Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ann Romney Had An Abortion

The Republican Party recently adopted a new platform plank regarding abortion, declaring that abortion was not acceptable in any instance, including rape or incest.  Also take into consideration Mitt Romney's running mate's comments regarding rape justifying the exclusion of any exception, in which Paul Ryan states that rape is just another "method of conception" and that regardless of how a woman gets pregnant or if that pregnancy places her life in danger, life begins at the moment of conception.

What does this have to do with Ann Romney?

According to conservative philosophy, miscarriage equals murder, and recently Ann Romney admitted to CBS that she had a miscarriage and had aborted her baby twenty years ago.  That's right!  Ann Romney had a spontaneous abortion, and Republicans believe abortion in all instances should be illegal.

I am sure the Romneys won't see this the same way, much like Rick Santorum having no problem attacking abortion for others while his wife got one to save her life.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Praises Tax Havens

"I know how to hide my money.  Do you?"
Mitt Romney is a complex man full of contradictions.  He is against the president's signature health care reform despite passing virtually the same exact thing in his state several years earlier, he touts his experience in business as a private equity guru yet he believes his business record should be off limits to political attacks, and he claims to be for closing tax loopholes while he has profited from many loopholes by sending his money over seas into shell corporations, buffer companies, and tax havens.  Yesterday Mitt Romney got a little more complex - he claimed big businesses are "doing fine," echoing a line he criticized Obama for uttering months ago, but the reason he gave for big businesses flourishing in this down economy was quite surprising.  Romney stated that wealthy businesses were able to get ahead because they had the resources to get loans and ship their money overseas.

"They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses," said Romney. "But small business is getting crushed."

Consider Romney's personal finances - Romney's estimated net worth is around a quarter of a billion dollars and it has been revealed that Romney has shipped his money overseas to places like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda enjoying a tax rate one-third of what the average American pays.  Romney, wealthy like big businesses, has the resources to seek out loopholes and set up accounts offshore while the poor and middle class are struggling to get by, and by the way, Romney's policies aim to strip much of the protections that keep those less fortunate from falling further down the ladder while the rich and super-rich would get taxx breaks.

In a report, it was found that Paul Ryan's budget (a budget that Romney has endorsed but has since backtracked) would actually raise taxes on everyone but the wealthy.
Under the Wisconsin congressman's plan, the bottom 80 percent of American earners would have paid about $1,700 more in taxes on average than under President Obama’s plan, according to an analysis by the progressive Center for Tax Justice. Despite the boost, the government would have lost out on $183 billion in revenue 2011 and at least $2 trillion over a decade, thanks in part to tax cuts for the top 20 percent.

It seems that the only Americans getting a tax break under Ryan’s plan are the super-rich. Those in the top 1 percent in terms of income would receive a more than $200,000 tax cut, compared to Obama’s budget proposals, according to the Center for Tax Justice analysis .
Also consider the fact that 96 percent of small business owners benefit from the middle class tax cuts, with only 4 percent being negatively affected should the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy go up. While the president supports maintaining those tax cuts for the middle class (and the vast majority of small business owners), if Romney were to adopt his plan, which he said was almost identical to the Ryan plan, then the vast majority of small business owners would see their taxes increase while those big businesses and their executives that are "doing fine" will see their taxes shrink.

All that doesn't seem to matter though - Romney is making headway with the small business owner demographic, with a recent poll by an online small business organization pointing to Romney with a lead Obama.  While Romney has slipped a little in the numbers, it appears the empty rhetoric from the Republican candidate is working in preventing a mass exodus of businessmen from flocking to Obama.  One promising thing to consider in the online poll is that a good amount of business owners expressed having an open mind and are paying attention to the candidates and how they address issues close to them.  Romney praising the sustainability of big businesses because they have the resources to game the system and hide their money (like himself) might not go over well with those not-so-big businesses.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney: "I Am Not A Business!"

"I am not a business."

Mitt Romney said corporations are people and deserve the same rights as humans.

Mitt Romney cites his experience with Bain Capital as a qualifier for the presidency.

Mitt Romney fancies the idea of changing the Constitution to require a presidential candidate to have at least three years business experience.

Mitt Romney believes his business acumen should not be debated.

Mitt Romney won't release his personal income taxes.

When asked if he would invest in a business that claimed to have expertise in business and finance but refused to release years of taxes, Mitt Romney responded with the following: "I am not a business."

