Friday, August 31, 2012


December 23, 2008
Ryan said, "A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: 'I believe that if our government is there to support you ... this plant will be here for another hundred years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day."

The plant closed in December 2008 while George W. Bush was president. President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, so he was in no position to do anything to save a plant whose closure was announced in June of the preceding year. . . .
[PolitiFact] Ryan said Obama broke his promise to keep a Wisconsin GM plant from closing. But we don't see evidence he explicitly made such a promise -- and more importantly, the Janesville plant shut down before he took office.
Obama could not have saved Janesville GM plant. It closed before he took office.
But the closer one looks at Ryan's attack, the more bizarre it appears. . . . [read on]

By the way, what did RYAN do for the plant?

The jury is in
Turning Point? Media Backlash Continues Against Paul Ryan’s Misleading Speech
[CBS] Ryan Has Factual Problems In Speech
Paul Ryan’s attacks on Obama may hurt his own credibility
[WP] Mr. Ryan’s misleading speech
[AP] Ryan takes factual shortcuts
[Bloomberg] Ryan Accused of Falsities by Obama’s Team, Fact Checkers
[Fox News!] Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. . . .
[NYT] Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches
[TNR] The Most Dishonest Convention Speech ... Ever?

Cable News Skirts Whether Paul Ryan Lied In His RNC Speech
Election 2012 and the media: a vast rightwing conspiracy of stupid

Does anybody care?,0,7050347.story
[LAT] Paul Ryan's factual errors noted by many, but are voters listening?
O'Donnell: Fact Checking on Ryan Meaningless for Swing Voters

Our post-truth polity?

What the Obama team will do next
The crux of Ryan’s argument was that the GOP ticket will have the courage and responsibility to level with the American people about the difficult choices required to salvage the nation’s ecomomy and finances. . . .

Obama and Dems will point out that it is not tough or courageous to cut taxes in ways that hugely benefit the rich, even as you promise to tackle the deficit. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to promise everyone an across-the-board tax cut hugely benefitting the wealthy without saying how it would be paid for — especially since it will require doing away with loopholes and deductions that will likely hike the middle class’s tax burden. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to cut spending in ways that disproportionately hurt those who can least afford it. They will point out that it’s not tough or courageous to reduce the sacrifice the rich make towards deficit reduction in ways that will increase the sacrifice of everyone else. . . . [read on]


Key phrase here: “on the speaker’s rostrum.” Meanwhile, in the AUDIENCE
The tableau on the speaker’s rostrum has been a pageant of color, class and bootstrap storytellers. Speakers have included Mia Love, a black House candidate from Utah whose parents came penniless from Haiti; Gov. Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico; Ms. Martinez, the governor of New Mexico; and Condoleezza Rice, the first black woman to be secretary of state. Corporate titans have been swapped out for small-business owners, generals for wounded foot soldiers, entrenched elected leaders for minority House candidates. . . .

[Chuck Todd] Todd explains that Democrats wish they had as deep a bench of non-white office-holders as the GOP. “Democrats wish they had the diversity of speakers and deep bench [of the GOP] to show America …”. . .

How pathetic is it that Chris Christie has to cajole to delegates to cheer for Romney?

The other guy gave a speech last night, I hear
[Romney] “I wish President Obama had succeeded.”

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination but gave a speech that was flat. He started slowly, often rambling, but gradually moved to a more powerful, scolding tone. It was utterly predictable and lacked specifics . . .
I thought the first half to 2/3 of the speech were really weak, disjointed, kind of rambling. . . . . But it just seemed, as I said, disjointed, with no clear direction or anchor. . .
Romney’s rushed, muddled speech
For the most part, I guess he was OK, but he didn't really seem to have the crowd eating out of his hand. There were several spots where they seemed a little confused and weren't sure if they were supposed to cheer or boo or just wait for an applause line yet to come. . .
Romney’s speech: Where was the policy?

How’d the “Mystery Guest” do?
In a rather rambling speech that lasted for more than 10 minutes -- not delivered on TelePrompter -- Eastwood criticized President Obama, in part by conducting an imaginary interview with the president. . . .
[Josh Marshall] I don’t think that worked. . . .
Clint Eastwood was....about the weirdest thing I've ever seen at a convention.
Clint Eastwood Gave the Worst Speech of the Convention
[Kos] I can honestly say that we've never laughed as hard at Daily Kos HQ as we did tonight. . . . [read on!]


