Open Thread: “Mormon Nice”


(Tony Auth via GoComics.com)

Via commentor Hoodie, check out the byline on this HuffPo piece…

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.

Bain executives say they’ve been instructed to keep company and Romney-specific information completely confidential, tightening the lockdown on an already closed company…

Asked about the Bain executives’ observations, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “Rumors on what unknown people who Mitt Romney may not have ever met muse about what someone else, also unknown, told them should not justify a story.”

While Romney may personally prefer to drop out before releasing more returns, people who know him note that he doesn’t always do what he wants. Torn between his longtime desire to be president and his equally strong belief that he should not be forced to release more returns, Romney may turn, as he has with so many big decisions, to strict numbers-based analysis. If he plummets in the polls and the risk of defeat presses itself on him, the sources say, his calculation could change…

Guess Abby Huntsman is not pleased that the Romney campaign dismissed her daddy as a mere pretender to the throne…

Since he is a trained professional (don’t try this at home) OG Professor Krugman prefers the stiletto:

There’s a tone of incredulity to the writings of Romney apologists. It seems as if they can’t believe that the magic words — capitalism! free markets! job creators! — aren’t managing to silence the critics. After all, they say, wasn’t Romney just doing what has been standard for the past 30 years?

Actually, we don’t know just how standard his behavior was — and won’t until we see his tax returns, which will probably never happen (there has to be something really explosive in there). In any case, however, the fact that we’ve had a Gordon Gekko economy for 30 years doesn’t make it OK.






142 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Man, certainly are a lot of Republicans who are saying nasty things about their party’s presumptive nominee.

    Don’t they know that the Democrats have copyrighted that particular storyline?

  2. 2
    MikeJ says:

    Also from huffpo:

    “Romney released his 2010 tax return in January of this year, a document that first informed voters about the existence of his Swiss bank account and financial activities in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. But people who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.”

  3. 3
    Ben Johannson says:

    Actually I was most interested in what Krugman said here:

    Second, a dramatic rise in household debt, which many of us now believe lies at the heart of our continuing depression.

    This is a major shift from Krugman, who previously accepted the loanable funds framework as holy writ. It’s good to see him moving toward a post-Keynesian/MMT framework acknowledging that were aren’t in a typical business/inventory cycle dowturn, but a balance sheet recession in which private debt levels force the non-government sector to cease spending and net-save.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Cash
    Rules
    Everything
    Around
    Mitt

  5. 5
    cathyx says:

    The other contenders for the republican nomination shouldn’t have backed out already.

  6. 6

    Someone said something downstairs, which I think is very pertinent, there is an old lawyers saying “you never ask a question of a witness if you do not already know the answer” (or words to that effect) Obama is a lawyer. While Romney has a JD, he never practiced. Obama did. He would never approve an ad which stated “makes you wonder what is in those tax returns” if his campaign didn’t already know the answer. They know, they are just keeping their powder dry.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    @cathyx: I still believe that short of the proverbial live boy/dead girl, there’s basically nothing that will force Mitt out at this point. As far as the tax returns go, he’ll either stand his ground and look increasingly weasel-ish to the rest of the country, or eventually he’ll cave to the pressure and we’ll all get to see just what it is that’s so bad that he’s hiding.

    Either way, he’ll lurch into Tampa damaged but still the presumptive nominee.

  8. 8
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The HuffPo piece feels really flimsy to me — who’da thunk it, given the source? — though I suppose it’s one way for Ms Huntsman to pass on the gossip from Bainiacs past and present. I think the NYT Caucus blog makes a more substantial point, which is that this is all Mittens’ decision, not his campaign team.

  9. 9
    the Conster says:

    What’s great about him not releasing his tax returns, which I’m sure he won’t do, is that people can keep saying things like what’s in them “must be explosive!”; “must be damning!”must be illegal!” and so on, so that the perception becomes reality. Heckuva job, Willard.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    Much as I disagree with a lot of what the Huntsman family members believe and stand for, I can recognize actual human qualities in what they do and say, that I can understand and relate to.

    All I’ll say is, that is a big contrast with Mitt.

    And interesting that either the Hunstmans will not be on board for the campaign, or some of them are so pissed, or so concerned about the Mittster, they are going their own way.

  11. 11
    jo6pac says:

    Great Cartoooooon so true, no one was in charge.

  12. 12
    Turgidson says:

    @Ben Johannson:

    I’m pretty sure Krugman’s been talking about a debt overhang beign a drag on the economy the whole time. Which is only still more reason to be listening to Keynes right now, anyway.

  13. 13
    techno says:

    Thank you Paul Krugman. I have been trying to get folks to call Romney Mitt Gekko since Sheldon Adelson paid Newt to screen “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.” This should help.

    I simply cannot believe that a Gekko will win an election. People absolutely HATE them. And they hate anyone that defends them.

  14. 14
    Stevie314 says:

    The Hunstmans and the Romneys are like the Mormon version of Hatfields and McCoys. Lots of bad blood between them, so no real surprise here.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: But Bain is so closed up tight, other than official documents and records, what is the line between news and gossip? I’ll take what I can get and try to evaluate, given the anonymous sources and motives of the ‘reporters’.

