afternoon all


Greg Sargent: Despite birth control controversy, Obama suffers no erosion among Catholics

Since the birth control controversy broke, it has been an article of faith among even some neutral commentators that the battle would cause Obama to lose crucial support among Catholic swing voters.

But Gallup has performed a new analysis of its tracking data that should complicate this assertion: It finds that Obama has suffered no meaningful downturn in recent days among that consistuency, even among church-going Catholics.

More here





Later this afternoon, President Obama hosts another round of interviews with television stations – today’s lineup: KLAS, Las Vegas; WAGA, Atlanta; WFLA, Tampa; and WBTV, Charlotte, N.C.


Steve Benen


Ezra Klein


President Barack Obama meets with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in the Oval Office



191 Responses to “afternoon all”

  1. February 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Again, a Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all.

    And again, shameless blog pimping. I have a new post up at TPV. Link is here: http://www.thepeoplesview.net/2012/02/scorched-earth-and-last-stands.html

    Lot’s of good news to make this a great day to love.

    • February 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Congrats on first, Congrats on Blog success, Congrats to Chips for founding this wonderful place where sanity and optimism can thrive.

    • 3 mtmarilyn (@mtmarilyn2)
      February 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Just read and tweeted! Your posts are so imformative!!! Thank you!!!! Congrats on being 1st!!!!!!!!

    • February 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Excellent read, LL. And I encourage everybody to hit the link and go over there to read it. I think you make an interesting point. ALthough you do label current Republicans as conservative, you also recognize that they aren’t truly representative of what conservatism actually means. The current Republican Party has an ideology that no self-respecting real conservative would identify with. Whether it be the Tea Party base of the party or the multi-billionaire finaciers, such as the Koch brothers, all they are interested in is destroying anything that differs from their world view. The problem with that is that if they succeeded they would then totally turn on each other (we see some of that already). True conservatives, like true liberals, recognize the value of having a “loyal opposition” that keeps either one from spinning out of control. Modern “conservatives” have no concept of loyalty to anything other than their own selfish interests.

    • February 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      LL, your TPV post is a thing of beauty. You are one of the few people who consistently view our political world from the perspective of the forest and are able to see broad trends and place them in an historical context. We see occasional attempts by some at providing a broader perspective, mostly limited to a ‘tree’ level. But, in general, commenters of every stripe have their faces buried in the bark and can only speculate about the most minute and insignificant of activities. That’s why you have pundits obsessing for days over the church/bc dispute, long after it’s clear to anyone that the issue is closed. That’s why the endless who said what, when that’s the fodder of political comments. It’s really refreshing to find someone who stands back and asses the whole. Congratulations for a job well done.

    • 6 Bobfr (aka Our4thEstate)
      February 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Very fine essay, LL. Apt comparison. Inherent in any ideology is the peril of rigidity, that when confronted with its demise devolves to a fatalistic ‘nothing to lose’ attitude. For all of us, it’s essential we do everything possible to minimize any further damage as the GOP collapses. For sure, re-electing President Obama and building a strong Dem House & Senate (and State & local governments) are critical goals for the next decade or more.


  2. February 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm

  3. February 14, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Lets spread this around and help POTUS get the payroll tax and Unemployment Ins. passed

  4. 13 Ladyhawke
    February 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm


    By John Hudson


    Now, the thinking by Senate Democrats is, as The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein explains, “If Republicans want to block a tax cut for all Americans because they’re offended by the idea of helping the unemployed and keeping grandma’s doctor from taking a 30 percent pay cut and fleeing the Medicare program, let them.”

    For Boehner, the trouble is that he’s already facing animosity from rank-and-file Republicans without even considering the plan by Senate Democrats. As Politico’s Manu Raju and Jake Sherman report, Republicans are incensed because the extension undercuts their attacks on President Obama regarding his piling up of government debt:



  5. 14 Debz
    February 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Our President is so cute, I guess he is “going big” for FLOTUS

  6. February 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Ok, completely OT, but I have to vent. There’s a great website, http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/, that I use heavily to prepare my weekly story times. It’s been hacked. Why?? Why would anyone hack a story time website? That’s like stealing Grandma’s SS check. There are just some people in this world who are completely lost to common decency.

    • 17 hopefruit2
      February 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      That’s terrible and heartless! I’m sure it’s a GOP supporter who did this. Hope they’re able to get it back up and running soon.

  7. February 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    found this in the comments at Balloon Juice about Willard’s new OP-ED about the auto industry:

    82.patrick II – February 14, 2012 | 11:30 am · Link

    The core of Romney’s bankruptcy argument is that pension funds should be used to pay creditors. Romney complains in his op-ed that secured creditors were not paid first with money that had been obligated to workers’ pensions. It is a consistent position for a person who made much of his money by borrowing against a companies assets, including worker’s pensions, forcing the company into bankruptcy and leaving the workers’ pension fund to pay creditors and left it empty while he walked away with millions.

    That is bad enough. But those were the rules of the game at the time, so it was legal if morally reprehensible business plan.

    The problem is, as Mitt tells us in his op-ed, Mitt sees nothing wrong with that. He doesn’t think that law should be changed. Mitt thinks that people who are paid a salary earned through their labor, but have it deferred to retirement by placing it in a retirement fund, should have the money in that account stolen from them by the first vulture capitalist who can leverage a loan against it.

    Mitt thinks that stealing money earned by years of labor and impoverishing thousands of workers is a good thing. He calls it capitalism’s creative destruction. And while there is a place for creative destruction—the reorganization and re-use of capital now tied up in unprofitable enterprise, stealing earned money from employees is not creative, it is destructive. Destructive of the lives of people who labored years for that money. Destructive of lives, and destructive of the social bonds which are supposed to hold us together.