Clint Eastwood’s rambling, head-scratching endorsement of Mitt Romney on Thursday set off immediate questions and finger-pointing among Romney supporters: Who booked Mr. Eastwood? Did anyone have an idea of what he was going to say? Did anyone read his remarks before they were broadcast? . . .
How Eastwood Happened

Zinger of the night
Mitt Romney: More Effective Than Clint Eastwood

Federal Court Rules Texas Voter ID Law Is Discriminatory
Judges Question Whether South Carolina’s Voter ID Law Is Ready For Primetime

On the other hand:
Maddow: Democratic Voter Registration 'Devastated' in Florida

The kind of people some people are
Catholic Church leader says child rape "understandable," blames children

Grab the popcorn!
Last night's kerfuffle between Sarah Palin and Fox News was a classic display of Sarah Palin being, well, Sarah Palin. But her Facebook outburst complaining about Fox canceling her appearance at the Republic National Convention reveals something deeper about Palin’s often rocky relationship with the network. Palin's contract is up in January, and according to sources, Fox News executives are now weighing what kind of deal they would sign, if they sign one at all. . . .

Bonus item: The Unfunnies
Worst Jokes at the Republican Convention


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Thursday, August 30, 2012


The RomneyRyan camp seems to have placed their bets that they can lie (ahem, LIE), while simply dismissing the corrections of media factcheckers. They seem to believe that they can use increasingly open racial allusions, and no one will call them on it. They appear to have decided that they will simply not release Romney’s tax returns, and eventually the press will get bored and move on to other shiny objects. And on and on. So here's the question: How far will the mainstream media let themselves be pushed in the direction of “Just report what we say/he said-she said” reporting?
[Josh Marshall] No question. The Romney campaign has doubled down. All in on the race/lazy/dependency groove from here on out. No going back.

In private they’re all but bragging about it — specifically their run of welfare-centric commercials which they’re running at a red hot clip in swing states all across the country. It’s working, they say. The fact-checkers can go screw themselves.
It took a couple weeks of false welfare ads, and a full day at the GOP convention premised on the idea that President Obama believes successful companies are doled out to lucky business owners like heavenly manna. But for all intents and purposes the political press has placed the Romney campaign at a crossroads.

Either it can proceed with these two lines of attack — which, let’s face it, are now the tentpoles holding up his entire campaign — or it can capitulate; not necessarily confess to having done anything out of bounds, but just drop the lines in order to avoid more and more stories about how mendacious they are.

Some encouraging signs
[Ron Fournier, no liberal] Why (and How) Romney is Playing the Race Card
[NYT] Lies, Damn Lies and G.O.P. Video,0,1255653.story
[LAT] Rick Santorum repeats inaccurate welfare attack on Obama
Coming right off Ryan’s speech Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett seemed unable not to mention that Ryan’s speech had well … contained a lot of pretty huge fibs. So euphemisms to the rescue. . . .

The Janesville lie
In his acceptance speech, GOP Vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan appeared to suggest that President Obama was responsible for the closing of a GM plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wisc.

That’s not true. The plant was closed in December, 2008, before Obama was sworn in. . . .

More lies:
Paul Ryan stands on a foundation of lies

[Politico] Paul Ryan “gave what was, by almost all accounts, the best speech of the convention so far . . .”

The typical “they both do it” story
[Politico] Race-baiting hooks 2012 campaign

A moment of candor
“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”


Speaking of angry white guys, why haven’t we learned the names, or ANY other details, about the two RNC delegates ousted for throwing peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman? ("This is how we feed the animals")

The kind of people they are
South Carolina state Rep. Alan Clemmons (R), the author of a voter ID law considered discriminatory by the Justice Department, testified in federal court that, "while crafting the bill, he had responded favorably to a friend's racist email in support of the measure," McClatchy reports.

An email from Ed Koziol said that if the legislature offered a reward for voter identification cards, "it would be like a swarm of bees going after a watermelon."

Clemmons responded: "Amen, Ed, thank you for your support." . . .

The Real Paul Ryan
Busting myths about the Ryan budget

Paul Ryan Cosponsored All the Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Bills
Paul Ryan to the Right of 75% of Voters on Abortion

I’ll believe it when HE says it (and even then. . . )
Romney's Sister Says He Won't Change Abortion Law

Romney’s budget math doesn’t add up

Condi Rice’s convention speech has gotten a lot of praise. Not from me
[Fred Kaplan] To watch Condoleezza Rice, the face of George W. Bush’s foreign policy, stand before a convention of cheering Republicans and condemn Barack Obama for diminishing America’s standing in the world—one can only gasp at the magnitude of chutzpah in one woman. . . . [read on]


Republicans hate Obama’s defense cuts. The trouble is, they voted for them.

I don't remember the RNC having one of these at their convention when George Bush was president

As noted here before, GOP governors are in a bit of a pickle, because they have to brag that THEIR states are doing pretty well, even as they slam Obama for ruining the economy everywhere else. Since several of these are also swing states, it can get interesting . . .

Nothing really new here, but a satisfying read
The increasingly surreal reality show that is the Republican Convention is rapidly shaping up to be one of the most offensive displays of mendacity, racism, and bloodlust the Republicans have yet performed . . .

I think it says volumes about how lackadaisical the support for Willard is, that they have to trumpet a “mystery guest” (the Diva?) to get people to tune in and watch his speech
According to Sara Libby of Talking Points Memo, "top advisers to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign" -- including Romney veep-vetter Beth Myers and senior aide Eric Fehrnstrom -- say that they "have no knowledge" of who it might be.

[NB: Uh-huh. Bullshit.]

Clint Eastwood?

Remember when just a few days ago, Slinky was saying that his charitable giving (tithes to his church) were “private” and he didn’t want people talking about it publicly (even though he talked about himself constantly)?
Mitt Romney’s Charitable Giving Suddenly Not Private at All

How’s that “re-introduction” coming along?
Romney favorability rating getting worse


They read it – so we don’t have to!
The 10 oddest items in the GOP platform


Bonus item: Speaking of odd. . .
The Incredible Republican Hat and Pin Collection

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The anticlimactic RNC so far seems based on three big lies: that Obama told business owners they didn't build their businesses (which is not at all what he said), that he is gutting welfare reform (a flat-out lie and everyone says so), and that he wants to “cut” Medicare by $716 billion dollars (a really outrageous lie because on this position his stance is no different from RomneyRyan’s). I didn't watch all the speakers, but it seemed to me that John Kasich (Ohio) mostly talked about himself, Rick Santorum (Pennsylvania) talked about himself, Chris Christie (New Jersey) talked about himself. The only person to show real enthusiasm for Romney as President was Ann, his wife. She thinks he will do a terrific job as President, and she thinks we should “trust” him. That convinces me – how about you?

Ann’s speech

Ann Romney is so gifted at politics, she may actually make her husband look a little bad. Their personality gap — her ease, his discomfort — has been evident in most of the many joint interviews they have given television reporters.

But it really stood out during her bold, boisterous testimonial to him at the Republican convention on Tuesday night. She was electric — when Mitt Romney came to her side at the end, he somehow sapped the energy from the moment. [read on]
Ann Romney gave a wonderful speech. . . . But was it a great political speech? I'm not so sure. . . . [read on]
Ann Romney Tries to Make Women Love the GOP, As Well As Her Husband

The full text:
“I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail. . . .”

On love
Minutes after Ann Romney gave a speech devoted to love, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the audience sometimes wanting to be loved isn’t so good.

His mother, he said, “told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.”

His mother was “talking about women,” he said, but “it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever. I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.”


Mitt Romney appeared unusually distressed during Chris Christie's keynote address at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night. "Romney doesn't look particularly thrilled with this speech," Reuters columnist Anthony De Rosa wrote on Twitter. A more joyful Heidi Moore of Marketplace said, "The shooting-daggers-at-Christie look on Mitt Romney's face right now is AMAZING."

Christie sang Romney's praises (and also his own, quite a bit), bringing supporters to their feet while Romney looked like he desperately had to run to the bathroom . . . [read on]

Winners and losers
The crowd: With the exception of Ann Romney’s speech, the live audience at the convention center seemed more polite than pumped up. Christie did everything he could to get people fired up and ready to go — to borrow a phrase — and even cajoled them to their feet at the end of his speech. And yet, the crowd felt restrained somehow. Democrats will almost certainly blame that on a lackluster roster of speakers but it felt less like the fault of those addressing the crowd than of an audience not sure just how much they could clap/jump around/show excitement.

More impressions:

Slinky, version # ???
This isn’t where the Romney campaign hoped it would be in August. Recall that Team Romney began with three premises for how to win this election. The first was to make this a referendum, not a choice. The second was to keep it focused on the economy. The third was to bow to Obama’s essential likability by treating him as a decent guy who is simply in over his head.

In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has jettisoned every single one of those premises. . . [read on]


“The most outrageous Republican platform ever”

Lying as a way of life
Republicans: Our welfare ad is a lie. And it works. So we're sticking with it
Get this: The Romney campaign’s position is now that the Obama camp should pull its ads when fact checkers call them out as false — but that Romney and his advisers should feel no such constraint.

This is not an exaggeration. This is really the Romney campaign’s position. . .

"[W]e're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.". . . [read on]


Will the press call them on it?

The GOP governors who ASKED Obama to give them more state flexibility on welfare rules are now attacking him for it

The kind of people they are
An attendee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday allegedly threw nuts at a black camerawoman working for CNN and said “This is how we feed animals” before being removed from the convention . . .

I’m trying to wrap my head around this one. Hurricane Isaac forced the cancellation of the first day of the GOP convention. But THAT wasn’t the will of God. Now that it has veered toward New Orleans – THAT is the will of God

Mystery Speaker on Thursday night? Could it be. . . ?

Todd Akin has stopped blaming the Democrats and the “liberal media” for trying to hound him out of the race – since none of them have said so. Now he is focusing his attention on his real enemy: his own party

Bonus item: David Brooks, every once in a while. . .
Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man. . . .

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired. . . . [read on!]

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I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Romney likes to say “I am who I am,” but the last thing he is, is consistent. He was going to be the moderate governor of an east-coast state with strong independent and cross-over appeal. But he was running in a party where you have to be a teabagger. Then he was going to be the successful businessman who understood money matters, but he found that he couldn’t actually talk about his time at Bain or his personal finances. Then he was going to be the fine upstanding family guy with strong religious values. But he couldn't talk about his religion, and he found out that people really don't like him very much. Then he was all about the issues, but he found that what his party responded to was red-meat nativism and racially-tinged barbs at Obama. And you know he’s going to give it to them
In an interview published Monday in USA Today, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney defended his campaign's newfound attacks on President Barack Obama for allegedly gutting welfare by waiving the program's work requirement. The ads have been widely panned for their inaccuracy, but Romney stands by them, telling USA Today that he believes the president waived the work requirement to "shore up his base." . . .
Mitt in the Mud
The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor. . . [read on]
Why the race is no longer about the economy
Political observers have noted for a while that Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama gutted the work requirement in the 1996 welfare reform law is false. But few in the mainstream media have have gone so far as to accuse Republicans of playing the ‘race card.’

But Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” didn’t hold back in a tirade launched against RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Monday morning, accusing the Romney campaign of using race to defeat Obama. . . [read on]


Lots more:

A Republican strategist said something interesting and revealing on Friday, though it largely escaped attention in the howling gusts of punditry over Mitt Romney’s birth certificate crack and a potential convention-altering hurricane. . . . The Republican strategist told Brownstein, “This is the last time anyone will try to do this” — “this” being a near total reliance on white votes to win a presidential election. . . . [read on]

Slinky: abortion is an irrelevant issue in this campaign

Here’s why he doesn't want to talk about it

This is an encouraging sign about the U.S. electorate
More Interest in GOP Platform than Romney's Speech

Will the press take notice?
The platform, snagged by Politico on Friday afternoon after the Republican National Committee accidentally posted it to its website before taking it down, is scheduled to be approved at the convention early this week.

The text details the privatization policy that GOP lawmakers have supported for years, and that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are selling as necessary to “save” Medicare. But in an unusual twist, it addresses the specific aspect of the proposal that makes it a departure from what Americans know as “Medicare.” . . . [read on]

The Republican plan to overhaul health care

Romney was still claiming an “active” role at Bain in 2010

Little by little, GOP-controlled states are disenfranchising millions of voters. And you know why
Why South Carolina Wants To Ban Student IDs At The Polls But Is Just Fine With Military IDs


Well, RICH Americans certainly do
Americans See Republicans As the Party of the Rich

Dumb ass
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith: Sex out of wedlock 'similar to' rape


Kathleen Parker!
What the *#@% Is Wrong With Republican Men?!

The party of family values
Tampa's strip clubs await Republican windfall

Gods and hurricanes (AKA, it's always good for the Republicans)
GOP Tea Party Senate contender calls Hurricane Isaac a blessing

Bonus item: Yes, he is who he is
“Dad always goes in line first because he doesn't want to wait for all the grand children because it takes forever. Parents are cutting their meat and he's usually finished by the time the rest of us sit down.”

[NB: It's the simple things, isn't it, that tell us who a person really is?]

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Monday, August 27, 2012


Makes your head spin, doesn't it? Now Slinky wants to brag about RomneyCare

Who will remember?
In 2007, Fred Thompson said, “So what sort of services does Romney’s health care plan provide? Per the state web site: $50 co-pay for abortions.” Thompson immediately added, “While [a] court mandate requires Massachusetts to cover ‘medically necessary’ abortions in state-subsidized health plans, Mitt Romney’s plan covers ALL abortions — no restrictions.”

Fast-forward to 2012. A Gingrich ad says, “Romney signed government-mandated health care with taxpayer-funded abortions.” Likewise, a Santorum ad says, “Romneycare includes taxpayer-funding of abortions.”


The Akin mess has really stirred things up. Now you have a GOP platform that bans all abortions, no exceptions. You have Romney, who says he favors exceptions for rape and incest. You have Ryan, his VP, who disagrees with Romney and supports the more radical GOP position, but admits that Romney’s stance is a “good step in the right direction.” And of course, you have people like Akin and Romney advisor John Willke suggesting that you don't NEED a rape exception, because women can't get pregnant from real rape – ergo, if they are pregnant it wasn't really rape.

It's a quagmire and RomneyRyan DOES NOT want to talk about it. Now the GOP proxies are out saying that just because the platform doesn’t MENTION any exceptions, it doesn’t EXCLUDE them – which is a complete lie. Meanwhile, a little reminder that nothing gets into the platform without the nominee okaying it. Nothing
Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, the platform committee chairman, complimented the delegates for swiftly disposing of the abortion section. That topic, he remarked, had often consumed hours of debate in past years.

The draft 2012 platform states that “the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed” and includes support for “a human life amendment to the Constitution.” That language is identical to the anti-abortion plank in the 2008 platform and makes no specific exceptions for rape.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Party's platform committee, said that the party's platform affirms their opposition to abortion and does not address the issue of exemptions in an interview on ABC's "This Week." . . . McDonnell reiterated his point: "The party didn't make any judgment on that. It's a general proposition to say we support human life. The rest of those details are up to the states and the people respectively, George, and that's simply not covered. It's something up to Congress and the states."
Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee, defended the platform on CNN Thursday morning as “a simple set of principles” that takes no position on exceptions. . . .

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday, “This is the platform of the Republican Party. It’s not the platform of Mitt Romney” — suggesting that the party differed from Romney, who does support such exemptions.

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who ran the RNC from 2009 to 2011 under a platform with the exact same abortion language, indicated this week that the platform did oppose exceptions. “I think that view that [Romney] personally holds has been made public for some time,” Steele told Politico. “Even if [the lack of a rape exemption] does become an official platform, that’s not going to change his view on the subject. Not everybody in the party agrees with everything that’s in the platform.”

[Ed Kilgore] I can confidently assert that it is a fact, of which the entire CNN staff appears ignorant, that not a sparrow falls to the ground in the drafting of a national party platform that is not approved by the nominee and his or her staff. . . . [read on]

Helping those in need
The world’s five biggest public oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—would keep special tax breaks worth $2.4 billion each year. And by cutting corporate tax rates, the Romney plan could lower the companies’ annual tax bill by another $2.3 billion. . . As we will show, these five companies are hardly in need of a tax cut: They earned a combined record profit of $137 billion in 2011 due to high oil and gasoline prices. . .

Every now and then even Republicans take a stand

Ron Paul:
Paul told the Times that an opportunity to speak came with two conditions he could not agree to: that his remarks be vetted by the Romney campaign and that he give a "full-fledged endorsement" of Romney.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Charlie Crist:
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, elected as a Republican but now an independent, used a Tampa Bay Times op-ed to endorse President Obama . . .

John McCain:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) recent controversial comments about rape and pregancy are problematic for the GOP, and that the congressman “would not be welcome by Republicans in the United States Senate.”

“It’s a problem. There is no doubt about that,” McCain said . . .

Chris Christie:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) "wasn't willing to give up the New Jersey statehouse to be Mitt Romney's running mate because he doubted they'd win," the New York Post reports. . . .

"The tough-talking governor believed Romney severely damaged his campaign by releasing only limited tax returns and committing several gaffes during his international tour in July. Certain Romney was doomed, Christie stuck to his guns -- even as some of his own aides pushed him to run, another source said."

Mitt Romney:
Mitt Romney conceded President Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person in an interview with Politico but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: "I am who I am." . . . [read on]

[NB: The only error here is saying that it's Obama’s fault – he has made HIMSELF dislikable.]

Could this be Slinky’s big edge?
Expat Votes Could Tilt Close Election

Bonus item: Fox News does a puff piece on family man Mitt Romney, just an ordinary guy who likes making pancakes for his family. Check out the video at the 2:37 mark, and watch the spatula tussle unfold. What do you think that's all about?

By the way, what IS his stance on Planned Parenthood? In this interview, with a stony-faced Ann sitting alongside him, he says no public money should go to it. But:
An oft neglected portion of the Romneys, both Willard and his wife Ann, is their long, and highly visible, support for Planned Parenthood. During 2004, the Romneys were often in attendance for Planned Parenthood fundraisers. When asked about this, the presidential hopeful said that “…it would not have been out of the ordinary for the governor to have attended…” Perfectly normal to find the Romney family in attendance at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser.

But then, there is the matter of the family checkbook. Specifically, a check written out by Ann Romney directly to Planned Parenthood. When asked about this, Mitt Romney again emphasised “Ann has no information of the circumstances.” A perfectly routine event, the donation to Planned Parenthood would seem, especially in light of her call to respect a woman’s choice.

During his time as governor, despite some pro-life positions, in matters dealing with Planned Parenthood directly, Mitt Romney was very clear in his support. During the development of Romneycare, he fought for and gained a requirement that Planned Parenthood have a seat on the new MassHealth Payment Policy Board. He expanded state funding of abortion services for low-income households. He fought for comprehensive sex education in Massachusetts alongside Planned Parenthood representatives. . . .

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Sunday, August 26, 2012


Standard convention strategy is to “introduce,” or in some cases “re-introduce,” the candidate to the American people. In Slinky’s case, it’s more like “re-re-re-introduce”

So, Mitt, what do you really believe? [read on]

The standard GOP move is to feed the base during the primaries, then “Etch-a-Sketch” those positions and move toward the center for the general election. Romney is having trouble doing that (and picking Paul Ryan didn't help). Here’s why

“Not Gonna Work”

Oh, great
Mitt Romney is heading into his nominating convention with his advisers convinced he needs a more combative footing against President Obama. . .

“One of the best things I’ve ever seen on cable news”

Why is it never called “just throwing money at the problem” when it's the Pentagon?
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are portraying themselves as lionhearted budget-cutters, ready to slice out profligate spending in all sorts of government programs and services and lead America to lower taxes and lower deficits. Many experts say their numbers don’t add up, even if they were to impose all the cuts they want.

Yet none of that philosophy seems to apply to the defense budget — which accounts for roughly half of all federal discretionary spending. . . .

Jihad from the religious right over Todd Akin
Mike Huckabee rallied hundreds of Southern Baptists on a conference call Friday night in support of Todd Akin, offering advice about how they can help the embattled Missouri Senate candidate stay in the race — while acknowledging Akin still may have to bow out.

“This could be a Mount Carmel moment,” said the former Arkansas governor, referring to the holy battle between Elijah and the prophets of Baal in the book of Kings. “You know, you bring your gods. We’ll bring ours. We’ll see whose God answers the prayers and brings fire from heaven. . . ”


Bill Maher on the conversion of the GOP to the Magical Thinking Party
I don't want to waste another second thinking about Todd Akin, and his theory that you can't get pregnant unless your eggs are asking for it. Here's the only thing you need to know about Todd Akin and human anatomy: he's an asshole. What I want to talk about is how it's not a coincidence that the party of fundamentalism is also the party of fantasy. When I say religion is a mental illness, this is what I mean: it corrodes your mental faculties to the point where you can believe in tiny ninja warriors who hide in vaginas and lie in wait for bad people's sperm.

Evangelicals might like to pretend that the magical thinking that they indulge in at home doesn't affect what they do at the office, but it absolutely does. The brain that believes in angels and miracles and Jesus riding a dinosaur is trained to see the world not as it is, but as you want it to be.

Republicans would like to pretend like Congressman Akin's substitution of superstition for science is a lone problem but it's not: they're all magical thinkers, on nearly every issue. They don't get their answers on climate change from climatologists, they get them from the Book of Genesis. Hence Sharia Law in America is a dire threat, and global warming a hoax.

Or take the issue that consumes the right these days, our sea of red ink: Republicans are united in their fervent desire to reduce the deficit, but they want to do it in some magical fashion that doesn't involve raising taxes or cutting any spending. When given a choice in polls between these two options, a majority of Republicans check "none of the above" as a way to reduce the deficit. That's like deciding to pay off your student loans by daydreaming.

Or as it's known on Capitol Hill, supply-side economics. . . . [read on]

The seven swing states
The AP says the presidential race is coming down to seven states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia, which offer a combined 85 electoral votes.

"The analysis, which also took into account the strength of a candidate's on-the-ground organization and travel schedules, found that if the election were held today, Obama would have 19 states and the District of Columbia, offering 247 votes, solidly in his column or leaning his way, while Republican Romney would have 24 states with 206 votes."

When the limits were lifted off campaign contributions, we were told that the system would be self-corrective, because donors would be disclosed and so any excessive imbalances would be public, and voters could act accordingly. Well, we know what happened to THAT idea -- contributions have never been so secretive. Then we were told that campaigns wouldn't be allowed to coordinate messaging with unregulated third-party groups. Guess what?

I seriously doubt it
Obama: Republicans Will Be Willing To Deal In My Second Term

Dubya’s presidential museum: all 9/11, all the time. Literally

Imagine the howls of outrage from the right if this had come from a mainstream or progressive news outlet
Navy SEAL Team Six Author Receives Death Threats After Fox News Publishes His Name

The Sunday talk show line-ups
ABC’s This Week: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chair of the Republican Platform Committee, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, chair of the Democratic National Convention. Roundtable: George Will; Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD); former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, host of Current TV’s “The War Room”; Republican strategist Mary Matalin; and FOX News anchor Greta Van Susteren.

CBS’ Face the Nation: From Tampa. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Then, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, platform committee co-chair Rep. Marsha Blackburn ( D-TN)., and former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss. Roundtable: Peggy Noonan, Rich Lowry, Dan Balz, Norah O’Donnell, John Dickerson.

Chris Hayes: Wendell Cox, senior fellow at the Heartland Institute, consultant for the Department of Transportation, and former director of public policy at the American Legislative Council (ALEC). Michael Bell, professor at Columbia University of Housing, visiting fellow at Harvard University, and an architect at Visible Weather. He also had an installation, which focused on a suburb of Tampa, FL, at the Museum of Modern Art. Michael Steele, former RNC Chairman and MSNBC analyst. Sophia Nelson, columnist for, former GOP House Committee Counsel, and author of “Black Woman Redefined.” Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, FL. Also an Urban Land Institute fellow and travels around the country looking at how other cities develop. Corey Robin, (@CoreyRobin) professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center and author of “The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin.” Elise Jordan, (@Elise_Jordan) contributor with the national Review, Daily Best, Marie Claire, and Former director for communications for the national security council and former speechwriter to Condoleezza Rice. Avik Roy, (@aviksaroy) member of Mitt Romney’s health care policy advisory group and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He also writes The Apothecary, a Forbes blog on health-care and entitlement reform. Joan Walsh, (@JoanWalsh) MSNBC political analyst, Salon’s editor at large and author of “What’s the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was.”

CNN State of the Union: From Tampa. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on the implications of Todd Akin’s remarks on rape. Plus, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Al Cardenas, Chair of the American Conservative Union, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Then, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley offers the Democratic rebuttal. Roundtable: Ron Brownstein, Karen Tumulty.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS: Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Syria, Iran, US politics. Then, Pulitzer Prize winning author Robert Caro. And more.

NBC’s Meet the Press: From Tampa. Jeb Bush. Sen John McCain (R-AZ). Roundtable: DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz; Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ); Mike Murphy, Chuck Todd.

Bonus item: Printed on an index card
The World’s Shortest Book, or, The “Humor” of Mitt Romney

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Saturday, August 25, 2012


Willard goes there
[Romney] "I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where but the both of us were born," Romney said after introducing his wife, fellow Michigan native Ann. "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised."

In an interview with CBS News, Mitt Romney explained that he didn’t mean to jab the president when he told a crowd today, “No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. . . This was fun about us, and coming home. And humor, you know, we’ve got to have a little humor in a campaign.”
Romney's Birther "Joke" Wasn't a Joke. [read on]
[NYT] Politicians sometimes think they can get away with saying something profoundly offensive or just plain stupid by acting like it was a joke. It never works, just like it didn’t work today when Mr. Romney shamelessly played the birther card in what seems like an increasingly desperate campaign against President Obama.
Romney has been arguing that he’s the one running a policy-oriented campaign while Barack Obama has been making personal attacks; birther jokes completely undermine that. . . . [read on]
Early on in the campaign, Romney advisers were telling reporters that they were going to paint Obama as a nice family man who was just in over his head; public dissatisfaction with the economy and Obama’s stewardship of it ensured that this would be enough to win. But as the race intensitfied, Romney also needed to prove to the right wing base that he has what it really takes to take it to Obama. Remember, the right’s mythology is that John McCain lost to Obama in part because he wasn’t willing to be aggressive enough in exposing Obama’s true beliefs, instincts, and inclinations. . . . [read on]
Romney Defends Birther Line: ‘The Crowd Loved It’

[NB: Here's what this shows, once again: a man whose commitment even to his own resolutions is paper thin. He knows Obama was born in the US, and he knows the birthers are the ugly underbelly of American politics. But he CAN’T RESIST sucking up to them.]

Good one!
Carmine Bello on Twitter nailed what Obama should say in response . . .

"No one's ever asked to see my tax returns."

Ta-Nehisi Coates analyzes the racism behind GOP attacks on Obama


When Dubya was being pushed forward into the White House by his daddy’s old foreign policy team, you could see their lust for having their own guy in the White House, someone who would give them carte blanche to pursue their agenda. Now we see the plutocrats similarly backing Romney – he understands them, understands their needs and desires. Hell be their guy in the White House
[Romney on Big Business] “They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses” . . .

The irony here, obviously, is that Romney’s acknowledging that big businesses have succeeded financially, despite the bad economy, because they use the same sort of tax avoidance strategies that have made his own tax returns such a political liability. But his tax plan would actually be a big boon to large, incumbent businesses. Romney’s proposing to transition the country to a territorial tax system, under which companies would pay no U.S. taxes on foreign earnings.

As liberal economist Dean Baker explains, that would only end tax havening in as much as big businesses wouldn’t need havens to avoid the IRS — and it would create an incentive for them to set up shop in any cheap, low-tax countries that would welcome them.

“These comments from Romney are kind of mind-boggling,” Baker said. “The story with much private equity, and it seems also with Bain, is that they know the tricks on gaming the tax code. They often buy businesses who don’t and therefore can get extra profit. I wouldn’t think that Romney would want to call attention to the way that he made his fortune, but either he doesn’t see anything shameful in it, or he doesn’t think anyone would make the connection.”

Tax experts find shady, possibly illegal, dealings in documents related to Romney's Bain investments

For some reason, the Romney braintrust thinks they absolutely HAVE to have his wife give a major convention speech in prime time. (They’re desperate to “personalize” him, I assume.) Now they are thinking about bumping Marco Rubio to do it – which will give them a solid with Latinos

Ryan calls rape a “method of conception”

The ones who are LEFT. . .
President Obama’s campaign released a Web video Friday highlighting Republican women who left the GOP because of the party’s anti-abortion stance. But the chances that significant numbers of GOP women will swing their support to Obama are slim . . . Nearly 90 percent of registered Republican women plan to vote for Romney, about the same as registered GOP men. Sixty-six percent of GOP women say abortion should be illegal all or most of the time, compared to 62 percent of GOP men.

Steve’s still on the case
Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXI

Nailing the phony excuse that Slinky wants to hide his tax returns in order to keep his religious tithing “private”
He does realize Google exists, right? Romney understands that it's easy to document countless examples of him boasting, not only about his tithing, but the specific percentage of his income he turns over to his church every year, doesn't he?

Indeed, Romney has already made some tax returns available, and they show how much he gave to his church. The release of more tax returns would only confirm what we already know.

I suspect this is a ploy to shut down conversation. We're supposed to say, "Oh, well, if it's related to religion, and Romney's faith is off-limits, the focus on the hidden tax returns ought to end immediately." It's a cheap move and I doubt it'll work.

Little Big Horn all over again
A progressive group called on Republican National Committee leader Pat Rogers to step down on Friday after emails showed him telling New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s staff that meeting with a group of American Indians “dishonored” Gen. George Armstrong Custer, the 19th century commander who killed scores of American Indians. . . .

Bonus item: Not a huge Dana Milbank fan, but this is hilarious (thanks to WF for the link)
By their own logic, Republicans and their conservative allies should be concerned that Isaac is a form of divine retribution. Last year, Rep. Michele Bachmann, then a Republican presidential candidate, said that the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene — another “I” storm, but not an Old Testament one — were attempts by God “to get the attention of the politicians.” . . . [read on!]

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (

I don’t get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don’t run ads, etc.). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a “mission,” it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***