Sunday, September 30, 2012

NBC’s David Gregory Misquotes Obama, Falsely Claims President Said ‘Al Qaeda Has Been Defeated’


This morning on Meet The Press, David Gregory twice asserted that, in May, President Obama declared that “al Qaeda has been defeated.” Gregory used that claim to advance a theory that Obama was simply not concerned enough about al Qaeda in advance of the attack on the American embassy in Libya. Here’s the transcript:
GREGORY: The President has said as recently as May of this year that al Qaeda has not had a chance to rebuild, that al Qaeda has been defeated. There is an election on, as we’ve been talking about, and the President’s challenger said plain and simple, the President failed to level with the American people and call this a terrorist attack, because you had to be concerned about another terrorist attack from al Qaeda in the Middle East after the President said that al Qaeda had been defeated.
That is not, however, what Obama said in May. Gregory was apparently referring to an address that Obama delivered from Afghanistan in May on the one year anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Here is what Obama said:
And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set — to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.
Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over.
So, the truth is that Obama did not say al Qaeda had already been defeated and specifically acknowledged that there were “difficult days” and “enormous sacrifices” yet to come.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Romney Working Hard On Debate Prep

Ann Romney worries about Mitt’s ‘mental well-being’ if he wins election


Ann Romney, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, told a Nevada television station her main concern if her husband wins the upcoming election would be over his state of mind.
“I think my biggest concern, obviously, would just be for his mental well-being,” she told KTVN-TV Thursday. “I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness and his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy, in his understanding of what’s missing right now in the economy – you know, pieces that are missing to get this jump-started. So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”
Romney was in Reno Thursday campaigning on behalf of her husband, the former governor of Massachusetts, and addressing accusations that he has dismissed middle-class Americans.
“Mitt is a person who cares,” she said. “That’s why we are running, because we care … he does not fail. As president of the United States, he will not fail.”
She also told the stations all Americans should be concerned about the prospect of Obama being re-elected.
“This economy has been under his control for the last four years, and we have seen no jobs,” Romney said. “It’s been a jobless recovery.”
Revised data by the U.S. Labor Department released Thursday suggests that 125,000 additional non-farm payroll jobs have been created since Obama took office in January 2009.
Romney’s interview with KTVN begins around the 6:30 mark of the station’s report, aired Thursday evening,......................

KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Romney fundraiser planned Thursday in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON — Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plan a campaign fundraiser for him Thursday in Hong Kong, where U.S. business interests intersect with China's growing influence as a world financial superpower.

The third-highest ranking Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, was due in Hong Kong Thursday to make an appearance at the event, Erica Elliott, a spokeswoman for the California congressman said on Wednesday. Romney campaign spokesman Danny Diaz confirmed the report but added "no other specifics at this time." Business community figures in Hong Kong also confirmed the event.

Hong Kong has been a dependable source of campaign cash for Romney, where expatriate supporters have already raised more than $385,000 for his White House run, according to federal campaign finance records. President Barack Obama's campaign has also mined cash from partisans there, raising $84,000.

Many of both candidates' backers in Hong Kong are business figures who deal regularly with Chinese officials and corporations, a focal point of growing presidential campaign concern over U.S.-China trade friction. Romney and Obama have sparred repeatedly over how to deal with China's growing economic rivalry to the U.S., and the issue looms as a critical talking point in the upcoming presidential debates.

Romney accuses China's government of trade, currency and intellectual property abuses, and says Obama has failed to confront Chinese officials. The Obama campaign said the administration has stood up to China and accused Romney's former firm, Bain Capital, of aiding the shift of American jobs to China. Both China and the U.S. filed World Trade Organization complaints against each other last week for alleged trade violations.

"China has been an 800-pound stage prop and both sides play it," said Bob Kapp, a Washington state-based China consultant and former president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

The Hong Kong event is not Romney's first effort to glean campaign cash there. Two of his sons headlined a fundraiser in Hong Kong last May. And Obama supporters have also been busy in China, gathering in the mainland China city of Shanghai in July for a $10,000 Obama Victory Fund event benefiting both the campaign and Democratic party coffers. Only American citizens and green card holders can donate to U.S. candidates.

One Hong Kong businessman invited to the Romney event identified one of the fundraiser's organizers as Michael G. Desombre, a Hong Kong attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions and private equity for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. The businessman, Leland Sun, of Pan Asian Mortgage, said he was told the fundraiser was billed as a small event. Desombre did not return calls for comment.

The event was to be held at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. Other hosts include John Ying, founding partner of Peak Capital Partners I LP, attorney Thomas Britt and Charles Regan, head of Asia banking at Enclave Capital, Bloomberg reported.

Like many of the Hong Kong-based business figures who have donated to both candidates, Desombre has represented and advised numerous U.S. firms that have invested in Chinese companies. Desombre's web site details his work for Warburg Pincus Asia LLC's multiple investments in Chinese firms, several Goldman Sachs investments in China and the merger of two Chinese power companies. Desombre's firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, also has regularly lobbied in Washington, representing GE, Mitsubishi and the Private Equity Growth Council in recent years.

Romney has benefited from other supporters with extensive business interests in China. Casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who owns gambling resorts in the Chinese protectorate of Macau, has given more than $43 million to political action committees supporting Romney and allied GOP causes. Adelson is the largest individual donor in the 2012 campaign, according to an Associated Press review of campaign records.

Federal campaign finance records through late August show Obama has raised $432 million versus Romney's $274 million since the start of the 2012 campaign. Romney has gained ground in recent months. The Republican National Committee has outraised its Democratic party counterpart, $280 million to $230 million.

In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has made China a central foreign policy issue, pushing new ad campaigns in Ohio and other battleground states that accuse China's government of trade "cheating" and attacking Obama for not pushing back. The Obama campaign has also used China as a campaign scapegoat at times in its ads, criticizing Romney's former private equity firm, Bain Capital, for several investment deals that reportedly shipped U.S. jobs to China.

Romney has also been sensitive to the China issue in his personal finances. Over the past two years, as the presidential race approached, a lawyer overseeing his family's trusts sold off numerous shares of stock in Chinese state-owned firms, including the 2011 sale of shares in a Chinese oil company. Romney had pledged in 2007 to eliminate any investments that conflicted with his political beliefs, but his trusts kept many of the Chinese investments and other politically-sensitive holdings until 2010 and 2011.

