The President welcomed Ryan to the Romney ticket and discussed how Romney’s choice affects the issues and problems Americans are currently facing:
ABC News: CHICAGO — Just over 24 hours after Rep. Paul Ryan was tapped for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, President Obama today welcomed the Wisconsin congressman to the race, branding him the “ideological leader of Republicans in Congress.”
Addressing donors at a campaign fundraiser on the south side of Chicago, Obama slammed his rivals’ belief in “top-down economics” as a solution to the nation’s economic woes, insisting the approach has been tried and failed.
“This kind of top-down economics is central to Gov. [Mitt] Romney and it is central to his running mate,” Obama told roughly 1,000 donors huddled inside the Bridgeport Arts Center.
“Just yesterday, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan. I want to congratulate Mr. Ryan. I know him. I welcome him to the race,” Obama said.
Some members of the crowd began booing at the mention of Ryan, but Obama cut them off.
“He is a decent man, he is a family man, he is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision, but it is a vision that I fundamentally disagree with,” he said.
WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—
Mitt Romney: Not a Job Creator
If you call yourself a fiscal conservative, there’s NO WAY you can support Republicans: what Obama spending bindge? – Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree. As would-be president Mitt Romney tells it: “I will lead us out of this debt and spending inferno.” Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true. But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s. – Rex Nutting – MarketWatch
Starve the Beast: believe nothing the GOP tells you — Today’s conservatives oppose tax increases so strenuously that many were willing to default on the nation’s debt last summer rather than raise taxes by a single penny. They overwhelmingly believe in a nonsensical theory called “starve the beast,” which asserts that tax cuts automatically reduce spending and tax increases never reduce the deficit because they invariably lead to spending increases. The Clinton and Bush 43 administrations are almost perfect tests of starve-the-beast theory; the former raised taxes in 1993, while the latter signed into law seven different major tax cuts… If there were any truth whatsoever to starving the beast, we should have seen a rise in spending during the Clinton years and a fall in spending during the Bush years. In fact, we had exactly the opposite results. [...] contrary to Republican dogma, tax increases did not kill jobs during the Clinton administration. In fact, 23 million jobs were created, compared with one-fourth that number under Mr. Bush. The key reason for this is that real G.D.P. grew twice as fast during the Clinton years as it did during the Bush years: 3.9 percent per year on average compared with 2 percent. – Bruce Bartlett – NYTimes.com | image: destroythegop
Mitt Romney in 2002: I’m gonna get more money from the Federal Government
Priorities for a Man of God: Cardinal Timothy Dolan defended the lawsuits that 43 Catholic-affiliated organizations, including the University of Notre Dame, have filed against the Obama administration’s contraception regulation to expand coverage at no additional cost to employees. [...] By calling the accommodations “strangling,” Dolan ignores how the administration has already addressed their concerns about religious liberty while also ensuring that women can still receive accessible, affordable contraception. Most Catholics disagree with Dolan’s and church leaders’ continuing opposition to the contraception rule, but Dolan would rather pick a fight than work toward finding a reasonable solution. – ThinkProgress
- It seems that some people would rather not extend the statute of limitations for the crime of sexually abusing children. What kind of monster — no, wait… Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made defeating statute of limitations reform one of his top legislative priorities. — Charles P. Pierce
BREAKING NEWS IN WINGNUTTIA: A Zombie Breitbart blogger has launched a new conspiracy: the photo of Obama throwing a football is FAKE! — LGF
“If I thought that call was coming, I would disconnect the phone.” – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) on potentially being picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate. – Yahoo News
WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————
Biden: “We will not go back to the ’50s in social policy” — Vice President Biden worked to tie Mitt Romney to former President George W. Bush and the obsolete policies of a bygone era in a speech on Tuesday at a New Hampshire college. “We will not do it their way again. We intend to move forward,” Biden said in Keene, N.H. “We intend to build a middle class. We mean it.” [...] “We will not go back to the ’50s in social policy, to the Cold War in our foreign policy and to the policies of the last administration on our economic policy,” Biden said, almost shouting as he ripped into the presumptive GOP nominee. [...] arguing that Romney’s record at private-equity firm Bain Capital is fair game because Romney himself has made his business experience Exhibit A in his case for why he’s the best candidate to turn the economy around…. “Your job as president is to promote the common good. That doesn’t mean the private-equity guys are bad. They’re not,” Biden said. “But that no more qualifies you to be president than to be a plumber.” – The Hill | image: thestoutorialist
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) warned that unless Americans can undo the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, the most narrow special interests will end up running the country. “The super PACs, to me, are stealth funds that com into a state,” Cardin said. “You don’t know when they’re coming in and we’re all concerned about it. We know that corporate America is financing most of this.” “This is the special interests,” he continued. “This is the people representing some of the most narrow special interests in this country. The Supreme Court, in Citizens United, opened this up. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t happen. We should have a regulated fund. We already have too much money going into the campaigns now.” – Raw Story
Opposition to gay marriage hits new low – A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds 53% of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, “hitting a high mark in support while showing a dramatic turnaround from just six years ago, when just 36% thought it should be legal.” Meanwhile, 39% percent, a new low, say gay marriage should be illegal. – Political Wire
