Sunday Open Thread

I hope you’re enjoying today with family and friends.

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30 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    June 24, 2012 1:56 PM
    Concern troll of the day: Campbell Brown

    By Kathleen Geier

    Question: does the New York Times op ed page have any quality control mechanisms? At all?

    Okay, we all know that there are major problems with some of their op ed columnists. First off, there’s David Brooks, that shallow, insufferably smug propagandist for the 1 percenters whose only interesting moments occur when he drops the genial nice-guy pose and shows us his snarling, viciously punitive, anti-working people side. Then there’s Maureen Dowd who, half the time, reads like she has the emotional maturity of Paris Hilton (though I will say that Modo’s recent columns about Jerry Sandusky and the Catholic Church have been spot-on). Finally, there’s Ross Douthat, a know-nothing hack with serial killer eyes whose creepy, misogynist sexual politics are positively medieval, and whose column has become one of my favorite hate-reads ever.

    But their op-eds also frequently have that same head-shaking, did-I-actually-read-that? quality to them as well. Case in point: today’s op-ed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown. A couple of things to note about Brown. First of all, she just had an op-ed in the Times last month — the previous one was a piece of garbage about how President Obama is allegedly condescending to women. I can’t remember, in all my years of Times-reading, another person getting two op-eds in the Times within a 5-week period. And it’s not like Brown is displaying brilliant wit or erudition or or irrefutable logic or sparkling prose style or any other outstanding quality.

    Secondly, Brown is married to Dan Senor, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers. This is not mentioned anywhere in the op ed. It damn well out to be.

    About the op-ed itself: it is one of those sleazy, totally disingenuous “I’m a pro-choicer but” arguments by someone who is trying to concern troll Planned Parenthood out of existence. Brown, never one to back down from a cliché, claims she wants abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare.” She also claims to be a Planned Parenthood supporter, but attacks the organization for very sensibly refusing to support certain so-called moderate Republican politicians who do not support their goals. One such politician is Senator Susan Collins, who Planned Parenthood declined to endorse because, among other things, she made the indefensible decision to support the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court

  2. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tomasky on the Problems With Mitt Romney’s Biography
    by Michael Tomasky Jun 17, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

    From his family and faith to his careers in business and politics, Mitt Romney’s life story is a liability. Will America elect the Man Who Isn’t There?

    Biography is a crucial part of any presidential candidate’s case to the people. Bill Clinton was the Man From Hope. George H.W. Bush was a war hero, a pilot shot down in the Pacific. All those other war heroes, going back to Zachary Taylor and Franklin Pierce. But Willard Mitt Romney is something new—the first candidate I know of who can’t really run on his biography. He’s like the Man Who Isn’t There, the man without qualities. Indeed, he may be the first major-party candidate who might become president even though most Americans don’t like him. There is nothing he can do to change it. But worse than that, there’s nothing we can do.

    Let’s go through the steps, all the normal elements of biography. Can he bring up his childhood? No. He had a privileged childhood, and while lots of privileged youths were perfectly wonderful kids, the evidence we have is that he was a privileged jerk. He violently lopped off that poor gay kid’s hair. The second he starts talking about his childhood, that story will reemerge with a vengeance. So childhood is out.

    How about his father? Well, George Romney was an admirable man, so maybe it’ll fly with the casual voter for Mitt to say he wants to be just like pops. But more informed voters know the ugly truth, which is that he’s not half the man his dad was, that his father stood for things, took great political risks, opposed his party on civil rights. Dad wasn’t a wingnut, and the wingnuts know it, and therefore they would be repelled by such talk for other reasons. So he has to be careful about old George, too.

    Okay. Faith? That’s the biggest no-no in the box. He must find this one cruel, since his religion is evidently pretty important to him. But if Romney opens the door to discussion of the LDS church, then it’s open season on all the preposterous things that Mormons are raised to believe—whether he’s going to stash a year’s worth of canned goods in the White House basement and so on. This is the very last thing on earth (or Earth, as opposed to Kolob) that he can discuss.