Fox & Friends: The FOX NEWS Polls Are Rigged!


It’s clear that Fox & Friends has a tricky relationship with data. But on the show Thursday morning, the hosts took that relationship to a whole new level.
After a raft of new polls showed Obama opening up leads in swing states, the Friends flew in to full-blown conspiracy mode about what’s really behind the data.
Parroting the latest Republican meme that national polls oversample Democrats, host Steve Doocy threw in to the mix the possibility that pollsters are using voter turnout from 2008 to guide who they should be asking. And why would the “left-based mainstream media” do this? Doocy had an answer.
“Well, two reasons,” he said. “One, perhaps, to keep Mitt Romney’s donors from coughing up more cash. And two, to keep people from doing early voting.”
Co-host Gretchen Carlson had another theory: “I do think there’s a subliminal message in these daily polling things, which isn’t always great for the voter.”
One problem with the theories: FOX’s own polling also shows Obama surging in swing states. A survey released by the network just last week showed the president leading Romney by no fewer than five points in Ohio, Virginia and Florida......

Romney’s Budget Plan Could Kill Millions Of Jobs Over The Next Two Years


The budget and tax proposals put forth by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would not lead to the economic prosperity and job growth he has claimed, according to a new study released this week. In fact, the Economic Policy Institute found that Romney’s plans would actually lead to a net loss of jobs over the first two years of his administration, and the losses could grow even larger if Romney were to stick to his promise of reaching a balanced budget.
EPI had to make assumptions about Romney’s plan because of its lack of specificity, but according to its analysis, Romney’s plan to lower taxes and cut spending would cause a net loss of 554,000 jobs over the next two years if Romney abandons his plan to pay for the massive tax cuts he has promised. But if he maintains his promise to balance the budget while also providing the huge tax cuts, his plan would “lead to employment losses of 608,000 in 2013 and roughly 1.3 million in 2014″:

The deep spending cuts Romney has promised are the primary reason for the job losses, EPI’s analysis found. If Romney does pay for the tax cuts, as he insists he will, the spending cuts would get even deeper and thus cause the loss of even more jobs. Another independent analysis, meanwhile, found that fully paying for Romney’s tax cuts would require raising taxes on the middle class.
Romney’s call for a Balanced Budget Amendment would cause even more problems. “Government spending cuts of this magnitude would constitute an economic shock even larger than the one inflicted by the bursting of the housing bubble—a shock that led to the worst recession since the Great Depression,” EPI wrote. But because that shock would be so large, EPI concluded that passage of such an amendment is “exceedingly unlikely” and it chose not to include it in the analysis.

Elegant Pajamas Media Lady Blogger: Jesus Would Hate Today’s Poor People, Who Should Be More Like In Dickens

ATTENTION POOR PEOPLE: Pajamas Media blogger Kathy Shaidle would like you to stop being boozy crackheads who spend all your money on weaves and tacky club clothes, at once and now! Let us listen to the good lady’s gentle murmurs on the subject, as she has some Bible Science she would like to drop on us:
[To]day’s poor are often petulant, entitled, irresponsible, and ungrateful, caught up in a culture of crime and cheap thrills. Jesus ordered us to love the poor because He understood how hard it was to do, even 2000 years ago. But in 2012, I’d take that further: our “poor” have become the “rich” Jesus warned us about.
Congratulations, Kathy Shaidle! “Jesus: What a Fucking Idiot That I Know So Much More Than” is a very bold premise! READ MORE »

Identifying Three Trends in Far Right Violence in the United States

Author: Arie Perliger

In the morning hours of August 5, 2012, the Sikh temple at Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was crowded with children and mothers engaged in preparations for the Langar, a traditional Sikh communal meal scheduled to be held later that day. At around 10:00 AM, Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old from nearby Cudahy, Wisconsin, arrived in the temple parking lot and started firing at the temple’s inhabitants using a pistol purchased several days earlier. He then entered the temple and continued his killing spree until he was gunned down by police forces that arrived to the site. At that point, he had already killed six worshippers and a police officer.[1]
While details from the investigation have not yet been officially released, a growing body of evidence links Page to various far right elements, mainly the skinheads subculture and the white power music scene. As a result, policymakers and intellectuals expressed concerns about a potential revival of far right violence in the United States. Many of their responses also reflected common misconceptions and deficiencies that dominate the popular discourse about the American far right, such as the inability to distinguish between its different components, lack of understanding of its ideological tenets as well as the tendency to ignore the fact that American far right violence was never really absent; if anything, the level of far right violence has been rising steadily for the last two decades.
This article provides clarity on the various components of the American far right. It also offers a basic analytical model to better understand its current violent trends. The article’s findings—which are based on a dataset of more than 4,400 cases of violent attacks by far right elements during a 22-year period—will be expanded in a more detailed study that will soon be published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
Typology of the American Violent Far Right
Three major ideological trends can be identified within the American violent far right: racist, anti-federalist and fundamentalist. The ideological characteristics of the various groups impact their operations in terms of tactics used and target selection.

Racist Trend
The ideological trend most familiar to Americans is the racist one, which is comprised of white supremacy groups such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), neo-Nazis such as the National Alliance, and skinhead groups such as the Hammerskin Nation. The racist groups are interested in preserving or restoring what they perceive as the appropriate and natural racial and cultural hierarchy by enforcing social and political control over non-whites—such as African Americans, Jews and various immigrant communities. Their ideological foundations are based mainly on ideas of nativism (rejection of foreign norms and practices), racism, segregation and xenophobia. Other popular components of the far-right ideology—including strong affinity for order and social control, traditional values and anti-democratic dispositions—are manifested by some of these groups, but are usually secondary.

