New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed on Meet the Press that President Obama's recent comments to the Des Moines Register differed from his comments on the campaign trail. In fact, as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne pointed out to Brooks, Obama has committed to comprehensive immigration reform, corporate tax reform, and a mix of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy just as he did in his remarks to the Register.
Obama Discussed His Plans For Immigration, Deficits, And Corporate Taxes In Interview With The Register. On October 24, Obama released the transcript of his previously off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register. In the interview, Obama said he wanted to make "some adjustments in terms of the corporate tax side that could actually bring down the corporate tax overall, but broaden the base and close some loopholes." He also committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform in the first year of a second term, and he reaffirmed his support for deficit reduction that involves "$2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending." [DesMoinesRegister.com, 10/24/12]
New York Times' Brooks: Obama's Second Term Agenda "Nothing Like What He's been Talking About On The Trail." During the October 28 broadcast of Meet The Press, New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed that Obama had not spoken about corporate tax rate relief, comprehensive immigration reform or balanced deficit reduction on the campaign trail, but did talk about those issues in an off-the-record Des Moines Register interview:
BROOKS: Let me tell you -- I mean, if you want to talk about trust. What Obama is talking about on the trail -- first of all, there's no second-term agenda. Second, when he goes off the record with the Des Moines Register last week, he gives out a second-term agenda which is nothing like what he's been talking about on the trail.
E.J. DIONNE (Washington Post columnist): That's not true. That's not true at all.
BROOKS: Well, OK, wait. Let's talk about cutting corporate tax rates. Talking about weeding out immigration. He's talked immigration reform, which he has not talked about much in public.
DIONNE: Yes, he has.
BROOKS: And then he's talked about a grand bargain with cutting spending $2.50 for every dollar of tax revenue. That's a much -
DIONNE: Which is his proposal he's put on the table.
BROOKS: That is not what he's been running on. [NBC, Meet The Press, 10/28/12]
Obama: "I Believe In Comprehensive Immigration Reform." During a July 16 campaign event in Cincinnatti, Ohio, Obama said that he was in favor of comprehensive immigration reform:
OBAMA: Mr. Romney has the opposite view on almost all those positions. On things like "don't ask, don't tell", Mr. Romney wants to reverse my position. On issues like immigration -- I believe in comprehensive immigration reform; he does not. On issues related to women, I believe that Planned Parenthood does a lot of good, and that women's health -- (applause) -- women should be able to control their own health care decisions. (Applause.) He does not. [WhiteHouse.gov, 7/16/12]
Obama: "We Should Have Comprehensive Immigration Reform." During a July 14 campaign event in Clifton, Virginia, Obama also pushed for comprehensive immigration reform:
OBAMA: My opponent believes that we should have our immigrants in this country -- if they were kids and were brought here through no fault of their own, and are Americans in every respect except a piece of paper -- that somehow we shouldn't show them the kind of compassion that we would show our own kids. I disagree. I think we should have comprehensive immigration reform -- (applause) -- because we're a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws, and we can have tough border security and improve our immigration system, but when I look out at what's happening in Virginia, our immigration is a strength not a weakness. (Applause.) That's a difference. [WhiteHouse.gov, 7/14/12]
Obama: "I Feel Very Strongly We've Got To Have Comprehensive Immigration Reform." During a June 1 campaign event in Chicago, Illinois, Obama also embraced a policy of comprehensive immigration reform:
OBAMA: There are going to be a lot of issues involved because we have probably as sharp a contrast between two candidates as we've seen in a very long time -- substantively. I feel very strongly we've got to have comprehensive immigration reform. We're a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. Governor Romney has a different view. I care very deeply about women's health issues. Governor Romney thinks differently about those issues. [WhiteHouse.gov, 6/1/12]
Obama: Reduce The Deficit By Cutting $2.50 "For $1 Dollar Of Additional Revenue." During the October 4 presidential debate, Obama explained his approach to deficit reduction, saying that he would cut $2.50 for every $1 in new revenue:
OBAMA: Now, we all know that we've got to do more, and so I put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. It's on a website, you can look at all the numbers -- what cuts we make and what revenue we raise. And the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut we ask for $1 of additional revenue paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. [WhiteHouse.gov 10/4/12]
Obama: "We've Got To Reduce Our Deficit, But We've Got To Do It In A Balanced Way" During the October 17 presidential debate, Obama said that he wanted to lower the deficit but both taxing the wealthiest Americans and cutting spending:
OBAMA: We've got to reduce our deficit, but we've got to do it in a balanced way -- asking the wealthy to pay a little bit more along with cuts so that we can invest in education like yours. And let's take the money that we've been spending on war over the last decade to rebuild America -- roads, bridges, schools. We do those things, not only is your future going to be bright, but America's future is going to be bright as well. [WhiteHouse.gov, 10/17/12]
Obama: "I Am Going To Reduce The Deficit In A Balanced Way." During a July 13 campaign stop in Roanoke, Virginia, Obama committed to balanced deficit reduction:
OBAMA: I've got a different idea. I do believe we can cut -- we've already made a trillion dollars' worth of cuts. We can make some more cuts in programs that don't work, and make government work more efficiently. (Applause.) Not every government program works the way it's supposed to. And frankly, government can't solve every problem. If somebody doesn't want to be helped, government can't always help them. Parents -- we can put more money into schools, but if your kids don't want to learn it's hard to teach them. (Applause.)
