Morning Bunker Report: Sunday 5.27.2012


Romney on homeless veterans: “Let them milk cows.” — By all accounts Mitt Romney’s 1994 trip to the nation’s largest homeless shelter was accurately described by the Boston Globe as “not one of the brighter moments of his campaign for US senator.” Romney was visiting the homeless shelter, located in Boston, by invitation of the shelter’s executive director Ken Smith. [...] Smith explained that the State of Massachusetts allocated $2.37 per day twice a day for each homeless veteran’s meal. Since the amount was so meager, the shelter had trouble providing each veteran with a carton of milk at each meal. Romney responded, “Well Ken, maybe you can teach the vets to milk cows.” Romney then walked out the door. — Mitt Romney’s Milk Gaffe | Support the troops! 

Maher on the “WIFER movement” and Romney as a response to BIRTHERS and Obama: “Again, I’m not a wifer. I’m just saying he has the blood of a nomadic, polygamist tribesman and I think that has shaped his worldview.”Why did Mitt Romney strap his dog to the roof of his car,” Maher said. “Could it be because his station wagon was full of wives?”  Watch:

It’s Official: Romney Will Proudly Stand With America’s Best-Known Birther — At this point, I’m not really surprised by this news. More like a sort of weary disgust. A GOP presidential candidate openly courting a crazed conspiracy theorist who claims the first black President of the United States was actually born in Kenya. Good grief. And please note: Donald Trump is citing one of’s utterly moronic BOMBSHELL EXCLUSIVES as evidence Obama was born in Kenya — the BOMBSHELL EXCLUSIVE that contained a disclaimer saying it was DEFINITELY NOT evidence Obama was born in Kenya. — Charles Johnson | LGF

  • Today Romney adviser Kevin Madden said the candidate disagrees with Trump, but would continue to campaign with him. “He’ll stand up next to Donald Trump and he’ll talk about why he wants to be president,” Madden said in an interview on MSNBC. “Any time the subject goes off of that, where it’s something where…Governor Romney would disagree, he’s going to make that very clear. Just as he has in the past, and he’ll do in the present, and he’ll do in the future.” — CBS News

  • THE COMPANY TRUMP KEEPS: Corsi: If Obama Wins, “People Like You And Me Will Be In Thought Education Camps — If They Allow Us To Live”  — On Thursday, WorldNetDaily correspondent and leading birther conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi appeared on 9/11 truther Alex Jones’ radio show to engage in yet another round of paranoid ranting disconnected from reality. Corsi appeared with Jones via Skype from Hawaii, where he is supposedly working with the “cold case posse” organized by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio to investigate Barack Obama’s birth certificate… Corsi explained that he was “desperately” working on his stories because “if Obama wins, we do not have a First Amendment, we won’t have a Fourth Amendment, we won’t have a Bill of Rights, people like you and me we’ll be in thought education camps – if they allow us to live, our families will be destroyed, private property will be confiscated. People think this is radical. All the plans are laid out and signed in executive orders.”MMFA

Top CEO pay equals 3,489 years for typical worker – David Simon of Simon Property received a pay package worth more than $137 million for last year, and the typical CEO took home $9.6 million, according to an analysis by The Associated Press… HOW LONG IT TAKES OTHERS TO MAKE THAT MUCH: A minimum wage worker – paid $7.25 per hour, as some workers at Simon malls are – would have to work one month shy of 9,096 years to make what Simon made last year. A person making the national median salary, $39,312 by AP calculations, would have to work 3,489 years… — AP News | Note: and as we’ve learned from stories about Bain Capital, the plutocrats idea of job “creation” is laying off long-time workers and hiring some of them back at minimum wage. Vote GOP! 

Union-busting, plutocrat style (because union jobs pay better than minimum wage) — An anti-union construction trade group is targeting three vulnerable House Republican freshmen with a barrage of negative advertising over a series of labor-friendly votes. Reps. Jon Runyan (N.J.), Joe Walsh (Ill.) and Robert Dold (Ill.) already face tough re-election battles that could be complicated by a spate of online ads from the Associated Builders and Contractors accusing them of breaking campaign promises. The trade association, which helped fuel the Republican takeover of the House in 2010 with more than $1.1 million in campaign contributions, is trying to counter an executive order issued by President Barack Obama it contends gives unionized contractors an unfair advantage in bidding wars for federal projects. — Roll Call

David Stockman: Mitt Romney learned nothing about creating jobs from Bain Capital — Former Reagan Office of Management and Budget Director David Stockman stepped all over Romney’s claims that his experience in the leveraged buyout business taught him anything at all about “job creation.”  [...] STOCKMAN: Well, I don’t know. I think the current federal model is a disaster. We know where we are on the debt. We’re going to have a debt ceiling that expires in December and I don’t know where the votes are going to come to increase it… On the other hand, I don’t think Mitt Romney can legitimately say that he learned anything about how to create jobs in the LBO business. The LBO business is about how to strip cash out of old, long-in-the-tooth companies and how to make short-term profits. [...] You know, the LBO business is legitimate, free enterprise business, just like, you know, running a brothel if that’s what you want to do, or a house of gambling. [...] But it’s not a good model for how we rebuild an economy or grow jobs. It’s irrelevant. — Crooks & Liars