Poll: 51 percent say U.S. should withdraw all troops from Europe – Rasmussen has a new poll out today finding that a slim majority of American “likely voters” think the United States should withdrawal all American troops from Europe: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters now believe the United States should remove all its troops from Western Europe and let the Europeans defend themselves. Only 29% disagree, but another 20% are undecided. Part of President Obama’s plan to cut nearly $500 billion in military spending over the next decade (DOD’s budget will still grow over that same period) includes cutting two Army brigades in Europe. – ThinkProgress
Americans think birth control is okay: Nearly every American — including 82 percent of American Catholics — thinks birth control, and the people who use it, are all right by them. – Roll Call
Reminder to Fox “News” — Martin Luther King Jr. praised Planned Parenthood: Fox is hyping comments by former RNC chairman Michael Steele in which he criticized the NAACP for “signing up with an organization like Planned Parenthood,” which he said had worked in the past to “eliminate and limit” African Americans and other minorities. Guest hosting for Bill O’Reilly, Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham aired Steele’s comments, which were made earlier today on Ingraham’s radio show. Steele’s comments were also touted by Fox Nation. Unmentioned by Ingraham and Fox Nation, however, is that fact that Martin Luther King Jr. accepted an award from Planned Parenthood and praised the organization for its dedication to family planning. — MMFA
————————————-WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
THE FOX ‘NEWS’ WAR ON INTELLIGENCE: According to a Fox “News” affiliate, Neo-Nazis are ‘a Civil Rights group’! – A Fox Orlando affiliate decribed Neo-Nazis as “a civil rights group” on a television broadcast and online. The group of Neo-Nazis, known as the National Socialist Movement, has been conducting armed patrols of the streets of Sanford, Florida, the town where Trayvon Marting was shot dead. The Fox Orlando affiliate, WOFL, aired a shockingly uncritical report of the groups activities. The Fox reporter introduced the group by saying, “There’s another civil rights group in town.” She also conducts an interview with the group’s leader, Jeff Schoep, without challenging any of his claims about the nature and mission of the group. [image: nydailynews.com]
- It took 3 TRIES for the Fox News affiliate to get it right: At 4:28 they deleted the story, at 4:43 they re-titled it “White Rights Group Patrolling Sanford” (White Rights!), then at 5:23 they re-re-titled it “Neo-Nazi Group Patrolling Sanford.”
Bob Schieffer Falsely Claims Health Reform Forces Churches To “Buy Birth Control Pills For Their Employees” – In an interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS, falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act required religiously-affiliated institutions — including churches — to “buy birth control pills for their employees.” In fact, churches are exempted from the mandate, and contraceptive services will be provided by health insurance plans, not religiously-affiliated employers. Schieffer is misinforming his viewers when he says that the mandate for contraceptive coverage applies to churches. The rule regarding contraceptive coverage specifically exempts actual houses of worship. Furthermore, the rule doesn’t force any religiously-affiliated institution to purchase birth control pills or distribute them its employees. [...] As Sibelius made clear in her statement, Catholic universities and hospitals aren’t going to be buying birth control for their employees any more than they will be buying blood pressure tests and dialysis. Institutions that provide health insurance as an employment benefit are offering just that – health insurance. When a person with employer-provided coverage goes to the doctor or pharmacist, we normally think of their bills as being paid for not by their employer but by their health insurance plan.
Tennessee seeks to question evolution in bill – The measure states that “teachers shall be permitted to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.” It also says the legislation “shall not be construed to promote any religious or non-religious doctrine.” In a letter to lawmakers, the Tennessee members of the National Academy of Sciences argued that the bill would “miseducate students, harm the state’s national reputation and weaken its efforts to compete in a science-driven global economy.” The Tennessee Education Association, meanwhile, blasted the “unnecessary legislation.” But Haslam has already indicated he would “probably” sign the measure into law. The Discovery Institute, whose model legislation inspired the bill, hailed the passage of a text that “promotes good science education by protecting the academic freedom of science teachers to fully and objectively discuss controversial scientific topics, like evolution.”
NEVER FORGET! – Some sad news: The tea party may have won Republicans the House of Representatives in 2010, but in 2012, it’s looking like it could help Democrats retain the White House. Now nearly three years old, the tea party has fallen out of favor with Americans, and Democrats are prepared to use it against Republicans in this year’s elections. A recent Fox News poll showed just 30 percent of Americans had a favorable view of the tea party, compared with 51 percent who viewed it unfavorably. [...] I don’t want the Tea Party to fall out of favor with pundits, for two reasons. Pundits were, in my view, always ”the movement’s” most enthusiastic promoters, and I think Republicans who have to get reelected should have to wear the Tea Party they embraced like a badge. Actions should have consequences, and I’m all about taking responsibility. [...] These images of the Tea Party are an important part of the historical record of the Republican Party.
———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
DNC Chair Slams Wis. Gov. Walker for Equal Pay Repeal, says GOP ‘callous and insensitive’ towards women – “The policies that have come out of the Republican Party, saying that we should have a debate again over contraception and whether we should have access to it and it should be affordable, saying that — like Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, you know, he tried to quietly repeal the Equal Pay Act. Women aren’t going to stand for that. Governor Walker just signed a bill that repeals the equal pay law they had in Wisconsin for years. You have Republicans who have engaged themselves for the entire Congress trying to redefine rape as only being forcible rape, defunding Planned Parenthood and family planning programs. The Lilly Ledbetter Act — the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act put teeth behind the notion that women deserve equal pay for equal work. That was the first bill the President Obama signed into law. The overwhelming majority of Republicans serving in Congress voted against it. So, the focus of the Republican Party on turning back the clock for women really is something that is unacceptable and shows how callous and insensitive they are towards women’s priorities.”
