Posts Tagged Huffington Post
Ann Romney: ‘Women, You Need To Wake Up’
FINDLAY, Ohio — Ann Romney fired back Wednesday at critics who have accused husband Mitt Romney of being out of touch with average Americans, saying her own bout with multiple sclerosis taught the family what it means to suffer and lose hope.
“When people say that we’ve led a charmed life and we don’t relate to people that are having trouble, I want to remind you that I’ve been in a very dark place, and I know what it is like to have no hope,” Mrs. Romney said at a rally for women supporting her husband, the Republican presidential candidate, at the University of Findlay in Ohio. “So believe me when I tell you these words: We are there for you because we know what it feels like.”
She also made an impassioned plea to women.
“Women, you need to wake up,” she said. “Mitt will be there for you, he will stand up for you, he will hear your voices, he knows how to fix an economy, he’s a can-do kind of guy, he’s a turnaround guy.”
Romney has struggled to win over women voters.
On Monday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright shared her feelings on Romney’s trouble with the fairer sex in stark terms. “I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney,” she said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
Democrats attending their party’s national convention this week in Charlotte, N.C., have repeatedly accused the wealthy Romney of a remoteness from the problems facing ordinary Americans. That critique is one of the primary arguments Democrats have used to criticize Romney and support the re-election efforts of President Barack Obama.
“My husband was getting demonized, lied about, and now, you know, we’re really getting it, as you know,” Mrs. Romney said.
She described her struggle with the disease, which coincided with her family’s move to Utah so her husband could oversee preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics there. She said she lost the use of her right side and had problems getting out of bed, but said that despite initial second thoughts the move turned out well.
“Sometimes when you take a risk like that and you just go and do what you know is the right thing to do, sometimes God looks over you,” she said.
Mrs. Romney has been in remission for years.
- Michelle Obama and Ann Romney’s Convention Speeches Highlight Women’s Role as Moms, not in the Workplace (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Ann Romney Will Not Talk About Your Family (towleroad.com)
- Ann Romney says Democratic criticisms she and Mitt lack empathy are ridiculous (riehlworldview.com)
- Ann Romney’s Insulting and Contrived Speech (mbcalyn.com)
- Just Dont Ask Ann Romney About Lesbian Mothers (advocate.com)
- Ann Romney Will Decide What this Election is About, Not Women Voters (skydancingblog.com)
- Ann Romney challenges women to ‘wake up’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Ann Romney says she and Mitt have struggled (cnsnews.com)
- Ann Romney urges women: Fight for joy, vote for Mitt (thehill.com)
- Ann Romney defers same-sex marriage, birth control questions to husband (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
Unemployment Insurance Not On Congressional Radar
Posted: 07/18/2012 12:24 pm Updated: 07/19/2012 1:01 pm
Job seekers have their resumes reviewed at a job fair expo in Anaheim, Calif.
WASHINGTON — President Obama took a question on the campaign trail Monday from a little girl who asked if her father, an unemployed construction worker, would find a job before his unemployment insurance runs out.
The president responded that he hoped the girl’s father would find work, but that if he doesn’t, he hoped the unemployment benefits would still be there.
“Now, we tried to extend unemployment insurance beyond normal right after the recession hit,” Obama said. “We were able to extend it again in 2010. It’s been harder now to get Congress to extend it further.”
“And so we’ll continue to negotiate with Congress to make sure that unemployment is there,” the president added. “But the most important thing I want to do is make sure your dad can get a job.”
Two million people will be cut off from benefits when federal unemployment insurance expires the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group based in New York. But Congress is not ready to worry about it. The Huffington Post asked lawmakers on Tuesday if preserving unemployment insurance in 2013 is on their radar.
“No, it’s not,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of Senate committee that oversees unemployment insurance, said as he boarded a Senate elevator. “Not yet.”
“I have not heard any discussion about what we can do there,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has made a lot of noise lately about safety net programs like food stamps and Social Security Disability Insurance. “I have not given thought to what precisely we ought to do, whether it’s phasing down or what. The fundamental thing is we need to create more jobs … and everybody has got to be out hustling to find work. There’s just no other way to make America productive.”
On the House side, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, has not hinted at what might happen. The highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), told The Hill earlier this month that it all depends on the November elections, which could change the balance of power in Congress and the White House.
