"They're STILL pretending to be outraged over the 'chains' thing?"In a day full of stupid, this wins:
Blogs buzz over Biden-Clinton swapHa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha [deep breath] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Chains would be too good for those idiot right-wing "bloggers." Straightjackets would be most appropriate.
Regardless of your feelings about Julian Assange or Wikileaks, Ecuador has the sovereign right to grant political asylum to individuals who meet their requirements. Ecuador has decided that Julian Assange is justified in his request for asylum, and the[...]
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This guy looked at Mitt Romney's tax returns and,
believe him, they prove everything he says about them.Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office still isn't buying Mitt Romney's latest claim that he paid at least 13 percent in taxes every year for the past decade. Reid's response is the same one every Democrat ought to be giving on the subject. Prove it:
"We'll believe it when we see it,? Reid?s spokesman, Adam Jentleson, said Thursday. ?Until Mitt Romney releases his tax returns, Americans will continue to wonder what he's hiding. Romney seems to think he plays by a different set of rules than every other presidential candidate for the last thirty years, all of whom lived up to the standard of transparency set by Mitt Romney's father and released their tax returns."Harry Reid has been right from the get-go. It's simple. Mitt Romney can clear everything up just by releasing his tax returns. If he's telling the truth that he is in the 35 percent income tax bracket but has only been paying at the 13 percent level all these years?not at a much lower level?then he can release the returns, embarrass Reid, extract an apology and come out smelling, well, like a guy in the 35 percent tax bracket who regularly pays a 13 percent rate, what the average construction worker does.
Until then, he should stop embarrassing himself with the "trust me" comments.
Given the massive string of lies Romney has saturated his campaign with, it's hard to take seriously media commentary that says:
[T]hey are asking the American public to believe that a major party presidential candidate willingly lied about his financial past. And that?s a major leap.Puhleez. The major leap is to take anything this candidate says on faith.
Romney seems to believe that if he just keeps repeating what he's been saying it will ultimately be accepted. How dare he be challenged. He seems to think that calling people who want him to release those tax returns "small minded" will shift the tide among the 63 percent Americans who think he should do so. A 63 percent that includes at least 20 prominent Republicans.
There's nothing "small-minded" about Reid's bulldog approach in this matter. On the contrary. Romney's tax returns aren't a distraction. They go to the heart of what he is about.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins took to Fox News Thursday to say groups that oppose his organization are responsible for creating the atmosphere that led to the shooting at its headquarters Wednesday.
"Let me be very clear here that Floyd Corkins was responsible for the wounding of one of our colleagues and friends at the Family Research Council," Perkins said. "But I believe he was given a license to do that by a group such as the Southern Poverty Law Center who labeled us a hate group because we defend the family and stand for traditional orthodox Christianity."
In late 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled the FRC a "hate group" over its opposition to gay rights and condemnation of same-sex behavior. The SPLC rating put the FRC -- long a mainstay in Republican political circles -- on the same list as the Aryan Nations, Nation of Islam and KKK.
The FRC and other social conservative groups rejected the label. And in the wake of Wednesday's shooting, which was allegedly perpetrated by a man who was opposed to the group's politics, Perkins said the SPLC needs to watch its words.
"I think it's time for people to realize what the Southern Poverty Law Center is doing with their reckless labeling of organizations they disagree with," he said.
In the hours after the shooting, which left one FRC security guard wounded, a number of LGBT advocacy groups condemned the shooting and offered their condolences to the FRC. Perkins told Fox he appreciated the sentiment.
"We have had a number of civil conversations with those on the other side and the issues we work on. I appreciate them speaking out against such violence," Perkins said. "There is no room for that in a society such as ours. If we want differences of opinions, that's fine. But let's get all the facts out on the table and debate the issues. Let's not use intimidation or acts of terrorism to try and silence portions of our public. "
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."