    Mitt is an asshole not just because he has himself practiced vulture capitalism, but because he thinks he is right to do so and prefers to have a government and laws under which that practice is continued. He lacks the imagination and empathy to think otherwise.

    The banality of evil, like the crazification factor is a theme that reappears often in BJ discussions. With Mitt and Santorum as their final two candidates the republican party has reached the apogee of both.

    • February 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Profound and correct.

    • February 14, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Rikyrah, you summed it up beautifully. Romney has learned nothing about humanity from his years of living on this earth, being a bishop in his church, raising children, and serving as the governor of a state. He is a man without compassion and lacking any ability to relate to people who are not rich and as rapacious in their thinking as he is. Placing this Op/Ed in a Michigan paper reinforces the image of a man with a tin heart and ear.

  8. February 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    The government’s new consumer watchdog on Monday outlined the first steps of its plans to regulate mortgage servicers, which have come under fire for fraudulent foreclosure practices.

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will revamp the billing statements sent to homeowners and the disclosures required for some complicated mortgages. It also is drafting new rules to prevent servicers from improperly charging consumers for homeowner’s insurance.

    The massive financial reform legislation passed in 2010 that established the CFPB also required it to take steps to retool the mortgage servicing industry. The plans outlined Monday will apply not only to servicers operated by banks but also to those run by other financial institutions that were previously not subject to federal supervision.


    But Freedom…

  9. February 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    San Diego solar PV system designer, installer and project developer Borrego Solar today announced the closing of a new $47-million fund with US Bank and East West Bank, the purpose of which is to finance solar energy projects for corporate, education and municipal customers.

    Among the projects the new fund will finance is 6 MW of solar energy systems in California that includes ten projects for three school districts. Also included are two Massachusetts solar power installations, one of which — of 4.7 MW — is expected to be the largest of its kind in the state. Taken together Borrego’s solar energy projects are expected to create some 400 local jobs while generating clean, long-term renewable energy for nearly 2,000 homes.

    The new fund builds on previous success the two banks have had with Borrego and financing its solar energy projects. The two banks partnered with Borrego last June to finance nearly 9 MW of solar projects for customers, including the city of Easthampton, Mass., the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, Edwards Air Force Base and Santa Clara County, Calif.


  10. 25 Pamela
    February 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    First? 😉

  11. February 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Hu Guys,

    I need your help. Anyone knows Andrew Sullivan’s email?


  12. 31 Cindy Sweatt
    February 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I will try to post a link to a speech that Mayor Cory Booker gave at a fund raiser here in Denver. It lasts about 37 minutes but it is wonderful. I see a bright future for him. We are lucky to have him in the Democratic party.

    not sure if you will just have to copy and paste this. I am not as tech savey as I need to be.

    • February 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      The big problem with Corey Booker is that he has a tendency to kiss Gov. Christie’s ass in order to get funding for Newark. It’s somewhat disconcerting .

        February 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm


      • February 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        What are the chances of Booker replacing Christie when CC’s first term is up? Surely there are only so many years New Jerseyites can stand Mr. Blowhard.

        • February 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm

          That was some incredible speech. I’d like to know if he managed to get off that plane to Florida and onto the right one to Denver! I’ve always liked him, kept forgetting his name, now I’ll never forget it.

      • 36 Eleroy
        February 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

        Like you Diane from NJ, I too find Corey Booker to be inconsistent depending on his audience. There are ways to maintain a decent working relationship with an asshole of a governor, but Corey chooses the dishonest and puke-inducing option. Not really impressed with Corey Booker frankly!!!

    • 37 GGail
      February 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks Cindy – Mayor Cory Booker did a really good job there in Denver.

    • February 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      I watched the entire speech, the part in the middle should be made into a commercial, an excellent speech. I hope he goes far in politics.

  13. 39 Ladyhawke
    February 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm


    I found this article depressing and infuriating. We are living in the dark ages as it relates to voting in this country. Every aspect of our lives is computerized but we still have states in this country where we vote with a paper ballot. The different modes of voting in the states is horrifying. Fraud is one thing, but this article focuses on the secretaries of state and the administrative issues with keeping voting roles accurate.

    This article needs to be circulated far and wide. Anyone not registered to vote needs to get registered. And everyone who is registered needs to verify the accuracy of their information with their local registrar. I periodically get a post card from my registrar asking for verification that my information is correct. I would think this is something that every secretary of state would do, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    The “Gotta Register” website is a good place to start for anyone needing information on what’s required to register to vote in their state https://gottaregister.com/en/register/NY

    Voter Rolls Are Rife With Inaccuracies, Report Finds


    WASHINGTON — The nation’s voter registration rolls are in disarray, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Center on the States. The problems have the potential to affect the outcomes of local, state and federal elections.

    One in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate. At the same time, one in four people who are eligible to vote — at least 51 million potential voters — are not registered.



    • February 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      NRP had an interesting story about voter “fraud” this morning. The systems across states just aren’t integrated, and the whole thing seems to be a mess – I just shook my head while I was listening. But, the incidents of fraud are miniscule. Interesting listening.


    • 41 Ladyhawke
      February 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm



      File this under another edition of “Elections Have Consequences”. On December 13, 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum in Austin, TX on voting rights. Towards the end of the speech, he gave some recommendations on how modern technology could be used to make voting easier, more efficient and free from fraud.

      Since we are watching a concerted effort by the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters, it is fair to say that we would not be hearing such comments if there was a Republican in the White House. The Republican Party War On Voting is disgraceful and it makes a mockery of our democracy. It is Un-American and un-patriotic.

