A year ago this week, an appellate court ruled that the Transportation Security Administration breached federal law in 2009 when the agency instituted airport body scanners as its “primary” method of inspection without a 90-day period for public comment. The appellate court, second in authority to the Supreme Court, ordered the TSA to “promptly” undergo such a period before continuing to use the body scanners, which the court also ruled did not violate the constitution. A year later, the TSA has undergone no such public comment period. In March, lawyers for the agency argued to the court that holding the court-required period would hamper its mission to respond to “ever-evolving threats.” No further action has been taken to force the TSA to undergo such a period.
John Sununu is the Romney campaign's Michele Bachmann. His job is to push all of the dogwhistle buttons and point away from Romney's Bain Capital mess by tossing the shiny thing to the hungry masses. In this case, Fox News created the shiny thing when they edited President Obama's remarks at a campaign stop to make it sound as though he was saying that people who build businesses didn't do it on their own.
Clearly this is the right-wing flavored meme of the day, flogged without ceasing on Fox News. There were six segments that I counted on Fox & Friends this morning, and then there was Sununu, piling onto their desperation with mentions of Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, and even Blago for good measure. This is, in Sununu's view, because people who live in, work in, and do politics in Chicago are different and, evidently, corrupt.
Not content to stop there, however, Sununu echoes the Limbaugh/Bachmann chorus in full-throated mendacity. Beginning at about 2:51 in this clip and continuing until around the 4:15 mark, Sununu claims that President Obama "doesn't know how to be an American," and we shouldn't be surprised by this since he "spent the first part of his life in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next years in Indonesia."
After the obligatory othering of the President, he then goes on to say that he doesn't understand American business because he has only worked in government-type jobs.
I'm wondering about something, though. Exactly what did Sununu mean about what it means to be American? Is it that the President isn't corrupt? Because he doesn't spend nearly a million dollars of taxpayer money jetsetting around so he can pal around with his rich buddies?
But I digress. Sununu's nonsense, along with Rush's and the lazy Fox News team is intended to distract viewers from the problems the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, has with his tax returns and his tenure at Bain Capital. Just as Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin did in 2008 when the McCain campaign was desperate, now John Sununu is picking up the banner.
There must be something really bad in those tax returns, eh?
The South Carolina House of Representatives has overridden Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R) veto of rape crisis center funding. Earlier this month, Haley vetoed nearly half a million dollars in money that would have gone to help victims, calling it a distraction from the Health Department’s mission. By a vote of 111 to zero, the House determined that they would continue funding the 15 centers that would have been affected by the cuts, rolling over Haley’s veto.
Mitt Romney’s campaign is hoping to distract voters from the growing drum beat of conservatives calling on the former Bain Capital executive to release his tax returns by smearing President Obama as a foreigner, in a not-so-subtle effort to revive the right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding his birthplace.
Indeed, the Romney team, and even Romney himself, spent all of Tuesday painting the president as not a “real” American. Here is a timeline of the campaign’s orchestrated smear:
11:00 AM — OBAMA IS ‘SMOKING SOMETHING,’ GREW UP IN INDONESIA: Obama “has no idea how the American system functions, and we shouldn?t be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S. he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago.” [Co-chair John Sununu, Fox News]
11:30 AM — OBAMA HAS TO ‘LEARN HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN’: ?The men and women all over America who have worked hard to build these businesses, their businesses, from the ground up is how our economy became the envy of the world. It is the American way. And I wish this president would learn how to be an American. [Co-chair John Sununu, Romney campaign conference call]
11:30 AM — OBAMA’S AMERICA IS ‘SOCIALISM’: “It seems to me that the Obama America, there?s no risk but there?s plenty of reward. That?s called socialism to me. In the small business America, there?s a lot of risk, and a chance of reward, and that?s called capitalism, and that?s what made the United States the greatest nation on the face of the earth.” [Businessman Kyle Koehler, Romney campaign conference call]
1:35 PM — ROMNEY SAYS OBAMA’S POLICIES ARE ‘EXTRAORDINARILY FOREIGN’: ?Celebrating success instead of attacking it and denigrating making America strong. That?s the right course for the country. His course is extraordinarily foreign.” [Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania]
House Republicans on the Appropriations Committee released their 2013 draft budget for the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education today. “A careful look was given to all programs and agencies in the bill, with the budget knife aimed at excess spending and underperforming programs, but also with the goal of making wise investments in programs that help the American people the most,? said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY).
