Posts Tagged Associated Press
Report: Boehner proposes tax hike for nation’s millionaires
By Kyle Balluck
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has offered to raise the top tax rate for earners making more than $1 million, a source told the Associated Press.
The development in the fiscal talks comes amid pessimism the Speaker and President Obama can hammer out a deal before Christmas.
The source said Obama has not accepted the offer, according to the Associated Press, which added that Boehner is still seeking more spending cuts than Obama has proposed.
Democrats had said Boehner wouldn’t relent on raising tax rates on the wealthy for fear it could cost him his job, a suggestion the Speaker dismissed Friday.
“I’m not concerned about my job as Speaker,” said Boehner. “What I’m concerned about is doing the right thing for our kids and grandkids. And if we don’t fix this spending problem, their future is going to be rather bleak.”
Boehner and Obama last met on Thursday.
The 50-minute long Oval Office meeting was the first between the two since last Sunday. It followed a day of harsh rhetoric and attacks that suggested Obama and Boehner were digging in rather than narrowing their differences on taxes and entitlements.
THE POTTY-TALK PLEDGE
POSTED BY CALVIN TRILLIN
“The President was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head.”
—Grover Norquist, on “CBS This Morning”
WASHINGTON—At a hastily called press conference on Tuesday, a spokesman for congressional Republicans, almost all of whom have signed Grover Norquist’s pledge never to vote for a tax increase, scoffed at a rumor that Mr. Norquist had secretly asked members to sign what some people on Capital Hill have been calling the “potty-talk pledge.”
The rumor apparently originated a week ago with an anonymous tip to the Associated Press that one of the senior members of the Republican team in the upcoming budget negotiations had called Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner a “booger-face.”
The apparent theory behind the rumor is that Mr. Norquist’s use of the phrase “poopy-head” in an interview with Charlie Rose had attracted some ridicule, and that the appearance of such language in the speech of prominent politicians would help to make it sound, in the words of one Republican insider, “a little less dorky.”
If true, the rumor further weakens Mr. Norquist’s standing at a time when the Presidential election has been widely interpreted as a mandate for raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and when prominent Republican lawmakers, such as Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham, have begun expressing what Mr. Norquist called “impure thoughts” about the tax pledge on national television. Observers here attach no significance to the failure of the senators to use potty words during their television appearances, since neither has been known to employ such language in the past.
At the news conference, a Republican spokesman, Blake Ryan, labelling this a “Democrat dirty trick,” said in a prepared statement, “I can categorically state that no member of the Republican delegation has called Secretary Geithner a booger-face. Although the Republican congressional delegation disagrees with Secretary Geithner’s approach to reducing the deficit and believes that increasing taxes is always detrimental to the entrepreneurial spirit that has made this nation the greatest economic power the world has ever seen, we do not believe he is a booger-face.”
Mr. Ryan also denied an unconfirmed report that Representative Paul Ryan, one of the Republicans’ lead negotiators, asked for a break in a preliminary meeting with White House aides by saying, “I have to make tinkle.” In issuing its own denial of the “tinkle” remark, Mr. Ryan’s office only fuelled the rumor of a second Norquist pledge by adding, for no apparent reason, “at no time during the meeting was the phrase ‘poo-poo pants’ used.”
Mr. Norquist himself has been uncharacteristically unavailable to the press since the rumor gained steam. An associate at his organization, Americans for Tax Reform, speaking without attribution because he is not authorized to discuss the matter, said that rumors about a potty-talk pledge were totally untrue. He added, “I can tell you that Grover thinks all of this talk is strictly doo-doo.”
- Grover Norquist is History (mbcalyn.com)
- “Putting The Nails In The Coffin”: Has Grover Norquist And His Anti-Tax Pledge Reached The End Of The Road? (mbcalyn.com)
- “A Stupid Poopy Head”: Is it Game Over For Grover Norquist? (mbcalyn.com)
- “An Effective Ad Man”: Democrats Could Use Their Own Grover Norquist (mbcalyn.com)
- Grover Norquist is now considered “an impediment to good governing” (mbcalyn.com)
- Grover Norquist To CBS: Obama Won By Painting Romney As ‘A Poopy Head’ (mediaite.com)
- Dem lawmaker: If Norquist ‘wants to run government, he needs to run for office’ (tv.msnbc.com)
- Norquist: OK, scrapping loopholes and deductions might not violate my pledge (tv.msnbc.com)
- Who Appointed Grover Norquist America’s Financial Watchdog? (themoderatevoice.com)
- Claire McCaskill Zings Grover Norquist: ‘Nice To Meet Him. But, You Know, Who Is He?’ (businessinsider.com)
Report questions Internet searches missing from Casey Anthony trial
By Jeff Weiner, Orlando Sentinel
November 21, 2012
Potentially incriminating computer searches missing from the case against Casey Anthony when it went to trial were the subject of a local television report Tuesday night that delved into whether the evidence could have led to a conviction.
