Jamie Dimon received a warm tongue bath from the Senate Banking Committee yesterday

“That’s the way America works… The $2 billion J.P. Morgan lost someone else gained.”Mitt Romney

The head of the largest bank in the US, JPMorgan, was called before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday to explain how between $3 – $8 billion was lost in a bad trade. The Huffington Post doesn’t report on how long Dimon’s day at the Senate-spa lasted:

In the end, Dimon revealed very little about the trade and not much more about his knowledge of it. He refused to discuss details of it, lest he reveal secrets to competitors — who already know all about the trade and have been hammering JPMorgan on it, adding to the bank’s losses. But the committee didn’t challenge him on that, even after he turned down an offer to close the hearing to the public.

And there were some aggressive initial questions that were not followed up by senators, who had just five minutes each to complete their questioning. Instead, much of the hearing was spent letting Dimon and some Republican senators rail against Congress’ efforts at regulatory reform after the financial crisis. Those reforms include the Volcker Rule, which prohibits banks with federally insured deposits from taking the sort of chances Dimon’s own bank took.

[...] And nobody asked Dimon whether he thought his seat on the board of the New York Federal Reserve, a key financial regulatory arm, is a conflict of interest.

David Weidner at MarketWatch wrote that Dimon couldn’t hide his disdain for the proceeding and described him as looking like a “know-it-all” and “cocky.” But isn’t that what we’ve come to expect of Wall Street and bankers in general? It’s as if they’re thinking, Ugh! Just give us all the money already and genuflect before you leave. 

OpenSecrets reports that most of the members receive campaign money from JPMorgan (both parties), which would seem like a conflict of interest — but apparently it’s not. It would begin to explain why we’re in such a sorry state of affairs, however, and where we’re headed if the billionaires buy Romney the White House with their Citizens United sponsored SuperPACs this year.

JPMorgan Chase’s PACS — which are officially on behalf of the corporation — typically swing Republican. JP Morgan’s main PAC for candidate contributions has favored Republicans each year since 1996, with the exception of a near-tie in 2002. A second company PAC has focused on contributions to Republican-aligned PACs and party committees in 2010 and 2012. JPMorgan Chase has been relatively non-partisan in its giving to Banking Committee members, however. Its PAC money has found its way to all but six of the committee’s senators. While Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Herb Kohl (D-WI) are both retiring and have no need for campaign funds, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Michael Johanns (R-NE) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) have all faced reelection from 2008-2012 and have had to do without support from JPMorgan Chase’s PACS.

Josh Marshall reported that Tea party standard bearer Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) wants Jamie Dimon and his peers, not Congress and regulators. to institute best practices for Wall Street. “We can hardly sit in judgment of your losing two billion,” he said. And Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) added, in hushed reverence, “You’re obviously renowned, rightfully so I think, as being one of the most, you know, one of the best CEOs in the country for financial institutions. You missed this, it’s a blip on the radar screen.”

So there you have it. You can watch part of Jamie Dimon’s gentle tongue bathing for yourself:

GOP Senators ask JP Morgan CEO what / how they should regulate:

Morning Bunker Report: Saturday 5.19.2012

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

A Romney Presidency: Day One – this is from the Romney campaign itself, describing how “President Romney” would approve the Keystone pipeline, introduce pro-growth tax reforms, and repeal Obamacare. So, yeah, no surprise—Day One: tax cuts for the wealthy, because ‘job creators!’  And all you people without health insurance, with pre-existing conditions, with kids in their early 20s? Suck it, plebs! Hurry up and die but in the meantime, thank your lucky stars for the minimum wage jobs that will (someday?) be ‘created’ by CEOs making hundreds of millions of dollars, who just got more tax cuts from “President Romney.”

  • The only “acceptable” outcome for Romney is one in which tens of millions of Americans lose their health care coverage, seniors pay higher prescription drug costs, small businesses lose their tax breaks, and the deficit goes up by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. But there’s another point that’s gone largely forgotten: we’ve gone from a policy landscape in which Republicans agreed with 80% of Obamacare to one in which Republicans agree with 0% of Obamacare. – Steve Benen

Senate Republicans quickly united behind House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday after he telegraphed his intention to use the debt limit as leverage to avoid a scheduled tax increase. Democrats balked at his demand that raising the debt ceiling — which is set to max out this December — be paired dollar-for-dollar with spending “cuts and reforms.” The widening rift foreshadows another self-inflicted battle, the likes of which nearly collapsed the U.S. economy last fall. […] And the Democrats’ response to the prospect of another deficit-reduction package devoid of new tax revenues? Dream on.TPM

