“General Motors has decided to discontinue funding of the Heartland Institute,” Climate One reports. “GM spokesman Dave Barthmuss confirmed the move today.” The Heartland Institute is a crucial node in the fossil-fueled propaganda campaign to deny the threat of manmade climate change. When first asked about its contributions to the anti-science organization, a GM spokesman called the group “careful and considerate,” which led to an outcry from ten thousand GM owners, including drivers of the innovative Chevy Volt.
One in a series of posts about the Heartland Institute?s inner workings, from internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green. ThinkProgress is among several publications to have published documents attributed to the Heartland Institute and sent to us from an anonymous and then unknown source. The source later revealed himself. Heartland Institute has issued several press releases claiming that one document (?2012 Climate Strategy?) is fake and asserting other claims regarding the other documents. ThinkProgress has taken down the “2012 Climate Strategy” document as it determines the document?s authenticity.
This review contains some very mild spoilers for characterization in the second season of Game of Thrones. Recaps will resume first thing on Monday.
As a deeply committed fan of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, I was pleasantly surprised by the first season of HBO’s blockbuster show based on the fantasy series, and how well David Benioff and D.B. Weiss managed to capture a huge cast of characters and translate Martin’s concepts for a broader audience than they’d previously received. But in the second season, Game of Thrones is emerging as something rarer and more special. While the first season was a faithful, and sometimes dogged translation of Martin’s novel, in its second, Game of Thrones steps forward as a confident adaptation that isn’t afraid to diverge from Martin’s work, and has made his world strategically and emotionally richer as a result.
The essential plot remains unchanged. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage, teeing up for another profitable awards season) is back in King’s Landing, attempting, with little success, to curb the excesses of his sadistic nephew Joffrey, who now sits on the Iron Throne, and his sister Cersei, elevated by her status as Joffrey’s mother to the role of Queen Regent, though she, too, is vulnerable to Joffrey’s whims. Arya Stark, the youngest daughter of the murdered Hand of the King, Ned Stark, is still fleeing North in the company of recruits for the Night’s Watch, while her sister Sansa suffers through an ugly pageant of betrothal to Joffrey in the capitol. Robb Stark’s victories in battle have given him confidence, but failed to end an essential strategic stalemate?he’s left to taunt Jamie Lannister, Tyrion and Cersei’s brother, now his captive, and to flirt with nurses from Volantis who clean up his bloody works in the field. Robb’s mother Catelyn finds herself negotiating between Renly and Stannis Baratheon, the brothers of dead King Robert, while Theon Greyjoy, Robb’s foster brother, returns to his home on Pyke in hopes of bringing his father, Balon, into an alliance with Robb. And Daenerys Targaryen is wandering the wastes of Pentos after the death of her warlord husband, her dragons no guarantee of victory, much less of her continued existence.
But Benioff and Weiss have begun to enrich the character’s motivations and backstories, and the primary beneficiaries are women. When Theon returns home, he’s disgusted to find that his father has more trust in his sister Yara (her name was Asha in the books, but it has been changed to avoid confusion with the wildling character Osha) than in his last living son. “She can’t lead an attack,” Theon protests. “And why not?” Yara asks?and Balon backs her up. The prostitutes in Littlefinger’s brothel get more extended sequences that make their fates doubly tragic. In a change from the novel, Shae, Tyrion’s lover, goes into service as a handmaiden to Sansa Stark, rather than to noblewoman Lollys Stokeworth, an adjustment that readers from the novel will recognize as a clever and efficient way of heightening a major future plot development. The sexist attitudes Daenerys faces in her struggle to emerge as a leader are sharpened. When a rival tribe sends back one of her guards’ heads in a bag, her bodyguard explains “They don’t like the idea of a woman leading a Khalasar.” “They’ll like it far less when I am done with them,” Dany spits back bitterly.
And the most significant change is to Margaery Tyrell. In the novels, it’s implied that her brother, Loras, had a sexual relationship with her husband, Renly Baratheon. The first season of the television show made that subtext overt text. And rather than leaving Margaery a cipher, as she’s remained in the novels, Benioff and Weiss have made use of the very considerable talents of Natalie Dormer, who previously played Anne Boelyn in The Tudors, and rapidly moved up our understanding of her as a powerful political player with her own agenda. It’s a deeply gratifying decision, both in the performance that results and the overall tenor of the show, and in keeping with the decision to abandon strictly limited point-of-view narrations that read beautifully on the page but would have been impossible to convey on-screen.
