Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

HAPPY HUMP DAY, Everyone. Do you believe in magic?

Paul Ryan Interview with Brit Hume

Paul Ryan Can’t Escape Own Budget Package In Debut Solo Interview

Hume: The budget plan you’re now supporting would get to balance when?

Ryan: Well, there are different — the budget plan that Mitt Romney is supporting gets us down to 20 percent of GDP government spending by 2016. That means get the size of government back to where it historically has been. What President Obama has done is he brought the size of government to as high as it hasn’t been since World War II. We want to reduce the size of government to have more economic freedom.

Hume: I get that. What about balance?

Ryan: I don’t know exactly what the balance is. I don’t want to get wonky on you but we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan. The plan we offer in the House balances the budget. I’d put a contrast. President Obama, never once, ever, has offered a plan to ever balance the budget. The United States Senate, they haven’t even balanced, they haven’t passed a budget in three years.

Hume: I understand that. But your own budget, that you —

Ryan: You are talking about the House budget?

Hume: I’m talking about the House budget. Your budget will be a political issue in this campaign.

Ryan: The House budget doesn’t balance until the 2030s under the current measurement of the CBO baseline.

Paul Ryan is a LIAR, and his Ayn Rand back-a-way, NOT BUYING IT. YOUTUBE, dude.  You’re on YOUTUBE WORSHIPING the ground this nutcase walked on. FAIL!

The President:

Blair House Summit: Obama Explains Medicare Advantage Changes

Today’s featured artist QUEEN- ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST

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56 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Wednesday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    August 15, 2012 5:02 PM
    Ryan and the Latino Vote

    By Ed Kilgore

    If you wondering why the Romney/Ryan campaign has gone so medieval in classic, mendacious, and racially-tinged themes aimed transparently at non-educated white voter, maybe the answer is because they’ve painted themselves into a corner with so many other elements of the electorate. That’s certainly the case with Latinos, already a disaster area for Romney but made if possible worse by the selection of Paul Ryan, or so suggest Politico’s Emily Schultheis and Alexander Burns:

    What’s clear is that Romney’s lagging fortunes among Hispanics are unlikely to receive any boost from choosing a vice presidential candidate who has voted in Congress against the DREAM Act and supports overhauling entitlement programs that are extremely popular among Latino voters….

    Obama’s commanding lead has not diminished and may be cemented in place. Univision anchor Jorge Ramos framed the Republican dilemma in a tweet after Ryan was announced as Romney’s ticket mate: “?How can [Paul Ryan] attract the Hispanic vote? If Republicans don’t get a third of the Latino vote they won’t get the White House back….”

    {Ryan’s] a member of a Republican Congress that many Latinos view as a hostile entity. Latino Decisions found that by a 51-point margin, Latinos oppose cuts to Medicare — an even wider margin than the electorate at large, according to some polls.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 02:54 PM PDT.

    Ohio secretary of state sets early voting hours the same for all counties+*

    by Meteor Blades

    Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has directed all 88 of the state’s counties to follow the same early voting schedule. As reported previously, the election boards of Republican-dominated counties had extended their early voting hours in October to evenings and weekends while Democratic counties had had their efforts to extend early voting blocked.
    The four-member boards are divided equally between Democratic and Republican members, with tie votes broken by the Secretary of State. Democratic board members had voted, in most cases, to extend early voting hours in all counties, but Republicans had approved them in Republican counties and voted against them in Democratic counties. Husted had voted with the Republicans when needed for them to block extended hours.

    The results? Less affluent counties with large African American and other minority populations that vote heavily Democratic were stuck with early-voting hours that made it more difficult for their working-class voters to cast ballots. Wealthier, whiter suburban and rural counties set longer hours even though, by the nature of their jobs and general economic situation, people already find it easier to get to the polls. In the four urban counties, the vote margin for Barack Obama in 2008 was 490,000. In the suburban counties, the vote margin for John McCain was 87,000. The intent behind keeping early voting hours minimal in the Democratic counties was perfectly clear.

    Husted’s standards even things out. But instead of doing the right thing and expanding hours in the urban counties to match those of the suburban and rural ones, he has set the hours the same everywhere, at a lower level. That eliminates the Jim Crow aspects, to be sure. It doesn’t, however, provide the extra hours that would draw more voters to the polls in the urban districts. For one thing, no weekend voting and very little evening voting. That is nonsensical. Establishing early voting schedules ought to start with weekends and evenings. Beginning Oct. 2:

  3. rikyrah says:

    Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 07:33 AM PDT.

    Paul Ryan, in Congress since he was 28, pretends to be McDonald’s-working Everyman

    Only with Mitt Romney as the presidential nominee could you have a ticket in which a guy who was elected to Congress at 28 after working on the Hill for several years was tapped to play the role of the Everyman Who Understands You Commoners. Speaking in Colorado, Ryan emphasized the man part of Everyman, talking about his big truck (emphasis on big), his camping and hiking and cooking on fires. Then there’s his history of low-wage work:

    “I don’t know about you,” Ryan told the spirited crowd that filled the high school’s gymnasium, “but when I was growing up, you know, when I was flippin’ burgers at McDonald’s, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine washing dishes or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I thought to myself, I’m the American dream on a path and journey so that I can find happiness however I can find it myself.”

    That is some optimistic, forward-looking, Grade-A American Dream bullshit right there. Because again, Paul Ryan’s stints at service work came between high school and the year or two immediately out of college, and in that year or two immediately out of college, he was already working on the Hill. Stuck? He was on “a path and journey” to be in Congress by the time he was 28 years old! And before he got there, he had a year working in marketing for his family’s construction firm.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Wed Aug 15, 2012 at 10:28 AM PDT.

