Look, it's been a tough couple of weeks for Mitt "Mittens" Romney, what with people being mean to him and talking about him and asking about his past and shit.
We're not cruel and heartless here at Daily Kos HQ. We recognize Mittens has a tough road ahead of him, so being compassionate liberals, let's give his campaign a hand. It's up to you: should we get his campaign ...
A fancy fainting couch?
WASHINGTON -- Standing outside the same doors a gunman with a backback full of ammunition and Chick-fil-A entered before shooting a man on Wednesday morning, the head of the Family Research Council vowed Thursday not to back down from his group's crusade against same-sex marriage.
FRC President Tony Perkins blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for giving accused shooter Floyd Corkins a "license" to target the FRC by labeling it a hate group and called the incident an act of domestic terrorism.
Perkins said that while Corkins was responsible for firing the shot that wounded the man yesterday, he was "was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations as hate groups because they disagree with them on issues of public policy."
Perkins did not offer any evidence that Corkins was acting as a direct result of anything the Southern Poverty Law Center has said. Instead he said that the fact that the gunman was carrying 15 Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and 50 rounds of ammunition -- "not something you bring out to the park for a picnic" -- was evidence he was motivated by his disagreement with the FRC.
Perkins said that many of the stories about Chick-Fil-A and FRC over the past few weeks have mentioned that it was labeled as a hate group by the SPLC. The FRC has received other threats that they have turned over to authorities, Perkins said.
The SPLC released a statement on Wednesday in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, saying "we condemn all acts of violence and are following the story closely." The group did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Perkins' allegations on Thursday.
Asked by TPM whether he believes Corkins should be charged with a hate crime, Perkins said he disagreed with hate crimes on principle but thought the crime qualified as terrorism.
"I'm not a big supporter of the hate crimes statute," Perkins said. "What I believe is that if you commit an act of violence, it is a crime. I don't care why you do it, you did it. When you talk about acts of domestic terrorism, terrorism is to intimidate and marginalize and silence a portion of the population. I think this could very well fit in that category."
Perkins also clarified that the man who was shot but managed to tackle the suspect was a building manager whose duties include security. Perkins said the victim was unarmed and not in uniform when he was shot.
Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, says the man who shot a guard at the organization's headquarters yesterday "was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center..."[...]
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FROM THE press pool, Mitt Romney finally finds an offensive message on taxes.
?I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces ? 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty ? the fascination with taxes I?ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face. But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. …” – Mitt Romney [Buzzfeed]
We’ll have to take his word on the 13%, because the Romneys are not going to offer any further returns, that much seems clear.
It should be noted that when a candidate gives an exact number, it’s like holding a red flag in front of a bull, because reporters will want to verify it. Trouble is without the Romneys help they can’t.
The case Romney made today, shifting to substantive challenges the country faces, is a lot better than what they said previously. If this had been their line all along, though I still contend claiming privacy as well would have helped, the questions would still have been asked, but the public would have heard a different answer from both Romneys that put them on offense instead of defense, which made the both look like they were hiding something, instead of having real principle for keep their returns private.
File this story under developing, because we’ll have to see how this plays out and whether his new offense sticks.
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
You already know the answers to the question in the headline, right?
We?ll have no problem knowing where Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are, most any day, between now and November 6. If, however, you might be interested in knowing where Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein will be, or Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, you?ll probably have to do a bit of searching, unless one or the other happens to be in your neighborhood. And if the local press covers it.
I did take a look at the Stein and Johnson upcoming events pages, and it crossed my mind that one way to distinguish between the ?third? party candidates and the Duopoly candidates might be the events at which they show up.
Jill Stein will be speaking at the 2012 Seattle Hempfest on Friday August 17 at 6:40pm at the Main Stage.
For the last 20 years, the SeattleHempfest has been educating people from around the world in all things hemp and cannabis while we commune together in celebration.
Taking the stage at Hempfest certainly sets the Stein / Honkala ticket apart. As will Stein?s participation in the Rally for Jobs, Peace, and Planet in Rhode Island, on August 18. The event will be held in Providence, and will be sponsored by Green Party of Rhode Island, Occupy Providence, the Black PAC of RI, the RI Unemployment Council, the International Socialist Organization, various political Independents and other Progressive Activists. I?d say way too ?progressive? for the Democratic Party in general.
