Posts Tagged Karl Rove
Raging Moderate, by Will Durst
Seriously? Both political parties talking pre-emptive smack barely a week after the election. Partisan politics? Again? So soon? Not even time to catch our breath? For crum’s sakes, give it a rest, you guys. Besides, shouldn’t you be out on recess? After all, it’s Thanksgiving. Yes. Already. The earliest Thanksgiving possible. That’s what happens when November first is on a Thursday. Merchants are dancing the happy dance. Shoppers too. Retail workers, not so much. Black Friday Creep seems destined to devour Halloween.
To be perfectly honest, a four-day weekend devoted to food, family and football might be the perfect prescription distraction to help us through these rebuking times. So here’s a couple rough examples of what a middle-aged, round-headed political comic counts as blessings over folded hands before performing a perfectly executed triple somersault into the gravy boat.
Rick McKee / Augusta Chronicle
Barack Obama: Second-term promises much bigger knock-down, drag-out fights with the Republican House. Not to mention the Democratic Senate.
General David Petraeus:Who knew generals had groupies? Proves old high school adage: chicks dig stars. The larger the fruit salad, the more noxious the flies.
Karl Rove: Continues to lobby for a recount of the Florida and Ohio votes. From 2008.
The Newly Elected Congress: If you liked the 112th Congress, you’re going to love the 113th Congress. Gridlock grown tentacles.
Bill Clinton: As Secretary of ‘Splaining Stuff, he kicked Obama’s ball over goal line. Can’t wait to see what his touchdown celebration looks like. Probably a waltz with Hillary down the 2016 campaign trail.
Dick Cheney: Still feisty even after recovering from a heart transplant. Really, transplant? Mightn’t “installation” be more apt?
State of Florida: 12 years later, and they still can’t count. Time to circumcise America. Cut Florida off and kick it into the Caribbean. Rename it North Cuba.
State of Texas: Threatening to secede again. But not seriously enough. Don’t think their heart is really into it.
Mitt Romney: Good news is he won’t have to ‘splain to the whole family why they’re moving into a smaller house.
Chris Christie: Love him or hate him, he’s not going away and is much too big to fail.
Donald Trump: The man just cannot shut the hell up. He’s the gift that keeps on giving. Should team up with Sarah Palin in a double act and take it on the road.
Paul Ryan: Reins of the GOP are his if he can hold onto them. Has a lean and hungry look. Bobby Jindal would be wise to beware the Ides of March.
The Climate: Don’t know if anybody’s noticed, but it ain’t getting more placid out there.
Joe Biden: Less of a loose cannon and more of a loose aircraft carrier.
Michele Bachmann: Because every comedian needs a good right-wing nut job every now and then.
The Justin Bieber-Selena Gomez breakup: It’s not over. Oh, you may think it’s over, but it’s not over.
And finally, The Fiscal Cliff: And our nation turns its lonely eyes to those fabled Fiscal Cliff Divers, the Tea Party. All right everybody, who’s jumping first?
Thanks to everyone for all your hard work throughout the year for the likes of political animals such as I. And good health to us all.Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Thanksgiving Blessings 2012.
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney the Presidency (mbcalyn.com)
- Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney the Presidency (themoderatevoice.com)
- A great Congressman says “thank you” (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Rep. Scalise elected RSC chairman (thehill.com)
- The 112th Congress, By the Numbers (thefergusongroup.typepad.com)
- Five reasons why Congress should pass Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (thehill.com)
- Can a King help restore leadership in Washington? (bangordailynews.com)
- Will Durst: Who Wins and Why (huffingtonpost.com)
- Jewish Representation In Congress Drops by 19% Due to Elections (gestetnerupdates.com)
- Pelosi: Any Deal Must Increase Tax Rates; Majority of House Has Pledged Not To (cnsnews.com)
Republicans should look to their roots
By Anne Applebaum, Published: November 15
A Texan friend of mine heard Karl Rove a couple of days ago talking angrily about President Obama winning by “suppressing the vote.” Not long after that, she read that Sean Hannity wants to create a “pathway to citizenship” for illegal immigrants. She wrote to me that she was compiling a list: “ways in which the Republicans are now stealing Democrats’ language.”
She was right to find it amusing. But, if you step back, it’s also tragic. The Republican Party doesn’t need to steal Democrats’ language, let alone Democrats’ ideas. Like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” all the Republican leadership needs to do is click its collective heels together and start looking for answers much closer to home.
If Republican leaders really want to appeal to Hispanic voters, for example, they don’t need clever Spanish-language marketing or better slogans. Nor do they need to steal political positions from across the aisle. Instead, they could resurrect the only sensible comprehensive immigration reform bill not passed into law — a bill largely written by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a grand compromise: It attempted to win support from immigrants’ rights groups, which tend to be on the left of the political spectrum, and business leaders who employ immigrants, who tend to be on the right. It created not only a sensible path to citizenship for illegal immigrants but also a “guest worker” status for people who want to work for short periods, and it enhanced border security. The Bush White Housesupported the bill, which was defeated by congressional Republicans.
Maybe it’s time for those same Republicans to take seriously something that several observers have noted recently: For millions of people on the lower end of the pay scale, health-care expenditures take a bigger chunk of income than do taxes. For Republicans, this problem ought not to come as a surprise, since their elected representatives have been discussing it for two decades. As The Post’s Ezra Klein (among others) has beautifully documented, the Heritage Foundation came up with the idea of individual mandates in 1989; Sen. John Chafee (R-R.I.) wrote a bill — with 19 Republican co-sponsors — proposing comprehensive health-care reform in 1993. In the mid-2000s, Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) told me he reckoned that bipartisan agreement on the basic elements of health-care reform already existed in the Senate: All that was needed, he told me, was the political willpower to make it happen.
Republican leaders might also consider the writings of conservative columnists and think tanks more carefully. For many years, The Post’s Charles Krauthammer has advocated a hefty gasoline tax offset by an equivalent payroll tax cut. Steve Hayward at the American Enterprise Institute has been arguing for years that “conservation” is a word with the same roots as “conservative.”
The conservative movement is a broad church, and its worshipers include even a few sympathetic foreigners. Republicans could certainly do worse than to consult their counterparts across the Atlantic.
The British Conservative Party spent 12 years out of office after the 1997 elections that brought the Labor Party and Tony Blair to power. After two attempts to win by running well to the right of Blair, David Cameron led a group of Tory “modernizers” into power by, among other things, embracing “conservative” notions of conservation and budgetary austerity — and by deciding that the state should have no role in dictating private morality: Intolerance, one once told me, is “unconservative.” One Tory minister, Iain Duncan-Smith, spent his years in the political wilderness creating a think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, dedicated to the study of long-term poverty and welfare reform. He’s now in a position to put some of its proposals into practice. So is his colleague Michael Gove, another Tory modernizer, who spent his years out of power thinking about education and is now hard at work reforming British schools.
The British Conservatives didn’t merely hire new speechwriters to carry out this change, or ape their opponents in the Labor Party. They simply looked to their history and to their roots. There is no reason the Republican Party can’t do the same: There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . .
- Rep. Gutierrez Introduces Republicans to Latinos, Again (crooksandliars.com)
- With Republicans onboard, can immigration overhaul pass? (kansascity.com)
- GOP senators may take lead on immigration reform (cbsnews.com)
- The GOP’s Hispanic Problem is Bigger Than They Think (businessweek.com)
- Obama’s Reelection Has Spurred a GOP Paradigm Shift on Immigration Reform (blogs.sfweekly.com)
- With Republicans onboard, can immigration overhaul pass? (thenewstribune.com)
- Rubio, McCain, Hatch ready to negotiate on pathway to citizenship (thehill.com)
- GOP, Dem senators seek immigration reform (upi.com)
- Why Republicans’ position on immigration is a political loser – in 1 chart (washingtonpost.com)
- Obama: Time to “seize the moment” on immigration reform (nbclatino.com)
Conservatives can be forgiven for seeking to rationalize Mitt Romney’s loss — “media were against him,” “the primaries dragged on too long,” “Paul Ryan was a poor choice,” “Seamus ate his master’s homework,” whatever. But progressives should bite their tongues.
Daryl Cagle / Cagle Cartoons
Late on election night Chris Matthews of MSNBC blurted out that he was “glad we had that storm last week,” implying that Hurricane Sandy was partly responsible for Pres. Obama’s win. He apologized profusely the next day. Meanwhile, his network and its competitors are spending much of their post-election time focusing on the science of campaigning, as if Tuesday’s vote occurred in some exotic computer lab.
Liberal pundits are gushing over the “Chicago team” that crunched numbers, targeted voters in the right places, and engineered a carefully calculated win. On Fox, Bill O’Reilly stated flatly that if Obama’s guru David Axelrod had been running Romney’s campaign, the Republican would have won.
Both sides make the election sound like a game in which the American people are chess pieces — mostly pawns.
The science of campaigning is growing exponentially, there’s no doubt about that. Howard Dean is often cited as the first major candidate to harness the Internet for his 2004 presidential bid, building what came to be known as a Netroots campaign and using the Internet to spread messages, raise money, and track voters. Obama’s 2008 campaign took it further and, for the 2012 race — with more time, money and tools — the president’s staff ran the most sophisticated campaign in history.
Of course, it was also the most expensive, with over $2 billion spent by the two parties and their backers. In Iowa, for example, it’s estimated that the final price of each Electoral vote was $12.3 million.
But money couldn’t buy this election any more than computer science was able to engineer it. Karl Rove’s super PAC spent over $100 million on television ads, and came away with what the Sunlight Foundation computes was about a 1 percent return on investment.
Despite the spending and demographic targeting, this election may have been one of the most democratic ever. It was, from the start, about issues. It was about the clear philosophical differences regarding how government should work, and a majority of voters indicated they share the president’s views.
But even in conceding that much, some conservatives point out how this philosophy divides demographically, and all of a sudden we’re back on the chessboard. The suggestion is that demographic groups — blacks, Latinos, young women — who voted heavily for the president, simply weren’t “targeted” properly. That if they had somehow gotten the message, things would have turned out differently.
They got the message. And no amount of advertising, spinning or even intimidating could change it.
There’s an even more sinister angle at work here, grabbing space on conservative blogs and being whispered about on cable-TV. It seems to hint that the coalition of minorities that backed Obama is somehow less American, less deserving of an equal say. “The moochers re-elected Obama,” is how one blogger put it.
Rush Limbaugh, bombastic mouthpiece for the far right, acknowledged the situation. “If we’re not getting the female vote,” he asked his radio listeners, “do we become pro-choice? Do we start passing out birth control pills? Is that what we have to do?”
The best thing that can be said about Limbaugh and his followers is that they are not willing to compromise their beliefs. Voters recognized that in rejecting not only the top of the GOP ticket but also many extremists down below.
Thus, with due respect to Karl Rove’s checkbook and David Axelrod’s computer, it seems Americans can be manipulated only so far. If the puppeteers on either side hope that voters will pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, they overlook the fact that the real force behind the voting booth curtain is you.
- It’s You (Guest Voice) (themoderatevoice.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Man for the Moment (mbcalyn.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Our Status is Quo (mbcalyn.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney the Presidency (mbcalyn.com)
- Cagle Post ” Rocky Mountain Low (mbcalyn.com)
- Karl Rove defends his $300 million disaster (news.yahoo.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” Morning in America (mbcalyn.com)
- Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – ” GOP Turns Sure Victory into Defeat (mbcalyn.com)
- 22 Conclusions from the 2012 Elections Outcome (themoderatevoice.com)
- Was Obama Legally Re-elected? Voter Fraud Already Discovered in Florida, Ohio, Colorado (21stcenturyscreenshots.wordpress.com)
Raging Moderate, by Will Durst
Holey moley catfish. Well, thank god that’s finally over. Further thanks that the climax was quick and clean. Almost surgical. Not as long a night as many first thought it might be. Except for Karl Rove that is, who for all we know is still scribbling numbers to prove the call on Clinton’s re-election win in 1996 was premature. And as usual, Florida did all it could to gum things up, but was eventually rendered irrelevant. And long may it remain so.
Dave Granlund / PoliticalCartoons.com
In the end, President Barack Obama trounced, er, battered, um, eked-out a victory — or to be more precise, Mitt Romney lost. Or shall we say, found a thousand ways to lose. Except for one brief, shining moment in the first debate, virtually carrying with him a defeat diviner.
And each and every one of his failures can be traced directly to females. The distaff of life. Single women. Married women. Old women. Young women. Ladies and divas and flappers and baby mamas; duchesses, priestesses, shorties and floozies. So here they are, the top ten females who cost Mitt Romney the presidency, each of them representing one of the myriad factors that helped construct the unelectable mosaic that became Bain’s Captain of Industry:
Michele Bachmann. Mitt had to draft on her right wing to win the primary battle, and when he tried to tack back to the center appeared not to be the Washington Outsider he claimed, but a typical politician with the core values of a hollowed-out chocolate Easter Bunny. With really good hair.
Newly elected U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. A state the former governor lost by 23 points. Proof positive the man arouses the enduring passion of a broken garden rake.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who took foreign policy off the table, making the entire election about the economy which kept getting better, gol darn it. And who can forget her husband. He certainly won’t let us.
Sandra Fluke, who gave a face to the GOP’s Paleolithic Bronze Age attitudes towards women, further exacerbated by the fact that no man in the party could seemingly shut up about it.
Michelle Obama, who is just darn likable. As is her husband. A stark contrast to Romney’s cyborg demeanor and obvious discomfort around members of the human species.
Superstorm Sandy, for providing the opportunity for the president to look presidential and for Obama and Chris Christie to French kiss on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk ,crystalizing the concept that bipartisanship is not the saddest word. That’s “goodbye.”
Ann Romney, who would have made a simply terrific first lady. For Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Candy Crowley, who single-handedly halted Romney’s momentum in the second debate by speaking way above her pay grade. Don’t you hate it when the help speaks out of turn?
All the Wal-Mart Moms, who never really understood that whole Cayman Islands bank account thing marking him not as the poster child for the 1 percent, but as the poster child for the .0001 percent of the 1 percent.
And the last female responsible for Romney’s loss; Rafalca the 15-year old mare who, while wearing the Romney silks in Olympic Dressage, failed to make the medal round and was probably shipped home strapped to the fuselage of a 747. Seriously, Mitt. Dressage?
- Ten Females Who Cost Mitt Romney the Presidency (themoderatevoice.com)
- Election 2012: Kids Commentary Includes Laptops, Mickey Mouse and Mitt Romney’s Hair (boiseweekly.com)
- “Dreams Of His Father”: Mitt Romney’s Personality Problem (mbcalyn.com)
- “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I Love You, Tomorrow”: Mitt Romney Changing His Tune In Final Hours (mbcalyn.com)
- Mitt Romney Is Losing 847 Facebook Friends Per Hour (mashable.com)
- Husband held in killing of Iraqi-American woman (news.yahoo.com)
- The Alternative: 6 Jobs Mitt Romney Can Hold Down Since He Lost The Election… (sfluxe.com)
- The Moment Karl Rove Imploded on Fox (themoderatevoice.com)
- Top 10 Reasons Mitt Romney Lost (ribbie.wordpress.com)
- Republican right weeps over Obama’s victory – then begins internal civil war (guardian.co.uk)
Mitt Hits the Panic Button
Romney’s campaign says he’s winning, but a series of wildly dishonest ads suggest he’s growing desperate.
November 1, 2012
With just six days before Election Day it’s time to ask: Who’s going to win? If you ask the Romney campaign, they’ve got this thing in the bag. “The race comes down to independents. We lead among independents,” Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said on a conference call with reporters on the state of the race this morning. “The firewall that I think [the Obama campaign] talked about was Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio. Right now their firewall is burning,” added Rich Beeson, Romney’s political director. Meanwhile, Karl Rove predicts Romney will sail to victory with at least 279 electoral votes (“probably more”); the “unskewed” polls show Romney winning in a massive landslide with 321 electoral votes to Obama’s 217; and Breitbart bloggers say “Mitt Romney is now running away with this election.” Indeed, national polls slightly favor Romney.
Of course, the state polls say something else, and state polls are what really count. Obama is ahead, if marginally, in almost every swing state. This means that Obama can afford to lose in a few states he’s currently winning, while Romney has to win every single state he’s currently winning plus steal a bunch of states from Obama, especially Ohio, where he’s never fared well. Some recent polls even show Obama leading Virginia and Florida, both of which Romney needs. These numbers have made Nate Silver confident enough to bet $1,000 that Obama wins (his model gives Obama a 79 percent chance of victory at the moment).
So who’s right? Since we’re now in a post-Nate Silver world, where pundits’ gut instincts are more important than math, let’s just throw his numbers out the window and look only at what the Romney campaign has been up to in the critical week before the election. Maybe we’ll find some clues to what they really think about Mitt’s chances.
Today, we learn about a new ad the campaign released Tuesday — but did not announce to the press — that ties Barack Obama to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. “Who supports Barack Obama?” a narrator asks in Spanish before video clips play of Chavez and Castro’s daughter praising Obama.
The campaign also doubled down this week on its totally dishonest TV ad on the auto bailout with an even phonier radio ad, which it also did not announce to reporters. The ad suggests that Jeep, a division of Chrysler, which was bailed out by the federal government, is moving production and jobs to China. Jeep is doing no such thing and is actually expanding jobs in Ohio. The spot sort of backfired when the auto execs slammed Romney for lying about their companies, leading to less-than-flattering headlines in Ohio like this one from yesterday: “Obama devotes day to storm response; furor erupts over Romney auto ads.”
Does deploying these ads at the last minute really seem like a move from a campaign that feels confident it’s going to win? These are some of the ugliest and most dishonest attacks of an unusually ugly and dishonest campaign. They’re the kind of ads you expect from a secretive outside group, not the campaign itself. They’re the kind of ads a campaign keeps in a glass case labeled, “Break in case of emergency.” They feel desperate.
Now take a look at where Romney is campaigning in the waning days of the campaign. There’s no bigger weapon in the campaign’s arsenal than the candidate himself, so where it sends him is a good sign of where its priorities are. The Romney campaign has been insisting that it’s in such a strong position thatit’s expanding the map by making a play for mostly safe blue states like Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan and even New Mexico (where Obama won by 15 points in 2008). And indeed, both campaigns or the super PACs supporting them are now up with ads in these states.
But Romney isn’t going anywhere near those states. He’s doing three events in Virginia today, which he should have put away weeks ago so he could concentrate on other states. Tomorrow he heads to Wisconsin, where’s he’s still the deep underdog, and after that Ohio, which he absolutely needs to win, but is still down. Then it’s to Colorado, where he may win but Obama has been making a mini comeback. Then he’s off to Iowa and New Hampshire, where he’s down, but could really stand to win.