      I am grateful we have Attorney General Eric Holder who is committed to protecting the voting rights of all Americans and making voting more efficient.

      ——————–Attorney General Eric Holder——————————————

      One final area for reform that merits our strongest support is the growing effort – which is already underway in several states – to modernize voter registration. Today, the single biggest barrier to voting in this country is our antiquated registration system. According to the Census Bureau, of the 75 million adult citizens who failed to vote in the last presidential election, 60 million of them were not registered and, therefore, not eligible to cast a ballot.

      All eligible citizens can and should be automatically registered to vote. The ability to vote is a right – it is not a privilege. Under our current system, many voters must follow cumbersome and needlessly complex voter registration rules. And every election season, state and local officials have to manually process a crush of new applications – most of them handwritten – leaving the system riddled with errors, and, too often, creating chaos at the polls.

      Fortunately, modern technology provides a straightforward fix for these problems – if we have the political will to bring our election systems into the 21st century. It should be the government’s responsibility to automatically register citizens to vote, by compiling – from databases that already exist – a list of all eligible residents in each jurisdiction. Of course, these lists would be used solely to administer elections – and would protect essential privacy rights.

      We must also address the fact that although one in nine Americans move every year, their voter registration often does not move with them. Many would-be voters don’t realize this until they’ve missed the deadline for registering, which can fall a full month before Election Day. Election officials should work together to establish a program of permanent, portable registration – so that voters who move can vote at their new polling place on Election Day. Until that happens, we should implement fail-safe procedures to correct voter-roll errors and omissions, by allowing every voter to cast a regular, non-provisional ballot on Election Day. Several states have already taken this step, and it’s been shown to increase turnout by at least three to five percentage points.

      These modernization efforts would not only improve the integrity of our elections, they would also save precious taxpayer dollars.


      VIDEO: http://www.lbjlibrary.org/join-us/friends/past-events/2011/holder.html

      TRANSCRIPT: http://www.justice.gov/iso/opa/ag/speeches/2011/ag-speech-111213.html

    • February 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Voting systems in this country are a HOT MESS because the mechanisms for voting are a hodgepodge and far too much power for manipulation is given to local municipalities which are often long on grudges, but short on on oversight. When electronic voting machines were first introduced, I was horrified to learn that the decision about purchasing them was left to individual county officials who had no background or experience with technology. Deals were cut with voting machine companies for kickbacks and little thought was given to the potential for vote rigging. We need a massive rethink of the way we go about voting. We have to break through the Republican need to suppress and limit voting and develop huge support for opening the process to larger than ever numbers of voters. This is going to have to become an imperative with younger generations. They have grown up doing everything electronically. When they assume the reins of government, they will have to bring the voting systems of this country kicking and screaming into a new era.

  14. 43 edp4bho
    February 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hello all and happy V day and all that jazz. Rev Al just had a caller who said, he’s a republican and the republicans are keeping PBO in his place, and Rev Al as a reverend should……..Rev Al interrupted him to say “Oh, this is David, I thought this was a call from God, telling me what I should be doing”. He knows how to shut them up and down, makes them angry as hell, while he smiles. My kind of guy, Rev is. 😀 These rethugs are getting bold and showing their ugly more and more. I wouldn’t be surprises to see all out violence come summer. We’d best be ready.. They really are looking for an Armegeddon.

  15. February 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    This is what happens when folks say “Yes we Can” and “We Can’t Wait”… John Nichols writes about the Wisconsin recall effort and the Wisconsinites and democratic groups that pushed for Scott Walker’s removal.


    • February 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      That’s definitely worthwhile to take the time to read. Some amazing people who stood up and did great things. It truly does prove the adage: It’s easier to vote now than recall later. The people of Wisconsin have done an amazing job of battling back against the extremist and disturbing Governor.

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      This was just great, so many folks from such diverse areas – from pizza, to elected officials to farmers. When we stnad up and work together we can do amazing things. Go Wisconsin.

  16. February 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Happy Valentines Day all. Hope you have a peaceful and blessed day.

    Thank you for all your kind comments yesterday, mom’s operation went well, she has a long road to full recovery but she is doing well and should be home by the end of the week – she is amazing for 85!! I’ve not seen her today as have a chest infection and had problems with asthma but am better now than I was.

    I loved the videos from last night they were superb!! I just LOVE President Obama and the First Lady they are so real and genuine, you can tell that they are crazy about eachother. I just love ’em!!

  17. February 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Romney’s Unimpressive Ground Game
    Nate Silver sizes it up:

    [Romney] is by far the best-funded candidate, and should have the wherewithal to build the best turnout operation. It is not clear, however, how much emphasis Mr. Romney has placed on this part of his campaign. When I visited the various campaign headquarters in New Hampshire, Mr. Romney’s office was the busiest and the best run (although Ron Paul’s was reasonably close). Still, Mr. Romney’s office in Manchester was the only one he had in the state. In contrast, Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards each had 16 field offices in New Hampshire in advance of the 2008 primaries there.

    And if one field office can keep you covered in a state like New Hampshire, where pretty much everything is within a 90-minute drive of Manchester, the same does not hold true in a larger state like Michigan (Mr. Romney’s Web site lists only one campaign office in the state).


  18. February 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Saturday, February 11, 2012
    Me, APD, and ‘Babysitting While White,’ Part Deux

    A few years back Grits posed the question, “Is babysitting while white reasonable suspicion for police questioning?” after my granddaughter and I were detained and questioned at length in my neighborhood on suspicion of some nefarious deed (it was never quite clear what). In that incident, the police were pretty clear I was stopped solely because Ty, like her mother (who came to live with my wife and me when she was a child) is black, while I’m an almost stereotypical looking white Texas redneck. At the time, Grits was amazed that three squad cars were dispatched to question me for walking down the street with a child of a different race, detaining me for no good reason and scaring the bejeezus out of then-two-year old Ty.

    Last night, though, Ty and I got the full jump-out-boys treatment, making our earlier interaction with Austin PD seem downright quaint. It could only have been more ridiculous if they’d actually arrested me, which for a while there didn’t seem out of the question. (This is a personal tale much more than a policy analysis, so if you’re only interested in the latter, don’t bother to read further.)


    Perhaps at 7:40 p.m. or so, after she’d had her fill of skating (if the event were put to music, the appropriate theme song would have been “Slip Slidin’ Away”), I asked Ty if she’d like to walk home and let Grandma take the car. It was cool but pleasant out, and we were just a short distance from the house, with a city-bike path where we often walk dogs together taking us most of the way there. She was elated: This sounded like a big adventure, and within moments she was bouncing off the walls with excitement, making me think a walk home was just the thing to burn off some energy before bed time.

    This was a terrible mistake on Grandpa’s part. Not because we live in a relatively rough neighborhood. I know many of my neighbors, saints and scoundrels alike, and I did not and do not fear becoming a crime victim walking that route, even with a five year old in tow. No, apparently the only folks Ty and I had to fear were in uniform.


  19. February 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    14 Feb 2012 11:18 AM
    Why Howie’s Wrong

    My colleague, Howie Kurtz, explains here why he disagrees, very collegially, with my cover-story:
    But Howie’s talking about the deft compromise under enormous right-wing pressure last week. I agree that the administration got tactically outmaneuvered temporarily by the Catholic hierarchy who’d been planning such a showdown for months. But my point was not about winning the “news cycle” of last week, which many have already forgotten. It was about winning the election. From my essay:

    [T]he conflict-driven headlines and predictions of disaster for Obama are, in my view, deeply misleading. Right now, they are driven both by cable news’s love of a good fight and high ratings and by the Republican primary campaign, in which the candidates, especially Newt Gingrich and Santorum, are desperately battling to unify the evangelical base, which is convinced its faith is somehow under attack. In the longer run, however, I suspect this sudden confluence of kerfuffles will be seen as one of the last gasps of the culture war, not its reignition. That’s especially possible since Obama’s swift walk-back last Friday.

    My italics. So I agree with Howie that it wasn’t the best tactical week for the White House, but I believe even more strongly it was a great, if improvised, strategic week, looking forward. Liberal Catholics on contraception – roughly 98 percent of us – are fine with the compromise. The Vatican and Bishops and their theocon friends on the far Catholic right remain opposed, isolating themselves badly. Yes, they’ll shore up the Christianist base – but they weren’t going to vote for Obama anyway. The result is that the Obama administration will be seen defending the rights of Catholic women against the unpopular hierarchy, indirectly empowering the candidacy of Rick Santorum, the least electable of the Republicans, and more firmly identifying the religious right with their weakest issue, contraception.

    Meep, meep. Sometimes it’s worth thinking through more than one week’s news cycle. Because the president does. Which is how he won in the first place – to much of establishment Washington’s shock and surprise.


  20. February 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Pres Obama sent this tweet to FLOTUS. Sooooooo cute. Sorry I don’t know how to copy it as an image. Maybe someone can go to twitter and do that. Pres flirting with Michelle on twitter.

    Barack Obama @BarackObama

    Hey, @MichelleObama: Happy Valentine’s Day. -bo

  21. February 14, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    2:39 PM – 14 Feb 12 via web

  22. 63 jeff
    February 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Read an article how President Obama has been raising more money from small donors than 2008! Way to go! 🙂

  23. February 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    I can’t stand how cute he is. Enough!

  24. February 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    fooey. Twitter changed it’s format and I can’t copy the cute tweet from PBO to Flotus. Twitter folks are going wild

    POTUS flirting with FLOTUS over Twitter!!! RT @BarackObama: Hey, @MichelleObama: Happy Valentine’s Day. -bo

  25. February 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    • 72 hopefruit2
      February 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      But, but, but McKinnon (or whatever the hell his name is) of the NYTimes told me that small donors were leaving PBO in droves…

  26. February 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    • 74 anniebella
      February 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      FLOTUS said her husband was very affectionate. That’s so sweet of POTUS wishing FLOTUS a Happy Valentine’s Day.

  27. 75 collegekay
    February 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    At first, I thought the tweet said: “Hey @MichelleObama, Happy Valentine’s Day boo.” I was about to say awww sookie sookie now.

  28. 76 CTGirl
    February 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Rep. John Dingell

    “Mr. Romney changes his position as often as he changes his underwear — sometimes with less reason.”

    “It’s impossible to see where Mitt Romney is. He changes his positions as often as the weather.”

  29. February 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    YEAH I DID IT!!!

  30. February 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Read the article. It’s hilarious….it gets to be a comedy routine halfway down, because you are shaking your head in disgust.


    ‘The Romney campaign did not comment’
    By DYLAN BYERS | 2/13/12 2:55 PM EST The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13, 2012:

    Asked about Mr. Romney’s handling of the contraception requirement as governor, his campaign said he proposed “eliminating all of these coverage requirements so that insurance companies could tailor their products to specific consumers. … ‘ The campaign didn’t respond to a question about whether he raised the issue of religious liberty at the time.

    The Associated Press, Feb. 13, 2012:

    A Romney campaign spokeswoman would not respond to questions about how many earmarks the Romney administration asked for, the amount of money involved and the particular projects.

