Posts Tagged ‘chains

17
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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President Obama talks on the phone with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover team aboard Air Force One during a flight to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Aug. 13 (Pete Souza)

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OFA

Magnificent.

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Steve Benen: Just this morning, I noted that Mitt Romney publicly gave his word, on camera, that he would “go back and look” to let us know what tax rates he paid over the last decade. The good news is, Romney really did “go back and look,” and elaborated on the findings today.

The bad news is, his answer was horrible:

“…I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year. Harry Reid’s charge is totally false. I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him. I don’t believe it for a minute, by the way. But every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

Let’s walk through the top five reasons this answer is woefully unacceptable…..

Full post here

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David Simon: Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man? Thank him for his good citizenship? Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

Thirteen percent. The last time I paid taxes at that rate, I believe I might still have been in college. If not, it was my first couple years as a newspaper reporter.  Since then, the paychecks have been just fine, thanks, and I don’t see any reason not to pay at the rate appropriate to my earnings, given that I’m writing the check to the same government that provided the economic environment that allowed for such incomes.

I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly: Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent. I swear. And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail. But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits. I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?

DavidSimon.com / Mediaite

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ABC: After repeated denials, Paul Ryan has admitted he requested stimulus cash even after sharply criticizing the program.

Ryan had denied doing so as recently as Wednesday, when he spoke to ABC’s Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, in Ohio.

“I never asked for stimulus,” Mitt Romney’s new running mate said. “I don’t recall… so I really can’t comment on it. I opposed the stimulus because it doesn’t work, it didn’t work.”

Two years ago, during an interview on WBZ’s NewsRadio he was asked by a caller if he “accepted any money” into his district. Ryan said he did not.

…. But as we’ve now learned, Ryan did write letters. He did request stimulus funds.

More here

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Cagle

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Charles Pierce: The president is angry. The president is an angry man. The president is black. The president is an angry black man …. That is the four-point plan on “the economy” on which Willard Romney apparently intends to run for president for a while…..

“If you look at the ads that have been described and the divisiveness based on income, age, ethnicity and so-forth, it’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger and this is not in my view what the American people want to see,” Romney said.

Ethnicity? And so forth…. If he blows that dog-whistle any louder, Seamus may return from that great roof-rack in the sky.

This should surprise absolutely nobody, because, if there’s one thing candidate Romney has demonstrated, it is that he really is quite a remarkable liar…. Asking a Republican presidential candidate to abandon race-baiting entirely is to ask for an awful lot of 13-second Republican stump speeches. Asking Willard Romney to do it is to assume that there is muck so foul that he will not immerse himself in it to be president….

…. There was nothing Romney wouldn’t do in business to make a buck. Why should we be surprised that he campaigns the same way? ….

…. Since you can count on Rafalca’s hooves the number of times in his life that Willard Romney has been in a fair fight, it’s no great shock to discover that, since he can’t fight hard, he’ll fight dirty, because winning is not something you earn. Winning is something you inherit…..

Full post here

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Cagle

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LA Times

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McClatchy: …. Paul Ryan will leave sizable footprints on the 2012 presidential race. His controversial plan to overhaul the federal budget has been the chief talking point of the campaign since Mitt Romney put him on the GOP ticket last weekend.

…. According to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, “[Medicaid] Cutbacks might involve reduced eligibility … coverage of fewer services, lower payments to providers, or increased cost-sharing by beneficiaries – all of which would reduce access to care.”

Those cuts and the Ryan plan’s calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act would add tens of millions of low-income Americans to the ranks of the uninsured. It also would raise taxpayers’ bill for emergency room indigent care and cause an increase in private insurance rates.

…. Ryan’s plans for Medicare have caused a stir … In order to slow spending in the national health plan for seniors, Ryan would replace Medicare’s guarantee of coverage for new beneficiaries in 2023 with a flat payment to seniors known as a “voucher” or “premium support” ….

Ryan’s planned tax cuts favor the affluent. Those who earn more than $1 million annually would see an average tax cut of $265,000 and a 12.5 percent increase in after-tax income  … But at the lower end of the scale, people earning between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no tax cut …

…. All told, the Tax Policy Center said, Ryan’s tax plans would increase the deficit by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years. His call to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high-earning Americans would boost the deficit by an additional $5.4 trillion.

Full article here

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Cagle

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NYT Editorial: Three days after Paul Ryan became the presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate, he made a pilgrimage on Tuesday to the Las Vegas gambling palace of Sheldon Adelson, the casino tycoon who is spending more than any other donor to try to send Mr. Ryan and Mitt Romney to the White House. No reporters were allowed, perhaps because the campaign didn’t want them asking uncomfortable questions about the multiple federal investigations into the company behind Mr. Adelson’s wealth.

Those questions, though, aren’t going away, and neither are the ones about the judgment of Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan in drawing ever closer to a man whose business background should lead them to back away — fast. By not repudiating Mr. Adelson’s vow to spend as much as $100 million on their behalf, the two candidates seem more eager to keep the “super PAC” dollars flowing than to preserve the integrity of their campaign.

The issues swirling about Mr. Adelson’s business practices are not new and can hardly come as a surprise to the Romney campaign…. A careful presidential campaign would put distance between itself and a businessman like Mr. Adelson … By allowing Mr. Adelson to have such an outsize role in their race, the candidates themselves are placing a very risky bet.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

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NYT: As Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan fanned out across the country this week, glad-handing voters and donors, a smaller but no less important gathering was taking place on Capitol Hill: Mr. Romney’s transition team met on Tuesday with more than a dozen loyalists from the private and public sectors in space borrowed from a law office.

Mr. Romney’s transition team …. offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney’s approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital. The team is assessing the government and looking for ways to make it more efficient and streamlined…..

More here

The rest of the article didn’t interest me too much -  a transition team for something that will never happen :roll: – it was just this line:

“The team also offers a glimpse of what might be Mr. Romney’s approach to governing, functioning much like his old private equity firm, Bain Capital…..”

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Davenport, Iowa, August 15 (Scout Tufankjian for OFA)

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Morning everyone ;-)

16
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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Michael Tomasky: Well, leave it to Mitt Romney of all people to put Paul Ryan on his ticket and then move immediately thereafter to distance himself from the Ryan budget. It’s so typical of everything we’ve seen of this semi-vertebrate. Try to bathe in Ryan’s refracted glory to right wingers while trying to tell seniors hey, psst, this is not really my thing, get it? Unbelievable.

It’s important to keep track of the Medicare lies, as they’re bound to pile up. The basic deal is that the Romney-Ryan line about Obama cutting $716 billion while they’ll “strengthen” the program is, shockingly I know, a lie. Ryan’s Medicare program cuts the same $716 billion! And then it cuts even more. And then, Romney’s proposal, insofar as it can be divined because as usual the details are scant, would likely cut even more than that.

…. I trust you saw the USA Today/Gallup poll yesterday showing that Ryan is the second least-approved of vice-presidential choice in the last quarter century …. “If the Democrats handle this right” is always a big if, but if they do, this ticket has the makings of a disaster.

Full post here

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Jonathan Cohn (TNR): Have you seen Mitt Romney’s new ad on Medicare? …. It’s not very subtle. And it’s not very true.

By now, you should know all about the hypocrisy of Romney attacking Obama for cutting Medicare. Paul Ryan put the same cuts in his budget plan. And while Romney has insisted he’d restore them, his budget doesn’t have room for that. If he’s serious about his overall spending plan, then he’d surely have to cut Medicare by as much as Obama did. In fact, he’d probably have to cut it by even more. And that’s just in the first ten years.

Still, the power of this ad is the appeal to senior citizens: Obama is taking your money and giving it somebody else. That’s why Romney and his allies keep saying that Obama “raided” Medicare. But, under the Affordable Care Act, a chunk of the money that comes out of Medicare goes right back into it. It helps seniors pay for prescription drugs, filling in the donut hole from Medicare Part D. It also allows seniors to get preventative care without co-pays, which means they can get an annual wellness visit, cancer screenings, and the like with no out-of-pocket costs. In the first half of this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than a million seniors have saved an average of $629 on their drug bills because of this assistance.

…this business about “raiding” Medicare? It’s a naked appeal to selfishness and brazen misrepresentation of reality.

Full post here

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Cagle

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Michael Cohen (NY Daily News): …. if you really want to talk about who is playing the race card this year, it’s worth briefly revisiting the latest attack ad from the Romney campaign on welfare….

It might seem odd to the untrained observer that welfare is even being prominently featured in this campaign. It’s hardly an issue of pressing concern among voters. But of course, welfare never is and never has been just about policy; it’s really about politics and in particular, racial politics.

Romney accuses Obama of gutting welfare reform by granting waivers to state governments in how they choose to implement the law. It’s a charge that is completely without merit; spun from whole cloth; an invented attack line. But again, lying on the campaign trail about President Obama’s record is the rule, not the exception, for Mitt Romney.

… What’s most striking about the ad are the visuals – workers wiping their brow; working class Americans toiling away at manufacturing jobs. And coincidentally all the people in the ad … are white. This might not mean much, except for the fact that, as anyone who has followed American politics for the past 45 years knows, criticisms of the welfare system from the campaign trail have habitually always been used as racial code in attacks on Democrats for coddling blacks. It is the symbol of wasteful government spending, rewarding poor Americans for not working and creating a culture of dependency.

…. Indeed, this ad and in fact this whole line of attack is one of the most blatant uses of racial coding in a presidential campaign since the Willie Horton ad of 1988….

Full article here

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Iowa, August 15

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Cagle

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President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama return to the White House from Iowa, August 15

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Morning everyone ;-)

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PS

15
Aug
12

Rise and Shine

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Times Republican: As President Barack Obama walked across the Miller Middle School gym floor arriving at the podium and saying “Hello Marshalltown,” an historic moment was made Tuesday.

