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David Brooks: Thurston Howell Romney

Red alert! Romney has lost Brooks!
Politics • Views: 31,501

Looks like New York Times conservative David Brooks is a mite put out by Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments; he’s actually breaking out the Gilligan’s Island references: Thurston Howell Romney.

Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people “who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare?

It suggests that Romney doesn’t know much about the culture of America. Yes, the entitlement state has expanded, but America remains one of the hardest-working nations on earth. Americans work longer hours than just about anyone else. Americans believe in work more than almost any other people. Ninety-two percent say that hard work is the key to success, according to a 2009 Pew Research Survey.

It says that Romney doesn’t know much about the political culture. Americans haven’t become childlike worshipers of big government. On the contrary, trust in government has declined. The number of people who think government spending promotes social mobility has fallen.

The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. As Bill Galston of the Brookings Institution has noted, the people who have benefited from the entitlements explosion are middle-class workers, more so than the dependent poor.

Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.

Video: Romney’s 47% ‘Clean-Up’ Press Conference

Smirk intact, hair unkempt
Politics • Views: 28,827

Looking thoroughly disheveled and harried, Mitt Romney starts his press conference by trying to spout a standard stump speech, and ends up walking out with a smirk when the questions start to get pointed. Via Buzzfeed.

Mitt Romney and the Orgy-Hosting Equity Trader Tycoon

Starting to get weird now
Politics • Views: 31,594

David Corn of Mother Jones revealed tonight on the Rachel Maddow show that the already-infamous Mitt Romney “47%” video was recorded at a fund-raising event at the Hamptons home of equity trader Marc Leder.

Leder has been in the news before, and Mitt Romney’s religious right sponsors may not be pleased to find out about the other kinds of activities that take place at Leder’s mansion: Marc Leder Ends His Weekly Bashes in the Hamptons With Naked Guests Cavorting in the Pool and Peforming Public Sex Acts.

It was as if the Playboy Mansion met the East End at a wild party at private-equity titan Marc Leder’s Bridgehampton estate, where guests cavorted nude in the pool and performed sex acts, scantily dressed Russians danced on platforms and men twirled lit torches to a booming techno beat.

The divorced Sun Capital Partners honcho rented a sprawling beachfront mansion on Surf Side Road for $500,000 for the month of July. Leder’s weekly Friday and Saturday night parties have become the talk of the Hamptons — and he ended them in style last weekend with his wildest bash yet.

Oh yeah. This campaign is getting deep now.

Mitt Romney to Millionaire Donors: 47% of Americans Are Lazy Shiftless Freeloaders

Politics • Views: 25,611

Mother Jones has it: SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters.

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don’t assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Wingnut Bloggers Claimed Photos Showed ‘Muslims Dragging Stevens’ - Actually Showed Libyan Rescuers

Right wing blogs bathe in bigotry again
Wingnuts • Views: 26,376

New reports from Libya confirm that the Libyan citizens the right wing blogosphere claimed were “dragging Ambassador Stevens’ body through the streets like Somalia” were actually trying to save his life: Video Appears to Show Libyans Retrieving Envoy’s Body.

Continue reading…

Pew Poll: Romney’s Middle East Comments Were a Disaster

Romney missed an opportunity to look Presidential, and instead did himself serious damage
Politics • Views: 22,023

Wow. It was pretty obvious Mitt Romney really shot himself in the foot when he crassly exploited the deaths of American diplomatic personnel overseas to attack President Obama, but the new survey from Pew Research really drives this point home: Middle East Turmoil Closely Followed; Romney’s Comments Viewed Negatively.

In his rush to parrot the wingnut talking point that Obama “apologizes for America,” Mitt Romney may have truly sunk his campaign.

About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year.

Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s handling of the situation than Mitt Romney’s comments on the crisis. Nearly half (45%) approve of Obama’s handling of the recent attacks on U.S. embassies and the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Libya; 36% disapprove of Obama’s handling of this situation.

In contrast, only about a quarter (26%) of those who have tracked news on turmoil in the Middle East approve of Romney’s comments on the situation; nearly half (48%) disapprove.

Paul Ryan: We’re Not Telling You Any Details “Because We Want to Get It Done”

Concealing the truth is how they plan to get elected
Politics • Views: 18,350

Paul Ryan helpfully explains that the reason why he and Mitt Romney won’t reveal any details of their tax reform plan is because hiding their plan is the only way to “get it done.”

During an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, Ryan said Romney is following Ronald Reagan’s playbook by not divulging the details about what specific tax loopholes he would close and the rates that would be set under his administration. Ryan said the reason is “because we want to get it done.”

(h/t: JamesWI.)

Portrait of a Campaign in Free Fall

Or, Mitt Romney’s thrashing
Politics • Views: 18,591

On the one hand, Romney campaign sources are telling Buzzfeed that they’re refocusing on the God and guns crowd:

This shifting campaign calculus has produced a split in Romney’s message. His talk show interviews and big ad buys continue to offer a straightforward economic focus aimed at traditional undecided voters. But out stumping day to day is a candidate who wants to talk about patriotism and God, and who is increasingly looking to connect with the right’s intense, personal dislike for President Barack Obama.

Three Romney advisers told BuzzFeed the campaign’s top priority now is to rally conservative Republicans, in hopes that they’ll show up on Election Day, and drag their less politically-engaged friends with them. The earliest, ambiguous signal of this turn toward the party’s right was the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, a top Romney aide said.

“This is going to be a base election, and we need them to come out to vote,” the aide said, explaining the pick.

But on the other hand, Romney campaign sources are telling the New York Times that they’re refocusing on the economy:

With Mr. Obama facing questions about his plans for a second term, aides said that Mr. Romney would re-emphasize “The Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” by spending two days on each of the five elements of that plan: energy independence, education changes, deficit reduction, help for small businesses and freer trade.

This completely unfocused messaging is a real indication that the Romney campaign is spinning its wheels, without a clear plan. And that’s not surprising, since they’ve articulated no clear policies at all.

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