    Romney/Ryan Medicaid cuts don’t put off pain for seniors +

    The cynicism in the Romney/Ryan campaign in thinking American senior citizens are so selfish that putting off the destruction of Medicare for a few years will keep current seniors voting Republican is monumental. But here’s what they’re not telling those seniors: They might not be affected by the Medicare cuts, but they’ll be left high and dry if they ever end up needing Medicaid. And most seniors do, because Medicaid is what pays for long-term care for millions of older Americans.

    Many middle-income Americans who may be unfamiliar with Medicaid end up relying on the program in their old age because they exhaust their assets. Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care so they turn to Medicaid, which does.
    “Most of us could end up in Medicaid whether we imagine ourselves that way or not,” Rother said.

    Two-thirds of nursing home patients are covered by Medicaid, some six million Americans. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan both have plans that will slash that coverage. Romney has largely avoided providing specifics for what he’d cut, but his balanced budget proposal, including his tax cuts for the wealthy, would mean that programs like Medicaid would have to be cut drastically: 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022. It basically means that Romney’s Medicaid cuts would be deeper than Ryan’s.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Who’s Raiding Medicare? Hint: It’s Not Obama.

    Jonathan Cohn
    August 15, 2012 | 1:49 pm

    Have you seen Mitt Romney’s new ad on Medicare? The video is below. The script goes like this:

    You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you. The Romney-Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today’s seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation.

    It’s not very subtle. And it’s not very true.

    By now, you should know all about the hypocrisy of Romney attacking Obama for cutting Medicare. Paul Ryan put the same cuts in his budget plan. And while Romney has insisted he’d restore them, his budget doesn’t have room for that. If he’s serious about his overall spending plan, then he’d surely have to cut Medicare by as much as Obama did. In fact, he’d probably have to cut it by even more. And that’s just in the first ten years.

  6. rikyrah says:

    Romney hits Obama’s likability

    By Jonathan Easley and Justin Sink – 08/15/12 05:50 PM ET

    Mitt Romney launched an aggressive counteroffensive this week intended to cut into one of President Obama’s biggest advantages in the presidential race: Voters like him.

    Polls showing Obama with a consistent edge in “likability” over the stiffer Romney have worried Republicans.

    Romney’s aides said his comments that Obama should take his “campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago” reflect real anger with the tone of the president’s campaign, but they acknowledged the counterattack is also strategic

    They said internal campaign polling and focus groups show the GOP attacks on Obama’s rhetoric and campaign ads are lowering Obama’s favorability numbers.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Who’s playing racial politics in this campaign? It’s Mitt Romney

    Yesterday, Joe Biden said something stupid. Now it’s hardly the first time those words have been spoken and likely won’t be the last. But this time Biden’s words created something of a firestorm.

    When talking about Mitt Romney’s support for repealing Dodd-Frank and other regulations on big banks, Biden said, “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.” This was a play off Republican charges that Democrats have shackled the private sector (an assertion that might come as a surprise to Dow watchers). Still, it was a dumb thing to say, and considering that half of Biden’s audience was made up of African-Americans, looks ever more foolish and insensitive.

    But what is so fascinating about the incident is not what Biden said, but the Republican reaction to it. After taking a second to unclench their hands from the pearl necklaces around their necks, Romney campaign officials quickly attacked Obama for reaching “a new low” and the candidate himself criticized the President’s campaign of “hate.” Here on the Rumble, the perennially aggrieved Derek Hunter writes that this is yet another example of “liberal racism.”

    But if you really want to talk about who is playing the race card this year, it’s worth briefly revisiting the latest attack ad from the Romney campaign on welfare:

  8. rikyrah says:

    Political Animal


    August 15, 2012 4:13 PM
    The Bigger Lie

    By Ed Kilgore

    In excoriating Romney’s campaign for its disgusting, mendacious ads and attack lines claiming Obama has re-created no-strings welfare, I probably haven’t been clear enough that this is part of a much bigger picture Team Mitt is trying to paint. WaPo’s Greg Sargent nails it here:

    The original Romney theory of the race was similar to the one animating the AFP ad. We were told for months that Romney could win by making this race nothing more than a referendum on the economy and on Obama’s stewardship of it, which was such a disaster that all Romney had to do was paint him in as a nice guy in over his head and he’d win.

    But the Romney campaign has veered sharply away from this approach. Today’s ad is only the latest example of the new tack, which is all about stoking an old-school politics of resentment by painting Obama as someone who harbors disdain towards the hard work of ordinary Americans and redistributionist designs on their hard-won wealth. This has lately been everywhere: The “didn’t build that” distortions; the ads featuring hard working Americans alongside claims Obama wants to send “welfare checks” to people who don’t work; the enlisting of Newt Gingrich to amplify the welfare assault; and, now, the new ad suggesting Obama wants to raid old folks’ health insurance and channel it into a “massive new government program that’s not for you.”

    This last point is worth underlying. The sudden new attacks on bogus “Medicare cuts” (which in any event, were included in Paul Ryan’s budget as well) are generally being interpreted as aimed at blunting Democratic assaults on Ryan’s treatment of Medicare, and that’s partly the case. But if was just a matter of a “counter-Mediscare,” Team Romney wouldn’t be putting so much emphasis of where that money went: to ObamaCare, which benefits those people. Building resentment towards a supposed broad-based redistribution of money from older and whiter people to younger and darker people is the common aim, and if it requires a lot of lying, who cares, right? It’s Obama’s secret Olinskyite plan, even if he isn’t actually carrying it out.