The report centered on an online search made on the Anthony family’s computer for the term “foolproof suffocation” which did not surface at trial but which defense lawyer Jose Baez wrote about in his book about the case.
The Tuesday night report by WKMG-Channel 6 investigative reporter Tony Pipitone, advertised to contain evidence “that could have changed the jury’s mind,” was not the first done on the searches, but contained new details, such as that prosecutors didn’t have about 99 percent of the browser information from June 16, 2008, at trial.
That was the day Casey Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter Caylee was last seen alive by her family. In the notorious 31 days which followed, Casey Anthony repeatedly lied about her and her daughter’s whereabouts.
Though computer searches were a key issue at Anthony’s murder trial, the term “foolproof suffocation” never came up. Anthony’s criminal defense attorney, Jose Baez, later wrote about the “foolproof suffocation” search in his book, “Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story.”
Burdick said in an email to the Sentinel on Tuesday that the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed, as Baez wrote, that “there was a computer search on ‘foolproof suffocation’ on 6-16-08 that they did not find.”
Burdick said this information “is not ‘new,’” because it was already published in Baez’s book months ago. Baez’s book suggested the potentially incriminating search was likely conducted by Casey Anthony’s father, George.
But the WKMG report found that Baez’s timeline was off by about an hour. If true, the searches would have occurred after George Anthony was believed to have left for work that day.
“Our investigation reveals the person most likely at the computer was Casey Anthony,” Pipitone said Tuesday night.
Baez criticized the report before it aired in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, describing it as “the standard anti-Casey spin.” He said that it was impossible to say definitively who was using the computer when the searches were made, and said he was confident his information is right.
“I had multiple experts verify our results, independently,” Baez said.
Burdick’s fellow prosecutor Jeff Ashton, who declined to comment when reached before the report aired, said in a statement to WKMG that it’s “a shame we didn’t have it. (It would have) put the accidental death claim in serious question.”
Anthony’s defense argued at trial was that her daughter drowned accidentally in the family’s pool. Anthony was acquitted on all major charges in her daughter’s death, including murder.
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (azfamily.com)
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (kmov.com)
- Casey Anthony Detectives Overlooked Google Search (abcnews.go.com)
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (bostonherald.com)
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (sfgate.com)
- Search For “Foolproof Suffocation” Missed In Casey Anthony Case (yro.slashdot.org)
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (tbo.com)
- Casey Anthony detectives overlooked Google search (triblive.com)
- Detectives Overlooked Google Search In Casey Anthony Case (miami.cbslocal.com)
- ‘Bungle’ by investigators prevented Casey Anthony from being proven guilty claim media (irishcentral.com)
The GOP’s gray revolution
Posted by Suzy Khimm on November 2, 2012
It was supposed to be the answer to a party in crisis.
Bruce and Esther Huffman sit at their computer (Rick Bowmer — Associated Press).
After the Republican Party’s shellacking by President Obama’s digital army in 2008, a group of influential young consultants preached a new doctrine of GOP politics aimed at organizing and expanding their numbers through the Internet — a transformation that would help draw a whole new generation into the party fold.
Republicans now have the iPhone apps, rapid-response tweets, Facebook likes and microtargeting that put them on par with Democrats. But the digitally fueled push to capture new voters is also a reminder of how much ground the GOP still needs to make up in attracting younger and more diverse supporters.
Republican strategist David All, for one, had imagined that tech-savvy, young “Netflix Republicans” would flock to a revived GOP that had created a new community and a bigger party tent through the Internet.
Another GOP strategist, Mindy Finn, similarly described the digital push as part of a bigger transformation. “The Republican Party cannot reboot if it’s viewed only as a party of old, crusty white guys,” she told The Washington Post in November 2008 as she was launching a new digital platform to “Rebuild the Party.”
But as social media and digital tools have become increasingly mainstream — no longer the domain of the young and the hip — the early stages of GOP’s digital revolution have tended to do more to revive its traditional base of support among older, white voters than expand and diversify the party on a grass-roots level.
Youthful enthusiasm has fallen for Obama since 2008, but that doesn’t mean that young people are flocking to Romney instead. Among eligible voters under 30, an October poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics found that approval of Mitt Romney is at 36 percent, compared to 55 percent for Obama — only a few points above John McCain’s performance with the same age group, which he lost by a 32-66 margin.
Romney has also failed to make inroads with minorities, drawing a full 91 percent of his vote from white voters, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll, which showed how the racial gap between the two parties has grown bigger than in 2008. And once again, Republicans fallen far behind Obama in terms of small donors, despite some high-profile successes in generating such grass-roots enthusiasm in isolated congressional races.
The sum total isn’t what some of the GOP’s earliest digital gurus had anticipated. “I thought if I armed everyone with the right tools and taught everyone how to use them, ultimately, the end result would be change. That’s not what happened,” says All, 33.
