GO OUT AND MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!
Even though 3Chics Politico is written and curated by three women: Ametia, Rikyrah, and SouthernGirl2, I must nominate this as one of the most engaging blogs I've found. Devoted to politics and culture, these three shine a light on contemporary life with humor and spirit.
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Putin cracks me up. He’s nothing but a gangsta…a KGB-trained gangsta.
And, he doesn’t upset our POTUS one bit.
LOL You know PBO knows the deal; he’s from Chi-Town.
I’m gonna say this again: Marco Rubio is nothing but a grifter, who thinks he’s a better grifter than he is. Rubio’s fake DREAM ACT was nothing but a damn fake. THERE WAS NO BILL that he was going to introduce. It was nothing but bullshyt to:
1. make him look more respectable in the eyes of the Latino community so that he could pimp that respect to the GOP
2. give Willard ‘cover’, so that he could try and erase all that racist ass bullshyt he said about immigration during the primary season.
that is it.
HOW do I know it was nothing but a fake?
a) where is ONE DEMOCRAT coming forward saying ‘ yeah, I was wworking with Rubio on his DREAM ACT PROPOSAL.’ as far as I can tell, NOBODY HAS SHOWED UP saying this.
b) WHY wouldn’t he push his DREAM ACT bill NOW? I’ve said it before, what the President is only valid up until January 20, 2013. If Willard is elected, it could end at 12:01 pm THAT DAY. SO, why not submit it to become LAW OF THE LAND?
Because, that would mean that Rubio’s ass would actually have to get GOP votes……and, there are NO GOP VOTES FOR THIS.
Rubio was more honest, when his ass said that the DREAM ACT and /immigration ‘ didn’t involve him’, which is why it wasn’t even a section on his WEBSITE even a month ago.
This was all a smokescreen, and the President took that smokescreen and blew it all the way up, exposing the frauds and forcing them to either support what he did, or piss off Latinos even more.
Rubio is a scam artist, who just ran out of his scam. Now, he’ll actually have to do some work in order to gain some respect in the general Latino community, and if he can’t offer Willard cover with Latinos, he has nothing Willard wants.
Updated: 3:57 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2012 | Posted: 3:56 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, 2012
First lady visits Las Vegas cafe on campaign stop
The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS —
Michelle Obama is making a surprise visit to a Las Vegas coffee shop as part of a trip to rally volunteers helping the campaign to re-elect her husband.
The first lady visited Sunrise Coffee unannounced on Tuesday afternoon. The cafe was established in 2008 and advertises organic and fair trade coffees and teas.
Obama’s schedule also includes a stop at the Henderson Convention Center to address some of President Barack Obama’s supporters.
Nevada is divided between Republicans and Democrats and is seen as one of few swing states in November’s presidential election.
Nevada backed Bill Clinton in 1996 and George W. Bush twice.
Obama won Nevada in 2008.
Michelle Obama visited Las Vegas in May. She also brought her daughters to Las Vegas for a family vacation in March.
Obama’s Lawyer Demands Information on Group’s Donors
By MICHAEL D. SHEAR
The lawyer for President Obama demanded on Tuesday that Crossroads GPS disclose its donors, saying in a complaint to the Federal Election Commission that the group is plainly a “political committee” subject to federal reporting requirements.
In the complaint, obtained by The New York Times, Robert F. Bauer, the campaign’s chief counsel, writes that the group — founded by Karl Rove, among others — can no longer shield the identity of its donors by defining itself as a “social welfare” organization.
“Crossroads seems to believe that it can run out the clock and spend massive sums of money in this election without accounting for a trace of its funding,” Mr. Bauer wrote in the complaint, filed Tuesday. “Now, a federal appellate court has issued a ruling that makes clear that Crossroads is out of time.”
The case Mr. Bauer cites is “Real Truth About Obama v. FEC,” in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that the government must determine the “major purpose” of groups like Crossroads.
In a letter to Mr. Rove and Steven Law, the president of Crossroads, Mr. Bauerurges them to immediately disclose their donors.
“Will Crossroads fight this out, knowing that disclosure is inevitable but looking to delay until after the election?” Mr. Bauer wrote.
A spokesman for Crossroads did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
So far this year, Democrats have been severely out-raised by groups like Crossroads GPS, which have tapped millionaires and billionaires to build war chests for the coming Congressional and presidential campaigns.
Official “super PACs” that openly back candidates are required to disclose their donors. But there is no disclosure requirement for groups that are formed as educational groups under a special part of the tax code.
Those organizations can raise unlimited sums from wealthy individuals without ever disclosing where the money came from. It is information from those groups that Mr. Obama’s campaign is hoping to pry open with the complaint.
But even if the election commission were to agree with the Democratic position, the argument would likely end up in court, where it could take months before a decision would be rendered — possibly after the 2012 campaign were over.
That would provide little comfort to Mr. Obama or his Democratic allies who may have found themselves buried by an avalanche of negative advertising financed bygroups like Crossroads.
June 19, 2012 9:20 AM
Rubio Off the Veep List?
By Ed Kilgore
There’s a small shred of real—if somewhat speculative—political news this morning: a report from ABC’s Jonathan Karl that Sen. Marco Rubio is not being vetted for possible selection as Mitt Romney’s running-mate. I would call this more “real” than “speculative” for the simple reason that while you can bloviate endlessly about Romney’s compatibility with this or that pol, or his or her “star appeal,” or his or her congruence with the Mood of the Heartland, or whatever—but the fact remains that documents have to be reviewed, closets have to be examined, and rumors have to be check out before even the most exciting prospect can be seriously considered. If that ain’t happening for Rubio by now, it may well not be happening at all.
The timing is interesting, what with Republican dismay over Obama’s DREAM Lite initiative and its possible impact on Hispanic voters, and the rapturous reception Rubio received for his speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition event in Washington over the weekend. Rubio has always been a Tea Party favorite, and is particularly a heartthrob to his Senate colleague Jim DeMint, who I suspect has current custody of the soul of the Republican Party (perhaps wrapped in a Confederate Flag) somewhere in his office.
On top of everything else, Rubio’s autobiography is officially being released today.
If Rubio’s truly off the list, it could mean the aroma of ethics scandals that occasionally wafts from his direction (particularly given his close relationship to Rep. David Rivera) is too strong, or it could just mean Romney’s already leaning in the direction of one of the white-bread alternatives like Rob Portman (whose chameleon-like ability to impersonate Democratic candidates during debate prep over the years may strike a personal note with the very slippery Mitt) or even Tim Pawlenty. Now that Karl’s broken the seal, we’ll probably hear more before long.
Posted at 11:43 AM ET, 06/19/2012
Obama is winning the debate over taxes. Will it matter?
By Greg Sargent
A new National Journal poll suggests that Obama is winning the debate over the Bush tax cuts:
As President Obama navigates a choppy economy in his reelection bid, he can rely on one comforting fact: Americans continue to strongly embrace his opposition to extending tax breaks for those earning more than $250,000 a year.
A new United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that only 26 percent of the public wants to see all of the tax breaks created during the George W. Bush administration, which are set to expire at year’s end, extended for at least another year. And only 18 percent want the tax breaks across all income levels made permanent, the position taken by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney…
In the poll, 47 percent of respondents said they wanted to see the tax breaks extended only for those earning less than $250,000.
Fewer than one in five support Romney’s position, which is to make all the tax cuts permanent. Meanwhile, nearly half support extending them for earners under $250,000.
