Archives for August 2012
According to Politico, it appears that Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul who flirted with a presidential bid last year, will be included in the opening day events at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Florida:
Convention organizers won’t say what he’ll be doing in Tampa or whether he’ll address the delegates there. But they promise the controversial billionaire and prominent anti-President Barack Obama provocateur will be part of their opening day schedule.
Mitt Romney has embraced Trump this campaign season, including attending a Las Vegas fundraiser in May thrown by the reality TV star.
Trump has generated some buzz with recent posts on Twitter saying he was planning a “big surprise” at the convention next week. But for the first time sources are confirming Republicans will indeed enlist Trump to be part of their opening day act.
Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,” which appears likely to amount to a coordinated attack on Obama’s time in office.
“We are going after Obama,” said Kyle Downey, a convention spokesman. “If he doesn’t want to talk about his failed record, we will. The American people expect and deserve better.”
The writing is on the wall for Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican who nominated for United States Senate. When discussing rape and abortion on St. Louis-based KTVI on Sunday, Akin said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Since then many prominent Republicans, including GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who is already being linked to the controversial comments, have condemned Akin’s remarks. Others — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) — have called on Akin to end his campaign. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has gone as far to say that Akin shouldn’t even bother coming to the party’s convention next week.
Akin tried to do damage control yesterday by apologizing for his remarks during an appearance on Mike Huckabee’s radio show, but it’s hard to see how this will make anything better (emphasis mine):
Huckabee gave Akin a chance to apologize for the comment, and he did — he said something that was “wrong,” and hurtful to rape victims. Good so far. But right after that, Huckabee prodded Akin to define what he meant by “legitimate.” Did he mean “forcible”?
Yes, said Akin. “I was talking about forcible rape,” he said. “I used the wrong word.”
On Friday, I read Tom Morello’s op-ed slamming Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was recently named as Mitt Romney’s running mate, with humor. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a Rage Against the Machine fan, but I do listen to a lot of music, mostly punk rock, where political opinions are easily found.
I put together a piece for The Daily Caller on Friday evening looking at Morello’s comments, also noting that view of a statist government is truly a way into slavery for America and his praise of Che Guevara, a vicious murderer, is truly perplexing:
[I]t is ironic that Morello, who fancies himself as a defender of the so-called “99 percent” while at the same time making millions selling his music, frequently promotes Che Guevara, the Marxist “revolutionary” who in 1959 assisted Fidel Castro in the violent overthrow of Cuba’s Batista regime.
Guevara, whose image can often be found on T-shirts sported by middle-class white kids, was nothing short of a murderer. As explained in “The History of Ernesto Che Guevara — A Short Story,” Guevara personally oversaw the execution of some 2,000 political prisoners and became known as the “Butcher of La Cabana.” Only 180 of his victims have been documented.
Sometimes the incompetence of our government amazes even the most cynical among us. Such is the case with this story out of Iowa:
A fugitive doctor charged in the nation’s largest prosecution of Internet pharmacies is getting off in part because there’s just too much evidence: more than 400,000 documents and two terabytes of electronic data that federal authorities say is expensive to maintain.
Armando Angulo was indicted in 2007 in a multimillion dollar scheme that involved selling prescription drugs to patients who were never examined or even interviewed by a physician. A federal judge in Iowa dismissed the charge last week at the request of prosecutors, who want to throw out the many records collected over their nine-year investigation to free up space.
The first reaction many of us who are tech-savvy will have is - really? While 2 terabytes is a substantial amount of data, storage is also insanely cheap these days. Anyone can walk into a Best Buy and buy a 2 TB external disk for around $100. Now, sure, government computers storing sensitive data need more security that your music collection, but still. We’re talking something on the order of thousands of dollars here, which the government spends in about five nanoseconds.
There was a great deal of excitement among conservatives and libertarians about the pick of Rep. Paul Ryan, particularly among those who were rightfully leery about Governor Romney’s credibility when it comes to cutting spending and reforming our entitlement programs.
They say no one votes based on the Vice President, and now we are seeing why. The GOP establishment is already urging Paul Ryan to drop his support for his own Pathway to Prosperity budget plan – and it appears Ryan himself is already backing away from certain components.
It feels like Sarah Palin all over again. In 2008, McCain chose the maverick, buck the system Alaska Governor and then promptly tried to shove the square peg in the circle hole. The results were predictably disastrous. What is the point in picking Sarah Palin if you don’t let Sarah be Sarah.
