More stupidity from the right wing:
Mitt Romney’s senior campaign adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, on Sunday said that social issues important to women, like contraception coverage and abortion rights, were “shiny objects” that were being used to distract voters.
…“Mitt Romney is pro-life,” the senior adviser admitted to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He’ll govern as a pro-life president, but you’re going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people’s attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election.”
Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter noted that Romney had promoted his social policies throughout the primary season.
“If it’s not a social issue election then why did Mitt Romney just spend the last year campaigning on social issues?” she wondered. “These are his positions that he’s taken. Whether it’s giving bosses control over whether female employees can get contraception, being for the so-called personhood amendment that would ban all forms of abortion or telling the American people that he’ll get back to them on whether he supports Lilly Ledbetter [Fair Pay Act] — which is an economic issue and it should be a no-brainer, but the governor couldn’t even bring himself to be for that.”
“I think that getting rid of Planned Parenthood or a number of other social issues that the governor injected into the campaign — I think that women don’t like that intrusion,” she added. “What Mitt Romney is really saying that he’s going to do is he’s going to use government to intrude into their lives. And I think that they resent that.”
[rawstory/David Edwards/03 Jun 2012]
• He didn’t say “let’s hurl some invective” and THAT got “misconstrued“. He said, “let’s hurl some acid”. It wasn’t “misconstrued”; it was SAID. Own it.
• “They need to get off their hands and stop rooting for failure” – Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Barack Obama
KRUGMAN: Can I say, the Ryan plan — and I guess this is what counts as a personal attack — but it isn’t. It’s not an attack on the person; it’s an attack on the plan. The plan’s a fraud. The plan is a big bunch of tax cuts, some specified spending cuts, basically for poor people, and then a huge magic asterisk which is supposed to turn into a deficit reduction plan, but, in fact, if you look what’s actually in it, it’s a deficit-increasing plan.
And so to say that — just tell the truth that there is really no plan there, neither from Ryan, nor from Governor Romney, is just the truth. That’s not — if that’s — if that’s being harsh and partisan, gosh, then I guess the truth is anti-bipartisanship.
[politicususa/Jason Easley/03 Jun 2012]
Even assuming that Herren’s letter to the state amounts to a DOJ “order,” it may not be enough to stop what The Advancement Project estimated in its May 17 letter to Herren [PDF] could ultimately produce an illegal purge of as many as 180,000 otherwise eligible voters based on a flawed, eleventh hour pre-election effort to match voter rolls against the FL driver’s license data base.
After receiving the letter from the DOJ, Florida Dept. of State Spokesperson Chris Cates said they intended to continue with their purge anyway. “Bottom line is,” Cates told Think Progress, “we are firmly committed to doing the right thing and preventing ineligible voters from being able to cast a ballot.”
…To halt the purge, groups like the ACLU and the DOJ may need to initiate a federal lawsuit in which they seek yet another preliminary injunction, like the one issued late Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Hinkle in League of Women Voters v. Browning [PDF]. That ruling, as we reported on Thursday, spoke to a different aspect of this year’s GOP voter suppression effort in FL. Hinkle’s ruling ordered an official federal injunction on the draconian restrictions imposed on voter registration workers by the FL GOP, which had earlier led to groups like the League of Women Voters of Florida being forced to cancel their voter registration drives for the first time in some 70 years.
Florida has until June 6th to official respond to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
[bradblog/Ernest A. Canning/03 Jun 2012]
• If you claim “stand your ground” as the reason you shot someone, what happens to you can depend less on the merits of the case than on who you are, whom you kill and where your case is decided.
Wisconsin, Unions, and the larger plan:
One of the reasons the Wisconsin recall is such a huge event is this: Unions are being weakened, and as they are weakened, corporations will represent the majority of organized political activity, leaving people — actual real, flesh and blood people — without any voice at all. Unions are, after all, best at organizing and deploying people to get out the vote, to galvanize voters, and to push back on corporate messages.
The statistics on union membership in Wisconsin post union-buster bill passage are stunning. As Rachel explains, in one year public sector union membership in Wisconsin has shrunk with frightening rapidity. Before the union-buster passed, AFSCME membership in Wisconsin was 62,818 members. Today, post-passage, membership has shrunk to 28,745. AFT membership pre-passage was about 17,000 members. Post-passage, 11,000.
That’s in one year. ONE single year.
[crooksandliars/karoli/03 Jun 2012]
About those jobs:
Senior Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning and tried to deflect criticism from then-Governor Mitt Romney’s decision to direct $9 million in state funding to clean energy companies around the state, including the now-defunct Konarka Technologies.
The campaign finds itself on the defensive after Konarka, a Romney-backed solar company, went belly up just a day after the governor sought to exploit the Obama administration’s loan to renewable energy company Solyndra. Konarka has filed for bankruptcy and is ceasing operations, laying off its staff of 85 and liquidating all of its assets.
