Did you see the hilarious piece by Philip Rucker in the Washington Post this morning on how poor Mitt and Ann Romney are having trouble adjusting to life out of the spotlight?
Gone are the minute-by-minute schedules and the swarm of Secret Service agents. There’s no aide to make his peanut-butter-and-honey sandwiches. Romney hangs around the house, sometimes alone, pecking away at his iPad and e-mailing his CEO buddies who have been swooping in and out of La Jolla to visit. He wrote to one who’s having a liver transplant soon: “I’ll change your bedpan, take you back and forth to treatment.” [....]
Four weeks after losing a presidential election he was convinced he would win, Romney’s rapid retreat into seclusion has been marked by repressed emotions, second-guessing and, perhaps for the first time in the overachiever’s adult life, sustained boredom, according to interviews with more than a dozen of Romney’s closest friends and advisers.
Romney’s next door neighbor is renovating his house, but the Romney’s planned renovations to their La Jolla home, including the famous car elevator haven’t even begun. The former presidential candidate is now renting an office in Boston at his son Tagg’s firm, Solomere Capital. Ann Romney is reportedly more devastated than her husband.
By all accounts, the past month has been most difficult on Romney’s wife, Ann, who friends said believed up until the end that ascending to the White House was their destiny. They said she has been crying in private and trying to get back to riding her horses.
Ann apparently bought into the White Horse Prophecy, and believed–along with her husband’s pollsters–that God would keep the black people away from the polls because Mitt had been chosen by god.
But Mitt’s friends say he’s not bitter, and he isn’t going to let himself go, despite his hangdog appearance in the photo above. He’s been riding his bike around his La Jolla neighborhood, and he’s not going to balloon up and grow a beard like Al Gore did after he was cheated out of the presidency.
One longtime counselor contrasted Romney with former vice president Al Gore, whose weight gain and beard became a symbol of grievance over his 2000 loss. “You won’t see heavyset, haggard Mitt,” he said. Friends say a snapshot-gone-viral showing a disheveled Romney pumping gas is just how he looks without a suit on his frame or gel in his hair.
The article says Romney might write a book about the campaign, and he’s even thinking about starting some kind of charity along the lines of the Clinton Global Initiative. But wouldn’t that require some kind of ability to empathize with people who need help?
But here’s the funniest part. On Thanksgiving, son Josh came for a visit with his four kids–they all had to sleep in one bedroom–and no one wanted to cook dinner, so they ordered out from Boston Market.
It’s all so very very sad.
MSNBC is reporting that although every network has called Ohio for Obama, the Romney campaign refuses to concede that they have lost Ohio. Chris Matthews just said that Donald Trump is calling for revolution. I hate to think about the craziness we are going to see from Republicans in the days ahead. But thank goodness the danger of a Romney presidency is over.
Here’s a fresh thread to discuss what’s happening.
Here’s a fresh thread while we wait for any bits of exit poll results to be leaked. Let us know if you’ve heard any!
I’ve got a few entertaining links for you in case you’re looking for something to read while obsessively waiting for the polls to close in Florida and Virginia (7PM Eastern).
Can you believe Mitt Romney is charging reporters who want to be inside his campaign headquarters tonight when the returns come in?
BOSTON — The campaign of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney appears to be setting a precedent this election year in charging journalists and news organizations for any access to a presidential campaign headquarters on the night of the election.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is locked in a tight race with Democratic President Barack Obama, will be holding his election night gathering at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, where access costs anywhere from $75 for a chair in the ballroom to $1,020 for permission to use the media filing center. Broadcast news organizations will be paying up to $6,500 for workspace.
Obama’s campaign party will be held at McCormick Place, in Chicago, and although his campaign is charging for premiums, credentialed reporters are granted access, which includes a workstation, electrical power and a wireless Internet connection, at no cost.
Romney is ending his historically awful campaign as gracelessly as he ran it for the past year.
But Romney’s money men will be treated like kings tonight.
BOSTON, MASS. —Mitt Romney isn’t going to forget the folks who picked up the tab for his billion-dollar run for the White House tonight.
Roughly 2,000 mega donors and bundlers are flocking to Beantown on Election Day for one last get together —which includes some special perks — according to a source on the ground familiar with the finance teams efforts.
Some of Romney’s biggest supporters, including New York Jets owner Woody Johnson; Texan mega donors L.E. Simmons and Ray Washburn; Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute; Bobbie Kilberg, head of the Northern Virginia Technology Council; among others are expected to attend. Nevada gambling magnate Sheldon Adelson may also make an appearance, according to the source….
The festivities kick off with a dinner for the Romney Victory Council at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel, just a few short steps from the convention center where Romney’s slated to speak later in the evening. The group, dubbed informally as the “Council of 100,”are those that have raised significant amounts of money and includes many of Romney’s state chair network.
Unlike the press, the mega donors will watch the festivities in style.
Following the dinner, the finance team has organized two massive rooms in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for election night watch parties, one for the victory council and another for the national finance committee members. The finance committee room will include the campaign’s high-end donors of the founding members and partners as well as the bundlers that hit their marks in the“Stars” and “Stripes” programs.
May they all end up crying in their champagne.
Even though Romney will lose badly in Massachusetts, voters are flocking to the polls for the Senate race between Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown.
Lines crawled down hallways of schools, outside firehouses and community centers around Cambridge, Somerville and Braintree just outside Boston.
At the end of the most expensive senate race in Massachusetts history, voters cast their choice as one for the decidedly progressive politics of Warren or the sense of moderation they felt that Brown–who shocked the nation when he won Kennedy’s seat in 2009–had brought to the Senate.
A few more links:
Emptywheel has an interesting post about her day working in “voter protection” at an African American district in Michigan: On the Ground Turnout in MI Feels Like It Did in 2008
At another Michigan polling place: Southfield Twp. voter appears to die, then asks ‘Did I vote?’
The Cleveland Leader reports that Sherrod Brown’s opponent, Josh Mandel got a surprise from some family members yesterday: Josh Mandel’s In-Laws Call Him Out on Anti-Gay Stance in Newspaper Ad
In Franklin County, Ohio Tea Party “observers” from “True the Vote” were “barred from Franklin County polling places.”
What are you hearing in your neck of the woods?
I am so sick of the ads, the lies, and the voter suppression…voter disenfranchisement, and voter intimidation. We are well on our way to Fascism, and no one can tell me any different! Mutthafukkin’ GOP.
I have plenty of links for you tonight, so I will make them quick.
First I have a few updates on stories we have mentioned earlier today.
Voter intimidation is real: Pennsylvania GOP accused of planning voter intimidation
The Philadelphia City Paper reported today that The Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh United, along with other organizations, undersigned a letter asking the Justice Department to ensure voters in targeted locations are able to cast their ballots fairly.
“We have received information that strongly suggests the Republican Party, under the guise of combating alleged voter fraud, has assigned Election Day poll watchers disproportionately to majority African-American precincts in Allegheny County,” the organizations write.
According to the letter, the targeted precincts have over 79 percent of African-American registered voters, compared to non-targeted areas with less than 11 percent.
“The Pennsylvania Republican Party has serious questions to answer about where they are putting their poll watchers and why,” Nicole Berner, Associate General of Service Employees International Union, said in a statement.
A bit of info on that claim that Romney has paid no taxes for years is making news at Addicting Info: Dutch Source Confirms – Romney Paid ZERO Taxes
New documents released by the newspaper Volkskrant from the Netherlands yesterday detail how Mitt Romney took advantage, through his former firm, of a 9-figure tax loophole. When he retired in 1999, his golden parachute enabled him to operate as a company manager and executive, for purposes of investment, for 10 years. And so began Romney’s direct use of the “Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich” tax avoidance scheme…
Copies of the Bain docs at the link.
There are lots of state amendments that Dakinikat mentioned this morning, here are some thoughts via The Volokh Conspiracy » Some Key Referenda to Watch
As we get ready for a very important election day tomorrow, there are stories out of California that may get ignored in the shuffle: California Agency Releases Evidence of Money Laundering in Right-Wing Campaign Spending on Ballot Measures
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission forced a mysterious $11 million donor to two ballot measures to reveal its secret funding sources today, and the result showed how most of these independent expenditure groups work, mostly through money laundering:
Ending a mystery that captivated the run-up to Election Day, the Arizona group behind an anonymous $11 million donation revealed under court order today that the shadowy donation was laundered through two groups, including one tied to David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who have played a huge role in spreading anonymous political cash around the country.
The donation, the largest anonymous contribution to a ballot measure campaign in California history, was made to the Small Business Action Committee, a conservative group running a campaign for Proposition 32, the measure that would curb labor’s ability to collect political cash, and against Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax-hike initiative.
“This isn’t going to stop here,” said Ann Ravel, chairwoman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s political watchdog. “They admitted to money laundering. We agreed to do this without an audit because we wanted to get information to the public before the election. But we in no way agreed this would preclude further action.”
Ravel said Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership conceded it was the intermediary and not the true source of the contribution. The true source was Americans for Job Security and was made through a second intermediary, the Center to Protect Patient Rights, she said.
Americans for Job Security was both active in the 2010 election cycle. They are a corporate front group which received initial funding from the insurance industry. And the Center to Protect Patient Rights is run by a Koch Brothers operative, Sean Noble, who admitted the money laundering to the FPPC. This is a misdemeanor under California law, but conspiracy to commit money laundering is a felony.
Earlier today Kurt Eichenwald tweeted this:
Sigh. The political $ laundered through an Arizona group, through another, through another using "charitable" orgs is linked to Koch bros.—
Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) November 05, 2012
To which I responded:
When are you going to give those Koch Bros the @Kurteinchenwald treatment? Write a book and bring em down.
He actually replied back to me…unfortunately…he said:
Not really my kind of thing. My books are narratives. That wouldnt be.
Damn. I know he uses public records and sources after the fact, but the Koch Bros need to be taken down.
The rest of the links tonight are in link dump fashion…
Take a look at this tumblr, it is like a postcard from NOLA to New York
And lastly, this video from Chris Rock, its been mentioned on Sky D before, but I had to end this post with some kind of laughter.
It’s still hard for me to believe that adult women in the US could not vote less than 100 years ago. This is something to think about as we approach election day tomorrow. I can’t remember when an election was this important for women. There are many women running for office while women’s rights have been under continual assault for two years now. This is the first time in years–make that decades–that we’ve had one presidential candidate that refuses to go on record about equal pay for equal work and the Lily Ledbetter Act. The choices couldn’t be clearer.
This issue is over 100 years old. Belva Ann Lockwood ran for president in 1884 and 1889 as the candidate of the National Equal Rights Party. She had to petition to become the first woman to appear before the Supreme court in 1879. All of this was decades before women could even vote. She was also a victim of systemic voter fraud.
It’s seems hard to believe that after so many years of fighting to get this far we have to fight candidate-after-candidate running for the Republican Party to stop the assault on the rights of women and the rights of minorities in this country. This is what you get when religious fundamentalists are allowed to ramrod their beliefs in to law. Religious fundamentalism is a threat to democracy all over the world. The only way to secure the blessings of liberty for all of us is to vote them out and keep them out. Theocracy Watch has an excellent history of how the Religious Right took over the Republican Party. There are a lot of good reads there if you’d like to see exactly how it happened.
Here’s one dangerous state amendment in Florida which is billed as a “religious” freedom mandate but is really a way for churches to get their hands on state money and to project their values on every level of government. Florida’s Amendment 8 will likely show up in a state near year if it hasn’t already. It mandates taxpayer support of religious institutions.
“Under Amendment 8,” observed Shapiro, “religious groups would have not only the right to seek taxpayer funding but the power to demand it in certain cases. Religious schools and other ministries of any and all religions could tap the public purse – my tax dollars and yours – and use those funds to promote their faith.”
He added, “Don’t buy the line that Amendment 8 is about protecting ‘faith-based’ social services. Those programs are in no danger. Religious groups in Florida can get tax funds to provide services to those in need – so long as they don’t use public funds to preach or proselytize.”
Shapiro opined that Amendment 8’s supporters also want to gain a foothold for school vouchers in the state. Currently, two provisions of the Florida Constitution have been interpreted to ban voucher subsidies for religious schools. If Amendment 8 passes, one of them will be removed.
Said Shapiro, “Some politicians are trying to use ‘religious freedom,’ which most Floridians fully support, as a cover for their agenda. They’d like to force all of us to subsidize various religions, whether we believe in those faiths or not. They want to give religious institutions special privileges.”
Minnesota is voting on Same-Sex Marriage on Tuesday. An amendment to the state’s constitution will ban same sex marriage in that state if passed.
For most gay Minnesotans, particularly those who would like to marry longtime partners, passage of the constitutional amendment would put that dream further out of reach. Defeat of the measure would by a welcome but largely symbolic victory for gay couples because the state’s current gay marriage ban would still be in effect, denying same-sex couples who consider themselves married in all but name the same protections and privileges as legally married couples.
That means worrying about things like being denied hospital visits to an ailing partner; being unable to honor a loved one’s wishes after death; or being excluded from parenting rights in cases where an unmarried person adopts the child of a partner. Gay rights supporters say those are just a few of the legal privileges they are denied or may have to fight to assert because of their inability to marry.
During the long campaign over the constitutional amendment, the group working to pass it has stressed that it’s not trying to hurt gay couples. “Everybody has a right to love who they choose,” says the narrator in a commercial from Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition of religious and socially conservative organizations.
The group contends that male-female marriage is a centuries-old societal building block that benefits children, and that redefining it in law could lead to intrusions on religious liberty and the right of parents to control influences on their children.
Further information on other state ballot initiatives can be found at this link. California is voting on labeling of Genetically modified food. Arizona has an initiative that tries to block federal access to state natural resources. It’s important to read up on what might show up on your ballot given ALEC and the republican party’s need to decimate local governments, economies, and lives. Oregon and several states have marijuana initiatives. Most states have ballot initiatives that impact natural resources and wildlife.
For many folks, the issue is going to be access to their right to vote. Just think, Constitutional Amendments and the Voting Rights Act have secured our right to vote. Many states are trying to suppress the popular vote among the elderly, women, and minorities. Stories of rampant voter suppression are coming from all over the country. The one thing I always bring to the polls with me is banned now in New Mexico.
From New Mexico, Community Journalist George Lujan writes in that the Secretary of State has banned the League of Women Voters’ voting guide at early voting locations. The League’s guide is nonpartisan, and has been used to educate voters for years. According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the guide, on the pretext that it amounts to electioneering, is now banned.
George also writes in that voters received deceptive phone calls informing them that early voting had ended in Doña Ana County, despite the fact that early voting continues.
Follow that link above to the Nation to get a state by state account of state-level incidents that are either supported by Republican groups or Republican elected officials. Here’s the latest offense. Many polls in Florida have been closed early or shut down due to bomb threats. It seems ONE southern Florida County will have its election times extended and it’s a GOP stronghold.
Last night, voters in Miami-Dade County were forced to wait in line up to six hours to vote. In some precincts voters who arrived at 7PM were not able to cast their ballots until 1AM.
In response, Republican-affiliated election officials in Miami-Dade have effectively extended early voting from 1PM to 5PM today by allowing “in-person” absentee voting. But this accommodation will only be available in a single location in the most Republican area of the county.
Nearly every city within 5 to 10 miles of this location — including Hialeah, Miami Springs, Sweetwater and Miami Lakes — has a substantial Republican voter registration advantage.
The most populous city among those is Hialeah where Republicans, powered by a large Cuban community, have an overwhelming registration advantage of nearly 20,000 voters. There will not be an opportunity for in-person absentee voting in downtown Miami or South Dade, where there are heavy concentrations of Democratic voters.
The decision to make the accommodation available was presumably made by Miami-Dade Election Supervisor Penelope Townsley. She is registered with no party affiliation but was appointed to her position by Republican Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Mayor Gimenez did not request Gov. Rick Scott extend early voting throughout Miami-Dade county. Further, according to Jim DeFede, an investigative reporter for CBS News in Miami, the decision to have in-person absentee balloting was made last night but not announced publicly until 9:30AM this morning.
As the election season draws to a close, we’re beginning to see desperate campaigns do desperate things. Romney continues to harp on the President as an angry black man seeking revenge. Romney has the misguided notion that he some how is entitle to do and say what ever he wants to on the way to his anointment. That Romney sense of entitlement has never ceased to shock me. Romney twists other’ people’s words worse than his own.
In the final stretch of the campaign, suddenly there is a new storyline, with Mitt Romney harshly criticizing President Obama for telling a crowd of supporters that voting would be their “best revenge.” It all began when a crowd in Springfield, Ohio responded to Obama’s mention of Romney and Republicans by booing. The president tried to quieten them down, essentially saying their jeers were pointless. “No, no, no—don’t boo, vote! Vote! Voting is the best revenge.” (Video after the jump.) Romney seized on the remark: “Let me tell you what I’d like to tell you: Vote for love of country,” he told a crowd of supporters. He also released an ad about the remarks (watch after the jump). The message? As the conservative site Daily Caller succinctly puts it: “Romney is finishing his 2012 race by calling for love, change and hope, while President Barack Obama’s deputies are struggling to explain his call for ‘revenge.’”
It was an adlibbed line that for conservatives insist highlighted the worst of the president. “He really does think that opposing him is somehow dirty pool, and that ‘revenge’ is the appropriate treatment for those who fail to bow to the mighty Barack,” writes John Hinderaker in Power Line. Yet for others, the way in which the Romney camp rushed to seize on what was obviously a play on the familiar saying “living well is the best revenge” is “one last sustained expression of that contempt for the electorate” Romney has displayed in the past, writes the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. In the Atlantic, James Fallows wonders whether it’s even “conceivable that [Romney] actually believes Obama was talking about revenge-voting as if it were basically like ‘revenge sex?’”
Obama was merely encouraging people to go to the polls, yet Romney somehow twisted the words, even if he left a basic question unanswered: Revenge for what? “Suddenly, we are in the rhetorical space of class warfare,” points out The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson. Although talking of revenge may be a new twist, it’s merely another way in which Romney has accused those who oppose him of resenting his success.
Meanwhile, poll-after-poll shows a gender gap, a Hispanic Gap, a black gap, and an age gap in voting patterns. It’s hard not to notice that every one recognizes what’s at stake. The Romney way-back machine takes most of us back to places that most of us fought to get out of. Be sure to hang on as we live blog the returns tomorrow and the latest in voter suppression efforts today. This pretty well sums up the Romney future for all of us: Romney staff refusing to let frostbitten children leave PA rally.
No, it’s quite credible. This is a group of people that wants complete control of what goes on in every American Woman’s Uterus. This is a group that will say anything–including scaring workers about their jobs–to score political points. This is a group that sends its VP candidate to re-rinse clean pots over the protests of charity owners and pays for a few boxes of canned goods over the requests of the Red Cross just to provide photo ops. This one man’s sense of entitlement and republican ideology will always leave all of us frostbitten in the cold. Just VOTE for any one but a Republican this election. It is important. I don’t want to see us all out there on the melting ice floes with endangered polar bears.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?