Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week!



Mitt Romney’s Greatest Hits!

SEE, Mitt Romney; YOU TOLD THOSE OLYMPIANS THAT THEY DIDN’T MAKE IT HERE ON THEIR OWN. It took the help and support of your teachers, parents, trainers, AND THE GOVERNMENT!


“And we ought to give, whichever president is going to be elected, at least six months or a year to get those policies in place.”

Here are the facts:


The Economy Shed An Average Of 750,000 Jobs Per Month When President Obama Took Office. The U.S. economy lost 661,000 nonfarm jobs in December 2008, 818,000 nonfarm jobs in January 2009, 724,000 nonfarm jobs in February 2009, and 799,000 nonfarm jobs in March 2009. The average nonfarm loss over these four months is 751,000. source

Romney and his campaign are banking on Voter AMNESIA, when it comes to the President Obama INHERITING an economy in FREE FALL.  [Paul Krugman] 

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64 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Wes Montgomery Week!

  1. rikyrah says:

    Front Row

    Single Mom in Need? Not the Look

    ON the way to Family Court in Manhattan last week, Linda Evangelista may have schemed to project the image of a woman wronged. If so, she missed the mark.

    Indeed, she looked like a million. Or more precisely, like the $1.8 million she told the court she earned last year from modeling assignments. As she battled the French luxury-goods magnate François-Henri Pinault, her former boyfriend, for child support, Ms. Evangelista turned the courtroom into a kind of high-end catwalk.

    Her sumptuous yet decorous wardrobe stirred debate, with Andrea Peyser of The New York Post chastising her for her free-spending ways. Highlights included the swing jacket and white pencil skirt she wore on Friday, accessorized with a quilted Chanel bag and Louboutin pumps, accents quite likely to have cost well over $5,000.

    Not so extravagant, perhaps, for Ms. Evangelista, who at the height of her career boasted that she didn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day. Ever in character, she is said to have asked for $46,000 in monthly expenses for Augustin, her 5-year-old son with Mr. Pinault, without troubling to dress like a cash-strapped matron.

  2. rikyrah says:

    What a Conservative Victory Looks Like

    By John Cole July 24th, 2012

    This is what Republicans consider a win for Team America:

    The Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday that the Supreme Court decision on President Obama’s health care overhaul would probably lead to an increase in the number of uninsured and a modest reduction in the cost to the federal government, compared with estimates before the court ruling.

    The court said, in effect, that a large expansion of Medicaid envisioned under the 2010 law was a state option, not a requirement.

    As a result, the budget office said, it now predicts that six million fewer people will be insured by Medicaid, the federal-state program for low-income people. But half of them, it said, will probably gain private insurance coverage through health insurance exchanges to be established in all states.

    On balance, the budget office said in a new report, “about 3 million more people will be uninsured’’ in 2022.

    If you can stick to Obama, that is in itself a win, but the 3 million more people without the safety and security of health care insurance? That’s just a bonus!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Perry, Haley face hospital pushback on healthcare
    By Steve Benen
    Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:03 PM EDT.

    When it comes to resisting the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, no one’s fought more aggressively than Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) to deny benefits to their constituents. It’s likely to cost their respective states dearly, but for both governors, a far-right ideological agenda trumps all other considerations.

    Many have assumed that they’ll fold in time, especially when it comes to Medicaid expansion, not because of public demand or pressure from struggling families in need of care, but because their in-state health infrastructure will simply not tolerate leaving so many resources on the table. We’re already seeing some of this pushback.

    As Jay Hancock reports today at Kaiser Health News, two groups of powerful interests are preparing to pressure Perry if, come next year, the state really does decide to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. One group is the hospitals that, absent the Medicaid expansion, will be bearing the cost of charity care even as they cope with declining revenue from other resources. The other group is private insurers, who see the growing Medicaid population as a huge profit opportunity and have been investing large amounts of money to prepare for it.

    With world-renowned medical institutions such as the University of Texas and a large part of its Medicaid coverage handled by private insurers such as Amerigroup, the state’s health industry is “just behind oil and gas” in size and influence, said Vivian Ho, a health economist at Rice University. “Given how much Amerigroup has to gain from a Medicaid expansion in Texas, they may be one of the most effective organizations to lobby Perry and the state legislature to fund the expansion.”

    It’s unfolding in South Carolina, too.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney would restore ‘Anglo-Saxon’ relations between Britain and America

    Mitt Romney would restore “Anglo-Saxon” understanding to the special relationship between the US and Britain, and return Sir Winston Churchill’s bust to the White House.

    As the Republican presidential challenger accused Barack Obama of appeasing America’s enemies in his first foreign policy speech of the election campaign, advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would abandon Mr Obama’s “Left-wing” coolness towards London.

    In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested Mr Romney was better placed to understand the ties between the countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa. “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

    Mr Romney today embarks on an overseas tour of Britain, Israel and Poland designed to quash claims by Mr Obama’s team that he is a “novice” in foreign affairs. It comes four years after Mr Obama’s own landmark foreign tour, which attracted thousands of supporters.

    He lands in London today in advance of meetings with David Cameron and other senior ministers tomorrow. He will also meet Ed Miliband and Tony Blair before attending two fund-raisers and the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

    He used a speech last night in Nevada to accuse the USPresident of drastically weakening America’s stance towards rivals such as Russia, China and Iran while imposing “devastating” spending cuts on US forces.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Can you read this? The Michigan emergency manager petition

    Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:00 PM EDT.

