I dare you to watch this video and not get riled up.
|—||Sorry Mitt, not everybody can borrow from their parents or sell off parts of their portfolio to pay for college. (via paxamericana)|
Mitt Romney Tells Rich Donors His Secret Plan To Cut Housing Assistance
During comments overheard by an NBC news reporter, Mitt Romney told a crowd at a private fundraiser last night that he might eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development, scale back the Department of Education, and eliminate some specific tax provisions. There are all details that he has refused to divulge on the campaign trail:
Romney went into a level of detail not usually seen by the public in the speech, which was overheard by reporters on a sidewalk below.One possibility floated by Romney included the elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Cabinet-level agency once led by Romney’s father, George.
“I’m going to take a lot of departments in Washington, and agencies, and combine them. Some eliminate, but I’m probably not going to lay out just exactly which ones are going to go,” Romney said. “Things like Housing and Urban Development, which my dad was head of, that might not be around later.
Regarding taxes, Romney said, “I’m going to probably eliminate for high income people the second home mortgage deduction.” He also said that he would “likely eliminate deductions for state income and property taxes.” The campaign is already attempting to walk the comments back, with a Romney adviser telling CNN, “He was tossing ideas out, not unveiling policy.”
In 2010, many freshmen Republicans were swept into Congress on the promise of doing things differently.
But fast-forward to 2012, and the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. — an exclusive seaside resort and home to 54 holes of championship golf and a private marina full of luxury yachts.
That’s where we caught up with a select group of Republican freshmen, engaged in business as usual. But they didn’t come alone. They invited big campaign donors and lobbyists to join them - for a price. And we secretly sent our cameras along for a unique inside look at their first joint fundraiser, where special interests got the kind of access ordinary Americans can only dream of: on the golf course; over drinks at the resort bar; at a private beach lagoon.
“Book your Key Largo getaway now,” reads the invitation, obtained by CBS News. The hosts are veteran congressmen Spencer Bachus, of Alabama, Pete Sessions, of Texas, “and 12 of your favorite Republican freshmen!”
The 12: Sandy Adams (Fla.), Quico Canseco (Texas), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Bob Dold (Ill.), Sean Duffy (Wis.), Stephen Fincher (Tenn.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Daniel Webster (Fla.), Mike Grimm (N.Y.), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), Jim Renacci (Ohio) and Cory Gardner (Col).
Congressmen Canseco and Gardner were seen on camera heading in to host happy hour. To get in, donors had to pay at least $10,000.
During his campaign, Gardner promised average voters would inspire his actions. One ad said, “I will always put Colorado families before the Washington special interests.”
But in Key Largo, Gardner appeared to offer special interests lots of face time. He was seen on camera talking to an attendee who said he works for a bank. In another shot, he’s seen going charter fishing as part of the fundraising package — they head out on a group of boats including one named “Good Life.”
It appeared Rep. Webster was going fishin’, too.
Back in 2010 at a Tea Party rally, Webster criticized Washington’s ways, saying, “America’s not broken, Washington is!”
Then, there’s Congressman Renacci manning a golf cart — donors got time on the links as part of the deal.
Some congressmen brought their spouses and special interests got to share lively dinner conversation at a restaurant with gourmet delights such as braised baby octopus and crispy duck confit.
Another shot shows Gardner and Canseco again.
And Rep. Bachus, who recently became the subject of an ethics investigation into whether he used his position for personal gain, which he denies.
Later, we found Canseco mingling over drinks at the resort’s burgee bar.
Then, Congressman Sessions joins the conversation. An individual can legally give up to $46,200 to the joint fundraiser; the money’s split among the freshmen.
It’s perfectly legal for members of Congress to have a getaway at a Florida resort. The question is: Why do lobbyists pay thousands of dollars to be here with them? What are the lobbyists getting in return?
None of the members of Congress agreed to an interview. They referred us to Paul Lindsay at the National Republican Congressional Committee, which organized the getaway.
Asked what the donors are getting out of the weekend, Lindsay replied, “They’re getting a Republican House next year.”
In the last month alone, (Frank) VanderSloot, using threats of expensive defamation actions, has successfully forced Forbes, Mother Jones and at least one local gay blogger in Idaho to remove articles that critically focused on his political and business practices (Mother Jones subsequently re-posted the article with revisions a week after first removing it).
He has been using this abusive tactic in Idaho for years: suppressing legitimate political speech by threatening or even commencing lawsuits against even the most obscure critics (he has even sued local bloggers for “copyright infringement” after they published a threatening letter sent by his lawyers).
This tactic almost always succeeds in silencing its targets, because even journalists and their employers who have done nothing wrong are afraid of the potentially ruinous costs they will incur when sued by a litigious billionaire.
Numerous journalists and bloggers in Idaho — who want to write critically about VanderSloot’s vast funding of right-wing political causes — are petrified even to mention his name for fear of these threats.
As his work on the Romney campaign brings him national notoriety, he is now aiming these tactics beyond Idaho. To allow this scheme to continue — whereby billionaires can use their bottomless wealth to intimidate ordinary citizens and media outlets out of writing about them — is to permit the wealthiest in America to thuggishly shield themselves from legitimate criticism and scrutiny.
This Man has TWICE the COMBINED Wealth of these Men
President Obama’s new rhetoric is starting to convince even the pickiest of voters.
“And Independents, too, now favor Obama on jobs, by 44-31, a big shift from 37-42 in September. And not only do Democrats support Obama’s jobs plan and believe it will improve the jobs situation, but so too do independents, by margins of 47-38 and 52-44, respectively. Moderates, meanwhile, are even more enthusiastic—support figures among this group are 5-9 points higher than among Independents on all these questions. As for raising taxes on the rich: Bring it on! By 65-28, Independents favor raising taxes on households with over a million dollars in income.”
-Ruy Teixeira, “Obama’s New Populism Isn’t Alienating Moderates.”
Poll courtesy of CBS News.