Posts filed under ‘2012 Election’
Uploaded to Instagram today by Mitt Romney’s son Tagg:
Just a regular guy.
Republicans Were Against Medicare Cuts Before They Were For Them Before They Were Against Them Before They Were For Them
That title is no joke. Read on:
What Do You do When One Party is This Dishonest?
We’re still waiting for a full rollout of House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s Republican budget, but there’s confirmation now that it will once again rely heavily on retaining the Medicare cuts passed in the Affordable Care Act (even as Ryan’s budget repeals the rest of the law).
[E]veryone is under-appreciating just how outrageous this is. For the second time in a row, Paul Ryan and the Republicans have run a national election campaign (the 2012 presidential election) in which the main theme was bashing the Democrats … for a policy which Republicans support — and indeed are making a key part of the most important policy blueprint that they will roll out this year.
This is no garden-variety flip-flop. It’s a fundamental decision to govern one way and campaign the exact opposite way.
This is one of those cases where it’s so audacious that reporters just don’t want to believe it.
I really can’t think of any comparably dishonest episode in recent American political history. To base not one but two campaigns on attacking the other party for a policy which, between elections, they support…it’s well beyond chutzpah. Oh, and that’s without even beginning to reckon with the fact that the House GOP’s larger Medicare plans call for much bigger long-term cuts than Obamacare made.
1) This wouldn’t happen if Republicans knew, for sure, without a doubt, that the media would report this kind of bait and switch clearly and repeatedly.
2) We’ve got to invent a new word. Outrageous, audacious, dishonest and chutzpah don’t describe what the Republicans are doing now, and have been doing for years. I guess the big takeway is that they’re willing to lie to the American people and tell them during campaigns they’ll do the exact opposite of what they intend to do if elected.
Way to corrode the democratic process guys.
What a difference four months makes:
House Republicans will preserve Medicare cuts that their presidential nominee loudly denounced last year and accept tax increases they sternly opposed just months ago in a new tax-and-spending blueprint that would bring the federal budget into balance by 2023, senior Republicans said Wednesday.
This from the Southern Poverty Law Center (fantastic group):
The Year in Hate and Extremism
Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.
While the number of hate groups remained essentially unchanged last year — going from 1,018 in 2011 to 1,007 in 2012 — the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) count of 1,360 Patriot groups in 2012 was up about 7% from the 1,274 active in 2011. And that was only the latest growth spurt in the Patriot movement, which generally believes that the federal government is conspiring to take Americans’ guns and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global “one-world government.” From a mere 149 organizations in 2008, the number of Patriot groups shot up to 512 in 2009, jumped again to 824 in 2010, and then skyrocketed to 1,274 in 2011 before hitting their all-time high last year.
Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again.
The Hysteria Mounts
Even before the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, gun and ammunition sales shot up in the wake of the re-election of the country’s first black president, the result of shrill conspiracy theories about Obama’s secret plans to confiscate Americans’ guns. When the killings actually did spark gun control efforts that clearly had not been in the Obama administration’s plans, the reaction on the political right was so harsh that it seemed to border on hysteria.
I know the dates and numbers on the graph are hard to read. Apologies. Go to the “More…” link immediately above to see a larger version.
Remember NASA’s “Mohawk Guy?”
It’s been quite a six months for Bobak Ferdowsi, the NASA flight director on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity mission, whose aggressively mohawked hair — and otherwise charming appearance — first attracted attention last summer. Now, he is going to be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama in her box at President Obama’s State of the Union address.
“I found out less than a week ago, honestly, that I’d been invited to the State of the Union,” he said. “I freaked out for a few minutes, just needed a moment to gather myself. It’s really cool, I’m really excited, yet again, to represent NASA and JPL and all of the work that everybody here does. It’s really amazing to me. Sometimes I feel unworthy in some ways to do all this. I think there’s so many talented and fun and amazing people on the project that I worked on, but all across our place. I just feel very lucky to get to do stuff like this.”
