Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Oleta Adams Week!

Happy HUMP day, Everyone.

From Think Progress:  15 Prominent Republicans Who Want Romney To Release More Tax Returns Right Now  

Won’t you help save 170 jobs at Sensata, Mitt?

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55 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread | Oleta Adams Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    From David Frum.

    “For 20 years now, the GOP has been giving away the votes of professionals, upper-income non-whites, college-educated women, and other comparatively economically successful groups.

    The party has rebased itself on the votes of whites without a college degree. Mitt Romney must gain almost two-thirds of their vote in 2012 to have any realistic hope of winning the White House.

    Non-college whites are the most alienated and pessimistic group in the electorate and also the most nationalist. They may resent the “foreigner” Barack Obama, but there is one thing they hate even more: outsourcing—and those who do it.”

    Wait, there’s more:

    “Yesterday was a truly ugly day on the campaign trail. Former Bush 41 Chief of Staff John Sununu told reporters on the campaign trail that President Obama had to learn to be an American—suggesting of course that he is not an American yet. (Killing bin Laden evidently being yet
    another of those jobs Americans won’t do.)

    It’s probably hopeless by now to try to excite the GOP’s conservative base about Romney, not only because of ideology, but even more because of sociology. Romney’s life, career, and manner all combine to remind the white working class why their parents and grandparents voted Democratic.”

  2. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at BJ

    NickM Says:

    But Obama’s campaign is more like
    Left-right-left-right – you’re toothless
    and then you say, “goddamn they ruthless.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 02:40 PM ET, 07/18/2012
    Still more holes in Mitt Romney’s tax returns?
    By Greg Sargent

    HuffPo moves the ball forward again:

    Mitt Romney has not released his full tax records from 2010, including key documentation connected to his Swiss bank account.

    …Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.

    The Romney campaign did not respond to HuffPost’s request to view the document.

    Swiss bank accounts don’t in and of themselves help taxpayers reduce their burden when used legally. But as HuffPo explains, this matters for another reason:

    By serving as a curtain between Romney’s U.S. accounts and his foreign holdings, Romney’s Swiss account could shield many financial activities from American scrutiny. Hypothetically, any politically unpopular investments, clever and complex asset sales designed to lower Romney’s tax bills or other activities would be far more difficult to decipher.

    The unreleased form would make it easier to tell whether Romney did engage in any of this, HuffPo notes.

    As far as I can tell, this goes directly to what tax experts told me yesterday: It’s likely that Romney has paid a far lower tax rate in multiple years, and that this could help explain why Romney won’t release his returns. If he paid nothing in any given year, of course, that would be even more politically toxic. But even a far lower rate would be hard to explain. And as the experts told me, the returns could also reveal how Romney reduced his rates — whether he relied on “aggressive sheltering,” which would be politically very problematic, or more standard techniques, which would still be hard to explain, depending on how much lower his rate ended up being.

    I asked the Tax Policy Center’s Joseph Rosenberg about this, and he confirmed that today’s revelation is another piece in the broader pattern those experts talked about yesterday. “There could be assets abroad that wouldn’t necessarily be shown in the standard tax return, but would be on this other sort of disclosure form,” he said. “What are these accounts, and what is the purpose for having them?”

    If HuffPo’s story is correct, we don’t even have a clear picture of 2010, the year Romney is holding up as proof of his transparency. And of course, having more info about 2010 could hint at the techniques he may have used in other years. But again, this is all speculative — until, that is, Romney releases his returns.

  4. rikyrah says:

    The Pain in Bain
    Why Romney’s so afraid of talking about what he did at Bain.

    By Jacob Weisberg
    |Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 5:26 PM ET

    Mitt Romney seems genuinely stunned that President Obama would question the value of his proudest accomplishment, founding and running Bain Capital for 15 years (or maybe a little bit more). To Romney and others who work in finance, it’s self-evident that what private equity firms like Bain do is beneficial to the economy. Private equity firms buy underperforming businesses and restructure them. With new management and investment, some of these firms thrive while others fail. As a result, investment is allocated more efficiently. This is creative destruction in its pure form and if you question it, they say, you must not believe in capitalism.

    To Barack Obama and most liberals, it’s no less obvious that there’s something faulty about this model of financial capitalism as it has been practiced over the past 30 years. Leveraged buyouts, which are what private equity firms do, load companies with debt, extract value for middlemen, and displace workers. Heads-I-win, tails-you-lose practices in the financial sector, regulatory loopholes, and tax advantages produce runaway winners like Romney while middle-class workers lose ground. As the gap between economic victims and executioners grows, the resulting society becomes more unequal and unfair.

    Both positions in this argument—that Obama doesn’t believe in capitalism, that Romney doesn’t care about workers—are distortions. But after a week of skirmishing, Obama has the upper hand for reasons that go beyond the campaign-season truism that when one guy wields the hammer, the other guy looks like a nail. Here are five reasons why the Obama campaign wants this subject—what Romney did at Bain, when he left, what he had for lunch when he worked there—to stay front and center for as long as possible.

  5. Ametia says:

    Despite national policy banning gays, the largest Boy Scout group in Minnesota will stay inclusive
    Star Tribune

    Despite national policy banning gays, the largest Boy Scout group in Minnesota will stay inclusive

    Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
    Updated: July 18, 2012 – 2:42 PM

    Northern Star Council welcomes gay Scouts as BSA reaffirms policy to bar “open, avowed homosexuals.”

    Minnesota’s biggest Boy Scout group said Tuesday that gays and lesbians remain welcome in its troops, despite a national announcement that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will continue to bar leaders, employees and members who are “open or avowed homosexuals.”

    “We’re a reflection of the community,” said Kent York, spokesman for the Northern Star Council, which has 75,000 Scouts in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. “Our commitment has been to reach out to all young people and have a positive influence.”

    York said that the Twin Cities-based Scout council, one of the nation’s largest, will continue to follow a 12-year-old “inclusive leadership selection” practice.

