Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 5.31.2012


“There is no more naked celebrity in America than Donald Trump. He doesn’t do subtlety. He doesn’t do ‘thought.’ To say he has a political calculus is a wild overstatement. His strategy amounts to no more than junior high school algebra. The equation is: Trump + infantile public statement x infinite repetitions on TV and Twitter = maximum publicity for flailing Trump products and insatiable Trump ego.” — Frank Rich | image: christopherstreet

Romney’s birth certificate evokes his father’s controversy – Willard Mitt Romney, the certificate says, was born in Detroit on March 12, 1947. His mother, Lenore, was born in Utah and his father, former Michigan governor and one-time Republican presidential candidate George Romney, was born in Mexico. So on a day when real estate and media mogul Donald Trump was trying to help Mitt Romney by stirring up a new round of questions about whether Democratic President Barack Obama was born in the United States, Romney’s own birth record became a reminder that in the 1968 presidential campaign, his father had faced his own “birther” controversy. – Reuters

Where’s Mitt Romney’s Long-Form Birth Certificate? — Just one problem: The document released by Mitt Romney’s campaign is titled “Certificate of Live Birth.” This is, to be clear, the same thing as a birth certificate (it just has a couple of extra words in there and the order is flipped around). But according to three years of commentary from top conservative media and politicos, it’s not enough. “There’s a difference between a birth certificate, apparently, and a certificate of live birth,” said Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a segment last April on the President’s supposedly missing paper trail. The President’s certificate of live birth, reported Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy, “is not the exact birth certificate.” Sarah Palin suggested that the certificate of live birth was insufficient proof of citizenship. As one leading conservative activist put it, “A ‘birth certificate’ and a ‘certificate of live birth’ are in no way the same thing, even though in some cases they use some of the same words.” That was Donald Trump.  — Mother Jones 

Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday denied he was a “birther,” but found it “odd” that President Barack Obama took so long to release his birth certificate. “You know, I’ve never been a birther,” the Fox News host declared. “You know, it was odd that they didn’t release the birth certificate to me. I’m like, you ask me for my birth certificate, it’s pretty easy to get.” […] During his 2008 bid for the White House then-Sen. Obama did release his short-form birth certificate. concluded  at the time that “it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. … Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.” After billionaire Donald Trump and other prominent birthers refused to drop the issue, the White House released the president’s long-form birth certificate in April 2011.  – Raw Story

Hoekstra Says Feds Should Check Birth Certificates (but it’s not about Obama) – Michigan U.S. Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra (R) said he’d like to “create a federal office in Washington that would verify that presidential candidates meet the minimum requirements to hold the office,” the Detroit Free Press reports. Said Hoekstra: “This is not brain surgery. It should be an FBI person, maybe a CIA person. If you want to run for president, you’ve got to go with the proper documentation and get it certified that you meet the qualifications to be the President of the United States.”– Political Wire

  • CNN Host Confronts Pete Hoekstra Over Birther Commission Proposal – Baldwin aired a clip of an infamous Hoekstra ad that aired during this year’s Super Bowl, since pulled from his website, in which an actress depicted a Chinese villager thanking Hoekstra’s opponent in broken English for running up the national debt. “Critics called you a racist for that ad,” Baldwin said. “Do you realize that critics might use this office, this proposal for this office, as further proof?” Hoekstra was not happy to see the old wound reopened. “I don’t know why they would take it in that direction,” Hoekstra said.  – TPM
  • Romney surrogate: CNN ‘should be embarrassed’ for covering birther story — Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who is now a surrogate for Mitt Romney, on Wednesday blasted CNN host Soledad O’Brien for reporting on the presumptive Republican nominee’s link to birthers like billionaire Donald Trump. – Raw Story

New low for Fox News: Fox News produced its own 4 minute attack video disguised as a retrospective of President Obama’s first term in office and aired it as a “Fox & Friends Presents” special.  […] At the conclusion of the video, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy thanked one of the show’s producers for editing together the segment “for weeks.” But it only took hours for network brass to perhaps recognize the implications of Fox News producing and airing its own attack ads, because they quickly pulled it from the Fox News website with no explanation. Even conservative sites balked at the idea of Fox News producing its own political attack ads. – Think Progress

Tea Party Joe Walsh race baits — “The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything,” Walsh, a conservative freshman from suburban Chicago, said during a Schaumburg, Ill., speech caught on video provided by CREDO SuperPAC, an anti-tea party group. “They want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government. That’s their game.” Walsh goes on to say that civil rights activist Jesse Jackson “would be out of work if [African Americans] weren’t dependent on government.” Walsh was elected in 2010, part of a wave of tea party-backed candidates elected to the House of Representatives that year. – HuffPo


