Barack and Bill in Bristow, last night

“I have given my voice in the service of my president”.”Bill Clinton, tonight in Virginia.

Here’s hoping someone gave Pres. Clinton a throat lozenge and some tea…

obama2016: President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton rally in blustery BristowVirginialate Saturday night

Bill Clinton on the Republican’s argument against Pres. Obama’s re-election

  

source: dirtylies-myregards

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Bill Clinton’s speech last night: reactions

Political Wire has reactions to Bill Clinton’s speech at the convention last night — all positive:

Bill Clinton gave an extraordinary speech at the Democratic National Convention last night.

Andrew Sullivan: “I never liked Clinton but it is now pure churlishness to cavil at his remarkable skills. He is able to reach middle class voters with clear argument, grasp of detail and narration of history that very few others can. If Obama has said that his main failing in this campaign is that he hasn’t told the story of the past few years well enough, then it is surely fitting that it was the husband of his former rival and former president Bill Clinton who finally told that story.”

Howard Kurtz: “Whether out of conviction or political convenience, Clinton demonstrated anew a skill that Obama barely possesses, to translate complex policy arguments into simple human terms. And his starpower also guaranteed maximum media attention on the evening after Michelle Obama drew praise for her highly personal speech.”

Chris Cillizza: “He was the explainer-in-chief without seeming too preachy. He was full of Southern aphorisms without being hokey. And, perhaps most importantly of all, Clinton was quite clearly having a very good time — and he let it show. He adlibbed. He played with the crowd. He smiled and laughed. And, yes, he went on a little too long. But, if you are a student of campaign politics — like we are — what you watched tonight was the work of someone with massive natural ability in the political arena.”

There’s more…

And some reactions collected by Andrew Sullivan:

Matt Latimer: Here’s why I think Bill Clinton’s speech was successful. For all of his tortured arguments and wonky, ponderous asides, Bill Clinton made a substantive case. He dealt with facts and statistics.  He made points and then explained why he made them.  He had details. Boy, did he have details. In short, he did what almost no one at the Republican convention tried to do, what few conventions bother to do anymore.  He treated the American people like thinking human beings.

Daniel Larison:  [H]e gave the sort of speech that Ryanmaniacs might have once imagined that Ryan would deliver and the sort that some Romney supporters still imagine Romney is capable of giving. Romney-Ryan was supposed to be the presidential ticket of the “data-driven” manager and his budget wonk sidekick, and between the absence of any significant policy discussion last week and what happened tonight that has lost all credibility.

Alex Castellanos claims the Clinton speech “will be the moment that probably reelected Barack Obama.”

Noah Millman: [W]hat I’m most impressed by is that Clinton really did seem like the elder statesman of the party. He’s replaced Ted Kennedy. This speech was “about him” only in the sense that you could never forget who was giving the speech. Clinton himself never became a distraction.

Jonathan Cohn pinpoints Clinton’s strongest arguments: You can take real issue with Clinton’s claim that Obama did all that he could to create jobs. You can’t really argue that Romney, who’s never put forward a plan for short-term job growth, would do more. You can quibble with Clinton’s suggestion that Obama has focused enough on the deficit. You can’t really suggest Romney, whose own budget plan is the stuff of fantasy, is more serious about it. You can disagree with Clinton’s argument that Obama has reached across the aisle. You can’t suggest, with a straight face, that Romney and the Republicans ever had the slightest interest in compromise.

There’s more…

Why vote for Barack Obama? Bill Clinton makes an eloquent case for Obama’s re-election

Bill Clinton makes the case for re-electing Barack Obama — via: Daily Beast, part 5 — ‘I Love Our Country So Much’:


Why vote for Barack Obama? Clinton really drilled it in during his last few minutes (as the TV producers breathed a sigh of relief). “If you want every American to vote and you think it is wrong to change voting procedures just to reduce the turnout of younger, poorer, minority and disabled voters—you should support Barack Obama.” The audience, at this point, was barely containable. “I love our country so much,” Clinton continued. “People have predicted our demise ever since George Washington was criticized for being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden false teeth.” But betting against America has never been wise, he said. “We decide to champion the cause for which our founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor — the cause of forming a more perfect union,” Clinton yelled in a triumphant finish. “My fellow Americans, if that is what you want, if that is what you believe, you must vote and you must re-elect President Barack Obama.” And as the audience jumped out of their seats, Obama came onto the stage to hug his most important supporter and close the second night of the Democratic National Convention.

*and the crowd went wild*

Bill Clinton warns of dire consequences if SCOTUS invalidates the individual mandate


Bill Clinton gives a speech at the Cannes Lions international advertising festival in France on Thursday. (Lionel Cironneau / AP Photo)

The Daily Beast: Clinton says that if the Supreme Court decides to invalidate the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act there will be consequences which aren’t being reported:

  • Changing the health-care delivery system has already produced two years in a row of 4 percent inflation in health-care costs. This is the first time in 50 years that health-care costs have gone up so little. Killing the Affordable Care Act would let inflation loose again.
  • Some 2.6 million people ages 21 to 26, who now have insurance coverage for the first time because they can be carried under their parents’ policy, would lose it.
  • $1.3 billion dollars in insurance refunds have already been paid to businesses and individuals because now the law says 85 percent of your premium has to go to health care and not to profits and promotion. (California hasn’t reported yet, but will likely increase that figure to more than $1.5 billion.) Refunds would shrink.
  • If Republicans succeed in persuading the Supreme Court to repeal the individual mandate, somewhere between 12 million and 16 million Americans will be unable to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions.