Despite those developments, Game of Thrones is still a brutal world for women. While the show’s toned down its sexposition (though there are still scenes of sexual instruction), it does add a scene meant to emphasize Joffrey’s taste for sexual violence that does not appear in Martin’s novels and that implies one of the ugliest things I’ve ever voluntarily watched on television or in film.
But the show appears to be reaching for a clarity that sometimes eludes Martin on the page, and making clear its views about sexual violence and women’s sexual autonomy. The fact that Joffrey’s act is implied rather than scene is meant to eliminate any titillation from a horrifying moment, and to emphasize that his desire to look marks him as vile. Decency towards women, by contrast, is treated as a virtue. When the brothers of the Night’s Watch venture beyond Castle Black and beyond the Wall, Samwell Tarly, the fat and nervous brother who becomes friends with Jon Snow, decides he wants to help a woman named Gilly who’s being held in an incestuous relationship by her father. Jon wants to know if Sam expects to steal her for a wife as is wildling custom. “I can’t steal her,” Sam explains. “She’s a person, not a goat.”
In the novels, Sam’s supposed womanishness is one of the reasons he was cast off from his family to take the black. The show goes farther than the novels in insisting that Sam’s weakness is actually a mark of profound decency, one that Jon and his fellows are flawed for failing to possess. And when we meet Salladhor Saanpiratical ally of Stannis Baratheon, he emphasizes that he wants a chance to sleep with Queen Cersei, but makes clear that “I’m not going to rape her. I’m going to fuck her. You don’t know how persuasive I can be.” Sexual violence is a clear dividing line between the decent and the indecent in the show, and for the indecent, it’s a tool born out of weakness, ignorance, and greed.
I focus on this because I think it’s a real achievement of Game of Thrones to devote this kind of space to the development of women characters and consciousness of gender in its characters precisely at a time when its world is expanding and it’s moving into a phase of intense action. This could have been troublesome even without attention to that subject. The show dragged some in its first season in attempting to get viewers up to speed with the cast of characters and events, but now it appears much more comfortable introducing new characters, like Melisandre, a powerful priestess of a new religion aligned with Stannis or Brienne of Tarth, a powerful female knight loyal to Renly, in sequences that are rich with plot and trusting that we’ll come to know them through the actions that they take in the story.
And the show looks good, too. Though Game of Thrones is not particularly magic-heavy for a fantasy series, it does feature dragons and giant wolves rather prominently, and takes place in a number of visually distinct locations. One of the greatest risks of adapting the franchise was simply that it wouldn’t be possible to make it look good on time and within budget. The wolves may not look as good as one would wish, but Daenerys’s dragons are lovely little creatures. Harrenhal, a holdfast widely assumed to be cursed, looks appropriately terrifying. And the camps and country roadways the characters pass through have a nicely grubbiness and occasional beauty to them. This is a world that lives and breathes, even when the awfully unnatural ventures into it. As awful as life may get for Martin’s characters within it, they’re desperate to keep on living. And it’s astonishingly good to be back in the struggle with them.
The U.S. has the weakest labor protections in the industrialized world, and is the only developed nation that doesn’t guarantee workers some sort of paid sick leave. Lost productivity due to sick workers attending work and infecting other employees costs the U.S. economy $180 billion annually.
Yesterday, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the Rebuild America Act, and one of its many provisions would ensure that all workers have access to paid sick days. Inevitably, proposals of this sort draw the ire of Big Business, which claims that every policy meant to aid workers will drive up costs and increase joblessness. But as David Madland noted yesterday, that simply isn’t the case:
The aftermath of the Great Recession has cultivated a fear that policies that support workers and their families will subsequently constrain business profitability and cause employers to lay off workers or close their doors entirely. Contrary to fears from the business community, the passage of paid sick days legislation in San Francisco (the first city to enact such a law) did not hamper job growth. In fact San Francisco created more jobs and experienced more economic growth after passing the law than the surrounding counties without such legislation.
