Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Mitt Romney Tithes & Therefore Doesn’t Want To Release His Tax Returns

Happy FRY-day, Everyone. What a week of pure clowning and circus sideshows from the GOP PRESIDENTIAL-VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES.

Romney: Tithing Makes Me Reluctant to Reveal Taxes

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in an interview to be published Sunday that one reason he’s reluctant to release his tax returns is that they reveal how much money he and his wife have given to the Mormon church.

In an interview with Parade Magazine, Romney said his church “doesn’t publish how much people have given.”

“This is done entirely privately,” Romney told Parade. “One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended to our contributions to be known.”

Romney said his contributions to his church are “a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”

Democrats have hammered Romney for refusing to release any tax returns beyond his release of his 2010 return and a summary of last year’s tax information. He has said he plans to release his full 2011 return before the Nov. 6 election.

Romney hasn’t previously mentioned his reluctance to reveal charitable donations as a rationale for keeping his taxes private.

Ann Romney, who joined her husband for the interview, said she loved tithing and that it makes her emotional.

“When Mitt and I give that check,” she said, “I actually cry.”

rikyrah here:

Willard pimped the church to draft dodge.

You’re shocked that he would pimp the church to try and weasel out of the tax returns?

IMO, the Mormon reasons for not releasing the tax returns are thus:

1. it will be shown that he paid more in tithes to the Mormon church, than in taxes to the country he wants to be elected President.

2. it will be shown that he did several business deals with the Mormon Church, and used their TAX EXEMPT STATUS to get out of paying MILLIONS IN TAXES.

but that he would try and pimp the Mormon Church doesn’t shock me.


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55 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Friday Open Thread | Mitt Romney Tithes & Therefore Doesn’t Want To Release His Tax Returns

  1. rikyrah says:

    Poll: Obama Leads By 4 In Colorado, Boosted By Women, Latinos
    Tom Kludt – 5:01 PM EDT, Friday August 24, 2012

    President Barack Obama holds a 4-point lead over Mitt Romney in Colorado, according to a new poll released Friday.

    The survey, released jointly by-state progressive firm Keating Research and Onsight Public Affairs, shows Obama earning the support of 48 percent of likely voters in Colorado, while Romney trails with 44 percent. Conducted August 21-22 — over a week after Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as his running mate — the poll indicates that the addition of the House Budget Committee chairman has not given the Republican ticket much of a bump in the state, the pollsters argue.

    “Clearly, Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate has not provided an impact on the Presidential race in Colorado,” said Chris Keating, president and founder of Keating Research.

    Obama’s lead in the poll is due in no small part to his strength among Colorado women and Latinos, among whom he leads Romney by 10 and 33 points respectively.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 02:14 PM PDT.

    Tax experts find shady, possibly illegal, dealings in documents related to Romney’s Bain investments+*

    by Meteor Blades

    He has no idea what the company he was founder and head of for
    15 (or so) years does with his investments. Really.
    Tax experts poring over leaked confidential documents from Boston-based Bain Capital in which Mitt Romney and his wife have invested millions of dollars have found the private equity firm used some head-shaking but perfectly legal tax-avoidance techniques as well as at least one that probably is outside the law. Bain manages $65 billion in assets.
    Romney, who founded Bain in 1984 and remained with the firm until 1999 or 2001 or 2002, depending on whom you talk to, receives significant income from Bain as part of his retirement package. Some of the investments that are part of this package were created after he left the firm. His financial advisers have also invested additional money from his personal fortune, estimated at a quarter-billion dollars, in the Bain’s highly complex instruments.

    The 950 pages of documents were posted on line Thursday by the website They include audited financial statements, investor correspondence and other material that outsiders were not supposed to see. A Bain spokesman lamented their disclosure. The documents also contain some new details of Romney’s investments. While some of Bain’s investments are publicly known, others are not, and Romney has refused to discuss the underlying assets on his federally required public disclosure forms. Gawker did not say where or how it obtained the documents. It asked readers with expertise for help in decoding them.

    One of those experts who stepped forward, according to the New York Times, is Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado. On his A Taxing Blog late Thursday, Fleischer wrote about the conversion of management fees into “carried interest” as a means of sharply reducing tax liabilities. That is something Romney did in at least one of the funds included in the documents, Bain Capital Fund VII. Romney has more than $1 million in Fund VII.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 01:50 PM PDT.
    Mitt Romney says ‘big business is doing fine’ thanks to ‘offshore tax havens’+*
    by Jed Lewison

    This guy just can’t make it through a day without shoving his foot right in his mouth, can he?

    “Big business is doing fine in many places,” Romney said during a campaign fundraiser Thursday. “They get the loans they need, they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses.”