    Looks to me like the Romney campaign is once again taking a page from the Rove playbook and accusing his opponent of exactly his own sins. If nothing else, it enables the media to retreat with a relieved sigh into the false-equivalency meme and just report that both sides are accusing each other of racially divisive tactics. And it makes those who respond positively to Romney’s own racial appeals feel justified: those people always play the “race card,” after all.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Blatant dishonesty matters more than who’s ‘mean’

    By Steve Benen

    Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:36 PM EDT.

    Romney in Ohio, in front of some of the coal miners he lied to about welfare.

    Following Mitt Romney’s minor breakdown yesterday, in which he complained bitterly about President Obama not being nice enough to him, there all kinds of media analyses today on the 2012 race reaching a “poisonous” level. Ben Smith speculated today on how the campaign “got so mean.”

    What these pieces overlook is any consideration of whether the candidates’ attacks and counter-attacks are accurate. The media establishment seems to care a great deal about whether the major-party candidates and their respective teams embrace provocative rhetoric, but spent almost no time whatsoever examining whether the campaigns are being honest.

    Apparently, there’s a difference between deceiving the public and being “mean.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    August 15, 2012 10:45 AM

    Bad News From PA

    By Ed Kilgore

    Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law, aimed, according to House GOP Leader Mike Turzai, at making it possible for Mitt Romney to win the state, has overcome its first legal hurdle, as Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson declined to granted an injunction blocking implementation of the law before November.

    As Dave Weigel explains, securing relief from the law through the appeals process is at best iffy:

    The ACLU will eventually take its case to the state Supreme Court, which (due to a scandal surrounding one member) is split 3-3, Democratic and Republican members. If the court splits on this law, the Simpson decision is reaffirmed.
    So even if the law is ultimately struck down, it would still be in place for this election cycle. Pennsylvania’s Republicans have certainly fought hard for the designation of being America’s preeminent warriors against the right to vote.

  11. rikyrah says:

    CBS Gives Romney A Pass On Wall Street Deregulation

    Mitt Romney’s failure to lay out specific plans received another pass in the media this morning when CBS News declined to press Romney on how he would replace Wall Street regulations he has said he will eliminate.

    Romney has been adamant that he will repeal Wall Street regulations that were enacted after the financial crisis, a promise the Boston Globe reported is “helping him reap millions from Wall Street contributors.” Romney has said he would replace those regulations with a “streamlined, modern regulatory framework.”

    Exactly what that regulatory framework would look like remains a mystery. A May 2 Boston Globe article noted that Romney has been “nearly silent on how – without the regulation – he would prevent Wall Street from once again engaging in the risky practices that helped cause the 2008 financial crisis.”

    Romney’s silence on how he would regulate Wall Street after repealing existing regulations was not broken during his interview on CBS.

    Asked about comments Vice President Joe Biden made criticizing Republicans for a deregulatory zeal toward Wall Street, Romney said that “we have to have regulation” on Wall Street and protested that “no one is talking about deregulating Wall Street.”

    CBS’ Anthony Mason and Gayle King passed up the opportunity to press Romney on how exactly how he would replace the regulatory framework, and just what a “streamlined, modern regulatory framework” would look like.

  12. rikyrah says:

    August 14, 2012
    Will Ryan sabotage the GOP’s congressional hopes?

    [T]he more pessimistic [Republican] strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many … are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.

    That, however, is where Citizens United comes in–a worry on this side that should allay the worry on their side. In the few competitive districts remaining (GOP state legislatures have successfully converted many more two-year seats to at-will appointments) swing voters will be swamped by Koch and Adelson and Rove all bellowing that the GOP candidate just adores Medicare all to pieces. Wouldn’t touch its sacred obligations for the world. It’s an everlasting monument to a prudent society and adorable grandma, both of which the GOP pants to preserve.

  13. rikyrah says:

    August 14, 2012
    Translating Beltwayese
    The Hill, in journalistic Beltwayese:

    Republicans strategists are worried that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) addition to the presidential ticket will cost their party House and Senate seats this fall.

    Their concern: Democrats will successfully demonize Ryan’s budget plan, which contains controversial spending cuts and changes to Medicare

    In English:

    Republican strategists worry that Democrats will successfully expose Ryan’s controversial budget plan, which contains demonic spending cuts and voucherizes Medicare into bootless oblivion.

    • rikyrah says:

      ‘That’s the difference between our plans on Medicare’
      By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:39 PM EDT

      President Obama was in Dubuque, Iowa, this afternoon, and took two minutes to address the subject of the week: Medicare.

      ‘That’s the difference between our plans on Medicare’
      By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:39 PM EDT.9President Obama was in Dubuque, Iowa, this afternoon, and took two minutes to address the subject of the week: Medicare.

      For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s a transcript of Obama’s remarks:

      “I think [Republicans] know their plan’s not very popular. You can tell that because they are being pretty dishonest about my plan. Especially, by the way, when it comes to Medicare. Now, this is something I’ve got to point out here because they are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks.

      “Here is what you need to know: I have strengthened Medicare. I have made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs. I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system — reforms that will not touch your Medicare benefits, not by a dime.

      “Now, Mr. Romney and his running mate have a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program. That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare, they’d get a voucher to buy private insurance. And because the voucher wouldn’t keep up with costs, the plan offered by Governor Romney’s running mate, Congressman Ryan, would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year, and I assume they don’t have it.

      “My plan’s already extended Medicare by nearly a decade. Their plan ends Medicare as we know it. My plan reduces the cost of Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and subsidies to insurance companies. Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. That’s the difference between our plans on Medicare, that’s an example of the choice in this election, and that’s why I am running for a second term as President of the United States of America.”

      Obama wasn’t “angry and hateful”; he wasn’t engaged in “personal attacks”; in fact he seemed almost amused by the whole story. The president simply set the record straight.

