Cheney’s and Romney’s views on foreign policy line up on a host of issues — something put on stark display last week when the former vice president hosted a fundraiser for Romney at his Wyoming home. The disastrous policies of the Bush era apparently remain unpopular enough that the Romney campaign barred photographs of the candidate with his host, but not enough to keep Romney from taking advice from the controversial figure. In an interview with National Review, Romney was asked about their meeting:
NATIONAL REVIEW: A few days ago, you visited Vice President Cheney. Did he have any advice for you?
ROMNEY: We did speak, at some length, about foreign-policy matters, in particular the circumstances surrounding some of the foreign-policy decisions of the Bush administration.
It’s worth remembering that Cheney was known to be a central figure in aggressive Bush administration policies that led, among other outcomes, to a costly and unnecessary war in Iraq (something several Romney advisers supported). Cheney — like some Romney advisers and other fundraisers — supported attacking Iran (in contravention to Romney’s espoused Iran policy). Cheney also considers himself a “big supporter of waterboarding,” and thinks the U.S. should revive the practice that most consider torture.
Romney previously called Cheney “a man of wisdom and judgement.” Now he’s actuating that assessment by taking advice from the former vice president.
On the eve of Mitt Romney’s campaign stop in Ohio, a new report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute finds that the Buckeye State is home to 25,000 jobs in “22 advanced energy industry segments.”
Though Romney has repeatedly claimed that green jobs are “illusory,” the AEE report finds there are more advanced energy jobs in Ohio than the agriculture and mining industries combined:
“In Ohio, with its productive manufacturing base, robust infrastructure and transportation system, low cost of doing business, and excellent educational system, the advanced energy industry has established a strong foothold and has great capacity to grow.”
The jobs identified in the report are spread among 410 companies that work in “renewable energy, energy efficiency or high-tech manufacturing.” More than 7,000 of the jobs are in building materials, more than 4,000 are in heating, cooling and ventilation, and about 1,400 are in nuclear energy.
According to a recent report the Brookings Institution, green jobs in Ohio pay an average of $3,500 more than typical blue collar jobs. That report, which used a broader definition of the clean economy, also found that Ohio has over 105,000 jobs in the sector.
Ignoring the gains made in the clean economy — a sector that now employs more than 3 million Americans nationwide — Romney recently debuted a television ad attacking the industry. Ironically, there are 64,000 jobs in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries in Romney’s home state of Massachusetts.
House Speaker John Boehner, who represents the state of Ohio, also seems to be ignoring — if not outright rejecting — the growth in this sector. Under Boehner’s leadership, the Republican-lead House has failed to extend the wind production tax credit (PTC), creating uncertainty in the wind market and leading to the abandonment of a $20 million wind project in Ohio that would have created as many as 200 new jobs. There are currently 6,000 wind jobs in Ohio — a large number of which could be threatened if the PTC isn’t extended.
Boehner has also railed against the 1603 grant program as a ?Solyndra-style stimulus program.? That program, which helped tens of thousands of renewable energy projects get developed while also creating or saving up to 75,000 jobs, allowed the industry to post solid growth during the depths of the economic slowdown.
Boehner and Romney continue to ignore the tens of thousands of green jobs in their home states in order to satisfy their false narrative that clean energy doesn’t work.
– Max Frankel
During a segment on his Fox News show last night about African-American support for the Republican Party, host Bill O’Reilly asserted that the roughly 85-90 percent of African-Americans who regularly vote for Democrats only do so because Democrats have made them “dependent” on government “entitlements”:
WILLIE BROWN [FORMER SF MAYOR]: [Democrats] moved in and offered programs and policies that allowed African Americans to become incredibly dedicated and the anchor in many Democratic elections.
O’REILLY: Alright, but that’s a nice view if you’re a Democrat. But someone else would say the Democrats moved in and gave them all kinds of entitlements, making them dependent on the Democratic party and the state, which is not a good thing.
O’Reilly assumes that African-Americans receive more government assistance than other Americans and hence that’s what makes them more likely to vote Democratic. But this is flatly false:
White Americans, poor and middle-class alike, receive the vast majority of tax-funded government assistance programs, from monthly assistance to Social Security to food stamps.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), the program that provides aid to single mothers, is the most well-known welfare program, but the truth is that Social Security and Medicare are also social welfare services, funded by tax dollars. To that end, nearly 70 percent of all benefits of these programs go to white people. In fact, since African Americans have lower life expectancy, many work and pay into the Social Security and Medicare programs through their tax dollars, only to have white Americans, who have a longer life expectancy, benefit from the income they’ve left behind.