    I know “big business is doing fine” sounds like “the private sector is doing fine,” but it’s not exactly the same thing—though Mitt Romney would probably justify removing the “big” from his quote, because who cares about what words actually mean. Still, I’ll read the quote like a normal person instead of a Romney hack and cut him some slack on hypocrisy there. But here’s the thing: I honestly don’t know if he’s praising or condemning offshore tax havens.

    I mean, with a normal politician you’d assume Romney was condemning them. And you’d assume he wasn’t speaking highly of big business. But Mitt is a guy who says that anyone who dares criticize business hates America, and that anything other than unadulterated love for free enterprise is akin* to Stalinism—so he couldn’t be criticizing big business. And given that he says offshore tax havens are part of the reason that big business is doing fine, you have to assume that he’s in favor of them, right?

  4. rikyrah says:

    Apple Awarded $1 Billion in Damages in Samsung Trial

    The jury has returned with its decision in the Samsung-Apple dispute and the results are overwhelmingly in Apple’s favor.

    The jury awarded Apple $1,051,855,000.00 in damages.

    Apple-Samsung Verdict

  5. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney heads into the 2012 GOP RNC IN TAMPA, FL AS A BONA FIDE BIRTHER

    Mitt Really Stepped in it; Collection of Headlines So Far

    Please give DU some love for compiling this list of headlines on MITT ROMNEY, THE BIRTHER/RACIST

  6. Ametia says:

    Embattled Akin to hold press conference Friday afternoon
    Source: The Hill

    Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) will hold a press conference somewhere in St. Louis County at 5:15 Eastern Standard time.

    Read more:

  7. rikyrah says:

    The Unbearable Whiteness Of The GOP

    We’re so used to it we can forget what it says about the party as a whole:

    If Obama nudges past 80 percent among minorities (which seems very possible) or the minority vote share rises (also possible, though less probable), the president could gain reelection while winning only about 38 percent of white votes. Conversely, if the white proportion of the vote increases just a single percentage point (to 75 percent), and Romney records any gains among minorities, he could shave his winning number to a more manageable 59 percent of whites.

    On its face, the math is tougher for Romney. If he reaches 61 percent among whites, he would equal the best performance ever for a Republican presidential challenger with that group of voters: Dwight Eisenhower in 1952, Ronald Reagan in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1988 each won between 56 percent and 61 percent of white voters, according to polls at the time.

    Obviously a mixed race president affects this – but not that much. John Avlon has a great primer on how this loss of diversity among Republicans has only accelerated recently, especially with draconian rhetoric on Latinos. And Romney, in stark contrast with his father, seems deeply uncomfortable around anyone but white, handsome, heterosexual males. His veep choice looks like one of his sons – hardly a sign that Romney even understands how culturally isolated he is.

    More to the point, a country that has two major parties, one of which has almost no appeal to racial minorities, is not a stable or rational one. Before Nixon’s consolidation of the South, both parties had admixtures of race that allowed for mutual communication. Since then, the GOP has steadily become the white Southern party, and only the Democrats are able to have a racial mix close to the country as a whole. That’s something Republicans should be ashamed of. But it’s not something the Democrats should be gleeful about. It’s a national tragedy – another reason why this polity is in danger of coming apart at the seams.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Tell Your Lady Friends

    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 01:45:32 PM EST

    Paul Ryan still opposes abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the health or life of the mother. Mitt Romney isn’t willing to go that far, but he has supported a personhood amendment to the Constitution that would effectively make Ryan’s position the inalterable law of the land. Here’s what you need to know about abortion rights. Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, John Roberts, and Antonin Scalia think Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood were wrongly decided and would overturn those cases. That would return the issue of abortion rights to the states, dozens of which are ready to ban the medical practice.
    There are five Justices who would vote to uphold Roe and Casey: Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer.

    Justice Ginsburg has only pledged to serve three more years. She’s survived two battles with cancer, she’s 81 years-old, and she recently fell and broke some ribs. If she cannot serve four more years, and Romney names her replacement, Roe and Casey will be overturned.

    People probably think this outcome is unthinkable, but the modern Republican Party is a radical party. Look at Paul Ryan.

  9. rikyrah says:

    The Phoniness Of Rick Warren, Ctd

    Even phonier. It turns out Warren didn’t cancel the event because of the rancor of the campaign:

    ” As I understand it, Pastor Warren received tepid responses from both camps well before the supposed ‘cancellation,'” said a senior Democratic strategist in contact with the Obama campaign. “It appears that the event was canceled because neither the Romney nor Obama campaigns thought it was in their interest to do,” the strategist continued, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a delicate political matter. A source close to the Romney campaign said that the former Massachusetts governor hadn’t planned on attending Warren’s event: “We were never going, ever. We offered to do a video.”