“Clinton predicted that if the law is declared unconstitutional, Republicans will suffer a backlash when millions of Americans calculate what they have lost. Before the Affordable Care Act passed, two thirds of all the applications for bankruptcy were because of health-care emergencies, a consequence likely to return if health care inflation again rises precipitously.”

Morning Bunker Report: Saturday 6.2.2012

WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————

Is Mormonism Different Than Other Religions? – I also don’t think Romney’s religion should be ruled entirely out of bounds for discussion. He is running in a party that explicitly states there is no solid separation of religion and politics. And the current president was pummeled mercilessly for the more radical teachings of his church in Chicago. And Obama was just a member of the congregation – not a former official in the church, like Romney, whose entire identity is bound up with a very particular religion. Mormonism, in other words, should not be tackled differently than any other faith; but neither can it be completely exempted from examination in this election. When a future president puts on white robes and enters a secret Temple on a Sunday, it will be as big a cultural shift as having a black man in the Oval Office. I think Romney should pre-empt bigoted attacks with his own account of how his faith affects his life and politics. Just as candidate Obama did. – Andrew Sullivan

Romney’s ENTIRE platform: If you vote out Obama, you’ll feel better – “This may be the most explicit version we’ve seen of the Romney camp’s intended message: if you’re angry or frustrated by your current circumstances, or about how things are going, vote the guy in charge out, and it will make you feel better. The game plan: to get swing voters to cast their vote almost entirely as an expression of frustration and disillusionment with the economic status quo, and by extension with Obama himself, without thinking too hard about the true nature of the alternative Romney is offering.” — Greg Sargent

The dog that caught the car: What if the Supreme Court actually overturns Obamacare? — In other words, Republicans are offering voters an implausibly rosy proposition: Enjoy the popular pieces of the Affordable Care Act but don’t worry about the unpopular components. […]As a short-term political posture, it has served them well. But now that the Supreme Court might give them what they want, they’re forced to deal with the reality of what it would mean. And that’s a huge wake-up call for the party, especially one without a clear leader to herd the cats as they figure out their next move. — TPM

Romney’s refusal to take on Trump a sign of his “strength” — Anonymous Romney advisers tell Buzzfeed how strategically clever and how tough they’ve been in taking the fight to Obama in an effort to appeal to red meat conservatives, with one example being the refusal to disavow Donald Trump.  As I noted here the other day, the story Team Romney is now telling is that standing up to Trump’s birtherism would represent surrender (a la John McCain) to the liberal media, and not doing so is actually a sign of his strength. —  Greg Sargent

More proof that Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is a complete and certifiable wackadoodle.

WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————

Obama Wants to Break Republican “Fever” — “I believe that if we’re successful in this election — when we’re successful in this election — that the fever may break,” Obama said at a fundraiser in Minnesota. “Because there’s a tradition in the Republican Party of more common sense than that.” Republicans may be more helpful on issues such as jobs, debt reduction and clean energy because they won’t be so concerned about defeating him at the polls, the president said. “My hope, my expectation, is that after the election — now that it turns out that the goal of beating Obama doesn’t make much sense because I’m not running again — that we can start getting some cooperation again,” Obama said. [...] “2008 was a significant election, obviously. But John McCain believed in climate change. John believed in campaign-finance reform. He believed in immigration reform. There were some areas where you saw some overlap,” Obama said. “In this election, the Republican Party has moved in a fundamentally different direction.” – USA Today 

CHART: Bush Vs. Obama On Private And Public Sector Job Creation — Even with today’s disappointing and troubling jobs report, private sector job creation under President Obama has far exceeded private sector job creation under President Bush. 40 months into his presidential term, there are currently more private sector jobs in the economy than when Obama came into office. At the same point in President Bush’s term, the total number of private sector jobs was still down 1.7 percent from where it began. […] But there is one area of job creation where President Bush clearly outshines President Obama: the public sector. Public sector employment is now down 608,000 workers since January 2009, a 2.7 percent decline. At the same point in President Bush’s term, public sector employment was up 3.7 percent. – Think Progress

Because ONLY the rightwing media heard an endorsement an the adjective Bill Clinton used – President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign released a statement noting that Bill Clinton’s praise for Romney’s “sterling business record” did not constitute an endorsement of the Republican nominee. – Team Romney (Buzzfeed)

Clinton says his remarks on Romney were ‘twisted’ — Clinton used an appearance at a rally in Paterson, New Jersery to perform a bit of damage control. “I said, you know, Governor Romney had a good career in business and he was a governor, so he crosses the qualification threshold for him being president,” Clinton told the crowd. “But he shouldn’t be elected, because he is wrong on the economy and all these other issues.” “So today,” Clinton continued, “because I didn’t attack him personally and bash him, I wake up to read all these stories taking it out of context as if I had virtually endorsed him, which means the tea party has already won their first great victory: ‘We are supposed to hate each to disagree.’ That is wrong.” — Raw Story

