Fiscal cliff: “You can’t make big deals with a totally untrustworthy negotiating partner.”

Steve Benen: “To understand why constructive negotiations between the parties have proven to be so very difficult, look no further than this message from one of the Republican Party’s purported “rising stars.”

[...]  Either way, the far-right Floridian has summarized a larger problem in just 135 characters. Rubio wants Americans to believe Republicans didn’t push for chained CPI — which would reduce Social Security benefits — as part of the ongoing fiscal talks. We know this isn’t even close to being true — indeed, by yesterday afternoon, GOP senators had agreed to drop this demand that they’d fought for earlier in the day.

Paul Krugman added that Rubio’s bizarre falsehood is a reminder why it’s “crazy” to think Republicans would ever agree to a sensible Grand Bargain: “You can’t make big deals with a totally untrustworthy negotiating partner.”

It’s this kind of nonsense from the FOXpublicans that ensures we’ll be going over the cliff today. Fortunately, going over won’t be the end of the world.

It’s not that Mitt Romney has terrible policies. It’s that he’s a terrible human being.


topixpolitix: Mitt Romney hasn’t given a media interview for 23 days, or answered a press question for 22 days, according to Lawrence O’Donnell. During that time, Obama has been interviewed on the Tonight Show, on MTV, and in Rolling Stone, among other outlets.

The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent thinks the reason for Romney’s interview-shyness is more sinister: it’s a deliberate strategy to avoid “questions about the mounting instances of dishonesty his campaign has resorted to in the final stretch,” including his misleading auto ads in Ohio.

“In the race’s final days, Romney has adopted what you might call a Kamikaze strategy. His campaign is cranking out a startling number of falsehoods and sleazy attacks, drawing widespread condemnation in the media that could ultimately crash his campaign, because that condemnation dovetails with Obama’s closing character argument against him. [...]

All of this feeds directly into the final argument Obama is making about Romney’s character, integrity, and authenticity: He’ll shamelessly say anything to win and as a result you can’t trust him on anything, let alone to look out for your interests. Romney is banking that he can surf past all the media and Obama camp criticism on a wave of last minute ad spending. Refusing to answer questions from the press is central to pulling that off. If Romney were to take questions from reporters, he’d be asked to answer for all of this stuff.

After all, when reporters do press him on his dishonesty and/or evasions, the results aren’t pretty. Romney faced harsh criticism for his refusal to answer questions about whether he still agreed with his previous suggestion that he favors transferring FEMA responsibilities to the states. And as Steve Benen notes, the statement he finally did release on FEMA didn’t put to bed lingering questions about his position.

None of this is to say Romney’s closing strategy can’t work. But it’s a pretty massive and audacious gamble on his part.”

The Rude Pundit: “See, we use the cute phrase “flip-flop” to describe Romney’s change in positions. But they’re not mere shifts in position. They’re lies that get to the core of the man’s beliefs, such as they aren’t. And we could ask if Romney was lying in the past, when he was very moderate, then intensely conservative, or now, when he’s somewhat more moderate again. But, except for abortion, Romney refuses to admit that he’s changed his position. That’s the big lie, the one he has gotten away with more than any other, the one that’s winked at as if “That’s just Mitt.” It’s not that Mitt Romney has terrible policies. It’s that he’s a terrible human being.”

Five days to go: Romney is now just turning up the volume on his lies

Vice President Joe Biden tore into Mitt Romney on Wednesday for running ads with a widely debunked claim about Chrysler and General Motors shipping American jobs to China, saying it calls into question the character of the Republican presidential nominee. …”What a cynical, cynical thing to do,” Biden said of Romney. [...] The vice president said the ad calls into question something even greater about Romney: his character. He asked people to consider who they trust more in this election. “Presidential elections are overwhelmingly about character,” said Biden. “My guy, your guy, has character … [He] does not engage in deception. He means what he says.” — Joe Biden Torches Mitt Romney For ‘Flagrantly Dishonest’ Jeep Ad


Steve Benen: ‘An exercise in deception’: It’s been eight days since Mitt Romney first floated his Chrysler/Jeep/China falsehood, which he then doubled and tripled down on, even as industry executives called him out for lying. Unfortunately for the Republican, the story isn’t going away.

The New York Times editorialized today, “It’s bad enough to be wrong on the policy. It takes an especially dishonest candidate to simply turn up the volume on a lie and keep repeating it.” What’s more, the Toledo Blade chastised Romney today for “conducting an exercise in deception about auto-industry issues that is remarkable even by the standards of his campaign.”


Mitt Romney’s campaign in one image

zeitvox …so ready for this show to be over.

