Morning Must Reads: Diplomacy

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–Economic growth slows to 1.5% in the second quarter, the worst rate in a year.

–The Guardian’s live blog captured every wince of Gov. Romney’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

–Congressional leaders say they’re working on a stopgap measure to fund the government until 2013, thereby preventing a potential shutdown debate in late September as the presidential race enters high gear.

Bloomberg Businessweek profiles Karl Rove.

–Obama’s sunny new ad:

–Context is dead.

–Not to rain on London’s parade, but from a financial perspective, hosting the Olympics is pretty bad business.

–And TIME picks the 20 most influential Americans in history. Your thoughts on the list?

What’d I miss?

204 comments
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alfredjones
alfredjones

my friend's

mom brought in $15536 last week. she is making cash on the internet and

got a $499900 home. All she did was get blessed and apply the advice

revealed on this link http://www.LazyCash49.com

Filips
Filips

my

neighbor's mother makes $81 every hour on the computer. She has been

fired from work for six months but last month her paycheck was $16753

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http://www.LazyCash49.com

 

pargerpaser
pargerpaser

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Jackson
Jackson

my friend's

mom makes $63/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 7 months

but last month her payment was $13800 just working on the laptop for a

few hours. Go to this web site and read more http://www.LazyCash49.com

Parger
Parger

my best

friend's step-aunt makes $75/hr on the internet. She has been fired for 5

months but last month her check was $16099 just working on the internet

for a few hours. Read more on this web site http://www.LazyCash49.com

Jackson
Jackson

my buddy's

sister-in-law made $15770 the previous month. she is making money on the

computer and bought a $532100 home. All she did was get lucky and put

into work the advice made clear on this web page

http://www.LazyCash49.com

nissanwatt
nissanwatt

my friend's

aunt makes $83/hr on the internet. She has been without work for 5

months but last month her income was $13979 just working on the internet

for a few hours. Here's the site to read more http://www.LazyCash49.com

jacksoncrew
jacksoncrew

my buddy's

sister makes $76/hour on the internet. She has been without a job for 5

months but last month her pay check was $16025 just working on the

internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site

http://www.LazyCash49.com

53underscore3
53underscore3

Looks like air came out of Romney's butt over there in the UK, huh?

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"You do it here, others do it elsewhere."

-------------------------------------------

Moi? I beg to differ. I may not be always right, but I am never wrong.

53underscore3
53underscore3

"...but I am never wrong."

Such misplaced self confidence...

...but when Citizens United money is trickling down to paulejb, nothing else matters.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Since Charles Krauthammer went into a faint about the Churchill bust, a little pre-emptive fact check with picture.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog...

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

I just like all the commotion made about Churchill's bust - great wordplay/ double entendre potential. (sacredh?)

paulejb
paulejb

Ivy_B,

There were actually two Churchill busts. One was returned.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/po... 

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Wonder how far down in the garbage they had to dig out the other bust of Churchill to make this charade look good?

MrObvious
MrObvious

Since my post on the fact that the bust of Winston Churchill has remained on display in the White House, despite assertions to the contrary, I have received a bunch of questions -- so let me provide some additional info. The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence. The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 -- Inauguration Day -- all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.

Of course that doesn't stop you from hurting yourself on occams razor as you try to overcomplicate another dumb argument.

In the end you'll believe whatever you want to believe since facts in the end isn't really your end game.

paulejb
paulejb

Try to spin it all you like, people. It is not working.

For Obama supporters, the story is exasperating because the word “that” in “you didn’t build that” so clearly refers to “roads and bridges,” not to businesses. In context, that’s obvious. And it’s exasperating because so many of the “builders” at the “we did build this” events seem like hypocrites—who benefit not only from taxpayer-financed roads, but from more direct government support, and still rail against a nonexistent insult to their self-sufficiency.Unless Rosenthal is now prepared to argue that the smartest guy ever to become president and the author of the best-written memoir ever penned by an American president is grammatically challenged, this statement makes no sense. “Roads and bridges” is not a “that” — the clear antecedent is the word “business.” 

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

ahandout
ahandout

 Depends on what your definition of "that" is, said little Johnny after being sent to the principle's office for saying "that sucks." 