So the man who cites his business experience as his main qualification for the presidency and who toyed with an amendment to the Constitution setting up a business prerequisite also wants his business record to be protected from criticism.

He also believes corporations are people but does not believe people (more specifically - Mitt Romney)  should be treated like corporations.

Would you vote for a candidate who claims to know what's best but refuses to talk about the basis for such claims?

The Paul Ryan Sleight Of Hand

Who would vote for the guy who fired your dad and the man who denied him unemployment?
Mitt Romney has had a lot of problems gaining momentum with his campaign for the presidency since he became the presumptive nominee.  Romney has been dogged about his experience heading a private equity company, Bain Capital, and not releasing more than one year's tax returns (Romney has yet to release his latest return).  The attacks on Romney has taken a toll - his favorability ratings have shifted giving the president a several point advantage.

Romney has tried to change the subject several times but each attempt has been met with even more disappointment for Romney.  For instance, Romney wanted to stop people from talking about his financial situation and the possibility that he paid zero taxes by going on a multi-country tour to try and show people that he could look and act presidential.  Romney unfortunately had a bout of foot-in-mouth disease insulting not one but three countries.

First he insulted Great Britain by speculating their readiness for the Olympics, causing him to be mocked on both sides of the ocean.  Then Romney traveled to Israel where he got the Israeli capital wrong and insisted Palestinian culture is the cause for all their hardships, and finally, Romney's aide disgraced the Polish Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when he claimed the press were disrespecting the tomb using some profanity against the reporters to emphasize how much they were being disrespectful.

Upon returning from overseas Romney saw no bump and had the conversation shift back to Bain and his taxes.  While Romney may have won a battle in the Bain wars with the release of a pro-Obama video that seemed to imply Romney was the cause of a woman's death because he shut down a factory, Romney quickly lost any gains by crying to the media that Obama should promise to leave his business record alone (despite Romney using his business experience as one of the main reasons we should elect him) and getting into a fight with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Reid cited a conversation with an anonymous Bain source in saying that Romney had not paid any taxes for years.

This attack isn't anything new - there have been other articles out there that speculated the same exact thing - but Romney and his surrogates felt upset that this attack was coming from a top Democrat and decided to step up to the accusations but the pro-Romney forces stumbled.  Romney failed to initially out-right deny the claims and instead used the "I paid what I legally had to" line, and then he and his friends promised the American public that they should take his word that he paid his taxes.

That didn't work so what was Romney's last card in his hand?  Play the vice-presidential nominee pick and change the subject.  Romney decided to do it - two weeks before the Republican National Convention.

Will Romney's announcement change the subject away from his taxes and give him a fighting chance again?

Not really.

While Ryan may be popular among conservatives for trying to gut the government and bring forth a Rand-ian paradise, he is relatively unknown throughout America and does little to excite those outside the Republican base.

Ryan in constantly being called a policy "wonk" despite failing to come up with anything of value.  His signature budget plan, which Romney instantly distanced himself from despite praising it prior to the pick, is hardly "wonk" material - it has been deemed by numerous organizations (bot partisan and non-partisan) to be disastrous.

Ryan has also accomplished very little in his 13 years in Congress, and if the bills that he had passed are any indication of how a Romney-Ryan ticket would govern, you could forget any kind of advocate for the middle class being in the White House.  For instance, one bill Ryan passed altered the taxes on arrows.  Ryan is an avid archer and authoring such legislation would directly benefit him.  Sure we are talking about arrows but who would even think of changing the excise taxes on arrows to begin with?  This, of course, leads us back to taxes.

Ryan's budget plan not only strips the government of virtually everything of importance, but it also drops taxes - especially for the wealthy.  Romney's taxes under the Ryan plan would be reduced to one percent.

One percent!

To be technical (wonkish?), Romney's tax rate would be .82 percent.

From The Atlantic:
It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center , but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense -- a point my colleague Derek Thompson has made in incredible chart form.
Ryan's selection also did not completely erase the question of Romney's taxes.  On CBS' 60 Minutes, Ryan offered a uniformed front telling Bob Schiefer that the public will only see two years of his tax returns (Will he actually release them though?) and that while he is going to show everybody two years, he showed Mitt Romney more, which brings us to another question - why is it that with Romney, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander?

What is so damaging about letting everyone see your tax returns?  Especially when you are campaigning as a champion of the middle class and insisting that you know best?