Six Romney ads, six complete lies

Steve Benen went to the Romney campaign’s website and YouTube channel to evaluate their latest ads. The campaign has released six English-language TV ads since the last presidential debate was held. Every ad had one troubling thing in common:


1. The day after the debate, Romney unveiled this spot, accusing the president of having gone on an “apology tour.” The ad was based on a lie.

2. Romney then unveiled a minute-long spot, boasting about his plan to create “12 million new jobs.” The promise has been exposed as completely fraudulent.

3. The next Romney ad accused Obama of shrinking the military to the point that our Navy is now the smallest since 1917. The claim has been exposed as ridiculous.

4. This week, Romney unveiled an ad suggesting Chrysler is moving Jeep jobs to China. It’s an absurd lie.

5. Romney then launched a Pennsylvania-only ad, boasting about how much he loves coal. Romney is also on record saying he believes coal plants kill people.

6. Romney’s latest spot says Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare.” That’s a lie.

I’m not cherry picking the offensive ads built around falsehoods; I’m merely listing all of the ads Romney has unveiled since the third debate.

This isn’t normal. It’s also not healthy for our democracy. Mitt Romney — who keeps telling reporters about how great his “momentum” is — has reached some kind of Peak Lying moment in which he spews falsehoods at an almost uncontrollable pace.

via: abaldwin360

News you won’t hear on Fox: Chrysler, GM rebuke Mitt Romney’s Jeep ads

The Huffington Post reports,

A spokesperson for General Motors told the Detroit Free Press that the ad was, more or less, crass and misleading.

“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

[...] Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne penned a letter to the Detroit News insisting that there was no validity to the idea that the company was shipping Jeep production overseas. Instead, he noted, the company was looking to open new factories in China to meet increasing demand there.

The Romney campaign has showed no willingness to back off the suggestion that American Jeep workers may end up losing their jobs. In fact, the campaign has released a radio ad in Ohio to complement the one it has on television there that repeats the insinuation.

Under President Obama, GM cut 15,000 American jobs, but they are planning to double the number of cars built in China, which means 15,000 more jobs for China. And now comes word that Chrysler plans to start making Jeeps in, you guessed it, China.

The Romney campaign released the ads before it was rebuked by two of the nation’s top automakers. But the criticism seems unlikely to change the campaign’s mindset. It never announced the ads to begin with, suggesting the campaign is trying to surreptitiously throw the kitchen sink at President Barack Obama during the election’s closing days. Indeed, by Tuesday afternoon, the Romney campaign had put out a blog post from Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich, former chairman and president of the Chrysler Corporation, defending Romney as a car guy.

Romney’s a car guy all right. A used-car-salesman kind of guy.

Exploiting Hurricane Sandy: How will Mitt Romney attempt it?

Kevin Drum and a friend discussed the possibilities yesterday: 

Friend: This may be the election right here. If Obama can look like he’s handling this competently and in control he should be okay. But I’m sure Romney’s people are all in a room trying to figure out how to make this Obama’s Katrina.

Me: Benghazi didn’t work for them, so Sandy is their last hope. But I do think this is a challenge for Romney. Any criticism will look nakedly opportunistic unless there’s really a good reason for it. I think the press is probably waiting for Romney to say something obviously excessive.

Friend: I’d watch Drudge for the cues. He should have a picture of a stranded black person up at some point tomorrow.

The wingers will certainly be looking for some kind of Sandy-related incompetence to hang on Obama, but I really do think the press will be on the watch for this and ready to pounce. It’s such an obvious thing for a desperate campaign to do, and exploiting a tragedy like this a week before an election would a little too raw even for our conflict-loving media. Unless Obama really screws up something badly, Romney would probably be best served by quietly telling his surrogates to cool it on Sandy.

MEANWHILE, Romney was actually very busy yesterday — exploiting the disaster and playing politics. Via Addicting Info

1. Romney Batters President While Sandy Batters Coast

As Hurricane Sandy started bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard on Monday morning, Obama was in the situation room with top advisors, planning his deployment of aid to the 60 million Americans who are threatened by the storm.

“Obviously, my first priority has to be to make sure everything is in place to help the families and prepare,” Obama said today. The President has canceled campaign events for the next few days to focus his full attention on responding to the hurricane.

Elsewhere, Romney didn’t relent in his attempts to gain an edge in the swing states of Ohio and Iowa, even while cities on the East Coast started to flood on Monday. “I know they are chanting ‘four more years’ [for Obama], but we’re chanting all over this country ‘nine more days,’” Romney said callously, as the nation braced for catastrophe. After campaigning all day on Monday, the Romney campaign has reported cancellations for an event on Monday night and Tuesday.