Liberals are stuck in grade school.  They think that words can be twisted to bail them out of their blunders.

Obama is simply being Barry the anti-colonialist-marxist that he is.  Own it.

MrObvious
MrObvious

the anti-colonialist-marxist

And that is why the righties hyperventilating about this is bogus. It takes so much force to make this logical square peg to fit the reasonable round hole.

Just so you guys can dry hump the fantasy about Obamas so called socialism.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Occams razor

When someone makes a complicated argument that on the fly that someone cannot possibly make a grammatical error when that same person also have well scripted speaches and a well written book, then reality drifts away from the argument.

The amount of rants righties throw out to defend the out of context mayhem to convince themselves of a even more pathetic theme - that this is a sign of Obamas radical marxism collides with common sense in such a way that one might argue that we now no the source of how black holes are made.

You really have to ask yourself who's trying to spin what with the amount of overthinking and mental masturbation that they have to ignore the context before 'you didn't built that' and after to mean that he didn't talk about the infrastructure.

Paulejb, if you ignore all the context to dry hump the one sentence to prove to yourself that it's marxism realized then no amount of common sense and reality will ever penetrate your bubble.

You're flailing and it's both childish and pathetic.

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

Let me get this straight, Ob. The smartest president in the history of the entire world is actually as dumb as a box of rocks. Is that your story now?

53underscore3
53underscore3

Woops! Badly misplaced comment! Sorry, Mr O!

MrObvious
MrObvious

ahandout

That is the liberal line? That dumbarse Obama is so stupid that he doesn't know how many states there are, but he is so super duper smart in another moment?

What a pair.

ahandout
ahandout

 Yes, that is now the liberal line. 

MrObvious
MrObvious

paulejb

Let me get this straight - about almost every single person in the world gaffs. You do it here, others do it elsewhere.

YOU righties are the ones who have sarcastically claimed that he's the smartest man in the world.

So how do you square that with 57 states? Is he a super genius for making that gaff - or did he just say something stupid? You're telling me that in one instance he's just stupid and in another the worlds smartest man reveals his 'marxist' leaning with a intentional remark?

Jesus, Occams razor is having a field day with your mentalgasm. It's hysterical, irrational and it's entering a kind of unreal territory.  Why is your explanations getting so unreal?

Because you're saying all the idiotic things you can possibly think of while ignoring the actual context before and after the words that got stuck in your juvenile brain.

Just so you can throw out this pointless and idiotic idea that he's some kind of neo-marxist. Jesus, birthers have nothing on a person like you. Their mental masturbation comes from this irrational hatred they have, yours just comes from a deep pool of nothing - like a mental black hole where all reasons are ejected like expended matter.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is in London for the opening

ceremonies of the 2012 summer games—part of a three-country world tour

designed to build his foreign policy resume and shake down overseas

donors. The Romney campaign will run television ads during the games

touting the candidate's experience as CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City

Olympics, where he was widely credited with turning around the

scandal-plagued organizing effort.

What Romney doesn't talk about is how he succeeded in Utah with

government help—lots of it—and how millions in assistance that he pried

out of the feds ended up bankrolling subsidies, sweetheart deals, and

giveaways for land developers and other well-connected Utahns.

As Romney chastises the president for pointing out that successful business ventures benefit from a larger social compact and accuses critics of pining for "free stuff,"

Romney is simultaneously touting an Olympic effort that, more than any

other in American history, succeeded thanks to public investment—some of

it sunk into questionable projects of marginal value to the Salt Lake

games. "The $ 1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring

into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all

seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined," Donald

Barlett and James Steele reported for Sports Illustrated in 2001. Those numbers were adjusted for inflation.

 

How the Salt Lake Games came to receive more money than any games in

American history isn't much of a mystery. The organizers, including

Romney, asked for it. In his 2004 book, Turnaround, Romney

acknowledges the central role of the federal government in making the

Olympics possible. "No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising

revenue, we couldn't have Games without the support of the federal

government," he wrote.

Romney emphasized cost-cutting at every step of the process, moving

the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's DC office from a swank building

next door to the White House, to a cheaper, comparatively Spartan flat

next to a burrito shop. But the flow of federal cash continued unabated.

