Harry Reid, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, And The Death Of Journalistic Integrity

Publishing unsubstantiated rumor is not journalism.

Citing an interview that appeared late yesterday in The Huffington Post, Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post writes that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claims that some source that he refuses to identify told him that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for ten years:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.

The interview, published Tuesday by The Huffington Post, includes several swipes by the Senate leader at the GOP candidate.

“His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son,” Reid said in reference to George Romney’s decision to turn over 12 years of tax returns when he ran for president in 1968.

Reid suggested that Romney’s decision to withhold tax information would bar him from ever earning Senate confirmation to a Cabinet post. Then, Reid recalled a phone call his office received about a month ago from “a person who had invested with Bain Capital,” according to The Huffington Post.

Reid said the person told him: “Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.”

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” Reid told HuffPo. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?”

Neither Reid nor his aides would identify the alleged investor, HuffPo reported.

So let me get this straight. Some guy supposedly calls Harry Reid’s office a month ago, claims to have been an investor with Bain, manages to get direct access to the Senate Majority Leader, and tells him that Romney paid no taxes for an entire decade, a decade in which his fortune grew to hundreds of millions of dollars. Then Reid sits down for an interview with HuffPo reporters Sam Stein and Ryan Grim, tells them this wild tale which he then acknowledges may not even be correct, refuses the reporter’s request to provide information regarding the identity of this supposed anonymous caller, and Stein and Grim still decided to run with the story? Something here just doesn’t smell right.

CNN Money’s Dan Primack calls the entire claim utter nonsense:

One of two things has happened: (1) Reid is simply making the whole thing up, in order to pressure Romney into releasing tax returns for years prior to 2010, or (2) Reid’s investor pal lied, and the Senator didn’t bother to conduct even a mild vetting before sharing the accusation with reporters. Either way, shame on gossipy gentleman from Nevada.

Let me make this crystal clear: Investors in private equity funds do not receive, nor are they entitled to request, personal tax returns for fund managers. Not just at Bain Capital, but everywhere. For example, ask the person managing your 401(k) for their personal tax returns. See how far you get.

What makes this particular claim even sillier, of course, is that Romney hasn’t even been managing Bain funds for the past 10 years (no matter when you believe he left the firm). He’s been a silent investor like Harvard and MIT. Think the guy managing private equity for Harvard can get the personal tax returns of the guy managing private equity for MIT? Yes, that’s another rhetorical question.

And just to close the circle, it also isn’t possible that Reid’s source was someone within Bain because partner tax returns are not prepared or reviewed in the firm’s offices. Instead, that’s done at PricewaterhouseCoopers. So no “maybe someone found it on a fax machine” theories. It’s also possible that someone else at Bain didn’t pay taxes for 10 years, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean that Romney did or didn’t (he does have other financial interests).

Allahpundit, though, points out that Reid isn’t above these kind of tactics in a Presidential race:

No surprise that Reid would smear Romney so casually. He specializes in these tactics during presidential campaigns. In 2008, he made more noise about McCain’s temper being a sign of possible derangement than any other major Democrat. (He also insisted that he couldn’t stand McCain as part and parcel of the demonization effort, even though the two had been known to socialize.) He’s an unusually nasty character, even by normal political standards, when he wants to be; gratuitously accusing George Romney of being disappointed in his son is simply S.O.P. But he does have a strategy here: Pull an accusation of criminality straight out of his ass and hope it gets enough media play that Romney feels obliged to respond. Either Mitt will start to sweat and release his returns, as Democrats have demanded, in order to disprove Reid’s charge or he’ll sit tight and the smear will circulate online, with Romney’s refusal to disclose the documents taken as “proof” that Reid is right.

That seems to be where Alec MacGillis is coming from:

[Reid’s rumor] sounds like something out of a junior-high cafeteria, but then again there’s also an easy way for Romney to knock it down. Which again raises the question: What can possibly be in the returns to make them so dicey to release?

Lurking behind that question, though, is a related one that has gotten less attention: Why in the world did someone who has been running for president since late 2006 not years ago rid his personal finances of anything that could cause problems in a campaign—Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island shelters, questionable IRAs, and whichever even more troublesome features lurk in the unreleased returns? After all, Romney is nothing if not a cautious, details-oriented fellow—this is someone who held a videotaped family summit before deciding whether to run for president. Why would he not have fixed his finances as carefully as his coiffure before venturing out onto the stage?

