CNN's Dana Loesch excused Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) inflammatory remarks that it's "really rare" for women subjected to "legitimate rape" to become pregnant. In a series of posts on her Twitter account, Loesch dismissed those comments, writing that "Akin was trying to fit medical explanation into a soundbite," and that he "failed a soundbite."
AKIN: First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work, or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
While discussing those comments on Twitter today, Loesch repeatedly tried to downplay Akin's remarks, accusing Akin's critics of "hypocritical overreactions," and claiming that Akin was recounting "medical explanation."
In contrast, as CNN.com reported:
Statistics on pregnancies that result from rape are difficult to produce, since rape is a crime that often goes unreported. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, along with Planned Parenthood, each estimate that 5% of all pregnancies occur after rape. A 1996 study from the Medical University of South Carolina found the same percentage, adding that 32,101 pregnancies occurred annually from rape.
Loesch also tried to compare Akin's comments to remarks made earlier this year by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).
CNN and NBC Sunday shows allowed Mitt Romney campaign surrogates to claim that the American people aren't interested in seeing more of Romney's tax returns, even as polling shows most Americans think Romney should release more of his returns.
CNN/ORC: 63 Percent Of Americans Want Romney To Release Additional Tax Returns. An August 9 CNN poll revealed that 63 percent of Americans believe Romney should release more of his tax returns. From the poll:
CNN/ORC: 67 Percent Of Independents Believe Romney Should Release More Of His Tax Returns. The CNN/ORC poll also found that 67 percent of independents believe Romney should release more of his tax returns. [CNN/ORC poll, 8/9/12]
Gallup: 54 Percent Of Americans Want Romney To Release Additional Returns. According to a July Gallup poll, a "majority of Americans (54%) say Mitt Romney should release additional tax returns." Gallup's report included the following chart:
Romney Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom: Romney's Tax Returns "Are Not An Issue. It's Not What The American People Are Talking About." During an interview on CNN's State of the Union, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said that Romney's tax returns "are not an issue. It's not what the American people are talking about." Guest host Jim Acosta failed to challenge Fehrnstrom's claim. From State of the Union:
JIM ACOSTA: Mitt Romney came out and volunteered earlier this week that he hadn't paid less than 13 percent as an effective tax rate in his taxes. Why won't Mitt Romney prove it and just put his tax returns out there?
ERIK FERNSTROM: Well, I'll tell you, Mitt Romney has put out -- he's said he'll put out two years' worth of tax returns. He has put out his full 2010 return, hundreds of pages of tax return information that's on his website. He'll put out his 2011 returns once it's complete and filed. He's had financial disclosures going back to 2002 when he was governor of Massachusetts. Those, too, can be found on Mitt Romney's website. Look, taxes are not an issue. It's not what the American people are talking about. Just last month, we learned in July that 44 states saw their unemployment rates go up. And what is Obama's answer to that? Higher taxes and more spending. If you are unemployed in America, you must feel like a drowning person who's just been thrown an anchor.
ACOSTA: Alright, Eric Fehrnstrom, thanks very much for your time this morning. We appreciate it. [CNN, State of the Union, 8/19/12]
Gov. Bob McDonnell: Romney's Tax Returns Are "Not What The American People Care About." Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press, Romney campaign surrogate and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) dismissed the notion that Americans are interested in Romney's tax returns, saying, "[T]his is not what the American people are about. This is below their dignity." Host David Gregory failed to challenge McDonnell's claim. From the program:
DAVID GREGORY: Direct question related to that answer: Was that 13 percent in federal income tax? Is that what he paid? Why won't he answer more? Should he?
McDONNELL: This issue is not about Mitt Romney's tax returns. That's not what Americans care about; they care about their own tax returns and the whopping increases in taxes and regulation that this administration has put on the American people and what they're going to put on. Here's what we know about his tax returns: He's paid his taxes. He's released more documents than he needs to. He's made a lot of money. He's been successful, and he's a very generous guy. Now I say, let's talk about what the American people are going to vote on, and that's jobs, debt, spending, energy, and the American dream. Mitt Romney's laid out a five-point plan for the middle class focusing on debt reduction and small business and trade and workforce development. I mean, these are the substantive issues Martin and I can agree that --
GREGORY: Governor O'Malley, do you really think that Mitt Romney --
McDONNELL: -- that Americans care about. Not tax returns.