“I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and an equivalence is presented — which reinforces I think people’s cynicism about Washington generally. [The debate over deficit reduction] is not one of those situations where there’s an equivalence. I’ve got some of the most liberal Democrats in Congress who were prepared to make significant changes to entitlements that go against their political interests, and who said they were willing to do it. And we couldn’t get a Republican to stand up and say, we’ll raise some revenue, or even to suggest that we won’t give more tax cuts to people who don’t need them.” — President Obama on bipartisanship at the AP lunch
- John Cole said this about bipartisanship and today’s GOP:“I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work the next few years.” [via]
The Gullible Center – So, can we talk about the Paul Ryan phenomenon? And yes, I mean the phenomenon, not the man. Mr. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee and the principal author of the last two Congressional Republican budget proposals, isn’t especially interesting. He’s a garden-variety modern G.O.P. extremist, an Ayn Rand devotee who believes that the answer to all problems is to cut taxes on the rich and slash benefits for the poor and middle class. [...] The Ryan cult was very much on display last week, after President Obama said the obvious: the latest Republican budget proposal, a proposal that Mitt Romney has avidly embraced, is a “Trojan horse” — that is, it is essentially a fraud. “Disguised as deficit reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country.”The reaction from many commentators was a howl of outrage. The president was being rude; he was being partisan; he was being a big meanie. Yet what he said about the Ryan proposal was completely accurate. [...] So you can see the problem these commentators face. To admit that the president’s critique is right would be to admit that they were snookered by Mr. Ryan, who is the same as he ever was. More than that, it would call into question their whole centrist shtick — for the moral of my story is that Mr. Ryan isn’t the only emperor who turns out, on closer examination, to be naked. Hence the howls of outrage, and the attacks on the president for being “partisan.” For that is what people in Washington say when they want to shout down someone who is telling the truth.
————————————-WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
‘DERB’ TOO OPENLY RACIST EVEN FOR NATIONAL REVIEW: National Review Fires Derbyshire – National Review editor Rich Lowry does the right thing, announcing that John Derbyshire will no longer be writing for the influential conservative outlet: His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible. We never would have published it, but the main reason that people noticed it is that it is by a National Review writer. Derb is effectively using our name to get more oxygen for views with which we’d never associate ourselves otherwise. So there has to be a parting of the ways. Derb has long danced around the line on these issues, but this column is so outlandish it constitutes a kind of letter of resignation. It’s a free country, and Derb can write whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Just not in the pages of NR or NRO, or as someone associated with NR any longer. Lowry and the National Review deserve credit for finally cutting ties with Derbyshire’s long record of hateful rhetoric.
FLASHBACK: ONE EXAMPLE OF DERB’S LONG RECORD: ‘Women Voting Is Bad For Conservatism’ – In 2009, [John Derbyshire] authored a book that contained a chapter titled “The Case Against Women’s Suffrage.” In it, he argued the country would be better off if women didn’t have the right to vote. He discussed his views in a Sept. 2009 interview with Alan Colmes:
DERBYSHIRE: Among the hopes that I do not realistically nurse is the hope that female suffrage will be repealed. But I’ll say this – if it were to be, I wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep.
COLMES: We’d be a better country if women didn’t vote?
DERBYSHIRE: Probably. Don’t you think so?
COLMES: No, I do not think so whatsoever.
DERBYSHIRE: Come on Alan. Come clean here [laughing].
COLMES: We would be a better country? John Derbyshire making the statement, we would be a better country if women did not vote.
DERBYSHIRE: Yeah, probably.
Chuck Grassley calls Obama ‘stupid’ on Twitter – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and his Twitter page made headlines again Saturday afternoon, as the senator called President Barack Obama “stupid” for his comments regarding the Supreme Court’s future ruling on the Affordable Care Act. Reacting to Obama’s comments this past week, in which the president labeled any overturn by the Supreme Court of the law as an “unprecedented, extraordinary step,” Grassley exhibited his colorful personality again on the social network. “Constituents askd why i am not outraged at PresO attack on supreme court independence. Bcause Am ppl r not stupid as this x prof of con law,” the informally written tweet said.
Bob Cesca point out Grassley’s own long history of stupidity – No, senator, the president is arguably one of the smartest, best-educated presidents in history. And yes, senator, the American people are bigtime stupid. Oh, and let’s rewind for an illustration of Chuck Grassley’s burning intelligence:
Missouri GOP Rep: ‘I have doubts’ about Obama’s birth certificate – Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo) became the latest Republican to express uncertainty over President Barack Obama’s citizenship this week at a town hall event with her constituents. A group called Show Me Progress filmed Hartzler’s response to a question about the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate. “You know, I have a lot of doubts about all that,” Hartzler said. “But I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. I’m just at the same place you are on that. You read this, you read that. But I don’t understand why he didn’t show that right away. I mean, if someone asked for my birth certificate, I’d get my baby book and hand it out and say ‘Here it is,’ so I don’t know.”
———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
Ryan, Obama, and Deficits – CBO has done a full scoring (pdf) of the Obama proposals; they estimate a deficit in 2022 of 3 percent of GDP (Table 2). Their scoring of Ryan (pdf) does not include any actual scoring of his tax proposals; they simply accept, because they have no choice, his unsupported claim that he can make the thing revenue neutral. Under that assumption, they come up with a deficit in 2023 (Table 1) of 1 3/4 percent of GDP. But the Tax Policy Center (pdf) has scored the actual Ryan tax proposals, minus the mystery meat, and concludes that they would reduce revenue by more than 2 percent of GDP in 2023. Put these things together, and what they say is that the Ryan proposal would lead to bigger, repeat bigger, deficits than the Obama proposal.
Isn’t it marvelous? Obama seeks to define Romney for voters – After watching quietly while Republican candidates fought each other, Obama is now trying to define his likely opponent in November as an out-of-touch multi-millionaire who would cut social programs for the elderly and the middle class while promoting policies to help the rich. Obama’s riff on Romney’s use of the word “marvelous” to describe Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plans carried a subtle message. “It’s a word you kind of associate with the upper class, and I think that the intention was to tweak Romney for being wealthy and, you know, sort of brought up in the kinds of circles where they would say ‘marvelous,’” said Kenneth Sherrill, a political science expert at New York’s Hunter College. “That’s trying to get under his skin a little bit.”
