Morning Must Reads: Influence

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Kyle
Kyle

my roomate's

mom makes $72/hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six

months but last month her paycheck was $20351 just working on the laptop

for a few hours. Here's the site to read more

http://www.LazyCash49.com

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Too many jokes on that Bill Clinton line....

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Keep it up and you'll have us believing that W and D!ck are beloved figures in Republical circles.

paulejb
paulejb

MomentoMori,

"sissies""Yay, homophobia!"

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

All liberals are sissies, but not all sissies are homosexual.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

I believe Dan Froomkin is speaking to Katy Steinmetz (amongst others).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Does any journalist who is not an overt shill for the right actually

believe that Republicans are pushing voter ID laws because they’re

concerned about voter fraud?

No, of course not.

...

And the pursuit of this goal ostensibly in the name of voter fraud is an

outrageous deception that only works if the press is too timid to call

it what it really is.

~

 

sacredh
sacredh

Only if you look at the top five in each category. Paul Dirks and MomentoMori both trash me in the "Liking" average. If you consider content (take away my likes from all the "1000 Words"), I don't think I make the list at all. But hey, I have fun.

.

Disqus. Bah, humbug.

ahandout
ahandout

 Really?  How dare they criticize someones heritage.  Damn racists.

Cockfighting increasingly popular in Calif., critics say

"If people understood how widespread this problem is, there would be an

uproar," said John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy at the

Humane Society.

No they wouldn't.  Just watch.

ahandout
ahandout

See, multiculturalism is bringing people together in California:

Fatal Dog Fights on the Rise

The attraction crosses across all ethnic lines, sometimes even bringing

together members of Aryan, black and Latino gangs to organize a fight

card, one detective said.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story...

Who says your culture is better than someone elses?

sacredh
sacredh

More useless trivia. If anyone is interested, you can see the leaders by clicking on the double person icon next to the DISQUS rectangle just above the comments section.

sacredh
sacredh

More OT trivia. MrObvious is far and away the leader in the most "Liked" category and paulejb has made the most comments.

sacredh
sacredh

OT and I know it doesn't mean anything, but since we switched to DISQUS, we've made a over a half million comments.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

Seems that Haaretz didn't think too much of Mitt's visit. And they were the ones who referred to him as the Great White Hope before he arrived. Not to mention teh teleprompters!

Romney read his speech from two teleprompters that were placed opposite the stage, but compared to Obama, Romney seemed gray and uncharismatic. Even from this hand-picked, extremely friendly audience, he wasn't able to extract thunderous applause.

The speech itself sounded as if it could have been written by Netanyahu's bureau. So it's no surprise that when the two met later for dinner, Netanyahu thanked him for his "support for Israel and Jerusalem."

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/d... 

paulejb
paulejb

MrObvious,

"Do anyone find it odd that paulejb will never question one single factoid he reads from a rightie website."

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

All of a sudden you lefties start requiring proof? When did that happen?

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Feel the "shuddering"...paule's " thinkin' "...

paulejb
paulejb

Steve0T,

"Ritt's hobby is accepting those billions and then boasting that he did it all by himself."

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

Now you are just desperately lying, Stevie boy. Sad really. 

outsider2011
outsider2011

Romney gets 4 Pinocchio's - minus the cartoons.

“We tried our plan — and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s

the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

Another day, another out-of-context quote?

Readers should

be very wary of television ads showing a snippet of the opposing

candidate speaking. There is often too much context missing.

Both

campaigns have crossed the foul line in this regard (remember Mitt

Romney supposedly saying he liked to fire people?) but this is the second week in a row we have had to examine how the Romney campaign is using one of the president’s quotes. Let’s take a look.

The Facts

There is a dead giveaway here that something is missing: Why

would Obama be bragging that his plan “worked” when the unemployment

rate is still above 8 percent? That doesn’t sound like smart politics.

The

reason for Obama’s statement becomes clear when the preceding sentences

are read. (The section used in the ad is in bold type.) Remember that

he is speaking to fellow Democrats at a fundraising event.

I’m

running because I believe you can’t reduce the deficit — which is a

serious problem, we’ve got to deal with it — but we can’t reduce it

without asking folks like me who have been incredibly blessed to give up

the tax cuts that we’ve been getting for a decade. I’ll cut out

government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford, but I’m

also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the

tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy

created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and

everybody did well. Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried

our plan — and it worked. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in

this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.