That’s not an unfair question, and I’ve already said that Romney should just release the tax returns already. However, that doesn’t really excuse what was done here. First, we have Reid going out and spreading a rumor that cannot possibly be true for the reasons that Primack mentions. Then, we have HuffPo, including Sam Stein who is a political reporter with a fairly good reputation on Capitol Hill publishing the story even though Reid refused to provide them with any corroboration for the claim or even the identity of the source. As Alana Goodman said, that’s not the way these things are normally done:

Reid has a personal and political interest in helping Obama get reelected. If he really received information about Romney dodging taxes from a source he trusted, why on earth would he go to HuffPo to cryptically recount this story second-hand rather thangive them the name of the investor who supposedly knows about it and have the reporters nail it to the wall?

That would be the logical thing to do, wouldn’t it? It happens in Washington all the time, and I’m sure Reid himself has played the game more than once in his career. The only thing one can conclude from this is that Reid is either lying or exaggerating about what the “source” said, or the “source” lied to Reid. Perhaps the “source” really said that he’d heard a rumor that Romney had paid no taxes for ten years, that would be double hearsay at least though and hardly the kind of thing worthy of coverage by a news organization that wants to be taken seriously.

There’s no use speculating on whether or not the source is telling the truth either, because as Primack notes it’s simply not possible that this “investor” would have had access to ten years worth of tax returns. It was irresponsible for HuffPo to report this rumor without corroboration and it was irresponsible for the Post to repeat it. The media does things like this and then they sit around wondering why the public has lost respect for them. You’re doing it to yourselves guys, you’re doing it to yourselves.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Congress, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. I think Harry Reid played a little game and even the first reporters “on the scene” reported it as such. They made it clear that it was an unsubstantiated claim.

    I think the faux indignation. skips that part. The outrage only works if Reid’s claim was serious, reported as fact, or widely believed. None of that will happen.

    It’s just a ding against a guy who won’t release his taxes. Everyone (capable of critical reading) knows that.

  2. grumpy realist says:

    What I’m sort of surprised is that the Washington Post picked this up and didn’t ignore it. The Huffington Post? Eh, it isn’t quite as bad as Weekly World News but some of their articles are pretty Batboy-ish. Puleeze! Just because someone waves a meat-smelling bone under the noses of the WaPo reporters doesn’t mean they have to run off barking after this.

    I’m a liberal, but this sort of stuff is rancid and I’m calling out Reid on this. Unless Reid is willing to go on the record and name his source (and get his source willing to go on the record), it’s pure hearsay (and more in the realm of wishful thinking, IMO.) Or is he simply trying to see exactly how dumb MSM reporters are?

  3. Ron Beasley says:

    It’s all tabloid journalism now. They have simply followed the 24/7 cable tabloid networks.

  4. bk says:

    But “Obama was born in Kenya and will be coming after your guns if reelected” deserves to be reported, right?

  5. Andy says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    It’s all tabloid journalism now. They have simply followed the 24/7 cable tabloid networks.

    Yep, that sums it up unfortunately.

  6. SKI says:

    What strikes me as news isn’t Reid’s claim itself but the fact that Reid made it.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    I’m just amazed HuffPo ran something original.

  8. James in LA says:

    Lessee… Reid makes a political remark during campaign season that has no bearing on Senate business. Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, files a record number of cloture motions to feed the GOP’s singular governing policy, now four years stale: unseat Obama, confirming all suspicions that the actual goal of the GOP is not governance, but the toppling of government, so the White Horse may usher in the waiting theocratic oligarchy. We have Quiet Rooms if you do not like it.

    Absent 12 years now of conservative governing achievements, it’s really all they have left. Any outrage over remarks made by Reid to get Romney to come clean on his increasingly suspicious tax returns fall on deaf ears, sorry.

  9. Herb says:

    Yes, 2012 is the year “journalistic integrity” died….and Harry Reid, the Huffpost, and the Washington Post is what killed it.

    Seriously, man….it’s almost like you haven’t been paying attention. Either that, or you’re expecting way too much from an interview.

    It was an interview, wasn’t it? Yes, yes it was:

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) claimed Tuesday in an interview that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney refuses to release additional tax returns because he didn’t pay taxes for 10 years.

    The story was “this is what Harry Reid said” not “Mitt Romney paid no taxes in ten years.”

    Slam Harry Reid for saying what he said. But don’t slam the reporters for accurately reporting that he said it.

  10. Cycloptichorn says:

    I think that those who are running the ‘how would this Bain investor know this?’ are seriously discounting the very real possibility that Romney bragged to other rich folks about it. It’s quite clear that manipulating your tax returns to pay as little as possible is a source of pride for the class of people that he pals around in.

  11. JKB says:

    Journalistic integrity? Are you high? There’s an election going on. And their man isn’t soaring ahead like he ought to be. Worse, people are taking his words in context. The economy failed to respond the steerage of “stimulus” funds to cronies. It’s all hands on deck time. Sound the general alarm. Man the rails.