    The people trying to overturn Michigan’s souped-up emergency manager law get a hearing before the state Supreme Court tomorrow. They’ll try, again, to make the case that the font size on their petitions was the size required by the state. The technicality of fonts and font sizes is complicated enough that the state elections board asked a graphics professor, who told them it was big enough.

    Tomorrow, with Michigan’s high court, the activists will try again. As you can see from their court brief (pdf) last week, it’s complicated:

    The distinction between font and typeface is that a font designates a specific member of a type family such as roman, boldface, or italic type, while typeface designates a consistent visual appearance or style which can be a “family” or related set of fonts. For example, a given typeface such as Arial may include roman, bold and italic fonts. In the metal type era, a font also often meant a specific point size, but with digital scalable outline fonts this distinction is no longer valid, as a single font may be scaled to any size

    Try explaining that in oral arguments. The brief also includes a visual comparison of their petition with others that have been approved, below. The activists call their type “crisper, clearer to the eye” than the others.

  6. rikyrah says:

    VFW hears two very different perspectives

    By Steve Benen

    Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:58 PM EDT.

    The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is holding its national convention in Reno this week, and heard directly from President Obama yesterday and Mitt Romney today. The contrast between the two speeches tells us quite a bit about the two candidates.

    Here, for example, were the president’s remarks.

    You might notice that Obama didn’t mention Mitt Romney. In a 33-minute speech in advance of the election, the president just didn’t feel the need to reference his opponent at all. Indeed, Obama only mentioned Republicans once.

    Instead of attacking, the president felt confident enough to simply tout his record of success: Obama has restored American prestige on the global stage, ended the war in Iraq, crushed al Qaeda, begun bringing troops home from Afghanistan, reduced the nuclear threat, and helped rid the world of Muammar Qaddafi. When it comes to veterans, Obama has reduced the frequency and duration of deployments, while strengthening veterans’ health care.

    “Today every American can be proud that America is safer, stronger and more respected in the world,” Obama said, adding, “[Y]ou don’t just have my words, you have my deeds. You have my track record. You have the promises I’ve made and the promises that I’ve kept.”

    And then there was the president’s Republican challenger, who appears to be living in an alternate reality with very little in common with the reality the rest of us live in.


    In Romney Land, it makes sense to condemn timelines in Afghanistan, then promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan “by 2014.” In Romney Land, it makes sense to blame a Democratic president for budget cuts demanded by congressional Republicans. In Romney Land, as American prestige and credibility is on the rise around the globe, it makes sense to say America’s image has been “diminished.”

    But it was this line from his speech that I found especially hard to stomach:

    “This is very simple: if you do not want America to be the strongest nation on earth, I am not your president. You have that president today.”

    Think about that for a second: in Mitt Romney’s mind, as of today, the United States is no longer the strongest nation on earth. He felt comfortable leveling this attack against American strength to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, no less.

    I’m curious, which country, from Romney’s odd perspective, is “the strongest nation on earth”? If the title no longer belongs to the U.S.A., who took it from us and when?

    Can Romney think of another country with a better military? With a more robust economy? With a better workforce?

    Put it this way: what other country does Romney see outside our borders that leads him to think, “I wish we were as strong as they are”?

  7. Ametia says:



    Two hundred and ninety-one days after his last foreign policy speech, Mitt Romney stood up once more to deliver a major foreign policy plan and—once again—failed to offer any new or even credible policy ideas.

    Romney has long displayed a significant lack of knowledge and experience over the years when it comes to foreign policy. But the commander-in-chief only has one chance to make the right decision. Here’s a look at ten times Romney and his campaign got it wrong:

    1. 1.Romney “has been especially vague about how many U.S. forces he would keep in Afghanistan” and has no detailed plan for our engagement in the country.


  8. Ametia says:

    Bernie Sanders Exposes the 26 Billionaires who are Buying the 2012 Election
    By: Jason EasleyJuly 24th, 2012

    In his new report, America For Sale: A Report on Billionaires Buying the 2012 Election, Sen. Bernie Sanders named names and called out the billionaires who using Citizens United to buy our democracy.

    In front of a Senate panel today, Sen. Bernie Sanders outed the 26 billionaires who are members of 23 billionaire families that are using Citizens United to buy elections. Sen. Sanders estimated that these 26 billionaires are the tip of the iceberg. “My guess is that number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret. In other words, not content to own our economy, the 1 percent want to own our government as well.”

    Sanders explained how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision put the government up for sale, “What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United is to say to these same billionaires and the corporations they control: ‘You own and control the economy, you own Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies. Now, for a very small percentage of your wealth, we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the United States government.’”

    Sen. Sanders also did the last thing the billionaires wanted. He called them out by name.

  9. Ametia says:


    Statement from Vice President Biden on Mitt Romney’s VFW Remarks

    CHICAGO – Vice President Joe Biden issued the following statement in response to Mitt Romney’s remarks to the VFW National Convention today:

    “Over the past three years, President Obama has taken the fight directly to America’s enemies, confronting al-Qaeda head on and taking out Osama bin Laden. He ended the war in Iraq responsibly and has a plan to do the same in Afghanistan. He has done more for Israel’s security than any President since Harry Truman, led international efforts to put the most pressure in history on Iran, protected the people of Libya from a brutal dictator and helped rebuild our alliances across the globe. He saved our economy from collapse with bold decisions, including the rescue of the automobile industry – which has made us stronger abroad. Because of President Obama’s leadership, Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.