In 2000, with the opening ceremonies still more than a year away,

Arizona Sen. John McCain called the Salt Lake price tag "a disgrace,"

 and partnered with Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) to demand a Government

Accountability Office investigation into how the games could cost so

much. Romney's response was muted. As he explained in a letter to

the GAO: "Recognizing that our government spends billions of dollars to

maintain wartime capability, it is entirely appropriate to invest

several hundred millions to promote peace."

In Turnaround, Romney explained that the Salt Lake Olympics

would cost more in large part because winter Olympics tend to cost

more, by virtue of the fact that they mostly take place on mountains.

"We had to construct access roads, widen highways and overpasses, and

build a network of massive park-and-ride lots," he wrote. Besides, he

explained, Atlanta had already upgraded its infrastructure prior to

receiving the Olympic bid; Salt Lake City, on the other hand, was still

in the process of improving its roads and transit.

But even some of the more maligned projects, like a new light rail

system to be built in Salt Lake City, received Romney's endorsement.

Although Romney spends several pages in Turnaround blasting

the $ 326 million project as unnecessary and an example of wasteful

"truth stretching" from local governing bodies, he eventually signed on

to the Mayor of Salt Lake City's letter to Congress asking for money

to build it.

The most damning aspect of the Salt Lake tab wasn't the final amount,

but how it was being spent. In their exhaustively researched Sports Illustrated

accounting, Barlett and Steele explain how many Olympics projects

amounted to little more than slush funds for wealthy donors to the

games. Wealthy Utahns used the games as an excuse to receive exemptions

for projects that would otherwise never meet environmental standards, or

to receive generous subsidies for improvements of questionable value to

the games—but with serious value to future real estate developments. In

one example, a wealthy developer received $3 million to build a

three-mile stretch of road through his resort. Where'd he get the money?

Federal funds that had been deposited in the Utah Permanent Community

Impact Fund. Per the piece:

The U.S. Treasury collects royalties from mining and petroleum

companies that prospect and drill on federal lands, and from individuals

and businesses that buy and sell the related leases. The Treasury

returns half the payments to the states where the lands are located.

States generally distribute the money as grants or loans to those

communities that have been socially or economically affected by

prospecting or drilling. In Utah this money traditionally has gone to

struggling counties to help with public needs, like purchasing a fire

truck.

Now the state was going to give $2 million in federal royalties to

Summit County—by far the state's richest county, and one in which a

majority of the mines closed years ago—and the money would be in the

form of an outright grant rather than a loan, even though the fund's

rules state that grants can be made "only when the other financing

mechanisms cannot be utilized, where no reasonable method of repayment

can be identified, or in emergency situations regarding public health

and/or safety." On top of that the grant was earmarked for construction

of a road that would benefit a private developer.

The $3 million resort road wasn't unique. Snowbasin, the site of the

downhill skiing championships in 2002, was one of the more notorious

examples of a well-connected Utahn getting a sweetheart deal in the name

of the Olympics. Earl Holding, a billionaire oil baron, pressured the

Forest Service into giving him title to valuable land in Park Valley in

exchange for land of "approximate equal value" elsewhere in the state.

But Holding drove a hard bargain; he got Congress to foot the bill for a

new—and arguably unnecessary—access road (cost: $15 million), and

received more than 10 times the 100 acres that were necessary for the

Games. That would allow him to turn what was once protected federal land

into a massive, and lucrative, mountain resort.

The government was so instrumental in making the Olympic games happen

that Romney created a special award, the "Order of Excellence," to

honor public servants who had helped them pull it off. Among the

recipients: John Hoagland, the US Forest Service official responsible

for the land transfer of the Snowbasin downhill skiing site.

The government largesse, however, has done little to deter Romney

from using the 2002 Olympics as an example of cost-cutting purity.

"While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save

the Bridge to Nowhere," Romney told Rick Santorum at a debate in February.

Maybe they weren't so different after all.

http://www.motherjones.com/pol...