2. Romney’s Impeding Red Cross Relief Efforts

This blunder is reminiscent of Paul Ryan’s fake photo-op visit to the soup kitchen. Romney’s team is reportedly gathering supplies to gain points with Virginia swing voters, but they’re not demonstrating their compassion as much as their ignorance of how officials operate in a disaster situation.

Even I know that, if you truly want to help, you should communicate with the agency you are seeking to assist – or just check its website.

According to the Red Cross:

Unfortunately, due to logistical constraints the Red Cross does not accept or solicit individual donations or collections of items. Items such as collected food, used clothing and shoes must be sorted, cleaned, repackaged and transported which impedes the valuable resources of money, time, and personnel.

3. Romney’s Playing Partisan Favorites With Calls To Governors

Gov. Romney has made calls exclusively to Republican Governors, namely Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) and Chris Christie (R-N.J.), to offer support and talk about storm preparation.

Romney is seemingly unconcerned about Dem-led states in the storm’s path, neglecting to call any Democratic governors bracing for the storm in states such as Maryland (Gov. O’Malley), Massachusetts (Gov. Patrick), New York (Gov. Cuomo), and North Carolina (Gov. Perdue). And it’s Romney who wrongly accuses Obama of rejecting bi-partisanship.

Of course, Obama hasn’t played any partisan favorites. Gov. Christie said today of Obama’s response efforts: “I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey.”

Continue reading….

Fox “news” focusing on the big issues today:

via: dropfox

Romney’s latest, shameless lie: Jeep shipping jobs to China

Isn’t it great that people are actually voting for a candidate who is always getting his facts straight?

No, Mitt Romney, Jeep is not shipping our jobs to ChinaIn his latest attempt to distort President Obama’s consistent record of successfully betting on the American worker, Mitt Romney shamelessly tried to scare voters into thinking that Jeep is moving production to China and taking American jobs with it. The claim is blatantly false: As Chrysler made clear, “Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.

This is especially galling when you consider what’s happening right now with Romney’s Bain Capital shipping American jobs to China via Sensata Tech in Illinois.

Steve Benen: All of this, incidentally, is rather ironic given the successful efforts of the Obama administration when it comes to China and Jeeps, specifically.

Greg Sargent: “Romney may very well be the next president. That’s a position of some responsibility. Yet he and his campaign rushed to tell voters a story designed to stoke their fears for their livelihoods without bothering to vet it for basic accuracy. This is not a small thing. It reveals the depth of Romney’s blithe lack of concern for the truth — and the subservience of it to his own political ambitions.”

image: silas216


Jon Stewart: Mitt Romney–top notch Bain Capital venture capitalist


Source: sandandglass

What great business “experience” Mitt would bring to the White House!

Mitt Romney’s “high price of gas” deception

While Romney promises his base-rubes that he’s going to lower gas prices if he’s elected…

“I don’t think that now is the time, and I’m not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline. I’m very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay.”Gov. Romney, 2006 

”I think you’ll see . . . that I will focus increasingly on finding permanent solutions to the high cost of energy, because we believe that this high cost is not a temporary phenomenon, but has the potential of being a permanent phenomenon.” — Gov. Romney, 2005 

LAST NIGHT: (via: USAToday)

Claim: Romney said a gallon of gasoline in Nassau County, N.Y., was $1.86 when Obama took office. It’s now “4 bucks a gallon.” He also said the cost of electricity is up.

Facts: Gas prices were going through a period of exceptional volatility when Obama took office — largely because, as Obama noted, gas prices plummeted as the recession took hold and people drove less. The day before Obama was sworn in, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $1.83, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). As of Monday, it was $3.71.

But gas prices are still 34 cents below their all-time high during the Bush administration. In the summer of 2008, the national average hit $4.05 a gallon.


Businessweek: “You’d think a man as business savvy as Romney would be more attuned to the fact that markets, not politicians, determine the price of crude oil and therefore gasoline. [...] The U.S. is currently producing 6.6 million barrels of crude oil daily, compared with 5 million when Obama took office. The last time the U.S. was pumping this much oil was in May 1995, when the national average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline was $1.17. Today, it’s $3.81. The difference is the price of a barrel of oil. In 1995, a barrel of oil was $19. Today, it is around $92. [...] High gasoline prices aren’t a production problem; they’re a logistics problem. The U.S. is currently undergoing the biggest recalibration of its pipeline infrastructure since many of those pipes were laid 50 years ago. But here’s the thing: Building more pipes won’t necessarily bring down the price of gasoline. If anything, it’ll make it more expensive on the whole. Once all that cheap domestic crude starts to find more markets, its price will rise, not fall. A commodity that has access to more markets, and thus more demand, will eventually become more valuable.”