    “Today, Governor Romney had an opportunity to fulfill a long-standing promise by laying out his foreign policy vision and agenda. He had a chance to say how he would lead as Commander-in-Chief. Instead, all we heard from Governor Romney was empty rhetoric and bluster. He reflexively criticizes the President’s policies without offering any alternatives. When he does venture a position, it’s a safe bet that he previously took exactly the opposite position and will probably change his mind again and land in the wrong place – far out of the mainstream. Or he mischaracterizes our record to create a non-existent contrast.

    On Afghanistan:

    “Governor Romney supported the President’s timeline to end the war in Afghanistan, then he opposed it and now it is hard to know where he stands. His misguided criticism of the President’s new defense strategy is undermined by the fact that strategy was designed with and supported by the entire Defense Department senior leadership, uniform and civilian. It provides for a more agile, flexible force, better able to confront aggressors and project power, with strong partnerships to share the burden and smart investments in cutting edge capabilities. We proposed a budget to fully fund that strategy and keep faith with our veterans.

    On Russia:

    “When it comes to Russia – which he recently called “our number one geo-political foe” – Governor Romney remains mired in a Cold War mindset. We have serious disagreements with Moscow, but our cooperation has made the American people more secure. Russia cancelled the sale of cutting edge radar to Iran and joined us in imposing the toughest sanctions in history on Tehran. Together, we negotiated a major nuclear arms reduction treaty – New START – that virtually the entire Republican foreign policy establishment supported but Governor Romney and a very small group of Cold War holdovers opposed.

    On Poland and missile defense:

    “On the eve of his trip to Poland, the Governor is either profoundly misinformed – or misinforming the American people. He asserts that the President abandoned a missile defense system in that country. President Obama asked me to secure Allied support for a new missile defense plan for Europe. Who did we ask to host its main components? Poland, along with Turkey, Romania, Germany and Spain. These countries and all of NATO embraced our approach because it protects more of Europe more quickly than the old plan.

    On Israel:

    “Governor Romney continues his long litany of untruths about our administration’s policies toward Israel. We’ve provided record levels of security assistance, funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system that intercepted nearly 80 percent of the rockets recently fired from Gaza, close collaboration on longer range missile defense systems, the largest joint military exercises in history, the most consistent and comprehensive exchanges ever between our top political, defense, security and intelligence officials. And, contrary to Governor Romney’s outrageous accusation that the President joined in the chorus of insults levied against Israel at the United Nations, President Obama has stood up repeatedly, publicly and often alone against efforts to delegitimize Israel at the U.N. and around the world.

    On Iran:

    “On Iran, Governor Romney does a compelling job laying out exactly what the Administration is already doing. The only step he seems to think we should take that we are not already taking is to launch a war. If that is what the Governor is for, he should tell the American people.

    On al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden:

    “One thing the Governor did not talk about today was al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. That’s not surprising. When he last ran for President, Governor Romney was asked what he would do about bin Laden. He said then: ‘it is not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.’ We know how Obama answered that question: by ordering our intelligence services to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for bin Laden, and then authorizing one of the highest risk missions ever to capture or kill our number one enemy.

    “Thanks to President Obama’s leadership, bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive — and everything we have learned from Governor Romney today and during this campaign tells the
    American people that a Romney presidency would have resulted in just the opposite.”

  10. Ametia says:

    The media is on to the next shiney object with Mitt calling PBO corrupt president in front of the VFW audience today. ANOTHER attempt at DISTRACTION away from BAIN


  11. rikyrah says:

    July 24, 2012
    Romney’s VFW speech: an absolute obscenity

    Mitt Romney’s speech to the VFW, to which I’m presently retching, is an absolute obscenity. Romney is howling about Obamian treachery and all manner of the sitting president’s unpresidential rule. It is truly sickening and indescribably revolting.

    Each day I wonder if Mitt Romney can possibly sink any lower, if he can slither any more viperly, if can debase himself and his party any more spectacularly than he already has. Each day, based on Mitt’s preceding day of utter abominations, I think “no,” it’s just not possible. This is as low and slimy as it–as he–can get.

    And then a new day dawns, and Mitt speaks somewhere, and I’m proved tragically mistaken.

    I see that Mitt has just wrapped up. Having heard what I just heard, I’m going to once again venture that there is simply no way Mitt Romney can possibly sink any lower than he did today.

    Now let’s watch, and see tomorrow how he achieves the impossible.

  12. rikyrah says:

    New Yorkers celebrate life of Sylvia Woods, who started famed Harlem soul food restaurant
    By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2:54 PM

    Sylvia Woods, the founder of the famed Harlem soul food restaurant that bears her name, was remembered Tuesday by her patrons and friends as a warm and welcoming trailblazer who turned her small eatery into a bustling city gem.

    A wake and public service were being held Tuesday at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be among the speakers. Woods died last week at age 86 after dealing with Alzheimer’s disease for the past few years.

    Woods and her husband, Herbert, natives of South Carolina who met as children, started Sylvia’s Restaurant in 1962. The restaurant is a Harlem fixture, with tourists and locals coming there for cornbread, ribs, collard greens, fried chicken and other staples of Southern cooking and politicians, including President Barack Obama, making frequent visits while on the campaign trail.

    On Tuesday, mourners filed past an open casket. She was laid out in a cream-colored brocade suit. The altar was adorned with white flowers: roses, orchids and calla lilies.

