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The Morning Grumpy – 9/18/12

Filed under: Morning Grumpy

All the news, views, and filtered excellence fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1. Soledad O’Brien has turned into the real-life version of Will McAvoy from “The Newsroom“. She rebuts talking points, calls out lies, demands answers, and doesn’t allow her guests to redirect her questions. Yesterday, she took on Joe McCarthy enthusiast, Rep. Peter King and his claims that President Obama’s imaginary “apology tour” is the cause of the attacks on our embassy in Egypt and consulate in Libya.

“I DON’T CARE WHAT FACT CHECK SAYS” – Pretty much sums up the modern Republican Party, don’t you think?

2. I’m sure Alan will cover the Romney tape in more detail today, but I wanted to reference this column by Ezra Klein of The Washington Post on Mitt Romney’s theory of the “taker class” and why it matters. This is how you drive a point home.

There will be plenty said about the politics of Romney’s remarks. But I want to take a moment and talk about the larger argument behind them, because this vision of a society divided between “makers” and “takers” is core to the Republican nominee’s policy agenda.

Among the Americans who paid no federal income taxes in 2011, 61 percent paid payroll taxes — which means they have jobs and, when you account for both sides of the payroll tax, they paid 15.3 percent of their income in taxes, which is higher than the 13.9 percent that Romney paid. Another 22 percent were elderly.

Part of the reason so many Americans don’t pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans.

Some of those tax cuts for the poor were there to make the tax cuts for the rich more politically palatable.

Boom.

3. So, this happened. And it’s fucking awesome.

Mitt Romney just can’t catch a break; his best attempt at an attack line has been spun around to make Obama look cool. The Jennifer Granholm break was unexpected and hysterical. Also, the guy who made the video above made this one a few weeks back, “Will The Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up”

4. As Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic eloquently stated, “The thing that’s worth remembering here is that for as long as there has been an America, there have people attempting to curtail the citizenship rights of non-white people.” That statement will ring very true as you read about an organization called True The Vote.

Ms. Engelbrecht, who at 42 is younger than most of the Tea Party members she addresses around the country, said that until four years ago she was apolitical, a churchgoing mother of two who ran a successful oil field machinery business with her husband in Fort Bend County, Tex. 
 
“Then in 2008, I don’t know, something clicked,” she said. “I saw our country headed in a direction that, for whatever reason — it didn’t hit me until 2008 — this really threatens the future of our children.”
I’m guessing that if asked, Ms. Engelbrecht would disavow any racial motivations of that “clicking” in 2008. Of course, it’s just coincidence that all of her efforts are focused on urban areas represented by minority legislators.

It might as well be Harry Potter’s invisible Knight Bus, because no one can prove it exists.

The bus has been repeatedly cited by True the Vote, a national group focused on voter fraud. Catherine Engelbrecht, the group’s leader, told a gathering in July about buses carrying dozens of voters showing up at polling places during the recent Wisconsin recall election.

“Magically, all of them needed to register and vote at the same time,” Ms. Engelbrecht said. “Do you think maybe they registered falsely under false pretenses? Probably so.”

Weeks later, another True the Vote representative told a meeting of conservative women about a bus seen at a San Diego polling place in 2010 offloading people “who did not appear to be from this country.”

Officials in both San Diego and Wisconsin said they had no evidence that the buses were real. “It’s so stealthy that no one is ever able to get a picture and no one is able to get a license plate,” said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin agency that oversees elections. In some versions the bus is from an Indian reservation; in others it is full of voters from Chicago or Detroit. “Pick your minority group,” he said.

Sometimes, Americans are really terrible.

5. ProPublica cuts through the bullshit and provides a point-by-point breakdown of where the Presidential candidates stand on Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare and Medicaid, which provide medical coverage for seniors, the poor and the disabled, together make up nearly a quarter of all federal spending. With total Medicare spending projected to cost $7.7 trillion over the next 10 years, there is consensus that changes are in order. But what those changes should entail has, of course, been one of the hot-button issues of the campaign.

With the candidates slinging charges, we thought we’d lay out the facts.

I love explanation journalism, excellent analysis.

6. Mitt Romney is in trouble! Turn on the billionaire bat signal!

Joe Ricketts, the founder of what became online brokerage TD Ameritrade Inc., plans to spend $10 million airing ads supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney and another $2 million to help Republicans running for Congress. The ads will begin airing this week.

In one critical way, the Ricketts effort represents a new approach. Unlike big-money donors who have given to individual campaigns or independent political groups, including super PACs, Mr. Ricketts is doing it alone. He is funding his own super PAC, called the Ending Spending Action Fund, hired staff and has personally overseen the strategy and ads, tying him very directly to the effort.

Romney has several billionaires splashing the pot for him, especially Sheldon Adelson.

Fact Of The Day: The average NFL game features just 10 minutes 43 seconds of action. Commercials account for nearly 60 minutes of the three hour affairs. And when the networks are showing the game, the bulk of the time is spent either on replays or shots of players huddling

Quote Of The Day: “Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility” ~Ambrose Bierce

Video Of The Day: Hannibal Buress – Put on some headphones if you’re at work. This guy is hilarious.

Song Of The Day: “54-46 That’s My Number” – Toots & The Maytals

Follow me on Twitter for the “incremental grumpy” @ChrisSmithAV

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Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com


  • Jim_Holstun

    Toots Rules! But I could never figure out why 54-46 is his number.

    Yes, Mitt and his flacks are awful, but just to keep the larger (i.e., global) picture in mind: Obama killed eight Afghani women earlier this week. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19616356,

    • Jesse Griffis

      Shhh Jim, nothing negative about Obama shall be mentioned on this here website.

  • BlackRockLifer

    I knew Romney was an out of touch elitist but I was surprised just how tone deaf he really is. It is clear he has nothing but contempt for half of the American people, that alone makes him unfit to lead.

  • RyanPB

    Toots also does a dynamite cover of “Take me Home, Country Road” that I cannot recommend strongly enough.

    • Jim_Holstun

       Amazing, isn’t it–Toots could probably cover “Horse with no Name” and make it groove. Check out TOOTS IN MEMPHIS too

  • MaxPlanck

    Bravo to Soledad O’Brien! She just might bring CNN out of the cellar toward redemption. As of late, I’ve sensed they were buying into the absurd spectrum of being another  FOX at one end and MSNBC at the other  by throwing softball questions to interviewees and not challenging outright inaccuracies and misrepresentations.  

  • Capt88bfd

    For all the you didn’t build it followers I hope that every professional sports figure in this country gets out to make a political advertisement thanking the taxpayers for building the stadiums, sports complexes, and arenas where the overpaid athletes are allowed to make millions and some owners are allowed to become billionaires solely on the worth of their sports franchise.  You only have to witness the problem here in WNY to realize what a wealthy, populous area has to “give” to an owner so he can sustain his franchise.  Maybe Senator Moynihan was right when he asked about limiting the tax advantages for sports complexes.