It’s lovely to see the Romney campaign in such disarray

Jon Stewart is on the nose here:

In further evidence that the rats are seeing a sinking ship, his national campaign chairman, Tim Pawlenty, has resigned to seek less waterlogged, creaking environs in the banking industry.


  1. eric says

    I think Romney’s strategy at this point is just to hold out and hope for some giant scandal to sink the other side.

    There’s no indication he can win via superior campaiging, but he IS close enough that if Obama was caught doing something really unaccepable, Romney would win.

  2. says

    Romney just can’t understand why the proles aren’t flocking to him. Isn’t he rich? Hasn’t he got presidential hair? Why won’t those lazy, useless peasants just accept their rightful lord and master? He makes all the right god-noises they lap right up, so why won’t they just bend over for Romney and his tax-cuts-for-people-who-aren’t-you campaign?

  3. John Phillips, FCD says

    Must admit, Jon Stewart was on fire last night, as was Colbert after him. They really are having fun these last few days and they hardly have to bother writing a script for the shows either as Romney and Faux News does it for them.

  4. pipenta says

    Don’t forget to pay attention to the local races. We’re watching some icky stuff here in Connecticut, just getting bombarded with ads for Linda McMahon. She’s climbing thanks to a huge amount of money being spent on her campaign.


    It’s not good.

  5. Q.E.D says

    As the campaign moves into the home stretch, he has my full support and continued faith in his vision and his policies. – Tim Pawlenty ex co-chair of the Mitt for President campaign

    What does it mean when your campaign co-chair ditches your campaign 7 weeks before the election to take another job?

    Also what’s that word when you say something but your actions show the exact opposite of what you just said?

  6. says

    Unfortunately, despite the utter callousness of Romney’s quote, it’s not going to have much effect with his base. The Republican right agree with him, they hear “47% of Americans don’t pay income tax” and agree that they’re lazy freeloaders on government entitlements.

    They don’t care that it’s due to things like being elderly, working poor, students, or such. They don’t care that it’s also, largely, people like themselves who are in that 47%. They agree with the sentiments from the hyper-rich.

  7. A. R says

    I don’t expect this to cost Mittens any Rethug. votes, but he might lose some swing voters. In fact, all Obama needs to do to sink his campaign is give him one good broadside in the debates.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    eric @ # 1: Romney’s strategy at this point is just to hold out and hope for some giant scandal to sink the other side.

    Or perhaps some convenient October surprise, kindly provided by strategically inept Muslims incited by christianist &/or zionist provocateurs.

  9. Q.E.D says


    Don’t be so glum, it IS costing him voters in the only segment of society he was leading in, the elderly:

    Elderly voters have become an important part of the Republican coalition in recent elections, and Romney is struggling to hold on to his advantage among voters age 60 and older.
    Romney’s lead over Obama among voters in that group was nearly 20 percentage points last week but has declined to less than a 4-point lead this week, according to Reuters/Ipsos tracking polls. Obama leads among all other age groups.

    source chicago tribune

  10. flex says

    @7 Q.E.D asked,

    What does it mean when your campaign co-chair ditches your campaign 7 weeks before the election to take another job?

    He’s a good capitalist?

  11. John Kruger says

    How is this any different than what the Republican extremes have more or less been touting for decades? How can this be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention?

  12. epikt says

    Pawlenty is joining the financial industry as a lobbyist. And Mitt has already commented:

    “While I regret he cannot continue as co-chair of my campaign, his new position advancing the integrity of our financial system is vital to the future of our country.”

    So–busting your ass to keep your family fed and sheltered makes you a parasite. Pimping for the industry that gutted the economy is work “vital to the future of our country.”

    Every day I loathe that man a little more.

  13. Randomfactor says

    The Republican right agree with him, they hear “47% of Americans don’t pay income tax” and agree that they’re lazy freeloaders on government entitlements.

    Even those who (like Mittens himself, possibly) don’t themselves pay federal income tax due to loopholes.

    When Romney finally does release his tax returns, that’ll be entertaining. Obama’s certainly going to mention it in the debates.

  14. blf says

    The Grauniad reports Rmoney-supporting bloggers are trying to make something out of an c.2 minute gap in the recording, Romney fights to reassure donors and voters amid row over leaked video:

    Bloggers question two-minute gap in fundraiser video…

    Conservative bloggers are leading a campaign to discredit the secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney …

    The bloggers raised questions about a gap in the secret video recording of Romney’s speech to a $50,000-a-head dinner in Florida in May and suggested manipulation. The person who made the recording has not been revealed.

    David Corn, the reporter on the liberal magazine Mother Jones that posted the video on Monday night, dismissed the attack by the bloggers as a “smokescreen” and “a distraction”.

    “Everything that I obtained from the source is posted. There is nothing that is not out there. There is nothing that has been edited or deleted,” he said.
    The source said the video was sent in two segments. “There seemed to be a little gap and I asked the source why. The source said that at the end of the first segment the video timed out or he might have brushed it. He does not know why.

    “He turned it back on. He said only one or two minutes elapsed.”

    One of the main conservatives that raised the the question of the missing minutes, Joel Pollak, of, wrote that Corn had failed to live up his promise to provide all of the video and “there is new reason to suspect manipulation”.

