Ad Blaming Romney for Woman's Death Defended
An Obama PAC ad blaming Mitt Romney for a woman's death because Bain Capital closed the plant where her husband worked has come under fire for its inaccuracies. The gist of the ad's pitch is that when the plant closed the woman's husband lost his health insurance. The woman subsequently died of cancer.
The ad failed to disclose that the woman had her own insurance through her employer, that the decision to close the plant came at a time when Romney was no longer active in the management of Bain, or that the woman's cancer wasn't diagnosed until several years after the plant's closing.
For its part, the Obama campaign at first denied any connection to the ad. It has since been shown that Joe Soptic, the husband laid off when the plant closed, took part in an Obama campaign teleconference last May. Senior Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter insisted that her prevarication on the issue “shouldn't be allowed to obscure the fact that such a thing could very well have happened. While Romney may not be responsible for the death of this particular woman it is quite clear that his actions would at some point result in someone dying from the lack of health care.”
Cutter argued that “Romney's promise to make the repeal of the Affordable Care Act one of his top priorities if elected pretty much validates the content of the ad. This combined with his career as a businessman shows that he places a higher priority on the financial feasibility of policies than on their benevolent intent. This is the exact opposite of how President Obama sees the world.”
Obama Expresses Dissatisfaction with Media Coverage
President Barack Obama expressed his profound displeasure with the media's coverage of the election campaign.
“I'm sure they think they're being even-handed when they juxtapose the message we're trying to get out with the false assertions of the opposition,” Obama complained. “Unfortunately, this gives an undeserved platform from which the enemies of truth can spread their lies.”
The President said he had hoped that “our friends in the media wouldn't succumb to pressures to appear balanced. When we hand them the truth they shouldn't feel they have to dilute it by inserting the disagreeable counterpoint of a disproved theory. For example, we don't see the viewpoint of the 'flat-earthers' included in every report on astronomy. Why must clearly erroneous opinions on healthcare, taxes, or spending be sandwiched into every piece on the election?”
“If the media continue to feel compelled to include these erroneous opinions why can't they clearly label them as such?” he asked. “I mean, expecting the average voter to sort out the difference between what's true and what's not is may be assigning him a task he isn't capable of handling.”
Reforming the way the media reports on Administration policies is on the President's agenda for a second term. “It's clear that we need to do more than the Federal Election Commission has been doing to police what rhetoric is allowed in public,” Obama said. “We need to add scrutiny of statements that may be made in between election seasons. I think the federal government needs to take a stronger stance on behalf of the truth on a 24/7 basis.”
First Lady Urges Lazy to Get Behind Obama's Reelection Effort
Speaking at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia, First Lady Michelle Obama urged the audience to “rouse your lazy friends to campaign for President Barack Obama’s reelection.”
Though the prospect of inspiring the lazy to take action might seem daunting, Michelle reminded the audience of its importance. “Surely, even the most dedicated sloths can see that reelecting my husband is their best chance for protecting their way of life,” Michelle contended. “It's not as if we're really asking that much. The effort required is minimal and of short duration. A small investment of time over the next three months could help prevent the years of wage-slavery that Republicans will impose on them if they win in November.”
States with Highest Unemployment Likely to Vote for Obama
Polling data shows that voters in the states with the most unemployment are leaning toward Obama. States with the lowest unemployment are leaning toward Romney.
“These results only seem counter intuitive if you're one of those who's bought the GOP line that everyone wants to work,” Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod chortled. “I don't know anyone who's happy about getting out of bed and going to work everyday. The notion that this is something a person ought to do is pure propaganda. It might suit the corporate exploiters who hope to get cheap labor, but it doesn't speak to the President's constituency.”
“The real downside of unemployment is the lack of a stable source of income,” Axelrod explained. “Once voters realize that the President is the one they can trust to break the link between work and pay they'll rally to his cause. It is in the states where larger numbers have appreciated his moves to extend unemployment benefits, eliminate the work requirement for receiving welfare, and remove restrictions on how food stamp money can be spent that the President enjoys the biggest margins over his opponent.”
“There are now over 100 million on this country's welfare rolls,” Axelrod boasted. “Of course, not all of them are voting age. But if we can get a significant fraction of those who are to go out and vote for the Democratic Party we'll have a solid, and I think permanent, majority from here on out.”
In related news, the Government of Massachusetts spent $300,000 on a mailer to nearly half a million welfare recipients encouraging them to register to vote. “We need these people to understand how critical it is for them to vote,” said Governor Deval Patrick (D). “If they let the election be decided by people with jobs we want them to know that there is no guarantee that their interests can be protected. People with jobs may be indifferent or even hostile to being taxed to support those not working. But when 100% of your income comes from the government you ought to do all you can to see that the flow isn't cut off.”
IRS Pays Billions in Refunds on Bogus Claims
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) estimates that the IRS may have paid more than $5 billion on bogus claims in 2011. The root of the problem is Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). These numbers are used by illegal immigrants in lieu of a Social Security number.
The fraud is hardly sophisticated. For example, the IRS issued 2,706 refunds totaling $7.3 million to the same address in 2011. One might think that multiple claims for refunds from the same location would raise a “red flag.” However, IRS supervisors told employees attempting to respond to this red flag to ignore it.
“Given the state of the economy we felt it was imperative to process claims as quickly as possible in order to help get money in the hands of consumers so it could be spent,” explained Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “Taking extra time to check the validity of potential refunds would've impeded the stimulative effects.”
Giethner insisted that “it's not impossible that 2,700 taxpayers could share the same address. Illegal immigrants don't have the same attitudes about sharing living space that we do. The Administration didn't want to jump to conclusions that might be perceived as discriminatory.”
The Secretary further argued that “even if the recipients of some of these refund checks weren't entitled to the money there's no denying the fact that the funds were still pumped back into the economy. In our view, achieving that objective took priority over whether the right person got the refund.”
In related news, a report from the Center for Immigration Studies found that 43% of immigrants who have been in the U.S. at least 20 years were on welfare—a rate nearly twice that of native born Americans. The figure was called “perfectly logical” by Press Secretary Jay Carney. “Considering that the likely employment options for most immigrants entail long hours of hard work for low pay, it makes sense that a large number of them would consider compensated leisure a better deal if they can get it. It's what I'd do if I were in their shoes.”
Citizenship Question Deters Some Voters
A few potential voters were turned away from Michigan polling places this last week when they refused to answer the citizenship question that the state requires they answer before handing them a ballot
One of the turned away voters professed himself confused. “They tell us it is okay to vote, but at the poll they say we have to be citizens,” he said. “I come to America for opportunity. Now I am denied opportunity to vote. I do not understand your system of government.”
Jocelyn Benson, former Democratic candidate for secretary of state and now Director of the Michigan Center for Election Law chastised the Secretary of State’s office for what she said was “an attempt to discourage people from voting. The fear that non-citizens are illegally attempting to vote is unwarranted. The Republicans are just trying to erect as many barriers as they can in the belief that suppressing turn out will favor them. This is not what America is all about. We invite the wretched refuse to come to our country. Why should we get upset if they want to participate in our freedom?”