    What else—his career? He can say, as he does, that he spent his career in business, but he has to keep it vague. He’s not going to be mentioning Bain Capital very much. Yes, Cory Booker and Ed Rendell stepped on the White House’s Bain attack, and the White House has dropped it for now. But that doesn’t mean Bain is a winning ticket for Romney either. That has little to do with Booker or even the White House and more to do with Romney himself, the way he overstated the jobs he helped create. So the thing he spent 25 years doing is at best a wash.

    His stint as governor? Not a chance. He did nothing for the state economically, he lost interest in the job after a couple of years, and he left with an approval rating in the mid-30s. The one good thing he did as governor, of course—the health-care bill—he runs away from like leprosy.

    Ah, yes: the Olympics. There we are! He saved the 2002 Olympics. Surely he can say that! Well—he did, on the surface, but there’s a story lurking there too, about how he ruthlessly smeared the reputations of those who preceded him, who weren’t in the end guilty of any of the crimes Romney accused them of (a prosecution of them was dropped). Then we also have the reporting of The Daily Beast’s own Wayne Barrett, who found that Romney awarded a ticket contract to a man who was under federal investigation at the time and who subsequently became a big Romney donor. So even his greatest triumph comes with an alternate history.

    Well gosh, then, what about the family? Ann is certainly sympathetic—breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. But then there’s this dressage business. I watched a little dressage the other night. Hey, to each her own. But let’s just say that it’s not a good sign when the candidate’s wife has a hobby and the campaign tries to cry foul when The New York Times describes it on the front page. That doesn’t mean there’s something problematic with The Times; right-wingers howled about that, but they did so because they know it means there’s something problematic with the hobby. The boys? I guess they’re clean, although the oldest one does have that weird name.

    This is completely unprecedented. Every aspect of his life story is in some way compromised. It’s not that he’s led a dishonorable life. But he’s led a remote and rarefied life, a life lived behind heavy doors and conducted in “quiet rooms,” as he famously said of the place where inequality is best discussed. It’s precisely in those quiet rooms where most Americans are ritually screwed, where decisions were made up through September 2008 that nearly destroyed the economy. That’s his America, and as he has shown with his unintended but brusque insults of working people, the folks in those quiet rooms don’t want to know the rest of us, and most of us don’t want to know them. It’s very striking that his Bain compatriots all testify to what a great guy he is, while Massachusetts state legislators, for example, found him on the whole aloof and obnoxious.

  3. Ametia says:

    Norquist: Romney Will Do As Told
    by David Frum Feb 13, 2012 9:45 AM EST

    The most quoted speech at CPAC this year was Mitt Romney’s, but my vote for the most significant goes to Grover Norquist’s. In his charmingly blunt way, Norquist articulated out loud a case for Mitt Romney that you hear only whispered by other major conservative leaders.

    They have reconciled themselves to a Romney candidacy because they see Romney as essentially a weak and passive president who will concede leadership to congressional conservatives:

    All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

    The requirement for president?

    Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.

  4. Ametia says:

    Blog Roundup continued

    · AmericaBlog: “Romney is claiming that this experience proves he’s a job creator. And in fact, we now know that he was a job creator. In India and China.”

    · Blogging Blue: “If you’re a fan of large corporations maximizing their profits by undercutting the economic security of the middle class and shipping their jobs overseas, then Mitt Romney is most definitely the presidential candidate for you.”

    Liberal OC: “Unfortunately for Romney the jobs he specialized in creating were located overseas and replaced the jobs of American workers.”

    Nevada Progressive: “Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the failure of Congress to agree to anything to help boost the economy. And asMitt Romney’s record atBain Capital comes into clearer view, he’s not being viewed as the “economic messiah” many pundits assumed he would.”

    Blue Mass Group: “The fact that Bain was actively involved in businesses that were not just shipping their own jobs overseas, but whose entire business model was to help other companies do so – well, that speaks volumes.”