In other words, in an inelegant way, Obama is trying to

compare Democratic philosophy (raise taxes on the wealthy — “our plan”)

with Republican philosophy (don’t raise any taxes — “their plan”). He

also appears to be trying to hitch his presidency to the economic

success of the Clinton years. He can rightly argue that he’s never had a

chance to do what Bill Clinton did — raise taxes on the wealthy —

because Republicans have blocked his efforts.

But as we have repeatedly said, it is rather silly to think the economy can be divided into such neat presidential-term chunks.

Some

would argue that some of the seeds for the disastrous economy at the

end of George W. Bush’s term were planted during Clinton’s presidency

(breaking down the walls between commercial and investment banks, for

instance). Clinton also benefited from some luck — a surge in stock

prices for technology companies in the mid-1990s. The bubble later

burst, but not before significantly boosting federal revenue (and

eliminating the deficit) with taxes on capital gains.

Thus, as an

argument, Obama is really pushing the envelope in suggesting that the

boom times of the Clinton era are directly attributable to Clinton’s tax

increases. (We have already dinged Obama for suggesting in this passage that tax rates will be the same as under Clinton, since that’s not right.)

Still . . .

the Romney ad starts off by claiming that Obama is talking about

today’s economy. And then the ad is filled with comments from ordinary

Americans about how they are suffering today.

Romney senior

advisor Eric Fehrnstrom strongly defends the use of the clip. “Obama

can’t have it both ways on this. He’s either running on the Clinton

record, which is completely superior to his own,” he said. “Or Obama’s

running on his record, which is a failure and why his campaign is now in

the awkward position of saying the president was not referring to his

own plans when he made the ‘it worked’ statement.”

The Pinocchio Test

It may well be disingenuous of Obama to wrap his policies in

the mantle of Bill Clinton, but he was talking to a roomful of

Democrats. We also make some allowances for awkward language uttered off

the cuff, especially if it appears to be a one-time statement. (The

Romney campaign did not supply any other examples of Obama claiming his

economic plan worked.)

In any case, the Romney campaign clearly

ripped these words out of context, leaving them untethered from their

original meaning — in order to score political points in a highly

misleading way. Obama was not talking about today’s economy, but about

different philosophies of taxation.

 

outsider2011
outsider2011

 The tax plan passed by Senate Democrats on Wednesday isn't really about taxing the rich; it's about taxing the megarich. As Timothy Noah has explained in The New Republic, the plan would actually reduce taxes

on a lot of fairly rich people by renewing the (supposedly temporary)

Bush-era tax cuts for everyone except those who make more than $ 250,000 a

year. Even then, Democrats are only proposing a higher marginal tax

rate, which means that even people raking in far more than $ 250,000

will still pay lower taxes on their first quarter million in annual

earnings. Crunch the numbers, and it turns out that the biggest losers

under the Senate plan are couples who earn more than $1 million a year—mostly multimillionaires and billionaires.Advertise on MotherJones.com

While

the Senate tax plan could certainly go further in taxing the rich,

focusing on the megawealthy makes sense considering how much of our

economy is now controlled by them. According to the Internal Revenue

Service, there are 66,000 taxpayers who individually control $ 20 million

or more in assets, and all these people put together are worth $ 4

trillion—more than the net worth of 70 percent of the US population.

The investment bank Credit Suisse, for its part, classifies "ultra high net worth individuals" as people with at least $ 50 million in assets—and according to the bank's 2011 Global Wealth Databook, more of these UNHWIs live in the United States than anywhere else in the world (see chart above).

So perhaps America has lots of multimillionaires because it's a

prosperous country? That's certainly a factor—but not the only

one. Compared to the superrich in the six other countries with the most

multimillionaires, American tycoons grab a disproportionately large

share of the economic pie:+

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

paulejb
paulejb

Steve0T,

"I am not the one calling for a conflict, am I?"

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

Snagged you again, didn't we, Stevie. You and Bambi are not really members of SEAL TEAM SIX, are you?

outsider2011
outsider2011

 Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney may have earned an apparent endorsement

from former Polish president Lech Walesa on Monday, but no such kind

words were coming from Poland's storied Solidarnosc (Solidarity) trade

union, which Walesa and others founded in 1980.

