I found Ann Romney calling the Hilary Rosen controversy “a birthday present” a little odd. The outrage machine ginned up the culture war to defend Ann’s “choice” to stay at home, but she’s telling us she enjoyed it? She wasn’t really hurt and offended? If the president had declared a “war on moms,” as Republicans claimed, could she really experience that as “a birthday present”? Is it really all about Ann?
On “The Ed Show” last night I said it revealed Ann Romney’s sense of entitlement, that she would call such apoplexy “a birthday present.” But I hadn’t even heard the most entitled part of her interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, in which she exclaims, “It’s Mitt’s time. It’s our turn now.” In the same interview, her husband told Obama to “start packing,” rather presumptuously (who orders around the president?), but Ann Romney declaring “It’s our turn now” is even worse. Ann, the voters will decide that. Don’t order the car elevator for the White House quite yet.
On CNBC Tuesday night, the candidate himself sat down with former Reagan staffer Larry Kudlow for a mostly admiring interview. Although it was interesting that after Romney got through slamming the Obama administration for “scaring” American businesses and generally wrecking the economy, Kudlow asked him to explain why the stock market is soaring. “Right now what you’re seeing in stock prices is the fact that businesses are profitable,” Romney acknowledged. Despite Obama, of course.
But Romney had one of his great Romney moments when Kudlow asked him if he thought the gains would continue. He tried to quote Yogi Berra, you know, like a regular Joe. Here’s how it came out:
I’m not going to predict the direction of the stock market. I–you know, I always like to quote the Yogi Berra line or as close to it as I can, which is that Yogi Berra said, in effect, that he doesn’t like making predictions, particularly if the future’s involved.
“Yogi Berra said, in effect” is a perfect example of how not to quote Yogi Berra. That’s old Mitt winging it.
By; Joan Walsh, Editor at Large, Salon, April 17, 2012
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has focused most his message on attacking President Obama’s economic record. To that end, the former governor has repeated a specific phrase over and over again: “He made it worse.”
“He” in this sentence is the president, and “it” references the economy. Romney has used the exact same line, word for word, in debate appearances, press releases, exchanges with voters, and even his campaign kick-off speech, when Romney said of the president, “When he took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse.”
This is, in other words, one of the driving messages of Romney’s presidential campaign. Unfortunately for the GOP frontrunner, it’s also a lie.
With that in mind, Romney held a press conference yesterday in Pennsylvania, and NBC’s Sue Kroll, to her enormous credit, asked the candidate the question no other reporter has been willing to pose.
[Kroll] asked the former Massachusetts governor why he believes that Obama’s policies have made the economy worse — when the economy is now growing (and not shrinking like it was in 2009), when the Dow is climbing (and no longer in a free-fall like it was in ‘09), and when the unemployment rate is down a full percentage point from where it was in Oct. ‘09.
Romney offered a response that was nothing short of extraordinary.
“I didn’t say that things are worse…. What I said was that economy hasn’t turned around.”
When a candidate lies, it’s a problem. When a candidate lies about lying, it’s a bigger problem.
Even for Romney, who’s flip-flopped more often and on more issues than any American politician in a generation, this is ridiculous. He’s argued repeatedly that Obama made the economy worse, and when asked to defend the bogus claim, says he never made the argument in the first place.
Romney does realize that Google exists, right? That it’s pretty easy to find all kinds of examples of him saying exactly what he claims to have never said?
What’s more, as part of his defense, Romney’s new line — the economy “hasn’t turned around” — is itself wrong. The economy was shrinking, now it’s growing. The economy was hemorrhaging jobs, now it’s gaining jobs. The stock market was collapsing, now it’s soaring. When compared to where things were when the president took office, the economy has obviously turned around, even if it’s far short of where it needs to be.
I’m not sure why this isn’t a bigger deal this morning. It was amusing when Michele Bachmann falsely characterized John Quincy Adams as a Founding Father, but Romney getting caught telling a blatant falsehood about one of the central themes of his presidential campaign is infinitely more important.
Remember when John Kerry, talking about Iraq funding, said he was for it before he was against it? Romney’s incoherence yesterday is every bit as interesting.
By: Steve Benen, Contributing Writer, Political Animal, The Washington Monthly, July 1, 2011
Squeezing, gouging, soaking, it’s all the same, and it’s all wrong. The richest Americans, we hear it said, pay most of the federal income taxes. That’s true. But since 1980 their AFTER-TAX SHARE of America’s income has TRIPLED. That’s a trillion dollars a year in extra income for the wealthiest 1%.
A trillion dollars is seven times more than the budget deficits of all 50 states combined.
A trillion dollars, if it hadn’t been redistributed to the rich, would provide an extra $10,000 a year for every family that has contributed to American productivity since 1980.
The defenders of unlimited wealth insist that the very rich have earned their money. But what does EARN mean? Does it mean that the million richest families worked harder than the other 99 million families for thirty years? Does it mean that one man can bet against the mortgage industry and make enough money to pay the salaries of 100,000 health care workers? Does it mean using American research and infrastructure and national security to build a corporation that pays zero federal income taxes?
Most of the fortunate 1% benefited from tax cuts, financial system de-regulation, ownership of 50% of the stock market, and a 15% capital gains tax. According to a study by the University of California, in 2008 only 19% of the income reported by the 13,480 individuals or families making over $10 million came from wages and salaries.
The very rich claim that their income growth stimulates the economy. But it hasn’t happened. Low-income earners spend a greater percentage of their overall income on consumption, but they have less purchasing power than they had thirty years ago.
What the very rich won’t admit is that they benefit the most from government-funded research, national security, infrastructure, property rights, and a financial industry tailored to their pleasure and profit.
Instead, they claim that anyone can be rich if only they work hard. Much of America wouldn’t know if this is true. They haven’t had a chance to work lately.
By: Paul Buchheit, CommonDreams.org, May 10, 2011
Public efforts by both House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama to convince skeptical new Republican House members to add $2 trillion to the nation’s burdensome $14 trillion debt ceiling are being reinforced by dire warnings from business leaders that failing to OK the increase will lead to inflation, an immediate doubling of interest rates and a killer Wall Street crash.
“If they don’t increase the debt, there will be a huge impact on the economy,” a Wall Street executive told Whispers on background. “Interest rates would spike. S&P and Moody’s would downgrade U.S. debt, raising the price of borrowing, there would be a market sell-off, it would be a disaster.”
While Boehner, who yesterday called for a deal that would OK the debt ceiling increase in return for trillions of dollars in spending cuts, Wall Street lobbyists and banking and business leaders are meeting with several of the new Tea Party-backed House members who pledged to stop raising the ceiling to explain the impact of standing pat.
“A lot of freshmen are new to the issue,” said one of those meeting with the new members, some of whom signed pledges not to raise the debt ceiling no matter what.
Among the specifics the sources say they are telling the new members:
– Inflation could jump, though they aren’t giving any percentage growth.
– Interest rates could double if U.S. debt is downgraded. House loans, for example, that are now below 5 percent, could surge to 9-10 percent, killing any chance of fixing the housing slump or cutting the unemployment rate, now at 9 percent.
– The stock market could suffer a 10 percent drop, far more significant than the 778 point thrashing Wall Street took when the House rejected the government’s $700 billion bank bailout plan in September 2008.
“That market sell-off will look small compared to what we’ll see,” said a Wall Street executive.
So far, the campaign to turn the naysayers around is starting to work, say those involved. Helping is the expectations that the debt ceiling won’t actually be breached until August.
While there have been warnings that the vote must come sooner due to expectations that the cap will be breached this month, officials explained that Treasury can make several moves to postpone that until about August 2.
By: Paul Bedard, U. S. News and World Report, May 10, 2011