The larger context, though, is important. Romney isn’t simply proposing to make the Bush tax cuts permanent; he’s also proposing an additional across-the-board tax cut on top of extending the Bush tax cuts that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy. A recent study found that under Romney’s tax proposals, 67 percent of the tax cut would go to those over $200,000.
Romney knows that cutting taxes for the rich further isn’t at all popular. So he has been saying that his plan wouldn’t reduce the share of the tax burden the rich pay, because he would close deductions and loopholes the rich enjoy to offset their disproportionate gains under his plan, with the result that everyone’s share gets reduced evenly. The only problem, of course, is that he won’t specify what those deductions and loopholes are, and says he sees no need to do so for the duration of the campaign.
The question is: Will the fact that the public sides with Obama on taxes matter in the fall campaign? This may all turn on how convincingly Obama can make the case that the money to pay for Romney’s tax cuts for the wealthy could come out of programs that Americans like and rely on. This is an argument that swing voters are receptive to. As that recent Democracy Corps focus grouping found, non-college whites in particularly are receptive to a message about taxes and entitlements, and “clearly fear that Mitt Romney and the Republicans will cut things that matter to them because they are not willing to raise taxes on the rich.”
June 19, 2012
The discombobulated American left
I don’t write much about the American left, mostly because there isn’t much of an American left to write about. It is a mouse that on occasion heroically tries but simply cannot roar.
In descending statistical order–ending in obscurity–roughly 40 percent of the American electorate self-identifies as conservative, about 35 percent as moderate, 20 percent as liberal, and among the latter cluster about 1 out of 4 identifies as “very liberal.” This few, this unhappy few, this 5-percent band of brothers and sisters constitutes, I think we would all agree, the modern American left. Some compensate and console themselves with the historical analogy that, well hell, during the antebellum period abolitionists represented only about 5 percent of the electorate, too. And look at what they accomplished. History might answer, however, that the Civil War wasn’t launched by abolitionists, wasn’t fought by abolitionists, and ultimately derailed into the prolonged Southernization of American politics.
But let’s not go there, if for no other reason than that one of the chief distinctions between fiery abolitionists and wet-blanket progressives is that the former never bellowed they were ‘The 99 Percent.’ They were a besieged, molested, peculiar and extreme minority, and they knew it. They also seemed to instinctively understand that bellowing self-delusional, self-inflating slogans should be left to the 21st century.
To which we’ll return, now, and direct our attention to this pathetic contemporaneity: the Campaign for America’s Future’s annual ‘Take Back the American Dream Conference’ opened in Washington D.C. yesterday, where, notes Dana Milbank this morning, “half of the 500 seats were filled.”
TBADC’s Web site purports a populist, progressive, grassroots aggressiveness: “We are the 99%. If we organize, if we force the debate, we can win not only the election but the argument”–even though “we” cannot fill a mere 500 seats.
I beg your indulgence. I’m not trying to be snide. But in return please indulge me for a moment by at least acknowledging that the above’s gratuitous bluster is counterproductive, in that it’s needlessly strained, which destroys credibility.
By that I mean activist progressives’ claims are rhetorically strained in view of their lacking a material, socioeconomic transformation, which should by definition inhere in authentic progressive movements. Yet here, from TBADC’s Web site, is a bit of elaboration: The organization promises primarily to preserve the status quo in protecting Social Security and Medicare, as well as protecting federal obligations ranging from “food stamps to food safety” and reducing unemployment.
June 19, 2012 10:40 AM
DREAM Lite Reaction
By Ed Kilgore
Sean Trende of Real Clear Politics (a conservative numbers-cruncher whom I greatly respect) says he doesn’t quite get Obama’s DREAM Lite gambit last week. After all, only three swing states have “significant” (which he defines as over 10%) Hispanic populations, and one of those is Cuban-heavy Florida, so we’re really just talking Nevada and Colorado, who only have 15 lousy EVs, and Obama’s real problem is with white voters who don’t like liberalized immigration policies.
Trende’s depiction of DREAM Lite as at best a wash for Obama may be more than a little off, per the first national poll measuring reaction, from Bloomberg:
Sixty-four percent of likely voters surveyed after Obama’s June 15 announcement said they agreed with the policy, while 30 percent said they disagreed. Independents backed the decision by better than a two-to-one margin.
Only self-identified Republicans bucked the trend, opposing DREAM Lite by a 36-56 margin.
Getting back to Trende’s dismissal of the issue, his 10% Hispanic voter threshold for considering these voters “significant” in swing states is questionable. For example: 5% of Virginia voters in 2008 were Hispanic; the percentage may well have gone up since then. It’s a state most analysts think Romney must win. If it’s very close, then yes, a swing or turnout variation among Virginia Hispanics could matter. As for Florida, yes, Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans, two groups not terribly interested in the immigration issue, make up an estimated 60% of the state’s Hispanic eligible voters. But of the rest, a growing percentage are from South or Central America or Mexico. Again, if Florida’s close, the issue could matter a great deal.
As for the downside of Obama’s DREAM Lite gambit—I don’t much see it. He was already on record supporting the full DREAM Act; all his action last week did was to preempt what was about to become the Republican alternative. As the Bloomberg poll shows, opposition is concentrated among voters Obama’s not getting anyway.
I’m not saying Obama’s action was necessarily a game-changer. But on the strategic chessboard, it undoubtedly checked a Republican move to chip into a key swing constituency where Obama was vulnerable, at what seems to be an acceptably low cost or risk. As for the impact on swing states, as always, it depends on how close things get. All together now: a vote’s a vote!
The House GOP’s ‘fix’ to Obama’s immigration policy
By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:42 PM EDT.
Since Friday, most of the Republican complaints about President Obama’s new immigration policy have focused on process — the critiques have had less to do with the substance and more to do with how the president made the decision.
There are, however, exceptions.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) on Monday proposed legislation that would block enforcement of President Obama’s new policy of letting certain illegal immigrants request temporary relief from deportation.
Schweikert’s bill would specifically prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from allowing that relief, which Obama described on Friday as an option for up to 800,000 immigrants who came to the United States illegally at a young age. Schweikert said his bill would prevent Obama from “dictating” immigration law from the White House.
Schweikert called the president’s policy “amnesty” — which really doesn’t make sense — and added that Obama ought to be “working with Congress to secure our border and reform our immigration policy.” (Obama has done more to secure the border than any modern president, and Republicans refuse to compromise on reforming our immigration laws.)
Rhetoric notwithstanding, Democrats probably ought to be thrilled with this legislation. In fact, if Dems are very lucky, Schweikert’s proposal will become a top priority in the House and will soon reach the floor.
Consider the landscape: Republicans are alienating Latino voters in an election year, and the president’s proposal enjoys broad national support. If the House GOP seriously wants a debate over blocking Obama’s policy, I have a hard time believing Democrats would mind. Maybe Mitt Romney might even field a question or two about whether he supports his party’s bill.
Speaking of House Republicans, the House Speaker also weighed in this morning.
House Speaker John Boehner criticized the Obama administration’s immigration directive on familiar process-related grounds — having apparently forgotten that he’d quashed nearly all hope of getting the DREAM Act through Congress this year.
“It puts everyone in a difficult position,” Boehner complained at a press availability Tuesday, arguing that the administration’s unilateral move made reaching a bipartisan legislative solution more difficult.
More difficult than what? Before Obama’s move, Republicans refused to budge, making bipartisan legislative solutions impossible. After Obama’s move, Congress is still a mess, but 800,000 people will be better off.
So what is the Speaker complaining about? Remember, it was Boehner who told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) not to even bother with a GOP-friendly, watered-down version of the DREAM Act because it couldn’t pass the House. For Boehner to now blame Obama for making a stagnant process more “difficult” seems rather silly.
