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.
Curated by Daniel Mayeda
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McCain on Citizens United

June 14, 2012 - John McCain, in an interview with PBS News Hour's Judy Woodruff, says what he really thinks about the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United de...

Via Michael Charney
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Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost Huge Amount: Study

Debt-Ceiling Battle Cost Huge Amount: Study | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
The 2011 argument about the debt ceiling cost the U.S. government about $1.3 billion in extra borrowing costs, according to a new study. And that's just the costs that they bothered to count.

 

Gee, thanks, Congress.  And, by Congress, I mostly mean Tea Partiers.

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Romney, Obama, and Media Bias — The Monkey Cage

Romney, Obama, and Media Bias — The Monkey Cage | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
So this Politico story by Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen is making the rounds.  How about we move beyond the claims and counter-claims of Democrats and Republicans to some actual data?

 

<<What [atual data] shows is that every point in the past 10 months, Obama has received more negative coverage than positive coverage. The tone of Romney coverage has shifted depending on primary campaign events, but, as of the end of April, positive coverage still outweighed negative coverage. At that point, Romney received about as much positive coverage as Obama received negative coverage.


Now, these data don’t speak to the specific subject matter of the Politico story, which focuses on a couple of stories about Romney that aired recently in the New York Times and Washington Post. But, in the news media as a whole, the PEJ data suggest that there hasn’t been “blatant bias” toward Obama.>>

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Editing Obama

Editing Obama | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Comics, Political Cartoons & Editorial Commentary on the latest news and events around the world...
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Marginalization of Teachers, Police, Firefighters, Public Workers Genius For Right Wing Policies

Marginalization of Teachers, Police, Firefighters, Public Workers Genius For Right Wing Policies | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

<<Because all these people provide all these services we want and need, we would normally have a rather large fondness for them in the aggregate. Moreover we would rightfully want them compensated well.

This is anathema to Right Wing vision of government. They do not want a public sector with teachers, police, firefighters, and other public employees. They want to relegate all these services to private corporations.>>

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Mitt Romney: Lazy Liar

Mitt Romney: Lazy Liar | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

While all politicians shade the truth, this author argues that Mitt's campaign's lies are different in kind from the usual distortions, in that the lies are so easily disproven and when caught in the lies, they keep on telling them.

 

What explains this?  Could it be that Repubs are simply less picky about the truth?  that they are more willing to believe whatever is thrown their way and/or to dismiss criticism of the message as being part of the mythical "liberal media"?

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Romney Tax Returns: What Could Be Worse Than the Speculation?

Romney Tax Returns: What Could Be Worse Than the Speculation? | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

A few guesses about what he doesn’t want us to see.

 

by Matthew Yglesias, The Washington Post

 

Mitt Romney’s campaign is taking heat for declining to disclose more than the two most recent years’ worth of his tax information. Even conservative commentators such as The Washington Post’s George Will and the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol are saying it’s past time to come clean. Of course, members of Romney’s team, unlike their friends on the outside, presumably know what the documents would reveal, so we should probably assume that they have fairly good reason not to release them. Could the criticism Romney would suffer over the contents of the returns be worse than the criticism he’s getting for not disclosing them? Here are some guesses about legal — but potentially embarrassing — things in Romney’s tax returns:

 

Profits from the financial crash

 

The vast majority of American families lost wealth in the housing bust of 2007-09 and the financial crisis that came in the middle of it, and millions lost jobs or earnings. But it was possible for a canny or lucky investor to profit from the chaos — especially for a wealthy individual with access to unusual financial products. Maybe Romney made a lot of money through bets on skyrocketing foreclosures or well-timed investments in bailed-out banks. There’s nothing wrong with smart financial planning, but making money on the crash could be awkward for a politician. There’s a tension between promising to make things better and profiting off human misfortune.

 

A low tax bill because of the crash

 

There’s also the possibility that Romney’s investments lost some value during the crash years and that he combined this with aggressive exploitation of loopholes to pay a strikingly low tax bill. One rumor was that he managed to pay nothing in taxes, something his campaign has denied. But would paying $2.75 really look all that different from paying $0? A super-low tax bill would turn Romney into the poster child for President Obama’s very popular “Buffett rule” proposal, which aims for a minimum tax level on high-income individuals.