DEEP THOUGHTS OF THE ONE PERCENT — John McCain, defending Mitt Romney’s Bain record: “Yes, the free enterprise system can be cruel.”TPM 


HOW ARE THESE TWO EVEN REAL?? He may be the leader of the free world, but he still takes a moment to tuck his wife in at bedtime. First Lady Michelle Obama revealed that tidbit and other details from the couple’s personal life in a People magazine interview that hit newsstands Friday. “We have a ritual where he tucks me in, because I’m usually in bed before anybody,” the First Lady spilled. “He’ll come and turn the lights out and give me a kiss, and we’ll talk. He’s like, Ready to be tucked? I’m like, Yes I am.'” — NY Daily News

Obama campaign to target Romney’s record as governor — By broadening its attack to Romney’s stint as chief executive of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, the Obama campaign will make the case that Romney’s economic philosophies have pervaded his career and would damage the country if he were to move into the White House. “You’ll see over the course of this campaign a really strong connection between (Romney’s) time at Bain and the values and lessons that he took from that,” said an Obama campaign official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified. “He used those values and lessons in Massachusetts, and we’ll take a look at those results,” the official said. The attacks are likely to focus on Romney’s record of cutting education funding and increasing the state’s debt. — Reuters | Note: also see ‘milk incident’ above. 

If You Want Another Debt And Spending Binge, Vote GOP, Ctd — The AP takes the hardest position on Obama and comes up with the following bottom line: All told, government spending now appears to be growing at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent over the 2010-2013 period, rather than the 0.4 percent claimed by Obama and the MarketWatch analysis. I think that’s excessively tilted against the president. But even so, lets accept it for the sake of argument. A 3 percent annualized increase in federal spending would still put Obama in first place for spending restraint since LBJ – which is staggering given the scale of the economic collapse he inherited. A quick comparison? Bush’s first term – with no global great recession – saw spending grow an annualized 7.3 percent. Reagan’s first term? 8.7 percent. And again, remember the Romney claim that started this all off: that “since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history.” — Andrew Sullivan

  • Now you could argue that Obama should have let the auto industry go fully bankrupt, allow the economy to head into deflation and depression without any fiscal stimulus to counter, cut the unemployed off at the knees – and we would be Greece today, underwater in a deepening and self-reinforcing depression. Can you imagine what Romney would have said about Obama’s record then? And yes, as Suderman notes, the real criticism should be focused on the absence of any long-term deal on entitlements, defense, taxes and spending – a deal that would do a huge amount for business confidence. But seriously: if one side simply refuses to put any serious revenue increases on the table at all, who’s really preventing that effort? There are legitimate issues to debate with respect to the future in this election. But the caricature of the last three years, the knowing lies that interweave with this false narrative, the attempt to describe a pragmatic, sane and successful president as somehow unqualified to tackle this mess – when the US economy has fared better in this period than much of the West – are deceptions, exploiting pain. I’m sick of them, and the cynicism they represent. — Andrew Sullivan

Biden says end to wars gives foreign policy new flexibility — “Winding down these long wars has enabled us to replace and rebalance our foreign policy,” Biden told the Army cadets and their families at the storied academy’s football stadium. Biden’s speech echoed some of the themes of military success struck by President Barack Obama in his commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Wednesday. Biden, like Obama, said U.S. combat troops have returned home from Iraq, the conflict in Afghanistan is winding down and American commandos killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011. “Those warriors sent a message to the world that if you harm America, we will follow you to the end of the earth,” Biden said. — Tampa Bay Times

“Washington is filled with people making other people’s arguments for money. Anyone trying to do anything of good purpose is in a constant struggle to keep from drowning in the river of steaming bullshit served up by lobbyists and politicians and pundits and PR firms. They bend statistics, they do impressions of people who believe what they say, and all the while the country burns. And it is the height of arrogance to decry what’s happened to our politics when you are a bonded practitioner of what’s happened to our politics. You want to be a pitchman for warlords? You want to carry the Devil’s water in Washington? Go for it. But just don’t tell me how to fucking talk.” — Jon Lovett, former speechwriter to President Barack Obama in the White House.

Priorities USA ad: Romney’s fuzzy math on jobs created at Bain — This may seem like a “gotcha” gimmick, mocking Romney for his evolving I-once-caught-a-fish-this-big style of job-creation estimates, but it’s actually a very serious point. Indeed, Romney’s single most important claim as a candidate for the presidency is that he, during his private-sector career, was a “job creator.” If this isn’t true, his rationale for national office crumbles. And when a person making a bold claim can’t keep his story straight, it’s generally a strong hint that the claim is dubious. Bill Burton, a senior strategist at Priorities USA Action, told me this morning, “If [Romney] just released an accounting of the jobs gained and the jobs lost when he was at Bain, he could clear this whole controversy right up.” – Steve Benen — Watch: