Shorter Question Everything
• “Climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to your future.”—President Obama
Muddy the waters
• Romney floats the idea of a one-time amnesty for people with pre-existing conditions, in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch editorial board published Thursday. What he didn’t specify: the length of the open-enrollment period. Nor did he say what would happen to sick people who cannot afford the prices set by insurers or those who fall sick — or are born — after the time window lapses. It’s far from clear whether the policy — which experts consider too vague to fully analyze — would meaningfully protect sick people or bring more of the uninsured into the system.
• Governor Mitt Romney’s campaign has updated its website to include a new so-called “red line” on Iran’s nuclear program. Previously, the site’s Iran section claimed that a President Romney would not tolerate Iranian possession of a nuclear weapon. The updated version of the site hinges on Iran’s nuclear weapons capability. The shift is significant because it represents a much lower threshold for potential military action.
• Oklahoma congressional candidate Markwayne Mullin, the Republican nominee to replace retiring Rep. Dan Boren (D), has openly criticized President Obama’s economic stimulus package throughout his campaign. The stimulus was a “horrible waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Mullin, who will give the GOP’s national address this weekend. Mullin’s plumbing company, however, received $370,000 in stimulus funding, the Associated Press found last month: A review of stimulus spending by The Associated Press shows companies owned by Markwayne Mullin received the money under contracts with the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations. The payments were for plumbing at tribal housing projects and funded through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
• In what Rick Hasen calls “the most important decision in this election cycle” and “a major victory for voters’ rights,” a federal court has ruled that Ohio must count ballots that are cast in the right polling place but at the wrong precinct simply because a clerk sent the voter to the wrong place. In 2008, Ohio threw out many thousands of provisional ballots cast as a result of that kind of mistake.
• Republican Party lawsuit seeking to make Citizens United even worse is headed for the Supreme Court: A lawsuit brought by the Republican National Committee now wants to eliminate most of these modest restrictions – like direct donations to candidates – on election buying, and eliminate the $117,000 cap on donations by people like Adelson.
• GOP trickster Nathan Sproul pops up again with new company: Strategic Allied Consulting, the firm hired and fired by the RNC for voter registation and GOTV efforts in North Carolina and other battleground states has quickly morphed into another entity called Issue Advocacy Partners operating similarly in at least Wisconsin, Iowa, Virginia, New York and New Jersey according to a review of nationwide job listings.
• Mitt Lies Debate 1
• Maleus Americanus Crustius: The old, wealthy white men who hate Obama
• The conspiracy theory about the Obama Administration forcing the Bureau of Labor Statistics into deliberately fixing the September jobs report has found its purchase in the most likely of places: the House Republican caucus. Darrell Issa, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox Business Network this morning that he would open an investigation into the derivation of the numbers in the jobs report. Maybe Issa threw this out as a way to get FBN, which has been the most rabid about the BLS conspiracy theory, off his back. Indeed, a spokesman for Issa followed up and said that he has “not decided to hold hearings” just yet.
• In probably the most tasteless campaign ad we’ve seen in a while, Bilerico reports that a Florida gay Republican group used a picture of US Ambassador Chris Stevens’ lifeless body in a campaign ad bizarrely attacking President Obama on gay rights and Israel. The ad, by the Broward County Log Cabin Republicans, a local branch of the lead gay GOP organization, suggested that Ambassador Stevens, who was killed in Libya last month, was gay (even though that’s been a rumor, but it was never confirmed).
• Here’s what Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesman said in response to the outing of CIA in Benghazi: Lanhee Chen, Romney’s policy director, said in a statement. “On an issue of this importance, nothing short of full and complete candor is acceptable.” Which proves that Romney isn’t qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. If he and his spokespeople think it’s a great idea to identify and out CIA operations in unstable foreign countries, I urge them to think again.
• In 2009, Mitt Romney, who is now trying to campaign for president as a moderate, lent his star power to an unusual charitable project: celebrating right-wing talk show host Glenn Beck to raise money for an unaccredited Utah-based college, which was founded by acolytes of the late W. Cleon Skousen and promoted the work of this fringe conservative figure. Much-touted by Beck, Skousen was an anti-communist crusader, a purported political philosopher, a historian accused of racist revisionism, and a right-wing conspiracy theorist. He contended that the Founding Fathers were direct descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, claimed that a global cabal of bankers controlled the world from behind the scenes, and wrote a book that referred to the “blessings of slavery.” Skousen, who died in 2006, taught Romney at Brigham Young University.