Upon Romney's visit to the Gdansk shipyards, the site of historic Polish worker strikes

during the Soviet era, Solidarnosc issued a press release saying it is

"in no way involved" in the Romney meeting with Walesa and had no

"initiative" to invite the American candidate to Poland.

The union expressed dismay at Romney's anti-union stances in the

U.S., saying it would stand alongside the AFL-CIO, the American labor

federation that has endorsed Obama and remains highly critical of

Romney.

"Regretfully, we have learned from our friends in the American trade

union central AFL-CIO representing over 12 million workers about Mitt

Romney's support for the attacks against trade unions and labor rights,"

Andrzej Adamczyk, the head of the union's international department,

wrote. "In this respect, I wish to express... our solidarity with

American workers and trade unions. [Solidarity] will always support the

AFL-CIO in their struggle for the right of workers to organize and

bargain collectively."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

paulejb
paulejb

MomentoMori,

"If California was a country it would have the 8th largest economy in the world."

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

And is only exceeded by Barack Hussein Obama in running up debt.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 When the caliphate comes to Middle Tennessee, Lou Ann Zelenik will be ready.

During her first run for Congress in 2010, Zelenik, a Republican

county commissioner and business owner, focused like a laser on what

what she considered to be the greatest crisis facing her community: the

impending Islamist takeover of the Bible Belt. Zelenik blasted her

primary opponent, then-state Sen. Diane Black, for supporting the

construction of a new Islamic community center in Murfreesboro, a small

city about 45 minutes east of Nashville.

"This isn't a mosque," Zelenik told Talking Points Memo at

the time. "They're building an Islamic center to teach Sharia law. That

is what we stand in opposition to." Black, the favorite going into

Election Day, held on by 335 votes and was elected to the House that

fall.

On Tuesday, Zelenik is out for revenge—and this time it's personal.

In Tennessee's 6th District, an area so conservative local Democrats

aren't even fielding a candidate this November, Zelenik and Black are

quietly waging one of the nastiest campaigns of the 2012 cycle, complete

with a lawsuit, a super-PAC sugar daddy, and allegations of federal

crimes.

Since

losing to Black in 2010, Zelenik has ratcheted up the anti-Islam

rhetoric that defined her first campaign. After the election, she

founded the Tennessee Freedom Council, a conservative Christian

organization dedicated to, among other things, educating "citizens on

the realities of Sharia" and stopping "the growth of Radical Islam." Last November, TFC held its inaugural "Constitution or Sharia?" conference, which featured luminaries like David Yerushalmi (the architect

of the national movement to ban Islamic law from being applied in state

courts) and the Center for Security Policy's Frank Gaffney,

who has accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being allied with

the Muslim Brotherhood. In May, Zelenik hosted the controversial Dutch

politician Geert Wilders, who is most famous for saying "there is no

such thing as 'moderate Islam'" and arguing Muhammad was a terrorist.

Having made her name fighting the

Murfreesboro Islamic center, Zelenik founded a group dedicated to

educating "citizens on the realities of Sharia." 

In 2011, two state legislators who have since endorsed Zelenik

introduced a bill to define Islam as treasonous. The legislation, if

passed, would have effectively prohibited Muslims from practicing their

religion in the state. Earlier this month, a coalition of tea party

groups and county Republican committees filed a formal complaint with the state's Republican governor, Bill Haslem, for appointing a Muslim woman to helm a state agency.

But the three-year-long fight over the Murfreesboro mosque remains

Zelenik's signature issue. When a county judge ruled this spring that

construction of the mosque should be halted because the Islamic center

hadn't gone through the proper process, Zelenik declared "a victory

for all Middle Tennessee who have been the victims of 'taqqiya'

(Islamic lying for the sake of advancing Islam) during this entire

process."

Although defenders of the Islamic center, including the Department

of Justice, cited the Muslim community's First Amendment freedom to

worship, Zelenik cried foul: "This was not an issue of freedom of

religion," she wrote. "Islam does not claim to be a religion, but a

social and political system that intends to dominate every facet of our

lives and seeks to dominate it's host culture by any means including

force and violence." (The Justice Department later overruled the county

court and mandated that the community center be allowed to open in time

for Ramadan.)