Because of Ryan's response, I am sure that the tax question won't go away.  Besides, who would want to vote for the guy who fired your dad and the man who denied him unemployment benefits?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ann Coulter's Surprising Views On Polling

Someone should teach Ann Coulter a thing or two about statistics, polling, and reality in general.

On Sunday, Coulter said the following regarding the right-wing proclaimed appreciation day for Chick-fil-A, which caused conservatives to flock to the fast food restaurant as if Jesus himself was delivering the Sermon on the Mount from the drive-thru window.  The outpouring of support stemmed from comments the founder, Dan Cathy, made regarding his anti-gay views.

 "When you see crowds like that coming out [to support Chick-fil-A], no, I'm sorry, I don't believe the polls on gay marriage. Let us vote. Those polls I believe, and it makes me suspicious at the polls on the presidential election."

So let me get this straight - Coulter believes polls regarding things like gay marriage are wrong because a lot of conservatives went to Chick-fil-A on one particular day, so that must have been an indicator that the polls are wrong and a majority of Americans are against gay marriage, and by default, the president as well.

So gauging public opinion by focusing solely on a protest group is proof that America as anti-gay? I guess that Klan rally I read about is indicative of America's overwhelmingly pro-Aryan views.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Romney's Tax Fight Heats Up

"You people don't need to know that I paid no taxes..."

Mitt Romney has caused a bit of a stir with his taxes.  He won't follow in his father's precedent-setting foot steps and has decided to only release two years of tax filings.  This has caused pretty much everyone, from Democrat to Republican, to call for Romney to release more.  After all, it looked bad enough when it was revealed that Romney pays a lower tax rate than most Americans.

Now, another piece has moved into the Romney tax puzzle - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has claimed to have talked to a person formerly associated with Bain and that person claimed that Romney had not paid taxes for ten years.

"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?

What was the Romney campaign's response to such accusations?  Did they deny it outright?  Did they reveal anything that could dispel such rumors?


Romney's campaign adviser Kevin Madden said his candidate had "gone above and beyond the disclosure requirements by releasing two years of personal tax returns in addition to the hundreds of pages of personal financial disclosure documents he has provided to the FEC and made public."

Harry Reid has not backed and stood by his original comments.

Mitt Romney responded by running to Sean Hannity's radio program a couple days later to talk tough and return to his typical attack- Democrats are trying to change the subject from the economy (even though revealing Romney's low tax rate - or none at all - would highlight how the tax code disproportionately favors the wealthy).

"Well, it's time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry's going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course, that's totally and completely wrong," Romney told Hannity in a radio interview. "It's untrue, dishonest, and inaccurate. It's wrong. So I'm looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we'll probably find out it's the White House. Look, the Obama campaign is going to do everything in its power to try and talk about anything besides the president's record. Home prices, median American incomes, gasoline prices, 23 million underemployed or unemployed.

"They don't want to talk about that or his promises, cutting the deficit in half, cutting the medical insurance rates that people pay," Romney added. "These are all the things he promised. He can't talk about that, so they try and put this kind of baloney out there, and the people could smell it for what it is, and it's not a pretty smell."

So Romney believes that Reid's latest comments are coming directly from the president because the Obama campaign doesn't want to talk about the economy, which is ridiculous considering that is all anyone is talking about.  Basically, to combat a claim that Romney is not being transparent and truthful Romney claims Reid is not being transparent and truthful, asking Reid to "put up or shut up," and then makes the baseless claim that the White House is behind this attack.

Talk about double standards.  Why doesn't Romney have to "put up or shut up?"

Reid still stands by his statements and responded with the following:
There is a controversy because the Republican presidential nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, refuses to release his tax returns. As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years. People who make as much money as Mitt Romney have many tricks at their disposal to avoid paying taxes. We already know that Romney has exploited many of these loopholes, stashing his money in secret, overseas accounts in places like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands.

Last weekend, Governor Romney promised that he would check his tax returns and let the American people know whether he ever paid a rate lower than 13.9 percent. One day later, his campaign raced to say he had no intention of putting out any further information.

When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.

It’s clear Romney is hiding something, and the American people deserve to know what it is. Whatever Romney’s hiding probably speaks volumes about how he would approach issues that directly impact middle-class families, like tax reform and the economy. When you are running for president, you should be an open book.

