American elections feature an epic struggle between actual people trying to express their views in the face of fictional "people" (i.e., Corporations) trying to buy influence. I want to highlight topics such as corrupt money in politics, campaign lies and dishonesty, voter suppression.
Romney deplores government spending and attacks O for believing that Americans succeed in a joint effort. He also portrays himself as an Olympics savior for leading the effort to put on the 2002 Winter Olympics.
But in his 2001, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he testified: "Without question, we simply could not host Games in Salt Lake if it were not for the enormous spending and services of the federal government. When I came to the Games two years ago, following the revelations of bid impropriety, there was nothing which caused greater anxiety than whether or not we could count on this critical federal support," he said, before thanking both the Clinton and Bush administrations for being involved with his committee's planning efforts "every step of the way."
According to Romney at the time, former President George W. Bush specifically included Olympic items in the budget he submitted to Congress.
The testimony doesn't just contradict Romney's current position on the role of federal spending -- it also underscores the outside help he received in orchestrating the 2002 Olympics.
Several veterans slammed Mitt Romney on Monday for opposing and mischaracterizing an Obama campaign lawsuit which would expand early voting rights to veterans, cops, firefighters and all Ohio voters.
Jon Soltz, a veteran who now works with VoteVets.org, said that he was “appalled” by the narrative coming out of Ohio.
“Obviously with the narrative the Romney campaign is pushing, they probably don’t have a lot of people around them who have actually served,” Soltz said. “We also agree, like the president does, that someone who served in World World II in the Battle of the Bulge or someone who lost their legs in Vietnam has just as much of a right to vote as today’s veteran.”>>
A conservative group led by longtime political activist Ralph Reed has budgeted $10 million for a major 2012 election push to turn out the religious right and block a second term for President Barack Obama, a top executive with his organization told the Huffington Post.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition's effort, which will include voter registration drives at NASCAR races in Florida, Virginia and other key swing states, is part of a much broader attempt to reactivate millions of socially conservative voters to not only defeat Obama but help some favorite conservative congressional candidates.
Concerned Women for America, a Christian advocacy group, already has run $6 million in ads in six battleground states including New Hampshire and Wisconsin, warning that the White House-backed health care law might limit patient care and increase the federal deficit.
The Pennsylvania-based Let Freedom Ring quietly cobbled together a nonpartisan 2,000-member pastor network to spur voter registration efforts and is planning a multi-million dollar ad drive this fall focused on social, economic and foreign policy issues, according to Colin Hanna, president of the organization... [MORE]
Millions of US voters could be turned away at the ballot box in this November’s presidential election as new rules impose tough requirements for identification that observers say could lead to minorities and young people – traditionally more likely to vote Democrat -- being excluded.
The real question isn't whether Mitt Romney paid his taxes but whether we want to make an unfair tax code worse. Fascinating analysis of the interesting things that might be in Romney's tax returns -- and why the 1% (not just Mitt) does not want them revealed.
Presumptive nominee Mitt Romney is seemingly fixated on apologies.
<<A man who “retroactively retired” as CEO of Bain Capital can effortlessly adjust his positions. For a candidate who’s disgusted by apologies in his opponents—who hurls the accusation of apology as if it were a disqualifying offense to all that is wholesome—he sure walks back from, amends and revises the stuff he says a lot.
So since apologies are so important to Mr. Romney, I’d like to offer mine. I’ve said on numerous occasions (some of them broadcasted) that Mitt has been running for president for 20 years. I figured somewhere around 1992, Mitt, having witnessed his father’s failed run for president and his mother’s failed run for Senate, was watching the first Baby Boomer president (Bill Clinton) being sent to the White House. It was then he resolved that he, too, was going to run for president.
Now if that were true and his planning began the year Pope John Paul issued an apology for the Inquisition’s banning Galileo, Mitt would have made some different choices. His business practices would have been, candidly, more patriotic.