More likely, the “expand the map” strategy is about his campaign and their allies having more money than they need in the real swing states and a desire to “keep the ‘momentum’ storyline going,” as Amy Walter notes, even if it’s no longer true.
As Steve Kornacki pointed out this morning, the entire “the polls are wrong” argument is based on a faulty reading about the role independent voters play in this election. Romney keeps winning among independents but losing overall in polls because lots of conservatives no longer self-identify as Republicans, but effectively vote that way.
And at least in private, Republican leaders seem to be finally acknowledging the reality — well, at least part of the reality. Politico’s Mike Allen reported this morning that “top Republicans are already hinting that if Romney loses, his people will blame the storm for stalling his momentum.” Romney’s momentum had clearly stalled before Hurricane Sandy struck, and there was really only a brief moment since Romney emerged as the GOP nominee in April that he looked like he was winning. But hey, whatever helps Republicans sleep until Election Day.
- Mitt hits the panic button (salon.com)
- Mitt Hits the Panic Button (alternet.org)
- Mitt Hits the Panic Button (readersupportednews.org)
- Romney Campaign: Obama’s Second Term Plan Is A “Glossy Panic Button” (buzzfeed.com)
- Romney Faces Blowback From Press Over Dishonest Jeep Ad | TPMDC (mbcalyn.com)
- Mitt Blows it on Sandy: Did the Hurricane Just Cost Him the Election? | Alternet (mbcalyn.com)
- Shooting the Messenger’s Numbers: Nate Silver’s Struggle (The Redux) (updates.gawker.com)
- NATE SILVER: Obama’s Odds Of Winning Have Now Blown Through 80% (businessinsider.com)
- Nate Silver: Obama Has 80.9% Chance Of Victory (alan.com)
- Obama Michigan ad slams Romney’s Jeep claim – The Detroit News (detroitnews.com)
Romney’s Lying Machine
I’ve been struck by the baldness of Romney’s repetitive lies about Obama — that Obama ended the work requirement under welfare, for example, or that Obama’s Affordable Care Act cuts $716 billion from Medicare benefits.
The mainstream media along with a half-dozen independent fact-checking organizations and sites have called Romney on these whoppers, but to no avail. He keeps making these assertions.
Every campaign is guilty of exaggerations, embellishments, distortions, and half-truths. But this is another thing altogether. I’ve been directly involved in seven presidential campaigns, and I don’t recall a presidential candidate lying with such audacity, over and over again. Why does he do it, and how can he get away with it?
The obvious answer is such lies are effective. Polls show voters are starting to believe them, especially in swing states where they’re being repeated constantly in media spots financed by Romney’s super PAC or ancillary PACs and so-called “social welfare” organizations (political fronts disguised as charities, such as Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have set up).
Romney’s lying machine is extraordinarily well financed. By August, according to Jane Mayer in her recent article, at least 33 billionaires had each donated a quarter of a million dollars or more to groups aiming to defeat Obama — with most of it flooding into attack ads in swing states.
In early August, “Americans for Prosperity,” one of the nonprofit front groups masquerading as a charity, and founded in part by billionaire right-wingers Charles and David Koch, bought some $27 million in ad time on spots now airing in eleven swing states.
So Romney’s lying machine is working.
But what does all this tell us about the man who is running this lying machine? (Or if Romney’s not running it, what does it tell us about a man who would select the people who are?)
We knew he was a cypher — that he’ll say and do whatever is expedient, change positions like a chameleon, eschew any core principles.
Yet resorting to outright lies — and organizing a presidential campaign around a series of lies — reveals a whole new level of cynicism, a profound disdain for what remains of civility in public life, and a disrespect of the democratic process.
The question is whether someone who is willing to resort to such calculated lies, and build a campaign machine around them, can be worthy of the public’s trust with the most powerful office in the world.
- Robert Reich: Romney’s Lying Machine (yubanet.com)
- Mitt Romney, lying machine (salon.com)
- Robert Reich on Romney’s Lying Machine (underpaidgenius.com)
- Fmr. Clinton Labor Secretary says Romney will beat ‘wooden’ Obama in presidential debates (redalertpolitics.com)
- ‘Evidence vs. Ideology’ and ‘Romney’s Lying Machine’ (economistsview.typepad.com)
- Worse than George W. Bush? Robert Reich says a Romney-Ryan ticket would destroy the economy (current.com)
- Robert Reich: The Terrible Economy and the Anti-Election of 2012 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Reich: Whose Plan Destroys Medicare — Obama’s or Romney-Ryan’s? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robert Reich: 5 Reasons Why the Ryan-Romney Economic Plan Would Be A Disaster for America (huffingtonpost.com)
- Intellectual giant Robert Reich: Paul Ryan was no match for me! (twitchy.com)
Posted on July 17, 2012
Has anyone noticed that the price of a barrel of crude oil has stayed below $90.00 for some time now, yet the price of gasoline has risen about $.25 per gallon in the past two weeks. When a barrel was over $100.00 we watched the price of gas rise daily, sometimes twice in the same day, yet when oil goes down it takes weeks for consumers to see a drop in price. And still, both Democrats and Republicans are loath to take away Big Oil’s tax breaks, which are often, mistakenly, referred to as subsidies (or so I’ve been told.) Just more tax breaks for the rich, which consumers pay for every time they fill up their cars, and more politics as usual.