    The Washington Post, February 12, 2012:

    Romney, whose campaign did not respond to multiple interview requests, has said repeatedly that political considerations did not figure into his decision to take on the job. With his high-level executive skills, with a connection to the community but not touched by the scandal, he was so much the obvious first choice that all he had to do was say yes.


  31. February 14, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Now It’s msnbc turn to beat the Iran war drum!
    And while we all know that Iran leadership would rather a Republican neo con in the WH, which would make it easier to further their extremist ideology, maybe they are baiting us into making a first move.
    It still sucks and is exactly what the Republicans want. Ugh!

  32. 86 CTGirl
    February 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    A good one – the comments are pretty good too 🙂

    PHOENIX – Mitt Romney renewed his criticism of President Obama’s auto bailout in an op-ed today, defending his often-criticized stance that “managed bankruptcy” would have been a better way to rescue the failing corporations.

    Penning the op-ed in the Detroit News, Romney accuses Obama of engaging in “crony capitalism” as he “rewarded union bosses” when he orchestrated an $85 billion bailout for the auto industry in 2009.

    “A labor union that had contributed millions to Democrats and his election campaign was granted an ownership share of Chrysler and a major stake in GM, two flagships of the industry,” Romney writes. “The U.S. Department of Treasury – American taxpayers – was asked to become a majority stockholder of GM. And a politically connected and ethically challenged Obama-campaign contributor, the financier Steven Rattner, was asked to preside over all this as auto czar.


    • February 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      The comments are great – one towards the end thinks he’s going to make a case for Romney, and quite efficiently gets knocked back down and told to put his head back in the sand. This is my favorite comment:

      “Is he serious??? Does he have ANY clue at all what we’ve been thru here in Michigan?? While Bush was telling the everyone “The economy is strong!”, all of us here in Michigan were looking at each other thinking, where is he??
      If not for that auto industry “bailout”, my husband and I would BOTH be out of work by now. Romney has NO CLUE how much the economy of this state depends on the auto industry, it’s literally been here for a HUNDRED YEARS!
      The company my husband works for had it’s worst year in 2009, almost closed down after being in business for 40 years. They are a metal fab shop in Warren whose Customers are auto industry related. In the very first quarter of 2010, they did as much work in that first quarter as they did in ALL of 2009.
      The company I work for had a 50% auto industry, 45% military, 5% medical industry Customer base. In 2009 we got by due to the military aspect of our work. In 2010, the military aspect started to drop off, but the auto industry portion to off. By the end of 2011, we were now 20% military, 5% medical and 75% auto industry!
      Romney’s NUTS if he thinks this state would have survived without GM and Chrysler. Ford could never have carried us all by itself.
      And another thing people don’t realize is that for every UAW worker, there are 9 of us who work for automotive suppliers that are NOT union. I’ve never worked in a union shop in all of my work history, all 32 years of it.

      POSTED BY: PAULA | FEBRUARY 14, 2012, 12:25 PM 12:25 PM”

  33. 88 CTGirl
    February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    The Dems are on the job – new ad on Robme!

    • 89 Lovepolitics2008
      February 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      GReat ad. With Romney, you don’t need any narration, just clips of him talking lol. And the music is genious, perfectly establishes the idea of that this guy is not serious and ridicules himself with all his flip-flops.

      He’s toast. I’m pretty sure now he won’t be the nominee. Time to think about how to make sure Santorum doesn’t fool independants when he’ll try to hide his extremism…

  34. 91 relellit
    February 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Happy Valentines Day TODville.

    Chips thank you so much for this oasis and all the things you do to keep us positive as well as providing the truth.

    Here’s a good laugh for the TODville family 😆

    Michelle Bachmann expresses her love

  35. 92 Ladyhawke
    February 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm


    WARNING: Pileup on Boehner Expressway

    Buckle your seatbelts – It’s a rough road ahead for House Republicans this week!


    Faced with backlash from both sides of the aisle against their monstrosity of a transportation bill that destroys 550,000 jobs and bankrupts the Highway Trust Fund, Speaker Boehner and the Republican majority now plan to break up the legislation into three pieces.

    But that won’t stop the reviews from piling up on the Boehner Expressway:

    Los Angeles Times – In the House, a transportation train wreck: “…it is less a serious policy document than a wish list for oil lobbyists, and its funding proposals are so radical that they have been decried even by such conservative watchdogs as the Reason Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Taxpayers for Common Sense.”

    Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall: “The Republican Leadership’s partisan signature ‘jobs’ bill is not sustainable, and would lead America’s transportation programs down a reckless path toward bankruptcy…There is no doubt we need to pass a long-term bill that creates certainty, but the only thing this bill does is make certain the Highway Trust Fund will go belly up even before the end of the bill.”

    Tampa Tribune – Road bill careening to dead end: “The new transportation bill in the U.S. House is being attacked by conservatives, liberals, moderates, transit advocates, bicyclists and environmentalists, to name a few…If you’re wondering why Congress has such trouble getting anything done, follow the progress of the House’s transportation bill as it crashes and burns.”



  36. February 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! Bashir aired a clip of the Newtster telling reporters about his sexy-time Valentines Day plans. He said he planned to “reconnect” with his lovely wife Callista and all he could promise is that she will be very happy.
    OMG—I could hardly type that without gagging. Ack!

  37. February 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Think there was a contraceptives compromise? Think again.
    Posted by Sarah Kliff at 03:09 PM ET, 02/14/2012

    When the White House offered up accommodations on the health reform law’s mandated coverage of birth control Friday, it felt like a momentary detente. The new provision — which would have insurance companies pay for an employee’s birth control rather than a religious employer who objected — came with a wave of endorsements. It won over many liberal Catholics who had initially opposed the requirement, such as the Catholic Health Association’s Carole Keehan.

