Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 4.24.2012


ROMNEY WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for his ‘magnificent’ French vacations — “I have a lot of memories of France. I think the best memories were with my wife on vacations, from time to time in France,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said at a press conference here with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. “The last vacation we had there, walking around the city of Paris, not just in the Champs-Elysees, but also over to the Jardin of Luxembourg and around the city, as one of the most magnificent cities in the world and I look forward to occasional vacations again in such a beautiful place.” Romney just last week accused President Obama of “jetting around the world” and, asked by National Review about exorbitant spending by the General Services Administration that’s now under investigation, said Obama’s “elaborate vacations” set a bad example. [GovExec: Romney gushes over 'magnificent' Paris]

Watch Romney tell students worried about student loans to go to a cheaper college — Or they could just inherit lots of money, like he did. Boot straps!

LEAKED STRATFOR EMAILS reveal anti-Obama predjudice. Embarrassing details continue to dribble out of the 5 million emails leaked from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including the firm’s reference to President Barack Obama’s administration as the “Barry Hussein” White House. The remark, made by Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton, appears to be a racially-charged insult aimed at the President Obama’s middle name. [...] Burton, the firm’s VP of intelligence, was a distinguished counter terrorism agent in the U.S. State Department before joining the company. More recently, he’s held posts in the Texas government, advising on security issues. [...] In previously released emails, Strafor analysts discussed the White’s House “weakness and wimpiness” towards China, and speculated the president would lose support of a billionaire Democratic donor “unless Obama finds a spine.” The firm also closely monitored Mitt Romney’s views on international affairs, particularly his views on China. [Buzzfeed]

TAMPA STRIP CLUBS PREPARE for the Republican National Convention Tampa Gold Club and Scores Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse … have been gearing up for the onslaught of normal, family-oriented, churchgoing, upstanding members of society. Club remodels are underway, with upgrades in everything from furniture, lighting and booze to higher end strippers with fewer thigh bruises. — TampaBayTimes via Wonkette

FOX IS NOT NEWS: Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy will on Tuesday clarify a partially fabricated quote from President Obama. — TPM

AUSTERITY FOR THE REST OF US: Which state had the largest decrease in employment last year? That would be Scott Walker’s Wisconsin! — Think Progress

BUSH YEARS FOREVER!* (*the one percent wishes) — RNC Spokeswoman: Republican Economic Platform Will Be The Bush Program, ‘Just Updated’ Because the worst incomes and jobs record since Herbert Hoover was just an accident. — Paul Krugman

WHAT ARE THE GOP FRESHMEN up to today? …now our deficit hawks want to continue the Bush tax cuts, enact more tax cuts for the rich, expand our already bloated defense budget, and now they have even given up on their token issue to pretend they cared about spendingHypocrisy alert: House Republican freshmen are begging their leaders to bring back a certain type of earmark so that they can help companies back home in an election year. Balloon Juice

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

Buzzfeed: President Barack Obama strikes the Heisman pose, while presenting the U.S. Air Force Academy football team seniors with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy today. The Air Force beat the Army and Navy in 2011 to claim the trophy for the 18th time. (Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla)

THE YOUTH VOTE: MITT ROMNEY AGREES WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA on student loans. “…I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans. There was some concern that would expire halfway through the year, and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students, as a result of student loans, in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.”Think Progress

THE LIBERAL MEDIA has consistently given more positive coverage to likely Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to President Barack Obama, according to a new survey of media coverage from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project. During the early weeks of 2012, Romney’s media coverage was slightly negative—between January 2 and February 26, 33 percent of the stories about the ex-Massachusetts governor were positive and 37 percent were negative, according to Pew’s analysis. But Romney has received mostly positive coverage since then (47 percent positive to 24 percent negative). By contrast, according to the report, President Barack Obama “did not have a single week in 2012 when positive coverage exceeded negative coverage.” The media’s overwhelming focus on “strategy” and Obama’s consistently negative coverage indicate that a preoccupation with public policy and an unwillingness to criticize the president are two afflictions the mainstream press is not suffering from. — Mother Jones

  • So much for that vast left-wing conspiracy — “There will be an effort by the quote ‘vast left-wing conspiracy’ to work together to put out their message and to attack me. Many in the media are inclined to do the president’s bidding.” — Mittens Romney, last week

SCOTT BROWN IS BAFFLED BY THE MEANING OF HYPOCRISY — Earlier this year, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) began criticizing his main Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, for being a “hypocrite.” The argument went like this: Warren makes a fair amount of money, but she’s an advocate for struggling, working families. Ergo, she’s guilty of “hypocrisy.” — Maddow Blog

THE ARGUMENT DRIVING DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION to Republican austerity cuts  …high debt levels aren’t directly responsible for the economic slowdowns that typically accompany them. Instead, the economy can slow because high debt often prompts policymakers to impose fiscal austerity measures that can hamper the economy, particularly one that’s already in recession. — Suzy Khimm

BILL O’REILLY CALLS ROBERT REICH A COMMUNIST, Reich challenges O’Reilly to  debate him ‘like a man– “It’s like being back in the 1950s,” he said. “This communist witch hunt that has suddenly been launched. The irony is that there are not even many communists left in the world today. It would be one thing if we were back in the 1950s, but there is not a communist threat. [...] Reich challenged O’Reilly to debate him “person-to-person, like a man.” “But he doesn’t have the guts to debate,” he added. — Raw Story