Not much has changed…

image: compeet

Obama Pitches ‘To-Do’ List at Bill Signing – President Barack Obama used the bill signing reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank to again push for his “to-do” list, which has gone nowhere in Congress so far. [...] Obama hasn’t gotten any traction on his “to-do” list, which includes tax cuts for small businesses, a massive mortgage refinancing plan, extending renewable energy tax breaks, a Veterans Jobs Corps and shifting tax breaks from companies that ship jobs overseas to companies that bring them back home.The president also touted his trade policies, which he said opened markets in South Korea, Colombia and Panama, while doubling the number of trade cases brought against China. – Roll Call News

Obama’s political advisor David Axelrod dissected Romney’s record in Massachusetts between 2003 and 2007 in a campaign memo…”Mitt Romney applied the economic philosophy he learned in the private sector to disastrous results as governor of Massachusetts,” Axelrod wrote.”It’s the same formula that benefited a few, but crashed our economy in the first place and undermined security for the middle class. Massachusetts couldn’t afford Romney Economics, and neither can the American economy.” Axelrod said that under Romney, Massachusetts plunged from 36th to 47th out of 50 states in job creation, and despite promises to the contrary raised taxes and fees on middle class families and small businesses. “Meanwhile, he cut taxes for millionaires like himself, handing over more than $75 million to just 278 of the wealthiest in Massachusetts.” — FRANCE 24 | image: mittromeny

Axelrod: A handful of plutocrats are trying to buy the United States“There was a report this morning that the Republican Super PACs, apart from Romney and apart from his own super PAC, intend to spend a billion dollars in this campaign setting up shadow state organizations—district-wide organizations—as well as running media. So a handful of plutocrats of billionaires with a special interest agenda are going to try and buy this government in this election, and the stakes of that are pretty profound. I’m obviously concerned about the implications for our race, but we’ve braced ourselves and we’ve been talking about this for some time. It’s a concern. It’s one of my big concerns. But for congressional candidates, it’s gotta be a nightmare. We saw in the last election, in the last 3 weeks of those campaigns, Super PACs swooped in and spent huge amounts of money in the final 3 weeks to influence those congressional races and turned a lot of races with their money. I think you can anticipate that in spades this year.” Raw Story | image: realpolitiks

  • GOP Groups Plan $1 BILLION Push for Romney (that’s billion, with a B) – Political Wire

Help Matt Taibbi Stand Up for Wall Street Reform – To get the word out about Wall Street’s anti-reform push and stiffen spines in congress, we’re trying out Thunderclap, a cool new technology that lets groups of people tweet a single message together at the same time, breaking through the din and reaching a potentially massive audience. (Learn more here.) But we need your help! Here’s how it works: Go here  and click “Tweet this in X days.” On June 6 at 12 pm, together with hundreds of other Twitter users, you will automatically tweet a message –”.@senjohnsonsd @stabenowpress Hear our voices and stop the rollback of Dodd-Frank” – to Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, the chairman of the Senate banking committee and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Agriculture Committee, which has jurisdiction over financial derivatives. — Rolling Stone

Wage theft complaints increased 400% in the last decade — According to CNN Money, “More than 7,000 collective actions were filed in federal court in 2011 alleging wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an approximately 400% increase since 2000.” A 2009 report showed that more than two-thirds of low-income employees had experienced a wage law violation in the previous week alone, prompting Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum to ask, “How many reports of mistreatment do we have to get before we finally figure out that labor violations are rampant in this country?” As the Huffington Post’s Alexander Eichler noted, the weak economy has “reduced the amount of leverage employees have in their relationship with their managers — meaning it’s been especially easy in recent years for bosses to demand ever more of workers while paying them the same amount as before.” – Think Progress

imageThe Pentagon wants to move toward a greener military, one that relies more on renewable energy and less on fossil fuels. Why? It would save lives. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey made that case last October and a recent Army study found that “[a] fighting force that isn’t restricted by the reach of a tanker truck or weighted down by heavy batteries is more nimble and, as a result, more lethal.” …However, there are a few hurdles standing in the way: Republicans. The House GOP included a measure in the defense authorization bill this month prohibiting the Defense Department from buying alternative fuels if they cost more than “traditional fossil fuel.” And the Senate Armed Services Committee last week followed suit with an “even tougher” provision mirroring the House version but also exempts DOD from clean energy standards. Why are the Republicans doing this? chairman Jon Soltz pointed out yesterday that they get a lot of money from the oil and gas industry. – Think Progress

“The President of the United States was born in the United States. That’s just a fact. It’s not a disputed point. It’s just a fact. It’s like, we have one moon not two. It’s a fact.” — David Frum (Former Special Assistant to George W Bush) on CNN answering the question: Where do you disagree with Donald Trump?

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