Friday, June 29, 2012

Breaking: House Republicans’ Biggest Donor Approved “Prostitution Strategy” in China

The Associated Press reports that House Republicans’ single largest donor, Sheldon Adelson, "personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company's properties in the Chinese enclave" of Macau, China.  Sheldon Adelson is giving House Republicans’ election efforts $10 million so far – $5 million to Speaker Boehner’s Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC and $5 million to Leader Cantor’s Young Guns Network super PAC. Adelson’s already given $70,800 to the NRCC as well.
What will Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, and House Republicans do with their Chinese prostitution money?
Sheldon Adelson Approved 'Prostitution Strategy': Fired Former Sands Executive [AP]
The fired former chief executive of Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Macau casinos alleges in court documents revealed Thursday that billionaire Sheldon Adelson personally approved of prostitution and knew of other improper activity at his company's properties in the Chinese enclave.

Morgan Stanley Offers Its Employees an In-House Chance To Fluff Mitt Romney

We don’t know how this stuff is legal, but man oh man, is it ever legal. (Or maybe it isn’t, which doesn’t mean they won’t get away with it.) In any event, everyone clear off your schedules for the morning of July 9, when a party crash will be in order. Via TPM:
In an email sent to employees on June 11, with the subject line “an invitation to meet with Mitt Romney,” a group of Morgan Stanley executives said they were “writing to invite you to a breakfast on July 9 in support of Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts and Republican nominee for President of the [U]nited [S]tates.”
This is so exciting! We’re going to wear five pairs of pants. READ MORE »

MD governor: Only mandates Republicans embrace are ‘trans-vaginal probes for women’

RAW STORY

In a conference call with reporters, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) and Gov. Duval Patrick (D-MA) praised Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act and addressed the Republicans’ lack of an alternative plan. O’Malley went so far as to say of Republicans that they’re only in favor of government intervention in health care when it takes away women’s rights.
The Maryland governor excoriated the GOP for attacking the Court’s ruling while offering nothing in the way of an alternative to the ACA. He also attacked their hypocrisy in objecting to government involvement in health care while simultaneously implementing hundreds of new restrictive anti-abortion laws in state houses across the country.
“The only health care mandate they can embrace are transvaginal probes for women,” he said.
Both Democrats stressed the fact that while Republicans may raise strenuous objections to the president’s signature piece of domestic legislation and attack it as (in the hyperbolic words of Rush Limbaugh), “the largest tax increase in the history of the world,” they have offered nothing in the way of alternatives, and would opt to stay with the status quo, which, O’Malley said, “everyone knows is broken.”
Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts spoke about the successes he has seen in that state resulting from an individual mandate on health care. Coverage rates for children have risen to 98.7 percent. Costs, he said, have come down. While the plan was not perfect when it was implemented in 2006 by current Republican candidate for president, then-Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA), Patrick said that revisions and amendments to the original legislation have provided a working model for what the nation as a whole would see under full implementation of the ACA.
Patrick addressed attacks on the individual mandate that call it and the potential non-compliance fines a tax. “Don’t believe the hype that the other side is selling,” he said, “This is a penalty. It’s about dealing with the freeloaders.”
Whatever the Republicans are calling the ACA, a giant tax increase or further proof of the president’s socialist agenda, Patrick said that at least it’s an attempt to get costs in line and make our society more just and equitable. “By whatever name,” he said of the president’s plan, “it’s a solution.”

Media Matters Daily Summary 09-29-12

Right-Wing Media Attacks SNAP Outreach To Elderly Americans
Right-wing media are attacking a program designed to increase awareness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among the elderly, saying they hope the effort "come[s] to a quick end." But SNAP outreach programs have been crafted and employed by previous administrations, hunger is increasing among all groups, including the elderly, and the elderly are under enrolled in SNAP. Read More

Dobbs Helps Cover Up Romney's Support For Health Insurance Mandate
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs covered up the fact that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney previously supported the same kind of financial penalties on individuals who refuse to purchase health insurance that are in the Affordable Care Act, penalties Romney now criticizes. In fact, even the architect of Romney's health care law says the law Romney championed as governor of Massachusetts is very similar. Read More

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nation Opens Hearts, Wallets To Console Mitt Romney On SCOTUS Upholding His Health Plan

The summary un-upholding of Obamacare was the conservative wet dream. So what happens to a rage boner deferred, exactly? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it log on to mittromney.com for the sweet release of spending Obama away? Mitt’s next FEC filing will show the latter to indubitably be the case! READ MORE »

Rightwing Blogger’s Shocking Discovery: John Roberts Was Blackmailed, Arrests To Come Soon!

How is it possible that it took the #WARBLOGS over an hour to discover the real reason John Roberts made a dookie on the NRO’s face, by agreeing that the Heritage Foundation’s proposal for health care reform, and one that had been flogged by the GOP as far back as Gingrich’s tenure as Emperor of the House, was in fact Constitutional? We cannot answer that for you, we can only do our best to amplify one blogger’s shocking discovery the best our humble website can, by bringing you this obvious explanation from “Harry” at “ToBeRight.”
Later this afternoon, it’s going to come out that Roberts was coerced. A Secret Service agent overheard Obama and Axelrod discussing the Roberts blackmail. He managed to get them on tape discussing it. Later this afternoon, the whole story will come out, Roberts will issue his REAL opinion, and Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.
What could they possibly have on John Roberts? This suggestion, from the endlessly concerning search terms that bring readers to Your Wonket, might hold an answer! READ MORE »

Michigan man charged with threatening Democratic lawmakers

RAW STORY

 
A man in Michigan faces up to five years in prison for threatening three Democratic members of Congress over the phone, according to The Detroit News.
Randall Dellinger of Flint allegedly threatened to kill Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, and Rep. Dale Kildee. He was charged in federal court Thursday with making threats.
According to court filings, Dellinger has claimed that after being imprisoned for detonating a “grenade simulator,” police implanted radio transmitters in his body to control his movement. He believes the transmitters have given him leukemia.
In a profanity-laced phone call, Dellinger warned Kildee that the congressman would “be one dead motherfucker” if he did not do something about the transmitters.

