No one’s dumping Biden. That cupcake thing? That didn’t happen either. The SEALS aren’t, and Romney/Ryan isn’t telling ‘you people’ shit.
• No one’s dumping Biden, and that cupcake thing didn’t happen either: One major institutional difference between the left-wing and the right-wing media is the right-wing media’s undisguised contempt for its audience. Right-wing blog readers, Rush listeners and Fox viewers of America, take note: They think you’re stupid. All of them.
• Romney advisers confirm it: We’re running a `just trust me’ campaign. [N]ow, in what appear to be strategic leaks designed to mollify Republicans worried about the campaign’s lack of specificity, Romney advisers are explicitly confirming that all of this is part of a grand strategy to only signal general direction to the American people. It’s a guiding idea that specifics are a political peril to be avoided. The campaign thinks sharing details about what he’d actually do as president would be politically suicidal. As Steve Benen asks: “what does it say about the merit of Romney’s policy agenda if voters are likely to recoil if they heard the whole truth?”
• Paul Ryan slammed President Obama on Thursday for failing to rescue an auto factory in his Wisconsin district — one that closed in 2008, under President George W. Bush.
• Amidst reports that Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital with funds from investors tied to 1980s Salvadoran death squads, his new running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is getting foreign policy briefings from a man who actively covered-up some of the worst atrocities committed by those same death squads. The GOP’s vice-presidential candidate also earned his political stripes working under neoconservative Republicans who funnelled billions in U.S. aid to those military hitmen. Though the war in El Salvador was just one chapter in history, Romney and Ryan’s relationship with that war may provide a snapshot into their worldview.
• OPSEC, the crew behind the video accusing President Obama of taking too much credit for killing Osama bin Laden, and of leaking intelligence while doing so, might be ex-SEALs, but they’re also hypocrites: Rustmann and two other key members of the group, all self-described Republicans, have a history of talking openly to the media about national security, a review of articles and transcripts shows. Rustmann appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes” in 2005 to discuss Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert CIA operations officer who was outed in July 2003 by members of the George W. Bush administration.
• On Wednesday, a group of former intelligence and Special Forces operatives released a 22-minute video accusing President Obama of jeopardizing sensitive information in order to take credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. OPSEC, as they call themselves, is one of several new groups dedicated to attacking Obama on military issues, specifically on the Osama bin Laden raid. Now the founder of one of these organizations, Special Operations Speaks, has proudly come out as a birther. I have to admit it, I’m a Birther … Barack Obama’s a born red-diaper baby. He’s a socialist.
It seems that Soledad O’Brien, the host of CNN’s “Starting Point,” is on a roll. Each day brings another ill-prepared surrogate from one of the presidential campaigns before her, and each day she proceeds to cheerfully eviscerate their talking points before sweetly thanking them for coming on the show and sending them on their way.
On Friday’s edition of “Starting Point” O’Brien challenged “OPSEC” or “Operational Security group” spokesperson and former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor’s purported “non-partisan” status.
“I know you know some of the criticism and it is that, even though you claim to be nonpartisan, that this group is actually very partisan,” she said. “You’re a Republican, you ran for Congress in 2010 in Virginia’s second congressional district. You have a rep in your group who worked for the Bush administration, you share office space with Republican groups. How do you answer that claim of being partisan when you claim that you’re not?”
• Pennsylvania: On the same day a judge cleared the way for the state’s new voter identification law to take effect, the Corbett administration abandoned plans to allow voters to apply online for absentee ballots for the November election and to register online to vote.
• In a dramatic move, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted immediately suspended two Democrats on a county election board after they voted to allow weekend voting. Husted issued an ultimatum to Dennis Lieberman and Tom Ritchie Sr., members of the Montgomery County Eleciton Board, to withdraw their resolution to maintain weekend hours or face suspension.
• Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) sent a letter to approximately 4,000 registered voters asking them to prove that they are actually eligible to vote. The letter targets voters who “presented a non-citizen document when [they] applied for a driver’s license,” although it admits that the fact that someone once applied for a license before becoming a citizen is not proof that they did not become naturalized before registering to vote. The letter includes a form and instructions to return it if the voter is indeed a citizen.
• Russia on Friday warned Britain against violating fundamental diplomatic principles after London suggested it could arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside Ecuador’s embassy.
• Australian diplomats have no doubt the United States is still gunning for Julian Assange, according to Foreign Affairs Department documents obtained by The Saturday Age. The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months. The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information laws, show Australia’s diplomatic service takes seriously the likelihood that Assange will eventually be extradited to the US on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.