NYT: “The Republican presidential ticket is making the election about race”

Fantastic and very depressing piece by Thomas B. Edsall, professor of journalism at Columbia University, in the NYT today:

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Sharp criticism has done nothing to hold back the Romney campaign from continuing its offensive — in speeches and on the air — because the accuracy of the ads is irrelevant as far as the Republican presidential ticket is concerned. The goal is not to make a legitimate critique, but to portray Obama as willing to give the “undeserving” poor government handouts at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.

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Obamacare, described in the Romney ad as a “massive new government program that is not for you,” would provide health coverage to a population of over 30 million that is not currently insured: 16.3 percent of this population is black; 30.7 percent is Hispanic; 5.2 percent is Asian-American; and 46.3 percent (less than half) is made up of non-Hispanic whites.

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The principle media consultant for the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future, which will be running many of the anti-Obama ads over the next ten weeks, is Larry McCarthy, who produced the original Willie Horton ad.

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“Republican attacks on Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day”

Some real truth telling from the NYT:

Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.

Much more. 

“Mitt Romney is proud to say that he paid taxes at a rate of at least 13 percent. This republic is just about over, isn’t it?”

It’s very late at night, I don’t even know if anyone’s going to see this post, but I had to. David Simon, the creator of The Wire – IMO the best television show in history – published this entry on his blog. Read it.

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Can we stand back and pause a short minute to take in the spectacle of a man who wants to be President of The United States, who wants us to seriously regard him as a paragon of the American civic ideal, declaiming proudly and in public that he has paid his taxes at a third of the rate normally associated with gentlemen of his economic benefit.

Stunning.

Am I supposed to congratulate this man?  Thank him for his good citizenship?  Compliment him for being clever enough to arm himself with enough tax lawyers so that he could legally minimize his obligations?

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I can’t get over the absurdity of this moment, honestly:  Hey, I never paid less than thirteen percent.  I swear.  And no, you can’t examine my tax returns in any more detail.  But I promise you all, my fellow American citizens, I never once slipped to single digits.  I’m just not that kind of guy.

God.

This republic is just about over, isn’t it?

“All the ways in which Paul Ryan is going to screw you”

Gawker:


This past weekend, Mitt Romney named Republican congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, leading everyone to wonder: how will this asshole screw me, personally, if he is elected vice-president in November? Luckily for you, we have answers.

So, here’s how Paul Ryan will screw you if you’re…

… poor.

Under Ryan’s budget, you’ll likely pay more in taxes — people who make less than $30,000 a year will see their effective tax rates go up as tax breaks like the Earned Income Tax Credit are reduced — while receiving even less in services.

See, while you, as a member of the bottom 20% of wage earners, will be paying an average of $159 more in taxes, your boss’ boss, a member of the top 20%, will probably be paying something like $13,907 less —meaning there’s not nearly as much money for income-security programs like unemployment and food stamps (which will receive a 16% cut). Or for Medicaid, which Ryan would cut by a third (potentially kicking out 14 to 27 million people).

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… a veteran.

Hope you don’t need much in the way of services! The Ryan budget cuts spending on veterans by $11 million. Maybe you can get a job on Stars Earn Stripes?

… a woman.

Ryan voted against the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act, co-sponsored legislation declaring that “human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization” and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood several times.

… a student.

If you’re on a Pell Grant, you might lose it — eligibility will be tightened — and even if you don’t, it’ll be worth less: the Ryan budget wouldn’t let the grants keep pace with inflation. And if you’re on student loans, Ryan would double the interest rate you’re paying, from 3.4 percent to 6.8.

… an old person.

Actually, if you’re old right this minute, you’re not necessarily screwed: the Ryan Budget’s big Medicare overhaul doesn’t affect current old people, just future old people. (In a weird coincidence, current old people vote at much higher rates than future old people.)

But if you’re planning on being an old person? Instead of being enrolled in Medicare automatically, you’ll be given a voucher that will likely cover some, but not all, of your health-care costs, and you’ll end up paying about $6,000 more a year than you would have under the current system. The idea is that you’ll be taking personal responsibility for your health, and make smarter choices, like dying early.

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… a single mom paying her way through college with wages from her low-income job, assisted by student loans and Pell Grants.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahaha. Sorry.

…rich.

He won’t! You’re set. Have fun.