Top 6 hyperbolic responses to the health care ruling

RAW STORY

Not surprisingly, conservatives were upset on Thursday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care law was constitutional in a 5-4 decision. Republicans reacted to the ruling by vowing — once again — to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act. Some said the law should be repealed because it was bad public policy, while others offered a less sober assessment of the reforms’ impact.
Below are the top six over-the-top reactions to the ruling:

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN): Obamacare is like 9/11
The Indiana congressman, who’s currently seeking Indiana’s governorship, compared Democrat’s health care reform to the September 11 terror attacks during a closed-door meeting of House Republicans. He was quick to apologize.
“My remarks at the Republican Conference following the Supreme Court decision were thoughtless,” he reportedly told Politico. “I certainly did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced and I apologize.”


Former spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party: Maybe now is a good time for an armed rebellion?
Matthew Davis, the former spokesman for the Michigan Republican Party, sent out an email wondering if Americans would be justified in overthrowing their government because of the Affordable Care Act.
“There are times government has to do things to get what it wants and holds a gun to your head,” he wrote. “I’m saying at some point, we have to ask the question when do we turn that gun around and say no and resist.”
“If government can mandate that I pay for something I don’t want, then what is beyond its power? If the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday paves the way for unprecedented intrusion into personal decisions, then has the Republic all but ceased to exist? If so, then is armed rebellion today justified?”
Rep. Todd Akins (R-MO): Pray to God to repeal stage three cancer of socialism called Obamacare
“The Supreme Court decision on Obamacare today adds a whole new perspective to that phrase hope and change,” Akins said in a video uploaded to YouTube. “We hope for change. America has been subjected now to the stage three cancer of socialism and exhibit one is the take over of one sixth of our economy through Obamacare.”
He went on to say that the government should protect freedom and not destroy it, and that the president should be a servant and not a dictator. “And so, we look to God and we pray for hope — hope in a real change,” Akins concluded.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: Obama’s killing freedom
The former vice presidential candidate, who infamously claimed the Affordable Care Act created “death panels,” was predictably upset that the Supreme Court upheld the grandma-euthanizing law.
“Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn’t a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies,” she tweeted.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Americans don’t deserve freedom and liberty unless they impeach all the liars
Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert was not too happy that the Obama administration had claimed that the fee for those who failed to purchases health insurance was not a tax, but then argued in front of the Supreme Court that it was.
“When in the course of human events it becomes clear that you have people who will not follow the law, it’s time to use orderly methods, set forward in the Constitution, to remove them from their offices, and get people who will abide by their oaths!” he said outside the Supreme Court. “Who will not have the Supreme Court saying, of course they’re liars!
“We should have known they were lying! We know it at the Supreme Court and so we are going to support the liars that a majority of American’s put into office. And if America doesn’t wake up and replace all of those who lied to them to get this bill passed, then shame on us! We don’t deserve the greatest nation of freedom and liberty that was ever given to a people. It’s time that we paid the price to preserve this gift we were given. God bless us.”

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson: Nominate Fox hosts to the Supreme Court!
The former governor of New Mexico noted that Mitt Romney had vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices like conservative Chief Justice John Roberts — who voted along with the court’s four liberal justices to uphold the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. Johnson has a better idea for who to nominate: former Fox Business host and senior judicial analyst for Fox News Channel Judge Andrew Napolitano.
“If ‪#Romney‬ is elected, says he would give us ‪#SCOTUS‬ Justices like John Roberts. I will give us Justices like @Judgenap. ‪#RonPaul‬ ‪#tlot” he tweeted.

Bill O'Reilly has Spoken .....


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Romney Bashes Obama On Jobs At Firm That Does Offshoring Work

TPM

STERLING, Va. — Mitt Romney vigorously defended his job-creation bona fides in a speech in suburban Virginia Wednesday, timed to coincide with a 10-page document distributed by his campaign beating back charges that Bain Capital was a “pioneer” in outsourcing while Romney was at the helm.
Romney held a campaign rally at EIT, LLC, a small electronics design and manufacturing firm nestled in an industrial park near Dulles Airport.
The company, run by state Rep. Joe May, has also received praise for making 99 percent of its products inside the country, and because newly expanded operations allow it to bring jobs back to the U.S. from Hungary and China. But EIT still touts its ablilty to offer customers the chance to take their projects overseas.
“High-volume manufacturing requirements are supported through an alliance with a large global EMS provider that also includes low cost region (LCR) manufacturing sites,” reads EIT’s “about us” page. LCR is a term generally associated with offshore locations in Asia and Latin America.
On the company’s “Manufacturing” page:
Will you outgrow EIT? Through our alliance with Zollner Electronics, EIT has the ability to support high volume requirements from our USA based Virginia locations. EIT has access to Zollner’s 2.6+ million square feet of manufacturing resources in their fifteen campus locations worldwide with some facilities located low cost regions (LCR).
On its Global Solutions page, the company offers customers access to a partner’s manufacturing facilities in “in low cost regions in Romania, Hungary, Tunisia and China.”
For the speech in Wednesday, Romney stood in front of a huge banner reading “Putting Jobs First” and focused on what he called President Obama’s failures to create jobs for middle-class Americans.
“He’s been trying to convince us over the last several days that he’s really turned things around. He said, for instance, that ‘the private sector is doing fine,’” Romney said to boos from the crowd. “But then 23 million American voices spoke up. People that are out of work, or are looking for work, they said, ‘How about us?’”
“When the country’s in crisis, you have a moral responsibility to focus on helping people come out of that crisis,” he said. Romney praised EIT, calling it a “highly successful high-tech business,” that he said was suffering because of the health care law and other Obama policies related to the environment and labor relations.
“The president’s policies have not helped people go back to work,” Romney said, “and if I’m president, my job will be to get good jobs for middle-class people.”

