Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 U.S. Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debates Schedule

2012 U.S. Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates schedule.
(And no, don't expect to find the Constitution, Green, Justice, Libertarian or Socialist or other minor party presidential candidates on the debate stage)
Debate date, day Time (EDT) Debate theme Br'dcast networks City SiteTicket
Oct. 3, Wed. 9:00 - 10:30 p.m. Domestic policy ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS Denver, CO Univ. of DenverTicket
Oct. 11, Thu. 9:00 - 10:30 p.m. VP: foreign and domestic policy ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS Dan-ville, KY Centre CollegeTicket
Oct. 16, Tue. 9:00 - 10:30 p.m. Town meeting: including foreign & domestic policy ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS Hemp-stead, NY Hofstra Univ.Ticket
Oct. 22, Thu. 9:00 - 10:30 p.m. Foreign policy ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS Boca Raton, FL Lynn Univ.Ticket

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Powerhouse Mother Jones site with Romney's 47% comments

Here's the powerhouse lode of Mitt Romney videos slamming the 47 percent

by David Corn at Mother Jones:
SECRET VIDEO: Romney Tells Millionaire Donors What He REALLY Thinks of Obama Voters
When he doesn't know a camera's rolling, the GOP candidate shows his disdain for half of America.
—By David Corn | Mon Sep. 17, 2012 1:00 PM PDT 3149

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. [UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we've removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here.]

Here is Romney expressing his disdain for Americans who back the president:

At the dinner, Romney often stuck to familiar talking points. But there were moments when he went beyond the familiar campaign lines. Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, "Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this." Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, "I have inherited nothing." He remarked, "There is a perception, 'Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.' Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America."

More MoJo coverage of Mitt Romney:

The Mystery of Romney's Exit From Bain
Exclusive Audio: Inside the Koch Brothers' Secret Seminar
Documents: Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses
Romney Invested Millions in Firms That Pioneered High-Tech Outsourcing
6 Things Mitt Romney Is Hiding
Romney told the contributors that "women are open to supporting me," but that "we are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation." When one attendee asked how this group could help Romney sell himself to others, he answered, "Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars." He added, "The fact that I'm either tied or close to the president…that's very interesting."

Asked why he wouldn't go full-throttle and assail Obama as corrupt, Romney explained the internal thinking of his campaign and revealed that he and his aides, in response to focus-group studies conducted by his consultants, were hesitant to hammer the president too hard out of fear of alienating independents who voted for Obama in 2008:

We speak with voters across the country about their perceptions. Those people I told you—the 5 to 6 or 7 percent that we have to bring onto our side—they all voted for Barack Obama four years ago. So, and by the way, when you say to them, "Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?" they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, "Are you disappointed that his policies haven't worked?" they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don't want to be told that they were wrong, that he's a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he's corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn't up to the task. They love the phrase that he's "over his head." But if we're—but we, but you see, you and I, we spend our day with Republicans. We spend our days with people who agree with us. And these people are people who voted for him and don't agree with us. And so the things that animate us are not the things that animate them. And the best success I have at speaking with those people is saying, you know, the president has been a disappointment. He told you he'd keep unemployment below 8 percent. Hasn't been below eight percent since. Fifty percent of kids coming out of school can't get a job. Fifty percent. Fifty percent of the kids in high school in our 50 largest cities won't graduate from high school. What're they gonna do? These are the kinds of things that I can say to that audience that they nod their head and say, "Yeah, I think you're right." What he's going to do, by the way, is try and vilify me as someone who's been successful, or who's, you know, closed businesses or laid people off, and is an evil bad guy. And that may work.

(Note: Obama did not promise his policies would keep unemployment under 8 percent, and 50 percent of college graduates are not unemployed.)

To assure the donors that he and his campaign knew what they were doing, Romney boasted about the consultants he had retained, emphasizing that several had worked for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

I have a very good team of extraordinarily experienced, highly successful consultants, a couple of people in particular who have done races around the world. I didn't realize it. These guys in the US—the Karl Rove equivalents—they do races all over the world: in Armenia, in Africa, in Israel. I mean, they work for Bibi Netanyahu in his race. So they do these races and they see which ads work, and which processes work best, and we have ideas about what we do over the course of the campaign. I'd tell them to you, but I'd have to shoot you.

When one donor said he was disappointed that Romney wasn't attacking Obama with sufficient intellectual firepower, Romney groused that the campaign trail was no place for high-minded and detail-oriented arguments:

Well, I wrote a book that lays out my view for what has to happen in the country, and people who are fascinated by policy will read the book. We have a website that lays out white papers on a whole series of issues that I care about. I have to tell you, I don't think this will have a significant impact on my electability. I wish it did. I think our ads will have a much bigger impact. I think the debates will have a big impact…My dad used to say, "Being right early is not good in politics." And in a setting like this, a highly intellectual subject—discussion on a whole series of important topics typically doesn't win elections. And there are, there are, there are—for instance, this president won because of "hope and change."

Romney, who spoke confidently throughout the event and seemed quite at ease with the well-heeled group, insisted that his election in and of itself would lead to economic growth and that the markets would react favorably if his chances seemed good in the fall:

They'll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don't know what will happen. I can—I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a "Taxageddon," as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can't work together, it's—it really is frightening.

Advertise on At the dinner, Romney also said that the campaign purposefully was using Ann Romney "sparingly…so that people don't get tired of her." And he noted that he had turned down an invitation from Saturday Night Live because such an appearance "has the potential of looking slapstick and not presidential."

Here was Romney raw and unplugged—sort of unscripted. With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don't contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative. Yet Romney explained to his patrons that he could not speak such harsh words about Obama in public, lest he insult those independent voters who sided with Obama in 2008 and whom he desperately needs in this election. These were sentiments not to be shared with the voters; it was inside information, available only to the select few who had paid for the privilege of experiencing the real Romney.

COMING SOON: More from the secret Romney video. (Romney tells his donors he doesn't believe in a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that resolving this conflict is "almost unthinkable," and that he would merely "kick the ball down the field.")

Video production: James West, Adam Serwer, Dana Liebelson, and Erika Eichelberger

Research assistance: James Carter

This story originally contained versions of the videos that were blurred out. You can find those videos, in the order they appear in this post, here, here, here, here, and here.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

March on Wall Street South to Begin in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention

As of 12:30 PM, September 2, 2012, marchers will soon begin marching in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the March on Wall Street South. The march is scheduled to begin at 1:00 PM EST.

This is only the third Democratic National Convention to be in the Right-to-Work South since 1932.

Thousands Expected to March in Charlotte, NC in March on Wall Street South to Raise People’s Agenda for Jobs and Justice to the Banks and the DNC

Live Streaming of the March on Wall St South!

NPR, September 2, 2012Occupy Plans Resurgence At Democratic Convention, by COREY DADE

Charlotte, Huffington Post tells us in the last 24 hours, was the site of another ejection of an Occupy Wall Street encampment: "Finally, by late January, the city passed an ordinance banning camping on public property, and police razed the camp."

Note that the mayor and the city council, by an 8 to 3 majority, are Democratic.

The Secret of the Sauce: What Democrats Need to Know About North Carolina's Kick-Ass Populism: A native explains how the people of North Carolina have been giving hell to fatcats for over 300 years. Lynn Parramore, August 27, 2012

NY Times: Charlotte's Plans for Democratic Convention Security Draw Criticism, August 9, 2012

Students to monitor protesters, police when Democrats gather in Charlotte
The National Law JournalAugust 30, 2012

Hands Off Occupy Charlotte
The Coalition to March on Wall Street South stands in solidarity with Occupy Charlotte and the occupation of Marshall Park and supports Occupy Charlotte’s statement, which follows:

“Occupy Charlotte, NC, is calling for support of our peaceful Occupation of Marshall Park in the Wall Street of the South. During the Democratic National Convention our voices will be heard. Hundreds from across the country are already here. Thousands are on their way. Come and join us! This is the hour! This is the moment!