    So Warren isn’t just a phony but a liar. Besides, the idea that Mitt Romney would ever have agreed to sit down for fifty minutes to discuss the fact that he believes God was once a human being, that humans can become gods as well, that Israelite tribes once inhabited the Americas and that polygamy exists in the after-life … well, it was never going to happen, was it?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 09:08 AM ET, 08/24/2012 TheWashingtonPost
    The Morning Plum: Can Romney repackage himself as warm and likeable?
    By Greg Sargent

    The approaching GOP convention is a major opportunity for Mitt Romney to reintroduce himself to the American people — it is the opening act in his final bid to forge some kind of emotional bond with the public that has eluded him so far. The chief strategist for Romney’s opponent — David Axelrod — is a firm believer in the power of narrative to accomplish this goal. What story will the Romney campaign tell America next week and beyond?

    The Romney campaign is hard at work on this question, apparently recognizing that the presidential race will hinge on whether Romney can turn around his persistently high negatives. Philip Rucker reports that a team of advertising gurus that has been tapped to spend 12- to 14-hour days figuring out how to make Romney more likeable and accessible to the American people :

    Much of the money that Romney raises falls into the hands of the Mad Men, who already have cut spots and laid plans to blanket the airwaves in battleground states throughout the final 10-week sprint….
    The creative team is trying to create an emotional bond between a candidate who reveals little emotion and a still-unsure body politic….
    Romney hopes that by bringing most of his team to Boston, with four high-quality video production rooms and a massive internal archive of Romney footage, he can find a synergy that eluded earlier campaigns — including his own 2008 bid.

    What continues to remain striking is that Romney has been running for president for years, and he still hasn’t found the story he needs to tell that will enable enough voters to grasp on positive terms who he is and what he is about.

  11. rikyrah says:

    ‘No one has ever asked to see my birth certificate’
    By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:26 PM EDT

    Mitt Romney has spent much of August complaining bitterly about the tone of the presidential campaign. He’s accused President Obama repeatedly of making “personal attacks.” He recently told an Ohio audience, “Take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.”

    Much of the political establishment agreed. Obama’s team is pushing the race into the “gutter.” The president is making the race too “small.” Why, oh why, Republicans have cried, can’t the campaign be about substance and issues?


    For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney told a Michigan audience, “Now, I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born in Henry Ford Hospital; I was born in Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate — they know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”

    The Republican crowd cheered and applauded.

    Tell us again, Mitt, about the scourge of personal attacks and how desperate you are for the campaign to claim the high road.

  12. rikyrah says:

    State senator removed as chairman for graphic e-mail to black caucus
    By Richard Locker

    State Sen. Jim Summerville was removed Thursday as chairman of a Senate subcommittee after using a graphic term in an e-mail to the legislature’s black caucus.

    The message sent Wednesday night from his personal e-mail account to Rep. Barbara Cooper, D-Memphis, said: “I don’t give a rat’s ass what the black caucus thinks. Jim Summerville.” In the subject line, he told Cooper: “Please share this response with your colleagues.”

    Cooper, a Memphis lawmaker, forwarded it to her colleagues in the black caucus and other legislators Thursday morning. His e-mail was in response to one Cooper sent him Monday with the caucus’ statement on a Senate Higher Education Subcommittee hearing Summerville chaired last week on allegations of inappropriate changes of students’ grades at Tennessee State University last fall.

    By Thursday afternoon, Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham removed Summerville as chairman of the subcommittee.

    “I am very disappointed in the unfortunate choice of words and tone used by Senator Summerville in responding to Rep. Cooper,” said Gresham, R-Somerville. “There is a standard of courtesy that must be observed by members of the General Assembly and this went beyond what is acceptable.”

  13. rikyrah says:

    Second Local Station Says Romney Camp Asked For No Akin Questions
    Pema Levy & Evan McMorris-Santoro- August 23, 2012, 8:14 PM

    Before Mitt Romney appeared via satellite on an Ohio TV station WHIO Thursday, his campaign told a reporter it would prefer Romney did not get questions about Todd Akin. Fortunately for the Romney campaign, Akin wasn’t on the WHIO agenda.

    “They were chatting and it came up and I believe [a Romney staffer’s] wording was that they prefer not to talk about it,” assistant news director Tim Wolff told TPM. “But we didn’t care because we were going to talk about Ohio stuff.”

    The WHIO interview was one of four satellite appearances Romney made on local TV stations Thursday. Per common practice, campaign officials fished around for topics and questions that might come up prior to the taping. In at least two of those interviews, the Romney campaign tried to shut down questions about Akin, whose continuing Senate campaign in Missouri is ensuring that abortion stays at the center of the presidential campaign narrative.

    In Colorado, a Romney spokesperson set a no-Akin-questions policy as a precondition for getting access to the candidate

  14. rikyrah says:

    Ryan: No Compromise On Sequester If Romney Wins (VIDEO)

    If Mitt Romney wins in November, he and a Republican Congress will fast track legislation early next year to replace across the board defense cuts with cuts to food stamps and other programs for needy Americans.

    “In January our intention is that if we don’t fix it in the lame duck is to fix it retroactively once a new session of Congress takes place,” Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, told a crowd in North Carolina Thursday, “We have procedural way in the Senate to advance that legislation very quickly and get it to the next President of the United States who I believe is going to be Mitt Romney, to pass that into law and retroactively prevent that sequester from taking place in January.”

    Ryan was referring to legislation House Republicans passed earlier this year to avert sequestration — the penalty Congress imposed on itself, on a bipartisan basis, for not reaching an agreement on more targeted legislation to reduce the deficit. Sequestration will cause deep, abrupt cuts to both defense and non-defense programs starting early next year, and for the next 10 years, unless Congress overturns it or replaces it with other savings.

  15. Ametia says:

    Reposting this. Mitt Romney has sunk lower than shit in a sewer with his BIRTHER BULSHIT

    • Ametia says:

      Friday, August 24, 2012
      Late to the Party: The Mainstream News Media is Finally Discussing Mitt Romney’s Use of Racism to Win Over White Voters

      Obama’s team, in turn, says Romney’s welfare charges are dishonest. Numerous independent fact-checkers, including The Associated Press, have determined that Romney and his surrogates are distorting the facts

    • rikyrah says:

      uh huh

      uh huh

      • Ametia says:

        Romney’s going to get a royal BEATDOWN at the debates. I can’t wait for this LOSER to ride off into the sunset with Miss Ann and Rafalca! Charlotte NC, here I COME!

  16. rikyrah says:

    The Real History of the First Term
    by BooMan
    Fri Aug 24th, 2012 at 11:50:44 AM EST

    In December of 2008, congressional Republicans were in an odd place. Their president was serving out the last days of his failed presidency, but all the important decisions were being made by people like Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. On January 9th, 2009, the Wall Street Journal reported that 524,000 jobs had been lost in December, 2.6 million jobs had been lost in 2008, and 1.9 million jobs had been lost in just the last four months. The Financial Services sector was in ruins. Detroit was bankrupt. The Dow Jones Industrial average had fallen from the 14,000’s in October 2007 to the 8,000’s. By March it would be in the 6,000’s. People’s homes were being foreclosed on left and right, and lives were being ruined and wealth destroyed at a devastating pace.
    John McCain and Sarah Palin had suffered a resounding defeat, as had the Republicans in Congress. Suddenly, for the first time in many years, the Republicans had no real leadership. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner were on their own. But, if they were suddenly liberated from the burden of walking Bush and Cheney’s party line, they also were responsible for the chaos they saw all around them. The Congressional Republicans had worked with Bill Clinton to deregulate the banking industry. A Republican administration and a (mostly) Republican-controlled Congress had neglected to provide meaningful oversight of the derivatives markets or the mortgage industry. Republican tax cuts and unfunded wars and new entitlements had depleted the treasury without providing the promised economic growth. Now everything was in ruins.

    Their ideology had failed in spectacular fashion, and they had been forced to bite the bullet and vote for an enormous bailout for the banks. A new Democratic president was assembling his team during the transition, trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding and prevent a second Great Depression.

    It was in this context that Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor hatched a plan of total obstruction. During meetings in December 2008 and early January 2009, they decided that they would insist that their members provide no cooperation and no votes for anything major that the president wanted to do. It didn’t matter what the president suggested. Substance wasn’t the point.

    Here’s an example of what I am talking about:

    David Obey, then-chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, met with his GOP counterpart, Jerry Lewis, to explain what Democrats had in mind for the stimulus and ask what Republicans wanted to include. “Jerry’s response was: ‘I’m sorry, but leadership tells us we can’t play,’” Obey told me. “Exact quote: ‘We can’t play.’ What they said right from the get-go was: It doesn’t matter what the hell you do, we ain’t going to help you. We’re going to stand on the sidelines and bitch.”

  17. Ametia says:

    New York authorities say the gunman who opened fire Friday outside the Empire State Building had been fired from his job a year ago. The person the gunman shot and killed was a former colleague.

    Police who killed the gunman may have hit several of the eight people wounded, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says. All those wounded are expected to recover.

  18. rikyrah says:

    How to Win the Debates
    by BooMan
    Thu Aug 23rd, 2012 at 10:44:35 PM EST

    James Fallows has watched pretty much every debate performance that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have ever had, and he’s written a very long piece on what we should expect in the three debates this fall. I found the article interesting, but it suffers from the assumption that substance doesn’t matter, not even a little bit. I’m fairly cynical, and my impression of how debates are won is no exception. At its simplest, the challenge is to be more likable without committing any major gaffes. George W. Bush was absolutely demolished by both Al Gore and John Kerry in his debates with them, but I doubt he really lost any net votes. It’s telling that Fallows has to go back to 1980 to find a debate that really mattered. In fact, on the presidential level, only the 1960 JFK/Nixon debate, the 1976 Ford/Carter debate, and the 1980 Carter/Reagan debate are widely believed to have had a major impact on the outcome of an election. Perhaps the second Reagan/Mondale debate helped Reagan right his ship after he seemed demented during the first.

    In any case, Fallows is obsessed with body language and being on message, which Romney can carry off fairly well. But he never mentions the bare cupboard Romney will bring to the debates. He doesn’t dwell on the unlikelihood of Romney coming off as more likable than Obama. Romney’s biggest problem is that he has taken two or more sides on almost every issue under the sun. But it doesn’t help that he’s running a campaign based almost entirely on lies. He’s lying about the work requirement for Welfare. He’s lying about Obama apologizing for America. He’s lying about Obama making cuts to Medicare. Almost everything that Romney says is a distortion or an outright lie. So, when he stands up there and takes questions during the debates, he will be trying to explain why he was for abortion rights before he was against them, why he was for a health insurance mandate before he was against it, why he signed an assault weapon ban before he opposed such laws, why he was for letting Detroit go bankrupt before he tried to take credit for its rescue. And so on. And he’ll be asked to explain why his numbers don’t add up, and why he’s been lying about Obama’s record.

    It’s not that substance is determinative of how debates are won. But Romney is going to be in a defensive crouch before Obama even opens his mouth. No campaigner in history has entered debate season at such a systemic disadvantage. No previous candidate has ever contradicted themselves so many times or flip-flopped half as much, and no candidate has ever built a weaker edifice based almost entirely on lies.

    Romney will be relying entirely on non-substantive measures of success. Ultimately, he will win the debates if he can make people like and trust him. But he’s not likable and people don’t trust people who aren’t consistent and never tell the truth.

    Obama’s job is really to avoid alienating people. He might be able to demolish Romney in the same way that Gore and Kerry demolished Bush, but he should resist the temptation. His job is to get out of the way and let Mitt Romney’s inner dick shine through.

  19. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney Makes Reporter Agree Not To Ask About Todd Akin Or Abortion

    by Tommy Christopher

    The Republican presidential ticket’s Todd Akin tragedy has now entered the third stage, bargaining. In a comical effort to wish the Akin story out of existence, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney forced Denver CBS reporter Shaun Boyd to agree not to ask any questions about the Todd Akin controversy, or the issue of abortion. The Democratic National Committee and the Obama campaign leapt on the news with relish, distributing the video, and a brief memo, to reporters.

    Transcript: (via Obama for America)
    Reporter: “And political specialist Shaun Boyd just finished an interview with Romney, just literally a couple of minutes ago. Shaun’s with me now. And Shaun, you were one of only four local reporters to get to talk to him. And, what did you ask him?” Reporter Shaun Boyd: “You know, I had about five minutes with him, and we got through a fair amount of material, actually, in that five minutes. The one stipulation to the interview was that I not ask him about abortion or Todd Akin – he’s the Missouri Republican who created a firestorm after saying women’s shut down in a legitimate rape to prevent pregnancy. I did ask him about health care, the female vote, and energy.”

  20. Ametia says:

    Galt, Gold and God
    Published: August 23, 2012

    So far, most of the discussion of Paul Ryan, the presumptive Republican nominee for vice president, has focused on his budget proposals. But Mr. Ryan is a man of many ideas, which would ordinarily be a good thing.

    In his case, however, most of those ideas appear to come from works of fiction, specifically Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.”

    For those who somehow missed it when growing up, “Atlas Shrugged” is a fantasy in which the world’s productive people — the “job creators,” if you like — withdraw their services from an ungrateful society. The novel’s centerpiece is a 64-page speech by John Galt, the angry elite’s ringleader; even Friedrich Hayek admitted that he never made it through that part. Yet the book is a perennial favorite among adolescent boys. Most boys eventually outgrow it. Some, however, remain devotees for life.

    And Mr. Ryan is one of those devotees. True, in recent years, he has tried to downplay his Randism, calling it an “urban legend.” It’s not hard to see why: Rand’s fervent atheism — not to mention her declaration that “abortion is a moral right” — isn’t what the G.O.P. base wants to hear.
    But Mr. Ryan is being disingenuous. In 2005, he told the Atlas Society, which is devoted to promoting Rand’s ideas, that she inspired his political career: “If I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” He also declared that Rand’s work was required reading for his staff and interns.

    And the Ryan fiscal program clearly reflects Randian notions. As I documented in my last column, Mr. Ryan’s reputation for being serious about the budget deficit is completely undeserved; his policies would actually increase the deficit. But he is deadly serious about cutting taxes on the rich and slashing aid to the poor, very much in line with Rand’s worship of the successful and contempt for “moochers.”

  21. Ametia says:

    Source: WSJ

    By Mark Maremont

    One of the mysteries surrounding Mitt Romney’s taxes is how the former private-equity executive managed to get $100 million into a family trust for his children without incurring federal gift taxes.


    The attorney at Ropes & Gray wrote that in the 1990s and early 2000s estate-planning lawyers “commonly advised” that executives could claim a value of zero on these transfers of carried-interest rights for federal gift-tax purposes. He said the practice ended by 2005.

    Gifts of carried-interest rights are common, but several estate-planning attorneys at major New York firms said they are puzzled by the claim that the rights ever could have been valued at zero, particularly at an established private-equity firm. They said long-standing rules require taxpayers to value all gifts at fair-market value, or what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller.

    In response to a reporter’s questions, a Romney adviser said the presentation by the Ropes & Gray lawyer was aimed at educating other attorneys about industry practices, not a description of Ropes & Gray’s advice to clients. Based on the presentation, the adviser said, “you should not assume” that was the firm’s advice to clients or that Mr. Romney’s gift-tax returns ever valued carried-interest rights at zero.

    The adviser declined to address how Mr. Romney actually did value such rights, or whether the rights were given to the trust. The adviser declined to answer other questions about the family trust.

    Read more:

  22. Ametia says:


    Staring into the Void of Mitt Romney
    Steve Erickson
    August 23, 2012

    One of the things we’ll learn this presidential election is whether the Republican Party can survive itself. As we’ve seen in the ten days since Governor Mitt Romney picked Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, and most acutely in the last 72 hours since the fiasco involving Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin broke, the party is reaching what may be the most critical moment of its quarter-century-long identity crisis. In the way that Franklin Roosevelt did for Democrats during the 1930s, by sheer force of personality and eloquence Ronald Reagan in the 1980s resolved tensions that had riven the party for years. He could incarnate the party so fully as to invite and absolve fellow travelers who might be suspiciously less than true believers. After Reagan, no one else could do this; even as what now constitutes the conservative wing of the party invokes Reagan’s name with a sobriety that borders on the biblical, that wing has moved considerably to the right of him.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS: “Actually, by now the base knows what Governor Romney believes, too. By now we all know what Governor Romney believes; by now his beliefs are more manifest and less mysterious than that of any candidate who’s ever run. Governor Romney believes nothing. Politically speaking, Governor Romney is nothing. Mustering up outrage over this nothingness makes as much sense as mustering up outrage over a galactic black hole.”

  23. Ametia says:

    Mitt Romney team of ‘Mad Men’ creates ads to sell nation on candidate
    By Philip Rucker, Published: August 23The Washington Post

    BOSTON — Now that Mitt Romney has amassed a couple hundred million dollars, it’s largely up to an eclectic crew of self-described “Mad Men” to make good use of it.

    A colorful team of advertising gurus — including a onetime “Wheel of Fortune” contestant, a guy nicknamed for a “Super Mario” character and a burly Texan who came up with the “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” slogan — have converged on the campaign’s drab headquarters here to dream up the ads they hope will propel Romney to the White House.

  24. Ametia says:

    As many as 5 people have been shot in front of the Empire State Building in New York, a fire department spokesman said.

    Go to CNN TV and and CNN’s mobile apps for the latest on this breaking story.

  25. rikyrah says:

    August 23, 2012

    Preaching, again, against the Big Lie

    Michael Tomasky pounds the ‘Big Lies’ offensive:
    [Romney-Ryan] know that the truth would crush them electorally. And so it follows that they know they must lie. They must lie about their Medicare plans. They must lie about the effects of their tax plans on average people and rich people. And they must tell a number of lies about Obama, all the better if they involve race, as the welfare lie does.

    There’s no debate here. Ask the rare honest GOP strategist, and he’ll readily concede the point. Pour a few martinis into the more typical GOP strategist, and he’ll concede the point, too. There is just no debate: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are incurable liars, whether by nature or necessity.

    There is some debate, though, on how to counter the lies. Argues Tomasky:

    The Democrats’ job, of course, is to expose this charade for what it is and make Romney and Ryan defend their actual positions…. Romney and Ryan are terrified of a real Big Debate. Obama and Biden need to drag them into one.