Looking at Gary Johnson?s schedule, there is lot of ?breakfast with? and ?dinner with? type appearances, as well as an appearance on the PBS show ?Overheard with Evan Smith,? on August 17. The one that stood out for me, however, in terms of setting apart the Johnson / Gray ticket is Johnson Speaking at Paul Festival. That?s the Ron Paul Festival, of course, August 24-26, 2012, in Tampa. I wonder, would Paul Ryan be comfortable at Paul Fest?
And speaking of Ryan, the Stein campaign released this statement: Obama cleared path for Ryan; Greens offer only alternative to austerity agenda, say Stein, Honkala.
In elevating deficit reduction to his highest priority and setting up the deficit reduction supercommittee in 2011, President Obama made it clear that benefits programs were on the chopping block and that he would negotiate with Republicans on how to curtail them. Now, Representative Paul Ryan?s budget is in the spotlight, which also threatens services that millions of Americans depend on.
I wasn?t able to find a statement from the Johnson / Gray campaign, specific to Ryan (if anyone does fine one, please put it in the comments). But this is on the general topic Stein addresses, from GaryJohnson.org:
Spending and the Deficit
Government spends too much because it does too much. Unchecked deficits are the single greatest threat to our national security. Unless we take significant steps soon, our federal debt will equal the entire economic production of the United States.
A perusal of campaign stops isn?t a precise way of distinguishing Libertarian and Green candidates from what we can surmise about the Democratic and Republican candidates from their daily schedules, but Hempfest and Paul Festival certainly do make rather distinctive statements in themselves.
I really wish I was in Seattle …
Romney is bragging about how he's going to repeal ObamaCare. Guess what? He's going to have raise taxes or Medicare premiums to make up the difference.Romney would "have to find other ways to get the cost down in the future," said economist Marilyn Moon, a former trustee overseeing Social Security and Medicare finances."These (Obama cuts) were all on service providers," said...
The headline at ThinkProgress yesterday was Romney: 'No One Is Talking About Deregulating Wall Street'. But they are... and the Republicans have tried to turn Vice President Biden's warning that they are into some typical Republican racist screed, for which they trotted out former-DLC-lackey-turned-GOP-lackey, Artur Davis. We warned you about Davis when he was a "loyal" Obama supporter and a ConservaDem voting for the GOP so he could run statewide in Alabama. He's the same disgusting hack now as he was then. Anyway, Romney, who appears to live in his own fact-free universe, claimed Republicans aren't trying to set Wall Street free again to be it's old predatory self. That's a lie.
But Romney, on many occasions, has called for the repeal of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the first significant reform of the nation?s financial system since the Great Depression. In it?s place, all Romney?s economic plan calls for is a ?streamlined regulatory framework.? The only specific aspects that Romney says he would implement are already in Dodd-Frank, which Romney admits in his plan.
Meanwhile, the House Republican budget written by Romney?s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), dismantles key parts of the Dodd-Frank law. The GOP budget would render the government once again incapable of dismantling a failing financial firm, forcing it to resort to the same bailouts employed in 2008. Until Romney provides an alternative, his plan is nothing but deregulation of the sort that led to the 2008 financial crisis in the first place.
I have reviewed Congressman Howard P. ?Buck? McKeon, R-Santa Clarita?s Countrywide loan documents with a great deal of surprise and disappointment.
Following the release of the Issa report, The Signal printed a letter from me titled ?Be Fair To Buck.?
Unfortunately, I have now come to the conclusion that Buck McKeon has not been fully transparent or truthful with The Signal or his constituents.
The documents released to the public were limited to the final HUD-I closing statement and Truth in Lending Statement (only page 1 of 2).
I will be kind, and call it a translucent disclosure. The closing statement does reflect the payment of legitimate third-party fees to the title and escrow company, along with fees paid for the appraisal and credit report and prepaid items.
