My take on that stupid ad effort:
• About that eliminationist attack ad: Thought the eliminationalism from the last Obama election was bad? It’s going to get worse.
• Sleazy: Romney wants to talk about the conomy, and about what he would do about it, only in his own terms. Bring up facts he’s uncomfortable with and that’s “character assassination”. The BAIN record is what it is, and it’s what Romney has put forth as his experience. Can’t very well bitch about it.
QUESTION: “When you did an interview with Sean Hannity in February, you said that you believed that Obama is trying to make America a less Christian nation. It was responding to quote that he had just played for you on the radio. Do you stand by that? And do you believe that President Obama’s world view was shaped by Reverend Wright and do you see evidence of that in his policies?”
ROMNEY: “I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was.”
Today, the New York Times reports that Republicans are planning an multi-million dollar assault on President Obama, to “do exactly what John McCain would not let us do.” The ads would attempt to dispel the notion of Obama as “a metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln” and attack Obama for his associations with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The LA Times’ Maeve Reston reports that, this morning, Mitt Romney refused to rule out the tactic [thinkprogress/Judd Legum/17 May 2012]
Did the Ricketts family just knee-cap its own plan to rebuild Wrigley Field with a healthy dose of Chicago taxpayer cash?
…Still, it’s not unfair to ask whether money the city would ship the Cubs would free up family cash to trash Mr. Obama. At a bare minimum, the timing is very, very, very awkward.
…Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts put out a statement, saying, “I repudiate any return to racially divisive issues in this year’s presidential campaign or in any setting — like my father has.” Now has, that is.
…The most important reaction came from Mr. Emanuel, who, according to the Sun-Times, blasted the proposed ad as “insulting.”
Asked whether the flap will affect the Wrigley rebuild, Mr. Emanuel replied, “I’ll have some conversations on that later — comments, rather.”
A source close to the mayor confirms that that remark was indeed Freudian. Mr. Emanuel is “livid” with the family’s “blatant hypocrisy,” that source says. The Ricketts have tried to contact him, my source adds, but the mayor “does not want to talk with them today, tomorrow or anytime soon.”[chicagobusiness/17 May 2012]
…Since the Ricketts Family Trust acquired the team two years ago, they have actively sought to use taxpayer money to expand their own business operations.
…The Cubs want to use $200 million in public funds to construct the long-planned Triangle Building along Clark Street in front of the ballpark.
…In addition to using local amusement tax funds that might otherwise be spent shoring up actual public services, the Ricketts family is seeking a large federal subsidy to pay for a renovation of Wrigley Field. [motherjones/Tim Murphy/17 May 2012]
• WATCH: Strategist Behind Proposed Reverend Wright Attack Ad Has Long History Of Race-Baiting
…their pitch is chock-full of eliminationist rhetoric. From its title, which promises to “stop [Obama's] spending for good,” to its description of being “locked, loaded and ready” to “hit Barack right between the eyes” and bring about “his demise,” the memo the New York Times released today is right-wing hate porn, designed for maximum titillation to Ricketts, its intended audience. It may not have worked on Ricketts, whose PAC disavowed the plan Thursday afternoon after a day of negative publicity. But will it work on anyone else?…
…Although the plan is supposedly designed to demonstrate Obama’s “incompetence,” it’s hard to see what Wright’s views have to do with Obama’s competence – unless you’re of the opinion that nothing says “incompetence” like a black man having something to do with another black man. …
…What is Mitt Romney saying about the so-called Ricketts plan? He told reporters this morning he hadn’t had time to read the papers (typical Romney bravery), although he’d already done his own Wright-baiting in a February interview with Sean Hannity. … [salonJoan Walsh//17 May 2012]
• Ed Klein, Author Of New Anti-Obama Book, Suggests Obama Is Secretly A Muslim
• Republicans Will Likely Renege On Their Pledge To ‘Replace’ Obamacare
After many years of deliberation, the Department of Justice has finally released final guidelines for implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act. According to the White House’s executive summary, the new rules include important specific protections for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming. [thinkprogress/Zack Ford/18 May 2012]
• Vermont Becomes First U.S. State To Ban Fracking
Among the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case released by the Florida state prosecutor yesterday was a 15-minute interview with a former work collegue of George Zimmerman. The man, who is not identified by name, says that Zimmerman relentlessly bullied him at work. Zimmerman, according to the witness, targeted him because he was Middle Eastern. He repeatedly called the man a “fucking moron” and mocked him using the voice of “Achmed the terrorist.” Zimmerman’s stories about the man would involve “bombing,” “I’ll kill your family” and other “jokes” about “Middle Eastern stuff.” According to the man, this went on “for days and days.” [thinkprogress/Judd Legum/18 May 2012]
ROME — Italy increased security Thursday at 14,000 sites, and assigned bodyguards to protect 550 individuals after a nuclear energy company official was shot and letter bombs directed to the tax collection agency.
Under the enhanced measures, Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri deployed 20,000 law enforcement officers to protect individuals and sensitive sites. In addition, 4,200 military personnel already assigned throughout Italy will be redeployed according to new priorities. [Associated Press/17 May 2012]
• U.S. fighter jets will be actively flying over Chicago on Friday as part of a security drill in the days before the NATO Summit.
• Missouri House Passes A Bill Allowing Medical Professionals To Deny Women’s Access To Contraception
• I think it takes a lot of nerve to single out the constituents of another member’s district for discriminatory treatment.
While the House was busy limiting the protections of immigrant women who are subject to sexual violence in their version of the Violence Against Women Act, Human Rights Watch released a report documenting the sexual abuse and harassment that they are commonly faced with. Because their immigrant status makes female immigrant farmworkers fearful of reporting offenders, they are particularly vulnerable to abuse. The report, which included 162 interviews in 11 states, mirrors two previous ones that focused on California The Washington Post reports. [thinkprogress/17 May 2012]
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a mysterious flying object that nearly caused a mid-air collision Monday evening over Denver, according to NBC affiliate KUSA.com. The FAA says it has reviewed radar and audio recordings from the reported incident and hasn’t found what it calls unidentified targets. Investigators believe the object, whatever it is, could pose a serious safety hazard to planes. Radio transmissions from LiveATC.net confirm a nervous-sounding pilot reported a strange object at 5:17 p.m. Monday. The pilot is heard telling air traffic control: “A remote controlled aircraft, or what? Something just went by the other way … About 20 to 30 seconds ago. It was like a large remote-controlled aircraft. [KUSA.com/Will Ripley/18 May 2012]
At 7.17am on June 30, 1908, an explosion like a detonating hydrogen bomb erupted in the forests of Siberia – and until now, scientists have offered no conclusive explanation for the event. Now Italian scientists claim to have found chunks of a meteorite which might have caused the blast – from seismic and magnetic scans of nearby Lake Cheko. Lake Cheko, they claim is an impact crater for the blast – which devastated nearly 1,000 square miles of forest and was detected hundreds of miles away. [dailymail/Rob Waugh/17 May 2012]