Romney has been dogged by reports that Bain was a leader in outsourcing (directing jobs to domestic firms that pay less) and offshoring (directing jobs overseas) for days. On Wednesday, the Romney campaign met with editors from the Washington Post to demand a retraction of a recent report detailing such activities. The Obama campaign seized on that report, and
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have used it in recent campaign speeches to mock Romney.
The paper stood by its story despite Romney’s protestations, and the Romney campaign released a 10-page document Wednesday rebutting the story.
The Sterling event wasn’t the first time Romney’s campaign schedule ran him headlong into an awkward moment. Back in Iowa, he railed against China at a company that specialized in manufacturing in China and he’s been criticized more than once for campaigning at places that benefited from the federal stimulus package.

Hero Minnesotans Protest General Mills For Hating Straight Marriage, Call For Death To Gays

These nice protesters went to Betty Crocker Drive in Golden Valley, Minnesota, to throw all their Wheaties and Cheerios and Bisquick and Gogurt and Hamburger Helper and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and Gold Medal flour and La Saltena spaghetti right in the face of stupid old General Mills, by collecting all General Mills’ products from their own kitchens and donating them to a food bank. 

Why the unexpected outbreak of Christian charity? Because General Mills stomped its giant foot down and interfered against the heroic fight to save heterosexual marriage from icky gays who should be put to death, when the company said, “hey, we think it’s important that Minnesota be inclusive and welcoming.” Judging by that statement, General Mills probably doesn’t even think that we should put homosexuals to death! We bet we know one group that no longer thinks corporations are people! READ MORE »

FORTUNE - The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal

Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.



FORTUNE -- In the annals of impossible assignments, Dave Voth's ranked high. In 2009 the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives promoted Voth to lead Phoenix Group VII, one of seven new ATF groups along the Southwest border tasked with stopping guns from being trafficked into Mexico's vicious drug war.
Some call it the "parade of ants"; others the "river of iron." The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking, so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. For six years, due to Beltway politics, the bureau has gone without permanent leadership, neutered in its fight for funding and authority. The National Rifle Association has so successfully opposed a comprehensive electronic database of gun sales that the ATF's congressional appropriation explicitly prohibits establishing one.
Voth, 39, was a good choice for a Sisyphean task. Strapping and sandy-haired, the former Marine is cool-headed and punctilious to a fault. In 2009 the ATF named him outstanding law-enforcement employee of the year for dismantling two violent street gangs in Minneapolis. He was the "hardest working federal agent I've come across," says John Biederman, a sergeant with the Minneapolis Police Department. But as Voth left to become the group supervisor of Phoenix Group VII, a friend warned him: "You're destined to fail."
Voth's mandate was to stop gun traffickers in Arizona, the state ranked by the gun-control advocacy group Legal Community Against Violence as having the nation's "weakest gun violence prevention laws." Just 200 miles from Mexico, which prohibits gun sales, the Phoenix area is home to 853 federally licensed firearms dealers. Billboards advertise volume discounts for multiple purchases.
Customers can legally buy as many weapons as they want in Arizona as long as they're 18 or older and pass a criminal background check. There are no waiting periods and no need for permits, and buyers are allowed to resell the guns. "In Arizona," says Voth, "someone buying three guns is like someone buying a sandwich.".......................

Romney Seeking Retraction Of Washington Post Outsourcing Story (Updated)

Romney Seeking Retraction Of Washington Post Outsourcing Story (Updated) 

  The Washington Post last week published a piece laying out how six companies owned by the private equity firm Bain Capital helped outsource jobs to several low-wage countries, including China and Mexico, while Mitt Romney was its CEO. Romney responded at the time by saying that the Post did not adequately distinguish between”outsourcing” and “offshoring.” Now, according to Politico’s Dylan Byers, Romney is seeking a retraction of the story, arguing that it “failed to adequately account for the support these firms gave to U.S. exports or U.S. businesses through foreign hiring.” Representatives of the Romney campaign are meeting with editors of the Post today. The Romney campaign has also been arguing that the Post story is unfair because the Obama campaign outsources jobs to Nebraska.
Update - The Washington Post is sticking with the story, telling Politico, “We are very confident in our reporting.”

