After the cut: a transcript of Mr. Boehner's remarks from the House floor.
"So I was a wee little bit wrong about bin Laden. Doesn't give you the right to say so."
(Brian Snyder/Reuters)Mitt Romney today on CBS Morning News:
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is calling on President Barack Obama to not let the killing of Osama bin Laden become a ?politically divisive event.?First of all, the only thing President Obama and his campaign are doing is reminding the public of what Mitt Romney himself said he would do as president. And what Romney said was that he disagreed with President Obama's strategy to pursue high value targets such as Osama bin Laden into Pakistan without the Pakistani government's approval, saying:
Romney says Obama can rightfully take credit for bin Laden?s downfall. But he says it was ?very disappointing for the president to try to make this a political item? by suggesting he wouldn?t have ordered the raid, saying, ?Of course I would have.? [...]
Romney says, ?I think trying to attack me on that basis is inappropriate and the wrong course.?
"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort," Romney told reporters on the campaign trail. [...] Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is one of the Republican front-runners, said U.S. troops "shouldn't be sent all over the world." He called Obama's comments "ill-timed" and "ill-considered."So unless Romney didn't mean what he said, he wouldn't have done what President Obama did. Perhaps Mitt Romney has flip-flopped and now believes he was wrong, but as President Obama said yesterday, the ball is in his court to explain why.
As far as my personal role and what other folks would do, I'd just recommend that everybody look at people's previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and take out bin Laden.There's nothing divisive about that. That isn't questioning Mitt Romney's patriotism, or using 9/11 as a political club. Nobody is saying that if the U.S. military had bin Laden's compound surrounded and that the only thing they needed was approval to capture or kill bin Laden that Mitt Romney wouldn't have given the thumbs up. Nobody is saying that there's some strange defect in Mitt Romney's character that would cause him to blink in that precise situation.
I assume that people meant what they said when they said?that's been at least my practice. I said that I'd go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I'd go ahead and let them explain it.
But that's not the scenario we're talking about. We're talking about what actually happened, and what we're saying is that Mitt Romney would not have ordered a politically risky mission to enter Pakistani territory without Pakistani approval in order to get bin Laden, and we're saying that means that Mitt Romney was wrong about how to get bin Laden. That's a legitimate, policy-focused argument, and you can't argue otherwise in good faith.
Oh, and as far as Romney's whining about making this political? Well, he's spending the day campaigning with Rudy "A noun, a verb, and 9/11" Giuliani. Need I say more?
Barack Obama is too cool to be President: It?s the implicit argument of the new ad from Karl Rove?s mega PAC American Crossroads, which shows President in a series of his cooler moments, and tries to argue that such coolness undermines his ability to do his job. The ad makes no logical sense, of course. There?s no reason to think that a quick wit or good taste in music somehow prevents someone from understanding how to run a country. But then again, this is Karl Rove we?re talking about, a man who built his career tapping the animal instincts of the electorate, hoping to activate the knee-jerk reactionary inside all of us just long enough to win at the polls. The only question is, why does he think this particular appeal will work?
Rove does have a fine-tuned ear for every grievance uttered by the privileged but petty, so it?s no surprise that he?d try to find a political angle to the sport of hipster-bashing. As I?ve detailed before, hipster-bashing used to be the province of actual hipsters seeking to demonstrate a whiff of humble authenticity, but now it?s mostly another way for right wingers to grouse about the ?liberal elite? that oppresses them with organic food and trendy haircuts. With conservatives dropping the word ?hipster? in the same poisoned tones they used in the past for long-haired hippies and race mixers, this ad had a certain inevitability to it. Indeed, this ad is accompanied by a heavy-duty push of the ?President thinks he?s sooooo cool? narrative on Fox News.
What makes the strategy confusing is that while burning resentment against the cool kids may motivate the conservative base, there?s no reason to think potential swing voters take issue with Obama rocking the Rat Pack vibe in a suit. Rove and company need to build a narrative, and if this American Crossroads ad is any indication, the hope is to tap into a pre-existing narrative shared by all Americans, not just those on the right: the revenge of the misfits. It?s a narrative best exemplified by the movie Animal House, where the worthy if slightly nutty group of loveable miscreants overthrows the aristocrats of popularity in a bout of joyful mayhem.