But you know what, I'm not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don't need them. So I'm going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. We've already made a trillion dollars' worth of cuts. We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more. (Applause.) And, by the way, we've tried that before -- a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires. [WhiteHouse.gov, 7/13/12]
Obama Promised Corporate Tax Reform "That Simplifies The Tax Code, Eliminates Dozens Of Tax Loopholes And Subsidies, And Promotes Job Creation. In a February 22 statement, Obama called for reform of the corporate tax structure:
OBAMA: Our current corporate tax system is outdated, unfair, and inefficient. It provides tax breaks for moving jobs and profits overseas and hits companies that choose to stay in America with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It is unnecessarily complicated and forces America's small businesses to spend countless hours and dollars filing their taxes. It's not right, and it needs to change.
That's why my administration released a framework for reform that simplifies the tax code, eliminates dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, and promotes job creation right here at home. It's a framework that lowers the corporate tax rate and broadens the tax base in order to increase competitiveness for companies across the nation. It cuts tax rates even further for manufacturers that are creating new products and manufacturing goods here in America. [WhiteHouse.gov, 2/22/12]
Obama: Proposed Corporate Tax Reform During First Presidential Debate. During the October 4 presidential debate in Denver, Colorado, Obama argued that the U.S. corporate tax rate should be lowered and that corporate tax loopholes should be closed, saying, "When it comes to our tax code, Governor Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high. So I want to lower it, particularly for manufacturing, taking it down to 25 percent. But I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas -- I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States." [WhiteHouse.gov, 10/04/12]
Obama: Also Proposed Corporate Tax Reform During Second Presidential Debate. During the October 17 presidential debate at Hofstra University, Obama again argued that the U.S. corporate tax rate is too high, saying, "Both Governor Romney and I agree actually that we should lower our corporate tax rate. It's too high. But there's a difference in terms of how we would do it. I want to close loopholes that allow companies to deduct expenses when they move to China that allow them to profit offshore and not have to get taxed, so they have tax advantages offshore." [WhiteHouse.gov, 10/17/12]
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume claimed that Fox News is doing "all the heavy lifting" on covering the September 11 attack in Benghazi and criticized other media outlets for supposedly failing to adequately cover the story. Yet during the same broadcast, Fox figures pushed multiple distortions about the Benghazi attack.