"It's small-minded to want to know more about something!"A week ago, it was RNC Chair Reince Preibus saying that the 63 percent of voters who want to properly vet Mitt Romney's finances are "ridiculous."
Today, Romney called those very same 63 percent of voters "small minded."
The fascination with taxes I've paid I find to be very small-minded [...]Romney is running for president of the United States, not his country club. Rather than whine like a toddler, he needs to man up and deliver to the American people the documentation they demand in order to make an informed hiring decision. If he didn't want to suffer a proper vetting, he shouldn't have run. No one would've missed him. (And I really mean, no one.)
Insulting the voters isn't helping his case.
But then again, his entire campaign is now focused on his party's 37 percent fringe, so perhaps he thinks it is.
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Today a 22-minute film will be released attacking President Obama over, of all things, Osama Bin Laden's killing. Like the SwiftBoat efforts of 2004 on John Kerry, the goal is to attack the President's strengths and turn them into weaknesses. Sean Hannity is perfectly happy to assist them in that effort, because that's what Fox News does. Just an amplifier and free ad base for the Romney campaign, you know.
Who is OpSec?
The group claims to be a non-partisan educational group, but it's not. It's run by a failed Republican congressional candidate by the name of Scott Taylor. Reuters reports that he ran in 2010 in Virginia's Second Congressional District, and also for Virginia Beach mayor in 2008.
Not only is OpSec run by a Republican, it shares office space with a Republican group called the Trailblazer Group. The partners are Christian Ferry, who was the Deputy Campaign Manager for McCain-Palin 2008 and a lobbyist for telecommunications and railroad companies, and Ryan Price, McCain-Palin 2008 Deputy Political Director. Price was also responsible for coordinating surrogates and coalitions in that campaign. What a surprise.
It's not mere coincidence that the address of OpSec and these Republican operatives are identical. There's yet another entity listed at that address, a firm by the name of TelOpinion Research. When you visit their website, you're welcomed to "perceptual truth." I'll let you figure out what that might mean. TelOpinion boasts "another successful year in helping elect Republicans throughout the United States. Partner Bill Lee served on presidential campaigns for Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, George H.W. Bush, Phil Gramm, and Bob Dole. Leo Lee brings his executive experience from Siemens, Home Depot, Babies R Us (a Bain Capital production) and Armoloy International. Tel Opinion boasts of a client list that includes Alliance for America's Future (the Norm Coleman 501c4), the Republican Governor's Association, the RNC, and the NRCC.
Their spokesman, Chad Kolton is a former spokesman for the office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration, according to Reuters. But wait! There's more. Before Kolton worked for the Bush administration, he was a spokesman for FEMA and other agencies. And before that, he worked for the RNC as a deputy communications director after he began his career as a press secretary for John Boehner.
The person who appears in the film is a man by the name of Fred Rustmann. ThinkProgress notes that Rustmann was once a supervisor for Valerie Plame when she worked for the CIA. You remember Valerie Plame, right? ThinkProgress wants to know whether Rustmann, who spends his time complaining about security leaks in the White House in this film could answer his own question:
A voiceover wonders, ?What is the cost of trading national secrets for political capital??
This is a question worth asking Fred Rustmann, a former CIA undercover case officer and OPSEC spokesman who appears in the video. Rustmann, who was once a supervisor for covert operative Valerie Plame, was dispatched by the Bush administration to defend the leak that jeopardized her undercover identity. Rustmann claimed the leak had no effect on covert operations:
RUSTMANN: There are no major repercussions to the cover mechanism, no. To her ? the question again gets down to whether somebody did this with malice or forethought. Then it?s a crime, and that person goes to jail.
COLMES: But isn?t the question whether any damage was done because of the revelation? Whether lives were harmed, whether anyone was harmed, or security was harmed?
RUSTMANN: Yes, I don?t think so. I think, if she were out there in that capacity, in that non-official capacity, and if she was handling agents ? she was handling agents in another alias ? we have different layers of cover that work.