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

I wonder if Ann rode in with the US team on the horse since Ralfaca is a competitor. Figures though that we have to speak of the opening ceremony in past tense since it already happened and yet NBC insists on tape delay. Guess they never heard of the intertubes.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 cheating - again

Like other super-PACs,

RGA Right Direction PAC is authorized to spend unlimited money

supporting or opposing federal candidates, so long as it doesn't donate

directly to them. So what is it doing giving $ 1 million to Rep. Mike

Pence, Indiana's Republican candidate for governor?

If Pence were running to keep his 6th District congressional seat,

his campaign couldn't accept a dime from Right Direction. Yet because

he's running for an office in a state that allows unlimited PAC

contributions to candidates, the super-PAC can wire cash directly to his

war chest.

Right Direction is funded entirely by the Republican Governors Association,

a 527 organization dedicated to electing as many Republicans to

governorships as possible—a mission fueled by contributions from some of

the largest corporations in the country. In Indiana, candidates can

accept unlimited donations from individuals and political action

committees but only $5,000 from corporations and unions. Corporations

and unions can also give to state PACs, but only in small sums.

The $1 million gift from Right Direction accounts for a third of

Pence's haul since April in his race to follow Gov. Mitch Daniels to

the governor's mansion. A week after getting the super-PAC infusion,

Pence launched an early TV ad blitz. The first ad featured his wife recounting Pence's homegrown Hoosier credentials.

Whether the check from the RGA super-PAC to Pence was drawn on a bank

account that contained corporate money is not clear. In an email, RGA

spokesman Michael Schrimpf said that "nothing in our reports suggests"

that the organization gave corporate funds to Pence. All RGA

expenditures, he said, come from a general fund. The Pence campaign did

not return calls for comment.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

But

the gift, the largest one Pence has received, may be a way around state

laws limiting corporate contributions to candidates. "In one way, it's

legal," said Andrew Downs of the Center for Indiana Politics,

at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. "But if you say

this is a way to give in excess of corporate limits, that's also

absolutely true." Bob Biersack, a senior fellow at the Center for

Responsive Politics and former Federal Election Commission (FEC) staffer

described it as "the new model of disclosure subterfuge. It's not what a

normal human being would call transparent."

The donation to Pence appeared in FEC filings July 15. It is the

latest in a series of campaign finance maneuvers by the RGA that have

prompted legal challenges by two states that claim the group has

violated limits on corporate giving.

In federal records, Right Direction reports its only donors as the

RGA—which effectively obscures the original source of the $ 1 million

check to Pence. The super-PAC reported receiving four contributions

totaling $ 1.3 million from the RGA since January.

Right Direction's 2010 boilerplate registration letter filed with the

FEC said it "intends to make independent expenditures"—ad buys and

other spending that supports or opposes candidates. FEC filings show the

group has not reported any independent expenditures, but has spent

money helping state candidates in Ohio in 2010 when it was known as RGA

Ohio PAC. In addition to Right Direction's $ 1 million contribution to

Pence, it also made two contributions to the Montana Republican Party

totaling $ 200,000.

http://www.motherjones.com/pol...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts he kept his distance from gambling. He turned down donations from the gaming industry for his privately underwritten inaugural gala. And though he initially supported allowing the establishment of slot parlors in order to close a $3 billion state deficit, he later announced he would not consider an expansion of gambling and

decried the "social costs associated with gaming." On the presidential

campaign trail this year, Romney similarly declared that he opposed online poker because "of the social costs and people's addictive gambling habits." He explained,

"I don't want to increase access to gaming. I feel that we have plenty

of access to gaming right now through the various casinos and

establishments that exist."

More MoJo coverage of Mitt Romney:

What We Know About Romney and Bain, Explained

Mitt Romney's Bain Capital Timeline

Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show

Romney Invested Millions in Chinese Firm That Profited on US Outsourcing

Romney Invested Millions in Firms That Pioneered High-Tech Outsourcing

Mitt Romney's Long History of Misremembering His Past

Get-Rich-Quick Profiteers Love Mitt Romney, and He Loves Them Back

How Romney Fibs—and Gets Away With It

As a onetime bishop of the Mormon church—which opposes gambling,

including state-sponsored lotteries—Romney's lack of enthusiasm about

legalized gambling is hardly surprising. Yet such reservations did not

hinder him when he was a mega-financier. While Romney ran Bain Capital,

the private equity firm he founded, he owned a Bain-affiliated

investment fund that bet heavy on betting.

