Saturday, August 04, 2012

The Pundits Review Romney

   Romneyland has got problems.


“What Republicans don’t get is the more they fire back at Reid, the more he will fight,” said another top Reid confidante. “And in the end, what will the topic be? Romney and his taxes.”

Reid initially acknowledged to The Huffington Post that he’s not “certain” that the information is correct. But that hasn’t stopped him from repeating the charge to Nevada reporters, saying on the Senate floor that the “word is out” that Romney hadn’t paid taxes for a decade. He expanded on his allegation in a lengthy statement Thursday night that accused Romney of “hiding something” by not releasing more of his tax returns.

“He’s doing what he always does,” said Jon Ralston, a top political analyst in Nevada, “which is to say the things that most partisans and elected officials only dream about saying.”

Ezra Klein:

I can describe Mitt Romney’s tax policy promises in two words: mathematically impossible.


Romney is offering nothing new in terms of policy. As the Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie points out, “Mitt Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” is little more than a “cruel joke”—a recitation of the wealth-first tax and spending plans that Paul Ryan translated into English from the works of Ayn Rand. But the new thrust of the Romney campaign [mentioning his tenure as MA Governor] is a notable development: It shows that the Obama campaign has succeeded in making Romney’s business career, which he wanted to run on exclusively, into a liability. Starting to tout his record as governor, rather than pretend it’s a period of his life that never actually happened, is the surest signal that the Romney campaign is groping for a new way to pitch their man—and that they’ve lost the battle over his attempt to paint himself as a business guy who just stumbled into politics.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Saturday Satire; Messed Up Mitt Edition

Copyright © 2012 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2012 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2012 Universal Press Syndicate

Stephen Colbert: "Naturally the U.S. trails in gold medals because every time we win one, we hand it over to the Chinese to pay off our debt."

Jimmy Fallon: "Mitt Romney is getting a lot of attention for a series of gaffes he's made while he's in London. And in response, Romney said that he has nothing but respect for the people of England, especially their monarch, Queen Latifah."

Next week, President Obama will celebrate his 51st birthday. Obama already got one really nice gift: Mitt Romney’s trip to London."

"I read that one of the presidential debates will have a town hall format where citizens will ask the candidates questions. The most common question: 'Are you the only two choices?'"

Jay Leno: "The big story here in Los Angeles, of course, the L.A. City Council has just voted to ban medical marijuana sales at all 790 dispensaries. You know this means? Some people may have to resort to smoking non-medical marijuana. Good luck finding that!"

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Mitt Romney= 3rd Bush Term

   Something that many of us may have missed was Mitt Romney’s announcement back in October or 2011 of who would be on his Foreign Policy And National Security Advisory Team, which does matter because many of these people are leftovers from the elder Bush administration and are some of the warhawks who brought us the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, among other things.

   Many of these sorry fucks go all the way back to the Nixon era.

   A few of the names from Romney’s list follows…

    • Henry Kissinger (Nixon’s Secretary of State)
    • James Baker (George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State)
    • Cofer Black (former CIA official, former vice president of Blackwater International)
    • Eliot Cohen (George W. Bush’s State Department official)
    • Paula Dobriansky (George W. Bush’s State Department official)
    • Norm Coleman
    • John Bolton (George W. Bush’s former UN ambassador)
    • John Lehman (Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy)
    • George Shultz (Reagan’s Secretary of State)
    • Richard Williamson (George W. Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State)
    • Michael Chertoff (Bush’s Homeland Security Secretary)
    • Michael Hayden (created warrantless wiretapping programs for Bush)

      It has been rumored that former Vice President Dick Cheney is also an advisor to Mitt and that he will be Romney’s ‘ handler’ much as he was Bush’s. Must be a nice setup for Dick, to get a new heart and his second puppet to order around.


There is John Lehman, the Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration, who sources say is a lead actor in the Romney cast. Then there are Michael Chertoff and Michael Hayden, the Homeland Security secretary and CIA director who both served under President George W. Bush. Two former GOP senators, Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Jim Talent of Missouri, also are on Romney's team.

The supporting cast is also composed of Washington's security and foreign policy veterans: Eric Edleman and Dov Zakheim, who held high-level Pentagon posts under the younger Bush. Zakheim's son, Roger, a senior staffer on the House Armed Services Committee, is also assisting Romney, along with Dan Senor and Megan O'Sullivan, who emerged as major players during the Iraq war.