GREGORY: Is he lying about his tax returns? Do you think he didn't pay taxes?
McDONNELL: That's just flat wrong, Martin. I mean this is the same reckless and slanderous remarks that Harry Reid said a couple of weeks ago. And this, you know, this is not what the American people care about. This is below their dignity. This is about how do we get the greatest country on earth out of debt and back to work? And Obama's just flat failed. Nice guy, bad policies. Hasn't got the job done. It's time for a change. And I'd say the Ryan-Romney ticket that's positive and optimistic and believes in the American dream and wants to get people back to having an opportunity to succeed. That's what we need to talk about. And these other diversionary issues on accusing Ryan of throwing grandma over the cliff, and Romney of killing somebody's wife, and not paying taxes -- these are diversions. Let's talk about the issues.
GREGORY: Let's talk about Medicare then. [NBC, Meet the Press, 8/19/12]
What Scarecrow said:"In keeping with its rapid descent into absurdity since the producers gave up on having smart people on, ABC's This Week is actually sponsoring a panel discussion of the mind numbing question of "is the US headed towards bankruptcy?".[...]
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It's hard to say where it went wrong,Decades before me and this song, Through the banksters and the wars,I just can't take it anymore . . . Don't ask for my vote, don't show me your ads, to hell with your PACs and your polls and your parties. You[...]
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The National Journal's Major Garrett brought up the Republican campaign to use the "you didn't build that" line to attack President Obama during both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, but let stand the distortion at the heart of that campaign. In fact, during his speech -- as independent fact-checkers have noted -- Obama was explaining how small businesses have benefitted from the successes and contributions of others, including government, which Garrett failed to point out.
There's no question Obama inartfully phrased those two sentences, but it's clear from the context what the president was talking about. He spoke of government -- including government-funded education, infrastructure and research -- assisting businesses to make what he called "this unbelievable American system that we have."
In summary, he said: "The point is ... that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."
During a discussion about the 2012 presidential election on NBC's The Chris Matthews Show, Garrett, a former Fox News White House correspondent who is now a National Journal congressional correspondent, referred to how "Republicans will use the president's 'you didn't build that' against him" at the respective party conventions. Garrett continued by explaining that the comments would be used "thematically at the Republican convention and with traveling hecklers in Charlotte," where the Democratic National Convention will be held.
But as the full context of Obama's comments show, he was simply noting that the success of small businesses comes not only from their own initiative, but also can come from outside influences such as "a great teacher somewhere in your life" and investment "in roads and bridges."
The New York Times whitewashed Paul Ryan's role in creating massive deficits during the Bush administration, portraying the Republican vice presidential pick as a fiscal policy wonk and "Tea Party hero" who has developed an alternative to President Obama's "spending and deficit increases."
In an August 18 profile, the Times traced the history of Ryan's relationship to presumptive GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The tall tale begins at a meeting in 2007 between Romney and Ryan, after Romney's tenure as Massachusetts governor came to a close, and as he was "beginning to immerse himself in federal budget policy." The Times described the two at the time as "a pair of policy mavens out-geeking each other over esoterica like border-adjustable taxes," and explained the significance of that continued conversation:
It was the start of a on-again, off-again five-year courtship that encapsulated their party's gradual adoption of a more conservative stance on fiscal issues, a shift punctuated a week ago by Mr. Romney's selection of Mr. Ryan as his running mate.
The story told here is one of Paul Ryan as the "Tea Party hero who gave the conservative movement a detailed policy alternative to employ against President Obama's spending and deficit increases." Ryan is portrayed by the Times as "a touchstone for Mr. Romney as he tried to ensure that his policies were in sync with the spiritual heart of the party." This, the Times argues, is illustrative of "how the Republican Party moved in Mr. Ryan's direction."
By ignoring Ryan's record prior to 2007, the Times didn't have to account for Ryan's support for the Bush tax cuts, Medicare prescription drug benefits, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- none of which were paid for.
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I don't understand why, but some people refuse to believe in equality. They don't seem to care that equality is guaranteed by our Constitution, or called for by simple common decency. Are they so insecure themselves that they must feel superior to others to feel they have value? Maybe. I still don't feel sorry for them, and will never excuse them for their malicious behavior.
We have always had to fight these kind of people in this country, because they will not give in without a fight. They had to be forced to give women the right to vote (and still refuse to give them equal pay or control over their own bodies). They had to be forced to outlaw segregation and other Jim Crow laws (and this fight continues, especially since an African-American was elected to be president). It took a constitutional amendment to demand the right of citizens to worship (or not) as they pleased (and this fight too is still being waged, as the anti-islamic bigotry has become the calling card for too many people).
The latest fight is over the rights of lesbians and gays, and whether they should enjoy the same rights as other Americans (like the right to marry). Like the other examples of bigotry listed in the paragraph above, this one is also cloaked in the mantle of religion. That does not make it right, it just gives it a lame excuse (since religion can be perverted to justify anything). This bigotry must be fought against -- not just by lesbians and gays, but by decent people everywhere in this country.
Unless equal rights are guaranteed and given to all citizens, then they are not assured to any citizen. If someone can take your neighbors rights away, then they can also take yours. I believe that. I also believe that refusing to take a stand against evil (bigotry) means you approve of the existence of that evil. Take a stand! Fight against bigotry in all of its nasty forms.
Maybe bigotry can never be fully conquered. Maybe there will always be some bigots -- people on the wrong side of history. That doesn't matter. They must be fought anyway, because it is the right thing to do. Whether we can achieve total victory or not, we can make things better for everyone in America -- and our duty as a citizen is to do just that.
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Political Cartoon is by Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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What do you think would have happened if you had refused to allow a prospective employer to do a background check on regarding what you had stated on your application and resume? You know what would have happened -- your paperwork would have been tossed in the trash and someone else would have been hired for that job. If an employer is going to hire you and trust you with his/her business, then they have the right to check and make sure you have told them the truth.
Why then does Willard Mitt Romney (aka Wall Street Willie) think the American people don't have the right to know what he has done in the past? He is applying for the most powerful position in the free world, president of the United States -- a position that requires, even demands, the trust of the employers (the citizens of the United States). And yet, Willard doesn't think those employers should have the right to check his background.
In fact, Willard has gone to great lengths to hide his background. He had records destroyed (shredded and deleted) from two of his jobs -- governor of Massachusetts and head of the Olympic Organizing Committee for the Winter Games in Utah. And he thinks it's unfair to investigate his actions as a vulture capitalist at Bain Capital. He has lied about his time there, and even asked President Obama to not talk about it (although he is eager to lie about President Obama's background).
But perhaps the most egregious attempt to hide wrongdoing (or at least embarrassing facts) is his absolute refusal to release more than one partial tax return (the 2010 return he's released is missing the page regarding foreign investments). He's doing this in spite of the fact that his primary opponents released their returns, President Obama has released 12 years worth of returns, and Willard's own father (George Romney) released 12 years worth of tax returns when he ran for president.
But Willard thinks he is special. He shouldn't have to do what other candidates have done (including his own father). He thinks the American people (his prospective employers) should just take him at his word, and believe him when he says he has nothing to hide (and has paid taxes in all of the years he is hiding his returns for). There are two problems with that. He could easily prove he has nothing to hide by just releasing more of his returns.
And he has lied so many times in the past that only a die-hard Willard supporter could even consider believing him. If you doubt that, just check on the huge list of lies Willard has told being kept by Steve Benen (who counts over 30 lies by the Republican candidate just in this last week, and hundreds since his campaign has started).
The Obama campaign has offered Willard a deal -- a way out of this embarrassing mess if he truly has nothing to hide. They have proposed, in writing (so they can be held to their promise), that if Willard will just release 5 years of his tax returns (less than half of what his father and the president released), the Obama campaign will not ask for any more returns. Here is what they offered:
I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures. Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more--neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign.This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor's father who provided 12 years of returns. In the Governor's case, a five year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President. It would also help answer outstanding questions raised by the one return he has released to date, such as the range in the effective rates paid, the foreign accounts maintained, the foreign investments made, and the types of tax shelters used.To provide these five years, the Governor would have to release only three more sets of returns in addition to the 2010 return he has released and the 2011 return he has pledged to provide. And, I repeat, the Governor and his campaign can expect in return that we will refrain from questioning whether he has released enough or pressing for more.
Of course, Willard flatly turned down the reasonable offer. That's because it has become obvious to anyone with half a brain that Willard is hiding something -- something that is so embarrassing (or illegal) that he believes it will cost him the election if made public. The only real question is what is he hiding.
You are Willard's prospective employer -- and he is refusing to allow you to do a background check. A reasonable person would toss his application in the trash and hire someone else.
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