 

Swiss bank amnesty

 

We know from the tax documents Romney has released that he once had a Swiss bank account, a fact that the Obama campaign has played up in ads. But his 2010 tax return did not include a Report on Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts form (“FBAR” to accountants) detailing his offshore investments. In 2009, the Swiss government began to relent on its traditional banking secrecy rules, and banks turned over information about tens of thousands of American tax scofflaws to the U.S. government. To help deal with the crush, the IRS staged a limited-time amnesty in 2009 for American citizens with previously non-disclosed foreign accounts to pay their back taxes without penalty. It’s possible that earlier tax documents or the 2010 FBAR would show that Romney took advantage of the amnesty. While legal, this would amount to a problematic confession of past wrongdoing. [MORE]

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Why Is the Ruling Class So Desperate? VIDEO Shows "We Live In Exponential Times"

Watch this video to understand why the "Citizens United" decision of 2010 and the Tea Party television productions of 2009 were acts of desperation. 

 

by ERIC BYLER, Coffee Party USA

 

I have argued that "Citizens United" decision and Tea Party campaign were both counter measures, and in fact acts of desperation, in response to two global forces that, even in their early stages, have shown themselves to be much more powerful: (1) a revolution in communications technology, and (2) accelerating demographic and cultural shift. 

 

It's beginning to look like the Tea Party narrative and "Citizens United" may backfire.  Conservative thinkers and mainstream Republicans are lamenting the One Percent Media/Tea Party strategy in op-ed's such as this one by David Brooks. Others, such as former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins, are quoted literally cursing a One Percent Media-dominated approach to electioneering in articles like this one by Jon Heilemann. And, although the connection between "Citizens United" and the first ever Super PAC Presidential Primary is not yet fully apparent to the public at large, it is being written about widely, and, even our most deeply partisan friends in the Republican party are beginning to question whether the handful of wealthy families bankrolling the four remaining presidential candidates really have the People's best interest at heart.  [MORE]

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Where Obama Shines

Where Obama Shines | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
In a world characterized more by anxiety than overt conflict, President Obama’s situation-specific foreign policy strategy has been nimble and effective.
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Obama raises 47% from small donors, Romney 22% as Super-PACs dominate campaign

Obama raises 47% from small donors, Romney 22% as Super-PACs dominate campaign | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Excerpt from article by DAN  Dan Eggen and T.W. Farnam, Washington Post

 

Obama, whose fundraising juggernaut in 2008 became political legend, has had a harder time raising money this time and has been outraised by Romney for two straight months. The presumptive Republican nominee and affiliated party committees had $170 million cash on hand at the end of June, compared with $147 million for Obama and the Democrats.

 

Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton were outraised by their challengers, but Obama campaign officials say they are particularly worried because of an influx of money from conservative groups that can amass unlimited amounts. Last week, for example, the Obama operation spent twice as much as Romney on advertising but was still outspent by $1.9 million when independent groups were added to the mix, according to data from Kantar Media/CMAG.

 

The reports filed Friday reflect two distinct fundraising approaches: Obama relies more heavily on smaller contributions and keeps most of his cash under the control of his campaign, while Romney focuses more on high-dollar donors and has most of his money stashed at the Republican National Committee.

 

Even so, Romney was able to increase the amount he raised from small donors, considered an important measure of grass-roots support. In June, his campaign and the RNC raised 22 percent of their money from donors who gave less than $200 at a time, up from 14 percent a month earlier. That’s still less than half the rate of Obama and the Democratic National Committee, which have raised 47 percent of their money from such donors.

 

Obama on Friday identified more than 100 new fundraisers in the second quarter who had bundled together $50,000 or more in contributions. The full list includes 638 bundlers who have raised at least $143 million for the campaign and the DNC, records show. Romney has not released a list of his bundlers. [MORE]


Via Eric Byler
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GOP senators block top Obama jobs initiative - CNN.com

GOP senators block top Obama jobs initiative - CNN.com | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the No.1 item on the president's congressional "to-do-list," refusing to allow a vote on a bill that would give tax breaks for companies that "insource" jobs to the U.S.
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Scalia Disagrees With Republicans on Disclosure

Scalia Disagrees With Republicans on Disclosure | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Defending his role in the Citizens United case that opened the floodgates to overwhelming spending by corporate interests, Justice Scalia said there is nothing to fear from unlimited political spending in elections -- so long as the American people know where the money is coming from.

 

But, the GOP is blocking the Disclose Act that would provide the people with that information.  If we can't have disclosure, then even the purported intellectual underpinnings of Citizens United crumble.

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Study: People Who Don't Like Blacks More Likely To Support Voter ID Laws

Study: People Who Don't Like Blacks More Likely To Support Voter ID Laws | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
A new study has found that support for voter ID laws, especially among those who lean Democratic, is linked to one's feelings toward African Americans.
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Team Obama Sees Pattern In Romney Taking Obama Out Of Context

Team Obama Sees Pattern In Romney Taking Obama Out Of Context | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Back in November, 2011, Mitt Romney's presidential campaign proudly took President Obama out of context in one of its first web ads.  Now, despite the press calling him on his distortions, Romney is doing it again.  No shame.

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Justice Department Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law

Justice Department Investigates Pennsylvania Voter ID Law | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has launched a formal investigation into whether Pennsylvania’s voter ID law discriminates against minorities, TPM has learned.
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Q & A with a Romney Surrogate

Q & A with a Romney Surrogate | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
Comics, Political Cartoons & Editorial Commentary on the latest news and events around the world...
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The Two Key Differences Between The Democratic And Republican Tax Plans (CHART)

The Two Key Differences Between The Democratic And Republican Tax Plans (CHART) | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Not only does the GOP’s tax plan extend tax cuts for wealthy Americans, it also would actually allow middle class taxes to go UP slightly. The Democrats’ plan accomplishes the opposite. And the net result?

 

<<the Democrats’ plan would have a significantly more salutary impact on the deficit next year — over $42 billion in 2013 — than the GOP plan.>>

 

Since the Repubs and Romney still refuse to document how they intend to cut the deficit, all of their talk about the dangers of the deficit are revealed to be blather and cover for their true aim: to cater to the richest Americans at any and all costs.

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Wealth doesn't trickle down -- it just floods offshore, research reveals

<<The world's super-rich have taken advantage of lax tax rules to siphon off at least $21 trillion, and possibly as much as $32 trillion, from their home countries and hide it abroad – a sum larger than the entire American economy.>>

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Mitt Romney - Money has too much influence in politics

During his 1994 Senate campaign, Mitt says that the influence of money on politics is too great. He calls for a campaign spending cap and the elimination of PACs.

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Mitt Romney’s misleading attack ad

Romney's ad omits the subject ("roads and bridges") in falsely suggesting that when O said that a business owner did not build "that," someone else did, O meant "his own business."

 

Once again, the fact that most of the media have failed to call out Romney to acount for this deliberate distortion belies the notion of a "liberal media" that is supporting O's re-election.

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Tea Party Demands Obama Prove He’s Not A Gay Crack-Head (Not An Onion Story)

Tea Party Demands Obama Prove He’s Not A Gay Crack-Head (Not An Onion Story) | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

To combat calls by both Dems and Repubs for Romney's tax returns, the Tea Party Nation head demands that O rebut a convicted con artist and release college transcripts.  In so doing, he falls back on dog whistle racism.  Crack?  Well, you how black people like crack.  O got into Harvard?  Couldn't have been his intelligence; must have been because he's black.

 

Of course, not all Tea Partiers are racist.  But when the leaders are, you can't credibly deny that there is a substantial racist element in their midst.

 

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The Daily Banter » Five Million Registered Voters will be Hindered by Voter ID Laws

The Daily Banter » Five Million Registered Voters will be Hindered by Voter ID Laws | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

Milions of people, including elderly, non-drivers holding actual (by now tattered) voter registration cards after having voted for the past 75 years, may be denied the right to vote.

 

Romney likes to talk about un-American.  THAT is un-American.

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America’s grand tax lie

America’s grand tax lie | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it
President Obama, Mitt Romney, the media -- why can't any of them tell the truth about tax cuts?
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Reclaiming What It Means to Be an American

Reclaiming What It Means to Be an American | Election by Actual (Not Fictional) People | Scoop.it

<<I was born in the Displaced Persons camp of Bergen-Belsen in Germany in 1948. From the day I became a naturalized US citizen, I have been as much an American as anyone. *** It is depressingly disconcerting, therefore, to hear the cacophony of voices from the political right accusing the President of the United States of not being "American," of being somehow foreign.>>

 

Bravo!

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