Day: April 2, 2012

Paul Ryan claims he ‘misspoke’ when he called military leaders liars

Daily KosPaul Ryan

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is walking back his recent claim that U.S. military leaders are liars:

“I really misspoke,” Ryan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I didn’t mean to make that kind of an impression. So, I was clumsy in how I was describing the point I was trying to make.” [...]“What I was attempting to say is, President Obama put out his budget number for the Pentagon first, $500 billion cut, and then they began the strategy review to conform the budget to meet that number,” Ryan said. “We think it should have been the other way around.”

So, how did he so clumsily put it the first time?

We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice. We don’t think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget. I believe that the president’s budget by virtue of the fact that when he released his budget number of about $500 billion, the number was announced at the same time they announced the beginning of their strategy review of the Pentagon’s budget. So what we get from the Pentagon is more of a budget driven strategy, not a strategy driven budget.

Huh. So what Ryan really meant to say was the same thing … except the part where he called U.S. Generals a bunch of liars. Except of course he’s still calling them liars:

Gen. Dempsey, the military’s top officer, took sharp exception to the chairman’s comments. [...]”My response is: I stand by my testimony. This was very much a strategy-driven process to which we mapped the budget.”

Try again, Mr. Ryan.

‘Huge shift’ among female voters gives Obama lead in battleground states

The Raw Story

There is often a gender gap between the two political parties, with woman voters tending to favor the Democrats while a majority of men support Republican candidates. In recent weeks, however, as the Republican Party has become embroiled in the contraception issue, that gap has widened into an abyss.

A survey of a dozen swing states taken by USA Today shows President Obama leading Republican front-runner Mitt Romney by 51% to 42% among registered voters, just a month after having trailed by two points. Most of that change comes from women under 50, who now support Obama over Romney by roughly 60% to 30%, while in mid-February, the figures were more equal.

Obama now leads Romney among all women by 18 points and trails him among all men by just a single point. Romney is strongly favored only among men over 50, with whom he has a lead of 56% to 38%.

 

The poll found that the gender gap also extends to party identification, with women describing themselves as Democrats by a wide margin of 41% to 24%. Men were more likely to identify as Republicans, but only by 27% to 25%.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told USA Today that Romney’s promise to “end Planned Parenthood” and his support for allowing employers to exclude contraception from employee health insurance plans will cause him “severe problems” in the general election.

“Romney’s run to the right may be winning him Tea Party votes,” Messina stated, but “American women can’t trust Romney to stand up for them.”

“The focus on contraception has not been a good one for us,” admits Republican strategist Sarah Taylor Fagen, “and Republicans have unfairly taken on water on this issue.”

Fagan’s words can presumably be taken to represent high-level Republican thinking. She is a former George W. Bush campaign strategist who served as White House political director starting in 2005, worked closely with Karl Rove, and became known for her repeated invocations of executive privilege when she was subpoenaed to testify in the U.S. Attorney scandal.

Will a Tea Party Supreme Court guarantee Obama a second term?

One might ask how can we call the Justices of the Supreme Court Tea Partiers.  The fact is, the majority Republicans (5) in the Court support and attend meetings and affairs thrown by the Koch Brothers and their ilk.  Those are the people that initiated the Tea Party and paid others to organize the alleged “grass roots” coalition.

The Week

The court’s conservative wing appears ready to engage in some despicable judicial activism on ObamaCare. Politically, at least, the justices are doing Obama a favor – Robert Shrum

Recall the scorn toward health reform dripping from the lips of Injustice Antonin Scalia. Or think of the tight-lipped Clarence Thomas, who could send a mannequin to sit in his place at the court’s oral arguments for all the difference his brooding presence makes. Along with the more plausibly judicious Samuel Alito, he too had more than likely made his decision. And so on the nation’s highest court, satire replaced stare decisis in a slightly altered version of the Red Queen’s jurisprudence inAlice in Wonderland: First the verdict, then the trial.

Some observers, and administration officials, hold out hope that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy will decide to save health reform from the revanchist claims of right-wing constitutionalism. I’m pessimistic because I lived through Bush v. Gore, when the court acted like a political ward committee, stopping the vote count in Florida to hand the presidency to George W. Bush by the margin of a single judicial vote.

Now comes the historic decision on health reform — which could reach far beyond the case to fray the whole fabric of progress in modern America. To overturn the individual mandate, to throw out all or most of the rest of the law, would be an act of naked judicial activism, which conservatives profess to despise. In truth, though, they practice it vigorously, in barely concealed disguise, when it advances their own ends. Depending on the “reasoning” rationalized by five horsemen of the judicial right, they could jeopardize other basic protections — for example, the prohibition against segregation at distinctly local enterprises like lunch counters, a prohibition that depends on a generous and long-prevailing view of federal regulation of interstate commerce.

Continue reading here…

Georgia Republicans Pushing Drug Testing Refuse To Be Tested

PoliticusUSA

From health care to education, to civil justice and support for working families, the actions of  Republican legislators across the county show that they value their corporate buddies more than families. Now, we get to hear it form their own mouths.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video of Georgia elected officials responding to public demand that they take a urine drug screenbefore picking up THEIR government check is priceless. Following the example of Republican-led legislatures across the county, Georgia lawmakers who are eager to force Georgia mom’s to pee in a cup blanch at the idea of requiring their colleagues to do the same.

And drug tests for CEO’s of corporations receiving special interest tax breaks? You just have to watch this video from Better Georgia, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that I chair, to see their response to that idea!

Kill this Bill: Unfair Georgia Drug Test from Bryan Long on Vimeo.

How Mitt Romney Fumbled The ‘Hot Mic’ Opportunity

How Mitt Romney Fumbled The ‘Hot Mic’ Opportunity

When it comes to campaign political gaffes, poor Mitt Romney, always gets it wrong several times before he eventually just gives up.  It seems this time his foreign policy gravitas is sorely lacking and the Obama camp is seizing the opportunity to let voters know this.

TPM2012

Mitt Romney may be settling in as his party’s presumptive nominee, but his team is still cutting its teeth when it comes to going toe-to-toe with President Obama. This week, a series of misfired remarks over what seemed like an easy political winner for Romney — Obama’s ‘hot mic’ moment with Russia’s leader — is now being turned by the White House into a referendum on the ex-governor’s foreign policy chops.

As a Sunday interview with Vice President Joe Biden made clear, Democrats are on the offensive over the ‘hot mic’ affair.

“He acts like he thinks the Cold War is still on. Russia is still our major adversary. I don’t know where he’s been,” Biden said on CBS’ Face The Nation, pointing out various ways in which Russia is working with the U.S. “So I think what the exchange did — it exposes how little the governor knows about foreign policy.”

So, how did Romney lose control of a story that was destined to hurt Obama?

Last Monday, when Obama’s comment to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” on missile defense after the election was picked up by a live microphone, Romney was presented with a golden opportunity. The gaffe fit perfectly into the GOP’s narrative that the president is a radical in sheep’s clothing who will impose far-left policies as soon as he’s re-elected. But over the course of the last week, Romney dropped the ball.

The first mistake: While his campaign was sending out press releases about how Obama would impose “job-killing tax increases” in a second term, Romney was making news by accusing Russia of being “without question our number one geopolitical foe.” The candidate’s pronouncement against Russia turned public scrutiny from Obama back on him. Democrats shot back with a statement from Gen. Wes Clark, saying Romney’s comment “sounds like a rehash of Cold War fears.”

The back and forth went on all week, with Democrats largely defending the gaffe as a statement about the realities of election-year politics and asking Americans not to read anything else into it — but peppering those comments with questions about Romney’s knowledge of foreign affairs.

Then, on Friday, the Romney campaign all but gave up the game. Challenged by team Obama to release his last 30 years of tax returns, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul responded bycalling on the president to “release the notes and transcripts of all his meetings with world leaders.”

Team Romney’s point was that Obama should prove “that he’s not promising to sell out the country’s interests after the election is over.” Dems slapped their foreheads in response, pointing out the obvious perils of releasing sensitive information from meetings between world leaders, and hammering Romney with another round of attacks on his foreign policy “naiveté.”

Saturday morning, the DNC had yet another foreign policy expert, this time the Dr. Colin Kahl, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, attack the campaign’s comments as “yet another indication that Mitt Romney is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief.” And now, almost a week after Obama’s gaffe, Team Romney has been silent on the issue for going on two days while the Obama camp — including both Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — is happy to discuss their opponent’s “Cold War mentality.”

Whether or not Romney is naive about foreign policy, this episode demonstrates some of Romney’s weaknesses in messaging wars with the president. Romney and Republicans will probably continue to use the ‘hot mic’ incident against Obama, but they’ve given the president ample room to bite back.