    * * *

    Read more:

  6. rikyrah says:

    S.E. Cupp Is a Colossal Idiot

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 4:53PM

    In case you’ve missed it, MSNBC has compensated for the loss of Dylan Ratigan in the afternoon by moving Martin Bashir to 4 p.m. Eastern, and filling Bashir’s old 3 p.m. slot with something called The Cycle, which is kind of Around The Horn for young pundits. The regular cast includes the younger generation among MSNBC’s apparently inexhaustible reservoir of Political Analysts. These include Krystal Ball, Steve Kornacki, Touré, and S.E. Cupp and, this afternoon, as the program was winding down, Ms. Cupp spent a good four minutes being, weight for age, the dumbest person in the history of cable television:

    To review: Talking about the president’s tax proposal, Ms. Cupp rather loosely termed the president’s tax policy “collectivist.” (And, yes, both Mao and Stalin laughed uproariously as their spits turned over the flames of hell.) Kornacki gently reminded her that an increase in the marginal income tax tax rate is a lot of things — including, to my mind, a pretty good idea, but no matter — but it is in no way “collectivist,” if English words have any meaning in, you know, English. Kornacki asked, quite reasonably, whether Ms. Cup believed the country was in the grip of a collectvist regime when Dwight Eisenhower was president and the marginal rate was in the 70’s. He then asked her if she thought Bill Clinton, who got passed the rates to which the current president is trying to return, was a “collectivist.” She then said, “No.” This caused Kornacki to take on the general mien of a man who has spent five minutes arguing tax policy with a marmoset. Ms. Cupp then started flapping her gums about this president’s “political” philosophy of taking your salary and making it belong to everyone, or somebody or something. I lost a few minutes because I heard a high whistle and everything went black.

    I remain convinced that American conservative thought is now not a philosophy but, rather, a book of spells, a series of conjuring words that have meaning only to the initiates.

    Read more:

  7. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    July 18, 2012 2:17 PM
    “Vetting” Genie Out of the Bottle

    By Ed Kilgore

    I don’t want to over-react to John Sunnunu’s bizarre outburst yesterday, or put too much weight on McKay Coppins’ report today that it represented a Romney campaign decision to “take the gloves off” and go nuclear on the president. Perhaps Coppins didn’t get the story right, or maybe Brother Benen’s cautious description of the sudden lurch into viciousness as a loss of composure is more accurate than my suggestion of a “meltdown.” Quite possibly Jon Chait is right in suggesting this could reflect a moment of personal pique from Romney and “cooler heads will prevail.” No question the odds are that Team Mitt will calm down, get to the safe haven of the Olympics (assuming the dressage issue doesn’t kick them), and then roll out a plain vanilla running mate, return to its effort to hypnotize the electorate into ignoring everything about Romney other than his availability to those wanting for register disappointment with the status quo, and in general convey the impression that voting Republican this year is a safe, stable proposition.

    But one problem with Coppins’ piece and the realities it may reflect is that they are already inspiring joy in the wingnutosphere, in no small part because of a term used by an unnamed Romney advisor in a portion of the article I did not earlier quote:
    “I think the governor himself believes this latest round of attacks that have impugned his integrity and accused him of being a felon go so far beyond that pale that he’s really disappointed. He believes it’s time to vet the president. He really hasn’t been vetted; McCain didn’t do it.

    Ah yes, The Vetting, that charter mission of, reflecting the amazingly widespread right-wing belief that John McCain would be president today if only he had dug into and/or screamed about Barack Obama’s sinister background.

    Michelle Malkin greeted the story by posting a video of a performance of Handel’s Halleluhah Chorus. The PJ Tatler commented: “It’s four years past time he was vetted.” Hot Air suggested (accurately, no doubt) that this will get a lot of positive attention from the restive “base.” No word yet from the Breitbart site itself, or from fellow vetting enthusiast Sarah Palin, but they may be waiting to see if the Romney campaign dials it all back.

    If they don’t (and I do not view Sununu’s own half-apology for just a small portion of his rant as a dial-back), the genie will soon be out of the bottle, and the Romney campaign will find out it’s juggling dynamite. Anything less than a full-fledged, vein-popping, borderline-birther, full-scale commitment to “the vetting” will be greeted with howls of rage and accusations of betrayal from the noisiest elements of the Right.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Fox News Calls Young People Dumb for Supporting Obama

    By: Jason EasleyJuly 18th, 2012

    In their attempt to explain away why 80% of young people don’t like Mitt Romney, Fox News proclaimed that only those who don’t know anything support Obama.

    Here is the video from Media Matters

    When Bill O’Reilly asked Charles Krauthammer why Latinos, African-Americans, and young voters support Obama, he answered, “Look particularly, let’s start with the young. You know, what do they know. That’s why they’re young. They don’t have to know anything. They voted for Obama in ’08, and now we have about the same ratios. It’s the older people who have wisdom. The young are the embodiment of the idea of hope over experience.”

    Krauthammer went on to explain that older people, especially voters over 65 voted for Obama in 2008, and after Obama disappointed them, that will leave a residue and buyers remorse. Krauthammer claimed that there will be a lower turn out for the young, so there is nothing to worry about.

    The problem is that votes over 65 overwhelmingly supported McCain in 2008, and he still lost. Fox News and Krauthammer don’t want to admit to their senior citizen audience that they no longer decide the outcome of presidential elections. Those young people and minorities who heavily support Obama will determine if Obama gets reelected or not.

    Fox News sounded exactly like their own angry white senior citizen audience. Why do young people support Obama? Because they are young, and don’t know anything. The reality is that Romney is doing even worse than McCain did with women, Latinos, and African-Americans. The demographics and the percentages aren’t in the GOP’s favor, so they are reduced to hoping for low turnout.