The GOP’s new digital prowess could still help the party prevail next week, as the Romney campaign makes its last-minute push to generate enthusiasm and get out of the vote. But that victory may be in spite of the country’s changing demographics, not because of them.
The digital divide
Well before 2008, Democrats had an edge online, with presidential candidate Howard Dean’s early use of Meetup.com to launch his insurgent 2004 bid, the online fundraising outfit ActBlue, and a liberal blogosphere that first came to define the “netroots.”
The left’s new digital momentum helped Democrats surge to victory in 2006 — particularly with support from young people, whose turnout rose sharply that year. It also gave birth to a new generation of young digital activists and operatives who were among the earliest adopters of social media and online platforms that were just beginning to go mainstream.
Meanwhile, GOP digital consultants like Finn would be routinely mistaken for an IT help desk. “There were people who thought we could fix their computers,” she recalls.
Finn and All were among the young Republican consultants who’ve spent much of the past decade urging their own party to catch up. Finn help to found the first new media department at the Republican National Committee in 2005, working together with GOP digital guru Patrick Ruffini. All led the push on Capitol Hill, helping then-Rep. Jack Kingston start the first congressional blog in 2005 and launching a conservative equivalent to ActBlue in 2007.
But it wasn’t until Obama’s victory — powered by online fundraising and block-by-block, Web-fueled organizing — that Republican officials finally started taking their warnings to heart.
“It was a wake-up call for a lot of people,” said Liz Mair, the former online communications director for the Republican National Committee. McCain’s team had a concerted media and blog outreach effort, she said, but it was clear that the Democratic approach was more useful in “getting people to actually submit absentee ballots.”
But the GOP’s young digital set also saw a chance for something bigger to happen. It wasn’t just the Internet that had delivered the White House to Obama, but a broad coalition of voters who were wired into the campaign. To compete, Republicans would accomplish the same.
Less than three days after Obama’s victory, a group of under-40 Republican operatives led by Ruffini and Finn penned a manifesto for the party to make the Internet “our #1 priority in the next four years,” all while overcoming the Democrats’ “more than 2-to-1 advantage with young voters.” More than 10,000 online activists agreed.
All had a similar vision for the GOP’s digital future, one in which he imagined a whole new generation would follow in the footsteps of Johnny Ramone, the unlikely punk rock Republican. “For those of us under the age of 30, Reagan is merely someone we admire and study about in history books or through stories our elders tell us,” All wrote in 2007. “If Reagan were alive today, would he use YouTube religiously to connect with us better? Absolutely.”
The Republican establishment promised to shape up: In one discussion coordinated by All in April 2009, the RNC’s new media director assured grass-roots conservatives that the party would use social media to make “authentic digital handshakes” and connect better with voters.
The GOP renaissance online
Not long after, the digital tide finally began to turn for Republicans. But it didn’t happen the way that many had expected even a year or two earlier.
On Sept. 9, 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) interrupted Obama in the middle of a major speech before Congress, shouting “You lie!” after the president denied that his health-reform law would cover illegal immigrants. Hired by Wilson within 24 hours of the outburst, All took to Twitter, released a YouTube video, pushed the issue to conservative bloggers, and advertised on the Drudge Report, helping him raise more than $1 million within days after the outburst.
Just a few months later, the right’s new digital momentum would hand Republicans an even bigger victory. In January 2010, an unexpected surge of grass-roots support propelled Scott Brown into the Senate, with more than $12 million raised online in just a few weeks, which Ruffini’s firm helped process. “That was the tipping point,” he says. Digital was no longer going to be an afterthought.
Such successes were powered, in good part, because of the rising tea party, whose members organized themselves through social networks and Interent coalitions to rally, fundraise and spread the word. “I credit the Tea Party with snapping the Republican Party into understanding the power of social media,” says Kristen Soltis, a GOP communications adviser to Crossroads Generation, a group affiliated with Karl Rove’s SuperPAC American Crossroads.
Republicans finally had a digital revolution that led to results, with a Web-savvy tea party that helped them retake the House in 2010. But it was one powered by activists who were more likely to be older, whiter, and more conservative than the rest of population, according to one widely circulated CNN study. Young people largely stayed at home: under-30 voters made up just 11 percent of voters that year — the lowest percentage in 20 years and down from 18 percent in 2008.
“Hindsight is 20/20. Everyone is like, ‘Facebook — young people are on Facebook.’ Then we found out within a year, everyone who was signing up and using Facebook wasn’t 25 years old. They were your mom,” says Mair. In fact, a 2010 Pew study found that the fastest growing users of social media were over 50.
While Romney has gained nearly 8.6 million “likes” on Facebook, they’re from users who most likely are between 45-54 years old. Obama now has 29.4 million Facebook likes. The most popular age group? Users who are between 18 to 24 years old.
