Morning Bunker Report: Wednesday 4.4.2012

THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS

A rousing rejection of Republican radicalism – This was, as advertised, an aggressive, unapologetic condemnation of the Paul Ryan/Mitt Romney budget agenda, and the ideology that led to its creation. Indeed, Obama practically mocked Republicans for having tested their trickle-down philosophy, failing spectacularly, and then becoming even more right wing as a consequence. “[Y]ou would think that after the results of this experiment in trickle-down economics, after the results were made painfully clear, that the proponents of this theory might show some humility, might moderate their views a bit. You’d think they’d say, you know what, maybe some rules and regulations are necessary to protect the economy and prevent people from being taken advantage of by insurance companies or credit card companies or mortgage lenders. Maybe, just maybe, at a time of growing debt and widening inequality, we should hold off on giving the wealthiest Americans another round of big tax cuts. Maybe when we know that most of today’s middle-class jobs require more than a high school degree, we shouldn’t gut education, or lay off thousands of teachers, or raise interest rates on college loans, or take away people’s financial aid. “But that’s exactly the opposite of what they’ve done. Instead of moderating their views even slightly, the Republicans running Congress right now have doubled down, and proposed a budget so far to the right it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal…” [...] Republican leaders issued some press releases, complaining that the president’s remarks were “tired” and “partisan.” None, however, could point to anything Obama got wrong in this speech. Watch video (full transcript here):

“I think he watches Mad Men and thinks it’s the evening news. He’s in a time warp.” – David Axelrod, interviewed on CBS This Morning, on Mitt Romney’s advocacy of “failed” economic policies of the past. (via)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz – 10 Powerful Women in DC | ELLE Magazine – She’s often seen on TV explaining why Democratic values like reproductive freedom and affordable health care matter, or she’s in front of the cameras fighting back, unflapped, when Republicans disagree. “After 20 years in office, I have the skin of an alligator,” she says. A breast-cancer survivor, she had seven surgeries in a year, including a double mastectomy, all scheduled during congressional breaks so she could keep her illness private until it was behind her. Last year she was tapped by President Obama to chair the Democratic National Committee. “It enables me to champion the things my constituents care about on a much bigger stage,” she says. Her contagiously tearful reading of the resignation letter of her best friend, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, on the House floor in January indicated the deep feeling beneath her alligator skin.

THE SHORT BUS: AKA THE REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY

According to the AP’s delegate count, Romney is still only about a halfway to clinching the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination.

Analysis: Romney’s focus shifts to fall fight — After his decisive victories in the Maryland, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia primaries, Romney fired back Tuesday night in a speech that didn’t mention any of his Republican rivals. “(Y)ears of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers telling you what a great job you are doing — well, that might be enough to make you a little out of touch,” Romney said. || SAID THE QUARTER-BILLIONAIRE who owns a home in almost every state in our union, whose wife drives several Cadillacs, and who considers corporations to be people, isn’t concerned about the very poor, considers himself also  ‘unemployed’, tries to make $10,000 bets with people, and who likes to be able to ‘fire people.’ Excellent observation on what constitutes being ‘out of touch’, Mr. Ironic.

How Romney Begins to Answer the Religion Question — The simple fact is that a substantial portion of the people to whom he’s been pitching himself thinks his religion is not a long step removed from Scientology and the Church Of What’s Happening Now. He can’t get around that. And, it should be noted, Romney was more than merely an adherent to the doctrines of Mormonism. He was the functional equivalent of a Cardinal Archbishop of his church in Massachusetts. And the people with the doubts about him know that and, while many of them might actually sort of, like — shh! — agree that that whole interracial marriage thing might have been a pretty good idea, they’re still not sold on him as their idea of a Christian. And Romney’s problem is entirely within his own party. It is beyond unthinkable that the president and his campaign would play this card. The president’s not built that way, and there are no votes that the Democrats can gain from an attack like that. Which means that Romney’s got to thread a needle with the people he needs the most, and he has to keep doing it for the rest of the electoral year. Which means that he’s got to waste energy on an issue that does not confront his opposition in anything like the same way. The mechanism needs constant tinkering.

Still wondering if Fox “News” might be a legitimate news organization? WONDER NO MORE: Fox Senior VP: Fox Anchor Knows Obama Conspiracy Tweets Were “A Mistake”  — Heather Childers, a “straight news” anchor for the Fox News weekend program America’s News Headquarters and co-host of Fox & Friends First, tweeted this afternoon: “Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton’s Life 2 Keep Parents Silent?” and linked to a blog post pushing a conspiracy involving the Obama campaign murdering, or threatening to murder, individuals to keep quiet questions about Obama’s eligibility.

THIS WOULD BE LIKE A CNN ANCHOR tweeting for “thoughts” on Bush/Cheney’s involvement in the planning and execution of 9/11. Except that imaginary tweet would actually be MORE legitimate than Childers’. — utmb

Arrest In Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Bombing– The man arrested in connection with the weekend bombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Wisconsin is 50-year-old Francis Gerald Grady, a police official confirmed to TPM. Grand Chute, Wis., Police Chief Greg Peterson confirmed the man’s name after TPM tracked down information through the local jail. Peterson said it’s still too soon to know whether the man, who was arrested on a probation violation on Monday night, is the same person who bombed the clinic. However, Peterson said “there’s a strong link” between the man and the bombing, based on the information investigators have been able to establish so far. || Suspect Charged With 2 Federal Crimes In Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Bombing

It’s all fun and games until an unexpected firecracker goes off, someone screams, and it turns into the conclusion of a Tarantino film – Be advised if you plan on attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida this summer. You can’t bring your water gun to the designated protest zones, but your concealed pistol? That’s just fine, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times.