2012

If conservative billionaires are looking for something else to be mad about, I'd recommend the Romney campaign's apparent habit of paying about 50 percent more for TV spots than the Obama campaign. That helped line the pockets of the consultants who both recommended the buys and got the commissions for placing the spots, but it didn't do much to win the election.

If conservative billionaires are looking for something else to be mad about, I’d recommend the Romney campaign’s apparent habit of paying about 50 percent more for TV spots than the Obama campaign. That helped line the pockets of the consultants who both recommended the buys and got the commissions for placing the spots, but it didn’t do much to win the election.
America’s Billionaires are Pissed Off at Karl Rove

Stephen Stills on Mitt Romney: 'I Never Thought I'd See a Creepier Politician Than Nixon'

Stephen Stills on Mitt Romney: 'I Never Thought I'd See a Creepier Politician Than Nixon'

After running for years as a hard-right conservative, Romney is sprinting to the center in the final days of the campaign. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. He cast himself as a moderate back when he became Governor of Massachusetts. He’ll be whatever he thinks he has to be in order to win. He is just raw ambition with no real ideology.

Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations

Romney Avoids Taxes via Loophole Cutting Mormon Donations

In 1997, Congress cracked down on a popular tax shelter that allowed rich people to take advantage of the exempt status of charities without actually giving away much money. Individuals who had already set up these vehicles were allowed to keep them. That included Mitt Romney, then the chief executive officer of Bain Capital, who had just established such an arrangement in June 1996.

Blaming China Masks our Real Economic Problems

Blaming China Masks our Real Economic Problems

For the most part, the response of economists to the candidates' exchange over trade was highly negative. Economists are strong advocates of open, unimpeded trade between nations, and with all that economists have done to promote the idea that specialization and trade is mutually beneficial - an argument with the public that has persisted for hundreds of years how could the candidates regress into this primitive mercantile thinking?

Worth a read.

My effective tax rate is higher than the 13% that Mr. Romney paid so I think I earned the right to consider him a moocher and a parasite and lecture him on personal responsibility.

Both conventions are about Obama. Neither is about Romney.

Mr. Romney Reinvents History

Mr. Romney Reinvents History

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security - even if it meant holding the nation's credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

Why hasn’t Romney denied paying taxes in Kenya? What is he hiding?

Romney as McCain's VP

The more I hear Romney talk, the further in to this campaign we go, the more sure I am that McCain is being accurate when he says that Sarah Palin was the better choice.

we have lots of empirical work on the effects of tax changes at the top - and none of it supports the Romney camp's claims. What we've just learned is that they were faking it all along. There is no plan to offset the tax cuts; Romney is just intending to blow up the deficit to lavish favors on the wealthy, then use it as an excuse to savage Social Security and Medicare.

we have lots of empirical work on the effects of tax changes at the top - and none of it supports the Romney camp's claims. What we've just learned is that they were faking it all along. There is no plan to offset the tax cuts; Romney is just intending to blow up the deficit to lavish favors on the wealthy, then use it as an excuse to savage Social Security and Medicare.
Dooh Nibor - NYTimes.com

What does it say about Romney's campaign that to run against a sitting president, one with a three and a half year track record, they have to lie about what he said to find a point of attack?

What does it say about Romney's campaign that to run against a sitting president, one with a three and a half year track record, they have to lie about what he said to find a point of attack?

They Didn’t Build That - NYTimes.com

Once again, reality has a liberal bias.

Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration's policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don't remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.

Mr. Romney constantly talks about job losses under Mr. Obama. Yet all of the net job loss took place in the first few months of 2009, that is, before any of the new administration's policies had time to take effect. So the Ohio speech was a perfect illustration of the way the Romney campaign is banking on amnesia, on the hope that voters don't remember that Mr. Obama inherited an economy that was already in free fall.
The Amnesia Candidate - NYTimes.com

I’m waiting for Romney to flip-flop on cheesy grits and admit that aren’t that tasty.

Not sure what’s worse, Santorum’s sincere insanity or Romney’s sane insincerity.

Rick Santorum Rejects Catholic Church Teaching on Evolution

Rick Santorum Rejects Catholic Church Teaching on Evolution

I’m a little weary of Rick Santorum prancing around as the “Catholic candidate” when he stands in direct opposition to the Church on a whole host of issues, including torture, the death penalty, pre-emptive war, the welfare state and global warming — just to name a few.

In a nutshell, he only agrees with the church when it comes to gays being icky and women being unable to control their sexuality without the paternal influence of men.

I’m putting the odds that Santorum will make a public comment about the immodesty of women’s clothing before the general election at 5/2.

Rick Santorum uses the word theology the way the rest of the GOP uses the word socialism. Constantly and incorrectly.