Rove clearly hopes the conservative base will pick up the mantle of Delta Tau Chi, wrecking the Obama parade and wiping the smug smiles off Omega Theta Pi. After all, you have Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann playing the Bluto role, spouting off startlingly ill-informed takes on American history to rally the troops. It probably sounds great on paper, but if Rove thinks it?s going to be a good electoral narrative, he needs to rewatch the movie because there?s a glaring flaw in his interpretation. Yes, there are analogues to Obama and Romney in the story he?s tapping, but they play the opposite roles of the ones he needs them to play.
For those who don?t remember, the leader of the misfit crew was Otter, played by Tim Matheson, a smooth ladies man with a swift tongue who used his immense charisma to keep some semblance of control over his merry band of party animals. The evil fraternity, however, was composed completely of uptight preps with a penchant for women with blonde hair helmets. Trying to paint the guys dancing in togas to 60s R&B as the evil oppressors just won?t work on anyone who isn?t already a member of Omega Theta Pi.
Outside of conservative circles, it?s hard to drum up resentment for the cultural capital of cool. Unlike the tropes of the mean girl and the evil prep, the whole point of the cool guy is that he manages to be popular while being a friend to and often champion of the misfits. When Obama sings Al Green or jokes around with Jimmy Kimmel, most Americans don?t feel like he?s looking down on them. On the contrary, they feel that he?s throwing a party and everyone is invited. When the uptight Republicans decked in flags on Fox News rail against him, they end up invoking the impotent preps of Animal House, shaking their fists in fury as that scuzzy house of impudent upstarts right down the street.
No doubt hating the cool kids will help motivate the conservative base. Conservatives have been angry about cool since at least the 60s, and probably forever. Rove just hopes he can use that resentment to invert the narrative, to turn the snooty preps into the courageous rebels and the oversexed hipsters into an elite to overturn. The only problem is that cultural narratives don?t get reversed that easily in the public imagination. In fact, by reminding the public that Obama is cool, Rove and company are probably just reminding everyone why they fell so hard for Obama in the first place, and why they might want to keep him as their leader.
Fatster compilies links and news from April 30, 2012, including stories from all over South America, Argentina, Mexican journalists, Colombian journalists, France, Spain, Iceland, Greece, Texas and other foreign lands.[...]
Read The Full Article:
I'm paraphrasing George W. Bush.
The Republicans have a problem with President Obama taking credit for Osama bin Laden's death. But they had no problem with George Bush taking credit for capturing Saddam, and on September 11 no less.
From USA Today on September 11 (no less) of 2004:
In a harsh new attack on rival John Kerry, President Bush said Friday that if the Democratic presidential candidate "had his way," Saddam Hussein's regime would be running Iraq and threatening the safety of other nations.
The newest wrinkle is that Sen. Kerry has now decided we are spending too much money in Iraq even though he criticized us earlier for not spending enough," Bush said. "One thing about Sen. Kerry's position is clear ... if he had his way, Saddam Hussein would still be in power and would still be a threat to our security and to the world."As I pointed out in the earlier post, Mitt Romney didn't want us going into Pakistan to catch bin Laden, which is in fact where we got him. Good thing Mitt Romney didn't win the presidency in 2008 or Osama bin Laden still might be alive.
The big electoral focus and action has moved into North Carolina. Most of the national news, at least on this side of the progressive/reactionary divide, is about the horribly homophobic Amendment One, support for which is suddenly losing steam
Over the last month, there have been indications that the tide is turning-- typified by both a groundswell of opposition toward the amendment and a confluence of events that have stymied its support. The latest proof that the race is tightening came earlier this week, when the Democratic-leaning and Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a survey showing that 54 percent of likely voters intend to vote for Amendment One, while 40 percent are opposed. That?s still a strong majority to be sure, but it also represents the lowest level of support that PPP has found for Amendment One since it began polling last October. Perhaps most promising for opponents is the shift in opinion among North Carolina Democrats, who were divided over the issue in PPP?s survey a month ago. The latest poll shows only 38 percent of Democratic voters support the amendment, with 56 percent opposed. Additionally, support among African-American voters-- an historically socially conservative voting bloc-- has dropped by ten percent over the last month.
?The against side has an advantage in terms of tv air time and grassroots momentum and for the first time this week I really believe there?s a chance the amendment could fail,? Tom Jensen, director of PPP, told TPM in an email. ?I never would have thought that until now.?
He added: ?I think opponents of the amendment should be very encouraged and if they do every little thing they can in the final days to make sure voters are informed the potential for a seismic upset is there.?
...The anti-amendment campaign may also be bolstered by reduced interest in North Carolina?s Republican presidential primary, which will be held on the same day. Not only has Mitt Romney sewn up his party?s nomination, but Rick Santorum-- arguably the most passionate culture warrior in the GOP-- ended his presidential bid. After Santorum suspended his campaign earlier this month, Jensen told TPM at the time that the former Pennsylvania senator?s absence in the race would likely have a negligible effect on Amendment One. That was when the amendment appeared to be a lock to pass, which now feels like an eternity ago.
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enlargeCredit: Progress Now New MexicoState Rep. Paul Bandy, co-chair of the American Legislative Exchange Council in New Mexico, gave a surprisingly candid, on-the-record interview that Progress Now New Mexico attended and recorded.
In the clip above, Bandy says that he never solicited a single donation and that money just appears in his mailbox from ALEC-related corporations. Some in the audience laughed at the remarks, but Bandy didn't bristle at being called a 'corporate-sponsored legislator,' something that should give pause to New Mexico voters.
Bandy was extremely confused about what the word 'lobbying' means and completely got the definition wrong in reference to ALEC, who he said didn't lobby. Lobbying, according to Bandy at one point, only takes place during the legislative session in the literal lobby of the state house. He later backed off those comments. He refused to answer a question about the secrecy associated with the corporate sponsors of the bills that come through ALEC, although he did admit that at least one law that he helped push through the legislature wouldn't have passed (or would've passed with a smaller margin) if he had told anyone that ALEC was involved. Bandy also refused to reveal all the legislators who were involved in ALEC, although he did reveal that more of them were associated with the group than was publicly known. He had the membership dues to know that for a fact, although he refused to produce the membership list.
An issue that came up quite a bit was how legislators were able to afford to attend ALEC events. Bandy had no problem with them using taxpayer funds to travel to the events because the organization is 'non-partisan.' He also had no problem with the fact that he and his ALEC co-chair, Sen. Bill Payne, run a corporate-sponsored slush fund to cover costs for the trips as well. Unsurprisingly, Bandy didn't reveal how the fund was paid for and seemed not to have any problem with the fact that legislators were attending ideological events using both taxpayer funds and corporate 'donations.' Bandy himself had received the funds, but didn't answer a question about whether or not they should be considered campaign contributions.
Bandy said that he didn't like the use of tax deductible money being used for political purposes, but had no comment on ALEC using tax-deductible money for political purposes. He refused to explicitly state how he felt about the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, refusing to state how he voted on the legislature's resolution condemning the ruling. Public records reveal that he refused to vote on the resolution.
Anyone interested in getting legislation passed, Bandy said, should do like ALEC and write him a check for $2,300, buy him lunch and he will consider the legislation. Theoretically, this comment was a joke.
The strangest comment to come out of the session so far was what Bandy said about the Occupy movement:
And my, uh, experience is that I have a lot in common with some of the Occupy protestors, I mean we have a lot of ideas that are similar. I think if we can get past some of the rhetoric, you know, we can come to some kind of a head and that's why I invited everybody to breakfast - my breakfast.
Bandy was one of a number of state legislators that Progress Now New Mexico has called upon to resign from ALEC. While he didn't agree to that suggestion, he was critical of the partisan nature of ALEC:
"ALEC has become more polarized," he told us. "I've heard, at various meetings, from Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich... Herman Cain, Rick Perry. So, we've heard from all of these people, and they give very partisan speeches... So, I've told people, if we want to keep this a non-partisan organization, we don't need to do that."