What does not appear are ?junk fees,? aka ?garbage fees,? charged by the lender. Rather than vindicating McKeon, the documents tend to confirm the charge that Countrywide?s VIP processing staff complied with the inter-office memo of a Countrywide employee reflecting the directions of Angelo Mozilo, ?Take off one point, no garbage fees, approve the loan.?
McKeon knows this, but he spins the document to the uninformed as ?Hey, look here, I paid closing costs.? This is misleading at best.
What I find even more troubling is that The Signal reviewed these same documents with McKeon and a local mortgage broker, Christopher Mendenhall, in January.
In an article on Jan. 28, written by Executive Editor Jason Schaff, there is a quote from the loan broker,?Mendenhall said the Countrywide documents did have the usual amount of ?junk fees? attached to the loan.?
This is manifestly false and your reporter and the readers of The Signal were misled. Christopher Mendenhall is an experienced loan professional and knows the difference between a ?junk fee? and other closing costs.
The Signal should print a correction prominently in an upcoming issue of the paper. My letter to the editor relied upon the truthfulness of this statement.
The January article led the reader to believe that there was no basis for serious concern in the Issa investigation. It was printed at a critical time when Buck and his wife, Patricia, were involved in primary election battles for Congress and state Assembly.
Now the public release of the documents puts a prominent stain on the hard news reporting credibility of The Signal. We should both lament this unfortunate fact, and your readers deserve clarification.
Every voter should be concerned by the continued spin and parsing of words by Congressman McKeon regarding the Countrywide investigation.
His story is like a fable spun to promote the singular interest of the author, with no morals at the conclusion for the reader.
My concern goes to McKeon?s credibility on so many other issues upon which he has significant input and decision making authority.
What can we really believe from you, McKeon? This is my question as we approach the election in November.
These are painful observations for this conservative and faithful Republican voter to write. However, the recent document release requires me to face unpleasant facts and share them with your concerned readers.
Last month I called out for everyone to ?Be Fair to Buck.? I can no longer be an apologist for him.
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I'm sure CNN got exactly what they expected by bringing on former New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani on Piers Morgan's show this Wednesday evening, to call Vice President Biden names, since I'm sure he's still smarting from Joe calling him "a noun and a verb and 9/11" a while back when Giuliani was running for president himself.
Giuliani just continued to prove that Republicans have little more than feigned outrage, projection and lies to run on right now during this interview. The party that's been playing the race card for decades and that implemented the Southern Strategy and that is still doing its best to make sure minorities can't vote to this day needs to shut the hell up when it comes to charges of racism.
But they won't, and we're going to see more interviews like this one from our corporate media that's happy to go along with them before the campaign season is over. We got a tiny bit of push back from Morgan on Giuliani's hypocrisy and whether he actually believes what he was saying here, but he basically just let Giuliani spew his venom unchallenged.
Giuliani also has that feigned victimhood card down pat, since he claimed we've got a media that actually gives deference to liberals, when that's about as far from the truth as you can get. Actual liberals are almost never allowed on the air by our corporate media and if by accident they let some of them on, there is always at least one to five "conservatives" on to counter them for "balance," with some of MSNBC's programming being the exceptions.
He also pretended that the corporate media regularly calls Republicans out for their race baiting, which is utterly false with the exception of again, just a few shows on MSNBC, and that Biden got some sort of "free pass" when that is also completely ridiculous. If the media was giving Biden a free pass, they wouldn't be letting Giuliani on the air to talk about what he said in the first place. And Fox News, which race baits themselves pretty much on a daily basis, if not an hourly one, would not be on the air running this story about every hour as well. And we wouldn't have CNN running with the story all day long.
Biden didn't get a "free pass" when this nonsense dominated a good deal of the news cycle on almost every single station that calls themselves "news" these days for the last couple of days, along with largely uncritical coverage of Romney's feigned outrage in response. The one who got a "free pass" was Rudy here playing the typical GOP feigned victimhood card.
Rough transcript of Rudy's hackery below the fold.
MORGAN: Now, you're very nice to me. You weren't very nice about the Vice President yesterday. You said he's basically too stupid to be in office.