      The contrast is rather amazing, when you think about. Mitt Romney can hardly deliver a sentence on Medicare without telling a blatant lie, but Obama’s comments in Iowa today happened to be 100% accurate. The only thing he didn’t mention is that Republicans have adopted the same Medicare savings Romney is now condemning.

  14. rikyrah says:

    August 14, 2012
    Well, maybe a little evidence
    Ezra Klein:

    Democrats believe the best way to reform Medicare is to leave the program intact but vastly strengthen its ability to pay for quality. Republicans believe the best way to reform Medicare is to fracture the system between private plans and traditional Medicare and let competition do its work.
    It’s worth saying there’s no particularly good evidence for either option.

    It’s worth adding, however, that the profit motive which underlies private plans means that the pools of potential customers would be arranged concentrically, from less healthy and usually older consumers on the outside rings, paying more, to healthier and probably younger consumers on the inside, paying less. The real bodily basket cases are then dispatched to traditional Medicare, which can deny no one, yet Medicare (which would be ratcheting down its payments to providers) would in no way meet actual healthcare costs, thus those consumers would get stuck with the difference–and good luck finding an affordable supplemental plan, as you suffer from heart disease, emphysemia and cancer.

    And for all this there is pretty good evidence; that being the entire history of private healthcare.

  15. rikyrah says:

    August 15, 2012
    Romney’s ‘War of Obamian Aggression’

    Whenever I hear Romney memorably sputter more of his counterfeit indignation or calculated malice–for example Obama should take his “division and anger and hate back to Chicago”–I think of other great rallying cries that were just as indignant, just as malicious, just as cold-blooded and disingenuous and diversionary, such as Old Southerners’ whoops about the “War of Northern Aggression,” or Europe’s brownshirted little men who fumed about having been “Stabbed in the Back.”

    At their deepest level, such cries are the counterintuitive cries of refinement, cultivation and sophistication by brutes, bullies and barbarians. But not primitives. Primitives would be at an innocent loss if asked or inspired to twist the plainly absurd into the elaborately marketable, while expert brutes and bullies have been around the block–they know, they’ve studied, what their fellow and lesser barbarians might eagerly swallow.

    They also drip with projection, or, in the vernacular, simple table-turning. After landing the first martial blow, Southerners girded for the “aggressive” North; after supposedly being “stabbed in the back” by domestic socialists and Jewish financiers, the little men betrayed everyone and drove a dagger into Germany’s heart; and when Romney envisions “what an angry and desperate presidency looks like,” we know what he means.

    The Obama campaign reacted to Romney’s latest neoconfederate Teutonism with the aptest of descriptions: “unhinged.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    August 15, 2012
    Still stewing in a bowl of bafflement

    Comedian Andy Borowitz joked on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show last night that Paul Ryan has replaced Sarah Palin as the dumbest veep pick ever, although Borowitz wasn’t laughing. I doubt anyone in the audience was, either, because Borowitz’s joke was actually a vivid, irrefutable political assessment.

    Still, it’s funny as hell; funny in a baffling, mind-boggling, Romney-must-be-joking sort of way. This clown made how many millions in high finance? Just goes to show you: If you start with enough advantages, you can’t possibly lose them all. Thus even the dumbest of the rich just keep getting richer.

    But back to Ryan. The only potentially admissible argument for Romney’s choosing this Randian twirp was that he shored up the base. Yet Ryan is synonymous with the extermination of Medicare, and, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll of this year, 53 percent of Republicans “say they would prefer to keep Medicare as currently structured, rather than move toward a defined contribution model that offers the choice between traditional Medicare or a private plan.”

  17. rikyrah says:

    August 15, 2012
    The GOP’s Ministry of Peculiar Justice

    Meet Pennsylvania’s Robert Simpson, the latest robed Banana Republican to reduce this nation’s rule of law to brute partisan power, Machiavellian skulduggery, and a Hobbesian state of nature.

    In his 70-page opinion, Simpson said the plaintiffs “did an excellent job of ‘putting a face’ to those burdened by the voter ID requirement,” but he said he didn’t have the luxury of deciding the case based on sympathy. Rather, he said he believed that state officials and agencies were actively resolving problems with the law and that they would carry it out in a “nonpartisan, even-handed manner.”

    Yes indeed. That’s the manner in which most partisan, biased laws are carried out. You know, like the ones covered under Plessy v. Ferguson, which though considered “burdensome” by the fastidiously sympathetic, were in fact ruggedly “even-handed.”

  18. rikyrah says:

    Talking about Mitt is not allowed…
    By Dennis G. August 15th, 2012

    Last week Mitt Romney stated that any discussion of his business record, his taxes or the way he made his fortune should not be discussed as part of the Presidential Campaign:

    “[O]ur campaign would be—helped immensely if we had an agreement between both campaigns that we were only going to talk about issues and that attacks based upon—business or family or taxes or things of that nature… [would not be allowed]”

    While most folks think this is silly, Mitt is serious about it. He really believes that nobody should be allowed to discuss anything about his record that might be a liability. His sense of entitlement is amazing.
    Mitt has been on the ropes all summer long due to folks disregarding his wishes and talking about that record. He has added to his misery with a series of mistakes and the fact that he really is a dick. The more people know about him, the less they like him. Last week, Wingnuts were in a panic about Mittens and ordered him to select Paul Ryan as his running mate. Mitt did as he was told, but made the announcement in typical #romneyshambles style.

  19. rikyrah says:


    don’t nobody believe you.


    Other than tax returns, ‘there’s nothing we’re hiding’
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:26 AM EDT.

    As a rule, family members of candidates shouldn’t be considered political players, but once those family members become campaign surrogates and enter the political sphere making partisan arguments, there’s nothing inappropriate about scrutinizing their comments.