He wouldn’t have laid-off American workers, outsourcing jobs overseas, and then expect those same American workers to vote for him. He would have built something, instead of destroying corporations and getting rich off the charcoal. If Mitt Romney had been planning to run for president for 20 years, he would have anticipated releasing his tax returns (his father pioneered the practice) and made sure everything on there was something he could be proud of; returns he would happily release to the public.>>
After Mitt Romney returned from his truly horrid overseas trip this week, one of his campaign aides tried to put a positive spin on the candidate's inexplicable gaffes. The problem, the staffer said, is that Romney "has a tendency to speak his mind and to say what he believes.
"The idea is, the Republican presidential hopeful is bound to get in trouble once in a while because he's just such an honest, candid guy. To borrow an '08 frame, Romney's a "straight talker."
The Washington Post's Ruth Marcus could hardly believe the argument, calling it "about as knee-slapping a spin effort as I've ever seen." She added, " Mitt Romney has many strengths and many flaws. Being an unvarnished truth-teller does not fall in either category."
Republicans are fuming at the White House’s recent attempts to neutralize — for the moment — the hot potato of automatic defense cuts ahead of the November elections.
And the GOP is furiously looking for ways to hand back to President Barack Obama the politically sensitive issue of possible military contractor layoffs come January.
On Wednesday, the issue boiled over in a highly partisan House Armed Services Committee hearing on the roughly half a trillion dollars in defense cuts, the lack of specificity from the administration on exactly what they would mean and what the GOP considers a calculated effort by the White House to duck the political consequences until after the elections.
Republicans have been criticizing the Obama administration for months over the defense cuts agreed to in last year’s debt deal. The sequester was intended to bring both parties together to pass a major deficit reduction package, but has increasingly twisted the GOP into a pretzel.
That was the whole point, Democrats and the administration say. Their goal was to force the GOP to make a choice: They could fund defense or keep tax cuts for the rich, but not both. [MORE]
Mitt Romney is back home from his three-country world tour, and the question must be asked: Has any presidential candidate—has any American politician of stature—splashed in so many muddy puddles along the way?
<<This leads to another, more vital question that the Romney trip raises: Does the candidate believe the things he says? Has he thought through their implications? Or is he simply pandering to the audience of the moment? In other words, is he shallow, or is he cynical? It’s an important question for someone who’s campaigning hard to be president>>
Mitt promised to adhere to the unwritten rule not to challenge American foreign policy abroad. Yet, he could not stop himself from his overwhelming tendency to pander. The result: damaging Middle East diplomacy and requiring him to have to walk back everything he and his aides said. As the LATimes concluded: "Pandring is no substitute for statemenship." Mitt is obviously not ready to be he leader of the free world.
After reporting on President Obama's auto-industry rescue for a few years, I thought I'd heard just about every Republican argument. Mitt Romney, however, has a new attack that I, must admit, I didn't see coming.
In this ad, Romney uses a car dealership that was closed as part of the restructuring of GM to blame O's rescue plan. Nevermind that if Romney had his way, GM would have gone bankrupt and ALL GM dealers would have been shuttered.
<<the galling aspect of this is Romney's unmitigated chutzpah. The Republican initially condemned Obama's rescue policy. Then Romney changed his mind and took credit for Obama's rescue policy. Now, the former governor is back to condemning the policy he recently tried to say was his idea all along.>>
Our data does not support the thesis of a liberal media bias as it relates to Election 2012 coverage. If anything, our analysis suggests a media bias towards both Mitt Romney and Republicans. There are multiple data points included in our analysis.
Edward Kleinbard and Peter Canellos: Anyone who aspires to America's highest office should be thoroughly vetted.
This article contains educated speculation by two taxation specialists as to what might plausibly be in the tax returns that Romney -- contrary to the accepted practice of the past several decades -- refuses to disclose.
After spending the last several months paying attention to Mitt Romney's habitual dishonesty at a granular level, I've become largely inured to his more routine, casual lies. Some of the deliberate falsehoods are just too common to get upset about.
