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Mitt Romney

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul Loses Top Spot For Wealthiest Congressman; Issa Surges Ahead


by: Edward Garris

Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 04:30 PM CDT

Anyone who calls Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas' 10th Congressional District the wealthiest member of Congress is a liar and a knave.  He's the second wealthiest, according to a report yesterday by The Hill.  According to the piece in The Hill and a related article on The Atlantic Wire, McCaul lost his top spot to now-infamous IRS witch hunter Rep. Darrell Issa of California.  However, the sting remains when the average household income in McCaul's district is a mere $58,080.

To his credit, McCaul is not necessarily responsible for his jaw-dropping wealth.  As The Atlantic Wire reported yesterday and Roll Call reported two years ago, the enormity of McCaul's wealth actually comes from his wife and her family.

To see how this conflicts with Republican rhetoric, read below the jump.

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Mitt Romney Criticizes Ted Cruz's Government Shutdown Threat


by: Ben Sherman

Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:00 AM CDT

Ted Cruz is in the middle of leading a big push to defund Obamacare or shut down the government after September 30th by blocking all federal budget deals. He has rallied 12 other senators and 66 House Republicans to join him, but the effort has stalled as other congressional Republicans have come out against the push.

Now, Republican 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney has waded into politics for the first time since November to criticize the threat. Romney made repealing Obamacare a central campaign message, but even he can't seem to stomach the idea of shutting down our government to block it.

Read what Romney said below the jump.

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Romney Takes Hit From Big Bird, Republicans Expose Hypocrisy On Freedom Of Speech


by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 10:45 AM CST

UPDATE: Beaumont Independent School District released this statement regarding Big Bird's attack on MItt Romney:

Beaumont ISD administrators met today with Central High School campus administrators and the band directors. The video from Saturday's high school band halftime show has been thoroughly reviewed to examine the appropriateness of the performance. While BISD leaders are confident the intentions of the band and band director were to raise awareness of voting and not support any candidate, a message has been conveyed about the importance of avoiding the appearance of physical attack and political satire that can be construed as bias. Central High School leaders regret any act that appeared to some as a negative message and/or a political endorsement.  Campus administrators and band leaders have been instructed to thoroughly examine how students plan to express their creativity as it relates to political rhetoric.
 
Central Medical Magnet High School Band and Fine Arts Program will continue its traditions of great and award-winning entertainment as the district remains focused on student achievement.

Original Story:

There's more outrage over on-field antics coming from Southeast Texas. This time its not Christian scripture on football banners but a halftime show in which a student dressed like Big Bird pretended to knockout another student dressed like Mitt Romney. Both are inappropriate performed during an official public school function. But, Republicans' reaction show the political Right is OK with students expressing their 1st Amendment rights on the field and in uniform when it fits their agenda. Republican officials lined up to endorse the proposition of Christian scripture on official public school football banners while promising that they would do the same for students of any belief. But, in the first major opportunity to stand up for students with differing ideals the Republican Party of Jefferson County called this latest act of student led speech a, "gross display of institutional arrogance on the part of a taxing entity". No one seems to be making a caveat for whether it was the students' idea or if they supplied their own costumes or arranged the choreography. This was the distinction made by the Attorney General when he wrote his letter in support of the Kountze cheerleaders:

When the school district does not join in the students' religious message or seek to control or direct that message, the cheerleaders' decision to display their banners cannot constitute promotion or imposition of religion by the school district. Rather, the banners are the religious speech of individual students, which enjoys protection under the Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.

In the case of the half time show the Beaumont Independent School District immediately vowed to "conduct a review of the appropriateness of Central High School band's half time performance." School-board members said the skit was fine until the finale which it called "political satire". However, just up the road cheerleaders in Kountze received a much different response from local establishment when they decided to bring religion onto the field. The Kountze ISD initially responded the correcrt way by looking into the matter, receiving council and banning the activity but right-wing activists and politicians decided they had a great opportunity to exploit these young students and encourage them to continue their divisive and discriminatory practices. Rallies ensued on their behalf, lawyers sued on their behalf and even the Governor and Attorney General lined up to back the Kountze cheerleader's freedom of speech.

This incident illustrates that Republican leaders in Texas are really only concerned with turning our public schools into a religious battleground with no real conviction for across the board freedom of speech. Our local and state leaders should take a cue from BISD and act appropriately to make sure no student is exposed to partisan messages with public funding - be it religious or political.

