Archive for July 11th, 2012

11
Jul
12

This and That

President Obama walks with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon in the West Wing of the White House, July 11 (Pete Souza)

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Richard Adams (The Guardian): What will be overlooked in discussion of the booing of Mitt Romney is what he actually called healthcare reform: a “non-essential programme”.

Here’s the quote:

“I will eliminate all the expensive non-essential programmes I can find, that includes Obamacare”

Healthcare is “non-essential,” is it Mitt Romney? Maybe that’s what people were booing: the idea that federally-funded health provision for America’s poorest such as Medicaid was “non-essential”.

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ThinkProgress: To hear conservatives and Tea Partiers tell it, President Obama is a serial tax-raiser who has increased taxes on “millions of Americans.” But according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office, tax rates under Obama hit a 30-year low in 2009, in part because of the tax cuts he implemented in response to the country’s economic downturn…

More here

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ThinkProgress: In a vote of 244 to 185, the House of Representatives has repealed the Affordable Care Act — just days after the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality.

This is the 31st attempt by Congressional Republicans to eliminate the measure. The GOP has spent an estimated “88 hours and 53 minutes” since January of 2011 trying to undo the reform, an analysis by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office finds, though this latest bill is expected to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

More here

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David Usborne (UK Independent): Mitt Romney received an embarrassingly rough reception from members of the NAACP, the country’s oldest black civil rights organisation yesterday, which erupted into boos and shouts of disapproval when he said he meant to overturn Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.

His rocky ride at the NAACP convention in Houston came as he faced a wave of new assaults from the campaign of President Obama over his apparent failure fully to disclose the extent of and the reasons for his multiple holdings overseas, including now or in the past in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

The murkiness of his personal financial affairs is emerging as a potential drag for Mr Romney who so far has released tax returns for only 2010 and an estimate for 2011. Democrats are contrasting him with his father, George Romney, who, when he ran for the White House in 1967, released 12 years of returns.

…. The tax filings released during the primaries last winter forced Mr Romney to revise earlier financial disclosures, which had made no mention of some 20 newly revealed overseas holdings – a fact highlighted in a harsh New York Times editorial yesterday….

….Chip off the old block? No, his father divulged his wealth…

Read full article here

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ABC: Mitt Romney offered a slightly inaccurate version of his tax return history in an interview today, saying he’s released two years of tax returns and that he has released the “same level of information” as John McCain and John Kerry.

…. The presumptive GOP nominee has released one year of his returns and an estimate of his 2011 returns…

John McCain released two years, but John Kerry actually released more than that in his 2004 race, going back to 1999. He released many more returns as a United States senator, as many as twenty. McCain released a total of six documents, two for himself, two for his wife Cindy McCain, and two for the McCain Family Foundation.

…His father, George Romney, started the precedent of presidential candidates’ releasing returns when he released 12 years during his 1968 run for president, but Mitt Romney has so far resisted calls for to release more years. President Obama has released 12 years.

In the interview, Mitt Romney changed the subject in order to hit the president for the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal…

More here

11
Jul
12

That Went Well…..

Mitt Romney at the NAACP convention in Houston

More at Colorlines (thanks Lamh)

11
Jul
12

‘Two Plans’

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President Barack Obama greets people gathered outside of Deb’s Ice Cream & Deli in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, July 10, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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Charles Pierce: “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him.”

Wow.

Just, wow…..

Willard Romney who, as much as it makes the editors of Politico nervous to hear anyone say it, really is more comfortable around white people, went to the NAACP convention in Houston on Wednesday morning and attempted to put the best face on, well, his face…..

… Right now, the party of which he is the putative nominee is doing all it can to suppress enough minority voters in places like Pennsylvania. It’s very strange to see Romney pitching himself to African Americans while his entire party is hip-deep in a campaign to make sure as few African Americans as possible get a chance to vote for anyone, let alone for Mitt Romney. This is something he might have mentioned in his speech in Houston, if he really wanted points for courage. Woody Allen said 80 percent of success is showing up, but it’s that other 20 percent that really counts.

Full post here

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Steve Benen: …. I’ve been following NAACP conventions for quite a while now, and I can’t recall ever hearing such a lengthy, sustained booing….

The wonk in me feels compelled to mention that Romney’s argument wasn’t even coherent on its face – he said he wants to kill the Affordable Care Act to reduce the deficit, which is absurd since killing the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit.

But I think it’s probably safe to say that’s not why Romney was booed. In fact, this was entirely predictable – the far-right Republican presidential candidate spoke to the NAACP and effectively proclaimed, “Vote for me and I’ll make sure 7 million African Americans lose their health insurance.”

What kind of campaign pitch is that? For crying out loud, of course Romney got booed. At the risk of being overly cynical, I can’t help but wonder if Romney did this on purpose precisely so he would be booed.

More here

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If you can bare to watch it, here’s the full nauseating Romney speech (thanks Sonjia):

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Monday’s interviews with local TV:

President Obama’s interview with WMUR, ABC, Manchester, NH.

President Obama’s interview with WWLTV, CBS, New Orleans, LA.

President Obama’s interview with WRAL, CBS, Raleigh, NC.

President Obama’s interview with WISN, ABC, Milwaukee, WI.

President Obama’s interview with KSNV, NBC, Las Vegas, NV.

President Obama’s interview with KWQC, NBC, Davenport, IA.

President Obama’s interview with WLKY, CBS, Louisville, KY.

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Chat away

11
Jul
12

Rise and Shine

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You can see video of the President’s Iowa speech here

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Steve Benen: I was surprised to learn two weeks ago that federal firefighters, including many combating brutal wildfires in Colorado, are considered temporary employees who are ineligible for health care coverage through the Forest Service. They’re working incredibly dangerous jobs under life-threatening conditions, but many go without insurance.

President Obama is poised to change that. The Denver Post reported yesterday on a shift in administration policy:

President Barack Obama has directed federal officials to offer seasonal firefighters the option of purchasing federal health insurance coverage…On a recent trip to Colorado Springs, the president was apparently moved by the men and women firefighters he met, senior administration officials said in an interview Tuesday. When he returned to Washington, he told his cabinet that he wanted to “find a solution” for the hundreds of workers toiling in dangerous conditions without the option to buy in to federal insurance.

….it appears to be a huge step forward…. Whatever the mechanism, the access to health insurance for these firefighters will begin later this month….

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NYT Editorial: Paying taxes forthrightly has long been a matter of civic pride for most American politicians, a demonstration of honesty and of a willingness to share in society’s burdens. Since the Watergate era, presidential candidates have released several years of tax returns, allowing voters to peer at their financial choices and discern their entanglements.

Mitt Romney has upended that tradition this year. He has released only one complete tax return, for 2010, along with an unfinished estimate of his 2011 taxes. What information he did release provides a fuzzy glimpse at a concerted effort to park much of his wealth in overseas tax shelters, suggesting a widespread pattern of tax avoidance unlike that of any previous candidate.

Mr. Romney has resisted all demands for more disclosure, leading to growing criticism from Democrats that he is trying to hide his fortune and his tax schemes from the public. Given the troubling suspicions about his finances, he needs to release many more returns and quickly open his books to full scrutiny.

Full post here

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Jonathan Chait: Michael Gerson is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush turned Washington Post columnist, from which perch he has spent the entirety of the Obama administration gleefully predicting a downward spiral into ruin and dysfunction reminiscent of, well, George W. Bush. Having possibly run low on Obama tragic failure scenarios, Gerson devotes today’s column to musing about why Obama has not proposed any major new initiative to address the economic crisis.

Gerson begins by arguing that Obama is declining to propose any major plans because he does not want to admit failure …. But wait! Through diligent research — I have hired a team of laid-off Bush-era Middle East intelligence veterans just for this research task — we have scoured the public record and uncovered a startling fact: Obama does have an ambitious new set of policy proposals!

He unveiled it in a nationally televised address last fall, after which point he has been touring the country and touting it daily….

…. I’m sure once he has become aware that all his objections about Obama are false — that Obama is not denying the crisis, that he does have a plan to address it, that Keyensian economists do support the plan, and it won’t increase the long-term deficit — surely he will change his mind on this.

Full article here

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TPM: A central element of the 2012 campaign cycle has become just when Mitt Romney left Bain Capital. The Romney campaign says he left in early 1999 — in time to get him off the hook for some controversial investments. Factcheck.org backs up Mitt while David Corn and the Obama campaign have brought forward numerous pieces of documentary evidence indicating he didn’t leave until a couple years later.

Now here’s even more evidence that he didn’t leave in 1999 as he now claims.

….I’ve found yet more instances where Romney made declarations to the SEC that he was still involved in running Bain after February 1999. To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet noted these.

More here

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Matt Miller (Washington Post): The House is voting (again) to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, six Republican governors (so far) say they won’t go along with the law’s planned Medicaid expansion for 4 million uninsured people in their states, even though the feds would pick up nearly all the tab.

See the pattern here?

The Republican message to uninsured Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling couldn’t be clearer: You’re on your own.

…. Fifty million uninsured Americans would be the immediate casualties of the GOP’s “let them eat the emergency room” mentality. But all of us would be at risk. In America — alone among wealthy nations — everyone is a pink slip or job change or new illness away from finding they’ve lost coverage or are uninsurable.

This is the shameful reality behind the GOP’s rhetoric on health care. Republicans don’t want to spend a penny to insure the uninsured.

More here

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All toons from Cagle

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Today:

2:15: President Obama will meet in the Oval Office with Democratic congressional leaders “to discuss their legislative agenda for the coming months and his proposals to provide small businesses new incentives to grow and hire, encourage companies to create jobs here at home, and ensure that middle class families don’t see a massive tax hike at the end of the year,” the White House said.

Attendees include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Patty Murray, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Rep. Steve Israel, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

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Morning everyone 😉




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