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The Mittster has a reputation as sort of a closet moderate, but as John Schmitt argues persuasively at The New Republic. he’s really espousing quite radical stuff these days in his talk about the poor:

“In taking up this new conservative line, Romney and others are trashing an important part of Reagan’s legacy and a significant bipartisan innovation over the past few decades. The idea of supporting and rewarding work and responsibility met up with the recognition that people need supports—health care, child care, income security—in order to take full advantage of opportunities after they leave the ranks of the ‘very poor’….

Romney deserves mockery for his clumsy language. He deserves to be called out for the fact that he wouldn’t actually “repair” the safety net. But we should also recognize that there is an underlying vision to his mangled words, and that that vision marks a dramatic break from the conservative tradition. It’s also far out of step with what people need in order to participate in the modern American economy.”

 

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This is Mitt Romney’s statement from this morning’s appearance on CNN:

I’m in this race because I care about Americans. I’m not concerned about the very poor.  We have a safety net there.  If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine.  I’m concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I’ll continue to take that message across the nation.

Got that? Think about what this means (and what it says about this poor man’s distorted understanding of our country — “poor” as in “pitiful” that is).

According to the U.S. Census, a tenth of the population lived in households with annual incomes Read More

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About each other, that is.

In case you missed it the other day, John Nichols of The Nation had one of the most insightful takes on the latest developments in the GOP presidential primary battle. In it, he quotes thus far unsuccessful GOP candidate Buddy Roemer’s to-the-point tweet:

 “The two frontrunners: A lobbyist and corporate shill. Why are they on top? They have the most $$. We can do better”

 

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Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but the American process for selecting presidential nominees is nuts. The notion that a few thousand troubled and disaffected ultra-rightists — people so far gone that a big chunk of them actually voted for a truly disturbed theocrat like Rick Santorum — are capable of winnowing the field 10 months before the election is beyond amazing. 

For North Carolinians, the crazy, “front-leaded” primary  calendar is a particular drag since it almost always assures that their choices will be greatly reduced, if not nonexistent come the first week of May.

For progressives, last night’s Iowa caucuses provided a mixture of good and bad news. Read More