That said, if Boehner and his party are serious, and want to restart talks about passing the real DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, I have a strong hunch the White House would welcome the conversation.
Why the GOP can’t write off Hispanics: Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake make it simple:
Republicans literally cannot afford to let Hispanics become reliably Democratic. At some point in the future — given current demographic trends — Republicans could win virtually every single white vote in the country and not be able to win a national election.
Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 06/19/2012
Mitt Romney and the curious case of the 33-page change-of-address form
By Greg Sargent
One of the big stories of the day is that MSNBC misleadingly edited some video of Mitt Romney in a way that suggests that he was amazed by the touch-screen ordering gizmo at a local WaWa. I have to agree with Dylan Byers on this one. The full quote from Romney does show that Romney’s “amazement” was not about the technology; he was saying that he’s amazed that the private sector has learned how to compete while government remains sclerotic and inefficient.
Whatever you think of the quality of Romney’s overall argument, the editing did distort the meaning of his remarks.
That said, Romney said something at that appearance that deserves as much attention as the MSNBC editing snafu: His tale about the alleged 33-page government change-of-address form. Here’s what he said:
“I met an optometrist this morning. And this optometrist wanted to change his billing address. He moved his office from one side of town to the other. Same zip code. Same post office. But he wanted to change his address. He got a form from the federal government. This is so he can get reimbursement for the services he provides for the poor and seniors. The form he gets to change addresses is 33 pages long.”
Romney contrasted this tale of government inefficiency with the wonderously efficient WaWa ordering system. But Mediate points out that the relevant form, which allows Medicaid fee for service providers to change their addresses, is actually two pages long.
Perhaps Romney was talking about another form. In some cases Medicare does reimbursement of this sort. But on first hearing, it seems unlikely that such a form exists. The claim just doesn’t sound like it’s based in reality. And assuming that’s the case, what will have proven particularly interesting here is Romney’s casual willingness to repeat something in one of the highest profile media settings of all — the battle for the American presidency — withouth having any idea if it has even a shred of truth to it, simply because it serves the larger tale he’s trying to tell about government.
But again — maybe this time Romney is getting it right. I’ve asked the Romney campaign if they know who the optometrist was and if so if they’re going to make him available. Of course, candidates meet hundreds and hundreds of people daily, so perhaps that’s too much to ask. So barring that, I asked the Romney campaign if they are going to substantiate the claim. I’ve also asked a spokesperson for Medicare and Medicaid if there is any such form. I’ll update you when I hear back
Posted at 09:01 AM ET, 06/19/2012 TheWashingtonPost The Morning Plum: Obama’s immigration move isolates Republicans
By Greg Sargent
This morning Bloomberg News released the first national poll of Obama’s surprise announcement that his administration is halting deportations of hundreds of thousands of DREAM-eligible youth. An overwhelming 64 percent of likely voters support the move, versus only 30 percent who oppose it.
But the more interesting finding may be the divide among independents and Republicans on the issue.
Two thirds of independents — 66 percent — back the move, while only 26 percent disagree with it. Among Republicans, however, those numbers are upside down: only 36 percent of them agree with it, while 56 percent oppose it.
Why are independents so supportive of the move? Bloomberg interviewed one of them and got back this:
“At first I was really against it, but after sitting down and thinking about it, a lot of kids here are good kids,” Loretta Price, 65, a retiree and undecided independent voter from Ocala, Florida, said in a follow-up interview. “I think it was the right thing to do.”
As GOP strategist Ed Rollins put it to me, the debate over DREAM-eligible youth is problematic for Republicans because many Americans see it as an issue of basic fairness. Their daily experience has led them into contact with many good people who have come here illegally but are mainly guilty of the crime of wanting to better their lives. What’s more, Obama’s move targets people who were brought here at a young age and didn’t have a say over their movements.
The divide between Republicans and independents on the issue may help explain why Romney is still refusing to take a position on it. Republicans oppose the policy in large numbers. But opposing Obama’s new policy could alienate independents. As some Republican strategists have already noted publicly, the GOP’s harsh positions on immigration in general already carry the broader risk of making the party look backward looking and intolerant to non-affiliated voters, and carry the risk of permanently alienating Latinos, whose vote share will only continue to grow.
Mitch McConnell: Tax code already “extraordinarily progressive” and needs to be changed
The United States tax code is already “extraordinarily progressive” and should be restructured, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, noting that more than two-thirds of the money the government collects already comes from the wealthiest ten percent of taxpayers.
In an interview that aired on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican said he is ready to sit down with “this president or the next president” and have an animated discussion about the tax code to “reach a conclusion” that would bring down the ballooning U.S. deficit.
“Almost 70 percent of the federal revenue is provided by the top 10 percent of taxpayers now. Between 45 percent and 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all. We have an extraordinarily progressive tax code already. It is a mess and needs to be revisited again,” McConnell said in the interview, taped Monday.
A “progressive” code increase tax rates as income increases.
Democrats want a “balanced approach” to bring down the deficit, using a combination of spending cuts and higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans favor simply cutting spending.
Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush caused a stir in Republican circles earlier this month when he told the House Budget Committee that he would have taken the hypothetical offer to increase taxes for a dollar of revenue if it came with $10 in spending cuts. Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney said he would reject that offer in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend.
McConnell said he willing to make a so-called “grand bargain” with the Democrats, but he said he “will not make a commitment in advance about what I will or won’t do.”
“The issue of revenue, from our point of view, is tied to serious entitlement reform,” McConnell said, referring to changes to such federal benefit programs as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Doesn’t Apologize For Romney Wawa Editing
videoby Tommy Christopher | 1:33 pm, June 19th, 2012
Score a victory for the mainstream press over right-wing pressure. MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell addressed the mini-controversy that sprang up around the editing of a 30-second clip package on Mitt Romney‘s weekend visit to “Wawa’s,” which right-wing bloggers called “deceptive.”
Mitchell noted that the RNC and the Romney campaign had reached out, but she notably did not apologize before playing some more of Romney’s remarks.
“There has been a lot of discussion overnight about a conversation you and I had yesterday,” Mitchell said to contributor Chris Cillizza. “We ran clips of Mitt Romney in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, talking about his trip to a Wawa. The RNC and the Campaign both reached out to us, saying Romney had more to say about that visit, about federal bureaucracy and innovation in the private sector.”
“We didn’t get a chance to play that, so here it is now,” she concluded.
That was it, no apology, and from the sounds of it, neither the RNC nor the Romney campaign even asked for one. As I wrote earlier, even though journalists would always prefer to use more of what someone says, rather than less, the edits MSNBC did were transparent and permissible. In fact, Mitchell did Romney another favor by not mentioning that his story to the crowd was a big, fat lie. Romney told the crowd that an optometrist complained to him about a 33-page change of address form for Medicaid. He only missed it by 31 pages. The form he compared to the sandwich computers at “Wawa’s” is two pages long, four if you include the instructions.
Let that be a lesson to mainstream journalists who jump to kill the right-wing noise whenever they don’t think a report is sufficiently biased in their guy’s favor. Sometimes, noise is just noise.
Here’s the clip, which also features a funny moment at the end where the clip Mitchell is tossing to doesn’t make it onscreen:
Hovde: Too many sob stories in press about poor
Wisconsin businessman Eric Hovde has spent big bucks on TV and radio spots trying to garner voters’ attention for his Republican bid for U.S. Senate.
But it didn’t cost him a nickel to land on many people’s radars with his videotaped comments last week at the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce.
