“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” - Samuel Adams, 1781, Boston Gazette
Nearly a week after primary elections in Georgia, I am still contemplating whether I’m happy or disappointed in the voter turnout. Here in Bartow County, with 50,051 registered voters, only 16,326 (32.6%) came out on Election Day to cast a vote. In Bartow, for all intents and purposes, July 31st was the general election, because we have only two Democrats countywide running for any office, and both are running against immensely popular incumbents. In nearly every race, the winner of the Republican primary will be, by default, the winner in the November elections.
Think about what that means. In a county of approximately 105,000 people, with about 14,500 (89%) of the voters casting ballots on the Republican ticket, the decision as to who will be our next County Commissioner, Tax Commissioner, Sheriff, Chief Magistrate, and Clerk of Court, would all be decided with a mere 7,251 votes cast in their favor; and that assumes every voter cast a ballot in every race, which is not the case. Races representing smaller districts in the county were won with as few as 603 votes cast for the winner.
With the Republican National Convention just three weeks away, we’re getting closer to Mitt Romney naming his running mate in 2012. Romney’s campaign has launched a smartphone app that will tip supporters off to his pick before anyone else knows, at least in theory.
Awaiting the pick is sort of like looking at top prospects for a Major League Baseball team or analyzing draft picks before the NFL Draft. Last week, The Hill reported that Beth Myers, the head of Romney’s VP search team, was on hand for a rally with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell — much like a scout at a game looking at a potential target’s stuff.
Back in April, I looked at some of the frequently mentioned names in the conversation as Romney was beginning his search for a running back. But speculation has been rampant in recent days and announcement could come literally any day now, here is look at the five most likely picks for Romney.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell: Much like Ohio, the Commonwealth of Virginia is a “must-win” for Romney. While Portman is relatively unknown in his home state, McDonnell has a 55% approval rating in Virginia. Unemployment is at 5.6%, which easily bests the national rate of 8.3%.
Hide your kids, hide your wife… Romney will kill them.
This is an actual ad from President Obama’s Priorities USA Super PAC:
If Lee Atwater was alive today, I doubt he could compete with this level of ugliness.
During a public appearence yesterday in his home state, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was pressed by reporters on his unsubstaniated charge that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid his taxes in 10 years.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Reid didn’t back down from his claim, for which he has absolutely no evidence. Reid once again said that Romney could put it to rest by producing more tax returns. Reporters kept after Reid on the charge, prompting him to snap, saying, “I’ve answered your question.”
He received some backing from ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who told the Huffington Post that because “[s]omebody told [Reid]” that Romney hadn’t paid his taxes that “Harry Reid made a statement that is true.”
On what planet that makes sense is anybody’s guess, but others aren’t so convinced. For example, PolitiFact reviewed the charge and weighed the likelihood that someone earning as much as Romney, and gave Reid their worst rating — “Pants on Fire”:
On Aug. 6, a Reid spokesman confirmed to PolitiFact that the majority leader still maintains the information came from the anonymous Bain investor. Our Truth-O-Meter guidelines say we hold officials accountable to back up their words. By those standards, Reid has not proven his allegation.
Still, we wondered how likely it was that Romney didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.
The jobs report from July has been met with familar rhetoric from both sides. Republicans, highlighting the fact that this is the 42nd consecutive month with an unemployment rate of 8% or higher, used it as evidence that President Barack Obama’s economic policies are a failure. Democrats pointed to the gains in employment and again urged Americans not to read too much into the lagging job creation.
So who are we supposed to believe? The basics of the jobs report are pretty straightforward. There were 163,000 jobs created in July, which is slightly higher than the number needed to keep up with population growth. However, 150,000 workers left the workforce. Mish Shedlock notes that “those ‘not’ in the labor force rose by 2,027,000” in the last year, which is a concerning number. Shedlock points out that “[w]ere it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%.”
