Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

Is it over for Mitt Romney? I suppose something could still happen to turn things around for his campaign, but it would have to be something really really big. There are so many bizarre stories out there about the Romney implosion that I barely know where to begin. I’ll just select a few examples.

Republican candidates are already distancing themselves from the top of the ticket.

Usually, congressional candidates stick with their party’s presidential nominee until the last possible minute, when it appears their political fortunes are threatened. But not so with continuing fallout from Mitt Romney’s degrading comments that 47 percent of Americans don’t pay taxes and are overly dependant on federal subsidies.

New Mexico Gov. Susanna Martinez told reporters that New Mexico has a lot of people living at the poverty level. “They count just as much as anybody else,” she said, adding her state’s anti-poverty programs provide a “safety net [that] is a good thing.”

Then Connecticut’s GOP Senate candidate Linda McMahon said, “I disagree with Governor Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be.”

And then came North Carolina Republicam House candidate Mark Meadows, who told the press, “Mitt Romney didn’t call me before he made those comments.”

But by late afternoon the Romney retreat was still growing. In Nevada’s Senate race, Republican incumbert Sen. Dean Heller told reporters in Washington, “Keep in mind, I have five brothers and sisters. My father was an auto mechanic. My mother was a school cook. I have a very different view of the world. And as United States senator, I think I represent everyone, and every vote’s important… I don’t write off anybody.”

Even Mich McConnell, one of the most disagreeable, repulsive Republicans ever, doesn’t want to touch Romney with a ten foot pole.

The Senate’s GOP leaders refused to answer any questions at their weekly press conference. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell left in the middle of the event. Majority Whip John Kyl dodged a reporter’s question afterwards and downplayed grousing that reportedly occurred in the Senate lunchroom earlier in the day.

Other Republican office holders are giving Romney unsolicited advice. For example,

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said the nominee should be spending more time campaigning in critical states and leave more of the fundraising to others.

“I think what Romney needs to do is get into Virginia and run for sheriff. This is not rocket science,” Mr. Graham said. “Being in Utah to raise money is necessary, but he doesn’t have to be there, in my view…If I were Mitt Romney, no person in Virginia could go very long without meeting me.”

Several Republicans, including Mr. Graham and Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine), said Mr. Romney needs to clearly articulate why the economy is struggling and how he would fix it.

“To me, he needs to outline a clearer vision of where he wants to take America and have a very detailed economic plan that will contrast sharply with the dismal economic record of this president,” Ms. Collins said.

Good luck with that.

So why is Romney spending so much time fund-raising? On Tuesday there was a report that his campaign is in debt.

For the first time in this campaign, Mitt Romney’s campaign is $11 million in debt after borrowing $20 million in August.

The debt and borrowing sums were first reported by the National Review Online and confirmed by ABC News.
The campaign borrowed the money from the Bank of Georgetown, according to the report.

The move came just before the Republican National Convention when aides had complained they had been running out of primary campaign dollars to compete with President Obama’s campaign. At the conclusion of the Republican convention, when Romney officially became the party’s nominee, Romney had access to general election funds it had raised.

While Romney campaign has debt, it also reports having $168.5 million on hand after August.

The New York Times has a piece about Romney’s sparse campaign appearances and limited TV advertising lately.

Despite what appears to be a plump bank account and an in-house production studio that cranks out multiple commercials a day, Mr. Romney’s campaign has been tightfisted with its advertising budget, leaving him at a disadvantage in several crucial states as President Obama blankets them with ads.

One major reason appears to be that Mr. Romney’s campaign finances have been significantly less robust than recent headlines would suggest. Much of the more than $300 million the campaign reported raising this summer is earmarked for the Republican National Committee, state Republican organizations and Congressional races, limiting the money Mr. Romney’s own campaign has to spend.

With polls showing President Obama widening his lead in some of these states and the race a dead heat in others, Mr. Romney’s lack of a full-throttle media campaign is risky, especially as he struggles to get his message out over the din of news about his campaign’s recent setbacks.

In some states the disparity is striking. Mr. Obama and his allies are handily outspending Mr. Romney and the conservative “super PACs” working on his behalf in Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire.

And in states like Florida, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia, where the Romney and Obama forces are roughly matching their spending dollar for dollar, the super PACs are responsible for nearly half the advertising that is benefiting the Republican nominee.

Interesting, huh? No wonder Romney was in Utah raising money yesterday. He’s desperate–and the big money donors may not stick with him much longer. The Romney campaign did release a couple of ads yesterday though. The ads highlight Romney’s supposed support in the coal industry. Here’s one of them:

Do those coal miners look familiar? I wrote about them awhile back. Those miners were docked a day’s pay because the mine shut down for Romney’s rally–and then the boss made them show up for it instead of having the day off. From the LA Times:

On Wednesday, the Mitt Romney campaign released an ad spotlighting President Obama’s putative “War On Coal,” despite a controversy in Ohio about the coal miners’ rally featured in the spot. In the ad, Romney appears on a stage before rows of hard-hatted miners, their faces smudged with coal dust, as he says, “We have 250 years of coal. Why wouldn’t we use it?”

The rally was held last month in Beallsville, Ohio, thick with miners from the Century coal mine, owned by Murray Energy, a major donor to Republican causes. Within days of the rally, Murray employees contacted a nearby morning talk radio host, David Blomquist, to say they were forced to attend the Aug. 14 event at the mine.

Can you believe it? Romney and his gang can’t do anything right. Arianna Huffington thinks the problem maybe sleep deprivation. Maybe. I think it might be just plain stupidity.

Here in Massachusetts, the right wing Boston Herald reports that

Massachusetts voters have turned against Mitt Romney with a vengeance, leaving the former governor as a political pariah in his own home state, according to a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll.

Sixty percent of Bay State voters now have an unfavorable view of Romney, and the GOP nominee is headed for a Bay State drubbing in the November election, the poll of 524 registered voters shows.

Just 35 percent of voters say they plan to vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket, while 60 percent say they are backing President Obama. That margin is roughly the same as the 2008 election, when Obama trounced Arizona Sen. John McCain.


I loved this story. Romney was down in Miami at a Univision forum, trying to scrape together a few Latino voters, and Move hired a plane to fly overhead with a banner reading “HEY MITT: WE’RE VOTERS, NOT VICTIMS.”

I do have some non-Romney news for you.

From The Nation: PA Supreme Court Doubts the State Can Comply With Its Own Voter ID Law

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided to vacate a lower state court’s ruling that allowed Act 18, the photo voter ID law, to commence as planned. Problem being: the law as planned appears so burdensome that—putting voters aside for a moment—the state itself can’t comply with its own law. As stated in the Court’s order, “the Commonwealth parties have candidly conceded, that the Law is not being implemented according to its terms.”

The Supreme Court ordered per curiam—meaning unsigned by the six justices—that the Commonwealth Court must re-examine the implementation of certain provisions of the law. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, who ruled in August in favor of the law, must decide if the way the state presently administers free photo voter ID cards to those who can’t get regular state-issued id cards is in compliance with the law—something the state already conceded in court that it doesn’t, and can’t for good reasons.

Another PA story from The Nation is truly shocking and heartbreaking: Will Pennsylvania Execute a Man Who Killed His Abusers? It’s the story of Terrance Williams, who was horrifically abused in his home from at least age 6 and later by men who were supposed to be helping him. He is now scheduled for execution. I’m not going to post an excerpt. It’s important to read the whole thing.

This is a fun one: The New Republic has a post on The Top Three Heresies in the Gnostic Gospels

Yesterday the world learned of a newly-discovered early Christian text that depicts Jesus as a married man. Jesus’ wife may be big news today, but striking and unusual variations on Christian faith have been around for a very long time. Whether you call them the gnostic gospels, the heretic gospels, the apocrypha, or Dan Brown’s raw material, early Christian texts can make for pretty interesting reading. Here are three particularly surprising heresies from outside the canon.

Check it out!

OK, I can’t resist–one more Romney item. Have you heard the one about Romney’s dad being on the government dole?

George Romney’s family fled from Mexico in 1912 to escape a revolution there, and benefited from a $100,000 fund established by Congress to help refugees who had lost their homes and most of their belongings.

That fund may have been what Lenore Romney, George Romney’s wife and Mitt Romney’s mother, was referring to in a video that was posted online earlier this month but has received renewed attention in the wake of Mitt Romney’s comments.

“[George Romney] was on welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities,” Lenore Romney said in the video, which apparently dates back to George Romney’s 1962 run for governor of Michigan.

What would Lenore Romney think of her son now?

What are you reading and blogging about today?  I look forward to clicking on your links!

49 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Rachel had a segment last night on the defeat of the Veterans Jobs Bill that the Senate defeated yesterday. Even 4 Republicans who had input in the bill voted against it. A bipartisan bill that would help our veterans went down in flames. Here’s a list of those Repugs who voted against it (and yes, Florida’s Rubio was one of them):

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Rachel keeps us up to date on issues that are normally “ignored’ by the MSM.

      That segment was especially disturbing since it was the GoP who helped fashion that bill than again – almost as one – they voted against.

      I hate these people.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s just too bad that the media doesn’t cover what Congress is doing as heavily as the campaign stories. That bill would have done so much good!

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    bb: I love, love, love that picture you chose for this post!

    The little girl looks like my 7 yr old Olivia who has a similar Dr. Seuss hat as a matter of fact.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    Thanks for the morning roundup BB….Poor Mitt, it looks like he might not win any of his “home” states.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Think Progress: Sponsor Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law Defends Romney, Says ‘Lazy’ People Also Shouldn’t Vote

    Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-PA), told KDKA Radio Wednesday morning that his law will only disenfranchise “lazy” people, like the ones Mitt Romney was talking about in the leaked video of a private fundraiser.

    When asked about the voter ID law’s disenfranchisement of the 750,000 Pennsylvanians who cannot get IDs, Metcalfe cited Romney’s offhand dismissal of the 47% of the country who will never “take personal responsibility and care for their lives” as proof that those people don’t deserve the right to vote.

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    The “problem” for Mitt is Mitt. That old axiom that “you can’t put lipstick on a pig” applies here as well.

    Stand him next to his former challengers and he doesn’t look so bad. Stand him on his own and he is one of the most insufferable people on the planet.

    The issue as I see it is not much different than Palin back in 2008. I think she was under the impression was that her role was nothing more than acting as “head cheerleader” for McCain, something that did not require too much effort on her part. Get up on stage, blast Obama, then leave to the sound of applause.

    Mitt seems to have had the same belief. “Elect me” on nothing more than my business succes then became flabbergasted when asked to expound on other issues he had no interest in pursuing.

    It is more than obvious he has no grasp of foreign affairs let alone the daily grind of the electorate. He is discovering that his association with Bain can only carry him so far.

    At this point it seems like large chunks of the electorate are giving him a shrug.

  6. ANonOMouse says:

    Jon Stewart takes Mitt out, again, then he takes on Fox News, again. He calls Fox News defense of Romney, Chaos on Bullshit Mountain. He’s great

  7. Pat Johnson says:

    I’m getting nervous again.

    Seems as if today’s polling in MA has Scott Brown either even with or pulling ahead of Elizabeth Warren. Yesterday they had her 5 points in the lead.

    They debate tonight and hopefully she will “clock” him as he is nothing more than another GOP assured vote backed by Karl Rove and the Tea Party just another way of guaranteeing “gridlock” in DC.

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    Here’s a major bail. I wonder why? 🙂

    Romney Campaign Co-Chair, Tim Pawlenty, resigns–election.html

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Ship > Rats = Deserting.

    • RalphB says:

      Tim Pawlenty is now bi-partisan. 🙂 Damn revolving door!

      It’s A Structural Thing

      The whole thing is almost quaint in its simplicity. Tim Pawlenty resigns as chair of a presidential campaign, cashes a big paycheck from a national trade association and is suddenly anointed in the waters of bipartisanship.

      That’s how the Financial Services Roundtable plainly puts it in its press release announcing Pawlenty’s hire as president and CEO: “The Financial Services Roundtable is a bipartisan organization. As a consequence, Gov. Pawlenty will step down as a national co-chair of the Romney for President campaign.” Voila! Done.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        When the Cabinet Post scenario didn’t appear to be working out for T-Paw, he cashed in on the next best thing. I guess for enough money he can pretend to be bi-partisan. What a sad commentary.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    SF Chronicle reporter finds interesting photos of Mitt Romney and his parents at the 1964 Republican convention.

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Nate Silver: Obama’s Lead Looks Stronger in Polls That Include Cellphones

    Although there are exceptions on either side, like the Gallup national tracking poll, for the most part Mr. Obama seems to be getting stronger results in polls that use live interviewers and that include cellphones in their samples — enough to suggest that he has a clear advantage in the race. In the polls that use an automated dialing method (“robopolls”) or which exclude cellphones, Mr. Obama’s bounce has been much harder to discern, and the race looks considerably closer. The difference seems especially pronounced at the state level. Mr. Obama got very strong results in a series of NBC News/Marist College polls last week in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, which included cellphones and used live interviewers. Likewise, Tuesday morning’s series of New York Times / CBS News / Quinnipiac polls had reasonably good news for Mr. Obama in Virginia and Wisconsin.”

    Although there are exceptions on either side, like the Gallup national tracking poll, for the most part Mr. Obama seems to be getting stronger results in polls that use live interviewers and that include cellphones in their samples — enough to suggest that he has a clear advantage in the race.

    In the polls that use an automated dialing method (“robopolls”) or which exclude cellphones, Mr. Obama’s bounce has been much harder to discern, and the race looks considerably closer.

    The difference seems especially pronounced at the state level. Mr. Obama got very strong results in a series of NBC News/Marist College polls last week in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, which included cellphones and used live interviewers. Likewise, Tuesday morning’s series of New York Times / CBS News / Quinnipiac polls had reasonably good news for Mr. Obama in Virginia and Wisconsin.

    One-third of households use only mobile phones–so why are polling firms still calling land lines only? I don’t have a land line.

  11. RalphB says:

    Standard level of Republican hypocrisy may be breached.

    RNC Anti-Obama Video Offers Master Class In Out-Of-Context Editing

    Amid complaints on the right about missing context in the leaked video of a Mitt Romney fundraiser, the RNC released a new video containing three deceptively edited clips of President Obama.

  12. RalphB says:

    We could make a guessing game out of this campaign. Now that the Republicans have categorically written off 1/2 the population, how long will it be until they explicitly declare that they only want the votes of 27% of Americans? There is over a month left to this campaign, more than enough time for Romney and friends to alienate even more segments of society. Who will he shit on next?

    • dakinikat says:

      But today is all over the place telling folks he’ the candidate that cares about the 100% … that was so last may behind close doors!!!

      Let’s face it. Romney puts the pathological in pathological liar. How can he actually say these things with a straight face?

      • RalphB says:

        Absolutely no conscience, a sociopath. But I’ll bet before he’s done he still manages to shit on some other group out of sheer incompetent desperation.

    • dakinikat says:

      I noticed my Governorexorcist Jindal is completely silent on him. He must now consider him to be career suicide. Jindal only does stuff based on what’s good for his political aspirations. Noticed Christie’s big fat piehole is closed too. Big signals that these prez wannabes don’t want to catch the Romney cooties! My guess is when Romney goes down the meme will be we shoulda appointed a ‘real’ conservative … this guy wasn’t sincere about it so that’s why the people voted him down …

      I can see it all coming now.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I am sure they are secretly relieved that Mendacious MItt is about to fall flat on his two faces.

        Say he wins the election (and Kim Kardashian becomes a virgin again) they would have to stand in line for the next possibly 8 years to declare.

        This way they all have a clear field in 2016 hoping against hope that Hillary stays out and their chances increase,

        Think of it: JIndahl, Santorum, Jeb, Liz Cheney, Christie, Ryan and who knows what other dingbat is waiting in the wings.

        Be still my beating heart!

      • RalphB says:

        Pat, You left out the Xtian warrior Perry 😉 The next field could make this last bunch of fools look like giants. Dingbats indeed!

      • NW Luna says:

        Oh please no. I can’t stand much more of these Paleozoic misogynist warmongering idiots.

  13. RalphB says:

    OFA making fun of the GOP’s out of context ads.

  14. Pat Johnson says:

    I just received an e-mail that the Brown/Warren debate will be at 7pm EST and can be seen on C-Span!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Oh, that’s great! I also have a link for an on-line stream. I plan to put up a live blog around 6:30 or so.

      • I was hoping you would do a live blog BB, I look forward to reading it when I get back. I just put up a quick afternoon reads post…see ya later.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I just read that Brown was trying to use an upcoming Senate vote this afternoon so that he could skip out tonight, but Harry Reid cancelled the vote. Yee-Haw!!!! Harry is taking the wood to the Pugs.

  15. Linda C says:

    It it seems ironic that the Romney family fled to Mexico due to the polygamy laws, stiffed a family friend that paid bail for them and then draw on the US government for financial support when they return.