Chamber and Democrats battle over the midterms and election spending

The Washington Post

The long-simmering feud between Democrats and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has erupted into a full-scale war.

The chamber, one of Washington’s most influential lobbying groups, emerged from the background of the midterm elections this week, spending millions of dollars on ads to help Republicans and fending off Democratic allegations that the effort may include money collected from foreign firms.

(WATCH: A collection of the Chamber’s ad attacks)

The chamber told the Federal Election Commission that it spent $10.5 million in about 30 House and Senate races, an effort that primarily helps Republicans. The disclosure marks the opening of the floodgates for the business group, which has spent $25 million since the primaries and has vowed to spend up to three times that much by Election Day.

Democrats have responded by attacking the chamber as part of a shadowy coalition of conservative groups that is spending tens of millions on political ads without having to reveal its donors. The party and President Obama have also seized on allegations from a liberal think tank that money from overseas chamber affiliates may be polluting the U.S. election process – a charge the business group adamantly denies.

“Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money from foreign corporations,” Obama said at a Thursday rally for Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “So groups that receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won’t tell you where the money for their ads comes from.”

R. Bruce Josten, the chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, said in an interview Friday that the group “has never and will never” use dues collected from overseas business councils, known as “AmChams,” for U.S. political activities. He said the chamber is the victim of “a smear campaign” orchestrated with the involvement of the White House.

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Election Finance · Karl Rove · Koch Industries

Damage control: Fox defends Rove’s GOP slush fund from potential IRS audit

Media Matters

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Fox’s Megyn Kelly hosted Dana Perino to portray calls for an IRS audit of a Republican slush fund promoted by Karl Rove as a politically motivated “conspiracy,” ignoring that such calls have been issued by non-partisan organizations that called for similar audits of Democratic-leaning groups in 2004. They also furthered the bogus claim that the White House illegally accessed the tax information of Koch Industries.

Fox calls on Rove’s current and former colleague to defend his group

Perino says call for investigation of Rove-linked group is Democratic “desperate measure,” part of “conspiracy.” On the October 7 edition of Fox News’ America Live, Megyn Kelly raised allegations by Republican senators that Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) call for an Internal Revenue Service audit of 501(c)(4) organizations that may be illegally misusing their tax exempt status, including the Karl Rove-conceived Crossroads GPS, is “politically motivated.” She then hosted Fox News contributor Dana Perino, who defended Rove’s group.

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Economy · Financial Regulatory Reform

Stewart Takes On Big Banks For Accidental Foreclosures (VIDEO)

Huffington Post

After being bailed out and sticking the American tax payers with bad mortgage loans, lenders like JP Morgan Chase and Bank Of America are now admitting that they might have foreclosed on some homes by accident because of not reading fine print correctly. Last night on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart lambasted the big banks for ignoring the fine print that they themselves came up with.

“Wait, what? The banks weren’t reading the fine print? You’re the people who came up with the f**king fine print in the first place!” Stewart said in shock.

Stewart pointed out that regular people typically never read fine print, using the length of a standard iTunes contract as an example, but that the banks weren’t even reading the “regular print” when they decided to change the locks on homes that were not in foreclosure, which happened in Orange County, FL recently.

Since the American tax payers are now part owners of these crappy mortgages, Stewart said we should request a halt to the foreclosures until all the paperwork is straightened out, but analysts suggest this would collapse the economy.

So, it is up to Congress and President Obama to solve the problem and protect people from accidental foreclosures, but as Stewart learns, only one of them will actually do something about it.

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Related Articles

Fox News · Fox News Distortions

Mario Piperni: There Will Never Be A Liberal Equivalent To Fox News


Mario Piperni

And here is why.

…you’ll never have a liberal equivalent to Fox News that has anything like the same level of success. Conservatives believe that the mainstream news is fundamentally corrupt and untrustworthy. They want a fully closed information ecosystem in which every piece of data they consume is filtered through the perspective of the conservative movement. Very, very few liberals want that. They want their liberal opinion, but they also want straight news, or at the very least news that isn’t overtly propagandistic like on Fox. MSNBC has slightly right-of-center programming in the morning with Joe Scarborough, straight news throughout the day, then liberal opinion at night.

Will that work? Sherman implicitly suggests it won’t. The beauty of Fox News is that the “straight” news seamlessly meshes with the straight opinion ranters. The daytime shows endlessly pump up the Black Panther intimidation story, and then the opinion hosts flog the story more. The whole product works together.

Gabe Sherman explains how.

Fox’s secret is that viewers stay. That’s because Fox’s rightward flanking maneuver, capturing a disenfranchised part of the audience, was only part of its strategy. The news, especially political news, wasn’t something that happened. It was something that you shaped out of the raw data, brought out of the clay of zhlubby, boring politics, reborn with heroes and villains, triumphs and reverses, never-ending story lines—what TV executives call “flow.” And the beauty of it was that the viewers—the voters—were the protagonists, victims of evil Kenyan socialist overlords, or rebels, coming to take the government back. There was none of the on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand relativity crossfire that mirrors the journalism-school ideal of objectivity. All the fire went one way. The viewers, on their couches, were flattered as the most important participants, the foot soldiers in Fox’s army; some of them even voted.

There never will be a Fox equivalent on the liberal side because most liberals would never tolerate being lied to on a daily basis.  For all the criticism MSNBC gets from the right claiming it is no different than Fox, they’re wrong.  Olbermann is not O’Reilly and Maddow is not Hannity.  Not even close.  You can disagree with the liberal views of Olbermann and Maddow, but you would be hard-pressed to call them liars.  And when they do error, they readily admit it.

