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Romney's 3 Big Lies at the convention


1. Romney-Ryan Will Create 12 Million Jobs
“I’m running for president to help create a better future. A future where everyone who wants a job can find a job.  Where no senior fears for the security of their retirement. An America where every parent knows that their child will get an education that leads them to a good job and a bright horizon. And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.”
This sounds like a lot. But the problem with Romney’s promise here isn’t that he’s too pie-in-the-sky. It’s that these jobs are pretty much coming to us anyway. A number of economic forecasters, including Moody’s Analytics and Macroeconomic Advisers have said that the economy will add a baseline number of about 12 million jobs between 2012 and 2016 – pretty much the whole time Romney would like to put his feet up on the desk in the Oval Office. Moody’s analysts have said that this baseline is “agnostic with regard to who is elected in November.”
2. Obama Apologizes for America
“I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began his presidency with an apology tour. America, he said, had dictated to other nations. No, Mr. President. America has freed other nations from dictators.”
As president of the United States, Mitt Romney would never apologize for America – as the title of his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness makes clear. Prominent Republicans however have tried to make the case that during his time in the Oval Office, President Obama has bowed the knee to what can seem like every world leader, practically begging for American forgiveness. But in a review published by the Washington Post in February of 2011, the paper ran down the supposed expressions of remorse and regret, and found that the “apology tour” was little more than an invention. 
3. Obama Will Cut $716 Billion to Medicare
“His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors and oppress innovation and jobs in medicine.”
Both Romney and Ryan have followed up this line of attack against Obama, and while it has a grain of truth to it, the statements are mostly misleading. The Obama administration has not put forward any plan that will outright gouge more than $700 billion from Medicare. However, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care reform law, or Obamacare, does include measures designed to decrease healthcare costs in Medicare by an estimated $716 billion over the next decade. About $415 billion of that reduction is projected to come from dwindling Medicare Part A payments – a well which is projected to run dry by 2024 anyway.

U.S. District Court shoots down Texas Phony Voter ID Law


A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the evidence showed the law's impact would "fall most heavily on the poor and that a disproportionately high percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas live in poverty."
The law, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature in 2011, required voters to present one of six forms of photo ID before casting their ballots.
The entire ruling is online here (pdf).
As Bloomberg News noted, today's decision "marks the first time a U.S. court weighed in on the Obama administration's effort to use the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to block a state from requiring photo ID to vote."
The appeals court panel, by the way, was unanimous in the ruling, including the judge appointed to the bench by George W. Bush.

One Term More

One Term More - With Subtitles from One Term More on Vimeo.

RNC Convention: “We built it.” - no you Didn't Unions and Working People Did


Jon Stewart on Wednesday continued his Republican National Convention coverage, taking issue with one of the GOP’s defining mantras: “We built it.”
“When was the last time we heard a catchphrase that was such a peculiar mix of braggadocio and whiny petulance,” Stewart said.
But it has become the Romney campaign’s defining theme. Only one small problem, Stewart said: it’s based on a statement by President Obama that Republicans have taken wildly out of context.
The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
RNC 2012 - The Road to Jeb Bush 2016 - We Built It
www.thedailyshow.com

Paul Ryan Lying to Obscure the Greed

UPDATE From FACTCHECK.ORG:

 Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention contained out right LIES and misleading statements. Delegates cheered as the vice presidential nominee:
  • Accused President Obama’s health care law of funneling money away from Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” In fact, Medicare’s chief actuary says the law “substantially improves” the system’s finances, and Ryan himself has embraced the same savings.
  • Accused Obama of doing “exactly nothing” about recommendations of a bipartisan deficit commission — which Ryan himself helped scuttle.
  • Claimed the American people were “cut out” of stimulus spending. Actually, more than a quarter of all stimulus dollars went for tax relief for workers.
  • Faulted Obama for failing to deliver a 2008 campaign promise to keep a Wisconsin plant open. It closed less than a month before Obama took office.
  • Blamed Obama for the loss of a AAA credit rating for the U.S. Actually, Standard & Poor’s blamed the downgrade on the uncompromising stands  Republicans..
And when he wasn’t attacking Obama, Ryan was LYING about the record of his running mate, Mitt Romney, on taxes and unemployment.
Note to Readers
Our deputy managing editor, Robert Farley, is on the scene in Tampa at the convention center. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Next week, we will dispatch our managing editor, Lori Robertson, to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic convention. We intend to vet the major speeches at both conventions for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.
Taking Money from Medicare?
Ryan continued the campaign’s false line of attack that Obama had “funneled” money out of Medicare to pay for the federal health care law “at the expense of the elderly.” But that’s contradicted by Medicare’s chief actuary, in a statement at the end of the most recent report of the system’s trustees (our emphasis added):
Medicare Actuary, April 23, 2012: [Obama's] Affordable Care Act makes important changes to the Medicare program and substantially improves its financial outlook …
Medicare’s money isn’t being taken away. The Affordable Care Act calls for slowing the growth in spending, a move that — if successful — would keep the hospital insurance trust fund solvent for longer than if the reductions didn’t happen.
Ryan himself proposed keeping most of these same spending cuts in his most recent “Path to Prosperity” budget. Yet, Ryan criticized Obama’s cuts as “the biggest, coldest power play of all” and suggested seniors would suffer as a result.
Ryan, Aug. 29And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. … [T]hey just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.
The Affordable Care Act calls for a $716 billion reduction in the future growth of Medicare spending over 10 years, with most of that — about $415 billion — coming from a reduction in the future growth of payments to hospitals through Medicare Part A. And Medicare Part A’s trust fund, as we’ve explained before, is in trouble financially. It’s set to be insolvent in 2024, even with these spending cuts. Without them, the trust fund wouldn’t be able to fully pay projected benefits in 2016, the Medicare trustees estimate.
Deficit Commission
Ryan accused Obama of doing “exactly nothing” about recommendations from a bipartisan presidential commission to reduce the deficit. But Ryan himself was among a minority of commission members whose opposition scuttled the plan and prevented it from being sent automatically to Congress for action.
Ryan: He created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanks them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing. Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing — nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s report proposed deep spending cuts in both domestic and military spending, and an overhaul of the tax code that would have lowered rates but raised revenues — all in an attempt to slow the growth of government by $4 trillion over 10 years.
Many Republicans, including Ryan, opposed the military cuts and new tax revenue, while many Democrats opposed changes to Social Security that included raising the full retirement age.
The 18-member commission needed a super majority of 14 votes in order to bring the report to a vote in Congress. But it received the support of just 11 members. Seven members, including Ryan, opposed it, thus blocking congressional action.
In a statement on the final report, Ryan said he “could not support the plan in its entirety,” but said some elements of it were “worthy of further pursuit.”
Ryan opposed the commission’s approach to paying for lower federal income tax rates by taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income (see footnote on page 29). In his own latest budget plan, Ryanproposed to keep the current capital gains tax rate, arguing that to do otherwise “could precipitate a flight of capital away from job-creating businesses.”
Like Ryan, Obama thanked the commission in a Dec. 3, 2010, statement that promised to “study closely” its proposals for possible inclusion in his own budget plans. Nine months later, Obama submitted adeficit reduction plan to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that was designed to reduce the deficit by $3.6 trillion over 10 years through a package of spending cuts and tax hikes.
Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, tried to work out a so-called “Grand Bargain” that would have reduced the deficit through a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts — and even changes to Social Security. The New York Times reported that the Grand Bargain would have raised the retirement age and changed the formula for calculating benefits. But, as the Times reported, the deal fell through as members of Boehner’s caucus objected to raising taxes.
In short, both Ryan and Obama have proposed deficit-reduction plans — and each opposed the other’s plan.
Stimulus Deceit
Ryan falsely claimed that the stimulus failed to help taxpayers and that it “cut out” the American people. Actually, more than 25 percent of stimulus dollars went to provide tax relief for workers.
Ryan: [The stimulus] cost $831 billion. The largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. … You, the American people of this country, were cut out of the deal.
The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation calculated that about $230 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided tax relief. Much of that money, about $116 billion, funded theMaking Work Pay tax credit for workers. In 2009 and 2010, the credit gave up to $400 to individuals earning up to $75,000, and gave up to $800 to couples earning up to $150,000.
Janesville Plant Closing
Ryan cited the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., as evidence of Obama’s failing to deliver on promises made in the 2008 presidential campaign. But as it happens, the plant closed before Obama even took office.
Ryan: My own state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.
A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.
Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.
Here’s what Obama told workers during a campaign stop at the struggling GM plant in Janesville back in 2008:
Obama, Feb. 13, 2008: And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it’s where it will thrive. I want it to thrive …
It’s true that the plant didn’t last another year, as Ryan said. In fact, the Business Journal in Milwaukeewrote that the assembly plant shut down on Dec. 23, 2008, at the tail end of the Bush administration, a victim of the financial crisis and dwindling demand for the SUVs produced at the plant. That’s nearly one month before Obama was sworn into office.
About 100 workers were kept on in 2009 to finish a truck order and help shut down the plant, according to the Associated Press.
‘Downgraded America’
Ryan faulted Obama for a credit downgrade for which Ryan’s own party shares equal responsibility. Ryan said that “a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close,” adding:
Ryan, Aug. 29: [Obama's presidency] began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States; it ends with the downgraded America.
Ryan refers to the decision of Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency, to downgrade its score for U.S. Treasury obligations from AAA to AA+ on Aug. 5, 2011. That took place just four days afterCongress voted to raise the federal debt ceiling, following lengthy negotiations in which House Republicans sought to force concessions from Obama and Senate Democrats as the price for raising the ceiling and averting the first default on Treasury debt payments in U.S. history.
In its report, Standard & Poor’s blamed both Republicans and Democrats for failing to come to agreement on spending cuts or revenue increases sufficient to reduce U.S. deficits significantly. It said:
S&P, Aug. 5, 2011: The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. …
Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee [of Congress] decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.
Ryan, of course, is among those Republicans opposed to any “new revenues” from tax increases.
Puffing Up Romney’s Record
Running through Romney’s credentials, Ryan boasted about Romney’s fiscal and jobs record as governor of Massachusetts. But there’s a bit less there than Ryan lets on.
Ryan: He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in 10 legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Gov. Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.
It’s true that Romney balanced the state budget every year — as Massachusetts’ Constitution requires — and Romney never raised personal income taxes. But as we have noted whenever this claim has arisen — which has been frequently — Romney did hike  government fees by hundreds of millions of dollars, and he also closed loopholes on some corporate taxes.
Ryan also said that under Romney, “unemployment went down.” That’s true. According to unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Massachusetts went from 5.6 percent when Romney took office in January 2003 to 4.6 percent when he left office in January 2007.
But when considered in light of an improving national economy, Romney’s record on unemployment is a bit less impressive. Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was slightly lower than the national rate when Romney took office, and it was roughly the same as the national rate when he left.
– Robert Farley, with Brooks Jackson, Eugene Kiely, Lori Robertson and Ben Finley
POSTED BY BROOKS JACKSON ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2012 AT 1:42 AM FILED UNDER THE FACTCHECK WIRE. TAGGED WITH .




Watching that speech by Paul Ryan was like staring at a carnival mirror: it's warped and full of distortions, but we can tell that what we’re seeing just isn’t right.

How can it be right, according to Ryan, that we can’t afford to keep our promises to seniors on Medicare, but we can afford to give a $4 trillion tax break for the rich?  How can it be right to tell more than a million middle class families that we’ll no longer help them pay for their kids’ college, but we will help pay to ship their jobs overseas?

Rep. Paul Ryan's speech to the Republican Convention tonight wasn't grounded in reality.

He leveled false attack after false attack against the President, while neglecting to give a single idea for how to move our country forward.

He also didn't mention that the Romney-Ryan plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, or that their promise to repeal Obamacare would take away access to health care for 32 million Americans. And don't even get me started on how they want to end a woman's right to make her own health care decisions.

Here are the top five examples:

  • Medicare
    Ryan forged his reputation in large part by drafting and advancing an unpopular plan to dramatically cut and privatize Medicare. Though he didn’t mention that plan once on Wednesday, he included it in his last two budgets, both of which preserved the Affordable Care Acts cuts to Medicare — taken mostly from overpayments to private insurers and hospitals.
    Instead, Ryan once again dubiously accused President Obama of being the true threat to Medicare.
    “You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”
    Obama did use those Medicare savings — in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, not in benefits to seniors — to pay for the health care law. Ryan’s budget calls for using them to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney are pledging to hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years.




  • U.S. Credit Rating
    Ryan said the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”
    Standard & Poors downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, of which Ryan is a key leader, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority — risking a default on the debt — unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments. Ryan even briefly toyed with the idea that the country’s creditors would forgive default for “a day or two or three or four” as long as Democrats ultimately agreed to GOP demands.
    • Janesville GM Plant
      Ryan criticized Obama for — yes — not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.
      “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years,’” Ryan recalled. “That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”
      Ignoring the inconsistency of a Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, the plant in question closed before Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
    • Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission
      Ryan chastised Obama: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”
      Ryan sat on that commission. He voted against it. Following his lead, so did the panel’s other House Republicans.
    • Protecting the Poor
      Near the end of his speech, Ryan claimed the campaign’s top priority is protecting the poor. “We have responsibilities, one to another — we do not each face the world alone,” he said. “And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.”
      Just under two thirds of the dramatic spending cuts in Ryan’s budget target programs that benefit low-income people. That plan also calls for large tax cuts for high-income earners.





  • Lying to Obscure the Greed
    In a move seemingly designed to taunt fact-checkers, Ryan reprised his claim that Obama broke a promise made during the 2008 presidential campaign to keep a General Motors plant open in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis., but instead was ultimately responsible for its closing. But the plant closed while George W. Bush was in office, and Obama never made such a promise. (As I write, PolitiFact has already rated this part of Ryan's speech as false.)
    Here's a taste of just how blatant the lying got, from the prepared text of Ryan's speech:
    A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.
    Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.  It is locked up and empty to this day.  And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight. 
    Ryan also repeated the $716 billion lie by the Romney camp, debunked here by AlterNet's Joshua Holland, which recasts the Medicare budget savings built into the Affordable Care Act as a "raid" on the treasured program.
    Then there were those deceptions based on sins of ommision, such as Ryan's purported proof of Obama's unwillingness to rein in the budget: the vice presidential candidate dared to speak of the Bowles-Simpson debt-reduction commission as if it was something he supported, when, in fact, it was Ryan who led Republicans on the commission to vote against its final recommendations. Likewise, Ryan failed to note that his own budget plan would trim $700 million from Medicare.
    (The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn and the Washington Post's Jonathan Bernstein have excellent assessments of the fact #fail in Ryan's speech, hereand here.)
    Ayn Rand, the Great Awakening and the Founding Fathers
    The cognitive dissonance that clanged throughout Ryan's speech also extended to philosophical and theological references that would seem to cancel each other out, but have nonetheless come to characterize the philosophical pastiche that characterizes the talking points at Americans For Prosperity events. You've got your Ayn Rand -- an atheist and Ryan's favorite philosopher -- present in Ryan's casting of Obamacare as the work of "central planners." You've got your Great Awakening in his assertion that our rights come from God, not government. (On this point, the comic Elon James White, who is African American, tweeted that if this is the case, God was a little slow.) You've got your Enlightenment-influenced Founding Fathers in Ryan's tracing of our rights to nature.
    Add ire and stir, and you've got the Kochian prescription for rallying resentful white people to view government as the enemy, even though its dimunition would ultimately harm the very people enlisted as foot-soldiers in the anti-government cause, and further enrich the likes of Charles and David Koch.
    Morals versus religion
    Ryan is frequently depicted as pious Catholic, despite his denial of a preferential option for the poor -- a staple of Catholic doctrine, In one sign of the mainstreaming of Catholicism into the body of conservative Christian denominations, Ryan was also enlisted to vouch for Romney as a moral and pious man -- even if he is a Mormon, a member of a faith that both the evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics who make up the Republican white-people coalition view with some suspicion.
    In coded language, Ryan assured convention delegates and television viewers that the morals that mattered most to them were among those most dearly held by Romney: opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. From the text of Ryan's speech:
    Mitt and I also go to different churches.  But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example.  And I’ve been watching that example.  The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country. 
     Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed.  We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope.  Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.  
    Lies, delivery and the post-fact society
    The gamble the Romney campaign has made throughout this campaign, and most obviously in this year's Republican National Convention, is that the truth no longer matters, and that facts are irrelevant to the voting process. There's probably less risk to that gamble than one might think.
    It has long been proven that people vote based on their emotions and their self-determined cultural identity. Because the narrative offered by Ryan and Romney feeds on the resentment already felt by so many middle-class whites -- a sense that they are somehow being shortchanged while others advance from their previously restricted positions -- it resonates. And for the Republican voter, that's all the "truth" that matters, the "truth" that vindicates his or her rage. Facts be damned -- damned to hell.



    Russell Pearce’s Racist Political Career Over

    Immigration hardliner Russell Pearce’s burning desire to return to office in Arizona got doused with cold water on Tuesday night when he lost the Republican primary for state Senate to a moderate businessman who took a softer tone on immigration. It was the second time in less than a year that Pearce, a tea party favorite who was once one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona, was put to bed by a moderate and it marked the end of a disastrous attempt to regain his standing in state politics. Read More →

    Jon Stewart: ‘We built this’ RNC theme a tribute to union workers


    On his show Tuesday night, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart joked that the theme for the Republican National Convention — “We Built This” — was a tribute to the union workers who built the state-funded Tampa Bay Times Forum. He also lampooned the media’s histrionic fear of Tropical Storm Isaac, which briefly delayed the RNC.
    Watch video, via Mediaite, below:

    Teabagger out Teabags Dan Quayle In Arizona Primary


    Rep. Schweikert tops Quayle in Arizona's member matchup 
    Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) defeated fellow freshman Rep. Dan Quayle in their member-vs-member primary.
    Quayle called him to concede, the Arizona Republic reports. The Associated Press has called the race.
    According to the most recent results, Schweikert had 53 percent of the vote to Quayle's 47 percent, with nearly 80 percent of precincts reporting.

    Read the story here.

    Mitt Romney steals the Republican presidential nomination

    TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney steals the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night at a storm-delayed national convention scripted to propel him into a close race for the White House in tough economic times.
    The former Massachusetts governor watched on television with his wife, Ann, at a hotel suite across the street from the convention hall as delegates sealed his hard-won victories in the primaries and caucuses of last winter.
    New Jersey put him over the top in a ritual roll call of the states.
    Minutes later, Republicans nominated Paul Ryan for vice president, completing the GOP ticket.
    Republican mockery of President Barack Obama began almost instantly from the podium at a convention postponed once and dogged still by Hurricane Isaac. The Democratic president has “never run a company. He hasn’t even run a garage sale or seen the inside of a lemonade stand,” declared Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican Party.
    Following the roll call vote around 6pm eastern time Tuesday afternoon, Mitt Romney officially stole the nomination as the Republican Presidential candidate and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan was officially nominated as the Republican Vice Presidential candidate.
    Republican National Convention Presidential nominee vote, 2012
    CandidateFirst BallotPercentage
    Mitt Romney2,06190.1%
    Ron Paul1908.3%
    Rick Santorum90.39%
    Michele Bachmann10.04%
    Jon Huntsman10.04%
    Buddy Roemer10.04%
    Abstain231%
    Totals2,286100.00%
    Report from the Chicago Sun-Times:


    Priebus Gets Told re Romney's 'Race Card'


    Priebus Gets Told re Romney's 'Race Card'

    In the clip below from MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' political talk show, 'Hardball' Anchor Chris Matthews livens of the proceedings by calling out GOP Chairman Reince Priebus on the Republican ticket's campaign tactics and Romney's playing the race card.

    Visit NBCNews.com for breaking newsworld news, and news about the economy

    All in all, it's an excellent example of what serious political journalism looks like.

    GOP Taking Points For The Convention


    The Republican Party has produced a series of talking points for its surrogates to discuss the party's platform. The messaging guidance is posted below.
    The past two days have shown us we are united in our conservative principles, there have been contentious Platform discussions in the past but with more voices than ever before our Party is united behind our vision for a stronger economy and united behind our nominee Mitt Romney.    
    The all-inclusive platform drafting process also contained contributions from over 30,000 people from around the country through social media including the Party’s own gopplatform2012.com website. And for the first time we included a Constitution plank.

    Our Platform has some very stark differences between us and President Obama from creating jobs through the Keystone Pipeline, an all of the above energy plan, keeping taxes low and eliminating regulations for small businesses.

    While Obama fails to put forward any solutions for our country, our Platform protects Medicare for seniors while strengthening it for future generations, is dedicated to cutting government spending, lowers the corporate tax rate and audits the Federal Reserve.

    Other sections included the GOP’s strong commitment to valuing every human life, recognition of traditional marriage as between one man and one woman, and affirming our Party’s commitment to veterans, a strong national defense, and to defending Israel. 

    The next step is for the entire GOP Convention to vote on our work next Monday as we come together in Florida and I’m excited for what lies ahead for our Party as we work to elect Mitt Romney and replace Barack Obama in the White House.

    Democratic Convention Speakers


    This week, news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post covered the DNCC announcements of additional speakers including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, as well as a group of women leaders including Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, Caroline Kennedy, and Obama Campaign Co-Chair Eva Longoria; The Charlotte Observer reported the DNC release of the community credential that will act as a ticket to the President and Vice President’s speeches when they accept the nomination; and The One Feather covered the DNC invitation to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to attend the convention.
    The Democratic convention will feature a slate of familiar faces and up-and-comers who will frame the race for the White House as a choice between two economic visions, offering insider views of President Obama making tough decisions, assessments of how his policies have played in swing states and an examination of Mitt Romney’s record in Massachusetts
    “The Democratic National Convention Committee has released an image of the “community credential” — the ticket that will get people into Bank of America” Stadium on Sept. 6 to hear acceptance speeches from President Obama and Vice President Biden. The “community credential” carries the DNC slogan “Americans Coming Together” and pictures Obama and Biden in front of the words “Moving America Forward.” The back of the ticket will have a map of Bank of America Stadium, showing the public entrances, and a code allowing people to download the app for the convention to their cell phones.”
    “Nine additional Democratic women, many with ties to specific voting blocks, will address the national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Democratic National Convention Committee said Wednesday. The list includes Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin; Georgetown student Sandra Fluke; Caroline Kennedy; Lilly Ledbetter; Eva Longoria, a co-chair of the Obama campaign; former Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary Tammy Duckworth; Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.”
    “From the very beginning, the president wanted us to make sure we were the most accessible and open convention in history,” said Steve Kerrigan, the CEO of the Democratic convention, who noted that this is the first-ever convention to include an office of “public engagement.” One goal was clear from party officials: drawing a contrast with Republicans similar to the one that Obama has sought to draw with his opponent, Mitt Romney, about their visions for the nation. Just as Obama talks regularly about protecting middle-class programs that he says Romney would slash, the Charlotte convention will feature public events and service projects for the city — while the Republican schedule in Tampa does not feature a single event for the general public, except a festival being staged independently by former Texas Rep. Ron Paul.