    And is Abby Huntsman some kind of reporter, or cub reporter, or is she just volunteering her connections and whatever inside knowledge to mess up Mitt?

  16. 16
    JWL says:

    Let the “Who Will Replace Romney?” scuttlebutt commence.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    @the Conster: It’s an incredibly simple argument to make. “Mitt Romney: What is he hiding?”.

  18. 18
    the Conster says:

    @dmsilev:

    He must be hiding something awful. Really really awful.

  19. 19
    ellennelle says:

    ya gotta love how much the defenders end up defending capitalism, like the religion they’ve made it.

    defending capitalism will only get you so far in these times. if the obama campaign goes full bore and makes that connection – that where we are is the logical conclusion of unleashed capitalist principles – if they can capture that narrative the way they did with the ‘firms’ ad, it might work.

    but as it stands right now, for all our schadenfreude delight, the polls show romney has not really suffered from this. suggesting he’ll hang in there, refuse to give up his tax returns, and it will become a pissing match that rove and his minions will exploit with their propaganda the way they have been doing, just more.

    how is it that romney’s up in the polls after all this? pity? further fury at the uppity black guy getting even more uppity? and winning the debate? is murdoch’s propaganda machinery still this powerful? the super pacs? 63% of those polled hate citizen’s united, but evidently don’t see through to its ravages.

    go figure.

  20. 20
    gnomedad says:

    Slightly OT, this is awesome.

  21. 21

    @dmsilev:

    It is the argument that the birthers made for years despite the Obama campaign having released the COLB back in 2008. It still didn’t shut them up and eventually they had to release the “Long Form”. Today Trump (Moron, Romney surrogate) is calling for POTUS to release his college records before Mitt releases his tax returns which are of course identical things according to Trump (Moron, Romney surrogate).

  22. 22
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @jl:

    But Bain is so closed up tight, other than official documents and records, what is the line between news and gossip?

    Thinly-sourced pieces, heavy on speculation, set up fairly easy rebuttals from the Rmoney campaign. That was probably the easiest bit of spokesbotting they’ve had to do over the past few days.

    is Abby Huntsman some kind of reporter, or cub reporter

    Yep.

  23. 23
    Ben Johannson says:

    @Turgidson: Krugman discussed a drag in terms of debt accumulated by businesses, but considered household debt to be macroeconomically irrelevant. He’s publicly acknowledged the change in his thinking on this issue, and it does show he’s open to evidence, unlike most of his peers who refuse to re-think anything which might cast doubt on the perfection of Mr. Market.

  24. 24
    PeakVT says:

    @Ben Johannson: Like Turgidson said above, Krugman has been on about government spending since the beginning, during the whole stimulus debate. After all, Y=C+I+G+(X-M).

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ellennelle: Obama has never played to win the week. If this is what I expect it is, the opening stage of a deconstruction the Mitt Romney’s life and career, the damage will begin to accumulate and it will pile up in way from which it is hard to recover.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @ellennelle:

    Everything that’s going on now is just meta. It’s not going to move the polls much.

  27. 27
    General Stuck says:

    Need a dose of pure grade wingnuttery? the really good stuff? Then Read this

  28. 28
    BGK says:

    Much to my surprise, my mother was in line early enough to get a ticket for the President’s visit in Fort Myers on Friday. Somewhat sad as it was only one per person, so I won’t be going. She keeps trying to give it to me, but I’m insistent that she goes. She’s the one who waited four hours in the damned heat. Also too, she’s 73 and, really, how many more chances will she really get to see a Democratic president in person?

    I’m still giddy by proxy. She’s coming home with a card full of pictures or I swear to Christ I’ll have her Baker-Acted.

  29. 29
    Ash Can says:

    Given the fact that he evidently feels entitled to the presidency and has been running for the position for a good 12 years, the notion that Romney would rather give the whole quest up rather than release his tax returns is mind-boggling. It really is looking like there must be something absolutely godawful in those returns.

    @the Conster: This. It’s gobsmacking that he would think that all the negative press, vulnerability, and unrest within his own party is preferable to revealing what’s in those returns. Either the returns are beyond radioactive, or he’s beyond brain-dead stupid — although I wouldn’t rule out both being true.

  30. 30
    robertdsc-PowerBook says:

    The other contenders for the republican nomination shouldn’t have backed out already.

    Interestingly enough, everyone else suspended their campaigns, not outright ended them. This is a bit of legal/tax sleight-of-hand that allowed them to keep receiving donations even though they weren’t campaigning.

    I showed the Mitt/Bane photoshop to a buddy at work and he liked it. He knows I’m an Obot and follow politics closely, so it was a nice thing.

  31. 31
    dmsilev says:

    @Ash Can: I would say not stupid but stubborn. Very very convinced that he is right, and nobody can tell him otherwise.

    Either way, the sort of ship captain who, after ramming an iceberg, backs up a half mile or so and rams the thing again. Maybe, after the third or fourth hit, once the rats have started heading for the lifeboats, the captain will order the rudder turned. Maybe.

  32. 32
    damn good mr. jam says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    And if the press are lazy enough to credit Trump’s argument, all Obama has to do is release his college transcripts–which I doubt contain anything scandalous–and force Mitt’s hand.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: What was the London and Frankfurt thing? Did that get explained?

