Today (all times ET):
11:0: President Obama departs the White House
1:35: Arrives Des Moines, Iowa
2:20: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Living History Farms, Urbandale, Iowa
4:25: Departs Des Moines
5:10: Arrives Sioux City, Iowa
7:30: Delivers remarks at a campaign event at Morningside College, Sioux City
9:20: Departs Sioux City
10:40: Arrives Denver
(Will double-check the schedule, not 100% sure about the times)
Des Moines Register: Barack Obama’s election-year effort to rock the vote in Iowa continues this afternoon in Urbandale, where he’ll literally be rockin’ the suburbs.
The president’s second visit to the state this week will resemble a summer music festival, treating an outdoor crowd at Living History Farms not only to a political speech but also performances by indie band the National and alternative-rock hero Chris Cornell.
More here (thanks Dotster)
NYT: Republicans in Texas and Florida have been in the vanguard of the pernicious, widespread efforts to suppress voting by Hispanics and blacks. Fortunately, federal courts are seeing these efforts for what they are: a variation on the racist laws that disenfranchised millions before those tactics were outlawed by the Voting Rights Act.
A three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on Thursday unanimously rejected Texas’s voter ID law, which required court approval to take effect. The court described the law, known as SB 14, as “the most stringent in the country.”
ThinkProgress: Yesterday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited Louisiana, where much of the state was flooded due to Hurricane Issac. While visiting the Pelican State, however, Romney had some odd advice for one victim of the hurricane who had lost her home due to the flooding. According to Jodie Chiarello, a suddenly homeless resident of the state, Romney advised her to “go home and call 211.” 211 is a telephone number in Louisiana that provides information to residents about health and human services programs.
Dana Milbank: At this week’s Republican National Convention, a pair of attendees found a novel game to play: They threw nuts at a black camera operator for CNN and told her, “This is how we feed animals.”
Convention officials evicted the tossers, who, like almost all of the delegates in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, were white. The Romney campaign condemned the antics as “deplorable” and “reprehensible.”
It’s good to know that some behavior on the far right exceeds Mitt Romney’s tolerance, but this episode of “animal” feeding was, well, peanuts compared with the broader issues restraining racial politics in the party. In his acceptance speech Thursday night, Romney became more than the Republican Party’s nominee for president; he became its zookeeper. To win the presidency and to become successful in the Oval Office, Romney must keep the animals in his own party in their enclosures — and that’s no easy task.
Full article here
ThinkProgress: As Republicans gathered for the final day of their national convention here in Tampa, a small but vocal group of doctors, medical students and patients marched in the heat to deliver thousands of petitions in support of the Affordable Care Act.
One of the marchers, Kenya Wheeler, was a grad student last year when he was diagnosed with CNS lymphoma, a form of blood cancer in his brain. Despite being covered through his university’s insurance plan, Wheeler quickly hit the lifetime cap on his coverage. On Thursday, he marched as a representative for thousands of other patients who stand to benefit when the lifetime cap provision of Obamacare goes into effect in 2014.
More here (Thanks Desertflower)
NYT: For all the finger-pointing about Clint Eastwood’s rambling conversation with an empty chair, the most bizarre, head-scratching 12 minutes in recent political convention history were set in motion by Mitt Romney himself and made possible by his aides, who had shrouded the actor’s appearance in secrecy.
…. Eastwood’s convention cameo was cleared by Mr. Romney’s top message mavens, Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens, who drew up talking points that Mr. Eastwood included, in his own way. They gave him a time limit and flashed a blinking red light that told him his time was up. He ignored both. The actor’s decision to use a chair as a prop was last-minute, and his own.
“The prop person probably thought he was going to sit in it,” a baffled senior aide said on Thursday night.
Mr. Eastwood’s rambling and off-color appearance just moments before the biggest speech of Mr. Romney’s life instantly became a Twitter and cable-news sensation, which drowned out much of the usual postconvention analysis that his campaign had hoped to bask in.
It also startled and unsettled Mr. Romney’s top advisers and prompted a blame game among them. “Not me,” an exasperated-looking senior adviser said when asked who was responsible for Mr. Eastwood’s speech. In interviews, aides called the speech “strange” and “weird.” One described it as “theater of the absurd.”
Full article here
There’s an extraordinary piece in the Washington Post today by their supposed fact-checker, Glenn Kessler. Here’s a taste:
“For all the outrage (on the left) about misrepresentations and misinformation in Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech accepting the Republican nomination for vice president, my reaction was: par for the course…. We are, of course, talking about a political convention. The whole point is for the party to put its best foot forward to the American people. By its very nature, that means downplaying unpleasant facts, highlighting the positive and knocking down the opposing team….
…. Ryan was so quickly labeled a fibber by the Obama campaign that one suspects it was a deliberate effort to tear down his reputation as a policy expert, similar to using attacks on Romney’s Bain Capital record to undermine his reputation as a skilled business executive….”
I don’t even know where to start with this, a ‘fact-checker’ who dismisses Ryan’s mangling of the ‘facts’ – ie lies – as “par for the course” because the Democrats will probably lie next week too? What?
And Ryan’s lies were simply about him putting his “best foot forward to the American people” and “downplaying unpleasant facts”?
And look at that line again: “Ryan was so quickly labeled a fibber by the Obama campaign that one suspects it was a deliberate effort to tear down his reputation as a policy expert”
This is just mindblowing from a Washington Post reporter held up to be Mr Impartial. Ryan’s speech was packed with lies, that has been proved repeatedly, yet Kessler’s more fixated on the fact that the Obama campaign called him out on his lies in a devilish plot to “tear down his reputation as a policy expert“?
‘Journalism’ doesn’t get much more dishonest or disgusting than this.
“But for the sacrifices you made, and the courage of the President, all those GM plants would have closed. The 200,000 auto workers who’ve been added to the employment rolls would not be working. And a million jobs would have been lost.”
– Vice President Biden on the auto industry recover