  • House GOP Throws Out Entire Summer Of Debt Ceiling Negotiations In Less Than 10 Minutes – Last August, debt ceiling negotiations between House Republicans and Senate Democrats came to an end when President Obama signed into law the Budget Control Act, a not-so-grand bargain that created a legislative super committee tasked with finding spending cuts to offset the debt ceiling increase. If the super committee failed, automatic cuts from the defense budget and discretionary spending levels would offset the cost.In less than 10 minutes, the House officially unwound a budget deal that took an entire summer to craft… — Think Progress

What’s that called when the people who know you the best dislike you the most? “If Mitt Romney is to win the presidency, he’ll likely have to clear a high historical hurdle: Getting elected while losing both his state of residence (Massachusetts) and his native state (Michigan)… The last person to get elected president while losing his home state and his state of birth was James Polk, in 1844.” — Greg Sargent

The ‘competence’ theme of the Romney campaign: Mitt Romney’s campaign, eager to attack the Recovery Act that pulled the economy back from the brink of collapse, thought it had come up with a brilliant idea. The former governor would go to New Hampshire and mock the 19th century Sawyer Bridge, which was restored with public funds, but which is closed to traffic. […] The project was championed by 28 New Hampshire Republicans who now support Romney’s presidential campaign.  […] Last month, Romney blamed President Obama for a closed drywall plant in Ohio, but the facility was shut down during the Bush era. This week, the Romney campaign released a video showing a closed Electrolux plant in Iowa, but the company has added more American jobs than it had lost. Then it released a video of a steel plant that benefited in part from an investment by Bain Capital, but which thrived thanks to government assistance Romney opposes. Now it’s new evidence of wasteful spending that isn’t an example of wasteful spending. — Maddow Blog

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

“Unless you run a financial institution whose business model is built on cheating consumers, or making risky bets that could damage the whole economy, you have nothing to fear from Wall Street reform.” – President Obama, in his weekly address, calling for stricter reform after J.P. Morgan’s multi-billion dollar loss. – Political Wire

It’s a busy weekend for international diplomacy, with a G8 meeting at Camp David, followed by a NATO gathering in Chicago on Monday.

President Obama’s re-election campaign is getting increasingly engaged on voting laws, unveiling GottaVote.org today, along with a new video highlighting voting restrictions approved by state Republican policymakers. – Steve Benen

Volcker takes on Dimon: “You’ve got great advantages if you’re a government regulated bank,” Volcker explained. “Take the two big remaining investment banks — used to call them investment banks — Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Both during the crisis got a banking license. Why’d they get a banking license? They wanted the protection of the government in the middle of the crisis. Now the crisis is over, if they want to do proprietary trading, they want to do a lot of other things, it’s very simple: give up their banking license.” This was back in April, but takes on greater significance now. JPM’s losses appear small enough that they won’t need the government to step in and cover them. But the idea behind the Volcker Rule is that federally insured banks shouldn’t be making these kinds of bets at all — because when the bets go spectacularly bad, it falls to taxpayers to cover them. — TPM

  • What’s this tell you? “Donors from big banks are betting on Mitt Romney to defeat President Obama and repeal new restraints on risky, large-scale investments,” the Boston Globe reports.
  • Think Progress: the top six donors to Romney come from the biggest banks — Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. And the finance/insurance/real estate industry is far and away the largest donor to Romney’s campaign, giving him $18 million. Of course, banks also throw money at the Democrats, but in this cycle, they’ve clearly favored the GOP.

Sure, JP Morgan lost $3 billion but Romney says that’s “the way America works”

“I would not rush to pass new legislation or new regulation. This is, in the normal course of business, a large loss but certainly not one which is crippling or threatening to the institution. This was not a loss to the taxpayers of America; this was a loss to shareholders and owners of JPMorgan and that’s the way America works. The $2 billion JPMorgan lost, someone else gained.” Mitt Romney, during a Wednesday interview with Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey, discussing JPMorgan’s $3 billion loss (it’s no longer ‘just’ $2 billion)

It’s too bad that Mitt Romney, as a presidential candidate, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Further as Matt Taibbi asks, are these places still banks or are they now casinos?