But he is telling a truly disgusting lie about O's attempt to restore in-person early voting rights for all Ohioans. <<Obama wants alleligible Ohio voters, including servicemen and women, to have the same ability to vote, which Romney says, in writing, means Obama is trying to "undermine" the troops' ability to vote.This is as loathsome a lie as Romney has told all year -- and given his record, that's not an easy threshold to meet.>>
The Romney campaign doubled down on their opposition to an Obama campaign lawsuit over early voting rights in Ohio Sunday. It's simple: GOP wants to limit early voting only to military members; Dems want to ensure that ALL Ohioans have the chance to vote in the three days preceding election day -- a right they had and took advantage of in 2008 before the GOP tried to take it away.
His comment about Palestinians wasn't a gaffe: It was part of his concerted efforts to demonize his opponents.
<<This is the same guy whose sense of what’s culturally right is so strong that it compels him to do what’s morally wrong. Standing in front of a group of wealthy Israeli donors and praising their cultural superiority was a surprisingly inept bit of politics, but the underlying message of bigotry is perfectly consistent with his American narrative as well. He didn’t say the Palestinians were inferior, just as he never says Obama’s race makes him un-American. He doesn’t have to.>>
Obama is opening large leads in key swing states. Lawrence O'Donnell theorizes that this is due to the taxation narrative -- not just Romeny's tax returns and what may be hidden within them, but also the impact of his tax plan on the majority of Americans who were not born into wealth. CLICK to WATCH
We'll know more about the electoral impact as time progresses, but yesterday's independent analysis of Mitt Romney's tax plan changed the nature of the debate.
<<When it comes to taxes, Romney is effectively making two points. The first is that he can offer a 20% across-the-board income tax rate cut, while also eliminating the estate tax on millionaires and billionaires, slashing corporate tax rates, and approving a capital-gains tax cut, too.
The second part of the argument sets the parameters of his promise: he can do all of this without raising the deficit or destroying basic American institutions, simply by eliminating various tax deductions and tax expenditures.
Which ones? We don't know; Romney refuses to say. We're just supposed to take his word for it, comfortable with the knowledge that the plan will work.
But yesterday, the charade fell apart. Tax-policy experts whom Romney himself has described as "objective" and "non-partisan" ran the numbers exactly as the Republican candidate asked, using the parameters the Republican candidate created for himself.
And the results confirmed what has long been assumed: either Romney will grow the deficit dramatically or he'll have to raise taxes on 95% of the population in order to give new tax breaks to the rich.
There's no way around this; the arithmetic is stubborn.>>
Mitt Romney has kept his economic policy close to the vest, leaving him in a difficult position as he tries to push back against a bombshell study claiming his proposals would increase taxes for 95% of Americans. To refute the study, he either has to release actual details -- which would show that he intends to cut popular middle class programs -- or he has to attack the credibility of the study. The problem is that he previously and repeatedly praised and relied upon the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center as an "objective, third party" group.
When Romney said Palestinians had the wrong culture, he just meant they don't love freedom enough,” which seemed to imply that he believes that Palestinians are just sort of naturally inclined to live under military occupation. (This didn’t seem to bug that many Israelis, even though it does suggest that he believes they are… innately good with money, let’s say.) This was Romney’s interpretation of an argument put forth by a historian named David Landes, who wrote a book called “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations.”
Romney basically got the book completely wrong. (As Jonathan Chait says, completely missing the point of good books is a habit of Romney’s. I think that’s just the way the corporate executive class reads non-fiction, actually.) For Romney, it simply reinforced his natural belief that material success is a reflection of moral superiority. Countries are rich because they have more virtuous cultures!
[And, he clearly acts as if he believes rich people are better off because they have a better work ethic and aren't looking for "free stuff" like poor people are. Nothing to do with being born into power and privilege. Do Americans need any more evidence that this guy is simply not like them?]
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