Morning Bunker Report: TGIF 5.18.2012


Reasons why Congress is a complete failure – At a fundraiser, Mike Coffman (R-CO) said “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.” After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first. Later, Coffman told KUSA “I misspoke and I apologize” in a written statement. — TPM  (SORRY, HE DIDN’T “MISSPEAK”)| Note: Coffman’s on Twitter: @RepMikeCoffman

Mitt Romney has turned into Bill Clinton’s biggest booster. Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton’s boom-era ’90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama’s old-school, Big Government ways. […] Romney’s hope that Democrats and independents who supported Clinton will gravitate to his candidacy ignores the fact that Clinton is appearing at fundraisers for Obama and making a star turn in his TV advertisements, said Phil Singer… “It’s a particularly ineffective tactic when the Bill Clinton-Barack Obama fundraising roadshow is taking place in real time.” — POLITICO | image: politicaldirtylaundry

What credibility? Newt Gingrich said there are plans for [Romney and him] to appear together in Las Vegas at the end of the month. In June Gingrich said he will be raising money in Atlanta for Romney and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, with a Gingrich-Romney tandem appearance set for June 11. The embrace of Romney puts Gingrich in an awkward spot, said University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock. If he were to start gushing about his former primary foe, it would look insincere. “I expect Gingrich is also concerned about his own credibility,” Bullock said. “There’s only so much you can recant.”  –

The man who oversaw the economic collapse of our country is going to write a book about economic growth! In the three years since he left office, former President George W. Bush has largely stayed out of the political arena. But gingerly, the 43rd president is beginning to add his voice back into the national dialogue. A month ago, he spoke publicly in favor of one of his defining domestic legacies, the tax cuts that still divide the country. Two months from now, he plans to publish a book outlining strategies for economic growth. And on Tuesday, he made a rare return to Washington to promote freedom overseas. —

Bush and Cheney convicted of war crimes by foreign tribunal… More to come? — To some, the conviction is a long overdue statement on the civil rights abuses that took place during the Bush administration in locations across the globe, including Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. …To others, this largely ceremonial statement by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is only a formality and an empty gesture. …Transcripts of witness accounts and the charges are being sent to the United Nations and the Security Council with the hopes that other countries will follow their lead. — CultureMap Austin

And Here Comes the Gay Rumor — Whenever a character from a right-wing group with “Family” in the title opens his mouth, crazy tends to spray all over the place. Here’s Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute: “Actually, while I’m not sure about the claims by the various people who have reported that Obama has at least participated at times with them in homosexual acts, this [the president's pro-marriage equality announcement] certainly lends some credence.” DING! We might just have our Birther variant for 2012. The “Obama is Gay” conspiracy theory. – Bob Cesca

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday joked that he would “take a lot of credit for a man having landed on the moon” to point out the absurdity of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney taking responsibility for saving the U.S. auto industry. “So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back,” he told Cleveland’s WEWS-TV earlier this month even though he had penned a 2008 op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” warning that if a bailout was provided to the auto industry then “its demise will be virtually guaranteed.” “Whoa!” Biden exclaimed to crowd at car dealership in Martins Ferry, Ohio on Thursday. “And by the way, I’ll take a lot credit of for a man having landed on the moon. Because although I was in school, I rooted for it.” — Raw Story

The decade the GOP hopes you’ve forgotten — If there’s one aspect of the deficit reduction plan that President Obama outlined last week that congressional Republicans most object to, it’s probably his call for higher income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Specifically, Obama wants to let the Bush-era rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire at the end of 2012. With a few notable (and, within their party, increasingly marginalized) exceptions, Republicans have vehemently attacked this suggestion. According to the GOP’s line, to raise taxes on anyone now, even (or especially) the wealthy, would kill the recovery and cost jobs, depriving the Treasury of revenue and only making the deficit problem worse. “We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much,” is House Speaker John Boehner’s standard line on the issue — a refrain that is echoed by virtually every other Republican on the national stage. If this anti-tax adamance — and the dire warnings of what life in a post-tax hike America would look like — sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. Republicans issued the exact same warnings the last time a president proposed addressing exploding deficits (in part) through tax increases on the wealthy. […] Ultimately, Clinton and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill united behind a plan that would raise taxes on the top 1.2 percent of income earners and create a new 39 percent bracket for the wealthiest Americans. — 

Geithner: ‘I Don’t Understand’ Why Debt Ceiling Debate Is Back — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown during a factory tour Thursday that he couldn’t understand why the debate over the federal debt limit is back again. “Because look at how much damage it caused the country last August. I mean, it was terribly damaging for the country. And the idea you can govern effectively at this time in American history — you know, we’re fighting wars. We’ve got a major financial crisis in Europe. We have all of these challenges for the rest of the country with political politicians threatening to default if we don’t adopt a partisan political agenda. It’s deeply irresponsible. There’s no basis for it.”PBS NewsHour

Rahm Emanuel ‘livid,’ not returning calls from Ricketts family  — “The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama – with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,” said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.” The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama’s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family. “The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he’s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,” the aide said. The Ricketts family is seeking taxpayer funding for the renovations. – The Washington Post

  • NOTE THIS HYPOCRISY: Ricketts’ SuperPAC is called “Ending Spending Political Action Fund.” But he’s seeking TAXPAYER FUNDING for renovations to Wrigley Field, home of his Chicago Cubs!

A Fox News poll released yesterday finds that voters would rather have President Obama pick the next Supreme Court justice than Republican candidate Mitt Romney by a 46 to 38 percent margin. Last November, Romney promised that, if elected, he would model his Supreme Court nominees after Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito, all of whom voted give wealthy corporations a nearly unlimited power to try to buy elections in Citizens United. By contrast, Justice Sotomayor, who was the only Obama appointee on the Court when Citizens United was decided, dissented from that decision.– Think Progress

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One thought on “Morning Bunker Report: TGIF 5.18.2012

  1. If Romney insists on preferring Clinton to Bush, Obama should steal his thunder and run with Hillary instead of the cynically superstitious Biden. Then Dumney, to show he is not another Bush chimp, would have to run with Condi.

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