David Axelrod starts mining Mitt Romney’s penchant for “secrecy. From Mike Allen’s Playbook today:
David Axelrod tells us the Obama campaign will make a major umbrella issue of what he calls ?Romney’s penchant for secrecy?… ?Harkening back to my youth, which extends far beyond yours, there was a show called, ?I’ve Got A Secret.? Increasingly, I think that would be the appropriate title for the Romney campaign. There are central issues, but this is a disturbing one and it goes to that question of, like, ?Who is this guy? What does he stand for? What does he believe? What do we know about him???
This has got to be infuriating for Axe.
Never mind that candidate Barack Obama couldn’t answer these very same questions in 2007-08. It’s ironic that David Axelrod is having trouble getting his hands around the Romney strategy, which has used the Obama template from the start to secure the nomination.
A big part that answers the question has to do with Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. The GOP tells him what I did: embrace his Mormonism.
Fat chance with the media waiting in the wings for Obama reelect to play the Mormon card, which Politico has gone out of their way to mention.
Today, Mike Allen and Jon Meacham went further on “Morning Joe.” Is Axelrod’s “secrecy” a dog whistle for Mormonism?
Panelist Jon Meacham asked whether any of the focus on Romney?s ?secrecy? may have something to do with his faith, Mormonism, a religion shrouded in mystery for many non-Mormons. ?Is this code for the secrecy of the Mormon Church?? he asked Allen. …
?As the Obama campaign makes the case that Romney is somehow weird, different,? Allen replied, ?some supporters of Romney will say that that is a dog whistle, that is a way to come near the religion issue. The Obama campaign will tell you they?re not going to touch it, they don?t poll on it, they don?t talk about it in focus groups because they know that it would blow up if they did and that got public.?
Wonder how team Obama feels about getting the Clinton treatment? It can’t be too comfortable with the media hitting you on innuendo and gossip from insiders, whether you’re actually doing what’s being openly speculated about or not.
Perhaps it’s about depressing the vote among conservative evangelicals.
?You can?t go into the temple, right? [...] Not even on the West Side? You go to Salt Lake, and I?m like, ?Oh, that?s pretty, I want to go in.? And they are like, ?No, you?re Southern Baptist.?? – Joe Scarborough
Question is, when Axelrod says “secrecy,” do religious conservatives think Mormonism and if they do will they stay home?
Much like the lowlife CEO of GoDaddy, Juan Carlos also likes to pay big money to kill elephants in Africa. I am admittedly not a hunter but generally have no issue with people hunting what they eat. Killing one of the "Big Five" in Africa these days is mostly the domain of the ultra rich who spend tens of thousands of dollars to kill.
I traveled through Southern Africa and visited dozens of game parks throughout the region. Along the way I bumped into a number of these hunters and heard about the industry from locals. It's sickening. Perhaps the most disgusting story was how they used old lions that were sold off from zoos because they were in bad shape and easier to kill. If the hunter was a bad shot, the guides would drug the animals so they were even easier to kill.
We really don't know how good of a shot Juan Carlos may be, but what is certain is that this type of hunting is known for his type taking advantage of local communities who are need of money. When you have kings money, it's easy to throw around and participate in the seediest of seedy industries. Even worse, why is the king throwing around such cash on such a stupid event during this economic crisis in Spain? It's not macho, it's cowardly and abusive.
Conservative Wall Street Journal commentator Peggy Noonan’s weekend column criticized the Republican presidential field just as the primary race seemed to be tilting inexorably toward a nomination for Mitt Romney. The former speechwriter for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush lit into the campaigns’ reliance on outside groups’ advertising, weak political organizing by some of the candidates, and the base’s criticisms of Romney from the right, all before discussing foreign policy at length and accusing the GOP of “itching for a fight” with Iran.
Lamenting that the candidates were trying to outdo each other on hawkishness toward Iran — sardonically painting the debate as whether to attack Iran on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday — Noonan suggested the primary campaigns seemed to push another war Americans don’t want:
Finally, in foreign affairs the Republican candidates staked out dangerous ground. They want to show they’re strong on defense. Fine, we should have a strong defense, the best in the world. But that is different from having an aggressive foreign policy stance, and every one of the GOP candidates, with the exceptions of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, was aggressive….
There was no room for discretion, prudence, nuance, to use unjustly maligned terms. There was no room for an expressed bias toward not-fighting. But grown-ups really do have a bias toward not-fighting.
They are allowing the GOP to be painted as the war party. They are ceding all non-war ground to the president, who can come forward as the sober, constrained, non-bellicose contender. Do they want that? Are they under the impression America is hungry for another war? Really? After the past 11 years?
Indeed, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that a majority of American oppose bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities. More than four in five Americans supporting direct diplomacy to make a deal with Iran, and more than six in ten supported giving sanctions and pressure more time to work.
Noonan is right to bring up the past 11 years: though Americans do show some support for military action, when asked in another poll last week about a potential conflict comparable in scope to the Iraq war — which, remember, was meant to be a “cakewalk” — support for an attack plummeted.
Presumptive GOP nominee Romney should pay attention to Noonan’s warnings: his foreign policy team is stacked with those who pushed hardest for war with Iraq and, more recently, have been pushing for military confrontation with Iran. (HT: Philip Weiss)
Gay rights activists are planning to challenge the White House’s decision to delay an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting and plan to launch a “We Can’t Wait” campaign to urge President Obama to reverse course and issue the directive ahead of the November elections. The effort, which co-opts one of the Obama campaign’s own slogans, will be funded by “Jonathan Lewis, son of billionaire Democratic benefactor Peter Lewis”:
[Lewis] said he would spend $100,000 to fund a ?We Can?t Wait? campaign targeting Obama, a takeoff on the president?s own slogan for his efforts to use administrative actions as end runs around what he has termed an obstructionist Congress. The donor?s money will be used to fly victims of discrimination at federal contractors to Washington to confront Obama and his aides and gin up public attention. [...]
?[Obama] has not been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers,? the younger Lewis added, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. ?It has become increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather than principled leadership.?
The White House insists that it’s putting the executive order on hold in order to build legislative support for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act or ENDA, which would prohibit all employers from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees. But the measure stands little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled House of Representatives and some LGBT advocates were left with the impression that the administration punted on the order because it is “wary of imposing additional requirements on businesses ahead of the election.”
One activist who attended a meeting at the White House last week to discuss the matter told SiriusXM’s Michelangelo Signorile that the administration rational “was weak, it was shallow, it was unpersuasive,? Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, said. ?It floated back and forth between different reasons. It wasn?t even consistent. There were a few younger, junior staffers who made some arguments that were just laughable. Really embarrassing.?
In an effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, The National Republican Congressional Committee, responsible for electing Republicans to Congress, put out a list of 27 non-incumbent Latino GOP candidates running for House seats in 2012. But as the Huffington Post’s Elise Foley reports, “There’s just one issue: Some of the candidates on the list aren’t actually Latino — or even registered Republicans.” Many of the candidates said they had never had contact with the NRCC before announcing their bids, and two said that while they were married to Latinos, they were not Latino themselves. One of the candidates isn’t even a registered Republican. And the accounting gimmicks don’t end there — six of the candidates are running in three districts, meaning all of them couldn’t possibly get to Washington.
The Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue Department opened an investigation into a racist post on one of its captains’ Facebook page. According to The Grio, Brian Beckmann, a captain in the Miami-Dade fire department, posted a rant on his Facebook page suggesting that Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was unjustly accused and that Martin’s killing can be blamed upon poor parenting by “urban” parents who are “welfare dependent”:
For the record, Trayvon Martin’s mother is a program coordinator at the Miami-Dade Housing Authority. His father is a truck driver. So neither parent is “dependent” on welfare.
So far this year, 944 measures related to reproductive health have been introduced in 45 state legislatures, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Half of those bills would restrict abortion access. According to Guttmacher’s analysis, 75 abortion restrictions have passed at least one legislative chamber, and nine have been enacted into law. Eleven states have considered provisions requiring women to obtain an ultrasound before having an abortion, while 14 states have seen legislation to restrict the time period when women can obtain an abortion. During the first three months of last year, a record 127 abortion restrictions passed at least one chamber of a state legislature, but the analysis notes the current level is high for an election year; in 2008, only 34 bills had passed at least one chamber after the first three months.
BlackBook has a fantastic look at gay stand-up comedians that gets at a point that I think is a challenge both for gay comics and Muslim comedy in general: how do you make the vernacular that’s part of your community conversation legible to a wider audience so they can participate in the jokes with you? And how do you create jokes that are a base that you can build your comedy on, rather than define you on terms that may not precisely be your own? As one of the comedians BlackBook talked to put it:
Part of this is because of the constraints of gay comedy. ?There?s a condescending attitude that gay entertainment has to involve drag shows or men being effeminate,? says Brent Sullivan, a New York-based comedian. ?I did a show in Chelsea the other day where there was this screaming queen who did a lot better than I did. Even homophobes could enjoy that because you are putting yourself into this box that they?ve created for you. But I think we haven?t challenged the gay-friendly straight men of this world to actually enjoy a gay character or enjoy gay entertainment because we haven?t given them anything to enjoy.?
Watching Marc Maron interview Jeffrey Tambor at SXSW, one of the things that fun about watching them riff off each other was the total lack of need to clarify any of the Jewish humor. Even a moment when they may have crossed the line with a Holocaust joke was immediately apparent to everyone in the room, even though it’s hardly a setting that guarantees a majority-Jewish audience. Jewish humor’s just so deeply-integrated into the American humor tradition?Christopher Hitchens believed the only kind of women who could be funny were Jewish ones and lesbians?that while it registers as particular, it doesn’t register as foreign. Everyone can participate in it, and Jews own it, it’s a tool we get to turn on anti-Semites.
That’s true for a small portion of gay humor, and for essentially no Muslim humor whatsoever. Things like the Allah Made Me Funny tour, The Infidel, Four Lions, and Max on Happy Endings will help. But we have so much work to do to make that language feel automatic and accessible to broad audiences.
Porky the Fireman [...]
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Edward Teller attends Democratic and Tea Party caucuses in Wasilla, Alaska and asks a few simple questions of members of each group. He asks how people feel about actual policies or actions taken by the US government. The findings may surprise you.[...]
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