Since the mid-1980s, many of the racist groups framed their ideas in a defensive context and started to utilize “civil rights” rhetoric, usually presenting themselves as dedicated to the promotion or protection of the white race, and preserving their heritage and culture. Other groups, however, intensified their usage of Nazi heritage, symbols, rituals and ideological foundations to justify and promote anti-Semitic, racist and nativist ideas, as well as exclusionism. More specifically, since some of these groups believe that territorial and racial purity is a condition for the survival of the “white race,” they developed the idea of enforced segregation, including concrete “programs” to eliminate inferior races, expel others or divide the United States into racially homogeneous geographical areas.
In terms of target selection, and in line with the trend’s ideology, the great majority of attacks perpetrated by these groups are aimed against individuals or organizations affiliated with a specific minority ethnic group, or non-Aryan facilities (mosques, synagogues, or schools affiliated with minority communities). While the KKK is heavily involved in acts of vandalism, the skinheads and the neo-Nazi groups are more engaged in attacks against human targets and show a higher affinity for mass casualty attacks.
Anti-Federalist Trend
The anti-federalist trend (which is usually identified in the literature as the “militia” or “patriot” movement) appeared in full force only in the early to mid-1990s with the emergence of groups such as the Militia of Montana and the Michigan Militia. Anti-federalist and anti-government sentiments existed in U.S. society before the 1990s via diverse movements and ideological associations promoting anti-taxation, gun rights, and a “survivalist” lifestyle. Yet most scholars concur that the “farm crises” of the 1980s combined with the implications of rapid cultural, technological and normative changes in American society, as well as attempts to revise gun control and environmental legislation, facilitated the emergence of a fairly ideologically cohesive movement, as well as its rapid growth.[2]

Ideologically, anti-federalists are interested in undermining the influence, legitimacy and practical sovereignty of the federal government and its proxy organizations, such as the U.S. military or Federal Bureau of Investigation.[3] This rationale is multifaceted, and includes the belief that the U.S. political system and its proxies have been hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a New World Order (NWO),[4] in which the United States will be absorbed into the United Nations or another version of global government; strong convictions regarding the corrupted and tyrannical nature of the federal government and its related natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civilian lives and constitutional rights; and finally, perceptions supporting civilian activism, individual freedoms, and self governing the way they were manifested in the frontier culture in U.S. history, especially during the Revolutionary War and the expansion to the American west. Hence, anti-federalist groups see themselves as part of a struggle to restore or preserve the United States’ “true” identity, values and “way of life” and as the successors of the country’s founding fathers.
Recent research conducted by this author shows that in the case of the anti-federalist trend there is compatibility between ideological tenets and operational characteristics. Two-thirds of the attacks by anti-federalist groups were directed against the government and its proxies, such as law enforcement (65.8%); while attacks against minorities (11%) and infrastructure (6.1%, which could also be seen as attacks against the government) comprise most of the rest.
Fundamentalist Trend
The fundamentalist trend, which includes mainly Christian identity groups such as the Aryan Nations, merges religious fundamentalism with traditional white supremacy and racist tendencies. It promotes ideas of nativism, exclusionism, and racial superiority via a unique interpretation of religious texts that focus on division of humanity according to primordial attributes. More specifically, these groups maintain that a correct interpretation of the holy texts reveals that it is not the people of Israel but the Anglo-Saxons who are the chosen people. Moreover, the war between the forces of light and darkness, as portrayed in the Bible, will be (or has already been) manifested via racial war between the white Anglo-Saxon nation and various non-Anglo-Saxon ethnic groups such as the “Children of Satan” (Jews) and “mud people” (non-whites). The identity groups tend to utilize religious heritage, symbols, rituals and norms to instill and spread these ideas, as well as to provide moral justification for, and encouragement to, political activism against elements that are threatening the materialization of the appropriate sociopolitical order.

Operationally, identity violence focuses on minorities and has a higher tendency to involve mass casualty attacks (in comparison to the other two trends).[5]
The Iceberg Model and American Far Right Violence
In the early 1980s, the Israeli political scientist Ehud Sprinzak published a paper on the irredentist Israeli religio-political movement Gush Emunim (The Bloc of the Faithful) entitled “The Iceberg Model of Political Extremism.”[6] He argued that the Gush is best understood not as a classical protest movement, but as the extremist tip of a large social and cultural “iceberg,” in effect a religious subculture, which supports and nurtures the Gush. Pyramidal in structure, this iceberg—Gush’s social and political bases of support—broadens as one moves from the politically extremist tip to the less extremist base. Based on analysis of 4,400 cases of violent attacks by far-right elements in a 22-year period, the iceberg model could be applicable for understanding some of the characteristics of the American violent far right as well.

To begin with, the American far right is characterized by a large base of supporters (the base of the “iceberg”) who are usually engaged in low level violence (usually minor incidents of vandalism or low sophisticated attacks against individuals) and are not affiliated with any formal organizational frameworks (for example, just one percent of the attacks by unaffiliated members includes the use of firearms or explosives, well below what could be observed in any of the other trends). Based on the body of literature developed in the last few years regarding political radicalization, it is possible to carefully assume that the perpetrators of these attacks are the future recruitment potential of the more institutionalized organizations. In other words, after crossing the line and performing some minor attacks on their own initiative, at some point these individuals may look for more organized, systematic mechanisms to express their ideas for political activism, and thus will join one of the other, more formal, streams of the American far right toward the top of the iceberg.
If this perspective is indeed a reflection of the movement’s structure and dynamics, then the United States may be facing a continuous rise in the level of violence, especially since the last six years have been characterized by an overall increase in the “base” of the iceberg (i.e., there has been an increase in the number of low sophisticated, unaffiliated and spontaneous attacks, which have been followed by an increase in the number of mass casualty attacks). It should be noted that most of these low sophisticated/spontaneous attacks have received relatively little attention from the media, political authorities and law enforcement, while the few mass casualty attacks attracted most of the attention.
Which groups contribute most to the tip of the iceberg, and which are closer to its base? The findings show that the KKK (and on some level anti-abortionists), with its current informal and fragmented structure and low level of operational sophistication, is the formal movement that is closest to the base of the iceberg (and may be the first station for those joining the “formal” American far right). The higher one “climbs” to the top of the iceberg, the more lethal the group’s attacks and the smaller they are in volume. Therefore, following the KKK, the order can be ranked as follows from least to most lethal: skinheads, militias, neo-Nazi groups and finally attacks perpetrated by individuals or groups affiliated with the Christian identity movement. To illustrate, while Christian identity elements perpetrated “just” 66 attacks in the last 22 years, their attacks generated close to three victims per attack on average. The skinheads, which are part of the racist trend, were responsible for more than 200 attacks, but averaged close to one victim per attack.
While the model is not perfect,[7] overall it seems that the iceberg model fits the findings, as there is a clear base which is wider in terms of the number of attacks but is less “sharp” (in lethality), while the narrower parts of the iceberg are indeed sharper and more lethal.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the most damaging and dangerous mass of an iceberg is actually the section that is underwater. Indeed, the high volume of far right violence reflected in vandalism and attacks against individuals is probably a better indication of the growing threat from the far right than the small number of mass casualty attacks. A group or individual will rarely engage in mass casualty attacks without first moving through the lower base of the iceberg by engaging in low profile attacks. A rise in the number of low profile attacks should eventually result in an increase in mass casualty attacks.