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Defining Of Mitt Romney

    Douthat points out that in “both the ’92 convention and the ’80 debate, the challenger successfully escaped from the caricature that his rival was intent on drawing.” He fears Romney can’t follow in Clinton’s and Reagan’s footsteps:

    For Romney to accomplish the same feat, he will need to reassure voters that he represents something more than just a rubber stamp for the interests of the wealthiest Americans. And this is why his ineffective response to the Bain attacks should be troubling to Republicans: Not because he hasn’t hit back hard enough, but because he hasn’t been able to smoothly pivot from the basic conservative message — free enterprise good, big government bad — to the more supple arguments that might complicate the White House’s efforts to caricature him as a Gordon Gekko

    The fatal element, it seems to me, is that Romney is insisting that people like him get even lower taxes than they now pay. Even lower than 13.9 percent. Perhaps as low as zero, as Romney might have (not) paid in 2009? Once you tie the persona of the super-rich outsourcing plutocrat to the following argument, the Obama message clicks into place:
    [O]ne of the biggest differences is how we pay down our debt and our deficit. My opponent, Mr. Romney’s plan is he wants to cut taxes another $5 trillion on top of the Bush tax cuts… Well, first of all, like I said, the only way you can pay for that — if you’re actually saying you’re bringing down the deficit — is to cut transportation, cut education, cut basic research, voucherize Medicare, and you’re still going to end up having to raise taxes on middle-class families to pay for this $5 trillion tax cut.

    That’s not a deficit reduction plan. That’s a deficit expansion plan.

    Romney wants to cut the deficit by cutting taxes. Yes, we have heard that before, haven’t we? It made no sense in the 1980s; and has been disproved ever since. But Romney is arguably the worst person to make the case. He sure has gotten a lot richer since the 1980s. But most Americans have been treading water.

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 07/18/2012
    Romney campaign embraces fantasy need to `vet’ Obama

    By Jamelle Bouie

    One thing Mitt Romney has been noticeably reticent to do is embrace the full spectrum of conservative attacks on President Obama. When it comes to the economy, Romney has no problem playing with the gloves off; for months, his campaign ran with the claim that Obama presided over net job losses, even though it’s absurd to blame any president for the economic conditions of their first months in office. Romney has repeatedly insisted that Obama has “apologized” for America around the globe, despite the fact that there is no evidence for the assertion.

    Still, there have always been limits to the hard-nosed approach of the Romney campaign. When a Republican Super PAC floated racially-tinged attacks on Obama — using Jeremiah Wright as a bogeyman — Romney immediately distanced himself from the fracas. “I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they’ve described,” sad the Republican nominee, in an interview with conservative website Townhall. It’s not that Romney is politically courageous — he held a joint event with Donald Trump, after all—but that he sees the danger in trying to “otherize” Obama. Harsh personal attacks wouldn’t play well with the majority of Americans who still like the president, even if they disapprove of his administration.

    But with Romney reeling from relentless criticism of his career at Bain Capital, and bipartisan calls to release further tax returns, he has apparently decided to break the seal on personal attacks. McKay Coppins describes a new plan to hit Obama for corruption and general degeneracy:

    [F]acing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney’s finances and business record, the Republican’s campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston’s pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a “liar” — very little will be off-limits, from the president’s youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.

    “I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,” the adviser said. “The bottom line is there’ll be counterattacks.”

  11. rikyrah says:

    Democrats Call For Law Requiring Presidential Candidates To Release Financial Records

    By Aviva Shen on Jul 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    While Mitt Romney continues to ignore calls to release his tax returns, Democrats in both the House and Senate are trying to make sure future presidential candidates cannot duck their financial past.

    Senators Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) promoted their Financial Disclosure to Reduce Tax Haven Abuse Act on the floor today. The bill, introduced in March, would force candidates and their spouses to file a disclosure form listing the identity, value and location of any accounts held in tax havens.

    Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) also announced today his intent to require presidential candidates to make public 10 years of tax returns and disclose overseas accounts. In a press release, Levin directly ties his proposal to Romney:

    The stunning lack of transparency from someone in pursuit of the highest office in the country highlights the need to change the law to require fuller disclosure. For decades, presidential candidates have voluntarily provided a thorough accounting of their tax returns and finances, as they should. But we clearly cannot continue to rely solely on the willingness of a candidate to disclose fully what the public has a right to know about the candidate’s financial record.

    Besides requiring candidates to release 10 years of tax returns, the legislation would also require the disclosure of the locations, value, and purpose of all offshore accounts, any compensatory arrangements with companies or individuals, investments or holdings, and other assets and activities of any entity in which the candidate has a controlling interest.

  12. rikyrah says:

    What losing one’s composure looks like
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:38 PM EDT.

    Yesterday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), one of Mitt Romney’s top surrogates, threw quite a tantrum, appearing in multiple interviews to condemn President Obama as a corrupt, anti-American foreigner who hates capitalism, rich people, and “American values.”

    McKay Coppins talked to a Romney campaign adviser who suggested we should expect to hear more along these lines.

    “[Romney] has said Obama’s a nice fellow, he’s just in over his head,” the adviser said. “But I think the governor himself believes this latest round of attacks that have impugned his integrity and accused him of being a felon go so far beyond that pale that he’s really disappointed. He believes it’s time to vet the president. He really hasn’t been vetted; McCain didn’t do it.” […]

    “I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate,” the adviser said. “The bottom line is there’ll be counterattacks.”

    In candor, I generally ignore reports like these. When reporting on a campaign, I care far more about what the candidates and their staffs actually do, not what they say they’re poised to do. This report, in particular, might well be little more than an effort from Team Romney to satiate the right’s unease with the trajectory of the race.

    But the remarks Romney’s unnamed advisor made to Coppins are harder to dismiss because we’re already seeing evidence of this strategy being implemented. Remember, when Sununu was slipping deeper into his deranged anti-Obama breakdown, he specifically talked about drug use: Obama, Sununu said, “has no idea how the American system functions,” in part because “he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something.”

    What’s more, as Igor Volsky noted, various Romney surrogates spent yesterday effectively accusing the president of being a foreigner.

    This, for those keeping score at home, is what it looks like when a campaign loses its composure.


    What’s more, it’s doing so on the strangest of pretenses. Romney believes the Obama campaign “impugned his integrity,” so it’s time to talk about youthful drug use? That’s an oddly thin-skinned approach to politics at the national level.

    For that matter, I’m not sure if Team Romney really wants youthful missteps to be back on the table. I seem to recall a certain haircut incident, for example.

    I’m also not sure what makes Romney and his aides think attacks that flopped in 2008 will be any more effective in 2012.