TENNESSEE: “Why is my womb attached to a transportation bill?” – Meanwhile, Park Overall, an environmental advocate and actress from East Tennessee, filed a qualifying petition to run against U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, the Tennessee Democratic Party said. [...] Overall, who spoke at the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Jackson Day dinner on Saturday, was “very well received” there and decided to take on Corker, who is nearing the end of his first Senate term, party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese said. Overall said she was driven to run by “an East Tennessee fire in my belly.” “It was the Blunt amendment that put me over the top,” she said. “That’s where they were going to decide if they would give me medical care or give me birth control depending on how they morally believed.” The Blunt amendment was proposed earlier this year to be added to a highway funding bill. In her speech at the Jackson Day dinner, Overall asked, “Why is my womb attached to a transportation bill?”
What Would Jesus Do at the Masters? | Maureen Dowd – THERE was a boys’ club, of course, a band of ardent, jockeying disciples. But as his fame grew, the messiah was also surrounded by women and talked about women with great respect. With his father far away, the golden boy was most influenced by his strong mother and the women in his inner circle. I’m talking about the real messiah, not Barack Obama, although it applies to both. [...] The message of Jesus, after all, is not about exclusion, but inclusion. Briggs said that most American Catholics will never go along with retrogressive dictates of the church, like the one against artificial contraception. “God,” he noted dryly, “only had one son.” [...] “They say women can’t be priests because Jesus only called men to be apostles,” he said. “But the women close to Jesus were the first witnesses of the resurrection. When the men were afraid and hidden, the women went to the tomb and said, ‘Jesus is risen!’ If Easter is the most important part of Christianity, the first to proclaim the message were women. Who could make more effective preachers?”
THE SHORT BUS: YOUR 2012 REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY
“Nobody thinks Romney’s going to win. Let’s just be honest. Can we just say this for everybody at home? Let me just say this for everybody at home. The Republican establishment — I’ve yet to meet a single person in the Republican establishment that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election this year. They won’t say it on TV because they’ve got to go on TV and they don’t want people writing them nasty emails.” – Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe (via)
Here’s Some Advice for Mitt Romney – Matthew Dowd — Let go of the bitter fight with Rick Santorum and understand the key strategic imperative is to unite the party. Being bigger than Santorum will show how confident you are and how generous you can be. Don’t run any more negative ads against Santorum; let it be OK for him to win his home state and possibly save face. Tell your staff to quit attacking him and his campaign. Choose either to be all positive about yourself or to only contrast yourself with Obama. This will show how smart your campaign is and how able you are to adapt to a new moment. It is Easter, by the way, and as many folks of faith celebrate a new beginning and the power of compassion. Adopt this same sentiment. [image: politicaldirtylaundry]
Santorum struggles to stay relevant as Romney and Obama begin face-off – Romney has already launched the first of what is expected to be a barrage of attack adverts targeting Santorum’s record as a US senator from the state for 12 years. Romney has accused him of betraying conservative values by voting to raise the national debt and of being compromised by years in Congress. [...] Romney commanded the most support among strong backers of the Tea Party movement and ran a close second to Santorum among voters who identified themselves as very conservative or as evangelical Christians. In early contests, such as South Carolina, Romney did badly with those groups. After Tuesday’s losses, Santorum pledged to defy pressure from “the Republican establishment and aristocracy” to drop out of the race and said he would keep going through the primaries in May. “Who’s ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?” he said. But if Santorum loses the race in Pennsylvania, the pressure to step aside and allow the Republican party to concentrate on its campaign against Obama will intensify.
Rick Santorum Trails Mitt Romney In Pennsylvania, Poll Says – The notion that Santorum has a shot at the Republican nomination even with a victory in Pennsylvania was already a bit far-fetched. A loss there would likely convince even the most passionate backer that the gig is up. But the practical effect of poll numbers like these is greater then just providing a window into where the race currently stands. Santorum has a lot — personally and professionally — riding on his performance in Pennsylvania. And it’s not unreasonable to see him feeling intense pressure to bow out of the contest out of concern that he’d suffer an embarrassing loss.
Planned Parenthood Bomber: ‘They’re Killing Babies There’ – Francis Grady, who’s accused of firebombing a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinic on Sunday night, appeared in court today and settled the question of whether or not he’s an anti-choice fanatic: he is. A Grand Chute man accused of setting a fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic made his first appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Green Bay. Francis Grady, 50, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Sickel he planned to plead guilty, but Sickel ignored the statement and scheduled Grady for an April 19 preliminary hearing. At one point, Grady interrupted him to ask, “Do you even care at all about the 1,000 babies that died screaming?”
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
At UAW legislative conference, Obama defends auto bailout – ”I placed my bet on the American worker and I’ll make that bet any day of the week,” the president declared to the UAW delegates. He praised the union, saying it was a major factor in making American history, including enabling the country to “defeat fascism” in World War II and the creation thereafter of the middle class itself. He also slammed the Republicans for their concentration on so-called “value” issues. “I keep hearing these same folks talk about values all the time,” he said. “You want to talk about values? Hard work – that’s a value. Looking out for one another, that’s a value. The idea that we’re all in it together and I am my brother’s keeper and sister’s keeper that’s a value. “They’re out there talking about you like you’re some kind of special interest that needs to be beaten down,” Obama declared. “They are wrong. That’s the philosophy that got us into this mess. We can’t afford to go back to it. Not now.” [image: moveon]
What Detroit’s Resurgence Says About The Auto Bailout – Mitt Romney attacked the Volt the same day the big three released their new numbers. “I’m not sure America was ready for the Chevy Volt,” he said. “I mean, I hope it does well, I don’t want to disparage any product coming out of Detroit. But I think instead of having politicians tell us what kind of cars we ought to make, we ought to let the people who are trying to understand the market make that decision.” Romney also continues to struggle with his original position on the bailout — outlined in a memorable 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” “If by chance people don’t remember that editorial, we’re going to remind them of it,” said Don LaForest, chairman of the UAW’s bargaining committee at the Detroit Hamtramck plant, where the Volt is made. Rattner believes it’s a safe bet that the bailout will become a major campaign issue. “That the auto bailout has had a very positive impact on the country is the message you’ve seen the White House use and they should continue to use it,” Rattner told TPM. “There were some pretty amazingly incorrect predictions made by people who were against the bailout. They should step back and rethink their hypotheses.”
