Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 4.10.2012

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

Robertson tells man ‘you are the boss’ in marriage – Televangelist Pat Robertson once again added to his list of controversial statements Monday, telling a man that he is “the boss” of the family when a conflict arises between him and his wife over money given to church. On the latest episode of The 700 Club, Robertson responded to a male viewer’s letter about his wife demanding the couple not give more in tithes to their church because of their difficult financial situation. Tithes are the money Christians give from their income to their church as a religious obligation. “You know big man, you are the boss,” he said. “I know people don’t want to hear that, but you are the high priest of your family and you are the man of the house.” [...] Robertson added: “You need to push forward and your wife will come along. But if you’re vacillating and she pulls you back, you’re not much of a leader. You’re supposed to be a leader, you supposed to be the high priest. You supposed to intercede for your family before the Lord. And, as they say, ‘Man up.’”

Joe Arpaio Wonders If GOP Candidates Are In On Conspiracy To Hide Obama’s Birth Certificate – Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is disturbed that the Republican presidential candidates haven’t supported his quixotic effort to get to the bottom of President Obama’s birth certificate, and is begining to wonder if they’re part of the cover up. [...] APRAIO: I’ve had presidential candidates visit me in my office. I’ve talked to every one of them. … I don’t see anybody talking about this. I don’t see any senators talking about it. But when they mention me, they seem to forget my name. So isn’t that interesting? On both sides of the fence, they don’t want to talk about it. … How come everybody’s hiding this? [...] But Arpaio’s political star may have fallen along with his legal one. Arpaio is now on the verge of losing his badge thanks to accusations from the Department of Justice that his department systemically profiles based on race and has mishandled hundreds of sex crimes cases.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) argued yesterday that the female members in his caucus agree with him that the GOP’s “war on women” is just “a manufactured issue.” [...] “There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say — and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — ‘we don’t see any evidence of this.’” The Senate is out this week, but McConnell may way want to pay a little closer attention to what members of his caucus are actually saying. In this case, McConnell specifically mentioned five Republican senators — all of whom are women, and three of whom have raised serious concerns about what their party is up to. [...] McConnell seems comfortable speaking for all of these women, and ascribing beliefs to them. But if McConnell stopped telling us what these senators think and started listening to what they actually think, he might learn something important. [MaddowBlog]

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

Obama will talk about taxes in Florida on Tuesday when he delivers a speech in support of the “Buffett Rule,” a measure to insure a 30 percent tax on income over $1 million earned by wealthy Americans. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to the battleground state of New Hampshire on Thursday also to discuss taxes. The Obama campaign sees the issue as a weak point for Romney, a former private equity executive and ex-governor of Massachusetts. “Middle class families are taking it on the chin right now and they don’t see others doing their fair share,” Wisconsin Democratic congresswoman Tammy Baldwin said in a conference call set up by the Obama campaign. On April 16, the Senate will take up the “Buffett Rule” although it is unlikely to be approved as Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to bring the issue to a full vote. [Reuters]

Dick Durbin, Senate Dem Leader, Hammers Romney Over Swiss Bank Account – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) slammed presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney for using a Swiss bank account and refusing to release more years of tax returns. “When is the last time a presidential candidate had a Swiss bank? I think the answer is never,” Durbin said on a conference call organized by the Obama campaign. The number two Democrat in the Senate said he asked billionaire investor Warren Buffett if he’d ever owned an an account in the tax friendly nation.” “‘Nope,’” Durbin said, quoting Buffett , “‘there are plenty of good banks in the United States.’” Durbin said there are only two reasons to hold a Swiss bank account: “Number one, you believe the Swiss Franc is a stronger currency than the United States Dollar. And that apparently was the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency.” “And secondly, you want to hide something, you want to conceal something,” He said. “It is impossible for him to explain or defend owning a Swiss bank account.”

Rep. Baldwin calls for House to vote on ‘Buffett Rule’ tax for millionaires – Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Monday urged leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring her legislation to the floor to enact the so-called Buffett Rule. [...] Republicans have condemned the proposed rule as class warfare and it is unlikely to pass in the GOP-led House of Representatives. Nearly all House Republicans have sworn to fight any and all tax increases. But Baldwin said the American people “deserve to know where their Representatives stand” on this “critical” issue. “Our current tax code has been influenced by powerful special interests and includes loopholes and special provisions that allow approximately a quarter of all millionaires to pay lower effective tax rates than millions of middle class families,” she explained. Approximately 94,500 millionaires pay a lower effective tax rate than millions of families earning less than $100,000, according to the Congressional Research Service (PDF). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that the Senate will vote on the legislation on April 16, tax day.

NEA Wants $1.5 Trillion From Closed Corporate Tax Loopholes To Fund Popular Education Programs – The National Education Association is ramping up a public information campaign to build support for closing big corporate tax loopholes and directing the revenue toward key education initiatives. The push comes weeks after the Obama administration released a framework for corporate tax reforms that would be revenue neutral, suggesting a schism between the powerful union and the White House. But in a Monday interview, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel applauded Obama’s record on education and said his group’s push is meant to raise awareness of one of many ways to finance more federal investment in education. “One reason to look at corporate taxes is because it is so huge,” Van Roekel said, citing the Center for Tax Justice, which concludes (PDF) that closing seven specific corporate tax loopholes could raise nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years. NEA proposes using the money to raise the maximum Pell grant award to cover half the average cost of public higher education, fund Title I spending on students from low-income families and other initiatives.

Obama announces opposition to Minnesota same sex marriage ban – “While the President does not weigh in on every single ballot measure in every state, the record is clear that the President has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same sex couples,” Kristin Sosanie, Obama’s Minnesota Communications Director, said in a statement. “That’s what the Minnesota ballot initiative would do – it would single out and discriminate against committed gay and lesbian couples – and that’s why the President does not support it.” The statement is nearly identical to another statement by the Obama campaign regarding efforts in the New Hampshire legislature to repeal the state’s same sex marriage law. That effort ended unsuccessfully in late March. [...] “The amendment does not represent the values Minnesotans hold dear – that marriage is about love and commitment, and that freedom means freedom for everyone,” Minnesotans United for All Families said in a statement. “We’re happy that President Obama and Minnesotans from all walks of life see this amendment for what it is – a government exclusion to a group of people simply because of who they are.”