Regular readers know that I'm not much of a fan of US-based airlines.I finally got tired of paying $300 to fly on an airline that seemed almost resentful that I showed up for my flight. And while most of my pain in the past has been caused by United, that may simply be because United was my carrier of choice, me being from Chicago and all. I switched a while back to American,...
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Let's be clear: Yesterday's shooting of a security guard at the Family Research Council's offices in Washington, D.C., evidently motivated by the shooter's anger over the FRC's ongoing campaign against the LGBT community, was an atrocity that harmed the cause the shooter espoused. After all, the chief reason groups are called out as "hate groups" is that the rhetoric they purvey is so toxic that often it justifies and inspires acts of violence against vulnerable minorities. To respond to that with an equally insane act of violence is a betrayal.
Moreover, if the motives as reported so far are accurate, it was clearly an act of domestic terrorism, one of an increasingly small species of such acts: left-wing domestic terrorism. It may be helpful here to remember that since 2008, there have been more than fifty incidents of domestic terrorism committed by right wing-extremists and directed at "liberal" targets.
The horrified finger pointing that has erupted among right-wingers, however, is nothing if not obscene, particularly when it involves hatemongers like Michelle Malkin and Bryan Fischer. Malkin's hypocrisy in particular would be hilarious were it not so noxious: Only a few weeks ago, she was reiterating her longtime claim that the Holocaust Museum shooter wasn't a right-wing extremist, along with a dozen other incidents involving similar extremists.
Indeed, right-wingers (particularly those at Fox News and the Malkin contingent) have long been eager to whitewash away the political orientation of right-wing terrorists and deny any culpability for their acts, even when -- as in the case of the Malkin fan who terrorized abortion clinics with fake anthrax attacks, or the rampaging shooter who claimed inspiration from Fox News figures -- those connections are painfully obvious.
Yesterday, Malkin's "Twitchy" site was eagerly blaming the Southern Poverty Law Center for the FRC shooting.
The shooting of a security guard Wednesday at the Family Research Council (FRC) has spurred a torrent of heated accusations from both sides of the gay rights debate about claims that the conservative organization is a ?hate group.?
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), one of the nation?s leading opponents of same-sex marriage, told The Hill the shooting was a direct result of the Southern Poverty Law Center?s decision in 2010 to place the FRC on its list of hate groups for its rhetoric on gays.
Brian Brown, the president of NOM, pointed to a recent blog post by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest gay-rights groups in the country. The post, ?Paul Ryan Speaking at Hate Group?s Annual Conference,? called attention to the vice presidential candidate?s scheduled appearance at the FRC?s national summit next month.
?Today?s attack is the clearest sign we?ve seen that labeling pro-marriage groups as ?hateful? must end,? Brown said in a statement issued following the shooting.
?For too long national gay rights groups have intentionally marginalized and ostracized pro-marriage groups and individuals by labeling them as ?hateful? and ?bigoted.??
Neither the FBI nor the D.C. police have released any information about what motivated the shooter, who they placed in custody shortly after 11 a.m. near the FRC?s headquarters after he wounded a security guard in the arm.
The HRC?s vice president for communications and marketing, Fred Sainz, called the accusations ?irresponsible? and ?spurious? and said NOM is trying to capitalize on an atrocious attack to further its agenda of blocking gay rights.
?That?s about as irresponsible as anything I?ve ever heard in Washington,? Sainz said in an interview. ?They have zero facts to go on. They have no idea who this individual is, what his motivation is, or where he?s coming from ideologically.?
?The National Organization for Marriage will stop at absolutely nothing in order to try and win a war that they are losing. The have beyond zero ethical boundaries,? Sainz said. ?They are the lowest of the bottom fishers.?
It's important to understand, first of all, that the SPLC does not hand out the designation "hate group" willy-nilly; the organization has always been clear that such a designation is only handed out to select organizations who meet exacting criteria.
