The whispering out there is that Mittens might be looking at choosing a woman to be his VP. Maybe Sen. Ayotte? Anyway, scrub that. What I’m just chuckling at seeing is the name MICHELE BACHMANN. Yes, old “Crazy Eyes” herself. Now that I would love to see.
Where in the world is Barack Obama?:
• President Obama pulled a fast one on Karl Rove and the National Review, who claimed he was in Paris raising cash on July 4th, when he was, in fact, doing what he does every year — throwing a party for our troops on the South Lawn of the White House.
• Obama Targets Romney Weaknesses In Battleground State Push: WASHINGTON — It’s the kind of trip President Barack Obama relishes – one that plays to his natural political abilities by taking him outside of Washington to mix it up with Americans in small towns and casual settings. Obama embarks Thursday on his first bus tour of the 2012 campaign as he seeks to pointedly stir up more questions about rival Mitt Romney’s business record and subtly contrast himself with a Republican opponent who has struggled to connect with voters. Dubbed the “Betting on America” tour, the two-day swing will take him through several northern Ohio communities that were critical to his 2008 win in the state and then to Pennsylvania for an event in Pittsburgh. Obama won both states four years ago but Romney and Republicans are competing hard to win them. The president will campaign in the both states as the nation’s latest monthly job-creation assessment is released. Each state had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in May, below the national average of 8.2 percent. [AP/04 Jul 2012]
• Romney Directly Contradicts His Campaign, Now Insists Health Mandate Is ‘A Tax’: Earlier this week, Mitt Romney’s top campaign adviser broke with the entire Republican party and insisted that the individual mandate at the center of the Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts’ 2006 health care law is “not a tax.” “The governor disagreed with the ruling of the Court. He agreed with the dissent, which was written by Justice Scalia, which very clearly stated that the mandate was not a tax,” Eric Fehrnstrom told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. But on Wednesday, in another sign that the Romney campaign doesn’t appear to speak for its candidate, Romney told CBS News that he agrees both with the Supreme Court’s dissent striking down the law and also its majority opinion upholding the mandate as a tax…Romney also tried to argue that while Obama’s mandate is a “tax” his own virtually identical provision is a penalty. [thinkprogress/Igor Volsky/04 Jul 2012]
• A flip-flop-flip on Romneycare’s ‘tax’: [W]e have another example of the GOP base, furious with Romney, forcing the candidate to reject his own rhetoric and record, basically just to make the activist wing happy. That Romney is trying to execute a rare flip-flop-flip doesn’t seem to matter — conservatives wanted the campaign to call the policy a “tax,” not a “penalty,” so the pro-mandate, pro-tax penalty former governor is doing as he’s told to do. It’s not exactly a display that screams “strength.” [maddowblog/Steve Benen/05 Jul 2012]
• There is apparently some internal debate as to Mitt Romney’s position on whether the mandate in the Affordable Care Act is a tax or penalty. Romney seems to take both sides. He agrees with the dissenting jurists who did not hold that the mandate is a tax. But he also concedes that the majority ruled that it is a tax. That’s a convenient stance because it permits him to criticize the President for raising taxes while asserting that his own identical legislation was merely a penalty. Isn’t that special?
• Mystery Bermuda-based company and other undisclosed Romney assets hint at larger wealth: WASHINGTON — For nearly 15 years, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s financial portfolio has included an offshore company that remained invisible to voters as his political star rose. Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning — suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign….Sankaty was transferred to a trust owned by Romney’s wife, Ann, one day before he was sworn in as Massachusetts governor in 2003, according to Bermuda records obtained by The Associated Press. The Romneys’ ownership of the offshore firm did not appear on any state or federal financial reports during Romney’s two presidential campaigns. Only the Romneys’ 2010 tax records, released under political pressure earlier this year, confirmed their continuing control of the company. [washingtonpost/Associated Press/03 Jul 2012]
• A repeat of the Sarah Palin mistake? – Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, told CBS News “We’ve been looking at” a woman on the Republican 2012 ticket. Could it be Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire?