    Huh? Failed? How… those estimated two minutes were not recorded. Everything that was recorded has been released. Continuing…

    He added: “Mother Jones’s entire story now deserves to be treated with suspicion, if not contempt.”

    Corn said the row over the missing segment is puzzling to him. “What do the conservative critics think might be on this two minutes that might ameliorate what he said earlier?” He added that Romney himself has not challenged the gap.

    Indeed. Did the reptilian controllers land during those two minutes and give Rmoney some empathy or something? Geesh!

  15. says

    Here’s a good example of how the Romney campaign treats the 47% as props, as unpaid props, on the campaign trail:

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is airing two ads in eastern Ohio that include footage of the coal miners who lost pay because he campaigned at their mine. […]

    The footage is from Romney’s Aug. 14 campaign stop at the Century Mine in Beallsville, Ohio, owned by a subsidiary of Murray Energy Corp. It was later learned that the miners on stage were ordered out of the mine because of Romney’s campaign stop and were not paid for the portion of their shift that was canceled by the event.

    It’s also worth noting that several of the miners who appeared behind Romney have said “they were forced to attend” the campaign event by the mine’s owner, Robert Murray, an ardent Romney backer and major GOP donor. Asked for an explanation, a plant executive responded, “Attendance was mandatory but no one was forced to attend the event.”

    I kind of like that explanation from the plant executive. It is entirely consistent with the kind of policy explanations that come out of Romney’s mouth.

    Ohio AFL-CIO spokesman Michael Gillis told reporters, “The Romney Campaign now knows full well that those miners, wage earners as they are, missed a day’s pay when they were required to attend the event. Instead of those workers providing for their families and putting food on the table that day, they were used as political props by a candidate that understands nothing about the plight of the average American.”…

    Ad photo and more text here:

  16. says

    Fully two thirds of the 47% who don’t pay federal income tax are working and paying payroll tax, state and local taxes, probably property tax, etc. The payment of payroll taxes puts them at about 15% of earnings paid in taxes. That’s more than Romney’s 13.9%.

    Some of the working poor and lower middle class who do not pay federal income tax are benefitting from Republican concepts meant to encourage work, such as the earned income credit.

    Republicans set the system up to help push people into the salary-making market.

    On another subject, here’s another example of Romney’s hypocritical use of the coal industry in ads, and of wealthy doofuses posing as regular folks:

    An official with the United Mine Workers of America union lambasted a new TV ad by Republican Andy Barr on Monday because it features a Western Kentucky coal executive who appears to be speaking as an Eastern Kentucky miner.

    In the ad, Heath Lovell, the vice president of River View Coal in Union County, accuses Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler of trying to destroy the coal industry. Lovell is wearing a t-shirt, bib overalls and a coal miner’s helmet. He is identified by name only.

    “I’ve never seen anything so appalling and deceitful from the coal industry and in a campaign,” said Steve Earle, a regional vice president of the UMWA in Kentucky. “You have a pencil pusher acting like a coal miner.”

  17. says

    Some shit is coming down the line for romney’s church. They excommunicated the author of this piece this week:

    and journalist steve benson said that the excommunicated church member is in talks with a newsweek/daily beast journalist about a story right now. The church is retaliating against people who write unfavorable things about mitt romney online. If that doesn’t scream “cult” to normal people, I don’t know what does.

    Also the release of the boyscouts of america molestation probe might reveal some LDS church leadership cover ups, because of the church’s heavy involvement in BSTA and their habit of making boyscout leadership a church calling instead of a volunteer position. I hope the media picks up on that angle- it will be like the catholic church all over again.

  18. says

    I wrote up-thread that Romney pays 13.9% in taxes. I should have clarified that we know that figure for only one year.

    On another subject, here’s a good example of how Republicans are doing everything they can to make sure Obama does not accomplish anything, even if it means dumping on Veterans big time.

    After screwing veterans and passing a nonsensical Buffet Rule Act, the U.S. House of Representatives (dominated by Republicans), voted to give themselves yet another long vacation.

  19. robro says

    pipenta said:

    …just getting bombarded wiith ads for Linda McMahon. She’s climbing thanks to a huge amount of money being spent on her campaign.

    And like Scot Brown in MA, she’s broken kayfabe with Romney’s 47% comment.

  20. andyo says

    As meh/bad as Obama may be, as time goes by, I’m having more and more a hard time thinking that anyone who would still vote for Romney is not a cynical bi/millionaire, racist, homophobe, and/or xenophobe.

  21. cicely says

    Also what’s that word when you say something but your actions show the exact opposite of what you just said?

    Hypocrite? False-face? Politician?

  22. nohellbelowus says

    Romney has indeed come a long way.

    From hazing fellow classmates to hazing fellow Americans.

    Religious. Tactless. Plastic. Empty. Despicable.

    It’s hard to believe Clint Eastwood backs this Mormon monstrosity.

  23. andyo says

    I still am holding out to some hope that Eastwood was Poeing, and he’s having a good laugh about how conservatives tried to justify his crap after it went down.

  24. raven says

    a hard time thinking that anyone who would still vote for Romney is not a cynical bi/millionaire, racist, homophobe, and/or xenophobe.

    Romney has the idiot vote lined up.

    He has the racist, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-atheist, anti-science, Islamophobic voters lined up.

    He has the fundie death cult and Mormon voters lined up.

    He has the Space Reptile, birther, UN agenda 21 lunatic fringers lined up.