In March 1999, shortly after Romney departed Bain to run the 2002

Winter Olympics, Brookside Capital Investors Inc., a Bain-related entity

wholly owned by Romney, filed a document with

the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the investments held

the past quarter in its $559 million portfolio. On this roster were 1.2

million shares of GTECH Holdings Corp., then valued at $29 million. The

company billed itself in its 1999 annual report as "a leading global

supplier of systems and services to the lottery and gaming/entertaining

industries." This description put it mildly; Gtech was the world's largest supplier

of computer equipment for lotteries. It operated about 30 of 37 state

lotteries in the United States, along with lotteries in England, Israel,

Turkey, Australia, and other countries. It also was teaming up with big

gaming firms to buy or revamp casinos and race tracks, adding and

upgrading gambling equipment at these venues.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

In

1998, Gtech had pulled in nearly $1 billion in revenue from its various

gaming ventures. At the time Romney was investing in the firm, it was

seeking to become a pioneer in Internet gambling.

The SEC filing reporting the Gtech investment doesn't state when

Romney's Brookside Capital fund first purchased shares in the firm, but

in the mid- and late-1990s the gaming company had a controversial

reputation. In 1998, Guy Snowden resigned as head of the company a day

after losing a bitter libel battle against billionaire Richard Branson,

who had accused Snowden

of trying to bribe him into withdrawing from a competition to run

England's national lottery. Reporting on Snowden's departure, Fortune noted

that "Snowden's often sleazy, win-at-all-costs tactics…have helped make

Gtech the dominant force in the computerized lottery business."

Snowden's exit followed a run of Gtech scandals. In 1996, a top

executive of the Providence, Rhode Island-based firm was convicted in

New Jersey of fraud, bribery, money laundering, and conspiracy. (The

exec had hired lobbyists to push for expanding the New Jersey lottery

and had received kickbacks.) In Texas, where Gtech paid a well-connected

lobbyist $3.2 million, there were also allegations of kickbacks and

shady wheeling-and-dealing. 

After Snowden lost his case against Branson, Gtech stock hit a low,

and it might well have looked like a bargain to investors bullish on the

long-term prospects of gambling, particularly online lotteries and

Internet-based gaming.

Neither the Romney campaign nor Gtech responded to a request for comment.

These days, Romney takes a dark view of gambling. "Gaming has a social effect on a lot of people," he told

Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston earlier this year. It could be that

Romney's view has been shaped by Mormon doctrine. After Romney offered

to bet Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 during a debate last December

to settle a dispute—and there's no telling how serious Romney

was—bloggers and reporters noted that gambling violated the precepts of

the Mormon Church, which contends,

"Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This

desire is spiritually destructive." But politics, too, might influence

Romney's position on gambling. From the mid-2000s on, as a potential or

declared presidential candidate, Romney had an interest in courting

conservative Christian voters who tend to oppose gambling.  

Yet it's complicated. During the 2012 campaign, even as Romney has

declared his opposition to expanding online gambling, he has welcomed

the hearty support of well-heeled casino magnates Donald Trump and

Sheldon Adelson. And at Bain, he apparently was not opposed to investing

millions of dollars in a prominent gambling multinational, despite its

spotty reputation. If he had any concern about "the social effect," it

apparently was trumped by the profit motive.http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 For all the headlines and hand-wringing about super-PACs, it is dark-money nonprofits like Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity that dominate the political money wars. These politically oriented groups, which keep their donors secret, outspent super-PACs 3-to-2 in the 2010 elections. Through the spring of 2012, 91 percent of advertising by independent groups came from nonprofits and big business trade groups. And a growing pile of evidence suggests that it's these nonprofits, not super-PACs, hauling in the bulk of corporate political cash.

But come Saturday, the dark-money nonprofits face a dilemma. A high-profile court case known as Van Hollen v. FEC

threatens to shine an unwelcome beam of sunlight on donors bankrolling

these organizations. Nothing's stopping Crossroads GPS or AFP from

running more "issue" ads hitting Obama and other Democrats (that is, ads

that don't explicitly say "vote for" or "vote against"). Except now

nonprofits will have to reveal who funded those spots.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Dark-money

nonprofits don't want to name names. Their pitch to donors includes the

promise of anonymity and a shield from public scrutiny. This means that

Crossroads GPS and other politically active nonprofits—which aren't supposed to make politicking their primary purpose—have

to rethink their ad strategy, election experts say. Do they shift money

to super-PACs? Go dark in the months before the election? Find another

loophole to run ads and keep their donors secret?