The party’s shift rightward also may be keeping the GOP from attracting as many young and minority supporters. “Millennials, at least so far, hold ‘baked-in’ support for a more activist government,” the Pew Research Center concluded in a 2011 report. Among voters younger than 30, “you see far more moderation regarding social issues, specifically around immigration, same-sex,” said John Della Volpe, polling director at the Harvard Institute of Politics. The Republicans’ rightward shift on immigration may also be dampening their support among Hispanics, who are overwhelmingly supporting Obama.
Digital strategists across the political spectrum agree that new technology won’t make a difference if the message doesn’t resonate. Hispanics are heavy users of mobile technology, “so doing more on the mobile front should enable you to make more inroads with Hispanics,” said Mair. “But it’s just a fact that there are Hispanics out there who frankly feel that the Republican Party hates them.”
The final push
The GOP’s digital strategy could still give them a much-needed push in the final weeks of a tight race, particularly as young people’s enthusiasm for Obama has faded.
Ruffini, now 34, is helping Crossroads Generation make an eleventh-hour push to reach young voters through videos aired on ESPN and targeted mobile ads at football games andmusic festivals. The Romney campaign, for its part, has played up its outreach on mobile technology and has rushed to replicate Obama’s use of voter data to micro-target specific groups.
Republicans also have the digital infrastructure to amplify big triumphs like Romney’s first debate performance against Obama. “With instant access to information comes instant shifts in momentum, as we saw after the first presidential debate,” says Finn.
But even the party’s digital evangelists now stress that digital media is no panacea — whether for their side or the opposition. “That the all-star Obama team couldn’t get anything going on Twitter last night shows how facts on the ground > social media strategy,” Ruffini tweeted the day after the first presidential debate.
“You’re not going to only win over young voters by having a great investment in digital,” says Finn. “There is no guarantee. There is certainly an opportunity.”
She also points out that a digitally powered GOP has opened the way for more diverse politicians to emerge since 2008. “We see more candidates — young, female and non-white—running for office and winning,” she said.
All, for his part, isn’t sticking around Washington to see the results. Fed up with the need to “destroy the other side,” he’s since moved to San Francisco, become a Burning Man enthusiast, and plunged into the tech start-up world.
“I always saw myself more as a unifier. Ultimately, I left because I’m not a divisive person,” says All. “I didn’t want to use these superpowers to be divisive.”
- The GOP’s gray revolution (washingtonpost.com)
- Capitol Alert: California GOP chairman opts not to run for another term (blogs.sacbee.com)
- Frum: The GOP Will Destroy America If We Reelect Obama, So We Must Let the GOP Win (motherjones.com)
- Alabama GOP head asks Democratic judge not to use elephant in ads, judge tells him to check facts (al.com)
- Romney newspaper endorsements: Backing the GOP candidate because he would appease Republican extremists. (mbcalyn.com)
- GOP registration dips below 30 percent in Calif. (sfgate.com)
- GOP registration dips below 30 percent in Calif. (ktvb.com)
- GOP registration dips below 30 percent in Calif. (kansascity.com)
- Out of reach today, minorities a key to GOP future (newsvine.com)
- Capitol Perspectives: The Decline of Parties (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
Sorry, dealer’s all out of race cards
By Kathleen Parker, Published: October 30
Predictable as rain, the race card has surfaced just in time to stir up electoral passions, justify outcomes and explain away inconvenient truths.
Just days from Election Day, the zeitgeist belched up one of its least attractive — and least defensible — memes. (Was it the weather?)
Preemptive theories, in no particular order, include: Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama because they are both black (according to Romney surrogate John Sununu); if Obama loses Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, all of which voted for him in 2008, the old Confederacy will be restored (Daily Beast commentator Andrew Sullivan); Americans still harbor racial biaseven if they don’t know it (recent online poll, Associated Press).
Anyone reading headlines related to the pollmight infer that white Americans are biased against black Americans. Extrapolating, given the current election season, it follows that if some voters prefer Romney, it is because Obama is African American.
But a review of the poll reveals something not quite so definitive or sinister. Overall, the findings suggest that most Americans are moderate, fair-minded and, for the most part, don’t see things one way or the other based on race.
Some of the questions themselves, on the other hand, were unnecessarily provocative and biased. That is, their design was based on an assumption of racial bias.
For example, the AP poll asked people whether they agree or disagree with the following statements: “Irish, Italians, Jewish, and other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up. Blacks should do the same without special favors.”
What kind of question is this? Who doesn’t believe that everyone should work his or her way up? The underlying assumption is blatantly racist, implying as it does that blacks don’t work and do expect special favors.
It is heartening that the majority, perhaps perceiving the trap, neither strongly agreed nor disagreed.
Another statement read: “It’s really a matter of some people just not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder, they could just be as well off as whites.”
Why not just ask people when they stopped beating their children?