In theory, not much separates Black, who was rated the most conservative member of Congress by National Journal,

and Zelenik, a proud tea partier, on basic policy. Support for the

Murfreesboro mosque and public professions of tolerance

notwithstanding, Black has even taken the initiative in combating

radical Islam herself. As a state senator, she cosponsored "Tennessee

Laws for Tennessee Courts," a law, based on Yerushalmi's draft

legislation, that was designed to protect the state from creeping

Shariah. In her first term in Washington, she took the lead in

repealing (or attempting to, anyway) President Barack Obama's health

care law.

But Black's conservative voting record hasn't satisfied her base. RedState founder Erick Erickson, who calls Black "a terrible congress critter,"

has endorsed Zelenik and encouraged his readers to give to her

campaign. "Here is a case…where we can pick off a terrible Republican,

replace them with a better Republican, and not lose the seat," he

argued last week.

The real source of the bad blood between Zelenik and Black isn't

about policy at all. It dates back to the end of their last campaign,

when Black's husband capped off the primary victory by immediately

filing a lawsuit against Zelenik and a television advertising firm she

had worked with, Bright Media. Black alleged that Zelenik defamed his

forensic science company, Aegis Sciences, by running campaign ads

accusing his wife of steering state contracts to the firm. On the

advice of her lawyer, Zelenik then backed out of a subsequent GOP

"unity tour" of the district in support of Black.

"If Jim, Gary, Dave, or Kerry had won, I would be with them every

step of the way on the unity tour, or whatever they needed my help

on," she said, referring to the four other GOP candidates. "THEY did

not sue." Although Bright Media settled out of court, the case was

resolved in Zelenik's favor in May. (The court ruled that Zelenik's ads

were accurate, and therefore unimpeachable. Black is appealing.) One

week after the decision came down, Zelenik announced she would run

against Black again.

Although she's been outspent heavily, Zelenik has picked up support

from two outside super-PACs, both of which are supported by just one

donor—Andrew Miller, a health company executive, Tennessee

Freedom Council officer, and, until June, a Zelenik campaign staffer.

In early July, Miller—who the campaign says left abruptly on June

1—started his own super-PAC, Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, based out

of an UPS office in a strip mall outside Nashville. The group has now

spent $ 177,483 on independent expenditures on behalf of Zelenik, all

of which has come from Miller. Another outfit, Congressional Elections

PAC (which on Friday changed its name to USA PAC), has chipped in

another $ 80,000. According to the PAC, that money also came from

Miller, although he didn't found it—it's the creation of Texas

millionaire Leo Linbeck III, best known for spearheading the

anti-incumbent super-PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability. Neither Miller nor a Linbeck spokesman responded to requests for comment on Friday, but Miller bragged to USA Today that he's already spent at least $250,000 on ads attacking Black.

The Black campaign's response to Miller's super-PAC spending has been

to accuse Miller and Zelenik of illegally coordinating their campaign

activities—a federal crime if true. "Andy Miller resigned our campaign

at the end of May. He didn't say what he was doing," Jay Heine,

Zelenik's campaign manager, insists. (Heine went even further in an

interview with the Tennessean, calling the Black campaign "delusional and paranoid" for alleging that the Zelenik campaign was coordinating with Miller.)

On one level, though, Zelenik has already won; Black has gone from a

backer of tolerance to a vocal mosque skeptic. When the Department of

Justice ruled in favor of the Murfreesboro mosque in July, the

congresswoman immediately blasted off a statement accusing the Obama

administration of playing favorites, alleging that the DOJ spurns

Christianity but "will meddle in a local zoning matter to promote

Islam."

The kicker: During the congressional redistricting process, the

Murfreesboro mosque was removed from Black's district. Heine claims

that's what caused Black's change of heart. "I guess the difference was

that now that they no longer can vote for her," he says.http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 

The Craziest GOP House Race of the Year

Lawsuits, conspiracy theories, super-PACs, and an anti-Islam sugar daddy: This conservative-on-conservative rematch has it all.

When the caliphate comes to Middle Tennessee, Lou Ann Zelenik will be ready.

During her first run for Congress in 2010, Zelenik, a Republican

county commissioner and business owner, focused like a laser on what

what she considered to be the greatest crisis facing her community: the

impending Islamist takeover of the Bible Belt. Zelenik blasted her

primary opponent, then-state Sen. Diane Black, for supporting the

construction of a new Islamic community center in Murfreesboro, a small

city about 45 minutes east of Nashville. "This isn't a mosque," Zelenik told Talking Points Memo at

the time. "They're building an Islamic center to teach Sharia law. That

is what we stand in opposition to." Black, the favorite going into

Election Day, held on by 335 votes and was elected to the House that

fall.

On Tuesday, Zelenik is out for revenge—and this time it's personal.

In Tennessee's 6th District, an area so conservative local Democrats

aren't even fielding a candidate this November, Zelenik and Black are

quietly waging one of the nastiest campaigns of the 2012 cycle, complete

with a lawsuit, a super-PAC sugar daddy, and allegations of federal

crimes.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Since

losing to Black in 2010, Zelenik has ratcheted up the anti-Islam

rhetoric that defined her first campaign. After the election, she

founded the Tennessee Freedom Council, a conservative Christian

organization dedicated to, among other things, educating "citizens on

the realities of Sharia" and stopping "the growth of Radical Islam." Last November, TFC held its inaugural "Constitution or Sharia?" conference, which featured luminaries like David Yerushalmi (the architect

of the national movement to ban Islamic law from being applied in state

courts) and the Center for Security Policy's Frank Gaffney,

who has accused anti-tax activist Grover Norquist of being allied with

the Muslim Brotherhood. In May, Zelenik hosted the controversial Dutch

politician Geert Wilders, who is most famous for saying "there is no

such thing as 'moderate Islam'" and arguing Muhammad was a terrorist.

Having made her name fighting the

Murfreesboro Islamic center, Zelenik founded a group dedicated to

educating "citizens on the realities of Sharia."  

In 2011, two state legislators who have since endorsed Zelenik

introduced a bill to define Islam as treasonous. The legislation, if

passed, would have effectively prohibited Muslims from practicing their

religion in the state. Earlier this month, a coalition of tea party

groups and county Republican committees filed a formal complaint with the state's Republican governor, Bill Haslem, for appointing a Muslim woman to helm a state agency.

But the three-year-long fight over the Murfreesboro mosque remains

Zelenik's signature issue. When a county judge ruled this spring that

construction of the mosque should be halted because the Islamic center

hadn't gone through the proper process, Zelenik declared "a victory

for all Middle Tennessee who have been the victims of 'taqqiya'

(Islamic lying for the sake of advancing Islam) during this entire

process."

Although defenders of the Islamic center, including the Department

of Justice, cited the Muslim community's First Amendment freedom to

worship, Zelenik cried foul: "This was not an issue of freedom of

religion," she wrote. "Islam does not claim to be a religion, but a

social and political system that intends to dominate every facet of our

lives and seeks to dominate it's host culture by any means including

force and violence." (The Justice Department later overruled the county

court and mandated that the community center be allowed to open in time

for Ramadan.)

In theory, not much separates Black, who was rated the most conservative member of Congress by National Journal,

and Zelenik, a proud tea partier, on basic policy. Support for the

Murfreesboro mosque and public professions of tolerance

notwithstanding, Black has even taken the initiative in combating

radical Islam herself. As a state senator, she cosponsored "Tennessee

Laws for Tennessee Courts," a law, based on Yerushalmi's draft

legislation, that was designed to protect the state from creeping

Shariah. In her first term in Washington, she took the lead in

repealing (or attempting to, anyway) President Barack Obama's health

care law.

But Black's conservative voting record hasn't satisfied her base. RedState founder Erick Erickson, who calls Black "a terrible congress critter,"

has endorsed Zelenik and encouraged his readers to give to her

campaign. "Here is a case…where we can pick off a terrible Republican,

replace them with a better Republican, and not lose the seat," he

argued last week.

The real source of the bad blood between Zelenik and Black isn't

about policy at all. It dates back to the end of their last campaign,

when Black's husband capped off the primary victory by immediately

filing a lawsuit against Zelenik and a television advertising firm she

had worked with, Bright Media. Black alleged that Zelenik defamed his

forensic science company, Aegis Sciences, by running campaign ads

accusing his wife of steering state contracts to the firm. On the

advice of her lawyer, Zelenik then backed out of a subsequent GOP

"unity tour" of the district in support of Black.

"If Jim, Gary, Dave, or Kerry had won, I would be with them every

step of the way on the unity tour, or whatever they needed my help

on," she said, referring to the four other GOP candidates. "THEY did

not sue." Although Bright Media settled out of court, the case was

resolved in Zelenik's favor in May. (The court ruled that Zelenik's ads

were accurate, and therefore unimpeachable. Black is appealing.) One

week after the decision came down, Zelenik announced she would run

against Black again.

Although she's been outspent heavily, Zelenik has picked up support

from two outside super-PACs, both of which are supported by just one

donor—Andrew Miller, a health company executive, Tennessee

Freedom Council officer, and, until June, a Zelenik campaign staffer.

In early July, Miller—who the campaign says left abruptly on June

1—started his own super-PAC, Citizens 4 Ethics in Government, based out

of an UPS office in a strip mall outside Nashville. The group has now

spent $177,483 on independent expenditures on behalf of Zelenik, all

of which has come from Miller. Another outfit, Congressional Elections

PAC (which on Friday changed its name to USA PAC), has chipped in

another $80,000. According to the PAC, that money also came from

Miller, although he didn't found it—it's the creation of Texas

millionaire Leo Linbeck III, best known for spearheading the

anti-incumbent super-PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability. Neither Miller nor a Linbeck spokesman responded to requests for comment on Friday, but Miller bragged to USA Today that he's already spent at least $250,000 on ads attacking Black.

The Black campaign's response to Miller's super-PAC spending has been

to accuse Miller and Zelenik of illegally coordinating their campaign

activities—a federal crime if true. "Andy Miller resigned our campaign

at the end of May. He didn't say what he was doing," Jay Heine,

Zelenik's campaign manager, insists. (Heine went even further in an

interview with the Tennessean, calling the Black campaign "delusional and paranoid" for alleging that the Zelenik campaign was coordinating with Miller.)

On one level, though, Zelenik has already won; Black has gone from a

backer of tolerance to a vocal mosque skeptic. When the Department of

Justice ruled in favor of the Murfreesboro mosque in July, the

congresswoman immediately blasted off a statement accusing the Obama

administration of playing favorites, alleging that the DOJ spurns

Christianity but "will meddle in a local zoning matter to promote

Islam."

The kicker: During the congressional redistricting process, the

Murfreesboro mosque was removed from Black's district. Heine claims

that's what caused Black's change of heart. "I guess the difference was

that now that they no longer can vote for her," he says.http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 Mitt Romney Ohio Ad Stars Business Owner Who Relied Heavily On Government Contracts

WASHINGTON

-- The star of the most recent Mitt Romney campaign ad

criticizing President Barack Obama for arguing that government can play a

constructive role in helping business has major business dealings with

government entities.

Dennis Sollmann, the owner of Sollmann Electric Company, appears in a Romney web ad released Monday morning that plays off the president's now infamous "you didn't build that" line.

“I mean, I’m thinking, 'You’ve got to be kidding me,'" Sollmann says

in the ad. "He was trying to say: ‘Hey, you didn’t build that business

on your own. The government helped you build it.’ And that’s what ticked

me off more than anything. Mr. President, unfortunately you have no

idea how we here in Midwestern Ohio have to try to run a small business

from daylight till night."

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Sam Stein

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stein@huffingtonpost.com

 

Mitt Romney Ohio Ad Stars Business Owner Who Relied Heavily On Government Contracts

Posted: 07/30/2012 12:13 pm Updated: 07/30/2012 1:37 pm

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WASHINGTON -- The star of the most recent Mitt Romney

campaign ad criticizing President Barack Obama for arguing that

government can play a constructive role in helping business has major

business dealings with government entities.

Dennis Sollmann, the owner of Sollmann Electric Company, appears in a Romney web ad released Monday morning that plays off the president's now infamous "you didn't build that" line.

“I mean, I’m thinking, 'You’ve got to be kidding me,'" Sollmann says

in the ad. "He was trying to say: ‘Hey, you didn’t build that business

on your own. The government helped you build it.’ And that’s what ticked

me off more than anything. Mr. President, unfortunately you have no

idea how we here in Midwestern Ohio have to try to run a small business

from daylight till night."

