As we mentioned yesterday, Paul Ryan dis-invited radical right GOP House candidate Todd Long to his Orlando town hall Sunday. Long has been campaigning on abolishing Social Security and Medicare and recent polls show him scaring away older voters, not just older Democratic and independent voters, but even older Republican voters. One poll shows Alan Grayson winning 25% of older Republicans in the FL-09 race! There are many reasons Ryan may have excised Long from the program: Long was found passed out drunk in a school yard 200 miles from his house; Long was banned from the biggest shopping mall in central Florida for making a nuisance of himself, again, drunk; Long's wife testified in court that he had been abusing her-- and even Republicans know wife beaters are a no-no at election time-- and Ryan may have wanted nothing to do with Long because Long has vowed to vote against Ryan cronies John Boehner and Eric Cantor for House Leadership positions if he's elected, because, he says, they're "too liberal." But the one reason Ryan shouldn't have banned Long is over policy. Long's policy statements may have been inelegantly-- even embarrassingly-- stated but they are, at their core, straight out of Ryan's "Plan For the World," his dystopian, Ayn Randian budget.
You may have seen the Gallup poll released yesterday that shows that by a widening margin of 51-43% Americans trust Obama more on Medicare issues than Romney. There's an even worse poll out for Romney-Ryan. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll, taken even before Ryan was booed by seniors at the AARP convention in New Orleans last week "indicates that during the past two weeks-- since just after the Democratic National Convention-- support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over President Obama to less than 4 points. Romney's double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare-- the nation's health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled-- also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas. ... Romney's selection of Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate put the federal budget and Medicare at center stage in the campaign. But the debate over spending and entitlement programs that Romney seemed to be seeking has not unfolded the way Republicans wanted." Here's Paul Ryan being Paul Ryan in 2010 when he refers to the Cayman Islands, where Romney has stashed tens of millions of dollars to avoid paying his fair share of taxes, as "the place to hide your money." Yeah let Ryan be Ryan...
And the clamour on the far right in response to all this? Double down, triple down. Let Ryan Go Rogue! Let Ryan Be Ryan! Far right extremists want to embrace sociopaths like Todd Akin and Todd Long-- the GOP Tard Strategy.
Conservatives initially saw the selection of Mr. Ryan as a hopeful sign that Mr. Romney had fully embraced their small-government agenda and eagerness to turn the election into a head-on clash of ideologies. But now, with Mr. Romney encountering a host of problems and Republicans openly fretting about the outcome in November, Mr. Ryan?s slow fade back into the secondary and sometimes afterthought role traditionally played by running mates has given conservatives a new outlet for frustration over the state of the race.
?I was enthused when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan because I thought it was a signal that this guy was getting serious, he was getting bold,? Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Mr. Ryan?s home state, told a Milwaukee radio show host on Friday. ?It?s not necessarily even a frustration over the way Paul Ryan?s been used but rather in the larger context: I just haven?t seen that kind of passion I know that Paul has transferred over to our nominee, and I think it?s a little bit of some pushback from some of the folks in the national campaign.?
[S]ix weeks after Mr. Ryan?s selection the political value of adding him to the Republican ticket seems to be dissipating. His presence has fired up Republican partisans, but it has energized Democrats as well. Mr. Ryan?s signature issue-- overhauling Medicare-- has moved front and center, but polls suggest that so far it is playing to Mr. Obama?s advantage., with a number of recent polls giving the Democratic ticket a small advantage there.
Even the possibility that he could help Mr. Romney win Wisconsin, a state that Republicans had high hopes of capturing,
seems to be in doubt
I love this video, see below. Makes me want to dance. Funny too. The Daily Beast has an interesting analysis about what the video is really about. Before clicking over, what do you think it's about?More background from MoJo:If you haven't been following South Korean rapper PSY's meteoric ascent to transcultural ubiquity, allow me to get you up to speed: "Gangnam Style" is now...
Click here to view this media
This video, posted by Blue Mass Group this morning, shows the ugliness and depths a campaign can sink to when they're seeing an inevitable loss. Faced with the grim prospect of imminent unemployment, the Brown staffers take matters into their own hands.
via WCVB, Boston:
BOSTON ?Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown chanted Indian "war whoops" and made "tomahawk chops" during a rally for the Republican senator this week in Boston.
In a video posted on YouTube, Brown's staffers are seen holding campaign signs near the Erie Pub, chanting and making tomahawk chops, presumably in reference to Elizabeth Warren's claims of Cherokee heritage.
