Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last Call

Mitt Romney's NAACP speech?  Yeah, about that whole repeal Obamacare on Day One thing, Mitt...

The crowd was not amused. Romney was booed again later in the speech when he told the crowd he knows what the black community needs.

“If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him,” Romney said. The line was followed by a smattering of applause and some more boos. 

Oy.  If sideeyes could kill...

Of course, Mittens wanted the boo-birds on purpose so that he and the winger clown car cavalcade could play the victim card. Col. Mustard:, Attorney At Fail:

I thought it was disrespectful and racist to boo, even on policy matters.

At least that’s what we’re told when there is a virtual boo of Obama in the right blogosphere, or someone shouts out at Obama.

Now I don’t think there was a racial motive to the booing of Romney when he said he would repeal Obamacare.  Just sayin’.

Yep.  The only racists in America are black people, you see.

Turn On The Lights, Watch The Roaches Scatter Part 89

Last month I told you how Stockton, California, one of the cities hit hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, declared bankruptcy.  I said it wouldn't be the last California city to do so.  That prophetic statement took all of two weeks or so to be proven correct.

San Bernardino on Tuesday became the third California city in less than a month to seek bankruptcy protection, with officials saying the financial situation had become so dire that it could not cover payroll through the summer.

The unexpected vote came at the suggestion of the interim city manager, who said the city faces a $46-million deficit and depleted coffers.

"We have an immediate cash flow issue," Andrea Miller told the mayor and seven-member City Council.

Mayor Patrick Morris called the decision, passed on a 4-2 vote, a "stain" on the city. But he said the only other option was "draconian cuts" to all city services, including the police and fire departments.

"It means the bills will be paid," said a dejected Morris, who is not a voting member of the council.

The city's fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation's crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.

And in California, raising taxes at any level is an absolute impossibility.  The only solution is either massive cuts or bankruptcy.  California is failing by design, and more cities in the Golden State will quickly follow.

And it will only get worse.  Count on it.

Early Bird Special

Will the Romney campaign name a Veep earlier rather than later?  Reuters asks the question and finds the Romney camp is considering it, at least.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney acknowledged on Tuesday he is considering naming his choice to serve as vice presidential running mate earlier than usual to better compete with President Barack Obama.

As they work from a short list of leading Republicans, Romney and his advisers say they are weighing whether he should announce his choice some weeks earlier than the traditional time of around the Republican National Convention, which is to be held in Tampa in late August.

The reasoning, advisers say, is that two candidates would be able to raise more money and engage Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in battle with polls showing Americans closely divided on whether to pick the Republican challenger or Democratic incumbent in the November 6 election.

But here's the real reason why naming a Veep before the RNC convention will happen, and soon:

Picking the choice early could also serve to guarantee some positive news coverage at a time when Romney is under fire from Obama over whether he should release more financial information about his wealth.

The offshoring thing is really starting to score hits on Team Romney.  They're on the defensive, and a Veep pick now will get them back on offense and shift the news narrative, at least for a while.

The names I keep hearing now are Mike Huckabee, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Rob Portman, aka The Huckster, Zombie-eyed Granny Starver, and The Most Boring Man On Earth.  My money's on the safe, boring, dull Portman.  Huckabee won't help Romney, and Ryan would hurt him.

We'll see.

Cruising The Crazy Seas

Perhaps Tom Cruise knows he looks bat-crap crazy, or perhaps Scientology has something to fear.  I'm sure we will find out eventually, but what we do know for sure is that Katie Holmes must have had some amazing dirt and leverage to bring Tom to his knees and settle the terms of the divorce.

TMZ, through several updates, has released more details than anyone else.  Katie will get primary custody, but Tom will get regular visitation.  there have been rumors (vehemently denied) that Katie has insisted on having a person present while Suri is with her dad.  Though they have yet to leak, there is some discussion about religion and age appropriate behavior.

With all the money and resources he has, Tom Cruise must have something pretty bit at stake to fold so early into the game.  At least it keeps him from coming off like a bully.  Still, I pegged him to be the type to fight bitterly just because he could, and the publicity could get him some sympathy in the courts.

I really hope we learn what she used to stop him so quickly.  She's already back at work, laughing with her daughter and moving on.  She is one smart cookie, I'll give her that.

Well Played, Pitt

Using honesty and simplicity when dealing with potentially embarrassing no-win topics: you're doing it right.