  34. 34
    Palli says:

    Romney is probably hiding a number of awful things and Romney is a case study of the rich 1% entitlement to American benefits and opportunities that make the rich different from the rest of us. Perhaps this one man will be the grand example that lays waste to the hypocrisy of American equality and drives us to demand some long needed changes.

    And BTW, don’t overlook the fact that some of the tax records will show he payed New Hampshire state taxes from his home there while voting as a citizen from his son’s house in Massachusetts. Voter Fraud is a Republican priviledge.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @damn good mr. jam:

    all Obama has to do is release his college transcripts—which I doubt contain anything scandalous

    If Obama’s transcript doesn’t have “Real Grade/Affirmative Action Grade” information on it, the wingnuts will claim it’s a forgery.

  36. 36
    D0n Camillo says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:
    More of the media meritocracy in action.

  37. 37
    the Conster says:

    @Ash Can:

    The returns probably aren’t beyond radioactive – he may just be being stubborn, but refusing to release them allows the perception that they must be beyond radioactive. That’s even worse for Romney. He’s put himself in a tough spot. I suspect the O Team knows exactly what’s in them, so they’re good to go whichever route Romney chooses.

  38. 38
    ellennelle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    @Baud:

    hope you guys are right.

    it does seem clear this is just the first salvo in a whole arsenal of hurt heading rmoney’s way; why would they not save this for the end when there’s no time to recover? so yeah, there’s that.

    but given how much rmoney’s support is more about obama hate, all that takes is more superpac propaganda, and rove knows this. hell, the entire republican existence since nixon has been predicated on this kind of dynamic, and it has always seemed to work for them.

    all the more reason to prove them wrong, finally. (tho i’d sure love to see some criminal indictments and perp walks thrown in there, as well.)

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Fair enough.

    @General Stuck: Hey General! What was the London and Frankfurt thing? Did that get explained?

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    Some interesting graphical analysis of temperature trends in the USA for all you climate change co-conspirators.

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    Obama is president. He doesn’t have to show anything.
    This isn’t grade school. You show me yours and I’ll show you mine.
    Romney is stupid.

  42. 42
    Jean says:

    People keep saying that Obama’s campaign isn’t asking a question for which they don’t have an answer (lawyer practice), but if Romney hasn’t released his tax returns except to McCain, how would they have the answers?

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jean: Your question sort of answers itself, doesn’t it?

  44. 44
    WaterGirl says:

    @gnomedad: That IS awesome. So funny and really effective!

  45. 45

    @the Conster:

    I am going into tin foil hat territory here but I would not be surprised if someone in the McCain campaign has not leaked the Romney tax returns to the Obama camp. McCain hates Romney, just as every other republican candidate does, I would not be the slightest bit surprised if the McCain people had leaked to the Obama people.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @Jean:

    I agree with you. I don’t think Obama knows what’s in the tax returns unless someone in the McCain camp squealed to shiv Romney. It’s possible that Obama’s experts can judge what’s in the returns based on what’s public about Romney’s businesses, however.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    @Jean: Steve Schmidt knows what’s in those returns. He’s responsible for Palin. Is he still a Republican?

  48. 48
    muddy says:

    @efgoldman: I read the whole thing carefully and I couldn’t get it. I think he wanted to start out saying Europe is bad, what with their socialist medicines and dole or whatnot. But then the next paragraph is about how the US started to suck because we were not having as many Northern European immigrants, but rather ones from the icky countries. Now we can’t leave our homes unlocked. We need that oldtyme Christian shame, and European genetics, but not their disgusting communist way of life.

    Remarkable how someone so demented can form sentences. Also I find it odd that he uses a quote from Omar Khayyam, is that meant to put a little Arab gloss on the bad stuff, or is that a quote that is often used by those obsessed with Alinsky or something?

    ETA: I just remembered the poet is Persian, not Arab, is that worse, I’m not sure.

  49. 49
    dead existentialist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Engels and Marx, man. Psst . . .”progressives” are commies. That was some high-grade shit.

  50. 50
    JPL says:

    @Violet: Schmidt said he never saw the returns. that was someone else. Yes he is still repub until the next movie.

  51. 51
    jwb says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The claim seems to be that post-WWII progressive thought is an import product—maybe Keynes and the Frankfurt school? I think the idea is that it was a giant conspiracy cooked up in Europe to shift our immigration patterns away from Europeans and toward the third world and these third world immigrants are why the country is now in the shitter. I just scanned it but that was my take away. Excuse me while I go take a shower.

  52. 52
    Peter says:

    @ellennelle: What everyone else has said, and also: it’s only been a few days. This sort of stuff takes time to show up in poll numbers.

  53. 53
    Valdivia says:

    So I am usually the calm and collected person who tells people not to freak out about polls. But. At TPM they have Obama’s personal favorability way way under water (-12) in the NYT poll this month. WTH?

    ETA edited for horrid typos

  54. 54
    muddy says:

    @Violet: He’s said he never saw them and don’t know what was in them. So Grampy went through everything and all the papers etc on his own? He said, “Fuck it, these papers are boring, Get that bitch with the bump-it.”

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    @Baud:
    Obama is practicing the art of politics. We haven’t seen this in recent memory.
    Romney has to release the tax returns for anyone to see the.
    This builds doubt about Romney. What a great thing to see.
    Obama has to be enjoying this campaign.

  56. 56
    Rick Taylor says:

    Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.

    Ok, that’s not quite as insane as John Edwards running for President while covering up an affair, but still . . .

  57. 57
    Scott Alloway says:

    @ellennelle: Polls take time to digest common acceptance of new information. Wait 10 days for the information tract to digest and expel its verdict.

  58. 58
    Peter says:

    @Valdivia: Wait, what? That can’t be right. That dramatic a shift would require something really substantial to have happened to tarnish his image.

  59. 59
    JoyfulA says:

    @efgoldman: If there are no state taxes in New Hampshire, how does the state pay, say, the governor’s salary?

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I have no idea what he was talking about on that statement. Maybe it was a Beatles Reference or something

  61. 61
    Redshift says:

    @Valdivia: The word you’re looking for is “outlier.” Never get worked up about one poll.

  62. 62
    muddy says:

    @Valdivia: Probably most of the people who don’t have caller ID and just want to have an opportunity to talk to pollsters are old and conservative.

  63. 63
    Valdivia says:

    @Peter:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/a.....?ref=fpblg

    When I saw that I started freaking out.

    @Redshift: @muddy:

    Thank you guys, I am just having one of those moments!

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    The rhetoric here seems a little overheated, but it’s probably impossible for anyone who’s not indigenous to fully appreciate what a big deal it is for the Haudenosaunee to beat the US National Team (even the under-19 team) at the Creator’s Game.

    http://iroquoisnationals.org/1.....an-respect

  65. 65
    muddy says:

    @JoyfulA: Property tax.

  66. 66
    burnspbesq says:

    @JoyfulA:

    There are plenty of taxes. There just isn’t an individual income tax.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    darn it. went to moderation

    @Peter:

    look at TPM front page. I put the link in a comment but it got swallowed.

  68. 68
    Redshift says:

    @ellennelle:

    but given how much rmoney’s support is more about obama hate, all that takes is more superpac propaganda, and rove knows this. hell, the entire republican existence since nixon has been predicated on this kind of dynamic, and it has always seemed to work for them.

    None of this is about the Obama haters (except perhaps discouraging some of them enough that they stay home.) Romney can’t win with just the Obama haters, or he’d already be ahead. He has to keep them while not alienating the swing voters he needs, which gets steadily more difficult as their demands get more extreme.

    And not, it doesn’t always work for them; there are plenty of times when it hasn’t. It’s annoying that it works as much as it does, but it’s not a magic wand.

  69. 69
    Lolis says:

    @Valdivia:

    I am anticipating weeks where it will look like Romney may win this thing. Americans are ignorant and forgetful. But I still think Obama will win this thing pretty easily in the end. Romney does not wear well and he is running an awful campaign. Romney thinks he will win by virtue of having more money and running ads. He is not prepared for a ground fight or any hand to hand combat. Obama is. Obama can win a few close states just based on getting his voters to the poll.

  70. 70
    Bago says:

    Because the one thing you need to know about a man after adding jobs to the economy, killing Osama, ending the longest wars in US history, being head of the NSA, FBI, CIA, Marines, Army, Navy, and Air Force, and ending pay inequality for women. The most important thing we need to know are his grades as a student.

    When it comes to health care, there’s not much to say. Both sides do it.

  71. 71
    JoyfulA says:

    @muddy: A state property tax? Like South Carolina has on cars?

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @dead existentialist:
    @General Stuck:
    @jwb: Thanks, I am glad I didn’t try to go beyond that part. Dude seemed a bit off to me.

  73. 73
    dead existentialist says:

    @burnspbesq: Hoka hey!

  74. 74
    Valdivia says:

    @Redshift:
    @muddy:

    replied in the other comment that got eaten but just to say thanks. even if it’s twice :)

    @Lolis:
    oh I know he has this. what worried me was his favorable numbers which are always pretty high dropping so much.

  75. 75
    JoyfulA says:

    @efgoldman: Wow, New Hampshire real estate taxes must be huge! Having relatives in NH, we’ve considered moving there if global warming keeps accelerating, but maybe not.

  76. 76
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Valdivia: The rocket scientists who did the poll increased the Republican ID weighting by 5% from their last poll. Obama still improved by 2% from the last poll. This isn’t the first time CBS has changed the weighting to favor wingnuts.

    Nevertheless, it is just one national poll. The Obama campaign is systematically taking away all of Willard’s self-proclaimed qualifications for being President. We’ll see how the polls look once the Bain and tax stuff becomes common knowledge.

  77. 77
    Valdivia says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    see I knew I remembered they kept messing with the numbers somehow. Thank you!

