Daily Archives: June 15, 2012

Frat-boy conservatism in the Rose Garden

Frat-boy conservatism in the Rose Garden

Joan Walsh of Salon pretty much nails it…

Salon

What a buffoon.

Daily Caller “reporter” Neil Munro heckled President Obama near the end of his remarks announcing an executive order stopping the deportation of young people whose parents brought them here illegally. Munro shouted, “Why do you favor foreigners over American workers?” while reportedly identifying himself as an immigrant. He describes himself as “born Irish, then became a Cold War bridegroom” on his Twitter profile. If only Obama had proposed a green-card dating service instead of his Dream Act workaround.

The visibly angry president smacked down Munro. “The next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask a question,” Obama said. He then walked out of the Rose Garden without taking any queries from reporters.

I’m not one to revere the imperial presidency, but it’s unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming “You lie” during Obama’s 2009 speech to a joint session of Congress, to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trump’s persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney). And for right-wingers who insist Democrats are too quick to cry racism: Really, what else explains this constant, in-your-face (literally) contempt for a president?

Certainly they disrespected President Clinton, too, but never with such in-person abuse. Clinton was impeached after a political witch hunt and treated poorly even by the so-called liberal media, but he was never stalked into the Rose Garden or congressional chambers and heckled, as Obama has been.

Conservatism has always been associated with deference to authority, but lately it’s only for authority they respect. The Romney campaign has been glorying in this new form of frat-boy conservatism, first sending campaign supporters to heckle Obama adviser David Axelrod during a press conference, and yesterday sending its bus to circle and disrupt an Obama event, honking its horn. It reminds me of the famous “Brooks Brothers riots” in Miami during December 2000, when supporters of George W. Bush threatened to physically prevent county officials from recounting votes in that heavily Democratic stronghold. Of course, it also harks back to Romney himself in prep school, tackling a gay classmate and cutting off his long blond hair while he cried and asked for help.

It’s no accident that Munro works for bow-tied, sexually anxious bully Tucker Carlson, who famously (but not believably) boasted of beating up a gay man who made a pass at him in a men’s room, and admitted that when he hears Hillary Clinton speak, “I involuntarily cross my legs.” Jon Stewart called him a dick eight years ago, and he’s only gotten worse. This is your modern Republican Party, folks. It only gets worse.

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Obama Interrupted By Heckler During Rose Garden Announcement

abc white househeckler thg 120615 wblog Obama Interrupted By Heckler During Rose Garden Announcement

The first time I heard about the “reporter” interrupting  the president while he was making a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House, was on the MSNBC  news program, Martin Bashir .

I have to say, after the “you lie” stunt at the 2010 State of the Union address; and the current childish trick of the opposition sending people to Obama speeches to heckle him and just yesterday, the Romney bus passing by the venue in Ohio where the president was speaking, blowing the bus horn and drawing attention, in my opinion, these people have no respect for the president or the office…

ABC News

President Obama was in the middle of  delivering remarks on immigration in the Rose Garden this afternoon when he was interrupted and heckled repeatedly by a reporter.

The man, later identified as Neil Munro of The Daily Caller, asked the president several times “why do you favor foreigners over American workers?”

“It’s not time for questions, sir,” the president responded angrily. “Not while I’m speaking.”

While reporters were present at the Rose Garden announcement, the president was not expected to take questions.

At the end of his remarks, the president attempted to address Munro’s concerns. “The answer to your question, sir — and the next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question — is this is the right thing to do for the American people,” he said.

When Munro interrupted again, the president snapped back “I didn’t ask for an argument, I’m answering your question.”

Asked afterwards who he was, Munro said simply “I’m just a reporter asking questions you should be asking.”

The Daily Caller later lauded Munro’s behavior. ”We are very proud of, @NeilMunroDC for doing his job,” the online publication posted to its Twitter feed.

The president was announcing plans to stop deporting young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children but have since been enrolled in, or graduated from high school and have abided by U.S. law.

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McConnell calls Obama ‘thuggish’ over opposition to Citizens United

Mitch McConnell speaks to Faith and Freedom Coalition

Apparently they’ve stopped hiding their true feelings about President Barack Hussein Obama.

The Raw Story

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Friday accused President Barack Obama’s administration of using “thuggish” tactics to promote campaign finance reform.

During a speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, McConnell said that liberals were using “bullying” and “intimidation” to thwart the free speech rights of conservatives.

“The administration’s most prominent effort to limit speech is the so-called DISCLOSE Act, a bill the grew out of the president’s very public and unseemly rebuke of the U.S. Supreme Court in early 2010,” the Kentucky Republican explained. “An attempt to get around the court’s decision in Citizens United, this proposed law would compel grassroots groups to disclose the names of their supporters.”

“This administration claims that the goal of this bill is transparency, but the enthusiasm with which it has embraced the thuggish tactics of the left suggests that its true goal is to silence critics,” he added. “A growing number of people on the political left and now within the government itself have appeared to have concluded that they can’t win on the merits. So, they’ve resorted to bullying and intimidation instead.”

“When you’ve got an administration that’s willing to throw core constitutional protections out the window for the sake of an election — whether its religious freedom or the freedom to speak without fear of intimidation — we’re in very dangerous territory.”

The Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act or DISCLOSE Act was first introduced by Democrats in 2010 after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling that allowed unlimited contributions and corporate funds to flow into political campaigns.