In his final remarks to the group, Hovde – a millionaire many times over – complained about the prevalence of news stories focusing on the travails of poor individuals during tough economic times.
Instead, the hedge fund manager said he would prefer more coverage of the national debt and deficit, according to a video posted at the liberal Huffington Post website (starting at 13:45):
“I see a reporter here. I just pray that you start writing about these issues. I just pray. Stop always writing about, ‘Oh, the person couldn’t get, you know, their food stamps or this or that.’ You know, I saw something the other day – it’s like, another sob story, and I’m like, ‘But what about what’s happening to the country and the country as a whole?’ That’s going to devastate everybody.”
The talk, which took place Friday, was taped by the state Democratic Party.
Sean Lansing, a spokesman for the first-time candidate, later told the Huffington Post that Hovde was saying “issues like waste, fraud, abuse and out-of-control government spending are what’s really hurting the poor and making the human interest stories possible in the first place, so the press – and the public at large – should be focusing on the root of the problem and how we can reform the system.”
The clarification didn’t stop a couple of dozen Democrats and other critics from posting harsh comments on Hovde’s Facebook page in response to the story.
Hovde is one of four Republicans vying for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat who is retiring. The GOP nominee will square off against U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) in November.
.Romney’s ‘Some Towns Just Don’t Count’ Tour
John Nichols on June 19, 2012 – 10:56 AM ET
Mitt Romney’s “Every Town Counts” bus tour brought the presumptive Republican presidential nominee across southern Wisconsin and into Iowa Monday and Tuesday.
But the towns didn’t count enough for him to learn their real histories and their real needs. And the tour scrupulously avoided towns where Romney’s Bain Capital continues to put the hurt on American workers.
In Janesville, Wisconsin, where a sprawling General Motors plant closed three years ago, socking the town with one of the highest unemployment rates in the region, Romney failed during his stop to discuss the plant or GM. He couldn’t exactly rip into his November opponent, Barack Obama, for not doing eneough to reopen the plant—a credible gripe—since Obama worked during his first term to save GM while Romney talked up the idea of letting the company go bankrupt.
That’s the problem for Romney. He has been on the wrong side of so many economic fights that it is impossible for him to play the economic populist in communities that could stand with a little populism.
Mourdock shares his philosophy on health care
By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:59 AM EDT.
A month after Richard Mourdock defeated Sen. Dick Lugar in a Republican primary in Indiana, the public is still getting a sense of the limits of his Tea Party worldview. As Scott Keyes noted, there appears to be reason for concern.
Mourdock] told a local Indiana newspaper that, contra Obamacare’s protections, employers ought to be able to deny health insurance to people with cancer.
During a freewheeling interview with the News and Tribune, Mourdock said health care will be the “biggest issue” this election. The Indiana Republican, who opposes the Affordable Care Act, argued that businesses should be permitted to deny coverage to employees with cancer “if they want to keep their health care costs down.” “Does that employer have the right to do it?” Mourdock asked. “I would say yes they do.”
The Mourdock campaign has acted quickly to remind reporters that the Senate candidate doesn’t recommend that employers deny coverage to employees with cancer, and in fact, he hopes that they don’t. Rather, Mourdock was making a philosophical point — he wants voters to understand his worldview, which in this case means businesses should, in theory, be able to deny insurance coverage for cancer patients if they want to.
If this argument seems familiar, it’s because Kentucky’s Rand Paul presented a related approach on The Rachel Maddow Show during his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign — he doesn’t want businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race; he simply believes private establishments should, in theory, be able to discriminate if they want to.
The issue at hand, in other words, is theoretical. In Mourdock’s case, President Obama and Democrats believe Americans with pre-existing conditions, including cancer, must be protected from discrimination. The GOP Hoosier is trying to make the case against this position — he’s just doing so rather clumsily.
Mourdock doesn’t want to come across as pro-cancer, and by all appearances, he’s not. The Republican, rather, is just a callous far-right candidate who would allow Americans to suffer as part of a larger ideological crusade that demands fewer government safeguards to protect the public.
That doesn’t mean he wants cancer patients to go without out of spite; it means he’d allow cancer patients to go without as part of a governing philosophy.
The distinction should bring comfort to Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions, right?
That’s not ‘how government works’
By Steve Benen – Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:11 PM EDT.
A video made the rounds yesterday, featuring Mitt Romney expressing amazement at his ability to order a sandwich on a touch-screen at a WaWa’s in Pennsylvania. Dylan Byers makes the case that the larger context is far less damaging to Romney, and he appears to have a point.
But immediately before Romney’s WaWa comments, the Republican shared an interesting anecdote with his Pennsylvania audience.
“I met an optometrist this morning and … this optometrist wanted to change his billing address. He moved his office from one side of town to the other, same Zip code, same post office. But he wanted to change his address. He got a form from the federal government. This is so he could get reimbursement from the federal government for the services he provides for the poor and seniors.
“The form he gets to change address is 33 pages long — 33 pages long. He calls someone to ask how to fill it out. He calls someone in government. They tell him what to do. He sends it in. They sent it back. It wasn’t done right, got to do it again, another 33 pages. He calls another person. They tell him what to do. Doesn’t get it right the second time. The third time’s the charm, though. This takes several months during which time he’s not getting the checks for the work he’s doing for people who need his care. That’s how government works.”
While the WaWa story caused a bit of a stir, this little story about the change-of-address form at the post office is infinitely more interesting — in part because it’s so ridiculously untrue, and in part because it helps underscore the absurd philosophy Romney is trying to peddle on the campaign trail.
As Paul Waldman explained, “Have you ever changed your address? You probably have. Did you have to fill out a 33-page form? Of course you didn’t. The form to change your address is a friggin’ postcard. Old address, new address, when you want the change to happen. Done. You can do it online now, and it’ll take about 2 minutes. Yet Mitt Romney gets up in front of a crowd of people and tells them that government is so awful, at the Post Office you have to fill out a 33-page form to change your address.”
Romney wants — and in fact, needs — voters to have nothing but disdain for public institutions, which leads him to tell outlandish falsehoods like these with a straight face. And Republican voters, conditioned to believe that public institutions are broken and untrustworthy, accept the lies at face value.
But the non-existent 33-page change-of-address form underscores an important truth: if government is so awful, and the public bureaucracy is such a Brazil-like nightmare, why can’t Romney point to real examples instead of passing along nonsense?
Poll: Washington Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage
Tom Kludt- June 19, 2012, 1:36 PM
A majority of voters in Washington support same-sex marriage, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
The results of the latest survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows 51 percent of Washington voters believe same-sex marriage should be legal, compared with 42 percent who believe it should be illegal. A state law legalizing same-sex marriage was passed earlier this year but is facing a November referendum.
PPP pressed deeper on the issue, asking voters whether gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, form civil unions or be given no legal recognition at all. The overwhelming majority said that same-sex couples should be given at least some legal recognition, with 47 percent saying they should be allowed to marry and 30 percent saying they should be legally permitted to form civil unions but not marry. Twenty-one percent said same-sex couples should receive no legal recognition.
A measure legalizing same-sex marriage was passed by state lawmakers in Olympia and signed into law by outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) in February. The law was slated to take effect earlier this month, but implementation was delayed by gay marriage opponents, who submitted more than double the required number of signatures last week to trigger a statewide vote in November.
Romney Declines To Condemn His Campaign’s Organized Heckling
Evan McMorris-Santoro- June 19, 2012, 2:00 PM
President Obama’s campaign has spoken out against heckling, and on Tuesday it condemned Mitt Romney for not doing the same thing.
