• “No, I never asked for stimulus,” Ryan said when questioned on reports that he had sought funds. Ryan’s statement directly counters the evidence of four letters obtained by the AP which the congressman wrote to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, praising energy programs supported by the stimulus and requesting funds for initiatives in his district.
• In 2009, as Rep. Paul D. Ryan was railing against President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package as a “wasteful spending spree,” he wrote at least four letters to Obama’s secretary of energy asking that millions of dollars from the program be granted to a pair of Wisconsin conservation groups, according to documents obtained by the Globe.
• After documents show Paul Ryan secured $20 million in stimulus grants, he claims ‘I never asked for stimulus’. Ryan is one of dozens of Congressional Republicans who have actively lobbied the government for loan guarantees and grants for clean energy companies in their districts — even while many of them railed on the stimulus program in the press.
And then there are the taxes:
1st – if that’s true, why not PROVE that it’s true? What’s he afraid of?
2nd – 2/3rds of the US public is now “small minded”? That’s not going to fly, especially as he STILL hasn’t shown proof.
• Romney: I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces – 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty – the fascination with taxes I’ve paid I find to be very small-minded compared to the broad issues that we face. But I did go back and look at my taxes and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year. Harry Reid’s charge is totally false. I’m sure waiting for Harry to put up who it was that told him what he says they told him. I don’t believe it for a minute, by the way. But every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.
• Obama for America spokeswoman Lis Smith released the following statement: Mitt Romney today said that he did indeed ‘go back and look’ at his tax returns and that he never paid less than 13% in taxes in any year over the past decade. Since there is substantial reason to doubt his claims, we have a simple message for him: prove it. Even though he’s invested millions in foreign tax havens, offshore shell corporations, and a Swiss bank account, he’s still asking the American people to trust him. However, given Mitt Romney’s secrecy about his returns, coupled with the revelations in just the one return we have seen to date and the inconsistencies between this one return and his other financial disclosures, he has forfeited the right to have us take him just at his word.
• The guy who said there’s no whining in politics is running a campaign that consists entirely of whining. One might be tempted to ask: if he loses his shit at the kind of criticism he’s getting now, how on earth could he cope with the endless and overwhelming barrage of attacks he would get as president? But the thing is, that’s who Mitt is. His overweening sense of entitlement (after all, it is his turn) renders him incapable of sustaining criticism from people he considers his inferiors. He can dish it out, of course (because they deserve it!), but good god can he ever not take it. He can’t take it because, deep down, he believes he shouldn’t have to.
• Mitt Romney clearly wants the issue of his tax returns to go away. At the same time he adamantly refuses to do the one thing that would make the issue go away: release more returns. So Romney’s newest strange attempt to get the media to drop the issue without him actually providing any real transparency is to claim he has looked at his tax returns for us and we should take his word that he paid at least 13 percent in taxes every year.
• You say to us: “Trust me.” I say to you: “Why?” What have you done to earn my trust? You treat me like I’m some kind of scum for asking reasonable questions about issues that truly do matter. We’re entitled to know how you manage these things, how you approach taxes, how we can expect to be treated in a Romney administration. Telling me “you people don’t need to know” does not foster trust. It fosters resentment.
• Jim Messina, Obama for America Campaign Manager, to Matt Rhoades (RNC strategist): I am writing to ask again that the Governor release multiple years of tax returns, but also to make an offer that should address his concerns about the additional disclosures. Governor Romney apparently fears that the more he offers, the more our campaign will demand that he provide. So I am prepared to provide assurances on just that point: if the Governor will release five years of returns, I commit in turn that we will not criticize him for not releasing more–neither in ads nor in other public communications or commentary for the rest of the campaign. This request for the release of five years, covering the complete returns for 2007-2012, is surely not unreasonable. Other Presidential candidates have released more, including the Governor’s father who provided 12 years of returns. In the Governor’s case, a five year release would appropriately span all the years that he has been a candidate for President.
