————————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
MITT ROMNEY, Who Spent 212 Days Out Of State One Year, Attacks Obama For Vacationing — Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took up a common conservative refrain against the president today, attacking Obama for supposedly vacationing too much. “I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years particularly when the American people are out of work,” Romney said …As of August of last year, when Obama’s vacations briefly dominated the news cycle, George W. Bush had taken almost three times as many vacation days as Obama, and Ronald Reagan had taken almost double the days at similar points in their terms. But the tact is especially odd coming from Romney, who is no stranger to taking leaves while in office. In 2006, his last year as governor of Massachusetts, Romney spent 212 days out of state — more than four days each week, on average — preparing for a presidential run. […] This vacation hypocrisy is nothing new for Romney, though, who attacked Obama last year for going to tony Martha’s Vineyard — even though it turned out Romney would be on the island on the very same day. More importantly, in this day and age, no president is ever out of communication, no matter where in the world they go. So any discussion of Obama’s vacationing is mere distraction and a weak attempt to make a scandal out of nothing.
REPUBLICANS PICK AND CHOOSE THEIR “CHRISTIAN” CONVICTIONS: Boehner to Catholic bishops: Take ‘bigger look’ at Republican budget –Referencing Matthew 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called on Congress to put the poor first in budget priorities and rethink cuts to programs that benefited the least among us. But Boehner, a Catholic, said at a press conference Wednesday the cuts were necessary, despite the impact they may have on the poor. [...] The House Agriculture Committee approved a measure on Wednesday that would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides food stamps, by $133 billion over the next decade. Approximately 2 million individuals would be cut off from the program entirely, according to the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. Another 44 million would see their benefits cut. In a letter to House Committee on Agriculture members, Bishop Stephen Blaire described the proposed cuts to the program as “unjustified and wrong.” “If savings need to be achieved, cuts to agricultural subsidies and direct payments should be considered before cutting anti-hunger programs that help feed poor and vulnerable people,” he continued.
After Demanding Offsets For Payroll Tax Cut, GOP Won’t Offset ‘Small Business’ Tax Cut For Millionaires — Despite calls from some conservative members of the party, GOP leadership won’t demand spending cuts to offset the “small business” tax cut that is being proposed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Politico reports: Several Republican leadership aides say they have no plans to offset the tax cut, which a centerpiece of their agenda during these next two weeks in session. The payroll tax cut, which Republicans did everything to block until it became politically impossible to continue, primarily benefited working class Americans and has real economic benefits. Cantor’s tax cut, on the other hand, is supposedly targeted at small businesses, but will largely aid millionaires like Oprah Winfrey and the owners of professional sports franchises. According to the Center for American Progress’ Seth Hanlon, the bill gives millionaires an average tax cut of $45,000.
Cantor ‘Puzzled’ That Obama Would Threaten To Veto The Latest GOP Tax Cut For Millionaires — Due to its non-existent targeting to actual small businesses, the cut would benefit hedge fund managers, wealthy lawyers, professional sports teams, and Oprah’s production company. Despite all this, Cantor is still “puzzled” that President Obama would threaten to veto the bill, which he did yesterday. On CNBC this morning, Cantor accused Obama of not caring about small businesses due to his opposition to the tax giveaway: Well, listen, the President’s now issued a veto threat against the bill, which is kind of puzzling, because the President has continued to say he’s for small business, he’s for the middle class, and yet he’s now denying any help to small businesses, who frankly could use a 20 percent tax cut…
Republicans Give Up The Game: It Was Never About Deficits — The contrast is particularly stark this week: Senate Republicans blocked the Buffett Rule, dismissing its capacity to raise $47 billion over 10 years, while House Republicans are pushing a broad business tax cut that would add $46 billion to the deficit in just one year. On top of that, House committees are now looking for ways to override automatic cuts to defense spending they agreed to last August as a means of enforcing the controversial debt-limit deal. [...] Underlying this story is a broader GOP strategy of using deficits as a cudgel to attack Democrats when they come to power and use legislative leverage to force cuts to federal programs. Democrats yielded to the GOP for the first half of 2011. But small government isn’t synonymous with responsible budgeting, and when Democrats demanded that Republicans look to the other side of the federal ledger to reduce deficits, the GOP implicitly acknowledged that bringing the budget closer to balance wasn’t their real priority. Democrats say they’re still willing to address deficits with the GOP, but only under a more balanced approach. Republicans so far haven’t budged, and many would rather see wholesale changes to the rules of governing than make concessions to grapple seriously with the issue that they put on the national agenda.
RIP DICK CLARK — LET’S MAKE YOUR DEATH INTO A GOP TALKING POINT: GOP lawmaker: Dick Clark should be remembered as model of free enterprise — [House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.)] came to the House floor just a few hours after Clark’s death was reported, and said an ongoing Republican speech about the need to foster small businesses reminded him of the discussions he had with Clark over the years about taxes and free enterprise. “I just want to say that as I listen to your discussion, I was reminded of how he regularly said everyone should pay their fair share of taxes,” Dreier said of Clark. “He said that not too long ago to me. “I said I appreciate that, because he knew he was paying my salary,” Dreier said, adding that he had dinner with Clark just two weeks ago. “He was a believer in the free-enterprise system, he was a believer in encouraging individual initiative and opportunity on a regular basis,” Dreier said. “You guys are here talking about the need for tax fairness and the imperative to ensure that we encourage more people like Dick Clark. I think it’s important for us to remember the wonderful life that this man had.”
—————————————————————-PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
OBAMA TO GOP: Abide By Debt Limit Deal Or Else Face A Government Shutdown — In a major escalation of a slowly building fight over funding the government, the White House has warned House Republicans, in no uncertain terms, that the government will shut down in September if the GOP does not adhere to an agreement they cut with Democrats in August during the standoff over raising the nation’s debt limit. “Until the House of Representatives indicates that it will abide by last summer’s agreement, the President will not be able to sign any appropriations bills,” writes Jeffrey Zients, acting director of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, in a letter addressed to congressional appropriators Wednesday. The message is simple: The government will shut down just ahead of the 2012 presidential election if Republicans break faith with the debt limit deal. [TPM]
BERNIE SANDERS: Congress spends day and night worrying about the wealthy — “This country faces enormous problems, the middle-class is declining, poverty is increasing, we’re worried about global warming, we’re worried about health care, we’re worried about education,” he said, “and the American people are looking to Washington and saying, ‘What’s going on? We have enormous problems, and you’re not addressing those problems.’” “One of the reasons that Congress is not addressing those problems is the power of big money in terms of campaign contributions and in terms of lobbying,” Sanders continued. “Working people are trying to keep their heads above water, and here on Capitol Hill all kinds of money is flooding into this institution so that Congress spends day and night worrying about the wealthy and powerful, and forgetting about the middle-class and working families.” He blasted the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, which held that limiting corporate campaign spending violated the First Amendment. [...] Sen. Charles Schumer said at the summit that the Citizens United decision was the worst since Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld state laws enacting racial segregation. “Something like 17 people have given half the Republican super PACS half of their money,” he noted. “What is happening to America?”
I BLAME FOX NEWS: The latest Pew poll shows Mitt Romney leading President Obama by a full six points — 50% to 44% — among senior citizens. Ingrates. The president is saving Medicare recipients billions of dollars by closing the Medicare Part-D donut hole, and yet they’re leaning Romney. A new HHS report indicates that 3.6 million Medicare enrollees saved a total of $2.1 billion in 2011 thanks to these ACA provisions. And since the discounts are phased in slowly between 2010 and 2020, the savings will only increase in the future. Old people should be at the top of the pro-Obama roster because of this. After all, if Romney is elected, he’ll repeal the ACA and the donut hole will open up again, meaning senior citizens will have to pay for life-saving prescriptions out of their own fixed-income pockets for a period time every single year. [Bob Cesca]
Same Thing, Both Sides Do It, GOTCHA LIBTARDS! — So apparently, when Obama was a young boy, someone fed him dog meat in Indonesia. Which, according to wingnuts, is exactly the same thing as a grown man making the decision to strap his dog to the roof of the car and terrorize it on a cross country trip. SUCK ON THAT LIBERALS! And of course the WH press corpse is on the job mainstreaming this bullshit.
JOHN BOEHNER YESTERDAY: “This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s economic policies. They’ve not only not helped the economy, they’ve actually made it worse. When you look at his higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control, they’ve scared every businessperson and investor in America.” Speaker Boehner has an odd definition of “worse.” While Boehner talks about Obama’s “higher taxes,” Obama has actually cut taxes. While Boehner said Obama has refused to deal with the debt, Obama offered Boehner a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan that Republicans rejected. While Boehner frets over a “regulatory regime,” Obama has actually created fewer regulations than his Republican predecessor. And then there’s the notion that Obama made the economy “worse.”… [Time for Boehner to update his talking points]