One has to wonder whether the Romney campaign is about to make the same mistake. The reason conservatives and libertarians love Paul Ryan is BECAUSE of his budget plan not IN SPITE of it. Take away Paul Ryan’s ideas and you have a very nice, telegenic, young Congressman from a swing-state, but you don’t have a game-changing VP pick. What is the point in picking Paul Ryan if you don’t let Paul Ryan be Paul Ryan?
Mitt Romney should adopt the Ryan Plan, not the other way around. It would certainly be easier for Romney, a man who has been on almost every side of every issue, to move to the Ryan position than it would be for the principled Congressman to abandon his signature proposals.
If Mitt wanted a yes man, there were plenty of them. He didn’t pick a Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty, he picked Paul Ryan. He should let Paul Ryan be Paul Ryan.
Jorge Gonzalez is a motion designer and political activist living and working in Midtown Atlanta. In his free time, he enjoys filming, photography, and reading.
I recently had a discussion with a close friend of mine who is a very “progressive” guy. He’s the type that buys into all the horror stories about Republicans and libertarians. You know, we don’t care about the poor or women’s rights or worker’s rights and we’re cruel, intolerant etc etc. He started off the conversation by claiming “Romney panders to stupid people. Obama does not…Obama doesn’t bend his beliefs to fit an uneducated and sensationalistic base.” If you didn’t fall out of your chair just now at the sheer stupidity and myopia of a statement like that, then I ask you to read on, dear Reader, because what follows may be of interest to you.
“What the hell was Todd Akin thinking?” seems to be the question being asked by everyone — conservative and liberal alike — since the Missouri Republican appeared on St. Louis-based KTVI on Sunday morning.
In case you missed it, Akin, who won the GOP nomination for United States Senate earlier this month, told KTVI on the question of rape and abortion that “[i]f it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
Given that this Senate seat is key for Republicans, Akin’s comments have many worried that they may miss their shot. Sen. Clarie McCaskill, who currently trails Akin by 11 points, is seizing on the opportunity to blast her opponent, noting that the comments are “a window into Todd Akin’s mind.”
There is no denying that Joe Biden, our gaffetastic vice president, had a rough week. The Washington Post gave him the “Worst Week in Washington” award thanks to his off-remark during a campaign stop in Virginia that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would allow Wall Street to put the predominantly African-American crowd “back in chains.”
Despite all the talk of a “new tone” that we’ve endured, it certainly does seem that the Obama campaign is lobbing most of the cheap shots during this campaign. Since Obama doesn’t really have much of an economic record on which to run, the tactics being employed are to be expected. But if Vice President Biden is supposed to score points for Obama, polls show that the campaign may want to think again before sending him back out on the stump:
Almost every recent poll has shown Biden’s numbers at a low point, with more voters viewing him unfavorably than viewing him in a positive light — though in most cases, it’s only by a few points.
Biden’s favorable rating, which was well into the 50s when he and Obama won the 2008 election and took office in 2009, has fallen to around 40 percent in most polls. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll recently pegged his favorable rating at 35 percent (37 percent negative), while a Fox News poll showed the split at 41 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.
2016: Obama’s America is a 2012 documentary film directed by Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan, which just opened in theaters. It is based on D’Souza’s book on our President’s past and how it might reflect on America’s future.
Interestingly, the film’s producer Gerald Molen won an Academy Award for also producing Schindler’s List. In addition, he co-produced Rain Man and worked on many films such as Minority Report and Jurassic Park. With so many poorly made righist movies sold at CPAC and with the left dominating popular culture, its nice to see serious talent from Hollywood getting involved in such projects.
The stagnant economy is sure to be on the minds of voters as we get closer to the fall election. President Obama’s campaign is doing everything it can to distract voters from the dismal unemployment rate, depressing budget deficits, and looming tax hikes.
Recently, Veronique de Rugy, an economist at the Mercatus Center, noted the job creation numbers under presidents dating back to 1945. While Obama claims that the economy has created some four million jobs since taking office, the truth is that Americans have seen the worst job creation numbers under the current administration than any of his predecessors dating back to Truman.
And while his fixes haven’t worked as sold haven’t worked as promised — and there was no question that they would fail before they were even passed, President Obama is trying to sell more snake oil to Americans by pushing crippling taxes hikes. Nevermind that the share of income taxes paid by higher-income earners has gone up since the passage of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and nevermind that even Keynesian economists will tell you that raising taxes in an economy is a bad idea.