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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 04:36 PM
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Ryan will produce tax returns, Romney says ...

Romney Team Hints at More Openness on Ryan’s Tax Records

DULLES, Va. — A top aide to Mitt Romney said that the campaign had obtained “several years” of income tax returns from potential running mates – suggesting that Representative Paul D. Ryan had produced tax returns for a greater number of years than Mr. Romney has in his run for the White House.

Mitt Romney has repeatedly refused to disclose tax returns for any years but 2010 and 2011, stirring criticism that he is shielding his finances from public view.

But on Saturday, the Romney adviser who oversaw the vice-presidential search, Beth Myers, said that she had requested “several years” of returns from Mr. Ryan. When pressed on precisely how many she had received, she declined to elaborate.

But her choice of words, however vague, was telling: she said “several,” not two, or a couple. (Technically, several refers to more than two.)



His running mate will produce tax records but Rmoney will not .... this candidate is just too good to be true ....

Paul Ryan without his budget plan ... ?

Romney Campaign: We're Putting Together Our Own Plan

Mitt Romney may have picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, but according to his campaign, he's not taking the Wisconsin congressman's budget along for the ride.

Romney spokesperson Sarah Pompei said that Ryan will be "putting together his own plan" to cut the deficit and balance the budget, and will not embrace his running mate's agenda outright.

“Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance," she said. "There is only one person in this race who has already cut Medicare for seniors, and that is President Obama. Obamacare cut Medicare for America’s seniors by $700 billion. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a bipartisan plan to strengthen Medicare for today and tomorrow’s seniors.”



Three good Paul Ryan reads

U.S. Rep Paul Ryan is young, he comes from Wisconsin and is known for producing a budget that pleases conservatives. But who, exactly, is the 42-year-old guy whom Mitt Romney just picked as running mate?

These three reads will give you a good sense of who Ryan is and why so many conservatives are happy to have him on the ticket.

1. You’ve probably heard about the “Paul Ryan budget.” In March, The Times’ Lisa Mascaro explained what it does.

Mascaro wrote: “House Republicans would slash federal spending, lower tax rates and substantially overhaul Medicare in the 2013 budget unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin that offers a do-over of sorts to last year’s blueprint that left the party in political trouble.

Democrats are poised to attack the GOP plan as one that would destroy the Medicare safety net for seniors and renege on an earlier agreement over government spending levels made between Congress and the White House last summer.


Just One Reason to Pick Ryan: Blame the Loss on Conservatives

There are two ways to think about Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan this morning. The first is how it affects Romney’s prospects for winning in November. The second is how it affects the internal struggle between conservatives and moderates within the GOP.

Regarding the first question, the Ryan pick is, of course, lunacy. Ryan’s claim to fame is a long-term budget blueprint that would massively cut Medicare over the coming decades while essentially zeroing out domestic spending on everything else but defense. It would pair this unprecedented austerity with enormous tax cuts for the wealthy. All of these things are, to varying degrees, wildly unpopular. Which makes it hardly surprising that the only time the Ryan budget actually came before voters—in a 2011 congressional special election in upstate New York—it was a political disaster, handing a safe Republican district to a little-known Democrat.

The argument that Ryan could help Romney in November hinges on the enthusiasm conservatives have for him, and on his personal political dexterity. But, whatever conservative elites may tell themselves, Romney’s problems are emphatically not with the right, which is already highly motivated thanks to its mania over ousting Obama. As one top Republican operative recently told me, “the base’s hatred of the president is so intense that [Romney] has all kinds of room to maneuver.” Rather, Romney’s problem is his historically dismal standing among undecided voters, which Ryan will only weaken.


Official Romney talking point: ‘The ticket is no different that Obama and Biden’

Shortly after the former Massachusetts governor’s announcement that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) would be his running mate, the Romney campaign released a document that aggregates all the bad things they think President Barack Obama might say about Ryan, in order to offer a series of talking points in response.

Half-way down the page, a single sentence stands out: “The ticket is no different that [sic] Obama and Biden.”

That passage, taken out of context, could be seen as yet another high profile gaffe by Romney’s communications team, which has been dogged lately by conservative critics for making crucial messaging missteps.

Of course, the statement (and misspelling of “than”) is not intended to be all-encompassing: that’s the Romney campaign’s response to the president’s theoretical, hasn’t-quite-happened-yet attack on Ryan’s lack of military service, which they just wanted to remind the media of for some reason.


COVERT OPERATIONS=The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small.