The poll posed similar questions about other races and ethnicities. I selected these two because they were among the most egregiously biased and were most pertinent to the current election. It should be noted that most of those polled expressed a preference for Obama to win on Nov. 6, even though the figures have dipped somewhat since 2010, when the AP polling began.
Oh, and most identified themselves as white Christian (though not necessarily born-again) Democrats — and most were from the South. So much for the racist-Republican Confederacy, which never dies in the eyes of some political commentators. Sullivan, declaring a Cold Civil War, found “fascinating” the reconstitution of the Confederate states, should Romney win the three previously mentioned. But the obvious implication, Sullivan’s protests notwithstanding, is that people who vote for Romney in those states are necessarily racist.
What else could he have meant by mentioning the Confederacy in the context of a black incumbent president being rejected by three Southern states that previously embraced him? Operative words: “previously embraced him.”
What happened? Did all those people who voted for Obama in 2008 suddenly become racist? Or have they lost confidence in Obama four years later? Obama had a 70 percent approval rating early in his administration. Did all those people suddenly become racist?
We are not a nation naive enough to think race plays no part in our perceptions and responses. And where there are humans, there will be racists. But this nation also elected an African American as its president. By an overwhelming majority, Americans like him and wanted him to succeed.
If Obama loses, it will be his own undoing. Meanwhile, no one questions why 95 percent of blacks support the president. Is it racial? Or is it simply that most African Americans happen to be Democrats?
Sununu implied the former, hinting that Powell chose Obama out of racial loyalty. I wish Sununu hadn’t gone there. Had Powell endorsed Romney, he’d be a GOP hero, just as he now is to Democrats who have managed to overlook his convincing support for the weapons-of-mass-destruction hypothesis in Iraq.
So it goes. But even the netherworld of politics should have standards. To preemptively label people racist for favoring a candidate who happens to be white, and otherwise advancing a narrative that will create only racial animus should Obama lose, is implicitly biased, unfair and a breach of good faith. Stop it.
- Sorry, dealer’s all out of race cards (bangordailynews.com)
- Race isn’t a rationale in the presidential election (oregonlive.com)
- The Political Obscenity Named John Sununu (themoderatevoice.com)
- John Sununu’s History Of Racial Remarks About Obama | ThinkProgress (mbcalyn.com)
- The race card and the campaign (miamiherald.com)
- Keeping it Real: Sununu is a racist (current.com)
- Romney Surrogate John Sununu: Colin Powell Endorsed Obama Because He’s Black (businessinsider.com)
- John Sununu: Race-Baiting Buffoon (theroot.com)
- Romney surrogate John Sununu: Colin Powell only endorsed Obama because he’s black (thegrio.com)
- Colin Powell’s Former Chief Of Staff: ‘My Party Is Full Of Racists’ (mediaite.com)
Romney’s Jobs Math Doesn’t Add Up
Updated: October 31, 2012 | 11:31 a.m.
October 31, 2012 | 11:03 a.m.
AP PHOTO/CHARLES DHARAPAK
Mitt Romney speaks in Kettering, Ohio, on Tuesday.
Mitt Romney’s plan to create 12 million jobs in his first term relies on two kinds of policies: ones that are politically improbable, bordering on the impossible, and ones that will be in place no matter who wins next week’s presidential election.
This is the conclusion from a new white paper released this week by Romney and his economic team, which relies on an array of mathematical illusions and policy switcheroos to make the 12 million jobs claim add up. The paper appears to be a response to a brutal set of independent analyses calling that jobs projection into question: “More analysis has shown that the 12 million jobs growth estimate over the next four years with the Romney economic program is more robust than we originally stated,” Romney’s top four economic advisers argue.
Their proof is not that robust.
First, Romney’s team maintains that his policies will suffice to boost America’s employment-to-population ratio by 2 percentage points, from just under 59 percent to 61 percent. Such a change would necessarily mean adding 12 million new jobs. The economists say this is the natural outcome of their preferred policies.
Is it, though? The share of Americans working has been falling, as a general trend, since 2000. The ratio usually dips during recessions but roars back during recoveries. That hasn’t happened under President Obama–the ratio has flatlined since the recession ended–but just as importantly, it didn’t happen under President George W. Bush, whose cadre of economic advisers included three of Romney’s top four economists. Put another way, when Romney’s advisers were last in power, the employment-to-population ratio rebounded by about 1 point after a recession, even with the help of a massive housing bubble.
Second, Romney’s math still doesn’t add up on the micro level. The paper claims that nearly 5 million jobs would be created in his first term if Congress passes a Romney proposal to cut income-tax rates while eliminating some unspecified deductions in order to streamline the tax code. It cites a study by Rice University economist John Diamond. But two months ago, Diamond told National Journal, “I don’t think there’s any chance” a plan resembling Romney’s could pass Congress, because it would mean eliminating or limiting so many politically popular tax breaks.
