Shorter Question Everything
The flailing continues, as Mitten’s campaign doesn’t seem to know where it is going – or has concluded, finally, that it is losing. Plus, right wingers have bought into their own set of “facts”, making the real facts a mystery to them. Otherwise known as “every other day of the week”.
First, some positives
• *snorks* First it was an Olympian wrestler carrying the First Lady, and now: Florida Republican ‘Picks Up’ The President, Literally.
• Obama aides mock Romney talk of taking ‘God’ off currency: “The president believes as much that God should be taken off a coin as he does that aliens will attack Florida.” That’s the response from Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki to Mitt Romney’s apparent suggestion at a Virginia Beach, Va., rally on Saturday that Democrats hope to take “In God We Trust” off American money. There is no such effort. “Look, this is nothing more than a desperate attack based on a false premise by the Romney team, and it’s sad that the debate has been driven to this level of discourse,” said Psaki. “It’s an absurd question to be raised.”
• Who could have seen that coming?: Romney says he supports popular Obamacare provisions on NBC, quietly reverses hours later on conservative website. In reference to how Romney would deal with those with preexisting conditions and young adults who want to remain on their parents’ plans, a Romney aide responded that there had been no change in Romney’s position and that “in a competitive environment, the marketplace will make available plans that include coverage for what there is demand for. He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.”
• Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has gotten in hot water before for criticizing President Obama for the very same defense cuts that he voted for in 2011. When confronted with this incongruity today on Face The Nation, Ryan simply denied that he ever voted for the cuts, telling an incredulous Norah O’Donnell that he didn’t actually vote for the cuts he’s on record as voting for. The fact that Ryan may have wished that the [Budget Control Act] bill didn’t contain said defense cuts does not absolve him of the fact that he and 201 other Republicans voted for the bill as-passed.
• The Romney Welfare State: Romney campaign is out there fearmongering about job losses from Obama’s phantom “defense cuts.” Romney promises to save these jobs by shielding the Pentagon budget. Here’s his pitch in Virginia: “Romney’s plan? Reverse Obama defense cuts. Strengthen our military, and create over 340,000 new jobs for Virginia.” The solution? Romney will give out MORE government money and, with that money, CREATE JOBS. That takes some brass, after whacking at the Obama admin with the “you didn’t build that” lie in addition to the crap about the stimulus. Or, as usual, when a Republican does it, it’s great.
• This is what happens when the right wing has their own “facts”: Hoping to challenge Paul Krugman, Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican asked incredulously, “Are you arguing that there are fewer government employees under Obama than they were under Bush?” Told that the facts are incontrovertible, Paul responded, “No, the size of government is enormous under President Obama.” It’s unsettling, to put it mildly, to see such conspicuous ignorance play out on national television. The truth really isn’t that hard to understand — state and local governments, strapped for cash, felt compelled to lay off legions of public-sector workers, including teachers, police officers, and firefighters. All told, since the economy bottomed out, America’s private sector has added 4.6 million jobs, while the nation’s public sector has shed 571,000 jobs. Since the start of the recession, we’ve lost more jobs in government than any other sector of the economy.
• Do not be fooled by the canard that both parties do it. Using certain words to invoke racialized fear and scare white working class voters is a long-established part of the Republican playbook.
• The Political Awakening of Republican: ‘I Had Viewed Whole Swaths of the Country and the World as Second-Class People’. A former Republican tells about how his experiences in post-Katrina New Orleans and then Iraq destroyed his Republican worldview.
• RIP, Ron Taylor: An Australian shark expert who pioneered the underwater filming of marine animals and worked on the blockbuster film “Jaws” has died in Sydney. Ron Taylor, who had myeloid leukaemia, died on Sunday aged 78, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said. With his wife Valerie, Ron Taylor was a pioneer of underwater cinematography, capturing images of a great white shark without the protection of a diving cage. His skills meant he was sought out by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg when he was making “Jaws”, with the Taylors helping with the live shark sequences.
• US hands over Bagram prison to Afghans: U.S. officials handed over formal control of Afghanistan’s only large-scale U.S.-run prison to Kabul on Monday, even as disagreements between the two countries over the thousands of Taliban and terror suspects held there marred the transfer.
• Serbia said Sunday it had a former Kosovo rebel witness who allegedly took part in removing the heart of a Serb prisoner for the international black market in organs during the 1990s Kosovo conflict. “We have a witness who testified about a medical procedure, done in northern Albania, that consisted of harvesting organs from Serbs kidnapped during the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo,” Serbia’s war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told AFP.
• West to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty 13 years after war ended: On the eve of a meeting of Western powers gathered in the International Steering Group which will officially grant Kosovo full sovereignty, Pristina on Sunday prepared to celebrate. A huge stage was set up in the main Mother Teresa Square for an open air concert of bands from Kosovo, Albania, Macedonia and Bosnia planned for Monday evening to celebrate the end of international supervision over the territory. The ISG, which consists of 23 EU countries, the United States and Turkey who have all recognised Pristina’s 2008 declaration of independence, decided that time has come for Kosovo to “acquire full independence” despite Serbia’s refusal to accept it.