Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns, which were finally released today, show that Romney's family trust invested in two Chinese companies, a bank and a state-owned oil company. Then, as Romney's presidential campaign gained momentum, the trust sold the shares. This might not a big deal if Romney hadn't spent much of the past two years criticizing China for using unfair trade practices, and then faulting Obama for not being tougher on China's policies. For instance, Romney has said a lot of things like this:
Herman Cain's latest defense against the sexual harassment charges dogging his campaign: you should really pay attention to the many, many people in the world who have not accused me of inappropriate behavior, not the five or so women who have.
In a call that suggests the Obama-blowout exit polls may be more right than wrong, MSNBC has called Pennsylvania for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Fox News is sticking with too-close-to-call.
Can anyone on McCain's side speak for more than a minute without royally screwing up? There's "my fellow prisoners," everything Sarah Palin says, and the generally increasing ugliness of the whole campaign. It's infectious. Yesterday American Spectator managing editor J.P. Freire went on MSNBC to explain away the "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" chanters, and to accuse the Obama camp of pulling "the hate card." He then went on to admit that, "If McCain and the Republicans really did believe that it would help them to be raving racists, we'd be seeing a lot more of this." Then the bigger stumble: "Unfortunately, though, no one wants to be a racist." Yes, yes, we know he meant to say "Fortunately." Clip after the jump. Starts at about 2:01.
Say what you will about Sarah Palin-that she's a dingbat, an ideologue, and a bit of a creep-but she's not dumb enough to pay her taxes. The McCain campaign released the last two years of her tax returns yesterday in an old school Friday news dump-and she totally cheats! "Palin, it appears, did not pay taxes on the more than $60,000 of travel reimbursements that she and her family members reportedly billed the state during her 18 months as governor." McCain's goons will surely argue that there's nothing wrong with that. Because they are liars. "There is a fairly wonky debate over whether she should have been charged for these trips or whether it was accounted for in her salary. John Bogdanski, a tax professor at the Lewis and Clark Law School, told the Huffington Post's Seth Colter Walls that they did qualify as taxable income." And $60 grand isn't a big deal if you're a total millionaire like John McCain and own eight houses, but Palin is merely wealthy. So she rips off the Treasury Joe Six-Pack style. "According to an accompanying 2007 personal financial disclosure report, Palin's 'income' as governor of Alaska was $196,531.50, well above the $107,987.00 that was noted on her W2 form from that same year." [HuffPo]
So are the Democrats going to have Florida stolen from them again? Not if everyone's favorite Jewey homegirl Sarah Silverman has anything to say about it (Okay, actually, a lot of people can't stand her anymore, but I still like her a lot). Sarah is stumping for Obama by urging folks to use emotional coercion against their aged relatives in Florida in order to get them to vote for the Illinois Senator. Silverman points out that rather than fearing black males, elderly Jews should realize that they have much in common with them. And if they still won't vote for Barack, well, she guesses they won't get any visits from the grandkids anytime soon. And, yeah, I know it's a couple days old, but it deserves a post. Clip after the jump.
The group Veterans for Obama has just released a batch of ads featuring "The Next Generation" of combat vets from the wars in Irag and Afghanistan to counter John McCain's never ending claims that he's the only candidate who supports or our troops—and that he's the only one our troops support. In the spots, the vets themselves offer McCain a healthy dose of much-needed reality. Check out a few after the jump.
Late-night host David Letterman—who dropped his usual Midwestern bonhomie to drub John McCain yesterday evening—is not the only national institution to be overtaken by partisanship this election season. If only in jest, the New York Times crossword makers are being accused of favoring McCain's Democratic rival. While "Obama" has appeared as an answer several times, the Republican candidate hasn't been honored once. What's the Times' excuse? "It is because ‘Obama’ is a five-letter name that alternates vowels and consonants," a spokeswoman tells Politico. "It’s got three vowels out of five letters, starting and ending in vowels. So it is much more crossword-friendly than ‘McCain,’ which is a harder word to put in a crossword." And that explanation will do precisely nothing to mitigate conservative suspicions of a newspaper so rooted in New York that even the crosswords are liberal.
McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt is a risk taker and a brilliant manipulator of the news cycle. The Rove acolyte's two biggest gambles—a delay in the Republican Convention in deference to an approaching hurricane and the selection of camera-magnet Sarah Palin as running mate—both distracted the media and the public from John McCain's weaknesses as a presidential candidate. One can assume he's behind the "suspension" of the Republican nominee's campaign. Will it allow McCain to skip an otherwise dangerous debate this Friday night while claiming he's putting country first? Here's an instant poll. Suspend your political bias but not your judgment.
So what do you do when the curmudgeonly old Republican you're running against for President throws you a curveball and selects a pretty young-ish woman as his running mate? Point out that she's a pro-life nutbunny chosen to win over the Christian Fundamentalists whose overwhelming political influence has most of the country quite fed the hell up already? Nah, just keep focusing on the old man and the fact that he's spent the last eight years living in the small intestine of the worst President in American history. That's just what Senator Barack "Hope" Obama is doing with his first television ad reacting to the Sarah Palin nomination-it doesn't even name her! Watch it after the jump.
How much of a silly old ass do you have to be to get me to side with the terrible, slithering Hilton Clan? About the size of John McCain, I'd wager. The war-loving Republican nominee's ad comparing Senator Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears (watch it here) has gotten Paris' mom Kathy Hilton to write a terse response today. Well, she likely had someone else write it, but still.
In the (very near) future, presidential candidates will have national advertising campaign budgets of about $637 or so. They'll just make a few very low-tech ads full of stock photos and slanderous lies about their opponents, run the ad once at 3 a.m. on a small local news channel in the Midwest, and then let the news networks swoop in and show the ad in its entirety hundreds of times for free, repeating all of its slanderous lies each time. That's basically been John McCain's strategy so far, and it's working like a charm!
John McCain used to totally love hanging out with reporters, back when he drove the Straight Talk Express, a giant party bus where the liberal press corps could smoke their hippie reefer weed and listen to old man MAVERICK tell hilarious stories about being tortured by "gooks." But now all the top journalists have abandoned McCain for the new cool kid, teen pop sensation Barack Obama, and so the Republican presidential candidate bitterly decided to only accept questions from angry people in wheelchairs and craven conservative bloggers. Here are the only two questions allowed during a July 1 campaign conference call, recorded by a reporter for progressive magazine Mother Jones (who will never be allowed to talk to or make eye contact with McCain, ever):