Equally unlikely is Romney’s projection of 2 million new jobs from cracking down on China over trade. The claim is based on a 2011 study predicting what might happen if China adopts intellectual-property projections identical to America’s, benefitting U.S. firms that sell innovative products there. Nowhere in his platform does Romney explain how he’d bring about such a sea change.
Romney says that a Citigroup report shows his plans to drill more for oil and gas on federal land will create up to 2.5 million jobs in a first term. But economists say it’s likely that those drilling jobs will be created no matter which candidate is elected president. The fracking boom, which began during the Obama administration, is taking place largely on private lands with little involvement from the federal government.
Finally, Romney’s team claims support from a pair of independent forecasts, by Moody’s and Macroeconomic Advisers, that the economy will create 12 million jobs by 2016 regardless of who’s president. The white paper calls these predictions evidence that Romney’s 12 million promise is “an achievable goal.”
Boil Romney’s plan down to actual new proposals that stand a chance of coming to pass, and what remains is an economic agenda that–like President Obama’s–falls far short of what the economy needs to close the “output gap” left over from the Great Recession and ensure that every American who wants to work can find a job.
The electorate gets this. In latest Pew poll of the presidential race, half of voters said that Obama “doesn’t know how to turn the economy around.” But three in five said that Romney “is promising more than he can deliver.”
- Injury to Injury: After Ryan Soup Kitchen Deceit, Romney Stages Hurricane Relief Photo Op (bagnewsnotes.com)
- Romney Bought Prop Donations for Relief Event (newser.com)
- A $5,000 Shopping Run to Walmart Turned Romney’s Campaign Stop into a ‘Relief Event’ (theatlanticwire.com)
- Romney Vs Romney: College Educated Jobs (thiscallmayberecorded.wordpress.com)
- Romney ignores questions about eliminating FEMA (washingtonpost.com)
- Romney campaign event in Ohio now ‘storm relief’ effort (tv.msnbc.com)
- On Sandy, Obama and Romney try to stay above politics – but pundits won’t let them (theglobeandmail.com)
- Romney moves to reframe debate on abortion, autos (utsandiego.com)
- Romney event turns into relief effort for victims of hurricane (dispatch.com)
- Romney: Immediate Jobs Turnaround “Silly” Notion (thiscallmayberecorded.wordpress.com)
Sarah Palin Reports Mysterious White Rolled Up Items On Front Lawn
October 11, 2012
Former Alaska Governor and Fox News Contributor Sarah Palin, rightfully already on edge about recent mysterious white powder sent to her daughter Bristol’s dressing room on the “Dancing With The Stars” set, reported to the FBI that mysterious white rolled up items are now appearing on her front lawn on a daily basis.
“Well, I’m seeing these things and they’re out on my lawn. They’re white, rolled up, things. It’s the craziest thing! It looks like there might even be words on them. The one on Sunday was the biggest and that’s what had me really worried. Then the Monday one was a good amount smaller…and the same with the Tuesday one. You can never be too careful with all of these haters out there, sending their chicken pox vaccines and things to ABC where my daughter works, trying to scare people, ” she told the Associated Press in a Tuesday night interview.
A FBI stake-out early Thursday morning resulted in the brief detention of 12-year-old Billy Pearson, who was later released after it was confirmed that he was simply the delivery boy for The Wasilla Times. The FBI considers the case to be closed.
- Free Wood Post – Sarah Palin decries Islamic influence on Moose population (mbcalyn.com)
- Mysterious Package Sent To Bristol Palin Being Treated Seriously By Officials (contactmusic.com)
- Sarah Palin Reads The National Enquirer (wtfplanet.com)
- Why is Sarah Palin in Arizona Today? (mbcalyn.com)
- Sarah Palin writing a fitness book (politico.com)
- Very Slim Sarah Palin Says She’s Writing Fitness Book With Family (washington.cbslocal.com)
- Want To Look Gaunt Like Sarah Palin? Now You Can! (contactmusic.com)
- Sarah Palin to Write a Fitness Book (washingtonian.com)
- WTF: Sarah Palin’s Dramatic Weight Loss (collegecandy.com)
- ‘Our Sarah: Made In Alaska’ Sarah Palin Memoir Features Praise From Father And Brother (contactmusic.com)
Romney Shows Softer Side While Campaigning in Florida, Attacks Obama on Taxes
Posted Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, at 11:12 AM ET
Mitt Romney kisses his wife Ann during a campaign rally Saturday in Apopka, Florida
Mitt Romney is finally getting personal. After six years in the national spotlight it seems the former Massachusetts governor has listened to those who have long insisted he needs to show his softer side if he hopes to connect to voters. Playing off on the momentum created by Wednesday’s debate, Romney is unveiling what Politico describes as “a direct emotional appeal to voters” during a three-day tour of Florida, candidly talking about personal stories that illustrate his compassionate side, reports theAssociated Press. Although surrogates have long talked about the good deeds Romney has done for others, the candidate himself has long been reticent to do it himself.
