“So there is no savior. And let us please be clear on why there is no savior. Because there is no one who could satisfy the base of the GOP = a cohort so drunk on ideology and resentment that they cheer electrocutions and boo a soldier – and be elected president of the United States. Period. The standard journalistic trope the past few months has been to say that the Republican establishment would step in at some point and not let things get too out of hand. But that’s mostly nonsense. This GOP establishment is barely less loopy than the base. If this base is driving the party into a ditch, the establishment is riding shotgun holding a shovel.” – Michael Tomasky - There Will Be No Saviors for the GOP in 2012 / The Daily Beast (via: randomactsofchaos)
The Republican “Super Tuesday” falls on March 6th. Mistermix at Balloon Juice argues that Newt would be crazy to not stay in until then:
If we take a look at the current delegate count, note that Florida is one of the states that gets a 50% penalty because they scheduled their primary too early, and also note that Florida is probably winner take all, the best that Romney can do is to leave that state leading Newt 44-23. No matter how you count it, and that count depends on whether you think the 50% penalty will stick, the winner will need well over 1,100 delegates to win the nomination, and nothing near that number will be awarded until “Super Tuesday”, March 6, where 466 delegates are at stake.
February will be ugly for Newt, with Nevada and Maine (Feb 4), Colorado and Minnesota (Feb 7), Arizona and Michigan (Feb 28) all looking better for Romney, since most those states either have lots of Mormons (Nevada, Colorado and Arizona) or some other tie to Mitt (Michigan has the George Romney connection and Maine is near Massachusetts). But the rule in the Republican Party is proportional delegate allotment unless your state gets special dispensation, so Newt should be able to pick up some of the 187 delegates at stake in those races. There are only four more Republican debates scheduled, and three of them will happen before Super Tuesday, so the notion that Romney will just stop coming to debates ignores the reality of the primary schedule.
ONLY four more debates? What terrible news.
Upcoming primaries / caucuses:
1) “In the debate the other day, Mitt Romney (made) the claim that he never did business with the government, which is absolutely false,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “In fact, Mitt Romney served on the board and personally pocketed $500,000 from the Damon Corp., a company that was fraudulently bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars.” – Gingrich, Democrats criticize Romney links to Medicare fraud
2) “Can I give you the facts?” Maher asked Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). “So far every budget Obama has had has increased military spending,” he said. “This year they’re asking a reduction from $531 billion to $525 billion, 1.6 percent. You mean our freedom is in trouble because of that 1.6 percent?” Maher later added, “How paranoid do you have to be to say that this guy is gutting our military?” – Real Time Panel Embarrasses Dana Rohrabacher After He Claims Obama Wants ‘To Gut The Military’ Watch the clip:
3) A number of trends are coinciding to make U.S. manufacturing increasingly competitive globally. Wages and benefits are growing rapidly in China—as Obama noted in his speech—at the same time that U.S. manufacturing wages are falling. The risks of operating a supply chain that stretches halfway around the world are growing: rising transportation costs, the threat of import duties, less product flexibility, slower time to market, intellectual property theft, and product safety/reputation risks are growing concerns when moving manufacturing offshore. All of these factors are translating into making U.S. manufacturing more appealing. – Picking up the $500 Billion Bill on The Ground: Driving the Next Industrial Revolution Through Efficiency
4) “If they do this for real, if they do this like a real, Enron-style investigation, you know, you could have half the luminaries on Wall Street doing prison time. I believe that they have gotten the political message that is what people want. The question is, ‘Will they really follow through? ‘Will it be a cosmetic investigation or will it be a real cleaning of the markets?’ But I think that they might. There’s a slight possibility that they’ve really gotten the message.” — Matt Taibbi: Obama might have gotten the ’99 percent’ message
5) Numerous sources have reported on the rash of suicides and threatened suicides by workers protesting working conditions at the factories that supply Apple. The company contends it has to use Chinese labor because Americans don’t have the skills to get the job done. [...] Apple executives have also belittled the idea that they have any community responsibility, with an executive saying: “We [Apple] don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” The reality, of course, is that the reason Apple doesn’t care about American workers and exploits Chinese workers is profit, of which the company has excelled at making in recent years. Profits on the backs of exploited Chinese workers and disappearing American jobs. – Apple CEO Defends Against Reports of Poor Work Conditions in Company’s Factories
6) “I wikipedia’ed the guy. Instantly, I discovered the problem: he liked black people. Way back in the 30s, he started organizing the civil rights movement. And as a historian like Newt Gingrich would tell you, the civil rights movement turned out to be a huge burden on white people.” – Maher: ‘Who the f–k is Saul Alinsky?’
7) Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you’re in Romney territory. – How rich is Mitt Romney?
8) Both Tom Brokaw and NBC are objecting to the following ad, and asking Romney’s campaign to take it down. – NBC, Tom Brokaw ask Romney to take down ad made with news footage Watch:
9) Mitt Romney may be on his way to a decisive victory in the Florida GOP primary Tuesday, according to a new NBC/Marist poll. Romney leads Newt Gingrich by 15 points, 42 percent to 27 percent in the crucial state. Rick Santorum is third with 16 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 11 percent. Just 4 percent said they were undecided. – NBC/Marist poll: Romney up 15 over Gingrich in Florida
10) The Republican primary campaign has become so clownish that Newt Gingrich, the most inside-Washington candidate in the field, is the grassroots tea party favorite. And why? It’s my theory that it’s less about any sort of perceived conservatism and more about a process of elimination. They’re settling with that guy because no one else on their list worked out — oh, and he can throw red meat bombs. That’s important. The tea party is all about throwing crazy at the president with as much volume as possible. – Gingrich is the Tea Party Candidate?
And if you believe Romney’s newest argument — that he pays 50% tax! — you deserve him for president. The rest of us don’t but you do.
Romney’s argument is that even though he pays only 13.9%, he’s really paying something like 45% to 50% because the investment income he lives on comes from corporations. And those corporates also pay taxes. The nominal corporate tax rate is 35%, though of course many pay much lower. But if you add Romney’s rate together with this completely unrelated corporate tax he doesn’t pay, you get 50%, which Romney is now saying is real tax rate. In other words, he’s claiming he pays both taxes.
This is a preposterous explanation on so many levels. TPM’s employees pay tax. Are they also paying the tax TPM Media LLC pays? Or another example. Like everyone else I pay various taxes on my personal income. Then I go over to the store and buy my son a toy and I’m taxed on the same income AGAIN. This is silly. Investment income is taxed at 15%. End of story. This has long been a hobbyhorse for conservatives who do not believe there should be any tax on investment income at all. But it’s really just game playing.
via: ryking –
[P]eople close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.
“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman…
A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.
“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’
Ron Paul’s supporters (at least those who don’t consider themselves racists, because many are), will need to decide one thing: if he did sign off on all the racist and homophobic and fear-mongering nonsense in his newsletters, are they okay with that decision. Is Ron Paul admirable after all? They need to look deep and decide if the things he stands for which they support (and would probably never get past Congress if he ever was elected president) are more important than this racist baggage he will carry with him forever. Because the alternative to his signing-off on the garbage in his newsletters, which is that he knew nothing, is completely ridiculous. And for him to now claim he knew nothing about the content of his newsletters is hypocritical and cowardly, to say the least.
Newt Gingrich’s campaign admitted Wednesday that the former Speaker had not provided ABC News “witnesses” that would undermine his former wife Marianne’s claims that he had requested an open relationship, despite Gingrich having claimed to have done so in his widely praised debate performance last Thursday. — Gingrich campaign admits it provided no ‘witnesses’ to refute ex-wife’s claims
Lies Newt Gingrich Told Me of the Day: John King, not one to let things go, has successfully managed to compel the Gingrich campaign to admit that the GOP presidential candidate was “wrong” when he claimed that his staff offered up witnesses to debunk the claims made by his ex-wife on ABC’s Nightline. Watch video:
Interesting! What else has Newt lied about, I wonder… maybe his relationship with Saint Reagan?
Gingrich: “I helped Governor Reagan become President Reagan”…”I developed supply side economics in the 1970’s”
(Also, Gingrich also possibly discovered electricity and formed man in his own image.)
Uh, oh. Drudge alert!
“Well,” said Ronald Reagan’s ghost, “it’s bedtime for Newtzo.”
Here are Drudge’s links:
This means the “real streets” that Romney claims to live in must be paved with platinum, not gold:
“According to a calculation from Emmanuel Saez, the economist at the University of California at Berkley, who has become the top expert on top incomes, Mitt Romney’s income of $21.7 million puts him well above the 1%. In fact, his income puts him in about the 99.9975% income bracket. Put another way, Mitt is in the top 0.0025%.” — Wall St. Journal >>
Meanwhile, Mr. .0025% calls the president “detached from reality:”
ORLANDO — Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney offered a tough review Wednesday of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, accusing him of being “detached” from the realities of a still lagging economy. Read full article >>
Maybe if Mr. Romney and his friends had invested all of the money they earned from this country IN this country, and paid more of their share of taxes to our domestic treasury, instead of paying more tax to foreign countries, our economy wouldn’t be lagging so badly? Or am I detached from reality too?