ABC News Invents Anti-Gay Oreo Boycott

THINK PROGRESS

Though an individual can choose to boycott a product, a boycott is, by definition, only effective if organized on a large scale. ABC News chose to ignore this distinction when it reported yesterday, “Oreo Pride: Rainbow-Stuffed Cookie Sparks Boycott.” The article highlighted the rainbow Oreo posted on Facebook this week, which was accompanied by the message, “Proudly support love!” Though the innocuously inclusive message has largely been praised, ABC News drew its conclusions solely from some negative comments posted on Facebook:
But while many of the comments were supportive, some Facebook users pledged to boycott the cookie because of the post.
“I’ll never buy Oreo again,” one commenter wrote.
“Disgusted with oreos,” wrote another. “Being gay is an abmonitation in GOd’s eyes i wont be buying them anymore.”
If such journalistic conclusions could be drawn from random typo-ridden comments on Internet content, news headlines would instantly lose all integrity. Two Facebook comments do not constitute a boycott, nor would 100 anti-gay comments even warrant calling the posting “controversial.” Culture wars have never merely been about a “difference of opinion.” Controversy is manufactured by such headlines that over-emphasize negative voices and draw false conclusions about their impact.
There are, of course, anti-gay boycotts, but none have been successful. The one-man operation known as the Florida Family Association has generated faux outrage about almost every LGBT-inclusive television program. The American Family Association has been boycotting Home Depot for its support of gay rights for years to no avail. Its subsidiary, One Million Moms, has whiningly railed against JC Penney for featuring Ellen DeGeneres and same-sex couples in advertisements. The National Organization for Marriage has been unsuccessfully “dumping” Starbucks and now General Mills. (Only a few dozen people showed up to protest General Mills yesterday, and the company actually boosted its dividends — thank General Mills here.) If NOM wants to retaliate against Oreos, it’ll have to add all of Kraft foods to its boycott, which would leave conservative kitchens with relatively empty pantries. To truly eschew all pro-LGBT companies, they’d also have to add Google, Microsoft, Nike, Time Warner Cable, Levi Strauss, CBS, and Xerox to their list, to name a few.
Businesses have realized that supporting equality and inclusion is good for their employees, good for their customers, and good for their bottom line, so it’s no surprise that pro-LGBT policies are quickly becoming ubiquitous throughout the corporate world. To try to upset this reality by highlighting a few negative reactions is not only irresponsible, it’s simply incorrect.

Shouty Pundit Doesn’t Understand Brave Mitt Romney’s Plan To Save Detroit With Cleansing Fire

Mitt Romney says we don’t need any more of these socialist fire men (and women!) because Smokey the Bear said only you can prevent forest fires, so PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! But loud televised Maoist Ed Schultz disagrees, pointing out that Detroit is burning pretty much constantly.
Surely, Detroit could use some more firefighters? At the very least, the nearly bankrupt city could use some help making sure it keeps the fire department remains staffed at or near its present levels, right? Right?
No. That would be very wrong, Mr. MSNBC union thug.
Consider Detroit’s famous Packard Plant. This is a thing that used to be a thing because people made cars there. Then it became a thing because Eurotrash tourists like to visit and take Hipstamatic photographs inside the iconic urban ruin. But locally, the Packard Plant is mainly a thing because the bitch is always on fire. READ MORE »

The NRA’s Nightmare Claims Over Eric Holder Don’t Hold Up

TPM

On paper, Thursday’s vote on a resolution finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is about a subset of internal Justice Department documents and whether such executive branch communications are subject to legislative oversight.
In reality, as Democrats argue, and even some Republicans will admit, the vote is about much more: Targeting a top administration official who has been a long time target of the GOP’s ire.
Whether it is his initial decision to try Khalid Sheikh Muhammed in federal court in New York City, or to reopen an investigation into torture during the Bush administration, or DOJ’s legal opposition to state voting restrictions, or their refusal to defend a federal law banning same-sex marriage, Holder has been a lighting rod for much of his tenure.
But it’s an issue that caused problems for Holder in the first months of the Obama administration — gun control — that overshadows the entire vote over what is theoretically a deep-in-the-weeds debate over the limits of executive power.
Complicating the matter is the fact that the Justice Department was, at the time Fast & Furious documents were sent to Congress, working on a separate gun safety initiative in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords.
TPM’s review of recently disclosed public documents show that Holder, who was told by the White House to stop talking about the assault weapons ban in early 2009, appears to have played a larger role in the early 2011 project than publicly acknowledged.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), which referred to President Barack Obama as “gun ban Obama” during the 2008 campaign and claims that the administration has a secret plot to single-handedly destroy the Second Amendment if he is reelected, is warning members of the House that voting against contempt will cost them points on the NRA’s candidate evaluations. While the organization has promoted the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration launched Fast and Furious to inflate statistics about how many guns were going to Mexico, the NRA’s evaluations can mean a lot to Democratic members, especially those in swing districts.
The documents DOJ hasn’t turned over — the ones Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) says he wants — were written after DOJ sent a letter to Congress on Feb. 4, 2011 that falsely claimed that ATF wasn’t purposefully allowing weapons to “walk.”
This week, Justice Department officials again met with GOP aides to offer a compromise: They’d turn over the post-Feb. 4 documents if the contempt vote was called off. They brought a sampling of about 30 pages of the post-Feb. 4 documents they said demonstrated there was no cover-up. Issa and representatives of House Speaker John Boehner rejected the deal.
While DOJ has claimed executive privilege on documents in the post-Feb. 4 timeframe, calendar entries proactively published by the Attorney General’s office show that Holder was meeting with with gun control supporters in and out of Congress.
Holder met with the board of the the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in his conference room on Feb. 8, 2011 and called Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to discuss “gun safety legislation” on Feb. 10.
After telling DOJ’s Inspector General to investigate the allegations about “Fast and Furious” on Feb. 28, Holder met with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy on March 1, attended a private meeting with President Obama and Mexican President Calderon on March 3 and met with Sen. Frank Lautenberg in his office on March 29. At the time, Lautenberg and McCarthy were sponsoring legislation to ban the type of high-capacity gun clips used in the Giffords shooting.
One of the attendees at the Brady Campaign meeting told TPM that the organization was disappointed with the administration’s work to combat gun violence.
“We were obviously making a pitch for more active involvement by the administration, pushing to strengthen our gun laws,” Dennis Henigan, one of the attendees, told TPM.
At the time of the meeting the administration still hadn’t approved a measure require dealers in four border states to report sales of multiple rifles to the ATF (as they are already required to do with handgun sales). Henigan said that showed the administration was willing to cross the NRA.
“It shows some willingness to make the gun lobby angry, but our view is that the administration has nothing to gain politically by [appeasing] the NRA,” Henigan said.
It isn’t clear where the DOJ initiative, which was publicly acknowledged in March 2011, stands today. The Daily Beast reported last summer that the low-key effort included making background checks simpler and faster, the long-gun reporting requirement and stiffer penalties for so-called “straw purchasers.”
Henigan said he doesn’t believe the Obama administration’s decision to assert executive privilege had nothing to do with a worry that disclosing such documents would allow conspiracy theorist to entangle Holder’s meetings with the Brady Campaign with deliberations about the response to congressional inquiries about Fast and Furious.
“I just can’t imagine that concern about these conspiracy theories have motivated anything this administration has done, because they are so divorced from reality,” Henigan said. “They’re in the same categories as the birthers, in my judgement.”