Bill Clinton Slams Walker For ‘Divide And Conquer’ and ‘constant conflict’ In Wisconsin — “And now they look at Wisconsin, and they see America’s battleground between people who want to work together to solve problems, and people who want to divide and conquer — people who know that creative cooperation is working in America, and people who want constant conflict. And here’s what I want to tell you…I think I know a little bit about what would bring America back, what would bring economic recovery, what would enable us to have broadly shared prosperity. And I’ll tell you, if you go anywhere in America today, believe it or not, there are a lot of places that are already back. And they all have one thing in common. They’re dramatically different, but they all have one thing in common: They are involved in creative cooperation, not constant conflict.” — TPM

Romney Economics: Mitt Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts promising more jobs, decreased debt, and smaller government. By the time Romney left office, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and Massachusetts had fallen behind almost every other state in job creation.  Other Republicans agree: Romney economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

The Clinton years: who’s closer to achieving similar results — Romney or Obama? (hint: not Romney)

I’m confused: does Romney and the Republican Party WANT us to remember the Clinton years and all the success that George W. Bush flushed down the toilet, or not?

http://factcheck.org/Images/image/FederalDeficit(1).jpg

graph: factcheck.org

Veterans of the Clinton administration warn that Romney’s love letters to the former president — who has appeared at fundraisers and in TV ads for Obama — could backfire with voters. “Maybe it’s a good one-liner for today, though I’m not sure that the public doesn’t see through it,” said John Podesta, who was a White House chief of staff under Clinton and co-chaired Obama’s transition team. “All it does is, in the long term, all it will do is elevate President Clinton’s views of the economy.” Clinton, Podesta noted, raised taxes in office, which administration veterans credit for boosting the ‘90s economy for which Romney claims to be nostalgic. “If he’d be for what Clinton was for, maybe that would help him,” Podesta said. “If [voters] think back to those days, and if they look at what Romney is proposing, it’s exactly the opposite of what Clinton did in office.” — POLITICO

Obama wants to let the Bush-era rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire at the end of 2012. With a few notable (and, within their party, increasingly marginalized) exceptions, Republicans have vehemently attacked this suggestion. According to the GOP’s line, to raise taxes on anyone now, even (or especially) the wealthy, would kill the recovery and cost jobs, depriving the Treasury of revenue and only making the deficit problem worse. “We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much,” is House Speaker John Boehner’s standard line on the issue — a refrain that is echoed by virtually every other Republican on the national stage. If this anti-tax adamance — and the dire warnings of what life in a post-tax hike America would look like — sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. Republicans issued the exact same warnings the last time a president proposed addressing exploding deficits (in part) through tax increases on the wealthy. […] Ultimately, Clinton and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill united behind a plan that would raise taxes on the top 1.2 percent of income earners and create a new 39 percent bracket for the wealthiest Americans.Salon.com 

My opinion: let’s remember what worked during the success of the Clinton years and repeat it — which obviously includes spending cuts paired with taking in more revenue for the government in the form of higher taxes for the wealthiest. I think we all already know how the economics of the Bush years worked out for us.

Mittens and Paul Ryan want to extend Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest, because “job creators.” They’ll pay for it (well, not really!) by cutting services and programs for the rest of us (the taxpayers, the poorest, the elderly). Anyone with half a brain knows the true job creators are the 99%, the rest of us. We either have enough disposable income to buy products and services or we don’t. End of story.

Morning Bunker Report: TGIF 5.18.2012

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

Reasons why Congress is a complete failure – At a fundraiser, Mike Coffman (R-CO) said “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.” After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first. Later, Coffman told KUSA “I misspoke and I apologize” in a written statement. — TPM  (SORRY, HE DIDN’T “MISSPEAK”)| Note: Coffman’s on Twitter: @RepMikeCoffman

Mitt Romney has turned into Bill Clinton’s biggest booster. Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton’s boom-era ’90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama’s old-school, Big Government ways. […] Romney’s hope that Democrats and independents who supported Clinton will gravitate to his candidacy ignores the fact that Clinton is appearing at fundraisers for Obama and making a star turn in his TV advertisements, said Phil Singer… “It’s a particularly ineffective tactic when the Bill Clinton-Barack Obama fundraising roadshow is taking place in real time.” — POLITICO | image: politicaldirtylaundry

What credibility? Newt Gingrich said there are plans for [Romney and him] to appear together in Las Vegas at the end of the month. In June Gingrich said he will be raising money in Atlanta for Romney and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, with a Gingrich-Romney tandem appearance set for June 11. The embrace of Romney puts Gingrich in an awkward spot, said University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock. If he were to start gushing about his former primary foe, it would look insincere. “I expect Gingrich is also concerned about his own credibility,” Bullock said. “There’s only so much you can recant.”  – ajc.com

The man who oversaw the economic collapse of our country is going to write a book about economic growth! In the three years since he left office, former President George W. Bush has largely stayed out of the political arena. But gingerly, the 43rd president is beginning to add his voice back into the national dialogue. A month ago, he spoke publicly in favor of one of his defining domestic legacies, the tax cuts that still divide the country. Two months from now, he plans to publish a book outlining strategies for economic growth. And on Tuesday, he made a rare return to Washington to promote freedom overseas. — NYTimes.com

