Rob Zerban is running against Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. Here’s an interesting press release from the Zerban campaign, regarding the wildfires currently burning down Colorado and New Mexico:
Paul Ryan’s Budget: Its Own Natural Disaster
KENOSHA, Wis. – Upon word that firefighters in the western part of America are using firefighting equipment leased from Canada because of Paul Ryan’s reckless budget cuts, his challenger, Rob Zerban, released the following statement:
“Just as with Paul Ryan’s slashing of the National Weather Service’s ability to accurately predict major weather disasters like hurricanes and, here in Wisconsin, tornadoes, his budget is also leaving our nation’s first responders without adequate equipment to fight out-of-control wildfires, like those burning in Colorado, New Mexico and across the West.
“These cuts prevent those in charge of fire evacuations from understanding shifting wind patterns which lead to last-minute evacuations instead of giving residents and responders ample time to prepare. His cuts make targeted evacuation orders given by local officials more difficult, resulting in larger and less accurate evacuations regardless of the type of natural disaster.
“Paul Ryan refuses to accept any responsibility for the destruction of property and life because of his dangerous budgetary gimmicks. He’d rather ensure his wealthy campaign contributors receive yet another budget-busting tax cut instead of providing necessary tools and equipment to our brave first responders and to those who, behind the scenes, work just as hard for the public’s safety.”
Remember this when Ryan and Romney want more tax cuts for the wealthy — you never know where the austerity cuts to pay for them will come from.
Herald Times: Massive wildfires in drought-parched Colorado and New Mexico tested the resources of state and federal crews Monday and underscored the need to replenish an aging aerial firefighting fleet needed to combat a year-round fire season. Wyoming diverted personnel and aircraft from two fires there to help with a 60-square-mile wildfire in northern Colorado. Canada also loaned two aerial bombers to fight the blaze following the recent crash of a U.S. tanker in Utah. And an elite federal firefighting crew arrived to try to begin containing a fire that destroyed at least 118 structures…
Charles P. Pierce: I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but, contra Willard Romney, I think both Colorado and New Mexico could use some more firefighters right now. That is certainly the opinion of the Colorado congressional delegation, which has dispatched a letter to the federal government appealing for more help. The delegation includes Rep. Scott Tipton (R -3d CD), Rep. Cory Gardner (R-4th CD), Rep, Mike (Stuck In A Groove) Coffman (R-6th CD). (As it happens, Gardner’s district is the one most directly affected by the wildfires.) Needless to say, but we’ll say it anyway, all three of these folks voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would cut the daylights out of things like federal firefighting programs, which already are pretty imperiled…
Sam Stein reports on why Mitch McConnell wants to protect the very wealthy from your “scrutiny” and “backlash” –
In a series of speeches and interviews over the past day, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued against adding a further layer of disclosure to the campaign finance system, suggesting that the Obama administration would use it to browbeat political opponents.
The Kentucky Republican has long been one of Congress’ foremost advocates of a far-reaching interpretation of First Amendment rights. And his remarks, first to Fox News, then to the Faith and Freedom Conference and finally to the American Enterprise Institute, followed in that vein.
…Donors to politically active nonprofit groups, he said, do not deserve to be subjected to public scrutiny or backlash.
That’s really very interesting, considering that Buzzfeed (Romney’s personal online PR firm) is reporting that Santorum’s old sugar daddy, Foster Friess, says he’s going to donate to Romney’s campaign “undercover:”
“Well I’m going to do that more undercover, I’m going to do it through a lot of c4′s so it’s not so high profile,” Friess said at the Faith and Freedom Conference, where he is scheduled to speak on Saturday. “I was stunned to see how much attention — I had no idea what happened, I must have had 60 or 70 interviews.” “So I think if I do it through c4′s, I can keep a lower profile which is probably better.” Friess explained the tactic further. “If you give to a c4, it doesn’t get disclosed,” Friess said. ”If you give to a c4, it doesn’t get disclosed,” Friess said. “So if I give money to various organizations, nobody knows what I’m giving. Even my wife won’t know.”
Notice they were both at the Faith and Freedom Conference.
Newsweek: This is the reporter heckler who yelled at President Obama during his Rose Garden address on immigration and the Dream Act. His name is Neil Monro, and he works at The Daily Caller. That was not journalism, kids. Here’s video.
TPM: The reporter who interrupted the president was the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro, who, according to TPM’s Brian Beutler (who was also in attendance) identified himself as an immigrant and then walked off.