    No doubt that Romney and this bunch are already smelling the blood of an invasion into Iran. Romney will be creating jobs alright, for our arms makers.

   Romney is more than willing to start another war if he is elected, which must not be allowed. If you think that the economy sucks now, wait until we invade another country while Mitt and his Republican Party cut even more taxes for their rich employers. I can throw in about 23 or so Democrats who walk the same line.

   Mitt Romney must not be elected in November.


Millionaire Mitt still whining about how hard it was 'to make ends meet'

As Jed Lewison reported, Mitt Romney's new "biographical" ad attempts to re-re-re-re-re-introduce him to voters, as if not knowing about him is the problem. Uh, Mitt. The voters know more than enough. They're just not that into you. And this doesn't help:

The ad opens with Mitt Romney talking about his business background and saying that he knows what it's like to start a business and create jobs and "to wonder whether you're going to be able to make ends meet." If you're the Harvard-educated son of an auto industry CEO who is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and has bank accounts in the Caymans, a secretive Bermuda shell corporation, and, until recently, a Swiss bank account, those are words that should never escape your lips. And that's doubly true if you've made millions while firing workers and bankrupting companies.
Mitt and his chief adviser on lady things (and horses), Ann, have talked so much about just how hard they had it back in the day that it's clearly a strategy, not a gaffe.

Recall this tale of woe and hardship from Ann:

They were not easy years. [...]

We were happy, studying hard. Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. [...]

Mitt and I walked to class together, shared housekeeping, had a lot of pasta and tuna fish and learned hard lessons. [...]

We were living on the edge, not entertaining. No, I did not work. Mitt thought it was important for me to stay home with the children, and I was delighted.

Right after Mitt graduated in 1975, we had our third boy and it was about the time Mitt’s first paycheck came along. So, we were married a long time before we had any income, about five years as struggling students.

Clearly, Romneyland believes that if Mitt and Ann insist often enough that they're just regular folks who've had it tough, lived on the edge, struggled to make ends meet, and, of course, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps all on their own with no help from anyone (except for that stock portfolio from Daddy Romney, of course, and that house from Daddy Romney, of course), maybe voters will believe it.

But that's not really the worst of it. The truly sick and twisted thing about this utterly false tale of woe is that Mitt and Ann, though they swear they can relate to people who struggle today, are actually sadists who relish the struggling of others.

Mitt Romney, after all, likes firing people. (Oh, sure, he meant corporations—because he can't tell the difference between corporations and people.) He tells "humorous" stories about his father, as president of American Motors, shutting down a factory in Michigan and putting a bunch of people out of work. Humorous indeed.

And of course, the supposedly more sympathetic Ann Romney, Mitt's "greatest asset" who supposedly humanizes him, yukked it up at the Connecticut Republican Party’s Prescott Bush Awards Dinner, saying:

I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.

Who says that? Seriously, who says that? What kinds of monsters enjoy the struggling of others, take pleasure in the unemployment of others, find the hardships that their fellow Americans face to be "humorous" fodder, and then, on top of it all, they dare to claim that they too know how hard it is, they too have struggled, because gosh, it sure is tough to raise a family on an inherited stock portfolio.

These are terrible people. Really terrible people.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Jul 31, 2012

Mitt 'let Detroit go bankrupt' Romney attacks Obama for saving auto industry

   What a truly shameless man Mitt Romney and his cohorts are.

  By Laura Clawson on Wed Aug 01, 2012       Original

Mitt Romney is once again making a truly bizarre auto bailout attack on President Obama. This video invites us to feel sympathy for an Ohio car dealer who had to close when his credit was suspended by GM during the bailout. So far, no problem—it's a shame not just for this man but for the 30 workers he reports having to lay off. But this is a Romney campaign video. It's supposed to convince us that Barack Obama mishandled the auto rescue, and that's where it loses me. How, exactly, does the fact that some people in the American auto industry lost their jobs reflect poorly on Obama in contrast to Mitt "let Detroit go bankrupt" Romney, under whose plan just about all of the people in the American auto industry would have lost their jobs?

Not only that, but, according to an Obama campaign spokesman,

"Instead of trying to deceive Ohioans they should get their facts straight because there are now 2,200 more Ohioans employed in dealerships than when the President took office," Benenati said. "While the President was busy saving the US auto industry -– which has 1 in 8 Ohio jobs tied to it –- Mitt Romney was busy arguing that we should turn our backs on an iconic industry and the workers in Ohio."