“We’ve had a struggle with the Republicans. They continue to think that it’s a disincentive” for people to look for jobs, Levin said. “So we’re going to continue the battle; whether we win it or not will depend more on Nov. 6.”
Economists expect the national unemployment rate to remain above 8 percent for the rest of the year; Congress routinely gives the jobless workers extended benefits during recessions and has never dropped benefits when the unemployment rate is above 7.2 percent.
Federal benefits kick in for workers who exhaust the standard 26 weeks of state benefits without finding work. Late in 2009, Congress extended the combined duration of state and federal benefits to 99 weeks. Subsequent reauthorizations all happened either at the last minute or after benefits lapsed for weeks. In February, Republicans and Democrats struck a deal to gradually wind down the maximum duration to 73 weeks by the end of this year.
In addition to the 2 million people whose federal benefits will abruptly stop on Dec. 29, another 900,000 will be left hanging after they run out of state benefits during the first three months of 2013, according to the National Employment Law Project. More than 5 million people had been out of work for six months or longer in June, according to the Labor Department, and the average unemployed person had been out of work for 39.9 weeks.
But in Congress, unemployment insurance is overshadowed by other financial matters, including the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, the end of a 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax, and scheduled cuts to defense spending that Republicans are desperate to avoid. Lawmakers call it the “fiscal cliff.”
“It’s unfortunate,” said NELP senior staff attorney George Wentworth. “You’re talking about 2 to 3 million Americans for whom losing unemployment insurance is their fiscal cliff.”
- “Hurting The Most Vulnerable”: Cutbacks To Unemployment Insurance Came Long Before The Great Recession (mykeystrokes.com)
- - Cutbacks Came Long Before the Great Recession (jobmarketmonitor.com)
- ‘Will My Dad Find A Job Before Unemployment Runs Out?’ (crooksandliars.com)
- Unemployment Insurance Not On Congressional Radar (huffingtonpost.com)
- Nervous? Buy your own unemployment insurance (insurance.com)
- Tax breaks for businesses led to state unemployment funds going broke (dailykos.com)
- $800 Billion Stimulus? I Wish (cato-at-liberty.org)
- Insurance cover Protection against redundancy and unemployment (castlecover.co.uk)
- Unemployment reform to save Illinois Employers $400 Million (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Spartanburg County Men Plead Guilty To Unemployment Insurance Fraud (wspa.com)
Tsk Tsk…Oak Park Lands on List for Most Married Cheaters
Adult website ranks Oak Park among Chicago area’s most infidelity-friendly neighborhoods.
June 19, 2012
Life is short. Have an affair.
That’s the tagline from AshleyMadison.com, the adult website which recently ranked Oak Park among the top ten most cheater-friendly neighborhoods in the Chicago area.
According to Huffington Post, analysts “studied the geographic data that accompanies the 210,000-plus memberships in the Chicago area, and rounded up the 10 neighborhoods in and around the city that generate the most cheaters.”
And guess what? Family friendly Oak Park ranks ninth on the list. Naperville is tenth and Arlington Heights in eighth. The rest of the list is comprised of neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, including tony Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast.
“There is a correlation between affluence and infidelity,” Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman told WGN News on Monday.
Roughly 70 percent of the site’s members — it boasts 14 million worldwide — are men, initially attracted to the site either when they’re wives first become pregnant, or after a couple of decades of marriage, Biderman told Red Eye.
Married women, Biderman told the paper, join up because they’re no longer being pursued by their spouses.
But none of that seems to jibe with Oak Park’s reputation as a sought-after enclave for families. But who knows, really?
What do you think?
- Oak Park – Chicago, IL (travelpod.com)
- Infidelity By Neighborhood: Where Cheaters Live in Boston [Infographic] (bostinno.com)
- Where Do All The Cheaters Live? (myfoxphilly.com)
- Which Houston neighborhoods have the most cheaters? (click2houston.com)
- Man Fatally Shot In Oak Park (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Controversial cheaters web site offers $1 million to anyone who can prove they’ve slept with Tim Tebow (offthebench.nbcsports.com)
- TSK2 Behind the scene Footage (dqproductions.com)
- Max Payne 3 cheaters forced to play against each other (gamasutra.com)
- Max Payne 3 Cheaters To Be Quarantined (g4tv.com)
- Who’s cheating? You might be surprised. (matchableapp.wordpress.com)
May 10, 2012
Richard Nixon’s Model Campaign
Associated PressRichard Nixon in February 1968.