According to a study in the American Journal of Public Health, a lack of paid sick days led to millions of additional cases of H1N1 flu in 2009. Since the federal government hasn’t acted, several cities have passed paid sick day requirements of their own (though Republicans in Wisconsin overrode Milwaukee’s law last year). Harkin’s bill — in addition to its myriad other strong proposals — would end America’s shameful rein as the only developed nation that forces workers to choose between their health and their job.
by Ken Benfield, via NRDC’s Switchboard
In 2007, New York City began to soften the harsh environmental effects of its many parking lots by adopting an innovative amendment to its zoning code. My New York colleague Larry Levine reports that for most new and expanded lots it requires the use of planted areas both around the perimeter and inside the facility, with the paved areas graded so as to drain stormwater into the planted areas (and away from overburdened sewers). It also requires shade trees, bicycle parking, and the screening of trash receptacles. The city?s planning office says that the changes are intended to reduce the urban heat island effect, achieve cleaner air quality through the planting of shade trees, promote efficient management of stormwater runoff, and to improve visual aesthetics.
These are important changes for the environment, given what a huge part of our land area is given over to parking. (The portion ceded to parking way is too large, actually, and I?ll get to that in a minute.) In the case of the New York ordinance, Larry reports that the measure led to other, broader reforms for green infrastructure under New York?s rightly celebrated PlaNYC. (See, for example, what the city has done for complete, green streets.)
Beyond impacts on the natural environment, parking facilities also have a huge impact on the community environment. For example, a couple of years ago I posted a series of photos and a narrative illustrating the unfortunate (and, perversely, sometimes required) practice of placing parking lots in front of businesses, civic institutions and apartment/condo buildings, separating the buildings from sidewalks and streets. This creates longer and more dangerous walking routes for pedestrians as well as a visual incoherence that is, in my opinion, inherently anti-community. It also makes public transit less attractive and viable, since the transit user?s journey from the bus stop to the store or apartment must take place through a sometimes-large and dicey parking lot instead of simply to a door on a sidewalk.
As I wrote then, citing my friend Chuck Marohn, one very helpful design solution is to put the parking in the rear. You can put just as much parking in back as in front, but the result when you do is far more inviting to pedestrians and more conducive to having a ?there? in your community, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. Some communities have even ?wrapped? parking garages with housing in order to preserve a people-friendly streetscape.
Now, in many circles that I travel in, people would frankly rather just eliminate parking or greatly reduce it, rather than think about softening its impact. Minimum parking requirements, common in communities for new multi-family housing and office construction, are especially hated. I get that. The most articulate of the criticisms of minimum parking requirements that I have read recently is by Tom Vanderbilt, author of the fascinating book Traffic. Vanderbilt quotes planning professor Donald Shoup:
“[Parking minimums] distort transportation choices toward cars, and thus increase traffic congestion, air pollution, and energy consumption. They reduce land values and tax revenues. They damage the economy and degrade the environment. They debase architecture and urban design. They burden enterprise and prevent the reuse of older buildings. And they increase the prices for everything except parking.”
Vanderbilt goes on to cite changes to minimum parking laws in a number of cities, including Columbus, which found that parking lots at its shopping malls were half-empty and reduced its minimum as a result. Washington, DC has eliminated minimums for certain retail establishments in high-density areas.
The critics of parking definitely have a point. But expanding on that is for another day.
In the meantime, Eran Ben-Joseph, writing in the New York Times, reminds us that, although parking lots are ?an ugly reminder of the costs of our automobile-oriented society,? they are nonetheless very much with us, and having a major impact on our communities that can and should be transformed:
?Parking lots are, in fact, much more than spots to temporarily store cars: they are public spaces that have major impacts on the design of our cities and suburbs, on the natural environment and on the rhythms of daily life. We need to redefine what we mean by ?parking lot? to include something that not only allows a driver to park his car, but also offers a variety of other public uses, mitigates its effect on the environment and gives greater consideration to aesthetics and architectural context.
?It?s estimated that there are three nonresidential parking spaces for every car in the United States. That adds up to almost 800 million parking spaces, covering about 4,360 square miles ? an area larger than Puerto Rico. In some cities, like Orlando and Los Angeles, parking lots are estimated to cover at least one-third of the land area, making them one of the most salient landscape features of the built world.?