Tax and election law experts say that, short of shutting down, any

new strategy carries significant risks. Run-ins with the Internal

Revenue Service or the Federal Election Commission, the federal

elections watchdog, could be on the horizon. "It's a tough strategic

choice for these groups," says Joseph Birkenstock, an election law

attorney and former chief counsel at the Democratic National Committee.

Here's the quick-and-dirty version of how nonprofits including

Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity, and pro-Obama Priorities USA,

among others, ended up in this bind. Until recently, nonprofits had

exploited a federal loophole allowing them to run issue ads without

disclosing the sources of their funding. These so-called social welfare

organizations may also run ads directly backing or opposing candidates,

but can't run too many of them at the risk of running afoul of the IRS

for being too political.

In 2011, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and pro-reform advocacy groups sued

the Federal Election Commission to close that loophole. This March, a

federal district court judge agreed with Van Hollen, and a second

federal judge refused to stay that decision. The loophole was gone. (The case is currently on appeal.)

In other words, the rule book has changed mid-election for

politically active nonprofits, and the first effects will be felt

Saturday. Now, if AFP or Priorities USA runs a TV or radio ad mentioning

Obama or Romney without endorsing or opposing a candidate, the group's

donors must be named. Starting in early September, if they mention any federal candidate, donors must be named.

One dark-money heavyweight, the US Chamber of Commerce, has already

said it will change its game plan. As Chamber president Tom Donohue

explained in May, the Chamber will no longer run the thinly veiled

"issue" ads mentioning a candidate that it did in 2010 and 2011.

Instead, the group—which says it'll spend $50 million during the 2012

cycle—will run ads outright urging voters to oppose or support a

candidate. The Chamber can get away with this because, after decades of conservatives and libertarians chipping away at the law, a loophole opened letting donors escape disclosure for "vote for" and "vote against" ads by nonprofit groups.

Donohue told reporters that the Chamber would refuse to let its

donors be outed. Efforts to unmask the Chamber's donors, he insisted,

are an effort "to intimidate people from participating" in politics. Van

Hollen, one of Congress' most vocal supporters of disclosure, fired

back by saying the Chamber's shift shows the "extraordinary...lengths

these groups will go to in order to hide the sources of their funding."

The Chamber's strategy comes with risks. Marc Owens, a tax attorney

and former director of the IRS division that monitored nonprofit groups,

says those who mimic the Chamber by running "vote for" or "vote

against" ads must be careful not to go overboard. After all, tax law

requires 501(c)(4) nonprofits to

prove that the majority of their work benefits the community at-large,

not a single candidate or party. Running too many overtly political ads,

Owens says, could imperil the group's tax status, which prevents them from making politicking their primary focus.

Crossroads GPS spokesman Jonathan Collegio declined to say if and how

his group's strategy would change. "Crossroads is aware of the key

dates, and closely follows all law and regulations that govern the

process," he said in an email.

An official at Americans for Prosperity, the conservative nonprofit founded

by David Koch, says AFP brass have met multiple times to discuss how to

tweak the group's ad strategy. One option that's been discussed is

ramping up the group's online advertising, which isn't affected by the

beefed-up disclosure rule. The staffer stressed that any option forcing

AFP to name its donors is off the table. The staffer added, however,

that AFP would not go dark on the airwaves in the run-up to the November

elections: "We're going to continue to be on the air and continue to

follow the law, and we're gonna protect the identity of our donors."