    · Nevada Progressive: “Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated with the failure of Congress to agree to anything to help boost the economy. And asMitt Romney’s record atBain Capital comes into clearer view, he’s not being viewed as the “economic messiah” many pundits assumed he would.”

    Blue Mass Group: “The fact that Bain was actively involved in businesses that were not just shipping their own jobs overseas, but whose entire business model was to help other companies do so – well, that speaks volumes.”

    Down With Tyranny:“Today, as a candidate, part of Romney’ssong and dance routine stump speech is to denounce China for stealing American manufacturing jobs. ButBain Capital made a fortune facilitating that. It was an integral part of theRomney business model.”

    · Daily Kos: “What he’s talking about when he promises to bring jobs back to America is weakening safety and environmental protections, lowering corporate taxes, keeping workers from organizing for better pay and working conditions. If Romney can accomplish all that, his time at Bain certainly does qualify him to exploit the giant new pool of low-wage, poorly protected workers that would result.”

  5. Ametia says:

    Here’s a roundup of some of the blogs covering this story across the country:

    Daily Kos:“You borrow money from someone else in order to buy a company, then you force the company to pay you for having the genius idea of buying it. Don’t you wish you could get the things you buy, like your groceries or maybe your car, to pay you for being smart enough to buy them?”

    Show Me Progress: “Makes it easy to understand just why Romney might be willing to be the “outsourcer-in-chief.”

    Jobs Anger: “they didn’t care if they did it by bankrupting American companies (costing workers many thousands of jobs) or by outsourcing the work of companies (costing workers many more jobs).”

    Seeing the Forrest: “Will Mitt Romney create jobs and help our economy, or will he just take us back to the Bush-era, send-jobs-to-China destruction that made him rich?”

    Blue Virginia: “In short, this story utterly demolishes the core of Willard’s argument for why he should be president of the United States. Unless, of course, you’re a big fan of maximizing profits to corporations by undercutting middle class security and shipping their jobs overseas.”

    The Reaction: “It’s not that Romney has made a fortune….It’s about how Romney made a fortune, about criticizing a certain strain of capitalism that makes the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.”

    Crooks and Liars: “It really is devastating to Romney, after all. The whole premise of his candidacy rests on his so-called better ability tocreate jobs. Yet here he is, working hard to destroy them.”

    Liberal OC: “His formula for economic growth and job creation maximizes profits by undercutting middle class security. The Romney-Ryan budget touted by Romneyincludes tax breaks and economic rewards for companies that move jobs overseas.”

    Eclectablog: “Mitt Romney is not only UNqualified to run the country, in fact, hisbackground makes him uniquely and frighteningly harmful to our country if he ever became president.”

  6. Ametia says:

    Hi folks. Been away for a bit. Here’s a WEEKEND WRAP-UP:

    This morning’s NY Times story sets out how Romney’s firm structured deals to ensure the maximum profit, regardless of the cost:

    That piece came after a Washington Post story that laid out how Romney’s firm owned companies which pioneered the outsourcing and offshoring of American jobs:

    And in case you missed it, Stephanie Cutter breaks down exactly how Romney made a fortune at the expense of American jobs, and how the policies he’s proposing would give tax breaks to companies doing the same thing:

  7. Ametia says:

    CAIRO (The Borowitz Report) – In its historic first democratic election, Egypt has followed the lead of the United States in electing a Muslim president, the Fox News Channel reported today.

    Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, noted that in electing Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptians were echoing the decision of American voters in 2008.

    “The similarities between Obama and Morsi are striking,” he said. “Both come from radical political parties, and both have unfamiliar, foreign-sounding names. One key difference, of course, is that Morsi makes no secret of being a Muslim.”

    Mr. Hannity predicted that the two Presidents could have a close working relationship going forward: “I’m sure President Obama has already called Morsi to congratulate him, one Muslim brother to another.”