    Take Ann Romney’s latest defense of her husband’s secrecy, for example.
    Ann Romney sat down with NBC’s Natalie Morales and when the subject turned to the still-hidden tax returns, the Republican became quite agitated. Romney insisted that her husband’s campaign has done “what’s legally required of us,” which is true, but fails to meet accepted norms, standards, and expectations.

    She added, “There’s going to be no more tax releases given.” I assume that means outside of the 2011 returns Mitt Romney has promised to release, but has not yet disclosed, though Ann Romney didn’t elaborate.

    She went on to say, “There’s nothing we’re hiding.” Except the tax returns, the tax rates paid, and the explanation for the Swiss bank account, the shell corporation in Bermuda, and the cash in the Cayman Islands. Other than hiding all of that, they’re not hiding anything.

    And why will the Romneys refuse all additional calls for disclosure, even from Republicans? According to Ann Romney, it’s because Democrats might use the materials to make Mitt Romney look bad.

  20. rikyrah says:

    A day in which ‘dreams’ come true
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:26 PM EDT.

    Obama greets supporters after speaking on immigration policy in El Paso last year.
    Nearly two months after President Obama made a surprise announcement, deciding to implement many of the goals of the Dream Act, today is a breakthrough day.

    The Obama administration will kick off one of the most sweeping changes in immigration policy in decades Wednesday, allowing an estimated 1.7 million young undocumented immigrants to apply for the temporary right to live and work openly in the United States without fear of deportation.

    Immigrants have waited for final details of the plan in the two months since President Obama pledged to brush aside years of congressional stalemate over the Dream Act and grant de facto residency to qualified immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

    On Tuesday, officials surprised advocacy groups by posting the application forms online one day early. Advocates across the country are planning workshops Wednesday for hundreds of immigrants eager to learn who will qualify and how to apply.

    As Ned Resnikoff explained, eligibility applies to immigrants to came to the United States illegally before they turned 16, are now between the ages of 15 and 30, and have been living in the United States for at least five years. Additionally, they must be either students, high school graduates, or honorably discharged service members.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Freeing Wall Street of its burdens
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:51 PM EDT.

    Vice President Joe Biden was in Virginia yesterday, reminding voters that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan intend to roll back the clock on Wall Street safeguards and layers of accountability. “[Romney] said in the first 100 days, he’s going to let the big banks write their own rules — unchain Wall Street,” Biden said. “They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

    The apoplexy was almost immediate. Republicans and the media condemned the line, accusing Biden of arguing that the Romney-Ryan ticket somehow supports slavery. Reporters used this as an example of campaign rhetoric reaching the gutter and the GOP used this as evidence of the Obama campaign’s viciousness.

    Yes, Biden used the wrong metaphor. I doubt it was planned; I also doubt we’ll hear it again; and I’m quite certain the “chains” line won’t be the centerpiece of the Obama campaign’s messaging in the coming weeks and months.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 08/15/2012
    Here’s why Romney pounced on Biden’s “chains” gaffe: He’s losing
    By Jamelle Bouie

    Joe Biden isn’t known for his verbal precision, which is why it wasn’t a surprise to see him use this unfortunate language when it came to attacking Mitt Romney’s pledge to repeal Dodd-Frank:

    “Romney wants to let the — he said the first 100 days — he’s gonna let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street,” Biden said at an event in Danville, Va. “They gonna put y’all back in chains.”

    Because he was speaking to a mostly African American audience, it’s not unreasonable to read “chains” as a reference to slavery. But as soon as you give you give it a little more thought — not much, just a tiny bit — it’s clear it was a poorly-worded attempt to play on the GOP’s promise to “unshackle” the economy.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 08/15/2012
    The next frontier in the case against Paul Ryan
    By Greg Sargent

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have had some success in obscuring the health care debate by pointing out that Ryan’s proposal does not change Medicare for people currently over 55 years old. This has allowed Republicans to blunt Dem attacks and muddy the waters further by attacking the Medicare savings in Obamacare as cuts to beneficiaries.

    But Dems are now going to launch a new offensive hammering home a simple point: Under the Romney/Ryan plan, health care costs for current seniors do go up.

    In an interview, Rep. Chris Van Hollen pointed out that the Romney/Ryan agenda constitutes far more than just Ryan’s plan to quasi-voucherize Medicare. It also includes the repeal of Obamacare — which, if done successfully, will drive up care costs up for seniors. Van Hollen — who is playing a key role plotting party strategy — says Dems need to broadcast this point far and wide.

    Separately, Chuck Schumer is circulating a memo to fellow Dems, advising a more frontal attack on Ryan as a phony deficit hawk.

    “This definitely needs to be emphasized: It is simply untrue that the Ryan-Romney plan will have no immediate effect on Medicare beneficiaries,” Van Hollen told me just now. “It will immediately raise the costs for seniors with high prescription drug burdens. It will immediately raise costs for preventive health care services under Medicare.”

  24. rikyrah says:

    The Dark Money Election
    by Chas Danner

    Just two conservative 501(c)(4)’s, Americans For Prosperity and Crossroads GPS, are spending more to influence this election than all the Super PACs combined:

    The two nonprofits [AFP and C-GPS] had outspent each of the other types of outside spending groups in this election cycle, including political parties, unions, trade associations and political action committees, a ProPublica analysis of data provided by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group, or CMAG, found. Super PACs, which do have to report their donors, spent an estimated $55.7 million on TV ads mentioning a presidential candidate, CMAG data shows. Parties spent $22.5 million. Crossroads GPS, or Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity, credited with helping launch the Tea Party movement, is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million.

