2:25 President Obama is interviewed by regional television (from Jacksonville, Fla., Norfolk, Va. and San Diego, Cal.) and a newspaper (the Virginia-Pilot, which covers the Norfolk and Hampton Roads areas)
6:15: The President and First Lady have dinner with winners of a campaign contest
Daily Beast (August 11): Paul Ryan’s Extreme Abortion Views …. on abortion and women’s health care, there isn’t much daylight between Ryan and, say, Michele Bachmann ….. He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health….. More here
TPM (August 19): Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign : “Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement. A Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape”
JSOnline: Odious remarks by GOP Missouri Senate candidate Cong. Todd Akin about how few pregnancies result from “legitimate rape” have done more than outrage people across the country and doom Akin’s bid to move up from the House.
It motivated the Romney campaign – already trailing among women voters in recent polls – to distance itself from Akin by assuring voters that Romney and Paul Ryan should they win in November, would not oppose raped women’s access to abortion.
“Governor Romney and Congressman (Paul) Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape,” Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.
You’d probably say that sounds reasonable and humane – except it was just three days ago that PolitiFact devoted a lot of space to this issue and found that while Romney backed abortions in cases of incest and rape, Ryan did not.
…. I think this will be a huge issue in the campaign. I don’t see how Romney and Ryan can sell this to the base, which will see it as a Ryan sellout or forced surrender ordered by Romney – a former moderate whom the base has never embraced.
…. Ryan’s roll out – embarrassed and side-tracked last week over his duplicity in blasting the Obama stimulus while soliciting its funds, then conceding his denials about the funding solicitations were indeed inaccurate – is unraveling more quickly than Sarah Palin’s.
Michael Tomasky: Todd Akin did not come up with this idea of “legitimate rape” on his own …. it’s been floating around in the mite-infested right-wing air since the 1980s….
…. If you’ve been reading about this since yesterday, you’ve probably come across the figure of 32,000 pregnancies per year in the United States that result from rape….
I have to say that number astonished and sickened me …. I read elsewhere that 1,870 women are raped every day in the land of the free. Do the math. The numbers check out. Holy crap. That’s like war. We’re living amidst a war. And what does Akin propose to do about it – and, for that matter, Paul Ryan?
…. Michelle Goldberg was on this case in January 2011, writing about HR 3, the bill that sought to make a distinction between “forcible rape” and “statutory rape” …. Two of the original cosponsors? Akin and Ryan.
Will this remark put Ryan on the spot? It damn well better. How many of those 1,870 women raped every day does he think weren’t really raped?
Washington Post editorial: …. Mitt Romney promises to lower everyone’s income tax rate without reducing revenue. This sounds terrific. Why didn’t we think of it sooner?
Mr. Romney says that he can achieve this seemingly magical result by “broadening the base” for income tax collection. This, too, sounds great. In principle, everyone favors “broadening the base,” also known as closing loopholes. But everyone favors closing someone else’s loopholes: those of oil companies, say, or of plutocrats who park their money in the Cayman Islands.
…. Recently the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center showed that Mr. Romney’s plan would by necessity help the rich and hurt the middle class …. Romney took strong issue with this conclusion. “They made garbage assumptions and they reached a garbage conclusion,” he said….
…. If these are “garbage assumptions,” why doesn’t Mr. Romney let us in on his own?….
In reality, his principles are mutually exclusive: You can’t simultaneously lower tax rates, take in as much money as before and protect the middle class …. It’s reasonable to assume that his cuts would, as did President Bush’s, worsen the nation’s deficit.
Until he’s willing to explain how he would avoid such a result, he has little standing to criticize Mr. Obama’s fiscal shortcomings.
Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades. Now, declared writer after writer, we’re going to have a real debate about the nation’s fiscal future. This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan’s true constituency is the commentariat, which years ago decided that he was the Honest, Serious Conservative, whose proposals deserve respect even if you don’t like him.
But he isn’t and they don’t. Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket.
…. The question now is whether Mr. Ryan’s undeserved reputation for honesty and fiscal responsibility can survive his participation in a deeply dishonest and irresponsible presidential campaign.
…. So will the choice of Mr. Ryan mean a serious campaign? No, because Mr. Ryan isn’t a serious man — he just plays one on TV.
President Barack Obama has interview prep in the Oval Office, July 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: ….. President Obama spoke from the East Room of the White House this afternoon, making his case for extending a middle-class tax break. As was the case with Obama’s moves on immigration and marriage equality, it’s fair to say the president’s proposal is … clever.
…. Obama reminded the public of the taxes he’s already cut – “I wanted to repeat that because sometimes there’s a little misinformation out there and folks get confused about it,” he said – and highlighted the fact that trickle-down economics hasn’t worked. Obama added that the policy might look a lot different if the nation was still running a surplus.
But the meat of the pitch was making the case for extending lower tax rates for another year for those making under $250,000.