GIULIANI: Well, the Vice President wasn't very nice yesterday. The Vice President did something disgusting yesterday. The Vice President went to a venue in Southern Virginia, speaking to an audience that was half African-American. Feigning a Southern accent, he said that Romney and Ryan are gonna put you all in chains.
Now, come on. That's outrageous. If a Republican Vice President had said that and in the space of twenty four hours had also gotten wrong the state that he was in and today the century that he's in, you would be raising all kinds of questions about this man's fitness for office.
If Vice President Cheney did this, if Sarah Palin did this, if Paul Ryan did this, it would have been on the front page of the New York Times, and you all would have been outraged. So somebody had to get outraged, and it's gonna be me.
This man makes one stupid remark after another. Today he said that he and Barack Obama are gonna lead us in the 20th century. Well, maybe that was a Freudian slip because they want to take us back to the 20th century and the failed economic policies that didn't work in some parts of the 20th century.
But, I mean, this is one gaffe after another. (crosstalk) There's a Web site devoted to this man's gaffes. Now, okay, we all do it. But when we do it, Republicans, it becomes a national headline. It becomes a major focus. And when a Democrat does it, it's just old Uncle Joe Biden, one of the Washington crowd. He gets the century wrong. He tells a man in a wheel chair to stand up. This is all okay.
And then, he engages in what is a vicious attack. I mean, the mistakes about the century and the mistakes about other things like that, okay. But to do what he did yesterday in front of a half African-American audience, using and feigning a Southern accent to say that Romney and Ryan want to put these people in chains is outrageous.
MORGAN: Do you really believe that Joe Biden was being deliberately racist. Do you actually believe that?
GIULIANI: Well, then we have to question, what was he being? I mean, he had a teleprompter here (crosstalk)
MORGAN: Had he said shackles rather than chains, had he said that, would it have made any difference to you?
GIULIANI: What about... I have no idea. What about the phoney Southern accent? What was that all about? In front of a half African-American audience. And tell me, if a Republican did this that you all wouldn't be outraged that it was some kind of racial appeal, racist appeal. How about holding both sides to the same standards? That's what we do in America. We have a level playing field. If God forbid Paul Ryan ever made a mistake like this coming out of the box you'd all be going crazy.
Next week, the Securities and Exchange Commission is due to finally enforce a Dodd-Frank requirment that U.S. companies ensure their supply chain use of minerals — tungsten, tin, tantalum, and gold — does not funded armed groups in Central Africa.
According to a new report from CAP’s Enough Project, a number of companies have anticipated the rule with steps toward transparency and pressuring suppliers. The report singles out Intel, Motorola, HP, and Apple as electronic industry leaders on this trend of auditing and sourcing the supply chain. While most companies have made more than 30 percent progress, Nintendo places dead-last as the only company to not take a single effort on the issue. Sharp, HTC, Nikon, and Canon, are other exceptions to the industry trend, posting less than 10 percent progress toward sourcing conflict minerals.
Essentially every electronic device — from cellphones to laptops to MP3 players — is manufactured using similar minerals, which can be smuggled from Congo and neighboring countries. The companies ranked here do not directly partner with groups guilty of murder and human rights abuse, but they do indirectly fund them through a complicated, nontransparent supply chain. Enforcing the Dodd-Frank rule is an essential step to this practice’s end, by requiring more transparency and accountability from large American companies.
Intel has emerged as a leader for making the first commitment to producing a conflict-free product by 2013, while Apple will require suppliers to use audited, conflict-free smelters. Microsoft and Motorola, both listed with 35 percent progress, split from the U.S. Chamber this spring for the Chamber’s efforts against regulation.
Most companies have made some strides toward rooting out conflict minerals, shown in the chart below with Enough’s full ranking:
A majority of the adult populations in all 50 states are now obese or overweight, according to a recent Gallup analysis. West Virginia has the highest rate, with 69.3 percent of residents falling into one of the two groups, followed by Mississippi with 68.8 percent. Even in Colorado, the state with the lowest rates, 55.1 percent of residents were overweight or obese. Earlier this week, a similar study from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America?s Health showed that 12 states have an adult obesity rate of more than 30 percent.