In more specific terms, the findings reflect a steady rise in the level of far right violence in the United States during the last two decades. While some far right groups are clearly in decline, such as the KKK and anti-abortionists, others such as the skinheads, neo-Nazis and militias are still active and represent a growing threat.
Dr. Arie Perliger is the Class of 1977 Director of Terrorism Studies at the Combating Terrorism Center and Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Obama Lays Out Agenda In Two-Minute Ad

NEW ROMNEY VIDEO: In 1985, He Said Bain Would "Harvest" Companies for Profits

"Mitt Romney was not an effective governor."

Irony & Karma Want To Kick Mitt’s Ass

Karma, Irony, Fate and perhaps even God seemed to determined at the moment to kick Mitt Romney’s ass. The political class seems finally to be waking up to the truly devastating nature of the 47% remarks. Yes, everyone figured it was a 6.8 on the Political Faceplant Richter Scale. More likely it was an 8.8.
So Romney desperately needs to prove he’s not an arrogant rich jerk who barely knows and couldn’t care less about the struggles of Americans who aren’t blessed with great wealth. And it turns out there’s an argument at hand: RomneyCare, the first successful effort by an American Governor to provide universal health insurance coverage at the state level.
Too bad he’s spent the last two years shapeshifting into the butt-kickinist enemy of Obamacare and mandates and universal coverage this side of the Cayman Islands. His best, really his only argument is radioactive within his own party. Evan McMorris-Santoro has the story

Josh Marshall

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RNC-Backed Company Accused Of Voter Registration Fraud


The Republican Party of Florida has cut ties with a company it paid $1.2 million to register voters after the elections supervisor in Palm Beach County asked the state’s attorney’s office to review 106 “questionable” applications.
Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said she turned the applications over to law enforcement officials because of similar-looking signatures, missing information and wrong addresses on the forms. The questionable applications were part of a batch of 304 voter registration forms turned in by the firm using the Republican Party of Florida’s identification number, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Mike Grissom, executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, said the party had hired a Virginia-based firm called Strategic Allied Consultants at the request of the Republican National Committee.
The RNC did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment, but records show that Strategic Allied Consultants was also hired this year by the Republican parties of North Carolina and Colorado.
Strategic Allied Consultants has a basic website that reveals very little about the company. The firm did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment.

Fox & Friends Flubs Data To Distort Obama’s Economic Record Again


Just two weeks after an apples-to-oranges comparison aimed at casting President Obama’s economic record in a dark light, Fox News is at it again.
The hosts of Fox & Friends on Wednesday enlisted statistical data to advance their narrative that Obama has drastically increased government spending, but used different measures to make their point — a friendly one for President Bush and an unfriendly one for Obama.
As caught by Media Matters, Fox & Friends reported the growth of government spending as a share of GDP under Bush in 2008 was 3.2 percent and rose to 10.1 percent in 2009. By contrast, Fox told its viewers, Obama’s four fiscal years 2010-2013 averaged 23.8 percent spending growth.
Here’s the chart Fox showed its viewers:

It’s a riveting discrepancy — if only it were true.
In fact, the 2008 and 2009 figures reflect federal spending growth pegged to federal revenue, while the 2010-2013 figures counted spending growth as a share of the economy.
A more direct comparison is unremarkable. If Fox applied the same standard as they used for Bush, then 2010-2013 spending growth under Obama would average 7.9 percent, down from 10.1 in 2009, the year that Bush and Obama shared.
Under the metric by which Obama’s government spending growth averaged 23.8 percent, the years 2008 and 2009 saw rates of 20.8 and 25.2, respectively.

Romney Firm Invested In Chinese Company That Touted Low Wages, Low Tax Liability To Investors


A firm run by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney invested in a Chinese company just a week after it touted the low wages it paid its employees, stringent working conditions, and the low tax liability it faced compared to American companies in a document to investors.
Romney has gotten tough on the Chinese government on the campaign trail, but in 1998, Brookside Inc., a subsidiary of Bain Capital, invested in Global-Tech Appliances days after it sent investors a document detailing the low wages it paid its workers and the low tax liability it faced, the Boston Globe reports:
It used “inexpensive labor,” Global-Tech Appliances wrote in a prospectus meant to attract investors on April 8, 1998. Its location in China meant “an overall effective tax rate that may be less than that of US corporations.” It said its current operations would not be subject to “material US taxes because it should not be considered to have significant income effectively connected with a trade or business in the US.” [...]
Nine days after the document was released – on April 17, 1998 — an affiliate of Bain Capital called Brookside Capital Partners Fund acquired about 6 percent of Global Tech, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents that were first reported by Mother Jones magazine.
A leaked video from a Romney fundraiser showed the candidate giving an account of a trip to China to visit a factory in which Bain considered investing. Romney talked of the long hours worked by teenage girls who lived in dormitories on the premises and earned low wages. Spokespersons for both the Romney campaign and Bain Capital declined to comment for the Globe’s story.
Mother Jones reported in July that Global-Tech also depended heavily on the outsourcing of American jobs to China. Romney has blasted that practice on the campaign trail, but as the chief executive at Bain, he routinely oversaw the outsourcing of jobs to China and other low-wage countries. Investment documents released in August also detailed an investment into a company that is outsourcing jobs to China and forcing American workers to train their replacements.