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dick Morris (FOX NEWS) Smears Hillary Clinton With U.N. Conspiracy Theories

http://mediamatters.org/research/201206270001

Dick Morris used appearances on Fox News to attack Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over a U.S. commitment to help fund a United Nations initiative on sustainable energy in the developing world.In contrast to Morris' fearmongering, private-sector interests have pledged far more money to the initiative than the U.S. has.

Mitt Romney had me build my own coffin

Texas GOP Platform Calls For Repealing Voting Rights Act Of 1965

Texas GOP Platform Calls For Repealing Voting Rights Act Of 1965 

 The Republican Party of Texas released its platform this month, calling on Congress to repeal the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. “We urge that the Voter [sic] Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized,” the platform reads. Texas is one of nine states with a history of racial discrimination that must get clearance from the Department of Justice before altering its voting laws.

Norquist quits interview when asked about his Fannie Mae lobbying

Monday, June 25, 2012

LOUSIANA’S PUBLICLY FUNDED JESUS CAMP EDUCATION SYSTEM FINALLY TEACHING STUDENTS LOCH NESS MONSTER IS REAL

We’ve been bashing on Louisiana a lot lately — pointing out how they’re pretty much the awfulest state in the union, how their prison privatization plan is dumping more convicts into shopping centers prisons than any other state in the country, how their plan to send the state’s students to religious schools hit the predictable but still hilarious snag of Muslim schools wanting in on the program. We’ve been kinda rough on the ol’ Land of Louis.
Now, those religious schools that we were so very critical of are teaching students that the Loch Ness Monster is real — which TOTALLY MAKES UP FOR ALL THAT OTHER STUFF, and has the added benefit of conforming to Official Wonkette Editorial Policy. (Also real: Bigfoot.)
The state spent quite a while hanging out in the relatively crowded zone of Put God In Science Class — but they just hopped on their faith-powered motorcycles, paid the Idiot Toll, and blew through every red light on the way to the mythical land of Making Garbage Up Because Jesus.
READ MORE »

Poor, Stupid Americans Outsource Fire Hydrant Repair To KFC

Some six thousand years ago, when George Washington and Jesus were walking through colonial Williamsburg with their friends the dinosaurs, our Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution laying out a broad vision for what government should and shouldn’t do in a free country. Their “should do” list was fairly basic: “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” and so forth.
Well, screw those east coast hippy ‘lites and their socialist “general Welfare” nonsense. Collecting taxes to fund normal government functions like public safety, transportation infrastructure, and universal education is a lot of commie rot. READ MORE »

Pennsylvania Republican: Voter ID Laws Are ‘Gonna Allow Governor Romney To Win’

THINK PROGRESS

This weekend, Pennsylvania Republican House Leader Mike Turzai (R-PA) finally admitted what so many have speculated: Voter identification efforts are meant to suppress Democratic votes in this year’s election.
At the Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai took the stage and let slip the truth about why Republicans are so insistent on voter identification efforts — it will win Romney the election, he said:
“We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years,” said Turzai in a speech to committee members Saturday. He mentioned the law among a laundry list of accomplishments made by the GOP-run legislature.
“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.”.................

Scalia: If States Can Resrict Those Freed Slaves, Then Why Not Messicans?

The Supreme Court conducted a vile smear against the noble state of Arizona today by shooting down most of SB 1070, the law that restricts illegal Mexicans from existing. Our old pal Antonin Scalia, writing the dissenting opinion, simply didn’t care for his peers’ decision. As Scalia sees it, states = sovereign, so states can do whatever they want, however they want it, to keep the filthy Mexicans outside looking in. Where is the problem? Southern states did this all the time with freed slaves, so why can’t they do it with the taco people? READ MORE »

34 Lawmakers Changed Their Investments After Receiving Private Briefings About 2008 Economic Crisis

THINK PROGRESS

Last November, 60 Minutes aired a report showing that House Financial Services Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) made tens of thousands of dollars trading stock as he was receiving private economic briefings during the height of the 2008 financial crisis. Due to weak insider trading rules, Bachus was cleared of any legal wrongdoing by the Congressional Ethics Committee, but the case still motivated Congress to pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which supposedly prevents lawmakers from profiting off information they receive in private briefings with top economic officials.
However, the problem may go far beyond just Bachus. As the Washington Post reported on Monday, 34 lawmakers — including Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) — shuffled their investment portfolios during the financial crisis, after speaking to high-ranking economic officials:
Boehner is one of 34 members of Congress who took steps to recast their financial portfolios during the financial crisis after phone calls or meetings with [Treasury Secretary Hank] Paulson; his successor, Timothy F. Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to a Washington Post examination of appointment calendars and congressional disclosure forms.
The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15.
After speaking with Paulson, Boehner shifted $50,000 to $100,000 out of a risky mutual fund, and spent tens of thousands of dollars more on a less-risky fund. Other lawmakers who were making investment decisions after receiving private information at the time included Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE). The lawmakers contend that their investments are overseen by outside advisers and that the private information had no bearing on their portfolio moves.
The STOCK Act would not have prevented this sort of trading, according to the Post. “If this was going on in the private sector or it was going on in the executive branch, I think the SEC would be investigating,” said University of Minnesota securities law Prof. Richard Painter. While the trades were permissible for members of Congress, members of the executive branch could not legally have made the same trades.
At the time it passed, the STOCK Act faced criticism for being too weak. And if dozens of members could trade securities as they received private information about the extent of the economy’s troubles, perhaps that is the case.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Senate Leaders Reach Agreement To Prevent Student Loan Rates From Doubling