    Worse, this Romney guy won’t roll over and play dead. He goes over seas, speaks the truth and they can’t spin that into a gaffe. Then, he comes home and expands on his crazy idea that culture has a direct impact on prosperity. These are not the things they are taught at the Columbia School of Journalism.

  12. J-Dub says:

    Dirty pool perhaps, but quite possibly brilliant politics as well.

    If the rumor gains enough traction then there are no good choices left for Romney on the issue of his tax returns.

  13. mannning says:

    @Herb:

    Harry Reid said it? End of Fable!

  14. rudderpedals says:

    He could, you know, release the tax returns and we can move on to something else.

  15. JKB says:

    @rudderpedals: He could, you know, release the tax returns and we can move on to something else.

    He could, you know, not release his returns, let this become the theme of the Democrat Convention, with all the big wigs weighing in. Then release perfectly appropriate tax returns in October.

    Given this administration and recent leaks, if there was something untoward in his returns, they would “accidently” be exposed by some functionary at the IRS.

  16. Modulo Myself says:

    What was the reporter going to do? This is an honest smear. Reid even made sure they spelled his name right. Should reporters now be editing out smears from interviews? He went on record; it gets to be said. If he said that Romney molests pigs, then that should have been printed as well.

    It’s not the printing of smears and lies that have anything to do with integrity, it’s the reaction. In the case of the Romney pig molesting meme, the proper response would be to end Reid’s career, through ridicule and general disgust. But what does happen is the opposite: the rumor is never vouched for, but the meta-reaction becomes the story. “Isn’t it interesting how pig molesting has seemed to dominate the Romney campaign?” Blah, blah, etc.

  17. PGlenn says:

    One interesting theory is that the Dems know Romney has given quite a lot to the Mormon Church and want to use the tax returns to scare “swing voters” – i.e., “look how much he’s given to that cult!”

    I have no idea if that’s true. If it is, though, wouldn’t such a “bigoted” tactic be sort of like the Democrats’ version of using a “dog whistle”?

  18. C. Clavin says:

    C’mon….
    The Huffpost story included every single caveat to this story. It was clear the story was hearsay.
    ABC asked Romney if he had paid less than 13.9% and Romney refused to answer.
    Hell’s open for sinners.
    All Romney has to do is release his tax returns.
    He’s obviously hiding something.
    He would obviously rather have people speculate than to actually know.
    I’m sure supporters like Doug will want to limit damage from the speculation.
    There’s an easy way to do that.

  19. rudderpedals says:

    @JKB: You let the cat out of the bag now who’s going to want to plan the campaign theme on a contingency?

  20. James in LA says:

    @PGlenn: Far worse would be what Reid suggests: no taxes. Cult, schmult, Americans do not like tax dodgers, perceived or no.

    If Mitt continues to stumble, those that have them may be tempted to leak them, likely around Tampa Time. Mitt is not yet the nominee.

  21. Moosebreath says:

    Howell Raines, while not specifically on this topic, shows why this is coming up. It’s the same game Republicans have played for decades. Democrats are just playing it too, and Republicans (and people who claim not to be Republicans, but parrot Republican talking points like Doug) aren’t happy.

  22. @PGlenn:

    Heh, have you ever seen acrobats balance chairs one on top of another? Your what-ifs are kind of like that.

    FWIW, I’ve heard donations floated by some pundits as explanation for no release, never as a strategy, and it’s never made sense to me anyway. People know Mitt is a Mormon, I don’t see how supporting his church would be a negative.

  23. de stijl says:

    Anyone else remember those “Death Panels?”

  24. Dave E. says:

    Harry Reid lies again and Sam Stein and Ryan Grim prove they are nothing but two more “reporters” in Reid’s toolbox. I’m shocked! Shocked!

  25. @john personna: My guess is that there are at least a couple years where the Romney family average tax rate (not marginal but average) is significantly below a rate most Americans would think is fair for a millionaire to pay (maybe something in the 5% to 7% range which then ties into the policy contrast of “Obama wants people like himself and Romney to pay a fair share, and Romney wants you to pay more so he can pay less…”

    That is the most probable pivot point to a policy contrast.

    Now if there is a year where Romney paid fewer dollars in federal taxes than I did last year (as a dual income family where both us were fully employed for the first time in over five years) that is a political goldmine.

    And if there is either an amnesty year for some of the off-shore accounts or a 0% or negative return year, that is three pigs in slop having a great time….

  26. anjin-san says:

    Can’t see this as anything but whining because Democrats are playing hardball. Journalistic integrity died a long time ago, and Republicans were among those with bloody knives in their hands.

