The President's Weekly Address:
Digby has a terrific post in Mother Jones on the modern history of Jim Crow-type voter suppression and how the Democrats have been letting Republicans get away with it, even after the 2000 election travesty in which the Florida tally was a direct result of Jeb Bush's suppression of eligible Florida voters. ...
... Charles Blow covers the most of the same material, but it bears repeating. See also yesterday's News Ledes.
Daniel Gross of Yahoo! News found quite a bit of good and not-so-bad news in yesterday's economic numbers. ...
... Binyamin Appelbaum of the New York Times: "The odds surely increased Friday that the will ride again to the rescue of the faltering economic recovery, making borrowing a little cheaper for a little longer, as it has done repeatedly over the last four years."
** Fire Eric Holder. Joe Nocera: "... the Justice Department has ... taken after the smallest of small fry [in the national mortgage fraud debacle] -- and then trumpeted those prosecutions as proof of how tough it is on mortgage fraud. It is a shameful way for the government to act." The DOJ was willing to spends tens of millions prosecuting John Edwards for hiding his mistress, "Yet this same Justice Department isn't willing to use similar resources ... to go after the pervasive corporate wrongdoing that gave us the financial crisis and the Great Recession.... George W. Bush has turned out to be tougher on corporate crooks than Barack Obama." ...
... Sari Horwitz & Manuel Roig-Franzia of the Washington Post report on how the Obama Justice Department got on board the John Edwards case, an effort begun by George Holding, a Bush holdover prosecutor who is now running for Congress as a Republican. Includes video of three jurors speaking to Matt Lauer on yesterday's "Today Show."
Riding in Cars with Candidates. Gail Collins: "... somehow, the public realized that [John Edwards] who looked so good and sounded so glib was really a fraud. Even without knowing about the secret love child or the sleazy right-hand man, or the impressive ability to stare right into a TV camera and lie like a rug, they got his number and picked other people to run for president. Voters' gut instincts are generally pretty good. They certainly were with John Edwards. Which is, in a way, a happy ending to an awful story."
Dan Amira of New York magazine: "Good news. People eat other people on a pretty regular basis." See also today's News Ledes.
The MSM are beginning to fact-check Willard:
... Jake Tapper of ABC News: "Yesterday in California, Mitt Romney stood in front of the failed Solyndra factory and said 'an independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors.' In a TV ad focused on Solyndra, the Romney campaign makes a similar claim, saying the 'Inspector General said that contracts were steered to friends and family.' This isn't true. [blah blah]... That isn't correct. [blah blah]... The charge is simply false." ...
... AP: "Mitt Romney ... didn't get the story completely straight when he accused the administration of favoring 'cronies.'" ...
... BUT. Media Matters: "Economic experts agree that spending cuts in a weak economy hurt the creation of jobs and economic growth. Though Republicans in Congress spent much of 2011 demanding spending cuts, the media are amplifying their attacks on President Obama's economic record."
... Ha Ha. Simon van Zuylen-Wood of The New Republic: even as Willard has been hammering Obama on Solyndra & green energy loans & promising to abolish the entire DOE loan program, "a surprising dissent can be found in Ohio Senator Rob Portman [R], often mentioned as a potential [Romney] running mate, who has sponsored a bill that would expand the program. And since he assumed office, in 2010, Portman has relentlessly badgered Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve a guarantee four times larger than Solyndra's for a teetering Ohio nuclear facility. Can the GOP handle a potential veep who seems A-OK with such innovation-killing 'government overreach'?"
** Andrew Miga of the AP: "With a few strokes of his pen on a sleepy holiday six months after he became governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney quietly scuttled the state government's long-standing affirmative action policies.... When civil rights leaders, black lawmakers and other minority groups finally learned of Romney's move two months later, it sparked a public furor." CW: Read the whole story.
Julie Davis of Bloomberg News: "Romney ... doesn't intend to offer targeted relief for the 11.5 million American homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, [Romney's policy adviser] said, suggesting that such actions are temporary fixes insufficient to stabilize the housing market. 'Governor Romney has indicated that there are some steps we ought to take to ensure that we're growing our economy.... I do think we have to resist the temptation for short-term approaches.'" CW: Remember when Romney said, "Don't try and stop the foreclosure process"? He meant it.
It's Friday, so time for another installment of Steve Benen's epic WIP, Mitt's Mendacity, which is now in Vol. XX, & lists Willard's 18 Whoppers of the Week.
With Friends Like These.... Frankly, the Romney people did the only thing they could. They used their strengths -- which were money and the super PAC and a willingness to go after me very aggressively -- to offset my strength, which was an ability to define a larger, better future. It's not bad to say [Romney] has proven he will do what it takes to beat Obama. It's the nature of our current political culture that cynicism trumps idealism. -- Newt Gingrich, newly-minted Romney surrogate
With Friends Like These.... Rodney Hawkins of CBS News: "Former President Bill Clinton, seeking to contain the political damage from his earlier praise of Mitt Romney's 'sterling' business background, said on Friday that his remarks shouldn't be construed as an endorsement." CW: Clinton's remarks about Romney are, for me, just another of many reminders of what a lousy, right-wing president Clinton was. ...
... Tim Mak of Politico: "Mitt Romney on Friday thanked former president Bill Clinton for complimenting his work at Bain Capital, saying he was 'happy to see President Clinton … called my record superb.'" ...
... Karoli of Crooks & Liars has a good take on Clinton's sterling remark: "Once again, a surrogate steps all over the campaign message in order to praise ... Bain Capital? And not just any surrogate, either. Bill Clinton, who signed the repeal of Glass-Steagall into law, which is ultimately responsible for the 2008 meltdown on Wall Street. That very same Bill Clinton."
** Steve Benen nails Congressional Republicans for causing the near-zero jobs growth: "As panic sets in after [Friday]'s brutal jobs report, take a moment to consider a hypothetical: what would the economy look like today if Congress had followed Obama's lead, responded to public-opinion polls, and passed the American Jobs Act? In 2012, do you think the nation could use those 1.3 million jobs or not?." CW: Obama kinda sorta said this yesterday & has done a slightly better job of it in his weekly address. But he needs to really lay it out -- then present a full-fledged program of what Congress should do instead of campaigning on this nitpicking Congressional "honey-do" list.
... Bernie Becker of The Hill: At a committee hearing, "A top House Democrat slammed Jeb Bush on Friday for criticizing President Obama's economic policies while not condemning those of his brother, former President George W. Bush. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, noted that hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs in the months before former President Bush left office in 2009, and said Bush's policies tipped the scales toward the wealthy and Wall Street."
Devin Dwyer of ABC News: President Obama told a group of Minnesota donors that he thinks Republicans will get more reasonable after the election since he won't be running for re-election & they'll start being cooperative. CW: He said this in the state that brought us Michele Bachmann.
Jeremy Peters of the New York Times: "The Fox News producer behind a provocative four-minute anti-Obama video that aired Wednesday and caused the network considerable embarrassment has found his career on ice. The producer, Chris White, had been offered a job by CNN before the video was broadcast. But on Thursday, a CNN spokeswoman said that the network would not be hiring him." ...
... BUT. Here's a surprise. Alex Alvarez of Mediaite: "Chris White ... will remain at Fox News." He did something terrible for which he was "not authorized," but we're keeping him on anyway. See links in the May 31 Commentariat. ...
... John Hudson of the Atlantic, who must be dumb as a post, said the video below, produced by an outside entity and aired in February on Chris Matthews' show -- which is commentary, not news -- was just like Fox "News"'s "factual" hit job on President Obama. Anyway, the video is humorous:
... Meanwhile, a much smarter guy at the Atlantic -- Jim Fallows -- republishes John Sides' charts tracking positive & negative MSM coverage of Obama & Romney. "Main point: At no time in the past year has coverage of President Obama been as positive as that of Governor Romney. Indeed, at no time in the past year has it been on-balance positive at all."
President Clinton stumps for Barrett:
An outtake from Thursday's gubernatorial debate in Wisconsin. (I looked for video of the full debate yesterday and couldn't find it -- but the audio is here):
... Charles Pierce comments on the debate.
Boston Globe: "After building questions about the durability of her Senate candidacy, Elizabeth Warren displayed brute strength today by winning the endorsement of 96 percent of delegates to the state Democratic convention and blocking potential opponent Marisa DeFranco from the party's primary ballot. The win allows Warren to instead focus on Republican Senator Scott Brown in the general election."
Guardian: "The Queen has kicked off the first major event of her diamond jubilee weekend, driving on to Epsom racecourse before the Derby to be greeted by 130,000 enthusiastic racegoers. Fans in the stands gave the monarch and Duke of Edinburgh a huge cheer as they were driven down the course past the hospitality tents."
New York Times: "An Egyptian judge on Saturday sentenced former President Hosni Mubarak to life in prison for the killing of unarmed demonstrators during protests that ended his rule.... His interior minister, Habib el-Adly, was sentenced to life for the same reason, but the charges against other Interior Ministry officials were dismissed. The judge also dismissed the bribery charges against Mr. Mubarak and his sons, concluding that the statute of limitations had lapsed." ...
... Reuters: "Deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarakand other defendants standing trial with him must be retried with solid evidence, the Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement issued on Saturday by the campaign of its presidential candidate."
AP: "The U.N.'s top human rights official said Saturday that there should be no amnesty for serious crimes committed in Syria, even if the threat of prosecution might motivate members of the regime to cling to power at all costs."
AP: "Two female foreign aid workers and their two Afghan colleagues were rescued in a pre-dawn raid Saturday after being held by militants for 11 days in a cave in northern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led military coalition said. The women -- Helen Johnston and Moragwe Oirere -- and the two Afghans were kidnapped on May 22 in Badakhshan province. The four work for Medair, a humanitarian non-governmental organization based near Lausanne, Switzerland."
AP: "The credibility of Trayvon Martin's shooter could be an issue at trial after a judge said that George Zimmerman and his wife lied to the court about their finances to obtain a bond, legal experts say. That's because the case hinges on jurors believing his account of what happened the night the 19-year-old was killed."
AP: "For more than 50 years, the New York Mets chased that elusive no-hitter. Johan Santana finally finished the job. Santana pitched the first no-hitter in team history, helped by an umpire's missed call and an outstanding catch in left field in an 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night." New York Times story here. And a banner headline in the New York Daily News online edition, natch.
Weird "News." New York Daily News: "With fears of a possible 'Zombie Apocalypse' growing, the feds have been forced to deny that the undead are real. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made it clear in a statement that flesh-eating, undead creatures definitely don't exist. 'CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms),' CDC spokesman David Daigle wrote to the Huffington Post on Thursday."