Rick Wiley, political director of the Republican National Commitee, is REALLY psyched about RoRyMo (Romney-Ryan momentum), PEOPLE!!!1!! Wiley broadcast those heady emotions in a preconvention pep rally memo that went out Friday.
“The Romney-Ryan momentum is building, while the enthusiasm for Obama and Biden dwindles,” Wiley trumpeted (sorry, I couldn’t resist). Evidently, Republican’s are finally working up some enthusiasm for the GOP ticket heading into next week’s hurricane Republican Convention, in Tampa, FL (Rain dates to be announced)
But here’s the best part: Since we all know how Republicans like to cite authoritative sources to back up their claims, Wiley chose the latest swing state poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times, which just so happens to show President Barack Obama leading in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. But since the GOP’s motto is “glass half full,” rather than highlight the gloomy head-to-head numbers from the poll, Wiley focuses on the survey’s findings on voter enthusiasm—a much better picture. The poll showed Republicans with an enthusiasm advantage in all three battleground states.
Personally, I’ll take votes over enthusiasm any day but, what the hell, it’s the weekend . . .
According to Buzzfeed, the Romney birth certificate joke was totally unplanned. There goes my theory that Donald Trump bet him $10,000 that he wouldn’t say it. The crowd laughed because it’s true; people don’t ask to see Romney’s birth certificate, they just ask to see his product registration and warranty.
This has prompted some discussion about whether Romney actually is giving credence to the “birther” theory that the president wasn’t born in the US—I don’t actually think Romney believes many of the words coming out of his own mouth, so I don’t think he’s actually “gone birther”. I do think he may have made a calculation that it doesn’t hurt to remind white people that he is the white guy, though—that’s kind of gross. Also, he must realize he needs to call in all the corners of wingnut world: the black helicopter folks, the gun nuts, the Swiftboat jokers, you know—the base.
I take the campaign at their word that it wasn’t planned—being a jerk just comes naturally to him, I guess.
Wiley cites the latest swing state poll from Quinnipiac University, CBS News and the New York Times, which showed President Barack Obama leading in Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin. Rather than highlight the head-to-head numbers from the poll, Wiley instead focuses on the survey’s findings on voter enthusiasm. The poll showed Republicans with an enthusiasm advantage in all three battleground states.
A national group called Patriot Majority that calls itself non-partisan organization but has a union-backed history has hit Florida with a minute-long TV commercial going after two of the Democrats’ biggest boogeymen, Kansas Republican spenders David and Charles Koch.
The ad, “Greed Agenda”, which also appears in a 30-second version, is part of a brief nationwide campaign set to run through Labor Day for $500,000.
The video above is from August, 2011, when a proud Paul Ryan announced that he was 66% thrilled with the draconian sequestration bill that passed when emergency budget talks, in which Ryan played a starring role, fell apart. Ryan was pretty damn proud of the whole sequestration plan last August, bragging that he’s always been a proponent of sequestration to tame government spending and, finally, everyone was listening to him. But I guess, that was before it mattered whether he was being a petulant, narcissistic Young Gun, or a viable vice-presidential candidate . . .
Yesterday, Paul Ryan put on his tough-guy hat for a visit to “defense country”, in Fayetteville, NC, and laid his whole brilliant sequestration scheme in President Obama’s lap.. During his speech at a helicopter factory in North Carolina, Ryan advised (the absent) President Obama to “put up or shut up. The president needs to show us how this is going to be put into place” and he pledged that, under a Romney administration, the looming half-trillion in cuts to the Pentagon budget “will not happen. We believe in the doctrine of peace through strength. Strength means have a strong national defense.”
Funny, that wasn’t an issue when Republicans were playing chicken with the defense budget last year . . .
I guess we’ll have to excuse Ryan’s “fist pumping” over the latest bill Ryan referred to — the Sequestration Transparency Act (STA) — which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this month for the campaign gambit that it is. The new law requires the Obama administration to send Congress a report within 30 days on its plan for $1.2 trillion in cuts to domestic and defense programs that will take place at the start of 2013 if Congress is unable to agree on another deficit-reduction plan before the end of the year.
To hear Ryan tell it, it sounds like Republicans put a gun to Obama’s head and forced him to “talk.” In reality, STA was a bipartisan bill (one of the few, the proud, etc) that the President signed (not vetoed) and is all part of the political push-pull intended to resolve sequestration before it goes into effect.
Ryan also indulged in some “concern trolling” over cutting defense jobs and the crushing effect it would have on the families of defense workers. Clearly, Ryan wasn’t that concerned, last year when he was pushing the sequester, for all he was worth, to satisfy deficit hawks. (Evidently Romney/Ryan have been won over by President Obama’s argument that government spending creates and safeguards American jobs! As long as the spending goes to the military).
If Congressman Ryan were serious about avoiding the automatic defense cuts he decried in North Carolina today, he’d tell Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans in Congress to work with the President to achieve balanced deficit reduction that includes asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share – as the plan President Obama has put forward does. But he’s not. In fact, Congressman Ryan voted for the agreement he criticized today, and he walked away from a balanced deficit reduction plan last summer because he thought it would help the President’s re-election prospects.
All this ladyparts discussion has been bumming me out this week, because, no duh, I haz them. Somewhere between the messages “There is no War on Women” and “A person with a uterus has no rights the GOP platform need respect”, I’ve developed the distinct impression that the Republican party would like women to vote for them, please, but they won’t do anything about getting women jobs that pay them enough to live adequately or raise children on, they don’t understand our weird attraction to having health care, and they really think we’re overly possessive of our reproductive organs. I think this could futz up their hope of getting adequate women voters, but there’s always those Phyllis Schaflley/ Ann Coulter types who look at the rest of us ladypart-havers like we’re clearly strumpets if we vote in favor of, you know, our self-interest.
I can’t even bring myself to say “At least that’s an ethos.” Here’s an ethos--full-bore misogyny. Being female is so toxic that a father of females is sort of female, too.
... Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
I think the cardigan is a reference to Jimmy Carter, who wore sweaters instead of touching the thermostat. But I will say that I am unfamiliar with the sperm-delivery possibilities of fallopian tubes, Is he saying girl babies only come from girl-parts?
Okay—I can’t even, that is all so dumb—so let’s just get back to the tax stuff.
Did you know that tribal-chieftain Mitt Romney now says he won’t release his taxes because his tithing is between him and his god? No, really. I’m not sure how this didn’t come up as his reasoning back in January when it was part of the primary debates, or how he didn’t use it sooner if this was the real concern, but here you go:
“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”
In the faith of my forefolks, we have this thing called “the confessional”. But just because a priest can’t tell on us, doesn’t mean we can’t tell on ourselves. I would go so far as to assume a corollary exists.
But chalking it all up to religion is a neat “out”, isn’t it? It sort of implies that now, when people want to see the tax returns, they’re invading his religious privacy. We’re trampling on his faith, dig? Our prurient interest in his Sch D, E or F, is just straight getting between him and God, m’kay?
Since the GOP platform (see that pic up there with VA Gov. McDonnell? He’s like the poster child of the GOP platform) doesn’t respect the conscience of women to keep their personal business between them and their God over the rights of their bodies, why am I respecting Romney’s religious scruples to seal his….tax returns? From our judgmental eyes?
Why, I’m not! And I’m actually pretty happy that Gawker has done an info-dump of Bain docs. I don’t understand the damn thing, but I’m one of those “information wants to be free” folks, and even a puppet-show story of how Romney got and stays so rich is instructive.
By now, I have to assume that most Americans have heard at least a smidgen about Rep. Todd Akin’s theory that:
. . . women were not likely to get pregnant because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
Statements like that have a tendency to make sane people curious so, it’s no surprise that several journalists have uncovered evidence that this bit of anti-abortion pseudo-science has its roots way back in Nazi death camp medical experiments. Because, well, they were real doctors . . .
While U.S. Rep. Todd Akin cited only “doctors” as his source of information about the rarity of pregnancy resulting from rape, it is two pages, from Mecklenburg’s 1972 article, “The Indications for Induced Abortion: A Physician’s Perspective,” that have influenced two generations of anti-abortion activists hoping to build a medical case to ban all abortions without exception.
In his original article, Mecklenburg stated that, for various reasons, pregnancy resulting from rape “is extremely rare.” One of those reasons was Todd Akin’s now-famous theory that “a woman exposed to the trauma of rape will not ovulate even if she is ‘scheduled’ to.” Mecklenburg’s article was one of 19 in a book called, “Abortion and Social Justice,” published a year before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
In supporting his claim about trauma and ovulation, Mecklenburg cited experiments conducted in Nazi death camps.
The Nazis tested this hypothesis “by selecting women who were about to ovulate and sending them to the gas chambers, only to bring them back after their realistic mock-killing, to see what the effect this had on their ovulatory patterns. An extremely high percentage of these women did not ovulate.”
Mecklenburg’s article, and the statistics cited in it, have been used again and again in the decades since by Right to Life activists.
In 1988, Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind told a radio interviewer that the odds of a woman becoming pregnant after being raped “are one in millions and millions and millions.” The trauma of the rape, Freind explained, causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion, which has a tendency to kill sperm.” Freind’s source—a “Dr. Mecklenburg.”
In 1995, North Carolina state Rep. Henry Aldridge told the state House appropriations committee that when women are “truly raped ... the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant.”
Christian websites such as Physicians for Life and Christian Life Resources also have posted a 1999 article by J.C. Willke, a physician who was president of the National Right to Life Committee in the 1980s. “There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape,” Willke wrote. “This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization and implantation.
And what sits in between is the crux of the matter. Yeah, that “health of the mother” thing.
Steve Benen, now well settled into his new digs at The Maddow Blog, expands the bounds of outrageous incivility by comparing Paul Ryan when he was a humble Congressman with Paul Ryan, would-be VP:
Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan sat down this morning with Jon Delano of KDKA in Pittsburgh, offering his first detailed remarks since Todd Akin’s odious comments over the weekend on rape. What was striking about Ryan’s comments was the extent to which they were at odds with his own record.
Ryan said in the interview, “Rape is rape. Period. End of story.” And while that may sound heartening, Ryan, just a year ago, co-sponsored legislation—with Todd Akin—that would have redefined “rape” for the purposes of Medicaid funding. In Ryan’s proposal, victims of “forcible rape” would receive protections, but victims of other, undefined kinds of rape would not.
Asked to defend his own legislation, Ryan refused. “Rape is rape. Rape is rape, period. End of story,” he said. When the reporters pressed further, asking, “So that forcible rape language meant nothing to you at the time?” The vice presidential hopeful again added, “Rape is rape and there’s no splitting hairs over rape.”
As for Ryan’s stated position that the government should force women to take their pregnancy to term if they are impregnated by a rapist, the Republican congressman seemed to concede that his position has been superseded. “Well, look, I’m proud of my pro-life record. And I stand by my pro-life record in Congress. It’s something I’m proud of,” Ryan said. “But Mitt Romney is the top of the ticket and Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration.”
Republicans, this week, are busily deciding which “planks” to slap onto their rickety platform. They treat this process as a super-secret convention of policy leaders but, as such things go, the ship of state eventually springs a few leaks. By convention time, next week, there should be few surprises. Certainly there won’t be any in regard to marriage equality. Politico reports that the meeting on fighting “teh Gayz agenda,” which Republicans are fond of calling Protection of Traditional Marriage, was a predictably raucous one.
The question before the committee was whether or not to go with a shift in the general public’s opinion on marriage equality and relent on the GOP’s “traditional marriage” position as espoused in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The proposed concession would be to “allow” civil unions for hetero- and homosexual couples (so as not to give gays anything special; it’s hard to imagine a heterosexual rush on the Civil Unions office). A thin group of supporters, notably the anomalous endangered species known as the Log Cabin Republicans, aggressively supported that move.
But, as Politico reports:
They were overpowered and outmaneuvered by social conservative groups like the Family Research Council. FRC President Tony Perkins, for example, is Louisiana’s male representative to the platform session.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach opposed the amendment on the ground that government routinely regulates behaviors like drugs and polygamy.
“We condemn those activities even though they’re not hurting other people, at least directly,” he said.
Indiana representative Jim Bopp called civil unions “counterfeit marriage.”
Todd Akin is hours away from having to walk the GOP plank. No amount of apology, retraction, defiance or support from social conservatives can help him now. The Republican political machine is poised to flatten him and try to change the subject.
According to Missouri election law, Akin has until Tuesday evening to drop out of the race with little difficulty. He can choose to withdraw at a later date, but such an exit would require more paperwork and involve a court order. It would also give Republicans less time to build a campaign for the new nominee against McCaskill, a Democrat the GOP deems vulnerable in this year’s election.
Upper echelon Republicans are tripping over each other to get to the microphone and urge Akin to withdraw from the senate race and Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee chairman, has not only called for Akin to stand down in the Missouri Senate race but, also, that he not even attend the Republican Convention in Tampa, next week. (Reince really knows how to hurt a guy.) Karl Rove has pulled his final Crossroads Pac ads for Akin and so have many other smaller PACs that were contributing to his campaign.
—What’s that you say? You’re only about as old as Granny Palin? We’re sorry, but we’re all out of the good stuff that little Paul’s Mom got, but please accept this voucher, good for the second-cheapest insurance plan you can wrap your future sixty-seven-year-old head around! Yes, the Ryomney VoucherCare program is so good, there’s an extra two-year wait. And please take note, all you physically-challenged folks out there: Ryomney VoucherCare will make sure you will have even more challenges than you did!
And for you Ryomney VoucherCare fans who just can’t get enough of “what the Doctor (Paul has an honorary doctorate from his Alma Mater, Miami U! In Ohio! And a lot of snappy patter!) ordered,” little Paul and his big head, ol’ what’sis position, will restore 716 billion dollars in inefficiencies and cost overruns that President Oblacula took out~~~because nothing puts the “Ouch” in VoucherCare like a hot,ripped Aynist.**
PHOENIX – Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, one of the nation’s most sought-after Republican speakers will address a large audience of Republican National Convention delegates from western states at a special reception with elephants at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida on August 30th.
“Sheriff Joe is a good friend and a great Republican, a former member of the Electoral College representing Arizona, and he’s wildly popular not just in Maricopa County but throughout the state and the country,” said Tom Morrissey, Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. “He’s done a lot for the Republican Party already and we’re overjoyed that as always he is willing to join us as we visit some of our ‘fellow elephants’ while in Tampa.”
The event is invitation-only.
Man, if I were only an elephant on the wall….
(You know, I luuuurrvvve elephants, and have always resented the GOP using them as a mascot.)
You can consider this an open thread, or slag on Joe Arpaio, which I always encourage, or discuss how being the GOP mascot is awfully unfair to elephants.
After the slating Joe Biden’s taken from the RW blogs in the last week or so, with their obviously well-intentioned advice that the Obama campaign should ditch him in favor of Hillary, I finally found the time and headspace to sit down and watch this speech of his to the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar earlier this year and give it the undivided attention it deserves.
I found it helpful in terms of my own bereavements over the years (and one notable recent near-bereavement).
It also made me realize that one thing I look for in friends is emotional intelligence—and also in leaders, where it’s a very rare commodity. It’s even rarer to be able to express it so eloquently in unscripted words.
The man to the right of “the next President of the United States, Paul Ryan” is Todd Akin (R-MO) who hopes to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill in the US Senate. Akin is also the lucky winner of this week’s “Republicans Say the Darnedest Things” contest. Akin was the hands-down winner with his “legitimate rape” zinger.
According to Akin, “doctors” have “told” him that, when a woman is raped some esoteric mystery female bodily function kicks in and shuts down the whole gestational process, thus preventing pregnancy from resulting after a rape. As a result of that biological sleight-of-hand, Akin believes that very few, if any, pregnancies result from rape. It’s only a short leap from there to extrapolating pregnancy is proof that there was no rape, ergo, no abortions allowed. It’s similar to dunking women in the pond to determine whether they are witches or not . . .
The whole thing could easily be chalked up to the usual down-ticket conservative hysteria plus especially good news for Claire McCaskill . . . but there’s more.
Shortly after this particular shit hit the fan, a number of curious top-down moves occurred in the GOP. First, Akin issued the standard “Misspoke” statement. Then, more curiously, Mitt Romney took time out of his busy campaign schedule to distance his campaign from Akin’s crackpot views.
By this morning, top Republican officials were calling on Akin to resign, with strategist Mike Murphy summarizing the sentiment in a tweet: “Akin should put good of GOP first and resign nomination now after his idiotic comment. Senate control too important.”