Thursday, June 21, 2012

Catnip 6/21/12: Negative Message Mitt


In honor of Ann Curry, here's a never before seen picture from the convention in Denver in '08. Wishing this excellent reporter all the best, and hoping she lands at a place where her real talents can shine.

Back at the grind...

Boom, there it is. We now have evidence that Romney and the Republicans are rooting for the economy to fail - as if that weren't obvious already. "Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter."

The bigger question: Can Republicans win with a campaign that merely trash talks Obama and focuses entirely on the negative? It's not working in Rick Scott's Florida, where a Quinnipiac poll lead for Romney in March has now turned to an Obama advantage, 46-42. The difference? Obama carries minorities, women and the young - and independents are now flocking to the President in a ten-point flip from the last poll, 46-37.

Republicans may just get their wish, but it won't be because of anything that Obama has done. Slowing growth in China and troubles in Europe are starting to hit manufacturing here in America, with Reuters reporting that the Purchasing Managers Index fell a couple points to 52.0 last month (anything above 50 indicates expansion). Unemployment claims remain steady.

Progress on the farm bill? We can't have that! While the Senate is still chewing over the nitty-gritty details, Eric Cantor has indicated the House Republicans will "put the brakes" on getting anything accomplished right now, thankyouverymuch. "Cantor’s involvement is an ominous sign for farm bill advocates, but his aides insisted that the Virginia Republican was not saying 'no' to any House farm bill this summer. Instead, they said the majority leader wanted to 'push the pause button' and allow time for some assessment of the political situation." Translation: How can we mess this up to try and make Obama look bad. What's that you say? Serve the country and the American people? Who gives a damn about them?

Candidates are refusing to use the word "Congress" as they are campaigning for a seat in Congress. Gee, can't imagine why.

Disturbing stat from Gallup about religious bigotry: 18% of Americans would not vote for a Mormon for president, and that number hasn't changed since 1967. Sad. But here's the kicker: 21% said they wouldn't vote for a Catholic back in 1960, but Kennedy won anyway. Shows that the bigotry is against the religion and not the individual. 4 in 10 Americans don't know that Romney is a Mormon, but maybe it won't matter in the end.

And besides, those Mormon campaigns know how to party down. Ooo-la-la. Champagne and dancing girls for everyone!

While we wait (until next week) for the SCOTUS decision on health care, enjoy this lovely article from the NYT on how the billionaire death panels have poisoned the well on public opinion to the tune of $235 million spent on negative advertising to turn people against the law. Never mind that the system collapses without it...

Off to what is starting out to be a cloudy and cool day. Sometimes the fog is kind of nice.