WE ARE LIKELY TO HEAR A LOT MORE ABOUT SOCIAL DARWINISM in the months ahead. It was the conservative creed during the late 19th century – legitimizing a politics in which the lackeys of robber barons deposited sacks of money on legislators’ desks, and justifying an economy in which sweat shops were common, urban slums festered, and a significant portion of America was impoverished. – Robert Reich: The Choice in 2012: Social Darwinism or a Decent Society
Clinton: Unilateral Israeli Attack On Iran Now ‘Is Not In Anyone’s Interest’ – REENA NINAN: How successful has the U.S. been in getting and preventing Israel from taking unilateral action against Iran? CLINTON: Well we’ve worked very hard with Israel on all levels from the military, intelligence, strategic, diplomatic level to make sure we were sharing information, that we knew what each other was assessing. And it’s our very strong belief, as President Obama conveyed to the Israelis, that it is not in anyone’s interest for them to take unilateral action. It is in everyone’s interest for us to seriously pursue at this time the diplomatic path.
Mitt Romney poised for Tuesday sweep – If Mitt Romney is able to win with these kinds of margins—big double-digits in Romney-friendly states, high single-digits to low double-digits in states where Rick Santorum originally had a chance—there’s no question that he’ll win enough delegates to hit the magic number while primaries are still ongoing. So I guess Republicans have the shortest memory in the world. After spending three years yelling about President Obama, health care reform, and high taxes … they are about to nominate the guy who invented Obamacare and who raised taxes while governor of Massachusetts. Of course, he denies all that, and apparently Republicans are willing to believe him. But things are going to get interesting when Romney tries to move into Etch-A-Sketch mode, trying to erase the things he said during the Republican primary in order to appeal to swing voters. And assuming tomorrow goes as PPP’s polling suggest it will, that day is coming soon.
Wisconsin, Where the Romney Pushback Begins – So, suddenly, with women running away from the Republican party and its putative nominee as though he’s gone radioactive, we get a story that tells us that the White House “fears” the power of “rock star” Ann Romney, the woman with several Cadillacs? As near as I can tell from that Politico story, the main sources of Ann Romney’s “power” are that she’s Mitt’s only first wife, and that he’s a little bit less of an animatronic foof when she’s around. She’s his “link” to “the base” simply because they’ve stayed married to each other. [...] The work of humanizing the Romneybot — recreating him as a “moderate,” so that we can actually have the horse-race that people want so badly come the fall — is going to continue and accelerate. His campaign has been stunningly adequate throughout, just about up to the task of spending a quintillion quatloos to crush a field of lightweights and rodeo clowns. He’s outspending Santorum 55-to-one in Wisconsin and has built up a virtual monopoly on television advertising, and his lead is still only in single digits. And he’s being stunningly adequate in a state that is in a merry chaos of superheated politics. For the first time since Fighting Bob LaFollette was in there swinging, Wisconsin is the red-hot core of American politics.
Animatronic foof!! That’s exactly why I read Charles P. Pierce, who in my mind is a national treasure. #WIN
Here are some things the Romneybot has done / said recently, all of which TeamRomney will now attempt to either “soften” for moderate voters (the majority of folks who aren’t likely to think Jesus would have voted for more tax cuts for the wealthy), or will just straight up amend, change, or lie about in the future. We need to keep score:
1. He’s going to ‘get rid of’ Planned Parenthood.
2. Romney supports the Blunt Ammendment which would allow employers to deny health insurance coverage on the basis of moral objections.
3. Romney is fighting a covert battle against contraception, even if he is doing his best not to call it that.
4. Romney failed to condemn Rush Limbaugh’s characterization of Sandra Fluke as a “slut.”
5. Romney supports restricting access to abortions. He has called Roe v. Wade “one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history.”
One of NOM’s Top Secret Donors Revealed: Mitt Romney – We often talk about how hard NOM works to hide their donors – even if it means circumventing the law – but now, we’ve learned the identity of one of their high-profile financial supporters: Mitt Romney. Financial documents obtained by HRC reveal that Mitt Romney donated $10,000 to the National Organization for Marriage in 2008 – essentially funding NOM’s strategy of using racial division and unfounded scare tactics to attack LGBT equality, at the same time that NOM was fighting for Prop 8 in California. via: sarahlee310
Tax Cuts in GOP Budget Would Give Millionaires $265,000 on Top of Bush Tax Cuts; Would Cut Top Rate to Lowest Level Since Hoover Administration – “I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on [Ryan’s] part and on the part of the Republicans.”— Mitt Romney [source]
Ad War Update – Romney’s online ad strategy is to tell people what they want to hear, literally: In the past campaign speeches often tried to include one line or two to satisfy each type of voter. But increasingly campaigns are figuring out exactly what people like you would need to hear to vote for them, and then giving exactly that message to people exactly like you. Another group of people will hear another message directed explicitly at their concerns.