    It would appear that Team Romney, 110 days before the election, still believes their target audience is Fox News viewers, Limbaugh listeners, and folks who hang out at They’re the ones who want to hear about cocaine, who believe Obama wasn’t “vetted,” and who see value in fighting the last war all over again.

    But they’re also a tiny sliver of the population, who bear little resemblance to the American mainstream.

  13. rikyrah says:

    I love this one too from Balloon Juice:

    El Cid Says:

    @Valdivia: I actually think that Obama’s being really clever at a number of levels (and yes that includes the DNC which made the horse ad).

    One of the things I really, really noticed during the earlier primary months is just how pissy Romney gets at any challenge to his lordly and gold-laden authority.

    I think Obama’s sitting a couple of seats behind Romney on the bus and keeps leaning forward and tapping him lightly on the ear with a ruler or other device he then quickly hides when Romney turns around.

    And since Romney’s a bully, it never takes long for him to wheel round and get all pointlessly and laughably outraged and demanding that whoever’s doing whatever better stop or he’s going to, he’s going to, well, do something, and all the people riding who aren’t afraid of him just look at him and either laugh or just get that look of smirking distaste.

  14. rikyrah says:

    another good one from Balloon Juice:

    The Fox crowd will eat it up and Politifact will rate the claims as “mostly true” but it’s a terrible strategy. Mitt’s not running to be the president of Powerline and Red State

    General Stuck Says:
    It’s worse than terrible, it likely won’t work on a well liked incumbent president as a practical matter. They are falling into Obama’s trap of making this about two candidates, instead of the economy which is the only way they can win.

    Bring it on motherfuckers. They are going for the tribal method, after Obama just drove a stake through Romney’s centerpiece for qualification to be president. They don’t really have anything but turning themselves into Atomic Heathers and roll the dice.

  15. rikyrah says:


    beltane Says:

    The secret of Obama’s “luck” in electoral politics is that he has the ability to calmly goad his opponents into committing frantic acts self-destruction. No matter who he runs against, they all end up sounding like Allan Keyes before long.

    If Barack Obama was able to turn Bill Clinton into a sputtering loon by the end of the primaries, the thin-skinned and brittle Mitt Romney really doesn’t stand a chance.

  16. Ametia says:


    Mitt Romney Taxes For 2010 Not Fully Disclosed
    Posted: 07/18/2012 1:26 pm Updated: 07/18/2012 2:00 pm

    WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney has not released his full tax records from 2010, including key documentation connected to his Swiss bank account.

    Although President Barack Obama and an increasing number of Republican politicians have called on Romney to release tax returns from years prior to 2010, the public criticism has so far failed to note that Romney has not disclosed all of his tax documents for 2010 itself — the only year for which the GOP presidential nominee has presented any final tax forms.

    Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.

    The Romney campaign did not respond to HuffPost’s request to view the document.

    Tax experts say it is almost certain that Romney did file the form, known as a Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or “FBAR” in accountant slang. The penalty for not filing an FBAR can be severe, and the IRS would have expected to receive the form since Romney listed the Swiss bank account on his tax return. Listing the account on his tax return and then failing to file the subsequent FBAR would have been asking for a hefty fine, and would probably have heightened IRS scrutiny of prior tax filings.


  17. Ametia says:


    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed the finger at Iran Wednesday after a deadly explosion on a bus carrying tourists at an airport in Bulgaria.

    “All the signs (are) leading to Iran,” he said, according to a statement from his office.

    Netanyahu said his country “would respond with force to Iranian terror.”

    At least three people were killed in the explosion on a bus outside Burgas airport in Bulgaria. Bulgarian officials are still investigating the blast.

  18. Ametia says:

    Guess who gets the first tv interview with GEORGE ZIMMERMAN

    Sean Hannity Nabs First Interview With George Zimmerman, Airing Tonight
    by Meenal Vamburkar | 12:26 pm, July 18th, 2012

    On Wednesday night, Sean Hannity is devoting the entire hour of his show to his interview with George Zimmerman. Accused of second-degree murder after the Trayvon Martin shooting, Zimmerman is sitting down for an interview for the first time.

    According to Fox News, Zimmerman will “open up about what happened the night of Trayvon Martin’s death and his experience in the aftermath of the fatal shooting.” His defense attorney, Mark O’Mara, will also be part of the show, answering questions about the case overall — as well as addressing the rumors swirling around Zimmerman’s soliciting funds online and his hidden finances that resulted in a second bond hearing.

    As you may recall, that second hearing concluded with Zimmerman’s bond being set at $1 million. Meanwhile, those in the public have been piecing together what they can of the case as prosecutors continue to release batches of evidence.

    The interview airs tonight at 9pmET

  19. rikyrah says:

    On ‘Swiftboating’ Mitt Romney
    By James Fallows

    Jul 15 2012, 4:23 PM ET

    Many readers are wroth about my having used the word “Swiftboating” yesterday, in an NPR conversation with Guy Raz, to describe the controversy over Mitt Romney’s Bain background. (That same show, by the way, began with an outstanding “Cover Story” segment on the social, environmental, and economic ramifications of the recent tumult in the coal business.)

    Here is why I used the word, including points there was not time to make in real time on the radio.

    1) As I said, the Bain controversy is similar to ” ‘Swiftboating’ without the falsehoods.” You may think that is like saying “war without the violence,” but please follow along.

    1A) If I had thought of it at the time, i would have added the term I’ve since heard from another journalist: “self-Swiftboating.”

    2) The effect of this kind of ‘Swiftboating’ is, as I pointed out, to change a candidate’s presumed strength into his weakness, or vulnerability. The term’s origin is of course the 2004 general election campaign, when falsehood-filled accounts of John Kerry’s record (as a Swift boat naval officer in Vietnam) turned what he presumed would be a strength, his military record, into something he had to defend and explain. Long before the Swift boat episode, this jiujutsu technique was a specialty of Karl Rove’s.

