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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday insisted that President Barack Obama made a mistake by saving the U.S. auto industry because "the president gave those companies" to the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union.
During a CNN debate in Mesa, Arizona, the former Massachusetts governor admitted that he had supported Wall Street bailouts while calling for the car companies go bankrupt in a New York Times op-ed.
"I don't want to save any Wall Street bank, I just don't want to make sure we lose all of our banks," Romney explained. "My view is this: We have to have industries that get in trouble go through bankruptcies."
"I wrote my piece and I said, 'Look, these companies need to go through managed bankruptcy.' And the head of the UAW said, 'We can't go through managed bankruptcy. The industry will disappear if that happens.' And the politicians, Barack Obama's people, 'Oh, no. We can't go through managed bankruptcy.' Six months, they wrote, I think it was $17 billion in checks to the auto companies and then they finally realized I was right."
He added: "Because they put that money in, the president gave the companies to the UAW. They were part of the reason the companies were in trouble. Giving these companies to the UAW was wrong."
The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn has called that claim "a pretty skewed version of the truth."
"[T]he unions had by 2009 already made major concessions in order to help the companies restructure... Then, during the bankruptcy, the unions agreed to further concessions still, on pay, vacations, job security, health benefits, and work rules. As a result, traditional Chrysler and GM hourly employees have seen no annual raises since 2003 and will see no raises until at least 2015, when they bargain the next contract."
TUCSON, Arizona — Newt Gingrich is apparently an oil market whisperer, at least according to Rick Perry. The Texas governor and former presidential candidate, who is now backing Gingrich, told reporters in the spin room after last night’s GOP debate that the former speaker can bring down oil prices by merely talking about wanting more domestic oil drilling:
PERRY: As a matter of fact, perception is everything in this world we live in, and if the perception is Newt Gingrich could be the next president of the United States, that will have a worldwide affect, I will suggest to you, on the price of oil. And people who watch these markets and people who deal with these markets understand, that when you see the type of approach that he’s talking about — opening up federal lands and waters, opening up that pipeline from Canada, clearly giving incentives to drill in America for domestic energy, and then an all of the above policy, whether it’s wind or nuclear or whatever it might be — that will have a dampening affect on the cost of oil in particular and the other energy prices as well.
Oil prices are actually unusually high right now, so either Gingrich’s abilities are less powerful than Perry suggests or not many people perceive that he could be the next president. Of course, domestic oil production is already up under President Obama, and oil prices are set in a global market, meaning increased domestic production has negligible impact, so Perry’s argument is a bit far-fetched, to say the least.
But Gingrich has relied on this kind of voodoo policy making before. He often says in stump speeches that the economy will begin to recover the night he is elected president, months before he has a chance to be inaugurated and implement any new policies.
It seems that New York City has benefited financially from the passage of marriage equality in New York last July. The city’s revenue was nearly $200,000 higher ($2.26 million) during the first few months after the law took effect than it was during the same span of time the previous year ($2.07 million). The city does not specifically track the genders of marrying couples, but in the six months since the law took effect, there have been 41,967 marriage licenses issued, compared to 36,913 during the same window last year.
by Todd Gregory, cross-posted from Media Matters
The Muppets. SpongeBob SquarePants. Dr. Seuss. Beloved icons of childhood entertainment in America, or subtle forms of anti-business indoctrination that brainwash your kids into hating capitalism?
Thank goodness we have Fox to ask these questions.
Lou Dobbs sounded the alarm again tonight on his Fox Business show:
DOBBS: Now, an “Unmentionable” — a story you won’t hear anywhere in the liberal national media, or nearly all of the national liberal media. Hollywood is once again trying to indoctrinate our children. Two new films out this year, plainly with an agenda, plainly demonizing the so-called “1 percent” and espousing the virtue of green-energy policies, come what may.
The graphic that aired during a clip of the movie declared, ” ‘Lorax’ Movie Pushes Anti-Industry Message”:
Dobbs found the message of these two movies reminiscent of President Obama’s recent speeches on taxes. For support, he played clips of Obama, complete with an “Indoctrinating Our Children” graphic:
Dobbs then said, “The president’s liberal friends in Hollywood [are] targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children.”
As Dobbs asked his panel about “this sort of insidious nonsense from Hollywood,” the graphic read, “Tree-Hugging Dr. Seuss Character Featured In New Universal Movie”:
The position that Fox is ultimately espousing when it whips up this paranoia is that any pro-environment lesson for kids is a form of “indoctrination.” Fox reacts in a different manner when people deliver conservative messages to young people.
This piece was originally published at Media Matters for America.
Both the House Republican budget plan released last year (and supported by nearly every Republican member of the House and Senate) and the tax plans of every GOP presidential contender call for cutting the corporate tax rate by one-third or more. This huge tax cut could result in another big windfall of billions of dollars for Big Oil. By contrast, President Obama has proposed closing wasteful tax loopholes and wants to clamp down on the use of foreign tax shelters (ExxonMobil uses at least 20) that allow huge corporations to avoid paying their fair share in U.S. taxes.