    Unfortunately, the haters and lunatic fringers make up about half the USA.

  25. says

    Here’s a link to the excommunication threat, as documented by Steve Benson, and referred to by skeptifem in comment #23:,644285


    “The quick action is being kept quiet by the LDS Church. Despite the harm it may cause him with his family and friends, David has decided that the public should be aware of what is happening within the walls of the Mormon Church to those that dissent during this ‘Mormon Moment.'”

  26. says

    In reference to comment #29:

    “If somebody’s dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they’re gonna have to take what they get,” — Clint Eastwood


  27. says


    I still am holding out to some hope that Eastwood was Poeing, and he’s having a good laugh about how conservatives tried to justify his crap after it went down.

    There are a lot of people I know in meatspace who I wish were just poeing with their romney support, but they are actually just racist (and therefore totally willing to believe any bullshit about obama). its sad.

  28. says

    Yet another Republican has condemned “lazy” Americans, this time in defense of Pennsylvania’s stupid, Republican-imposed state-ID law that is designed to disenfranchise eligible voters most likely to vote Democratic.

    “I don’t believe any legitimate voter that actually wants to exercise that right and takes on the according responsibility that goes with that right to secure their photo ID will be disenfranchised,” Metcalfe said. [State Representative Daryl Metcalfe, member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC]
    “As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that.”

    Metcalfe also claims to have been “a Tea Partier before it was cool,” and he is infamous for introducing birther legislation. Oh, yes, Metcalfe is also linked to right-wing anti-immigrant hate groups. But he has plenty of hate to go around, and has been called the legislature’s “most prominent critic of gays.”

    Just for the sake of being thorough, here’s a link to text and video showing Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai candidly outing the true purpose of state-ID laws:

    Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.

  29. says

    @35 swarly

    well he was a high ranking member in an openly racist organization (the LDS church) for many years, and he still belongs to them as a member. The recent inclusion of black men into the priesthood of the church does not erase the serious racism of the church and its teachings. One of their beliefs is that non white skin is a curse that god puts on people for various reasons (such as being less valiant in the pre-existence or for being disobedient).

  30. raven says

    One of their beliefs is that non white skin is a curse that god puts on people for various reasons (such as being less valiant in the pre-existence or for being disobedient).

    But if they join the Mormon church and are good tithers, brown skinned people will gradually turn white.

    Got to admit that is a neat trick.

    This was something a recent Mormon Pope actually said but it’s an old and common Mormon superstition.

  31. says

    Why is Romney considered a racist?

    Romney’s supporters are also racist:

    This week, while appearing on Fox News’ “On the Record With Greta Van Susteran,” Buchanan tried in vain to distance Romney from his vitrolic comments about nearly half the nation and instead return to the racist and low-brow imagery he is known for:

    “Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare. He wants permanent dependency, in my judgment, of all these folks…somehow getting benefits, benefits, benefits and paying no taxes.”

    Buchanan’s book “Suicide of a Superpower” included the chapters “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America.”

  32. says

    I think all the birther crap is also thinly-veiled racism, and as was noted up-thread, Romney made a joke about how no one has asked him for his birth certificate. Not funny.

    When birther can’t prove one of their conspiracy theories, they just switch to another one. Republicans like Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party hop on board.

    There are the birthers who don’t believe the President was born in the United States. And then there are birthers who think that maybe the President’s father was actually Frank Marshall Davis, the labor activist.

    The theory, which departs from that of the more traditional “Obama-is-a-Kenyan” birthers, goes something like this: Obama’s grandfather was an undercover CIA agent who convinced Barack Obama Sr. to marry Obama’s mother to cover up the fact that she was pregnant with then-55-year old Davis’s baby.

    Yesterday, the Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead, reportedly dipped his toe into the latter category, telling a Republican women’s group that a film that purveys that theory is “absolutely terrifying.” …

    Snipped from a Salon article.

    Joel Gilbert, the director of the film, called “Dreams From My Real Father,” describes it thusly:

    “Admittedly, at age 18, Obama arrived at Occidental College a committed revolutionary Marxist. ‘Dreams from My Real Father’ presents the case that Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party USA organizer and propagandist, was Obama’s real father, both biological and ideological, and indoctrinated Obama with a political foundation in Marxism and an anti-White world view.”…

  33. says

    Paul Krugman on Romney’s world view, and that of his compatriots who paid $50,000 a plate to hear him spew the view:

    Do today’s Republicans really believe that 47 percent of Americans are “takers”, living off money confiscated from the “makers”?

    No: the evidence suggests that the GOP believes that the fraction of takers/moochers is much higher, in fact at least twice that high.

    Ask yourself: when was the last time a Republican leader made a point of praising hard-working, ordinary families — as opposed to “job creators”? Think about what happened on Labor Day: on a day dedicated to celebrating workers, House majority leader Eric Cantor sent out a tweet praising … business owners:

    “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.”

    This all makes sense in the Ayn Rand intellectual universe, where a handful of heroically greedy entrepreneurs are responsible for all that is good. And if you live in that universe, your dividing line between makers and takers isn’t drawn at the point where people make enough to pay income taxes; everyone who isn’t John Galt should be grateful for what the Galts do, and we’re all takers by asking those heroes to pay any taxes at all.

    In a way, people like Romney agree with Occupy: it’s them against the 99 percent, except that they consider the 1 percent to be the people being exploited.

  34. says

    I am so sick of the RNC’s deceptive editing of videos in order to produce anti-Obama ads. They ought to be able to argue against Obama’s policies truthfully if they really believe their own philosophy. My mormon neighbors watch this crap then send it to me as proof that Obama is the socialist anti-Christ and unfit to be President.

    I’m weary of fighting the never-ending fact-checking battle.

    Here’s the latest ad, which Talking Points Memo is calling a “Master Class in Out-of-Context Editing.”

    The ad can be viewed at the link above.

    Obama’s first appearance in the video is an egregiously chopped-up portion of the president’s weekly address from March 31, 2012.

    “Anyone who does well for themselves, should do their fair share in return,” Obama says in the RNC version of the sentence. “Now some people call this class warfare.”

    Obama was referring to the so-called Buffet Rule, an Obama proposal that would change the tax code so the super rich don’t pay a lower tax rate than the middle class, but the RNC video removes that context. Polling from around the time showed the public overwhelmingly supported the idea.

    Here’s the section from Obama’s March address…

    Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans like me, or Warren Buffett, or Bill Gates — people who don’t need them and never asked for them? Or do we want to keep investing in things that will grow our economy and keep us secure? Because we can’t afford to do both.

    Now, some people call this class warfare. But I think asking a billionaire to pay at least the same tax rate as his secretary is just common sense. We don’t envy success in this country. We aspire to it. But we also believe that anyone who does well for themselves should do their fair share in return, so that more people have the opportunity to get ahead — not just a few.

    The video ends the quote at “some people call this class warfare” — but Obama expressly denounces that label in the very next sentence….

    The article goes on to document several other egregiously edited clips.

  35. says

    Writing for the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky provides backgroung for How the GOP Invented Mitt Romney’s Moochers. Excerpt below:

    Richard Nixon, as we know, tried to pass a guaranteed minimum income for poor families. And in 1975, the year after Nixon resigned, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass the first Earned Income Tax Credit. It’s the EITC, as you may have read over the last couple of days, that’s more responsible than anything else for taking so many working poor off the income tax rolls. Republicans liked it—it was designed to keep people off welfare, and it did (and does). Ronald Reagan, expanding it in 1986, bragged that millions of families would be removed from the tax rolls altogether. Bill Clinton expanded it again, as part of the big budget bill of 1993, for which he received zero Republican votes.

  36. gregorylynn says

    Maybe I was using different machines but sticking a paper clip in was a way to eject the disk, not reboot.

  37. says

    Romney’s campaign may be in disarray, but Boy Scout troops in Utah are lined up to help. In violation of Boy Scout policy troops in Utah are being used as campaign ground troops.

    As most Pharyngula readers already know, the LD$ Church uses the Boy Scout organization as an extension of mormon church activities. It’s part of the “Priesthood” training for boys, and mormon check-the-box tactics are used to deceptively increase the percentage of Eagle Scouts in mormon-dominated troops. Mormon bishops often assign “callings” as troop leaders to church members.

    Troop leaders at both events told KSL News the Romney campaign contacted them and asked for Boy Scouts to be on hand.

    Boy Scouts greeted Paul Ryan in Provo, Utah as well.

  38. says

    BTW, Mitt’s sons all participated in Boy Scouts. It is likely Mitt knew the rules, but he also knew that mormon Boy Scouts would ignore the rules for mormon royalty like Romney.

  39. unclefrogy says

    >In a way, people like Romney agree with Occupy: it’s them against the 99 percent, except that they consider the 1 percent to be the people being exploited.<

    absofuckinglutely true

    they do not believe in "We The People"
    they are selfish resentful people who only care about themselves.
    Mitt only wants to be POTUS to prop up his ego.
    He would never put himself on the line nor his fortune for the "republic". He would not have supported nor signed the Declaration of Independence. At heart he is a royalist as are most conservatives.
    it is entertaining watching the almost continuous back pedaling every time he outs himself.
    uncle frogy

  40. says

    There’s a poll at the link given in comment #465:

    Do you think the Scouts should have greeted Romney and Ryan?
    1. No; it goes against policy, and that’s that.
    2. Yes; it may go against policy, but the policy needs to be amended.
    3. Yes; I honestly don’t see where the violation is.
    4. I really don’t care one way or the other.

    The poll is trending toward #3. Blech.

  41. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Unfortunately, despite the utter callousness of Romney’s quote, it’s not going to have much effect with his base. The Republican right agree with him, they hear “47% of Americans don’t pay income tax” and agree that they’re lazy freeloaders on government entitlements.

    The base doesn’t matter; of course they’re not going to vote for Obama, but there’s not enough of them to get Romney elected by legal means, and it’s getting to the point where even illegal means probably won’t work.

    But I think the real impact of the video is that every day Romney has to clean up a mess like this is another day where he can’t focus on the only message that could get him elected: namely, that Obama’s policies aren’t working and are stalling recovery. (To be clear, I’m not endorsing that message, but coming from a good candidate it could’ve been effective. We’re really lucky that Romney’s so incompetent.)

  42. Pteryxx says

    As most Pharyngula readers already know, the LD$ Church uses the Boy Scout organization as an extension of mormon church activities. It’s part of the “Priesthood” training for boys, and mormon check-the-box tactics are used to deceptively increase the percentage of Eagle Scouts in mormon-dominated troops. Mormon bishops often assign “callings” as troop leaders to church members.

