Michael Brown, former FEMA director (of “heckuva job, Brownie!” fame) endorsing Romney despite his claims that he’ll slash the disaster relief agency’s budget. When Cenk points out there’s no added budget for FEMA in Romney’s or Paul Ryan’s budgets, Brown says, “I’m a Republican, and yes, I’m a partisan, but I’m here to tell you how it really works and what we ought to be doing.” Watch the whole interview here, and catch The Young Turks weekdays at 7E/4P on Current TV. (via current)
Oh good, Romney has clinched the all-important “guy who let a bunch of people die after Hurricane Katrina” endorsement.(via stfuconservatives)
Here’s the thing, Republicans. Here’s the real reality of the situation:
Your side is the one trying to limit our access to birth control and abortion (a legal medical procedure).
Your politicians are the ones talking about how girls “rape easy,” and your sainted Ronald Reagan is the one who started the simultaneously racist, sexist and classist myth of the “welfare queen.”
Just this week, one of your own said he supported forcing women to give birth to a rapist’s baby, and your presidential candidate said he would not withdraw his support for him.
You’re the ones pushing the rumor that Obama’s mother was a porn star who gave birth in Kenya.
Your candidate slammed single mothers right in front of the first president ever born to one.
You’re the ones suggesting bills to cut aid to new mothers.
You’re the ones attempting to defund Planned Parenthoods across the country, which primarily serve young women.
You’re the ones voting down bills like the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Violence Against Women Act.
Oh, and you’re the ones trying to kill Obamacare, which insures millions of American women.
So you’ll have to excuse me if I can’t get my hackles raised over a double entendre about voting and sex. If my choice is between a candidate who lets a celebrity make a cutesy video about her first time and a candidate who will not withdraw his endorsement of a man who says rape babies are part of God’s plan, it’s pretty clear who to choose.
Republicans have been hopping on the “Oh, no! Obama mentioned something about vaginas” Sanctimony Pony every chance they get because even they aren’t dense enough not to realize their party platform is inherently anti-woman. They will do whatever they can in order to pivot the conversation away from “women’s bodies should be subservient to their husbands and fertilized eggs” — because they know that both lady parts and lady smarts tremble in fear at the idea of a Romney presidency. And with good reason. As far as I can tell, most Republican politicians actually do hate me and every other liberal woman out there.
As a young woman, my health, reproductive rights and livelihood are directly threatened by a Romney presidency.
Your team is the one waging the War on Women. Trying to get my feathers ruffled because an ad subliminally mentions sex isn’t going to make me forget that.
I’m starting to wonder if Governor Romney isn’t actually alarmingly shrewd in some ways, and if supposed gaffes and “meme-worthy” moments like Big Bird and binders full of women aren’t crafted precisely to keep everyone talking about those the morning after, rather than just about anything else that came out of his mouth last night. The media coverage focuses on the absurd and totally lets slide the lies, prevarications, and obfuscations — and so he gets away with them all.
And the fact that it’s working really scares me. So many people are clearly missing the many important things that got said last night.
My recap, for anyone who missed it (or who has been so snowed by “binders of women” memes that they can’t remember anymore what happened):
- Gov. Romney apparently totally reversed his opinion on the Blunt amendment, swearing that he has no intention of allowing employers to deny birth control — even though, yes, he does want to do that. I am astonished that no one is calling him out on this this morning.
- Gov. Romney also apparently totally reversed his opinion on the DREAM act — though with some subtle implications that, really, he would just like it if we could just get nice white well-behaved immigrants.
- Gov. Romney continued to totally fail to provide any details of his economic plans. He assured us that, yes, he knows we needs jobs and wants to see us get them — but he still won’t say how he’s going to make that happen. Just that he will! Trust him!
- Gov. Romney also apparently believes that most middle class families are really worried about their capital gains being taxed. Uhm.
- Gov. Romney admitted to his “let Detroit go bankrupt” statement and followed it up with a convoluted explanation of managed bankruptcy which, I’m going to guess, went over most people’s heads.
- Gov. Romney still does not know how math works and is apparently incapable of being told, considering how many real studies (not, y’know, blog posts or things he made up) have pointed out that there is literally no way to cut everyone’s taxes and still have more money, no matter how many loopholes he supposedly intends to close.
- Gov. Romney once again demonstrated that he has no idea how the global oil market operates — or, at least, he’s banking on the fact that most Americans don’t. The US government has almost no ability to affect your price at the pump. What the US government can do is provide incentives to other energy options to get us off of oil sometime soon — which, of course, Gov. Romney is not going to support, given that he’s hand-in-glove with oil tycoons.
- Gov. Romney implied — while standing next to the son of a single mom who went on to, y’know, become President — that single parents are the most significant cause of gun violence.
- Gov. Romney again reiterated his viewpoint that “we are all children of the same God”, a statement that may be seen purely as pandering to his base, but which is also a pretty horrifying glimpse into how he would treat the rest of us, who aren’t. I’m a female bisexual pagan. That’s three counts on which the children of your deity would like to see me made a second-class citizen. Add in the fact that I’m an uppity female who is single, works, lives alone, enjoys sex, and generally takes charge of her own damn life, and, well, I somehow don’t think that your god and mine are seeing eye-to-eye.
- And the binders comment actually is important, but not because it just plain sounded stupid and awkward. Because the implication behind that entire story is that Mitt Romney made it to the Governor’s office apparently without knowing a single woman who was qualified to join his staff. And that points to a pervasive sexism with very deep roots in his worldview.
- That sexism was reinforced when Governor Romney totally failed to explain his position on the Lilly Ledbetter pay equity act. He apparently believes that flex hours will solve all problems with pay equity — and that women need those flex hours because they are, of course, the ones picking up the kids from school and fixing dinner for their husbands. Not all women are mothers, Governor Romney. Not all women are the primary caregivers for their children. This attitude reinforces the backwards notion that all women and only women have those domestic responsibilities in addition to their professional lives.
I’m just making a mirror of the blog post at The Phoenix, because their server is melting at the moment:
Mind The Binder
Hey, I know about that binder! And guess what — Mitt Romney was lying about it.
CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?
ROMNEY: Thank you. An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.” They said, “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said, “Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified?”
And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet.
I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.
I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort.
Not a true story.
What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.
They did the research and put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to Governor Romney when he was elected.
I have written about this before, in various contexts; tonight I’ve checked with several people directly involved in the MassGAP effort who confirm that this history as I’ve just presented it is correct — and that Romney’s claim tonight, that he asked for such a study, is false.
I will write more about this later, but for tonight let me just make a few quick additional points. First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything. None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.
Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)
Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?