Morning Bunker Report: Wednesday 5.2.2012

——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

FOX & FRIENDS has more important things to talk about than Rupert Murdoch – When the news broke [yesterday morning] that Rupert Murdoch had been declared by the UK Parliament unfit to lead an international company, Fox & Friends was in full swing. [...] After several segments critical of the Occupy movement and President Obama, trailers for a story about Karate Kid and a man falling off some scaffolding, Fox ran the big news about Murdoch. See the whole 32 seconds they dedicated to it, as well as the following story – a couple towing their grand-daughter’s toy car behind their SUV. — TPM 

MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR SCOTT BROWN (R) doesn’t see anything wrong with the fact that he has voted to overturn the Affordable Care Act four times, in spite of the fact that it enables him to keep his 23-year-old daughter on his Congressional health plan. Brown told The Boston Globe that his daughter Ayla’s use of the coverage is in no way inconsistent with his criticism of the ACA, which most Republicans call “Obamacare.” — Scott Brown opposes ‘Obamacare’ policy that covers his daughter

LINDSEY GRAHAM helps a nuclear plant get permits, is rewarded with cash — The $13-billion Cayce, SC-based energy company has long wanted a permit to build two new nuclear reactors at its Jenkinsville, SC, facilities. Graham, one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of nuclear power, actively backed their efforts. [...] In February, the U.S. Nuclear Research Commission voted to approve the country’s first nuclear reactor construction permits in more than 30 years. [...] On March 31, much to Graham’s delight, SCANA received its Jenkinsville permits. [...] Two weeks later, when Graham’s “Team Graham” Senate campaign committee filed its quarterly lobbying disclosure form, just one name appeared. SCANA Corporation, the committee revealed, had given the Graham $54,575 in bundled campaign contributions between January 1 and March 31 — raising money for him as he worked to secure their $10 billion project. — Think Progress

ISSUES PEOPLE ‘CARE ABOUT’ — Steve Benen has some followup questions for Romney with regard to his statement yesterday: “Of course, I would have taken out Osama bin Laden, but what’s the right course for the economy? What should we do with taxes? What should we do with regulation? What should we do with trade overseas? What should we do with our energy policy? How about our labor policy? These are important issues people care about.”

  • * When you say you’re focused on “important issues people care about,” why do you exclude counter-terrorism? Do you believe targeting the al Qaeda leader behind 9/11 is an unimportant issue people don’t care about?
  • * When you said four years ago that an Obama victory would be “a surrender to terror,” do you still think that was a sensible argument?
  • * When you say “of course” you would have launched the raid on bin Laden, do you realize that completely contradicts your campaign promises from four years ago? And do you understand the complexities and enormous risks of the decision itself?
  • * When you decided to visit New York firefighters today with Rudy Giuliani, are we to think this wasn’t a political move associated with the one-year anniversary of killing bin Laden?
  • * Republicans politicized the fear of terrorism in several recent election cycles. Why didn’t you complain then? And do you recognize a qualitative difference between politicizing fear and politicizing a victory?

MITT ROMNEY AND RUDY GIULIANI carried pizza a whole two feet for their firehouse photo op, then unloaded the pizza onto an aide — The presumptive GOP presidential nominee and his former critic emerged from a black SUV bearing gifts for some of New York’s bravest: six boxes of fresh pizza, which Romney and Giuliani personally lugged into the firehouse as a gaggle of photographers, cordoned off at a safe distance, snapped away. Moments later, the photo op complete and the press pool (mostly!) out of sight, Romney and Giuliani unloaded all six pizzas into the arms of an aide. — Daily Intel

FYI: MITT ROMNEY has always been a dick – Back in 2004, President Bush ran a smear campaign against challenger Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) which undermined his service in Vietnam and questioned Kerry’s ability and determination to protect the United States — just three years removed from the 9/11 attacks — from another terror strike. “If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again,” then Vice President Dick Cheney said at the time. And while Romney complains about Obama’s alleged “politicization” now, he willfully participated in the Bush-Cheney smear campaign on Kerry in 2004. During an August 9, 2004 (accessed via Lexis/Nexis) interview on Fox News, Romney suggested that Kerry would “twiddle his thumbs” when dealing with terrorism and in September 2004, also on Fox News, Romney said Kerry is too much of a flip-flopper to protect the country. — Think Progress

WHAT DO SANTORUM AND GINGRICH want before they officially endorse Mitt?