Nonprofits could always gamble that the slow-moving IRS and

gridlocked FEC won't target them even if they flout the law. And if

they're caught, the blowback would be relatively minimal when compared

with the potential for political gain, says Rick Hasen, an election law

expert at the University of California-Irvine. It's unlikely that the

IRS or FEC would crack down on lawbreakers before Election Day. And if a

group got slapped with a six- or seven-figure fine after the election,

or had to shut down, that's hardly the end of the world, Hasen says. "If

a nonprofit has to sacrifice its name and pay a fee," he says, "and it

helps keep the House, win back the Senate, and take back the White

House, that's a small price to pay."

http://www.motherjones.com/pol...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 Allen Quist has a LexisNexis problem. In May, I reported on

the Minnesota GOP congressional candidate's history of out-there

statements (comparing a gay counseling clinic at a state university to

the Ku Klux Klan) and actions (like going undercover at bath houses and

adult bookstores in order to prove that they had become a "haven for

anal intercourse"). Quist, who is seeking the GOP nomination to take on

Democratic Rep. Tim Walz in a district that leans ever-so-slightly

Republican, is hoping support from the Christian Right and an

endorsement from Rep. Michele Bachmann can carry him to victory in the

mid-August primary.

These days, Quist would prefer to focus on issues like the national debt instead of, ahem, congress.

But the questions about Quist's past statements came anyway, and the

candidate initially took an odd approach: he pretended none of it ever

happened.

At a town hall meeting in Rochester

in mid-July, Quist was asked directly about my piece, specifically an

anecdote about him comparing a gay counseling center at Mankato State

University to the KKK. "I just want you to know, that's a

total invention from some lefty that doesn't like me," Quist said. "I

mean that is absolute total bull."

But there was a paper trail. An April, 1994 story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

reported that as a state Senator in the 1980s, Quist "alleged that

Mankato State University was encouraging the spread of AIDS by

sponsoring a counseling center for gays, comparing it to a center for

the Ku Klux Klan." That was in 1994; there's no indication Quist sought a correction then, or at any time in the ensuing 18 years.

Quist also denied another story detailed in my piece, in which he

went undercover at bath houses in Mankato in an effort to turn up

incidents of gay sex. Quist told a Twin Cities talk show earlier this month that the gay bath house story was "a total fabrication." As he explained it, "the

thing of it is I was extraordinarily effective in the legislature.

Consequently the lefties invented all kinds of stuff that they've said

about me, and it's mostly not true or totally taken out of context.

And that happened to be one of those."

That was apparently his first attempt to correct the

record on his undercover escapades. And once again, Quist might have

trouble convincing voters that they never happened, given that there are

contemporary news stories recounting his bath house visit and other

related inspections. For example, 19 years ago the St. Paul Pioneer Press conducted an interview with Quist where he "revealed that he personally had done some undercover research

in an X-rated bookstore and graphically reported to his House

colleagues the details of his findings, including booths for 'anonymous

multiple-partner sodomy' and 'body fluids' on the floor."

Likewise, Quist was asked at the same Rochester town hall meeting about a famous comment he'd made in an interview with David Brauer of the Twin Cities Reader

arguing that women have a "genetic predisposition" to be subservient to

men—a claim he later doubled down on. But Quist dismissed that, too, as

a "magician's-type trick" designed to distract voters. The problem: Brauer still has the audio. On Thursday, he posted a transcript of the interview and a soundbite at MinnPost. That's some kind of trick.

Now Quist has finally decided to come clean. On Thursday, the farmer and retired college professor wrote a letter

to supporters, apologizing for the Ku Klux Klan comparison ("I would

not say anything like that today") and attempting to explain the

undercover gay sex sting:

The first is the allegation that, twenty four years ago, as a state

legislator, I entered the Mankato adult bookstore in disguise to check

out whether it included a serious public health risk. Parry’s distortion

of my response to an important constituent complaint—that the

bookstore posed a serious public health risk—is shameful. All I did was

fulfill my responsibility as a Minnesota legislator.

Having first asked the Department of Health to investigate the matter

(they did not) and being unwilling to allow an alleged public health

risk to continue, I checked it out myself. Not in disguise, as my

attackers would suggest, and not in sunglasses that suggests something

to hide. (The reporter involved later went to work for the DFL caucus in

St. Paul.)

I entered the adult bookstore dressed normally in shirt and blue

jeans. The real story that won’t be printed is that I did the right

thing. There was in fact a huge public health risk involved—a problem

that was immediately remedied because someone had the courage to bring

the issue to the light of day.