It's also important to understand why the the SPLC designated the Family Research Council a "hate group" in the first place -- namely, because their vicious demonization of gays and lesbians is the kind of rhetoric that regularly and frequently inspires all kinds of violence directed at those folks, particularly in the form of hate crimes:
The Family Research Council (FRC) bills itself as ?the leading voice for the family in our nation?s halls of power,? but its real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians. The FRC often makes false claims about the LGBT community based on discredited research and junk science. The intention is to denigrate LGBT people in its battles against same-sex marriage, hate crimes laws, anti-bullying programs and the repeal of the military?s ?Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell? policy.
To make the case that the LGBT community is a threat to American society, the FRC employs a number of ?policy experts? whose ?research? has allowed the FRC to be extremely active politically in shaping public debate. Its research fellows and leaders often testify before Congress and appear in the mainstream media. It also works at the grassroots level, conducting outreach to pastors in an effort to ?transform the culture.?
In Its Own Words
?Gaining access to children has been a long-term goal of the homosexual movement.?
? Robert Knight, FRC director of cultural studies, and Frank York, 1999
?[Homosexuality] ? embodies a deep-seated hatred against true religion.?
? Steven Schwalm, FRC senior writer and analyst, in ?Desecrating Corpus Christi,? 1999
?One of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ?prophets' of a new sexual order.?
-1999 FRC pamphlet, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex with Boys.
?[T]he evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners.?
? Timothy Dailey, senior research fellow, ?Homosexuality and Child Sexual Abuse,? 2002
?While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. ? It is a homosexual problem.?
? FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010
And it's important to remember that the FRC's chief, Tony Perkins, has a long history of playing footsie with racists and other right-wing extremists:
In 1996, while managing the U.S. Senate campaign of Woody Jenkins against Mary Landrieu, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the mailing list of former Klan chieftain David Duke. The campaign was fined $3,000 (reduced from $82,500) after Perkins and Jenkins filed false disclosure forms in a bid to hide their link to Duke. Five years later, on May 17, 2001, Perkins gave a speech to the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist group that has described black people as a ?retrograde species of humanity.? Perkins claimed not to know the group?s ideology at the time, but it had been widely publicized in Louisiana and the nation, because in 1999 ? two years before Perkins? speech to the CCC ? Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott had been embroiled in a national scandal over his ties to the group. GOP chairman Jim Nicholson then urged Republicans to avoid the CCC because of its ?racist views.?
The Duke incident surfaced again in the local press in 2002, when Perkins ran for the Republican nomination for the Senate, dooming his campaign to a fourth-place finish in the primaries.
It's important to remember that calling out organizations and people for their hatemongering is not itself hatemongering. It is its antithesis. And yesterday's horror notwithstanding, it must remain that way.
When he was with Mitt Romney in Jerusalem last month, top campaign foreign policy adviser Dan Senor made a splash by saying that a Romney administration would greenlight an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Senor quickly clarified in a statement that it was Romney’s “fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures” will curb Iran’s program. Today, Senor implied those measures weren’t having the right effects on Iran.
Speaking on right-wing radio host’s Bill Bennet’s show, Senor falsely claimed that the international sanctions regime against Iran wasn’t slowing its nuclear progress. He said:
The question is: Are [sanctions] having enough effect to actually slow down the path towards a nuclear weapons capability? And there’s no evidence that it is actually slowing them down.
Listen to a clip:
Senor claim echoes one made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he appeared with Romney last month in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said, “[A]ll the sanctions and diplomacy so far have not set back the Iranian program by one iota.” Those statements are directly contradicted by the United Nations. A U.N. panel last year reported that the U.N. Security Council sanctions spearheaded by the Obama administration were “constraining Iran?s procurement of items related to prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile activity and thus slowing development of these programs.” A recent Pentagon report seemed to bolster this conclusion with regard to Iran’s missile capabilities. While it’s true that the pressure has not yet caused Iran to buckle, it’s simply not accurate to say the sanctions have not slowed Iran’s program.
As neoconservative analyst Patrick Clawson noted today, “[F]or the most part, Democrats and Republicans no longer show much difference when it comes to Iran policy.” That’s true — to an extent. The main difference is that the Romney camp uses a more belligerent tone, attempts to suppress public discourse about the possible consequences of a strike, and has a lower threshold for war. Senor expanded on the latter point on Bennet’s show, saying that a nuclear “capability” is “just as big a threat” as Iran developing a weapon. But that’s absurd: no one would fear a dismantled gun as much as an assembled one. What’s more, it’s not exactly clear what “capability” means. Robert Wright noted that one could “define the term so broadly that Iran already has a ‘capability’,” leaving Americans guessing as to exactly when a Romney administration would opt to start a war with Iran.
President Obama considers a potential Iranian nuclear weapon a threat to both the security of the U.S. and its allies in the region, as well as the nuclear non-proliferation regime. And he’s vowed again and again to keep all options on the table to deal wtih it. U.S., U.N. and Israeli intelligence estimates give the West time to pursue a dual-track approach of building international pressure and using diplomacy to resolve the crisis. Questions about the efficacy and potential consequences of a strike have led U.S. officials to declare that diplomacy is the ?best and most permanent way? to resolve the crisis.
Today the Air Force announced that its X-51 Scramjet Engine Demonstrator called the WaveRider — a hypersonic jet designed to travel up to 3,600 miles per hour — crashed into the Pacific Ocean 15 seconds into a test flight.
This is the second failed test in a row for the WaveRider — an aircraft technology that the military has already spent between close to $300 million on developing. And that’s just on one program. We’ve been working on hypersonic flight programs since the 1960′s.
But even with more than a quarter billion dollars worth of hardware now sitting in the Pacific Ocean (chump change for the Pentagon), we haven’t heard a peep from anyone in Washington on the crash. No calls for a Congressional investigation, no outrage about hundreds of millions of dollars sinking in 15 seconds, no public flogging of Defense Department leaders.
But hell, when a few cutting-edge clean energy companies crash after getting support from the federal government, they’re used by the national Republican party as a tool to question the very idea of making strategic investments in cleantech.
It’s been almost a year since Solyndra, the solar manufacturer that received a $527 million loan guarantee, went bankrupt. Since then, House lawmakers have held 12 hearings and official meetings, acquired more than 300,000 documents, issued two subpenas, and likely spent more than a million dollars on the investigation.
What have they found?
“No evidence of wrongdoing,” reported Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Washington Post went further in a recent investigation: ?The records do not establish that anyone pressured the Energy Department to approve the Solyndra loan to benefit political contributors.?
This is not to say we should shrug off the bankruptcy of Solyndra and other clean energy companies. It’s Congress’ job to determine whether taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely — and taking a look into the causes and consequences of these types of incidents is important for transparency.
But as we predicted when the Solyndra story first broke, these investigations have turned into a political sideshow. One year later, GOP lawmakers failed to prove their theory that decisions to offer loan guarantees to clean energy companies were based on political insider deals. Yet they continue to call for more documents and potentially more hearings, hoping to extend the Solyndra “crony capitalism” meme until after the election.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) was the most blunt about the GOP’s plan for Solyndra: Push the manufactured scandal until November and then drop it after the election.
E&E News reported on Jordan’s comments in March:
For all the talk over possible ?smoking guns? that might show some wrongdoing on the part of the Obama administration on Solyndra or another Department of Energy loan, one House Republican acknowledged yesterday that multiple GOP probes on the subject are in some ways a play for votes on Election Day.
?Ultimately, we?ll stop it on Election Day, hopefully. And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November.?
That’s exactly how it’s playing out. The politically-manufactured outrage over Solyndra has turned into an all-out campaign — with tens of millions of dollars being spent this election season specifically targeting federal renewable energy investments. Mitt Romney has jumped on the bandwagon, using Solyndra as a central piece of his campaign.
And here’s the really astonishing disconnect: While supporting tens of thousands of jobs, the loan guarantee program is expected to cost $2 billion less than Congress budgeted for, according to an analysis from Herb Allison, John McCain’s former National Finance Chairman.
Meanwhile, amidst the Solyndra saga, we casually accept a $300 million aircraft failure without batting an eye. No outrage. No sustained political campaign. It’s just another day testing our military toys.