Mitt Romney Keeps Lying – Mitt Romney is not only lying more often as the primary draws to close, he’s also telling bigger lies. “We know that under Barack Obama, 800,000 jobs have been lost. We know that under Barack Obama, 2.3 million homes have been foreclosed upon. We know that under this president, chronic unemployment is the worst it’s been in American history.” No, it is not the worst it’s been in American history. I expect the general election will be filled with one lie after another, because there is no credible way for Romney and the Republicans to attack the president without lying…
Romney (and the rest of the GOP) can’t ever make a point without acting like they’re in a junior high lunch room: “Our president doesn’t have the same feelings about American exceptionalism that we do,” Romney told a conservative crowd. Obama rebuffs Romney on ‘exceptional’ America – “It’s still primary season for the Republican Party,” [Obama] said, but then took aim at Romney’s central argument. “It’s worth noting that I first arrived on the national stage with a speech at the Democratic Convention that was entirely about American exceptionalism and that my entire career has been a testimony to American exceptionalism. But, you know, I will cut folks some slack for now because they’re still trying to get their nomination.”
1) RICK ‘I SAID BLAH PEOPLE’ SANTORUM
Santorum denies calling Obama the n-word — Speaking to a group of voters in Janesville, Wisconsin on Wednesday, the candidate seemed to catch himself before using a word that sounds like “n*gger” to describe the president. (The original video of the speech is available here. The remarks in question take place at about 34:50.) “We know the candidate Barack Obama, what he was like – the anti-war government nig… America was a source for division around the world, that what we were doing was wrong,” Santorum said. “Oh, come on!” Santorum spokesman Hogan Gidley told Raw Story when asked for comment. “Give me a break. That’s unbelievable. What does it say about those that are running with this story that that’s where their mind goes. You know, I’m not going to dignify that with [a response].” “That is absolutely ridiculous.”
2) THE FACSIST PARTY OF TEA & THEOCRACY
Arizona law would criminalize being lewd or annoying on the Internet — As summarized by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, “The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to ‘annoy,’ ‘offend,’ ‘harass’ or ‘terrify,’ as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying.” The bill is currently awaiting Governor Jan Brewer’s signature, and the Media Coalition, which defends first amendment rights in the media, has sent her a letter outlining some of the problems with the legislation.
Arizona again. NATURALLY. And the Arizona GOP is now taking panty-snifffing to an entirely new level, demanding that “the gestational age of the fetus should be ‘calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.’” So in order to get an abortion, you now have to provide a bunch of old perverts a calendar with your menstrual cycle highlighted. These people are sick and evil. We’re seriously one or two bills away before women will be required to go to the well of the Arizona Senate and tell these old white perverts their favorite sexual position and how old they were when they lost their virginity.
3) THE GOP’S ONGOING INCOME REDISTRIBUTION SCHEME
Reality Check: Effective U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Much Lower Than Most Other Developed Nations — “The United States is a world leader in countless ways. ‘World’s Highest Taxes’ is a title we should give up as soon as possible,” wrote Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in a Fox News op-ed. “This isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke; as of April 1, the United States of America will have reached the inauspicious position of having the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in a statement “I want America to be number one in many things, but having the highest corporate tax rate is definitely not one of them.” This is constant refrain from Republicans, who then blame the supposedly high U.S. corporate tax rate for discouraging job creation. But as we’ve noted time and time again, while the U.S. has a high statutory corporate tax rate (meaning the rate on paper), U.S. corporations actually pay incredibly low taxes due to the ever-proliferating loopholes, credits, and deductions in the tax code and the use of overseas tax havens.
4) MAYBE THERE’S STILL HOPE
Joe Scarborough Discovers ‘Disgusting’ Daily Caller Racism (VIDEO) — We wonder who Joe Scarborough is talking about here, when he calls out rightwing websites for being “beneath contempt” in their treatment of Trayvon Martin! (No we don’t. He is talking about Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller.) Noting that the Daily Caller had breathlessly presented Trayvon Martin’s Twitter feed as fodder for the poor oppressed whites of the world to note what a bad bad boy Trayvon Martin was, Scarborough practically throws up at the disingenuousness of presenting something so “innocuous … I can show you a lot of white kids, from suburban neighborhoods … come on.” Here, Tucker, here is just a tiny bit of what Joe Scarborough thinks of you now. “Some out there are marginalizing themselves, making fools of themselves. I guess it’s because the President actually said something to comfort the parents, and I guess they just can’t handle that. I guess in their warped, twisted, distorted, political worldview, that makes this dead 17-year-old boy [...] I guess that makes it okay?”
GM pulls funding from climate-denying Heartland Institute — In a statement, GM said that it now runs its business “as if climate change is real and believe we have a role to play in developing new cars, trucks and technologies that can make a difference”. The funding cut – just $15,000 a year – is small beer for the institute, which has a multi-million dollar turnover, largely from a single anonymous donor. But it is a blow to the standing of the thinktank and to the leading role it plays as an advocate of climate change scepticism. The thinktank has long been an incubator of ideas casting doubt that the world is warming as a result of man-made pollution. In 2009 it held a conference in New York under the title “Global warming: was it ever really a crisis?” Kert Davies, head of research for Greenpeace US that tracks the Heartland Institute, lauded the GM move. “It is a further indication that the Heartland Institute’s misinformation about climate change is not something that corporations want to have anything to do with. It has become toxic.”
Obama urges Congress to pass ‘Buffett Rule’ for rich — Named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett — who pays a lower tax rate than his secretary — Obama said a minimum tax rate for the wealthy would insure that more Americans pay their “fair share” for the nation’s needs. “We don’t envy success in this country, we aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead — not just a few.” Obama said every member of Congress should “go on record” when it comes to the Buffett rule. “And if they vote to keep giving tax breaks to people like me — tax breaks our country can’t afford — then they’re going to have to explain to you where that money comes from. Either it’s going to add to our deficit, or it’s going to come out of your pocket.”
1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
- Clooney: Obama’s Chances Are Good, But Don’t Get Cocky - Actor George Clooney on Sunday said that President Barack Obama was likely to be re-elected, but cautioned liberals not to get cocky “because you will always lose.” In an interview with NBC’s David Gregory, Clooney explained that the president has “always looked good to be re-elected.” “I happen to believe that Democrats are just very poor in general at explaining what it is when they accomplish something,” the longtime activist remarked. “If I was a Republican, if Obama was a Republican, I would be selling all of the, you know, he saved the auto industry, he got Osama bin Laden, he passed the health care bill that nobody could pass. If that was a Republican issue, I would be able to sell his presidency as a very successful one. But Democrats are bad at that. We like to pick each other apart. That’s our thing.” “The worst thing you could do is in any way feel safe or cocky because you will always lose,” he warned. Clooney added that unlike his good friend Matt Damon, he was not disappointed in Obama “in the least.”
2) THE 2012 GOP PRIMARY
- Scrambling Santorum lashes out at Romney in pivotal state of Illinois - Santorum, in a television interview on Monday morning, made a series of pointed remarks about Romney that almost certainly rule him out of consideration as Romney’s vice-presidential running-mate. Speaking on CBS, Santorum claimed Romney “is someone who doesn’t have a core. He has been on both sides of almost every single issue in the past 10 years”. That is a damning accusation for a politician, one that the Democrats could happily use as an ad in the fall.
- Santorum ‘does not care’ about the unemployment rate -“I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be. Doesn’t matter to me. My campaign doesn’t hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates. It’s something more foundational that’s going on. We have one nominee who says he wants to run the economy. What kind of conservative says that the president runs the economy? What conservative says I’m the guy, because of my economic experience, that can create jobs? I don’t know. We conservatives generally think that government doesn’t create jobs. That what government does is create an atmosphere for jobs to be created in the private sector.”
- Rick Santorum’s Secret Service Code Name in No Way Shows Messianic Self-Regard - Thought we were done with Rick Santorum, did you? Well SO DID WE! Then GQ had to go discover his Secret Service code name, which is Petrus, as in Rock, as in Peter, as in “And on this rock I shall build my Church,” which in no way, shape or form could be construed as JESUS FUCKING CHRIST THE MESSIANIC BALLS ON THAT GUY!
- Romney looks to win big in Illinois Republican primary - “Mitt Romney is headed for a blowout victory in Illinois,” Public Policy Polling said Monday in releasing a survey that showed Romney with a 15-point lead over Santorum, up from a 9-point lead in a Rasmussen poll released Friday. The former Massachusetts governor also has a commanding lead in the all-important delegate count as he seeks to be the Republican contender to take on Democrat Obama in the November 6 vote. [...] Romney’s campaign has spent millions flooding the Illinois airwaves with negative ads calling Santorum an “economic lightweight” and “Washington insider” with a voting record that belies the principles he espouses on the campaign trail.
- Romney “connects” with “people” in Springfield IL - ”These pancakes are something else, I’ll tell ya,” said Romney, standing in the dining room of Charlie Parker’s Diner in Springfield admiring the dish known as a “Charlie’s Famous Giant Pancake.” “These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good. I’m looking forward to getting one of these pancakes. Can I get one of these on the way out? Not the super big one, I can’t fit that in the vehicle, all right,” Romney joked. “The car’s only a Chevy SUV.”
3) THE 21st CENTURY REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY
- Sheriff Arpaio refuses to drop ‘birther’ investigation of Obama - “President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate released by the White House on April 27, 2011, is suspected to be a computer-generated forgery, not a scan of an original 1961 paper document as represented by the White House when the long-form birth certificate was made public,” the sheriff said at a press conference. But his widely-reported investigation had little impact. “The media all came to make fun of me,” Arpaio told The Arizona Republic. “I’m a little concerned that all of their questions were zeroed in on credibility and that this has been rehashed. They didn’t even ask about the proof of the case. They didn’t ask about the facts that we had.” Many of the so-called “birthers” believe there is persuasive evidence that Obama was born in Kenya in 1961 and that his birth certificate was faked in order to make him eligible for the presidency.
- Hunter DK: “…The main thing Sheriff Joe has proven (and he keeps proving it again and again, for some reason) is that the people of Mariposa County, Arizona are outright morons. That’s really the only reason I can possibly think of for why this clown still continues to hold office, despite federal investigations, a crime rate that has gone up, celebrity ride-alongs gone bad and “investigations” whose only apparent purpose is to repeatedly humiliate all involved. He seems to be bad at every single part of his job except the self-promotion part, and yet he still keeps going strong, so at least the rest of us will have an ongoing source of dark comedy…”
- Illinois Republican primary voters: President Obama is a secret Muslim and might not be American - completely ridiculous “beliefs” and from the state where Obama was a resident, state senator and U.S. Senator. This isn’t Mississippi or Alabama – it’s just hardcore Republican primary voters.
Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Not sure: 37
Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or not?
Was born in U.S.: 36
Not born in U.S.: 36
Not sure: 28
Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 41
Do not: 43
Not sure: 16
4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN
- Idaho Senate votes to require pre-abortion ultrasound - (Reuters) – The Idaho Senate on Monday approved a measure requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound before ending a pregnancy, joining a number of states passing ultrasound measures to discourage abortions. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives, where it was expected to pass.
- Romney Holds The Line: No Free Birth Control - ”If you’re looking for free stuff, if you’re looking for free stuff that you don’t have to pay for, go vote for the other guy, because that what he’s all about,” Romney retorted, making an economic case against government handouts. “The idea of borrowing a trillion dollars more than we take in is not just bad economics, it’s immoral. I’m not gonna do it, and I’m not gonna make a promise we can’t deliver.” “Where do you suggest that the millions of women who receive their health services, such as mammograms and HPV vaccines, go?” she asked. “Well, they could go wherever they would like to go. This is a free society,” Romney said. “But here’s what I say — the federal government should not tax these people to pay for Planned Parenthood.” // Aaaaand HERE is where one would naturally turn to the “free handouts” to the wealthiest one percent in Romeny’s own “tax plan” which would actually cut his own taxes by half.