 After two filibusters by Republicans, it seems that the Senate has finally come to an agreement on freezing student loan rates. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are apparently working out the final details on how they will cover the cost of the bill, which will prevent student loans from doubling this month. Methods to pay for it, according to the National Journal, “include Democratic proposals involving pensions. The deal also includes a GOP proposal to cut off subsidized student loans after six years, saving about $1.2 billion a year.”

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Wild Conspiracy Theory Driving The Fast And Furious Investigation

THINK PROGRESS

Here is theory that some Congressional Republicans believe: The Obama Administration intentionally handed over automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels, who they knew would commit violent acts, because they wanted to scare Americans into supporting stricter gun laws.
That supposed series of events has now led Congress to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.
Holder is caught up in a scandal over what happened during Operation Fast and Furious, one in a series of efforts started under former President Bush, in which firearms owned by the U.S. government are intentionally sold to criminals with the hopes that they can be traced back, and criminal activity can be monitored. One such firearm turned up at the crime scene where border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed.
Republicans cite the case as a national security issue, but they’ve simultaneously turned it into an indictment over what they believe is a conspiracy aimed at taking away their own firearms. They argue that this was all a ploy to expose how dangerous guns can be. Here are the facts you should know about the conspiracy, and who’s behind it:
The man who started the conspiracy theory also rallied people to break congressional windows. Mike Vanderboegh, a man who once called for militias to break the windows of members of Congress because of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, started this conspiracy theory. Rachel Maddow uncovered that Vanderboegh has been encouraging members of Congress to embrace the theory.

Major Republicans, including Darrell Issa, endorse this conspiracy theory. Among those are Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is Chair of the House Oversight Committee and is heading up the investigation of Eric Holder. In an interview on FOX, Issa said, “very clearly, they made a crisis, and they’re using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people’s Second Amendment rights.” He also pushed the theory at an NRA convention. But Issa isn’t the only one who is buying in: former Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich just two days ago agreed with the theory. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), and many other Republicans have voiced support for this theory too.

The NRA is driving the conspiracy theory paranoia though ads. The National Rifle Association is furthering the paranoia as a way to rally gun owners by running advertisements and a petition calling on President Obama to fire Eric Holder. The ads don’t specifically mention the gun control conspiracy, but the Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action is a full-throttle conspiracy believer. The NRA also threatened members of Congress who voted on the contempt charge yesterday, saying that a vote against contempt would reflect poorly on that member’s pro-gun ratings.

Conspiracy theorists blame Holder for a new gun law he didn’t make. Even if one were to believe the vast conspiracy theory, a linchpin in the theorists’ argument is based on a false premise. They say that recently Holder ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to report anyone who bought more than one large gun in five day as a way to track American gun owners. In reality, ATF made a request about reporting gun purchases and the Justice Department only approved it after a delay.
Issa defended Bush for the same thing of which he is accusing Holder. Issa has been tearing apart Holder for not wanting to hand over private communications from the Justice Department that could compromise ongoing criminal investigations. But when George Bush refused to do the same thing in 2007, Issa blasted the move as a “political witch hunt.”
Last year, the Vice President of the NRA said that there is “a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment.” This conspiracy theory feeds directly into that sentiment. But there is absolutely no evidence that the President has any intention of tightening gun laws. In fact, he’s loosening regulations on firearm exports.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Romney loses cool with reporter that catches him in a lie

Republicans Holding Nearly 3 Million Transportation Jobs Hostage For 6,000 Temporary Oil Jobs

THINK PROGRESS

With as many as 2.9 million new and existing jobs on the line, House Republicans are refusing to pass a transportation reauthorization bill, even after the Senate’s version of the bill overwhelmingly passed through the upper chamber in a 74-22 bipartisan vote.
The deadline for new transportation funding is June 30, and if the calendar flips to July without a compromise, as many as 1.9 million workers could lose their jobs, at least temporarily. The Senate version of the bill, if adapted, would create an additional one million new jobs as well, according to Department of Transportation projections.
So why are House Republicans holding nearly three million jobs hostage? Because they want approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to be included in the bill. This infographic gives a sense of the GOP’s priorities: .....................

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Romney Campaign Said to Ask Scott to Downplay Job Gains

BLOOMBERG NEWS

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.
What’s unfolding in Florida highlights a dilemma for the Romney campaign: how to allow Republican governors to take credit for economic improvements in their states while faulting Obama’s stewardship of the national economy. Republican governors in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Wisconsin also have highlighted improving economies.
Scott should follow the advice of the Romney campaign and it won’t undermine his own message, said Mac Stipanovich, a political strategist and lobbyist in Florida.
“This is one of those situations where you could have it both ways and there’s enough truth in it that it would resonate,” Stipanovich said. “It would be better if everybody was singing from the same hymnal.”
Romney’s campaign is eager to sell its economy message in Florida, one of the most competitive electoral battlegrounds, where the past three presidential races were decided by 5 percentage points or less.