    Mr. Hannity said that the election of Mr. Morsi may be just the latest result in a trend that augurs well for Mr. Obama’s own re-election hopes: “In recent months, Egypt elected a Muslim, France elected a Socialist, and Kenya elected a Kenyan.”

    In other Egyptian news, a hospital spokesman said today that former President Hosni Mubarak, declared “clinically dead” just days ago, continues to make a remarkable recovery: “Today he was able to eat, say a few words, and wire four billion dollars to Switzerland

  8. rikyrah says:

    Romney Adviser Faults Obama For Failing To Pass DREAM Act, Which Romney Pledged To Veto

    By Rebecca Leber on Jun 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Throughout the GOP presidential primary, Mitt Romney has repeatedly said that he opposes the DREAM Act and has even pledged to veto the measure if it ever found its way to his desk. But on Sunday morning, Romney adviser Carlos Gutierrez blamed Democrats for the DREAM Act’s failure in Congress:

    GUTIERREZ: Before an election, let’s promise something to Hispanics. That bill had things in there that couldn’t get bipartisan support. Republicans said don’t ram that bill now, we’re in the middle of an election year and you did it anyway knowing that it wouldn’t pass. But it didn’t matter, you made the promise, you got the Hispanic vote, and that has been the pattern. This administration has played with Hispanics.

    Romney has dodged questions on President Obama’s recent immigration directive to protect undocumented young adults. Instead, he has promised a “long-term” solution without specifying what that would be, other than policy making undocumented immigrants’ lives so miserable they choose “self-deportation.”

    During the Republican primaries, Romney attacked Governor Rick Perry for Texas’ incarnation of the DREAM Act, calling it a “magnet for illegal immigration.” Gutierrez may claim the Obama administration has “played” with Hispanics with the DREAM promise, but his preferred candidate has clarified no plan of his own.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Bain Capital Horror Stories Continue to Haunt Mitt Romney’s Campaign
    By Caroline Bankoff

    The double-edged sword that is Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital will not stop causing image problems for the candidate. This time, it’s a pair of articles chronicling the private equity firm’s outsourcing of American jobs and methods for draining money out of the failed companies it controlled. The Washington Post has the former story, which reporters gleaned from Bain’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. While campaigning, Romney has frequently promised to bring jobs currently done by overseas workers back to the United States, but the filings show that Bain began investing in companies that specialized in outsourcing in the early nineties.

    Bain’s foray into outsourcing began in 1993 when the private equity firm took a stake in Corporate Software Inc., or CSI, after helping to finance a $93 million buyout of the firm. CSI, which catered to technology companies like Microsoft, provided a range of services including outsourcing of customer support. Initially, CSI employed U.S. workers to provide these services but by the mid-1990s was setting up call centers outside the country.

    Two years after Bain invested in the firm, CSI merged with another enterprise to form a new company called Stream International Inc. Stream immediately became active in the growing field of overseas calls centers. Bain was initially a minority shareholder in Stream and was active in running the company, providing “general executive and management services,” according to SEC filings.

    By 1997, Stream was running three tech-support call centers in Europe and was part of a call center joint venture in Japan, an SEC filing shows. “The Company believes that the trend toward outsourcing technical support occurring in the U.S. is also occurring in international markets,” the SEC filing said.

    The piece goes on to describe four other major outsourcing-related acquisitions and deals made during Romney’s tenure at the firm, though it notes that “Bain was not the largest player in the outsourcing field,” and that some of their most aggressive expansion in that arena took place after he left in 1999. Either way, the campaign has responded with a statement criticizing the article as “fundamentally flawed”:

    [The] story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports. Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go.