Bush and Cheney convicted of war crimes by foreign tribunal… More to come? — To some, the conviction is a long overdue statement on the civil rights abuses that took place during the Bush administration in locations across the globe, including Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. …To others, this largely ceremonial statement by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is only a formality and an empty gesture. …Transcripts of witness accounts and the charges are being sent to the United Nations and the Security Council with the hopes that other countries will follow their lead. — CultureMap Austin

And Here Comes the Gay Rumor — Whenever a character from a right-wing group with “Family” in the title opens his mouth, crazy tends to spray all over the place. Here’s Paul Cameron of the Family Research Institute: “Actually, while I’m not sure about the claims by the various people who have reported that Obama has at least participated at times with them in homosexual acts, this [the president's pro-marriage equality announcement] certainly lends some credence.” DING! We might just have our Birther variant for 2012. The “Obama is Gay” conspiracy theory. – Bob Cesca

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

Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday joked that he would “take a lot of credit for a man having landed on the moon” to point out the absurdity of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney taking responsibility for saving the U.S. auto industry. “So I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back,” he told Cleveland’s WEWS-TV earlier this month even though he had penned a 2008 op-ed titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” warning that if a bailout was provided to the auto industry then “its demise will be virtually guaranteed.” “Whoa!” Biden exclaimed to crowd at car dealership in Martins Ferry, Ohio on Thursday. “And by the way, I’ll take a lot credit of for a man having landed on the moon. Because although I was in school, I rooted for it.” — Raw Story

The decade the GOP hopes you’ve forgotten — If there’s one aspect of the deficit reduction plan that President Obama outlined last week that congressional Republicans most object to, it’s probably his call for higher income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans. Specifically, Obama wants to let the Bush-era rates for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire at the end of 2012. With a few notable (and, within their party, increasingly marginalized) exceptions, Republicans have vehemently attacked this suggestion. According to the GOP’s line, to raise taxes on anyone now, even (or especially) the wealthy, would kill the recovery and cost jobs, depriving the Treasury of revenue and only making the deficit problem worse. “We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little, we have deficits because Washington spends too much,” is House Speaker John Boehner’s standard line on the issue — a refrain that is echoed by virtually every other Republican on the national stage. If this anti-tax adamance — and the dire warnings of what life in a post-tax hike America would look like — sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. Republicans issued the exact same warnings the last time a president proposed addressing exploding deficits (in part) through tax increases on the wealthy. […] Ultimately, Clinton and Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill united behind a plan that would raise taxes on the top 1.2 percent of income earners and create a new 39 percent bracket for the wealthiest Americans. — Salon.com 

Geithner: ‘I Don’t Understand’ Why Debt Ceiling Debate Is Back — Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told the PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown during a factory tour Thursday that he couldn’t understand why the debate over the federal debt limit is back again. “Because look at how much damage it caused the country last August. I mean, it was terribly damaging for the country. And the idea you can govern effectively at this time in American history — you know, we’re fighting wars. We’ve got a major financial crisis in Europe. We have all of these challenges for the rest of the country with political politicians threatening to default if we don’t adopt a partisan political agenda. It’s deeply irresponsible. There’s no basis for it.”PBS NewsHour

Rahm Emanuel ‘livid,’ not returning calls from Ricketts family  — “The Mayor was livid when he read that the Ricketts were going to launch a $10 million campaign against President Obama – with the type of racially motivated ads that are insulting to the president and the presidential campaign,” said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about the situation. “He is also livid with their blatant hypocrisy.” The aide also said Emanuel, who is Obama’s former chief of staff, has cut off communication with the family. “The Ricketts have tried to contact the mayor, but he’s said that he does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon,” the aide said. The Ricketts family is seeking taxpayer funding for the renovations. – The Washington Post

  • NOTE THIS HYPOCRISY: Ricketts’ SuperPAC is called “Ending Spending Political Action Fund.” But he’s seeking TAXPAYER FUNDING for renovations to Wrigley Field, home of his Chicago Cubs!

A Fox News poll released yesterday finds that voters would rather have President Obama pick the next Supreme Court justice than Republican candidate Mitt Romney by a 46 to 38 percent margin. Last November, Romney promised that, if elected, he would model his Supreme Court nominees after Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito, all of whom voted give wealthy corporations a nearly unlimited power to try to buy elections in Citizens United. By contrast, Justice Sotomayor, who was the only Obama appointee on the Court when Citizens United was decided, dissented from that decision.– Think Progress

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.

(3/23) TGIF morning’s 6 potentially interesting things

1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

FLASHBACK: Karl Rove: “I Think President Obama Needs To Be Complimented” For Bin Laden Raid – In a Wall Street Journal op-ed this morning, Karl Rove attacked the documentary released by President Obama’s reelection campaign and dismissed “the killing of Osama bin Laden,” writing: “Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film ‘that’s the call I would have made.’ For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are. [...] “Clinton [actually] said: “He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, ‘I hope that’s the call I would have made.’ ” [...] On May 2, 2011, the day after Bin Laden’s death was announced, Rove appeared on Fox & Friends and said “I think President Obama needs to be complimented on his handling of this operation.”

America’s Dad: (Video) Obama to heckler: “Show me some courtesy” – With a grin on his face, Mr. Obama said he would be happy to read the book and added, “show me some courtesy.” The president motioned to Secret Service to get the book from the man. According to CBS News White House producer Jeff Goldman, the man was not escorted out but did quiet down.