    It did not, however, win over Senate Republicans. In interviews this afternoon, they appeared committed to pursuing legislation that would widen exemptions from these provisions — and prolong an already contentious fight over the place of contraceptives and religious liberty under the health reform law.

    “I’d like to get it on a must-sign vehicle that this president must sign,” says Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), of a bill he’s introduced on the issue. “If that doesn’t happen, I hope to get the next president to sign it. It’s an important issue, and I’m going to continue to pursue it.”

    Blunt’s bill is among four legislative proposals floating around on the Hill that would widen the exemption from the health reform law’s mandated coverage of contraceptives. It would go beyond the contraceptives piece of the law to allow employees an exemption from covering other services they oppose based on “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”


    • 104 Cathy in MN
      February 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      I recommend writing every female Senator and write your own Senator (if not female). We influenced the Komen decision, we can influence this — remember teh payroll tax fight went donw in flames for the Repubs with public opinion.
      We are women; and we are strong!

    • February 14, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      Blunt can do all the wishing and showboating he wants, the president won’t sign a bill that undermines women’s health care. Period.

  38. February 14, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    An argument divided against itself cannot stand
    By Steve Benen – Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:37 PM EST.

    It’s not surprising that Mitt Romney’s campaign was unimpressed with the new White House budget plan. What was surprising was how the campaign chose to express that dissatisfaction.

    Here’s a statement Team Romney sent to reporters yesterday morning:

    “This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis. The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors.”

    Notice, there are no ellipses between the sentences. As Paul Krugman noted, “Yep, Obama has failed to resolve the problem of excessive entitlement spending; furthermore, he’s cutting entitlement spending!”


  39. February 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    CNN reports deal on payroll tax deal and unemployment Benefits and doc fix.

    Glory be!

  40. February 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Taking money from mass transit and funnelling it to roads – that’s the GOP’s plan:

    Invitation to Gridlock

    “Washington is famous for political gridlock. Now it seems, House Speaker John Boehner wants to gridlock the nation’s big cities too.”


  41. 115 Pamela
    February 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    How cool is our governor, signing the gay marriage act into law in honor of f-wit santorium fundraising here! YeeHaw!

  42. 116 Ladyhawke
    February 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm



    I can’t get something out of my mind from the interview that Bill Moyers did with Bruce Bartlett last Friday. They were discussing the current state of politics in this country and how facts are no longer important to the discourse. The struggle between beliefs and facts is crippling the country. I keep wondering is the problem low information, simple ignorance, willful ignorance, rigid ideology or is there something else at play. Bruce made a good point. He said that he thinks we need to be talking to psychologists and sociologists to try to get at the root of this problem. I could not agree more.


    BILL MOYERS: Are you pessimistic?

    BRUCE BARTLETT: Oh, absolutely. I’m very pessimistic.

    BILL MOYERS: What makes you most pessimistic right now?

    BRUCE BARTLETT: The gridlock in Congress. Or I don’t know. It’s the lack of willingness to discuss issues in a reality-based way. We just seem to live in a zone in which people no longer really seem to care about facts or analysis. And we talk in sound bites.

    And the media of course contribute to this. The decline of the major media. People don’t want to read magazines. They don’t even want to read a newspaper article if it’s more than a couple of inches. And if it doesn’t mention Lindsay Lohan, they move on.

    Clearly people don’t seem to know as much. And they don’t seem to care that they don’t know as much about public policy or just the basic facts of, you know, how much does the government tax, how much does the government spend? What does the government spend money on? I’ve seen more than one poll that shows people believe that 20 percent of government spending goes to foreign aid.

    20 percent. It’s actually one percent. But of course if you believe a huge percentage of government spending is going to just giveaways to foreigners then why not cut taxes and slash spending? It’s not coming out of anything that matters to you. People have to be given the factual information they need to make decisions. And they’re not getting it. And they may not even want it.

    BILL MOYERS: I just read a summary of a study done at the University of Michigan that over a period of time shows that people have confronted with facts they believe to be true will reject them nonetheless if they offend or undermine their belief system. That their beliefs — our beliefs are more important to us than the facts.

    BRUCE BARTLETT: Oh, I think we need some — instead of talking to economists like me, we need to be talking to psychologists and sociologists to try to get at the root of this problem.



    • February 14, 2012 at 5:16 pm

      I took a class a couple of years ago where the instructor explained this exact phenomenon about beliefs being stronger than facts/reality. The brain shortcuts its thinking to get to predetermined conclusions, based on wiring that is strongest when it comes to beliefs. It’s very difficult to move someone from their beliefs. That’s why it’s so effective for the right wingers to use religion, fear, racism, birtherism, etc. – because it hits those very triggers that cause that auto-reaction. We really do need a psychologist here to help us figure this out, because common sense, reality, facts – they don’t matter to these people. It’s like their wiring has gone crazy. It’s why things that shock the rest of us are simply overlooked by the right wingers, and people like Newt (onto his third wife after the Catholic church annulled a marriage that resulted in children), Santorum (who is clearly insane), Romney (who lies with ease and rode with his dog on the roof for 12 hours), Perry-Bachmann-Palin, etc. (more stupid than rocks), Ron Paul (racist). These don’t matter, because the right wing beliefs are propelling them to vote for anyone who can beat President Obama and get him out of the White House.

      • 118 SUE DUVALL SMITH
        February 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm


  43. 119 hopefruit2
    February 14, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    • February 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      Oh, please, please let them spend all the money they can beating a dead horse. Then let them spend bazillions going after Romney. Let the PACS drain money like water and let all the Romney millionaire boosters blow tens of millions–no hundreds of millions–on this primary. Meanwhile let the president’s coffers grow and grow and grow and the Democratic SuperPacs overflow with funds.