Brown's deputy Chief of Staff Greg Casey and Constituent Service Counsel Jack Richard, and GOP operative Brad Garrett are pictured in the video, NewsCenter 5's Janet Wu confirmed.
Earlier this week, Brown's campaign launched a new television ad featuring clips of news reports on Warren's Native American claims.
Scott Brown has since said he doesn't "condone" such behavior, yet the damage may already have been done to his campaign as such amateur hour tactics have foreseeable consequences at the ballot box.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair threw cold water on the right-wing media complaint that President Obama is shirking his duty by not having bilateral meetings with world leaders during the United Nations General Assembly this week.
After criticizing Obama's schedule earlier in the show, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson asked Blair: "Is there a difference, when you are a leader of a country, in a phone conversation versus a face-to-face meeting with another leader?"
But Blair did not play along with Fox's talking point, saying instead that while UN week is "a necessary thing to go through," what really matters "is where America is in the world today."
BLAIR: Yeah, but I think to be fair, UN week is -- you know, I used to attend the UN week every year pretty much --
STEVE DOOCY (co-host): It's a festivity.
BLAIR: Well, it's a necessary thing to go through. I don't quite know how to put this diplomatically. I probably am putting it undiplomatically. No, I think what matters, frankly, is where America is in the world today. And, you know, I always say this to people, because in America you see these pictures of people burning the flag and out on the street and so on. You've just got to understand that there is another side to all of that, which is actually people who admire America, respect it, and need it to be strong. And I always say to people in America don't worry so much about being loved, just be strong.
Blair added that he did not believe the U.S. was projecting weakness when co-host Brian Kilmeade asked if America was "projecting a vulnerability and a weakness today."
Fox's Megyn Kelly recently hosted a lengthy segment on the coal industry featuring a Mitt Romney campaign ad and the CEOs of a coal trade group and a coal mining company. The industry representatives claimed that President Obama is waging a "war on coal," but the facts about the Obama administration's efforts to enact long overdue clean air regulations were noticeably absent.
On Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly interviewed American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity CEO Mike Duncan and Murray Energy Corporation CEO Robert Murray. After Kelly aired a campaign ad featuring Romney speaking at the Century Mine, Murray belabored the "human issue" of regulations and the plight of coal miners who "just want to work in honor and dignity." But Kelly didn't mention that Murray, who owns the mine, recently came under fire for forcing miners to attend the rally without pay, or that his company has a history of labor and safety violations.
During the segment, Murray claimed that Obama "is going to export millions of jobs to China by destroying low-cost electricity in this country for no environmental benefit at all." But in fact, the Obama administration has put in place regulations that have large environmental and public health benefits; at the same time, U.S. coal mining jobs have remained steady at about 85,000. Furthermore, studies show pollution from coal causes tens of billions of dollars of damage, including death and disease for many coal miners, more than offsetting its "low cost."
by Nathaniel Niemann and Stephen Lacey Mitt Romney’s stance on avoiding action on global warming has been well established. Saying last year that he believes reducing CO2 emissions is “not the right course for us,” Romney falsely claimed that “we don’t know” what is causing climate change. Actually, we do know. Even a prominent scientist [...]
Fox News personalities have called for the United States to cut off foreign aid to several countries in the wake of protests and attacks on U.S. consulates abroad. However, top military officials and Republicans say cutting foreign aid is "foolish" and bad for national security.
Fox's Bolling On Pakistan: "Maybe It's Time To Cut Off The Aid." During the September 24 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling complained about the billions of dollars in aid the United States has provided to Pakistan, then said, "Maybe it's time to cut off the aid and maybe send a drone or two right over the embassy." [Fox News, The Five, 9/24/12]
Fox Hosts Retired Army Colonel To Suggest Foreign Aid Should Be Cut Off Following Embassy Attacks. During the September 24 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, retired Army Col. Danny McKnight suggested that the U.S. should stop sending foreign aid to the Middle East because of protests and attacks at U.S. consulates. From the show:
NEIL CAVUTO (host): You know, Colonel, we saw the case of Mogadishu, good intentions gone bad. We talk now today with our overtures to the Middle East, and particularly those in Libya and elsewhere, this betting on the moderates and that those good intentions and the good money behind it will pay off. We saw the same in Mogadishu, didn't turn out that way. Similar lessons now, or what?