….Obama and his team don’t seem afraid of this fight in the slightest. On the contrary, they feel like they have the stronger hand — if Republicans give in and approve the president’s plan, Obama gets the political benefit; if Republicans are intransigent and fight for the rich, Obama gets the political benefit.
Greg Sargent: …. Today Obama will try to go on offense on what Dems hope will be a defining issue of the campaign: Taxes on the rich. He will announce in a Rose Garden speech that he wants Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts for those under $250,000.
Republicans are already bashing the move as a threatened tax hike on “small businesses.” (They said the same thing about proposed tax hikes on those over $1 million; they’ll make this claim no matter what the cutoff is.) But this is a fight the Obama camp wants. It goes directly to the way the Obama team hopes swing voters will perceive this election: As a battle over which side really has the middle class’s interests at heart.
Obama has said the single greatest obstacle to bipartisan compromise on how to move the country forward is the GOP refusal to entertain even a penny more in taxes from the rich, and has called on voters to break that “stalemate.” This move is designed to highlight the cause of this stalemate — to deepen this contrast with Republicans, by putting them in the position of opposing the middle class tax cut extension unless it’s paired with an extension of tax cuts for the rich, revealing whose interests the GOP is protecting.
Paul Krugman: Once upon a time a rich man named Romney ran for president. He could claim, with considerable justice, that his wealth was well-earned, that he had in fact done a lot to create good jobs for American workers. Nonetheless, the public understandably wanted to know both how he had grown so rich and what he had done with his wealth; he obliged by releasing extensive information about his financial history.
But that was 44 years ago. And the contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed.
President Barack Obama returns to the White House from the Los Cabos G-20 Summit, June 20
Sensible people, of course, ignore polls at this point ….. so, I’m sure most of the media will ignore this one:
Bloomberg: Barack Obama has opened a significant lead over Mitt Romney in a Bloomberg National Poll … Obama leads Romney 53% to 40% among likely voters …
The survey shows Romney has yet to repair the damage done to his image during the Republican primary. Thirty-nine percent of Americans view him favorably, about the same as when he announced his presidential candidacy last June, while 48% see him unfavorably – a 17% point jump during a nomination fight dominated by attacks ads. A majority of likely voters, 55%, view him as more out of touch with average Americans compared with 36% who say the president is more out of touch….
……. Beyond Romney’s low favorability ratings, the poll reflects perceived weaknesses for the Republican challenger both in style and substance. Only 31 percent of likely voters say they’d want to sit next to Romney on a long airplane flight, compared with 57 percent who prefer Obama as a seat mate.
Washington Post: The seven Bain Capital founders believed they were so destined to make millions that the young men posed for a photo on the grand marble staircase of Boston’s Copley Place with $10 and $20 bills popping out of their shirt collars, tucked behind their eyeglasses and clutched in their teeth.
… At the 1984 photo shoot, Romney and his partners were celebrating not only their new company but also the ethos of their era …. years later, as Romney pursued the presidency, the photo surfaced on the front page of the Boston Globe, part of the newspaper’s 2007 biographical series about Romney…
“I was stunned when I saw it,” said Graham, who was not in the picture. “I was upset. I thought it was tacky. I thought it was inappropriate. They must’ve done it in a moment of giddiness.”
…. Robert Shrum, a longtime Democratic strategist … called it “an iconic image of what could be perceived of greed or a total focus only on the bottom line and making a buck. That’s why it’s so powerful. It’s iconic.”
… The founders came to Bain from different backgrounds, yet they were a homogenous group. Each was white and male, and by 1994, a decade after the company started, there were still no black or Hispanic employees among the 40 professionals and eight support staff members, the Boston Globe reported at the time.
Washington Post: Republicans’ emerging problem with Latino voters looks even worse when you factor in the electoral college.
A look at Latino population trends in swing and key red states shows just how ominous the GOP’s future could be if it doesn’t do something about its current struggles with Latino voters.
We noted yesterday that nationwide population and minority voting trends paint a haunting picture for the GOP. But the problem is particularly acute because of the states where Latino growth has been strongest — particularly several key swing states and red states that Democrats are hoping to put in play in the coming elections…..
Washington Post: The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday.
The report, prepared by Senate Democrats and reviewed by nonpartisan tax experts, marks the first attempt to quantify the trade-offs inherent in the GOP tax package, which would replace the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent.
…. The net result: Married couples in that income range would pay an additional $2,700 annually to the Internal Revenue Service, on top of the tax increases that are scheduled to hit every American household when the George W. Bush-era cuts expire at the end of the year.
Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.
Denver Post: First lady Michelle Obama will speak in Colorado today as part of an outreach campaign aimed at grassroots supporters.
…. she will start the two-stop state tour at Arapahoe High School in Centennial at 10:30 a.m. and will then travel to the Creative Arts Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo around 1:40 p.m.