Morning Bunker Report: Sunday 5.20.2012


The GOP House passed a defense budget Friday that exceeds the deal cut by Congress and President Barack Obama last summer, and that would have to be paid for with cash taken from poverty programs, health care and the federal workforce. The National Defense Authorization Act permits $642 billion in defense spending next year. The White House has threatened to veto the bill, which passed 299 to 120, citing more than 30 changes to the budget the administration was seeking. But the measure also adds $8 billion more than called for in the Budget Control Act that Congress agreed to last summer in exchange for raising the nation’s debt limit. – HuffPo

  • $60 million to private military contractors in Afghanistan – money well spent, obviously. — Wired

Are Republicans deliberating trying to hurt the economy for political gain? Some top Democrats say yes, pointing to GOP stances on the debt limit and other issues that they claim are causing unnecessary economic anxiety and retarding growth. [...] “The last thing the country needs is a rerun of last summer’s debacle that nearly brought down our economy,” Schumer said in a statement. In an interview, Schumer added: “I hope that the speaker is not doing this because he doesn’t want to see the economy improve, because what he said will certainly rattle the markets.” Regardless of whether Schumer’s suspicions are right, there’s evidence that unceasing partisan gridlock and the prospect of big tax increases and spending cuts in January are causing some companies to postpone expansions. Even small economic slowdowns are bad news for Obama, who is seeking re-election amid high unemployment. – AP

Back in February, Paul Krugman argued that Mitt Romney is “running a campaign of almost pathological dishonesty.” Was this an intemperate analysis? Perhaps. Three months later, does it seem fair? Put it this way: take a look at the 18th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity. – Steve Benen

image: conceivable

The severe racism of white, far-right Christians – Phyllis Schlafly founded a group called the Eagle Forum and this is what it had to say about the growing minority population here: It is not a good thing. The immigrants do not share American values, so it is a good bet that they will not be voting Republican when they start voting in large numbers.[...] Instead, the USA is being transformed by immigrants who do not share those values, and who have high rates of illiteracy, illegitimacy, and gang crime, and they will vote Democrat when the Democrats promise them more food stamps. That explains why the far-right — especially old-schoolers like Pat Buchanan and Schlafly — are so kerfuffled. First, America is becoming more brown and therefore “ghettoized” (their term) and, two, the brown people vote Democratic. They simply don’t believe that America can remain civilized and ordered if brown people take over, so they will use whatever means at their disposal to oppress the minority and immigrant population. This is racism illustrated. – Bob Cesca

Geraldo Rivera: Trayvon Martin was ‘dressed in thugwear’  — “I think what is far more significant is what Trayvon Martin looked liked that night Bill,” Rivera said. “Aside from the fact that he was dressed in that thugwear, look at the size of him. He’s not a little kid, he’s 6’2, he’s a strapping youngster. You can see that if this man, this young man was a stranger to George Zimmerman. He looks just like the people who have been burglarizing and victimizing that neighborhood for the last six months. He was exactly the person that George Zimmerman, the property owner, feared. He looked just like the others.” – Raw Story


The leaders of the G8 conference, assembled this weekend at Camp David, Maryland, took a break to watch the riveting overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League soccer final today. Check out the range of expressions in this photo — especially those of Cameron and Obama (upper left) versus France’s new President, Francois Hollande at the lower right. — TPM

(Photo credit: Pete Souza | White House)

Watch Live from the NATO Summit in Chicago — This week, leaders from the 28 member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will gather in Chicago for a summit aimed at discussing international security and the war in Afghanistan. This will be the 25th time NATO has held a summit and the first time the United States has hosted the event since 1999. It will also be the largest such event in the organization’s history. Throughout the day on Sunday and Monday, the U.S. State Department will broadcasts events with President Obama and foreign leaders. Click here to watch.

World Leaders at U.S. Meeting Urge Growth, Not Austerity  — CAMP DAVID, Md. — Leaders of the world’s richest countries banded together on Saturday to press Germany to back more pro-growth policies to halt the deepening debt crisis in Europe, as President Obama for the first time gained widespread support for his argument that Europe, and the United States by extension, cannot afford Chancellor Angela Merkel’s one-size-fits-all approach emphasizing austerity. Pointedly recognizing “that the right measures are not the same for each of us,” the leaders of the Group of 8 nations, at a meeting hosted by Mr. Obama at Camp David, committed to “take all necessary steps” to strengthen their economies. They said they wanted to keep Greece in the euro zone and vowed to work to promote growth in Europe, though they did not detail how they would do so. “Our imperative,” the leaders said in their statement, “is to promote growth and jobs.” – NY Times

  • Statement by G8 Leaders on the Global Economy – (STATE DEPARTMENT): Our imperative is to promote growth and jobs. The global economic recovery shows signs of promise, but significant headwinds persist. Against this background, we commit to take all necessary steps to strengthen and reinvigorate our economies and combat financial stresses, recognizing that the right measures are not the same for each of us…

Hawaii wants Arizona to know it is sick of their nonsense: The attorney general’s office in Hawaii is telling Arizona’s secretary of state that if he wants confirmation of President Obama’s birth records, he’ll have to prove he legitimately needs it.  Special Assistant Joshua Wisch said late Friday that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett hasn’t done that despite numerous email and phone exchanges between their offices.  […] Hawaii officials have confirmed multiple times that Obama was born there. – John Cole

Facts on Romney’s Steel Mill Video – corporate welfare, corporate welfare, corporate welfare:  FACT: “Steel Dynamics received $92,000 in government cash for every job created” and “Romney’s Bain Capital provided less than 5% of the initial investment for SDI – government subsidies were valued at 10%”

Jobs records: comparing Bush and Obama — So compare private-sector job creation from January 2001 to January 2009 — the Bush era — with job creation from January 2009 to April 2012. Or maybe you think presidents shouldn’t be held accountable for their first year, and want to start either comparison from the first January after inauguration. Here are the results: (via: Paul Krugmn)

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