Evidently leaks are only bad when a Democrat is in the White House.
There is nothing remotely educational or non-partisan about this group. If the facts above aren't convincing, consider their go-to for free publicity -- Sean Hannity.
Here is the answer to the question "Who is OpSec?" A group of partisan Republicans who are looking for the new SwiftBoat campaign which they hope will work a second time.
But it won't.
Editing the truth for educational purposes?
The film has some interesting selective edits, including the President's address on the death of Bin Laden. Because the lines they edited would contradict the narrative they're trying to construct, they just excised them. Here's how they present President Obama's address:
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we?ve made great strides in that effort. We?ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.?
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
Edited like this, it appears that all credit for Bin Laden's death was claimed by the President, which is exactly what Hannity alleges in his little promo at the top of this post. "I-I-I-I," Hannity proclaims. Funny how they left out this paragraph, which is certainly easy to find since it's in the very same transcript where they got the first two paragraphs:
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who?ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
That doesn't fit very well with the President grabbing all the credit, now does it? Hannity also used this film debut to once again claim that torture was the true hero. I'm not even going to go there again. I've already exhausted my outrage on that piece of nonsense.
It won't work this time
Every time Republicans try this with regard to Bin Laden, they remind everyone that this President gave the order that dispatched the teams that got Bin Laden. He was not gotten by drone strike. President Obama risked his entire presidency on a successful mission, and the Navy SEAL team delivered that success. No one took that away from them. No one. We all know who executed that mission.
But only one person gave the order to execute it. For all of the lipservice paid to "courage" by Village reporters, true courage was in making that call and letting that team do the job they had been trained to do. No amount of Republican spin is going to change the fact that Osama bin Laden is dead, Al Qaeda is dismantled for the most part, and that happened while Barack Obama was President.
Every time they bring it up, they remind everyone of those facts, which they cannot spin away no matter how hard they try.
There is nothing non-partisan, educational, or especially patriotic about these people. It's a cynical play to try and turn a strength to weakness, but it will not work this time. In the words of an Obama campaign official, "No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have, and it?s clear they?ve resorted to making things up for purely political reasons."
While we wait for them to waste a lot of money bolstering the President's credentials in the national security arena, perhaps Mitt Romney should release his tax returns. Those are the real elephant in the room, not made-up poutrage by Republican wannabes.
Update: A reader points out that Admiral McRaven had high praise for the administration and the operation as recently as July. Admiral McRaven is one who would know, given his position at the time.
By Philip Ballentine
One of Mitt Romney’s top foreign policy planks is declaring China a ?currency manipulator? and fighting back with across-the-board “countervailing duties? (taxes on all Chinese imports), policies introduced in his Sept. 2011 economic policy paper and reiterated since then. Today, his vice presidential pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) echoed Romney’s call:
They manipulate their currency… We’re not going to let that happen. Mitt Romney and I are going to crack down on China cheating and make sure trade works for Americans.
Watch the video:
Ryan’s position was right before his flip-flop: declaring China a currency manipulator would open the door to slapping a tax on every shoe, children?s toy, t-shirt, iPhone, and washing machine imported from China, raising prices for every American consumer. In addition to spiking the prices of Chinese imports (worth almost $400 billion in 2011), Romney?s duties would spark a trade war with America?s third largest export market. China would almost certainly react with duties of its own on American goods. That would be a job killer for the U.S.; America exported $103.9 billion in goods and services to China in 2011, up almost 50 percent from 2008.
In fact, Ryan wasn’t the only conservative who opposed China policies like Romney’s. Among the many conservative experts (including a campaign adviser) who side against Romney, here are two prominent Republicans, unlike Ryan, haven’t flip-flopped on the issue:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) dismissed the importance of the exchange rate last month, saying, ?Every administration for the last 15 years has worked with [China] to get them to revalue their currency ?and ?the value of their currency has continued to come up.? Boehner is right. The Chinese yuan has risen 30 percent against the dollar since 2005 and 7 percent since January 2009.