    Here are other examples of candidates who had that switch pulled on them:
    •Hillary Clinton’s presumed advantage over Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries was her vast superiority in political and governing experience. Obama turned the tables on her, by asking: What was the benefit of her experience, if it led her to support the Iraq war?
    •George H.W. Bush’s presumed advantage over Bill Clinton in 1992 was his vastly greater experience, and his leadership of a worldwide coalition in the Gulf War. Clinton (and Ross Perot) turned Bush’s foreign-affairs focus into a sign of being out of touch with the workaday concerns of “it’s the economy, stupid” regular Americans.
    •Michael Dukakis’s presumed advantage in the 1988 campaign was his calm, no-nonsense competence in the business of governing. The Lee Atwater/George H.W. Bush campaign team, with its Willie Horton ads and its exploitation of Dukakis’s response to the “what if your wife were raped” question at a debate, made his unflappability into a weakness.

    A “Swiftboating”-style attack can be particularly hard for the victim to respond to, because he can scarcely believe anyone has the effrontery to challenge what he is proudest of — or believe that people will take the slurs and challenges seriously.

    3) Mitt Romney’s business background is not only his “presumed strength”; it is the entire basis of his campaign. His argument against Obama, which he presents with admirable discipline and clarity on the campaign trail, is:
    •Obama said he would fix the economy;
    •the economy is still broken;
    •I am a business veteran;
    •therefore I am the man to fix this mess.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Religious Right’s Ralph Reed Field-Tests Plan for Beating Obama
    By Adele M. Stan, AlterNet
    Posted on July 10, 2012, Printed on July 18, 2012

    A mere 10 days since Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Lieutenant Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch survived the recall election launched against them by state’s liberal coalition, Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, is ebullient as he takes the stage at his organization’s Washington, D.C., gala on the final night of FFC’s national conference at the Renaissance Hotel.

    Reed has good reason to be happy; his return to the religious-right spotlight is a turn of events that few would have bet on. Since he first burst on the political scene in the 1990s as the wunderkind executive director of Rev. Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, Reed’s political trajectory took him so close to the sun that his wings nearly melted. When George W. Bush signed him as a strategist for the 2000 presidential campaign, Reed’s career soared — only to crash four years later with revelations of his involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Along the way, he made a lot of money, and is reported to live with his wife and two of his four children (the other two are grown) in a house in Duluth, Ga., worth $2.2 million.

    The boyish contours of his face now marked with the occasional line, Reed, at 51, still conveys a youthful vigor, fit and trim in a well-tailored dark suit, his full head of hair brushed neatly back to display a smooth forehead. Taking no small measure of credit for the triumph of Walker and Kleefisch, Reed boasts of the 600,000 voter contacts he says his organization made to get conservative Wisconsinites to the polls on June 5. Later that evening, Reed will present to Kleefisch, who is billed as Wisconsin’s answer to Sarah Palin, FFC’s Courage in Leadership Award. (Kleefisch will also accept the same award for Walker, who did not attend.)

    If you like what happened in Wisconsin, Reed implies, you’re going to love the 2012 presidential race, when FFC reaches out to 27.1 million conservative voters; he promises that FFC will contact each of them between seven to 12 times to either get them to the polls, or better yet, vote early in states that permit it. Consider it payback, if you will, for the outcome of the 2008 presidential election.

    The day after the election Barack Obama won by a wide margin, Reed says, he woke up feeling “like I’d been hit by a truck.” Speaking of the Obama campaign, Reed explains: “We were embarrassed. They ran circles around us.”

    “I founded Faith and Freedom Coalition because I vowed that as long as I was alive, we were never going to get out-hustled on the ground again,” he told a group of activists earlier in the day.

    Reed has described FFC, launched in 2009, as “a 21st century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids.” Reed’s new organization seeks to meld the religious right with the Tea Party movement through the use of voter turnout strategies. But however successful he was in bringing right-wing evangelical voters to the polls during his tenure at the Christian Coalition, his managerial skills and business ethics appeared to be less than stellar.

    When Reed left the Christian Coalition in 1997, the organization was in tatters, under investigation by the FEC for the kind of “electioneering” prohibited for tax-exempt non-profits by the I.R.S., and internally riven due to allegations made by chief financial officer Judy Liebert that a firm whose principals were friends of Reed’s had over-billed the coalition to the tune of $1 million — and been paid.

    In 2004, Reed was implicated, though not charged, in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal when his role as a lobbyist on behalf of the gambling interests of a Choctaw Indian tribe was disclosed in a damaging Senate investigation. While the revelations derailed his attempt to win the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in the State of Georgia, the very religious-right friends he snookered in the Abramoff scandal appear to have forgiven him, according to Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches.

    Once again cloaked in the cape of a Christian crusader, Reed is back on the trail, doing what he does best: getting religious right-wingers to the polls.

    Back at the Faith and Freedom Coalition gala, and with an eye to the media, perhaps, Reed issues what sounds like both a promise and a warning. “We’re not just playing around,” he says. “We’re not shadowboxing; we are playing for keeps. We’re playing for the most valuable prize in the history of the human race and that’s the United States of America — and we are not going to lose.”

    Eyes on the Prize

    For Reed, however, there’s likely another prize to collect, win or lose. It may be wrapped up in the old Red, White and Blue, but this prize comes in a distinctive shade of green. AlterNet learned that, in order to identify and make its 600,000 voter contacts in Wisconsin — many of them by text messaging and e-mail subscriptions — Faith and Freedom Coalition contracted with Millennium Marketing, a division of Century Strategies, a political consulting firm whose CEO happens to be Ralph Reed.

    AlterNet contacted Billy Kirkland, FFC’s national field director, by phone on June 29 to inquire about FFC’s use of Millennium. “We did use them and they were a big help in Wisconsin,” Kirkland said. “It was one of those things where any time you can use a new technology to reach voters and educate voters on issues that are important to them — we’re trying to be on the forefront of that, so I’d be more than happy to respond by e-mail, but I’ve got a 4:00 [meeting] I’ve got to walk into.”

    So I e-mailed him a few questions, including: “How much did FFC pay Millennium Marketing for what appears to be a broad array of services provided in the campaign against the Wisconsin recall?” At press time, he had yet to respond.

  21. rikyrah says:

    The promise of a ‘permanent solution’ won’t help

    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:07 AM EDT.

    In 2008, Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama over John McCain, siding with the Democrat by a 36-point margin, 67% to 31%, according to exit polls. The president won’t be able to improve upon this, will he?

    Actually, he might. Latino Decisions released a new poll this morning, pointing to an even larger gap between Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, with the president leading 70% to 22%. It’s the first time in nearly two years of Latino Decisions polls that Obama has reached this level of support. Here’s a chart I put together comparing 2012 to 2008.

    It’s also worth noting that the same poll surveyed Latinos in 13 battleground states, and Obama did slightly better, leading 71% to 21%.

    It’s fair to say even most Republican strategists believe Romney will have a difficult time winning the White House with Latino support this low.

    We know, of course, exactly why the GOP candidate is struggling. Part of it is the result of Obama’s genuine popularity, driven by recent action on the goals of the DREAM Act, and part of it’s caused by Romney deliberately antagonizing Latinos — endorsing “self-deportation,” vowing to veto the DREAM Act, palling around with Pete Wilson and Kris Kobach, etc.

    But don’t worry, Team Romney has a plan. The candidate’s Spanish-speaking son, Craig Romney, is now appearing in his second campaign ad, promising Latinos his father will work on a permanent solution to the immigration system, working with leaders of both parties.”

    It’s almost amusing, in a way. The guy who sees Arizona’s SB1070 as a “model” for the nation, and who’s touted “self-deportation” as a policy instead of a parody, is going to approve a bipartisan immigration reform plan? But he won’t tell anyone what it is? It’s hard to imagine anyone buying this.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Voter ID Laws are Resurrecting the Spirit of Jim Crow
    Categories: Original Opinion, Presidential elections

    By Bob Cesca: If President Obama loses in November, it won’t be Super PACs or Republican lies about his record that will defeat him. It won’t be fundraising or advertising or punditry. If President Obama loses, it will almost certainly be due to Jim Crow style voter suppression and disenfranchisement. And no one is really talking about it.

    Specifically, I’m referring to the Republican plot to make voting nearly impossible for low-income, working class Americans, and, therefore, disenfranchising scores of Democratic voters. There are two concurrent policies in action here: Voter ID laws and voter registration purges.

    Regarding the latter, Florida governor Rick Scott has been attempting to carry on a time-honored tradition in his swelteringly ridiculous police state. Scott’s Secretary of State ordered hundreds of thousands of potential illegal immigrants and others purged from voter rolls. A fantastic pander to the far-right racist base, but clearly an act of nefarious disenfranchisement was attempted here by the Republican administration. The Justice Department stepped in and ordered an end to the purge, but Scott defied the order. Then the state’s wiser and less-Jim-Crow-ish Supervisors of Elections determined that, in an initial analysis of 2,625 names, only 13 were ineligible voters. Put another way, 98.4 percent of the voters on part of Scott’s purge list were valid registered voters. Deliberate or a massively unprecedented clerical error? Hmm. If we extrapolate those numbers and apply them to the entire purge list, 177,000 voters out of 182,000 would be unjustly disenfranchised.

    We’ve watched this disgusting show before. In Florida, prior to the 2000 election, thousands of African American voters were purged from the rolls because they happened to share similar names to convicted felons and the like. Michael Moore documented the congressional protest against the purge in his film Fahrenheit 911 (timecode 3:20).

  23. Ametia says:

    Public service marks Mandela’s birthday By Robyn Curnow and Faith Karimi, CNN
    July 18, 2012 — Updated 1154 GMT (1954 HKT)

    Qunu, South Africa (CNN) — South Africans celebrated Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday Wednesday by participating in good deeds nationwide to honor the legacy of the famous statesman.

    The frail icon has not appeared in public for years, but he is celebrated worldwide on his birthday for his role in reconciling a country torn apart by apartheid.

    In South Africa, citizens performed at least 67 minutes of public service on his birthday, a reference to the number of years he devoted to helping others.

    In Mandela’s childhood village of Qunu, relatives, including children and grandchildren, gathered to mark his birthday and perform community service at the local health centers.

    The family will get together for a meal that will include a champagne toast — which the ailing Mandela cannot partake in — and his favorite dish of tripe, a meat delicacy.

  24. Ametia says:


    A Radically Prosaic Approach to Civil Rights Images

    Gordon Parks’s portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Thornton Sr., an older black couple in their Mobile, Ala., home in 1956, appears to have little in common with the images we have come to associate with civil rights photography.

    It is in color, unlike most photographs of the movement. Its subject matter was neither newsworthy nor historic, unlike more widely published journalistic images of the racial murders, police brutality, demonstrations and boycotts that characterized the epic battle for racial justice and equality.<b.

  25. Ametia says:

    July 18, 2012 7:52 AM
    Pawlenty: Romney’s released enough tax returns

    (CBS News) Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty came to Mitt Romney’s defense Wednesday morning over the issue of tax returns, saying two years of returns is enough.

    “That’s the standard for Republican nominees,” said Pawlenty, who is also considered a contender for Romney’s vice president, on “CBS This Morning.”

    Romney has released his 2010 tax returns and said he will release 2011 once they are complete.

    After co-host Norah O’Donnell pointed out previous Republican candidate George H.W. Bush released 14 years of tax returns and candidate Bob Dole released 30 years, Pawlenty admitted that the standard “has varied.”

  26. Ametia says:

    Syria ministers ‘killed in blast’

    Syria’s defence minister and his deputy, President Assad’s brother-in-law, have died in a suicide bombing at security headquarters in Damascus, state TV says.

    Daoud Rajiha and Assef Shawkat were attending a meeting of senior officials at the time.

    The national security chief and interior minister are said to be critically hurt.

    The attack comes amid claims of a major rebel offensive on the city.

    The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a jihadist group calling itself Lord of the Martyrs Brigade both said they were behind the bombing.

    Hours after the attack, several explosions were reported close to the base of an army division responsible for guarding the presidential palace. However Syria’s information minister denied that they had taken place.

    The army’s fourth division, commanded by the president’s brother, Maher al-Assad, is considered one of the army’s best-equipped.