Why? Because we don’t often see programs like this as a “failure” in the political arena. We would never use one failure as an excuse to abandon investment in new technologies. Most politicians accept losses in military R&D expenditures because the long-term gains are potentially so important for national defense and for eventually developing technologies for civilian use.
We should always strive to make programs as efficient and cost-effective as possible. But a few bankrupt clean energy companies representing a fraction of the program’s budgeted cost is no excuse for abandoning federal investments in clean energy — a strategically important sector that is becoming one of the largest drivers of business this century.
Alas, don’t expect anyone to publicly admit this. As the campaign season unfolds, political leaders are all too willing to practice the Solyndra standard.
(Illustrating our skewed standards further, I leave you with the below chart put together by Grist’s Phillip Bump last fall).
Over at Deadline, Ray Richmond puts the five nominations for non-white actors out of 94 acting nominations handed out by the Emmys this year in historical context:
One of the dirty little secrets that haunts the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is its woeful (some might even say shameful) track record in honoring African-American actors and actresses with Emmy Awards. Consider that were Giancarlo Esposito of AMC?s Breaking Bad to win this year for supporting actor in a drama series, or the mixed-race Maya Rudolph to take the comedy guest actress prize for NBC?s Saturday Night Live, they would become the first black performers to win in their respective categories ever. Similarly, if Don Cheadle triumphs in the lead actor in a comedy race for his work in the Showtime half-hour House of Lies, he?d become only the second African-American in history to win in that category.
In fact, the four lead comedy actor/actress and supporting comedy actor/actress races have found African-American performers winning Emmys a grand total of four times?once in each category. Combining the victories for black actors and actresses in all 16 performing categories throughout the 63-year history of the Primetime Emmys results in 35, or roughly 5% of the total number of statuettes handed out.
Awards may not change everything. They’re not an iron-clad guarantee of future success?in fact, they can lock people in to the kind of roles that made them successful in the first place. And an acting Emmy may not automatically open the doors for an actor who wants to produce, or write, or direct. But they are a credential none the less, a testament to a general consensus on the quality of someone’s career, and it may help when it comes to getting in to read for desirable parts and to negotiating lucrative contracts. The pool of non-white actors who get regular work in television is already small enough. If those actors are ending up with a smaller portion of valuable credentials than their white counterparts, that means they’re losing out on leverage, and the chance to make what they will of it.
Mitt Romney said on Thursday on the campaign trail that he never paid less than a 13 percent tax rate, adding that continued calls for him to release his tax returns are “small-minded.” “I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent,” he said. “And if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.?
Leaving aside that Romney expects everyone to simply take his word for it that this is true, there are still many questions that can’t be answered without seeing Romney’s tax returns. Here are seven:
1) What kind of taxes? Does that 13 percent cover income taxes, capital gains taxes, or some combination? By Romney’s own admission, nearly all of his income comes from investments (so the low capital gains tax rate helps him drive his overall rate far below that of many middle-class families).
2) What sort of deductions did Romney employ? In addition to the deduction they receive for classifying Ann Romney’s horse as a business, what other deductions are the Romneys using to lower their tax rate?
3) How did Romney’s IRA grow so large? Romney’s retirement account contains more than $100 million, despite annual limits on contributions. How did that happen?
4) What sort of offshore tax strategies does Romney use? While Romney was on the executive committee of Marriott, the company employed complex strategies known as “Son of Boss” to dodge taxes, prompting consequences with the IRS. Did Romney use a similar strategy for his own taxes?
5) Was Romney’s Swiss bank account disclosed on all tax returns for all years? Did he file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) as required by the deadline for each year he had the account?
6) Did Romney participate in the IRS’s settlement initiative for undeclared offshore financial accounts (the amnesty)? In 2009, the IRS gave American citizens a window to declare their Swiss bank accounts and avoid prosecution for tax dodging, before it launched a crackdown on foreign accounts. As Slate’s Matt Yglesias wrote, “Romney might well have thought in 2007 and 2008 that there was nothing to fear about a non-disclosed offshore account he’d set up years earlier precisely because it wasn’t disclosed. But then came the settlement and the rush of non-disclosers to apply for the amnesty.”
7) Why did Romney invest in Houston rental real estate that was explicitly marketed as a tax shelter? As The New York Times reported, Romney was an investor in a real estate scheme in which the organizers “played up the tax shelter benefits.” The deal turned out to be a lousy investment.
On a final note, does Romney think that the 20 prominent conservatives calling for more tax returns are “small minded”?
Though Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan claims that the Republican ticket “will not seek to transform America into something it was never intended to be,” as a Congressman, Ryan advanced legislation that he himself admitted would profoundly alter the fabric of American society.
Throughout his career, Ryan advocated for privatization of Medicare and Social Security as a means of restructuring society to more closely resemble the extreme laissez-faire system envisioned by authors like Ayn Rand. In a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, an Ayn Rand appreciation group, Ryan explicitly said Republicans should “change the dynamics in this society”:
Health savings accounts, personal accounts for Social Security, these are the things that put the individual back in the game, that break the back of this collectivist philosophy that pervades, you know, 90 percent of the thinking here in this town [...]
[W]e have to go back to Ayn Rand. Because there is no better place to find the moral case for capitalism and individualism than through Ayn Rand?s writings and works…. I think, if we win a few of these right now, if we switch health care to an individual, consumer-based system, in moving Social Security to an individually pre-owned, pre-funded retirement system, just those two things right there, will do so much to change the dynamics in this society, will do so much to bring more people into the side of transparency in government, than anything else we can do.
Indeed, it’s hard to overstate how much of a break Ryan’s budget proposals are with the American political tradition. His dramatic spending cuts would crowd out almost every part of government other than the military and Social Security.
Ryan’s budget is such an ambitious attempt to change American society that Newt Gingrich (no stranger to extremism) called it “right-wing social engineering.” He would slowly dismantle the New-Deal era institutions that spread economic risks across everyone — the rich, and poor, the healthy and the sick — and shift all of the economic costs and risks onto the individual.
Andrew Shirvell, who was fired from his position as assistant attorney general in Michigan for a campaign of anti-gay harassment against the then-student government president at the University of Michigan, told a federal court Wednesday that he had “no hatred in his heart” for his target. A jury will now decide whether Shirvell’s actions constituted defamation and caused emotional damage.
Former Michigan Student Assembly president Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay president of the University of Michigan’s student government, filed suit last May against Shirvell, claiming “defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, abuse of process, invasion of privacy, and stalking.” His complaint requested at least $25,000 in compensatory and exemplary damages, as well as an injunction against future wrongdoing.
According to the Detroit Free Press:
Shirvell questioned himself on the witness stand for more than an hour Wednesday, trying to convince the jury he was upset by Armstrong’s push for gender-neutral housing at U-M. Shirvell graduated in 2002.
“My blog was political speech,” Shirvell testified. “I viewed my blog as a movement to get Mr. Armstrong to resign. I personally felt Mr. Armstrong was too radical for the position.”
Shirvell accused Armstrong of pursuing a “radical homosexual agenda” during his tenure as student body president. Under cross-examination, though, he conceded he had focused his attention solely on Armstrong, ignoring numerous other student group who had also pushed the housing policy.
A Shirvell suit against Armstrong was dismissed in April.
The National Organization for Marriage set a bad precedent blaming the label of “hate groups” for the shooting that took place Wednesday at the Family Research Council. Now, Bryan Fischer has taken exploitation of this tragedy to a whole new level in a statement written on behalf of the American Family Association. Fischer characterized the organization’s condemnation of homosexuality as “love,” which could only be perceived as “hate” by those who “hate the truth.” In addition to irresponsibly speculating about the shooter’s motives, Fischer outright blamed the Southern Poverty Law Center for the tragedy:
But the SPLC, by their own hateful and malicious rhetoric against FRC and AFA, has essentially claimed responsibility for this shooting, and they too should be held to account in the court of public opinion.
SPLC claims it only lists organizations as ?hate groups? if they engage in the ?propagation of known falsehoods? about homosexuality. But the SPLC website itself lists numerous falsehoods about homosexuality. For instance, the SPLC says, without a single shred of proof, that homosexuals are born that way, that it is impossible to leave the gay lifestyle, and that homosexuals are not at elevated risks of depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders.