Meanwhile, the Romney campaign released a new ad Sunday that accuses President Obama of misrepresenting the Republican’s tax reform plans during Wednesday’s debate. (Watch the ad after the jump.) “President Obama continues to distort Mitt Romney’s economic plan,” says the ad voiceover. “The latest? Not telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s tax plan.” In the debate, Obama repeatedly said Romney’s plans would cut $5 trillion in taxes, while Romney insists it would be revenue neutral.
“The issue turns on semantics as much as math,” points out the New York Times, noting that Romney has left himself open to attacks by not specifying what tax deductions he would eliminate in order to make his tax plan revenue neutral. The Obama campaign has been insisting since Wednesday night that Romney was the one who was guilty of misrepresenting his own tax plan during the debate, notes the Hill.
Meanwhile, in the campaign trail, Romney’s big shift from simply portraying himself as a good manger to emphasizing his personal side seems to be part of a clear effort to convince voters that he’s “a regular guy to whom they can relate,” points out Politico. Particularly significant is that one of the stories he’s now sharing involve his religion, which he has generally avoided. The effort seemed to have the desired effect. TheWashington Post notes how a crowd of more than 5,500 carefully listened to Romney, “many with tears welling in their eyes.”
It’s hardy a coincidence Romney unveiled this new strategy in Florida as it’s difficult to imagine the Republican nominee can get to the White House without winning the key state, points out the Los Angeles Times. Romney has held 19 events in Florida since the Republican convention in Tampa, and that’s without counting the numerous times he has sent running mate Paul Ryan into the state, often alongside his mother.
- Romney Shows Softer Side; Obama Raising More Cash (npr.org)
- Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash (news.yahoo.com)
- Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash (cnsnews.com)
- Robert Gibbs: Mitt Romney’s Budget Math Is ‘Absolutely Crazy’ (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash (scnow.com)
- Can we handle a softer, gentler Mitt Romney? (capitolhillblue.com)
- A different Obama shows up at Denver rally (washingtonpost.com)
- Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash (gulfnews.com)
- Romney vows US renewal; Obama has big money month (kansascity.com)
- Romney shows softer side; Obama raising more cash (staradvertiser.com)
Inside the Islamophobic-Religious Right Alliance Whose Film Sparked a Crisis in the Middle East | Alternet
Inside the Islamophobic-Religious Right Alliance Whose Film Sparked a Crisis in the Middle East
An alliance of Egyptian Coptic Christians, right-wing American Christians and anti-Muslim activists is behind the “Innocence of Muslims” film.
September 14, 2012
A demonstrator warns of Islamic law during a protest against the construction of the Park 51 Islamic center in lower Manhattan.
Photo Credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons
As angry protests surrounded U.S. embassies in the Middle East on the anniversary of September 11, the mainstream media raced to discover who was behind the obscure anti-Muslim film that sparked the demonstrations. The Associated Press reported that the filmmaker was Sam Bacile, an Israeli Jew living in California who called Islam a “cancer” – a story that ricocheted around the Web.
But the AP and Wall Street Journal, which also reported on Bacile, were duped. By the end of the day on September 12, theAP discovered that the person behind the film was an Egyptian Coptic Christian by the name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. There didn’t seem to be a real Sam Bacile. And the more information came out, the more it became clear that the origins of the film lie in an alliance between members of the Egyptian Coptic Christian community, right-wing Christians and the well-funded network of Islamophobes in the U.S.
As the post-9/11 dust settled, a small, loosely connected group of anti-Muslim activists worked to lay the seeds of what would become a full-blown network of Islamophobes across the U.S. that peddled propaganda about the impending takeover of the U.S. by Muslims, who would impose “sharia law.”
An important part of their message is that Christians in the Middle East were being persecuted, and deserved the protection of their fellow Christians in the West (of course, this doesn’t include Christians facing persecution from Israel’s Jewish majority). Specifically, Egyptian Coptic Christians were the focus, and after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, concerns about the fate of Copts in Egypt increased. While there are real fears for Copts in Egypt—churches have been burned and protests violently repressed by Egyptian security forces—anti-Muslim activists have cynically exploited that grim reality. Coptic Christian leaders have denounced the film, which has endangered the community within Egypt.
And so a small number of Coptic Christians, by no means representative of the full Coptic community, have made alliances with right-wing evangelical Christians and virulent Islamophobes in the U.S.
This alliance is behind the film, Innocence of Muslims, which portrays the Prophet Muhammed as a child abuser and gay man. Depictions of the Prophet are considered to be forbidden in Islam, and past depictions, like those in the infamous Danish cartoons, have likewise set off angry protests in a region already seething at U.S. intervention and its long history backing repressive dictators. The protests in Libya and Egypt were largely peaceful, but a group of armed Libyan Islamists outside the U.S. embassy in Benghazi launched an assault, culminating in the death of the American ambassador and three others. Media outlets still piecing the story together suggest that the attack in Libya may have been pre-planned, with the protests serving as cover.