Check it out … at an event last week, a deaf man signs “I’m proud of you” at President Obama and Obama signs back “thank you.”

2) MITT “ETCH A SKETCH” ROMNEY

Mitt Romney lands prize on Hill visit Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), who backed Romney in 2008 but has remained on the sidelines this year as the former Massachusetts governor labors to win the nomination, said it’s time the rest of the field consider bowing to the inevitable. “We all need to look at this presidential primary and encourage the candidates to do a little self-reflection here on what’s good for our country,” DeMint told reporters after a morning sit-down with the front-runner. “The sooner we can make a decision, the sooner we can focus on the real problem, which is [President Barack] Obama.” Saying he expects the prolonged and often heated presidential battle to end “pretty soon,” DeMint added: “There’s no need to drag this to a convention if it’s pretty clear who our nominee is.” Without mentioning Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum by name, DeMint said that “the best thing they can do is maybe look at kind of throwing their support behind the one who might be our nominee. And that’s beginning to look like Romney.” [image: triplestandard]

Mitt Romney’s Astonishing Lack of Small Donors – According to renowned rocket scientist Karl Rove, President Obama has a “money problem” because he isn’t bringing in enough large donors. That may be a problem if not for the fact that a clear majority of President Obama’s campaign, or nearly 60 percent, is being funded by people like you and I who donate much smaller amounts in mass numbers. [...] FEC filings on Tuesday showed Romney’s campaign has so far raised $7.5 million from small donors, which comprises only 10 percent of his fundraising. [...] the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama has brought in about $71.1 million in unitemized contributions, 59 percent of the money the campaign has raised so far.

As Governor, Mitt Romney Raised A Gas Tax By 400% – Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been attacking President Obama for the high price of gas prices… [...] But during his time as Governor, Romney actually increased the price of gasoline directly himself according to this 2010 News report from the Boston Fox affiliate. In 2003 Romney increased fees on gas by two cents a gallon to pay for environmental clean ups of leaking underground gas station fuel tanks. The fee increased the clean-up tax on drivers by 400% and hit consumers directly at the pump. The fund, which was originally only half-a-cent, was created in 1992 to aid gas station owners with clean-ups. Two weeks after raising that tax, Romney eliminated the fund for gas station clean-ups entirely but kept the two cent increase. The money raised by Romney’s tax increase now goes directly into Commonwealth’s coffers for legislators to spend as they please.

Does Romney not realize he’s making a Democratic argument? – After winning the Illinois primary on Tuesday, Mitt Romney’s victory speech featured an unexpected argument. The former governor was trying to argue that “government” stands in the way of American progress, which led to this observation: “We once built the interstate highway system and the Hoover Dam. Today, we can’t even build a pipeline.”

In case you were wondering why Mitt Romney voluntarily injected George W. Bush into the 2012 campaign yesterday, here’s your answer…

3) RICK SANTORUM

Santorum: Might As Well Have Obama Over Romney – Santorum reiterated an argument he has made before: The former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough to offer voters a clear choice in the fall election and that only he can provide that contrast. “You win by giving people a choice,” Santorum said during a campaign stop in Texas. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there.” Santorum added: “If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”

Santorum Up Big in Louisiana – A new Public Policy Polling survey finds Rick Santorum is headed for a commanding win in Louisiana on Saturday. He leads Mitt Romney, 42% to 28%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 18%, Ron Paul at 8% and Buddy Roemer at 2%. ||| OR NOT?

4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN

HERO! Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Tells Women To Give Their Money To Democrats – As the only Republican Congressman at a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment on Thursday, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) gave women an unexpected piece of advice: Give your money to Democrats. “I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault,” he told the crowd of mostly women. “I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help. [...]If equality had been enshrined in the Constitution for these past 40 years, I wonder if we would still be hearing today from right-wing presidential contenders that women should not serve in combat, that women should think twice before they seek to work outside of the house, that women should not use birth control, and that women who do are called names that are not fit to repeat here.”

Kay Bailey Hutchison Claims Republicans Don’t Want to Restrict Access to Contraception After Voting for Blunt Amendment – If you’re a Republican and you would like to come on the air and repeat one talking point after another virtually unchallenged, this Thursday, Chuck Todd once again showed us he’s happy to oblige you. Todd allowed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to get away with a series of lies right off the bat, like pretending increasing domestic oil drilling will have any major impact in lowering the price of gasline (it won’t), or that Republicans have some sort of “principled” stance on energy production, unless you consider always doing the bidding of the oil companies “principled.” Todd then asked Hutchison about the Republicans “war on women” and he allows her to get away with claiming that Republicans don’t want to restrict women’s access to contraception after she just voted for the Blunt amendment. Heaven forbid he might have reminded her of that during the interview. She finished up with giving a half hearted defense of Planned Parenthood, saying she disagreed with Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to turn down the state’s Medicaid funding. It would have been nice if she’d bothered to say something when the House Republicans were seeking to defund it last year.