An electric construction company in Sidney, Ohio, Sollmann Electric

has done work on commercial, residential and industrial properties. It

has also serviced "hospitals, government and educational"

facilities -- many of which rely on taxpayer funding. Neither Sollmann

nor his company returned a request for comment as to how much money in

government contracts they have earned. But a quick Google search turned

up several instances in which the company either sought out or worked

directly with government entities.

According to notes from a Jan. 26, 2006 meeting of the Ohio School Facilities Commission, Sollmann Electrical Company was rewarded a $ 915,117 contract for work in the Trotwood-Madison City school district.

Notes from a May 31, 2007 meeting of the same body show that Sollmann Electrical Company placed a $1,080,700 bid to do work in the Dayton County School District. This was the lowest bid offered and the commission recommended that it be finalized.

According to notes from a May 25, 2010 meeting of the School Facilities Commission, meanwhile, Sollmann Electrical Company was awarded a $ 1,689,829 contract for work in the Miami East school district.

Sollmann was also a contractor for work

on the Horace Mann School in Dayton, Ohio, according to an Ohio School

Facilities Commission form filled out in April 2008. Horace Mann is a

public school, an official there said.

In November of 2011, Sollmann made a $ 274,792 bid

with the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to do work on a

building expansion at Rhodes State College, another public school.

The first project listed on Sollmann's own website

is the work it did building Memorial Middle and High School in St.

Marys, Ohio. An official at the school confirmed that it is a public

school that was recently completely rebuilt.

The Obama campaign has argued that Romney's attacks over the "you

didn't build that" line are woefully unfair, distorting the actual

meaning of the president's words.

“The latest ad out of the Romney campaign once again blatantly takes

the President's words out of context, showing their campaign will do and

say anything,” Jessica Kershaw, press secretary of Obama For America -

Ohio, told the Dayton Daily News.

The Obama campaign may take comfort in knowing that, through these

web ads, the Romney campaign is seemingly making its point for them.

This is not the first time that a businessman tapped by the Romney

campaign to whack the president for acknowledging the government's role

in a company's economic success has, himself, relied on the government

to help with his business. It was reported last week that Jack Gilchrist, the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, N.H.

who starred in another Romney ad, had received $ 800,000 in tax-exempt

revenue bonds from the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority in 1999,

as well as sub-contracts from the U.S. Navy in 2008.

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outsider2011
outsider2011

 It is true that the President found Washington even more hopeless than

he imagined. It is true that politics and greed has made the President's

job tougher. But he understands the nature of the challenge confronting

America, and since Romney's coalition prevents Mitt from addressing

these issues, Obama is America's only hope.

While his presidency has been disappointing at times, I continue to

root for Barack Obama to succeed. It's a little like the way I root for

Derek Jeter to slap the ball to the opposite field when the game's on

the line. I know he's got the talent and character to come through in

the clutch. The economic collapse that nearly led to a second great

depression cannot be blamed on President Obama. Nor can the extreme

concentration of wealth that continues to eliminate the middle class and

the American dream of opportunity for those that work hard and play by

the rules. But Obama is the President, and must be held accountable for

the lack of progress in building a sustainable, equitable and growing

economy.

This is not to say that Mitt Romney would do any better. While it is

clear that he is a political moderate pretending to be a Republican

right-winger, a President Romney would be unable to escape the

ideological prison he has so carefully constructed and now occupies.

He's a smart guy who knows what is needed, but he will never be allowed

to leave the Tea Party behind. I hope he likes tea.

The BP oil spill, environmental damage from hydraulic fracturing,

inadequate safeguards at the Fukushima nuclear plant and the Wall Street

meltdown are only the most visible failures caused by insufficient and

incompetent government regulation. When you couple failed regulation

with the impact of low taxes on education, public safety and

infrastructure, it is easy to see why only those born to wealth have a

chance of succeeding in what was once the land of opportunity. Recent

studies demonstrate the growing advantages of those born to wealth: the

impact of superior schooling, connections and job opportunities on their

career trajectory. While the rich have always had those advantages,

what has gotten worse are the growing odds against those born with less.

The achievement gap between rich and poor is growing. My grandfather

was a baker and he and my grandmother raised five sons who all became

professionals. My father went to New York City's Stuyvesant High School

and City College and worked his way up from bookkeeper to president of a

bicycle company. His story is becoming less and less likely.