The legislation aims to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by prohibiting government contractors from making expenditures in elections, banning foreign influence in U.S. elections and forcing corporations to disclose campaign expenditures.

Democrats in the House passed the measure in 2010, but it was blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Democratic senators introduced an updated version of the bill in March of this year.

Watch this video from CNN, broadcast June 15, 2012. (Bottom of page)

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Obama vs. Romney: 5 takeaways from their dueling economic speeches

I’m just waiting for the debates…

The Week

The candidates converge in the battleground state of Ohio, delivering competing speeches on their respective visions for the U.S. economy

On Thursday, President Obama and Mitt Romney were both in the battleground state of Ohio, delivering dueling speeches on the most pressing issue facing American voters: The weak economy.

The Obama camp billed the president’s speech as amajor address that would reframe the economic debate, which has not gone in Obama’s favor over the past couple weeks. (On the heels of a grim unemployment report, Obama invited GOP attacks by declaring that the private sector is “doing fine.”) Romney, for his part, appears eager to keep the spotlight on the economy, and his campaign underscored the dueling speeches by sending a Romney campaign bus to circle the site of Obama’s speech and honk at the president’s supporters. Here, five takeaways from the speech-off:

1. Romney blasted Obama’s economic record
Romney slammed Obama for failing to foster a more robust recovery. “He’s going to be a person of eloquence as he describes his plans for making the economy better,” Romney said. “But don’t forget — he’s been president for three and a half years, and talk is cheap. Action speaks very loud.”

2. Obama blamed the Bush-era GOP
The president “offered up a detailed rehash of the decade that preceded him taking office,” arguing that Bush-era tax cuts and deregulation resulted in the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession, says Benjy Sarlin at Talking Points Memo. Obama hardly mentioned President Bush by name, but “the speech represented his most focused argument that Republican policies devastated the country over the last decade.” Obama’s message was clear: If Romney is elected, he’ll take America down that same road.

3. The president tore into Romney, too
Obama went after Romney aggressively, saying he had “not seen a single independent analysis that says my opponent’s economic plan would actually reduce the deficit.” Instead, Obama argued, Romney’s plan favors the rich. The president even “went so far as to make his economic argument personal” by going after the multi-millionaire’s wealth, says Reid J. Epstein at Politico. “I don’t believe that giving someone like Mr. Romney another huge tax cut” is a good reason to slash spending on social programs, Obama said.

4. Obama also blamed intransigent Republicans in Congress
The president pointed his finger at “partisan politics in Washington,” saying that’s why we’ve seen little “progress in reviving the American economy,” say Amy Gardner and Philip Rucker at The Washington Post. “What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which paths America should take,” Obama said. He argued that the upcoming election was a chance for voters “to break that stalemate.”

5. The president still has a steep hill to climb
No matter how he frames the debate, Obama has real problems with the “are you better off” question, say Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake at The Washington Post. He can’t convince people that things are better than they were four years ago, so he has to suggest “that the country is beginning to climb out of a deep hole and the only way to continue that ascent is to elect him.” At the same time, he can’t pretend the economy is moving in the right direction without looking “painfully out of touch to struggling middle- and lower-middle class voters,” say Alexander Burns and John F. Harris at Politico. He has a tough balancing act ahead of him.

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Gingrich: Elections ‘rigged’ for the rich

Former U.S. House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said elections are rigged for the wealthy.

What surprises me about Newt Gingrich’s statement is the fact that a politician on Gingrich’s level would admit that the election is rigged for the rich…period.

Alanta Journal Constitution

Elections are “rigged” for the rich, according to former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich, talking to the Rev. Al Sharpton on the minister’s MSNBC television show Tuesday, said campaign finance rules should be changed to allow any American to donate any amount of after-tax personal income they want to give a candidate as long as the donation is reported “every night on the Internet.”

Gingrich, who sought the GOP nomination before dropping out of the race last month, was asked about his Florida primary loss to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney just after beating Romney in South Carolina. Sharpton suggested Gingrich would have won Florida had Romney not outspent him by millions of dollars and if Gingrich had not been the target of relentless attack ads.

Gingrich agreed with Sharpton and used New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as an example of how difficult it is to win elections in which a very wealthy person is a rival. He said Bloomberg, a billionaire, has spent “an extraordinary amount of personal money to buy the mayor’s office for the third time.”

“It’s very hard to compete with a billionaire if they get to spend all the money they want and the middle-class candidate’s raising money in $2,500 units,” Gingrich told Sharpton. “So, I think the current system is rigged, frankly, in favor of the wealthy.” Individuals are limited to $2,500 donations in federal campaigns.

The former Georgia congressman said reforming how campaigns are financed would help reduce negative attack ads and increase accountability.

“You would have more accountability and middle-class candidates could balance off rich candidates,” Gingrich told Sharpton.

According to Bankrate.com, an analysis of Gingrich’s latest financial disclosure forms shows his net worth (excluding his primary home) is between $6.7 million and $30.1 million.

Last month, Forbes magazine placed Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, at the top of its list of “America’s Most Indebted Politicians,” saying he left the GOP race for the White House on May 2 owing campaign consultants and vendors $4.3 million.

Forbes said more than $1 million of the debt was for private jet service and $271,775.58 was to Gingrich himself for travel expenses.

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