5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT

Harold Simmons On Obama: ‘That Socialist’ - The reclusive, super-wealthy Republican donor Harold Simmons sat down for an interview with the Wall Street Journal in which he explained why he decided to donate $18 million to conservative super PACs. To put it bluntly: he despises and fears President Barack Obama. “Any of these Republicans would make a better president than that socialist, Obama,” Simmons told the Journal (subscription required), in what is the piece’s most provocative quote. “Obama is the most dangerous American alive … because he would eliminate free enterprise in this country.” [...] The 80-year-old Texan takes his political advice from Karl Rove. And at another point in the interview, he insisted that if more campaign commercials had been run tying then-Sen. Obama to Bill Ayers, “we” — as in conservatives — “could have killed Obama.” By this, he is speaking metaphorically, though the impression is left that those very ads will be featured more prominently in 2012.

Analysis: House GOP Budget Gives $187,000 Tax Cut To Every Millionaire – Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would give away $3 trillion in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Roughly $2 trillion of those breaks are aimed at the rich, thanks to the repeal of multiple taxes that primarily affect the rich and the dropping of the top marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. Ryan insisted those breaks won’t blow holes in the federal budget, first by claiming a level of revenue that borders on pure fantasy, and second by promising to close tax loopholes. Even in the unlikely scenario that the GOP managed to close every tax loophole available to the wealthy, each millionaire would pay an average of $187,000 less under Ryan’s plan than they would under current law (which assumes an end to the Bush tax cuts)…

GOP Threatens Transportation Funding Shutdown That Could Jeopardize 1.9 Million Jobs - House Republicans last night rejected the Senate’s bipartisan transportation reauthorization bill and said they would instead adopt a short-term resolution that would maintain current funding levels for 90 days. With just 10 days until the current short-term authorization plan expires, that means House Republicans have made possible a transportation shutdown that could force more than 1.9 million workers off the job. [...] The bill would also create roughly 1 million new jobs, according to Democratic estimates, bringing the total number of jobs in jeopardy to nearly 3 million, [Sen. Barbara] Boxer (D-CA) told the Washington Post: “The clock is ticking on the shutdown of our transportation programs,” said Boxer, who was floor leader in crafting bipartisan support for the Senate bill. “We’re talking about almost 3 million jobs, and the House is playing games. This is a jobs bill — make no mistake about it.” [See this link for explanation of image above]

6) MISC

HHS: Health reform to provide coverage for 13 million uninsured women – Even though millions more women will have insurance coverage, an estimated 14.7 million women will remain uninsured. In addition, insurance companies will no longer be able to charge higher rates due to gender once a provision of the health care reform law takes effect in 2014. The National Women’s Law Center released a report Monday morning that found health insurance companies have charged women $1 billion more than men for the same premium coverage. Even with maternity coverage excluded, nearly a third of the plans analyzed charged 25 and 40-year-old women were at least 30 percent more than men for the same coverage. Because of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for plans to cover essential health benefits, an estimated 8.7 million more women will gain maternity coverage starting in 2014. [image: BarackObama.com/health-care]

Poll: Too much religion talk - Almost four in 10 Americans say there is “too much” talk of religion and prayer by politicians — an all-time high since the question was first asked more than 10 years ago, according to a new poll. Thirty-eight percent of those polled said there’s too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders, while 30 percent said there’s too little of it, a survey from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found. [...] The poll also found that more than half of Americans, 54 percent, think churches should stay out of politics, while 40 percent said religious institutions should express views on social and political questions.

TGIF morning’s 6 ambiguously interesting things

1) Democrats / President Obama

  • A snip from the documentary of Bill Clinton on Obama’s decisions re: Detroit and OBL:
  • Obama Pressures Congress on Oil Subsidies - In the most spirited defense yet of his record on energy policy, President Barack Obama today dismissed his critics as playing politics by promising cheap gas without real solutions, and asked his supporters to pressure Congress to end subsidies for oil companies. At an event in Largo, Md., Obama said people “running for a certain office, who shall go unnamed” have been “talking down new sources of energy” and have dismissed his plan to double vehicle mileage standards by 2025. “I guess they like gas guzzlers,” he said. Obama said he expects Congress to vote in the next few weeks on ending subsidies for oil companies. “It is time for this oil industry giveaway to end,” he said. “I guess you can stand up for the oil companies … or you can stand up for the American people.” The president said the $4 billion a year in oil industry subsidies could be redirected to other sources of energy.

2) The Republican War on Women

  • Dems Hammer PA Governor Over Ultrasound Comments - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) offered up some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy: Don’t look at it. Now Democrats are pouncing, holding up the line as evidence of the GOP’s continuing insensitivity toward women. The quote in question came after Corbett was asked at a press conference whether “making [women] watch” an ultrasound went “too far.” “I don’t know how you make anybody watch,” Corbett said. “You just have to close your eyes.”
  • Religious liberty not under attack in America, says majority – Another poll, another confirmation that the GOP’s narrative that their attack on women’s health is really all about religious liberty has sunk like a lead balloon. The Public Religion Research Institution asked a random sample of 1,007 adults 18 years of age or older whether religious liberty was under attack in the United States, and whether government-mandated birth control coverage was part of that threat. And the American public said, “are you kidding?” Washington, DC— On the heels of a months-long heated debate on religious liberty, a new national survey finds that a majority (56%) of Americans do NOT believe that the right of religious liberty is being threatened in America today. Roughly 4-in-10 (39%) believe religious liberty is under attack.
  • Bishops hold meeting, decide they still hate women’s health care – This week, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the bishops’ conference, met to decidewhether they still hate women’s health care. Guess what? They do! In a statement issued by the committee, the bishops insisted that they are “strongly unified and intensely focused” in their “opposition to the various threats to religious freedom.” Religious freedom, as we all know by now, means their right to demand that women be denied access to health care the bishops don’t like. The bishops then proceed to do some serious false-witness-bearing: This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. First, yes, this is about access to contraception. Second, no, it is not inexpensive. Third, no one is requiring the Church to provide it. And fourth, no one is forcing the Church to pay for it. But the lies don’t end there…