    Paul George, 63, a retired city worker who lives in the neighborhood, said, “Mondays she gave out food to the community. Is there any other restaurant that gives out free food?”

  13. Ametia says:


    1. His Old Emails
    2. Offshore accounts
    3. Bundlers
    4. Mitt’s correspondence GAP
    5. Tax returns
    6. IRA details

    Read about it here:

  14. rikyrah says:

    An expensive hostage strategy
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:56 PM EDT.

    Last year, for the first time in our history, literally every Republican on Capitol Hill held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage as part of an easily-avoidable debt-ceiling crisis. The GOP made a series of non-negotiable demands, and said they would crash the economy, on purpose, unless Democrats paid the ransom. It was a move without parallel in the American political tradition.

    We’re still coming to terms with just how much damage this crisis did to the country. At one level, we know the GOP-instigated fiasco undermined the integrity of the nation and our reputation around the world, but there’s also ample evidence that the crisis undermined the economy, job market, and investor confidence.

    Yesterday, we also learned that the crisis was expensive.

    The fight last summer over whether to raise the debt ceiling increased the Treasury’s borrowing costs by about $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011, and the bill is expected to climb, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    In a report released on Monday, the investigative arm of Congress found that the battle between Republicans and Democrats over the conditions to increase the debt limit to its current level of $16.4 trillion led to uncertainty in the debt markets and higher borrowing costs. It said that a full accounting would be available later. “Further,” a summary of the report read, “according to Treasury officials, the increased focus on debt limit-related operations as such delays occurred required more time and Treasury resources, and diverted Treasury’s staff away from other important cash and debt management responsibilities.”

  15. rikyrah says:

    .A closed book
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:23 AM EDT.

    There was a point not too long at which Mitt Romney thought it’d be a good idea to attack President Obama for lacking openness and transparency. The Republican campaign ultimately dropped the line of attack, and under the circumstances, that was a very good idea.

    The former Massachusetts governor appears to be setting new standards for secrecy among presidential candidates. The list is probably pretty familiar by now: Romney has secret tax returns, secret hard drives from his gubernatorial tenure that were destroyed, a secret list of fundraising bundlers, secret finances, and in some cases, even secret policy details he won’t share until after the election.

    And this week, we’re learning that many of the details of Romney’s role in the 2002 Olympics have also been kept from the public.
    Mitt Romney promised “complete transparency” when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games.

    But some who worked with Romney describe a close-to-the-vest chief executive unwilling to share so much as a budget with a state board responsible for spending oversight. Archivists now say most key records about the Games’ internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staff member shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts.

    “Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there,” said Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns. “Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Most Spectacular Night View of Earth Ever Captured by NASA

  17. rikyrah says:

    President Obama’s motorcade rolls through Oakland

  18. rikyrah says:

    Quote For The Day II

    “Romney does not have a plan to fix the short term crisis, in the sense that he’d be proposing exactly the same things if the economy were doing great. But the politics of the presidential race are such that Romney needs to promise that electing him would fix the crisis. To make this case, he has to sell the American people on the idea that government — and Obama’s hostility towards individual initiative and American free enterprise — are to blame for holding back the recovery, and that shoving both of those things “out of the way” will reignite the economy. That’s why Romney continues to falsely claim that stimulus spending only succeeded in growing government and didn’t help the private sector at all. That’s why he continues to falsely claim that Obama “demeans success.” That’s why he continues to falsely claim that Obama thinks only government, and not individual initiative, creates jobs — and that this is why you’re suffering. These ideas are essential to Romney’s entire argument. Without them, he doesn’t have one,” – Greg Sargent.

    The sheer phoniness and surrealism of Romney’s version of the last three years – and the utter emptiness of his proposals to move forward – is beautifully laid bare here by actual economists operating on reality-based judgments.

  19. rikyrah says:

    not that we already didn’t know this.


    How super PACs are saving Mitt Romney
    Posted by Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake at 06:30 AM ET, 07/24/2012

    Republican-aligned super PACs and other outside conservative groups have spent more than $144 million on general election ads in swing presidential states, a huge outlay of cash that has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to not only combat but exceed heavy early ad spending by President Obama

    Roughly 80 percent of all ad spending by Republicans on the general election has come from these super PACs, as Romney has expended a relatively meager $35 million to date on ads in swing states, according to ad buy figures provided to the Fix by a GOP media buyer.

    By contrast, the $20 million that Democratic super PACs have spent on ads so far in the general election accounts for just 19 percent of total ad spending on the Democratic side.

    Of the 10 biggest spenders on TV ads among outside groups, eight of them are Republican affiliated. Here’s a chart that details total ad spending in the general election by those groups as well as by Obama and Romney:

  20. rikyrah says:

    PA Government Admits ‘No Voter Fraud’
    by BooMan
    Tue Jul 24th, 2012 at 01:14:43 PM EST

    The Pennsylvania voter identification law is in the commonwealth court now. The defendants (the commonwealth of Pennsylvania) have made an interesting stipulation (pdf). They have agreed that there have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in the state, and that they have no personal knowledge of any such voter fraud. They have agreed not to introduce any evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania or anywhere else, nor will they argue that any voter fraud is likely to occur in future elections.
    They are arguing that voting is not a fundamental right and that they do not have to show any rationale for their voter ID law. The reason they think voting is not a fundamental right is because the court upheld a law barring felons from voting. That’s a very weak argument. The reason they don’t think they have to offer an rationale is because the Supreme Court ruled that way in the Indiana case. But the Indiana case was fought under U.S. Constitution rules, and this case is being fought under Pennsylvania Constitution rules, and the PA Constitution is explicit about voting being a fundamental right.