  27. @David Anderson:

    I agree, those are more likely candidates than donations.

  28. @anjin-san:

    For-profit journalists may not care. They get to report Harry Reid. Then they report “what’s up with Harry Reid.” Then they get to roll around to “what’s in those taxes anyway?” Fun (and page views) for everyone.

    Critics of MSM may think someone is ideological when they are really just a page promoter (to use the gentle term).

  29. sam says:

    @PGlenn:

    One interesting theory is that the Dems know Romney has given quite a lot to the Mormon Church and want to use the tax returns to scare “swing voters” – i.e., “look how much he’s given to that cult!”

    Or there is Michael’s hypothesis that Gov. Romney gave less than the 10% required by his church, and he’s afraid that that will come out. And not go down so good in Salt Lake.

  30. de stijl says:

    Anyone else remember Bill Frist diagnosing Terry Schiavo?

  31. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    and tells him that Romney paid no taxes for an entire decade, a decade in which his fortune grew to hundreds of millions of dollars

    How do you know which decade is being referenced? Reid’s words don’t answer that question. Mitt was at Bain for roughly two. I don’t think Mitt’s “fortune grew to hundreds of millions of dollars” during his first decade at Bain.

    Reid’s words don’t even tell us it was 10 years continuously. It could have been 10 years in aggregate.

    You and Primack are both making all sorts of assumptions that are unwarranted and unspoken.

  32. Rex Lurker says:

    Long-time liberal lurker here. I feel conflicted about this. Obviously, it is irresponsible for the Washington Post (and others) to repeat this, etc. My first thought was a very partisan: “but what about death panels? And Al Gore invented the internet? and voted for it before against it, and Whitewater, and…” but I don’t like what it says about me that those are the first things I thought of.

  33. James Joyner says:

    @john personna:

    I think Harry Reid played a little game and even the first reporters “on the scene” reported it as such. They made it clear that it was an unsubstantiated claim.

    That’s only “clear” if you read through the story looking for corroboration. It’s not reported as though it were some outlandish claim with zero evidentiary backing.

  34. anjin-san says:

    That’s only “clear” if you read through the story looking for corroboration. It’s not reported as though it were some outlandish claim with zero evidentiary backing.

    Does this sort of thing hurt your fee-fees?

  35. bk says:

    “Terrorist fist jab” – good sound reporting.

  36. David M says:

    “Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.” — Peggy Noonan, circa 2000

    I fail to see what the hand-wringing is all about. If Romney so desperately wants keep his tax returns hidden, why shouldn’t we assume they contain blatantly illegal tax shelters or worse.

  37. @David M:

    This isn’t speculation. This is Harry Reid claiming to have spoken to someone whose name he refuses to disclose and HuffPo and WaPo printing a story without bothering to verify Reid’s claims

  38. jukeboxgrad says:

    james:

    as though it were some outlandish claim with zero evidentiary backing

    Under the circumstances, the claim is not “outlandish.” It’s clear enough that Mitt is hiding something, and he wouldn’t be so committed to hiding it if it wasn’t “outlandish.” He is either hiding this outlandish thing, or something else that is equally outlandish. As David M explained: “If Romney so desperately wants keep his tax returns hidden, why shouldn’t we assume they contain blatantly illegal tax shelters or worse.”

    Mitt created a situation where this kind of talk is inevitable. And it’s not going to stop anytime soon.

  39. Ron Beasley says:

    Harry Reid is just doing what Republicans have done for years – throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. This is right out of the Karl Rove playbook. It’s out there true or not and the only way Romney can clear up the speculation is to release his taxes which he can’t do if he wants to win. It not unusual for the press to report this kind of thing but it is unusual for the Democrats to do it.

  40. Jeremy R says:

    CNN Money’s Dan Primack calls the entire claim utter nonsense:

    One possibility this debunking overlooks is Romney bragging to his fellow masters of the universe, as he often can’t seem to resist saying things he probably shouldn’t to prove how clever he is, about all the accounting tricks, tax shelters, clever tax-free investing loopholes, etc he enlisted to have the most effective tax avoidance strategy of anyone in the room.

  41. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    HuffPo and WaPo printing a story without bothering to verify Reid’s claims

    They don’t have to verify what Reid said because the story is that he said it. They would only need to verify the claim if the investor had called them instead of Reid.

    The press routinely reports statements made by Mitt that are worse than unverified: they are verifiably false. Should the press start censoring those statements?

  42. OzarkHillbilly says:

    All the whining about this reminds me of something my brother said to my mother (or maybe I said it?):

    “He hit me back first!”