Allen West Does Hilarious Allen West Impression, Will Murder U.N. With Bald Eagle Of Death

Oh, man, Allen West gave us one helluva knee-slapper yesterday. The president addressed the United Nations, so logically West had to address Facebook. And he decided to give us a treat! Not only did he offer some commentary on the speech, but he also did a rip-roaring impression of himself that is such a good joke we only need to give it to you.
Allen West’s proposed revision to Obama’s U.N. address:
“The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence.”
Take THAT, diplomacy! READ MORE »

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Paul Ryan vs. The Stench

Paul Ryan has gone rogue. He is unleashed, unchained, off the hook.
“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday.

Coming from a resident of Iowa, a state where people are polite even to soybeans, this was a powerful condemnation of the Republican nominee.
Though Ryan had already decided to distance himself from the floundering Romney campaign, he now feels totally uninhibited. Reportedly, he has been marching around his campaign bus, saying things like, “If Stench calls, take a message” and “Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.”
Even before the stench article appeared, there was a strong sign that Ryan was freeing himself from the grips of the Romney campaign. It began after his disastrous appearance on Friday before AARP in New Orleans. Ryan delivered his remarks in the style dictated by his Romney handlers: Stand behind the lectern, read the speech as written and don’t stray from the script.
Ryan brought his 78-year-old mother with him and introduced her to the audience, which is usually a sure crowd pleaser.
But when Ryan began talking about repealing “Obamacare” because he said it would harm seniors, one woman in the crowd shouted, “Lie!” Another shouted “Liar!” and the crowd booed Ryan lustily.
Who boos a guy in front of his 78-year-old mother? Other 78-year-old mothers.
That was Friday, and that was the end of Ryan following the game plan. At a certain point, all running mates on failing campaigns feel they must break free from the manacles placed on them by the top of the ticket. Sarah Palin began pursuing her own path once she learned that John McCain was having strategy sessions with his morning bowl of Farina.
Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)
But on Saturday, the day after he was booed, Ryan broke free. Appearing at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Ryan showed the glitz, the glamour, the razzle-dazzle that he was supposed to bring to the campaign in the first place.....................

Monday, September 24, 2012

Don’t Worry, Republicans, We Have Found These Awesome Made-Up Polls For You

If you’re a Romney supporter, you likely look with sadness and disdain upon the current state of political polling, which has consistently failed for weeks to show your guy with a lead.  In fact, the last time Mitt Romney had a lead in the RCP average, it was fall. Of 2011.
What to do, then? Well, you unskew the polls, that’s what!
Enter Unskewed Polls, which takes scientifically conducted polls and, with no particular methodology or reasoning, makes them pro-Romney.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Mitt Romney Calls U.S.A. a 'Foreign Country' in His Tax Returns

Maybe Mitt Romney thinks he lives in Switzerland?

When the former Massachusetts governor released his official 2011 tax return Friday, he (or whoever actually filled out the form) appeared to have mistakenly referred to the United States as a foreign country.
[See: Political cartoons about Mitt Romney]
"If you have a foreign address," the tax return instruction reads, "also complete spaces below." In the space below, under "foreign country name," Romney's form reads "USA."
Several tax preparers confirmed to Whispers that "USA" should not have been written in that line—assuming the Republican presidential nominee is actually a citizen of the United States.
No word from Donald Trump yet if he wants to see the original long form version of the tax return.
Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Steelers Game Notes

Mitt Romney's Tax Returns: What Else is He Hiding?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mitt Romney Is One Glorious Tax Faker

If I’m Ann Romney (AND I AM), I worry about Mitt’s latest tax return, because he just faked a higher tax rate than he should have actually paid … and it’s still ridiculously low.
Mitt Romney’s 14.1 percent effective federal tax rate in 2011 would’ve been lower if he’d deducted all of his charitable contributions from his nearly $13.7 million in income. But after estimating that he paid at least 13 percent of his income in taxes in each of the last 10 years, Romney opted not to deduct nearly $1.8 million worth of charitable contributions last year to artificially lift his tax liability.
So what would Romney’s effective tax rate have been if he’d deducted all of his charitable donations? About 12.2 percent.
You climb into bed with a multimillionaire who won’t show you his tax returns, you’d hope he could be honest at least the one time he spreads his 1040s open for you.

WND Has Creative Theory: Murdered Libyan Ambassador Was Gay, Just Like Obama

Pathetic waste of skin and neurons Dr. Jerome Corsi, PhD, has in recent months shifted from being a straight-out birther to claiming that Barack Obama is a flaming homosexualist, presumably because being a birther mostly just gets him merely a tired indulgent laugh these days, even from other wingnuts. So now, yeah, Obama is gay and spends all his time gaying up everything, especially the State Department and the diplomatic corps. So therefore, it’s perfectly reasonable for Corsi to ask a very simple question: DID OBAMA SEND A ‘GAY’ AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA? Note that “gay” is in quotes in the headline and throughout the article, presumably because there is either no such thing as gayness, or maybe because it it such a new term that it must be marked as slang, like the many street names for exotic drugs. Or does it have something to do with Dr. Corsi, PhD, constantly being “hopped up” on “goofballs”? WE ARE SIMPLY ASKING. READ MORE »

THE SIMPSONS - Homer Votes 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Fox & Friends Issues Correction After Using 3 Year Old Photo To Rip Obama

by Noah Rothman

 Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends issued another correction after Thursday’s program. The morning program featured a picture that was sent out on President Barack Obama’s twitter account which showed the president sitting with a man dressed as a pirate in observance of “national talk like a pirate day.” Fox & Friends said that the president had time for a pirate but no time for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Fox & Friends later noted that the picture in question was taken in 2009.

RELATED: Washington Post’s Media Critic: ‘Please Kill Fox & Friends‘
The Fox & Friends hosts showed an image of the president with the pirate and also noted that Obama recently attended a Manhattan fundraiser with artists Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ©. “All that stuff, and yet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still waiting for that President meeting with Mr. Obama, remember that the White House said he was too busy to meet with him,” said Steve Doocy.
The chyron which captioned the image reinforced the notion that Obama was shirking his official duties as President of the United States. “Too busy for Israel: President Finds Time For Pirate, Letterman,” the chyron read.
Shortly after the broadcast, Fox & Friends tweeted this correction:

This comes after Fox News Channel’s morning program has had to issue a number of corrections in recent months for broadcasting factual inaccuracies or errors. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple documented a number of them last week.

