And keep it coming.
———————————-THE SHORT BUS: YOUR 2012 REPUBLICAN (TEA)PARTY
David Gregory: Romney’s core is essentially Mormon – “This is a significant moment,” he told late night host Jay Leno. “I mean, we have the first Mormon Republican nominee, if everything gets formalized, in the country’s history. That’s a huge moment for religious tolerance.” “But I think it’s an issue,” Gregory continued. “I think a lot of people have questions about the Mormon faith. There’s a lot of ignorance about the Mormon faith, and lets be honest, this is the core of who Mitt Romney is. He was a missionary in France for two years, he has been a bishop in the church — which in the Mormon church is effectively like a priest — philanthropically he has made huge contributions.” “He’s had a big impact on the church and yet he doesn’t talk about it,” he said. “It’s the core of who he is, yet he doesn’t feel like it is safe to talk about it.”
The Plutocrat’s Plutocrat – There is a deeper problem for Romney. He seems a figure from the Great Depression, a combination of Daddy Warbucks and Old Man Potter. He celebrates creative destruction at a time when the destruction has been a bit too creative. He talks a lot about firing people. He just can’t help himself. In Wisconsin, he talked about his father firing people in Michigan. After he won the Wisconsin primary, Romney wandered incomprehensibly into the steel-plant closings on the South Side of Chicago in the 1970s. The President, he said, became a community organizer because “he saw free enterprise as the villain and government as the solution.” The man simply does not understand that most people do not see plant closings as progress. “You’re fired” may work for Donald Trump — and for the long-term strength of a compassionate and well-regulated free-enterprise system — but it’s a lousy way to introduce yourself to the American people. [image: christopherstreet]
Mitt Romney In 2004 Speech, Mitt Romney Attacked John Kerry For Flip Flopping – in a 2004 speech to the National Press Club, Romney attacked Democrat John Kerry: “His conflicted postions have been well documented, as have his tortured explanations of them.” Romney adds Kerry is “too conflicted to be President of the United States.”
Romney was for Harvard before he was against it – Despite spending four years at the school himself, Mitt Romney slammed President Obama today for spending “too much time” at Harvard, where the president went to law school. And while Romney has twice as many degrees as Obama and an extra year at the school under his belt, this is not the first time Romney has attacked the president for attending the elite Massachusetts university. But Romney wasn’t always so down on his alma mater. He used to brag about his tenure there regularly, and so did his wife, Ann. [...] Just this week, he’s accused Obama of being out of touch and a flip flopper, two of the biggest narratives against Romney. But rarely are they so transparently and audaciously hypocritical as the Harvard line.
GOP STRATEGIES: Lie, cheat, steal to win! Attorney: Fake Democrats in Wisconsin committing criminal election fraud – “Clearly, a candidate running in a Democratic primary for the purpose of disadvantaging that party and giving electoral advantage to the Republican Party and the Republican incumbent the Democrats seek to recall can do so only by falsifying his or her declaration of candidacy.” The fake candidates are committing felony election fraud, according to Levinson, a crime punishable by up to three and half years in prison. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and four Wisconsin Republican state senators all face recall elections on May 8 or June 5. But by running the fake candidates, the Republican Party forces primary elections to be held on May 8, ensuring that all of the incumbents will face an election at a later date, June 5. [...] The Republican Party of Wisconsin also ran fake Democratic candidates during last years recall elections.
Maddow mocks ‘war on caterpillars’: GOP needs to own up to its agenda – She mocked the idea that the Democrat’s huge lead among female voters in battleground states was the result of media bias, as RNC chair Reince Priebus had claimed. [...] “In this analogy what he’s missing is the part where the Republican party introduces hundreds of pieces of legislation all over the country attacking the rights of caterpillars, which in his analogy is in fact what the Republican party has been doing.The Republican party in this analogy has to be seen as a radically, what, anti-cocoon party?” Maddow noted that Republicans in state legislatures across the country have pushed for tighter restrictions on abortions, such as requiring ultrasounds before a woman can terminate her pregnancy or mandating a 24-hour waiting period.