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

MARKING TWO ANNIVERSAIRES yesterday — 2003 and 2011: 

“As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it’s time to renew America,” Obama said at 4 a.m. local time, the first time a sitting U.S. president has addressed the nation from inside an active war zone. “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.” [...] Shortly after arriving unannounced at the military base near Kabul, Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement that memorializes the relationship between the two nations for the 10-year period following the draw down of combat troops by the end of 2014. At that time, Obama said the U.S. will assume a “support” role and deliver aid to the struggling nation that will become responsible for its own security. “The agreement we signed today sends a clear message to the Afghan people: as you stand up, you will not stand alone,” Obama said. And in a statement after the meeting, Karzai stated, “By signing this document, we close the last 10 years and open a new season of equal relations.” — Obama in Afghanistan: This is Where the War Will End

IT ALL STARTED right after Team Obama debuted their new campaign’s slogan: “Forward—the long-awaited sequel to 2008’s “Hope and Change.” And in those seven letters, members of the conservative commentariat detected a whiff of totalitarianism. On Tuesday, ThinkProgress editor Alex Seitz-Wald threw together a primer on the bizarre, petty, and not entirely unexpected freak-out. For example, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard criticized the president for having signed off on a word so closely linked to Chairman Mao’s mass-murder-tastic Great Leap Forward. (“[P]erhaps President Obama might rethink this slightly creepy slogan,” Kristol pondered earnestly.) Breitbart.com’s Joel Pollak (this guy) wrote about how the seven-letter slogan is further proof that Obama’s political heritage belongs to a long line of Communist tyrants. Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit took Forwardgate as his cue to yet again draw the Obama-Hitler connection. — Hitler, Obama Both Fond of Slogans

  • AND PEOPLE WONDER why our public discourse is so stunted — there’s more: National Review‘s The Corner: “I knew that sounded awfully familiar. From Wikipedia: Vorwarts (“Forward”) was the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany published daily in Berlin from 1891 to 1933.” Daily Mail: “Mao, Lenin and a century of Marxist radicals: The controversial origins of Obama’s new campaign slogan ‘Forward'” The Washington Times: “New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism” — Moving ‘forward,’ into a red scare
  • WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION — Was Richard M. Nixon a closet Marxist? “Forward Together” 

NOTE: THOUGH THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN voluntarily chooses to disclose all of its fundraising bundlers, the Romney campaign has decided to keep bundlers’ names secret.

Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 5.1.2012

——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

ALWAYS CHOOSE wealthy parents — If you don’t come from a wealthy family with tens of thousands of disposable income, well, that’s a shame — no small business for you. Romney wants young people to “take a shot,” “go for it,” “take a risk,” “get the education,” and “start a business,” but only if the federal government has no role in creating those opportunities. In the 2012 campaign context, the point isn’t to mock Romney for being very wealthy or for having very wealthy parents. Rather, what matters here is that he’s opposed to using public institutions to help level the playing field for everyone else. — Steve Benen

MITT ROMNEY thinks you should read W. Cleon Skousen: conspiracy theorist, slavery apologist, tea party icon. – “Skousen quotes from an essay which argues that “one of the blessings of slavery” was that slaves’ marriages were fleeting, and suggests that being bought at auction improved slaves’ self worth. The real victims of slavery, he suggested, were the white owners. The book also referred to black children as “pickaninnies”—which prompted lawmakers in California to block the text from being used in classrooms. In Skousen’s book, the model Supreme Court decision was Dred Scott, which correctly demarcated the limits of federal power; Roger B. Taney, who wrote the majority opinion in that case, was the model Supreme Court justice.” — Mother Jones

GOOD NEWS, Arizona lawmakers are on the verge of doing what no one else could — defeat the secret United Nations plot to lower poverty, eliminate radioactive waste, and improve the public health. Obvious, glaring threats to our way of life. Arizona lawmakers appear close to sending to Gov. Jan Brewer a tea party-backed bill that proponents say would stop a United Nations takeover conspiracy but that critics claim could end state and cities’ pollution-fighting efforts and even dismantle the state unemployment office. A final legislative vote is expected Monday on a bill that would outlaw government support of any of the 27 principles contained in the 1992 United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, also sometimes referred to as Agenda 21. — What’s Wrong With Arizona?