In an effort to defend Romney’s deal, Gillespie said that the $1.5 million grant Romney gave to Konarka in 2003 was not supported by the governor, and was made by a committee independent of the governor’s control …almost the exact opposite from what actually happened.
[thinkprogress/Adam Peck/03 Jun 2012]
• Romney Camp Defends Poor Jobs Record: He Inherited A Bad Situation
CIA and 911:
The CIA has released nearly 800 pages of newly declassified documents on Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks.
The documents were released in response to an INTELWIRE Freedom of Information Act request for material referenced by the 9/11 Commission. Numerous documents were withheld, and those that were released have been heavily redacted. Despite this, it is highly unusual to receive any material from the CIA in response to a FOIA request, and they provide a fascinating look at the state of the agency’s understanding of Al Qaeda over the years.
[intelwire/31 May 2012]
OTTAWA — In a rare public attack, a former Australian prime minister has lashed out at Canada for what he says is a lack of commitment to an international treaty to ban deadly cluster munitions.
Long-serving Australian PM Malcolm Fraser, in a statement released to the Ottawa Citizen, accuses the Conservative government of departing from Canada’s traditional international leadership.
“Canada used to be in the forefront internationally in leading the world in good directions,” he said. “That tradition lasted over many decades after the last war.
“It is a pity the current Canadian Government, in relation to cluster munitions, does not provide any real lead to the world. Its approach is timid, inadequate and regressive.”
Fraser, Australian PM from 1975 to 1983, echoes other international criticism of the Conservative’s recently tabled legislation designed to finally cement Canada to an international treaty to ban clusters.
Canada, one of the first countries to sign the treaty at a special ceremony in the Norwegian capital Oslo in 2008, must pass domestic legislation to formally ratify its position.
But foreign and domestic critics say that legislation, Bill S-10, is weak and compromised by Canada’s military relationship with the United States. That will ultimately allow Canadian forces to use the weapon the country has legally banned, critics say.
[vancouversun/Chris Cobb/03 Jun 2012]
The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is rewriting the nation’s environmental laws to speed the extraction and export of oil, minerals and other materials to a global market clamoring for Canada’s natural resources.
[washingtonpost/Juliet Eilperin/03 Jun 2012]
Russia, China and Iran:
Moscow – President Vladimir Putin visits China Tuesday on the first Asia trip of his new Kremlin mandate aiming to tighten an increasingly close alliance that is key for Russia’s diplomatic and economic strategy.
Putin, who began a third term as president less than a month ago, has already made a lightning trip to Germany and France but will symbolically be visiting Beijing before the United States.
[AFP/03 Jun 2012]
Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of a summit in Beijing next week as tensions rise over Tehran’s nuclear drive, a Kremlin official said.
“Meeting Ahmadinejad will let Putin personally feel the tension around the Iranian issue and how it is perceived in Tehran,” Kremlin foreign policy aide Yury Ushakov told reporters last week in comments that were embargoed for release until Sunday.
Putin and Ahmadinejad agreed to meet over the phone and the initiative came “from both sides,” Ushakov said.
The meeting will come as Russia prepares to host the latest round of talks on June 18 and 19 between world powers and Iranian negotiators in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme.
[AFP/03 Jun 2012]
HONG KONG, June 4 (UPI) — China says the United States is interfering in internal affairs in calling for the release of activists jailed for the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
…We encourage the Chinese government to release all those still serving sentences for their participation in the demonstrations, to provide a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families,” a U.S. State Department statement said Sunday.
“We renew our call for China to protect the universal human rights of all its citizens; release those who have been wrongfully detained, prosecuted, incarcerated, forcibly disappeared, or placed under house arrest; and end the ongoing harassment of human rights activists and their families.”
Lu Weimin, spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the U.S. accusations are baseless.
“The U.S. side has been ignoring the facts and issuing such statements year after year, making baseless accusations against the Chinese government and arbitrarily interfering with China’s internal affairs,” he said. “The Chinese side expresses strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to such acts.”
[upi/04 Jun 2012]
Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday.
The magazine said in a cover story that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that German submarines were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal.
But former high-ranking officials of the German defence ministry told Der Spiegel that the government always assumed Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels.
The article, based on a months-long probe, cited files from the foreign ministry in Berlin indicating the West German state was aware of the practice as early as 1961.
[yahoo.com/03 Jun 2012]
“Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.”
That is Yishai’s latest response to the increasingly racist events unfolding in Israel having to do with that country’s disturbingly violent reaction to an influx of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
[firedoglake/EdwardTeller/03 Jun 2012]
UPDATE: A massive protest has broken out tonight in Cairo’s Tahrir square as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians express outrage over today’s verdicts against former President Mubarak and other members of his regime.
There are reports of large protests breaking out in cities all over Egypt.
[commondreams/02 Jun 2012]