Also of political note, the Republicans have been crying foul over President Obama’s recent campaign tactics, which include raking Romney over the coals for not releasing his tax returns, and his business practices while running Bain Capital. Aren’t these the same people who Swift Boated three-time Purple Heart winner John Kerry back in 2004, and in 2000 intimated that Presidential hopeful, and fellow Republican, John McCain fathered an illegitimate black child with a woman in South Carolina? This is like the Marquis de Sade complaining about a hangnail.
Speaking of Karl Rove, I caught him earlier today on FOX commenting on dirty politics. I have to give FOX credit for once, as they went straight to the source. Rove has a PhD in Political Skullduggery and has slandered more people than the National Enquirer. Ol’ Karl would not come right out and say that the President was playing dirty pool, just that he was playing with fire, and that it could come back to haunt him. But I disagree, because I really think people don’t much care for Willard “Mitt” Romney, and I’ll tell you why.
First, Willard looks like the fat cat CEO of a company that is just dying to lay you off; and he might have, during his days at Bain. If you were casting the part of a heartless, brainless scion of a wealthy family, you could do worse than Willard. His off the cuff offer of a $10,000.00 bet with Rick Perry at the Iowa debate shows just how out of touch, and filthy rich, he actually is. And he pays less in taxes, percentage wise, than you or I (that is, if you don’t own stocks.) I don’t hold a person’s wealth against them, I just think income should be taxed as income, no matter how it is derived. Why should capital gains be taxed at a lesser rate than regular income? Riddle me that, Batman.
And finally, Mitt shares the same first name with a very famous movie rat. (Why does the word typecast come quickly to mind.) It’s no wonder he goes by Mitt.
Most folks simply can’t identify with Willard. With nary a hair out-of-place, his status in the top 1% of the 1%, and his almost smug air of superiority, he will never be mistaken for a blue-collar worker. He is above it all, as was often his expression during the Republican debates. He almost appears robotic.
President Obama, on the other hand, was seen smooching on the kiss cam at the Brazil-USA basketball game the other day, a very human thing to do. I just hope it was with the First Lady, and not Vice President Joe Biden.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
- breezespeaks | The Awful Truth (mbcalyn.com)
- breezespeaks | The Awful Truth – A Nation of Prostitutes (mbcalyn.com)
- breezespeaks | The Awful Truth (mbcalyn.com)
- Catholics and Contraception | breezespeaks (mbcalyn.com)
- Rove: Obama attacks are ‘gutter politics of the worst Chicago sort’ (thehill.com)
- Obama winning by campaigning like a Republican (thegrio.com)
- Keith Boykin: The Swissboating of Mitt Romney (huffingtonpost.com)
- Chris Weigant: Team Obama Should Thank Karl Rove (huffingtonpost.com)
- Mitt Romney Will Never Tell The Truth About Bain…Or Anything Else (crooksandliars.com)
- Mitt Romney and backers use ‘day-to-day’ to reshape questions about Bain (boston.com)
Obama mocks Romney for dog on roof incident
You Can’t Win if You Don’t Pay
Published: June 27, 2012
Give a few dollars to President Obama or Mitt Romney, the e-mail messages say, and you have a shot at sitting next to them for dinner. You could shake hands with George Clooney at a presidential fund-raiser. You might win a lunch with Mr. Romney and Donald Trump and a tour of “The Celebrity Apprentice” boardroom.
But don’t kid yourself about your newly won influence. The real action is taking place in Manhattan town houses or wooded corporate retreats for people who gave far, far more. Write a big enough check, or persuade enough others to do so, and you don’t have to take your chances that a raffle will get you access to the candidates and their aides. You don’t have to sit in the back of the tent like the two winners of the Clooney raffle last month. You won’t have to settle for Mr. Trump, the Romney campaign’s condescending scrap for small donors.
Instead, you’ll be guaranteed a seat at a table with people who will affect your industry or will shape the tax code or trade policy or banking regulation.
