We’re just a few weeks away from one of the most dreaded days of the year: April 15, Tax Day. Over the past few years discussions around Tax Day have led to a larger conversation of non-filers and/or non-payers of income tax. In the last Presidential election Mitt Romney made headlines with his comments about the so-called “47 percent” – the percentage of Americans who pay no income tax. Some libertarians, specifically Ron Paul, responded to Romney’s complaints that nearly half of all Americans don’t pay income taxes by saying “We’re half way there!” see more…
Tag Archives: Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney has officially bid his presidential campaign adieu, and now comes the long unwind:
Some top donors privately unloaded on Romney’s senior staff, describing it as a junior varsity operation that failed to adequately insulate and defend Romney through a summer of relentless attacks from the Obama campaign over his business career and personal wealth.
“Everybody feels like they were a bunch of well-meaning folks who were, to use a phrase that Governor Romney coined to describe his opponent, way in over their heads,” said one member of the campaign’s national finance committee, who requested anonymity to speak candidly.
“Romney World,” the fundraiser added, “will fade into the obscurity of a lot of losing campaigns.”
Thanks to the Internet, we’re actually able to watch this unfold in real-time as supporters “unlike” Romney’s facebook page — on disappearingromney.com.
This is one unpopular program that Romney can truthfully say he cut after this election: his online campaign.
I’ll be away from the blog this evening, but I encourage everyone to use the Google elections map, just because it’s probably the best tool out there created by some incredibly smart coders.
And just for giggles, here’s my predictions, cross-posted from IPR:
Johnson breaks 1M, barely. Gets credit for handing wins to Romney in Colorado and possibly Ohio. Time for democrats to hate libertarians.
Amendment 64 passes in Colorado with surprisingly strong republican support. Battle lines drawn for 10th amendment showdown with federal government.
I’m basing my judgement on the Romney/Obama matchup on an apparent gaffe by the president during the Town Hall debate when he (mis)stated “when I was president.”
I am rather certain he was being prophetic in that utterance.
Update: You can track Colorado’s Amendment 64 / marijuana legalization issue here, on the very last page (use the dropdown). Colorado polls close at 7PM MST / 9PM EST.
Here’s to “the entire country getting on airplanes to go to Denver for the weekend to chill out.” Good call GJ.
Update 11/7: Obama gets another four years, GJ got over 1M (yep, barely) and Amendment 64 passed (1,027,893 Yes to 898,317 No with 23 of 64 Colorado counties reporting)… two out of three predictions ain’t so bad, all things considered. I really should have stuck with my original assessment I told a few people (not on any record) that Obama would get re-elected if he convinced people the economy was rebounding by June, but I guess my time hanging out with Republicans had tinted my view. C’est la vie.
From the video description:
Homeless Uncle Sam tells us how the voting process REALLY works. Spoiler Alert: It has something to do with masturbation, the electoral college and Tupac.
MMMMM… horse head cheese. Makes me want to work hard building shitty products for ungrateful foreigners.
Astute readers will remember back when Saturday Night Live took a swipe at media conspiracy theories with their Schoolhouse Rock parody, which aired only once.
Yesterday, the devastating Hurricane Sandy made landfall along a swath of the Northeastern seaboard of the United States, sending surging tides across coastal areas of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. At a stunningly low 943 millibars, it broke the previous record low barometric pressure set in 1938 by the Long Island Express Hurricane (946 millibars).
Already fires are beginning to erupt in the wake of the storm, with 80 homes destroyed in a Queens, New York neighborhood.
But while millions are reeling from widespread electrical blackouts and loss of utilities in the stricken areas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency — head by Craig Fugate — has said it remains in response mode, while merely hinting at the political fallout that may ride along with a disaster so close to election day:
“We are anticipating that, based on the storm, there could be impacts that would linger into next week and have impacts on the federal election,” Fugate said on a conference call with reporters.
But any potential tinkering with Election Day would bring a bevy of legal issues.
“Our chief counsel’s been working on making sure that we have the proper guidance,” he added. “We’re going through the regulatory policy and making sure all that’s in place and we can support it.”
Fugate did not address whether the election could be delayed — a question that federal officials said last week is up for states to decide.
President Barack Obama has responded by cancelling several campaign trips to key swing states. Included in the cancellations was a flight to Orlando, Florida where the president decided against being seen campaigning — Air Force One ended up landing, Obama ate some pizza with campaign volunteers and then returned to Washington (dubbed the most expensive pizza delivery in history).
Mitt Romney for his part has also remained low-key, cancelling several campaign appearances and adopting a wait-and-see approach to gauge whether FEMA will be able to manage a disaster without too much embarrassment.
So far the only major hiccup has been in insisting on sending people without power to the internet:
When President Barack Obama urged Americans under siege from Hurricane Sandy to stay inside and keep watch on ready.gov for the latest, he left out something pretty important — where to turn if the electricity goes out.
Despite the heightened expectation of widespread power and cable television failures, everyone from the president to local newscasters seem to expect the public to rely entirely on the Internet and their TVs for vital news and instructions.
[…] “With these types of storms, you get a lot of this is going to be carried out through the traditional TV and radio media,” Fugate told reporters on a conference call. “But we’re using a lot more social media, we’re using everything from Facebook to Twitter. I think there’s a higher degree of awareness that people have of the storm is coming and what the impacts are going to be.”
Fugate also talked up battery-operated or hand-cranked radios during interviews on morning news shows.
A call to FEMA’s news desk, however, found even they didn’t have any non-Internet information readily available beyond suggestions that people call 911 in an emergency. When asked where folks should turn for information if they have no power, a FEMA worker said, “Well, those people who have a laptop with a little battery life on it can try that way. Otherwise, you’re right.”
Back in 2006 we pointed out FEMA’s fraud and waste in the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina’s disaster in New Orleans (or at least cited the Government Accounting Office):
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found at least $1 billion in disaster relief payments by the Federal Emergency Management Agency were improper and potentially fraudulent because the recipients provided incomplete or incorrect information when they registered for assistance. (GAO report)
Oddly enough, our least favorite former FEMA chief Michael “heck of a job” Brown was quick to weigh in with political advice:
“Right now,” Brown maintains, “both campaigns need to let the first responders and governors do what they need to do. Basically say, ‘If we can help in any way, let us know.'”
Since Hurricane Sandy has dominated headlines in recent days, 2011 comments from Romney saying that FEMA should be shut down and power should be given to the states have resurfaced. His campaign has clarified that Romney believes states should have more authority, but he does not think FEMA should be abolished.
Brown agrees. “It’s more of a statement of fact…. This has always been my theory. The stronger you make the federal government, the weaker you make local governments…. State and local responders need to be as robust as they possibly can…. What FEMA should be doing right now is coordinating, [telling governors and mayors], ‘What do you need? How can we help?'”
He adds, “Everything that really needs to be done is a state and local issue…. The feds are more about helping financially.”
But some refugees wary of FEMA’s checkered history may have some hope when dealing with the federal aid-givers. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of marching into a designated “FEMA camp” that has been rightly or wrongly maligned, you can actually bring your guns and ammo with you.
Gun rights groups had sought the change, saying the original policy violated Second Amendment protections for gun ownership. Kinerny said FEMA made the change after consulting with lawyers.
FEMA said it has been general policy for several years to prohibit guns at such parks anywhere in the country. But two gun rights groups — the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment Foundation — said they found out about it only this month as a 600-trailer encampment opened near Baton Rouge.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, praised the change. ”It is wrong to force citizens to give up their constitutional rights in order for them to get a needed federal benefit,” he said in a news release.
We here at Hammer of Truth wish the victims of Hurricane Sandy a speedy recovery, and we certainly hope FEMA won’t get in the way of their recovery and rebuilding this time.
The Presidential election is just days away and the pundits are speculating about who will win and by what margin. Some talking heads are even saying that one candidate or another will act as a “spoiler” for one of the major party candidates in one or more States.
Some people have event speculated at the possibility of a tied electoral vote, in which Obama and Romney each receive 269 Electoral Votes. This scenario is extremely unlikely and has only happened three times in American history (1800, 1824 & 1836), with one more extremely unusual situation in 1876. What would happen in such an unlikely scenario?
First, allow me to explain how the Presidential election works. One election day, voters cast a ballot for a slate of electors that are pledged to the various Presidential candidates. The winning slates of electors are usually certified in mid-November and under federal law must be certified by December 11. The fifty-one slates of electors (one slate from each State, plus Washington, D.C.) meet and cast the official votes on December 17. The official vote by the electors is sealed and sent to the President of the Senate by December 26 and the electoral votes are officially counted on January 6 before a joint session of the newly sworn-in Congress.
The Office of the Federal Register states, “If a State submits conflicting sets of electoral votes to Congress, the two Houses acting concurrently may accept or reject the votes. If they do not concur, the votes of the electors certified by the Governor of the State on the Certificate of Ascertainment would be counted in Congress.”
Further, “If no Presidential candidate wins 270 or more electoral votes, a majority, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the House of Representatives to decide the Presidential election. If necessary the House would elect the President by majority vote, choosing from the three candidates who received the greatest number of electoral votes. The vote would be taken by state, with each state having one vote.” The Senate would decide the Vice President, with each Senator having one vote.
This is where things get interesting, especially since the House votes per State delegation. Under the current Congress, the Republican Party has a majority in 33 State Congressional delegations (3 States have the same number of Republican and Democrat Congressmen). The Republican’s will likely maintain control of 34 State Congressional delegations after the election. This means that if there is a tie for Electoral Votes, then Mitt Romney will likely be elected by the House. If the Democrats retain the Senate, then Joe Biden would likely be elected Vice-President. However, there is a very slim possibility that the Republican’s will control the Senate after the election.
Since the 2000 Presidential election, there have been calls for changing or abolishing the Electoral College. If there were an tie vote, I’m fairly certain that the Electoral College would be modified in some manner, and probably in a way that further discourages voting for a “minor party” candidate.
Everyone’s obviously curious about these “binders full of women” that Romney speaks of thumbing through, and I will affirm that Candy Crowley would certainly not ever be in mine, but whoever did the singing in lieu of her would.
The Commission on Presidential Debates has held three events so far this year, and I wanted to know if our next commander-in-chief (or the next in line) were able to beat out a fifth grader (hello, pop culture references). I sliced and diced the transcripts of each participant (including the moderators and audience) and ran them through a couple of algorithms.
The Flesch–Kincaid readability test and the Gunning fog index are widely recognized methods for determining the education level needed to grasp subject material — in this case the dialogue transcripts of the debates. The numbers shown indicate the grade level one would need to be able to comprehend each respondent.
The results are presented below:
First Presidential Debate (Denver, Colorado)
|Jim Lehrer (moderator)||4.1||8.1|
Vice Presidential Debate (Danville, Kentucky)
|Martha Raddatz (moderator)||4.4||7.9|
Second Presidential Debate (Hempstead, New York)
|Candy Crowley (moderator)||3.1||6.5|
UPDATE: Added the fourth debate (third presidential debate) and overall scores based on D/R, below:
Third Presidential Debate (Boca Raton, Florida)
|Bob Schieffer (moderator)||4.3||7.5|
All Presidential Debates (averaged)
Apparently the moderators are not smarter than fifth graders, and the candidates are barely eking by according to Kincaid standards.
However, it’s interesting to note that the debate audience at the second presidential debate — a town hall format — scored off the charts in smarts compared to all the candidates and moderators.
Maybe we should go ahead and elect one of them.
From time to time, here at Hammer of Truth one of us will liveblog a debate or something. This is what it looks like.
On Tuesday October 16th 2012, Democrat President Barack Obama met with Republican nominee former Governor Mitt Romney to lay into each other in the
new public blood sport democratic process of getting to know our next commander in chief. Romney is still trailing far behind Obama in projected electoral vote counts, but walked away with a national poll bounce from the Denver performance (mostly due to Obama’s apparent boredom). Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate was not invited to attend due to not meeting the required 15% threshold, nor was Green Party candidate Jill Stein — who apparently showed up and was arrested, yikes.
An official transcript of the debate can be found here.
All times are in Eastern Daylight Time.
[Though billed as a “live blogging” event, my time away from blogging has resulted in my complete inability to properly negotiate the back-end of this site without a time-consuming, self-taught refresher course. As a result, the comments below, while made in real time, were not posted until after the debate was over. This misstep indicates what I’ve long suspected——that “drunk-blogging” is a necessary requirement of “live-blogging”]
I can’t help but think of this “debate” as the video equivalent of the children’s game (also found in bars), in which players must discover the smallest details differing from one seemingly identical picture to the next. Yes, a President Romney would likely be a bit hostile to additional business regulations, though he wouldn’t fail to enforce the existing ones. And he may oversee the dismantling of Obamacare, but only because as a businessman, he hates people stealing his ideas.
The point is that it is merely diminutive details that separate these two men, one clamoring to become the American emperor, the other begging the masses to renew his licenses to kill, lie, and steal, and allowing him to continue his despotic reign. Sadly, these tiny differentiations will be underscored, played up, and shouted about; those who disregard them loudly styled blind, stupid, or both. The similarities, though not unlike those among identical twins, will be obtusely ignored, with those who point to them relegated to the fringe.
My synopsis of the silliness that passed for serious argument follows, replete with all the sarcasm and ridicule richly deserved by those who would pretend any legitimacy to such a charade. see more…
David Rees at MNFTIU has released his latest Get Your War On video comic in response to the tightening polls in the wake of Barack Obama’s lackluster performance against Mitt Romney. The song is pretty catchy:
Not surprisingly, Obama leads the XBIZ poll with 68% to Romney’s surprisingly fatally low 13% support in the porn industry. This is a shock upset to an unnamed “other” candidate who garnered 14%:
Evil Angel founder John Stagliano, who overcame a federal obscenity prosecution that generated nationwide attention in 2010, pointed to his support of another presidential hopeful.
“The only candidate who protects our right to do business is the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson,” Stagliano told XBIZ, referring to the former governor of New Mexico who has garnered the most support of any of the third-party candidates heading into this election. “He was the only person dealing with the real problems we have, like war, the debt, censorship and inefficient government.”
Aside from economic considerations affecting voters’ decisions in November, the issue of federal obscenity prosecutions figures to be a major factor for adult film producers. According to the notorious pro-censorship organization Morality in Media, Mitt Romney earlier this year, along with other Republican candidates at the time, offered assurances that if elected, they would direct the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute porn producers for obscenity violations.
Republicans have traditionally been seen as meddlers in the industry, and our long-time readers may remember that primarily adult hosting company NationalNet was kind enough to give Michael Badnarik — the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential nominee — pro bono hosting during the final months of his campaign.
But with over 30% of the entire internet’s web traffic, porn producers could have a more sizable impact on elections than Republicans or Democrats are willing to admit.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama squared off in the first Commission on Presidential Debates in Denver Colorado last night without inviting the only other candidate with the mathematical chance at also winning the highest executive office in the land — former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. But exclusion from the stage, a lawsuit and much ado about CPD sponsor boycotts didn’t stop Johnson from inserting himself into the election narrative… from a hotel room.
With obvious second-rate video and audio production, Johnson was still able to deliver first-rate responses in real-time as he watched the “debate” and live-streamed the affair to Americans who are not content with the duopoly’s choice for 2012.
Below is the embedded one-hour video, where Johnson made it abundantly clear he’s laughing just as incredulously as the rest of us at what wasn’t said by Obama and Romney.
From time to time, here at Hammer of Truth one of us will liveblog a debate or something. This is what it looks like.
On Wednesday October 3rd 2012, Democrat President Barack Obama squared off against challenger Republican Mitt Romney to lay into each other in the
new public blood sport democratic process of getting to know our next commander in chief. Romney has been trailing far behind Obama in projected electoral vote counts, so we’ll see if the economy, healthcare, and rule of law questions will work in his favor or against him. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate was not invited to attend despite apparent growing support and a lawsuit against the CPD due to not meeting the required 15% threshold.
An official transcript of the debate can be found here.
All times are in Mountain Daylight Time.
6:55PM: Jim Lehrer had his chair pushed in for him… aww, how sweet of his
7:00PM: Opening remarks on the economy by both candidates, Obama is more interested in making sure we keep looking For war (d) instead of at the past four years of his record. Romney comes out and has a five point plan that focuses on business, but is more about making hay of Obama’s large government programs.
7:08PM: Obama rebuts by saying we need more spending on education.
7:11PM: Obama going after Romney on tax issues. Romney rebuts with “economy tax” that Obama is crushing people with.
7:12PM: Romney “I like coal”. He wants to cut taxes.
7:16PM: Red tie/blue tie, they are both empty suits and we’re officially declaring this debate a loss for America. Why the hell didn’t they invite Gary Johnson?
7:17PM: Romney saw a study on taxes, he’s seen lots of studies. Well then.
7:21PM: Lehrer notes that we’re way over the 15 minute time limit for this segment. Romney starts talking about the price of gas. Obama wants to change the subject.
Man, I wish I could power my car with the hot air these two are spewing. see more…
Great news for Libertarians, people are so disillusioned with Obama and the weak Romney effort that Gary Johnson is making a surprisingly strong showing in the Buckeye state:
Conducted September 21-22, a Gravis Marketing/Capitol Correspondent poll first asked the usual Obama or Romney question, which revealed a tight race. (The full results are here.)
- Obama/Biden: 45.2%
- Other/Unsure: 10.4%
- Romney/Ryan: 44.3%
Then, Gary Johnson was added.
- Johnson: 10.6%
- Obama/Biden: 44.5%
- Other/Unsure: 7.1%
- Romney/Ryan: 37.8%
Not so tight, anymore. And Johnson’s numbers are up from September 7-8, when he pulled 4.5% in Ohio.
Johnson had optimistically pegged his chances during an AMA with reddit earlier this month, “We really don’t want to peak too early, so we have them right where we want them.”
If the current trend continues, Johnson could be more than the mere “spoiler candidate” this year in many states. Now if only the media would take note of the electorates’ thirst for a truly sane foreign policy.
Forwarded via facebook:
This is getting serious.
It was only a week ago that the Commission on Presidential Debates had ten sponsors for the 2012 debates.
Today, they're down to seven. Phillips Electronics has, as of this morning, pulled their sponsorship.
What does this mean for us?
We're that much closer to seeing and hearing Governor Gary Johnson and Judge Jim Gray on the debate stage this autumn!
I know what you're thinking. "It's entirely too late for the Commission on Presidential Debates to invite Governor Johnson to debate." Fortunately, it takes very little effort to add a podium to a stage. It takes a whole lot of effort, however, to convince a multi-billion dollar corporation that you wield the power to hit them where it hurts worst — their pocketbooks.
Power. That's the key word in this previous sentence. YOU HAVE ALL THE POWER NOW.
BBH New York
That's three down, seven to go.
Get to writing those letters, guys! This election cycle, you will CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY. Change it for the better.
Power to the people!!
Georgia for Gary Johnson 2012
Note from Paulie: Under the Commission’s guidelines for debate inclusion, other than the non-objective polling criterion, two additional candidates would qualify: Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green), the only candidates not invited to the CPD debates who are on enough ballots to win the Presidency and are Constitutionally qualified for the office.
Some unverified contact info for debate sponsors in the comments here.