    As a reminder, the difference between a Super PAC and a 501(c)(4) is that the 501(c)(4) doesn’t have to disclose its donors (thus: “dark money”), and in theory (but never actually in practice) the groups can only support a “social welfare” issue, not a candidate (though the groups can donate to Super PACs that do explicitly support a candidate). And just to show how one-sided the spending is so far, conservative 501(c)(4)’s are outspending their liberal counterparts more than 35 to 1. And the spending is not just on the presidential race; dark money hijinks infect the smaller races too. Here’s just one example from Open Secret’s Dan Glaun:

    • rikyrah says:

      Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 08/15/2012
      Good Obama, Bad Obama
      By Greg Sargent

      It’s instructive to compare the two major ad campaigns targeting Barack Obama that were launched today. The first ad, from the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, features a range of Obama supporters explaining, more in sorrow than in anger, that they have reluctantly concluded Obama has failed.

      The second ad, from the Romney campaign, strikes a harsher tone, claiming Obama raided Medicare to take money from “you” — the elderly viewer — to give it to those who benefit from Obamacare.

      There’s no reason the Romney campaign and its outside allies shouldn’t strike different tones and messages in attacking Obama. But this particular contrast goes to the very heart of the type of campaign Romney has decided — belatedly — to run.

      The Americans for Prosperity ad is a tactic designed to deal with Obama’s personal popularity. How do you paint Obama as a failure when swing voters (unlike leading Republican officials and commentators) don’t want Obama to fail? The message in this ad is: “We didn’t want Obama be a failure; we shared his high hopes for his presidency; we believed in the expectations he set, but …”

  25. rikyrah says:

    When Medicare confusion becomes Medicare incoherence
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:56 AM EDT.

    Just over the past couple of days, Mitt Romney’s campaign has said he’s for and against President Obama’s Medicare savings. The campaign has also said Romney’s Medicare plan is “very similar” and “very different” when compared to Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.

    Yesterday, Romney’s confusion grew deeper, more offensive, and less coherent.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney told a group of voters in Ohio:

    “One of the things the president did which I find extraordinary, something he never mentioned when he was running for office. You see when he ran for office he said he’d protect Medicare. But did you know that he has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare Trust Fund? He’s raided that trust fund. And do you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obama care, a risky, unproven federal government takeover to health care. And if I’m president of the United States, we’re putting the $716 billion back.”

    There’s no ambiguity to this: Mitt Romney’s lying. Indeed, it’s almost hard to count all the lies.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Boehner rejects the ‘knuckle-draggers’ in his midst
    By Steve Benen – Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:27 AM EDT.

    Occasionally, the far-right Republican base voices strong concerns about House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) being insufficiently radical. His comments on Fox News last night aren’t going to help.

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Fox News’ Greta Van Susstren noted that Paul Ryan’s record isn’t exactly that of a fiscal hawk (a point Rachel explained last night in some detail). Asked how the right-wing vice presidential nominee can “explain” his votes in Congress, Boehner said of Ryan:

    “I mean, I think that he’s a practical conservative. He’s got a very conservative voting record, but he’s not a knuckle-dragger, all right? He understood that TARP, while none of us wanted to do it, if we were going to save — save our economy, save the world economy, it had to happen. I wish we didn’t have to do it, either, but he understood that.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    A Paranoid Romney Accuses Obama of Making Voters Jealous of Him

    In a bit of unhinged paranoia, Mitt Romney claimed that Obama is making voters jealous of him and his wealth.

    Romney was asked about how this campaign is about hatred, and he answered,

    If you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity and so forth, it’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger and this is not, in my view, what the America people want to see. I know what I’m running for. I’m running to get American working again, to get good jobs for people with more take home pay. And the President seems to be running just to hang on to power. I think he’ll do anything in his power to try and get reelected. I want to get this country going again. That’s what brought me to the race and hopefully we can have a debate about issues and our differences on issues and contrast in that area. But these personal attacks, I think, are demeaning to the office of the White House and the comments yesterday by the Vice President, I think, just diminish the White House that much more…. I think the comments of this nature sink the White House just a little lower. The American people expect something better from the President than these kind of divisive comments.

    Romney used one word in that answer that stands out. Romney accused Obama of making the American people jealous. Who are voters being made jealous of? Why, they are jealous of Mitt Romney. For those who have followed the Romney campaign, this should all sound familiar.

    In an interview with Matt Lauer after the South Carolina Republican primary, Romney claimed that anyone who talks about distribution of wealth, wealth and power, or Wall Street is envious of him and his fellow one percenters.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Pawlenty suggests that Soledad O’Brien doesn’t understand English

    Romney surrogates going up against CNN host Soledad O’Brien clearly haven’t learned their lesson.

    A day after former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu angrily told O’Brien to “put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead,” former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney’s national campaign co-chair, suggested that the CNN host didn’t understand English.

    During an interview on Wednesday, O’Brien told Pawlenty that one of the presumptive Republican presidential candidate’s ads falsely claimed that President Barack Obama had cut $716 billion from Medicare — but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had determined that it was actually reduction in spending, not benefits.

    Isn’t that just patently untrue in that ad?” she asked the former Minnesota governor.

    “No, that’s not correct, Soledad,” Pawlenty replied. “It is absolutely beyond factual dispute that [Obama] has cut $716 billion out of the money that was projected to be spent on Medicare over the next 10 years.”

    “But, sir, it’s not a cut in Medicare, right?” O’Brien observed. “Let me just read from the CBO. It’s a ‘permanent reduction in the annual updates to Medicaid’s payment rates.’ It’s a cut in the spending — future spending. And it’s cut that actually goes to insurers, right? I mean, it’s not cuts to individuals.”