    Perhaps their weakest argument is that the law is needed to produce confidence in the electorate about the integrity of the vote. But the Republicans’ lies about voter fraud are what undermined that confidence and the best way to restore confidence would be to tell their wing-nut fanboys what they’ve already stipulated to in court. There is no in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania, nor is there any reason to believe there will be any in the future.

    Their case is weak and I expect them to lose.

  21. Ametia says:


  22. rikyrah says:

    Help Wanted
    By Charles P. Pierce at 10:30AM

    Is there anybody in the Romney campaign — from the candidate himself, to my old Wingo Square pal Eric Fehrnstrom, to whoever it is that who orders the sandwiches every day for lunch — who’s actually any good at his job?

    In the Mitt Romney campaign web and television ads that received national attention last week, a blunt Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson tells President Barack Obama that he, his father and his son _ and not the government _ built his company. But as it turns out, Gilchrist did receive some government help for his business, albeit a long time ago. In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority “to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time.

    This stuff is bad. In fact, this is hilariously bad. It’s bad for the candidate, who looks like a dolt. It’s bad for the campaign, which looks as though nobody’s in charge. It’s bad for the party, which already has doubts about the candidate’s fealty to its multifarious litmus tests and now has got to be wondering if the guy can tie his own shoes. How do you not vet this guy before you put him in the ad? How do you craft an effectively dishonest distortion of something the president said, and spread it around nationally, without checking to see whether it’s undermined by one of the three biggest items in your candidate’s CV, or by a bit of video? (That Romney relied on federal money to help him “save” the Olympics in 2002 has been in the news, largely because Romney himself bragged about it, since long before they lit the torch.) Can’t anybody here play this game?

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      LMBAO I love Pierce. NO, Romney doesn’t have competent staff. If he did, they continue concealing, destroying his BUSINESS records, and schooling this MOFO on his arrogant, entitled ways!

  23. rikyrah says:

    Obama Ad Showing Romney Singing Off-Key Was Very Effective With Independent Voters

    Political mudslinging, once called “as American as Mississippi mud,” has only intensified as the presidential election draws closer, with President Obama and Mitt Romney currently hitting one another with 90 percent negative ads.

    And while many Americans hate negative ads, a new project by Vanderbilt University and research firm YouGov shows them to be highly effective—at least for the Obama campaign.

    The “Ad Rating Project,” which measures measure voter reaction to negative ads by asking people how each ad makes them feel, how believable or memorable or fair it is, and whether they think the ads are negative or positive, found that independent voters are deeply affected by the Obama campaign’s negative ads about Romney.

    After showing independent voters the negative ad of Romney singing “America the Beautiful” off-key, for example, approval of Romney by those voters fell sharply from 16 points to 3 points. Obama’s numbers, on the other hand, barely moved after independents watched a negative ad about the president.

    “People have made up their minds about Obama,” John Geer, political science professor at Vanderbilt and head of the project, told Whispers. “Whereas Obama’s ads have extracted a price for Romney. They are what’s moving the dial for the Obama camp. And the Obama campaign knows that.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 07/24/2012

    Pennsylvania admits it: no voter fraud problem
    By Jamelle Bouie

    A court filing by the state of Pennsylvania, ahead of a trial starting later this week on a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups against the state’s new voter fraud law, contains an astounding admission:

    The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”

    In other words, the state knows that voter fraud is a nonexistent problem, but will nonetheless defend a law that could potentially disenfranchise a huge number of the state’s voters. Of course, it’s not hard to see why the state — and particularly its Republican governor — would continue to support the measure.

    The Pennsylvania voter identification law — passed several months ago by state Republicans — is one of the strictest in the country. Under the law, voters are required to show an unexpired government-issued ID. If an ID is not issued by either the state of Pennsylvania or the federal government, then it will not be accepted (for instance, student IDs from schools outside of the state). If you do not have an ID, you can receive a free one as long as you have a Social Security card, official birth certificate, and two proofs of residency.

  25. Ametia says:

    Romney: Assad Has To Go

    Romney tells Larry Kudlow

    In an interview airing tonight on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney declared that Syrian president Bashar Assad has to go — and blamed the Obama administration for the length of the crisis.

    Romney placed much of the blame on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying she and the rest of the Obama administration “misread the setting in Syria.”

    “The Secretary of State said that Assad was a reformer,” he said. “That’s a phrase which will obviously go down in history as being poorly timed and entirely

  26. Ametia says:

    July 24, 2012
    Romney Foreign Policy Challenge

    As Mitt Romney prepares to give a big foreign policy speech today and begin a five-stop trip abroad tomorrow, a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds he faces challenges in convincing Americans he is the best candidate to handle foreign affairs.

    “More than half of Americans, or 52%, say Obama can better handle foreign policy concerns compared with 40% who choose the presumptive Republican nominee. The numbers are closer among registered voters, who give Obama a 4-point advantage.”

    First Read notes foreign policy “is a big strength for Obama heading into the fall. Almost every poll shows that. And that’s the context for Romney’s overseas trip — for this former one-term governor to demonstrate his foreign-policy chops and put more meat on bone. So far, Romney’s foreign-policy statements have seemed more like a political strategy (to sound strong and to outflank Obama) rather a clear foreign-policy outlook.”

