Shorter Question Everything
That seems to be the slogan from the Romney/Ryan ticket. And ‘trust us’ would be the nice one. There’s also ‘you’re too stupid to understand what we mean’. Then there’s the old standby, ‘we’re the white guys’.
No matter how you slice it, you’re not getting much from these people, and what you are getting, nobody – except for the crazy people – wants.
• Just trust us – Ryan on Romney’s Tax Plan: ‘It Would Take Me Too Long’ to Explain:
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan on Sunday insisted that GOP hopeful Mitt Romney had provided specifics for his tax plan, but refused to say which deductions would need to be eliminated or provide any math to prove that the scheme works.
During an interview on Fox News, host Chris Wallace noted that a recent study showed that the Romney-Ryan plan would cost nearly $5 trillion over 10 years.
“Not in the least bit true,” Ryan insisted. “That study has been so thoroughly discredited.”
“How much would it cost?” Wallace wondered. “The cut in tax rates.”
“It’s revenue neutral… Lower all Americans’ tax rates by 20 percent,” Ryan replied.
“Right, how much will it cost?” Wallace pressed. “It’s not revenue neutral unless you take away the deductions.”
“I won’t get into a baseline argument with you because that’s what a lot of this is about,” Ryan explained. “We’re saying, limited deductions so you can lower tax rates for everybody. Start with people at the higher end. … And every time we’ve done this — whether it was Ronald Reagan working with Tip O’Neil, the idea from the Bowles-Simpson commission on how to do this — there’s been a traditional Democrat and Republican consensus: lowering tax rates, broadening the tax base works.”
“But you haven’t given me the math,” the Fox News host pressed.
“I don’t have the time,” Ryan laughed. “It would take me too long to go through all the math. But let me say it this way, you can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board by closing loopholes and still have preferences for the middle class for things like charitable deductions, for home purchases, for health care. So what we’re saying is, people are going to get lower tax rates.”
Voter Suppression/Voter Fraud
• The RNC Needs to Demand Money Back from Scandal Ridden Sproul: If they really hired him to do legal voter registration drives, why aren’t they demanding their money back? The Republican National Committee had a 2.9 million dollar contract with Sproul this election season. If he really went rogue, wouldn’t good business people, as we are told the Republicans are, demand their money back? If they don’t, it can only be because Sproul wasn’t violating the stated or implied contract with his dirty deeds.
A major element of the Republican National Committee’s overall attempt to game the 2012 elections by trying to affect who gets to vote and who does not, has just been stopped dead in its tracks.
Along with it, a criminal election fraud complaint has now reportedly been filed with law enforcement in the state of Florida against a Republican firm, owned by a paid Mitt Romney consultant, which was hired by the GOP to carry out partisan voter registration operations in at least five battleground states.
Millions of dollars were spent on the aborted effort by the GOP over the last two months — their largest single expenditure in several of the states where the scheme was in full tilt — to seek out Romney supporters only, and sign them up to vote.
The strategy resulted in (or included) fraudulent registration forms collected by the firm and then submitted in Florida by the state GOP with voter addresses, signatures and party affiliations changed. Election officials in the state have told The BRAD BLOG that they fear the scheme could result in the disenfranchisement of a still-unknown number of otherwise legal voters, and they are taking extraordinary measures to try and contain the potential damage.
The fraudulent voter registration forms have so far been discovered in “at least 11″ FL counties at this hour, all submitted by the state Republican Party and collected by the RNC’s top voter registration firm, a shell company formed in June called Strategic Allied Consulting, as owned by a notorious GOP operative named Nathan Sproul.
On Thursday night, the RNC finally fired the firm which they’d paid more than $3 million dollars over the past two months alone, for voter registration work in at least five key battleground states, and “Get Out the Vote” efforts in at least two more.
But, despite the efforts by the RNC and Strategic Allied Consulting, run secretly by Romney’s paid political consultant, the 2012 GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, which The BRAD BLOG initially reported late last Tuesday night as it began to break, is not over yet. Not by a long shot…
Desperate and angry
• Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is accusing Republicans of politicizing an attack on the U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi because he probably “doesn’t care” about the death of U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.
• Mitt Romney campaign co-chair and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu accused President Obama of waiting too long to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, in an interview with the New York Times that was published on Saturday. Sununu said that Obama was “timid,” could have gone after the terrorist mastermind sooner, and attributed the successful operation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “The president is trying to take credit for following the strategy and the tactics put into place by George W. Bush. At some point the president is going to have to explain why he was timid on the first two or three opportunities that we had. Thank goodness Hillary Clinton was there was to convince him to do the right thing. [...] His trying to take credit for having been decisive belies the fact that he wasn’t decisive until pressed by others. ”
• Homophobia: Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and surrogate for presidential hopeful former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) John Bolton harshly criticized the Obama administration’s response to the violence in Benghazi, Libya earlier this month, calling the U.S. response “limp-wristed.”
Meddling in the Middle East
What is Mitt Romney doing getting involved in US foreign policy to the degree that he’s now ambulance-chasing the President’s phone calls to world leaders over possible future wars in the Middle East?
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Friday by telephone, ending the call with a common pledge to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon but no apparent consensus on a specific timeline to do so.A few hours later, Republican nominee Mitt Romney spoke by phone with Netanyahu, his one-time consulting colleague and a friend since the 1970s. After the call, Romney said that he does not believe military force will have to be used to stop Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
Nobody asked, you Mitt.
It’s time someone had an intervention, and explained to Mr. Romney that it was bad enough when he pulled an Al “I’m in charge” Haig hours after a US ambassador was murdered in Libya, and then made things worse the next morning by holding a press conference in on a dais made up to look like the White House briefing room. But now he’s butting his nose into the Iran nuclear crisis and our relations with Israel on the an issue that could lead to war.
Who does this guy think he is?
• A Haaretz investigation found that 19 of Netanyahu’s wealthiest American donors have also given to Romney, the Republican Party, and/or other Republican candidates.
• Israel has already breached its own red line set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by acquiring “dozens of nuclear warheads,” Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Saturday. “If having the atomic bomb is passing the red line, the Zionist regime, that possesses dozens of nuclear warheads and weapons of mass destruction, has passed the red line years ago, and it has to be stopped,” he said, according to the ISNA news agency.
• Intelligence office says it got Libya attack wrong, not White House. Extremists from groups linked to al Qaida struck the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack,” the top U.S. intelligence agency said Friday, as it took responsibility for the Obama administration’s initial claims that the deadly assault grew from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video. The unusual statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence appeared to have two goals: updating the public on the latest findings of the investigation into the assault, and shielding the White House from a political backlash over its original accounts.
• The United States is temporarily removing further staff from its embassy in the Libyan capital, the state department has said. It said staff were being withdrawn from Tripoli for security reasons.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on the international community Thursday to do more to “step up pressure and isolate” Iran, which he labelled a regime “where evil dominates.”
Shunning an opportunity to speak at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, Harper delivered his attack on Iran after receiving the World Statesman Award from the New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF) .
He targeted Iran as a country that constitutes “unambiguously a clear and present danger” to the world both for its pursuit of nuclear weapons, its support of terrorism and its threat to the existence of Israel.
Harper, who recently closed Canada’s embassy in Tehran and expelled Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, assured an audience that included former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger and several prominent ACF donors that he is not advocating war.
“I say these things not to counsel any particular action, not to wish any additional hardship on the long-suffering Iranian people and certainly not to advocate war, but rather so that we not shrink from recognizing evil in the world for what it is,” he said.
…Harper’s decision to travel to New York to receive the award but not speak at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly drew criticism in Ottawa from opposition leaders.
Liberal Bob Rae called it “absolutely ridiculous.”
“He missed an opportunity to express himself clearly … as leaders from around the world have done,” he said in a scrum. “I think the message is that Canada, that the Harper government doesn’t care about the United Nations.”
Paul Dewar, NDP foreign affairs critic, said Harper treats the UN “as something that is more of an irritant, frankly, than a constructive place for finding solutions to very complicated problems.”
• Files reveal CIA welcomed ‘conciliatory’ Mulroney after ‘evasive’ Trudeau. “Unlike Trudeau, however, we expect Mulroney to refrain from gratuitous negative comments about U.S. foreign policy and to remain evasive or silent when it is politically possible to do so.” The Canadian Press obtained several CIA analyses of Mulroney’s early months in office through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Portions of the records, quietly declassified by the agency in recent months, remain secret. Though Mulroney was widely seen as blatantly trying to cosy up to Ronald Reagan’s Republicans, — even singing “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” with the U.S. president in the spring of 1985 — the intelligence agency looked beyond the photo ops in an attempt to divine the prime minister’s political intentions.
• There are reports that Omar Khadr is being repatriated to Canada after spending nearly a decade in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Several American and Canadian media outlets are citing unnamed sources as saying Khadr is being flown back to Canada this morning. Officials with the federal government and Khadr’s lawyers were not immediately available to confirm or deny the reports.
• Omar Khadr has spent the first of many nights Canada, marking the end of a decade-long struggle to return to his native land. Questions remain, however, about the circumstances of his return and what his future in Canada holds. Khadr was returned to Canada on Saturday morning, after boarding a U.S. military aircraft for a flight from the American naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to Canadian Forces Base Trenton in eastern Ontario. From CFB Trenton he was whisked away, in shackles, to the maximum security Millhaven Institution where he is expected to serve the remainder of his eight-year sentence.
• New evidence has emerged that all Guantanamo Bay detainees, including David Hicks, were drugged involuntarily with a substance that has a long history as a truth serum. Recently declassified US documents revealing medical procedures have shown that scopolamine was administered to all detainees taken to the Cuban detention centre.
In other news
• Tens of thousands of Spaniards and Portuguese rallied in the streets of their countries’ capitals Saturday to protest enduring deep economic pain from austerity cuts.
• If the existence of Romneycare means that Romney is empathetic, doesn’t the extension of Obamacare – which is Romneycare – into all 50 states mean that Obama cares even more? And if Romney wants to get rid of Obamacare, what does that say about him?
• Todd Akin’s ‘ladylike’ comment typifies the GOP’s problem with women. Personally, I think it’s a good thing for women to come out swinging, whether they’re facing down a “legitimate rapist” who thinks he has the right to violate women’s bodies, or a misogynist political opponent who thinks he has the right to control women’s bodies. And it’s some pretty sweet irony to hear the man who says women can’t become pregnant from “legitimate rape” also suggesting that women shouldn’t fight back when they feel threatened because aggressive self-defense is unladylike. Ladies, apparently, should lie back and take it.
• How many times have you said, “if only we had a president who made Lyme Disease his number one priority?” Romney is yet again inserting himself into a controversy he knows nothing about, in order to find “an opportunity” in the suffering of others.
• Australian officials, under pressure to protect beachgoers after a string of deadly shark attacks, have approved a plan to kill sharks that venture too close to people in the water. The plan, which was announced by Western Australia state Premier Colin Barnett on Thursday, has infuriated conservationists and marks a sharp reversal of the current policy that permits the killing of sharks only after they have attacked. “We will always put the lives and safety of beachgoers ahead of the shark,” Barnett told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. “This is, after all, a fish — let’s keep it in perspective.”