“We’re going to serve notice on future debates. We’re just not going to allow that to happen. That’s wrong. The media doesn’t control free speech. People ought to be allowed to applaud if they want to.” – Gingrich Can’t Debate Without a Bunch of Hooting Yahoos to Back Him Up
As Charles Johnson points out,
[S]ince Gingrich is touting himself as the only candidate who can debate Obama, he should be aware that cheers and applause are forbidden in debates during the general election, by order of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Maybe he should skip those too.
From Markos on Gingrich’s current populist and, seemingly, Occupy-Wall-Street-inspired campaign against Romney:
Translation: Republicans in the 99 percent don’t like the guy with the Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters.
Newt’s outrage is driven by the polls.
If Newt wins the GOP nomination, will he be able to pull off this sudden interest in populist issues like income inequality and fairness better than a president and his party who have been discussing them all along?
Howard Schweber says,
[T]hese voters don’t care that Gingrich was a Washington insider, or has a record on family values that would give pause to one of the Borgia popes. It’s why they don’t really care that he contradicts himself, or says crazy things. They want crazy. They want to hear their anger and resentment made into a national platform. They are the victims of an evil conspiracy — no one plays the victim better than Gingrich when cornered — and they resent it.
They don’t really care what Gingrich says he will do, or whether it makes sense, or even whether they would approve of his policies or benefit from them. …only Newt has captured the key emotive element that drives the Republican core this year: resentment. The hard right core of the Republican Party is filled with resentment, and they have found just the man to let us all know about it.
But seriously, when Mitt Romney is nominated this summer, here’s an indication of the Reality Shitstorm that has been unleased and will continue through Election Day:
In October, Romney suggested that the solution to the foreclosure crisis was “don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.” While that process is bad for Florida homeowners, these investments show it may have been good for the Romneys.
Maddow Blog: AP sends this picture of Mitt Romney yesterday at National Gypsum in Tampa, Florida, under a sign that reads “OBAMA ISN’T WORKING.”
That has been a theme of Mr. Romney’s campaign, but not usually on the day Mr. Romney releases his tax returns and shows he made many millions on his investments and puts nothing in Line 7 — the one for wages, the one for money you made while working.
No one, not one person on this earth, is amused by Mitt or his tax returns and income.
Bob Cesca notes,
One week ago Mitt Romney referred to his income garnered from speaking fees as “not very much,” and “not very much” turned out to be $362,000 in 2010 as reported by USAToday
Upon today’s release of Mitt Romney’s tax return, we find out the USAToday report was wrong. “Not very much” was actually $529,000 in 2010.
And this from John Cook,
Rich asshole Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns and an estimated return for 2011 [yesterday]. Together they total more than 500 pages, because purposefully structuring your wealth so as to maximally exploit the massive tax loopholes you have lobbied for over the decades is very complicated. The topline: Romney made $45 million in 2010 and 2011, almost exclusively from sitting there and watching his investments belch out money. He paid a tax rate of 13.9%. According the IRS, the 400 wealthiest Americans paid an average tax rate of 16% in 2008.
Get this: Not only did Mitt pay just 14% federal tax on the $21.6 million he earned in 2010 by doing nothing / producing nothing, but Mitt and Mrs. Mitt paid a higher tax rate to FOREIGN COUNTRIES. Let the eagle soar!
DNC Video: “An Ordinary Swiss Account”:
The numbers on the ‘Politics of Envy’ –
According to 2010 tax returns (PDF) released by the White House, the president paid $454,000 in federal taxes on $1.8 million earned — or about 25 percent of his gross income. Over the same time period, Romney paid about $3 million in federal taxes on gross income of $21.7 million, a rate of about 13.8 percent. Estimates released by the campaign showed that Romney expected to pay $3.2 million in taxes for 2011 on $20.9 million income, an effective 15.4 percent rate. – Romney earned 12 times more than Obama, had nearly half the tax rate
Politics of envy though.
Here’s what Mitt thinks:
“Again, the point here is not that Romney did something wrong by paying the low rates current tax law lavishes on people like him. It is, instead, that in an election campaign that will be in part about issues of inequality, the likely GOP candidate is a living, breathing, coupon-clipping example of how favorable our system is to the very rich; and he also happens to be advocating policies that would greatly benefit people like him, while hurting the poor and the middle class.
PS: Yes, my tax rate is a lot higher than Romney’s. And I support policies that would raise it further.”
Note: #5 — Newt’s taxes would be slashed also.