    Which is interesting in light of this:

    From the cited article:

    In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.

  43. Christoph Burschka says

    Rmoney-supporting bloggers are trying to make something out of an c.2 minute gap in the recording

    Rose Mary Woods strikes again!

    But seriously, what are they arguing? That the two minute gap happened to contain the part where he said “ha ha, everything I said and will say tonight is a joke in poor taste, disregard it”?

  44. says

    Regarding the “brownface” link in comment#51, looks more like orange-brown-face to me. Still a WTF moment.

    Another WTF moment, folks who would like to lynch Obama have started lynching empty chairs instead.

    Clint Eastwood gave them a symbol for Obama that they think they can get away with lynching. Strange fruit.

    … when one woman complained to the Texas homeowner, he said, “I don’t really give a damn whether it disturbs you or not. You can take [your concerns] and go straight to hell and take Obama with you. I don’t give a shit. If you don’t like it, don’t come down my street.” The man has since added an American flag to the chair….

  45. says

    But seriously, what are they arguing? That the two minute gap happened to contain the part where he said “ha ha, everything I said and will say tonight is a joke in poor taste, disregard it”?

    According to Romney, the two minute gap contains additional comments on the Israel/Palestine conflict, and that those comments soften or negate the it-is-hopeless stuff he said before.

    Okay, I’m willing to remove the Palestine gaffe from the list. Still plenty to work with in terms of stacking up appalling personality traits in the Romney column.

  46. says

    One Romney lie in the secret video that is not getting much attention: he thinks the Fed is buying three quarters of all treasury debt.

    Audience member: The debates are gonna be coming, and I hope at the right moment you can turn to President Obama, look at the American people, and say, “If you vote to reelect President Obama, you’re voting to bankrupt the United States.”…

    Romney: Yeah, it’s interesting…the former head of Goldman Sachs, John Whitehead, was also the former head of the New York Federal Reserve. And I met with him, and he said as soon as the Fed stops buying all the debt that we’re issuing—which they’ve been doing, the Fed’s buying like three-quarters of the debt that America issues. He said, once that’s over, he said we’re going to have a failed Treasury auction, interest rates are going to have to go up. We’re living in this borrowed fantasy world, where the government keeps on borrowing money. You know, we borrow this extra trillion a year, we wonder who’s loaning us the trillion? The Chinese aren’t loaning us anymore. The Russians aren’t loaning it to us anymore. So who’s giving us the trillion? And the answer is we’re just making it up. The Federal Reserve is just taking it and saying, “Here, we’re giving it.” It’s just made up money, and this does not augur well for our economic future.

    So is this true? Is the Fed really buying three-quarters of all Treasury debt?

    The short answer is no. The longer answer is that the Fed has engaged in two rounds of quantitative easing and just recently announced a third. The first one, which started at the end of 2008, mostly involved the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. Purchase of Treasury debt was fairly small. The second round, which took place in the first half of 2011, did consist mostly of Treasury debt. It amounted to $600 billion, and led to a spate of horror stories about how the Fed was purchasing 61 percent of all Treasury issues. Since then, however, the Fed has maintained a steady level of Treasury debt, and the third round of quantitative easing, like the first, is mostly focused on the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. This year, as CNBC reports, the Fed has been a modest player in the market for Treasury debt…

    From the CNBC report:

    Mom-and-pop investors, and not the Federal Reserve, have been the ones most responsible for driving the mad dash to government debt, according to newly released data…The demand among average investors has swelled so much, in fact, that they bought more Treasurys in the first quarter than foreigners and the Fed combined.

    Households picked up about $170 billion in the low-yielding government debt during the quarter, while foreigners increased their holdings by $110 billion. The Fed, meanwhile, actually slightly decreased its net holdings.

    That’s okay. Romney got to name drop bigwigs at Goldman Sachs. That’s what counts.

  47. says

    Another misinterpretation of data that Romney repeats, as do other Republicans, is that China holds 29% of USA debt. This is a misreading of the data. China actually holds about 8.1% of USA debt.

    Why is it that Republicans, and Romney in particular, always fail at reading comprehension and at statistical analysis?

    After examining a U.S. Treasury Department report of foreign holders of treasury securities as of March, PolitiFact concluded:

    “According to the report, as of February of this year, China held $1.15 trillion worth of U.S. Treasury securities. Together, all foreign holders came to $4.47 trillion. So China’s share of that comes to about 26 percent. China, incidentally, tops the list of foreign holders of U.S. debt, followed by Japan and then, with a much smaller share, countries such as the United Kingdom and Brazil.

    “But that’s just the foreign holders of Treasury securities. More than two-thirds of the debt is held by U.S. residents and institutions. When you look at everyone who holds U.S. Treasury securities, China’s share drops to 8.1 percent ($1.15 trillion out of $14 trillion).”

  48. says

    Defending Romney with fake history:

    Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) did his best to defend the anti-47-percent strategy adopted by much of his party this week, writing a MarketWatch op-ed making his case. Most of it is pretty boilerplate, except for the intro.

    More than 170 years ago, the French political thinker and writer, Alexis de Tocqueville saw this coming, and warned of its dangers in his most famous writing, Democracy in America. Here is an excerpt below:

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

    Our public treasury cannot sustain further “largesse.”

    Now, it’s tempting to note that the public’s appetite for services and public institutions is hardly outrageous, and as recently as 2000 — hardly ancient history — the deficit was gone and the nation was on track to eliminate the national debt in its entirety….

    But there’s another, more obvious problem: Alexis de Tocqueville never wrote what West says he wrote. The congressman probably saw this on some conservative website, assumed it was true, and included it in a published piece, not realizing that it never happened….

    So, who did write the democracy-is-doomed bit? Alexander Tyler, Scottish history professor at the University of Edinborough, in 1787, in reference to the Athenian Republic.

    Why are Republicans incapable of vetting their sources?

  49. says

    Unless the two minutes consists of Romney laughing and saying “Oh boy I got all of you!! Hahah! No, I don’t actually believe a word of what I just said, not a word. Vote for me.” then it doesn’t matter one bit. There’s no context that can save him from his vile ideology.

  50. NitricAcid says

    #60- It’s SOME Alex T. Does it matter which one said it?

    I doubt most Republican voters have heard of either of them.

  51. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Sue D. Nymme:

    blf: The full video released by Mother Jones does not have the two-minute gap.

    Yes, it does. At the end of the vid you linked to is a link to the second half, that has a note about the gap.

    John Kruger:

    How is this any different than what the Republican extremes have more or less been touting for decades? How can this be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention?

    It isn’t a surprise. You are asking that to pretend that Democrats are idiots for not having noticed before, and I’ve seen the same sneering comment elsewhere, as if posted by shills for the Republicans.

    Democrats have been paying attention, and they know it’s not news. It’s just that they guy is on tape now, and can’t well pretend that he’s not a nut. If you don’t understand that, you may be the one not paying attention.

  52. says

    Now the Romney campaign is claiming that the video has been “debunked.” Debunked!? My ass.

    Today, The Obama Campaign Leveled False Attacks Against Mitt Romney Based On A Debunked And Selectively Edited Video [excerpt from email sent out by Romney campaign]

    Today, Obama Campaign Spokesperson Ben LaBolt Attacked Mitt Romney Based On A Debunked Mother Jones Tape…… [also from Romney Campaign email]

    Excerpts from Mother Jones article in reply to “debunking”:

    The Romney campaign was clearly implying the whole video was rubbish. But there’s a slight problem. Politico’s Dylan Byers, the source for the debunking charge, quickly noted that he had done no such thing. He wrote:

    there is nothing in my report that “debunks” the video.

    …Here’s more from Byers:

    More mysterious still, is why the Romney campaign wants to debunk a video containing remarks that the candidate doubled-down on in a follow-up press conference.

  53. says

    I think Rick Perry is the Republican who focuses on the real problem. It’s Satan.

    He blames separation of church and state on Satan. Satan is also responsible for Obama’s likability. Much prayer is needed to enlist God’s intervention in the presidential race.

    Personally, I think Rick Perry is right, but he hasn’t figured out Satan’s most obvious ploy. Satan is in control of the MittBot and is making it say and do so many stupid things that the sound of face-palming has risen to the heavens.

    Somehow or another there’s this, ya know, steel wall, this iron curtain or whatever you want to call it between the church and people of faith and this separation of church and state is just false on its face. We have a biblical responsibility to be involved in the public arena proclaiming God’s truth.

    You think about this spiritual warfare that’s going on and … going strong as President Obama and his cronies in Washington continue their efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life. And it falls on us, I mean, we truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers, and for us as Americans to stand our ground and to firmly send a message to Washington that our nation is about more than just some secular laws.

    Excerpted from a 13-minute conference call with Rick Perry and other evangelicals. Complete audio here:

  54. says

    They’re talking about selectively edited video? That’s the pot calling the silverware black!

    Lynna, OM, you’re a roll today! Go, Lynna!

    Randomfactor @51, I looked at the link showing Romney apparently wearing “suntan” makeup to speak to a Latino audience. However, I don’t think it’s as bad as portrayed. Lots of men have that “suntan” line between florid face and pale neck… and he’s not as much darker as the two photos would have you think at a glance. In the first picture, pre-makeup, he is wearing the same tie and presumably the same suit. Yet the suit looks many shade lighter. I think that one picture is simply more washed out than the other.

  55. says

    Romney on undocumented youth (he uses “illegal aliens”): “These kids…deserve a permanent solution.”

    And that was part of his interview on Univision, IIRC. Latino audience? I think I’ll call them illegal aliens.

    Now that’s a pot/kettle gaffe, MittBot.

  56. says

    Up-thread we have quite a bit of discussion about suppressing the vote of likely Democratic Party supporters. In the September 27 issue of The New York Review of Books, Andrew Hacker takes a look at this issue and other issues related to Romney’s efforts to garner a majority of the vote.

    Excerpts below, from page 2 of the article:

    If the Fifteenth Amendment made voting a right conferred with citizenship, Michael McDonald at George Mason University sees one of our major parties as never fully committed to that right. “Republicans speak of voting as a privilege,” he writes in the Oxford Handbook, “that should be granted to people capable of meeting minimal standards imposed to safeguard the electoral process.” In the past, such standards included owning property, passing a literacy test, or remitting an annual tax. As is now well known, Republican legislatures in every region, emboldened by their 2010 sweep, are requiring would-be voters to produce a state or federal document containing their photograph.