Internet Messages

A Romney adviser made the request this week to Scott’s staff after press releases from the governor’s re-election campaign and Internet messages from the Florida Chamber of Commerce trumpeted the state’s drop to 8.6 percent unemployment rate in May from 8.7 percent in April, the people said. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.
Scott’s news release said the jobless rate had dropped 11 consecutive months in Florida and asked supporters to “spread the news” on Facebook, Twitter and by e-mailing their friends.
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an e-mail that Romney frequently praises governors “for their ability to overcome the job-stifling policies of the Obama administration.” Scott spokesman Lane Wright didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.
Romney hasn’t campaigned with Scott, a first-term governor, whose approval rating is 39 percent, according to a poll yesterday from Quinnipiac University, in Hamden, Connecticut. That’s down from 41 percent on May 24.
Romney’s staff has concluded there’s no benefit in appearing with Scott, said two campaign advisers who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.

Television Ad

The state Republican party ran a television ad in March crediting Scott, who is a year and a half into a four-year term, for drops in the unemployment rate.
“Companies are hiring, expanding, putting more Floridians to work,” the ad narrator said. “Florida’s unemployment rate continues to get better.”
Florida’s jobless rate was 11.1 percent in December 2010 before Scott took office and 8.2 percent two years earlier when Obama was sworn-in.
“The first time I saw that ad I initially thought it was an Obama ad,” said Brad Coker, managing director of the Washington-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. “They’ll have to tamp it down.”
Two months later, Crossroads GPS, a super-political action committee that is supporting Romney, was on television in Florida with a spot featuring a female character saying her kids “can’t find jobs.”
“Unemployment Rate Stays High,” says a mock newspaper headline in the ad.

Ohio Governor

In Ohio, Governor John Kasich has been publicly touting the state’s falling unemployment rate and 75,700 jobs added during the past year. Rob Nichols, a Kasich spokesman, said the Romney campaign hasn’t asked the governor to change that message.
Kasich’s comments may appear to conflict with Romney’s. The two Republicans campaigned at an April 27 event at Otterbein University in suburban Columbus where Romney described a difficult job market for graduating seniors and Kasich talked about the state’s unfilled jobs.
Asked about the conflict after a May 17 speech in Columbus, Kasich told reporters that although Ohio’s economy is improving, “uncertainty” from the president’s policies on health care, taxes and regulation “puts wind in our face” that would change if Romney were elected.

‘Comeback State’

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on June 19 called Michigan “the comeback state of the United States,” noting its jobless rate dropped to 8.5 percent in May from 14.2 percent in August 2009.
“We still need to do better,” Snyder said. “The whole country needs to do better.”
Geralyn Lasher, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said the Romney campaign hasn’t asked the governor to downplay economic improvements.
In Virginia, Governor Robert McDonnell’s Opportunity Virginia political action committee aired an ad in April that touts gains in the economy since he took office in 2010.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said economic progress was a key component of his successful defense against a June 5 recall election. Walker pointed to the state’s unemployment rate, which was 6.8 percent in May, down from 7.7 percent when he took office in January 2001.
In Florida, signs of a sagging economy remain.
The 18 percent of Florida mortgages in foreclosure or 90 days past due is the highest rate in the country, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Commercial buildings remain vacant across the state.
“Until you start seeing physical signs of those things starting to fill up again, I just don’t think people are going to believe a government statistic that life is getting better for them,” said Coker, the Mason-Dixon polling executive.
To contact the reporter on this story: Michael C. Bender in Tallahassee at mbender10@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

Media Matters Daily Summary 06-20-12

Hannity Hosts Romney For A Parade Of Falsehoods
In an interview aired on his Fox News show, Sean Hannity failed to correct Mitt Romney for repeating a string of long-debunked conservative falsehoods. Read More

To Hannity, Ann Romney Is Off Limits, But Michelle Obama Is Fair Game
Fox News host Sean Hannity hypocritically lashed out at MSNBC for comments critical of Ann Romney, claiming NBC's "news brand deteriorate[d] with this attack." But Hannity has repeatedly attacked First Lady Michelle Obama on everything from policy, to her clothing, to her views on race issues. Read More

Right-Wing Media Push Myth That Immigration Eliminates American Jobs
Right-wing media are reacting to the Obama administration's decision to allow some young undocumented immigrants to stay and work in America by suggesting immigration takes jobs away from American workers. In fact, economists agree that more immigration does not take away jobs from Americans and is a net plus for the economy. Read More

Fox Covers Up GOP Obstruction Of The DREAM Act
After President Obama announced that the U.S. will stop deporting certain young immigrants, Fox News figures have accused President Obama of undercutting Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's attempt to pass legislation reportedly similar to the DREAM Act. In fact, Obama and Democrats attempted to pass the DREAM Act in 2010, before being blocked by Senate Republicans. Read More

Fox's Attempt To Scandalize Routine Use Of Executive Privilege Shows Contempt For Reality
Following the Obama administration's assertion of executive privilege over some documents related to the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious, Fox News has rushed to label the move improper, or evidence that President Obama himself lied about involvement with the failed operation. In fact, the documents in question deal with the administration's response to the operation after it became public, an area with which the administration has previously acknowledged the White House participated, and such claims of executive privilege are well in line with historical precedent. Read More

Right-Wing Media Misleadingly Cite Cost Projection To Attack Food Stamp Program
Right-wing media have once again attacked the federal food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), this time by misleadingly citing a projection that the program will cost $770 billion over the next decade. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that both food stamp enrollment and costs will decline during that period as the economy improves. Read More