    However, as Politico notes, the statement does not address one of the article’s main points, which is that Bain was directly involved with companies that created jobs outside the United States that could have been done here. Meanwhile, the New York Times has a piece (also based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings) detailing a number of instances in which Bain made a profit off of taking over companies that eventually went bankrupt. While some of the companies profiled may have simply been “too troubled to rescue” (or brought down by larger economic or industry trends), there are examples like steel manufacturer GS Industries:

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Obama Campaign Has A New Plan To Destroy Mitt Romney, And It Might Actually Work

    Brett LoGiurato|Jun. 22, 2012, 2:19 PM

    Today, the Obama campaign woke up giddily to an unexpected new source of attack against Mitt Romney’s record at private equity firm Bain Capital: this Washington Post story from Tom Hamburger. It details how Bain invested in companies that “relocated” jobs done by American workers to facilities in China, India and other countries.

    The Obama campaign has tried to hammer home the Bain Capital message for weeks — with little success. With the new revelations from the Post, it will be a hard message for the Romney campaign to debunk — especially with a candidate who regularly trumpets his ability to create American jobs. From the report:

    During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Senior adviser David Axelrod held a conference call this morning on “Mitt Romney’s record of outsourcing,” already hitting Romney on the fresh new meat from the Post story.

    “The question is,” Axelrod said on the conference call, “Do they want an outsourcer-in-chief in the Oval Office?

    Why could this be a big deal? For one, the Romney campaign released a new video this morning that will air in swing-state Ohio. Part of the script has Romney saying that he will “stand up to China” and “demand a level playing field for our businesses and workers.”

    But Hamburger notes Bain’s lengthy record with companies that have shipped jobs overseas — Corporate Software Inc., GT Bicycle Inc., Modus Media, SMTC Corp. and Hyundai Electronics Industry, to name a few. So, one of the first things Axelrod did on the conference call today was hit Romney on the “breathtaking hypocrisy” of that ad.

    “It’s particularly egregious coming on a day when Gov. Romney began running an ad in Ohio promising to stand up to China, demanding a level playing field for our businesses and workers, when it turns out his companies were actually involved in shipping jobs to China and India,” Axelrod said on the conference call.

    The second reason: outsourcing resonates with voters. There’s been little recent polling on the subject, but a 2006 Pew Research poll found these important numbers: “77 percent felt that increased outsourcing has hurt American workers while 31 percent thought their own job could be done by someone outside the country.”

    The Romney campaign’s defense, so far, has been to try to explain why it thinks “outsourcing” is the wrong word choice, according to Politico.

    Axelrod’s response? Good luck explaining the difference between “outsourcing” and “offshoring” to a voter in Ohio. Or anywhere.

    “The Washington Post gave them repeated opportunities to respond in detail to the questions that were raised, and they chose not to comment,” Axelrod said. “They may have been trying to figure out his position on the immigration question, which has taken several days as well.”

    Read more:

  11. rikyrah says:

    Romney Adviser Hits Back On Bain Offshoring: Obama Is ‘Outsourcing’ Jobs To Nebraska!

    By Igor Volsky on Jun 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is responding to evidence that Bain Capital invested in companies that sent American jobs overseas by accusing the Obama administration of “outsourcing” telemarketing jobs to Omaha, Nebraska.

    During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Romney adviser Ed Gillespie continued the campaign’s dubious strategy of schooling reporters on the difference between “outsourcing” and “offshoring” jobs, insisting that a Washington Post investigation— which found that Romney’s company “invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India” — misunderstood the complicated business jargon.

    Gillespie said that he was “not aware” if companies tied to Bain shipped jobs overseas, before adding, “what happened in the story as near I can tell is that the reporter confused the notion of outsourcing.” “Now a lot of American companies outsource, they outsource domestically,” he said, noting that the Obama campaign outsources jobs to Nebraska and CNN contracts out video editing projects.

    Pressed by host Candy Crowley, Gillispie seemed to deny that the companies featured in the Post story set up operations in foreign countries, but suggested that some of the firms Bain invested in did, in fact, ship jobs overseas:

    CROWLEY: But your statement today that those companies, while he was head of Bain, did not outsource jobs?

    GILLESPIE: In the Washington Post article, which is what we went back and looked at, no.