  27. Ametia says:

    Romney’s latest fundraising scheme is a LIE

    Mitt Romney’s Latest Fundraising Scheme Is Based On A Lie
    by: countrycat
    Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:15:51 AM CDT

    In a fundraising email, Mitt Romney is shocked, shocked that President Obama thinks entrepreneurs don’t build their own businesses. “You didn’t build this” has become a mantra for the Romney campaign (which is ironic considering much of Romney’s business career appears to have been built on dismantling businesses). Still, the President’s dismissive attitude toward business owners would be shocking – if it were true

  28. rikyrah says:

    Open Thread: Romney’s Retroactive Honesty
    By Anne Laurie July 23rd, 2012

    t’s not that Romney is a liar, exactly, it’s just that he has a context-fraught relationship with the truth. Dan Amira, at NYMag’s Daily Intel blog:

    Romney’s message was undercut in two brand-new ways today. First, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports that the indignant business-owning star of a new Romney TV ad actually received hundreds of thousands of dollars in government loans, thus lending support to Obama’s point about government’s role in helping business thrive.

    And that’s not all! NBC News discovered footage of Romney making pretty much the same point as Obama in a 2002 Olympic speech — only instead of businesses, he was referring to the world’s best athletes.

    “You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

  29. rikyrah says:

    24, 2012 10:34 AM

    The Romney Standard of Presidential Performance

    By Ed Kilgore

    An excellent catch by Brother Benen, who notes that Mitt Romney thinks presidents should be given a mulligan for the performance of the economy during their first year in office:
    Mitt Romney sat down with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow, and made a curious observation. He said voters who want a strong economy should vote for him, but Americans “ought to give, whichever president is going to be elected, at least six months or a year to get those policies in place.”
    At first blush, that may sound fairly reasonable. A president takes office, he or she needs time to put a team in place, craft an agenda, and get to work. What’s more, we generally don’t see the results of economic policies immediately; the agenda needs to time to take effect. In Romney’s mind, six months to a year seems fair.
    But let’s go ahead and apply this standard to President Obama, who took office in the midst of the worst global economic catastrophe since the Great Depression….
    [I]f we don’t hold Obama’s first year against him, the economy has added over 3.7 million jobs overall during his presidency, and over 4.2 million in the private sector.
    That’s not the count by my standard; that’s the count by Romney’s standard.

    But I wonder about the Romney standard from a somewhat different angle: if “whichever President is going to be elected” deserves a fresh start (and I don’t think he’s talking about the Green or Libertarian candidates), does that apply to Obama as well? Does that mean if the president is re-elected, congressional Republicans should release their death grip on any and all economic initiatives and give the guy a chance to get something done?

  30. rikyrah says:

    Challenges To The Voting Rights Act Reach The Supreme Court
    By Aviva Shen on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    The Supreme Court may take on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 next term, if two recent legal challenges get their way. Petitions from Kinston, North Carolina and Shelby County, Alabama reached the Court Friday, pushing for the invalidation of Section 5 of the law, which requires that states with a history of discrimination “pre-clear” any changes in election procedure with the federal government.

    This provision most recently landed the state of Texas in court after the Justice Department blocked a voter ID law that would disproportionately target minorities. There have been more challenges to the Voting Rights Act in the past two years than in the previous 45, according to Reuters.

    The Kinston petition was filed in 2008 over a move to omit candidates’ party affiliations from ballots, which the DOJ blocked because it would make black voters more likely to vote for the wrong person. Shelby County’s appeal comes after the D.C. Circuit upheld the pre-clearance requirement. In 2006, Congress voted to extend the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years, placing more requirements on local and state governments in states with histories of discrimination. These cases argue that the state and local governments are excessively burdened by the law.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: These cases argue that the state and local governments are excessively burdened by the law. = OUR STATES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DON’T WANT THE NEGROES VOTING.


  31. rikyrah says:

    Prominent Romney Defender Has Lobbying Ties to Bain
    Lee Fang on July 19, 2012 – 12:51 PM ET

    Mitt Romney still hasn’t provided an adequate answer over the question of whether he completely left Bain Capital in February of 1999, as he claimed on his ethics forms.

    While the candidate sputters to rebut the growing mountain of evidence that he continued to maintain ties to the firm for three years after he supposedly left, much of his defense rests with a former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, Harvey Pitt. Pitt’s defense of Romney—claiming that Romney’s signature on Bain-related SEC documents during the years in question are insignificant—has been cited in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and on Meet the Press. He told the Times, among other outlets, that dozens of filings showing Romney was CEO of Bain between 1999 and 2002 had “nothing to do with who’s actually running Bain Capital.” Romney’s surrogates, like Ed Gillespie, have trotted out Pitt’s name to dismiss any questions from the press.

    What the media hasn’t reported, however, is that Pitt is now a bank lobbyist with ties to Romney’s former firm.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes; the media is trying to turn PBO into the sniveling villian, while avoiding Romney’s SECRECY & DESTROYING RECORDS, so that folks cannot VERIFY his SHADYNESS at Bain, in Massachusetts, his TAX RETURNS, and the 2002 Olympics dealings.