    “No matter how you say this, it’s a cut to Medicare,” Pawlenty insisted. “You can’t even with a straight face, look your viewers in the eye and tell [them] that it’s not a cut to Medicare.”

    “Well, I can’t look viewers in the eye from where I am,” O’Brien pointed out. “I’m saying the way the CBO puts it. … That is a savings.”

    “Do you know what that is in English?” Pawlenty quipped.

    “I speak English incredibly well, sir, as you know,” O’Brien shot back. “So, tell me what it is in English.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    MSNBC Host Calls Out Iowa Governor For Lying About Obama’s Welfare Waivers
    By Pat Garofalo on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:36 am

    The Romney campaign spent last week claiming that the Obama administration is trying to “gut” the welfare reform law of the 90s. The Romney camp portrayed the administration as removing the work requirements included in that law, when all the administration did is offer states waivers to design new work programs if they choose.

    During an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd today, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad continued the parade of falsehoods, continually claiming that the administration single-handedly weakened work requirements in the welfare law, despite Todd’s protestations:

    BRANSTAD: We reformed welfare in the 1990s, now the Obama administration’s trying to undo the work requirement.

    TODD: Wait a minute, Gov. Branstad, I can’t let that go. They haven’t done that. [Crosstalk] You leveled a charge about the welfare work requirement. It turns out that’s not true. Where did you get your information?

    BRANSTAD: It absolutely is. I was one of the governors that helped get it, and when we passed it, it was designed not to be waived. And now the President of the United States has, by executive order in July, weakened that which was very effective.

    TODD: The waivers are for state governors. The waivers are for you. […] If governors weaken it to a certain point, the federal government yanks the waiver. […] Nothing about this issue, every charge that has been leveled about this welfare reform order that the president signed, every accusation that has been leveled by some Republicans have been proven to be not true.

  30. Ametia says:

    Ann Romney: No More Tax Returns Will Be Released

    In an interview with NBC set to air Thursday, Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said her husband’s campaign will not release any additional tax returns to the public ahead of the election.

    “We have been very transparent to what’s legally required of us,” Romney told reporter Natalie Morales, according to excerpts from NBC News. “There’s going to be no more tax releases given.”

    Defying a longstanding trend among presidential candidates, the Romney campaign has only released a single — and likely incomplete — tax return. Politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle have been pressuring Romney for weeks to disclose more of his tax history, culminating with a claim from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) two weeks ago that he’d heard from an early investor in Bain Capital that Romney didn’t pay any taxes for a decade. Romney has denied that claim.

    Ann Romney said that releasing more details on the family’s taxes would merely give the Obama campaign “more ammunition.” The Romneys’ wealth is rumored to be as much as $250 million, and since much of Mitt Romney’s earnings come from investments, he would pay a lower effective tax rate than many lesser-off Americans. But as for whether the campaign is trying to withhold embarrassing information, Ann Romney told NBC “there’s nothing we’re hiding.”

    Read more:

  31. Ametia says:

    REALLY Look at What the Medicare Plans Do

    Last night on FOX, the Romney camp again attacked President Obama for the very same Medicare savings that Romney includes in his own budget.

    Today Obama for America released a new web videoto remind Americans exactly how the Romney-Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it, leaving seniors with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today.

    Sarah Kliff explains the so-called “cuts” “It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits.The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to. ”

    Ed Kilgore: About Those Medicare “Cuts” “But aside from the misleading use of the term “cuts” in describing ObamaCare’s impact on Medicare, there’s a much bigger problem for Romney and Ryan: at least one version of Ryan’s own budget resolution that passed the House [and that Romney endorsed] pocketed the exact same Medicare savings.”

    Bob Cesca: “The CBO’s director Doug Elmendorf wrote that if the House Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, the repeal would increase federal spending on Medicare by $716 billion.There’s nothing about cutting Medicare in there. NOTHING.”

    Truth Team:Debunking Romney’s latest false attack ad on Medicare line-by-line

    Truth Team: Fact check: The Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it is not a bipartisan plan

    The AP reminds us of the other Romney-Ryan plan:$800B in Medicaid cuts

  32. Ametia says:

    Hidden Scrabble tiles spell end for would-be champion

    Leading young player thrown out of national US championship after being caught cheating
    Associated Press in Orlando, Wednesday 15 August 2012 03.18 EDT

    One of the top young Scrabble players in the US has been kicked out of his national championship in Florida after he was caught hiding blank letter tiles.

    John Williams, executive director of the US National Scrabble Association, said a male player was ejected in round 24 of the 28-round event.

    The cheating was spotted by a player at a nearby table, who noticed the ejected player conceal a pair of blank tiles, which can be used as wild card letters, by dropping them on the floor. When confronted by the tournament director, he admitted it, organisers said.

    Williams, who has served as executive director for 25 years and co-authored a book on the popular board game in 1993, said this was the first incident of cheating at a national tournament.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Few See Obama’s Bud Billiken Parade Anti-Violence Message

    President Barack Obama took a rare step over the weekend to address the rash of violence that has plagued Chicago this year with a videotaped message that was to be played at last weekend’s Bud Billiken Parade. Obama said in the nearly two-minute speech:

    ”Even as we come together for this parade, we know that there have been too many mindless acts of violence in our communities, we grieve for the children who have been taken from us, and too much promise has been lost.

    “In their memories, let us resolve—and I mean law enforcement, educators, clergy, parents and especially young people—to re-double our efforts to fight this epidemic of violence. All of us who care about our kids and their future have a responsibility to step up, to foster strong and safe communities, to be good role models, to give our children a deeper appreciation for the values in their own lives and the lives of others.”

    The problem with the speech is that it wasn’t played at the parade and WCIU wound up being the only television station to air the address. How did this happen?

    Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell tries to connect the dots in this morning’s paper. According to Beverly Scott of Chicago Defender Charities (the organization that produces the annual parade) the video was only received 3 a.m. Friday. Scott told Mitchell she turned it over to Central City Productions, which has produced the live broadcast of the parade for nearly four decades.

    Central City Productions chairman and CEO Don Jackson said they didn’t receive the video until the morning of the parade, by which time it was too late to draft a press release mention it. The video’s omission from the parade and all other broadcasts besides WCIU was the latest in a series of missteps by Chicago Defender Charities leading up to this year’s parade. Parade Committee president Col. Eugene Scott announced in June that Obama agreed to be the Grand Marshal of the parade.

  34. rikyrah says:


    more Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand

    from Lawrence O last night:

    From Rachel MAddow

  35. rikyrah says:

    As the GOP tries to LIE on the President and what he’s done for Medicare, while trying to hide that the Ryan Budget would turn Medicare into a COUPON Program, here are some videos that should make it plain as day.

    From Hardball – Tweety truly did try and nail it, and Ezra Klein gets on my nerves by trying to be so smart, but Tweety nailed it anyway.

    From The Ed Show – He had on that terrific former Insurance Guy- Wendell Potter, who told all the business about what the GOP wants to do.

    From the Rachel Maddow show, Rachel had on how the Congressional GOPers are trying to run as fast as they can away from Ryan, even though the Congressional ones voted TWICE for it.

    Finally, Lawrence O’Donnell, who had on Robert Reich and Jonathan Cohen, who broke it down quite well.

  36. rikyrah says:

    When ‘anger and hate’ replaces ‘jobs and the economy’
    Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:39 AM EDT.

    I’ve seen plenty of presidential candidates go off message at inopportune times, but it’s rare to see a White House hopeful deliberately throw his message out the window just as the general election is heating up.

    For over a year, Mitt Romney had a very specific focus: jobs and the economy. There were clearly legitimate questions about whether he had any credibility on the subject, and whether his agenda would make matters worse, but he was a disciplined candidate who remained focused on his principal goal.

    And while this made sense — polls show Americans care more about jobs and the economy than anything else — the Republican shifted gears two weeks ago, moving his focus to “values” issues like welfare and contraception. Then Romney changed his message again, talking up Medicare.

    As of yesterday, Romney has been reduced to arguing that the campaign is about … the campaign.

  37. Ametia says:

    Report: Obama’s campaign more wired than Romney’s
    Source: Boston Globe

    Four years ago, then-Sen. Barack Obama got a head start on Arizona Sen. John McCain when it came to reaching voters online, on their mobile phones and on social media. Young voters, the group most likely to tune in digitally to the presidential campaign, broke overwhelmingly for Obama, giving him the biggest margin of victory among that age group ever recorded.

    This year, Obama again holds an advantage over his Republican opponent on the digital front, says a report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. The group’s Project for Excellent in Journalism analyzed both campaigns’ efforts between June 4-17 and found Obama far outpacing Mitt Romney.

    Obama’s team posted almost four times as much content during the period, the report said, and maintained an active presence on almost twice as many platforms. On Twitter, Romney’s campaign tweeted about once a day, while Obama’s campaign averaged 29 daily tweets. Obama also posted about twice as many YouTube videos and blog entries.

    Read more:

    • Ametia says:

      .The other Paul Ryan plan: $800B in Medicaid cuts
      By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | Associated Press – 5 hrs ago.

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare gets all the attention, but the GOP vice presidential candidate has proposed even bigger changes to medical care for the poor and disabled.

      The Wisconsin congressman is calling for states to take over the Medicaid program.

      At the same time, Ryan’s budget would reduce projected federal spending on Medicaid by about $800 billion over 10 years, shrinking the program as a share of the overall national economy.

      Ryan is in sync with his new boss, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

      Advocates for the poor and nonpartisan analysts say cuts would result in millions of vulnerable people losing health insurance. Republicans say that won’t happen if states can make the program more efficient.

      Medicaid serves nearly 60 million people–finance.html?_esi=1

  38. Ametia says:

    The One “Issue” Paul Ryan Brings Up
    By LOLGOP on August 15, 2012in Mitt Romney

    Republicans’ new favorite talking point is that by Mitt Romney nominating Paul Ryan to be his running mate it means that it’s more likely we’ll talk about issues.

    Read on

  39. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

  40. Ametia says:

    To understand Paul Ryan, you have to understand Ayn Rand (video)

  41. Ametia says:

    Obama campaign opposing Ryan budget at state level
    Source: Associated Press

    Aug 15, 2:48 AM EDT
    Obama campaign opposing Ryan budget at state level
    Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s campaign is launching state-specific efforts to target elements of Paul Ryan’s austere budget proposals, expanding beyond its opposition to the Republican vice presidential candidate’s Medicare overhaul.

    The Democratic campaign is mobilizing its vast network of staffers and volunteers in key states to highlight Ryan’s proposals to cut funding for veterans care, clean energy and education – and link presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney directly to them. Democrats say those cuts would be just as damaging as Ryan’s proposed overhaul of Medicare, the popular federal health care program that serves tens of millions of seniors.

    The Obama strategy comes as Romney and Ryan make clear they plan to campaign aggressively on Medicare, not run away from it. In person and in a television ad, the Republicans argued Tuesday that Obama is the one who cut spending for Medicare to put money toward his divisive health care overhaul.

    In states with large military and veteran populations – Florida, Ohio and Virginia among them – the Obama campaign plans to attack Ryan’s proposed cuts for veterans’ benefits and care, a campaign official said. The official was not authorized to discuss the campaign strategy publicly and requested anonymity.

    Read more:

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