John Huntsman, former Republican presidential candidate, Utah Governor, and ambassador to China, blasted Romney?s countervailing duties in late 2011: ?You’ve got a host of issues that are all part of the U.S.-China relationship. And a trade war would grind it all to a halt, all the while killing small business and exporters.? Huntsman said Romney’s China policies were “wrongheaded.”
Some local Chinese governments do embrace unfair trade practices. They provide cheap loans and materials to some Chinese companies and refuse to protect American intellectual property rights while erecting barriers for American firms. The yuan is still slightly undervalued, but Romney?s proposed solution isn?t the right approach, as these conservative politicians and experts point out.
We need to confront unfair Chinese trade practices as they occur and negotiate with China to ensure the yuan reaches its fair value. President Obama has been very successful in this effort, confronting China in the WTO and on its own with duties on specific Chinese goods that benefit from those unfair subsides. Romney?s across-the-board taxes on Chinese imports would punish American consumers with higher prices for everyday goods and American businesses with a futile trade war.
Romney’s ideas don’t make for sound policies. Perhaps that why Huntsman dismissed his China-bashing as “typical campaign rhetoric.” A purported wonk like Ryan apparently isn’t above it either.
Philip Ballentine is an intern with the Center for American Progress.
Danny Tarkanian is the Republican nominee in a newly created congressional district in Nevada. He also seems to think his opponent has a very good makeup artist. During a speech to a GOP club earlier this week, Tarkanian went into a lengthy rant about how “all these black Democrats” have accused him of making a racist comment. He then levied an unusual allegation against state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, his Democratic opponent, claiming that “[w]e could be like Steven Horsford who?s not doing anything with [the African-American] community and, you know, pretend we?re black and maybe try to get some votes if that?s where it is.”
This is the man Tarkanian accused of pretending to be black:
The Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins accused the Southern Poverty Law Center — a civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry — of providing “license” for a man to shoot a security guard in the arm on Wednesday.
“Floyd Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy,” Perkins declared during a press conference on Thursday afternoon. “I believe the Southern Poverty Law Center should be held responsible that is leading to intimidation of what the FBI has characterized as domestic terrorism.” Corkins has since been charged for assault with a deadly weapon and could soon face federal charges. The guard, Leo Johnson, is in stable conditions.
Asked by reporters why he thought the shooter was motivated by his distate for the group rather than mental incapacity, Perkins quipped, “how many unhinged individuals walk around with 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches?”
A growing number of conservatives have sought to portray the shooting as an attack against Christianity by intolerant leftist and are using it as an opportunity to silence their critics.
The Southern Poverty Law Center issued a statement condemning “all acts of violence,” but stands by its classification. The group accuses the FRC of billing itself as “the leading voice for the family in our nation?s halls of power” while regularly defaming gays and lesbians.”
For instance, FRC’s policy director Peter Sprigg has “claimed that ex-gay therapy works, that sexual orientation can change, insisted that gay people are mentally ill simply because homosexuality makes them that way, and proclaimed that, ?Sexual abuse of boys by adult men is many times more common than consensual sex between adult men, and most of those engaging in such molestation identify themselves as homosexual or bisexual.? In February of 2009, he told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, ?I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.? ?So we should outlaw gay behavior?? Matthews asked. ?Yes,? Sprigg replied.
Perkins has also charged that gay people ?have a higher propensity to depression or suicide” because they recognize their same-sex attractions are abnormal.? The group has distributed a pamphlet depicting gay men and lesbians as physically and mentally ill pedophiles and compared same-sex marriage to the logic behind man-horse marriage.
Still, Perkins is insisting that SPLC is to blame. “I’m not saying that the Southern Poverty Law Center is responsible for the shooting,” he said during an earlier interview on Fox News. “Mr. Corkins is responsible for the shooting. They are responsible for creating an environment that led to yesterday’s shooting.”