McKNIGHT: Well, similar for sure. It didn't pay off over there, and it probably would have even been a tougher thing to achieve in Mogadishu than it would have been in Egypt, Libya, et cetera. But I will tell you that if this is the kind of reaction we get from the people just because they don't agree with a movie or whatever the reason was -- I think they were looking for a reason, personally -- but if we're putting money towards them and they burn down our embassies, burning our flag, kill our people, that money's not being paid back properly, not at all. They don't deserve that money. [Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, 9/24/12]
Hannity: Media Should Ask Obama Why He's "Giving Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars In Foreign Aid To Egypt." Fox host Sean Hannity included in a "list of questions that our inept media ought to be asking the White House": "Why are you giving billions of taxpayer dollars in foreign aid to Egypt, a country where Osama bin Laden's name has been spray-painted now onto our embassy?" [Fox News, Hannity, 9/14/12, via Nexis]
Republican Sen. McCain: "It Would Be Incredibly Foolish" To Strip Foreign Aid From Egypt, Libya. Politico reported that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) slammed fellow Republicans who suggested the United States should strip foreign aid from Egypt and Libya. McCain said stripping foreign aid would be "incredibly foolish" and "only someone who doesn't understand anything about that part of the world would suggest such idiocy":
Sen. John McCain scolded some conservative Republicans for trying to strip foreign aid from Egypt and Libya after attacks on diplomatic facilities in those countries left a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead.
"Of course I think it would be incredibly foolish," McCain, an Arizona Republican and leading defense hawk, told reporters Thursday as he left a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee briefing about Tuesday's attacks that was attended by CIA Director David Petraeus.
"Only someone who doesn't understand anything about that part of the world would suggest such idiocy," he said. [Politico, 9/13/12]
Former National Security Adviser Jones Says Foreign Aid Is One Of The Most Effective, Long-Term Counter Terrorism Tools. According to the Huffington Post, former National Security Adviser James L. Jones, a retired Marine Corps general, has said:
The work being done in the global health world by the US and other nations is crucial for promoting global stability and eliminating the circumstances that foster hate and radicalism. In the 21st century it's not enough to have a strong and capable military to counter the threat of terrorism and instability. [Huffington Post, 9/20/12]
Gen. Petraeus Says Congress Should Not Cut Foreign Aid: "This Is A National Security Issue. It's Not Just A Foreign Aid Issue." In a 2011 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, explained that "inadequate resourcing of our civilian partners could, in fact, jeopardize accomplishments of the overall mission" in Afghanistan. Petraeus went on to explain that the need for foreign aid "is a national security issue ... not just a foreign aid issue":
PETRAEUS: I am concerned that levels of funding for our State Department and USAID partners will not sufficiently enable them to build on the hard-fought security achievements of our men and women in uniform. Inadequate resourcing of our civilian partners could, in fact, jeopardize accomplishment of the overall mission. I offer that assessment, noting that we have just completed a joint civil-military campaign plan between U.S. Forces and Afghanistan and the U.S. Embassy which emphasizes the critical integration of civilian and military efforts in an endeavor such as that in Afghanistan.
SEN. LINDSAY GRAHAM (R-SC): At the end of the day, should the foreign operations accounts for Afghanistan be considered overseas contingency operations? The same category?
PETRAEUS: Well, it's certainly as important. Again, I don't know how to classify categories. As I wrote in that letter, this is a national security issue. It's not just a foreign aid issue.
GRAHAM: From your point of view, it would be a national security?
PETRAEUS: Correct. [U.S. Senate, Committee on Armed Services, 3/15/11]
Daily Caller: Former Republican Members Of Congress Explain "Why Congress Shouldn't Slash Foreign Aid." On the right-wing website The Daily Caller, former Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Connie Morella (R-MD) explained how cutting foreign aid would do "little or nothing to tame the deficit, but will seriously hamper our ability to conduct an effective foreign policy." From their post:
As two long-serving Republican former members of Congress, we believe the fiscal situation in this country demands bold action. However, we are deeply concerned about the House Committee on Foreign Affairs' recent proposal to make sweeping cuts to the budgets of the State Department and at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The last few months of global turmoil have sparked new calls for U.S. leadership in uncertain times. Slashing the 1% of the federal budget allocated to international affairs will do little or nothing to tame the deficit, but it will seriously hamper our ability to conduct an effective foreign policy. [The Daily Caller, 4/6/11]
Forbes: "From A Purely Budgetary Perspective," Foreign Aid "Is Not Much Of An Issue." Forbes magazine asserted that foreign policy is a relatively small amount of the U.S. budget while aiming to achieve a variety of humanitarian goals and strengthen national security. From the article:
The classic criticism of foreign aid is that it ends up supporting corrupt or authoritarian regimes. That's the question the Obama administration is going to have to sort out as the situation in Egypt evolves. However, from a purely budgetary perspective, it's not much of an issue. Total U.S. foreign aid in 2010 was about 1.7% of the U.S. budget. By any measure, the $1.5 requested for Egypt this year -- down from $1.8 billion in 2006 -- is a lot of money. But put it in perspective. As part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008, Uncle Sam invested $100 billion in Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo collectively in order to prop up the financial sector. Earlier this week, Chevron reported earnings of $5.3 billion the last quarter of 2010 alone.