Like a typical ALEC member, Bandy decried the 'liberal social agenda' in public schools as the reason for educational decline in the United States. When pressed on what that meant, he said that it meant that kids were being taught 'conflict resolution' and 'self esteem.' These things are bad according to Bandy and he'd prefer them to learn about balancing checkbooks.
Full audio of all the clips is available on the Progress New New Mexico web site.
We’ve finally got a trailer that gives us a real sense of what ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ will look like, and golly is it gorgeous and melancholy:
More to the point, I’m excited to see an intellectual debate between this movie and The Avengers. Christopher Nolan’s Batman’s movies have always had an element of monkish sacrifice to them: to be an impactful superhero, Bruce Wayne’s had to surrender his true public image (in the first film, he acts the playboy to disguise his intentions), the love of his life and of the populace, and now, it’s implied, either his life or his physical health. Bane’s declaration that “your punishment must be more severe” is a looking-glass version of how Nolan’s understood the only way for superheroes to make a difference, to self-abnegate, to foreswear their own happiness, to separate themselves from the people they are sacrificing themselves for.
The Marvel franchise, and The Avengers in particular (without spoiling anything), take the opposite tack. Its superheroes become better individuals more closely drawn to their communities for their experiences as superheroes. Tony Stark stops cackling over his power to kill and begins craving the approval of those around him, a selfish motivation that ultimately teaches him to engage with their needs. Thor falls in love with Jane Foster, and with Earth, a process of attachment that turns him from self-involved Asgardian prince into an admirable man. Captain America, in life and in death, gives the American people something to rally around, not to unify in their disgust at his perceived actions. The great tragedy of the Hulk has been that he’s cut off from reason and attachment precisely at the moment that he could provide the greatest amount of strength to protect people or causes. These two movies are going to make serious bank for their studios. But taken together, they’re also a vigorous argument about superheroism. That’s an exciting debate to have, and I’m looking forward to it.
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s daily round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but please let us know what stories you?re following as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- Mayor Mike Bell of Toledo, Ohio has introduced a measure to create a domestic partner registry.
- A federal judge has ruled that opponents of same-sex marriage can intervene in a Hawaii lawsuit challenging the state’s ban.
- The New Hampshire Episcopalians may elect a second openly gay bishop to succeed Bishop Gene Robinson, who is retiring.
- Tonight, Nat Geo TV will air an hour-long feature on the lives of transgender people and their families called “American Transgender.”
- This week, the daily newspaper comic strip Funky Winkerbean takes on a story about a same-sex teen couple hoping to attend prom together.
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) ran as the 41st vote against President Obama’s health care reform bill in a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and voted three times to repeal the law and take way health care coverage from the 30 million Americans who will benefit from the law by 2014 and the millions who are already taking advantage of its provisions.
But yesterday, this Tea Party champion and great opponent of Obamacare admitted something astonishing: his 23 year old daughter is one of the 2.5 million young Americans who are benefiting from a regulation that allows young people to stay on their parents’ health care plan until age 26:
?Of course I do,?? the Massachusetts Republican told the Globe. Brown is insuring his daughter Ayla, a professional singer who is 23 years old, under a widely popular provision of the law requiring that family plans cover children up to age 26.
Brown said the extended use of his congressional coverage is not inconsistent with his criticism of the federal law, enacted over his objection after he won a special election in 2010, because the same coverage could be required by individual states.
Brown is responding to charges of hypocrisy by claiming that “he still wants to repeal the law” because it is inferior to the measure enacted by then-governor Mitt Romney in 2006. “I?ve said right from the beginning, that if there are things that we like, we should take advantage of them and bring them back here to Massachusetts,” the senator said.
Brown has a history of denying to others the benefits he himself enjoys. After all, his first campaign for the senate was predicated on the notion that Massachusetts has enacted successful health reform and should not have to pay for a national effort to expand coverage and lower health care costs. Now he’s displaying this very same selfishness with the ACA, telling voters that while his daughter can stay on her parents’ health plan, their children should go out and pay for their own health insurance.