    • Ametia says:

      Speaking of debates, James Fallows from the Atlantic was on Moaning Joke this morning trying to extol Romney’s debate virtures. PLEASE!

  26. rikyrah says:

    The Real Strategy Behind Romney’s (Lying) Welfare Ads

    Clearly, the Romney campaign’s anti-Obama welfare ads have come at a cost. Given the way they have been condemned as false by even mainstream media sources—as Alec MacGillis pointed out yesterday, Joe Scarborough has explained that he was “stunned” by the ads’ demonstrable falseness—the Romney camp has forfeited any hope of pivoting to the “high road” in response to future Obama attacks.

    But judging from the Romney campaign’s relentless commitment to the welfare message (there have been multiple iterations of the ad over the past several weeks), Boston seems to believe it’s working. Are they right? Certainly, the advertisements target the audience that Romney needs—namely, white working class voters. It’s harder to say whether the message will be as effective as they hope: It’s been a long while since welfare’s traditional ability to dredge up deep resentments has been tested on the national stage. Still, given the precariousness of Romney’s position—and, frankly, his willingness to push the envelope—it’s the smartest tactical move he’s made yet.

    To win the presidency, Romney will need to consolidate nearly all of the undecided, predominantly white working class voters with reservations about Obama’s performance. The problem is that the Obama campaign has long possessed a strategy to block Romney’s path to victory: Depict Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat bent on annihilating the middle class. In contrast, Team Romney hasn’t really crafted a specific messaging strategy built to appeal to particular demographic groups. They’ve seemed to believe that generic ads criticizing the president will be sufficient to persuade voters with Obama reservations to join Romney’s side. For the most part, though, these ads haven’t moved the needle, in part because the president is already extremely well-known.

    But the ads alleging that Obama dismantled the welfare work requirement are different— and potentially more effective. For one, they’re targeted to appeal directly to white working class voters, as many others have pointed out. And unlike other attacks on Obama, the welfare advertisement introduces new information that voters probably didn’t know—which can be more effective than other ads that simply stress facts that voters already internalized. (Never mind that this information is new because it isn’t true.)

    Since the Romney campaign has invested heavily in these advertisements, we can assume that they test well in focus groups. The reasons aren’t surprising: The attacks play on a deep sense of resentment with the benefits received by the “undeserving” poor. Some polls point toward an uptick in anti-assistance sentiment since the recession. According to relatively recent Rasmussen surveys, 71 percent say that too many people get welfare and 47 percent of adults think the government spends too much on poverty programs. Remember: These surveys were taken before the overwhelming majority of Americans have heard the accusation that Obama has gutted welfare reform. That skepticism about the deservingness of welfare recipients will likely go through the roof when voters are told (again, erroneously) that Obama scrapped the work requirement.


    The welfare advertisements represent a marked shift in Romney’s strategy. Rather than reinforcing existing perceptions of Obama, the Romney campaign is trying to introduce new information about the president to critical white working class voters. Realistically, Romney’s chances hinge more on building up his own image than bolstering Obama’s negatives, but if the Romney campaign just doesn’t possess any tools to restore their candidate’s image, then an attack targeted at swing voters and drawing on powerful underlying sentiments is probably their next best option. Whether Romney’s welfare angle works without sustained media attention remains to be seen.

  27. rikyrah says:

    An evolving explanation on tax returns
    By Steve Benen
    Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:28 AM EDT.

    Part of the problem with Mitt Romney’s secrecy on tax returns is the number of unanswered questions, all of which deserve answers. But the other part to this is that Romney hasn’t been able to explain why, exactly, he needs to keep the information hidden from voters.

    Yesterday, the Republican came up with a new excuse, telling Parade Magazine his secrecy relates to his faith. “Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney said. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”


    As a rule, when an explanation evolves over time, and a candidate struggles to keep his story straight, it’s a bad sign, but this is especially foolish. Romney can’t say — or at least he can’t be expected to be taken seriously when he says — his tithing is “a very personal thing” that he “never intended … to be known.”

  28. rikyrah says:

    Romney Supportive of Coal Industry He Said ‘Kills People’

    In early May, Republican Mitt Romney made a pilgrimage worth about $1.7 million to the White Palace Ballroom in Wheeling, West Virginia. He was greeted by almost 700 donors assembled with the help of host Bob Murray, chief executive officer of Murray Energy Corp. and a coal mine owner.

    Romney, who as Massachusetts governor vowed to close an aging coal-fired power plant because it “kills people,” has embraced the coal industry in his presidential bid, with Murray proving a key ally. He touts coal development as central to his aim of achieving “North American energy independence” at the end of a second term in office, a policy he is scheduled to discuss in detail today in New Mexico.