Darrell Issa Will Put Eric Holder In Gitmo Forever And Then Steal His Cars

Oil-soaked arsonist car thief Rep. Darrell Issa, the unlikely subpoena-wielding chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, appears at long last to be fulfilling his duty of stickin’ it to the Obama administration over one grossly exaggerated scandal during an election year. Since Issa and AG Eric Holder weren’t able to reach a deal about releasing documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF “gun walking” sting gone wrong, both sides are digging in for the coming annoyances. Evil authoritarian Barack Obama today became a Man by invoking executive privelege for the first time; Issa’s committee, meanwhile, is prepared to hold a contempt vote on Holder this afternoon. So exciting! How much longer can it be before Rep. Dan Burton starts shooting pumpkins? READ MORE »

Fox News Almost Pulled A Fast One On Jon Stewart

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

McConnell: Tax code benefits the poor and needs to be changed

RAW STORY

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says that the U.S. tax system is unfair to the wealthiest Americans.
“I understand full well that our friends on the other side live to every day to raise taxes,” McConnell told CBS host Charlie Rose on Tuesday. “Almost 70 percent of the federal revenue is provided by the top 10 percent of taxpayers now. Between 45 and 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all.”
“We have an extraordinarily progressive tax code already,” he added. “It is a mess and it needs to be revisited again.”


According to the Congressional Research Service (PDF), almost 100,000 millionaires in the U.S. pay a lower effective tax rate than millions of families earning less than $100,000.
Earlier this year, Republicans in the Senate blocked the Paying a Fair Share Act, which would have enacted a rule named for billionaire Warren Buffett, who revealed that he paid a lower tax rate than his “secretary.” An April CNN poll found that 72 percent of Americans — including 70 percent of independents — favored the “Buffett Rule.”
The Kentucky Republican also told Rose that he was prepared to work with President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) towards a “grand bargain” to lower the nation’s debt.
“The challenge we have, Charlie, for the future is the unsustainable path of our entitlements, very popular programs,” McConnell insisted. “The eligibility for which needs to be adjusted in order to meet the demographics of America. Regretfully after six months of discussions the Speaker and I had with the president, the president was unwilling to make those kind of eligibility changes unless we gave him such a huge tax increase that it would have brought the economy to a halt.”
“We are prepared to do a grand bargain,” he continued. “You have to have a willing president. You don’t get these deals done without a president who is serious about getting an outcome.”
“Many people who know wrote about that and suggested that in the end when push came to shove, it was the Speaker that was not prepared for the grand bargain,” Rose pointed out.................

Bribes, Chinese Mob Ties Alleged at Casino of Gingrich Money Man

By BRIAN ROSS


The casino company run by the principal financial backer of Newt Gingrich's presidential bid, Sheldon Adelson, has been under criminal investigation for the last year by the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission for alleged bribery of foreign officials, according to corporate documents.
In a separate civil lawsuit, a former executive of the company has alleged that Adelson ordered him to keep quiet about sensitive issues at the Sands casinos on the Chinese island of Macau, including the casinos' alleged "involvement with Chinese organized crime groups, known as Triads, connected to the junket business." The triads -- Chinese organized crime syndicates -- are allegedly involved in organizing high stakes gambling junkets for wealthy Chinese travelers. 


In its filings with the SEC, Adelson's company says it became aware of the investigation in February 2011 when it received a subpoena from the SEC requesting "documents relating to its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act." The company said it "intends to cooperate with the investigation," which it said may have been triggered by the allegations in the lawsuit by Steven C. Jacobs, a former Sands executive who says he helped run the Macau operation. The federal investigation was first reported last year by Las Vegas newspapers and the financial press.
At a gaming forum last year, Adelson said the lawsuit "is not a serious case" and that the federal investigations would find no wrongdoing. "When the smoke clears, I am 1,000 percent positive that there won't be any fire below it."

Monday, June 18, 2012

How Lies Spread

David Frum

Anatomy of a paranoid fantasy. The Washington Post reported Sunday on the origins of the false story about the EPA's supposed use of spy drones:

Step 1: A story begins in the real world. In this case, some Nebraska ranchers objected to the longstanding practice—approved by the Supreme Court in 1986—of the use of aerial photography to enforce clean water laws. 

Step 2: Their elected representatives raise the issue.

Step 3: Somebody on Twitter mistakenly converts "aerial" surveillance into "drone surveillance."

Step 4: The conservative website PJ Media puts the error into a headline: "EPA Using Spy Drones to Fly Over Midwestern Farms.”
 

Step 5: The mistake jumps to Fox News, first introduced by Bob Beckel, the token liberal on the afternoon program, "the Five."

Step 6: Fox News' Megyn Kelly reports the rumor as fact, unsourced.

Step 7: The Daily Show mocks Kelly's report, but treats the use of drones as a genuine fact nonetheless.

Step 8: Republicans in Congress write furious letters of complaint.

Step 9: The story is by now a national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it. 

Four conditions made the rumor possible:
 

1) A readiness by important sections of the population to believe that they live in some kind of imminent police state. In this, the paranoid conservatives of the Obama era are no different from the paranoid progressives of the Bush years.
2) The aggressive recklessness of Fox News' reporting. A single phone call to the EPA could have debunked the story. Obviously that phone call was never placed.
3) The dangerous reliance of many, many young people on the Daily Show as a source of information.
4) An almost universal lack of interest in the question: even if the story were true, what would be so very shocking about it? If aerial inspection of open fields and waters by manned aircraft is a reasonable search, as defined by the Supreme Court, why isn't unmanned aerial surveillance equally permissible? If clean water enforcement is a legitimate government function, how does it become less legitimate when the inspector sits in a control room rather than in a cockpit?