Doug Pitt was asked about his mother's letter to the News-Leader on The Today Show.  Matt Lauer put him in a bit of a hard spot, though he surely saw it coming.  Disagree with his mom, support something he has made no declarations about before, or look guilty of something even worse?

The best Hollywood writer in the world couldn't have come up with a more believable and respectable response.  Seriously, he answers so well that it couldn't be turned against him, damn near impossible when family and politics are both involved.

The interview turned more serious when Lauer asked about his mother's headline-grabbing letter, published last week in the News-Leader.
Much has been made of Jane Pitt's pro Mitt Romney letter, which showed she didn't share Brad's strong support of gay rights.
Pitt acknowledged his mom and brother disagree on some political and social issues.
“Moms and dads and kids agree to disagree all over the world, so why would our family be any different?” he said.

It's true.  It's respectful.  Anyone can tell you the family rarely agrees on politics.  He said maybe the only thing that could have worked.  Well played, sir.

With Campaign Surrogates Like These...

...Mitt Romney doesn't need critics, apparently.  His own guys are torpedoing his chances in November, guys like Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC are more than happy to say some really moronic things about Mittens.

Mitt Romney shouldn't be criticized for using off-shore tax havens because "it's really American to avoid paying taxes, legally," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has come under fire for stashing assets overseas in places like Bermuda and Switzerland.

Graham argued that Congress is responsible for tax avoidance because it has crafted such convoluted rules and said he was fine with Romney's taking advantage of the loopholes.

"As long as it was legal, I'm OK with it," Graham said. "I don't blame anybody for using the tax code to their advantage. I blame us for having it so complicated and confused. Pick a rate and make people pay it."

In the meantime, anything within the rules goes, he argued.

"It's a game we play," Graham said. "Every American tries to find the way to get the most deductions they can. I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game."

Congress set it up to be a game that people like Mitt Romney can win, and regular Americans lose.  Big time.  Considering more than two-thirds of Americans believe that the "game" Lindsey Graham wants Americans to play is rigged to help people like Mitt Romney get richer at their expense, maybe bragging about how rich Mitt is because Congress set up the tax code so that Mitt can avoid paying taxes and that he should be applauded for it is about as tone-deaf as it comes.

This is why Americans give Congress an 9% approval rating, folks.  By all means Dems, run ads on Graham saying this over and over again, while pointing out Mitt Romney believes that the rich are still paying too much in taxes and that he wants to give millionaire hundreds of thousands in more tax breaks yearly while telling the rest of us "Sorry, we can't afford roads, school, and police.  You're on your own."

Dems need to crush this fastball out of the park.

Hoosier Daddy, Republicans?

Indiana's anti-Planned Parenthood Medicaid law just got a huge hole blown in it, and it's taking on water and going down fast.

A controversial Indiana law that would keep low-income women from using federal Medicaid benefits to receive any kind of reproductive medical care from Planned Parenthood is unacceptable because it denies women the freedom to choose their health care providers, according to a federal hearing officer.

 In June 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the Department of Health and Human Services ruled the state law, which would alter the way Medicaid is run in Indiana, violates federal laws, making it unacceptable.

The state has argued the law, HEA 1210, simply intended to block Medicaid money from going toward abortions, and filed an administrative appeal to CMS to reassess the ruling.

“Like any other petitioner who is entitled to a hearing, the State of Indiana appreciated the opportunity to try to explain to CMS the Indiana Legislature's public policy decision that private providers ought not indirectly subsidize abortion procedures through Medicaid dollars and that the legislation had that separation in mind,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement.

Overseeing the administrative appeal, Hearing Officer Benjamin Cohen said that the law violated a federal requirement that individuals must have the liberty to obtain care from any qualified provider, and recommended CMS administrators uphold their original ruling.

“Indiana’s own Legislative Services Agency advised prior to the passage of HEA 1210 that, in fact, ‘Federal law permits states to define a qualified provider, but requires that this definition is related to a provider’s ability to perform a service and not what services are provided,’” Cohen wrote in his recommendation.

It's funny, Republicans scream about freedom and government intervention in health care coming between citizens and their doctors, then they pass laws that literally tell women where they can and can't go for their health care without having the grace to be even slightly apologetic for the massive hypocrisy.

Sorry boys, you lose again.


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