However, included among those cuts are several that undermine investments in education, including eliminating the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program and School Improvement Grant program. But at the same time, House Republicans found the money to quadruple abstinence-only education:
The Obama administration’s signature K-12 initiative?the Race to the Top competition?would get axed under a spending proposal put forward by Republicans on the House panel that oversees K-12 spending.
Two other major Obama priorities?the School Improvement Grant program, which provides $533 million to help turnaround low-performing schools, and the nearly $150 million Investing in Innovation grant program?are also eliminated. [...]
Another winner? Abstinence education, which would get $20 million, a $15 million increase over last year’s funding.
Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) called the bill “the most partisan we?ve seen this year.”
As study after study has shown, abstinence-only education doesn’t actually work. In fact, teen pregnancies are highest in states with abstinence-only education programs. Meanwhile, New Hampshire, which has the lowest rate of teen pregnancy, requires comprehensive sex education. So the GOP managed to fund ineffective programs, at the same time that it cut programs aimed at turning around low-performing schools.
Goldman Sachs released its income and expense data for the second quarter of 2012. Revenues are up 4% from the first quarter, but down 17% over the same period last year, and for the first six months of 2012, they are down 13% over the same period last[...]
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The Tour de France 2012, the world's premier cycling event kicked off last Saturday with the Prologue in Liège, Belgium and will conclude on July 22 with the traditional ride into Paris and laps up and down the Champs-Élysées. Over the next 22 days the[...]
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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) accused Attorney General Eric Holder Tuesday of calling the state's voter ID law a "poll tax" in order to "inflame passions and incite racial tension." In a written statement, Perry called on President Barack Obama...
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I'm not sure why they can't get on board with America, being American, and living the American dream, but apparently it's not just the dirty hippies and liberal media who think Mitt Romney should, you know, not be an asshole about his taxes.
?If something?s going to come out, get it out in a hurry,? Will said this morning on the ?This Week? roundtable. ?I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that [John] McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn?t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest.? [...]Matthew Dowd
Will said Romney is ?losing [the argument] at this point in a big way? in the debate over his tax returns
?There?s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ?Have at it,?? Dowd said. ?So there?s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.?Bill Kristol
?Many of these politicians think, ?I can do this. I can get away with this. I don?t need to do this, because I?m going to say something and I don?t have to do this,?? Dowd added. ?If he had 20 years of ?great, clean, everything?s fine,? it?d all be out there, but it?s arrogance.?
Here?s what he should do. He should release the tax returns tomorrow. This is crazy? you?ve got to release 6, 8, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley
"If you have things to hide, then maybe you're doing things wrong," Bentley told the AP. "I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people."Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
Were he in presidential candidate Mitt Romney's shoes, former Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour said he would release more than two years? tax documents, something Democrats have repeatedly called on Romney to do.Texas Gov. Rick Perry
"I would," Barbour said on CNN's "The Situation Room." "But should it be an issue in the campaign? I don't think it amounts to diddly."
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling on fellow Republican and former rival Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.What is it with Southern governors demanding Romney release his tax returns?
Perry said anyone running for office should make public as much personal information as possible to help voters decide.
Perry has released his tax returns dating to 1992.
?Politically, I think that would help him,? the Republican congressman and former presidential candidate said in an interview with POLITICO. ?In the scheme of things politically, you know, it looks like releasing tax returns is what the people want.?Romney is going to have to release these returns. His reticence is so idiotic, not even his own partisans can pretend to be aboard.