This fact was first featured in the ThinkProgress Progress Report: “Five Facts About Gas Prices.”
Democrats on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee held a special hearing Thursday morning in response to the GOP’s decision to prevent women from testifying in support of an Obama administration rule requiring employers to provide birth control without additional cost sharing. The committee invited just one witness, Sandra Fluke, the third year Georgetown Law student, who House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) dismissed as an “energized” ?college student” who was not ?appropriate and qualified? to testify before his committee.
Democrats received over 300,000 requests for women to testify on the issue, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during today’s hearing, and the GOP’s male-only contraception hearing was widely spoofed in the press and on late-night comedy shows. Fluke herself responded to Issa’s snub in jest, noting, “Well, I will confirm that I was energized, yes” she said to laughter from the committee, “as you can see from the reaction behind me, many women in this country are energized about this issue.” “I’m an American woman who uses contraception, so let’s start right there. That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health care needs,” she added.
In her testimony, Fluke reiterated the story of her friend who was denied contraception coverage from Georgetown, despite technically qualifying for an exception that provided students who use birth control for health reasons with the benefit, and had to undergo invasive surgery. She also highlighted the confusion such policies cause, noting that while Catholic employers may claim that their insurance plans include loopholes for women who use birth control for non-reproductive purposes, beneficiaries still interpret the policy as a blanket exclusion of reproductive health benefits. One woman, for instance, did not seek medical treatment after being raped because she believed Georgetown did not provide coverage for women’s “sexual health care”:
FLUKE: One student told us that she knew birth control wasn’t covered, and she assumed that’s how Georgetown’s insurance handled all of women’s sexual healthcare, so when she was raped, she didn’t go to the doctor even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections because she thought insurance wasn’t going to cover something like that, something that was related to a woman’s reproductive health.
Pelosi criticized Republicans for denying her request to have Fluke’s testimony covered by House-operated TV cameras and argued that the GOP was seeking to silence women on the issue in order to frame the discussion as a matter of religious liberty. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) pointed out, however, “if this was a hearing on prostate cancer and there was a lot of women and no men, I guarantee you men would not have stuck around.”
Cindy McCain — the wife of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and a supporter of marriage equality — does not believe that the Republican party is on the “wrong side of history” for opposing same-sex marriage. During an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett ahead of Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate in Arizona, McCain claimed that members of the GOP have “diverse opinions” on the issue and blamed the media for portraying the party as anti-gay:
BURNETT: Do you find it frustrating that there’s a perception among the voting public, and maybe it’s a wrong perception, but there’s a perception that to be a play-by-the-rules Republican, you can’t be friendly to gay marriage, you can’t be friendly to abortion. All of these things, that social issues still define the party.
C. MCCAIN: I disagree with that. I think the media portrays that. I think being a Republican, being part of the party for — as many years as I have and knowing the Republicans the way I do that is not the case and that’s not the bulk of Republicans that believe in that, at all. The vocal ones, maybe the ones that are on the far right side of the issue, but I — certainly in the state of Arizona —
C. MCCAIN: — we are open-minded Republicans and believe in equality for all.
The White House plans to release guidelines for internet companies to help them protect consumers' privacy today. However, the rules are voluntary, which means the web will likely remain an information free-for-all. The Federal Trade Commission will only police companies who agree to the administration's Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The only real incentive for companies to agree to the rules is to boost consumer confidence. "As the Internet evolves, consumer trust is essential for the continued growth of the digital economy,? Obama said in a statement. ?For businesses to succeed online, consumers must feel secure.? Although the White House did not include the "Do Not Track" button, which stops advertisers from recording user traffic, in its guidelines, a coalition of very powerful web companies have announced support for the button. Among them is Google, whose Chrome browser should have a "Do Not Track" button by the end of the year.
Barack Obama raises more in small donations than Mitt Romney raises, period. That might prove a big stumbling block for the GOP ticket in the general election, unless Democrats don't catch up in the super PAC race.
Solar power in the U.K. has passed the 1,000 MW milestone, after a feed-in tariff scheme was introduced in the country in April 2010. The amount of solar used since the inception of the program has grown 41 percent.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteAffirmative Action has been around since 1961 when President John F. Kennedy issued his executive order which created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and mandates that projects financed with federal[...]
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As if you needed any more proof that the Republican presidential primary has come down to a mad dash to the extreme right, check out Rick Santorum's newest attack ad against Mitt Romney, featuring nothing but quotes from and about Romney's heretical past:
It's amazing how far inside the bubble these guys have gone. They aren't talking to regular Americans any more: they're talking to a rabid Republican base, splitting every last hair in a desperate to be seen as further right than their rivals. And if you watched President Obama's new ad criticizing each of the Republicans for opposing the auto bailout ...