If you’re wondering why you should care if some idiot trader (who apparently has been making $100 million a year at Chase, a company that has been the recipient of at least $390 billion in emergency Fed loans) loses $2 billion for Jamie Dimon, here’s why: because J.P. Morgan Chase is a federally-insured depository institution that has been and will continue to be the recipient of massive amounts of public assistance. If the bank fails, someone will reach into your pocket to pay for the cleanup. So when they gamble like drunken sailors, it’s everyone’s problem.

Activity like this is exactly what the Volcker rule, which effectively banned risky proprietary trading by federally insured institutions, was designed to prevent. It will be argued that this trade was a technically a hedge, and therefore exempt from the Volcker rule. …Hedge or no hedge, we don’t want big, federally-insured, too-big-to-fail banks making giant nuclear-powered derivatives bets.

[...] If J.P. Morgan Chase wants to act like a crazed cowboy hedge fund and make wild exacta bets on the derivatives market, they should be welcome to do so. But they shouldn’t get to do it with cheap cash from the Fed’s discount window, and they shouldn’t get to do it with money from the federally-insured bank accounts of teachers, firemen and other such real people. It’s a simple concept: you either get to be a bank, or you get to be a casino. But you can’t be both. If we don’t have rules to enforce that concept, we ought to get some.

University of Maryland professor and former regulator Michael Greenberger argues that if Dodd-Frank had been in effect:

As the trades lost value, margin would have been called for on a regular and systematic basis. (The losses would never have reached $ 2B without much earlier and corresponding regular calls for margin.) The losing nature of the trades would have been transparent to market observers and regulators for quite some time and the losses would not have piled up opaquely. It is almost certain that, at the very least, the Fed (not wanting to exacerbate its reputation for throwing taxpayer money at TBTF problems), would have backed JPM off these trades long ago.
Continue reading…

Morning Bunker Report: Monday 5.14.2012

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

MAN OF GOD: It seems that some people would rather not extend the statute of limitations for the crime of sexually abusing children. What kind of monster — no, wait… Cardinal Timothy Dolan has made defeating statute of limitations reform one of his top legislative priorities. This is the guy, remember, who made such a loud fuss about contraception that the president had to cut a compromise deal that caused Dolan and the rest of the clerical errors to make an even louder fuss. And who, most recently, opened his well-stuffed piehole on the subject of the president’s support for marriage equality: “We cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better.” — Charles P. Pierce

Mitt Romney’s mantra: Avoid John McCain’s mistakes (PALIN!) — Many of the current strategy discussions are centered on not falling into the traps McCain did: looking wobbly as a leader and weak on the economy in the final weeks of the campaign. The private discussions include ruling out any vice presidential possibilities who could be seen as even remotely risky or unprepared; wrapping the entire campaign around economic issues, knowing this topic alone will swing undecided voters in the final days; and, slowly but steadily, building up Romney as a safe and competent alternative to President Barack Obama. McCain, according to Romney advisers, blew it on all three scores. And of the three, the most conscious effort by Romney’s team to do things differently will be in the V.P. selection process. One Republican official familiar with the campaign’s thinking said it will be designed to produce a pick who is safe and, by design, unexciting – a deliberate anti-Palin. The prized pick, said this official: an “incredibly boring white guy.” — POLITICO

Dimon On Whether JP Morgan’s $2 Billion Loss Proves Banks Are Still Too Risky: ‘I Don’t Think So’ — [JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie] Dimon has been one of the biggest critics of the Volcker Rule, which is meant to prevent banks from making massive bets with federally insured dollars. [...] Of course, the point isn’t whether JP Morgan, the biggest bank in the U.S., can survive a trade like this. It’s whether the financial system can sustain this sort of trading by all of the big banks, many of which are not in the same financial shape as JP Morgan. As the New York Times detailed yesterday, JP Morgan and the rest of the nation’s biggest banks have been fighting to widen exemptions to the Volcker Rule that would allow banks to continue making risky trades of this sort. ”I hope that the final [Volcker] rule will prevent this,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), whose name graces the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, on ABC today. “The Volcker Rule is still being formulated.” — Think Progress

  • RNC Chief: Leave Wall Street alone — Host David Gregory asked a straightforward question: “In light of the losses on Wall Street this week, you think we need less financial regulation rather than more?” In Preibus’ mind, it’s not even a close call: “I think we need less.” The RNC chief added that Democrats have “made things worse” by approving new safeguards and adding new layers of accountability to the financial system. It reminded me of an Upton Sinclair line: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Steve Benen
  • Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren called for JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to resign his position as a director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In a statement posted on her website, Warren said Dimon stepping down would “send a signal to the American people that Wall Street bankers get it and to show that they understand the need for responsibility and accountability.” — The Hill
  • JPMorgan Chase has been lobbying to make exactly the kind of trades that just lost the company billions of dollars. — Edward Wyatt in The New York Times
  • JPMorgan Chase’s loss proves the need for bank regulation. — Paul Krugman in The New York Times
  • More from Ezra Klein
  • How Wall Street Killed Financial Reform — The fate of Dodd-Frank over the past two years is an object lesson in the government’s inability to institute even the simplest and most obvious reforms, especially if those reforms happen to clash with powerful financial interests. From the moment it was signed into law, lobbyists and lawyers have fought regulators over every line in the rulemaking process. Congressmen and presidents may be able to get a law passed once in a while – but they can no longer make sure it stays passed. You win the modern financial-regulation game by filing the most motions, attending the most hearings, giving the most money to the most politicians and, above all, by keeping at it, day after day, year after fiscal year, until stealing is legal again. “It’s like a scorched-earth policy,” says Michael Greenberger, a former regulator who was heavily involved with the drafting of Dodd-Frank. “It requires constant combat. And it never, ever ends.” That the banks have just about succeeded in strangling Dodd-Frank is probably not news to most Americans – it’s how they succeeded that’s the scary part. —  Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone

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

The coming issue of Newsweek: Andrew Sullivan on Barack Obama’s Gay Marriage Evolution — The president’s bold support shifted the mainstream. Andrew Sullivan on why it shouldn’t be surprising—Obama’s life as a biracial man has deep ties to the gay experience. [...] To have the president of the United States affirm my humanity—and the humanity of all gay Americans—was, unexpectedly, a watershed. He shifted the mainstream in one interview. And last week, a range of Democratic leaders—from Harry Reid to Steny Hoyer—backed the president, who moved an entire party behind a position that only a few years ago was regarded as simply preposterous. And in response, Mitt Romney could only stutter.

A new two-minute Obama commercial stars steelworkers somberly dismantling Mitt Romney’s record as a job creator at Bain Capital. “I know how business works. I know why jobs come and why they go,” says Romney in the clip. But the veterans of Kansas City’s GST Steel tell a different story of the Bain takeover, which occurred in 1993 and resulted in about 750 people out of work: “They made as much money off of it as they could. And they closed it down,” laments Joe Soptic, a steelworker for three decades. “It was like a vampire,” says another. “They came in and sucked the life out of us.” The extra-long spot has an extended version online at RomneyEconomics.com, and both are packed with soundbites. “It was like watching an old friend bleed to death,” adds one worker. “Bain Capital walked away with a lot of money that they made off this plant. We view Mitt Romney as a job destroyer.” — Steelworkers Slam Mitt Romney and Bain Capital in Harsh New Obama Ad — Daily Intel

Why the ’80/20 rule’ matters — Over the summer, 16 million Americans are going to get some nice checks in the mail from their insurance company, due entirely to the fact that the much-derided health care law is looking out for consumers, not insurers. As the segment explained, folks like getting unexpected money in the mail. When they realize it’s because of Obamacare, maybe the law will start to look a little better in those consumers’ eyes. That checks will hit mailboxes a few months before the election probably doesn’t hurt Obama’s potential benefit, either. It’s also worth keeping in mind these rebate checks will disappear if/when Republicans kill the entirety of the law, replacing it with nothing: “Some House and Senate Republicans are now admitting what’s been obvious from the start: that the Republican vow to ‘repeal and replace’ Obama’s health law has always been a bait-and-switch.” — Steve Benen

The Conservative Crusaders of America

Accurate! Take a quick look at what the conservative ‘Christian’ base actually supports with their vote, election after election, just because GOP candidates / politicians promise to get involved in other people’s personal lives and to publicly and politically vilify entire groups of people who are not white, Christian, and conservative:

Report: Lawmakers Opposing Volcker Rule Receive Four Times As Much From Financial Sector As Those Supporting It

Members of Congress who submitted comments advocating the weakening of the already watered-down Volcker Rule — which is meant to rein in banks’ risky trading — have received more than four times as much in campaign contributions from the financial sector as members who demanded stricter regulations, a report released today by Public Citizen reveals:

Those seeking to weaken the rule have received $66.7 million from the financial services industry since the 2010 election cycle compared to only $1.9 million in contributions received by those asking for a more robust rule. Those seeking to weaken the rule have received an average of $388,010 from the industry, more than four times as much as the average of $96,897 received by those asking for a stronger rule.

