bloggers today of being an expert on everything, and I’m not about to take on that pretense. So no, I’m not about to write a big immigration piece.
But I am about to write a race piece. You’re all familiar with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona – the guy with a vengeance against brown people, couched under pretend-enforcement of immigration laws. You may also know that the Justice Department has just filed suit against Arpaio, after a lengthy investigation, alleging racial profiling and the violation of civil rights of Latinos – who are mostly not only legally present, but are citizens of this country.
What? Yes. I know it may be hard for right wingers to believe, but brown people have been Americans for a long time. Nearly two-thirds of Latinos in America are born in this country, and 30% of the rest are naturalized US citizens. In other words, more than 4 in 5 Latinos in America are American citizens.
Why do I even have to say this? Because unfortunately even in the second decade of the 21st century, way too many people are convinced that racial profiling is the way to enforce our laws, protect our borders and safeguard our country. Whether it’s black drivers stopped and harassed by law enforcement for no apparent crime other than driving while black, or the right wing support for harassing Arab and Muslim Americans at our airports, or stopping and targeting brown people in the name of “immigration enforcement,” it is detrimental to the law (as groups targeted stop cooperating with police and stop reporting real crimes), and a grave violation of civil rights that all people are entitled to.
Today, the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Sheriff Arpaio alleging racial profiling of Latinos. The suit itself is damning, and it lays out specific charges and instances of Arpaio and his department singling out Latinos – in the vast majority of cases citizens or legal residents – for harassment, warrantless arrests and traffic stops for sport. Arpaio’s department not only targeted Latinos during routine traffic stops and sweeps, they stopped cars with Latino drivers or passengers with no violation at all, and even in their own homes and workplaces. According to the filing from the DOJ, during sweeps at places of work, Arpaio’s goons (my paraphrasing, not legal lingo), virtually always detained all Hispanic employees, including ones not named in the warrants for the sweeps. When they do detain someone in jail, Latinos with limited English proficiency are not given language assistance, and all Latino detainees are subject to derogatory, racist remarks from the employees of the Sheriff’s department.
With respect to traffic stops, Latinos are anywhere from four to nine times more likely to be stopped than others for similar traffic behavior. Not only that, Arpaio and his department seems to be systematically targeting for traffic stops Latinos who don’t actually violate any traffic laws. Here are a couple of examples outlined in the DOJ complaint:
After Obama’s Decision on Marriage, a Call to Pastors
By PETER BAKER and RACHEL L. SWARNS
Published: May 13, 2012
About two hours after declaring his support for same-sex marriage last week, President Obama gathered eight or so African-American ministers on a conference call to explain himself. He had struggled with the decision, he said, but had come to believe it was the right one.
The ministers, though, were not all as enthusiastic. A vocal few made it clear that the president’s stand on gay marriage might make it difficult for them to support his re-election.
“They were wrestling with their ability to get over his theological position,” said the Rev. Delman Coates, the pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., who was on the call.
In the end, Mr. Coates, who supports civil marriages for gay men and lesbians, said that most of the pastors, regardless of their views on this issue, agreed to “work aggressively” on behalf of the president’s campaign. But not everyone. “Gay marriage is contrary to their understanding of Scripture,” Mr. Coates said. “There are people who are really wrestling with this.”
In the hours following Mr. Obama’s politically charged announcement on Wednesday, the president and his team embarked on a quiet campaign to contain the possible damage among religious leaders and voters. He also reached out to one or more of the five spiritual leaders he calls regularly for religious guidance, and his aides contacted other religious figures who have been supportive in the past.
The damage-control effort underscored the anxiety among Mr. Obama’s advisers about the consequences of the president’s revised position just months before what is expected to be a tight re-election vote. While hailed by liberals and gay-rights leaders for making a historic breakthrough, Mr. Obama recognized that much of the country is uncomfortable with or opposed to same-sex marriage, including many in his own political coalition.
After the interview, Mr. Obama hit the phones. Among those he called was one of the religious leaders he considers a touchstone, the Rev. Joel C. Hunter, the pastor of a conservative megachurch in Florida.
“Some of the faith communities are going to be afraid that this is an attack against religious liberty,” Mr. Hunter remembered telling the president.
