The House is set to vote today on a watered-down version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that the President has threatened to veto for its lack of coverage, particularly in regards to undocumented people, native women, and the LGBT community.
But while Republicans have accused the Democrats of playing politics with women’s domestic safety, the opposite may actually be true.
In a sit-down with bloggers on Capitol Hill today, DNC Chair and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) told reporters that she’d heard House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) actually ordered his caucus to move VAWA as far to the right as possible:
RYAN GRIM of the Huffington Post: I’d heard that the Republican leadership wasn’t very happy with the committee for going how far right they went with this. Had you heard anything that–
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Actually, I’d heard that this was a direct directive from John Boehner himself. So…
GRIM: What’s the thinking in that?
WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: You know, I think their obsession with opposing immigration at every possible turn has permeated every single possible bill, including things that are normally as mom and apple pie as reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
VAWA has been passed and reauthorized twice with strong bipartisan support. Each reauthorization has expanded the bill and added new provisions. This year, the Senate passed VAWA in a 68 to 31 vote, after some debate, with the added provisions intact to protect LGBT, undocumented, and Native people. The House version of VAWA does not include these protections.
And while Republicans may have rectified the portion of their original bill that violated the confidentiality of victims by adding a manager’s amendment, the bill still seriously weakens the visa program extended to undocumented victims of domestic abuse, so that they are put in a position of fear in reporting assault.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is back to claiming that his former private equity firm, Bain Capital, helped create at least 100,000 jobs, telling conservative radio host Ed Morrisey that “we were able to help create over 100,000 jobs.” The Romney campaign used the 100,000 number at the outset of the campaign, then admitted it was bogus, started using it again, couldn’t answer challenges from reporters, and finally gave the number a massive downgrade to a mere “thousands” earlier this week. There’s still no evidence backing up the claim, other than a right-wing editorial endorsing Romney. An ad from Romney’s 1994 Senate campaign, meanwhile, claimed that the firm created 10,000 jobs — though there’s little evidence to support that either.
On May 14, KOLO News — a local ABC affiliate in Reno, Nevada — previewed a story about how marriage equality can benefit the local economy by comparing same-sex unions to “sin.” “Historically, Nevada has made a living off of sin: quickie divorces, prostitution, gambling,” anchor Sarah Johns said in the preview. “What’s one more sin added to the list if it will improve our economy?” Nevada’s constitution bans same-sex marriage currently, though Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) recently embraced the idea of marriage equality in the state. Watch the preview:
The Heartland Institute is doubling down on its widely-condemned effort to label leading proponents of climate science as “murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”
CEO Joe Bast has sent a letter to one of the scholars who “have expressed trepidation about continuing their long-time associations with us.” Not to worry, says Bast, we’re still into wacky hate speech, same as ever, we just will use our website — and not billboards — to smear folks. He explains:
Heartland posted a statement saying “We do not apologize for running the ad.” And they kept online their original defense of the billboard, which made absurd statements like, “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren?t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.” Some mistake.
Obviously, Bast stands by this nonsense. The uber-vindicated Michael Mann, one of the most highly regarded climatologists in the country, had this to say in reply to Bast:
Being called a “mad man” by Joe Bast & Heartland is like being called overexposed by Kim Kardashian.
I hope to have a response soon from the too-sane-for-this-world Bill McKibben.
How out of touch are Bast and Heartland? They post their beyond-the-pale extremism in a blog named “Somewhat Reasonable”:
In the Bizarro World of Hrtae that Heartland inhabits, I guess Somewhat Reasonable = Most Unreasonable.
Finally, Bast just can’t stop defending the billboard with nonsensical arguments.
Our billboard was factual: The Unabomber was motivated by concern over man-made global warming to do the terrible crimes he committed. He still believes in global warming. We simply put his picture on a billboard, pointed out the ?inconvenient truth,? and asked, ?do you??
But wait, I thought Bast just said the billboard was a mistake? In any case, as Greenwire reported on the Unabomber?s manifesto (which you can confirm online):
The words ?climate change? don?t appear in the manifesto, nor are there references to ?global warming? or ?carbon.?
Asked about this discrepancy, Heartland spokesman Jim Lakely pointed to a passage from Kaczynski?s manifesto that says the Industrial Revolution has ?inflicted severe damage on the natural world.?
If the individual insurance benefits in the Affordable Care Act had been in place during 2001-2008, the annual out-of-pocket medical spending might have been $280 less on average for Americans, according to a new report from Health Affairs. And the research showed that near-elderly and low-income people might have saved more than $500. One key improvement in the health care reform law establishes limits on out-of-pocket spending for plans offered through the Exchanges and in the individual and small group markets, so “having out-of-pocket expenditures on care exceeding $6,000 would have been reduced for all adults with individual insurance, and the likelihood of having expenditures exceeding $4,000 would have been reduced for many.”
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is refusing to even utter George W. Bush's name after the former president endorsed him in an elevator on Tuesday.
"I'm for Mitt Romney," Bush had blurted out to ABC News on Tuesday as the doors of the elevator closed on him in Washington, DC where he was giving a speech on human rights.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday, Romney would only refer to Bush as President Barack Obama's "predecessor."
"[Obama] was very critical of his predecessor for the debts the predecessor put in place," Romney remarked. "It sure is true that you can't blame one party or the other for all the debts this country has because both parties, in my opinion, have spent too much and borrowed too much."
"But he was very critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together four trillion dollars of debt over eight years," the former Massachusetts governor added.
The candidate later returned to the "predecessor" line again: "I find it incomprehensible that a president could come to office and call his predecessor's record irresponsible and unpatriotic, and then do almost nothing to fix it."
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul "welcomed" the endorsement but also refused to mention Bush by name.
"We welcome the president's support, as we welcomed his father's," Saul said.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)
Sorry, Mitt: Under President Obama, the auto industry is doing quite well
(Chart: Total auto industry employment. Source: BLS.gov.)My God, Mitt Romney is delusional. I mean, he really is. It's almost getting to the point where Sarah Palin ain't got nothing on him. Check out the latest, via the Washington Post's Philip Rucker:
?The most recent attacks are really off target and I think they know,? Romney said. ?They said, ?Oh, gosh, Governor Romney at Bain Capital closed down a steel factory.? But their problem, of course, is that the steel factory closed down two years after I left Bain Capital. I was no longer there, so that?s hardly something which is on my watch.?Romney was talking with a conservative blogger, which explains why he was willing to talk about Bain?he's unwilling to touch the subject with anyone who isn't firmly in his camp. And it's a good thing (for him) that he was talking to an ally, because if he made that comment to any decent reporter (yeah, I know, fat chance), he'd have gotten himself in trouble.
Then Romney tried to lay blame for auto job losses on Obama.
?We were able to help create over 100,000 jobs,? Romney said of his tenure at Bain, the venture capital and corporate buyout firm he founded. ?On the president?s watch, about 100,000 jobs were lost in the auto industry and auto dealers and auto manufacturers, so he?s hardly one to point a finger.?
First of all, on Romney's claim that he had left Bain by the time GST Steel went bankrupt, he had "full, sole ownership" of Bain when GST Steel went under. Yes, he was running the Olympics at the time, but Bain was still his company?and it was (and is) where he got his paycheck from. More importantly, he was the CEO of Bain when the company was bought in 1993 and he was CEO of Bain when it was loaded up with debt. Romney was there for all the decisions that led to the bankruptcy.
Second, his claim of creating 100,000 jobs is totally absurd (which explains why he only uses it in front of friendly audiences). Neither Romney nor Bain have ever opened their books to verify anything about the claims made by Romney, but given that he claimed to have created 10,000 jobs in 1994, any sort of defense of the 100,000 number would carry past 1999 ... even though he says he can't be held accountable for anything that happened after 1999. But again, Romney has never explained that number, so there's no way for anyone to assess it's veracity.
Third, Mitt Romney is lying when he says President Obama destroyed 100,000 jobs in the auto industry. In fact, the auto industry as a whole has gained nearly 75,000 jobs since January 2009 and is up by nearly 140,000 jobs since June 2009. Contrast that exploding growth with 255,000 jobs that were lost in the industry in the year before Obama took office?and consider the fact that the industry would have disappeared had Obama not taken action, destroying hundreds of thousands more jobs.
The bottom line is that those numbers show why Mitt Romney tried to claim credit for saving the auto industry last week even though he said he wanted it to go bankrupt. President Obama saved the auto industry and he a took a big political risk in doing so. Unlike Mitt Romney, President Obama had nothing at stake financially. He was just trying to do the right thing.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, put thousands of workers' jobs on the line by loading their companies up with debt and paying himself with borrowed money. Many of those companies survived, but when they failed, it was the workers (and sometimes taxpayers) who paid the price?not Mitt Romney. He still made money. Heads he won, tails they lost. Either way, he came out ahead. Mitt Romney calls that free enterprise, but I think most Americans would call it playing by a different set of rules.
Symptoms of early onset Limbaughtis include hallucinations involving liberals,
reduced pot/kettle awareness, and the irresistible urge to call people whores.The question before us today: Has former governor and common Republican fantasy presidential candidate Mike Huckabee lost his ever loving mind? BuzzFeed got hold of a fundraising letter from Huckabee sent to "supporters of Citizens United," bringing us all a taste of what the top echelons of conservatism are up to these days, when they're talking among themselves. Some excerpts:
Look, you're a conservative and so am I. We can agree, the day that Barack Obama was sworn into office as our 44th President, was the day the country started going to pot.Things were peachy before then, apparently, which raises the question of just how f-d up the economy would have had to have gotten before Mike Huckabee and other "conservatives" thought maybe there was a goddamn problem somewhere.