  43. Cycloptichorn says:

    I think that the Romney supporters who are here, complaining about the press not verifying a politicians’ claims, better be careful what they wish for. Romney lies on a regular basis about every single aspect of the Obama presidency; about what the man has said, about his economic and jobs record, and about the behavior of the GOP in Congress during that time.

    He also lies continuously about his own past, having taken many contradictory positions and made many many conflicting statements over the years.

    Do you REALLY want to start seeing every story in the MSM slavishly pointing out all the inaccuracies in Romney’s speeches and ads? I highly doubt it. You would simply pivot to attacking the media for ‘not being balanced’ and for ‘interjecting opinion into reporting.’

  44. pylon says:

    I’m afraid Dan Primack left out a third possibility – that the investor knows Romney and he was told by Romney that this was so.

    He also didn’t say which ten years, so Danny is wrong there as well.

  45. de stijl says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    but it is unusual for the Democrats to do it.

    Exactly!

    That’s why heads are asplodin’ all over this fair land of ours today. “But, but, but it’s unseemly when Democrats play hardball! That’s our move!”

  46. wr says:

    @JKB: “He could, you know, not release his returns, let this become the theme of the Democrat Convention, with all the big wigs weighing in. Then release perfectly appropriate tax returns in October. ”

    And then everyone would cheer and say “Hey, he knew better than us all along! What a wise man! Let’s all go vote for him today!”

    Or: “He knew there was nothing wrong in his tax returns, but instead of simply releasing them he chose to keep them secret and let the Democrats claim they’d show he was a shady grifter who pays less in taxes than his pool guy, and now we’ve had months in which everything he’s said or done has been viewed through that lens. Here we are, weeks from the election, and Romney is now widely perceived as Thurston Howell with better hair and worse morals. And for what? Nothing! What a moron!”

  47. C. Clavin says:

    This is hilarious.
    Romney’s tax plan is a). mathematically impossible and b). cuts taxes for the wealthiest… including himself of course…while raising taxes on the other 95%.
    Romney refuses to release his taxes, or even answer a simple question from ABC regarding those taxes.
    Romney lifts quotes completely out of context in order to change their meaning. And claims that’s fair game.
    Yet we are supposed to be outraged because a couple columnists repeated some gossip.
    Lucky thing Doug and James aren’t supporting Romney…imagine if they were.

  48. Jed says:

    Under the circumstances, the claim is not “outlandish.” It’s clear enough that Mitt is hiding something, and he wouldn’t be so committed to hiding it if it wasn’t “outlandish.” He is either hiding this outlandish thing, or something else that is equally outlandish.

    You feel the same way about Obama’s medical and academic records, of course. You felt exactly the same during the birther idiocy.

    Romney knows that no matter what he releases a bunch of nitpicking wags will be talking about nothing else. Every night. On the news. Not the economy, not jobs, not policy.

    He’s complied with the legal requirements; why provide the enemy ammo?

    Remember when Obama released his short form B.C. and nobody mentioned the long form ever again? Orly Taitz and Donald Trump said “Whoops, we were wrong. Now let us discuss substantive matters”?

    Yeah, me neither.

    Didn’t think the WaPo would have picked this up; but I didn’t think they would run umpteen-ggogleplex “macaca” stories, either. That’s cool, though. Cheerleaders are cute, no matter what side they are on.

  49. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    Actually, HuffPost put “investor told me” right in the headline so that there would be no confusion.

    If anything, the “outrage” articles put more dramatic headlines on it, for effect.

  50. David M says:

    On the subject of whether this is true or not, since when is that the press’s job to decide? The press couldn’t report on Romney’s proposals or speeches if that were the case.

    And there’s a decent chance this could be true, unlike Romney’s continuous lie about Obama’s “you didn’t build that” statement.

  51. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “This is Harry Reid claiming to have spoken to someone whose name he refuses to disclose and HuffPo and WaPo printing a story without bothering to verify Reid’s claims”

    Did you read the interview? I quote from the interview:

    Tellingly, neither Reid nor his office would reveal who the investor was, making it impossible to verify if the accusation is true. And as his quote makes clear, he’s uncertain if the information is accurate.

    Expect the impossible and you will always be disappointed.

    What we have here is misdirected hostility. You want to slam Harry Reid for this crap, but you’d have to concede that politicians of all stripes play this game and Reid’s statement is no more egregious than any other nor more deserving of any special condemnation.

    So instead, you have to play this “journalistic malpractice” game, when all these journalists are guilty of is reporting what Reid said. Mistrust the media if you want….but get yourself a decent reason.

  52. john personna says:

    I think it’s clear the taxes are ugly, in the sense that they would be disturbing to voters, for whatever reason.

    Reid’s friend, imaginary or not, may have twigged the reason or not.

  53. john personna says:

    @Herb:

    I think that ultimately the faux outrage is counterproductive as well. It returns us to “so what is up with those taxes?”

  54. jukeboxgrad says:

    jed:

    You feel the same way about Obama’s medical and academic records, of course.

    Obama’s release of medical information was comparable to what McCain did (link).

    And with regard to “academic records:” no other president has released their transcripts (GWB’s were leaked, and his campaign complained about it). Let me know when I can see Mitt’s “academic records.”

    So what Obama has done with regard to “medical and academic records” is similar to what has been done before. On the other hand, no modern candidate has released less tax information than Mitt. This is a problem, especially when you notice that he is probably the richest candidate, ever.

    You felt exactly the same during the birther idiocy.

    The “idiocy” is all yours. Prior to Obama, this many presidents presented a BC: zero (we ultimately saw Reagan’s, but not until after he left office).

    There is no precedent for expecting a candidate to show a BC. On the other hand, there is indeed a strong precedent for candidates to show extensive tax records (and Mitt’s dad helped establish that precedent). Let me know if this simple and important distinction is really over your head.

    He’s complied with the legal requirements; why provide the enemy ammo?

    If there is nothing shady in his taxes, there is no “ammo.” And right now his stonewalling is providing plenty of “ammo,” because it shows everyone that what he’s hiding must be pretty bad.

  55. C. Clavin says:

    @ C. Clavin from 17:09
    Romney’s tax plan is a). mathematically impossible and b). cuts taxes for the wealthiest… including himself of course…while raising taxes on the other 95%.
    AND
    The Republican led House today struck down the bill to extend the Bush Tax Cuts to those earning under $250K a year.
    But seriously folks…why are Romney’s taxes an issue???

  56. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The Republican led House today struck down the bill to extend the Bush Tax Cuts to those earning under $250K a year.

    Just to make it clear, those tax cuts would extend to the first $250K of everyone’s income…. even those who make a billion or 2. So the tax cut extension is for everyone.

  57. C. Clavin says:

    Ozark…
    you are, of course, correct.

  58. MarkedMan says:

    So Doig, judging by your comments on this, can I assume you agree that it would be an obscenity if Romney paid no taxes?

  59. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @C. Clavin:

    you are, of course, correct.

    I can’t help but wonder, what cretin gave me an “Unhelpful” click for pointing out the truth.

  60. anjin-san says:

    @ C. Clavin

    Are you saying you are NOT willing to give up part of your mortgage deduction so that Mitt can have some extra $$$ to pay for his car elevator?

  61. jukeboxgrad says:

    I can’t help but wonder, what cretin gave me an “Unhelpful” click for pointing out the truth.

    This happens a lot. When it happens to me I take pleasure in realizing that I’ve managed to annoy an ignorant cretin.

  62. Herb says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    “I can’t help but wonder, what cretin gave me an “Unhelpful” click for pointing out the truth.”

    Probably the same dude who scrolled up clicking on every red thumb he could see.

    People see those thumbs and think it’s Facebook or something.

  63. J-Dub says:

    We are forced to speculate on everything concerning Romney because he refuses to divulge any of his plans should he be elected. Unless of course you are privileged enough to join him in the “quiet room” where these things are discussed among the rich white males.

  64. jukeboxgrad says:

    From a thread at WP:

    When Romney loses, he’s going to be really upset that he paid taxes in those two years for no good reason

  65. Spartacus says:

    I have no idea if Harry Reid received this call or if the allegations re Romney’s taxes are true, but I believe that the claim by Doug and Primack that the claim cannot possibly be true is misguided.

    Primack says the caller wouldn’t have seen Romney’s tax returns because, as an investor, the caller wasn’t entitled to the fund manager’s tax return. But, as Primack acknowledges, Romney was not the fund’s manager during the time in question. So the caller would not have needed to see the fund manager’s tax return in order to know what income and taxes Romney received and paid as a result of his investment in Bain.

    The caller claimed to have been an investor in Bain. As such, the caller would have received a copy of Bain’s tax returns, which would have shown the payments to the various investors including Romney. The caller would also know whether the payments to the investors had been structured in such a way as to permit those investors to avoid taxes on them.

  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    Unless of course you are privileged enough to join him in the “quiet room” where these things are discussed among the rich white males.

    Since some people might not know what you’re talking about: link, link.

  67. C. Clavin says:

    I’d like to hear Steve Schmidt on this.
    GE doesn’t pay taxes.
    It’s perfectly conceivable Romney didn’t pay taxes for at least one year.

  68. Terrye says:

    How many years of tax returns has Harry Reid released? None..that is how many.

    This kind of tactics by Democrats actually justifies not releasing the tax documents. After all, Romney said he would not do it,because the Democrats would lie and distort and make wild accusations as they deliberately put out false information about what was and was not in his taxes…and then they would demand more.

    Tactics like this actually justify Romney’s fears. Personally, I hope he tells Harry Reid to shove it.

  69. de stijl says:

    @Terrye:

    How many times has Harry Reid run for President? None..that is how many.

  70. David M says:

    @Terrye: Is Harry Reid running for president?

  71. The problem is that this is a strategy originally developed by Republican Lee Atwater. Remember Senator Steve Symms and the photo of Kitty Dukakis burning the flag in 1988.

  72. jukeboxgrad says:

    terrye:

    How many years of tax returns has Harry Reid released?

    He has released a series of personal financial disclosures (link), as required by Senate rules. McCain had done the same thing, which is why it wasn’t a big deal when McCain released only two years of tax returns.

    So Mitt was being his usual dishonest self when he said this: “I’m releasing two years, just as John McCain released two years.” And he said that three times. FactCheck points out a different reason why that claim is dishonest, but they don’t mention the reason I just cited: that McCain had done plenty of financial disclosure already (link).

  73. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Well, if you think this sort of collective media/Democrat schtick is off the rails just wait until September and October. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And if the internal polling is real bad for Obama then amp it up to 11.

    As far as “journalistic integrity” goes, that might be the signature oxymoron of our day and age. Journalism has devolved into a cesspool of tiny minds and big agendas.

  74. Tillman says:

    @James Joyner:

    It’s not reported as though it were some outlandish claim with zero evidentiary backing.

    It was, and I’m surprised that anyone’s surprised this happened. Super-wealthy candidate decides not to release his tax returns; what did you expect?

  75. wr says:

    @Terrye: “How many years of tax returns has Harry Reid released? None..that is how many.”

    Wow. I didn’t know that. And now that I do, well, I’m certainly not going to vote for Harry Reid for president!

  76. C. Clavin says:

    Terrye…

    “…Romney said he would not do it,because the Democrats would lie and distort and make wild accusations as they deliberately put out false information about what was and was not in his taxes…”

    Can you give me an example of the lies and distortions and wild accusations and false information Democrats put out based on his initial relaease of 1 years Tax Returns and one estimate?
    Yes Democrats asked for more…because as Romney (George) said…one year could be a fluke.

  77. jukeboxgrad says:

    his initial relaease of 1 years Tax Returns and one estimate

    It should also be mentioned that the one year he gave us is not complete (link).

    And when is he going to finally give us the second year? At midnight on 11/5?

    A lot of people think he’s given us two years, when in fact he’s given us this many complete tax returns: zero.

  78. J-Dub says:

    When Romney ran for governor of MA he told the election board that he doesn’t read his returns he just trusts his accountants and signs them.

    That was in response to the fact that he was not actually eligible to run for governor of MA due to the fact that his tax returns clearly stated that he claimed residency in UT.

    However, as is his way, he retroactively moved back to MA by re-filing his past taxes as a resident of MA to be allowed to run.

    From the Rachel Maddow show:

    This was something that was pointed out to Mr. Romney when he testified before the Massachusetts State Ballot Commission to try to be allowed to run for Governor. Quote …if I were to hand you an affidavit, Mr. Romney, and at the end of it, typed in your signature, and above your signature, I put “signed under the pains and penalties of perjury,” and I said, “Mr. Romney, sign this document,” you’d read it first; wouldn’t you? Romney If you were to put it in front of me, yes. [Lawyer] So, you’d sign documents under the pains and penalties of perjury without necessarily reading them; is that your testimony? Romney: I have not read the entire Massachusetts tax form, nor the Federal tax form, nor the Utah tax form, and all of them have me sign under pains and penalty to the best of my knowledge and belief, and I do not read the entire form. [-June 18, 2002 testimony before MA State Ballot Commission]

  79. rudderpedals says:

    @J-Dub: Good point. When he inevitably releases the returns they’ll need to be scrutinized for amendments going back to 2002 since he could have changed the 02-05 after his drubbing in 2008.

  80. @J-Dub:

    When Romney ran for governor of MA he told the election board that he doesn’t read his returns he just trusts his accountants and signs them.

    That was in response to the fact that he was not actually eligible to run for governor of MA due to the fact that his tax returns clearly stated that he claimed residency in UT.

    However, as is his way, he retroactively moved back to MA by re-filing his past taxes as a resident of MA to be allowed to run.

    You know, a month ago I would not have believed that.