As for what he is most excited about, he told BuzzFeed, “I’m really excited to get to represent NASA. I’m excited that people have been excited and watching and paying attention. I am excited to — like anyone would be — to meet the First Family. A little giddy with excitement there, I don’t think I have to hide that. It’s really cool.”
The hair colors Tuesday night will not be missed. Bright red and blue streaks run along the top of his freshly coiffed mowhawk [sic].
Republicans are going to hate this because — SCIENCE — but what better way to say it’s cool to be smart?
And I can’t wait to hear what Fox does with it: OMG, there’s one of the Obama’s hippy Muslim friends!
I see Republicans are doing that moderation thing, you know, trying to appeal to middle-of-the-roaders (not):
Lots of chatter about the news that GOP Rep. Steve Stockman, who threatened Obama with impeachment over guns, has invited Ted Nugent to the State of the Union address. Nugent has accepted:
“I am excited to have a patriot like Ted Nugent joining me in the House Chamber to hear from President Obama,” Stockman said in a press release. “After the Address I’m sure Ted will have plenty to say.”
That’s a good bet; apparently Stockman is encouraging reporters to interview Nugent after the speech. Nugent, of course, is best known for making this claim, which was investigated by the Secret Service:
“If Barack Obama becomes the president in November again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year,” Nugent said, according to a video that the NRA posted on YouTube. “If you can’t go home and get everybody in your lives to clean house in this vile, evil, America-hating administration, I don’t even know what you’re made out of.”
That’s bad, but if I were the GOP leadership, the prospect of further comments from Nugent after the speech would have me a bit worried. After all, there’s little doubt that reporters will seek him out, and there’s really no telling what Nugent will say. The GOP leadership has not commented on the news.
So this should be interesting. Nugent is so desperate for attention I wouldn’t be surprised if he yelled something out while Obama’s speaking. He’s a live wire but if you don’t believe me, check out some of his more memorable quotes here. He’s a real case.
But we can be sure, the 27%-ers will love Stockman for this!
Now that ol’ Mitt isn’t trying to pretend he’s an unemployed common Joe Blow anymore, there this:
SAN DIEGO – Mitt Romney’s home remodeling plans are back on the front burner.
10News has learned the former Republican candidate for president has lifted the block he placed on the permitting process during his campaign and is now working with his lawyers to fast-track plans that would quadruple the size of his oceanfront La Jolla home.
“We’re very close to being ready for a hearing,” said Matthew Peterson, a lawyer who is representing Mitt and Anne Romney as they try to get through the complicated permitting process necessary to demolish the 3,000-square-foot house and replace it with one four times as big.
So, Mitt and his wanna-be-queen are going to have a 12,000 square foot beach house in La Jolla. (This is the place where he’s going to install that $55,000 car elevator, btw.) We’re talkin’ megabucks here folks. And I think he’s thinks of this as a vacation home.
Yep, just a regular old unemployed dude.
I am so proud of us America for telling him where to stick it.
Now I know why Barack Obama shot that gun. He wants to kill our right to due process:
Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Last I knew, every American is entitled to and guaranteed a trial by a jury of his or her peers before he or she is sentenced to anything, much less death.
Now we have the “liberal” Constitutional lawyer Barack Obama’s Justice Department obliterating that for what will probably be forever.
Blows my mind.
It’s just amazing what Republicans think is important:
During their first three weeks in power, Senate Republicans [in Washington state] have introduced bills to require parental notification for abortions, allow ranchers to kill wolves and let people ride motorcycles without a helmet.
Also on the list: plans to revamp [read, cut] workers’ compensation benefits, repeal the state’s family leave act [that, among other things, gives new parents five weeks off after the birth of a child] and assign A-F grades to public schools. There’s also talk of dumping the state employee pension system in favor of a less-expensive, 401(k)-type plan.
So, they want supposedly want to protect unborn fetuses but for people who are already born they want to increase traffic deaths and health care costs by letting people ride motorcycles without a helmet; kill wolves; cut workers’ compensation benefits; make it so folks don’t have a guaranteed leave plan so they can take time off when they or a family member needs help due to a medical problem; deprive new parents of bonding time with a new baby and make it harder for people to make ends meet in retirement.
What a vicious, hateful crowd.
I like the plain truth President Obama told Steve Kroft in his 60 Minutes interview tonight:
You know, Steve, I gotta tell you, the — you guys in the press are incorrigible. I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.”
And I like the plain truth he told The New Republic too:
One of the biggest factors is going to be how the media shapes debates. If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on Fox News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a Democrat on a bill of common interest, then you’ll see more of them doing it.
Memo to Obama and all Democrats: Keep it up, hammer away at it, drive it home and for God’s sake, don’t let up!
Yesterday in his inaugural address, President Obama spoke directly to Mitt Romney’s VP pick and alleged Republican economic wizkid Rep. Paul Ryan (WI)
“The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”
Knowing Ryan, eventually he’ll deny saying anything about “takers” because it sounds too much like Mitt’s 47 percent comment so when that happens, we can refer him to this:
Thank you Mother Jones!
This high-res photograph over at the New York Times lets you zoom in and see the people on the platform with the President during the inauguration today.
I don’t recall that I’ve ever seen a photo of Mrs. Boehner.
Headline right now over at the conservative Washington Times:
Barack H. Obama Drops Hussein From Inauguration Ceremony
Message: See, he’s trying to pretend he’s one of us. He’s trying to hide that he’s a Muslim from Kenya!
Then there’s this note at the bottom of the article:
UPDATED: The initial post incorrectly stated the president did not use his middle name in taking the oath of office.
Myrlie Evers-Williams gave the invocation today at President Obama’s inauguration. I’m willing to bet most people under the age of about 60 don’t know why that is so poignant.
In 1963, Ms. Evers-Williams’ first husband, civil rights activist Medgar Evers, was assassinated in the driveway of their home, while Myrlie and their three children were inside, by a white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith.
I am so proud that she, and by extension, her husband, was honored this way today.
Here is a photo of Mrylie Evers (now Evers-Williams) comforting one of her sons at Medgar Evers’ funeral (look at how devastated that poor little boy looks):
My Tweet of the Day:
Inauguration Day trivia:
In an effort to keep pigeons from pooping into his open-top limo, Richard Nixon did one of the most Nixonian things of all time in 1973. He had the inaugural committee spend $13,000 to spray Roost No More, a chemical bird repellent, along the parade route. Dozens of dead birds lined the streets during the inaugural parade.
Dick Nixon. Living up to his name.
In 1829, Andrew Jackson threw a party at the White House after the ceremony and then had trouble getting rid of the riff-raff. As the first “outsider” president, Jackson attracted a rough-and-tumble type of crew to his party. The crowd tramped through the house with muddy boots, ruined the carpets, and tore down some curtains. The only way the White House staff was able to get them out of the house was to put a tub of whiskey out on the front lawn. That did the trick.
Watch the Peace Ball happening now in Washington, D.C.:
Join Democracy Now! as we livestream from the sold-out 2013 Peace Ball at the historic Arena Stage at The Mead Center For American Theater in Washington, D.C. and see speeches from Amy Goodman, Angela Davis, NAACP’s Benjamin Jealous, Ralph Nader, Julian Bond and others, with performances by Mos Def, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and more.
Special guests include:
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Marian Wright Edelman
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
Unfortunately the likes of Katrina vanden Heuvel, Van Jones, Julian Bond (who I was fortunate enough to meet about 40 years ago), Dave Zirin and Barbara Ehrenreich won’t be invited to the official inaugural balls. Too bad. They have so much to say and to teach us.
Think of this as We the People’s ball, not the corporatocracy’$.
According to inside Washington gossip, Congress and the president are going to do exactly what voters elected them to do; they are going to cut Social Security by 3 percent. You don’t remember anyone running on that platform? Yeah, well, they probably forgot to mention it.