The full smorgasbord of true access was laid out last week at a three-day retreat in Park City, Utah, for the biggest donors to the Romney campaign. As Michael Barbaro reported in The Times, Mitt and Ann Romney and at least 15 senior campaign aides mingled with hundreds of wealthy guests. Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove and Jeb Bush led seminars.
There were golf outings, and a “victory tea” with Mrs. Romney for women. Several politicians mentioned as possible vice-presidential candidates were mobbed, as was Mr. Rove, who thrilled a group of financial executives with a few minutes of his time. “That’s the price of admission right there,” one donor said. “Your six minutes with Rove.”
The exact admission price was a $50,000 contribution to the Romney Victory Fund, which will be divided among the campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state Republican parties. (These combined “victory fund” donations, which the Obama campaign also uses, are a way for donors to get around the $5,000 limit for individual campaigns. That’s just not enough to show you really care.) Another way to have gotten into the retreat was to have raised $100,000.
The Obama campaign has done much of the same. Nearly four dozen “bundlers,” or people who solicit checks from others, were invited to a state dinner for Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain; two were seated at the head table. Scores of others get to go to White House meetings. Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue (and a bundler), recentlymoderated a discussion between the president and 50 donors who paid $40,000 apiece.
There are big differences between the campaigns, however. Mr. Obama has disclosed his bundlers; Mr. Romney, breaking with standard practice, has refused. He is outraising the president by relying on big donors — only 11 percent of his total has come from contributions of $200 or less. Such small donations have made up 41 percent of Mr. Obama’s total.
Dinner with a lucky grass-roots supporter creates the illusion of populism. But it can’t hide the sleazy commerce going on behind expensive doors.
- Mitt Romney rewards donors at Utah retreat – Ginger Gibson – POLITICO.com (tribuneofthepeople.com)
- Romney hobnobs with mega-donors – The Seattle Times (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- At Romney Retreat, Campaign Donors Ready to Charge (abcnews.go.com)
- Condoleezza Rice to raise cash for GOP women (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Condoleezza Rice for VP? It’s so not happening. – Washington Post (blog) (washingtonpost.com)
- You: Major Romney donors rewarded at lavish Utah retreat (latimes.com)
- Access For Sale! GOP $500K Donors Get To Rub Elbows With Mittens And Party Elite (crooksandliars.com)
- You can win dinner with Romney and Trump (seattlepi.com)
- Searching for Mitt Romney (abc4.com)
- Romney’s Great Utah Adventure (abcnews.go.com)
TUESDAY, JUN 19, 2012
The Obama campaign has filed a complaint with the FEC saying Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS must disclose its donors
Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)
In one of the biggest salvos of the post-Citizens United campaign finance wars, President Obama’s campaign is taking direct aim at one of the top conservative dark money outfits, filing a complaint with the FEC against Crossroads GPS. The group is the 501(c)4 arm of the Karl Rove-backed Crossroads empire, a status that means it doesn’t have to disclose its donors or much else to the public, unlike standard super PACs, like its twin, American Crossroads.
But the Obama campaign is arguing that the group is essentially violating the tax laws governing its nonprofit status and therefore must reveal its funders. Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign’s top lawyer, argues that Crossroads GPS should no longer be protected as a charity, because it is clearly a political organization. “Crossroads seems to believe that it can run out the clock and spend massive sums of money in this election without accounting for a trace of its funding,” Bauer wrote in the complaint, which was filed today and obtained by the New York Times.
Groups like Crossroads are technically charity organizations and therefore don’t have to disclose their donors. But in order to qualify, their “primary purpose” must be social welfare and not politics. However, where that line actually gets drawn has never really been determined, thanks to an ineffectual FEC and opposition from Republican leaders. Just this morning, we noted how 11 top Republican lawmakers are trying to prevent the IRS from taking action to disclose some of these groups’ donors.
Democratic lawmakers have previously called on the government to create a “bright line test” to determine how much political activity these secret money groups can engage in. And the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agrees, ruling recently in Real Truth About Obama v. FEC that the government must define the boundary. Citing that case, Bauer wrote, “Now, a federal appellate court has issued a ruling that makes clear that Crossroads is out of time.”
Asked for reaction, Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Crossroads, downplayed the complaint. “We’re generally skeptical of complaint letters that are sent to the New York Times and that we’re cc’d on,” he told Salon.
Regardless of the complainant’s legal merits, it represents a major escalation in Democrats’ war on conservative secret money groups, as the Obama campaign has mostly stuck to rhetorical, and not legal, attacks against these groups so far.