In fact people may well be alive today because I did my job.

Distorting the facts and then attacking someone for having the courage

to do what is right is destructive to our nation.

The campaign of Mike Parry, Quist's rival in an

August 14 GOP primary, has been attacking Quist's oddball history. (It

was their most recent salvo, on Tuesday, that prompted Quist's apology.)

While Parry may be hoping to distinguish himself from his investigating opponent, his tea party-flavored positions could present an obstacle to his congressional hopes. As Sally Jo Sorensen at the blog Bluestem Prairie notes,

Parry recently sponsored legislation to set up a legislative commission

on the United Nations' Agenda 21, a non-binding document never ratified

by the Senate, that outlines basic principles of sustainable

development. (Some conservatives, including Bachmann, believe Agenda 21 is part of a nefarious one-world plot to force humans to return much of rural America to the wildlife.)

Indeed, neither candidate has caught much traction; Parry had just

$30,000 cash on hand, according to his July quarterly fundraising report

to the Federal Elections Commission—considerably less than Quist's

$165,000, though it's worth noting that almost all of Quist's money came

from a personal loan.

The clear winner in all of this is, in other words, is Walz, who is

looking at an easy re-election campaign in a Republican-leaning district

that could very well go to Mitt Romney in November.

http://www.motherjones.com/moj...

MrObvious
MrObvious

Jobs jobs jobs, for more gayism inspection.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 A conservative congressman today sent House staffers an official email

trashing pro-gay protesters of Chick-fil-A as "malicious" critics who

"resort to hate," exhorting his colleagues to rush to the fast-food

chain's aid as its brand reputation takes a tailspin.

Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) sent the "Dear Colleague" letter to his fellow lawmakers' offices, calling on them to sign a letter of support he'd drafted to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. (Read the full letter below.) Cathy has recently come under fire

for a recent interview in which he attacked gay marriage as violating

"the biblical definition of a family unit." Chick-fil-A reportedly

donated more than $2 million to anti-gay causes in 2009. Employees of the fast-food chain and their families have also given nearly $200,000

in direct donations to conservative national politicians, including

tens of thousands of dollars to presidential also-ran Herman Cain this

election cycle.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

In

his letter, Nunnelee writes, "Many on the left have called the radical

idea that a company embrace traditional values and support strengthening

families 'bigoted. At a time when holding a position on family values

provokes such a vitriolic response, I invite you to join with me in a

letter to Dan Cathy supporting Chick-fil-A's stand." The letter asks

Nunnelee's colleagues to sign on before a deadline of July 31.

Also included in the email is Nunnelee's draft letter to Cathy,

which, hails Chick-fil-A as "an American success story" that should be

applauded "in the face of unfair and malicious criticism."

"The example of quality, hard work, and charity demonstrated by

Chick-fil-A is one that others who, faced with opposing views, resort to

hate would do well to emulate," it adds.

But perhaps not at the moment. As CNBC News' Brian Ruggiero pointed out

Friday afternoon, Chick-fil-A's overall consumer brand health, as

measured by consumer opinion research firm YouGov, has dropped to a

two-year low, plummeting 28 percent

in the four days following Cathy's interview. "Chick-Fil-A's perception

with fast food eaters nationwide has taken a significant hit in most

regions of the country," Ruggiero added.

http://www.motherjones.com/pol...

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

If boycotts actually drove a company to bankruptcy then the righties would praise this, not condemn it - all because it happened under Free Market™ forces, not govt. intervention. Or the righties really don't embrace the Free Market™ after all (except when it suits 'em, of course)?

MrObvious
MrObvious

People should only vote with their wallets when they're bigots, not against them.

paulejb
paulejb

"Maine Democrat Uses Colorado Movie Shooting To Fundraise: “How Many Murdered Children Does It Take? Can You Chip In $100 Today?”…"

http://weaselzippers.us/2012/0... 

Do some Democrats have no soul?

paulejb
paulejb

This is what America will look like in spades if Barack Obama is re-elected.

"Like Clockwork… Business Owner Harassed by Goons After Appearing in anti-Obama Ad"

http://www.thegatewaypundit.co... 

La_Randy
La_Randy

Is the gatewaypundit the new hotair supplier?