    He also highlights the issue as defining a major difference between himself and President Barack Obama. At an Aug. 14 speech at a mine in Ohio owned by a Murray subsidiary — and with the energy executive again joining him — Romney said Obama is “waging war on coal” through over-regulation and that the president has broken promises he made to the industry to aid its transition to newer, cleaner technologies.

    “If you don’t believe in coal, if you don’t believe in energy independence for America, then say it,” Romney said of Obama.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Voter ID Laws the American Coup d’état

    By The Admin on August 24, 2012

    Dr. Wilmer J. Leon III

    – A coup d’état is defined as a strike against the state. It is the sudden, illegal deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment. In a typical coup the military is used to depose the existing government and replace it with another body, civil or military. In Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook, military historian Edward Luttwak states that “[a] coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control of the remainder.”

    Americans are very familiar with coups. The American government has been involved in overthrowing foreign governments for years. In 1893 American marines overthrew Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii. In 1909 President Taft ordered the overthrow of Nicaraguan president Jose’ Santos Zelaya. In 1953 the CIA’s Kermit Roosevelt and General Norman Schwarzkoph, Sr. masterminded the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1954 there was the Guatemalan coup, in 1963 there was the South Vietnam coup, in 1973 there was the US backed coup in Chile, and in 1991 there was the US coup in Haiti that removed democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, just to name a few.

    Historically the American government has used American media to promote and rationalize the need for “regime change” in foreign countries. Misinformation, distortions, and lies have been presented as truths in order to convince Americans that “dictators” must be overthrown in order to protect American security, American interests (usually business and/or access to resources), or to stop the rise of a socialist/communist leader.

    Today ultra-conservative interests are engaging in similar tactics. They are not using the military; it is a bloodless coup. A small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus is attempting to effect regime change by corrupting the American democratic process. Under the pretext of “voter fraud” ultra-conservatives are working fervently to decrease the number of legally registered Americans that will be able to vote in the 2012 election by enacting laws requiring voters to show government issued photo identification at the polls. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “More than 5 million Americans could be affected by the new rules already put in place this year — a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.” Too many in mainstream media are blindly reporting this false “voter fraud” issue as fact and not asking those who are promoting it to provide evidence to support their claims.

  30. rikyrah says:


    Rachel Maddow did a great segment about this organizing of right-wing poll watchers that are meant to do nothing but intimidate NON-WHITE Voters. Haven’t seen it reported anywhere else.

    and a poster at JJP wrote about this yesterday.

    • Ametia says:

      YES; I saw the segment. voter intimidation, plain & simple. You know these fools are going to roll up on voters who are not going to PLAY WITH THEIR AZZES.

  31. Ron McCune says:

    My fellow Americans…. Have you EVER seen anything that the Mormons have done in America that helps the poor and needy! I have NEVER seen a Mormon run free food kitchen or food dispensary or ANY other kind of service that helps the poor in poor neighborhoods.The Mormons only help themselves in America. So for Romney to brag that he donates to the Mormons so he is some kind of fantastic guy for doing that is ridiculous! Most religions are mostly self help social centers for hypocrites that doesn’t help many people outside their walls and spend only pennies on the dollars on helping the poor.

    • rikyrah says:

      the Mormons give less than ONE PERCENT of their take to charity. by charity, I mean giving to the less fortunate that ARE NOT MORMONS. No, I don’t count what they do for Mormons. How do they treat those outside of their ‘ religion’. THAT is the true tell.

  32. Ametia says:

    Love this comment:
    Private sector jobs created during the first 3 years of the Presidency:

    Bush, Jr.: -1.2 million

    Reagan: +0.9 million

    Obama: +3.2 million

    Meanwhile, Romney wants to pursue the failed top-down policies of Hoover and Bush.

  33. Ametia says:

    The Hurricane That Could Ruin the GOP’s Big Bash in Tampa, Explained
    In which we answer your questions about Tropical Storm Isaac and the 2012 Republican National Convention.
    —By Asawin Suebsaeng| Fri Aug. 24, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

    There’s a long list of scenarios that could sour the mood at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. “Newt University” could go off the rails. “Violent anarchists” may make an appearance. Fifteen thousand protesters and Occupiers could gum up the GOP’s works. The ban on puppetry might sadden Republican children.

    And then there’s the potential hurricane that could be barreling out west toward Tampa, just in time to spoil Mitt Romney’s big kickoff party.

    Here’s what you need to know about Tropical Storm Isaac, Mother Nature’s latest display of flagrant liberal bias.

    What is Isaac?

    It’s a tropical storm that could hit Tampa on Monday, the first day of the GOP nominating convention. Here’s an image from the National Hurricane Center’s Wednesday night forecast showing the fast-moving storm’s probable path (colloquially referred to as the “cone of doom” in Florida):

  34. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone. Happy FRY-day! :-)

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