In an interview this evening with NBC Reno, Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan was critical of comments Romney made at a private fundraiser in May, dismissing 47% of American as people who can will never “take personal resonsibility and care for their lives.”
Ryan said Romney’s remarks were “obviously inarticulate.” Asked if he thought Mitt Romney regreted his comments, Ryan responded “I think he would have said it differently, that’s for sure.” Watch it:
At a press conference last night, Romney called his comments at the May fundraiser “inelegant” but largely defended his remarks.
In a separate interview with a New Hampshire station Ryan was asked if he agree with Romney’s remarks at the fundraiser. He responded, “no.”
Ruling Triggers Immediate Enforcement of Arizona’s ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Provision |
A federal district judge today lifted an injunction on the controversial “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070. Officers are now required for the first time to question the immigration status of individuals they stop who are suspected to be in the country illegally. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s final order comes after a ruling earlier this month that rejected a challenge to the law filed by civil rights groups. After the U.S. Supreme Court declined to strike down the harsh provision, opponents filed a new lawsuit, this time arguing that Latinos would face racial profiling and unreasonably harsh detentions. These decisions, however, merely rejected challenges to the law before it had taken effect and do not preclude subsequent challenges.
New Mexico Governor Breaks With Romney Over 47 Percent Remark |
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) — who Mitt Romney quoted in a speech on Monday — has joined a growingnumber of Republicans in backing away from the former Massachusetts governor’s claim that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government and won’t vote for Republicans anyway. Asked if she was offended by the remarks, “Martinez said New Mexico has many people who are living at the poverty level and their votes count just as much as anyone else.”
I’m sure by now you’ve seen excerpts from the infamous Romney video where he is speaking to a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser. The remarks are striking to me because of what they — and recent polling — say about the collapsing GOP view of our social contract.
Here it is:
Here are some key excerpts:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.
Hmm. Does Romney think people not entitled to food? Let them eat cake!
My job is is not to worry about those people.I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful….
No, he’ll never convince those 47% that they should take personal responsibility and feed themselves. Seriously! Then again, Romney probably won’t convince anyone of anything because he is one of the worst communicators to win any party’s presidential nominees in US history. Then again, he’s made a good living not worrying about “those people” — all 150 million of them!
Others have debunked the “analysis” in these remarks (see here and here).
If I can “name it” then I’m also interested to know whether Romney thinks people are entitled to cleaner air and cleaner water — and a livable climate. Or are those matters of “personal responsibility” too? In regulation-free Romney-land, corporations are apparently entitled to do whatever they want (see “Permitting Poison In The Air Means More Money For The Romney-Ryan Campaign“).
Is there no “personal responsibility” not to poison people, not to foul the air and water? Isn’t Romney the guy who said corporations are people?
The Washington Post points us to a fascinating June Pew poll in its analysis of the nonsensical politics of Romney’s callous remarks, “Most independents believe the government should guarantee food and shelter.” I know it is hard for Romney to believe that those independents actually care about their fellow human beings. After all, what’s in it for them? Are they their brothers’ keepers?
The Pew poll noted that partisan polarization has increased in several areas of the social contract — no more so than in the area of the environment.
Romney’s comments also reveal that he has lost any sense of the social compact. In 1987, during Ronald Reagan’s second term, 62 percent of Republicans believed that the government has a responsibility to help those who can’t help themselves. Now, according to the Pew Research Center, only 40 percent of Republicans believe that.
How much has the Republican Party changed? Here is Teddy Roosevelt in his famous 1910, “New Nationalism” speech in Osawatomie, Kansas:
… the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear a most important part….
Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber presented a talk to the Center for American Progress today, outlining the reforms his state is attempting in health care. The state is setting up an exchange in accordance with Obamacare, but also using its Medicaid program and its health benefits for state employees as a launching pad to move providers away from the traditional fee-for-service model. What would replace it is an approach utilizing Coordinated Care Organizations — local, community-based hubs through which multiple providers can stay on the same page about a patient’s care — that emphasize coordination, preventative care, and general community health.