  78. 78
    jwb says:

    @Peter: The numbers are right. This poll previously had them fairly low compared to other polls: 42 favorable to 45 unfavorable. The new numbers are 36 unfavorable and 48 unfavorable. The article says: “that change may have been affected by a reordering of this particular set of questions, which at this point in general election cycles are typically placed near the top of the survey. During the primary season, the questions about favorability were placed lower on the survey after queries about presidential job approval and other topics.” Lots of things could explain it: noise, the perception that Obama has gone negative against Romney, the particular weighting of the poll, etc. I’ll add that it has been fairly typical that Obama suffers a short down tick in favorability whenever he directly challenges Republicans.

  79. 79
    geg6 says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I vote Steve Schmidt, no matter how much he denies it.

  80. 80
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @burnspbesq: So the Iroquois lacrosse team beat the US National team at the World Lacrosse championships.

    Now, that’s the coolest news I’ve read all day. Thanks.

  81. 81
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    @ellennelle:

    how is it that romney’s up in the polls after all this?

    Most voters don’t really start paying attention to the campaign until shortly before/after the conventions.

  82. 82
    Fluke bucket says:

    @dead existentialist: Thanks. It had me scratching my head too. And that was some Grade AAA lunacy.

  83. 83
    jwb says:

    @geg6: I also vote Steve Schmidt, especially since he apparently took the trouble to deny having seen them.

  84. 84
    ruemara says:

    @Valdivia: He’s running negative(because they are truthful) ads. It always causes dings to favourability because people whine about the meanness. It’s not anything to panic over.

  85. 85
    jwb says:

    @Hill Dweller: I didn’t get that far into the numbers yet. 5% when all evidence is that Dem voter enthusiasm is higher than GOP enthusiasm? They are getting more desperate all the time for a horse race.

    ETA: It will be interesting to see whether Nate gives a raised eyebrow over that shift in sample.

  86. 86
    muddy says:

    @JoyfulA: I don’t know, I meant property like your house.

  87. 87
    Violet says:

    @geg6: I agree. He’s only denying it to get the press off his back. He had to have seen them. Otherwise, who was working with McCain that would have seen them?

  88. 88
    Valdivia says:

    @jwb:

    I remember there was a NYT poll where they altered the numbers before like this, with a ridiculous +number for the R sample and it had Romney ahead by a lot. It was in May or April? And it was at the height of Republican triumphalism about how they had it in the bag. And the numbers just didn’t make sense. I see they are at it again.

  89. 89
    danielx says:

    Asked about the Bain executives’ observations, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “Rumors on what unknown people who Mitt Romney may not have ever met muse about what someone else, also unknown, told them should not justify a story.”

    Well, it’s out there, as a certain Villager (cough*Cokey Roberts*cough) would say. Telling the media what should and shouldn’t justify a story, uh-huh. Certainly a winning strategy if I ever heard of one. Let’s ask every president who’s still alive (and hey, the shades of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford as well) how that worked out for them.

    If there was ever a time and place for this hallowed phrase …

    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

    God, that was good. I need a cigarette.

  90. 90
    gbear says:

    When can we also start demanding that Mitt provide us with the information that was on all of the MA State hard drives that Romeny bought when he fled the Governorship? What was in those computers? What is he hiding?

  91. 91
    debbie says:

    Oh, boy. String the spokeswoman’s comment:

    “Rumors on what unknown people who Mitt Romney may not have ever met muse about what someone else, also unknown, told them should not justify a story.”

    with Romney’s comment about not remembering something he might have said long ago:

    “I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said whatever it was.”

    And you’ve got the beginnings of a great political ad.

  92. 92
    Violet says:

    Looks like Chris Christie’s going to be the GOP convention keynote speaker:

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address at next month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL.
    __
    NBC News’ Jamie Gangel reported Wednesday that Christie would be afforded the plum speaking slot at the convention, a gig that sometimes serves as a launching pad for political figures with ambitions of higher office.
    __
    The selection of Christie, though, would seem to suggest that Christie is not likely the choice by Mitt Romney to serve as the GOP’s vice presidential nominee. Typically, the keynote speaker is separate from the vice presidential nominee, who, like the presidential nominee, speaks on separate nights.

    Looks like everyone who had Christie for VP in the office pool is out of luck.

  93. 93
    tofubo says:

    the city that never sleeps is a city where no one is awake

    http://www.architizer.com/en_u.....to-angola/

  94. 94
    jwb says:

    @Valdivia: I’d started working through some of the other questions about issues and they were looking kind of depressing, so I had begun to wonder about the sample.

  95. 95
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    Asked about the Bain executives’ observations, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said, “Rumors on what unknown people who Mitt Romney may not have ever met muse about what someone else, also unknown, told them should not justify a story.”

    And this woman is paid a goodly sum of money as a professional speaker.

  96. 96
    jwb says:

    @tofubo: You’d almost think that China has so much money they don’t know what to do with it all.

  97. 97
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    Rematch Friday in the semifinals. All the games (which are being played in Turku, Finland) are being streamed live. I may have to cough up the $4.95 to watch that one.

  98. 98
    gbear says:

    @Hypatia’s Momma:

    And this woman is paid a goodly sum of money as a professional speaker.

    Who else could say it with a straight face?

