Sunday, September 30, 2012


How many ways is Romney's 47% video hurting him?


This is the weirdest national campaign I've ever seen. Slinky is prepping for the debates, and he wants us to know that he has his "zingers" ready

In yet another debate prep dispatch, the New York Times reports that Romney's people have "equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August." Said zingers are set for deployment once Romney has "lured the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy." Understandably, the campaign did not offer any hints as to the nature of the zingers . . .

[Booman] So, Romney has spent over a month memorizing "zingers" which he will then attempt to offer in a spontaneous and witty manner in the debates.

I don't think this will go well.

[Atrios] We all know most "zing" moments in debates are pre-scripted, but why would you advertise that?

Hope this doesn't shock you 

Mitt Romney is more apt today to talk about his support for oil drilling than about the environmental policies that he advocated while governor of Massachusetts. . . .

Yesterday we learned that Romney is boldly taking on Lyme's disease (which is a big issue in the DC/Virginia area). But what exactly is his proposed solution?

Romney campaign promises to fight Lyme Disease using 'synergy'

Why Is Romney Campaigning on Medical Quackery?

Romney’s Lyme Disease Mailer: A Play for the Christian Right?

Oh, christ

[WP] For Romney, wealth meant both freedom and a trap

A thinker, not a doer 
Over the past two years, as others labored to bring Democrats and Republicans together to tackle the nation’s $16 trillion debt, Ryan sat on the sidelines, glumly predicting their efforts were doomed to fail because they strayed too far from his own low-tax, small-government vision. 

As a member of an independent debt commission in 2010, Ryan voted against a bipartisan plan to cut borrowing by $4 trillion over the next decade by raising taxes as well as cutting spending. Through much of 2011, he insisted publicly that a “grand bargain” on the budget was impossible, even as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) pursued a deal with President Obama. And Ryan asked Boehner not to name him to the congressional “supercommittee” that took a final stab at bipartisan compromise last fall. . . . 

Democrats and some Republicans say Ryan has done more to burnish his conservative credentials than to help bridge the yawning political divide that stands as the most profound barrier to action. . . . 

The Sunday talk show line-ups
ABC’s This Week:  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and White House senior adviser David Plouffe. Roundtable: Former Mississippi governor and RNC chair Haley Barbour; former Vermont governor and DNC chair Howard Dean, founder of Democracy for America; Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile; political strategist and ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; and POLITICO senior political reporter Maggie Haberman.

CBS’ Face the Nation:  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Roundtable 1: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), University of Virginia’s Larry Sabato and Democratic strategist Robert Shrum.  Roundtable 2: Newt Gingrich, Bob Woodward, Mark Zandi, Michelle Rhee, Hedrick Smith.

Chris Hayes:  SCOTUS.

CNN’s State of the Union:  “Exclusive:” Sen. John McCain.” Obama Campaign Senior Adviser David Axelrod. Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Roy Blunt. Roundtable: Republican Consultant Alex Castellanos, Pollster and Democratic Strategist Celinda Lake, and CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

Fareed Zakaria – GPS:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

NBC’s Meet the Press:  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and White House senior adviser David Plouffe. Roundtable: Conservative activist and founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, Ralph Reed; Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA); the BBC’s Katty Kay; NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd.

Bonus item: Ann Coulter opens up a can of whoop-ass   
Ann Coulter appeared on ABC’s The View and decided to tell Whoopi Goldberg what black people think.  It didn’t go over well. 
[Whoopi] “Hold on Miss Coulter, please stop, please stop. If you’re gonna talk about race, at least know what you’re talking about. Tell me how much you know about being black.” [watch!]    

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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.***

Saturday, September 29, 2012


That's right. This is the 3000th daily edition of PBD. 3000 mornings, and a few late nights, on almost every continent of the world, I've sorted through the news and commentary of the day to compose this blog. It has been posted from China, Korea, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Greece, England, Canada, Argentina, and Costa Rica. As I say below, the credit really goes to the smart people whose work I collect and share with you all. I hope it keeps folks informed, and sometimes amused. 

And sometimes amazed: what a political time we are living through, and what a weird disconnect from reality our contemporary political discourse has been giving us. In what world does the consistently untruthful Fox News call itself the "most trusted" network? In what world do Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, proven on countless occasions to be liars and hate-mongerers, still have an audience who believes that what they tell them is right and every other source of information is wrong? In what world does GOP kingpin Karl Rove get to say with impunity, "we create our own reality"? In what world does half-term governor Sarah Palin get chosen as the "best qualified person" to be Vice President; and in what world does her kooky, half-baked misunderstanding of nearly every major issue still garner passionate support and attention? In what world is climate change a "myth," but the belief that Obama is a secret Muslim who hates America and has been infiltrated into the presidency to destroy the country is taken as fact by about 30% of Republicans? In what world does a political movement of know-nothings, the Teabaggers, hold a major party hostage and make it impossible for them to compromise or espouse any reasonable centrist position?

Yes, it is a weird, unstable time - and so there seems to be an ongoing value in reposting news and commentary that presents an intelligent counternarrative to the crazies. It's called "progressive blog digest," so part of the purpose is counterbalancing right perspectives with those from the left; but most days it feels more like counterbalancing a surreal denial of reality with a few simple, truthful facts.

And now a presidential candidate who is the apotheosis of this cynical, fact-denying political age: the perfect simulacrum, a shape-shifter who seems to believe that no one will notice or care about the shifts in what he says from day to day. A man with a nice haircut and a resume who assumes that the only qualification he needs for the highest office in the land is that he isn't Barack Obama. Well, he's getting his turn now

Rock bottom

Bush Viewed More Favorably Than Romney 

How did presidential races past look at the end of September? Check out this chart.
Hint: John McCain was doing slightly better than Romney is today.. . .
Nowhere Man
Whose Idea Was It to Nominate Romney, Anyway?

What DOES Romney think about his own health care reform in Massachusetts? (I can't tell)

Romney's $100 million IRA

The Liar's lies: a weekly feature

"No whining," huh?
Ed Gillespie says Mitt's campaign has a 'no whining rule'. Not sure he knows what that means.

Putting the 'no whining' rule to the test
The Obama campaign responds to Mitt Romney whining about "inaccurate portrayals of my positions" with a video of Mitt Romney setting the record straight, in his own words. . . . [watch!]

Who's planning Romney's campaign schedule?
On Thursday, Ryan held back-to-back fundraisers in Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn., two cities in a reliably Republican state. 

Tomorrow, Romney is set to hold a fundraiser in Philadelphia. A fundraising invitation published by the Sunlight Foundation says that he and Ryan will then meet up in Chestnut Hill, Mass. for two fundraising events. Two days later, Ryan will host two events in Connecticut -- one in West Hartford and one in Darien.

These come on the heels of a fundraiser that Ryan hosted on Sept. 25 in Houston, Texas and a reception that Romney held Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C. . . . [read on]
Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

Wow, just wow:
“Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president,” said a top Romney official. “The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive.” 
Romney Aides "Pretty Resigned" to Losing

This is massive news, if true
Thursday's New York Times reports that Romney's most recent $3.4m outlay for television advertising in eight swing states excludes Ohio entirely . . .

Can Romney win without Ohio?

I'll tell you what worries me: I just don't see how Romney wins, but we haven't seen the full effects of voter suppression in several key states, the impact of polling place monitors posing challenge after challenge against obvious "Obama voters" (we know what you look like!), and the uncertainties of the actual vote turnout, which current polls can't predict. Romney sounds very confident: is this just false bravado, or does he know something?
Romney: ‘I’m going to win Pennsylvania’

[Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai] “Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

Think I'm being too pessimistic?

Oh-oh, now I really AM worried. I think he's found the magic issue
Romney vows to take on Lyme disease ‘epidemic’

NB: Obama's fault, no doubt]
The emerging New Conventional Wisdom: the Paul Ryan choice for VP was a mistake 
The conventional wisdom on Obama’s recent surge is that it’s due largely to Mitt Romney’s 47% disaster, and there’s clearly something to this. If nothing else, it’s given Team Obama grist for an absolutely devastating ad.

But it’s worth pointing out another dynamic that’s been overlooked here: The escalating disaster that is Paul Ryan. . . . [read on]

Ryan VP pick backfires on Romney, seniors PO’d over Medicare 
Republicans Have Destroyed Their Political Standing on the Issue of Medicare 

Pure evil
For a while now, pictures purporting to show Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, modeling in 1950s bondage and fetish porn have been floating around the darker corners of the Internet. Now, though, they’ve made their way into a pseudo-documentary, Joel Gilbert’s Dreams From My Real Father, which is being mailed to voters in swing states, promoted by several Tea Party groups and by at least one high-level Republican . . . [read on]

Here's a factor I haven't seen discussed: the more narrowly the GOP gets defined around no-exceptions dogma, on religion, on taxes, on reproductive rights, etc etc, who are the people who want to run, and can run effectively, within those constraints? What kind of people are they? People like . . .  Todd Akin
The devastatingly bad candidacy of Todd Akin — and how it could cost Republicans the Senate

A very bad candidacy:
Todd Akin opposes equal pay, because freedom

I mean REALLY bad:
A consultant for Rep. Todd Akin compared his resolve in the Missouri Senate race in the wake of several controversial statements to that of cult leader David Koresh, whose standoff with federal agents in Waco, Texas, in 1993 resulted in the death of Koresh and 81 others, including 28 children . . .

Sen. McCaskill says her opponent Todd Akin makes Michele Bachmann 'look like a hippie'

GOPers launch a new project to recalculate polling data to yield more Romney-friendly results
[Kevin Drum] This is, to put it bluntly, nuts. . . . [read on]

The Colbert version:

I guess THIS is the issue they think they can turn into a running "scandal" leading up to the election. Fox is doing everything they can to promote it, hard 
Huckabee Suggests Impeaching Obama Over Libya Embassy Attack

Chris Wallace Hypes Fox's Conspiracy Theory About Libya Consulate Attack

Bonus item: Obama and Romney, before they were famous

***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.***

Friday, September 28, 2012

Death of a Romney talking point


It's hard to be Slinky. Even the pliant popular media can't ignore it: Mitt Romney is all over the map on issue after issue, but none worse than health care 

Yes, he said it: Mr. "I can't be bothered to thank the troops in my convention speech" now says that the defense cuts THAT REPUBLICANS AGREED TO are Obama's fault, and will result in more soldier suicides 

Yes, he said this too 
"Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in startup companies and ongoing companies, then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit…" [read on!]

[Andrew Sullivan] This is not the "47 percent" bombshell. It just shows what Bain Capital was about: rewarding its shareholders by "harvesting" companies. That word is clinical. And look: there's nothing evil or wrong about Bain. It did what it does, it has had some successes and failures, and it's not a crime to make money this way. But it isn't business, as Romney concedes, so much as finance. And those who lost their jobs as a result will not be thrilled to find out that they were harvested for Romney's mega-rich Bain peeps.
Well, he worked at it 
David Brooks: Mitt Romney Is 'The Least Popular Candidate In History' 

Very wonky: everything you ever wanted to know about Willard's tax plan, and more 

Romney Campaign: No, We’re Not Backing Off Our Tax Plan
Team Romney still fighting arithmetic 

It's pretty amazing that no one has really looked into what kind of governor Romney actually was in Massachusetts (pssst: NOT POPULAR)

The best kind of political ad: your opponent's words, in their own voice, without editing or trickery 

And he did it to himself!

"47 Percent" Is Destroying Romney's Candidacy 
The Poetic Justice of Romney’s Self-Immolation

It's the little tells that reveal the deeper truths 
Mitt Romney: Still talking about 'them' 

[Garance Franke-Ruta] It's not the most polished video in the world. But you can see the thinking behind it. The candidate will directly address the voters, making a spare, authentic, heart-to-heart appeal that he cares about how "too many Americans" are suffering.

And then he says it. "President Obama and I both care about poor and middle-class families. The difference is my policies will make things better for them."


Mitt Romney keeps talking about the people whose votes he needs as "them."

In the 47 percent video, it was "those people."

"I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives," Romney said.

But presidential elections are always about the grand national us. They are about we, the people. And when it come to a candidate, they are about me and you.
A fundamental dilemma,0,1823647.story
The "Romney for president" folks keep promising a new, supercharged phase of the campaign that will launch their stalled candidate on a trajectory straight to the White House.

The “reboot” suggests something big and bold. But there’s a problem: Republican strategists have decided the public — and, particularly, undecided moderate voters — like President Obama too much to smack him rhetorically with two fists. . . .

Imagine George Dubya Bush watching the Democratic convention: he saw former President Bill Clinton given a prime-time slot, adored by the conventioneers, giving a gold-plated endorsement to Obama and being praised for giving one of the greatest and most impactful political speeches of all time.

Meanwhile, at the GOP convention, he was asked (told?) not to even show up. His name was barely mentioned, if at all. Instead, they made prime-time space for Clint Eastwood, rambling to an empty chair. 

Well, George is getting a little bit of payback now. What a catastrophe for the Mittster
George W. Bush was the first former president since Nixon to skip his first post-office convention, and unlike Bill Clinton, we won't see Bush on the campaign trail, either. The Republican plan, apparently, is for the failed former president to keep as low a profile as possible between now and Election Day.

In fact, the week before the election, Bush won't even be in the United States. Where's he headed? To the most politically inconvenient location on this planet. . . .

Former President George W. Bush is set to deliver the keynote address at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit on Grand Cayman just a few days before the election. . . .

They really should have cut this guy loose, and stuck to it. He will drag them all down 
Akin on McCaskill: She wasn’t “ladylike” in the last debate. 

GOPers. . .: Dude, we’re not touching that one. 

The voters who will decide this election
They aren't so much 'undecided' as uninterested and, frankly, uninformed; in political-science parlance -- and SNL ads -- they are 'low information' voters. . . [read on]

In Fox World
The Polls Are Rigged!

Even Fox's OWN polls, apparently:

In fact, the polls are consistent, and overwhelmingly devastating for Romney

Obama now ahead with Catholics and seniors

Hey, maybe voter fraud is real after all!

Bonus item: Potty-mouthed Sarah Silverman makes us laugh about voter suppression

***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.***

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Conservative whine-fest 101: when the news for you is bad, complain about the news media 

Bozell and Conservative Leaders Call on Public to Tune out the Liberal Media!

Yeah, if it wasn't for that damn librul media, Romney would be doing fine

Fox News: 

Obama has edge over Romney in three battleground states

Fox News Pundits Savage Romney

Bill Kristol: Romney 'Crazy' Not to Release Tax Returns 

[Kristol] "If this election is just about the last four years, that’s a muddy verdict. Bush was president during the financial meltdown. The Obama team has turned that around pretty well. . . ."

Brit Hume To Fox Panel On Romney: ‘This Is A Campaign That Is Running Out Of Time’
[Kristol] A Note on Romney’s Arrogant and Stupid Remarks

Remaking himself yet again, Willard now says he's proud of his Massachusetts health care plan, which was the model for Obamacare

It's because he CARES, dammit!

I've lost count
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's campaign was forced to quickly issue a clarification on Tuesday after their candidate admitted that President Barack Obama had not raised taxes during his first four years in office. . . .

"Paul Ryan looked like someone just punched him in the stomach," PolitcusUSA's Jason Easley noted. "The really priceless moment is happening behind Romney, as Paul Ryan realizes what Romney said, and tries his very best to maintain his smile. . . ."

Within hours of the campaign event, Romney's team was walking back the former governor's statement.. . . [watch]

And they'll be explaining this one tomorrow
"We have got to reform our tax system," Romney said at a morning event here. "Small businesses most typically pay taxes at the individual tax rate. And so our individual income taxes are the ones I want to reform. Make them simpler. I want to bring the rates down. By the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes because I'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions. But by bringing rates down we will be able to let small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people."

The comments were either a flub on Romney's part or an admission that many of the deductions and exemptions that he will have to target in order to make his tax plan deficit neutral will end up affecting the middle class. . . .

Joe Scarborough cries, "Oh, sweet Jesus!" Why?

How could this POSSIBLY be relevant to his candidacy?
Mitt Romney really doesn't want voters to know how many servants he has or how much he pays them . . .

Romney: 'I'm Running For Office For Pete's Sake, I Can't Have Illegals'

The Liar lies about his lying lies

Obama makes an obvious verbal slip, catches and corrects himself - but you can expect to see it clipped out of context and used in a future Romney ad
"I want to see us export more jobs." Reuters reports that he quickly caught himself and corrected, "Export more products." And then he just went for it. "Excuse me. I was channeling my opponent there for a second." . . . .

The DNC lands a haymaker on Slinky: Don't - miss - this - one!

How 'bout that Paul Ryan pick?

[Sept 19] As the president makes his first campaign visit of the year to Wisconsin on Saturday, the poll found that Mr. Obama was the choice of 51 percent to 45 percent for Mr. Romney among likely voters. The six-point lead, which includes those who said they were leaning in one direction or another, marks a slight shift in Mr. Obama’s direction since Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin joined the Republican ticket last month. . . .

Nevertheless, Romney's appeal is flagging so badly that he's trying to use his VP's popularity to pull up his own (sound familiar?)
Romney and Ryan to Start Campaigning Together More Often

[NB: This is actually a bigger problem for them, because as the days wind down and the number of states in which he needs to contest Obama is growing, he and Ryan don't have the traditional flexibility of splitting up and doing two states or regions at the same time.]

Right after his "legitmate rape" comment, national Repubs were falling all over themselves to condemn Todd Akin (R-MO) and demand he step down from the campaign. Smart devil, he knew that if he stuck with it, they would eventually come back to him because he's essential to their effort to take over the Senate. It just goes to show that no one ever went broke overestimating the cynicism of the modern GOP

Video Reel: Back When Republicans Weren’t Going To Support Todd Akin

National Republicans Come Home To Todd Akin
With the deadline passed for Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race, the National Republican Senatorial Committee says it's taking a fresh look at the contest. . . . 
Todd Akin's Rehabilitation Project is Now Underway

Claire McCaskill's new ad:

Other self-destructing Republican senate candidates around the map
[In Wisconsin] Thompson says he's the man to 'do away with Medicare and Medicaid'
[In Massachusetts] Scott Brown denies making offensive remark he made in debate


Michele Bachmann, remember her?
Jim Drinkard, an Associated Press (AP) editor who oversees the wire service’s fact-checking work, said, “We had to have a self-imposed Michele Bachmann quota in some of those debates.”

After the session, Drinkard said that there wasn’t an actual numerical quota on Bachmann at the AP. It’s just that if the AP had gone back and vetted all her claims that looked dicey, the result would “overload” the debate story. . . .

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Fox News distorts the numbers to make Obama look bad

All you need to know about Fox News is that they still think that Dick Morris is a credible analyst
Dick Morris: 'If the Election Were Held Today Romney Would Win'

Bonus item: SO lame. Is this really the best they can do?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that President Barack Obama is a “part-time president” and compared him to the NFL’s replacement referees, but added that Obama critics like himself “need to get over it and understand this is who is president. . . He really is like the substitute referees in the sense that he’s not a real president. He doesn’t do anything that presidents do, he doesn’t worry about any of the things the presidents do”. . .

[Paul Ryan] “I’m going to start off with something that was really troubling that occurred last night. Did you guys watch that Packer game last night? I mean give me a break!” Ryan complained. “It is time to get the real refs. . . . It reminds me of President Obama and the economy. If you can’t get it right, it’s time to get out. I half-think that these refs work part-time for the Obama administration and the Budget Office,” Ryan said. 

***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:

To get PBD by email:!forum/todays-news

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.***