Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People
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Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People
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.
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Voter ID laws could sway US elections - FT.com

Voter ID laws could sway US elections - FT.com | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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.

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What Romney tells us about our tax code

What Romney tells us about our tax code | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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.

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ALEC ROCK: If I Won The Lotto I Would Buy So Much Ad Space To Run This Video

ALEC ROCK: If I Won The Lotto I Would Buy So Much Ad Space To Run This Video | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Sometimes the truth about stuff (especially political stuff) really hurts. That is why there are Schoolhouse Rock inspired cartoons to help.
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I Owe Mitt an Apology

I Owe Mitt an Apology | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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.>>

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Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXVIII

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXVIII | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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."

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Revenge of the Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis: GOP "In a Tizzy" Over Budget Sequester

Revenge of the Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis: GOP "In a Tizzy" Over Budget Sequester | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

by STEVEN T. DENNIS, Roll Call

 

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]


Via Eric Byler
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Mitt Romney’s three-country overseas trip revealed a Republican candidate whose foreign-policy ideas are either mysterious or reckless.

Mitt Romney’s three-country overseas trip revealed a Republican candidate whose foreign-policy ideas are either mysterious or reckless. | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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>>

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Mitt Romney: Pandering on the world stage

Mitt Romney: Pandering on the world stage | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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. 

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Chutzpah, thy name is Mitt

Chutzpah, thy name is Mitt | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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.>>

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TALLAHASSEE: Feds: Florida’s voter purge violates federal law - Florida - MiamiHerald.com

The Justice Department says Florida never submitted the new “citizenship list maintenance practices” to them for approval.  The lastest in the battle between the Justice Dept and Fla. Governor Rick Scott.

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Republican Candidate In Arizona Accused Of Voter Fraud - Democratic Underground

Republican Candidate In Arizona Accused Of Voter Fraud - Democratic Underground | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

While Republicans trying to justify voter suppression bills continue to struggle to find any actual cases of voter fraud, once again a Republican politician may be the exception that proves the rule.  This candidate allegedly cast an absentee ballot for a long deceased girlfriend for several years running.  But, of course, Voter ID laws would do absolutely nothing to prevent this type of fraud, while existing voting laws are adequate to handle the extremely rare abuses that do occur.

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Citizens United & SuperPACs Take Flak on Senate Floor ...

Citizens United & SuperPACs Take Flak on Senate Floor ... | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
The hearing, entitled “Taking Back Our Democracy: Responding to Citizens United and the Rise of Super PACs”, featured Senators Bernard Sanders (RI), Tom Udall (NM), and Patrick Leahy (VT), as well as former Governor ...
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2008: 22 Percent of Early Voters Were Black, Brown Sues Florida Featured - Washington Informer

2008: 22 Percent of Early Voters Were Black, Brown Sues Florida Featured - Washington Informer | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
2008: 22 Percent of Early Voters Were Black, Brown Sues Florida FeaturedWashington InformerNew Florida Voting Laws Attract Lawsuit. "There is absolutely no explanation for restricting early voting other than intentional voter suppression, said Rep.
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Romney Camp: Obama Opposes Special Treatment For Service Members

Romney Camp: Obama Opposes Special Treatment For Service Members | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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.

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Mitt Romney’s “culture” war

Mitt Romney’s “culture” war | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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.>>

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Lawrence O'Donnell Analysis of Presidential Race Focuses on Taxes, Not Just Romney's But Everyone's

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

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A tough new Obama ad that — surprise! — is accurate

A tough new Obama ad that — surprise! — is accurate | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
FACT CHECKER | For the first time in this campaign, we give a Geppetto Checkmark to campaign ad.
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This Week in Dark Money

This Week in Dark Money | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Bad news for Karl Rove, the most expensive election ever, and Americans think a super-PAC is... what??
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When a candidate's numbers don't add up

When a candidate's numbers don't add up | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
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.>>

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Romney’s Tight Grip On Information Puts Campaign On Defensive Over Taxes

Romney’s Tight Grip On Information Puts Campaign On Defensive Over Taxes | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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.

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Romney clarifies: By “culture” he meant “everything else”

Romney clarifies: By “culture” he meant “everything else” | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

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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Study: Romney Plan Would Raise Taxes On 95% Of Americans

Study: Romney Plan Would Raise Taxes On 95% Of Americans | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Mitt Romney’s tax plan would be a boon for the wealthy, but a tax hike for 95% of Americans, according to a new nonpartisan study.  The average tax INCREASE for those making less than $200,000/year needed to pay for tax CUTS for the wealthiest 5% of Americans is $500 per household.  Great news for Tiffany, Rolex, yacht and private jet makers.  For most of us, not so much.

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Things in Politico That Don't Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze, Actually ... - Esquire (blog)

Things in Politico That Don't Make Me Want to Guzzle Antifreeze, Actually ... - Esquire (blog) | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

This short piece amusingly blasts the media's (specifically, Politico.com's) tendency to make a false equivalence between Democratic arguments about voter suppression and GOP claims that they are simply trying to prevent voter fraud.

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Countering Citizens United: Innovative Approaches by Civil Society ...

Countering Citizens United: Innovative Approaches by Civil Society ... | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
For example, Super PAC donors disclose the names of donors and donation amounts only infrequently: on a quarterly or monthly basis. Other political financing organizations, such as 501(c)(4)s, don't even necessarily have ...
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Voter Suppression and John Roberts' New World Order - Truthdig

Voter Suppression and John Roberts' New World Order - Truthdig | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
TruthdigVoter Suppression and John Roberts' New World OrderTruthdigBy Bill Blum. As the presidential campaign heads for the stretch, the political and legal battles over voter suppression are also coming to a head.
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