  32. Ametia says:

    From Think Progress:

    Wisconsin Republican Senator Believes Voter ID Will Help Romney ‘In A Close Race
    By Scott Keyes on Jul 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

    KEYES: If it were upheld and in place in time for the November election, do you think — polls have shown a pretty razor-thin margin — do you think it might ultimately help Romney’s campaign here in the state?

    GROTHMAN: Yes. Right. I think we believe that insofar as there are inappropriate things, people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat.

    KEYES: So if these protections are in place of voter ID, that might ultimately help him in a close race?

    GROTHMAN: Right. I think if people cheat, we believe the people who cheat are more likely to vote against us.

    Listen to audio here:

  33. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 11:31 AM ET, 07/24/2012
    What the war over `didn’t build that’ is really about
    By Greg Sargent

    Dems are circulating video of Obama, at a fundraiser last night, offering his most extensive pushback yet against Mitt Romney’s false claim that the President said business owners didn’t build their own businesses:

    In the speech, Obama reiterates his belief that individual initiative is what powers business success, but says that’s not imcompatible with also recognizing that a smoothly functioning society partly enabled by government is also a necessary ingredient. And Obama again reiterates his belief that government investment is the best way to secure the middle class’ future.

    This sentiment is virtually identical to the supposedly controversial speech Obama gave that included the “don’t build that” quote. And this again gets at the larger falsehood that lurks underneath the lie that Obama “demeaned success.”

    Ultimately, what this disagreement is really about is over how jobs are created and what steps should be taken to end the unemployment crisis. Obama thinks that the way to speed the recovery, and to secure our economic future, is with public investments in infrastructure that create jobs in the short term and create more demand for businesses; public investments in education to increase opportunity; and long term deficit reduction that combines less radical cuts to entitlements with tax increases on the wealthiest among us.

    Mitt Romney doesn’t believe in short term government investment to create jobs. His policies are geared towards long term growth, and include still more tax cuts for the rich and (as a result) entitlement reform along the lines of Paul Ryan’s plan. Romney says the best way to speed the recovery is to “get government out of the way,” unshackle the potential of the free market, put someone in charge who (unlike Obama) values individual initiative and wants people to succeed, and allow “economic freedom” to power the recovery.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Political AnimalBlog
    July 24, 2012 8:30 AM

    Ari Fleischer Can Still Crank Out the Dullest Spin

    By Ed Kilgore

    I wonder what sort of editorial disaster struck the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion section yesterday. Did someone miss a deadline? Were they perhaps planning to run an op-ed on how Mitt Romney’s Olympics service showed his dedication to individual merit as opposed to the “You Didn’t Build That!” ethic?

    Whatever happened, the WSJ was somehow forced to resort to the ultimate default-drive column: Ari Fleischer (last achieving notice as damage control maestro for Tiger Woods), in his legendary, mind-numbing manner, cranking out a tedious defense of the wealthy as Atlases threatening to shrug under the weight of an unfair federal tax burden. Just read a couple of lines, and find yourself transported to the salad years of the Bush White House:

    President Obama says that “for some time now, when compared to the middle class,” the wealthy “haven’t been asked to do their fair share.”
    He’s right that the system isn’t fair, but not because the top 1% pay too little. It is because they pay too much.
    Mr. Obama has said that some wealthy employers pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries. True, some are able to lower their effective federal tax rate by giving millions to charity. Or because they derive much of their income as capital gains or from tax-free municipal bonds.
    But middle- and low-income Americans who do not invest also pay lower rates thanks to the deductions they receive, such as a $1,000 per child tax credit (which phases out for couples who make more than $110,000), or the Earned Income Tax Credit, which no one making more than $50,000 is supposed to receive.

    Feel that familiar sense of tedium rushing right back? It gets worse, right up to the less-than-stirring coda:

  35. rikyrah says:

    Justice Department eyes Pennsylvania voter-ID
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:00 AM EDT.

    Pennsylvania isn’t the only state where Republicans created a voter-ID law to suppress the vote in 2012, but it’s one of the more offensive examples. By some estimates, nearly 1-in-10 eligible voters in Pennsylvania will be disenfranchised as part of a GOP scheme to rig the election.

    They haven’t even been subtle about it. Republican Mike Turzai, Pennsylvania’s House Majority Leader, boasted that the state’s new voter-ID law, ostensibly about the integrity of the electoral process, “is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania.”

    The available evidence suggests the state’s voter-ID law disproportionately affects African Americans, students, and the poor — the very constituencies the GOP doesn’t want to participate. Given this, the issue

  36. rikyrah says:

    Obama presents voters with ‘The Choice’
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:00 AM EDT.

    Over the course of a modern presidential election, the major-party candidates are going to release all kinds of television ads and videos. Some, however, are more important than others.

    President Obama’s re-election team unveiled this new spot overnight, called “The Choice,” and unlike the daily back-and-forth, attack-counterattack messaging, this one carries a greater significance. On MSNBC this morning, John Heilemann called it a “seminal ad,” adding, “I think it’s going to be an ad that you’re going to look back on as having been an important ad in the course of the whole election.”

    For those who can’t watch clips online, this is a minute-long ad — double the usual length — featuring the president speaking directly to the camera for nearly the entire 60 seconds. Whenever an incumbent is seeking re-election, there’s an inevitable “referendum vs. choice” tension, and this spot is intended to push the latter theme — Obama uses the word “choice” three times.

  37. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney’s ’02 Olympics short on transparency
    Despite pledge, records destroyed

    Mitt Romney promised “complete transparency” when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games.

    But some who worked with Romney describe a close-to-the-vest chief executive unwilling to share so much as a budget with a state board responsible for spending oversight. Archivists now say most key records about the Games’ internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staff member shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts.

    “Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there,” said Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns. “Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent.”

    According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, “Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records.”

  38. rikyrah says:

    23, 2012 3:32 PM

    Vote Republican Or the Economy Gets It

    By Ed Kilgore

    Greg Sargent has a fine post today about how Scott Brown has picked up on the Romney campaign’s effort to spin a mendacious take on the “you didn’t build that” quote, making it a double lie by tying it back to Elizabeth Warren (whose actual words were being paraphrased by what the president actually said). Indeed, Greg puts his finger on the broader message that both Republicans are trying to send:

    The whole ”didn’t build that” dust-up is important, because the larger falsehood on display here — that Obama demeans success — is absolutely central to the Republican case against Obama. The Republican argument — Romney’s argument — is partly that Obama’s active ill will towards business owners and entrepreneurs is helping stall the recovery, so you should replace him with a president who wants people to succeed.

    What makes this “vote Republican or the economy gets it” tactic devilishly effective is that its major premise—Obama hates “job creators”—doesn’t have to be true to wreak political damage so long as its minor premise—if “job creators” think Obama hates them they’ll stop creating jobs—is credible. And so it all turns into what amounts to blackmail: people like Mitt Romney are not “confident” in Obama’s stewardship of the economy, and if they don’t get ther way in November, they’ll tank the economy. This is also the threat behind all the “fiscal cliff” talk: we’re being told the financial markets will panic if there’s any chance the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy will lapse or that Pentagon spending will be cut at the end of the year. Somehow or another, the prospect of a Republican victory that will lead to very deep federal spending cuts, reductions in consumer buying power, and the elimination of many thousands of public sector jobs isn’t said to be a problem.

  39. rikyrah says:

    The foolish embrace of self-defeating arguments
    By Steve Benen – Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:30 AM EDT.

    After the Friday morning massacre in Aurora, the presidential campaign paused. For three days, we didn’t hear Mitt Romney exploit an out-of-context quote from President Obama. Yesterday, the break ended, and the Republican nominee went back to arguing that Obama believes businesses require strong public institutions to thrive, which makes the president radical and “foreign.”

    One of the remarkable realizations is that Romney is now shaping his entire presidential campaign around a quote Obama didn’t say and doesn’t believe. Think about that for a second: after nearly four years of the Obama presidency, Romney isn’t attacking something Obama has done or intends to do; he’s attacking manufactured nonsense and making it the centerpiece of his candidacy. That, for lack of a better word, is pathetic.

    The other remarkable realization, though, is that Romney is reinforcing his misguided message with self-defeating examples.

  40. rikyrah says:

    Last September, Elizabeth Warren explained the role of public institutions in creating a society that allows American businesses to thrive. A video of the comments went viral, and soon after, President Obama echoed the sentiment.

    Last week, Mitt Romney’s campaign, hoping that voters are fools, made the case that American businesses thrive on their own without public institutions, and to believe otherwise is to be “foreign” and hostile towards free enterprise…

    ….if Romney’s hysterical, right-wing argument had any merit at all, this should be fairly easy. Obama’s been in office for three-and-a-half years, and if the president were, in reality, actively opposed to the interests and needs of America’s private sector, the evidence should be overwhelming and undeniable.

    And yet, it’s not. Romney – and now, Scott Brown – have to resort to garbage tactics that treat Americans voters like we’re idiots. Instead of presenting credible evidence to bolster absurd claims, Romney and Brown have to rely on out-of-context nonsense to make a case that their rivals believe in an agenda that’s pure fantasy.

    If President Obama and Elizabeth Warren genuinely oppose the free market — they don’t, but if they did — why do Mitt Romney and Scott Brown have to lie?…

  41. rikyrah says:

    President Obama accused rival Mitt Romney of “knowingly twisting” his comments about American business, in what amounted to his most forceful response to more than a week of sustained attacks by Republicans over a sound bite the president’s campaign argued was taken out of context.

    In remarks to a feisty audience at Oakland’s Fox Theater on Monday evening, Obama contended that Romney had misrepresented what he said this month when he spoke of the role government plays in supporting the growth of business. He said Romney’s response showed he fails to appreciate the best way to grow the economy in a balanced way.

    …. “Earlier today Gov. Romney was at it again, knowingly twisting my words around to suggest that I don’t value small businesses,” he said …. “In politics we all tolerate a certain amount of spin. I understand these are the games that get played in political campaigns. But when folks omit entire sentences of what I said – they start splicing and dicing – you may have gone a little over the edge.”,0,4654342.story

  42. Ametia says:

    The secret in Mitt Romney’s tax returns
    By Richard Cohen, Published: July 23The Washington Post

    To paraphrase Rhett Butler, I don’t give a damn if Mitt Romney releases more of his tax returns. I expect to learn nothing from them, aside from the fact that he is very rich and has paid less in taxes than he has acknowledged. He has probably taken advantage of all the loops and dodges in the tax code, piling trusts on top of trusts, securing wealth for Romneys yet unborn — gelt unto the third generation, little taxed, slightly taxed or taxed not at all.

    “Let me tell you about the very rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote. ’Scuse me, Scotty, let me tell you about them: They don’t pay much in taxes.

  43. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

    Please check out the videos in the thread post. We’re not letting up on Romeny!

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