Any repression of this Occupation would be a black eye on the City of Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention at a national and international level. This would be a greater embarrassment to the City and the DNC than an inconvenience to us. The whole world is watching.“

Tom Smith, Speaker of Misogynist Nonsense, Pennsylvania's Verbal Cousin of Todd Akin

Just when you thought Missouri Congressman and Senatorial candidate Todd Akin takes the cake,
meet Tom Smith, Republican Senatorial nominee from Pennsylvania who talks about women like it's 1952. From Daily Kos:
Fri Aug 31, 2012 at 08:25 AM PDT
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith, courting the lady vote
by Joan McCarter

Why, oh why, aren't Republicans doing better with women? I mean, they've got guys like this:
[ Then there's a link to this 48 second Youtube video of dumb utterances by Tom Smith: ]

That's Tom Smith, anachronistic Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, the guy who said earlier this week that "having a baby out of wedlock" was pretty much like rape. That's a guy with six daughters, so he's got great insight to women.

He's generous, he "allowed" his wife to get a new dress for the event he was speaking at. He's relatable, making a point of talking to the little ladies.

A video released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Democrats shows Smith, who introduced Ryan at an event last week, greeting two women in the crowd and asking them what they're talking about.

"We're talking about the power of petite women," one of the women says.

"Oh," Smith responds. "My guess would have been you were talking about shoes."
"Hahahaha! You women and your shoes. See how well I know your concerns?!"

And he also understands the problems of the economy, and can express it in terms everyone can understand.
"Perhaps where we're making our mistake is that we are asking President Obama and Senator Bob Casey to do something they have no knowledge of. They've never been in business, they've never ran [sic] businesses, they don't have that knowledge," Smith said. "It would be like, your wife wrecks your car. You're gonna take it to the beauty salon to get fixed? No."
"You women and your bad driving and beauty salons. Aren't you precious!"

Ladies, and gentlemen too, that's your 2012 Republican Party. It's hardly a wonder that they don't think we're capable of making our own decisions about our health care and our bodies. We're too busy wrecking cars and thinking about shoes.
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Tom Smith, courting the lady vote

August 28, 2012, Philadelphia Inquirer: No abortions for rape victims, says GOP Senate candidate
Plus, it looks like he's trying to compaign for the Todd Akin voter in his own state, as columnist Karen Heller wrote on August 30, 2012 in
Specifically, his daughter's unintended pregnancy to rape, after a Harrisburg press luncheon in front of a group of reporters.

Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press asked Smith, "How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will?"

Smith answered, "I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But fortunately for me, I didn't have to. . . . She chose the way I thought. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't rape."

Scolforo: "Similar how?"

Smith: "Having a baby out of wedlock.

Scolforo: "That is similar to rape?"

Smith: "No, no, no. Well, put yourself in a father's position. Yes, I mean it is similar."

Smith, incidentally and like Akin, is not attending the national Republican confab in Tampa, joining the Romney campaign's ever-expanding list of untouchables, ne'er-do-wells, foot-in-mouthers, and don't-even-think-about-its.

Let's give Smith his due. He's a self-financed, wholly inexperienced candidate who isn't particularly savvy with the press.

Then again, he's a self-financed, inexperienced candidate who, because he's a multimillionaire, hasn't bothered learning the ropes while attempting to launch his elective career in the U.S. Senate, the Augusta National of politics. No baby steps, if you'll pardon the expression, for this guy.

The reason Smith was asked such an indelicate question is because he and his fellow conservatives are on a crusade to outlaw a procedure that's been legal for four decades. They would prohibit abortion even in the cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger, because that's how much they care about women.