Obama is the first sitting president to visit Marshalltown since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.

A crowd of an estimated 555 people were on hand, including recent Marshalltown High School graduate TJ Miller, 18, who was the third one to shake the president’s hand when he entered the gym. Miller seemed surprised that it has been 72 years since a sitting president visited town.

“That’s kind of amazing,” Miller said. “That kind of proves that he’s a personable guy and that he cares.”

…. After his speech, Obama walked around the crowd, shaking hands with dozens of people and even had something special for 100-year-old Mabel Coulter, of Marshalltown. “I said to him this lady is 100 years old and he said anybody 100 years old deserves a kiss and he kissed her,” said Betty Wehrman, Coulter’s daughter.

…. Miller Principal Jacy Large got to talk to the president before his speech, along with other area educational leaders.

“For me, it was breathtaking,” Large said. “He was very down to earth.”

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President Obama kisses the forehead of 3-week-old Ethan Muhire during a campaign stop in Marshalltown, Iowa

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Today:

12:00: VP Biden delivers remarks at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va

1:25: President Obama & Michelle Obama deliver remarks at Alliant Energy Amphitheater, Dubuque, Iowa

6:35: President Obama & Michelle Obama deliver remarks at Village of East Davenport in Davenport, Iowa

7:50: Depart Moline, Ill. en route Joint Base Andrews

10:05: Arrive at the White House

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Cagle

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Paul Krugman: So, let me clarify what I believe is really going on in the choice of Paul Ryan as VP nominee. It is not about satisfying the conservative base, which was motivated anyway by Obama-hatred; it is not about refocusing on the issues, because R&R are both determined to avoid providing any of the crucial specifics about their plans. It is about exploiting the gullibility and vanity of the news media, in much the same way that George W. Bush did in 2000.

Like Bush in 2000, Ryan has a completely undeserved reputation in the media as a bluff, honest guy, in Ryan’s case supplemented by a reputation as a serious policy wonk. None of this has any basis in reality….

…. But a large part of the commentariat decided early on that they were going to cast Ryan in the role of Serious Honest Conservative, and have been very unwilling to reconsider that casting call in the light of evidence.

So that’s the constituency Romney is targeting: not a large segment of the electorate, but a few hundred at most editors, reporters, programmers, and pundits. His hope is that Ryan’s unjustified reputation for honest wonkery will transfer to the ticket as a whole.

So, a memo to the news media: you have now become players in this campaign, not just reporters. Mitt Romney isn’t seeking a debate on the issues; on the contrary, he’s betting that your gullibility and vanity will let him avoid a debate on the issues, including the issue of his own fitness for the presidency. I guess we’ll see if it works.

Full post here

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Cagle

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NYT Editorial: If you live in Butler or Warren counties in the Republican-leaning suburbs of Cincinnati, you can vote for president beginning in October by going to a polling place in the evening or on weekends. Republican officials in those counties want to make it convenient for their residents to vote early and avoid long lines on Election Day.

But, if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. Republicans on the county election board are planning to end early voting in the city promptly at 5 p.m., and ban it completely on weekends, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The convenience, in other words, will not be extended to the city’s working people.

The sleazy politics behind the disparity is obvious. Hamilton County, which contains Cincinnati, is largely Democratic and voted solidly for Barack Obama in 2008. So did the other urban areas of Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, where Republicans, with the assistance of the Ohio secretary of state, Jon Husted, have already eliminated the extended hours for early voting.

…. In Ohio, as in other states, the Republican Party is establishing a reputation for putting short-term political gain ahead of the most fundamental democratic rights.

Full editorial here

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Cagle

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Jonathan Capehart: …. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul claims that “President Obama’s campaign keeps sinking lower.” What was the offense? Vice President Biden said the word “chains.”

…. This is the campaign that seemed perfectly fine with Sununu saying he wished the president “would learn to be an American.” …. This is the campaign that continues to be a-okay with supporter Donald Trump’s racist birtherism …. This is the campaign that has been mute in the face of Rep. Allen West hyperbolic assertion that Obama would “rather you be his slave.”

…. Newt Gingrich is fond of calling Obama a “food stamp president.”A wicked phrase that has more racial baggage than a klansman’s El Camino … This is the campaign of the candidate who uttered the equally racially fraught “if they want more stuff from government … more free stuff” when talking to supporters in Montana about what he told the NAACP about his desire to repeal Obamacare.

This is the campaign that is running a completely dishonest ad about the Obama administration’s welfare policy…. …. this is the campaign of the candidate who could only muster, “It’s not the language I would have used” after Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut,” a “prostitute” and much worse…

So, rather than rail against what they claim is Obama’s “desperate campaign based on division and demonization,” the Romney campaign and Romney himself ought to spend more time cleaning up the garbage littering their glass house.

Full post here

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Morning everyone ;-)




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