Heckling has become a big part of Romney’s campaigning style, though Republicans by no means have the monopoly on supporters loudly trying to disrupt or annoy their opponents.
On Monday, Obama adviser David Axelrod called on a group of Ohio protesters heckling Romney to stand down, calling heckling “their tactic, not ours.”
In an interview with Fox News radio Tuesday, Romney said his supporters should continue to do what they want.
From the AP:
He told Fox News Radio on Tuesday that he doesn’t believe in “unilateral disarmament,” but said it would “be a nice thing” if both sides would stop yelling at each other during campaign events. … Romney was asked if he would also condemn heckling during Obama events. He declined. “We have sent a strong message to our supporters that this campaign should be an open exchange of ideas, not one where we drown out the other side by heckling and crashing events,” Obama spokesperson Ben LaBolt said in a statement. “Campaigns are a reflection of their candidate, and Mitt Romney has a different view, endorsing heckling.”
Kennedy Institute Rejects Scott Brown’s ‘Unprecedented’ Debate Demand
Eric Kleefeld- June 19, 2012, 2:10 PM 1323Republican Sen. Scott Brown’s terms for debating Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Massachusetts was rejected Tuesday, a move that could derail the event.
The Kennedy Institute rebuffed the Brown campaign’s demand that Vicki Kennedy, widow of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and president of the institute named in his honor, pledge to not make any endorsement throughout the Senate race.
“This non-endorsement pledge is unprecedented and is not being required of any other persons or entities. To us, such a pledge seems inappropriate when a non-media sponsor issues a debate invitation,” Kennedy Institute chief operating officer Lisa McBirney and chief of staff Christopher Hogan wrote in a letter released Tuesday.
Brown’s campaign manager Jim Barnett said in an open letter to the institute on Monday:
As the President of the Board of Trustees, Vicki Kennedy assured us in her June 8 letter that the Kennedy Institute is “non-partisan” and would therefore be an appropriate setting for a Senate debate. In order to proceed, we need to know that in keeping with the spirit of neutrality expressed in Vicki Kennedy’s letter that she will not endorse or otherwise get involved in this race.In their response, McBirney and Hogan noted that Kennedy would not even be asking any actual questions and that similar events were commonplace:
IN SHORT: Scotty’s a SCURRED WUSS
Romney to attend NAACP national convention in Houston
News of Romney’s plans to attend the convention, which takes place July 7-12 in Houston, was first reported by April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks. Romney is scheduled to speak on July 11.
The move makes Romney the latest GOP White House hopeful to attend the annual summit. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) addressed the convention in July 2008; George W. Bush declined an invitation in 2004 but spoke at the 2006 summit.
In his 2008 speech, McCain acknowledged the policy differences between himself and President Obama and told the crowd that “it may be that many of you share his view.”
“But even allowing for disagreement, surely there’s common ground in the principle that government cannot go on forever spending recklessly and incurring debt,” McCain said.
Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/post/romney-to-attend-naacp-national-convention-in-houston/2012/06/19/gJQAd5LvnV_blog.html
Scalia Changes His Mind on Key Obamacare Precedent
—By Adam Serwer
| Mon Jun. 18, 2012 12:10 PM PDT
Justice Antonin Scalia has changed his mind about a key Supreme Court precedent that supporters of the Affordable Care Act have been using to argue that the law is constitutional. Scalia’s new position leaves little doubt that he’ll vote to overturn the law.
As TPM’s Sahil Kapur notes, a New York Times review of Scalia’s new book describes the Justice arguing that the 1942 Supreme Case Wickard v. Filburn, which featured a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause that has been key to pro-Obamacare legal arguments, was wrongly decided.
In that 1942 decision, Justice Scalia writes, the Supreme Court “expanded the Commerce Clause beyond all reason” by ruling that “a farmer’s cultivation of wheat for his own consumption affected interstate commerce and thus could be regulated under the Commerce Clause.”
Justice Scalia’s treatment of the Wickard case had been far more respectful in his judicial writings. In the book’s preface, he explains (referring to himself in the third person) that he “knows that there are some, and fears that there may be many, opinions that he has joined or written over the past 30 years that contradict what is written here.” Some inconsistencies can be explained by respect for precedent, he writes, others “because wisdom has come late.”
Look what Mittens is up to with Miss Ann. I guess the whales and other sea life don’t get to ask Mitt Romney those TOUGH QUESTIONS either.
U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann walk next to the Mississippi River while departing the Spirit of Dubuque in Dubuque, Iowa, June 18, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing …
Follow the Dark Money
The down and dirty history of secret spending, PACs gone wild, and the epic four-decade fight over the only kind of political capital that matters
By Andy Kroll
July/August 2012 Issue
Bill Liedtke was racing against time. His deadline was a little more than a day away. He’d prepared everything—suitcase stuffed with cash, jet fueled up, pilot standing by. Everything but the Mexican money.
The date was April 5, 1972. Warm afternoon light bathed the windows at Pennzoil Company headquarters in downtown Houston. Liedtke, a former Texas wildcatter who’d risen to be Pennzoil’s president, and Roy Winchester, the firm’s PR man, waited anxiously for $100,000 due to be hand-delivered by a Mexican businessman named José Díaz de León. When it arrived, Liedtke (pronounced LIT-key) would stuff it into the suitcase with the rest of the cash and checks, bringing the total to $700,000. The Nixon campaign wanted the money before Friday, when a new law kicked in requiring that federal campaigns disclose their donors. Maurice Stans, finance chair of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, or CREEP, had told fundraisers they needed to beat that deadline. Liedtke said he’d deliver.
READ ON: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/history-money-american-elections
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012 06:45 AM CDT
Dark money middlemen
Updated: Citizens United banned campaign coordination with super PACs, but the GOP may have found a way around
By Alex Seitz-Wald
By now, you probably know that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allows outside groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. You probably know that these groups often don’t have to disclose where that money came from. You may even know that, despite the court’s assurance that this money would be entirely independent of the candidates they’re supporting, there are many ways to coordinate without breaking the law. But you might not know how. In North Dakota, Republicans and outside groups appear to have figured out a clever workaround.
Ask a simple question …
June 18, 2012 ·
Posted in 2012, Immigration, Mitt Romney, Politics
Mitt Romney simply cannot answer the question of whether he’d reverse President Obama’s landmark executive order on immigration, because he has no position on the issue. Not until the conservative base he is terrified of clears one for him.
Steve Kornacki and I discussed the issue with Lawrence O’Donnell on “The Last Word” Monday:
Mitt Romney Will Now Explain Why Implementing The Dream Act Hurts The Dream Act
by Rebecca Schoenkopf
It is hard to be Mitt Romney trying to decide what he wants people to think he believes about immigration. He has to strike just the right note: not alienating Latino voters while being totally and constantly bug-eyed, Jan Brewer-style racist for the GOP base. The most important part of this three-legged stool, though? Being the opposite of Barack Obama at all times!
“I believe the status of young people who come here through no fault of their own is an important matter to be considered and should be solved on a long-term basis so they know what their future would be in this country,” Romney said.
OK, Mitt Romney is for the Dream Act, fellows! You remember — the super-duper popular part of immigration reform that applies to kids who came here illegally before they were 16, and are good kids who want to either go to college or join the Army. How popular is the Dream Act? Three-fourths of Arizonans support it. So how do you think he will blame Obama for making it happen? Put on your thinking brain. Do you have a guess?
He continued: “I think the actions that the president took today make it more difficult to reach that kind of long term solution because an executive order, of course, is a short-term matter that can be reversed by subsequent presidents.”
