Taking Severe Sides

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

“I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we — I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history. We render ourselves incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides. If all people do is go down there and join a team, and the team is invested in winning and you have something that looks very similar to the shirts and the skins, there’s not a lot of value there. I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic Party I find … much more congenial — a little less anger.”

  • Richard Hanna, Republican Representative, July 30
  • Source: Syracuse Post Standard
  • Context: Although speaking generally, he specifically pointed Michele Bachmann, who recently falsely accused Huma Abedin of having ties to Egypts Muslim Brotherhood, as an example.

Managing Our Health Care

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

“When our health care costs are completely out of control. Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care. 10 percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, let me compare that with the size of our military. Our military budget is 4 percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways, not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to finally manage our health care cost

  • Mitt Romney, July 30, 2012
  • Source: New York Times
  • Context: Romney praised Israel’s health care system at his fundraising event in Jerusalem, which among other things, includes an individual mandate. Although Romney’s healthcare reform law in Massachusetts also contains an individual mandate, and was later adopted by the federal government with his insistence (see here, here, and here), he has since come out against it. In this instance, he is caught, once again, of praising the very system he is now running against as the Republican presidential candidate. Buzzfeed has also compiled a list of other benefits that come with the Israeli health care system.

Cultural Superiority

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.”

  • Mitt Romney, July 30, 2012
  • Source: Boston Globe
  • Context: Romney was addressing Jewish donors at a campaign fundraising event at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. A senior aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responded saying that the statement was “racist” and that Romney “lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people.” Romney’s statement is also factually incorrect. The economic disparity between Israeli’s and Palestinians is actually much greater, with Palestinians having a GDP per capita ~1/30 that of Israelis. Israel occupies all of the West Bank and it has almost complete control of the Palestinian economy, inhibiting its economic growth. Other than culture, Romney also stated that the “hand of providence” was also responsible for Israels economic accomplishments. Sheldon Adelson, who has pledged to spend at least $100 million of his own money to defeat Obama, was also present at the event.

A Bunch Of Old White Guys

July 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

“It is a bunch of old white guys. Unfortunately, a lot of them are fat like me. We need to basically broaden the base. We need to have more women. We need to have more Latinos. We need to have more African Americans.”

  • Edward Rollins, Republican strategist, July 10, 2011
  • Source: Fox News via The Huffington Post (video)
  • Context: Rollins was asked by the Fox News host about the criticism of the Republican Party that it is “just a bunch of old white guys.” Although having the support of just over half of the White Caucasian population of the United States, the Republican Party has found it difficult to expand its voter base amongst minorities. His voice is among several that urge the party to expand its base, citing that demographic changes could make the party irrelevant in the coming decades.

Whack-A-Dos And Right Wing Crazies

July 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

In a 630 page deposition, former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer has recently come out and described a systematic effort by Republicans to suppress minority votes in Florida. Referring to a December 2009 meeting with party general counsel Jason Gonzalez, political consultant Jim Rimes, and Eric Eikenberg, Crist’s chief of staff, he said:

“I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days.”

He also stated that another discussion topic was about “how minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.” He also described a Republican Party in turmoil and embroiled in bitter infighting.

“The wing of the party that does not agree with Charlie Crist considered me a moderate chairman. As was commonly referred to them, the whack-a-dos, the crazies, the right wingers. As Dean Cannon said to me one time, the people that want to destroy our Party are trying to take it over.”

He is also not too fond of the Tea Party movement:

“The tea party came into existence. There was a feeling within the party that the tea party was just a bunch of whack-a-dos.”

Context: Jim Greer recently resigned from his position and is currently facing criminal fraud charges. He is currently suing the Florida Republican Party in an attempt to collect $130,000 he was promised in a written agreement shortly before he resigned. Jim Rimes denies Greers accusation of voter suppression. If true, Greers admissions may be very damaging to the Florida Republican Party.

Rude But True

July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

On Tuesday (July 24, 2012), “Fox and Friends” had on two sisters, aged 4 and 7, who had started their own lemonade stand. The video begins with a clip of Obama saying “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that”. “Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade then begins the segment declaring that the two sisters “built their lemonade business not only without government but without any help.”

about a minute into the interview, he asks Clara how she feels “about the President saying that you needed help to start this business? And just speak from, speak from within.” Clara then answers the question:

“I would say that’s rude because we worked very hard to build this business. But we did have help.”

Kilmeade then asks her where her help came from, to which she responded that their help came from their parents, friends, and family. Kilmeade, although proclaiming in the introduction that the girls got no help whatsoever, ends the segment with this admission: “Clara and Eliza, two entrepreneurs who didn’t need help except from their investors.”

View the full video below:

Context: Fox News also had on Jack Gilchrist, the star of the now infamous Romney campaign attack ad against Obama who proudly proclaims to have built his business on his own when in fact he received over $1 million in government aid. Jack Gilchrist then admitted that Obama was right in that business owners do get help and do take advantage of everything society has contributed.

Un-American Desires

July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

“Including as many Americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. It is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. Cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.

Our country has never solved anything with less democracy, and we’re far better off when more citizens can access the polls — no matter which party mobilizes the most voters to them. As governor of Florida, I extended voting hours and increased the number of days people could vote. I also restored registration rights for felons, years after starting that effort in the state Senate with a member of the opposite party.

I was a Republican at the time of those decisions, which didn’t make me many friends on my side. But when you do the right thing for the people, a political party’s concerns roll off your back quite easily.”

  • Charlie Crist, Republican governor of Florida from 2007 until 2011, July 20, 2012. He left the Republican Party in 2010 and is now an Indepedent
  • Source: The voter ID mess subverts an American birthright by Charlie Crist for the Washington Post
  • Context: Florida Republicans, lead by Governor Rick Scott, have been pushing hard for laws which would strip many Floridians of their voting rights, specifically in minority communities. This has led the Department of Justice to file a lawsut against the state. In this piece, Charlie Crist argues against voter suppression, and states that his efforts to include more people in the voting process put him at odds with other Republicans. Republicans across the nation have been introducing laws aimed at reducing voter turnout on the basis of preventing “voter fraud”. Critics contend that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and that such laws are aimed at manipulating election results in favor of the Republican Party by suppressing the votes of those who vote primarily Democrat.

Update: A new study has actually shown that in-person voter fraud is virtually non-existent in the United States.

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