Taking a break from mocking the president for wanting to retain teachers, cops, and firefighters, Romney talked about his plans for massive financial deregulation and more tax cuts for the wealthy – which, he says, would make America the most attractive place in the world for job creators:
“It’s not just because I love job creators, it’s because I love jobs,” Romney said. “I want more good jobs for the American people and I want such competition for good, hard workers that salaries and wages go up so people make more money. I want to help the middle class of America and I’m going to do it.”
We already know that Mitt wants you to believe that firing even more public sector employees will magically free up a huge number of “good” private sector jobs. In case you weren’t aware, that’s how middle class employment works apparently. All those teachers, cops, and firefighters — or any public sector worker, really — are somehow hogging all the other jobs that could be created by the kind, gentle wealthy folks in the private sector. They’re holding back the job creators!
So Romney’s ‘vision’ is that the job creators are just waiting for more government workers to be fired. Then, jobs! Of course, they also need bigger tax cuts — and they’ll need some relief from all this ridiculous government regulation. But then, definitely, this’ll be a wonderland for job creators. We’ll have so many good jobs, we’ll be knee deep in jobs. We’ll have jobs coming out of our ears!
Here’s an observation on Romney’s vision from a NY Times editorial this morning:
“There is no meaningful difference between the trickle-down economics of George W. Bush, rejected by the country in 2008, and the plans supported by Mr. Romney and his Republican allies in Congress. All the elements are there, from the slavish devotion to tax cuts for the rich, to a contempt for government regulation, to savage cutbacks in programs for those at the bottom.”
How’d that work out for Bush? “[P]ainfully slow job growth was followed by a recession that shed nine million jobs.” Oh, that’s right.
In his review of Paul Krugman’s and Timothy Noah’s books, Felix Salmon reflects on what’s happening with the wealthy and the rest of us today:
“Rich people have more power than poor people, and they use that power to get what they want — which is, normally, more wealth and more power. Across America, politicians invariably reflect the views of their richest constituents. And the Federal Reserve, too, appears to have been captured by the rich: It seems much more worried about the specter of possible future inflation (which might be bad for the rich) than it is about the tragedy of present-day unemployment (which is calamitous for today’s jobless)…. This is now a country run by the rich, for the rich. And nothing in either of these books gives me reason to believe that there’s any hope of changing that.”
Electing Mitt Romney would be that final nail in the coffin for those who aren’t wealthy.
Travis Waldron explains three main ways those young people who are eligible for the DREAM Act are good for the U.S. economy:
“At stake is not simply a choice between two candidates and two political parties, but between two paths for our country.” – President Obama in his economic speech, 6/14/2012
“Your vote will determine the debate on which path we take. That’s what’s at stake. Everything else is noise, a distraction.” via: C-SPAN:
President Obama said that the coming election is about “two fundamentally different visions on which direction America should take.” The president told the audience … he believed in a “vision that Democrats and Republicans used to share,” of a collaboration between government and business that “worked for the American middle class.” In contrast, the president said that “the market is everything” for his presumptive-GOP rival, Mitt Romney — “eliminate regulations, cut taxes, strip down the government and the power of business will be unleashed.” Mr. Obama said the Romney plan, to keep the Bush tax cuts in place and add another $5 trillion in tax cuts from programs that benefit the middle class, “is wrong and I’m not alone.” According to the president, independent analysts agree that those policies would “slow the economy and deepen the recession.” The president added, “You can’t have a strong and growing economy without a strong and growing middle class.” He then laid out his agenda for government investment in education, clean energy, research and development, and rebuilding the national infrastructure. The Republican’s unwillingness to raise taxes on the highest income earners “is what is keeping us from reaching a grand bargain” on tax reform or bringing down the federal deficit.
Ask yourself: what is Romney offering you as an alternative?
Obama told voters to expect ads with “scary music” and a voice telling them Obama is detached from Americans’ suffering and the true state of the economy and that he’s a lightweight with no experience in business. He then said:
“That may be their plan to win the election. But it’s not a plan to create jobs. It’s not a plan to grow the economy. It’s not a plan to pay down the debt. And it’s sure not a plan to revive the middle class and secure our future.”
This was the ultimate appeal in Obama’s speech. He knows economically struggling swing voters are about to get nuked by months of single-minded messaging — the economy stinks and no one seems to be doing anything about it, so get rid of the guy in charge — and he’s trying to get them to ask themselves what Romney is really offering as an alternative. – Greg Sargent
Romney’s personal online PR team at Buzzfeed reports that a Romney campaign bus was trollin’ up the event where President Obama spoke yesterday:
Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s guerrilla tactics continued Thursday, as the campaign bus circled the venue where President Barack Obama will be speaking this afternoon. As it passed the assembled throngs of supporters awaiting entry to the event at Cuyahoga Community College, the bus honked its horn dozens of times, before circling around to do it again… The Romney campaign has routinely deployed aides to infiltrate events featuring Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who wait online like regular supporters, but once inside spin the media live.