Healthcare and Scalia’s Broken Moral Compass
Ilyse Hogue on June 18, 2012 – 9:36 AM ET
The Supreme Court’s highly anticipated ruling on Obama’s healthcare reforms could come any day now. Whatever the verdict, expect much ado about the hotly debated role of broccoli in healthcare and arcane explanations of the Commerce Clause that is at the center of the legal case against the individual mandate. But buried deep in hearings filled with legalese and judicial sparring was a short exchange that illuminates an American ideal that truly hangs in the balance with this decision—the idea that in a civilized society, we do not sit idly by and watch our neighbors die.
The specific back-and-forth in question occurred on the third day of the hearings between Justice Antonin Scalia and Solicitor General Donald Verilli, the administration official charged with defending the law in court. It went like this:
GENERAL VERRILLI: No. It’s because you’re going—in the health care market, you’re going into the market without the ability to pay for what you get, getting the health care service anyway as a result of the social norms that allow—that—to which we’ve obligated ourselves so that people get health care.
JUSTICE SCALIA: Well, don’t obligate yourself to that. Why—you know?
GENERAL VERRILLI: Well, I can’t imagine that that—that the Commerce Clause would —would forbid Congress from taking into account this deeply embedded social norm.
JUSTICE SCALIA: You—you could do it.
Read on: http://www.thenation.com/blog/168452/healthcare-and-scalias-broken-moral-compass?rel=emailNation#
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Romney economics isn’t welcome in Detroit
Our bus pulled into Detroit this afternoon for the last stop on our “Middle Class Under the Bus” tour—a fitting place to end a tour that centered on Romney economics. Just three and a half years, ago, Detroit’s auto industry—the city’s lifeblood—was on the very brink of collapse. And in that moment of crisis, Mitt Romney said four words the Motor City will never forget:
“Let Detroit go bankrupt.”
Fast forward to 2012. Today, the American auto industry is back where it belongs: at the top. But it’s not because anyone heeded Romney’s advice. It’s because President Obama placed his bet on the American worker and on American manufacturing and made a tough call that saved more than 1 million good-paying, middle-class jobs up and down the supply chain.
So for many Detroiters, today’s press conference was a chance to stand up in support of the man who stood up for them in a moment of need—and to send Mitt Romney an unmistakable message: Romney economics isn’t welcome here.
•Everything you need to know about President Obama’s plan to help responsible homeowners
Related Topics: Housing, Economy, ToDo List
Here’s The Best Place To Dump Your Credit Card Complaints
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has rolled out a new website for frustrated consumers to air their gripes about credit card lenders.
“Each and every time we hear from American consumers about their troublesome transactions with financial products, it gives us important insight,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement Tuesday. “The information helps us and it should be available to help others too. By making our data publicly available, initially in the area of credit cards, we hope to improve the transparency and efficiency of this essential consumer market.”
The agency’s already logged some 45,000 complaints in the last year from consumers at odds with mortgage lenders (19,250), banks (6,490), and private student lenders (1,270). Credit card complaints have so far totaled 16,840.
Once you’ve filed your complaint, the agency will basically play middleman between you and the lender. If and when the lender responds, consumers will receive a copy from the CFPB and have the chance to dispute it within 30 days. So far, about 6,000 people have officially filed disputes with the bureau.
If you’ve got a gripe about your credit company, file it here.
See an interactive map of credit complaints by zip code below:
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-where-you-can-dump-all-your-complaints-about-credit-cards-2012-6#ixzz1yFxBo91I
REPOSTING THIS HERE TOO!
CRACKAs is as CRACKAs does!
June 18, 2012
Manchin, Tomblin, Rahall to skip DNC
By Eric Eyre
The Charleston Gazette
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Nick Rahall plan to skip the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this summer.
The trio of West Virginia Democrats will not be part of the state delegation that will formally vote to renominate President Obama, according to a convention delegation list released Monday afternoon.
The decision to stay home comes amid pressure from state GOP leaders who have called on the Democratic incumbents to declare whether they support Obama. All three Democrats face re-election battles.
Manchin and Tomblin in particular have sought to distance themselves from the president, who is highly unpopular in West Virginia. In the state’s May 8 Democratic presidential primary, federal inmate Keith Judd won more than 40 percent of the vote against Obama.
In recent weeks, Manchin and Tomblin have refused to say whether they would vote for Obama.
“Earl Ray’s and Manchin’s decision to run and hide rather than attend the Democratic National Convention shows a profound lack of leadership,” state GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said Monday.
Tomblin, Manchin and Rahall said they would prefer to spend their time in West Virginia during the four-day convention in September.
Poll: Majority Of Voters Agree With Obama’s Immigration Move
A majority of voters agreed with President Obama’s decision to halt deportation of young undocumented immigrants, according to a new Bloomberg Poll out Tuesday. The President made a popular move with his announcement last Friday, with 64 percent of likely voters agreeing with the new policy, while just 30 percent disagreed.
Along party lines, only Republicans disagreed the move, with 56 percent of likely GOP voters opposed to the policy. Close to 9 in 10 Democrats (86 percent) liked the move. A large majority of independents, 66 percent, backed the decision, while just 26 percent opposed it.
Thus far, the new rule has been a political win for the president, while Mitt Romney – who has refused to say whether or not he would repeal the executive action if elected – is caught between his right-wing base and alienating Latino voters. Yesterday, a Latino Decisions poll showed that enthusiasm for Obama among Latino voters jumped significantly after the announcement.
The Bloomberg poll surveyed 734 likely voters and had a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percent.
Medicare For All
Mon Jun 18th, 2012 at 06:31:17 PM EST
Pretend you’re an insurance agent. Someone comes to you and wants to buy fire insurance for their home. Upon questioning, you realize that their home is actually on fire as you speak. Do you sell that individual fire insurance at any price? Of course not. He has a pre-existing condition (his house is on fire), and there is no rate you could set that would possibly be profitable to your company unless that rate were more than what it would cost to repair the home. And, in that case, it would be cheaper for your customer to repair his home himself than to ask you to do it for him. You don’t sell insurance against things that have already happened.
But what if the government came along, as it did in Washington state in 1993, and said that your insurance company must provide health insurance to everyone who applies for it even if they have diabetes or cancer or Lou Gehrig’s disease? Wouldn’t that just put your company out of business? The answer is, yes, that would put your company out of business unless it refused to sell any more health insurance policies in that state. And that’s what happened in Washington state, where by 1999 it was no longer possible to buy an individual policy. Was the Washington state legislature really that stupid and short-sighted? Well, not exactly.
The original plan was to have an individual mandate, just like the one in the president’s Affordable Care Act. But when the Republicans took control of the state legislature after the 1994 elections, they got rid of the mandate without getting rid of the provision that the insurance companies must accept all applicants. Why did spiking the mandate wind up destroying the individual market for insurance in the whole state? Because the mandate assured that the insurance companies would have hundreds of thousands of new healthy customers who would cost so little to insure that it would make it possible to cover cancer and diabetes patients and still be profitable. In fact, this is the only way anyone has been able to come with that we can cover everyone with private insurance without bankrupting the insurance industry or having everyone pay impossibly high rates.
Speculation is running high that the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will soon strike down the individual mandate in the president’s Affordable Care Act. If they do, they will leave us no option but to create a Medicate For All plan. And this is true whether they let the rest of the Act stand or they strike the whole thing from the books.