    CROWLEY: So those specific companies, but there might be other companies…

    GILLESPIE: Those specific companies are the ones we checked because that was the story and again I would encourage you to have the Washington Post reporter on and see if they can demonstrate to you or to the American voters the validity of the headline that was on that story, because like I say it was a breathless headline, but a baseless story.

    The Washington Post headline read, “Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas” and offered six examples — McKinsey Global Institute, Corporate Software Inc., Stream International Inc., Modus Media Inc., GT Bicycle Inc., SMTC Corp. — of companies that shifted jobs out of America. Gillespie did not provide any evidence to contradict that claim.


    Romney advier Eric Fehrnstrom similarly attacked the Obama campaign for “outsourcing” jobs to other places in the United States during an appearance on Face the Nation and claimed that the companies listed in the Washington Post stories were expanding in other countries, not sending American jobs overseas.

  12. rikyrah says:





    9:48 AM EDT, Sunday June 24, 2012
    Romney Adviser: Reporter Confused The ‘Notion Of Outsourcing’

    Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said that the Washington Post reporter who wrote a story on Bain Capital investing in firms that facilitating outsourcing got his facts wrong. In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Gillespie said that in the article, called “Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas,” “confused the notion of outsourcing.”

    According to the article, Bain Capital invested in companies that helped other companies ship jobs overseas during Romney’s tenure.

    “This was incredibly shoddy journalism. The fact is, this was a breathless headline over a baseless story,” Gillespie said Sunday. “I would encourage you to have the reporter on your show. I hope he goes on a lot of shows. And ask him to demonstrate one of the companies that was cited in that article that moved American jobs overseas while Mitt Romney was at Bain Capital… and I don’t believe you’ll find that he can cite any. So it’s just factually inaccurate.”

    Gillespie said that the campaign reviewed the companies mentioned in the artcle and that they believed the information was wrong. He went on to claim that the reporter didn’t understand what outsourcing meant, and that Bain-owned companies outsourced domestically, but not offshore, as part of their business model. He disregarded the claim that Bain worked with companies facilitating others to outsource, as the article says.

    “But I think what happened in this story, near as we can tell, is that the reporter confused the notion of outsourcing. Now a lot of American companies outsource, they outsource domestically.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    you know how you read stories and go W-T-F?

    this is one of those stories.

    HOW does one ‘ lose’ a 45 pound tortoise?

    Lance the tortoise back home after his adventure ends in St. Charles

    Susan and Andy Lechner, of Lombard, are looking for their 45-pound tortoise,…

    June 23, 2012|Staff report

    Lance the tortoise, who went missing from the backyard of his Lombard home last Sunday, was found this afternoon after spending nearly a week vacationing at an empty pool in St. Charles.

    The 44-year-old tortoise, who usually grazes in his owners’ backyard, decided to ditch a barbecue Sunday and stroll to the parking lot of the apartments behind his home, according to his owners.

    There he was spotted by a man who thought he was a wild animal and decided to take him to his home in St. Charles as a new pet, according to Lance’s owners, Andy and Susan Lechner.

  14. rikyrah says:

    It was at the height of the 1980s buyout boom when Mitt Romney went in search of $300 million to finance one of the most lucrative deals he would ever manage. The man who would help provide the money was none other than the famed junk-bond king Michael Milken.

    What transpired would become not just one of the most profitable leveraged buyouts of the era, but also one of the most revealing stories of Romney’s Bain Capital career. It showed how he pivoted from being a relatively cautious investor to risking his reputation for a big payoff. It is one that Romney has rarely, if ever, mentioned in his two bids for the presidency, perhaps because the Houston-based department store chain that Bain assembled later went into bankruptcy.

    But what distinguishes this deal from the nearly 100 others that Romney did over a 15-year period was his close work with Milken’s firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. At the time of the deal, it was widely known that Milken and his company were under federal investigation, yet Romney decided to go ahead with the deal because Drexel had a unique ability to sell high-risk, high-yield debt instruments, known as “junk bonds.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    found this at another blog, but no link, sorry:

    Romney’s Mormon Army Mobilizes
    The Financial Times looks at how Mitt Romney campaign is planning to deploy an army of Mormon supporters from Utah “to states where the presidential race is close, such as neighboring Nevada and Colorado. Such efforts could be crucial in battleground states that will decide the election.”