Continue…

Harry Reid: Rising Gas Prices Are Giving Big Oil Billions Of Dollars

During debate on a bill to eliminate $2.4 billion in big oil tax breaks, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) stated the obvious: rising gasoline prices mean billions in profit for big oil companies. “Domestic oil production has increased every year during the Obama administration. Meanwhile, the American dependence on foreign oil has decreased ever year. Yet prices at the pump have continued to rise. Here’s why. For every price the price at the pump goes up, the major oil companies, there’s five of them, make an additional $200 million a quarter,” he said, citing the Center for American Progress. “Let’s say that again: For every penny that you pay extra at the gas pump, these five oil companies make $200 million. It doesn’t take a lot of math to understand gas prices have increased 62 cents this year. Take 200 million times 62, you’ve got a huge amount of billions of dollars.” $12.4 billion, in fact.

BUT THE FURINNERS! THE HOMOSEXUALS! THE LEFTISTS! Teaparty favorite Rand Paul to the rescue:

Sen. Rand Paul: When Big Oil Screws Americans At The Gas Pump, ‘You Should Want To Encourage Them’

GOP senators like Rand Paul (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have used their time on the Senate floor today to push error-riddled arguments coming straight from their oil industry donors.

Paul argued Big Oil deserves even more favors from government, because they’re doing such a good job extracting wealth from American families:

Instead of punishing them, you should want to encourage them. I would think you would want to say to the oil companies, “What obstacles are there to you making more money?” And hiring more people. Instead they say, “No, we must punish them. We must tax them more to make things fair.” This whole thing about fairness is so misguided and gotten out of hand.

[...] Republicans have received 88 percent of donations from the oil industry’s coffers. In the Senate, Republicans have taken over $13.8 million from oil, compared to the Democrats’ $3.3 million, meaning Senate Republicans have taken four times the amount in Big Oil contributions as Democrats. Kyl is the No. 29 largest recipient in the Senate from oil and gas in career contributions with over $330,000 and Paul has received over $106,000 from oil. 

America’s Conservative Crusaders are fighting to make America a third-world theocracy, while the wealthiest one percent are laughing all the way to the (Swiss) bank.

And these people vote every time there’s an election, even if you don’t.

Monday morning’s 9 interesting things

1) The fight begins: Obama’s budget going to Congress – WASHINGTON (AP) – The new budget that President Barack Obama is sending to Congress aims to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade by restraining government spending and raising taxes on the wealthy. To help a weak economy, Obama’s proposal Monday requests increases in transportation, education and other areas. While administration officials on Sunday defended the plan as a balanced approach, Republicans belittled the effort as a repeat of failed policies that did too little to attack soaring costs in such programs as Medicare and threatened growth by raising taxes. The debate is almost certain to go all the way to Election Day in November with gridlock keeping Congress from resolving many pressing issues on expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts until a lame-duck session at year’s end.

Obama’s election-year budget to target rich – (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will propose an election-year budget on Monday that raises taxes on millionaires and seeks billions of dollars for job-creating infrastructure projects, drawing a populist battle line with his Republican opponents. Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal to Congress will defer significant cuts in the deficit until the economy is securely back on track, a priority as he seeks re-election in November, while outlining measures to shrink that funding gap over time.

2) Long Time Coming: Obama’s Approval Rating Goes Positive – It was a long road back, but President Obama is now back in positive territory in our TPM Poll Average. The shift comes on the heels of a completed Iraq withdrawal, a legislative win on the payroll tax cut before Christmas, and perhaps most importantly, good economic numbers in January and early February. The President’s numbers have jumped in the last few days in both Gallup and Rasmussen tracking polls as well as individual national polls.

3) GE to hire 5,000 U.S. veterans, investing in plants - WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Electric Co plans to hire 5,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years and to invest $580 million to expand its aviation footprint in the United States this year. The largest U.S. conglomerate unveiled the moves ahead of a four-day meeting it is convening in Washington starting on Monday to focus on boosting the U.S. economy, which has been slow to recover from a brutal 2007-2009 recession.