Before tacking left for the general election, Mitt Romney has to reconcile with a right flank that has never much liked him. Peace talks kicked off May 2 when Romney met with dozens of right-wing journalists and bloggers – off the record – at a private club on Capitol Hill.
Well, technically off the record. Throw a presidential candidate in a room with that many reporters and word quickly gets out. By the end of the day, The Huffington Post had the story. One of several loose-lipped attendees reported that Romney had extended “sort of an olive branch to conservative media.” A much-needed olive branch, if the primary season is any indication. During the battle for the nomination, the right dedicated a staggering amount of airtime, bandwidth and column space to thwarting Romney’s presidential aspirations.
In the fall, Rush Limbaugh made the point plainly. “Romney is no conservative,” he told his audience. “You can argue with me all day long on that, but he isn’t.” Erick Erickson, the editor of Redstate.com, piled on with a post titled “Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins.” And at Right Wing News, John Hawkins savaged Romney as “a pampered, prissy, fake, spiteful son of a governor being served the G.O.P. nomination on a silver platter because he kissed the right establishment behinds, benefitted from an enormous media double standard, and has more money than everyone else.” Little wonder the Romney camp decided outreach was in order.
The meeting was a start, but for Romney to win in November, he has to find a way to woo, but not wed, conservative media. And there’s no better example to follow than Richard Nixon in 1968. The only president ever to resign, Nixon usually serves as a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide. But like Romney, Nixon faced a skeptical right-wing media that lambasted him as a “political weathervane” and a “dedicated phony.” Tough words, but Nixon couldn’t simply write off the conservative broadcasters who said them. As his speechwriter Pat Buchanan explained, Nixon understood that to win in 1968 “he had to make his peace with the Goldwater wing of the party.”
Unlike the “Massachusetts moderate,” Mitt Romney, Nixon should have been a shoo-in for conservative affection. As a first-term congressman and aspiring “Red-hunter,” Nixon won over the right with his service on the House Un-American Activities Committee. There he broke the Alger Hiss spy case, siding with the frumpy former Communist Whittaker Chambers to expose Hiss, a State Department employee who was later convicted of perjury for lying about his involvement in a Soviet spy ring.
But maintaining ideological purity while navigating party politics proved an impossible task. In 1952 Nixon joined Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Republican ticket. The problem? Conservatives considered Ike at best a Democrat and at worst (according to the founder of the John Birch Society) “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy.”
By the time he ran for president in 1960, the once-popular Nixon found right-wing media particularly hostile terrain. At National Review, William F. Buckley Jr. was persuaded Nixon would prove “an unreliable auxiliary of the right.” Clarence Manion, host of the “The Manion Forum” radio program, agreed. “Like you,” he wrote Buckley, “my first 1960 objective is to beat Nixon. He is an unpredictable, supremely self-interested trimmer and has never been anything else.”
The only president ever to resign, Nixon usually serves as a cautionary tale, not a how-to guide.
So solid was the resistance to a Nixon candidacy that in 1960, no conservative media outlet endorsed the vice-president either in the primaries or in the general election. Instead, they threw their energies into last-minute long-shot candidates and third-party alternatives. Manion began organizing a Draft Goldwater movement on behalf of “the courageous leader of conscientious American conservatism.” The editors of The Independent American went a step further with their (ultimately aborted) New Party Rally.
Nixon lost but didn’t learn. In 1962 he ran for governor of California, taking out the conservative Joe Shell in the primary and alienating the state’s substantial right-wing voting bloc. Conservatives stayed home, and he lost again. The morning after his humiliating defeat, a bleary-eyed Nixon famously growled at reporters, “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.” His retirement from politics didn’t stick, but the lesson about the conservatives and their media finally did. Having cast out the mainstream press, Nixon concentrated his attention on conservative alternatives.
Nixon began courting right-wing journalists and writers in August 1966, when he held his own off-the-record meeting with members of conservative media and organizations at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington. Like the Romney meeting, the secret rendezvous quickly went public. A front-page story in The Washington Post divulged all the details, including Nixon’s prediction that conservatism would be “politically respectable” by the next election. And while Nixon didn’t spell out his intentions for 1968, one attendee told the paper: “Lines of communication were opened that should be helpful later on.”