• Romney declines Obama deal on tax return releases. “It is clear that President Obama wants nothing more than to talk about Governor Romney’s tax returns instead of the issues that matter to voters, like putting Americans back to work, fixing the economy and reining in spending,” Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades wrote in a response to Obama counterpart Jim Messina.
“Now Mitt Romney is attacking the President on Medicare?”
“The non-partisan AARP says Obamacare ‘cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse’ and ‘strengthens guaranteed benefits’.”
“And the Ryan plan?”
“AARP says it would undermine … Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors….”
“And experts say Ryan’s voucher plan could raise future retirees’ costs more than six thousand dollars.”
“Get the facts.”
• After some initial confusion, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is making it clear that his plan for Medicare is “the same if not identical” to a proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) that Democrats say would end the program as it exists today.
• Asked by Hume when the Romney plan would balance the budget, Ryan said he didn’t know because “we haven’t run the numbers on that specific plan.”
The running mate of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told The New York Times this week that one of his favorite bands is “Rage Against the Machine.” But it’s not their lyrics that Paul Ryan likes, mind you — it’s just the music.
In an editorial response published Friday in Rolling Stone, “Rage” guitarist Tom Morello is having approximately none of that.
“I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is?” the rebel rocker wrote. “Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of ‘Fuck the Police’? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!”
He continues: “Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta ‘rage’ in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.”
Morello goes on to say that the whole idea of “Rage Against the Machine” is predicated upon opposing everything that Paul Ryan represents, and that he hopes some of the band’s lyrics might have sunk in over the years. “Maybe he’ll fill Guantanamo Bay with the corporate criminals that are funding his campaign – and then torture them with Rage music 24/7,” he concludes. “That’s one possibility. But I’m not betting on it.”
• Why, by Definition, Republicans Have to Lie: If I were writing a political novel about a presidential campaign, I would never dare have the government-hating, free-market, Rand-adulating vice presidential candidate of the right-wing party have inherited his fortune from a grandfather who made his money from government contracts. It’s too obvious, too pat. A fiction editor would say, “Come on, Tomasky, this is just too heavy-handed.”
• Ryan: They manipulate their currency… We’re not going to let that happen. Mitt Romney and I are going to crack down on China cheating and make sure trade works for Americans. But when the House voted in Sept. 2010 for measures to crack down on Chinese currency manipulation, Ryan was among the no votes.
• First, it’s easily construed as a call for a military coup, which is as un-American as if gets. Second, these people believe they own the military and use it as a weapon against the rest of us. It’s a very creepy dynamic.
• Dump Biden? Hell no: MR. CARNEY: Yes. And that was settled a long, long time ago. And while I appreciate — I have great admiration for and respect for and a long relationship with Senator John McCain, but one place I would not go for advice on vice presidential running mates is to Senator McCain. To paraphrase Jay Carney, if we ever want advice on how to nominate the worst running mate in history, we’ll give you a call. It takes some serious nerve to unleash the Sarah Palin on the world, and then call for the dismissal of the guy who beat her.
• Fox & Friends, the Daily Caller, and the Drudge Report are falsely charging that a businessman that has supported President Obama and Vice President Biden is receiving a taxpayer-financed loan to expand his business overseas. In fact, the loan comes from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which does not use taxpayer funds, and exists for the purpose of helping “U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets” overseas.
Bits and pieces:
• Binyamin Netanyahu’s aides launch stinging rebuke to Israeli president Shimon Peres, says Shimon Peres should not speak out on Iran as he is too prone to mistakes. Aides to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu launched a stinging rebuke to the country’s president, Shimon Peres, after he said that Israel should not act alone in launching military action against Iran’s nuclear programme. “Shimon Peres forgets what the role of the president of Israel is,” officials from Netanyahu’s office were quoted in the Israeli media as saying. The aides offered examples from the past when they said Peres’s judgment had been wrong.