Mitt Romney Dons Brownface For Forum With Mexicans

Mexican Mitt

Mitt Romney saw some Mexicans yesterday, at a Univision forum where he said “Illegal aliens” and all of Twitter got judgmental, as if saying “undocumented immigrants” was going to win Mitt points with his base, who are currently wondering if their hair isn’t going to need washing or their showers grouting come Election Day. READ MORE »

Jon Stewart Labels Fox News’ Response To Romney Video ‘Chaos On Bullshit Mountain’

Mitt Romney Out of Context - Video Ad

Romney Just Saying He Grew Up Poor In Memphis Now

PUEBLO, CO—Abandoning his campaign’s previous strategies for winning over undecided voters in advance of November’s presidential election, Republican nominee Mitt Romney is just now telling people he grew up desperately poor in Memphis, sources confirmed Sunday.
Addressing a rally in Colorado, Romney spoke a great deal about his humble birth on a farm on the outskirts of Memphis; about wheat farming; and about his parents, Rufus and Maybelle Romney, and their struggle to provide for six hungry children as they toiled away at low-paying, menial jobs.
“As you all know, I didn’t grow up with much in the way of wealth,” Romney said of his upbringing in an impoverished neighborhood in North Memphis. “Back then, we didn’t live in much more than a shack on the wrong side of the train tracks, and Mama and Daddy had three jobs apiece to keep us all fed. It fell on me of course to take care of the young ones, of which a few, God bless, are no longer with us.”
“Ann and I, we know what it’s like to grow up with nothing, to wonder where your next meal is coming from, to have to choose between putting food on the table or coal in the fireplace,” continued Romney, speaking of what he called his wife’s “rough childhood” in Mobile, AL, where she was raised by a single mother. “Brother, we know that pang of hunger and hopelessness all too well.”
Speaking for the greater part of an hour, Romney said he was particularly shaped by his father Rufus Romney, a strapping young man with “tattered shoes like Swiss cheese” who left early each day to work in the wheat fields outside Memphis. Returning at night with a tired look in his eyes, Romney said his father would gather his children around the table to share a can of tomato soup and dream of one day living in a “big house on a hill,” a dream Romney said later inspired him to pursue a career in business.
At the same time, the former Massachusetts governor claimed his mother, Maybelle, would go off every morning in her crisp white uniform to work for the wealthy families “over in Chickasaw Gardens.”
“After Mama wiped the sleep from our eyes and smoothed our hair, she would go off to the big mansion, bring home scraps,” said Romney, pausing as his voice filled with emotion. “Every day it was something new—a big yellow potato, sweet saltwater taffy, a creamy stick of butter. Sometimes Ms. Hartley would send home a bag of groceries too, and boy, that day never came too soon.”
The founder and former CEO of Bain Capital said that while times were tough, the children were often blessed with unexpected gifts from considerate neighbors, like small wooden toys or ruby red apples. But even when the day was not so bright, Romney said proudly, they were always grateful for what they had.
“Drugs took my brother Jimmy way too soon. Vietnam took Tommy. But even after Daddy left, we never complained,” Romney told the crowd. “In our hardscrabble Memphis neighborhood, that’s just what life was. For us, it was the little things that mattered: sitting on the porch, Grandpappy playing his fiddle, Mama making buckwheat cakes in the kitchen. Simple as it was, it was all we knew, and all we needed.”
Romney then produced a harmonica from his hip pocket and played a stirring, lonesome melody.

Mitt Romney: Mein Kampf ‘Not Elegantly Stated,’ But Sound Policy


In the latest gaffe from the gaffe-happy campaign of Republican Mitt Romney, the presidential hopeful was secretly taped in a meeting of a bunch of white guys in brown shirts. Romney was speaking to the choir and his remarks indicated he was right at home and not afraid to say what was on his mind.
After the video was released Romney said he thought some of his remarks were “not elegantly stated,” but reflected sound policy. To others, what he said was offensive.
“Sure, Mein Kampf is looked upon like a bad book by some,” Romney said. “What is wrong with the book is really just the translation. In its original German the work is a thing of beauty that is as elegant as Shakespeare, and as informative as Ayn Rand.”
The video showed Romney calmly laying out his case to the group after a taped performance of Wagner concluded. “Mittens” has been tagged as being short on policy details, but that wasn’t the case when he was in front of friends and colleagues.
“The 47 percent of Americans who support Barack Obama are an inferior group, not able to tend for themselves. If Obama wins another term, they will even be asking for toilet assistance,” Romney quipped, to loud guffaws and a couple of loud “heil” retorts. “Mein Kampf explains another great leader’s struggle to get his people to understand what he was hoping to achieve. Sure, he went a bit overboard, but that was a different time. Now we know we can meet our goals for a fascist state that benefits us and only us through the ballot box.”

Romney then talked about the relationship between business and labor. “We don’t need actual slavery, just wage slaves – on the balance sheet, we make more money that way. Make the people work for as little as possible for as long as possible and don’t give ‘em a damn thing except some mindless entertainment news and religious dogma to keep them happy and quiet. When they think they are working for God and country instead of our bottom line, we’ve got them. We just need to keep convincing more voters that we are on their side,” Romney winked to the crowd after that remark.
“Encouraging them to hate and fear what is different from them means they won’t be looking at us,” he continued.