• Note to Wolf Blitzer — there is no equivalent on the Democratic side of the aisle to Allen West’s insanity. We don’t have anyone acting like McCarthy and calling members of the other party Communists. But Republicans have a whole bunch of them in their ranks, a few of which were actually running for president during this primary season.
• You know who I detest? Joe Walsh, that’s who. Even before he criticized Tammy Duckworth for going out in public without legs, I detested that hypocritical, lying, mean, vicious, deadbeat dad, hot tempered, arrogant sumbitch.
• Rush Limbaugh’s Newest Moment of Misogyny: Women’s Vote Screwed Up The Country: I really try not to pay attention to Rush Limbaugh after his ludicrous, ugly, venomous attacks on Sandra Fluke. Now that he’s out of the limelight a bit, he’s going straight back at it with a vengeance. Today’s little gem comes courtesy of Media Matters. On the same day that Slimeball Joe Walsh tried to swiftboat Tammy Duckworth, Rush thinks it’s just a great idea to say that the country was great until women got the vote. The segment begins with a caller whipping out his pocket Constitution and arguing that “Obamacare” is really the fault of young people. In his mind, those 18 year olds are the reason we’ve elected “someone this foolish.” Limbaugh counters with “Nah, I can do one better than that. When women got the vote is when it all went downhill.” [crooksandliars/karoli/04 Jul 2012]
• Alabama Pastor Holds ‘Whites Only’ Conference – All loving Christians are invited to celebrate the word of God at Rev. William Collier’s annual conference — that is, as long and they are white.
• Ohio personhood campaign aborted after signature drive implodes: An Ohio campaign that sought to change the state’s constitution to ban all abortions and hormonal birth control drugs was itself aborted on Tuesday evening after organizers revealed that they had failed miserably at collecting the necessary voter signatures. Ohio requires 385,000 signatures to place a voter-driven initiative on the statewide ballot. Personhood Ohio said Tuesday that, after months of work, they only collected about 30,000 signatures overall, or about 7.7 percent of the requirement. [rawstory/Stephen C. Webster/04 Jul 2012]
• The Michigan House fast-tracked an anti-choice “super bill” in an attempt primarily to assist candidates in their re-election campaigns in the fall. In at least one campaign, the issue has become a hot item, with the incumbent voting for it being challenged to justify her vote not just by her opponent but also by a local women’s round table.
Bits and pieces:
• Mexico’s president-elect shrugs off claims of vast vote-buying, coercion in election: MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s next president denied that his party had been involved in any form of intimidation during his party’s campaign, in the wake of allegations by at least one observer that Sunday’s elections were “perhaps the biggest operation of vote-buying and coercion in the country’s history.” “I am totally, totally certain that the party acted within the law,” Enrique Pena Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, told a journalist from BBC News on Wednesday. Leftist runner-up Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has refused to concede and demanded a new tally, alleging vote-buying and coercion by the PRI, whose seven decades of rule until it lost power in 2000 were marked by widespread allegations of vote-rigging. Preliminary results of the presidential vote showed Pena Nieto had officially won more than 38 percent of the vote, 6.5 points clear of Lopez Obrador. [msnbc/F. Brinley Bruton and news services/04 Jul 2012]
• South Korea is proposing to hunt whales under regulations permitting scientific research whaling, echoing the programmes of its neighbour, Japan.
• Either there are a lot of people of Chinese heritage that love coal ash in Colorado, or something is up with the White House’s citizen-led petition page. Add to this the fact that these Chinese-Americans have names that would translate as “Small Steamed Bun,” “Big Steamed Bun,” and “Most Handsome Guy,” and things start to look really weird.
• Arafat’s body to be exhumed for radiation testing: Palestinian authorities have agreed to exhume the body of deceased Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, reports claimed Wednesday, following an Al Jazeera investigative expose that claims scientists in Switzerland detected high levels of radiation in his clothing and on his toothbrush. The radiation was determined to be from the extremely rare, highly concentrated isotope polonium-210, which became notorious after it was used to assassinate KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Many at the time believed the assassination was state-sponsored, as the only possible sources of polonium-210 are in nuclear-equipped nations like Russia, the U.S. and Israel, among others. [rawstory/Stephen C. Webster/04 Jul 2012]