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This week sure started off badly for Mitt Romney-- not as badly as today started for the British Embassy in Tehran... but badly. Aside from the two ads-- the one up top and the one below-- released by Democrats about his character, or lack of character, Republicans started attacking him as well. It's as though the Union Leader endorsement of Gingrich this weekend opened the floodgates-- at least for anti-Romney Republicans desperate enough to wound the Republican who will eventually they'll be supporting (even if with reluctance and distaste) against Obama. Yesterday Gingrich was in air in South Carolina rubbing it in: ?I don?t claim to be the perfect candidate, I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt Romney and a lot more electable than anybody else." Could anyone who thinks Romney is unfit because of his character and flip flops possibly get behind... Newt Gingrich? Huntsman was even meaner to his co-religionist. "Anyone who is in the hip pocket of Wall Street because of all the donations they are picking up, like Mr. Romney, is in these days not going to be the change agent who is going to fix the too-big-to-fail banking system," he told an audience in New Hampshire.
The Erick Erickson diary at Red State just further inflamed the rightists among the GOP activist base who already distrust, or even hate, Romney: Why Mitt Romney Will Be A terrible Nominee. He ran this video:
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Erickson: "[M]y interpretation of this hit is pretty straight forward. The DNC is gambling that Romney will be the nominee, but they also know there is a lot of angst with the GOP. By hitting Romney now they can potentially drag out the pain of the Republican Primary before doing what every Democrat and Beltway Pundit in America thinks-- settling for Romney, a guy they will have already defined as a flip-flopper."
And, as Greg Sargent pointed out at the Washington Post Democrats are pounding Romney on his "multiple choice Mitt" deportation flip flops.
As I suspected, Mitt Romney?s denunciation of Newt Gingrich?s sensible and humane suggestion that we shouldn?t deport long-time illegal residents of the United States is quickly emerging as a flashpoint in the campaign.
The Obama campaign quickly convened a conference call to hammer Mitt Romney over the issue, and linked it to other Romney positions that that the campaign hopes will alienate Latino voters. It?s a sign that the Obama campaign is aggressively moving to gain a head start in energizing Latinos, whose engagement in next year?s election remains uncertain.
?He is the most right wing presidential candidate on this issue in recent presidential history,? Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said on the conference call. ?He attacked Speaker Gingrich for saying we should have a humane immigration policy. He?s now opposed to comprehensive immigration reform. He?s opposed to the DREAM act. He wants to roll back the investments we made in Pell Grants that have [given] hundreds of thousands of Hispanic children the opportunity for a higher education. He wants to roll back the Affordable Care Act and their health care benefits.?
...?Gov. Romney is somebody who once claimed to support comprehensive immigration reform,? LaBolt said. ?But now he?s a candidate that?s absolutely demagogued the issue of immigration in a politically craven way because he believes that it serves his political interests.?
Between this and yesterday?s false Romney ad attacking Obama on the economy-- and the massive Dem pushback to it-- it?s hard to avoid a sense that we?re approaching something like full general election engagement between the two campaigns, even though the GOP primary voting hasn?t even started.
Christians should thank the current Occupy Wall Street protesters for their message and their activism. They are doing our justice work for us. The current crop of national bank leaders are being shown to be just as corrupt as the Temple bankers were in Jesus?s day.
If Jesus were present among us today, he would be moving from Portland, to Los Angeles, to Kansas City, to Dallas, up to Chicago and on to Wall Street in New York City. He would join the protest in every city. He would be demanding an overhaul of our financial and banking system. He would be standing with the poor and their allies-- and against the rich and their protectors.
When Jesus pursued the corruption of his own day, the representatives of the religious and political status quo killed him. And Jesus said to his followers ?take up your cross and follow me.?
Welcome to The Morning Pride, ThinkProgress LGBT?s 8:45 AM round-up of the latest in LGBT policy, politics, and some culture too! Here?s what we?re reading this morning, but let us know what you?re checking out as well. Follow us all day on Twitter at @TPEquality.
- A new overdramatic propaganda film from ParentalRights.org called “Overruled” completely misconstrues classroom conversations about diverse families in Massachusetts.
- Vermont has sworn in the first openly gay member of its Supreme Court, advocate Beth Robinson.
- Infographic: Words that are transphobic and why.
- The Nigerian Senate has passed a bill that would punish same-sex couples who marry and anyone who witnesses or assists in that marriage.
- Activist Frank Mugisha describes what it’s currently like for gays in Uganda and reaches out to African Americans for assistance.
- The HIV infection rate in the UK has hit a record high, with one in 20 gay men living with the virus.
- The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance has settled a case and decided to open teams to an unlimited number of bisexual and transgender people.
- Staff and students at The University of Liverpool explain what “gay” really means:
“Oklahoma City officials say they are no longer going to allow Occupy OKC protesters to camp overnight in downtown’s Kerr Park,” provoking outrage from demonstrators who had been encamped there. Protetester had been paying $55 a day for a permit to stay in the park, but this permit will no longer be renewed.
The year 2011 caps a decade that ties the record as the hottest ever measured, the WMO said in its annual report on climate trends and extreme weather events, unveiled at UN climate talks in Durban, South Africa.
“Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement, adding that policy-makers should take note of the findings.
“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs and are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 to 2.4 Celsius rise in average global temperatures.”
Scientists believe that any rise above the 2.0 threshold could trigger far-reaching and irreversible changes on Earth over land and in the seas.
The 2002-2011 period equals 2001-2010 as the warmest decade since 1850, the report said.
The Interior Department?s offshore drilling branch is preparing to issue a second round of regulatory violation notices to companies involved in last year?s BP oil spill, a top official said Monday.
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Director Michael Bromwich said the so-called Incidents of Noncompliance notices could be sent to BP, Transocean and Halliburton in the next couple of weeks.
The notices that companies allegedly violated offshore drilling regulations, a step toward collecting penalties, stem from the 2010 well blowout and rig explosion that killed 11 men and dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
In October BSEE issued an initial set of violation notices to BP, which owned the ill-fated Macondo well, Deepwater Horizon rig owner Transocean, and Halliburton, which performed cement work on the failed well.
The violations stemmed from the final investigative report by an Interior-U.S. Coast Guard team that detailed a series of missteps by the companies.
Over the past two decades, changes in technology and the rising cost of oil have left it with so much recoverable oil in the sands, rocks and clay of the state of Alberta that it is now believed to hold the third largest reserves on earth – after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
But most of that is so far un-tapped, with Canada accounting for little over 4% of global oil production in 2010 according to BP’s annual statistical review.
To increase that share it must gain global acceptance of the heavy, sticky and, some say, more polluting oil it has found.
For Canada’s government, the world has no choice – despite its climatic consequences.
“You can turn off your lights and freeze in the dark, the alternative is to use the energy, which of course you are using, everybody is using,” says Joe Oliver, Canada’s minister for natural resources.
But for ministers meeting at the latest climate change summit in Durban, South Africa, the decision on whether to embrace new, more polluting, forms of fossil fuel may seem less obvious.
Leaders of China?s solar power industry rejected a U.S. trade complaint that they receive unfair government support and said Tuesday possible sanctions would hurt American consumers and development of clean energy.
Solar and other renewable energy technology has emerged as an irritant in U.S.-Chinese trade. The two governments have pledged to cooperate in development but accuse each other of violating free-trade pledges by subsidizing their own manufacturers.
The chairmen of four of China?s biggest solar companies, including Suntech Power Holdings Co. and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., said at a news conference that their success comes from more advanced technology and skillful management.
?If you ask whether the solar industry in China has received special treatment or special support, the answer is no,? said Suntech?s Shi Zhengrong, one of the solar power industry?s most successful entrepreneurs.
Plenty of late-stage financing will be available for cleantech start-ups over the next few years, but seed/Series A money is another matter.
There?s been a pile of negative news about cleantech start-ups recently. I?ve heard it said more than once in the past month that venture-backed entrepreneurship clearly isn?t working here, so maybe we should all pack our bags and go home. Given the human bias to extrapolate individual events into overarching trends, I figured now would be a good time to review the data so far about cleantech VC performance ? and I stress data, not anecdote or assertion! ? to see what we can learn.
This is a meaty topic, so I?m going to cover it in four posts. Today I?m going to focus on the money ? how much capital has been available for cleantech start-ups so far, and what we can expect in the next few years. Two subsequent posts will address the VC investors that are supplying this cash, as well as the experiences of start-up companies that have achieved liftoff. In the final post, I?ll wrap it all up with some parting thoughts.
In two delightful pieces of news, Kathryn Hahn is rebounding from the cancellation of Free Agents by signing up to star as Leslie’s City Council opponent on Parks and Recreation, and Louis C.K. is will reprise his role as Leslie’s ex-boyfriend Sergeant Dave Sanderson. These strike me as good developments in this slightly sentimental season for two reasons.
First, Leslie deserves a real race. One of the joys of Parks and Recreation is Leslie’s hyper-competence, but it’s become a little bit too effortless as she’s conquered everything from the Pit to Joan’s Gotcha Dancers. It’s time for Leslie to stretch, and to stretch over something other than a boy. Running for office is the dream of her life, and it should be a heroic quest, not just another one-off episode. And after avoiding the mechanics fo the campaign, I’m excited to see the mechanics fo the race kick into play, to see Chris write speeches for Leslie in a West Wing nod, to see Tom to find his purpose not as an entertainment mogul but as a different kind of public servant. And I want to see Leslie face a realistic obstacle, rather than an entirely ridiculous one.
Second, I think it’ll be intriguing to see Leslie at least temporarily reunited with a boyfriend who gave her the option of coming with him when she moved, but who left anyway when she said no. Is this whole season going to be a refutation of the idea that you have to make tough choices in order to achieve your dreams? Or will Dave be a counterpoint, someone who looks back on Leslie fondly but is certain in his decision?
Welcome to ThinkProgress Economy?s morning link roundup. This is what we?re reading. Have you seen any interesting news? Let us know in the comments section. You can also follow ThinkProgress Economy on Twitter.
The House was not in session yesterday.
The Senate debated a few of the pending amendments to the defense authorization bill, confirmed Christopher Droney to the 2nd Circuit bench, began the Rule XIV process to bring the payroll tax cut extension bill to the floor, and filed for cloture on the defense bill.
Looking ahead to today:
The House gets its traditional late start on a nothingburger of a day, coming back on a Tuesday afternoon and delaying votes until 6:30 p.m. on a series of four suspension bills.
The Senate will continue its consideration of the defense bill and the pending amendments, letting the clock run on ripening the cloture motion filed today, which could bring us to a vote as early as Wednesday morning, but then (if successful) up to 30 more hours of debate after that. The tax cut extension bill won't be ready for Rule XIV consideration until Wednesday, but if they hope to get to that soon, they'll have to bring it up either before voting on cloture, or only if cloture on the defense bill fails, because if that cloture motion succeeds, then the defense bill remains the pending business until it's completed, and that backs the tax bill up into late Thursday or even Friday. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.
Continuing that fine Republican tradition of saying one thing and doing another, Florida Gov. Rick Scott showed his compassion for his state's homeless by slashing the programs that help them. Think Progress has more:
In a state that is near the top of the national chart in food insecurity, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) took time this holiday to pass out Thanksgiving dinner to about 1,000 families at a shelter in East Naples.
The shelter?s program fed about 7,000 families last week, with roughly 200 volunteers packing and distributing meals.?I care completely about all these programs,? said Scott while handing out food.
However, he possesses a singular way of showing it, as his sweeping budget cuts this year ?slashed funding to some veteran and farm surplus programs that helped the homeless.? To justify those cuts, Scott simply explained, ?all the programs are very important, but nobody wants their taxes to go up?:
?I care completely about all these programs,? said Scott, whose budget cuts earlier this year slashed funding to some veteran and farm surplus programs that helped the homeless.?All the programs are very important, but nobody wants their taxes to go up,? Scott explained, noting that businesses also can help spur the economy. ?They?ve got to grow. We?ve got to make this a place people can do well.?
One Jacksonville homeless shelter official noted that Scott ?zeroed out all homeless funding? ? $7 million worth ? in his budget proposal. That funding supported programs dedicated to homelessness prevention, housing initiatives, and programs that ?re-house? people once they?re on the street.
?Not only that, he took out the line items so it can never be funded again,? said the official.
Did you know that Florida has the second-highest population of homeless veterans? Seventeen thousand of them, and Scott cut their services, too. I was in Florida last month, and I didn't meet one single person who wants to reelect him, so at least it's likely that he's a one-termer.
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThis is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.Find the past "On This Day in History" here.November 29 is the 333rd day of the year (334th in leap[...]
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Crossposted from The Stars Hollow GazetteReport highlights Obama's broken environmental promisesPosted by Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent, The GuardianMonday 28 November 2011 17.37 ESTThe steady stream of oil and coal industry lobbyists[...]
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