The idea that our overly activist government is strangling the free

enterprise system is beyond absurd. Greed, financial manipulation,

offshore bank accounts and cheaper overseas labor explain our lack of

GDP growth, along with a government that continues to reduce revenues

and downsize. The problem is not too much government, but insufficient

and ineffective government.

If conservative economic theories were correct, all these tax cuts

and deregulation should have already led wealthy "job creators" to build

business and hire people everywhere. Of course, conservatives would say

that taxes are still too high and regulations are too burdensome, but

this conservative revolution is now three decades old. I don't know.

Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Walmart, GE and countless other businesses

seem to be doing OK. What's missing is government-funded public works,

education, infrastructure and science R amp; D. My father and his four

brothers could not have succeeded without New York City's public

education, libraries, and government-run mass transit system. Government

was not a problem to them, but a key resource that helped them succeed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

outsider2011
outsider2011

 The president's statement and the attacks against it typify one of the

significant problems characterizing both the 2012 presidential campaign

and the nation's inability to move ahead to fix the economy.

President Obama recently caused a major stir when he stated that any

American that has built a small business had the government, in part, to

thank for his or her success.

"Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own," he said.

That hit a sensitive nerve among conservatives and those in the

American business community. And it once again touched off criticism

that the president is too fixated with the idea that big government --

and massive stimulus spending, made possible by putting our country in

deeper debt -- is still the way to go to get our economy on track.

True, any student of American history can attest that the development

of our country's economy into the largest, most innovative in the

world, (starting with the early development of canal and turnpike

systems and continuing with the railroads, interstate highway system,

etcetera) was stimulated in part by significant government investment in

infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, science, military

development and expansion, and educational institutions.

But in incorrectly framing that obvious fact in simplistic terms,

from both historical and business perspectives, the president

illustrated a basic lack of understanding that building a small business

encompasses solely the will, the intelligence, the hard work, the

assumption of great risk and a little luck by an entrepreneur.

It's solely the entrepreneur's ability to work hard and capitalize on

available assets available as a result of both government and private

initiatives that allow him or her to become successful. Obama plainly

got it wrong by intricately intertwining individual entrepreneurial

success with government spending and infrastructure investment.

In a speech at a campaign event in Roanoke, Va., last week, Obama

outlined how the Federal government helps small businesses, telling

supporters that Americans did not become successful all by themselves,

but had the important help of some aspect of government to build such

personal achievement.

"Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive," Obama said.

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you

didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't

get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet, so

that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

Mitt Romney's campaign immediately pounced on the president's

statement, accusing Obama of belittling individual initiative and

entrepreneurship. Romney's campaign immediately released hard-hitting

ads, titled "These hands," across the country, in which successful

entrepreneurs attack the president's statement. Yesterday, the campaign

organized 24 events with small business owners in 12 key battleground

states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Florida,

Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico and

Nevada.

Obama's campaign is now fighting back, with the president in a new

commercial alleging that his words are being twisted. "Those ads taking

my words about small business out of context, they're flat-out wrong,"

Obama says in the new spot. "Of course Americans build their own

businesses."

Now the fight over the economic crisis in this country is centering

on Obama's awkwardly put words. It's a debate about whether the

president mocks personal achievement and success in favor of a

government-knows-best attitude. That faces the Democrats'

less-than-successful argument against Romney that focuses on Bain greed

and outsourcing.

The president's statement and the attacks against it typify one of

the significant problems characterizing both the 2012 presidential

campaign and the nation's inability to move ahead to fix the economy.

There's nothing really being discussed by either candidate on how

proper and targeted government investment in certain infrastructure and

economic and defense initiatives can fix our perilous economic crisis.

President Obama was not wrong in stating the government does help, to

a certain extent, Americans achieve their dreams of wealth and success.

But his record so far has not shown that.

Innovation and risk taking is not reserved for the realm of small

business. Both the president and Gov. Romney need to start emulating

successful small business entrepreneurs by presenting some serious,

innovative ideas instead of continuing the childish "He said this"

versus "I said that" dialogue.

Lots of Americans are hurt and discontented and need to hear a

meaningful debate about how Washington can really help fix our nation's

economy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...