• President Barack Obama had a special visitor in the Oval Office on Monday: Golden Girl Betty White.
That didn’t take long. This isn’t something someone else said about Romney. No one just, out of the blue, said that Romney wanted fewer teachers, firefighters and cops. It’s something he’s said himself – strongly. That he’s flopping all over the place isn’t surprising, but for the original statement, he’s got no one to blame but himself.
Mitt Romney slammed President Obama last week for wanting to hire “more firemen, more policemen, and more teachers,” making a clear assertion that those workers belong among the 700,000 public sector workers who have lost their jobs in the last three years.
Romney’s campaign chair and other endorsers have backed him up on this desire to keep public employees out of work. But during an appearance on Fox News Tuesday morning, Romney contradicted his own remarks, saying that the Obama campaign was making “a very strange accusation” when it claimed he didn’t want to hire more teachers
[thinkprogress/Travis Waldron/12 Jun 2012]
particularly awful “This Week” panel Sunday morning:
[VAN] JONES: Look, look, first of all, maybe I was raised wrong. I never heard of this threat to America called public employees. In my neighborhood, we called them teachers, we called them firefighters, we called them cops, we called them nurses, and we were taught to look up to them and to respect them. And for them now to be a punching bag, people like my father and my mother, who were public school teachers, who did not make $100,000 a year or whatever you just said and nothing near it, for them to become a punching bag is wrong.
Furthermore, I think we need to take a big step back here. When you have the amount of pain that’s happening in the country, the Republican Party has not only been missing in action, they won’t pass their own bills to help Americans right now. They won’t pass their own ideas to help small businesses right now. Why? Because their gain will come when America has more pain. It’s like having a life guard trying to help you–
STEPHANOPOULOS: You say they’re rooting for failure?
JONES: I say they’re rooting for failure. It’s like having a life guard, Obama is a life guard trying to help people drowning. These guys are sitting back on the rocks hoping more people drown. That’s wrong. It’s morally wrong.
[crooksandliars/Blue Texan/11 Jun 2012]
The last we heard from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), he was attacking President Obama — eight years in state government, four years in the U.S. Senate, and four years as the president of the United States during a time of crisis — as being inexperienced. He prefers Mitt Romney, the least-experienced major-party presidential nominee in more than 70 years.
[maddowblog/Steve Benen/11 Jun 2012]
Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would allow insurers to deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month. During a speech at Con-Air Industries in Orlando, Florida, the former Massachusetts governor said that Americans who have not been “continuously insured” would not be protected from discrimination if they suffer from pre-existing conditions… Mitt Romney confirmed on Tuesday that he would allow insurers to deny coverage to millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare later this month. During a speech at Con-Air Industries in Orlando, Florida, the former Massachusetts governor said that Americans who have not been “continuously insured” would not be protected from discrimination if they suffer from pre-existing conditions
[thinkprogress/Igor Volsky/12 Jun 2012]
(CBS News) CBS News has learned the House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. It’s the fourth time in 30 years that Congress has launched a contempt action against an executive branch member.
This time, the dispute stems from Holder failing to turn over documents subpoenaed on October 12, 2011 in the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” investigation.
[cbsnews/Sharyl Attkisson/11 Jun 2012]
Today, they announced a lawsuit to win the right to purge people from the state voter rolls, despite the barely veiled intent to use this to disenfranchise Democratic and Hispanic legal voters… In a way, this concedes the point that the current system, where the voter rolls are checked against state DMV data, is flawed. But Florida Republicans have relied on the talking point that DHS is withholding the “real” data. For its part, the DHS said that their SAVE database would not be any more accurate, as it’s not intended to be a complete list of all documented and undocumented citizens in the country. DHS also said that they would not release the database until the Justice Department determined the legality of the purge.
[firedoglake/David Dayen/11 Jun 2012]
The U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida after the state disregarded the federal government’s request to suspend its voter purge campaign. In a letter to the Florida Secretary of State, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez argues that Florida is violating the National Voter Registration Act and the Voting Rights Act. “Please immediately cease this unlawful conduct,” Perez writes. The full text of the letter is available HERE.
[thinkprogress/Judd Legum/11 Jun 2012]
During the primaries, Mitt Romney declared, “I like Voter ID laws by the way… more of them,” but one of his top advisers once admitted that it’s an “undeniable fact” such laws can disenfranchise voters.
Michael Mukasey, a top Romney legal adviser, former federal judge and former Attorney General, warned about voter ID’s potential to block eligible citizens from voting. In a 2008 speech, Mukasey noted “the undeniable fact that voter ID laws can burden some citizens’ right to vote” before threatening to use the Voting Rights Act to block state measures that “are used improperly to deny the right to vote,” a move current Attorney General Eric Holder has used in South Carolina and Texas.
[thinkprogress/Scott Keyes/11 Jun 2012]
Even if Gov. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) administration prevails in its new lawsuit against the Obama administration, his efforts to purge voters before November’s election still faces a major obstacle — the county elections supervisors, including 30 Republicans, who have the ultimate authority over the voting rolls.
Republican Ann McFall, county supervisor of elections for Volusia County, told ThinkProgress that the lawsuit does not have her support and she will not resume purging voters before the elections, regardless of the suit’s outcome:
No I do not support the lawsuit. It is [about] helping the Governor and Secretary of State improve their image. I am not doing any further voter purge until after Nov 2012.
[thinkprogress/Josh Israel/12 Jun 2012]
comfortable interview with Charlie Rose last Thursday:
BUSH: I don’t think people need to be discriminated against because they don’t share my belief on this, and if people love their children with all their heart and soul and that’s what they do and that’s how they organize their life that should be held up as examples for others to follow because we need it. We desperately need it and that can take all sorts of forms, it doesn’t have to take the one that I think should be sanctioned under the law.
[thinkprogress/11 Jun 2012]
[Jeb Bush] became the latest in a lengthy parade of former GOP officeholders to express significant discomfort with the current purge by far-right wing Republicans of any moderates or even bipartisan-minded conservatives in their party. Bush told reports and editors that:
Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad [former President George H.W. Bush] — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground.
[thinkprogress/Josh Israel/11 Jun 2012]
WASHINGTON — US Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a seizure while driving his car in Los Angeles over the weekend, causing two separate traffic accidents just minutes apart, US officials said Monday.
“Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend. He suffered a seizure,” Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said in a statement.
“He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation. He was released and has returned to Washington,” Friedman said.
[AFP/11 Jun 2012]
Over the weekend, Commerce Secretary John Bryson was involved in a series of traffic collisions, which now appear to have taken place after the secretary suffered a seizure. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads posted, and then deleted, this tweet in response to the news:
American Crossroads has since apologized — but we’re still waiting to see how the right-wing blogosphere walks back some of its initial responses.
[nomoremister/11 Jun 2012]
Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who was involved in two car crashes on Saturday, has taken medical leave, the White House announced Monday night. The Commerce Department said earlier on Monday that he suffered a seizure. Rebecca M. Blank will serve as acting secretary of Commerce.
[talkingpointsmemo/11 Jun 2012]
• 7 States That Ban Atheists From Holding Public Office – States with laws on the books barring atheists from holding public office: Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
War on Women:
Have you ever wondered if Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides abortion services for undocumented immigrant detainees?
It doesn’t, but that didn’t stop the GOP-controlled House from tacking an anti-abortion rider onto a massive Department of Homeland Security spending bill.
The House passed a $46 billion Homeland Security bill Thursday that includes a special provision banning ICE from using funds to provide abortions for immigrant detainees. The bill, which passed with a sizable majority vote of 234-182, makes exceptions for rape, incest and health of the mother. Incest was only added to the bill after Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) suggested its inclusion to assuage his fellow partymembers.
The DHS appropriations bill is not only raising eyebrows because of the out-of-place anti-choice rider, but because government-funded abortions for undocumented immigrants is a moot point. According to ICE spokesman Barbara Gonzalez, the agency has never once paid for abortion services since its creation in 2003.
[msmagazine/Melissa van Gelder/8 Jun 2012]
Millions of Southern Californians and tourists seek the region’s famous beaches to cool off in the sea breeze and frolic in the surf. Those iconic breezes, however, may be delivering something hotter than the white sands along the Pacific.
According to a recent U.C. Davis study, uranium-filled nanospheres are created from the millions of tons of fresh and salt water used to try to cool down the three molten cores of the stricken reactors. The tiny and tough buckyballs are shaped like British Association Football soccer balls.
Water hitting the incredibly hot and radioactive, primarily uranium-oxide fuel turns it into peroxide. In this goo buckyballs are formed, loaded with uranium and able to move quickly through water without disintegrating.
[vcreporter/Michael Collin/11 June 2012]
• “The spokesman for Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn, who slapped a left-wing politician and threw water over another on a TV debate, is suing his victims. Ilias Kasidiaris went to an Athens court to announce he would sue the women for defamation.”
KABUL — The new restrictions by NATO on the use of air power in Afghanistan have failed to mollify President Hamid Karzai, who demanded Tuesday that the coalition cease all bombings of Afghan homes, even by forces acting in self-defense.
“Even when they are under attack, they cannot use an airplane to bomb Afghan homes. Even when they’re under attack,” an emphatic Karzai told a news conference in the presidential palace in Kabul.
[washingtonpost/Joshua Partlow/12 Jun 2012]