If that number isn’t overwhelming enough, the Hamilton Project estimates that, given current job growth trends, unemployment will not fall to pre-recession levels until 2025:
Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made unsubstantiated accusations that the reason Mitt Romney only disclosed tax returns dating back to 2010 is because he didn’t pay taxes in years leading up to that point. Despite having no evidence to prove this charge, Reid said the burden on proof was on Romney.
Romney has denied Reid’s claim, saying that the Democratic leader should “put up or shut up.” While the Obama campaign denies that Reid is doing their bidding, they are certainly taking the opportunity to call on Romney to release more tax returns. During an interview on State of the Union, Robert Gibbs told Cindy Crowley, “I’ve never seen anybody jump through more hoops to say…that somebody’s lying, but also to not put out a document that would prove what the real truth is.”
Those of us concerned with the Fast and Furious scandal could make the same point presented by Gibbs, especially after President Obama used executive privilege to keep information from Congress. But I digress.
While some Republicans are hinting that Romney should release more tax returns to put the controversy to rest, others are beginning to fight back against Reid’s frivolous claim:
In recent days, Mitt Romney’s campaign has been pushing President Barack Obama’s record of failure on the economy. His team has even released a “presidential accountability scorecard” highlighting Obama’s poor performance. Business owners, an occupational group with which Obama has an underwater approval rating, have taken umbrage with Obama over his “you didn’t build that” remark last month in Virginia.
The comments show a disdain for the engine of our economy, regardless of “context.” But ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have one-upped Obama. During a press conference yesterday, Pelosi said that those making more than $250,000 per year don’t “get the pie sweetened for them” under President Obama’s tax hike proposal:
In her weekly press briefing, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called President Barack Obama’s tax policy “very clear,” saying that couples bringing in over $250,000 per year do not “get the pie sweetened” for them under his plan.
Yesterday, I noted the absurdity of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s suggestion that Mitt Romney hasn’t paid income taxes in 10 years, which he says is the reason why the soon-to-be-coronated GOP nominee hasn’t released tax returns before 2010. Reid has absolutely no proof of this, mind you. It’s heresay — gossip, if you will.
Reid even admits that he doesn’t know if the accusation is true. As Jon Stewart said on Wednesday night, “If you have to follow your claim with the words ‘I don’t know if that’s true’; then shut up.” Stewart continued, “‘Cause otherwise you might as well put a dead cockerspaniel on your head and start railing about birth certificates”; a reference to Donald Trump, who made has fool of himself by claiming that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real.
Sadly, he hasn’t taken Stewart’s free advice. Instead, Reid took his baseless conspiracy theory to the floor of the Senate yesterday:
Mitt Romney’s taxes are once again coming up in the president campaign. With the Congress at a stalemate over whether to extend all current rates for another year and class warfare rhetoric ever-present, this is an issue where President Obama’s campaign and Democrats feel that Romney is vulnerable.
With that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has taken it upon himself to float a baseless claim that the reason that Romney hasn’t disclosed more of his tax returns is because he didn’t pay any taxes at all:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.
The interview, published Tuesday by The Huffington Post, includes several swipes by the Senate leader at the GOP candidate.
“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said in reference to George Romney’s decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.
Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.
Reid said the person told him: “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”
Note: I’ve adapted these 10 things from this post about Christians and atheists. It’s not a complete rip off (or an endorsement of that post), but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.
We fight all the time. Every problem America has is because of them. They did this to our country. The bickering will continue forever, but there are a few things Republicans and Democrats all need to be able to agree on.
1. Both sides have done some awful things.
Let’s stop pretending we’re perfect and admit that both parties have pushed some bad legislation on America. This act where we pretend we’re perfect and they’re pure evil is pretty pathetic.
2. Both sides really believe what they’re saying.
The Democrats really do believe they can fix our problems by taxing the rich. Republicans really do believe that tax cuts stimulate job growth. The other guys aren’t trying to trick you – right or wrong, they really believe in what they’re saying.
3. For the most part, we want the same things.
It’s important to remember that we really do want the same things: a better America, opportunities for our children, a chance to succeed. We differ in our views on how to reach those goals, but it’s important to remember that we have many of the same goals in mind.
4. There are good people on both sides.