Forbes cited the following graph to give perspective on foreign aid cost in context of entire U.S. budget:
It turns out that the myth of high-stress positions of power is unfounded. Our lords of industry, our masters of the universe get along just fine. And if you had the benefits of a golden parachute to fall back on with none of the threats of[...]
Read The Full Article:
Fox News is claiming that on 60 Minutes President Obama characterized the death of an American ambassador and other violence as "bumps in the road." In fact, when Obama made that statement, he was referring to the fact that he supported the transition of Arab countries from autocratic rule to democracy during the Arab Spring even though he knew the transition would not be perfect.
Obama Talked About How He Embraced The Arab Spring Even Though He Knew At The Time That There'd Be "Bumps In The Road." In the 60 Minutes interview, Obama was asked whether recent events in the Middle East had given him "any pause" about supporting the governments that came to power following the Arab Spring. Obama responded by saying "it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy" and universal rights even though he "was pretty certain and continue[s] to be certain that there are going to be bumps in the road":
KROFT: Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?
OBAMA: Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights, a notion that people have to be able to participate in their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn't been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And, you know, can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements, but I do think that over the long term we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with our interests. [CBSNews.com, 9/23/12]
Hannity: Obama Called "Vicious Murder Of Four Americans ... Just A Bump In The Road." On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity played edited video of Obama's remarks on 60 Minutes and claimed that Obama "had the nerve to liken this terrorist attack and the vicious murder of four Americans -- what he calls it, just a bump in the road."
HANNITY: Last night, the commander-in-chief had the nerve to liken this terrorist attack and the vicious murder of four Americans -- what he calls it, just a bump in the road. Watch this.
[begin video clip]
KROFT: Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?
OBAMA: Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path.
[break in video]
OBAMA: I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road.
[end video clip]
HANNITY: Now a U.S. ambassador, two Navy Seals, and another American are assassinated: he calls it a bump in the road?" [Fox News, Hannity, 9/24/12]
Krauthammer: Media Would Go Crazy "If Romney Had Said The Death Of Our Ambassador ... Is A Bump In The Road." On Special Report, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer claimed that Obama said "the death of our ambassador" and "the death of three other Americans" is "a bump in the road." [Fox News, Special Report with Bret Baier, 9/24/12]
Kilmeade: When Obama "Talked About ... The Killings In Libya, He Called It Bumps In The Road." Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade also claimed that Obama called the deaths of Americans "bumps in the road" during his 60 Minutes interview. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/25/12]
Obama On Libya Attack: "We Will Not Waver In Our Commitment To See That Justice Will Be Done." In a statement the day after the attacks in Libya, Obama said: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack." He also vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice:
Every day, all across the world, American diplomats and civilians work tirelessly to advance the interests and values of our nation. Often, they are away from their families. Sometimes, they brave great danger.
Yesterday, four of these extraordinary Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Benghazi. Among those killed was our Ambassador, Chris Stevens, as well as Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith. We are still notifying the families of the others who were killed. And today, the American people stand united in holding the families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers.
The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats. I've also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/12/12]
Obama: "I Strongly Condemn The Outrageous Attack" In Libya. In a separate statement on the Libya attacks, Obama condemned the attack in Benghazi and stated that "we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants." From Obama's statement:
I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/12/12]
The bridge is yours. -Tig Notaro’s stand-up routine about her breast cancer is going to be on Louis C.K.’s site and in a book. -If Disney villains won. -Science fiction and the return of the epistolary novel. -Rita Wilson made Girls promise not to make her get naked. -I didn’t actually think I could hate [...]