Ben-Joseph argues that parking lots constitute perhaps our most regularly used outdoor space and are, even if privately owned, public in the way most of them are experienced. Indeed, sadly, ?a parking lot is the first part of a space you visit or live next to. It is typically the gateway through which dwellers, customers, visitors or employees pass before they enter a building.?
So, what to do? Ben-Joseph?s main point is simply that we need to take such an important part of our environment more seriously and design it more thoughtfully. He clearly favors the kind of green infrastructure now required in New York and goes further to suggest, for example, placing solar panels over parking lots to generate clean power at the same time as providing shade to create a cooler surface. Out the window of a hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, I saw a parking shed covered with a green roof. It?s a start.
(I am not nearly as enamored, though, of a ?stunning? parking lot that Ben-Joseph praises in his article. Built as part of the Dia art museum, the lot to me looks much like a pretty version of unwalkable suburban sprawl. I suppose it absorbs stormwater – it looks like it does – but I don’t see it as praiseworthy from a broader environmental point of view.)
In 2008, the federal EPA published a Green Parking Lot Resource Guide, full of good ideas about how to improve these facilities. The guide covers a solid menu of best practices, covering these subjects:
Casey Trees, the nonprofit that is helping re-green DC, also has a nice, short guide to improving parking facilities emphasizing, naturally, trees. San Mateo County, California, has a 167-page Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook that has been praised by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The resources, covering both policy and design, are there and appear to be good ones. While I understand the ambivalence (or, in some cases, hostility) of some commenters toward parking, I agree with Ben-Joseph that it is an important aspect of our communities that could be handled much, much better. Lots of us drive for various understandable reasons – every community is not going to be New York or San Francisco, to say nothing of Copenhagen – and, when we do, we should be able to park in a place that is not only convenient but also greener, more aesthetically pleasing, and people-friendly.
ThinkProgress spoke with Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Caldwell opposes Obamacare and the individual mandate, but for a different reason than most of his fellow litigants: it props up the private health insurance industry. “Insurance companies are the absolute worst people to handle this kind of business,” he declared. “I trust the government more than insurance companies.” Caldwell went on to endorse the idea of a single-payer health care system, saying it’d “be a whole lot better” than Obamacare.
KEYES: You don’t think the subsidies for low-income people are going to be helpful?
CALDWELL: No, no. The worst thing you can do is give it to an insurance company. I want to make my point. All insurance companies are controlled in their particular state. If you have a hurricane come up the east coast, the first one that’s going to leave you when they gotta pay too many claims is an insurance company. Insurance companies are the absolute worst people to handle this kind of business. I trust the government more than insurance companies. If the government wants to put forth a policy where they will pay for everything and you won’t have to go through an insurance policy, that’d be a whole lot better.
Because if the repugs prevail in even one house of Congress this fall, the Reagan/Thatcher years will seem like paradise in comparison.
This is a most poignant critique of the Thatcherite right-wing Conservative government. Trailing in the opinion polls, Thatcher glorified in a war with Argentina about British sovereignty over islands in the South Atlantic. Riding on a wave of patriotism she stayed in power through the 1980s pursuing an elitist, anti union, anti gay, anti working class, anti public service agenda. Pete made this video because in 2010 the Conservatives regained power and their policies make this song as relevant as ever.
Every state but one in the South has banned marriage equality by outlawing unions between two people of the same sex. In fact, they all had an amendment to their state constitutions barring such marriages by 2008. The hold-out is North Carolina.
The reason for that, people on both sides of the issue agree, is because Democrats controlled the state legislature until 2010. They simply refused to let an amendment make it to the ballot.
But Amendment One is on the May 8 ballot. And every indication has been that it would pass with a comfortable margin and North Carolina would become the 30th state whose constitution makes marriage solely a matter for opposite-sex couples. But a new survey from Public Policy Polling shows there's a catch to Amendment One's majority backing. When voters actually learn how far the proposal reaches, they no longer support it.