      • February 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

        Meant to say bazillions going after Santorum, although Romney would be nice, too.

      • 122 Obama Grandmama
        February 14, 2012 at 6:58 pm

        When reading this spending post the song “Wouldn’t It be Nice” (maybe that is only the first line of the song instead of the title) comes to mind.

        Wouldn’t it be nice if some of this Super Pak campaign money were spent to help pay down the deficit?

        Wouldn’t it be nice if some of this money was spent to create jobs?

        Wouldn’t it be nice to get our country back on track instead of blowing money to influence people into voting against their best interests?

        Wouldn’t it be nice?

  44. 123 Andy46
    February 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Hello TOD

    First of all; just want to thank Chipsticks for the creation and maintenance of this awesome site, just love coming here.
    As a huge fan of President Obama and the FLOTUS coming here to see their achievements daily, or
    just to watch a video of Michelle like the one of her tweeter responses is just pure delight and as well personally motivating.
    The President an First Lady are the best of humanity (lol I hope that make sense?).

    American you are indeed bless.

  45. 128 hopefruit2
    February 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    So now Tweety and his sidekick Howard Fineman are all gaga for Santorum – comparing him to PBO in 2008!!! WOW – talk about delusional thinking.

    • 129 symmetry11
      February 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm

      He did say that the media is pushing Santorum so that this process won’t be boring. They apparently aren’t looking forward to Romney being crowded just yet. The media wants more of the clown show.

      • 130 Lovepolitics2008
        February 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Well, THAT’S an honest statement.

        You know what? This would be the biggest irony if, by making this republican primary go on as long as possible, the corporate media would end up WEAKENING the republican nominee thus HELPING the reelection of Barack Obama ?

  46. 131 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    MSNBC is pimping for Ricky the Sweater Vest

  47. 132 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    OMG …they are off their meds on MSNBC

  48. February 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Santorum was 8 signatures to shirt to appear on the Indiana state ballot.

    So, that’s Virginia, Illionois and now Indiana?

    Some front runner. Lol!

    • February 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      That’s actually disgraceful. You could get eight signatures on a single block in an Indiana city or major town. This says he has a VERY poor support staff and NO ground game. Very, very minor league.

  49. 139 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Christine Romer wrote a book.

    Here we go again. ‘The Escape Artist’: Christina Romer Advised Obama To Push $1.8 Trillion Stimulus

    How the Obama’s Team Fumbled the Stimulus.

    • 140 hopefruit2
      February 14, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Did the book explain how they could have gotten the necessary votes in the senate? If not then this is just another disgusting low life opportunity to make money off the President.

    • 145 anniebella
      February 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      Linda, Remember the old O’Jays song, for the love of money.

    • 147 Lovepolitics2008
      February 14, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      I’m SO tired of people who put their ego before the common good. Is that woman a republican? Don’t think so… Wait a minute I get it: the classic emoprog! . Idealism without any CLUE of political realities. And she’s publishing a trashing book just a few months before an election that will have enormous consequences for the middle class???!!! As if the opposition needed any additionnal ideas to distort, exaggerate, even lie about the President and his administration!

      I’m FUMING!

      She will pay for it, I garantee you. Look at what happened to Kantor.

      She will become persona non grata in many circles.

  50. 148 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Chris Matthews and EJ Dionne are still on meltdown and blaming PBO for the BC issue. Andrew Sullivan was not much help.

    • 156 Linda
      February 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      As of Sunday, February 11, 2012, The 20 Co-Sponsors of Senator Roy Blunt’s (R) Amendment are:
      Sen McConnell, Mitch [R-KY]
      Sen Johanns, Mike [R-NE]
      Sen Wicker, Roger F. [R-MS]
      Sen Hatch, Orrin G. [R-UT]
      Sen Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH]
      Sen Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
      Sen Nelson, E. Benjamin [D-NE]
      Sen Roberts, Pat [R-KS]
      Sen McCain, John [R-AZ]
      Sen Kyl, Jon [R-AZ]
      Sen Coats, Daniel [R-IN]
      Sen Barrasso, John [R-WY]
      Sen Toomey, Pat [R-PA]
      Sen Lugar, Richard G. [R-IN]
      Sen Cornyn, John [R-TX]
      Sen Boozman, John [R-AR]
      Sen Paul, Rand [R-KY]
      Sen Shelby, Richard [R-AL]
      Sen Hoeven, John [R-ND], and
      Sen Graham, Lindsey [R-SC]

      House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and
      House Majority Rep Paul Ryan also supports Blunt’s Amendment

  51. 158 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Ben Nelson signed on to the Blunt Amendment.

  52. February 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm

  53. 166 Linda
    February 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    INTERNAL DOCUMENTS: The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax

    Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

    “Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” Heartland’s confidential 2012 fundraising document bemoans. The group believes that Wojick’s project has “potential for great success,” because he has “contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting scientific curricula.” The document explains that Wojick will produce “modules” that promote the conspiratorial claim that climate change is “controversial”:


  54. February 14, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Hey guys. Tonight HBO is premiering a new documentary on the Loving vs Virginia court case that made interracial marriage LEGAL in every state. Before Loving vs Virgina came aobut, it was illegal for Blacks and Whites to get married in a number of states. This documentary uses archival footage and interviews to let the Lovings tell their story.

    The Loving Story

    • 170 Lorraine
      February 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Loving are my heroes! I’ve always held them in high moral regards. Don’t have HBO, though; but thanks for posting.