Romney Campaign Sends In Champion Of The Poor Paul Ryan For Damage Control

BOSTONFollowing the widespread controversy over Mitt Romney’s recently leaked comments criticizing Americans who depend on the government, Republican vice presidential candidate and widely beloved champion of the poor Paul Ryan was quickly called in Tuesday to bolster the Romney campaign.
“We’ve obviously been set back a bit, but thankfully we have the perfect guy to the right the ship and win over the nation’s lower class,” said campaign manager Matt Rhoades, adding that Ryan was the first person he thought to call when the video of Romney’s candid discussions with ultra-rich donors emerged yesterday. “Even if we take a hit among lower-income voters in the polls for a day or two, Congressman Ryan will, amazingly enough, win them back to our side, just like he always does.”
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Rhoades continued. “Poor people just love him.”
According to sources, Romney’s advisers have dispatched the modern-day Robin Hood to speak to voters in the most economically downtrodden regions of the country, where thousands of working-class Americans are already lining up outside the venues of Ryan’s upcoming rallies to don T-shirts and wave handmade signs in support of the selfless guardian of the poverty-stricken.
“Paul Ryan sticks up for us when no one else will, everyone knows that,” said 49-year-old unemployed construction worker Vernon Fletcher, calling Ryan a true beacon of hope for the nation’s impoverished. “He’s in it to the last round, fighting tooth and nail for every struggling, blue-collar man and woman in America. He’s done it time and time again, and he’s done it again today.”
“Obviously, I have my reservations about Romney, especially after he basically labeled me as a government-dependent freeloader,” Fletcher continued. “But Paul Ryan—that guy definitely has our back.”
Across the country, millions of the nation’s poorest citizens were reportedly elated at the sight of the celebrated scourge of privilege and greed emerging to once more take up their cause, inspiring the needy with his words of comfort and support and his famously common touch.
“Here he comes!” screamed receptionist and single mother-of-two Ellen McGrath, 34, gathering her young children around the small television in their one-bedroom apartment to watch the latest speech from the tireless hero of the downtrodden. “It’s such a relief knowing there’s someone in Washington who actually cares about us and watches out for our interests.”
“I don’t know what we’d do without him,” added McGrath, her eyes welling with tears. “And we need him now more than ever.”
At press time, sources confirmed that, following a recent speech from Ryan, Mitt Romney’s poll numbers had shot up 80 percent among voters making less than $25,000 per year.

Now That My Campaign Is Over, I'd Like To Talk To You All About The Church Of Latter-Day Saints

By Mitt Romney
Republican Nominee For President Of The United States
September 19, 2012 | ISSUE 48•38 | More Commentary

My fellow Americans, can I have a moment of your time?
It would appear that, following yesterday’s leaking of a video that shows me effectively writing off half the nation’s voters, we can pretty safely say my presidential campaign has come to an end. Oh, technically it may still exist, sure, but let’s be honest with each other: It’s all over. And I have fully accepted that reality.
So, with that in mind, I would like to use my few remaining weeks in the public spotlight to tell the nation all about a truly great religious organization called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You see, folks, I speak to you now not as the Republican Party’s failed nominee for the presidency, but as an ordinary American whose life has been changed by the vision of a very special man named Joseph Smith. And I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some information about an exciting and life-changing faith that has long held a special place in my heart and in the hearts of everyone in the Romney family.
Now, I know during this campaign I’ve said many times that the key to our future happiness is reducing the size of government, cutting taxes, and balancing the budget. But I am here to say to you now that the only real way to ensure future happiness in this life is to become baptized in a Mormon church and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Health care, unemployment, government spending—they all pale in comparison to the word of God as written by the ancient and modern prophets.
Christ lives, my countrymen. He lives, and we are his children. Please allow me to tell you more.
Campaigning across this great nation of ours, I learned that Americans everywhere are hurt, lost, and searching for answers. In their weakness, they turn to leaders like myself in hopes of being guided through the spiritual wilderness. Well, now that my presidential campaign is essentially dead in the water, I would like to offer the following advice to all those people I met who sought my guidance: Forget about everything I said, become a Latter-day Saint, and take the time to learn more about the America’s fastest-growing religion by visiting us at our official website,
Or, better yet, stop by one of our thousands of church meetinghouses worldwide, or come see one of our many fun and informative church-sponsored pageants.
My fellow Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, have you given any serious thought to the existence of eternal life? To joining our Heavenly Father once again in a world beyond our own? If you haven’t, why not? More than anything, more even than my own protracted and evidently unsuccessful attempt to take the White House, your salvation is paramount. For it is what He wants. And it is what our great prophet Joseph Smith wants as well.
As my opponent, Barack Obama, and the ongoing 24-hour news networks continue to hammer away at my now utterly destroyed bid for higher office, I think it’s important for us as a nation to put all of that aside and focus on the Mormon church’s strong commitment to humanitarian aid and community service. Why, did you know that since 2001 the Church of Latter-day Saints has made donations of more than 300,000 wheelchairs in 101 countries? It’s a fact. This is not a burden for us, you see, but a blessing, for “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
People are desperate, people need help, and now that I know definitively I will never be in a position to lead the American people as their president, I ask you to help by filling out an online submission form and having a Mormon missionary come to meet you and your family at your home to spread His word. It’s so easy, and it’s the first step toward changing your life and returning to live with God.
Will you give it a chance? I promise you will not regret it if you do. Christ loves you.
Thank you and may God bless you all.

Romney Apologizes To Nation's 150 Million 'Starving, Filthy Beggars'