    ‘Criminal gangs’

    No footage has emerged of the attack and the BBC’s Lina Sinjab in Damascus says there is no sign of extra security outside the security headquarters.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Romney: You’re Doing It Wrong

    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 17th, 2012 at 11:40:04 PM EST

    You know, I was trying to remember what John Sununu was famous for. I mean, I remembered his time on Crossfire and I thought he was Lebanese. I knew he had been a governor and his son senator from the Granite State, and I knew he had been chief of staff to Poppy before Dubya had him shit-canned. I also knew that he had a role in getting David Souter on the Supreme Court, which still stands out as one of the greatest cons ever perpetrated on the Republican base. But there was something else about him that I just couldn’t remember. So, I looked it up.

    As White House Chief of Staff, Sununu reportedly took personal trips, for skiing and other purposes, and classified them as official, for purposes such as conservation or promoting the Thousand Points of Light.[14] The Washington Post wrote that Sununu’s jets “took him to fat-cat Republican fund-raisers, ski lodges, golf resorts and even his dentist in Boston.”[14] Sununu had paid the government only $892 for his more than $615,000 worth of military jet travel.[15] Sununu said that his use of the jets was necessary because he had to be near a telephone at all times for reasons of national security.[16] Sununu became the subject of much late-night television humor over the incident.[14] Sununu worsened the situation shortly afterwards when, after leaking rumors of financial difficulties in his family, he traveled to a rare stamp auction at Christie’s auction house in New York City from Washington in a government limousine, spending $5,000 on rare stamps.[17] Sununu then sent the car and driver back to Washington unoccupied while he returned on a corporate jet.[17] In the course of one week, 45 newspapers ran editorials on Sununu, nearly all of them critical of his actions.[18]

    There it is in all its glory. John Sununu is famous for being one of the biggest assholes to ever serve a president of the United States, surpassed, perhaps, only by H.R. Haldeman. John Sununu is famous for being one of the most profligate and shameless wasters of taxpayer dollars in history.

    This is a guy who was born in Havana, Cuba to a Palestinian father and a Salvadoran mother, who just had the gall to tell the president of the United States that he doesn’t know how to act like an American because he grew up splitting time between Hawaii and Indonesia, and smoking weed.

    Think about it. The guy is an Arab from Havana who is also a Latino immigrant. And he’s a Republican!! I think Michele Bachmann needs to get on this infiltration before her head explodes. And even though Sununu, like Sirhan Sirhan, is a Christian, someone in his family must surely be tied to Hamas or Hezbollah or the Muslim Brotherhood. Has Sununu ever interviewed Anthony Weiner? Does he know George Soros?

    Any way you wanna look at it, this is some weak ass shit from the R-Money campaign. Sending out morally compromised Crossfire rejects to question the president’s American bona fides who aren’t even natural born citizens? Trying to change the subject from your tax problems by using a Cuban-born Arab-Salvadoran who is most famous for wasting taxpayer dollars?

    John McCain is right. Sarah Palin was a better candidate.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:09 AM ET, 07/18/2012
    The Morning Plum: Dems finding their backbones?

    By Greg Sargent

    There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the vow by Democrats that they are prepared to let the Bush tax cuts expire in full — and to come back and renew just the middle class ones later — in order to maximize their leverage in the coming “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

    In 2010 Dems threatened to put Republicans on the spot with a vote on extending just the middle class cuts. But they punted that vote until after the election, and ultimately, Obama agreed to extend the high end cuts, infuriating many Congressional liberals.

    But now the New York Times is taking the Dem threat seriously, devoting a big stand-alone article to it and gaming out what it means. The article does a nice job in explaining what specifically Republicans are protecting by insisting on an extension of the high end cuts:

    “If you want to join Democrats to protect the middle class and avoid this fiscal cliff that we hear so much about, all you have to do is say yes,” [Harry] Reid said to Republicans. “Surely you can at least agree that 98 percent of the families in this country shouldn’t see their taxes go up.”

    Numerically, Republicans and Democrats are not as far apart as the exchanges would suggest. President Obama has proposed allowing tax cuts to lapse on incomes over $250,000, raising the top two income tax brackets, allowing capital gains tax rates for affluent families to rise slightly and letting dividend income be taxed as ordinary income, as it was before 2003. Of the $5 trillion in tax increases that will ensue over 10 years if nothing is done, Mr. Obama’s plan would stave off all but $849 billion.

    That tax increase on the rich would amount to 0.38 percent of the economy, considerably smaller than the tax increase secured by President Bill Clinton in 1993, which equaled 0.63 percent of the economy, according to White House calculations

  29. rikyrah says:

    July 17, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Decoupled and Divided

    And so, predictably, Romney is accusing Obama of “attacking capitalism” and “dividing America” by raising questions about Bain and those hidden tax returns. This is all par for the course; many of us remember how any criticism of Bush was unpatriotic, and if I recall correctly, during the dotcom bubble the Wall Street Journal argued that any skepticism about stock market valuations showed a lack of faith in free markets.

    The special Romney twist– aside from the willful misrepresentation of what Obama actually said about business success — is Mitt’s desire to have it both ways. He’s proud of his business record and his success, he says, but at the same time wants us to believe that he had nothing to do with Bain’s actions over a three-year period when he was still its CEO, and is completely unwilling to let us see the tax returns that would tell us something about exactly how he achieved his current wealth. (There are two competing theories about his tax stonewalling. One is that he had one or more years of zero taxes. The other is that he actually made a lot of money in 2009, because he shorted the market. We may never know which is true.)

    Anyway, just a reminder about what’s really dividing America: the fact that a rising tide no longer raises all boats. Remember what the CBO told us:

  30. rikyrah says:

    What passes as a Sununu ‘apology’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:43 AM EDT.

    Yesterday, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R), one of Mitt Romney’s top surrogates, slipped into anti-Obama hysteria yesterday, telling the media, among other things, that the president should “learn how to be an American.”

    Since I did an item on this yesterday, it’s only fair to note that hours later, Sununu had a chance to calm down, pull himself together, and walk back his attack. He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer:

    “I did say those words that are there. And, frankly, I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have used those words. And I apologize for using those words…. I’m apologizing for using those words. I shouldn’t have used them.

    That’s the good news. It took a few hours, but Sununu managed to stop foaming at the mouth just long enough to acknowledge he was wrong. That was the right thing to do.

    The bad news is, I caught the rest of the Sununu interview. When he wasn’t apologizing for his “mistake,” the Romney surrogate was arguing that Obama said “businesspeople of America shouldn’t take credit for building their businesses” (that never happened); he accused Obama of corruption (with no proof); he said Obama “denigrates American values” (which is absurd); he said the president sees rich people as “evil” (ridiculous); and he argued there’s “a feeling amongst entrepreneurs that he is not a capitalist” (cheap nonsense).

    All of this from Sununu, who also said yesterday the Obama campaign is “clearly and unequivocally a bunch of liars.”

    I don’t imagine Sununu wants my advice, but I’m inclined to offer him a few tips anyway. First, try decaf. Second, look up “decency” in a dictionary and ponder whether you expect anyone to actually respect you. And third, if you want to accuse rivals of being “liars,” try to avoid going on national television soon after and lying uncontrollably.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Romney rejects GOP calls for more disclosure
    By Steve Benen
    Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:59 AM EDT.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was a thorn in Mitt Romney’s side during the Republican presidential nominating process, pressing the former governor for months to release his tax returns. Perry has since become a Romney ally, but he’s apparently not finished causing trouble for the GOP nominee.

    “No matter who you are or what office you are running for, you should be as transparent as you can be with your tax returns and other aspects of your life so that people have the appropriate ability to judge your background,” Perry said yesterday, straying far from Romney’s preferred line.

    Perhaps more importantly, National Review has joined the growing chorus of Republicans urging Romney to come clean, publishing this editorial yesterday.

    Romney protests that he is not legally obliged to release any tax returns. Of course not. He is no longer in the realm of the private sector, though, where he can comply with the letter of the law with the Securities and Exchange Commission and leave it at that. Perceptions matter.

    Romney may feel impatience with requirements that the political culture imposes on a presidential candidate that he feels are pointless (and inconvenient). But he’s a politician running for the highest office in the land, and his current posture is probably unsustainable. In all likelihood, he won’t be able to maintain a position that looks secretive and is a departure from campaign conventions. The only question is whether he releases more returns now, or later — after playing more defense on the issue and sustaining more hits. There will surely be a press feeding frenzy over new returns, but better to weather it in the middle of July

    National Review is not just another conservative media outlet. The magazine has unique influence and reflects the perspective of the conservative establishment. Howard Kurtz noted yesterday’s piece and said, “If he’s lost National Review, he’s lost the right.” Kurtz added this “feels like a turning point.”

    And yet, as of last night, Romney disagrees. He’s heard the calls from within his own party, but, at least for now, the presidential hopeful says he simply doesn’t care.


    In an interview with the NBC affiliate in Pittsburgh late yesterday, Romney said Democrats would “look for anything they can find to distort, to twist, and to try and make negative,” so he feels he has no choice but to keep the materials hidden from voters.

    Of course, by that logic, Romney shouldn’t give speeches or do interviews, either, since those rascally Democrats might try to distort, twist, and make negative the things he says out loud. This is not, in other words, much of an excuse for indefinite secrecy.

    The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports today that while there are clear divisions within the Republican Party over Romney’s handling of the issue, there are also divisions among the candidate’s own staffers.

  32. Ametia says:

    Tue Jul 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM PDT.
    Charles Blow Explains What Makes Little Bombs Go Off In Republican Minds UPDATED

    Then Lawrence introduced Joy Reid and Charles Blow who were there to discuss Mitt Romney’s very, very bad day. First Lawrence talks about Rush Limbaugh’s racism and stereotyping and asks Joy a question, which she responds to, in part:

    You know, actually Lawrence, this is really actually just sad. You know, my father was an immigrant to this country from the Congo, loved Ronald Reagan, was a conservative. The Republican Party has officially lost its mind. They’ve outsourced their entire communications and strategic operation to that guy, to Rush Limbaugh? That’s where they want to go? Have all the professional campaign operators and thinkers self deported? I don’t understand why they would allow this man to shape their narrative. This is a party that is joyless, that is humorless, this is angry, that is bitter, and it’s pathetic.
    Then Lawrence turns to Charles Blow and asks him, “What are the odds of President Obama winning reelection now that Rush is officially in charge of the messenger?” But Charles didn’t want to talk about that. He wanted to talk about what possessed John Sununu to say the things he said. And then he went on an eloquent explanation of how Republican minds work when they think about President Obama. You have to watch it in all it’s glory because the delivery is so much a part of this segment. However, for those who simply can’t watch videos, I’ve transcribed what he said:

    Rush is always going to be foaming at the mouth, but I think that we have to go back to this Sununu thing. We need to break this down. As we used to say in the south, “Put the hay down where the goats can get it.” Sununu is basically just tapping into this “otherness” idea that persists about Barack Obama. If you look at the people who say that they are “for Romney,” they are actually not “for Romney” at all. They are just against Barack Obama, and a large part of those people are as Joy said, just bitter. They hate the idea of this guy.
    He was, some believe, “born in Hawaii” … most of us rational people … but only 88% of Republicans even believe Hawaii is part of America. The other people believe he was born in Kenya. Some people say … you know, then they point to the fact that some of his childhood was spent in Indonesia. If you put a map of the world in front of them, and asked them to point to Indonesia, they couldn’t do it to save their mother’s life, but they know it’s not England. Right? So then you get this guy, with that kind of a narrative.

  33. Ametia says:

    How Romney Spent All Day Calling Obama A Foreigner

    By Igor Volsky on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is hoping to distract voters from the growing drum beat of conservatives calling on the former Bain Capital executive to release his tax returns by smearing President Obama as a foreigner, in a not-so-subtle effort to revive the right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding his birthplace.

    Indeed, the Romney team, and even Romney himself, spent all of Tuesday painting the president as not a “real” American. Here is a timeline of the campaign’s orchestrated smear:

    11:00 AM — OBAMA IS ‘SMOKING SOMETHING,’ GREW UP IN INDONESIA: Obama “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn’t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.” [Co-chair John Sununu, Fox News]

  34. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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