Jonathan Alter discusses the Republicans’ “Voter Suppression Project” and how its designed to help Mitt Romney in battleground states like Michigan, where President Barack Obama’s auto bailout, which Romney opposed, has helped bring the state’s unemployment rate down by 5.7 points since 2009:
Across the country, the Republicans’ carefully orchestrated plan to make voting harder — let’s call it the Voter Suppression Project — may keep just enough young people and minorities from the polls that Republicans will soon be in charge of all three branches of the federal government. [...] The Republican effort to restrict voting isn’t just anti- Democrat, it’s anti-democratic. No fair-minded person believes the tall tales of voters pretending they were someone else, which have been debunked by the Brennan Center for Justice and others. What fool would risk prison or deportation to cast a single vote? This isn’t about stopping vote-stealing and other corruption, for which there are already plenty of laws on the books. It’s about rigging the system to keep power.
TPM: Mitt Romney would “replace” President Obama’s new immigration policy in favor of one that staves off deportation only for those who sign up for military service, though the full details were unclear. [...] Obama’s plan applies to all children of illegal immigrants who are under 30, were brought to the country before age 16, have lived in the U.S. for five years and have earned a high school diploma or GED or serve in the U.S. military.
Earlier this month, Boston.com reported: Though an early supporter of the Vietnam War, Romney avoided military service at the height of the fighting after high school by seeking and receiving four draft deferments, according to Selective Service records. They included college deferments and a 31-month stretch as a “minister of religion” in France, a classification for Mormon missionaries that the church at the time feared was being overused.
As reagan-was-a-horrible-president notes: It sure is a good thing that draft-dodging Mitt Romney didn’t have to adhere to his own rule.
And, oh, by the way:
“Obama avoided the Vietnam draft with a letter from his family doctor diagnosing him as medically eight.” — Stephen Colbert (via: christopherstreet)
“It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is no accident. It is no coincidence that the Attorney General of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld. These very same people holding in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress a vote. They are closely aligned with those who are suffocating the system, special interests, secret money, and they are poisoning the debate. They are poisoning the debate with that money. And so what does the average citizen say? They throw up their hands and they say, a pox on both your houses, and that is a victory for the special interest.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, commenting on the effort by House Republicans to pass a resolution finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is really about his efforts in opposition to GOP-backed voting laws that Democrats consider forms of voter suppression.
destroythegop: Interesting how these bullet points line up perfectly with The 2012 Republican Platform:
David Axelrod underlined the differences between the economic strategies of the two candidates for president in a conference call with reporters on Friday, according to Raw Story:
Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) spent years at the helm of the venture capital firm Bain Capital, where “his fundamental role was not to create jobs or better paying jobs, but to create maximum returns for him and his partners and investors.”
President Obama, however, has ushered the nation through one of its most perilous financial times and has launched programs designed to “insource” jobs, he said. Led by the stimulus of the auto industry, the U.S. is currently undergoing resurgence of domestic manufacturing. The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that small and midsize suppliers are among the companies currently feeling the effects of an industrial boom taking place across the country, according to a white paper issued by The Boston Company‘s Asset Management division.
Romney, said the Post, presided over Bain Capital’s investment in several firms that specialized in outsourcing U.S. jobs to “low-wage countries like China and India.”
[...] Asserting that the “central issue of our time is how to reubild economy so the milddle class is growing not shrinking,” [Axelrod] said that the scrutiny into Bain’s outsourcing record is no less than Romney deserves. “When you offer your experience in business as a road map of how you would govern as a president, people are going to examine exactly what it was you did.”
“On several occasions, I have glibly referred to how it now takes two spouses working to equal the wages of a one-income family of 40 years ago. Unfortunately, that is now an understatement. In fact, Western wages have plummeted so low that a two-income family is now (on average) 15% poorer than a one-income family of 40 years ago.” — Jim Nielson | The Street
This death of the American middle class can be blamed on the Republican Party’s decades-long union busting efforts combined with men like Mitt Romney who run companies like Bain Capital for the purpose of creating wealth for the few, by laying off hundreds of thousands of American workers, who once earned living wages and benefits, who once shared in a company’s productivity and success. For decades now vulture capitalists have downsized and closed American companies, offering only low-wage replacement jobs to some of the workers they laid off, while outsourcing most of the formerly American jobs to countries like China and India. And we can also blame a tax code, won by a lobby of the wealthiest among us, that rewards corporations with deductions and loopholes and subsidies for taking American jobs to other countries, enriching a few while cratering our economy at home.