  99. 99
    ellennelle says:

    in response to all the good responses to my response to AL’s good post, i have to say i fundamentally agree. i do think obama and his crew will outsmart these nitwits and that this is all part of a long-term plan. i also agree that the slash&burn campaigning of the atwater/rove ilk may be on its last leg, having burned up all its stealth and shock value (hohum).

    but, i also admit that my fear and skepticism keep me from giving way entirely to my more hopeful beliefs. makes me nervous to get too smug at this point, i guess.

    but thx for the thoughts.

  100. 100
    jl says:

    @Valdivia:

    You will be a nervous wreck by November if you keep this up.
    Please calm down. Take a deep breath. Time for a nightcap, maybe.

    No reason to even pay much attention to individual polls. Just check fivethirtyeight blog or pollwatcher on TPM.

    Edit: and yes, I think some polls, I remember Fox in particular, would poll GOP primary voters and use them to represent all GOP voters, which swung things a bit. They didn’t bother to tell anyone in the docs, you had to go through the numbers. Best just stay away from outfits who do such sloppy work.

  101. 101
    Valdivia says:

    @jwb:

    I guess what really added up worry for me was a PPP poll that had Obama losing all his lead and the same in NH and Iowa. So I guess today was my day to panic. Will go to bed now and totally ignore that.

    @jl: thank you and yes I know. I am actually going to sleep now. I owe you an email, sorry crazy couple of days. :)

  102. 102
    slag says:

    @gnomedad: Those diagrams are indeed awesome. In fact, the only place where awesome and Mitt Romney intersect is those diagrams.

  103. 103
    Hypatia's Momma says:

    @gbear:
    It’s the incoherence of that sentence that amazes me. One would think a paid spokesperson would have a better grasp of the language than to produce something so jumbled.

  104. 104
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Violet:

    Looks like everyone who had Christie for VP in the office pool is out of luck.

    I believe it was as “keynote speaker” that Pat Buchanan, back in 1992, gave the hatemongering rant that Molly Ivins said “sounded better in the original German”. Which worked out so well for the Greedy Old Party…

    Conventional Wisdom is that Christie is “saving himself” for a run in 2016. Even the GOP Big Swinging Dicks don’t have a lot of faith in Romney right now, for some reason.

  105. 105
    Violet says:

    @Anne Laurie: The article points out that it’s unusual that someone who is under consideration for the VP spot would be announced as keynote before the VP announcement. I guess since Christie has pretty much insisted he’s not in the running for VP, they figured it was okay to go ahead with him for keynote speaker.

  106. 106
    burnspbesq says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    GOP Big Swinging Dicks

    GOP BSD, GFY.

  107. 107
    burnspbesq says:

    My bad. US-Iroquois rematch is tomorrow, not Friday. 8:00 p.m. local time; I think that’s 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

  108. 108
    jumpinjezebel says:

    Title of cartoon should be: “Rove, Rove, Rove your boat”

  109. 109
    danielx says:

    We must all remember that Mittens presumably heard/saw that Bill Kristol advice to release his returns and “take the hit for a day or two”.

    Say what you will about the Marquis, he’s not a stupid man. Handicapped by ego, hubris and a self-awareness deficit of epic proportions, perhaps, but not stupid. If Mittens is aware of Bloody Bill’s record at prognostication, and it would be difficult to miss, he’ll give burnt offerings to Satan in front of the Temple in Salt Lake City before he’ll release those returns.

    Just thinking out loud, but again, he’s not stupid and he’s fully aware of the “what’s he got to hide?” syndrome. The answer to that question, of course, is a shit ton of stuff that looks very, very bad to the average ignorant voter with less than a six figure net worth and who doesn’t have anything with which to take advantage of that wonderful 15% tax rate on capital gains. You know, the proles who fail to understand why it’s good for the economy – and him or her – for him or her to get to get assfucked by Mittens and his compatriots every so often, like for the last, oh, thirty years or so and most especially in the last ten.

  110. 110
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Conventional Wisdom is that Christie is “saving himself” for a run in 2016.

    Tweety was yelping about Christie being brought in to be the designated hit man for the convention, as if memory serves Giuliani was said to be for McCain (he failed miserably, IMneverHO). I think Christie’s tone will be a big tell, if he’s all noble and optimistic and never mentions Romney between the first and last paragraphs, we’ll know he sees it as the first step in his delusional bid for 2016. I don’t think he can contain his inner bully any more than Our Willard can contain his inner entitled Master Of The Universe.

  111. 111
    Hill Dweller says:

    Fox completely taking Obama’s quote about infrastructure and small businesses out of context is standard practice for those hacks, but NBC and CNN doing the same thing is pathetic.

    I realize they want a horse race, but the media’s behavior is really becoming absurd.

  112. 112
    muddy says:

    Big swinging dicks reminds me of something I misheard today (yesterday?) and freaked out. I turned the tv on and Al Sharpton was talking about how Sarah Palin wasn’t invited to the GOP prom, and he was saying of course not, after what Palin did when Rmoney had his official announcement. When she drove her bus though a tornado in order to just happen to stop 5 miles from his event.

    Anyway, I thought he said, “She stepped on his big dick,” and I screamed and laughed so hard. Damn, Al, wtf!! So I rewound and he said, “Mitt’s big day.” Oh well.

  113. 113
    jl says:

    @burnspbesq:

    ” @Anne Laurie:
    GOP Big Swinging Dicks ”

    ‘ GOP BSD, GFY. ‘

    Gotta nip it, nip it, nip it in the bud.
    Should have done that years ago, actually.

  114. 114
    danielx says:

    @gbear:

    Who else could say it with a straight face?

    Ooh! Ooh! I know this one! That would be Rush Limbaugh’s defense attorney when Rush got busted for prescription drugs, who said with a completely straight face during an interview that he couldn’t understand why his client (who never did a day of time) “was being treated this way”.

    The answer, which was said in chorus by lots of people at the time…

    Because your asshole client is rich and white. If he was poor and black he’d already be on his way to Raiford.

  115. 115
    jl says:

    @burnspbesq:

    ” @Anne Laurie:
    GOP Big Swinging Dicks ”

    ‘ GOP BSD, GFY. ‘

    Gotta nip it, nip it, nip it in the bud.
    Should have done that years ago, actually.

  116. 116
    danielx says:

    @gbear:

    Who else could say it with a straight face?

    Ooh! Ooh! I know this one! That would be Rush Limbaugh’s defense attorney when Rush got busted for prescription drugs, who said with a completely straight face during an interview that he couldn’t understand why his client (who never did a day of time) “was being treated this way”.

    The answer, which was said in chorus by lots of people at the time…

    Because your asshole client is rich and white. If he was poor and black he’d already be on his way to Raiford.

  117. 117
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    but NBC and CNN doing the same thing is pathetic.

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. CNN has been Fox-Lite for as long as I can remember, and NBC’s cable sibling notwithstanding, Brokaw is probably the the single individual responsible for the beltway daddy/military issues (even more than Russert and Tweety) that created the Myth Of The McCain, Williams is the classic aging frat-boy, gated-community Republican and David Gregory is seven kinds of nitwit. The only thing that has surprised me about NBC in the last decade was learning that Russert was Olbermann’s protector for years.

  118. 118
    jwb says:

    Apropos the discussion earlier today: DNC apologizes for dancing horse ad.

  119. 119
    danielx says:

    @gbear:

    Who else could say it with a straight face?

    Ooh! Ooh! I know this one! That would be Rush Limbaugh’s defense attorney when Rush got busted for prescription drugs, who said with a completely straight face during an interview that he couldn’t understand why his client (who never did a day of time) “was being treated this way”.

    The answer, which was said in chorus by lots of people at the time…

    Because your asshole client is rich and white. If he was poor and black he’d already be on his way to Raiford.

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    but NBC and CNN doing the same thing is pathetic.

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. CNN has been Fox-Lite for as long as I can remember, and NBC’s cable sibling notwithstanding, Brokaw is probably the the single individual responsible for the beltway daddy/military issues (even more than Russert and Tweety) that created the Myth Of The McCain, Williams is the classic aging frat-boy, gated-community Republican and David Gregory is seven kinds of nitwit. The only thing that has surprised me about NBC in the last decade was learning that Russert was Olbermann’s protector for years.

  121. 121
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    but NBC and CNN doing the same thing is pathetic.

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. CNN has been Fox-Lite for as long as I can remember, and NBC’s cable sibling notwithstanding, Brokaw is probably the the single individual responsible for the beltway daddy/military issues (even more than Russert and Tweety) that created the Myth Of The McCain, Williams is the classic aging frat-boy, gated-community Republican and David Gregory is seven kinds of nitwit. The only thing that has surprised me about NBC in the last decade was learning that Russert was Olbermann’s protector for years.

  122. 122
    jwb says:

    Apropos the discussion from earlier today: DNC apologizes for dancing horse ad.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    So, I finally earned me a mystery double post from the FYWP ether, and it has to be that one. Wonderful.

  124. 124
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    but NBC and CNN doing the same thing is pathetic.

    Doesn’t surprise me a bit. CNN has been Fox-Lite for as long as I can remember, and NBC’s cable sibling notwithstanding, Brokaw is probably the the single individual responsible for the beltway daddy/military issues (even more than Russert and Tweety) that created the Myth Of The McCain, Williams is the classic aging frat-boy, gated-community Republican and David Gregory is seven kinds of nitwit. The only thing that has surprised me about NBC in the last decade was learning that Russert was Olbermann’s protector for years.

  125. 125

    @Violet: Schmidt says he doesn’t know because he didn’t see them. Of Course I believe he also stated in some interview that he would not advise Rmoney to release them…

  126. 126
    jl says:

    So, I finally earned me a mystery double post from the FYWP ether, and it has to be that one. Wonderful.

  127. 127

    @Violet: Schmidt says he doesn’t know because he didn’t see them. Of Course I believe he also stated in some interview that he would not advise Rmoney to release them…

  128. 128
    Anya says:

    @jwb: What a bunch of idiots. Why would they do that?

  129. 129

    @Violet: Schmidt says he doesn’t know because he didn’t see them. Of Course I believe he also stated in some interview that he would not advise Rmoney to release them…

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @jwb: Fuck me. I didn’t think it was that great an ad, and I knew they’d play their Queen (Ann) card, but 1) if I could see that risk, why couldn’t they? 2) don’t pick a fight you’re not willing to finish.

