August, 2012

Pentagon Threatens Ex-Navy SEAL with Legal Action

The Pentagon “threatened legal action against the former member of the Navy SEALs who has written a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but the author’s lawyer and the book’s publisher, Penguin, said they were proceeding with publication on Sept. 4,” the New York Times reports.

A spokesman said that the book’s author, Matt
Bissonnette, was “in material breach of nondisclosure agreements he
signed with the U.S. government” to not reveal classified information.

If you want to read the book, you might want to get your order in quickly.

Democrats Will Focus on Bush Economics, Not Bush Himself

In an Obama campaign conference call with reporters, senior adviser David Axelrod said that former President George W. Bush’s policies and legacy — but not Bush himself — will be key to the Obama campaign’s effort to draw a sharp contrast with Mitt Romney, Greg Sargent reports.

“Axelrod joked that Bush the man would get about as much of a mention at the DNC as he did at the RNC — which is to say, almost none at all — but said Bush economics would be very much on the agenda.”

Said Axelrod: “We are going to take issue with the policies that were in place in the last decade, because this is where they want to go back to. These are the policies that they want to embrace once again.”

How is Romney Different Than Bush?

Alex Castellanos, a former political adviser to Mitt Romney:

“At some point in a debate, Obama is going to turn and challenge Romney, saying, ‘Mitt, you have nothing new to offer. In fact, on social issues, foreign policy, taxes, spending, Medicare and everything else, you have nothing different to offer than taking us back to what George Bush proposed. That’s what got us into this mess.’ Romney has yet to answer that question. He has until the first presidential debate Oct. 3, in Denver, to find a response.”

Bonus Quote of the Day

“Republican voters, if you ask them about my particular policy positions, often agree with me. So there’s a difference between Republicans in Washington and Republican and Republican-leaning voters around the country. I think that after this election, we’ll be in a position to once again reach out to Republicans and say that the American people have rendered a judgment, and the positions we’re taking are well within what used to be considered bipartisan centrist approaches.”

— President Obama, in an interview with Parade, on how he’ll be able to work with Republicans after the election.

Judge Restores Early Voting in Ohio

A federal judge in Ohio “is giving all voters in the swing state the option of casting their ballot in person during the three days before Election Day,” the AP reports.

The judge issued a preliminary injunction granting the request from President Obama’s campaign that targets a state law that cuts off early voting for most residents on the Friday evening before a Tuesday election.

Rick Hasen: “This could get very ugly very quickly. This is certainly not the last word, unless SOS Husted chooses not to appeal.”

Did Eastwood Ruin His Legacy?

Michael Moore: “The footage of Eastwood rambling and mumbling to his ‘Harvey’–President Obama–will be played to audiences a hundred years from now as the Most Bizarre Convention Moment Ever. The people of the future will know nothing about Dirty Harry or Josey Wales or Million Dollar Baby. They will know about the night a crazy old man hijacked a national party’s most important gathering so he could literally tell the president to go do something to himself (i.e. fuck himself). In those few moments (and these days, it only takes a few moments–see Anthony Weiner), he completely upended and redefined how he’ll be remembered by younger and future generations.”

Gore Calls for the End of the Electoral College

A dozen years after the razor close presidential race in 2000, Al Gore told Current TV that he now believes the presidency should be decided on the popular vote and not the Electoral College.

Said Gore: “I really do now think it’s time to change that. It’s always tough to amend the Constitution and risky to do so, but there is a very interesting movement under way that takes it state by state, that may really have a chance of succeeding.”

No Mention of Afghanistan

William Kristol: “Mitt Romney said not a word about the war in Afghanistan. Nor did he utter a word of appreciation to the troops fighting there, or to those who have fought there. Nor for that matter were there thanks for those who fought in Iraq, another conflict that went unmentioned.”

“Leave aside the question of the political wisdom of Romney’s silence, and the opportunities it opens up for President Obama next week. What about the civic propriety of a presidential nominee failing even to mention, in his acceptance speech, a war we’re fighting and our young men and women who are fighting it?”

How Eastwood Happened

Mark Halperin: “Convention planners had assumed the Hollywood legend would reprise the powerful and typically gruff/charming performance he delivered at the beginning of August when he showed up out of the blue at a Romney fundraiser in Idaho and said he was backing the Republican.”

“Romney aides played down the impact Eastwood’s odd turn might have on Tampa’s positive impact, but they acknowledge that the empty-chair monologue came as a complete surprise to them. They simply turned the podium over to an iconic superstar and expected him to stand and deliver.”

First Read: “Unfortunately for the Romney campaign, Eastwood was yet another unforced
error. Of course, all campaigns make them… But
Romney and his campaign stumble on the EASIEST of situations.”