Can the same be said of O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck and the rest of the Fox crew – all chronic and documented liars of the first order?

Newt Gingrich

David Plouffe On Newt Gingrich: ‘Sad’ To See Him Saying These ‘Crazy’ Things

Huffington Post

Obama presidential campaign manager David Plouffe sharply criticized Newt Gingrich on Thursday, saying the former House Speaker is in a “sad” state from the public position he used to hold.

“It’s sad to see because buried deep beneath him somewhere must be still a serious person,” said Plouffe. “But it’s hard to find him these days.”

Plouffe made his comments to a small group of reporters after an elections briefing at the Democratic National Committee. He was responding to a question about Gingrich’s new strategy memo instructing Republican candidates to portray the GOP as the party of “paychecks” and Democrats as the party of “food stamps.”

Plouffe pointed to the takeover of the Republican Party by people like “Christine O’Donnell and Sarah Palin voters” as a reason for Gingrich’s turn. “[T]hat’s why he’s saying those crazy things he said,” added Plouffe.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) also dismissed Gingrich in an interview with The Huffington Post on Tuesday, saying that he is now “irrelevant.” “God bless them for being true to who they are,” she said. “They just can’t resist the urge to stomp on poor people. They drove the country into a terrible ditch. The President and the Congress are trying to pull us out. The economists tell us that if we hadn’t acted the way — in the federal initiatives from the Congress and others, that we would have 8.5 million more people unemployed. That unemployment would be 14.5 percent, the deficit would be huge — even huger than it is.”

Plouffe has made similar comments about Gingrich in the past. In September, when Gingrich made headlines for saying that President Obama may have a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, Plouffe remarked, “Two words come to mind for me: ‘sad’ and ‘reprehensible’…it makes me think he probably is running for president because he’s trying to cater to that extreme element…but it’s reprehensible.”

Joe Miller · Todd Palin

Todd Palin Confirms Angry Emails

One can actually draw an impression about the Palins…that they are rather vindictive to people who they perceive have crossed them in some way…

The Weekly Standard

Yesterday, the anti-Palin blog Mudflats leaked an email that Todd Palin had sent to several people, in which he complained about something Alaska Republican senatorial candidate Joe Miller had (not) said about Sarah Palin’s qualifications for the presidency. Predictably, a media frenzy ensued.

Here’s Mr. Palin’s response, in a statement released to THE WEEKLY STANDARD:

My family has worked hard in supporting Joe Miller, so when I heard he’d said something less than supportive of my wife’s efforts, I responded. But it turns out we’d gotten our wires crossed and Joe hadn’t said anything like what I’d been told. So there’s no story here except the fact that the press put our personal emails online again, and again couldn’t even be bothered to conceal our email addresses or take any steps to protect our privacy.

We don’t know who leaked the email. In 2008, by way of background, Sarah Palin’s personal email account was hacked by the son of a Democratic lawmaker in Tennessee. The hacker was found guilty on two counts of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer last spring. He awaits sentencing.

Elizabeth Hasselbeck · Good Morning America

Elisabeth Hasselbeck Joining ‘Good Morning America’ As A Contributor

Huffington Post – Media

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of “The View,” is joining fellow ABC show “Good Morning America” as a contributor on family issues, it was announced Thursday.

In a statement, Hasselbeck said she was “thrilled to join the ‘Good Morning America’ team, and I am thankful for this opportunity to raise awareness and explore the most important issues facing parents and children.” Jim Murphy, executive producer of “Good Morning America,” said he thinks Hasselbeck “brings a very distinctive style and unique perspective that fits well with the broadcast.”

Hasselbeck has been one of the co-hosts of “The View” since 2003. She will make her “GMA” debut on October 11, with a report on children and tattoos.

Joe Miller

Despite Bashing ‘Obamacare’ As Unconstitutional, Joe Miller Admits He Got Government Health Care

The hypocrisy of the GOP is astounding!

Huffington Post

Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller says his family benefited from Medicaid and a state-run health care program for low-income children and pregnant women.

Miller previously acknowledged receiving federal farm subsidies for land he owned in Kansas in the 1990s, as well as low-income hunting and fishing licenses for him and his wife in Alaska.

As a conservative candidate, he’s criticized certain entitlement programs. Sitting Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who’s running for re-election as a write-in candidate against him, called Miller a hypocrite.

As The Huffington Post has reported, Miller on his campaign website clearly defines his position on the health care issue:

I support the repeal of ObamaCare. First and foremost, there is no Constitutional authority for it. Currently nearly half of the state governments have filed suit in federal court because they share this view.Second, even if ObamaCare were Constitutional, its baseline benefit is built upon a crumbling foundation, and it will do nothing to control costs. This legislation adds millions of new beneficiaries to the already broken Medicaid program and relies in part on finding hundreds of billions in savings from the broken and going bankrupt Medicare program. The reimbursement rates on both of these programs are so low that many doctors in Alaska will not see patients or greatly limit the number of patients they will see.


The Tea Party-backed candidate has also reportedly communicated a desire to phase out Medicare.

Miller told the Anchorage Daily News he’s struggled in the past, and that there’s a proper role for government. He says the question is whether power is held at the state or federal level.

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Miller says he hasn’t received government assistance “for years.”