SALT LAKE CITY—Seeking to limit the fallout from a videotaped speech in which he asserts 47 percent of Americans “pay no taxes” and do not take “personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Mitt Romney hastily called a press conference today to apologize personally to the “150 million starving, filthy beggars [he] might have offended.”
Saying that he deeply regretted his choice of words at a private $50,000-a-plate fundraising function in May—during which he argued “[his] job is not to worry” about the lower-earning half of the nation’s populace—Romney personally appealed to the country’s “dirt-caked garbage pickers and toothless street urchins” for forgiveness.
“First and foremost, I would like to offer a heartfelt apology to all the whores, junkies, bums, and grime-covered derelicts out there who make up nearly half our nation,” a visibly contrite and solemn Romney said outside a campaign stop at a local high school. “Let me assure you that I in no way meant to offend any of the putrid-smelling, barefoot masses out there. My campaign is not about dividing this nation, but about bringing all sides together—the rich, elegant members of the upper class, as well as the 47 percent who are covered in flies and eat directly from back-alley dumpsters.”
“I am fully committed to building a better future for every American,” Romney continued, “and that means ensuring all 150 million grease-and-urine-soaked members of our society get a fair shake.”
The Romney campaign reportedly scrambled into damage-control mode after the video leaked Monday, issuing a statement late last night stating that the intended target of Romney’s remarks was ingrained big-government largesse, not the “hordes of uneducated, loathsome scum who unfortunately populate this country.”
However, with Romney’s comments continuing to dominate the news cycle today, the campaign opted to convene a press event to allow Romney to speak directly to the nation’s “grimy panhandlers and coke-addled whores” so that he could issue an apology and explain his familiarity with their struggles.
“I know just how hard it must be to get through a miserable, destitute life that is rife with crying babies whose shrieks consistently disrupt the affluent members of society who actually contribute something to this world,” said the GOP candidate, adding that he wanted to make amends for his recent statements and reach out to what he called the country’s “snaggle-toothed street people” and “hell-spawned savages.” “I know it can be challenging to wake each morning, covered in your own feces and refuse, and get back out there on the streets to beg for spare change and food scraps, always one step from dying right there in an alley.”
“I know your challenges, and I am ready to fight for you,” he added
Romney also said he recognized that the hardships of the nation’s low-earners are made more difficult by the fact that so “very, very many of them are drug-addicted, high-school-dropout single mothers and fathers who sleep in gutters while sewer rats nibble at their necrotic flesh.”
In an effort to right his campaign and rebuild his image, Romney promised to bring his message of compassion and economic opportunity to the “ramshackle, mud-floored huts” in which half of all U.S. residents live.
“Let me make this absolutely clear: I have the utmost respect for all of the filth-encrusted, lesion-covered degenerates of this nation,” Romney said. “In the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting real Americans in their squalid, roach-infested hellholes in every corner of this country. I promise to stand up for every one of you, even the 47 percent of you huddled together for warmth, fighting your own family members for moldy crusts of bread as you wallow in your own excrement.”
Added Romney, “And I look forward to serving you as your next president.”

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harry Reid: The 47 percent aren’t ‘using Cayman Islands tax shelters’


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) says that leaked tapes insulting the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes as “dependant” on the government have given the world a “rare look at the real Mitt Romney.”
Earlier this year, Reid had suggested that the Republican presidential nominee refused to release his tax returns because he had not paid any income taxes over a 10-year period, a charge that the Majority Leader renewed during a scathing speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
“This week we learned that Mitt Romney only wants to be president of half the United States,” he explained. “If Mitt Romney were president he wouldn’t waste time worrying about the 47 percent of Americans who he believes are ‘victims,’ who Romney believes are ‘unwilling to take personal responsibility.’”
Reid continued: “For all we know Mitt Romney could be one of those who have paid no federal income tax. Thousands of families making more than a million dollars per year pay nothing in federal income tax. Is Mitt Romney among those? We’ll never know because he refuses to release his tax returns.”
“We know that Mitt Romney pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families, thanks to a number of things he’s done: Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Islands tax shelters. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns like his dad did.”
Reid pointed out that most of “those people” who Romney talked about “are not avoiding their tax bills using Cayman Islands tax shelters or Swiss Bank accounts like Mitt Romney. Millions of the 47 percent are seniors on Social Security, who don’t have Bain Capital retirement funds or inherited stock to fall back on.”
“This rare look at the real Mitt Romney, this rare look from a man who was a fundraiser for him, proves one thing: He’s completely out of touch with average Americans,” the Nevada Democrat concluded. “And if he won’t stand up and fight for every American as president the he doesn’t deserve to serve any American as president.”
For his part, Romney insisted in August that he had paid more than 13 percent of his income in taxes — or more if donations to the Mormon church were included — over the last 10 years, and accused the people who want to see his returns of being “small minded.”

Raw Story (

Fox Owns the Mitt Romney Candidacy (RW Buyers Remorse)

Fox Polls: Obama Leads In Ohio, Virginia, And Florida


President Obama leads in the crucial swing states of Ohio, Virginia and Florida, according to new state polling of likely voters from Fox News. Obama leads Republican nominee Mitt Romney by the same margin in Ohio and Virginia, 49 percent to 42 percent, and has a 49 percent to 44 percent edge over Romney in Florida. From their report:
“Obama is nearly matching his 2008 support in these key states while Romney is under-performing compared to Republican John McCain,” says Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, who conducts the Fox News poll with Republican pollster Daron Shaw.  
“And a significant enthusiasm deficit among Romney backers suggests he will have headwinds as he seeks to close the gap with the president and turn out his voters.”
In the traditionally-prized state of Ohio, Obama leads the PollTracker Average of all public polling by 3.1 percent........

Holder slams Republicans after being cleared in ‘Fast and Furious’ investigation


An internal Department of Justice investigation cleared Attorney General Eric Holder of wrongdoing in the “Fast and Furious” operation, a program that came under fire in an investigation led by California congressman Rep. Darrell Issa (R), who alleged that Holder’s negligence had botched the operation. According to Talking Points Memo, Holder released a statement slamming the investigation as a “baseless” waste of time and resources.
“It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations – accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion,” Holder said. “I hope today’s report acts as a reminder of the dangers of adopting as fact unsubstantiated conclusions before an investigation of the circumstances is completed.”
Republicans leading the charge against Holder voted to hold him in contempt of Congress, the first time in U.S. history that an Attorney General has been handed such a ruling.
Fourteen officials in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and U.S. Department of Justice face disciplinary action over their mishandling of “Fast and Furious,” which the Inspector General’s report says was done in by a “series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures.” No one involved with the operation currently faces criminal charges.
Bush administration officials conceived “Fast and Furious” as a plan to track operations by drug and weapons traffickers in Mexico. Senior ATF officials, line agents and prosecutors reportedly let the operation get out of control, leading to the slaying of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December of 2010.
The Inspector General found that Holder was only made aware of “Fast and Furious” in 2011, after Terry’s death, and ruled that blame for the botching of the operation was spread between officials in Washington and the Arizona field offices of ATF and the Department of Justice.
In June of this year, former Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that the Republicans’ campaign against Holder was simply retribution for his attempts to stop vote-suppressing Voter ID laws that were enacted by the GOP.
“It is no accident, it is no coincidence, that the attorney general of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country,” Pelosi said. “These very same people who are holding him in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress the vote.”