    A passport will do; but half of adult Americans haven’t one. Some states allow hunting licenses and gun permits; but the most widely held is of course a driver’s license. Widely held, true, but far from universal. Republicans know that city dwellers, more a Democratic constituency, are less likely to own or rely on cars. Counter to popular images, many teenagers never get behind a wheel. According to the Federal Highway Administration, of persons aged eighteen through twenty-one, fully a fifth do not have licenses, totaling 3,335,254, enough to carry several states. At the other end are 4,738,013 persons over seventy-five who no longer have valid licenses. … Race is also involved: legislators know their black constituents are less likely to be regular drivers.

    Thus far ten states, all Republican-controlled, have passed laws demanding government-issued documents. In 2008, the Supreme Court’s conser- vative majority upheld Indiana’s statute, dismissing all arguments about its disparate impacts. And last month, a state judge in Pennsylvania refused to scrutinize its own law, saying it had to follow the Supreme Court. The 2012 election will be conducted under these constrictions.

    … [In Florida]trips must be made to a motor vehicle office, a $25 payment is expected, and applicants without passports must locate a birth certificate to validate their identity….

    To insist on a government-issued card is a voting tax in another guise, demanding considerable time and exertion to exercise a basic right. …Republicans realize that their best prospect for winning is to downsize the electorate, particularly people who have low incomes and are not white. It’s one thing to turn people off by running a boring campaign. It’s quite another to chop whole segments of the citizenry from the electoral rolls….

  57. kayden says

    Wow, Jon Stewart is great. Hilarous clip. Strange that initially Romney went on Fox News (Cavuto’s show) to double down, but last night told a largely Hispanic audience on Univision that he is campaigning for the 100% and cares about the 100%. Doesn’t that contradict what he said on the video in front of his rich friends where he said words to the effect that he’s not worried about the 47%?

    The man is flipping and flopping so much that he’s going to need serious medical treatment for whiplash when this election is over.

  58. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Rmoney expects people to believe whatever he says.

    His other trouble is that he believes it himself, for a while, then he believes he never said it, or that he meant something else, or that his cognitive isn’t dissonant.

  59. imthegenieicandoanything says

    A classical reference: Faux is basically the Pardoner from Chaucer, who explains that all his goods are fake, then immediately tries to sell them as real. Except he gave a nice rendition of The Three Robbers and got nothing but the promise of a good beating if he tried the swindle again.

    ALL “Republicans” are stupid, ignorant, insane and/or evil.

    And may horrible fates await all those who assist Faux in their campaign to destroy the few positive qualities of Western civiliation. I can forgive them, as they never will forgive themselves, but AFTER they die.

  60. robro says

    And now Reuters is reporting that Rmoney is attacking Obama for “surrendering” because he said he can’t change Washington from within. This is based on Obama’s comments on Univision that the health care act only passed because of popular pressure on Congress.

    This is a Republican saying that! The same party that stonewalled health care reform. The same party that’s willing to throw the American economy off the cliff rather than even discuss the possibility of taxes.

    As David Corn said in his lead off on MoJo about the Republican claim that the videos have been debunked, “This is getting ridiculous.” It feels like 1984 all over again.

    note: no preview so apologies in advance if this post is a mess.

  61. bcskeptic says

    Standing and cheering! Jon Stewart did hit it right on the nose alright. The Republican talking heads are either willfully malicious or dumber than a sack of hammers.

  62. Tony Sidaway says

    If you happen to live in a country where the Comedy Central website will not show this clip, just google on “daily show modify headers firefox” for a way to see all Comedy Central content.

  63. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says


    The Republican talking heads are either willfully malicious or dumber than a sack of hammers.

    I long ago decided to split the difference, there. They are smarter than their audience, but not nearly as smart as they think they are. They are trying to lead/deceive their followers, but aren’t fooling anyone else.

    By the way, I first worked that out regarding Kent Hovind, many years ago.

    Mitt Rmoney has much experience/training in “leadership”, which is the same kind of thing. (There was a Baptist church near MSU (Skepticon) that used to host “leadership” events with the local frat boys, since they were in the same sneering contempt business.) Mormonism is all about worker participation and hierarchy, and Mitt was groomed to be a leader. (He spent his mission year in France, as assistant to the head of the national mission, not as a bicyclist in Borneo.)

    Mormonism is not a casual religion, by the way. They can’t just go to church at Christmas, and be a Mormon. They have to work at projects, go to services, and obey orders (which includes finding out what the new tenets of the prophets are, and revising all their beliefs accordingly (such as happened when the church decided that black people were no longer demonspawn)). Mormonism is serious fucking business, much more than most non-Mormon people’s religion is.

    Plus, Mitt is way up in the Mormon church. If he was a Catholic, he’d be a cardinal or something—he’d be voting on the next pope, hoping it’d be him. Mormon elders are serious business—they don’t just lead the church, they get to make up new scripture, and it must be obeyed. He is a seriously religious person. (Seriously, he is wearing “temple garments” under his suit. He’s just as involved as the Hasidic Jews with the hats and the curls and the shawls, you just can’t see his magic underwear.)

    Mitt, if he isn’t a top boss of the Mormons, must obey the leaders, who can make up anything they want. He can’t tell us how his religion will affect his presidency, because he doesn’t know.

    How the hell a southern Baptist can vote for Mitt I don’t know.

  64. says

    And now Reuters is reporting that Rmoney is attacking Obama for “surrendering” because he said he can’t change Washington from within.

    The Obama team has a new ad owning the comments about working with pressure and voices from the outside. Rmoney can attack and call it “surrendering,” but Obama makes a good case for his accomplishments so far being possible because of grassroots support that more or less goes around the Republican roadblock.

    The ad is titled “where change comes from” and can be viewed here:
    and here:

  65. says

    Paul Ryan on Social Security:

    “Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system,” Ryan said.

    Ryan continued, describing attempts by Republicans to privatize, laughing at using the word “personalizing” instead.

    Ryan says “if we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing Social Security, think of what we will accomplish.” He adds “every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist. They will be an owner of society, they will be an owner and a participant of our free enterprise system, of our capitalist system.”

    Remarks above were made to an Ayn Rand group in 2005.

    Granny better get her capitalist ass in gear.

  66. says

    One more right-wing conspiracy theory bites the dust:

    Link to Kevin Drum’s article.
    For over a year, it’s been an article of faith on the right that Fast & Furious was a carefully constructed scheme directed by the White House to trash the Second Amendment and build support for more gun control laws. It wasn’t. Neither the White House nor Eric Holder had any idea what was going on. It was just a local operation that was badly botched. This makes Fast & Furious officially yet another lunatic conservative conspiracy theory that has bitten the dust in the cold light of reality.

    What’s your bet? Do you think Republicans will now drop this expensive and time-wasting attack on Attorney General Eric Holder (first black AG)?

    Darrell Issa Won’t Halt ‘Fast and Furious’ Probe

    House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is vowing to continue pursuing Attorney General Eric Holder’s contempt of Congress citation in court and said the report is all the more reason to continue his own probe with new zeal….

  67. says

    Crazy Republicans have an adverse affect on how the rest of the world views the USA.

    “Let’s be blunt and acknowledge the biggest threat to the world’s biggest economy are the cranks and crazies that have taken over the Republican Party.” — Wayne Swan, Australia’s deputy prime minister, referring to the Republican Party of the USA.

    Republicans blocking the START treaty prompted one European ambassador to tell the Washington Post “People ask us, ‘Have you been drinking?'”

    Ditto for the debt ceiling crisis: “Coming back from Europe, the Europeans just can’t believe we’d be so foolish as to decidedly squander away our debt rating in such a frivolous manner. This just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.” — chief economist for Mesirow Financial, Diane Swonk

    “The irony of the situation at the moment … is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress rather than the euro zone.” — British policymaker, as reported in the Washington Post on July 25, 2011

    “It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.” — as reported in The Economist

  68. says

    Ann Romney has a solution for all the Romney campaign troubles: stop being mean to Mitt. Especially you Republicans.

    Ann Romney made a stop in Iowa yesterday, and told Radio Iowa in an interview that the campaign has had enough of Republicans criticizing the campaign, and telling them how to run things.

    “Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring,” she said. “This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”

    She continued: “We call the rope line now the advice line … because everyone cares and everyone wants to help and everyone wants to just give their piece — a little piece of advice — so I feel like my best advice is just to bring peace and calm to him and just trust in him and just say, ‘I know you can do it,’ but not to give him any advice because it gets too overwhelming.”

  69. says

    Delving into Mitt’s likability problem: No other presidential candidate has racked up unfavorable ratings this high during a campaign, according to a Pew Survey. Why is Romney so disliked? It’s not personal, it’s business.

    “His problems are compounded by an open secret in Republican politics—no one who has ever run against Mitt Romney walks away liking the guy.”

    “Mitt Romney approaches politics in a more transactional way. He wants to improve the country but he is fundamentally a salesman and in this world view, it would be illogical not to tailor sales to the needs of different audiences. Why would Mitt try to make the same pitch to a Massachusetts electorate as Republican primaries voters? It’s not personal; it’s business.”…

  70. says

    New tax info has arrived from the Romney camp.

    At the surface, we learned this afternoon that Romney had an income of about $13.7 million last year — not bad for a guy who hasn’t had a day job at any point in the last six years — and paid roughly $1.9 million in taxes, for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent.

    That means Romney, despite vast wealth and no job, pays a lower effective tax rate than most of the middle class. But in this case, there’s more to the story.

    Mitt and Ann Romney also donated about $4 million — about 30 percent of their income — to charity in 2011, though they only claimed a deduction of about $2.25 million from those donations, according to the campaign.

    That means the Romneys voluntarily paid a higher tax rate than they were legally required. The full documents, which only cover the 2011 tax returns, will be posted online at 3 p.m. today.

    This can get a little complicated, so let’s be clear about the details. If Romney had simply filed normally, taking all of the deductions to which he’s legally entitled, he would have paid an effective tax rate of about 9 percent.

    But that would have proven politically problematic, so purely for show, he deliberately overpaid the IRS, in order to increase his tax rate, on purpose. Romney was in the rather extraordinary position of selecting his own preferred tax rate, and then working backwards from there.

    In other words, Romney chose to under-deduct and overpay his tax bill because he’s running for office for Pete’s sake….

    I also think that in 2011, Romney was playing catch-up on his mormon tithing obligations. He didn’t want it to look like he had paid less than 10%, (which he had done in 2010), so he overpaid on tithing in 2011 to make up for it. The tithing overpayment caused another problem, so then he had to find a way around that.