The gala marked the social ascent of Koch, who, at the age of seventy, has become one of the city’s most prominent philanthropists. In 2008, he donated a hundred million dollars to modernize Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, which now bears his name. He has given twenty million to the American Museum of Natural History, whose dinosaur wing is named for him. This spring, after noticing the decrepit state of the fountains outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Koch pledged at least ten million dollars for their renovation. He is a trustee of the museum, perhaps the most coveted social prize in the city, and serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where, after he donated more than forty million dollars, an endowed chair and a research center were named for him.

One dignitary was conspicuously absent from the gala: the event’s third honorary co-chair, Michelle Obama. Her office said that a scheduling conflict had prevented her from attending. Yet had the First Lady shared the stage with Koch it might have created an awkward tableau. In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.



Lest anyone forget who we are up against ...

Guns and Mental Illness: Tragedies in Waiting

Consider these scenarios. A popular college student leaves his fraternity house one day, stark naked. He walks three blocks to a stranger’s house, enters, turns on the TV and falls asleep. 
Moments later, the owner of the house finds him, takes aim with his Glock and kills the young man before he ever wakes up.

Or: an 18-year-old high school basketball star calls 911 to report child abuse because he can’t find any Chinese food in the house. When the police contact his mother, she rushes home to find her son sobbing on the front porch while a confused sergeant stares, watching his tears flow like rain.

Or: a young woman in Nebraska disappears the night before her parents’ thirtieth anniversary celebration—a surprise party she’d spent months planning. Two days later, she is found in Singapore, where she’s been picked up for shoplifting. Though Singapore has some of the harshest criminal penalties in the world, it also has some of the best mental-health care. So, rather than receiving a caning, the young woman is retrieved from a first-class hospital, diagnosed and medicated, her equilibrium restored.

Mental illness in the United States is misunderstood, criminalized, stigmatized and insufficiently covered even by so-called Cadillac insurance plans. If you think you don’t know anyone coping with psychosis or depression, you’re wrong: 58 million Americans (one in five) have some form of mental illness. If most of us don’t realize its prevalence, it’s surely because we’re afraid to talk about it. We’re a nation of fundamentalists about personal agency, and we’re skeptical of mental disorders as “real.” When a friend’s son wrote his family that he just wanted to lie down and die, one faction sent him Bible passages and told him to pray harder, while another sent him a copy of Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and told him to “take responsibility” for his life.


Talk about a stupid single woman ... Ann .

Waterboarding Charges Against Delaware Doctor Who Tortured Young Daughter

A Delaware pediatrician who writes about near-death experiences of children and has appeared on "Oprah" is accused of waterboarding his 11-year-old daughter for two years, according to Delaware State Police.

Dr. Melvin Morse, 58, and his wife Pauline, 40, were arrested Tuesday, a day after their daughter told a child advocate that her father had "waterboarded" her four times between May 2009 and May 2011 while her mother watched and did nothing to stop the abuse, Cpl. Gary Fournier told ABC News.

Delaware's Child Advocacy Center first became aware of the girl, whose name has not been disclosed, following a July 12 incident in which Morse was charged with third-degree assault for allegedly pulling his daughter out of a car, dragging her across a gravel driveway and spanking her in their Sussex County home, Fournier said.

The girl reported that incident to a neighbor who called police, Fournier said. Morse was later released from custody after he posted $750 in bail.



Sometimes I just want to sit down and cry ...

Mitt Romney: Gold Medal in Dishonesty

Even as Mitt and Ann Romney were going for a gold medal with their dressage horse, Rafalca, in the London Summer Olympics, Mitt already - in my opinion - had a gold medal wrapped up. Maybe not for horse dancing, but for mental gymnastics, and by that I mean lying. And not just for lying about his Bain Capital tenure, or being deliberately deceitful about Obama. I think a serious fundamental defect in Mitt has been on display for a long time.

In 1969, at age 19, I went on a Mormon mission just like Mitt. I eventually supervised about 200 other missionaries. A few years later, while living in Boston during my medical residency, I also attended the same church as Mitt and Ann Romney. Mitt had several high callings from the Mormon Church hierarchy during his time in Boston, eventually supervising the ecclesiastic affairs of about 4,000 Boston Mormons, much like a shepherd watching over his flock. Ann and my wife shared positions of responsibility in our local "ward," and in that capacity, Ann was in our home several times.

My wife and I both thought highly of Ann and liked her as a friend and a fellow church member. We liked Mitt as well, in that he was married to Ann. Mitt would offer a firm, robotic handshake on Sunday mornings, but he managed to make his "Good morning, it's great to see you," feel condescending and superficial.

Mitt was distinctly impersonal and it seemed his interest in me was only to the degree that I could further his career, which I couldn't - I had no pedigree to enhance the value of my Harvard appointment. He was nakedly ambitious and it was widely assumed by fellow church members that he would eventually run for president.



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