Don’t Remember [Shorter Question Everything]

“Don’t Remember” is a chickenshit nonanswer. It’s cowardly, and that’s an important thing to remember about the guys that use the tactic. Romney doesn’t remember being a hateful vicious bully, and now Scott Walker doesn’t remember the aim to use “divide and conquer” in relation to unions. I’ll let you in on a secret. If someone writes me a cheque for 1/2 a million dollars, I’m going to remember every damned word of what I said. You would too.


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Open Thread: Mitt {Hearts} Gay Pride… NOT: It’s all over the internetz, but I found this image at Charlie Pierce’s place. As Mr. Pierce very fairly points out, Eric “Etch-A-Sketch” Fehrnstrom has fiercely repudiated the provenance of this flyer. (And Fehrnstrom is an honorable man; so are they all, all honorable men…) Paul Constant points out that Kerry Healey is still defending Willard Romney’s back, ineptly. Constant is too nice to point out that Healey is stuck with this Sisyphean task because she’s Michael Steele in a dress (lost her post-Willard gubernatorial run by 21 points, got curb-stomped by Scott “Cosmo Boy” Brown when she attempted to steal ‘Ted Kennedy’s seat’)—unemployable outside the Wingnut Welfare circuit. Boston Pride 2012—it runs ten days, because we are just that fabulous—doesn’t start until June 1st. It’s reasonable to assume that Candidate Romney will find ways to be very, very far away from the Hub of the Universe at that season, but I can’t wait to see what the creative Pride Paraders come up with by then… [balloon-juice/Anne Laurie/12 May 2012]

Walker doesn’t recall ‘divide and conquer’: “A year and a half ago, I don’t remember all of the particulars,” Walker said of the “divide-and-conquer” reference in the video clip. Barrett said at a news conference Friday the video made it evident Walker had misled voters. “If you want to know when Scott Walker is really telling the truth, it’s when he’s talking to billionaires and when he thinks he’s talking to billionaires,” Barrett said. [upi/11 May 2012]

Revealed: Walker promised billionaire he would ‘divide and conquer’ unions: Before Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who is facing a recall election, introduced legislation to strip some public employees of collective bargaining rights, he promised a billionaire donor that he would use a “divide and conquer” strategy to bust unions, a newly released video reveals. In the video shot by documentary filmmaker Brad Lichtenstein on Jan. 18, 2011, billionaire Diane Hendricks asks Walker if he would make Wisconsin a “completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work?” “Oh, yeah,” Walker replies. “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employees, use divide and conquer.” Hendricks went on to give the governor’s campaign $510,000. That makes makes her not only Walker’s biggest donor, but the biggest donor to any candidate in Wisconsin’s history, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Only a month later, Walker introduced the legislation that cut collective bargaining for most public workers, triggering months of protests and a wave of recall elections. The video seems to contradict the governor’s claim that he had no intention of making Wisconsin a right-to-work state, which would cripple unions by prohibiting that they require that employees join or pay dues. [rawstory/David Edwards/11 May 2012]

Romney Spokesman Gleefully Outed A Trans Woman, Ending Her Career: Romney campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom (of Etch-a-Sketch fame) outed a transgender woman in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, effectively ending her political career, when he was a reporter for the Boston Herald. America Blog reminds us of the incident, relayed in a GQ profile, which tells of Fernhstrom’s apparent “glee” when he found the representative’s birth certificate [thinkprogress/Annie-Rose Strasser/11 May 2012]

Romney Holds Fundraiser With Anti-Immigrant Activist Kris Kobach: Mitt Romney held a fundraiser in Kansas City, Missouri last night with hundreds of supporters and several local officials, including Kansas Secretary of State Kirs Kobach, Romney’s informal immigration adviser. Kobach is a controversial figure who authored the harsh anti-immigrant laws in Arizona, Alabama, and South Carolina and has become the leading spokesperson of the hardcore restrictionist immigration movement. The Romney campaign apparently tried to sever ties with Kobach last month after using him to win over conservatives in the primary, but Kobach told ThinkProgress that he is still a key policy adviser to the campaign. Romney’s PAC was also one of the biggest donors to Kobach’s campaign. [thinkprogress/Alex Seitz-Wald/11 May 2012]

Romney Blames Obama For Foreclosures After Telling Homeowners Not To ‘Try To Stop The Foreclosure Process’: Romney’s criticism is odd, considering the candidate’s only elucidated housing proposal was telling homeowners, “Don’t try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit bottom.” That Romney said it in Nevada, a state that has been among the tops for foreclosures since the crisis, made his policy prescription even more remarkable — and it earned him strong rebukes from Nevada’s Republican governor and several of the state’s Republican lawmakers. And even though Romney’s economic plan had 59 points — none was related to housing. The foreclosure crisis Romney blames on Obama, meanwhile, started well before he took office, culminating in the 2008 financial crisis that started the Great Recession. High unemployment — which Romney again blames on Obama — was largely a result of that crisis, and though Romney has continually slammed Obama for making the economy worse, he and his campaign have yet to substantiate those claims. [thinkprogress/Travis Waldron/11 May 2012]

What the China Crisis (and His Gay Crisis) Revealed About Mitt: Just as aspiring judges ought to possess the quality known as “judicial temperament,” a would-be president should have certain obvious attributes of mind and character. Two incidents tested Mitt Romney this week — and both times, his ambition overwhelmed his judgment….Romney’s error [on China] was worse than a misguided political tactic. It showed a woeful ignorance of diplomacy and a callow opportunism that don’t befit the next occupant of the Oval Office. To endanger Chen’s safety and the prestige of the United States in those difficult hours was an act of weak character as well as stupidity. Earlier in the week, Romney revealed another potential weakness when he let religious right activists bully his campaign over its hiring of an openly gay foreign policy staffer, Richard Grenell. [nationofchange/Joe Conason/12 May 2012]

Romney’s Prep School Days: More Evidence of a Destructive Us vs Them Mentality: After reading the Washington Post article about Mitt Romney’s prep school days, I think I have a better idea of why he was able to win the Republican presidential nomination, despite the base’s doubts about him. He may not be a dyed-in-the-wool wingnut, but he won because the base can tell that he shares a core belief of theirs: that some people are just unworthy of respect and courtesy and common decency. That’s what right-wing politics is all about these days — sorting the worthy from the unworthy, celebrating the former, and declaring the latter to be somewhat less than human. [No More Mister Nice Blog/Steve M/11 May 2012]

• Ron Paul Idaho Team Welcomes Romney Family Members as Surrogate Caucus Speakers – Five members of Romney family declare support for Dr. Paul, three to speak at Idaho caucus sites

House GOP Protects Defense Budget At The Expense Of America’s Most Vulnerable: The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to rescind $110 billion in mandated cuts to the Pentagon’s budget by pushing these reductions onto domestic programs like Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and other mandatory social programs, which are already facing substantial budget cuts. Led by House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), House Republicans approved the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012, with 16 Republicans defecting on the issue. The new measure further advances the GOP’s contentious revision of billions in cuts to military spending, which were mandated after the congressional debt commission’s super committee failed to agree on where to trim $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. The Republican bill would shift the cuts away from defense instead [thinkprogress/11 May 2012]

Insurers Will Pay $1.3 Billion In Rebates To 16 Million Consumers Because Of Obamacare: Thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act, 16 million consumers and businesses are expected to receive about $1.3 billion in rebates from health insurance companies, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The medical loss ratio rule requires insurers to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of premiums on patient care; if not, then the companies owe rebates to their customers. As Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explains, “We want to know that most of what we are paying for is for health care, not advertising, executive bonuses or overhead. It’s pretty simple: we want to get a good value for our premium dollars.” [thinkprogress/Amanda Peterson Beadle/11 May 2012]

Game On, GOP: The 2012 election is a field full of bratty, intolerant, whiny kids on the field who want to have everything their way and nothing our way. Let’s stop giving them legitimacy and play our hardest until we win. They won’t stop until we knock every pitch they throw at us out of the park, and send them home with bloody noses and tear-stained cheeks. [Reader Supported News/Carl Gibson/11 May 2012]

• Kansas Senate Stops Anti-Abortion Bill That Would Have Required Doctors To Give False Information

Website Offered Gun Owners Shooting Range Targets Of Trayvon Martin: [singlepic id=292 w=100 h=100 float=right] An unidentified individual from Virginia is hoping to cash in on the tragic death of Trayvon Martin by selling gun range targets meant to resemble him. While the targets don’t feature a photo of Martin, they do depict a silhouette of a hoodie clutching a can of iced tea and a pack of Skittles hanging out of the pocket, details pulled directly from the descriptions of Trayvon Martin on the night of February 26, when he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman.[thinkprogress/Adam Peck/11 May 2012]

Michele Bachmann Renounces Swiss Citizenship Because She Loves America So Much: Faced with a growing avalanche of criticism over her divided national loyalty, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann now says she’ll renounce her Swiss citizenship so that she can focus 100% of her attention on making America terrible. Bachmann’s technically been a dual citizen since 1978, when she married her Swiss Mister Marcus, who was the son of Swiss immigrants. But it wasn’t until earlier this week that her divided loyalty earned notice by the American media, and of coursed those vultures relished the opportunity to question Bachmann’s patriotism. Bachmann’s duel citizenship is especially delicious when you consider how long she kept waving the “OBAMA IS KENYAN!” flag around like it was on fire. [jezebel/Erin Gloria Ryan/10 May 2012] [The Swiss just breathed a collective sigh of relief!]

• Supporters of Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment Prove They’re Assholes With Incredibly Tacky Victory Party

Batshit crazy: “P- E- N- I- S goes into the anus to rupture intestines. The more a man does this the more he’ll be a fatality or a homicider…”

2,300 birds found dead along Chilean beaches: (CNN) — Chilean officials are asking fishermen to help save birds caught in nets after thousands of dead fowl appeared along coastal Chile this week. At least 2,300 dead birds were found along beaches between Cartagena and Playa de Santo Domingo, Chile, said Jose Luis Britos, and environment professor and director of the Museum of Natural History of San Antonio, Chile. Many of the birds, which come from several species, had broken wings and bruising on the outside of their bodies — injuries consistent with getting trapped in fishing nets, Britos said. [CNN/Marilia Brocchetto/12 May 2012]

Bin Laden Files Debunk Neocon Hysteria Over Iran: The U.S. Treasury Department’s claim of a “secret deal” between Iran and Al-Qaeda, which had become a key argument by right-wing activists who support war against Iran, has been discredited by former intelligence officials in the wake of publication of documents from Osama bin Laden’s files revealing a high level of antagonism between Al-Qaeda and Iran. Three former intelligence officials with experience on Near East and South Asia told IPS they regard Treasury’s claim of a secret agreement between Iran and Al-Qaeda as false and misleading. [Inter Press Service/Gareth Porter/10 May 2012]

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