Hume: One Problem With Libya Reporting Is That Fox News Is Doing "All The Heavy Lifting On This Story" While Other Media "Have Not Done Their Job." During the October 28 edition of Fox Broadcasting's Fox News Sunday, Fox anchor Brit Hume said, during a discussion of the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, "One of the problems we're having here is that it has fallen to this news organization, Fox News, and a couple of others to do all the heavy lifting on this story." Hume claimed that mainstream media "would be after this like a pack of hounds, if this were a Republican president," and concluded that "a lot of the media ... have not done their job." [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]
Rove Said "A Quick Rapid Force" Should Have Been Moved Into Position During Benghazi Attack; Claims "Support Wasn't Given." Also during the October 28 show, Fox News contributor Karl Rove claimed that "support wasn't given" to those under siege during the Benghazi attack, saying:
ROVE: Yeah, you don't want to send people into harm's way without knowing what's on the ground. But you can at least begin to move assets to the fight -- to the conflict. You could have a C-130 gunship orbiting off of -- off of Benghazi, waiting for clarity. You can put a QRF, a quick rapid force into position. You could have them airborne. You can have them out there. The president says he ordered support to be given and, yet, support wasn't given. [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]
But Additional Forces, Including A Quick Reaction Team, Immediately Responded To The Benghazi Attack. The Associated Press reported that additional security forces did respond to the attack on the consulate:
Wallace: "CIA Operators On The Ground In Benghazi Asked For Military Backup And Were Turned Down Several Times." Also during the broadcast, host Chris Wallace began a segment about the Benghazi attack by saying that "we learned" in the past week "the fact that CIA operators on the ground in Benghazi asked for military backup and were turned down several times while the attack was going on." [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]
Rove Suggested CIA Operatives "At The Clandestine Annex Were Told Three Times, 'Do Not Engage.' " Rove said during the broadcast, "If the CIA at the -- at the clandestine annex were told three times, 'Do not engage,' and we had men disregard the orders of their superiors and go to the fighting in order to save American lives, something went fundamentally and dangerously wrong." [Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Sunday, 10/28/12]
But Fox News Itself Reported The CIA Denies That Its Operatives Were Refused Help. An October 26 FoxNews.com article charged that the CIA chain of command denied a request for military back-up during the Benghazi attack, and that CIA commanders also told CIA operators to stand down rather than aid those under attack when shots were heard. The article acknowledged, however, that CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood "denied the claims that requests for support were turned down" and continued:
"We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi," [Youngblood] said. "Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. In fact, it is important to remember how many lives were saved by courageous Americans who put their own safety at risk that night-and that some of those selfless Americans gave their lives in the effort to rescue their comrades." [FoxNews.com, 10/26/12]
Fox Figures Ignored Report To Claim Attack Was Unrelated To Anti-Islam Video. Fox News figures have repeatedly attacked the Obama administration for linking the Benghazi attack to an anti-Islam video filmed in the U.S. that sparked worldwide protests. [Media Matters, 10/16/12]
Fox Hosts Misinterpreted State Dept. Emails To Claim Admin. Immediately Knew Benghazi Attack Was Terrorism. Fox hosts Greta Van Susteren and Steve Doocy both claimed State Department emails showed that the administration knew during the attack that it was being committed by a terrorist group. [Media Matters, 10/24/12]
Fox Spent Four Hours Trying To Explain Away The Fact That Obama Immediately Labeled The Benghazi Attack An Act Of Terror. In the second presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney after he falsely claimed that President Obama had waited 14 days to describe the attack on the Benghazi compound as an act of terror. In the two days after the debate, Fox News aired 55 segments, totaling more than four hours, that attempted to portray Obama's reference to "acts of terror" as a general statement or as referring to another incident. [Media Matters, 10/22/12]
Fox Hosts Have Pushed A Multitude Of Falsehoods About Benghazi. Since the September 11 attack, Fox hosts have pushed many false claims about what happened in Benghazi, from supporting the smear that Obama "sympathize[d]" with the attackers to falsely claiming the Obama administration refused to call the attack terrorism. [Media Matters, 9/26/12]
There will be updates on the storm today on the shows, but no one booked to discuss climate change; there will be all kinds of talk this morning about the candidates, but nothing on the candidates' views on climate change. But Bob Schieffer's going to[...]
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Washington Post columnist George Will dismissed women's reproductive rights as a small issue because access to contraceptives has been a constitutionally protected right for the past 47 years.
Will stated on ABC's This Week that "professional women with college degrees" resent the "condescension of the Obama campaign, which says" to women: "don't you trouble your pretty little heads about these men's issues like unemployment and all the rest, worry about contraception, which has been a constitutional right for 47 years." Will continued: "It's a distraction. The entire war on women trope, and I think professional, educated women find it offensive."
While it is true that the Supreme Court ruled in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut that state governments cannot ban access to contraception, Mitt Romney supports the Blunt Amendment, legislation that would allow business owners to withdraw insurance coverage for contraception or any other medical treatment.