5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT
- Democratic Group Celebrates Return Of Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan With Film Trailer - Rep. Paul Ryan’s latest plan for deep tax and spending cuts draws this ad from the liberal group Americans United for Change, taking aim at its slashing popular programs. “Like Weekend at Bernie’s, even when no one in America wanted to see Weekend at Bernie’s II, they went ahead and made the sequel anyway.”
- Republicans to unveil their budget blueprint - [House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's] latest budget poses a risk for Republicans in an election year as it again includes proposed reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, the popular but costly health insurance programs for the elderly and the poor. It would transform Medicare from a traditional fee-for-service health care system for seniors into a voucher system giving them money to purchase insurance on the private market. The Ryan plan would mark “the end of Medicare as we know it,” Representative Janice Schakowsky, a Democrat, told reporters. “Some estimates are it would cost seniors out of pocket some $6,000″ per person per year more than current costs, she added.
- All 3 Missouri GOP Senate Candidates Stumped When Asked To Identify The Minimum Wage - Three Missouri Republicans running to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November were asked during a radio debate on KMOX what the federal minimum wage is and whether they would vote to increase it. None of the three knew what the minimum wage [was], but all knew that they would vote against increasing it, regardless. The candidates’ explanations for not wanting to raise the minimum wage ranged from nonsensical (Brunner said his business gave “better than the minimum benefits”) to extreme, with Akin calling for scrapping the minimum wage altogether. “I don’t think the government should be setting prices on wages in any way shape or form,” said Akin. Steelman was opposed to raising the minimum wage because she “think[s] it’s high enough as it is.” [...] Perhaps explaining their ignorance of the current minimum wage is the fact that none of the three candidates personally live anywhere near it.
- First Day of Spring Vernal Equinox 2012 - Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 A.M. (EDT).
- Spring Arrives with Equinox Tuesday, Earliest in More Than a Century - Across much of the United States, this has been an unusually mild winter, especially for those living east of the Mississippi. Not a few people have noted that spring seems to have come early this year. Of course, in a meteorological sense that could be true, but in 2012 it will also be true in an astronomical sense as well, because this year spring will make its earliest arrival since the late 19th century: 1896, to be exact.
- GOOD IDEAS: Brits to See How Taxes Are Spent - LONDON—Every British taxpayer is to receive a personal statement detailing exactly how their taxes are being spent as part of the government’s drive to make the tax system easier to understand and more transparent.Treasury chief George Osborne is expected to announce in tomorrow’s budget that Britain’s 20 million taxpayers will receive the annual statements from 2014. [...] The statements will set out how much income tax and National Insurance—workers’ contribution toward the state-funded health system—each taxpayer contributes. It will also break down the main areas of spending on public services and how much of the taxpayer’s contribution goes on each.
image: Colonel Flick on Flickr.
The rest of the civilized world thinks this country has lost its mind. It’s no wonder. Look at this list of frenzied misogyny:
1. Making women carry still-born fetuses to full term because cows and pigs do.
2. Consigning women to death to save a fetus.
3. Criminalizing pregnancy and miscarriages and arresting, imprisoning and charging women
4. Forcing women to undergo involuntary vaginal penetration (otherwise called rape)
5. Disabling women or sacrificing their lives
6. Giving zygotes “personhood” rights while systematically stripping women of their fundamental rights.
7. Inhibiting, humiliating and punishing women for their choices to have an abortion for any reason
8. Allowing employers to delve into women’s private lives and only pay for insurance when they agree, for religious reasons, with how she choses to use birth control.
9. Sacrificing women’s overall health
10. Depriving women of their ability to earn a living and support themselves and their families.
Some belated advice for Limbaugh and his GOP:
they went full retard*
*this word used strictly as satire and political humor, as previously approved by Sarah Palin.
According to America’s most famous televangelist, sex acts between married couples are only a “sin” if the individuals participating are filled with enough shame. Responding to a viewer question on his show Wednesday, Christian fundamentalist preacher Pat Robertson suggested that oral sex between a husband and a wife is perfectly fine — unless, that is, “If you feel it’s sin.” Then, “it’s sin,” Robertson said.
Okay, three things:
1) Gross. On several levels — but initially on the level of Pat Robertson’s reaction and how he looks like he genuinely wants to talk about this subject in some detail. No!
2) Also, it’s funny that “Jerry,” the man asking the question, is going to be as out of luck on the homefront, so to speak, as he was before he asked for guidance on oral sex in marriage from Pat Robertson. I seriously doubt Mrs. Jerry is going to suddenly love the BJs when when her husband tells her, “Hey, Pat Robertson says you just need to drop the shame level down a notch!”
3) And can Pat Robertson please explain to me how a BJ equates to procreation, the “purpose” for marriage? So men are allowed to drop their Seeds of Life® anywhere now — mouths, the ground, the sock drawer? Robertson says, “It’s what’s IN YOUR HEART” — seriously? Do the evangelicals just pick and choose their favorite anti-contraception, anti-gay Biblical verses by the hour now to justify whatever political / religious argument they’re making this week? Do they hear themselves?
If you can stomach it:
The real attraction of the birth-control issue was that it could be used to bash Obamacare. It’s not proving to be a very effective weapon, however. When birth control is uncoupled from the religious-freedom argument—and when conservatives start talking in ugly ad-hominem language, like Limbaugh’s, or clueless anachronistic language, like Santorum’s—women, in particular, do not respond well.
Just after Limbaugh lashed out at Fluke, a Georgetown professor attended a reunion at a Catholic school in Queens. An elderly nun asked her, “Do you know that girl?” She added, “That awful man should be fired for what he said. How’s she holding up?”