I understand Romney is concerned that many people, Democrats and Republicans, have been calling on him to release his tax returns. He has so far refused. There is only one thing he can do to clear this up, and that’s release his tax returns.
Considering the facts that we know about Romney, such as use of tax shelters, low tax rates, and unwillingness to provide what has been the standard since his father ran for the presidency, it doesn't look good for Romney.  Now what happens if this Bain source steps forward?  What would Romney do then?

All of this could settled if Romney were to just release his records.  I am not sure why Romney is so reluctant, especially when he released ten times as many tax returns to the McCain campaign. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sarah Palin's Dick Problem

"Mistake?  Maybe I'll have Tripp say some choice words about his family..."

"That one I don't think was well handled," Cheney recently told ABC News in regards to the selection of the former Alaska governor. "The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’"

"I've met her," he continued. "I know her. She -- attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don't think she passed that test ... of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake."

As can be predicted, Palin crawled out of her cave in Wasilla to try and claw her way back into relevancy (Was she ever relevant?) by rebutting someone who actually served in the capacity of vice president.

Palin's response:
Well, seeing as how Dick -- excuse me, Vice President Cheney never misfires, then evidently, he's quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me by the lamestream media having been written what I believe is a false narrative over the last four years, evidently, Dick Cheney believed that stuff, and that's a shame. So he characterized me as being a mistake.

Here's where the mistake would have been, Greta, I believe. It's had I not answered the call -- I was honored to get to run for Vice President of the United States alongside Senator John McCain. I was honored to accept the nomination from the GOP.

And I think that the mistake would have been me just deciding that, Hey, I love my 86, 87 percent approval rating up there in Alaska as the governor, moving and shaking and watching corrupt politicians and businessmen go to prison for crony capitalism, working on 16 to 20 percent of domestic energy supplies being able to be increased via Alaska's resource development, ethics reform legislation that I was working on -- that led to that 86 percent approval rating.

I could have decided, you know, I don't want to be bloodied up. I don't want my family to go through what we will have to go through in order to put ourselves forward in the name of service to this country. But I did it. It would have been a mistake to have hunkered down, just lived that luxurious, if you will, comfortable lifestyle in Alaska.

Instead, we, like so many other people across this country, decided we will do all that we can in order to defend our republic, put America back on the right track. And I believe I did the right thing in accepting that call.
So essentially, Palin believes former Vice President Cheney has fallen victim to false narratives in the lamestream media and that is the reason he believes she was a mistake.  There couldn't have been any other reason!

Palin seems to believe that a former power player who held the position she could not get, and who some may consider a Washington insider and part of the party establishment, would formulate his opinions solely on what the likes of networks like ABC or NBC, or online publications like The Daily Kos or The Huffington Post.  Palin's has to realize that there is no possible way that that can be anywhere near the truth.

I also highlighted above in Palin's response her claim that she believed running as McCain's vice presidential pick was a service that she chose despite her immense popularity and the expected viciousness against her family.  Let's ignore the fact that since being picked by McCain Palin and her family have done nothing of substance, unless of course you were a fan of crappy reality programming.

And to cap this post off, I have decided to include a little fact check.  I wont deny that Palin was a popular governor and that she was able to achieve very high approval ratings but she seems to imply that at the time McCain called her on her cell phone and begged her to serve this great nation her approval ratings were in the high 80s.  This is simply not true.

It appears Palin is using numbers from a poll McCain's campaign released on September 3rd, 2008 that referenced an 86 percent approval rating.  Before that the most recent independent approval poll was conducted by Rasmussen on July 30th, 2008, that found Palin to have a 64 percent excellent or good rating, although an Alaskan polling company, Hays Research placed her a bit higher at 80 percent, but those numbers would never be seen again - by July of 2009 Hays Research conducted a poll finding Palin at 46.8 percent approval, and considering reports between the time she was introduced as McCain's running mate and the election regarding her ever-increasing negativity rating, I find the 86 percent figures a bit too high.

As a side note, I always criticize Rasmussen polls and so I will not stand by their low numbers in this review. I only use them to illustrate the point that Palin seemed to cherry pick her data, and in this case it came from her own camp and if the movie Game Change was any indication of the state of McCain's campaign and the deteriorating psychological state of Sarah Palin, I wouldn't put it past the McCain camp to put out a push poll to try and boost Palin's confidence so that she could get out of her funk and perform.