Morning Bunker Report: TGIF 5.4.2012

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

PAUL KRUGMAN fired back at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) after the influential Republican laughed off the New York Times columnist’s criticisms by saying, “I’ve always figured I’ve got three certainties in my life: Death, taxes and attacks from Paul Krugman.” In an exclusive interview following the release of his new book End This Depression Now!, Krugman told TPM, “That’s not a substantive remark. I’ve never attacked him just for nothing in particular. I’ve gone after his arithmetic and said it doesn’t add up at all. And he has never offered a response to that. All he does is make scary noises about the deficit, with mood music, with organ music in the background about how ominous it is, and then propose a plan that would in fact increase the deficit.” “So if he wants to joke about it, that’s fine, that’s his right. But he has not actually offered any response at all to my criticisms,” added Krugman, a relentless critic of both Ryan and the journalists who lionize him as a deficit hawk. – TPM

MITT ROMNEY’S pro-America “Made in China” flag pins — Mitt told a story about the “We Stand United” American flag pins he commissioned for the [2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games], which took place just months after the terror attacks on 9/11. Romney touted his creation of the pins as a means to explain how he hopes to bring Americans together. [...] Complicating Romney’s patriotic message is the fact that the pins were made in China, according to a website run by the Utah state government’s culture department… [...] Meanwhile, Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times notes that a conference call hosted by the Republican National Committee (RNC) yesterday attacking President Obama for “high unemployment” was hosted by a firm in The Philippines (apparently a subcontractor of Verizon, whom the RNC used). – Mitt Romney Commissioned Pro-America Pins, Made In China

(VIDEO) RICK SANTORUM’S own words on Mitt Romney: “’If Mitt Romney’s an economic heavyweight, we’re in trouble.’ Senator Santorum, We Couldn’t Agree More,” the DNC says in a new video:


NEWT GINGRICH made sure to single out his chief benefactor during his concession speech Wednesday, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: Yes, we’re through the looking glass here. The Adelsons spent $25 million on Gingrich’s campaign, and so I suppose a “thank you” is in order. But that’s the problem. Imagine the “thank you” if Gingrich had won the nomination and then was elected president. — Bob Cesca

THE RON PAUL insurrection in Tampa – The McCain camp was forced to fight off an insurrection on the 2008 convention floor from delegates supporting Ron Paul in what was at the time a very underreported story. It looks like the Paulites are burrowing themselves in deeply this time around, too, controlling more delegates than he “deserves” by taking advantage of the byzantine delegate-nominating process. — TPM

MITT AND MRS. MITT meet the wingnuts, allow their rings to be kissed: The attendees came from numerous conservative sites and right-of-center publications, including National Review, Daily Caller, American Spectator,Washington Examiner, Human Events, RedState, Right Wing News, Powerline, Townhall, Ace of Spades, RiehlWorldView, White House Dossier and PJ Media. RNC chairman Reince Preibus also attended. — HuffPo

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

SWIFTBOATING OBAMA  Can Obama be swift boated? That’s the idea behind this attack ad from Veterans for a Strong America, which slams the president for taking too much credit for Osama bin Laden’s death. The group’s founder tells Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein that he’s recruiting Navy SEALs to openly criticize Obama: “We’re gonna be rolling some of those folks out soon.” Want to know who’s funding the group? Sorry, it’s a 501(c)4, so it doesn’t have to reveal its donors or how much money it has.  Mother Jones

PAYING TAXES is, in fact, patriotic – It’s un-fucking-American is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Governor Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money. — Stephen King

  • King… regularly lands on Forbes’ highest-paid authors list; in 2010, he was at No. 3. His net worth is estimated to be as much as $400 million — that’s huge for a writer but small change when it comes to big finance. Warren Buffett, another tax-the-rich advocate, is worth about $4.4 billion.
  • Rich Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship rose sevenfold since UBS AG (UBSN) whistle-blower Bradley Birkenfeld triggered a crackdown on tax evasion four years ago. About 1,780 expatriates gave up their nationality at U.S. embassies last year, up from 235 in 2008, according to Andy Sundberg, secretary of Geneva’s Overseas American Academy… – Bloomberg

WHOEVER WANTED to let Detroit go bankrupt must be pretty embarrassed by this news: GM (GM) posted a profit of $1 billion in the first quarter, beating Wall Street expectations on strong demand in its key North American market. GM also said the U.S. economy was improving and it expected its core North American results in the second and third quarters to largely match the first quarter due to scheduled downtime at its large truck plants. – Daily Kos

ELEVEN DEMOCRATIC state party chairs are pushing to include support for gay marriage in the 2012 national Democratic platform.  – TPM

OBAMA’S BELOW-THE-RADAR push builds support for healthcare reform law: “The Obama administration is employing an aggressive ground game to build support for its controversial healthcare law that often reaches beyond the Beltway.” – The Hill

NEVER FORGET: President Obama did something Donald Rumsfeld would not – Donald Rumsfeld now says the raid to nab Osama bin Laden was not a tough call, but five years ago Rumsfeld pulled the plug at the last minute on a Navy Seal raid against high-value al Qaeda targets. — TPM

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.

Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake!

“I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It’s un-f—king-American, is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.” – Stephen King: Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake! – The Daily Beast | via: randomactsofchaos

Stephen King supports OWS and the 99percent protests

“It’s time for the wealthy to pay their fair share before the middle class becomes the forgotten class. And it’s time for the banks to give back what they were given. There are those in politics, particularly those on the conservative side, who can’t get enough of telling people that the wealthy one per cent must not be taxed because doing so kills jobs. The real job-killers are corporate greed and political expediency. It’s time for working people in Maine and all across the country to take back the American dream.” Stephen King releases statement supporting ‘Occupy Bangor’