  55. 171 carolyn
    February 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    WHY do these people…..on all sorts of issues…..want to drag us back to the 15th century????? Women are fully functioning, independent, thinking people! We have the right to determine what we do with our own bodies and lives. Science has done so much to benefit us, why do these people deny what science is saying about climate change? Would they like to do without penicillin, heart surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, dental implants, microwaves, this computer I’m typing on, cell phones, synthetic fibers, washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, TV, DVDs, safe meat, safe eggs, safe vegetables……???? The mind boggles. Do they think sterilization of medical instruments is necessary? Or do they want to go back to rough saws and bloody aprons in operating rooms, and whiskey for the anaesthetic??? I can hardly believe what these stupid Senators, Representatives and state legislatures are trying to pass! I am sick and tired of these backward people.
    We were founded to keep church and state SEPARATE!!! Perhaps they need to review their history and the Salem Witch Trials and see how that church/state combo worked out! I am tired of the Republicans and their schemes and backward plans.

  56. 173 desertflower
    February 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    🙂 🙂 🙂


    According to an analysis by The Huffington Post, the Obama reelection campaign committee, Obama for America, pulled in at least 45 percent of its contributions from donors giving less than $200 during each of the fundraising quarters it was active in 2011.

    In 2007-2008, there was only one quarter, from April through June 2008, during which the campaign pulled in more than 40 percent from these small donors. It never had a quarter or month where it raised 45 percent or more from small donors.

  57. 174 hopefruit2
    February 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

  58. 175 hopefruit2
    February 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    The media is now singing Valentine’s Day love poems to Frothy Ricky. ABC World News just did a segment and you would swear that Santorum’s family wrote the article for them to report. They are trying to make Ricky the “Obama” of 2008. That strategy won’t work. I can see epic fail a mile away.

    • 176 Lorraine
      February 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

      I think is simply, folks just don’t like Romney. NO ONE like him, conservatives, liberals, neocons, progressives, pundits, etc. Romney is simply unlikable by the masses. They don’t want him to be the nominee and sho’ don’t want him to be President. They, meaning EVERYONE listed would accepted anyone but Romney. I never seen anything like it, never! Romney is in trouble, real trouble, IMHO.

      • 177 Lorraine
        February 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        CHIPS, I’m suffering from typoism again.

        I think is simply put, folks just don’t like Romney. NO ONE likea him, conservatives, liberals, neocons, progressives, pundits, etc. Romney is simply unlikable by the masses. They don’t want him to be the nominee and sho’ don’t want him to be President. They, meaning EVERYONE listed would accept anyone but Romney. I’ve ever seen anything like it, never! Romney is in trouble, real trouble, IMHO.

  59. February 14, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    New CBS/NYT poll:

    Obama beats Santorum 49-41. He beats Romney 48-42.

    • 179 hopefruit2
      February 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    • 184 desertflower
      February 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      In the end, Santorum lost among most demographic groups except born-again or evangelical Christians, and did particularly poorly among women, who made up more than half the electorate and voted for Casey by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent for Santorum.
      Yesterday’s Pew poll shows Santorum running behind President Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup, 53 percent to 44 percent. Obama leads Romney in the poll, 52 percent to 44 percent.
      “The impression that people have — the moderate and swing voters have — is that he’s too conservative for them, said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. “In a general election, I haven’t seen any poll, anywhere that’s shown Santorum matching up well against Obama.”
      That includes in his home state of Pennsylvania. A Pittsburgh Tribune-Review/WPXI-TV poll conducted Feb. 2-6 found Obama beating Santorum there, 47 percent to 43 percent.

      We must not forget that most people don’t have a CLUE who Santorum is! This will only get WIDER when they start finding out 🙂

  60. 186 carolyn
    February 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Yes, LL’s posting dealt with these questions and was very sound. I just sometimes get so frustrated and angry I can hardly stand it! I do think we are seeing the death throes of a totally wounded animal (the Republican elephant) and it is horrible! These wounded animals can do terrific damage on their way down. I remember the thrill of getting contraception and the thrills of so many wonderful scientific advances and can hardly credit people wanting to go backwards. I also think young people need to be reminded of the great strides, and know it was not always thus!
    Of course, I can’t understand why any woman would vote Republican: if it was up to Republicans we still would not be able to vote! I ahve a feeling some of these reactionaries would like to repeal that too!

  61. February 14, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Okay, where’s Bobfr? I’m seeing reports on Twitter of big defections from the Syrian army.

  62. February 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    President Obama signed a $63.6 billion funding bill for the Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday, bringing to an end a years-long fight over aviation funding that became engulfed in labor disputes.

    After a year of debate — and a two-week partial shutdown of the FAA — the House and Senate approved a multi-year funding bill for the beleaguered agency for the first time since its last authorization expired in 2007, and the White House said Tuesday that Obama signed the measure.


  63. February 14, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    february 14, 2012 4:43 PM
    Liberal Rick

    By Ed Kilgore

    So the emerging political story-line we’ve been following closely the last few days is this:

    * Mitt Romney’s losing ground rapidly to Rick Santorum, who is consolidating support from “very conservative” voters, many of them previous supporters of Newt Gingrich, who has been in no small part demolished by negative ads from the Romney campaign and his Super-PAC.

    * Conservatives palpably don’t want Romney to train his guns on Santorum, particularly in any way that can reinforce Democratic talking points against Rick. Romney’s forces also fear blowback from voters tired of intra-Republican nastiness.

    * Maybe Romney can eventually bury Santorum with sheer money and the unspoken GOP elite conviction that Santorum’s a bad candidate with crazy extremist views on social issues. But time’s beginning to run short as big primaries approach.

    It’s a conundrum for Romney, all right, but there are some signs today that his camp will begin to carefully go negative on Santorum for—wait for it!—being too liberal.


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