Of course some people may have heard Vice President Joe Biden when he told an audience in Virginia that there would be no cuts to Social Security if President Obama got reelected. Biden said: “I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security. I flat guarantee you.”
But that’s the way things work in Washington. You can’t expect the politicians who run for office to share their policy agenda with voters. After all, we might not like it.
The bottom line is that President Obama and many leading Democrats are prepared to give seniors a larger hit to their income than they gave to the over $250,000 crowd. And the whole reason it is necessary is that the Wall Street types who wrecked the economy say so. Is everybody happy?
Obama. The first black Republican president.
Maybe it’s just me but I wonder if Ann Romney claimed she was a “big, big fan” of Dancing With the Stars because her husband was running for president. Nah! She’d never do that. Would she?
Ann Romney was offered a consolation prize — first lady of Rumba — but after seriously considering it she turned down “Dancing with the Stars” … TMZ has learned.
Sources connected to the show tell us … “DWTS” honchos approached Ann about the gig just after her hubby lost the election and she was “very interested.” You may recall, Ann showed up at last season’s finale and gushed that she was a big, big fan.
House Republican Leaders: Our Tea Party Members Are Crazy, We Can’t Control Them So Give Them What They Want
This is what Republicans call compromise:
Republican leadership officials, in a series of private meetings and conversations this past week, warned that the White House, much less the broader public, doesn’t understand how hard it will be to talk restive conservatives off the fiscal ledge. To the vast majority of House Republicans, it is far riskier long term to pile up new debt than it is to test the market and economic reaction of default or closing down the government.
GOP officials said more than half of their members are prepared to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes. Many more members, including some party leaders, are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner “may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. “We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.”
Obviously this kid ran as an “out” Socialist so this is pretty darn amazing:
A 19-year-old socialist took office last week as the member of a local school board in New Jersey.
Pat Noble, a pharmacy clerk, was sworn-in as a member of the Red Bank Regional High School Board of Education after defeating an incumbent in November’s election, NJ.com reported. Noble is the founder of the Socialist Party of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, which seeks to promote socialist ideals in the two Jersey shore counties.
“I’m hoping to bring a different perspective, a left-wing perspective to a board full of capitalists,” he said. “I have a different view point, both as a younger person and a Socialist, that I think could have a positive impact in and of itself.”
Noble plans to focus on several areas as a school board member, including the promotion of LGBT issues in sex education classes, banning military recruiters from schools, opposing merit pay for teachers and fighting budget cuts.
Good on him for running and bravo to the folks who voted to give him a chance.
Love her new, fresh ideas!
The discouraging thing about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations is not that they have gone into the eleventh hour, or that they may go into the new year, or even that they won’t resolve the long-term budget deficit. It’s that President Obama has retreated on his hard line on taxes. In the months before the election, and in the weeks after his victory, Obama had a clear position: The Bush tax cuts for income over $250,000 were ending. He would not sign any extension, and if Republicans refused to extend tax cuts for income below that level, he would hold them responsible for it until they did.
Now, by all accounts, Obama is prepared to extend the Bush tax cuts up to $400,000 a year. Or maybe more. As of Friday, Obama had told Republicans they could have the tax cuts extended on income up to $400,000 if they would accept the estate tax rising from its Bush-set rates. As of last night, Democrats were conceding the estate tax plus the higher exemption on tax rates, which had risen to $450,000. And Republicans still hadn’t agreed to it! Why would they, when Democrats keep hurling money at them? By midnight, Republicans might be getting the Saturday Night Live version of Obama’s offer (“a 1% raise on the top two Americans — just two people”).
The erosion signals not only a major substantive problem in its own right, but it also raises disturbing questions about Obama’s ability to handle his entire second term agenda.
Obama is surely going to have to accept a lot of bad policies in his negotiations with Republicans (a fact I’ve argued to some of my harder-line liberal friends in several columns). But the tax cuts are the one area where he enjoys overwhelming leverage over the Republicans. Their only threat is to block extension of tax cuts on income under $250,000, a wildly unpopular stance countless Republicans have acknowledged they could not sustain for long without courting an enormous public backlash. This is the hand where Obama needed to collect all the chips.
The negotiating style Obama has displayed in these instances is what poker players call “tight-weak.” A tight-strong player avoids throwing in his chips, saving them for a big hand, which he plays aggressively in hopes of a huge win. A loose-weak player plays lots of hands, bluffing frequently. Tight-weak is the worst of all worlds — when you have a weak hand, you lose, and when you have a strong hand, you fail to maximize your position.
Obama claims, and seems to genuinely believe, that he won’t let Republicans jack him up over the debt ceiling again. But if Republicans could hold the middle class tax cuts hostage, they’ll try to hold the debt ceiling hostage. Indeed, they will probably discover other areas of traditionally routine policy agreement that can be turned into extortion opportunities.
Obama may think his conciliatory approach has helped avoid economic chaos. Instead, he is courting it.
Obama has the support of the American people when it comes to taxing income over $250,000. But, it appears he has caved on that, so one wonders what it would take for him to play a “tight-strong” hand for once, if he won’t do it on this.
For example, yesterday on Meet the Press, Obama said he would put his “full weight” behind passing some sort of gun control legislation next year. Yeah, right. I’ll believe it when I see it. Obama campaigned for a year on tax increased for those making above $250,000 but here we are, looking at a $450,000 threshold.
Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show this morning to talk about the near-impossibility of getting things done in Washington. He said that inertia “is the reason” he isn’t returning next session.
Well, not exactly. The reason Altmire isn’t returning is because he got voted out:
Two incumbent Democratic House members in Pennsylvania lost their seats in Tuesday’s primaries, as one was ousted by a political newcomer and the other was bounced in a member-against-member matchup.
Holden, a 10-term congressman, was joined by Rep. Jason Altmire as the second incumbent Democrat to lose Tuesday. Altmire was beaten by fellow Democratic Rep. Mark Critz in a race in which each overwhelmingly won their home counties.
Critz beat Altmire in the third of 13 sets of races in which lawmakers are facing off in member-vs.-member battles because of the 2012 redistricting process that changed congressional district lines based on population shifts.
Altmire was the early favorite because the majority of the new congresssional district is composed of his old district, which he has represented since 2006, but Critz benefited from organized labor support and the endorsement of former president Bill Clinton.
Labor groups and liberal Democrats targeted Altmire for defeat largely because he voted against the 2010 health care law.
Oh, and what’s Altmire going to do now?
During the debate over health care reform, Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Jason Altmire (PA) pushed against progressives, voting against one version of the health care bill because it included a wealth tax and also lead opposition to a public option.
Unfortunately, in Washington, siding with big corporations pays. Late last night, Altmire announced that he will be taking a lobbying position with Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Florida. His title will be “Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Government and Community Affairs.”
What a guy.
Here’s an amazing quote from Tagg Romney:
“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run,” said Tagg, who worked with his mother, Ann, to persuade his father to seek the presidency. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”
I know so many people, me included, who wondered all along why in the world Romney was running. He didn’t seem to have a passion for governing or public service or a passion for any particular issue. So now we know, “he had no desire to run.”
I guess he did it for Ann, who always seemed to me to want to be queen.
Geezus, say it ain’t so already:
Even some of the president’s closest advisers said they were surprised by the ferocity of the Republican opposition.
“It’s kind of a stunning thing to watch the way this has unfolded, at least to date,” said David Axelrod, one of Mr. Obama’s longtime advisers. “The question is, how do you break free from these strident voices?”
How can this be? What world are they living in?
earned benefits “entitlements” on the table and guess what happens:
For the life of me I can’t understand why Obama isn’t protecting the big three — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — programs which Americans love and hold dear.
I could have sworn we just had an election during which the American people were crystal clear about this:
CBS poll: 69 percent of Americans, and 51 percent of Republicans, support tax hikes on those over $250,000. And yet here we [as in Obama] are, debating over whether they should go up on those over $400,000, or over $1 million.