“Absolutely not,” Mr. Obama insisted. “That’s not where we’re going, and that’s not what I want.”
Even some of Mr. Obama’s friends in the religious community warned that he risked alienating followers, particularly African-Americans who have been more skeptical of the idea than other Democratic constituencies.
The Rev. Jim Wallis, another religious adviser to Mr. Obama and the president and chief executive of Sojourners, a left-leaning evangelical organization, said that he had fielded calls since the announcement from pastors across the country, including African-American and Hispanic ministers. Religious leaders, he said, are deeply divided, with some seeing it as the government forcing clergy to accept a definition of marriage that they consider anathema to their teachings.
Mr. Wallis said that it was clear to him that the president’s decision was a matter of personal conscience, not public policy. But he said that some religious leaders wanted to hear Mr. Obama say that explicitly. “We hope the president will reach out to people who disagree with him on this,” Mr. Wallis said. “The more conservative churches need to know, need to be reassured that their religious liberty is going to be respected here.”
Obama targets ‘Romney Economics’
By Steve Benen – Mon May 14, 2012 8:48 AM EDT.
Mitt Romney has spent the past couple of weeks arguing that presidential campaign has drifted too far from the “issues that matter.” Two weeks ago, this meant downplaying the significance of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and last week, it was marriage equality and his “youthful indiscretions” that were characterized as distractions.
The Republican said he wanted the focus to be on jobs and the economy. As of this morning, the “be careful what you wish for” adage comes to mind.
The Obama campaign unveiled this two-minute long video this morning, along with the launch of a new website: RomneyEconomics.com. It marks a new offensive, in which President Obama’s re-election team is highlighting Romney’s record of orchestrating mass layoffs and the significance of the underlying “business philosophy” the Republican displayed at his private-equity firm, Bain Capital.
This is not just a web video — the above ad is a trimmed-down version of a six-minute video, and it’s slated to air in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Colorado.
If the message seems familiar, it’s because campaign watchers heard plenty about this during the Republican primaries, when Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and others targeted Romney for his callous, anti-worker “vulture” capitalism. Indeed, this has been a lingering issue for Romney for quite a while — in 2004, then-rival Mike Huckabee said, “I want to be a president who reminds you of the guy you work with, not the guy who laid you off.”
We know, of course, that these criticisms did not derail Romney’s primary campaign, but the message is more likely to resonate with a broader, national audience than with GOP voters exclusively.
It also underscores one of the great ironies of the 2012 campaign: voters consider job creation the nation’s #1 issue, and arguably Mitt Romney’s weakest issue and biggest vulnerability is … job creation.
When we think about Romney’s record on jobs, the natural focus is on his tenure as governor, when he had a chance to put his job-creation know-how to good use. Regrettably, his efforts didn’t work in Massachusetts, and his state’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states in job growth. It’s one of the reasons Romney left office after one term deeply unpopular with his constituents.
But with Romney generally content to pretend his one term in office simply never occurred, and focusing almost exclusively on his private-sector background, his habit of making millions from companies by laying off their workers is politically problematic, to put it mildly.
What’s more, Democrats have some partisan cover on this — while the Romney campaign will almost certainly push back against this offensive by insisting that Obama’s criticisms are some kind of “attack on capitalism,” the fact remains that the president’s new tack isn’t much different than what Gingrich and Perry were saying a few months back.
Politico said the push casts Romney as “a greedy, job-killing corporate titan with little concern for the working class.” That’s true, but the president’s campaign can back up that characterization with ample evidence, all of which makes the Republican look pretty bad.
Romney has spent the last year urging voters to focus on his business record. Team Obama appears eager to oblige.
Rep. Peter King: There Is No NYPD ‘Profiling’
Responding to questions from The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza on CNN, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) firmly denied that the NYPD uses racial profiling. “First of all, there is no profiling,” King said. “And that’s the absolute nonsense that people like you and others are propagating.”
Watch the exchange:
all I have to say is
the Once Upon A Time season finale KICKED ASS!!!
I’ve never watched this. It sounds intriguing, though. Saw the “Avengers” yesterday with hubbie. It was quite an adventure!