Less than 1 percent of registered voters turned out for Maine's caucus. In Nevada, where Republican turnout was down 25 percent from 2008, only 3 percent of total registered voters participated. This is not majority rule by any measure; it barely qualifies as participatory democracy.

Less than 1 percent of registered voters turned out for Maine's caucus. In Nevada, where Republican turnout was down 25 percent from 2008, only 3 percent of total registered voters participated. This is not majority rule by any measure; it barely qualifies as participatory democracy.
The Electoral Wasteland - NYTimes.com

Like most Americans, you've probably never been able to afford a trip on the subway, as it is the exclusive domain of Champagne-sipping dandies who love nothing more than to luxuriate in the MTA's Gilded Age-opulence. But from what we've heard, it's like entering another dimension of sophistication and enchantment, where only the most glamorous citizens ride gold-leaf locomotives along shimmering silver tracks winding through wondrous subterranean cathedrals that none of you lickspittles posses the refinement to appreciate.

Like most Americans, you’ve probably never been able to afford a trip on the subway, as it is the exclusive domain of Champagne-sipping dandies who love nothing more than to luxuriate in the MTA’s Gilded Age-opulence. But from what we’ve heard, it’s like entering another dimension of sophistication and enchantment, where only the most glamorous citizens ride gold-leaf locomotives along shimmering silver tracks winding through wondrous subterranean cathedrals that none of you lickspittles posses the refinement to appreciate.
Newt Gingrich: If You Ride The Subway, You’re An Elitist : Gothamist

Hackivist group Anonymous has announced that not only have they decimated the websites of avowed White Supremacist group American Third Position (A3P) during Operation Blitzkrieg but, in the process, they claim to have accidentally uncovered close ties between the racist group and Ron Paul. Not just the Ron Paul campaign, but Ron Paul himself.

Hackivist group Anonymous has announced that not only have they decimated the websites of avowed White Supremacist group American Third Position (A3P) during Operation Blitzkrieg but, in the process, they claim to have accidentally uncovered close ties between the racist group and Ron Paul. Not just the Ron Paul campaign, but Ron Paul himself.

Ron Paul Exposed As White Supremacist By Anonymous | Addicting Info

This isn’t a slam-dunk as they claim. It looks like it is just more evidence of hate groups supporting Paul, not of Paul being in agreement with the hate groups.

maybe Gingrich deserves some credit for his persistence. He pressed ahead last summer when the entire political world was writing him off and ridiculing him - and by December, he was leading by double-digits in national polls. Then, party elites panicked and cut him down to size and Gingrich was again written off - only to return from the dead and win the South Carolina primary by 13 points. However this campaign ends, Gingrich will have enjoyed far more success than he ever would have if he'd folded his tent when everyone was telling him he was going nowhere.

maybe Gingrich deserves some credit for his persistence. He pressed ahead last summer when the entire political world was writing him off and ridiculing him - and by December, he was leading by double-digits in national polls. Then, party elites panicked and cut him down to size and Gingrich was again written off - only to return from the dead and win the South Carolina primary by 13 points. However this campaign ends, Gingrich will have enjoyed far more success than he ever would have if he'd folded his tent when everyone was telling him he was going nowhere.
Why futility might not matter to Newt - salon.com

The absurdity of this claim is clearly revealed if one considers capital gains that accrue to short sellers, who pay rather than receive dividends while their positions are open. Following the logic of the argument, one would be forced to conclude that short sellers are taxed at an effective rate of negative 20%, thereby receiving a significant subsidy due to the existence of the corporate tax. The flaw in this reasoning is apparent when one recognizes that asset prices are lower (relative to the zero corporate tax benchmark) not only when a short position is covered, but also when it is entered

The absurdity of this claim is clearly revealed if one considers capital gains that accrue to short sellers, who pay rather than receive dividends while their positions are open. Following the logic of the argument, one would be forced to conclude that short sellers are taxed at an effective rate of negative 20%, thereby receiving a significant subsidy due to the existence of the corporate tax. The flaw in this reasoning is apparent when one recognizes that asset prices are lower (relative to the zero corporate tax benchmark) not only when a short position is covered, but also when it is entered

Economist’s View: Is Romney Double Taxed?

Rajiv Sethi looks at the numbers and concludes that Romney isn’t being double taxed and doesn’t have an effective rate of 45% to 50%.

We've got to stop the debates," McCain told Meet The Press' David Gregory. "Enough with the debates, because they are driving up our candidates', all of them, unfavorability. We have enough of that. They've turned into mud wrestling instead of an exposition of all our candidates views. And it's time to recognize who the real adversary is, and it's not each other.

We've got to stop the debates," McCain told Meet The Press' David Gregory. "Enough with the debates, because they are driving up our candidates', all of them, unfavorability. We have enough of that. They've turned into mud wrestling instead of an exposition of all our candidates views. And it's time to recognize who the real adversary is, and it's not each other.

Brad DeLong: John McCain Says: We Republicans Don’t Dare Let Americans See Our Candidates in Unscripted Settings Anymore

What does it say about the Republican party that having the candidates to speak is enough to damage then in the face of the electorate?

If Newt is going to talk about a moon base, he should have the self respect to propose it while sitting in a wheelchair and stroking a fluffy white cat.

The more I think about the hypocrisies of Newt converting to Catholicism for the mistress he divorced his wife to be with because his wife wouldn’t accept his infidelities the dizzier I get. And that is without considering his role in the Clinton impeachment. This is weapons grade hypocrisy. I have to sit down now.

The Tea Party. Silent on NDAA, Silent on SOPA.

Check out the web sites for the major Tea Party umbrella groups. They had nothing to say about the NDAA and now they have nothing to say about SOPA. They are really upset about the Obama recess appointment for a head of the CFPA. That’s the big outrage story in Tea Party land. Amazing how flexible their strict constitutionalism can be in the face of corporate sponsored tyranny.

is there anything at all in Romney's stump speech that's true? It's all based on attacking Obama for apologizing for America, which he didn't, on making deep cuts in defense, which he also didn't, and on being a radical redistributionist who wants equality of outcomes, which he isn't. When the issue turns to jobs, Romney makes false assertions both about Obama's record and about his own. I can't find a single true assertion anywhere.

is there anything at all in Romney's stump speech that's true? It's all based on attacking Obama for apologizing for America, which he didn't, on making deep cuts in defense, which he also didn't, and on being a radical redistributionist who wants equality of outcomes, which he isn't. When the issue turns to jobs, Romney makes false assertions both about Obama's record and about his own. I can't find a single true assertion anywhere.
Untruths, Wholly Untrue, And Nothing But Untruths - NYTimes.com

The story of Romney and the auto bailout

what the story of Romney and the auto bailout actually shows is something we already knew from health care: he's a smart guy who is also a moral coward. His original proposal for the auto industry, like his health reform, bore considerable resemblance to what Obama actually did. But when the deed took place, Romney - rather than having the courage to say that the president was actually doing something reasonable - joined the rest of his party in whining and denouncing the plan.
Romney and the Bailout - NYTimes.com

Have any Republicans been blocked from voting in the primaries because they didn’t have proper id?

Romney expected to win New Hampshire, sun expected to rise in east.

Romney should come out in favor of replacing Obamacare with a Massachusetts like system. That is such an insanely self contradictory flip-flop that only Romney could possibly say it without having his head explode. And only Romney could defend that statement with a straight face.

The best part of the Iowa results: Hearing news people say Santorum Surge over and over again. Santorum Surge! Santorum Surge! Santorum Surge!

This might have been the longest Newt has ever talked without mentioning one of his books.

Sausage is the new Bacon, that's my first 2012 prediction.

More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.

More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.
Red money, blue money: The making of the 2012 campaign - 2012 Elections - salon.com

I'm pretty sure if Aquaman dropped into the race right now and just said "Washington outsider" and "regulations are killing us" for two weeks, he would be the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination through December.

I’m pretty sure if Aquaman dropped into the race right now and just said “Washington outsider” and “regulations are killing us” for two weeks, he would be the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination through December.
Unless, of Course, Aquaman Is a Mormon…

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

"President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters' eyes almost across-the-board," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. "He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems - whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive."
Good news, I think.

Carville's advice, Fire. Indict. Fight.

People often ask me what advice I would give the White House about various things," Carville wrote on Wednesday. "Today I was mulling over election results from New York and Nevada while thinking about that very question. What should the White House do now? One word came to mind: Panic." Carville said Democrats are "past sending out talking points" and said he would tell the president, "The time has come to demand a plan of action that requires a complete change from the direction you are headed." Carville's advice: "Fire. Indict. Fight.
James Carville: Obama should 'panic' - Mackenzie Weinger - POLITICO.com

Sarah Reidy, the national director of scheduling for Jon Huntsman's presidential campaign, had some stern words for her own party after the audience at a debate in California applauded the number of executions during Texas Gov. Rick Perry's tenure, and then some in the crowd at a debate in Florida cheered when the moderator asked if a sick person without insurance should be left to die. In a post on her Facebook page, Reidy, who joined Huntsman's campaign in August but was not speaking on its behalf in this instance, said the behavior made her "sick and sad" for the Republican party.

Sarah Reidy, the national director of scheduling for Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, had some stern words for her own party after the audience at a debate in California applauded the number of executions during Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s tenure, and then some in the crowd at a debate in Florida cheered when the moderator asked if a sick person without insurance should be left to die.
In a post on her Facebook page, Reidy, who joined Huntsman’s campaign in August but was not speaking on its behalf in this instance, said the behavior made her “sick and sad” for the Republican party.
Huntsman staffer says she is 'sick and sad' for the Republican Party after watching presidential debates | The Ticket - Yahoo! News

Krugman: Republicans Against Science

Mr. Perry suggests; those scientists are just in it for the money, "manipulating data" to create a fake threat. In his book "Fed Up," he dismissed climate science as a "contrived phony mess that is falling apart."

I could point out that Mr. Perry is buying into a truly crazy conspiracy theory, which asserts that thousands of scientists all around the world are on the take, with not one willing to break the code of silence. I could also point out that multiple investigations into charges of intellectual malpractice on the part of climate scientists have ended up exonerating the accused researchers of all accusations. But never mind: Mr. Perry and those who think like him know what they want to believe, and their response to anyone who contradicts them is to start a witch hunt.


From Republicans Against Science

This is normal practice for pseudo intellectual flat-earthers and creation-science folk. When science isn’t on their side, they pick at the way the science is being done. Never mind that the same techniques are being used elsewhere without controversy.

Gov. Rick Perry's Cash Machine

The exchange of campaign contributions for government contracts, favors or positions is all too common in Washington and around the country. It has been developed to an especially high art - or more to the point, a low art - by Gov. Rick Perry in Texas.

From NYTimes

The Texas Taliban loves crony capitalism.


"Rick Perry’s an idiot, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that," Bartlett said Friday on CNN’s "American Morning."

Probably the single most false claim in Rick Perry's book is his view of the end of the Great Depression, namely that "recovery did not come until World War II, when FDR was finally persuaded to unleash private enterprise." World War II is, of course, an example of the reverse. With the nation engaged in a total war against Germany and Japan, the federal government introduced massive distortions into the marketplace in order to maximize production of things that were useful for winning the war. That meant, among other things, massive rationing and price controls

Probably the single most false claim in Rick Perry's book is his view of the end of the Great Depression, namely that "recovery did not come until World War II, when FDR was finally persuaded to unleash private enterprise." World War II is, of course, an example of the reverse. With the nation engaged in a total war against Germany and Japan, the federal government introduced massive distortions into the marketplace in order to maximize production of things that were useful for winning the war. That meant, among other things, massive rationing and price controls
Private Enterprise Unleashed During World War II | ThinkProgress

Tweets for 2011-08-12

  1. If #corporationsarepeople why can’t we arrest them when they break the law? http://t.co/fuH1MFV
  2. What Republicans get wrong about capitalism #AdamSmith #Salon http://t.co/agSdyoG
  3. sdenaro: RT @BorowitzReport: Rick Perry says God told him to run, but what he neglected to say was that it was the Ancient Mayan God. #2012
  4. sdenaro: RT @FrankConniff: To Michele Bachmann the definition of marriage is the union between a closeted man and a crazy woman. #tweetthepress
  5. sdenaro: RT @benschwartzy: I don’t care about Bert and Ernie being gay. Just tell us who’s the top.
  6. sdenaro: RT @pourmecoffee: Mitt Romney will not be at the debate tonight. He is having a nice, quiet romantic dinner with a corporation.
  7. sdenaro: RT @BorowitzReport: GOP Dictionary: A “gotcha” question is a question whose answer involves a fact. #GOPdebate

there's also no modern precedent for the out-of-power party being as widely loathed on Election Day as the GOP now is. And there will be many more opportunities in the next 15 months for congressional Republicans to inflict even more damage on the GOP brand. It's enough to raise the possibility that the very forces that set out to destroy Barack Obama's presidency from the moment it started could end up being the reason he gets a second term.

there’s also no modern precedent for the out-of-power party being as widely loathed on Election Day as the GOP now is. And there will be many more opportunities in the next 15 months for congressional Republicans to inflict even more damage on the GOP brand. It’s enough to raise the possibility that the very forces that set out to destroy Barack Obama’s presidency from the moment it started could end up being the reason he gets a second term.
Could the Tea Party actually be Obama’s salvation in 2012? - War Room - salon.com

The GOP is now even less popular than during the impeachment of Bill Clinton. A party that focuses relentlessly on maintaining tax breaks for millionaires, refusing to compromise on anything, all the while acting to paralyze the government in hopes that dysfunction will redound to its benefit is very difficult to deal with. But normally parties don't act this way because normally party members are more responsive to public opinion. (via The Republican Party Is Very Unpopular | ThinkProgress)

Stopping GOP bailouts and GOP socialism

Can we borrow a page from the tea party and start referring to the corporate subsidies and tax breaks to the energy, defense and agribusiness firms as bailouts? And any no-bid or closed-door contract as a take-over? And any new program or spending as socialism?

I realize that this is a cynical way of doing it, but why not take this tactic to make the words meaningless?