If the SCOTUS rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, it will destroy the only private means anyone has come up with to make sure that everyone can have access to medical care. Even if the subsides for the poor remain in place, meaning that no one will be denied care because they can’t afford it, the insurance companies can’t remain profitable if they are required to cover people with pre-existing conditions unless those costs are offset by tens of millions of relatively healthy customers. Ezra Klein provides proof of this here. This isn’t a matter of choice on the insurance industry’s part. It is just the nature of underwriting.
It is not possible to have a private health insurance industry that covers people with pre-existing conditions unless there is also an individual mandate requirement. Under those circumstances, the government would be forced to do away with its insistence that people with pre-existing conditions get coverage. And if the health care reforms don’t cover people with pre-existing conditions then not only will people with cancer and diabetes and other chronic diseases go bankrupt or go without treatment, but we won’t see any downward trend in the cost of health care. Without the mandate, people will wait until they get sick to seek insurance (which they will be denied) and treatment (which the insured will have to pay for with higher premiums). And we’ll go back to a system where getting sick while uninsured lands you in bankruptcy court.
In an attempt to avoid all this havoc, the SCOTUS could strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. And then we will be left with all the old problems and no way to solve them through any kind of private-public partnership.
If only the mandate is struck down, or if the whole bill is struck down, we’ll have no other way forward but a single-payer system like Medicare. Without the mandate, private health insurance that covers everyone is impossible.
A Medicare for All system, on the other hand, has no need for private insurance companies. To be sure, they could still offer supplemental plans for those who want bells and whistles, but if people pay for their health care through taxes or tax withholdings, then we avoid any constitutional problem. We avoid any underwriting problem. People are covered regardless of whether or not they are employed or they’re sick.
But the most important thing is that, without the individual mandate, the left will have no other mechanism or avenue to push for if we want to make sure people get adequate health care. The Democrats will become the single-payer party. Is that what the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court want?
Mitt Romney’s mysterious views on immigration
By Eugene Robinson, Published: June 18
Sí, se puede. Yes, it can be done.
President Obama showed last week that it’s possible to find a reasonable, humane solution for at least 800,000 young people who were illegally brought into this country as children. All you need is a moral compass and a heart.
Seems to me that Obama’s unilateral decision to let these noncitizens remain here without fear of deportation should have quieted critics who bray and whine about a supposed lack of bold presidential leadership. It didn’t, of course.
Republicans immediately — and cynically — charged that the president’s move was purely political, aimed at boosting his chances of reelection. Polls show that Latino voters care passionately about immigration reform. If Obama’s initiative energizes and motivates this key segment, which already supports him by about 2 to 1, it becomes much tougher to defeat the president in the fall.
But if taking action on the immigration issue is good politics for Obama and the Democrats, then Republicans have only themselves to blame. The GOP has made a conscious decision to offer nativists and xenophobes a comfortable home where their extremist views go unchallenged. No one should be surprised if voters who think differently about immigration issues — including some who are recent immigrants themselves — feel unwelcome.
KING: Mitt Romney is a study in caution and it often serves him well. But at times, it can leave you scratching your head and wondering why a man who wants to be President can’t tell us a little bit more about what he would actually do. Like over the weekend when the issue was President Obama’s decision not to deport younger illegal immigrants and, not only that, to make them eligible for work permits.
ROMNEY in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: There needs to be a long-term solution so they know what their status is.
KING: Five times, five times, Bob Schieffer of CBS tried for a direct answer.
SCHIEFFER in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW : Would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or would you just repeal it?
ROMNEY in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: We’ll look at that setting as we reach that, but my anticipation is I’d come into office and say we need to get this done on a long-term basis.
KING: That’s not exactly a direct answer and it’s not the first time. In an ABC interview this past April he employed the same tactic when he was asked by Diane Sawyer if he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter law. His answer? Quote it’s certainly a piece of legislation I have no intention of changing. I wasn’t there three years ago. Not exactly direct or not exactly bold leadership and I could give you a few more similar examples. “Risk-averse Romney” is the label awarded to the candidate by the conservative Weekly Standard. And it fits and truth is while people in my business prefer more direct answers and while more information and insight might help you make your mind, caution is in Governor Romney’s DNA.
BRAZILE: I think Governor Romney likes to avoid tough questions. He doesn’t want to give us a plan how he will cut the deficit, how he would create jobs, how he will deal with Iran, how he will deal with Europe. This is part of a long pattern.
KING: And he’s been more specific on some of those things. It’s when he gets asked specific policy questions.
BRAZILE: Unless he can criticize his opponent and be negative, there’s really not a lot of “there” there. I watch him. I watch him all the time to see if he’s saying anything new or if he’s outlining a vision for the future and you’re not going to get it from Mitt Romney. As long as he can stay close in the race, without laying out his plans—and the media is not demanding that he lays out these plans—he’s going to continue to vacillate and not tell us what he will do.
SCHULTZ: The President’s new policy on young, undocumented immigrants is making things even worse for the GOP. They don’t know which way to turn. Watch how Mitt Romney, and how many times Mitt Romney avoided a direct question about the policy on CBS yesterday.
SCHEIFFER in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: Would you repeal this order if you became president?
ROMNEY in FACE THE NATION INTERVIEW: Let’s step back and look at the issue. First of all, we have to secure the border. I don’t know why he feels stopgap measures are the right way to go.
SCHIEFFER: What would you do about it?
ROMNEY: As you know, he was President for the last three and a half years, did nothing on immigration.
SCHIEFFER: Would you repeal this?
ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by virtue of my putting in place a long-term solution.
SCHIEFFER: Would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-term solution or repeal it?
ROMNEY: We’ll look at that setting as we reach that.
SCHULTZ: This is a far cry from the direct answer Mitt Romney gave about the DREAM Act on the campaign trail.
ROMNEY: The question is if I were elected and congress were to pass the dream act, would I veto it? And the answer is yes.
SCHULTZ: This underscores the absolute absence of a core of Mitt Romney. Who is this man who wants to be President? He refuses to take a stand on the tough issues time and time again. Romney is trying to walk, I guess you could say a fine line, between the majority of Americans and the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party. Now, it must be pointed out, some of the most outspoken voices from the right wing have come out in support of the President’s new policy.
BILL O’REILLY: How can you blame kids when they’re dragged to the USA from wherever? If you’re a fair person, you can’t.
WILLIAM KRISTOL: I think it’s a sensible policy. It would be much better if that were the law of the land.
GEORGE WILL: Romney has a big hole to dig out because if he gets under, say, the 31% of Hispanic voters McCain got, he’s going to lose.
SCHULTZ: So here we are, Romney has to serve masters, he has to please a general audience but he also has to bow to the Tea Party leaders in Congress like Steve King, who said this today: “I’m prepared to bring a suit and seek a court order to stop implementation of this policy.” Loose cannon Congressman Allen West of Florida also put Romney in a pretty tight stop. West said this morning that Romney’s reaction to the new policy was this: “I feel a little dejected because I think it goes back to what my mother taught me. A man must stand for something or else he’ll fall for everything.” Now, the Republicans also have to deal with these Tea Partiers going on television and making the situation even worse
The Empty Manchin On The Hill
By Zandar June 19th, 2012
Seems Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is kinda ambivalent about what that whole (D) thing after his name in the papers means, and he’s not the only one.
Three prominent West Virginia Democrats said Monday that they would skip the party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C., this September over concerns that links to the party could hurt their re-election chances.
Sen. Joe Manchin, Rep. Nick Rahall, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin all said they would avoid the convention, according to the West Virginia Metro News.
“I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that’s representing them in my official U.S. Senate duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation,” said Manchin in a statement. “I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election.”The announcements come after Manchin and Tomblin both indicated earlier this year that they were not sure they would personally support President Obama’s re-election effort.