Having made his intentions known, Nixon dialed up the charm. In January 1967 he invited Buckley, Bill Rusher (publisher of National Review), and other members of the conservative media to his sprawling Fifth Avenue apartment. There he exhibited his virtuosic command of foreign and domestic policy. Rusher remained unmoved — Rusher would always remain unmoved when it came to Nixon — but Buckley? There was no surer way to Buckley’s heart than a vigorous display of intellect and insight. As Neal Freeman, Buckley’s personal aide, recalled: “I knew when we went down the elevator, early in the evening, that Bill Buckley was going to find some reason to support Richard Nixon.” True, Nixon was no conservative, but the heart wants what it wants. And a smart, experienced, electable Republican was exactly what Buckley wanted in a 1968 candidate. More than a year before the election, he was recommending Nixon as the “wisest Republican choice.”
Not everyone was so enamored. Rusher and a small contingent of fellow writers did everything in their power to forestall a Nixon endorsement at National Review. Devin Garrity, the owner of right-wing publishing house Devin-Adair, threw in for Reagan. Reagan himself had plans to swoop in and steal away the nomination, banking on Nixon’s unlikability to create an opportunity (a safe bet most of the time). Eyeing the 1968 race, Reagan dismissed Nixon as “the fellow who doesn’t get the girl.” After all, Reagan had already succeeded where Nixon failed. In 1966 he won the California governorship against Pat Brown, who had defeated Nixon four years earlier. But Reagan underestimated how much his own inexperience diminished his standing as a would-be suitor. Though he had many fans on the right, most agreed the former actor wasn’t ready for prime-time.
Eventually, conservative media lined up for Nixon. Once he clenched the nomination, endorsements sprouted up everywhere: the newsweekly Human Events, National Review, The Manchester Union-Leader. True, the editors of National Review admitted, Nixon was far from the ideal candidate. But they urged readers to keep the faith, “faith that when he gets the votes he needs, and no longer has to submit to that frightful wooing ritual mass democracy imposes on its leaders, he will speak with a clearer, firmer, less neutrally balanced voice.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. And it got worse. They noted that Nixon was hardly “as passionate a believer in the ingenuity of the free marketplace as, for instance, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan.” And as president, “there will undoubtedly be plenty to criticize in his administration of the nation’s affairs.” Yet with all the ways Nixon was likely to disappoint, the editors encouraged conservatives to cast their ballots for him. At the very least he could give America “the impulse it needs on the way back to sobriety.” Nixon couldn’t take the nation to the Promised Land, but he could at least help them survive the wilderness.
In 1968, members of right-wing media fell in line, if not in love, hoping to make a go of pragmatic politics. Just as his failed campaigns taught Nixon to move right, Goldwater’s catastrophic 1964 loss persuaded conservatives they would have to move left. “No sense running Mona Lisa in a beauty contest,” Buckley said in 1967 before clarifying: “I’d be for the most right, viable candidate who could win.”
Associated PressRichard Nixon at the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla. on Aug. 8, 1968.
But in making Nixon “their president,” right-wing media swung too far in the other direction. Tom Huston, a conservative White House aide, begged National Review to come down hard on “the disastrous series of liberal appointments” following the inauguration. But the resulting editorial shrugged off Huston’s concerns, calling the appointments “mostly of non-ideological types.” The editors instead counseled conservatives to wait for a major foreign crisis to test the president’s mettle. “Then we shall see what stuff Nixon is made of,” they held, “then and not before.”
It would be one thing if they were Republican partisans, but these messengers of the right were keepers of a different faith. Their calls for patience, both during Nixon’s campaign and his presidency, cost conservative media their readers, their reputations and ultimately their leadership role in the movement. In its inaugural issue in November 1955, National Review had declared itself a “vigorous and incorruptible journal of conservative opinion.” Could it still make that claim when backing Nixon, a president who supported a guaranteed annual income, extensive environmental regulations and détente?
It turned out there was, briefly, a limit to how far they would follow “their president.” After he announced his plans to open relations with Communist China, the leaders of right-wing periodicals and publishing houses broke with Nixon. Rusher and Tom Winter of Human Events even spearheaded the search for another leading man, recruiting Ohio Congressman John Ashbrook to challenge Nixon in the 1972 primaries.