In conclusion: Barack Obama kept the American auto industry going, albeit with some job losses at the front end, and it has recovered and added hundreds of thousands of jobs. Mitt Romney called for a managed bankruptcy without government intervention, which was not possible at the time of the bailout and would have led to industry failure and catastrophic job loss. And he's putting out a video trying to get Ohio voters to think about the jobs that were lost in 2009, not the ones that were saved then or have been added since? Is insulting the intelligence and the memories of Ohio voters his major goal with this video?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Mix-Ups About The Affordable Care Act

  One of the reasons that many people are not in favor of the ACA is because they happen to be hearing much miss-information from the Republican Party and the right-wing news outlets and blogs.

   Yahoo News has an article up which covers eight of the mix-ups that we have about the ACA. I list three of them.

Fiction: Everyone must purchase health insurance beginning in 2014, no exceptions.
Fact: While most uninsured Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty (or tax, if you like) beginning in 2014, several groups are exempt from the so-called individual mandate.
They include those whose income is so low, they don't file federal tax returns; anyone who would have to spend more than 8 percent of their income on health insurance; undocumented immigrants; people who are incarcerated; members of Native American tribes; and those who qualify for a religious exemption.
There's also one other large set of people who won't need to buy health insurance.
"Everybody who is eligible for Medicaid or Medicare does not have to purchase additional coverage," notes Deborah Chollet, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., who is helping states set up the new health exchanges where consumers will shop for insurance.
Private researchers have found that only a very small percentage of Americans will be subject to the individual mandate penalty, maintains Kathleen Stoll, director of health policy for the health care consumer group Families USA.

  I get tired of having to tell those Fox News viewers that I know, that not everyone will have to buy insurance or pay a tax if they do not.

New government insurance?
The Affordable Care Act creates a new government-run insurance plan.
Fact: The health care reform law includes no such provision.
Rather than centralize health insurance, health care reform accomplishes many of the goals of so-called universal coverage through its interwoven expansion of the existing Medicaid program, increased federal regulation of the health insurance industry and tax credits to make private insurance more affordable.
The law does call for the creation of new insurance plans, but the government won't run them, Chollet says. "The federal Office of Personnel Management is required to contract with at least two private insurance carriers, including at least one nonprofit, to offer coverage in every market nationwide," she explains. "They can contract with more than two, and some of these nonprofits are consumer-owned and operated health plans called co-ops."

  See there? No government take over of insurance programs. And, last but not least, but one the rights biggest fact-free claims:

Immigrant inaccuracy
Undocumented immigrants will receive federal aid to purchase health insurance.
Fact: Undocumented immigrants are excluded from health care reform.
And not only that, but they also are ineligible to receive Medicaid insurance for the poor or to purchase health insurance with their own money in the state exchanges when those open in 2014.
Legal immigrants who have resided in the United States for less than five years are similarly ineligible for federal assistance, though the states have the option of extending coverage to pregnant women and children while they await legal status.
"Undocumented immigrants are still in the same difficult situation they have always been in," says Chollet.     Read More...

      Any questions?


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Republicans shake collective fist at sky, cursing reality for interfering with politics

By  Joan McCarter Mon Jul 30, 2012   Original

The House Republicans want to spend their last week before the long recess doing their usual shit: banning imaginary abortion practices; more abortion with the H.R. 3803, the "District of Columbia Pain–Capable Unborn Child Protection Act"; dishing out tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires; working on a tax reform bill that will also dish out massive cuts to millionaires and billionaires; and not doing anything whatsoever about jobs and the economy. But then pesky things like the worst drought in decades get in the way.

[T]ry as it might to control the message, Congress cannot control the weather. A record drought is ensuring that despite its best efforts, Congress will have to do some actual bipartisan, bicameral legislating before it breaks for the August recess. [...]

House leaders grappled with the way forward: Either pass a yearlong extension of the 2008 farm bill with disaster aid attached or pass a stand-alone disaster relief bill. Either route is troublesome politically.

And either way, what was once a week meant to highlight the House GOP’s united stand to extend the entirety of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will now become a quarrel over how to extend—and how to pay for—disaster aid. Rather than heading harmoniously into the August recess, the vote to dole out tens of millions of dollars in disaster aid is problematic for the GOP and highlights its divisions.