- Dark money middlemen (salon.com)
- Report: Obama lawyer files complaint against Crossroads GPS (politico.com)
- Karl Rove announces he’ll do more of the only thing he’s good at: Spending rich people’s money (dailykos.com)
- Political Consultants, Media Buyers Gorge On Secret Honey Pot (huffingtonpost.com)
- It’s Pearl Jam vs. Karl Rove (seattlepi.com)
- TRENDING: Obama campaign attacks Rove’s ‘B.S.’ (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- TRENDING: Major GOP donor eyes $100 million in donations (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- GOP groups top Democrats in TV spending by far (news.yahoo.com)
- Citizens United puts American elections up for sale to anyone, including foreign buyers (prairieweather.typepad.com)
- IRS Denies 501(c)(4) Status to Emerge America — Is Crossroads GPS Next? (taxprof.typepad.com)
A Swing, but Not a Permanent One
Glenn Greenwald, a former constitutional lawyer, is a columnist at Salon.com and the author of “Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics” and “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”
UPDATED MARCH 4, 2012
The recent history of partisan politics is that supporters of the dominant party of the moment typically believe that their dominance will endure for at least a generation, a belief that quickly proves to be grounded in wishful thinking rather than reality. After impressive G.O.P. victories in the 2002 and 2004 elections, Karl Rove boasted he wanted a Republican majority “that would last for a generation” and “wind up profoundly changing the relationship between citizen and state in this country,” while right-wing pundits excitedly proclaimed the country on the verge of a “permanent Republican majority.”
Partisans are naturally eager to believe that their party’s victory in one or two elections signals the national acceptance of their views.
These bold proclamations were not merely unrealized, but completely obliterated, when the Democrats won both houses of Congress in 2006 and then the White House in 2008. Similar Democratic euphoria in the wake of President Obama’s 2008 election was swept away by the huge G.O.P. win in 2010.
And so it goes. With President Obama’s re-election looking increasingly likely, and the G.O.P. field in disarray, we now hear this familiar hubris from Democratic Party loyalists, as epitomized by Jonathan Chait, who last week announced in New York magazine that the G.O.P. was “staring down its own demographic extinction.” Like similar manifestations that preceded it, this partisan triumphalism is likely to prove short-lived and wrong. The two major political parties have proved themselves quite adept at changing form in order to ensure their competitive viability.
This partisan cockiness typically assumes — wrongly — that the two political parties are wedded to a fixed set of political principles. That’s not what the two parties are. They’re far more akin to products: specifically, brands. Recall that Advertising Age’s Marketer of the Year award in 2008 — chosen by the nation’s “brand builders” —went to the Obama campaign team for its excellence in branding its product. When ordinary products begin to fail on the market, they are simply rebranded: a car company associated with obsolete or clunky designs revises its image into a newer, sleeker version of itself.
When a political party begins to fail competitively, as the G.O.P. is clearly doing now, it, too, simply rebrands itself. Recall that in 2008, the G.O.P. was assumed by pundits to be dead for a generation because of the profound, historic unpopularity of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But the G.O.P. simply re-invented itself with a new brand identity (the Tea Party) and swamped the Democrats a mere two years later. If the G.O.P. is weighed down by obsolete or unpopular associations — anti-immigrant or anti-gay animosity — it will simply jettison those planks or change their image, just as Democrats did under Bill “New Democrat” Clinton to escape the stigma of Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis.
Similarly, the assumption that President Obama’s Wall-Street-friendly, status-quo-perpetuating first three years in office would cause him to lose base enthusiasm is likely to be negated by his aggressive rebranding under way this election year: he runs around the country giving uplifting, energized speeches depicting himself as some sort of populist hero of the 99 percent, and presto: the magic returns. Branding is very potent.
Partisans are naturally eager to believe that their party’s victory in one or two elections signals the national acceptance of their views. But American elections aren’t determined by such high-minded considerations. They’re little more than vacuous reality shows where today’s losers, with some slight image retweaking, become tomorrow’s winners — and vice versa. Anyone who doubts that should simply review the manic swings in party fortunes over the last two decades.
- Economy Rules G.O.P. Message, but Iowa Differs – NYTimes.com (mbcalyn.com)
- Found this on the web, and thought it makes a sharp point… (michigantelephone.wordpress.com)
- Good Read: Nate Silver: “Mistrust of Institutions May Touch G.O.P. Itself” (foleysfolly.com)
- G.O.P. Hopefuls Pressed to Prove Their Conservatism – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Where Were You in 1993, David Brooks? (delong.typepad.com)
- Ryan Lizza: Rick Santorum vs. Mitt Romney: Can the G.O.P. save itself? (newyorker.com)
- Political Memo: G.O.P. Candidates Scramble to Create Wedge Issues (nytimes.com)
- Huntsman Says He’s Quitting G.O.P. Race – NYTimes.com (policyabcs.wordpress.com)
- Palin Says Brokered Convention Would Not Hurt G.O.P. (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Same ol shhhhh, just a different state – #Indiana G.O.P. to Seek Law Limiting #Union (foleysfolly.com)