As Chaos Mounts, Ron Paul’s Convention Plans Remain Mysterious
Benjy Sarlin- May 14, 2012, 6:00 AM 8401Mainstream Republicans afraid Ron Paul’s steady accumulation of delegates will cause chaos at their national convention in Tampa just received a terrifying preview of what a worst-case scenario might look like.
In Oklahoma on Saturday, Paul supporters and Romney supporters reportedly came to blows as the Paul side fell short of electing their slate of delegates amid cries of foul play, including the use of a voice vote instead of a more painstaking roll call to decide the outcome. Speaking at the event, Romney surrogates Tim Pawlenty and the state’s own governor, Mary Fallin, drew jeers.
At the state convention in Arizona, also this weekend, the presumptive nominee’s son, Josh Romney, was booed off the stage by Paul supporters, some of whom derided his father as “the white Obama.”
At this point it’s way too late to keep Paul from having a sizable presence at the Republican National Convention, and likely control of enough state delegations to put his name up for a floor vote against Romney. But it’s still an open question just what these delegates and other Paul activists planning events for the national convention will do when they actually get there.
RNC Chief: Leave Wall Street alone
By Steve Benen – Mon May 14, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.
JPMorgan’s reckless, $2 billion fiasco appears to have a silver lining of sorts: the bank’s bad bets help demonstrate the need for safeguards in the system. In his new column, Paul Krugman thanks JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon for offering “an object demonstration of why Wall Street does, in fact, need to be regulated.”
And yet, somehow, some still don’t see it that way. On NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus, common sense be damned, argued that the JPMorgan mess changes nothing.
Host David Gregory asked a straightforward question: “In light of the losses on Wall Street this week, you think we need less financial regulation rather than more?” In Preibus’ mind, it’s not even a close call: “I think we need less.” The RNC chief added that Democrats have “made things worse” by approving new safeguards and adding new layers of accountability to the financial system.
It reminded me of an Upton Sinclair line: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”
This really isn’t that complicated. In 2008, Wall Street, left to its own devises, nearly collapsed the global financial system. Four years later, institutions like JPMorgan are still taking enormous risks in reckless schemes. It’s hard to even conceive of a straight-face argument against sensible regulations in light of recent developments, but the chairman of the Republican National Committee was on national television anyway, arguing that policymakers should be doing less.
Mitt Romney, the Republicans’ choice for president, believes the same thing, calling for eliminating Wall Street safeguards and replacing them with nothing.
As we discussed on Friday, this seems politically suicidal – who wants to vote for a presidential candidate running on a “leave Wall Street alone” platform? — but the GOP believes the public hates government regulation, at least as much as voters hate the Wall Street elite, so the party has no qualms about its position, regardless of the JPMorgan fiasco
JPMorgan executives to leave over trading loss: sources
Two of Drew’s subordinates who were involved with the trades, London-based Achilles Macris and Javier Martin-Artajo, are also expected to be asked to leave, they said. Neither was available for comment on Monday.
The departures come after the unit Drew runs, known as the Chief Investment Office (CIO), mismanaged a portfolio of derivatives tied to the creditworthiness of bonds, according to bank executives.
The portfolio included layers of instruments used in hedging that became too complicated to work and too big to quickly unwind in the esoteric, thinly traded market.
One hedge fund manager who previously ran a proprietary (or prop) trading book at JPMorgan said the bank’s public commitments to trim balance sheet risk were at odds with its network of trading silos, who were making bets independently with only a handful of the bank’s most senior executives notified of their vast, complex exposures.
“This (CIO) group was completely separate, completely distinct from the prop trading unit. We had no clue about their prop book and they would have no clue about ours for that matter,” the manager said.
PBO HAS ALWAYS HAD HIS ATTENTION ON VETERANS. FLOTUS-AND DR.JILL!!!!
In military-rich battlegrounds, Obama targets new group: veterans
The Obama campaign is ON.IT.
CHECK OUT THE WEBSiTE ROMNEY ECONOMICS: http://www.barackobama.com/lakeview/gst/gst/video
Not goint to work Joe Scarborough; you can get all the water-carriers on Moaning Joke all you want to beat down the truth.
WHINE, WHINE, WHINE! RATNER, IT’S TRUE. GET OVER.
Happy MUN-dane, Everyone! :-)
Good Morning, everyone :)