4) Volcker to Push Back on Banks’ Trading – The former Federal Reserve chairman is expected to file a comment letter on the Volcker rule before a Monday deadline, contending that the U.S. financial system will be safer and healthier with a ban on proprietary trading by banks, according to people familiar with the situation. [...] The former Fed chairman also plans to push back on critics who claim proprietary trading didn’t play a role in the financial crisis, people familiar with his thinking said. Betting with a firm’s own money can cause employees to be more focused on individual profit than the well-being of clients, Mr. Volcker believes.

5) Grassley Asks Holder to Probe Enforcement of Exec Pay in Bankruptcies – Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who introduced broad bankruptcy legislation that became law in 2005, expressed concern that companies might be skirting the law when issuing bonuses and other compensation to executives during Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. “Corporate directors, executives and managers who were at the helm of a company as it spiraled into bankruptcy should not receive bonuses of any kind, let alone excessive bonuses, during a reorganization or liquidation,” Mr. Grassley wrote in a Feb. 7 letter.

6) CPAC settles for Mitt Romney’s ‘severe conservative’ routine – Romney squeaked through CPAC better than expected. He won the straw poll, and his speech on Friday was not greeted with ice-cold hostility. He avoided any spectacularly embarrassing interactions with the ultra-conservative crowd, which could have swung the race from Rick Santorum’s temporary domination – he’s leading the latest national poll by 15 percentage points over Romney, capitalizing on the momentum from his three state wins last Tuesday night – to his permanent command. Was the crowd taking pity on him? Even this black-hearted reporter felt a twinge of agony for Romney as he delivered a speech of forced proto-emotion featuring 24 mentions or variations on the word “conservative”, as though he was dutifully checking off boxes on a presidential nominee’s permit application that no one had asked him to fill out.

7) Rick Santorum’s Anti-Abortion Politics Would Have Killed His Own Wife – Karen Santorum’s difficult pregnancy and resultant life-saving, induced early delivery is no secret; in a 2004 interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, her husband characterized the 1996 procedure as a harrowing but necessary. Karen, in her 19th week of pregnancy, received a risky surgery to save a pregnancy that doctors thought had little chance of survival. After the surgery, she came down with an infection, and doctors told Rick that unless the source of the infection — the fetus — was removed, his wife would die and his already-born children would be motherless. The doctor also told Santorum that his wife’s fetus would not survive outside of the womb. According to Santorum, Karen went into labor as a result of the antibiotics, and then doctors gave her a drug that further induced labor. She delivered, and unfortunately the doctors were right.

8) Fox’s Liz Trotta On Sexual Assault In Military: “What Did They Expect? These People Are In Close Contact” – During a segment about new rules regarding women in the military, Fox News contributor Liz Trotta attacked the Department of Defense for increasing spending on support programs for victims of sexual assault. Trotta also reacted to a Pentagon report showing a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults since 2006 by stating: “Well, what did they expect? These people are in close contact.” Trotta began by claiming “we have women once more, the feminist, going, wanting to be warriors and victims at the same time” and later added that feminists “have also directed them, really, to spend a lot of money. They have sexual counselors all over the place, victims’ advocates, sexual response coordinators. … you have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.”

9) Republicans undiscover fire - The truth is that the Republicans have nothing to offer. Not even anything that looks like a governing philosophy. Conservatism has moved out of the ranks of political theories and simply become a cult; one that requires that certain phrases be mouthed, that certain hatreds be nourished, and that purity be maintained regardless of cost. That schism with reality is increasingly large and increasingly obvious. They try to paper over that gap by dismissing little things like science, reason, history. Real science fails to support their contentions, so they have to write it off. Reason doesn’t work for them, so any question must be met with red-faced indignity — every question a gotcha question. Real history is full of warts, quirks, and unfortunate truths that don’t fit their ritualized beliefs. So they have to try to rewrite history, giving us rewrite Reagan who never raised a tax or increased a debt, rewrite FDR who created the issues he actually solved, rewrite Lincoln who championed the Confederate cause, rewrite founding fathers who never owned slaves, never supported government regulation of the economy, never wavered in their ardent love for a form of religiosity that didn’t yet exist. Tricorner hats are the new tinfoil.

Watch: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand