Saturday, August 18, 2012

Headlines - Saturday August 18

Dick Morris is a moron. I mean, he's objectively the dumbest person working in politics today despite fierce competition for the title. But what makes him extra special is that he doesn't rest on past failures like some lesser screwups. No, Dick works hard every day to make sure he keeps his crown.

Like today:

@MittRomney really clarifies who he is with the @PaulRyanVP choice. The more I think about it, it's an act of brilliance.

By rule, that tweet proves that Mitt Romney really screwed the pooch with his decision. But in case you were wondering, "What might Dick Morris really know about VP selections?", here's what he knows, from Sept. 5, 2008:

But it was McCain's gutsy selection of Palin that opened the door to victory.
Case closed.
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in February 2012, lamenting the fact that the battle over the payroll tax cut (which he opposed) had hurt Republicans and helped President Obama:
"I think the idea of running against a dysfunctional, do-nothing Congress is part of his campaign strategy," Ryan said.
Ryan, of course, blamed Democrats for the paralysis. Apparently, he thinks it's their fault and their fault alone that Congress has sunk to record low ratings and that Americans rank it the worst congress ever.

But that's nonsense. Democrats haven't forced Paul Ryan and his fellow House Republicans to spend all their time sucking up to the tea party. Democrats didn't make the GOP play games with the debt ceiling or force them to repeatedly try to defund Planned Parenthood. Voting nearly three dozen times to repeal Obamacare wasn't a Democratic idea. Republicans were the ones who came up with the brilliant idea of spending taxpayer money to mount a legal defense against marriage equality. And if I recall correctly, it was Paul Ryan himself who convinced Republicans to vote in favor of ending Medicare as we know it while simultaneously lowering Mitt Romney's taxes to 0.82 percent.

You can explain why Congress has gotten so bad in three words: tea party Republicans. And for picking one of their leaders as his running mate, the Obama campaign owes Mitt Romney a big debt of gratitude.


GM stopped production at its Janesville, Wisconsin production facility in 2008, when George W. Bush was still president, but according to Paul Ryan the person to blame is President Obama.

As you can see in the video at the top of the post, Ryan told a crowd in North Canton, Ohio yesterday that the president's energy policies had led to the factory's closure in 2009. Ryan delivered the attack in personal terms, saying he had high school buddies who worked at the factory. "A lot of my high school buddies worked at that GM plant," Ryan said. "One of the reasons that plant got shut down is $4 gasoline. You see, this costs jobs. The president's terrible energy policies are costing us jobs."

But despite Ryan's emotional story, GM announced the plant's closure in June of 2008. In October of 2008, the date was accelerated from 2010 to the end of the year. And on December 23, 2008 the last SUV rolled off the line.

Ryan said the factory closed because gas prices had climbed to $4 per gallon. Gas prices were that high, but that was in June of 2008, when George W. Bush was the president. Gas prices today are lower than they were then, though they do remain high.

Ryan also claimed the President Obama had promised to keep the factory open—but that's not true according to The Detroit News, USA Today, and TPM.

Bottom line: Without the benefit of facts, Ryan's story sounded compelling, but once you learn what really happened, you quickly realize Ryan was telling a tall tale that was just too perfect to be true. And with that kind of thing starting to become a pattern with Ryan, it's no wonder that Mitt Romney likes him so much.

To add—Ryan is INSISTENT that the plant closed because of bad energy policy. Hence, it was George W. Bush's energy policy that closed down that plant. So how is Mitt Romney's energy policy any different?


Making an offer you cannot refuse - The Kenyan Usurper Hawaiian Devil Baby Barack Obama's campaign has made an offer:

"So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more--neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign," Messina wrote.

Which of course The Willard Mechanism rejected and so now there will be six more weeks of winter (and more importantly Willard's taxes are back at the top of the news again - heh-heh-heh-heh). (The Ticket)


One of the more reprehensible tactics of the anti-choice movement is the "abortion survivor" story: the child born of rape or incest who gives thanks for not having been aborted. These stories, of course, beg the question entirely: at the time of their mother's decision, they weren't fully human or even conscious, and it wasn't their choice to make.

Well, Lynn Beisner at Role/Reboot has a
challenging and powerful story to tell as well.


The Archdiocese of Portland
has offered an "open-ended" loan to the Oregon priest who last week was witnessed running down the street in his underwear as he tried to capture the 12 year-old boy he'd just molested.


I have to marvel at the cleverness of the latest effort from MS Bellows at the Guardian, who has related the Romney voter fraud issue (he voted in Massachusetts in 2010 even though he apparently didn't live there) with Romney's reluctance to release his taxes:

Many (many, many, many, many, many) theories have been advanced to explain why Romney keeps refusing to produce any returns prior to 2010, ranging from "voters might learn he's wealthy" (which voters already know) to "he underpaid his church tithe" (doubtful).

None of them is really satisfactory, because none of them posits Romney concealing any facts more harmful than the blowback he is getting for not producing more returns. The problem may be that all of the prominent theories (with a couple of under-noticed exceptions) assume Romney is trying to conceal facts about his finances. Like the purloined letter pinned prominently in plain sight, what Romney's really hiding might be something more mundane: the home address written on the top of the tax form. That address that might reveal a connection between the "tax returns" brouhaha and the "voter fraud" fizzle – which may be the strongest explanation of all.

While we're on this endlessly fascinating topic, David Simon has a good piece pointing out that a 13% tax rate is outrageous even if it is true. Most of us have paid far more than that for the entirety of our adult lives.


OPSEC, the crew behind the video accusing President Obama of taking too much credit for killing Osama bin Laden, and of leaking intelligence while doing so, might be ex-SEALs, but they're also hypocrites:

Rustmann and two other key members of the group, all self-described Republicans, have a history of talking openly to the media about national security, a review of articles and transcripts shows.

Rustmann appeared on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes" in 2005 to discuss Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert CIA operations officer who was outed in July 2003 by members of the George W. Bush administration. [...]

Scott Taylor, chairman of OPSEC, is a former Navy SEAL. An unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia in 2010, he sat down with NBC News last summer for a documentary titled "Secrets of Seal Team Six." The film said the military had urged former SEALs not to talk.

And OPSEC member Chad Kolton, a former spokesman for the director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, helped make the office "more accessible to reporters, including regular off-the-record briefings by senior analysts on global hot spots [...]

And here's the story on the leader of a similar group, SOS, which is also pushing the line that Obama revealed secrets:

President Barack Obama is a socialist, was raised by communists, and wasn't born in the United States, according to the former Navy SEAL who founded the group Special Operations Speaks(SOS), which aims to portray Obama as anti-military in this election season.

For some reason I don't think this is going to be the Swiftboating that these morons envisioned.


Gee whiz, it's almost like they're trying to make it really hard for "some people" to vote in Pennsylvania:

HARRISBURG - On the same day a judge cleared the way for the state's new voter identification law to take effect, the Corbett administration abandoned plans to allow voters to apply online for absentee ballots for the November election and to register online to vote.

A spokesman for the Department of State said county elections officials told the agency that implementing the new online initiatives as well as voter ID requirements was too much to handle less than three months before the election.

State election law allows absentee voting by any individuals who cannot physically get to polls, are sick or disabled or out of town, but they have to submit proof.

In his decision, Commonwealth Court Judge Robert E. Simpson Jr. noted that the law already allows for absentee ballots for those facing difficulty in getting to the polls. In referring to two of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, he noted that "absentee balloting is probably available to them."

Simpson on Wednesday denied that request on grounds that meeting the requirements of the ID law was not overly burdensome for voters.

[read full post at ABLC]


FRC President Tony Perkins Supported Former KKK Leader David Duke And Louisiana's White Supremacists

I've mentioned this many times before, but it's certainly worth mentioning again this week. From an SPLC article I've excerpted here before:
In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a "retrograde species of humanity." Perkins claimed not to know the group's ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 — two years before Perkins' speech to the CCC — Republican House Speaker Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its "racist views." The Duke incident surfaced again in local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries.
From the Council Of Conservative Citizen's statement of principles:

We believe in the traditional family as the basic unit of human society and morality, and we oppose all efforts by the state and other powers to weaken the structure of the American family through toleration of sexual licentiousness, homosexuality and other perversions, mixture of the races, pornography in all forms, and subversion of the authority of parents.

(Not one cable news network or mainstream newspaper has mentioned Perkins' racist past since the FRC shooting.)

UPDATE: Here is a PDF of the
Federal Election Commission ruling that FRC president Tony Perkins violated campaign expenditure disclosure law when he tried to hide his payment to KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.



Don't mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta "rage" in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he's not raging against is the privileged elite he's groveling in front of for campaign contributions. -Tom Morello on Paul Ryan's fandom

Nothing to add.



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