“The people in West Virginia, they basically look at the candidates — whatever you’re running for, whether it be the president itself, or whatever — [they look at] the performance and the result that’s been attained,” Manchin told the National Journal in April. “Right now in West Virginia, these first three and a half years haven’t been that good to West Virginia. So, then you look [at] what the options will be, who will be on the other end.”
I suppose “That boy ain’t our President” might have been misconstrued as too gauche. And every time I think Kentucky has the worst Democrats in office (hello Dinosaur Steve Beshear), the boys from ‘round Charleston way show up to take a big dump in the punchbowl.
A ‘great allergy to specifics and details’
By Steve Benen
Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.
A couple of months ago, Mitt Romney unveiled a curious line of attack against President Obama. The Republican said Obama’s campaign strategy is to “re-elect him so we can find out what he will actually do.” Romney added, “With all the challenges the nation faces, this is not the time for President Obama’s hide and seek campaign…. 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.”
It remains one of the more ironic comments I’ve heard from a politician in a long while.
On Sunday, CBS’s Bob Schieffer asked Romney four times whether he would keep Obama’s new immigration policy in place if elected, and four times, Romney dodged. Yesterday, Fox News’ Carl Cameron tried to get a straight answer, but the GOP nominee would only say, “What I can tell you is that those people who come here by virtue of their parents bringing them here, who came in illegally, that’s something I don’t want to football with as a political matter.”
First, “football” is not a verb. Second, for a candidate to state a position on an important national issue is not to turn something into “a political matter,” as if “political matters” are somehow inherently awful.
In the larger context, I’m reminded of something Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review, said over the weekend.
Romney, Lowry noted, has “a great allergy to specifics and details.” Romney may have rationalized the value of such a strategy — if he told voters exactly what he intends to do, they’d probably vote against him — but his tactics really aren’t healthy in a democratic system, they’ll deny him any kind of mandate if he wins, and they reinforce the perception that Romney too often prefers the coward’s way out.
Indeed, the problem only intensifies as the list of issues he avoids gets longer.
We talked on the show last week about Romney’s vague health care agenda, and Greg Sargent reported on Romney refusing to explain how he’d pay for his massive tax breaks. Josh Israel had a good item yesterday, listing the seven major issues Romney simply won’t take a position on, and if recent history is any guide, more are on the way.
The mainstream is starting to notice.
Romney’s struggle to offer a clear alternative on the immigration issue was a fresh reminder of one of the challenges he faces, which is to go beyond his steady criticism of the president with a more detailed description of the policies he would implement to replace what Obama has done.
Immigration is a problem particularly because of conservative stances Romney took during the Republican primary campaign that now could cause him difficulty in appealing to Hispanic voters in the general election. But even regarding the biggest issue of the campaign — the economy — there are many unanswered questions as to what he would do. […]
At the rally here in Newark, Romney revved up a couple of thousand supporters by promising to “shock the world with how our economy’s coming back,” but in a speech that clocked at just nine minutes, offered only broad outlines and few specifics.
Even if Romney sees potential benefits from such ambiguities, maybe he could give irony a break and stop boasting, “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”?
Just Ignore the Lies and Focus on the Stupid
By mistermix June 19th, 2012
James Fallows was reporting on Romney during the national catastrophe that is WaWagate, and unlike the boys on the bus he gives us a little context:
Romney on the stump, at a historic iron furnace in Cornwall, near Lebanon, using the hoagie-ordering experience at the WaWa as a parable for what’s right and wrong in America. (Wrong: a doctor told him that he had to fill out a 33-page change-of-address form, several times, to get the post office to send his mail—including reimbursement checks—to his new location. That is what happens with government-run organizations where you have “no competition.” Right: at WaWa, great hoagies. Also, very efficient touch-pad ordering system. This is what you get with competition.)
WaWagate is the state of the art in Romney coverage: he tells a giant fucking whopper that anyone who’s lived in the real world can tell you is a lie, and the media ignores it because it doesn’t fit into one of their pre-determined slots for a reportable campaign moment. Since Poppy Bush said something dumb about a grocery scanner back in 1992, all antennas are up when Romney talks about checking out at a convenience store. Never mind that even the most feeble minded among us know that the change of address card at the Post Office is less than a page long, as it has been for at least 30 years. Bitching about the Post Office is considered “acceptable Teatard pander by a Republican candidate”, so Romney can get away with mouthing shit that would make your crazy uncle blush. If anything about the Romney candidacy scares me, this does. His pack is so inured to his daily lies that he’s getting a giant pass.
Scott Brown will debate — if his terms are met
By Steve Benen
Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:38 AM EDT.
In Massachusetts’ closely-watched U.S. Senate race, there’s quite a bit of interest in seeing incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) face off against his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, in a series of debates. There’s just one problem: Brown really doesn’t want to.
In recent months, both Brown and his staff have “refused to meet” with Warren or her team “to discuss invitations, dates, and terms for debates.” When the Republican signaled a willingness to participate in some radio-only debates, Warren’s campaign manager emailed Brown’s campaign manager, “asking if they could sit down and work out a mutual schedule.” Brown’s aide rejected this outreach, too.
Yesterday, the Republican senator said he’d attend an upcoming debate, but only if some conditions are met.
Senator Scott Brown said he will accept a debate at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute but only on the condition that Vicki Kennedy stay neutral in the election and that MSNBC not be included as a broadcast partner.
The Brown campaign said in a press release that it would agree to allow former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw to moderate…. Following that statement, the Brown campaign said it would negotiate logistical details after its conditions are met.
First, MSBBC has explained it hasn’t even been approached to broadcast the debate, so Brown is likely to get his way.
Second, Brown’s demand to silence Ted Kennedy’s widow — not just before the debate, but until after the election — is quite distasteful. I can appreciate why the partisan Republican candidate might be reluctant to participate in a partisan Democratic event, but it would be Tom Brokaw, not Vicki Kennedy, moderating the debate, and there’s no reason to think either candidate would be treated unfairly.
What possible reason could Brown have for insisting that Kennedy’s widow remain silent? Sure, the senator feels like he has some leverage — everyone wants a series of debates, so he might as well create a wish list of demands — but wouldn’t it be better for him to show a little more class and leave Vicki Kennedy alone?
Another EMPTY-HEADED, WHITE PRIVILEGED, PUPPET
Clemens gets the win over trumped-up charges
By Patrick Dorton, Published: June 18
Patrick Dorton is a managing partner at the communications firm Rational 360 and a former adviser to Roger Clemens.
The trial of baseball legend Roger Clemens is over. The facts have been aired, and the jury has found him not guilty on all counts.
There will, however, be no convincing sportswriters of Roger’s innocence. Angry at being duped by star players, these self-appointed protectors of America’s pastime turned their fury on Roger when he refused to apologize for a sin he denied committing. Congress got swept up in the outrage, forcing Roger to testify before the cameras and referring him to the Justice Department for indictment when he did not say what lawmakers wanted to hear.
Fox’s Crowley: Obama’s Parents Were Communists; Mother “Attended A Communist Church”
June 18, 2012 10:39 pm ET
From the June 18 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate
Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.
But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.
What a lil ttity baby, Anchor Baby. Looking for a vid of him whinning about PBO, basically complaining about being out-smarted. As if this empty suit has a brain.
Lawrence O’Donnell was rolling last night, with glee, with the President’s decision on Friday.
Good Morning, Everyone! :-)
Good Morning, Everyone :)
LOL Hi Rikyrah. We posted our greeting at the same time.