Image by KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters
SANDUSKY, Ohio — President Barack Obama took an unscheduled lunch stop with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on the first day of his bus tour in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Pool report on our president workin’ the room via Buzzfeed:
“The motorcade pulled into Kozy Corners, a cash-only local diner with square tables(daily specials starting at $4.65). In the parking lot outside, Obama knelt to speak to a young boy with spiky blue-tipped hair. “I like that hair, man. I was thinking of getting some hair just like it,” Obama said, touching the boy’s head. “What do you put in there to make it spiky? Product?” The boy looked spell-bound until, prompted by his parents, shook the president’s hand.
“Later, the president walked into the restaurant, shaking hands and taking pictures. As he entered the dining room, accompanied by former Gov. Ted Strickland, he waved and was applauded by a crowd of between 50 and 75 (capacity of the dining room is 85 but not every seat was taken). Obama greeted several elderly customers first, asking them how long they’ve been married and what their secrets were for looking so young. A waitress carrying a shrimp basket approached the president. “Are those for me?” he asked with a grin.
“Nearby, a fourth-grade girl, Sydney, showed Obama her sketchbook. “You’re very talented,” he said, flipping through the pages of drawings. “You’re a very well spoken young lady.” He inscribed it “Dream big dreams.” At the next table, he cradled a baby, telling the parents it reminded him of the baby of his brother-in-law. “Just do whatever she tells you to,” he said to a man and his wife at the neighboring table, when they swapped stories about how to maintain a good marriage. At the next table, Obama stopped to talk to five white-haired women, who told they were part of a regular pinochle game for several decades. “Tell the truth, the national press is here,” the president said. “Are you playing for money?”" Continue…
Our president is great with people — AVERAGE people.
barackobama: Scenes from President Obama’s bus tour: High fives in Oak Harbor, Ohio.
Yesterday at a Fourth of July parade, Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) proved that one’s elevator doesn’t need to get anywhere close to the top floor to be a Republican Member of the House:
CONSTITUENT: Hi, I’m (inaudible) how are you? Happy Fourth of July. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is passing a bill around to increase the minimum wage to 10 bucks and hour. Do you support that?
YOUNG: Probably not.
CONSTITUENT: 10 bucks, that would give us a living wage.
YOUNG: How about getting a job?
CONSTITUENT: I do have one.
YOUNG: Well, then why do you want that benefit? Get a job.
What I’m saying is, a GOP Congressman doesn’t need to be in possession of all the fries in his Happy Meal to be elected. If Rep. Bill Young and a sack of earthworms were competing on a game show, there’s a real possibility the sack of earthworms would be walking away with the prize money. That said, it’s inevitable that the conservative brain trust of Florida will re-elect this guy again and again and again. ‘Merika!
Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed points out Romney’s flip-flopping, caught on tape, from April 2010: “Mitt Romney yesterday said in an interview with CBS News that the individual mandate was a tax, while the plan he put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty, and not a tax. In a video from April 2010, Mitt Romney praised some similarities between his plan and President Obama’s. Romney said he liked the individual mandate, the portability of the insurance, the requirement that insurers cover people with a preexisting condition, and the similar exchanges. Romney said his plan was different because it was state plan and his plan did not raise taxes, and did not cut Medicare. (As a Governor, Romney had no authority to cut Medicare.)”
You don’t get to know how much Mitt Romney is worth — or where he keeps his money. Via Political Wire: “Mitt Romney’s investment portfolio “has included an offshore company that remained invisible to voters as his political star rose,” the AP reports.”
“Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning — suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign.”
“The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings… But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed.”
original image via: christopherstreet
This is how the wealthiest become even wealthier: earn money in America, offshore it to other countries to avoid taxes. THAT’S HOW AMERICA WORKS!
Investigation: Mitt Romney’s Offshore Accounts, Tax Loopholes, and Mysterious I.R.A. | Vanity Fair – “For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.”
The AP reports malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday: “But tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago. Despite repeated alerts, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. Of those still infected, the FBI believes that about 64,000 are in the United States. Users whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online, and they will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet. The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.”
To check whether a computer is infected, users can visit a website run by the group brought in by the FBI: .http://www.dcwg.org
The site includes links to respected commercial sites that will run a quick check on the computer, and it also lays out detailed instructions if users want to actually check the computer themselves.
Here’s what I got from: http://www.dns-ok.us/:
“They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft, where we are hard, cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s description of the very rich
A reminder from ABL: “Conservatives seem to think that even though the highest court in the land ruled the mandate constitutional under Congress’s taxing power, it doesn’t matter because nyah! nyah! —President Obama said it wasn’t a tax! [...] Actually, I’ll be fair. I don’t know if he was lying when he said it was not a tax. Maybe he thought it was a tax, but knew the word “tax” causes immediate brain meltdowns among the wingnut class. Or maybe he thought it was a penalty. Or maybe he understands the difference between a tax and a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power. (I’m betting on the last option.)”
A couple of days ago I posted that on Monday, the Romney campaign was in agreement with the President that the health care mandate was a penalty and not a tax. I also said: “Of course this opinion can (and probably will) change at any minute, so prepare to shake the Etch-A-Sketch.”
It took an entire 48 hours, as Raw Story reports: “Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday reversed his campaign’s position that mandates to buy health care are a “penalty” and not a “tax,” telling CBS News that “the majority of the [Supreme Court] has said it is a tax, and therefore it is a tax.” “They have spoken,” he said. “There’s no way around that.” Romney’s new position is the exact opposite of what the campaign was saying on Monday.”
Raw Story also helpfully points out one important difference between Romneycare and Obamacare:
“Yet, the Massachusetts law clearly says that the state “shall have all enforcement and collection procedures available under chapter 62C to collect any penalties assessed under this section.” Those procedures, as described by chapter 62C, include seizing violators’ property and directly taking their wages. It becomes even more complicated for Romney due to his continued insistence that President Obama’s health reforms amount to a “government takeover” of the health care industry — but somehow, when Romney did it that wasn’t the case.
“To be clear, President Obama’s health mandate does not empower the IRS to come after citizens, and instead leaves the agency to figure out how much is owed and crib the penalty from violators’ annual tax returns and Social Security payments. This has led to an expansion of the agency’s manpower — I.E. created new jobs — which Republicans have been fuming over since the law was passed. The IRS is also specifically blocked from charging taxpayers interest on penalties accumulated.
“Putting it another way, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman explained to Congress in 2010 that all they can really do is send people a letter letting them know that they’re in violation.
“Romney’s latest turnabout is also problematic for fellow Republicans — many of whom have been wrongly claiming that the IRS will soon be applying liens and levies against violators — because they would now appear to be criticizing Romney’s health plan and not President Obama’s.”
Allow us a moment, Tumblr:
Beyond anything else today is about, it’s about taking a second to remember that America is amazing. Really: It’s amazing. Disappointments, BS, and irony aside, this is the longest experiment in DIY, make-it-up-as-you-go country-running in recorded history, and it’s ours to make what we will of it. In one of the foremost countries on earth, we are the ones calling the shots, and sometimes we disappoint the hell out of each other but from time to time we surprise ourselves with greatness.
What’s crazier than that? What’s more amazing?
Do this now: Register to vote. Then tell your friends to register to vote. Make it the last thing you do tonight to celebrate the Fourth. Happy Independence Day.
I had to post this gif set. Beautiful! Plus, yes, register to vote.