—————————————————————–PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
Is Mitt ALWAYS wrong about the President (or is he always lying)?
Obama team slams Romney over financial records – The report said that the multimillionaire and former Massachusetts governor legally used an obscure exception in ethics laws to provide a limited accounting of his assets, making it hard to trace exactly where his wealth is invested. The paper said the strategy made it tough to determine whether there were any conflicts of interest, or if Romney’s assets were held offshore or invested in controversial companies. Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina complained that new questions were emerging every week about whether “Romney took unusual steps to avoid paying his fair share in taxes.” “Today’s report suggests that governor Romney is exploiting a loophole in order to shield his assets and investments from public review,” Messina said. “Mitt Romney has put his personal financial assets in a black box and hid the key, attempting to play by a different set of rules than any candidate in recent history.”
The Thank You Starbucks campaign, SumOfUs.org’s response to the National Organization for Marriage’s Dump Starbucks efforts, has gathered over 640,000 signatures from people grateful that the coffee company supports the freedom to marry. Yesterday, SumOfUs delivered a giant thank-you card on their behalf, which Starbucks vice president of Global Corporate Communications James Olsen gladly accepted… NOM’s Dump Starbucks campaign has only gathered 28,471 pledges, which means the Thank You Starbucks campaign has more than 22 times the amount of support. In fact, since NOM’s boycott began, Starbucks’ stock has only gone up. [ThinkProgress]
Obama to hold forum on women and the economy – US President Barack Obama hosts a forum Friday on women and the economy, as aides warn of a “devastating” impact on the key voting bloc if the Supreme Court overturns his health care law. The White House said the forum would “examine the ways in which the administration has worked to ensure women’s economic security and create jobs for women, through all stages of life.” [...] The law, known as the Affordable Care Act, expands access to health care for millions of Americans and prevents insurance firms refusing care to patients with pre-existing conditions among other provisions. A senior Obama administration official said Thursday that if the law is repealed, women would find it harder to have their specific health needs addressed. “It would be devastating for women,” one official said on condition of anonymity.
1) PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS
- The Strategic Patience Of Barack Obama - David Corn – on video – eloquently expresses much that I have learned about our president.
- Obama: Romney Is ‘Pretending He Came Up With Something Different’ Than The Individual Mandate - During an interview with American Public Media’s Marketplace, President Obama defended the individual health insurance mandate and reiterated that likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney enacted a very similar policy as governor of Massachusetts. “[W]e designed a program that actually previously had support of Republicans,” Obama told host Kai Ryssdal, “including the person who may end up being the Republican standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different.” Obama also predicted that the Supreme Court — which is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of reform on Monday — will uphold the law and that “it will be very hard for any governor to explain why it is that they’re not giving people…an opportunity to get cheaper health insurance, better deal, more protections because of some ideological argument that they’re having with the president.” “And when people see that in fact it works, it makes sense — as it’s, by the way, working in Massachusetts — then I think a whole bunch of folks will say ‘Why aren’t we trying it as well?’”
- Progressive Senators Introduce Bill That Would Force Regulator To Start Limiting Oil Speculation Within Two Weeks - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), along with Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), unveiled legislation today that would force the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to begin limiting speculation in oil markets within the next two weeks. The CFTC was given the power to curb speculation in energy markets by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, but has yet to begin doing so. Gas prices at the moment are rising despite the lowest demand for oil since 1997, and many experts point to excessive speculation as the cause.
2) MITT ROMNEY
- Maddow chronicles the lies of ‘sketchy’ Mitt Romney - “This is hard to talk about in the day to day news context, because there are such low expectations for politicians being truthful and because the word ‘lie’ is both under-used and over-used to the point where everybody is a little touchy about it. But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies, all the time, about all sorts of stuff, and doesn’t seem to care when he gets caught is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign… He lies all the time, really easily. He says things that are not true with unnerving frequency.” Watch video [image: wilwheaton]
- Romney econ adviser posts “deport seniors” joke on blog - Greg Mankiw, the Harvard professor who serves as one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers, has managed to take a shot at two key constituencies – Hispanics and seniors – in a single linked post on his popular economics blog. Under the header “A Fiscal Solution,” Mankiw, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, posted an uploaded photo of an unidentified newspaper clip, a joke, that read: “Budget Cuts: The Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and less likely to remember how to get home.” [...] Mankiw offered no comment other than “Thanks to the reader who sent this along” – but he clearly thought it was funny.