3) Your 2012 GOP presidential candidates

  • Romney Campaign Dings Santorum: No, Puerto Ricans Don’t Have To Stop Speaking Spanish – On Wednesday, Santorum told the Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero that islanders would have to be fully proficient in English, in order to genuine integrate into the main American culture — and he said, to comply with federal law — in order to be granted statehood if they wanted it.In fact, there is no federal law, either in the Constitution or current federal statutes, establishing English as a required official language of government business in order to qualify for statehood. (Though in the past, Congress did make such a requirement for statehood in 1811 for Louisiana, where French was widely spoken, and also in 1906 regarding the Native American languages spoken in areas of Oklahoma.) But the fact remains that Spanish is the primary language of Puerto Rico, and will continue to be so as a cultural fact for the foreseeable future.
  • The ‘Oops, Just Kidding’ Endorsement – Former Puerto Rican Sen. Oreste Ramos announced Thursday that he was rescinding his support for Santorum after the presidential candidate said Puerto Rico would have to adopt English as its primary language if the territory were to ever gain statehood. “Although such a requirement would be unconstitutional, and also would clash with our sociological and linguistic reality, as a question of principle I cannot back a person who holds that position,” Oreste said, according to the San Juan newspaper Vocero. “As a Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen, I consider the position of Mr. Santorum offensive.”
  • Stephen Colbert’s hilarious commentary on Santorum and Puerto Rico (and Santorum and everything else):
  • Rahm Emanuel to Romney: ‘If You Can’t Stand up to Rush, How Are You Going to Stand up to Russia?’ – “Now I’m not going to give advice to Republicans. They don’t take it and I don’t want to give it. They’ll make whatever decision they want to make,” Emanuel said at an event Thursday morning in Chicago. “You just take a look at the fortitude, the strength, the determination and the vision the president made on the auto industry and juxtapose it to Mitt Romney, who doesn’t have the fortitude, the strength or the character in my view to stand up to Rush Limbaugh. How can he stand up and make a decision to save 1.3 million manufacturing jobs? “That Oval Office requires vision. That Oval Office requires spine. That Oval Office requires determination and grit. Mitt Romney says, ‘Let it go.’ The president said the American workers are too important to let go, and he doubled down on the American workers. When a decision comes to the Oval Office, who’s got the fortitude, who’s got the grit, who’s got the determination and who’s got the back of the American people and middle-class families? And nothing coming into that Oval Office is easy. It’s not clear. And I think when you see the character, the fortitude and the strength measured up, and the determination to reject conventional wisdom and see around the corner what’s right for the American middle class, people who work every day, play by the rules, you’ll see the difference of the two individuals and their vision for America.”

4) The 21st Century Republican (tea)Party / New American Theocracy

  • Arizona Makes Another Attempt At Government Birtherism – Without saying as much, Arizona officials are working on yet another birther bill. This is the latest of several attempts by the state to try to prove the myth that Obama is not an American citizen. This time, an Arizona legislative committee is pushing a measure that would require presidential candidates to fill out an eligibility form before they can be put on Arizona’s ballot.
  • Arizona Birther Bill – The Birthers Are Strong in This One – I’m in sunny Arizona for a couple of days and, boy howdy, is the wingnut strong out here. The state legislature’s Government Reform Committee — yeah, that one had me on the floor, too — yesterday reported out a birther measure that was probably inspired by the comic stylings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “investigation” of the president’s origins. [...] “Yesterday,” said Democratic state senator David Lujan, who was one of two votes on the committee against the measure, “I asked if this had anything to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, and they told me that Sheriff Joe’s investigation had given the idea added value. “It is frustrating. We have something like 250,000 people unemployed in Arizona, and we’re occupied with stuff like this. A lot of people, and not just Democrats, are just frustrated with the activities of the Tea Party folks. I don’t know what keeps them coming back like this. I really don’t. Not with everything else we should be addressing.”
  • WELL THIS IS SHOCKING: GOP frosh to back millionaires’ tax – Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.
  • BOEHNER’S DO-NOTHING HOUSE PLANS TO DO EVEN LESS: Staffers: House won’t pass highway bill this month – The House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee aides told industry officials Thursday morning. Democrats on both sides of the Capitol are ramping up their pressure on the House after the Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion bill that garnered votes from nearly half of the Republican caucus. The general game plan over the next few weeks, as laid out by aides: continue rallying and gauging support for a five-year bill when members return to town next week. An extension of the current law, slated to expire April 1, would hit the floor sometime during the March 26 week.House members get a two-week break starting March 30 and don’t return to session until the week of April 16 — the earliest any other bill could come up for a vote, the aides said. || On Wednesday, Boehner said he “will take up the Senate bill “or something like it” this month.” Nope.

5) Misc

  • Natural Born Drillers – Paul Krugman – To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. [...] Thus Mitt Romney claims that gasoline prices are high not because of saber-rattling over Iran, but because President Obama won’t allow unrestricted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal tells readers that America as a whole could have a jobs boom, just like North Dakota, if only the environmentalists would get out of the way. The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.

6) Rush “Shock Blob” Limbaugh

  • Guess who’s knocking on Rush Limbaugh’s door as his advertisers flee like rats from a sinking ship? – It’s the people behind the infamous GodHatesFags website — the Westboro Baptist Church, the most notorious gay-bashing group in America — and they’re ready to step in to keep the embattled Limbaugh on the air. “As a matter of fact, I can confirm that,” Westboro spokesman Steve Drain told Hatewatch today when asked if the church was seeking to advertise on “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” “We’re preparing our first ad at this very moment, and we’ll have a 30-second radio spot ready to go by Friday.” Drain said he has been in contact with ad executives, but added that the Westboro spots will have to be produced before they are accepted or rejected. The radio ads would be posted as audio links Friday on the church’s websites, the Westboro spokesman said. [via: ABL]
  • Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh’s $400 Million Payday – But the truth was that for days on his flagship station, WABC in New York, Limbaugh’s show had been stripped of key advertisers. Instead, the once robust revenue-generating program had turned into a feel-good forum where during commercial breaks WABC ran nonpaid public service announcements on behalf of the United Negro College Fund and New York Office of Emergency Management. That’s because WABC didn’t feel comfortable putting lots of advertisers on Limbaugh’s show, which up and down Madison Avenue had become poisonous in this wake of his misogynistic Fluke debacle.  So towards the end of his show on Tuesday, the nine-figure salary talk show host went to commercial break and a paid advertiser did pop up. And it was a new advertiser, a sponsor who apparently had signed on amidst the controversy. The sponsor’s name? The Holy Name Cemetery in New Jersey, which was advertising a “pre-planning open house weekend.” How fitting.

Clinton to Obama on raising the debt ceiling by August 2: “Don’t blink.”

Make the Republicans raise it like they did SEVEN TIMES during King George’s Administration:

Aspen, Colorado (CNN): [...] Regardless of the Republican field, however, Clinton believes Obama will be re-elected in 2012. Under Obama’s leadership, Wall Street has been salvaged, and the automotive industry has been saved, Clinton said. Also, manufacturing jobs have increased with the United States now building 20% of the solar batteries globally — up from 2%. That could go up as high as 40% by 2014, the former president added.

Obama has also delivered on national security with the killing of Osama bin Laden and increased drone activity in terrorist countries, Clinton said. Domestically, he has offered laudable education and health care reforms, as well as student loan reforms that allow borrowers longer time to pay back their debts, Clinton said.

Clinton also said Obama has been very good on gay rights — a serious sticking point for the Clinton presidency, which created the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

And, at a time when European multiculturalism is apparently failing, Obama’s been able to speak to the diverse sectors of the U.S. population, Clinton said.

USA! USA! #1 in the World’s Worst Healthcare System!

From Andrew Sullivan:

Health_Care_Spending

David Brooks today argues that a bottom-up approach to healthcare cost-control is more likely to work than top-down. I sincerely wish that were the case. Alas, it seems to me that the patient-as-consumer model just doesn’t work in healthcare for reasons laid out here and here. There is competition among health insurance plans now – for companies to pick from – and the result is still far, far higher costs than abroad, with no better end-results. Ezra Klein compares costs:

Atop our giant government health-care sector, we have an even more giant private health-care sector. Altogether, we’re spending about 16 percent of the GDP on health care. No other country even tops 12 percent. Which means we’ve got the worst of both worlds: huge government and high costs.

Our current system will never be affordable when there are huge profits to be made on “health” insurance and hospital care. It’s when you’re unhealthy that you need medical attention. Everyone eventually pays for the sick, whether we pay for health insurance or not.

Successful capitalism requires profits must climb every quarter, so premiums and hospital costs will always increase to meet stockholder expectations and CEOs annual bonuses. It’s the Ayn Rand way.

Bill Clinton: universal health coverage saves money

Former President Bill Clinton said the United States could save more than $1 trillion a year by adopting any other advanced nation’s healthcare system.

He also said there are important advances included in President Obama’s healthcare reforms and urged that it be improved upon rather than repealed. More…

America’s Black Ninjas

Regardless of how you feel about the whole thing, you have to admit that Bill Clinton was right. (9/11 Commission Report, via @attackerman)View high resolution 

Regardless of how you feel about the whole thing, you have to admit that Bill Clinton was right.

(9/11 Commission Report, via @attackerman)

Flashback: 1995 President Clinton’s government shutdown address

CNN | Full Text:

President Bill Clinton: Good afternoon. Today, as of noon, almost half of the federal government employees are idle. The government is partially shutting down because Congress has failed to pass the straightforward legislation necessary to keep the government running without imposing sharp hikes in Medicare premiums and deep cuts in education and the environment.

In 1995 the Republicans were playing games with the poor, the middle-class, children and seniors… Sixteen years later, they’re playing the same games.

(Entire address after the cut): Continue reading