The actual historical explanation for African-American support for Democrats, by contrast, doesn’t require parsing budgets: Democrats became, around 1964, the lead proponents of civil rights for African-Americans, while the Republican policy record is decidedly more mixed.
If O’Reilly wants the GOP to start attracting black voters, he should tell the party to start with a hard look in the mirror. One of the leading Presidential hopefuls called President Obama “the food stamp President.” The flagship right-wing publication National Review published outright racists for years before finally catching on. O’Reilly himself has described a famous soul-food restaurant as ?like any other restaurant?even though it?s run by blacks? and told an African-American professor that he “kinda” looks like a cocaine dealer.
On Monday, Minnesota announced it has signed a $41 million contract to implement the state health exchange required by the Affordable Care Act, joining at least 15 other states that are also moving forward to enact the ACA’s provisions. In contrast, Republican governors in conservative states, including Florida, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, are threatening to delay setting up health exchanges until after the presidential election, in case Mitt Romney wins and repeals Obamacare. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman called the announcement a “significant milestone” to developing Minnesota’s insurance exchange.
Last year, Elton John urged Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) to protect a government program (ADAP) that provided medication to low-income HIV/AIDS patients. Then-Surgeon General Frank Farmer responded with the counter-intuitive reasoning that cutbacks were necessary because the demand for the drugs exceeded the resources available. Instead, he suggested that John come to Florida to perform a fundraising concert for ADAP.
Today on NPR, John explained how unhelpful that response was for the kind of work the Elton John AIDS Foundation does:
JOHN: [EJAF is] an AIDS organization, and whenever anybody’s funding is cut ? and it’s usually cut, especially in this case in Florida, [for] the people that can afford it least … then we’re going to write a letter about it. And we wrote a letter to [Florida Gov. Rick Scott] himself. … It’s not my job to [fund a state's AIDS program]. It’s the government’s priority to do that. I can’t do benefit concerts for Florida, for the people with AIDS in Florida. It’s their responsibility; they need to do what’s right. And cutting funding for the people that [can] least afford it is criminal.
We can solve this AIDS problem forever if the government gives the funding. If people are encouraged to come out and say they’re HIV-positive and they’re given their treatments, then obviously the people who are marginalized ? like intravenous drug users, prisoners, people who are made to feel less-than ? if they’re given the support of the government and they’re given the funding, then it’s going to help solve the spread of AIDS and HIV in America. We have to try and get rid of this shortsightedness when it comes to HIV and the stigma around it.
Indeed, HIV medication funding continues to be malnourished. Many states cut back last year, and Republican efforts to cut Medicaid present one of the largest threats to what funding is still available.
Print As an independent it has been fun to watch Democrats and Republicans go at each other over Mitt Romney's connections to Bain. But as much as the Obama campaign is trying to make it a big issue, even going so far as to accuse Romney of possibly committing a felony, so far it has [...]
Read The Full Article:
... to falsely claim President Obama said that people like Steve Jobs didn't build the businesses they created:
ROMNEY: He [President Obama] said this: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." That somebody else is government in his view. [...]What President Obama actually said:
To say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple. That Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor. That Papa John didn't build Papa John's pizza. That Ray Kroc didn't build McDonald's. That Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft. To say something like that is not just foolishness, it's insulting to every entrepeneur, every innovator in America.
Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you?ve got a business?you didn?t build that. Somebody else made that happen.So "that" = "roads and bridges."
And Mitt Romney is scum for claiming otherwise.
But I do have one question: If being an entrepeneur is so great?and if entrepreneurs deserve credit for building the companies they created?then why is Mitt Romney so eager to deny any involvement with Bain Capital after Feb. 11, 1999, even though he was the company's CEO and sole owner for at least three more years?
I mean, when it comes to Bain Capital ... didn't Mitt Romney at least build that?
The Federal Housing Finance Agency engaged in a little back-patting yesterday for improved HARP figures, which they say are a direct result of their changes to the system to allow for more underwater borrowers to take advantage of low refinancing rates.[...]
Read The Full Article:
In the past, the climate strategy of Congressional Republicans has been to crow about "sound science" and bitch & moan when hearings don't include spokesmen for polluter front groups. But now they've got a new scheme: Refuse to talk about climate science at all.
For the 15th time this Congress, House Energy & Commerce Committee Republicans have rejected Democratic efforts to hold a hearing on global warming. That's despite the wildfires raging in the West, drought killing crops in the Midwest, and intense storms knocking out power to millions in the Mid-Atlantic.
Instead of trying to win debates on what to do about things like global warming-fueled extreme weather and sea level rise, Republican leaders are now just pretending the problems don't exist. I'm sure the grandkids will be proud.
Read The Full Article:
Mitt Romney personally picks up the "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" canard and runs with it....[...]
Read The Full Article: