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Published on Oct  5, 2012 by    
Mitt Romney didn’t tell the truth about his tax plan, his plan for Americans with pre-existing conditions, his Medicare plan, nor the President’s Medicare plan.
Why would Romney not tell the truth about what he’d do as President? Because his real plans would hurt the middle class.

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Huff Post

Posted: 09/06/2012 10:26 pm

President Barack Obama delivered his Democratic National Convention speech at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday night.

Below, his prepared remarks as prepared for delivery.

Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud…but don’t get any ideas, you’re still going to class tomorrow.  And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best Vice President I could ever hope for.Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.

The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope – not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long.

Eight years later, that hope has been tested – by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still possible to tackle the challenges of our time.

I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly.  Trivial things become big distractions.  Serious issues become sound bites.  And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising.  If you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me – so am I.

But when all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.  Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come.

On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties.

It will be a choice between two different paths for America.

A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.

Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known; the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.

They knew they were part of something larger – a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world’s best products, and everyone shared in the pride and success – from the corner office to the factory floor.  My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their first home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story:  the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules – from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC.

I ran for President because I saw that basic bargain slipping away.  I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill, at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas.  And by 2008, we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn’t; racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition; to put gas in the car or food on the table.  And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings – a tragedy from which we are still fighting to recover.

Now, our friends at the Republican convention were more than happy to talk about everything they think is wrong with America, but they didn’t have much to say about how they’d make it right.  They want your vote, but they don’t want you to know their plan.  And that’s because all they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years:

“Have a surplus? Try a tax cut.”

“Deficit too high? Try another.”

“Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”

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Being Liberal

9/5/12

Here is the  text of President Bill Clinton’s speech to the Democratic National Convention as prepared for delivery and released by the convention’s press office:

We’re here to nominate a President, and I’ve got one in mind.

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. A man who ran for President to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before the election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. A man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs were created and saved, there were still millions more waiting, trying to feed their children and keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man cool on the outside but burning for America on the inside.  A man who believes we can build a new American Dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, education and cooperation. A man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama.

I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States and I proudly nominate him as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party.

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Huff Post

Ryan Grim

Posted: 08/30/2012 12:29 am Updated: 08/30/2012 11:52 am

TAMPA, Fla. — Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday that if he and his running mate Mitt Romney were elected president, they would usher in an ethic of responsibility. The Wisconsin congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate repeatedly chided President Barack Obama for blaming the jobs and housing crises on his predecessor, saying that his habit of “forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago -– isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?”

Ryan then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. “That plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight,” Ryan said.

Except Obama didn’t promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 — while George W. Bush was president.

It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan’s much-anticipated acceptance speech. And it comes just days after Romney pollster Neil Newhouse warned, defending the campaign’s demonstrably false ads claiming Obama removed work requirements from welfare, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”

Ryan, for his part, slammed the president for not supporting a deficit commission report without mentioning that he himself had voted against it, helping to kill it.

He also made a cornerstone of his argument the claim that Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for Obamacare. But he didn’t mention that his own budget plan relies on those very same savings.

Ryan also put responsibility for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of U.S. government debt at Obama’s doorstep. But he didn’t mention that S&P itself, in explaining its downgrade, referred to the debt ceiling standoff. That process of raising the debt ceiling was only politicized in the last Congress, driven by House Republicans, led in the charge by Paul Ryan.

The credit rater also said it worried that Republicans would never agree to tax increases. “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” S&P wrote.

Jodie Layton, a convention goer from Utah watching the Ryan speech, said she was blown away by the vice presidential candidate. But she said she was surprised to hear that after his speech about taking responsibility, he’d pinned a Bush-era plant closing on Obama.

“It closed in December 2008?” she asked, making sure she heard a HuffPost reporter’s question right. After a long pause, she said, “It’s happening a lot on both sides. It’s to be expected.”

Ryan has referenced the GM plant before, and his attack was debunked by the Detroit News, which called it inaccurate. “In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office,” Detroit News reporter David Sherpardson wrote earlier this month. “Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested.”

After the speech, CNN’s political commentators focused mostly on Ryan’s misstatements, demonstrating the degree to which they were evident.

MORE HERE

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The Washington Post

By Jonathan Bernstein

Posted at 11:56 PM ET, 08/29/2012

It was, by any reasonable standards, a staggering, staggering lie. Here’s Paul Ryan about Barack Obama:

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

“They.” “Them.” “Them.” Those words are lies. Because Paul Ryan was on that commission. “Came back with an urgent report.” That is a lie. The commission never made any recommendations for Barack Obama to support or oppose. Why not? Because the commission voted down its own recommendations. Why? Because Paul Ryan, a member of the commission, voted it down and successfully convinced the other House Republicans on the commission to vote it down.

That wasn’t the only bit of mendacity – lazy mendacity, incredibly lazy mendacity – in Ryan’s speech. Twitter lit up as soon as he started telling the story of the Janesville auto plant that Barack Obama didn’t save – a plant that, it turns out, closed before Obama was president. And of course there’s the infamous cuts to Medicare that Ryan lambasted Obama for without happening to mention that those very same cuts were in Paul Ryan’s own budget. Yes: absolutely everything in Obamacare is an abomination, says Paul Ryan, except for (as he forgets to mention) the cuts to Medicare that he supports – and yet he still singles that part out to use as an attack.

It isn’t even true in some symbolic or abstract way. The real truth is that Paul Ryan completely rejects the approach of that commission – because it includes tax increases along with spending cuts – while Barack Obama has, while not endorsing the exact plan that Ryan shot down, basically endorsed the commission’s approach. Nor was this a side point; Ryan’s complaint about Obama on the deficit was absolutely central to his case against the president.

And then there’s the logic of the whole thing. As Seth Masket said, it all comes down to arguing “we must cut entitlements! Obama cutting entitlements is un-American.”  There’s also, as many were pointing out, the plain fact that until January 2009 Paul Ryan faithfully supported all the tax cuts and spending increases which created the deficit problem he’s been so concerned about since January 2009.

But really, the proper response to a speech like this isn’t to carefully analyze the logic, or to find instances of hypocracy; it’s to call the speaker out for telling flat-out lies to the American people. Paul Ryan has had what I’ve long thought was an undeserved good reputation among many in the press and in Washington. It shouldn’t survive tonight’s speech.

Follow Jonathan Bernstein on Twitter and at his blog.

SOURCE

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Huff Post

By- Jason Cherkis

Posted: 08/11/2012  5:58 pm Updated: 08/11/2012  6:02 pm

WASHINGTON — As Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has served more than a decade in Congress, President Barack Obama and his allies will surely be scouring his extensive voting record, if they haven’t done so already. But along with key votes, the Democrats have begun to highlight some of the questionable relationships that Ryan has acquired during his time in Washington. Among them, expect to see a re-examination of Ryan’s ties to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The pro-Obama super PAC American Bridge has already unveiled an opposition research book about Ryan that documents the Republican’s ties to those symbols of Washington excess. Information pulled from the book and elsewhere shows that Ryan was an ardent defender of DeLay.

One year before DeLay was indicted on conspiracy and money laundering charges, Ryan called the attacks “gutter politics at its worst,” according to the Washington Post. And added: “You’re going to see a big rallying around Tom.”

For that remark, a columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal wrote that Ryan had “put his head in the sand.” But Ryan only stepped up his defense of DeLay.

Six months before the indictment, Ryan called the investigation and ensuing public outcry over DeLay “an effort to ‘lynch him politically,’” according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Even after a Texas grand jury indicted DeLay on October 3, 2005, Ryan still refused to return $25,000 in donations from the then-former House Majority Leader. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Ryan said he would only return the cash if DeLay was convicted.

Soon thereafter, Ryan, like others in Congress, had to deal with fallout over his ties to Abramoff. In January 2006, the lobbyist pleaded guilty to charges that he committed fraud, tax evasion and engaged in a conspiracy to bribe public officials. Ryan donated close to $2,000 to charity — the amount he received from a PAC for which Abramoff worked and from the lobbyist personally. Ryan said he wanted “to remove any shred of concern,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

A few months later, Ryan began to cut his ties to DeLay. The Capital Times reported in April that Ryan took a $27,500 donation from DeLay’s PAC and donated it to charity. Ryan said that he did so because one of DeLay’s former top aides pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges. “I believe it is appropriate to donate these contributions to charity, even though these contributions were perfectly legal and appropriate,” Ryan said in a statement at the time. “I simply want to remove any doubt in this matter.”

A jury convicted DeLay on money laundering charges in November 2010. He was sentenced to three years in prison. He is free pending his appeal.

VIDEO & MORE HERE

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks in Milwaukee, Wis., on March 30, 2012, with House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) looking on. (Steven Senne / AP)

Huff Post

Jon Ward

Posted: 08/07/2012 10:21 am Updated: 08/07/2012 10:54 am

Bill Kristol and Stephen Hayes caused a stir this week when they encouraged Mitt Romney to pick Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) as his running mate.

The conservative Weekly Standard authors based their argument for Ryan on the premise that Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has endorsed the House Budget Committee chairman’s budget anyway, and is going to be attacked for it by President Barack Obama’s campaign no matter what.

“If Ryan’s budget is going to be a central part of the debate over the next three months, who better to explain and defend it than Paul Ryan?” Kristol and Hayes wrote.

Yuval Levin, a former White House policy adviser for President George W. Bush who has been one of the most authoritative conservative voices arguing in favor of fundamental reform of entitlement programs like Medicare, told The Huffington Post that he agrees with Kristol and Hayes.

“The fact is that you can’t choose whether to run on this or not anymore,” Levin said of the Ryan budget and of his Medicare reforms. “Obama will make [Romney] run on this because Democrats continue to think that they have a huge advantage by pushing the issue. And I think there’s going to be a kind of Medicare chapter of the Obama campaign that is going to be coming soon.”

A phone conversation with Paul Begala, a veteran Democratic strategist who is now raising funds and consulting for Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC supporting Obama, confirmed that Levin’s conjecture was correct.

Asked whether Romney will have to campaign on the Ryan budget reforms or whether he should stick to his current jobs and the economy script, Begala told HuffPost, “they will because we’re going to require them to.”

“I promise you the Ryan-Romney budget is going to be central to this discussion,” Begala said. “This is not like some crackpot theory from some long dead Russian immigrant. It is now the official budget of the Republican party of the House of Representatives. This is not like just some kind of fringe deal.”

Begala declined to comment on when Priorities USA plans to unleash their criticisms of the Ryan budget. They are most likely waiting to see if Romney picks Ryan as his running mate, in which case those attacks could be coming sooner than later.

Super PACs like Priorities USA are forbidden by law from coordinating their activities with the Obama campaign. So far this year, the group has worked to reinforce the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s private equity career at Bain Capital.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt declined to preview strategic planning for the rest of the campaign, but said as far as they are concerned, Romney already is running on the Ryan budget.

“Governor Romney has not only fully embraced the Ryan budget, but he has introduced a budget plan that is a carbon copy — it makes seniors pay thousands of dollars more each year for their health care and severe cuts to programs essential to the middle class in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires,” LaBolt said. “Mitt Romney is campaigning on the flawed assumption that we can just cut our way to prosperity.”

HERE

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Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson. AFP PHOTO / AARON TAM

Reuters | Posted: 08/04/2012  1:25 pm Updated: 08/04/2012  2:55 pm

CHICAGO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Las Vegas Sands Corp,  controlled by billionaire Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, is  the target of a federal investigation into possible violations  of U.S. money-laundering laws, the Wall Street Journal reported  on Saturday.

The Los Angeles U.S. attorney’s office is looking into the  casino company’s handling of the receipt of millions of dollars  from a Mexican businessman, later indicted in the United States  for drug trafficking, and a former California businessman, later  convicted of taking illegal kickbacks, the Journal said, citing  lawyers and others involved in the matter.

The transactions date from the mid-2000s.

The Journal said there are no indications that actions by  Adelson, who is the company’s chief executive officer and  largest shareholder, are being investigated.

The Los Angeles U.S. attorney could not be reached for  comment by Reuters on Saturday. A Sands spokesman was not  immediately available to comment to Reuters, but spokesman Ron  Reese told the Journal, “The company believes it has acted  properly and has not committed any wrongdoing.”

Reese said the company was cooperating with federal  investigators.

The timing of the investigation could open the Justice  Department to criticism that it is politically motivated, the  Journal said. Adelson is a major donor to the super PAC  supporting presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney  against President Barack Obama and plans to spend $100 million  on Republican candidates in November’s elections.

Adelson, who owns casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore,  began this campaign season as a major donor to Newt Gingrich  before Gingrich dropped out of the Republican presidential race.  He has since switched his support to Romney and last month was  in Jerusalem with the candidate when Romney met Israeli Prime  Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who Adelson also strongly supports.

The Journal said the Las Vegas money-laundering  investigation focused on two “whales” – as big-money gamblers  are known – and whether Sands officials ignored warning signs  and did not alert federal authorities about millions of dollars  the gamblers had deposited.

The Journal identified one of the “whales” as Zhenli Ye Gon,  a Chinese-born Mexican national who was indicted in 2007 in the  United States on charges of dealing in materials used to make  methamphetamine.

The drug case was dismissed in 2009 but Ye Gon is still in  U.S. custody awaiting extradition to Mexico, where authorities  want to try him on drug trafficking and money laundering  charges, the Journal said, citing court records.

The Journal said Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, a former executive  with the Fry’s Electronics retail chain, also was under  scrutiny. Court filings in another case showed Siddiqui sent  more than $100 million to the Sands. Siddiqui was charged with  taking kickbacks from Fry’s vendors, pleaded guilty and is now  in prison.

U.S. authorities also are investigating the Sands to see if  there were breaches of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA),  which prohibits bribes to foreign officials by U.S. companies,  in its Macau operation.

HERE

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By KASIE HUNT and KARIN LAUB  07/30/12 11:18 AM ET AP

JERUSALEM — Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian reaction to Romney was swift and pointed.

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people,” Erekat added. “He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

MORE HERE

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AP |     By

Posted: 07/20/2012  8:36 am Updated: 07/20/2012  4:00 pm

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Police say 71 people were shot in a suburban Denver movie theater early Friday during midnight shows of the new Batman movie. Twelve people were killed, ten of them at the theater.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON THE SHOOTING.

Another 59 adults and children were wounded.

Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says there were four showings of the movie at the time and all were sold out. He did not know how many people that amounts to.

Oates says investigators are confident the gunman acted alone.

Police arrested 24-year-old James Holmes, whose apartment four miles away was booby trapped.

Oates says Holmes wore body armor, used an assault rifle, a shotgun and a Glock handgun.

He says Holmes’ car was parked in back of the theater.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A graduate student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

When the smoke began to spread, some moviegoers thought it was a stunt that was part of the “The Dark Knight Rises,” one of the most highly anticipated films of the summer. They saw a silhouette of a person in the haze near the screen, pointing a gun at the crowd and then shooting.

“There were bullet (casings) just falling on my head. They were burning my forehead,” Jennifer Seeger said, adding that the gunman, dressed like a SWAT team member, fired steadily, stopping only to reload.

“Every few seconds it was just: Boom, boom, boom,” she said. “He would reload and shoot and anyone who would try to leave would just get killed.”

The suspect was taken into custody near a car behind the theater and was identified by federal law enforcement officials as 24-year-old James Holmes.

Holmes was studying neuroscience in a Ph.D. program at the University of Colorado-Denver, university spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said. Holmes enrolled a year ago and was in the process of withdrawing at the time of the shootings, Montgomery said.

Authorities gave no motive for the attack. The FBI said there was no indication of ties to any terrorist groups.

MORE HERE

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