Like FRC, AFA is classified as a hate group, and Fischer provided a prime example of the harmful lies that warrant such a designation. In spite of his claim that there is not “a single shred of proof,” decades of psychological research have demonstrated that nobody’s sexual orientation is chosen, nor can any sexual orientation be changed. More importantly, when people come out as gay, lesbian, bi, or trans, the best way to support those individuals’ mental health is to affirm their identities. Study after study after study has shown that it is stigma, bullying, rejection, and condemnation ? the “values” these groups promote ? that cause the heightened risks of depression and substance abuse. Fischer doesn’t actually care about the well-being of LGBT people; he works to maintain hetero-supremacy in society by reinforcing the very fraudulent ideas that harm LGBT people. It’s exactly such known falsehoods that inform SPLC’s “hate group” designations.
AFA and NOM have made it explicitly clear that they intend to politically exploit the tragedy of a shooting to somehow excuse the harmful rhetoric they spew daily. There seem to be no bounds to the lengths they will go to condemn people just for being gay.
Trust me, I'm rich.All right, now this is just getting silly:
Romney?s answer won?t satisfy everyone. (More on that below.) But, in asserting that for the last decade he has never paid less than a 13 percent tax rate, Romney is calling Democrats? bluff and forcing them now to call him a liar if they argue that he paid any less. In short: The burden of proof has now shifted from Romney to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democratic party more broadly.I'm not sure how Mitt Romney pulling a number out of his (censored) and saying that settles the argument counts as "calling the Democrat's bluff." I'm also intrigued by the notion that by claiming he paid, golly gee, at least the pitifully low figure of 13 percent as taxes somehow now makes Mitt Romney look like the good guy. Thirteen percent counting what? For how many years? On how many millions of dollars, and how can the rest of us get in on such a sweet, sweet tax rate?
Narrowly, however, I'm intrigued by this whole burden of proof argument. Mitt Romney has, I might gently point out, not "proved" a damn thing. He has asserted something, without evidence. He has asserted it without evidence because he is explicitly withholding the evidence, and the evidence being withheld?tax returns?is something that other politicians are regularly expected to provide. Even Mitt's own father recognized the inherent dishonesty of not doing such a thing, so I really don't think the Democrats are in a real bind if they think that Mitt Romney asserting something without evidence is not, in fact, the automatic end of the story. I know of no literary mystery that ends with the suspect saying "I did not do that," upon which all the policemen and detectives go on their merry way, considering the case closed. I realize that this is an argument about a rich person's money, and as the MF Global Goldman Sachs and countless other cases have demonstrated in the last few years, the entire planet is supposed to bend down on one knee when a rich person makes an assertion about the provenance of their money or what might they might have accidentally done with yours, but still. Really?
Mitt Romney has so much money in his retirement account alone that outside observers struggle to come up with any way someone could even do such a thing without extraordinary luck or considerably more ordinary dishonesty. Here's a guy with bank accounts in all the usual places used by wealthy people to hide their money where Uncle Sam won't know about it or can't do anything about it. We've already caught him lying through his teeth, repeatedly, about when he supposedly even "left" the company that made him so very wealthy. Being so Broderesque as to say "well, but he says everything else is on the up and up, so I guess now his opponents are the bad guys if they question him" is too "balanced" by half.
For the record, yes, a great many people have been calling Mitt Romney a liar for some time now. I don't know whether he's lying about the 13 percent figure, but he's lied so brazenly about so many other things?even the obsessively faux-neutral Politifact has documentation enough of that?that I do not think Just Because Mitt Said So really ought to be used as the argument-ender that he wants it to be. I am sorry if that makes me a bad person, but I am very, very tired of taking the very rich man's word for it when he says he's not lying about his goddamn money. He wants to become the leader of the nation, and that, of necessity, requires a level of scrutiny that he needs to just suck up and deal with already.
Nobody but Harry Reid can vouch for things asserted by Harry Reid, but it is distinctly not the Democrats' fault if they hold him to the same level of accountability that has been considered standard fare for every other politician but Mitt Romney.