Listen, you're a person of faith and so am I. In his administration and now on his re-election campaign, President Obama has surrounded himself with morally repugnant political whores with misshapen values and gutter level ethics.I guess when you're a "person of faith," you can call anyone you want a whore. People of faith like to hang out with upstanding lads like Karl Rove, lunchmeat of liberty, and his multimillion dollar anonymously-donated war chest with which to smear candidates while skirting campaign laws. You know, as opposed to morally repugnant whores!
Thank goodness, my good friend David Bossie and Citizens United is stepping into the gap.Sweet merciful crap. "And while we are talking about whores, let me introduce my fine friend here ..."
David Bossie led the Congressional investigation into the Clintons in the 90's...so you know he knows how to take on the liberals.
I love America too much to sit idly by while the Obama agenda destroys it. Our freedom and our future depend on a fair election and I've been around enough Washington-knows-best Liberals to know they don't fight fair. They never have and they never will. [...] Let's face it: the liberal media loves President Obama and his ultra-liberal agenda so much it sends shivers up their legs. In their eyes, glazed over with utter adoration, he can do no wrong.Hey, remember when Mike Huckabee was being propped up as the moderate one, the guy who was serious and full of Jesus and who independents would like because he was just so damn moderate and likable? Yeah, I remember that. Good times. I guess it's saying words like "malarkey" that make someone seem homespun and not-at-all crawling-up-the-walls batshit crazy. The entire world is doomed unless we stop the evil liberal conspiracy that has consumed all of Washington and the media, but we won't stand for that malarkey, will we? Not us, not a crooked old Clinton conspiracy theorist who was so unethical that he managed to get himself by the Newt-era House Republicans, not his Citizens United organization dedicated to peddling whatever conspiracy horseshit they can get on the airwaves, all with the new blessings of the Roberts court, not anybody! Malarkey!
I'm not buying that malarkey for a second.
There are a number of possibilities here. One: Mike Huckabee has, in fact, always been a rather batshit-insane fellow who learned how to write from studying unpublished newspaper op-eds submitted to the editors on things like socks and luncheon meat. His previous persona was merely a facade enabled by press advisers and heavy doses of Vicodin. Two: Some idiot intern sent this out on Mike Huckabee stationary, and Mike Huckabee is hunting him down even now for making him look like a barely literate, frothy tool in front of the entire nation. Three: Minister Mike Huckabee is practicing for his radio role as the new Rush Limbaugh, and needs to work things like "you're a whore, you whore" into as many conversations as possible. Four: Mike Huckabee has, as hypothesized earlier, completely lost his effing mind.
In any event, it's quite the look inside conservative direct-mail efforts. This is what the biggest names in the party look like, unfiltered by any need to kowtow to those damned swing voters. It's nothing but vitriol and conspiracy theories, all the way down.
Republican fortunes have diminished because of retirements and questions about the quality of candidates.
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James O'Keefe, trying out a disguise as a smart person. (@Steffikeith/twitpic)
James O'Keefe's criminal sloppiness in his "journalistic" efforts to prove that voter fraud is real is becoming legion. His antics in North Carolina aren't helping his case. Fact checkers have already found out that a voter he said wasn't a citizen actually is a citizen, and more than qualified to vote.
And now we find out that a tactic that bit him in the ass in New Hampshire?attempting to obtain a ballot in the name of a dead person who turned out not to be dead at all?got him again in North Carolina.
Here's what O'Keefe proclaims on the latest Project Veritas video from North Carolina:
O'KEEFE: We found ballots being offered out in the name of the dead. One man, Michael Bolton, had died April 23, but apparently the Board of Elections didn't get the memo, and his ballot was offered to us on May 8.Here's what the raw footage O'Keefe's minions took shows:
In the ensuing video clip, an O'Keefe operative at a polling place tells a poll worker, "The name is Michael G. Bolton." There is then a jump cut, and in the next clip the poll worker is telling the operative to sign or make an mark in the pollbook to affirm his identity. The operative then says he would feel more comfortable if he could show his photo ID, and leaves.Gee, who'd have guessed O'Keefe would have heavily edited his video to further a big lie? His researchers had to have read the obituary they used to know that he was dead (that's how they get their list of dead voters to try to get ballots for) and have seen, oh yeah, his son has the same name. But they don't really care about nailing down the details like that, because they can always just edit away anything that's inconvenient for them.
Something very important happens during that jump cut. As the raw video reveals, the poll worker says, "You must be a junior? ... Michael G. Bolton, Jr.?" to which O'Keefe's operative responds: "That would be correct."
Yes, as multiple obituaries for Bolton note, he was survived by, among others, his son Michael Gordon Bolton, Jr. Public records searches using the Nexis database confirm that Bolton Jr. was registered to vote at the same address given to the poll worker by the O'Keefe operative.
But you'd think at this point he'd have been burned enough to either do his homework better, or leave out the stuff that it's so easy to catch him lying about. Of course, if he were actually committed to telling the truth, I guess there wouldn't be anything to put in any of his videos. Because, outside of his stunts, voter fraud doesn't really happen.