    “The missionary work that is at the heart of the Mormon religion — 1m have left home for two years to convert others to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — could be good preparation for a Romney door-knocking and phone-calling outreach effort, given the long hours and rejection that such endeavours often entail.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Bain Play

    By Mark Halperin | June 24, 2012

    If, as seems at least possible, the Obama campaign helped the Washington Post and the New York Times with their Friday/Saturday double header of Bain Capital hits, at first blush the Obamans can’t be totally happy with the outcome. It takes nothing away from my newspaper colleagues to suggest that they might have received anywhere from a lot to a little assistance on their stories. Both pieces broke new ground: the Post on Bain’s sub-specialty of moving jobs overseas, the Times on Bain’s fee collection that often resulted in earnings for the firm while their partners lost out.

    But both stories were published going into or over the warm weekend. Neither produced the kind of break-out headline or cable/broadcast TV pickup that Chicago would have wanted. And both were, at the same time, so thorough that other news organizations might not feel there is much more there for them to explore further.

    On the other hand, the re-elect has always felt the Bain message would burn in over time with voters, and pull quotes from both newspaper stories are likely to show up in Obama paid media through the fall.

    So there might not be instant satisfaction in One Prudential Plaza, but, to paraphrase the line, the arc of justice for Mitt Romney on Bain is long and bends gradually, but it might bend in time for November.

    Read more:

  17. rikyrah says:

    Mitt’s no policy problem

    Mitt Romney’s aides suggested that when the Republican appeared before a Hispanic advocacy group on Thursday he’d address immigration.

    But when Romney spoke to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), he only reiterated what he had said earlier in the week about the citizenship status of children of illegal immigrants.

    “I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure,” he told the group about President Barack Obama’s hotly debated directive regarding the DREAM Act.

    But on the question of what exactly such a long-term solution would be, the GOP nominee isn’t saying.

    Vague, general or downright evasive policy prescriptions on some of the most important issues facing the country are becoming the rule for Romney. Hoping to make the campaign strictly a referendum on the incumbent, the hyper-cautious challenger is open about his determination to not give any fodder to Obama aides hungry to make the race as much about Romney as the president.

    Romney is remarkably candid, almost as though he’s reading the stage directions, about why he won’t offer up details: he thinks it will undermine his chances to win.

    “The media kept saying to Chris, ‘Come on, give us the details, give us the details,’’’ Romney has said about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2009 gubernatorial race. ‘’We want to hang you with them.’”

    It’s a lesson the former Massachusetts governor said he took from his first, painful foray into electoral politics in 1994.

    “One of the things I found in a short campaign against Ted Kennedy was that when I said, for instance, that I wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, that was used to suggest I don’t care about education,” Romney told the Weekly Standard this spring.

    That’s not to say Romney doesn’t have plans: he suggested at an April fundraiser overheard by reporters that the departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development might be eliminated or merged with other agencies, and even said he’d pay for proposed tax cuts by eliminating the second home mortgage deduction.

    But as he enters the heat of this year’s campaign, Romney is testing just how far he can go in not telling voters what policies he’d pursue in the White House.

    Read more:

  18. rikyrah says:

    found this joke at another blog:

    A man placed some flowers on the grave of his dearly departed mother and started back toward his car when his attention was diverted to another man kneeling at a grave. The man seemed to be praying with profound intensity and kept repeating, “Why did you have to die? Why did you have to die?”

    The first man approached him and said, “Sir, I don’t wish to interfere with your private grief, but this demonstration of pain is more than I’ve ever seen before. For whom do you mourn so deeply? A child? A parent?”

    The mourner took a moment to collect himself, then replied, “My wife’s first husband.”

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