Steve Benen: “And how did gas prices get so low in late 2008 and early 2009? Because there was a global economic catastrophe — gas was cheap because the economy had fallen off a cliff. As the economy improved, demand went up, and the price of gas started climbing. It’s Economics 101. As Matt Yglesias explained a while back,

“It turns out that driving to work, ferrying stuff from the warehouse to the store, hauling containers across the Pacific Ocean, and flying around to meetings all takes oil. If you manage to orchestrate a situation in which millions of people lose their jobs, retail sales plummet, stores close, and economic activity generally grinds to a halt, this frees up a lot of extra oil.” 

Demand went down, supply went up, so gas prices went down. Then the economy improved, demand went up, supply went down, so gas prices went up. It doesn’t mean we’re watching a flawed energy policy fail; it means there’s a global market that’s affected by recessions and recoveries.”


“…under George W. Bush, the price of gasoline increased from $1.60 per gallon when he took office in January 2001 to $4.40 per gallon in July 2008, a jump of 275 percent.” – GOP Deceptions About Gas Prices

Get the transcript

current:  BOOM

via: breanieswordvomit

Romney’s debate performance last night, in one GIF

barackobama: Romney’s debate performance last night, in one GIF.

Romney: “The president tends to say things that aren’t true.”

“I think the challenge that I’ll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren’t true. I’ve looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, ‘Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren’t quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things I want to talk about?” — Mitt Romney to George Stephanopolis.

Related and FYI:

  • Steve Benen is now on the 34th installment of his weekly series Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity. Benen said about Mitt’s comment above: “There’s no sense of shame and no sense of irony.”
  • It was a Romney pollster who infamously said, rather recently: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Romney required 10 years of tax returns from his VP hopefuls

We already knew Mitt was a liar and a hypocrite, but this information must really grate on his supporters. I know it would me, if I supported him.

The Daily BeastAs part of its vetting, the Romney campaign required at least some of the candidates on the short list—including the eventual winner of the GOP veepstakes, Ryan—to submit fully 10 years of tax returns, according to a knowledgeable source.

The requirement was consistent with the past practices of both Republican and Democratic campaigns.  Indeed, in 2008, Mitt Romney turned over 23 years of taxes to John Mccain’s campaign when he was under consideration to be the Arizona senator’s running mate.

— Romney Asked VP Shortlisters for Ten Years of Tax Returns

What’s amusing is to see all the Romney supporters make excuse after excuse after excuse for their candidate’s weird refusal to do something that has been an unspoken requirement of presidential candidates for decades — reveal his financial background through his tax returns.

Whatever he’s hiding must be really over the top.

Lyin’ Paul Ryan: I didn’t vote for the defense cuts I voted for

I think Paul Ryan is trying to convince us that even though he voted for The Budget Control Act (which included sequestration cuts), he didn’t vote for the parts he didn’t like about the Budget Control Act, like the sequestration cuts. Here’s what he said after he voted “YEA” on this bill:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan issued the following statement after the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the House of Representatives: “The Budget Control Act represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy. I applaud Speaker Boehner’s leadership in stopping tax increases on job creators, rejecting President Obama’s demands for a blank check to keep borrowing, and advancing real spending cuts and controls. The agreement – while far from perfect – underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington’s culture of spending. No longer can Washington endlessly spend money it does not have. While the immediate debt ceiling issue has been responsibly resolved, a spending-driven debt crisis remains a threat. To lift this crushing burden of debt and help spur job creation, policymakers must advance serious structural reforms to the largest driver of our debt: government spending on health care, including the President’s costly, partisan health-care overhaul. The Budget Control Act marks a positive step forward in getting government spending control, but much hard work remains.”

Watch him try to convince Norah O’Donnell that voting for a bill but being against parts of the bill you voted for is like not voting for the bill:

O’Donnell isn’t buying it. Neither should we.

Think Progress: “The Budget Control Act, as passed, included both the roughly $600 billion in “sequestration” cuts that will happen if there’s no compromise on the budget by December as well as the $487 billion of military-supported cuts that will take place regardless. The fact that Ryan may have wished that the bill didn’t contain said defense cuts does not absolve him of the fact that he and 201 other Republicans voted for the bill as-passed.

“Moreover, Ryan’s statement after voting for the bill contained not a single word of criticism about the defense cuts. As O’Donnell correctly noted, Ryan said the bill “represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy” and that “The agreement – while far from perfect – underscores the extent to which the new House majority has successfully changed Washington’s culture of spending.” It’s at best misleading, and at worst an outright lie, for Ryan to assert that voting for the Budget Control Act did not mean voting for defense cuts.”