Darn it. It totally sucks when doing the job you were elected to do gets in the way of meaningless, futile, obstructive politicking. It's even worse when that critical issue you're supposed to be dealing with highlights the fact that the majority of your caucus only cares about meaningless, futile, obstructive politicking.

Remember when natural disasters were emergencies and didn't have to be paid for? No one ever talked about cutting funding for first responders in order to pay for disaster relief before this crew took over. Tax cuts, on the other hand? Nope. They never have to be paid for. Saving the nation's food growers? Eh. Food shortages will be good for the riff-raff, anyway.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mr. Romney Has Ceased To Be Amusing

By Crashing Vor   Sun Jul 29, 2012    Original

The headlines are rolling. The diaries are scrolling. Editors and producers are choosing which breath-taking declaration will win the lede, unilateral, amateur diplomacy or unilateral, amateur warmaking.

It doesn't matter, but for those following along, both the Washington Post and New York Times have chosen "Romney Declares War on Iran" over "Romney Declares War on Palestinians." Still, as I say, it doesn't matter. Mitt Romney, a half-formed man-child who made a splash in the corporate takeover game and mailed in a term as a state governor, has single-handedly undone decades of careful diplomacy and put the United States and its armed forces in danger.

What is perhaps saddest about this turn of events is that Mitt Romney himself doesn't give two shits about Israel. A Mormon, not a fundamentalist, he likely does not harbor beliefs necessitating Israel's triumph or destruction or crowning or dethroning. For Mormons, this continent has become the center of celestial concern, the "New Jerusalem." The old one was simply stage for the prelude of the real revelation.

So why would he stand on a terrace overlooking the "old" Old City and offer up our security to the crowd like Pilate offering a Barabbas for Jesus deal? What is so dear and holy to him that he is willing to trade our troops, our sailors, our flyers on the table to purchase it?

The presidency, of course. The dream of his father. The perfect picture of himself and his beloved wife waving from the portico of the White House, ultimate Prom King and Queen. He has stolen and destroyed and tax-dodged his way to wealth unimaginable but this final attaboy, this final "such a good son" has eluded him. And he must have it.

Like Israel, the actual job means nothing to him. He's made it clear that he intends to leave the policy and direction and management to others. He just wants that picture of him and Ann waving from that house.

But even a man of his wealth can't afford to simply pull out the AmEx black card and buy the office. For that he needs help from other obscenely wealthy men, men with their own agendas. And, since he cares nothing for actual policy, for a "vision thing," he's willing to let them exercise theirs, in exchange for their money (hello, Mr. Adelson, hello, Mssrs. Koch) or their credibility (hello, Mr. Cheney, hello, Mr. Bolton).

Up until now, it has been great fun watching Mr. Romney's awful turn in the role of presidential candidate, culminating in a London run unmatched in the history of comedic theater.

Tonight, the laughter dies. Let us pray that is all that does.

A correction: It has been pointed out that I am mistaken in my assumption that Mr. Romney, as a Mormon, is not obsessed with fantasies of world war centered on Israel as a requirement to fulfill his religion's prophecies. I confess I'm not well-versed in that faith's tenets.

So nuclear conflagration over that itty bit of real estate is central to LDS doctrine. Okay. I think my title is more apt than ever.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Corrupt Pennsylvania GOP Says No Voter Fraud Committed….Ever

Tue Jul 24, 2012   

Tomorrow, Judge Robert Simpson will hear the case the ACLU has brought on behalf of Viviette Applewhite and others against the state of Pennsylvania for its new voter ID law. That case should be significantly bolstered by the admission from the state itself that there is no history of in-person voter fraud in the state. Essentially it's a law in search of a problem.

The state signed a stipulation agreement with lawyers for the plaintiffs which acknowledges there “have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states.”
Additionally, the agreement states Pennsylvania “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere” or even argue “that in person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absense of the Photo ID law.”
The new voter ID law Pennsylvania passed is one of the most restrictive of all the states, requiring ID that in many cases doesn't exist, for example municipal employee photo IDs with expiration dates, which these types of ID don't actually have. These restrictions could keep more than a million registered voters from voting, and many of those voters don't realize it, believing the ID they possess will suffice at the polls.

The state of Pennsylvania, of course, argued in passing the laws that they did so to prevent voter fraud, which they just admitted in legal documents doesn't exist. But we know what the real reason is. Republican House Leader Mike Turzai told us:  "[...] Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter