What do you do if you want to win an election, but you have a Presidential candidate you really didn't want, a VP candidate who turned out to be worse than your last "Game Changer" pick, and have no plan beyond destroying the rest of the country just so your Presidential candidate and others like him can enrich themselves further and pay less taxes, assuming they pays any as it is?
If you're the Republican Party, you obstruct, lie about it, blame it on the other guy, and then pull stunts that today's juveniles would probably rate about a 20 on the lame scale of 1-10.
After a disastrous convention in Tampa last week, the grand finale was Clint Eastwood yelling at an empty chair which stole Mitt Romney's thunder (and I use the term "thunder" ever so loosely,) the 12 year olds running the party, believe it or not, have doubled down on the same tactics.
They came up with quite possibly the worst campaign ad ever made in the history of badly made campaign ads (yes, perhaps even worse than the infamous "Demon Sheep of 2010.")
They brought back the chair. Really.
But this time the chair is occupied. With a cardboard Obama:
Yup. Check your IQ at the door.
Worse, they think it's a great ad! Seriously:
That's this morning's Twitter feed for Sean Spicer, the Communications Director at the Republican National Committee, along with a special appearance by so-called "Bush's Brain" Karl Rove, who also thinks it's a winner.
The ad features an "unhappy former supporter" of President Obama, who is breaking up with him now because he didn't give her a pony. Or something.
Much like the cardboard Obama who has replaced the former invisible Obama which only Clint Eastwood could see, the supporter (SPOILER ALERT!) wasn't a real supporter at all. Nope. In fact, she's actually a former Republican spokeswoman for Florida Governor Rick Scott, which in the "brilliance" department, explains a lot.
And speaking of empty chairs, the empty suit currently holding the job of Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, also thinks this is just the gem they need to turn this clown car around before it goes over the cliff:
Yes. This really is just about all they've got, topped off with a couple more "zingers" to throw at the Democrats out there while Priebus is at it:
Alluding to the speech by President Obama tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, which has been moved inside due to the threat of thunderstorms, Priebus would apparently like you to forget that his party cancelled an entire day of their own convention due to the threat of Hurricane Isaac.
And finally, in one stunningly hypocritical Tweet, Priebus "doth project too much." The man who thought it was a great idea to have an aging actor scream at a chair, occupied with a man only he could see, Priebus speaks of a convention only he can see by saying the DNC "has become a spectacle of pretexts, attacks, distortion, and internal discord."
Well, you might want to take a look in the mirror there, Reince.
The company, Ameritox, is suing one of its competitors, Millennium Laboratories, a company that provides drug testing services for health care professionals. In Millennium's counterclaim, the filing alleges that Ameritox has engaged in unlawful schemes designed to maintain and enlarge its business and increase the value of the firm for the venture capital firms that own and control it at the expense of Millennium and the American public.
From the lawsuit:
Ameritox’s most disturbing conduct involves encouraging health care providers to order testing based on the patient’s insurance coverage, not on the basis of medical necessity, a practice that financially benefits Ameritox but works to the detriment of patients and certain third party payers, most notably including the federal Medicare program. This practice has enriched Ameritox’s owners and investors, including Sterling Partners, Bain Capital Venture Partners, LLC, and Sequoia Capital at the expense of the American people.
These tactics are nothing new for Ameritox: The company has a long and continuing history of offering illegal kickbacks to physicians for referrals. Ameritox’s improper inducements include, but are not limited to, placing personnel in the offices of Ameritox’s customers in violation of state law prohibitions on such placement; providing free or below- market point-of-care testing cups to generate extra revenue for practitioners who use those cups to perform billable testing; and offering other various inducements and kickbacks to practitioners and their medical practices, including gift cards, meals, computers, and office parties. Ameritox’s fraudulent and illegal practices are pervasive and undertaken as part of a scheme to increase its revenues at the expense of Millennium, other competitors, patients, and the United States.
Ameritox is notorious for engaging in fraudulent business practices to gain an unfair competitive advantage. In fact, Ameritox currently is operating under government oversight as a result of a Department of Justice (“DOJ”) investigation, which covered an approximately six-year period of time and charged that Ameritox paid kickbacks to induce health care providers to refer Medicare business to Ameritox. Despite being subject to a five- year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG”) and promising to change its ways, Ameritox has continued to engage in unlawful and anti-competitive conduct in Florida, California, Texas, and throughout the country that is designed to harm Millennium.
Ameritox engages in illegal behavior by changing its testing recommendations to physicians based on insurance coverage. Ameritox’s bottom-line driven strategy includes encouraging health care providers to order tests for patients based on whether their insurance coverage provides lucrative reimbursement instead of based on medical need. Thus, Ameritox pushes frequent testing for patients covered by Medicare or other favorable insurance plans but discourages physicians from testing uninsured patients or patients who do not qualify for reimbursement from third-party payers for such tests.
The filings allege that Ameritox offers financial incentives that flout anti-kickback and unfair financial inducement laws, and that Ameritox continues practices challenged by the DOJ and disallowed in several states.
A Texas laboratory agreed to pay $16.3 million in a civil settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
The settlement is a notable achievement in a continuing campaign against health care fraud in the Tampa Bay area, Robert O’Neill, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, said in a statement.
The settlement addresses allegations that Ameritox LTD paid kickbacks to providers in order to induce them to refer Medicare business, according to a statement from O’Neill’s office.
The federal government will receive $15.5 million from the settlement. The rest will be split among various states.
The federal share of the settlement will provide a $3.4 million payout to a former Ameritox sales representative, Debra Maul. Maul filed suit in the Middle District of Florida under the qui tam (whistle blower) provisions of federal legislation that allows private citizens with knowledge of fraud against the government to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States and to share in any recovery.
Ameritox also sued a low wage working grandmother when the doctor's office she worked at fired Ameritox because they weren't happy with their work. The office switched to another laboratory. Because they were happy with the work Pamela Rockwell did, they recommended her to the replacement company which hired her.
Saying she violated a non-compete agreement, Ameritox sued her, claiming that she had "trade secrets." Rockwell feared losing her job due to the lawsuit, a job that pays only $11.50 an hour.
Bain Capital continues to make a profit at the expense of the companies it gobbles up, and at the expense of those who work for them. In the case of Pamela Rockwell, they compound the misery by suing them, while putting them out of a job. Yet Mitt Romney campaigns on his experience at "job creation" and attacks those who point out the human costs of the ways he does business.
At the same time Paul Ryan was in Tampa giving misleading information on Medicare cuts that would cut down on fraud and waste, Mitt Romney's former company was benefiting from those very things. The Medicare cuts that Paul Ryan's plan include, the very same as Obama's, would go back to the companies themselves and not to the benefit of patients as Obama's will.
Last night when Mitt Romney made his nomination acceptance speech, he said this:
Paul Ryan and I understand how the economy works, we understand how Washington works, we will reach across the aisle and find good people who like us, want to make sure this company deals with its challenges. We’ll get America on track again.
Calling the country a "company" may have been a mere slip, but old habits die hard. Mitt Romney himself says, after all, that he wants to run the country like a business. If he succeeds, he'll put profits over people and government services.
That may be good for companies, but not for Americans.
From the Inbox this morning, a Romney-Ryan fund raising follow up to last night's speech:
"We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility."
Pay no attention to what Paul Ryan does, just listen to what he says. He will not blame others.
That's funny, because that's what he and Republicans have been doing ever since President Obama moved into the White House. (Actually, I take that back. They didn't even wait that long.)
Heck, the man who "will never blame others" began pointing fingers at Obama in this same speech long before he spoke that line.
Ryan began by telling us that it was Obama's fault that the GM plant in his home state closed. Never mind that the plant closed before Obama was even in office. That was on Bush's watch, but by all means, don't let facts get in the way of a good narrative.
Join me as we play The Blame Game 2.0.
More examples of "Ayn Ryan" not blaming others:
The stimulus = Bad, and a waste. (It created jobs.)
The debt. (Again, that was Bush.)
Job loss and creation. (Ryan and Republicans in congress blocked Obama jobs program.)
"ObamaCare." (Where to begin, it's a long list.)
Medicare cuts. (Obama "cuts" cut fraud and abuse, savings benefit patients. Same cuts in Ryan's plan, but Ryan gives that money back to the insurance companies.)
Killing Medicare. (That's Ryan's plan, not Obama's.)
Financial crisis. (Bush.)
Fixing the financial crisis. (Ryan and Congress blocking fixes on behalf of Wall Street.)
Housing crisis. (Bush, Wall Street.)
U.S. Credit Downgrade. (Congress, Ryan obstruction during debt ceiling gets the credit for this one.)
Stirring speeches, props, and slogans, but little action. (Seriously Ryan. Locate a mirror and gaze into it for a while.)
Blames President Obama for blaming things Bush did on Bush. (What's your point?)
Doesn't take responsibility for his actions while in office. (Ryan has led the charge of obstruction in Congress, and yet, crickets.)
President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him. (The "President before him" didn't put the wars on the books.)
He ignored the debt commission, "sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing." (Ryan himself derailed the Simpson-Bowles Commission.)
All President Obama does is attack anyone who dares to point out the obvious. (When Ryan runs out of things to blame POTUS for, he makes up more.)
Spending money we don’t have. (See previous.)
Obama divides up the wealth. (Then where is my check?)
"You didn't build that." (Again, see "making things up.")
(Obama) Manages American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us. (Huh?)
Obama puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record. (Obama promised all this, and this, and it's on the record. OK, you've got him there Ryan. Guilty as charged.)
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. (Again, Ryan blocked the jobs bills. If Romney/Ryan are elected, college will no longer be an option either.)
"And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you." (Pay no attention to the failed leader making this speech.)
(1/3) "None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventure-less journey from one entitlement to the next...." (See: Speeches, props, slogans.)
(2/3) "....a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us." (See: Mitt's Manifesto, Ryan budget, etc..)
(3/3) "I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners." (Ryan financed his college education via Daddy's Social Security. He got his, but you? Well, "Vice Central Planner" wannabe Ryan says you're on your own!)
So there you have it. Paul Ryan will never, NEVER blame others.
Not only that, but Ryan and Mitt Romney will always take responsibility for their actions.
It was day two of the RNC in Tampa, and things took a bit of an ugly turn on Tuesday night.
There was a bit of a rift in their own party ranks when the fears that Ron Paul supporters might cause trouble came true. Even though there was a video tribute of sorts to Paul used to placate them, (Paul refuses to endorse Romney) the Paulites staged a walkout and were also a bit angered when Rand Paul showed his true hypocrisy colors when he threw his support behind Mitt Romney.
Other low lights: A film tribute to both Bush 41 and 43, Rand Paul declared "ObamaCare" unconstitutional in spite of the Supreme Court ruling otherwise, (Why does he hate the Constitution?) John McCain blamed President Obama for defense cuts, instead of himself and Congress, (There's a shock.) Mike Huckabee, classy as always "man of God" attacked Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Tim Pawlenty proved again he has all the charisma of a....I'm sorry, I nodded off. Where was I? Oh yes, Tim Pawlenty. Pawlenty made several of what appeared to be jokes. (They weren't funny.) Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi made a fool of herself in an audience participation health care bashing speech. It didn't go well. (All was not lost though, she did prove that she can read a teleprompter. All three of them.)
Last and least, VP nominee Paul Ryan proved himself once again to be an adept liar, and clueless on most things he claims to be an expert at.
They all blamed everything on Obama, of course, and they all sucked it up and pretended to like Mitt Romney.
Tomorrow several speakers from Florida are scheduled, including the Charlie Sheen of the Sunshine State, Connie Mack IV, who will probably say "Lockstep Liberal" a lot (It's his favorite phrase.) and engage in lots of fake outrage over pretty much anything the President has done, and several things he hasn't done that Mack has dreamed up.
In other words, it's Thursday with the GOP.
Call to order
Introduction of Colors US Central Command Joint Forces Color Guard Team
Pledge of Allegiance by Dylan Nonaka
National Anthem sung by SEVEN
Invocation byKen and Priscilla Hutchins
Remarks by U.S. Rep. Connie Mack (FL)
Reagan Legacy Video
Remarks by Newt and Callista Gingrich
Remarks by Craig Romney
Remarks by Governor former Jeb Bush (FL)
Remarks by Bob White, chairman of Romney for President campaign
Remarks by Grant Bennett
Remarks by Tom Stemberg
Remarks by former Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kerry Healey
Remarks by Jane Edmonds, former Massachusetts Secretary of Workforce
Remarks by Olympians Michael Eruzione, Derek Parra and Kim Rhode
Sure Ann, we've gotten used to the Romney disclaimer that "We can't tell you (fill in the blank)" or you'd NEVER vote for Mitt.
For instance, this email itself. If you don't read the fine print, you might think the money you donate would go directly to Mitt's campaign, instead of a committee, Romney Victory Inc., raising funds for Mitt Romney's campaign, three national Republican party committees and several state GOPs, in this case Idaho, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Vermont.
Also missing from the couple from Massachusetts, or California, or New Hampshire, depending on where they file, the tax returns. As in "show us" and "where are they?" We're still waiting. Of course Ann says "no more!" and "you people" don't need to know what the Romney's pay even though Mitt will make you pay more so he won't have to. We're not likely to see them, because they would only lead to more questions as the first tax disclosure did.
Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.
The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid.
"I think it's ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn't even pay its taxes," said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.
It's ironic all right. Also ironic, in that Mitt claims his money wasn't in the Cayman's for tax reasons, no, no, no! I guess his money prefers the climate. Much like the people who send their money to Arizona for the medical benefits of the heat minus the humidity. What Florida resident doesn't dread Snowbird season when all that money down from Canada and New York hits the roads here tying up traffic for months at a time?
Putting that soft lighting "Barbara Walters filter" back on the cameras, we left off as Ann was telling us the heartwarming tale of a "struggling" Mittens:
Ann Romney's story of struggle is similar to how Mitt Romney has described his adventure on the campaign trail. "I left a steady job to join with some friends to start a new business," Romney said when launching his campaign. "It had been a dream of mine to try and build a business from the ground-up. We started in a small office."
The tale the Romneys are telling, however, is not true. Romney only agreed to run Bain Capital after he had been promised that he could have his old job back if it failed, plus raises he would've missed. He was also promised that if it failed, a cover story would be crafted so that he took none of the professional blame.
Why yes, that's some hard core risk taking right there.
Pardon us if we roll our eyes the next time you want to tell us what a struggle life has been for you, Ann.
The first full day of the RNC has come and gone, and I say good riddance. It was the day the gloves came off, so to speak, and it was also a day filled with weirdness.
It also marked the day where Republicans made it official: The nomination process was completed and they are now stuck with Mitt Romney for the duration. While most accepted their nominee, not everyone was happy. Due to a rule change, Ron Paul supporters, and some Tea Party members caused a bit of a stir.
In other business, the Party unveiled their official platform. Earlier in the week parts of it were leaked and there was a lot of talk about the abortion plank. Now it's official,
the platform bans all abortions along with gay marriage. Also included:
Voter ID, reforms Medicare and Medicaid, and of
Mitt's Manifesto (Photo: Beach Peanuts)
course, it extends the Bush tax cuts. I've only scanned through my copy of the 50 page platform that reads more like something Republicans like to pretend President Obama would propose: A plan to transform the government and our lives. A book of draconian policies to be sure, which I'll get to later on.
It was also a day of endless speeches we've heard before, and while it was supposed to be a day for Republicans to "embrace" their nominee, his name was barely mentioned by many from the evening session. One in particular: Chris Christie, who almost seemed to be practicing for his own nomination rather than Romney's, something not lost by Mitt who looked less than happy with Christie's "performance." At one point Ann Romney stood up to applaud, trying to get Mitt to stand with her. Romney wouldn't budge.
Finally, this was the night for Ann's speech, billed by pundits as a chance to humanize her husband while trying to convince women, again, that Mitt's really the guy they want in the Oval, and has no interest in policing their ovum. Kind of hard to square that on the same day you reinforce your War On Women via that 50 page book.
Ann's was an odd speech too, where she did her best impression of Oprah just chattin' with the ladies ("I love you guys!") and trying to convince women she's just like you. (And who among us doesn't have to read your child's name off of a TelePrompTer, am I right?) Then she suddenly transformed herself from a cloying cheerleader into the angry lady of "You People" fame, you who just might discover how much extra you'll pay in taxes so she and Mitt can pay less. After all, they're the chosen ones and it's their turn for Pete's sake!
All this, along with the lies, distortions, and imagination of people like Ted Cruz and Gov. Nikki Haley, to the righteous indignation of Rick Santorum.
The "fun" begins all over again at 7:00 pm tomorrow.
After the first day of the Republican National Convention, which lasted under ten minutes and consisted of Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus banging an over-sized gavel while smirking, starting up a couple of "debt clocks" showing the debt run up by Republicans and George W. Bush, and announcing recess, the GOP begin day two of their convention. As you can see, fresh from a lengthy recess morning in the sandbox, Priebus gets some more quality time in the spotlight before handing off to his Obama-bashing colleagues.
Among those in the list, noticeably absent is Florida Governor Rick Scott, who "cancelled due to Isaac." Word was at first that he would remain in Tampa to deal with the storm and couldn't spare the reported two minutes of speaking time. Later it was reported that he was banished headed back to Tallahassee to deal with the storm there. Either way, the problem of finding a way to keep him from speaking worked out for the GOP after all. No doubt he'll now be free to spend more time with his voter purge.
Let the GOP levity hatefest begin:
Chairman of the RNC Reince Priebus
Color Guard Knights of Columbus
Pledge of Allegiance by Former Governor Tim Babcock (MT)/ Tom Hogan (FL)
National Anthem sung by Philip Alongi
Invocation by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik
Opening procedural steps, appointment of convention committees
Welcoming remarks, and House and Senate candidates and RNC auxiliaries
RNC Chairman Priebus
RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn
Convention Chief Executive Officer William Harris
Chairman of Tampa Bay Host Committee Al Austin
Republican Congressional Candidates
State Delegate Barbara Comstock (VA)
Representative Tim Griffin (AR)
Republican Senate Candidates
Republican National Committee auxiliaries
Consideration of convention committee reports
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Committee on Credentials Chairman Mike Duncan
Committee on Permanent Organization Chairwoman Zoraida Fonalledas
Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner, Presiding
Official Convention Photograph
Committee on Rules Chairman John Sununu
Committee on Resolutions Chairman Governor Bob McDonnell
Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman U.S. Senator John Hoeven
Committee on Resolutions Co-Chairman U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn
Roll Call for Nomination of President of the United States
Roll Call for Nomination of Vice President of the United States
6:40 p.m. Recess 7:00 p.m. Reconvene
Remarks by Speaker John Boehner
Remarks by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
Video and remarks by Mayor Mia Love (Saratoga Springs, UT), U.S. congressional candidate
Remarks by Janine Turner
Remarks by former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum
Remarks by Host, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
Remarks by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH), accompanied by Jack Gilchrist
Remarks by Governor John Kasich (OH)
Remarks by Governor Mary Fallin (OK)
Remarks by Governor Bob McDonnell (VA), accompanied by Bev Gray
Remarks by Governor Scott Walker (WI)
Remarks by Governor Brian Sandoval (NV)
Remarks by Sher Valenzuela (small business owner, candidate for DE Lt. Governor)
Remarks by Senate Republican Candidate Ted Cruz (TX)
He believes that "Corporations are people, my friend!" (And he would know, since most of his friends are corporations.)
He says he's just an average, everyday guy who's unemployed. (We just have to take his word on that one. It's somewhat difficult to prove since those hard drives from the Massachusetts governor's office "went missing," and he refuses to show voters his tax returns.)
Yes, after months....no, make that years, of "buffering," Mitt Romney is preparing to hit his "refresh" key yet again before an audience of millions at the Republican National Convention here in Tampa. This should be quite a task, considering he's taken just about every position on most issues on one day, taken the opposite position the next, and "Stands by what he said" on that position "Whatever it was." (At least he's consistent....or something.)
So get ready America, whether you like it or not. Mitt Romney is ready for his close up....For now, anyway.