- “I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier…. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.” — Mitt Romney, 3/20/12 in Chicago
- That “Etch-A-Sketch faux pas” isn’t going away anytime soon — nor should it: The knock on Romney since Day One has been that he’s a shallow, unprincipled politician, willing to say anything to anyone to win. “Etch A Sketch” is so perfect a metaphor, it’s extraordinary that it came from the candidate’s own communications director.
3) RICK SANTORUM
- Rick Santorum On GOP Budget: ACCELERATE the Spending Cuts - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he supports a House Republican budget proposal, but adds that the spending cuts included in it should be accelerated. Santorum says he would be more aggressive in achieving budget savings, including by doing away with cost-of-living increases in federal grants to states for Medicaid and food stamps. He also said that while some of the deficit cutting measures proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be phased in, he believes they should be imposed more quickly. [image: paxamericana]
- In Case You Had Any Doubt About Santorum’s Anti-Science Cred, Today He Attacked Evolution - In a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rick Santorum proves again that he is probably the dumbest, most determinedly ignorant right winger ever to run for President, with an attack on evolution and global warming that’s absolutely breathtaking in its mindless hostility toward science: The Elephant in the Room: Challenging Science Dogma.
4) REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN
- Supreme Court Conservatives Void Part of Family Leave Act - So let me see if I have this straight: first, conservatives want to make sure you get pregnant by limiting access to birth control, then force you to have the baby by limiting access to abortions, then if you get fired for taking time off to have the baby, you have no right to recourse for being fired. Great. All these things that have been litigated decades ago and established as basic rights have been inverted. The very notion upset Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg enough for her to make an unusual step: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, on behalf of Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, took the rare step of reading her dissent aloud in court. She called the result “regrettable” and observed that the Kennedy opinion “pays scant attention to the overarching aim” of the law, which was “to make it feasible for women to work while sustaining family life.” Ginsburg said that the law was a reasonable effort by congress to ensure the equal protection guaranteed by the 14th amendment for public employees facing discrimination. [image: pricklylegs]
- Cathy McMorris-Rodgers Thinks Democrats Are Scaring Women - This woman is out of her fucking skull. How DARE she? Democrats are scaring women to drum up votes? Is she serious? Let’s take a little walk down GOP Fuckery Lane, shall we? Republicans are trying to shove foreign objects into our vaginas. Republicans are comparing us to fucking farm animals. Republicans are trying to force us to carry DEAD FETUSES in our wombs because hey—pigs and cows do it! Continued…
5) REPUBLICAN WAR ON THE 99% / PROTECTING THE ONE PERCENT
- Paul Krugman: Flim-Flam Fever - Way back in 2010 I declared that Paul Ryan — who was rapidly becoming the darling of the “fiscal responsibility” crowd — was a fraud, a flim-flam man. [...] His latest budget proposal has received some harsh critiques. It calls for huge tax cuts, supposedly offset by closing loopholes and ending tax expenditures — except that in a long report he fails to name a single tax expenditure that he would cut. It assumes drastic cuts in discretionary spending, basically eliminating everything except defense. And over the medium term, of course, it’s a plan to savage the poor while giving big tax breaks to the rich. So actually two questions: are people finally willing to concede that Ryan is not now and has never been remotely serious? And — I know this is probably far too much to ask — are they going to do a bit of soul-searching over how they got snookered by this obvious charlatan? [image: liberalsarecool]
- The House Budget Committee last night approved Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget by one vote, with two Republicans voting against it. [The Hill]
- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement condemning the extreme right-wing budget proposed by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) — “Just as Republican governors and state legislators are assaulting the rights of working Americans under the guise of budget crises, Rep. Ryan and Republican leaders in Congress are using the federal budget to further their own political agendas. Their credo is that tax giveaways to the super rich and Wall Street should be paid for on the backs of working people. They are holding the federal government hostage, along with hundreds of thousands of jobs and the services millions rely on, while simultaneously proposing irresponsible budget cuts. It is clear that they are not concerned with fiscal responsibility, but rather undermining their political opponents. This is simply further evidence of their determination to protect their friends on Wall Street at the expense of American jobs, seniors, our children and our future. As we recover from the worst economic crisis of our time, cuts to essential programs threaten to push us back into recession, or even depression. Shame on those Republicans more worried about the politics of their choices than the economic consequences.”
- Randon thought - I know whenever I, for example, notice a 60+ year old woman cleaning my hotel room, my first thought is “best raise the Social Security age to 70. Also, too, cut the benefits.”
- NOM Launches Petty Boycott Of Starbucks Over Marriage Equality - A convenient excuse to cover up its crushing loss in New Hampshire yesterday, the National Organization for Marriage has launched a “Dump Starbucks” campaign in protest of the company’s support for marriage equality. The boycott’s website launched shortly after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rebuffed NOM’s complaints at a shareholders’ meeting yesterday: SCHULTZ: I think Starbucks has many constituents, and from time to time we are going to make a decision that we think is consistent with the heritage and the tradition of the company that is perhaps maybe inconsistent with one group’s view of the world… We made that decision through the lens of humanity and being the kind of company that embraces diversity.
- Report Proves Health Reform Is Here To Stay: 49 States Have Already Taken Action Supporting Its Implementation - According to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund, “49 states and the District of Columbia have already taken action supporting the law’s implementation, such as passing legislation, issuing regulations or other guidance, or actively reviewing insurer filings.” Between January 1, 2010, and January 1, 2012, “23 states and the District of Columbia had taken new legislative or regulatory action on at least one of these reforms” — which include changes like expanding dependent coverage for young adults up to age 26, prohibiting lifetime limits on health benefits, and phasing out annual dollar limits on health benefits — and an additional 26 states had “taken other action to promote compliance with the reforms, such as issuing bulletins to insurers.”
As Steve Benen writes, this is a massively counterproductive decision if taken at face value. The boycotters, led by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, claim that they want “a bipartisan, balanced long-term debt deal that addresses both entitlements and revenues.” Benen is right: there’s one party that supports that sort of thing, and one that doesn’t; it makes no sense to react to that situation by declaring that both sides are at fault.
More likely, however, the real appeal of this is that it’s an excuse for some rich folks who feel put-upon by politicians to keep their money in their pockets – and feel good about it…
[...] Benen is correct, however: if what they want to do is to affect public policy, the best way to do that is to identify the party that comes closest to supporting their goals, and support that party and its candidates. That’s going to yield plenty of frustration, of course, because in a Madisonian system winning an election doesn’t automatically translate into controlling policy. But frustration or no, it works a lot better than temper tantrums.
Howard Schultz’s ‘both sides do it’ mentality will advance exactly nothing towards improving things, let alone make the one side any more likely to ‘compromise’ on a debt deal.
I have mixed feelings on this:
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said more than 100 business leaders have joined his pledge to boycott U.S. political campaign donations.
AOL Inc. (AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong, J.C. Penney Co. CEO Myron Ullman, Whole Foods Market Inc. Co-CEO Walter Robb and others have agreed to accelerate hiring and halt campaign giving to incumbents in Washington until Congress finds a solution to the nation’s growing debt, Starbucks said in an e-mailed statement.
Schultz is taking his campaign to the Internet and to Facebook today with the creation of Upward Spiral, “a platform for action inspired by the letter to America from Howard Schultz,” according to the website.
I’m not sure about this idea. Of course, Teaparty Republican business owners, multinational corporations, and the wealthy will continue to donate to the GOP candidates… they’re not creating any jobs! So maybe we’ll wind up with more Starbucks baristas and more Republicans in Congress?