Original video below the jump:

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Rhetoric Vs. Relief: How Sandy was Obama's October Surprise


by: Joe Deshotel

Fri Nov 02, 2012 at 09:00 AM CDT

As Hurricane Sandy approached the US East Coast pundits wasted no time in speculating how the storm might affect this year's election. It turns out Hurricane Sandy may be the October surprise that breaks through partisan campaign rhetoric and helps secure Obama's reelection. I'm not surprised that Obama's response to leave the campaign trail and assume a position of leadership has won him praise from outside-the-beltway Republicans. When hurricane Rita hit my hometown of Beaumont just 3 weeks after Katrina it prompted the largest evacuation in US history. It also prompted our local Democratic officials to work in tandem with our Republican state officials to get everyone the help they needed. In September 2008 when we were hit again by Hurricane Ike we were better prepared, but like now, on the heels of a presidential election. For an entire week all the partisanship of the past year's campaign was put aside so neighbors could help neighbors. In either case no one thought FEMA did a perfect job but the logistical support they provided along with temporary housing, food, water and ice served as a great relief to those who in some cases - weren't even sure what day it was. It's ironic that this week in the Texas capitol House members are still debating claims from Ike and how best to manage cost and mitigate risk. It is also ironic that a week before Obama's reelection and at the height of one of the most expensive and negative campaign seasons another storm would so timely remind us of the true value of a responsive federal government and politicians who work together to get things done.

On Thursday New York City's billionaire Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed President Obama citing his handling of Sandy and climate change as factors. In a written statement titled, "A vote for a President Who Will Lead on Climate Change" the Mayor said, "The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast – in lost lives, lost homes and lost business – brought the stakes of Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief." Halfway through his luke warn endorsement he noted that, "The president has achieved some important victories on issues that will help define our future". He also criticized Romney for changing his position on the issue of climate change after supporting cap & trade policies in Massachusetts.

Since the storm's passing presidential poll numbers have steadied. Some on the left were concerned the damage could prevent the President's voters from reaching the polls or give Romney the popular vote by suppressing votes in blue states. But, the rarely anecdotal Nate Silver of the New York Times 538 blog said the effects of the storm on the election would be "hard to predict". After running some numbers he says he is less likely to believe the storm would have much effect on who wins the popular vote even if the turnout was affected by as much as 10% in the storm's path through blue states. However in terms of disrupting the voting process there is some evidence that Ike reduced voting in Galveston after the storm damaged many of the Island's homes beyond repair. Considering most New Endlander's are not used to evacuation or major storm damage, I would presume a fair amount of individual voters will still end up being shut out of the polls. What seems to be having a bigger impact is how each candidate's campaign is handling the unforeseen circumstance. Obama suspended his campaigning in Ohio to tend the the needs of citizens in harms way. Romney was criticized for orchestrating a relief photo-op in Ohio where he encouraged folks to donate canned goods even against the Red Cross' wishes. He is also being attacked in Ohio by local media for his false ad about Jeep manufacturing jobs being sent to China to which GM and Chrysler both chimed in.

As the dust settles and flood waters recede the President has been roundly applauded by Republicans outside of Washington. New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie said of Obama's response, "The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit". While some endlessly partisan hacks have chided the president over his tour of New Jersey even Jeb Bush showed his support for what he described as a largely "symbolic" gesture from the "counselor-in-chief", saying, "having the president on the ground makes all the sense in the world". It should not come as much surprise that local Republican officials would shower praise on a president who not only believes they deserve help but would act swiftly to provide it. Under their own nominee's plan the federal government would shift the entire relief effort onto the states that are devastated. At least thats what he said when he was running in his primary as a Conservative. But right on cue Wednesday as the storm's victims gathered their bearings Romney released a statement saying, "As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission." The truth is no one knows what a President Mitt Romney would do on any issue and its looking less like we will find out. When a perfect storm hits we need a president who's position isn't subject to change with the winds and President Obama has provided that contrast through strong, steady leadership.

Videos below the jump:
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VOTD: "The 1% will no longer be the very rich, but the very fast"


by: Shelby Alexander

Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 07:00 PM CDT

This is BOR's Video of the Day, or VOTD, our nightly video clip segment highlighting must-see content. If you like today's video and want more people to see it, share it on Twitter and Facebook!

We all know the scariest thing this Halloween is the idea of Mitt Romney as President-- but today's video goes even further to describe the potential result of a Romney presidency: a zombie apocalypse. Enjoy!

Watch below:

Happy Halloween everyone!



Check out all of our BOR videos of the day on the VOTD tag.

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BOO! Romney Considering Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for EPA Administrator


by: Ben Sherman

Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:21 PM CDT

News has leaked about who Mitt Romney is considering for his cabinet posts. The National Journal has a great exposé on the findings, making the point that Romney clearly feels indebted to Republican Party loyalists (who double as 1950's loyalists minus the high taxes on the rich).

Four Texans pop up on the list. The most disturbing news is that Romney is considering Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Why's that so disturbing? Because Abbott's career as Texas Attorney General has been largely defined by his opposition to any and all EPA regulations.

Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News explains:

Abbott for the EPA is the most intriguing. He has made it a main focus of his office to sue the EPA and work to roll back regulations on polluting industries, getting rid of carbon dioxide rules and those that govern pollution that across state lines. He is a fierce advocate of letting states determine certain things about emissions permitting and allowable pollution standards. On a number of issues, he has been joined at the hip with Rick Perry, who has advocated gutting the EPA.

Imagine next Thursday. If Romney wins the presidential election, he may well announce his imminent appointment of a pollution-supporting corporate whore to head the U.S. government's entire environmental protection arm. We would have to say bye to being able to breathe without getting sick, drink water without contracting disease, or feel any hope for the earth we will leave behind for our children. I'm not exaggerating. The man doesn't believe that America's federal government has a role to play in protecting the environment. That is an insane position.

Abbott is a radical extremist on everything. He has compared Planned Parenthood to a terrorist organization, spent millions of Texas dollars on a fruitless lawsuit against Obamacare and defending Texas's unconstitutional Voter ID laws in court, and he's exposed millions of Texans' social security numbers. He's insane, wasteful, and dangerously sloppy.

The further sad news is that even if Romney doesn't get elected or appoint this awful public official, Abbott may well be elected governor in 2014.  

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VOTD: "Mitt Romney Style"


by: Shelby Alexander

Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 07:00 PM CDT

This is BOR's Video of the Day, or VOTD, our nightly video clip segment highlighting must-see content. If you like today's video and want more people to see it, share it on Twitter and Facebook!

Whether or not you're familiar with "Gangnam Style," one of the most recent pop singles-turned-memes, you'll learn to love the parody "Mitt Romney Style."

It depicts a less-reserved Mitt Romney showing us the good life, such as sleeping on golf courses, throwing around money and shouting out to ladies of a similar tax bracket.

Watch below:



The video is obviously in jest, but hopefully everyone will take notice that the policies he sings about are not. And that sure isn't funny.



Check out all of our BOR videos of the day on the VOTD tag.

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VIDEO: "Out of Luck"


by: Shelby Alexander

Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:00 PM CDT

This is BOR's Video of the Day, or VOTD, our nightly video clip segment highlighting must-see content. If you like today's video and want more people to see it, share it on Twitter and Facebook!

On Thursday's debate, Romney threw out as many false claims as he could in order to appear as if he shared some of President Obama's most popular policies in his own plan. In this video, the DNC breaks down Romney's real plans for health care, which is to exclude Americans with preexisting conditions.

Watch below:



This, and all of Thursday's debate proved yet again what we all know: That Romney has no clear vision for America and will say whatever need be to get elected.



Check out all of our BOR videos of the day on the VOTD tag.

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The Media Applauds the Romney Campaign of Deception and Distortion


by: David Feigen

Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 05:00 PM CDT

Media pundits from around the country agree: Mitt Romney crushed President Obama in the first Presidential debate. Romney was poised, robust, and energetic, while the President too often seemed professorial and disengaged. Romney's hair was perfectly swooped to the side, his complexion was absolutely immaculate, and his hand gestures were positively authoritative. Mitt Romney swept the pundit class off their feet. By the standard that perception is reality; the press seems to have forgotten they have a role in reporting on truth beyond perceptions. By the standard that style beats substance, the press seems to have concluded that a Presidential debate should be covered more like a Mr. Universe contest than a discourse between the two possible leaders of this country. Mitt Romney did win Wednesday's debate. Not because he won on the issues, but because he is attempting to steal this election by unleashing a string of complete fabrications and campaign reversals, while the media drives the getaway car.  

Taxes

In his sudden effort to sprint to the center before Election Day, Romney made perhaps his most audacious assertion when he turned to the President and said: "My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am." However, independent analysts assert Romney is being untruthful here, and anyone who has even remotely followed his campaign could perceive this complete reversal. Analysts at the Brookings Institution reported that households with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $87,117 under Romney's plan, while those earning $200,000 or less would pay higher taxes. The Brookings Institution explained, "even when we assume that tax breaks -- like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance -- are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality, the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households." So Mitt Romney is lying about his tax plan, and completing a campaign 180 when he claims he does not want to lower taxes for the wealthy. Still waiting for the conservative cries of "class warfare."

Bank Bailouts

In explaining why he would seek a repeal of the financial regulation bill "Dodd-Frank", Romney asserted that the law designated five banks as too big to fail, and gave them "a blank check," contributing to the collapse of smaller banks. "We need to get rid of that provision because it's killing regional and small banks", Romney claimed. But Bloomberg News explains that this understanding is inaccurate. They explain "there is no connection between the failure of community banks and the provision in Dodd-Frank designed to contain the harm from the failure of a big bank."  In addition, "FDIC statistics show that 37 banks, not five, have enough assets to come under that provision." Romney wants to frame Dodd-Frank as another big government regulator inhibiting growth and crushing the little guy, but the facts are not on his side. In fact, the opposite is true. Bloomberg News reports that "The trend (of small banks closing) is down since Dodd-Frank. After peaking in 2010 at 136, the small-bank failures declined last year to 86 and are down to 42 through the first nine months of this year."  

Clean Energy

According to FactCheck.Org , Romney "made numerous bogus claims" about the $90 billion in grants, guaranteed loans, and tax breaks for energy companies found in the stimulus package. For example, Romney falsely claimed "about half" of the clean-energy companies that received U.S.-backed loans have filed for bankruptcy.  But 26 companies received loan guarantees under a loan program cited by Romney, and only three of those have filed for bankruptcy and the three firms were "approved for about 6 percent of the loan guarantees." But in Romney's defense, "about half" certainly sounds better. Romney's energy lies would not stop there. FactCheck.Org explains, "He stated at one point that Obama put $90 billion into solar and wind. But only $21 billion went for renewable energy projects, such as the installation of wind turbines and solar panels, according to a White House document cited by the Romney campaign. The spending also included $18 billion for transit projects and $10 billion to upgrade the nation's electrical grid." So does Governor Romney truly have a problem with investing in an all of the above energy plan and upgrading America's infrastructure? Probably not. But hey, it sure sounds good when you say he spent $90 billion on windmills.

Healthcare

Mitt Romney made a number of dubious, misleading, and hypocritical claims about Obamacare and Medicare. Romney 10 times, including in his closing statement, stated that the President was taking $716 billion from Medicare patients' pockets to pay for Obamacare. Romney and VP candidate Paul Ryan have been spouting this lie for a long time now. CBS News backed up the Obama campaign, reporting that the Congressional Budget Office reports that "it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers." Beyond the inaccuracy is the hypocrisy. CBS News points out that Paul Ryan's plan that Romney has described as "bold and exciting" and "very consistent" with his own plan makes the very same deductions.

These are just a few of the many lies that permeated Romney's entire performance Wednesday night in Denver and indeed his entire campaign. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have lived by the motto set by the Romney pollster who asserted that "Our campaign won't be dictated by fact checkers." They have lied from the starting gun and the media has decided to let them get away with it. To them, it's about performance. Romney sounded like a candidate should sound, and President Obama did not. He looked like a candidate should look, and President Obama did not. But as mediocre of a rhetorical performance as the President put on and as puzzling as his pacifist strategy was, he won in the most important score: he told the truth. He treated the American people like adults. He laid out a vision of equal opportunity and shared prosperity. As the President put it the next day, "Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth." It is due time the media does its job and let the American people hear the facts, not an evaluation of the performance. But hey, Mr. President, you have two more chances to wipe the smirk off that smug, tax dodging two-face and show the media and the American people that you still have some fight left in you. Please?  

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45 Million More Americans Uninsured Under Romney's Health Care Plan


by: Emily Cadik

Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 11:00 AM CDT

Last week, Mitt Romney claimed that we do have health care for everyone in the country - it's just that some people's health care plans don't include things like check-ups and only include emergency room visits.  

So it should come as no surprise that an analysis of Romney's health policy proposals from the Commonwealth Fund estimates that Romney's health care plan would leave 72 million Americans uninsured by 2022 - 12 million higher than if nothing had been done at all.  On the other hand, if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is fully implemented, the uninsured rate will drop to 27 million people by 2022. That's 45 million people whose health care is hanging in the balance.

The findings also show that "middle class families in the key battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia, among others, would pay about half as much total for health care if the ACA is fully implemented rather than repealed and replaced with Romney's plans" - a compelling statistic going into the election.  

So how does Romney's plan shake out in Texas, which has the highest uninsured rate in the nation? Texas would actually be hit harder than any other state. Under Romney's plan, 34.3 percent of Texans would be uninsured, compared to 14.7 percent if the ACA is fully implemented.  

Texas clearly has a lot to gain from the ACA, and a lot to lose under the Romney Plan.  But to what extent will health care be a deciding factor in the election in Texas? Allmand Law crated an infographic showing how the current status of the health care system in Texas may impact the upcoming election:

(You can find the full infographic at Allmand Law's blog.)

It turns out about half of Texans either think the health care system in the state is fine or isn't that bad, or they don't' care.  So almost one-third of the state is uninsured, and still half of the state things the healthcare system is good or fine.  It's a small sliver of people who have health insurance and still believe the health care system needs to change.  And while their voices and those of the uninsured may be outnumbered in Texas, it's a reminder of just how much is at stake nationally this November.  

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