  131. 131
    jwb says:

    @jl: Hey, I got one too! FYWP.

  132. 132
    jwb says:

    @Anya: T-Paw complained that the ad gave Anne a sad, then the media misattributed the ad to the Obama campaign and since Obama had said no going after families, a decision was made (implied: by someone high in the Obama campaign) to pull it. Actually, it wasn’t a very good ad, imho, so I’m happy to see it gone.

  133. 133

    I get optimistic and then I remember what happened to the last sitting President who was married to a woman who attended the same Ivy League law school as he did, so I start worrying. Sigh.

    @jwb: I kind of loved it, but I expected “mean to Ann” screams, so deletion was a good response. Though it had nothing to do with her, and I doubt Ebeling lets her sit on Rafalca, ever.

  134. 134
    jl says:

    It’s just this thread, where I my posts got doubled. Weird. Let’s see if that happens again.

    Edit: Nope. Doubling all gone now. Tunchforce got too close to computer at Cole’s place? What? Who knows. Ah, the magic shambles of Balloon Juice blogdom.

  135. 135
    Birthmarker says:

    I dream of the O campaign getting rights to the first Wall Street movie and doing an ad cutting back and forth b/t Romney and Gorden Gekko. It would be the awesome!!

  136. 136
    Cacti says:

    Unless you have more than a passing familiarity with the Mormon church, you can’t really understand how thoroughly Romney’s Mormonism informs his lack of financial accountability.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints doesn’t disclose the path of single dollar to its membership or the world at large since 1960.

  137. 137

    Lawrence O’Donnell mentioned on his show last night the probability that Romney is worth a billion, rather than a paltry quarter billion. This would account for the squeamishness in releasing info on his finances. That scenario sounded the most plausible to me. The quarter billion amount always seemed too neat a figure, rather like the guy’s hair. And a billion is just bad optics politically. Since it is irresponsible not to speculate and all, that’s my take on this huckster / oaf.

  138. 138
    Applejinx says:

    Regarding the dancing horses-

    Good. Horses are lovely. I am one, on the internet ;) and horse therapy is fascinating, and being supportive of animals plays into being supportive of the environment and Nature, and the whole thing isn’t an appropriate sort of attack to make.

    THIS is the appropriate attack to make:

    “I’m Barack Obama, and I regret the tone of this advertisement. Back in the days of the Founding Fathers, we depended on horses. They’re a link to our history, and they’re beautiful, and I hope Ann Romney’s dancing horse wins the olympics and takes a medal home for America.”

    “Besides, my daughter wants to do dressage some day.”

    …wait for it…

    “WE CAN’T AFFORD IT… but dreams are important…”

    (seriously: CAN Obama afford to keep a dressage horse if he should want to? Or is this a thing where in fact the President of the United States is kind of too poor to do that?)

  139. 139
    wrb says:

    @Applejinx:

    CAN Obama afford to keep a dressage horse

    Sure.

    We spend about $60/mo per horse. They stay at home and eat grass. If we boarded them it would be around $200/mo, more in an urban area.

    A dressage horse isn’t inherently more expensive than another horse. The Obamas could keep a regular old dressage horse, but a potential world champion would be a strain, just as would a potential Derby winner.

    For $1000/month they could have lessons too and do some modest competition– well within the Obamas’ range.

    Because of the circles in which they travel they might spend more.

    There are cheap or free dressage competitions sponsored by 4H clubs and county fairs. Dressage isn’t that exotic. It is a form competition that suits the rider insufficiently athletic or brave to take on jumping, racing or roping.

    The high-end dressage circuit gets quite expensive. As do most championship-level sports.

  140. 140

    @Applejinx: Sure he could afford a dressage horse – even I could (not that I’d want to as a hunter/jumper gal) were I to make some significant budgetary adjustments. But Ann Romney owns an Olympic caliber dressage horse, and those are pricey. Usually 5 figures at under 2 years for the bloodlines, or low 6 figures with enough training to have some potential. The price goes up with enough training to demonstrate serious potential, and the training must continue, along with the showing. Low 6 figures annually for training and showing alone. Which takes years to get to that level – it’s rare to see an World Cup or Olympic horse under the age 8 or 10, and Rafalca’s 15 is about par for the discipline.

    Shorter answer – can the President afford a horse like Rafalca? It’s possible, but would be a stretch, I’d guess. To get one that is already competing at that level, you’ll see a 7 figure purchase price.

  141. 141
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Jean: They are the sitting administration. Someone peaked into the stuff Mittens has filed.

  142. 142
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Applejinx:

    CAN Obama afford to keep a dressage horse if he should want to? Or is this a thing where in fact the President of the United States is kind of too poor to do that?

    “Dressage” doesn’t have to be exponentionally more expensive than any other competitive sport that requires pricey specialty equipment. From what little I’ve seen, the sports base for dressage isn’t much different, demographically, from the base for youth hockey or competition shooting/archery — middle class parents making modest sacrifices of money & time to support their kids. If you want to become a professional dressage rider (or, like Ann Romney, buy a professional to do it for you), it’s hella expensive & grueling, but then again, how many Pop Warner / high school football stars make it into the NFL?

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