And the Republican Party tells us the One Percenters need more tax cuts (i.e. they need to hoard even more money?) to ‘create’ a few more jobs — tax cuts that would be paid for, by the way, by cutting programs and services that the rest of us depend on. It’s almost comical when you consider this fact: the average Fortune 500 CEO now makes 380 times more than the average worker, CEO pay has grown more than 127 times faster than worker pay over the last 30 years, and their pay increased last year.
More, to these people, is never enough.
TPM reports that Mitt Romney’s campaign asked Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to downplay his state’s job growth after several press releases from the governor’s campaign and messages from the Florida Chamber of Commerce trumpeted gains for the month of May, according to Bloomberg News. [...] A Romney adviser reportedly requested that Scott’s office say that Florida’s unemployment rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, unnamed sources told Bloomberg.
But Rick Scott apparently didn’t get the message as he continued with the happy talk yesterday: “Our state is doing extremely well,” Scott told the NALEO conference, which was held in Florida. “We still have 800,000 people out of work, but we’re changing it. Tourism is way up, jobs are up, housing prices are staying stable. If you want to buy a house, now is the time. “ He noted that Florida’s unemployment rate had gone down significantly in recent months after suffering the worst effects of the 2008 housing collapse. “We’ve had the biggest drop in unemployment of any state but one in the last seventeen months,” according to TPM.
VERY! according to Dan Froomkin at the Huffington Post, who reports that a recent poll… found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view. [...] this latest poll result seems to indicate a refusal — unique to the modern Republican Party — to acknowledge facts. According to this poll, an even larger proportion of Republican respondents who said Iraq had WMD — 64 percent — said they have either always believed (or have come to believe) that Barack Obama was born in another country, which he was not.
REMINDER: You’ll want to vote in November, because these people are definitely planning to.
“Each and every day that I’ve been a United States senator, I’ve been discussing issues … in secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders talking, voting, working on issues every single day.” -- Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) says he holds daily secret meetings with kings and queens. (via think-progress)
Boston.com: Remember Scott Brown’s gaffe on Thursday? The one about meeting with kings and queens? His staff was quick to say the comment was a flub, acknowledging that the senator has not actually met with royalty. “He misspoke when he said kings and queens,” Brown spokesman Colin Reed said in a statement. But the Massachusetts Democratic Party today released a video showing four prior examples when Brown used the same phrasing about meeting with “kings and queens” while speaking to audiences as part of his reelection bid.
HOW is this a close race in Massachusetts? How?
If you’d rather vote for someone who doesn’t imagine they’re meeting secretly with kings and queens every single day, vote for Elizabeth Warren.
Current Situation: The incident commander reported that an estimated 2,000 additional acres burned on the High Park Fire today. Under red flag warnings, with recorded 84-degree temperatures at Red Mountain, gusts over 30 mph and relative humidity around 5 percent, the fire crossed the Narrows, establishing itself on the north side of Poudre Canyon. Hot shot crews were attempting a direct attack, but due to the intensity and rapid spread of the fire both the hot shot crews and engines involved in structure protection in Glacier View had to pull back for safety reasons.
|Gallons of water dumped to date||1.3 million gallons|
|Cost to date||$19.6 million|
9news.com: Nearly a 1,000 evacuation notices were sent out Friday to residents near the High Park Fire. Friday’s evacuation area centered mainly along Red Feather’s Lake Road (CR 74) as spot fires moved into the Glacier View area.
Denver Post — Photo 1 of 52: Nebraska National Guard crewmembers of Company C 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Battalion dump water from a Bambi bucket onto flames of the High Park fire, in Larimer County, Colo., approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins, June 18, 2012. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tate Petersen, Company C, 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Support)
Photo 50 of 52: Kansas crew members observe the area as they fly to their designated location with a Bambi bucket full of water to help at the High Park fire in Larimer County, Colo., approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins, June 19, 2012. (Photo by Sgt. Ryan Kohlman, Company G, 2nd-135th General Support Aviation Battalion)
“American business stopped caring about the political entity that is the United States of America a very long time ago. We have been propagandized repeatedly that the global economy was either the greatest thing that ever happened ever, or so unstoppable a force that the best our tired old democracy could do is get along within it the best it could. The basic questions of national sovereignty and corporate accountability were drowned out or brushed aside. Now, we have a presidential candidate who is a perfect product of that new transnational economic system. Willard Romney could be — hell, should be — the vehicle through whom we pass judgment on all of it.” — Charles P. Pierce