Not only would Amendment One ban marriage and civil unions between partners of the same sex, it would also end legal recognition of domestic partnerships between unmarried couples of the opposite sex. There are 233,000 North Carolinians in that category, according to the 2010 census:
58% of likely primary voters say right now that they would vote ?yes,? while 38% plan to vote ?no.? But at the same time, 51% of these voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples? relationships, either full marriage or civil unions. 34% of those folks are planning to vote for the amendment. Because of that, if informed that the amendment would ban both marriage and civil unions for gay couples, support goes down 17 points to 41%, and opposition rises 4% to 42%.With less than six weeks to go before the election, that news offers some modest hope for the forces in opposition to Amendment One. Against the odds, they might be able to defeat it if they can get the message out. Stepped-up efforts this past weekend raised $50,000 in 24 hours for the anti-amendment group Protect All N.C. Families. The Raleigh News & Observer has said the opposition campaign may be the second most expensive ever, only outspent by the campaign in Florida in 2008.
Part of the problem is that voters are not well informed about what the amendment does. A 34% plurality say they are not sure on that question. Almost as many (31%) do know that it would ban both gay marriage and civil unions, but then not many fewer (28%) think it would only ban marriage. 7% actually think it would legalize gay marriage. Those who think it bans solely marriage rights are voting 67-30 for it, so 8% of North Carolinians, while misinformed, are voting against the measure simply because they think it bans same-sex marriage alone. Of course, those who think a ?yes? vote actually legalizes these unions are voting by the same margin for it.
The organizers favoring Amendment One are also geared up. Former state Sen. Jim Jacumin said to crowd of supporters on Wednesday that May 8 is ?the most important election of anyone in this room? and called for contributions ?so we can confront the devils against us on the other side.?
Devils there may be, but the rancid memo that surfaced this week from the anti-equality group National Organization for Marriage shows which side they are actually on. The memo, analyzed here by Scott Wooledge, showed a concerted effort to drive a wedge between gays and African Americans on marriage equality.
The North Carolina amendment is the first of half a dozen marriage-related laws that will be voted on in 2012.
Scottie Thomaston has a post on the subject here.
I?m still recovering from my week and a half stay in Austin, Texas, where I attended South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual mega-conference covering film, online life, and music, of which music is easily my favorite portion. Observers might mistake attendees like myself for people on a music-snob vacation, indulging ourselves with free beer and rocking out to some of the hottest bands in the country. Rest assured, many of us are hard-working cultural critics, imitating the rock-star lifestyle for four long, music-filled days so that we can come back and report on the latest trends, and what?s about to move from the margins to the mainstream. This year, the conclusion is unavoidable: The ?90s are back, in a big way.
Of course, attendees at last year?s festival saw this coming. Last year marked the smashing return of no-nonsense rock with performances by the likes of Le Butcherettes, Ty Segall, and Wild Flag. This year removed all doubt that the genre that ruled the airwaves in the early 90s was back in force?think Nirvana. In addition, you also have cheery, melodic girl group music such as Best Coast and Bleached, and Mazzy Star-like drone rock represented in popular groups like Chairlift and Widowspeak. But it was the clothes that really drove it home: beards, flower-print dresses, boots galore, hats, half shirts, and of course, grunge-inspired flannel. For those of us who lived through it the first time, it?s a little disconcerting, but I?m pleased to note that the flower-print dresses are less sack-like and unflattering than they were the first time around.
Is it just a matter of everything old being new again, or is there something else going on with this wave of '90s nostalgia? Hard to say, but then again, it?s hard to deny that there are parallels between the '90s and now that might be fueling a desire to return to the fashion and music of the era. Just as then, the country voted for a charismatic Democrat, rejecting the Republicans under President George W. Bush because of an economic downturn, only to turn around and hand Congress over to the Republicans in the mid-term elections. Those Republicans, furious at losing a White House they?ve come to believe is their birthright, use those electoral gains for no other purpose but obstructionism and to rain punishment on the country.
But the '90s weren?t a sour time, in no small part because the upcoming generation of young people were charming, funny, and more progressive than their parents (Full disclosure, I?m 34 years old, putting me in this cohort). Labeled Generation X, they expressed their enthusiasm by embracing hip-hop and alternative rock, saying yes to condoms, and Rocking the Vote. The rock music of the era reflected the mood. The sound was enthusiastic, loud, and liberated. Even bands like Nirvana, with their dark lyrics, had a playfulness and sense of humor that added to the exuberance.
Now we have the Millennials, the generation who answered Lady Gaga to Madonna, turning out for Barack Obama and wearing pretty much the same clothes we did when we voted for Clinton. Born in the mid-'80s and throughout the early '90s, was in fact credited with handing Obama the election by turning out in record numbers for the youthful candidate. We?re so much alike, these generations, it?s really no wonder that Millennials find our fashion and music so appealing. At SXSW, their affection for their elders was undeniable. It?s not a coincidence that the band of the festival was Wavves, a psych-punk band with a surf rock vibe that caused audiences to break into frenzied dancing and crowd-surfing like it was 1993.
When it comes to women in rock, the parallels between the '90s and now are even more fascinating. I made a point to see two of the most exciting bands of the past year or so, Best Coast and Bleached, and both of them and their audiences strongly reminded me of two of the best female rock acts of the '90s, Liz Phair and the Breeders.
Like the Breeders, Bleached is built around two sisters playing punked-out pop music with delicious melodies and a sharp sense of humor. For young women like myself, the Breeders?along with L7?were probably the most directly inspiring band if you wanted to be the sort of woman who could go about doing awesome things without feeling like your femaleness was a major burden. Bleached really captured that ?Yeah, we?re ladies, get over it? feeling that meant so much back then.
Best Coast doesn?t have a lot of crossover musically with Liz Phair, at least on the surface. It mines sunny California pop, whereas Phair had a much more gritty sound on her first and most beloved album, Exile in Guyville. Still, watching the young women in the crowd sing along to every word of Best Coast reminded me of listening to Phair ten-plus years ago. Like Phair, lead singer Bethany Cosentino couples surprisingly dark lyrics about feminine longing and vulnerability with confident, hook-laden pop rock, giving the lyrics a chance to catch you by surprise. For some reason, Phair was treated like an obvious feminist in the '90s, and Cosentino is faced with accusations that her lyrics about romantic longing are somehow unfeminist. I challenge anyone to tell the difference between their lyrics, outside of Phair?s vulgarity. Both women sing songs that speak to young women?s frustrations with young men that feel compelled by masculine strictures not to treat young women with respect, much less cherish them.
Just as in the '90s, then, young women are absorbing rock music that tells them they really can have it all. They can be politically outspoken, funny, and ambitious without giving up on the desires that leave them vulnerable and, at times, hurt and lonely. Perhaps it?s because I grew up then, but this bout of '90s nostalgia gives me so much hope for the younger generation. It really was a time when young people felt assured of themselves even as they faced serious educational and economic obstacles. Seeing Millenials relate to that era makes me think there?s something seriously right about the younger generation.
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"I enjoy anecdotes about firing people." (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)
The New York Times reports that Romney supporters want their man to get more personal on the campaign trail:
The voters were pleading with Mitt Romney to share personal details of his life. They stood at town-hall-style meetings and chatted before rallies, clamoring for a story or an anecdote that would help them connect with the real Mitt Romney.What a fantastic idea. I'd love to hear Mitt Romney tell more stories about how he used personal connections to steer millions of federal dollars to the Olympics. And I think he really ought to explain in personal terms why he, acting in his role as a pastor, showed up unannounced at a hospital to warn a member of his church against getting an abortion even though her doctors had told her it was medically necessary. Or maybe he could explain why he said he lived in poverty during his missionary work in France when he actually lived in a 19th century mansion.
?I wish that you would speak more to a lot of the things that I think you should speak about ? the fact that you were pastor at your church, the fact that you were a missionary, the fact that you do speak about helping with the Olympics,? Mary Toepfer, 40, of Warren, Ohio, said at a recent event.
So while Republicans might want to hear more about what's inside Mitt Romney...
Another voter, another day, spoke up in Bexley, Ohio, beseeching Mr. Romney to open up. ?I?d like you to share with all the American citizens that are watching right now,? the man said, ?to show the American people that you have a lot of heart.?...Democrats do too. Maybe Mitt could regale with more stories about why the trees are the right height in Michigan. Or how he likes to fire people. Or why he believes corporations are people. Or why he thinks "the banks aren't bad people." Or maybe why he thinks it's a "game" if you're uninsured and sick.
And certainly, please give us more humorous anecdotes about laying off workers and closing down factories. Those are the best.
So both Democrats and Republicans agree: we want to hear more from Mitt Romney. The difference is Republicans think they don't really know Mitt Romney yet. Democrats know that we already do. We just want to make sure everybody else does too.