Thursday, August 09, 2012

Catnip 8/9/12: Romney Going Galt?


Add Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to my pile of politician pictures. She was walking around down at the Art & Soul Festival last weekend.

Back to the nation, already in progress...

Don't know whether to laugh or be thoroughly disgusted that the media is getting the vapors over the Bain cancer death ad. Mitt's flat-out lying about every single issue comes by the minute (check out today's claim about Obama's "war on religion" for the latest), but let a Dem SuperPac play fast and loose with a timeline on an ad where the substance of the argument is true? Oh, the horror! Steve Benen takes it to Mark Halperin for the latest clutching of the villager pearls. And let's just pretend we didn't hear the part where the Romney spokeperson claims this woman wouldn't have died had she lived in Romney's Massachusetts, where Obamacare is already in place.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released another extensive look at the Romney/Ryan plan. Figure a 22% cut across the board on top of the 8% cut mandated by the sequester deal. Roughly you are looking at a 30% cut to all states on spending for education, law enforcement, environmental, yada yada yada - and even steeper cuts to Medicaid, which is a separate animal. Lots to parse, and it's all about gutting the function of the United States government. You stop and think about that for a moment.

Another trashing of the Romney/Ryan tax plan, this time coming from the right. At the same time, you have to big money on the right pushing Paul Ryan for Veep. Will all these "experts" suddenly get onboard and find new ways to spin the plan if that happens? The Wall Street Journal is already there, calling Ryan "serious" when it's obvious to everyone that Ryan doesn't have a serious plan - and that's scary too.

David Frum nails it: "The clamor you are hearing for Paul Ryan for VP is not about helping the Romney candidacy. It's about controlling the Romney campaign—and ultimately the Romney presidency. It's about forcing a platform on Romney, and then dictating the agenda for that presidency's first year. The platform happens to be suicidal, and the agenda impossible, but that does not matter to the Ryan advocates. They take the old Tammany Hall point of view: 'Better to lose an agenda than lose control of the party.'"

Ezra, supposedly still on vacation, takes yet another punch at the Romney/Ryan plan today, arguing that because it deosn't offer out details and doesn't add up, it spells doom for real tax reform. He's right.

The Hamilton Project takes a look at government job cuts, and comes to some startling conclusions: Not only are they depressing the economy now, they portend big problems for the future. "Additionally, we report on the results of a new analysis that finds that the cuts in public school teachers are projected to reduce the future earnings of today’s students by more than five times as much as the current budget savings." Things like that. Go read.

Obama will be pushing the wind energy production tax credit today in Colorado, home to turbine maker Vestas who is threatening layoffs if it isn't extended soon. From Morning Energy: "The Obama campaign sees Romney’s stance on wind as a major vulnerability for the GOP candidate, particularly because the tax credit has support from both Republicans and Democrats in many states." Yup, yup and yup. Wedge issue time.

Shout-out to Mark Schauer who pens a very nice column in Bridge today about fuel-efficient, clean energy cars. "This investment in clean cars demonstrates a sound commitment to sustainability, growth in local communities, and jobs and the economy. It also prepares us to take on our automotive and manufacturing competitors around the world." With gas prices back over $4 a gallon here due to the refinery fire, it's a nice reminder that we need to keep moving in this direction.

Hottest. Month. Ever. The WSJ seems to think that it won't push food prices up all that much - but they will go up.

And with that, I'm off to the beautiful Bay area weather, where it's supposed to be in the 100s on the other side of the hills, and a very nice upper 70s, low 80s around the water. Amazing temperature differences within the span of a few miles.

Mayor Quan talks to some constituents -