But just as they were reclaiming their oppositional voices, conservative media relinquished them again. When the Ashbrook candidacy failed to take off, National Review endorsed the Nixon-Agnew ticket. The editors chided their readers: “Now is not the time to be churlish.” Their advice went unheeded. The magazine had traded ideological purity for a seat at the table, and readers began to slip away. By 1973, National Review’s circulation lagged 20 percent behind its pre-Nixon heights. As Rusher explained in a memo to the editors: since National Review had failed to provide real opposition to the Nixon administration, “the conservative troops increasingly march off to tunes drummed out by latecomers.”
With this year’s nomination battle winding down, conservative media are making the same pivot toward Romney. As the nominee, he is their only chance to beat President Obama. And they are his only chance to keep the base on board while he Etch A Sketches his way to the center during the general election. Aware that full-throated conservatism won’t win over those crucial swing voters come November, some members of the right-wing media are willing to provide cover for Romney. National Review, which half-heartedly came out in support of Romney last December, has now thrown itself fully behind him. As the magazine’s editor Rich Lowry declared to Howard Kurtz at The Daily Beast: “If I have to manufacture enthusiasm, I’ll happily do so.”
Not everyone shares Lowry’s conviction. Erick Erickson claims that many on the right still “think Romney is not really a whole lot better than Obama.” He criticizes the Romney campaign for not reaching out to evangelicals, a group already hesitant to fully back a Mormon candidate. “Romney just expects their vote,” Erickson argued in a recent post. “He may get it, but not their passion or energy.” How much to stir up that passion and energy is a critical question facing conservative media. If Romney’s moderate turn toward the general election is actually a permanent return to his technocratic, nonideological roots, how far will conservative media follow him down that path?
Yet the partner most at risk in this relationship isn’t the media; it’s Mitt Romney. There’s an important difference between 1968 and 2012, one Romney must heed if he wants to successfully navigate the general election. In 1968, conservative media lost their identity as they compromised in favor of pragmatic politics. But today’s conservative media are far more powerful than their predecessors, and politicians far more likely to play second-fiddle to them.
The danger in 2012 is not that pragmatism will blunt conservative media. Rather, if these media insist on ideological purity, they could cost Romney both conservatives and moderates. His history of flip-flopping ensures he’ll never persuade conservatives that he shares their core values. And any attempt to prove he’s “severely conservative” will drive away independents wary of extremes.
Nothing highlights this danger more than the coming debate over same-sex marriage. When Obama declared his support for marriage equality on Wednesday, he forced Romney into a precarious position. If he fails to take a strong enough stand in opposition, Romney risks losing evangelicals’ already-soft support. If he fails to distance himself enough from same-sex marriage’s more provocative opponents, he risks losing swing voters with little appetite for cultural crusades.
Here Nixon is again a valuable guide. Richard Nixon never claimed to be a movement conservative, just someone who would attend to the right’s political desires. Like Nixon, Romney is a pragmatist who changes his views to match the political mood. From the perspective of the right, what Romney must now demonstrate is his belief that the current mood is fundamentally conservative, and that he will do what he must to keep the right on board. True, it’s not particularly inspiring. It’s practical and calculating, just like Nixon — who, remember, won a close election in 1968, won re-election in a historic landslide and built a coalition that sustained the Republican Party for 40 years.
- Gingrich Out Of Campaign But, Like Nixon, Not Giving Up On Power (thepracticalvegetarian.wordpress.com)
- “Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Richard Nixon Good night, my friends. Sweet dreams. (waselife.wordpress.com)
- “Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Richard Nixon Good night, my friends. Sweet dreams. (wincharles.wordpress.com)
- Was Richard M. Nixon a Closet Marxist: Forward Together (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- The Bush-Nixon Connection (economicpolicyjournal.com)
- Sen. Marco Rubio Has A Richard Nixon Slush Fund Problem (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- POLL OF THE DAY: Here’s The One Thing Holding Romney Back In The Polls (businessinsider.com)
- Obama, Romney talk little about health care laws (mysanantonio.com)
- Richard Nixon’s love letters to wife to go on display (telegraph.co.uk)
- Recording reveals Richard Nixon’s anger over NFL blackouts (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)