“REPRESENTATIVE PAUL D. RYAN strolls the halls of Capitol Hill with the anarchist band Rage Against the Machine pounding through his earbuds. At 6:30 every morning, he leads an adoring cast of young, conservative members of Congress through exercise sessions in front of a televised trainer barking out orders. For fun, Mr. Ryan noodles catfish, catching them barehanded with a fist down their throats. He may be, as a friend described him, “a hunting-obsessed gym rat,” but Mr. Ryan, 42, of Wisconsin, has become perhaps the most influential policy maker in the Republican Party, its de facto head of economic policy, intent on a fundamental transformation of the federal government.” — Wow. Half-Wonk, Half-Jock. Half-Objectivist, Half-Catholic. Half-Punk, Half-Wall Street. Paul Ryan is like a projected fantasy of what every high school Young Republican wants to be when he grows up. No wonder GOPers and reporters alike are writing his name all over their notebooks. — The Man, the Legend, the Catfish Noodler

STEPHEN FINCHER (R-TN), ANOTHER TEA PARTY FRESHMAN barfed into Congress on a wave of anger over government-funded bailouts of banks, is accepting cash from bailed-out bankers. Now those incumbents are collecting thousands of dollars for re-election campaigns from the same Wall Street firms whose excesses they criticized. They have taken no significant steps to curb them or prevent future taxpayer-financed rescues. Republican freshmen have made clear their disdain for expanding government, and openly opposed a financial regulatory overhaul enacted by Democrats in 2010 before the newcomers arrived in Washington. [...] “I haven’t seen any of them putting forth legislation on breaking up the big banks or on other things that would genuinely prevent a bailout next time,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director of Americans for Financial Reform, a Washington- based umbrella group of organizations that supported the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act and other financial regulations. — Bloomberg

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

Former President Clinton: Obama ‘Deserves to Be Re-Elected’ – “He’s got an opponent who basically wants to do what they did before, on steroids, which will get you the same consequences you got before, on steroids,” Clinton said at a campaign event this weekend.

“I WOULD SUPPORT the president’s version of the DREAM Act…I think that Senator Rubio’s version of the DREAM Act would create a second class status for folks. And I understand that Speaker Boehner has said that he doesn’t expect that that issue will be addressed in this Congress…He said the DREAM Act would be a handout and has campaigned with Kris Kobach, who authored the Arizona and the Alabama laws…” — Los Angeles’ Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chair of the Democratic convention later this year, criticized Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) work-in-progress version of the DREAM Act. — CBS NEWS | Video

WHILE OBAMA SAID it’s “entirely appropriate” to “remember what we as a country accomplished” in getting bin Laden, the President advised that people look at what Romney said in 2007 and ask him why he now says something different: OBAMA: As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden. I assumed that people meant what they said when they said it, that’s been at least my practice. I said that we’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggested they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it. — Obama: ‘I Assumed’ He Meant It When He Said He Wouldn’t Get Bin Laden

THE REASON for all the dust that’s being thrown up is that, every time he talks about foreign policy, Romney is a blindfolded man in a yard full of rakes.  Is anyone taking seriously the complaints now coming about how the president’s re-election campaign is using the decision to kill Osama bin Laden to its own advantage? I think the killing of the author of the 9/11 atrocities, and a considerable international murderer even beyond that particular crime, is something that a president who wants to be president again is within his rights to use. However, Willard Romney is all a’flutter. (“My dear young chap, that simply is not done.”) There apparently were no clouds in the sky at which John McCain could yell, so he weighed in on the dreadful inappropriateness of it all. [...] In the present case, the president actually gave the order. Osama bin Laden is actually dead. And, having done what he did, the president is well within his rights to wonder out loud if Willard Romney would have made the same call, given what Romney said back in 2007, when he was just starting to run for president. And it’s no more or less “fair” on the merits than is Romney’s constant refrain that the president “doesn’t understand how the economy works” because he’s never been a vulture capitalist. (Today in New Hampshire, while travelling around with Senator Kelly Ayotte, his latest vice-presidential beard, and demonstrating the pure class and raw political courage that has marked his entire political career by throwing a cheap shot at someone who wasn’t in the room, Romney said that, “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.” This from a man whose toughest decision in his life has been which house to sleep in.) — Charles P. Pierce

“I’VE KNOWN RICH PEOPLE, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar.” — Stephen King, “Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!”

DID PRESIDENT OBAMA’S re-election campaign take its new slogan from MSNBC? The campaign unveiled a new video with a new tagline on Monday morning. The slogan? “Forward.” The “Morning Joe” crew were among the many to notice that the slogan bears more than a passing resemblance to MSNBC’s nearly two-year-old branding line, “Lean Forward.” — Joe Scarborough: Obama’s New Slogan Taken From MSNBC

FACTOID: “BACKWARDS” has already been trademarked by the Republican Party.