In response to a question from ThinkProgress, Kitzhaber also went into greater detail about how his state’s reforms are functioning in the context of Obamacare, how it would fare under the changes proposed in the House GOP budget passed earlier this year, and how everything depends on shifting health care delivery away from fee-for-service:
KITZHABER: We essentially were designing this thing independent of the Affordable Care Act, but there’s no question that there are huge similarities between the Coordinated Care Organizations and the Affordable Care Act…
The alternative — whether its the Medicaid approach or the Ryan Medicare approach — I think misses the target by a long sea mile. First of all, it’s a global budget. If you have more people coming into the system because of federal policies that increase unemployment, you actually get less money per person. So you penalize people who have lost their jobs and need health care through that capped approach. The per member, per year increase gives you the same amount per person and that grows at a fixed rate.
Secondly, neither of those things deal with the fundamental problem, which is the delivery system. They’re just unique, novel, and perhaps politically palatable ways to pay for the same dysfunctional system. So it doesn’t matter if you have a single-payer system, a vouchers system, or the private commercial insurance system, if you’re paying for the wrong delivery model you’re going to get the same results.
Oregon’s move to coordinated care and delivery system reform is mirrored at the national level by the pilot programs passed under Obamacare, through the law’s reimbursement reforms and its creation of the Independent Payment Advisory Board for Medicare. Like Oregon’s use of Medicaid, Obamacare will use IPAB and Medicare’s immense leverage in the health care market to drive the delivery of health care away from the fee-for-service model.
There’s already evidence that providers and hospitals are reforming in anticipation of this new pressure. However, Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan has routinely dismissed IPAB as “fifteen unelected bureaucrats,” and the budget he wrote with his fellow House Republicans would eliminate these reforms wholesale. Instead, they would simply slash health care spending, likely at severe cost to seniors and other vulnerable Americans, while trusting the private insurance markets to find their own way on delivery system reform. Beyond raw ideology, there’s no clear reason why this approach is preferable to using Medicare’s immense bargaining leverage to help the process along.
Republican chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Rep. C.W. Bill Young (FL) told the Tampa Bay Times editorial board on Monday that he can no longer support the American war in Afghanistan:
“I think we should remove ourselves from Afghanistan as quickly as we can,” Young, R-Indian Shores, said during a meeting with the Times editorial board Monday. “I just think we’re killing kids that don’t need to die.” … “It’s a real mess,” he said.
Young — the longest serving Republican in the House — said the death of a local Army Ranger in Afghanistan last month pushed him to change his mind. Young said the Ranger, Staff Sergeant Matthew S. Sitton, wrote him a letter before he died “and told me some things I found hard to believe”:
Young said he did not want to detail all of Sitton’s criticisms, but he listed two. In the letter, Sitton told Young about “being forced to go on patrol on foot through fields that they knew were mined with no explanation for why they were patrolling on foot,” the congressman said.
Sitton also explained that local streams and rivers were contaminated by pollution, creating a strong risk of bacterial and fungal infection, Young said. Yet when a flood soaked their uniforms, Young said, “they were required to continue patrols without changing their clothes.”
Young said Sitton predicted his own death, “and what he said would happen happened.” He stepped on an improvised explosive device and was killed, leaving behind his wife, Sarah, and their 9-month-old son, Brodey.
Americans’ support for the war in Afghanistan, including from Republicans, is at an all-time low. A recent poll found that 60 percent of Americans said the U.S. should not be involved there and a poll from May found that only 27 percent support the war. A majority of Republicans in a poll from April said the war has not been worth the effort.
While some House Republicans, such as Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), have been vocal in their opposition to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Young said many privately tell him they no longer support it. “[T}hey tend not to want to go public” about it, he said.
By Amanda Peterson Beadle on Sep 18, 2012 at 5:40 pm
Later this week, the House will vote on a Republican-backed bill that will limit legal immigration under the guise of trying to expand the number of visas available to international students who earn masters and doctorates in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, mathematics — at U.S. universities. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) is introducing the bill that would add 50,000 STEM visas by cutting the Diversity Visa program, which is intended for immigrants from countries that do not already send large numbers of immigrants to the U.S. Recently, about half of these visas have gone to immigrants from African nations, but under Smith’s plan, they would all be eliminated.
Additionally, Smith’s bill would reduce the number of visas available by letting unused STEM visas disappear. For the first two years, the program would recapture any unused visas and allocate them for people who applied during those two years. But after FY 2014, any visa that is not allocated to a STEM graduate basically would disappear, shrinking overall legal immigration into the U.S.
To counter the Republican measure, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced a Democratic alternative that would expand STEM visas while still protecting the Diversity Visa program and adding additional protections for foreign and U.S. STEM graduates. Lofgren’s measure would expire after two years so that Congress can decide if it should be continued, while the Republican version does not have an end date.
Here’s how Lofgren’s bill compares to the Republican proposal:
In addition to the Democratic and Republican STEM visa bills in the House, Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) also plans to introduce his own STEM bill, which expands visas while also saving diversity visas.
A lobbyist for the tech industry told Politico Smith’s bill is the “capstone of the Republican tech agenda,” but Democrats oppose the legislation for taking away one avenue for legal immigration. “Republicans are only willing to increase legal immigration for immigrants they want by eliminating legal immigration for immigrants they don’t want,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) said in a statement.
Expanding the number of visas available to international students who study math and science in the U.S. is not a controversial idea. More than three-quarters of all Americans — including 69 percent of conservatives — support creating STEM visas. But Republicans turned it into a partisan issue with a bill that cuts off one avenue for legal immigration in exchange for another. The U.S. needs to make it easier for tech companies to hire skilled foreign students who have studied math and science at American universities, but following the GOP’s plan and doing it at the cost of other immigration programs is not worth it.
The Federal Reserve last week announced a new round of so called quantitative easing, or QE3, in an attempt to boost the still sluggish economy. The Fed, for the first time, opened the door to continuous easing until labor market conditions improve.
In my view, the decision to ease policy further is fully consistent with our dual mandate and policy framework. As I mentioned earlier, we have two goals—to promote maximum employment and price stability. We therefore seek to minimize how far employment is from its long run normal level and inflation is from our longer-run goal of 2 percent on the PCE measure. [...]
Looking ahead, in the absence of further monetary easing, I concluded that growth would remain too subdued over the next several years to make big inroads into the spare capacity that remains from the Great Recession. As a result, unemployment would remain unacceptably high, with economic risks skewed to the downside. Meanwhile, with substantial slack in labor markets and inflation expectations stable, inflation was likely to remain a bit below our 2 per cent longer-run objective.
In this situation, I concluded that our policy framework means that further monetary policy easing was appropriate provided that the benefits of using the tools available outweighed the costs.
As ThinkProgress has noted, the Fed has consistently failed to meet its dual mandate of low inflation and full employment, as inflation has stayed low but unemployment has remained high. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke estimated that the first two rounds of quantitative easing created two million jobs.
Reuters reports researchers at anti-virus makers Symantec Corp and Kaspersky Labs have uncovered evidence of three previously undocumented computer viruses on systems in Lebanon and Iran, possibly developed by the United States for espionage or cyber warfare. Previous reporting from the New York Times tied the development of another virus, Stuxnet, to a joint U.S.-Israeli campaign against the Iranian nuclear program code named Olympic Games.
“Newsforyou handled four types of malicious software: Flame and programs code-named SP, SPE and IP, according to both firms. Neither firm has obtained samples of the other three pieces of malware.
Kaspersky Lab said it believes that SP, SPE and IP were espionage or sabotage tools separate from Flame. Symantec said it was not sure if they were simply variations of Flame or completely different pieces of software.”
The digital era has dramatically changed the tactics available to countries engaging in espionage and sabotage, but cyber warfare raises it’s own set of new moral questions.
Deploying targeted malware to crash centrifuges is arguably preferable to more destructive and life threatening military strikes or targeted assassinations, but it raises other key questions: by developing these kinds of cyber weapons is the U.S. providing intellectual cover to hostile nations developing similar programs? And what happens when these weapons make their way into the digital wild?
The latter has already happened: While there isn’t any known damage due to domestic infections, as early as 2010 Symantec reported 1.56% of Stuxnet infections were to U.S. computers. At least one Stuxnet infection to a critical infrastructure system resulted in the deployment of the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Computer Emergency Readiness Team (ICS-CERT).
As to the first question: The Department of Homeland Security’s emergency cyber-responder team has “seen a three-year surge in cyberattacks” on American critical infrastructure, reporting in June “a 20-fold leap in the number of incidents since the team was created in 2009.”