Moreover, Clarence Thomas, one of the justices that Romney has said will serve as a model for his judicial nominations, has said that he agreed with the dissenting judge in Griswold, who said that contraception bans are constitutionally valid.
In addition to his stance on contraception, Romney has said that he would appoint Supreme Court justices that would likely try to overturn the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision -- a goal Romney has had since at least 2007. Appointing anti-Roe v. Wade judges to the Supreme Court could have drastic consequences. According to Tony Mauro of USA Today: "If a President Romney gets to appoint replacements for liberals Ginsburg and Breyer, then abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action and campaign-finance reform could well be in serious jeopardy." Romney has also reportedly opposed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provides women more legal room to file pay discrimination claims against employers.
The Roe v. Wade decision awarded women a fundamental right in 1973, which Romney has repeatedly promised to revoke, calling it "one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history." To George Will and other conservative media, women's rights remain a "distraction."
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From the October 28 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteA debate with four 3rd party candidates was held in Chicago October 23. The participants include former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson, former Virginia congressman Virgil Goode, former New Mexico governor[...]
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Found at the excellent blog called Unreasonable Faith.
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Up with Chris Hayes host Chris Hayes discusses what we have learned this week with his panel guests Richard Kim, contributor at The Nation; Ana Marie Cox, contributor at The Guardian; Michael Brendan Dougherty, The American Conservative; and Sophia[...]
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(This painting was done in 1957 by Domingo Ulloa, and is titled "Racism/Incident at Little Rock".)
I lived the first 19 years of my life before the civil rights laws were passed, and I vividly remember the incident pictured above from my childhood. It occurred when the government tried to enforce the Brown vs.Board of Education decision of the Supreme Court (which unanimously held that separate schools were "inherently unequal") at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Nine exceptionally brave young African-Americans tried to enroll at the high school, but were turned back by a rabid crowd of white monsters and a racist governor. President Eisenhower finally had to send in the 101st Airborne troops to get the students enrolled and to protect them.
I, and many others, had hoped the United States had progressed in the 55 years since the Little Rock incident. After all, we have had a series of civil rights laws passed, affirmative action has integrated African-Americans into our society a bit more, and we have even elected an African-American as president. Some even said the election of President Obama showed the country was entering a "post-racial" era. Most of us knew that was not true, but we still hoped it showed that progress was being made. Unfortunately, it just seemed to give the racists an impetus to once again publicly exhibit their hideous views (just look at the signs exhibited at any teabagger gathering).
While some progress has been made legally, not nearly enough progress has been made in changing the views of the American public. This is verified by a two-part survey by the Associated Press. This survey studied both explicit (overt) racism and implicit (hidden) racism. The explicit racism was uncovered in a poll done by AP/GfK, done by surveying 1,071 adults between August 30th and September 11th of this year. The implicit racism was uncovered with research conducted by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago. The results of this two-pronged effort was not encouraging.
First, the explicit racism. While these people may claim not to be racist, the views they express clearly show this is not true. This group of racists include slightly more than half of the United States population -- about 50.9%. Think about that. More than half of the people in this country still hold openly racist views! And instead of decreasing, this segment of the population seems to be growing. The same poll done in 2008 had pegged the explicit racists at 47.6% -- a growth of 3.3 percentage points in the last four years.
And the figures for implicit racism are even worse. In 2012, about 55.7% of the population exhibited an implicit (or hidden) racism. This is a 6.4 percentage point growth since 2008, when 49.3% of the population exhibited this implicit racism trait. This seems to show that, instead of marking our entry into a post-racial period, the election of an African-American president has actually increased the racism in America.
One of the more interesting aspects of this study is the difference in racist attitudes along the political spectrum. Democrats are significantly less racist than Republicans, and Independents fall between those two groups. Here are the numbers:
Explicit Racism - 2008
Explicit Racism - 2012
The levels of implicit racism between the political groups showed them to be a little closer, but still showed significant growth of this type of racism in the last four years. Here are those numbers:
Implicit Racism - 2008
Implicit Racism - 2012
Frankly, I find this report very disturbing. It shows that this is still a country with a serious problem of racism -- with at least half of the population still harboring both explicit and implicit racist views. We have not made nearly as much progress in the last 55 years as some of us had hoped -- and we still have a long way to go before we can put the pernicious disease of racism behind us.
Be ashamed America. Be very ashamed.
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