In the many pathetic comments to this post, the Romney supporters claim that these shenanigans prove their candidate is “fun.”
Uh huh. Fun like putting a dog on the roof of your car. Fun like pretending a waitress you’re taking a photo with grabbed your ass. Fun like saying you’ll fire government workers so Americans can work again. Fun like holding down a gay student with a group of your friends and cutting his hair off. Fun like laughing that your political competitor had to take out a mortgage on his house to stay in the race. Fun like saying you like to fire people. Fun like making $10,000 bets with people. Fun like pretending corporations are people… The fun is practically endless with the Romney campaign.
As many as 800,000 young immigrants could avoid deportation under a new policy President Barack Obama plans to announce Friday, granting work permits to those who entered the country illegally as children… Obama is expected to announce the new policy in a 1:15 p.m. Rose Garden address.
Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: Reuters]
Meanwhile, at the Republican ranch: They all look alike –
The RNC launched a new Spanish-language website designed to “have open communication about the goals and vision of the Republican Party” with Latino voters. Mashable notes a stock photo in the top banner “featured a group of children that weren’t Latino — but Asian.” – Political Wire
A helicopter flies through Poudre Canyon on Thursday as flames scorch the forest south of the river. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post) via: coloradodaily
The wildfire has grown about 5,000 acres over the past 48 hours, with the current total acres burned reportedly at 52,068. Via: InciWeb –
The High Park Fire is located approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins and has burned 52,068 acres to date and is and estimated 15 percent contained. [...] Today’s weather calls for building thunderstorms in the afternoon with winds developing out of the NE as storms move east over the plains. Late yesterday afternoon, a thunderstorm cell parked over the southwest corner of the fire. Downdrafts from the storm caused an increase in fire behavior, which launched embers into the wind, causing the spot fire on the north side of the Poudre River.
- Personnel involved: 1,387
- Significant: Continued evacuations of 600+ residences; Road closures are still in effect; Local residents have been allowed to return on a stand-by basis to some subdivisions on the east side of the fire; Spot fire north. [...] Colorado Army National Guard and Colorado Air National Guard assisting with road closures and also providing fireline personnel, heavy engines and equipment; Damage assessment teams are validating and identifying damaged and destroyed structures. Secretary of Interior Salazar visited the fire on 6/14/2012. A state-wide ban on opening burning was issued by the Governor today. Substantial increase in total costs to date due to use of actual expenses versus previoiusly used estimates.
You can listen to some of the EMS, Fire, and LE personnel who are involved HERE.
KMGH Denver: Another 200 evacuation notifications were issued overnight at the High Park Fire burning near Fort Collins. At 11 p.m. Thursday, residents in the Glacier View area east from Eiger Road to Rams Horn Mountain Road and north from the Mount Blanc Guardian Peak area to the north end of Mount Everest Drive were told to evacuate immediately.
The Denver Post: Incident commander Bill Haberstick said the weather might aid the battle today. Humidity levels are expected to rise to about 60 percent in the valleys and 40 percent on ridge tops, up from 20 percent to 30 percent in the previous two days. “This is extremely good news,” he said. “Humidity retards the fire’s ability to grow and ignite other fuels.”
AP Raw video:
The Detroit News reports that the word “vagina” is about the most offensive thing you can say to a Republican:
House Republicans prohibited state Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking on the floor Thursday after she ended a speech Wednesday against a bill restricting abortions by referencing her female anatomy. Brown, a West Bloomfield Democrat and mother of three, said a package of abortion regulation bills would violate her Jewish religious beliefs and that abortions be be allowed in cases where it is required to save the life of the mother. “Finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,’” Brown said Wednesday. [...] Brown’s comment prompted a rebuke Thursday by House Republicans, who wouldn’t allow her to voice her opinion on a school employee retirement bill. “What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”
Does Rep. Callton really think the word VAGINA is off limits in “mixed company,” when mixed company implies that some in attendance have actually OWNED one of those things — probably for many years?
What would Callton prefer to call this purely feminine, yet apparently offensive anatomical monstrosity, from which he was certainly pushed through at birth?
As Freud would say: “Mr. Callton, tell me about your mother…”
UPDATE: A Newsy video describing the incident:
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama look down at the 9/11 Memorial while touring the One World Trade Center building. (Reuters / KEVIN LAMARQUE)
“We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!” On a visit to examine One World Trade Center Thursday, Obama signed one of the final steel beams that will be installed on the 1,776-foot skyscraper. (Getty Images / JEWEL SAMAD)