The Associated Press reported that Nakoula, a 55-year-old living in California, was the manager of the company that produced the film. Nakoula, who has been convicted of financial crimes in the past, said that he was a Coptic Christian and that “the film’s director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.”
But Nakoula had help. A California-based newspaper reported September 12 that an organization called Media for Christ produced the Innocence of Muslims film. The head of that organization is Joseph Nasralla Abdelmasih, an anti-Muslim Coptic Christian from Egypt. Abdelmasih is an ally of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two leading Islamophobes in the U.S. Two years ago, on September 11, Abdelmasih spoke at Geller’s and Spencer’s rally in lower Manhattan. The rally was called to protest the building of the Park 51 Islamic center, a few blocks away from the site of Ground Zero, and was a flashpoint in larger efforts to oppose the building of mosques in the U.S.
“Wake up, America!” Abdelmasih said to a crowd of flag-waving hooligans. “Islamics conquered our country with their lies…It’s written in the Koran that the war is deceiving,” he said, a reference to the anti-Muslim trope that Muslims justify lying with the religious concept of “taqiyya,” which stipulates that Muslims can conceal their religion while at risk.
Geller responded to Abdelmasih’s involvment with the film in an e-mail. “Whether or not Joseph Nassralla was involved in this film, it doesn’t matter, because the film itself doesn’t matter,” Geller wrote. “The film is just a pretext to justify the violence and intimidate the West into adopting Sharia restrictions on the freedom of speech, so that jihad can advance unimpeded and unopposed in the West.”
Morris Sadek is another U.S.-based Coptic Christian activist who helped promote Media for Christ’s film. Sadek is likewise connected to anti-Muslim activists in the U.S. “Sadek is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood,” Right Wing Watch’s Josh Glasstetter reported.
Terry Jones, the inflammatory Christian preacher who burned Korans last year in a move that sparked deadly protests in Afghanistan, also promoted the film.
Yet another Christian right activist involved with the film is Steve Klein. Klein is a right-wing extremist allied with Sadek’s National American Coptic Assembly. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that Klein is “a longtime religious-right activist who brags about having led a ‘hunter killer’ team as a Marine in Vietnam” and who believes that Muslims are “a cancer.”
Journalist and Nation Institute fellow Max Blumenthal added to the portrait of Klein with his report that “Klein (or someone who shares his name and views) is an enthusiastic commenter on Geller’s Web site, Atlas Shrugged.” Blumenthal writes that Klein “organized alongside the anti-Muslim Coptic extremist Joseph Nasrallah to demand the firing of LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, whom they painted as a dupe for Hamas,” and that “Klein has organized against the construction of mosques in his area.”
The alliance of Egyptian Christians, right-wing American Christians and anti-Muslim activists have now sowed the seeds of more chaos in the Middle East. This is exactly what they wanted. “We went into this knowing this was probably going to happen,” Klein told the Associated Press.
The people behind the film can also feel satisfied that they have contributed to a strain in U.S.-Egyptian relations as a time when the Muslim Brotherhood is in power. They hope that by destabilizing Egypt, Muslims will come off as crazy, violent people, and that U.S. relations with a government seen as hostile to Israel will be strained.
Their mirror image—radical, right-wing Islamists in the Middle East–continues to stoke anti-American rage across the Middle East because of the anti-Muslim film. And so both sides get what they want: a “clash of civilizations”-esque confrontation between the radicals on both sides of the “East-West” divide.
Meanwhile, ordinary Americans and Muslims are caught in the crossfire. As Blumethal wrote in the Guardian: “A group of fringe extremists had proven that with a little bit of money and an unbelievably cynical scam, they could shape history to fit their apocalyptic vision.”
- Inside the Islamophobic-Religious Right Alliance Whose Film Sparked a Crisis in the Middle East (alternet.org)
- Mystery surrounds ‘Sam Bacile’, maker of controversial anti-Muhammad film (guardian.co.uk)
- Man who made ‘Innocence of Muslims’ said to be a Coptic Christian (al.com)
- Coptic Christians Now Under Siege in America (frontpagemag.com)
- at the heart…of the storm… (hugmamma.com)
- ‘Innocence of Muslims’: Sound Expert Says Islamophobic Dialogue Definitely Dubbed [Exclusive Transcript] (ibtimes.com)
- Coptic Christians Now Under Siege In America (midnightwatcher.wordpress.com)
- The Agents of Outrage (world.time.com)
- The Invisable Islamophobe (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- Coptic Christian leader of organization that produced anti-Muslim film spoke at Pamela Geller’s anti-mosque rally (mondoweiss.net)