  81. C. Clavin says:

    How does a guy that has been running for President for 7 years get this f’ed up over stupid stuff?
    In other news he has just hired a high-profile Consultant to help him clean up his Bain messaging.
    http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/08/former-paulson-aide-to-handle-bain-defense-for-romney-130839.html
    Less than 100 days before the election???
    Wonder if she will advise him to release his tax forms?

  82. J-Dub says:

    Ask him a question now and his response will be “let me check with my consultants and get back to you.”

  83. C. Clavin says:

    Because there is nowhere else to put this right now…Sullivan boils down the Tax Issue beautifully.
    This is why Romney’s Taxes matter…because he is the poster child of what Sully calls Republicanism.

    “…In some ways, this year is the culmination of a long, failed experiment based on the notion that cutting taxes increases growth and makes up for the lost revenue. Didn’t happen; was never going to happen, even though lower tax rates are obviously better than higher ones for growth, if you can afford them. I favor the lowest and simplest tax rates compatible with a balanced budget. That’s called conservatism. I do not favor the lowest and most complex tax system regardless of its budgetary impact. That’s Republicanism.
    The long-term consequence of this unconservative Republicanism is we have no lee-way and no margin of error in stimulating the economy after a financial crash. The Bush-Cheney GOP spent all the money and left us with the worst recession since the 1930s. The only way the Bush tax cuts were passed at all was on condition of their expiration if they did not work as promised. They didn’t. The only issue at hand right now therefore is how to fix the long-term imbalances the Reagan era created, the Clinton era began to fix, and the Bush-Cheney era turned into farce. Doing that in a global slowdown is all the trickier. But there seems little doubt to me that the months after this election may be the most significant fiscally since the 1980s. If our election debate were about that, it would concentrate minds wonderfully…”

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/08/should-we-fall-off-the-fiscal-cliff-still-writing.html

  84. anjin-san says:

    Tactics like this actually justify Romney’s fears

    If fear of Reid drives his actions, HTF is he going to deal with Putin and Ahmadinejad?

  85. mannning says:

    This is a Romney “gotcha story”. It will play out sooner or later.
    To read some huge number of Obama gotchas Google: “Obama Lies” and read “Crimes Against Liberty” and other books on the subject.
    To read a number of Romney gotchas Google: “Romney Lies”.
    In the end, if the number of gotchas is the measure, Romney has the least–by far.
    If it is the number of really serious subjects in the gotchas is the measure, Romney has the least–by far. (This is by my current reckoning, of course, which will be changed as new gotchas, large and small, on both sides surface.)

    Shouldn’t we be choosing for our President the one with the least number of gotchas by far and the least serious gotchas by far? Or is Obama somehow forgiven his gotchas and had them voided?

  86. C. Clavin says:

    Manning…
    You really think Romney’s taxes, and his mathematically impossible tax plan, are gotcha items?
    I guess a big glass of Kool-Aid on a hot summer day goes down good.

  87. wr says:

    @mannning: “Shouldn’t we be choosing for our President the one with the least number of gotchas by far and the least serious gotchas by far?”

    Considering that most of the anti-Obama “gotchas” spring from the paranoid hallucinations of the craziest of right wingers and are then spread by the moron chorus on rightie blogs, you’re essentially saying that we should let a bunch of paranoid imbeciles choose our presiden for us.

    Maybe that’s the new philosophy on the Republican side. I don’t accept it.

  88. @C. Clavin:

    I heard some clips on the radio, with the President going after Romney’s tax plan.

    Reid’s thing has blown up too big if it starts to distract from that.

    Though as you say, they tie together. Romney’s plan, with the latest “loophole closing” data, does tax the middle class more, and the rich less. That he might have paid even less than you think while asking you for more? Not so good.

  89. mannning says:

    @wr:

    Yet another apologist for Obama’s gotchas comes out voiding!

  90. de stijl says:

    To read a number of Romney gotchas Google: “Romney Lies”.

    Actually Steve Benen does a weekly compendium of Romney lies here.

  91. C. Clavin says:

    @ jp…
    I think it’s a right-left-right combination.
    Romney is going to raise your taxes…cut his own…and he already pays nothing.
    He’s going to the Convention bruised and battered if he isn’t able to change the conversation.

  92. anjin-san says:

    @ Manning

    Google: “Obama Lies” and read “Crimes Against Liberty”

    While you are at it, Google “Area 51” and “Space Aliens Amongst Us”

  93. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Romney can’t help himself, can he?

    Reid is playing dirty ball with him. It’s completely ridiculous. He’s just throwing something to see if it sticks. Given that, Romney’s campaign’s response should have been to ignore it. It would have been forgotten pretty soon. Instead, he demands that Reid prove it, keeping the story in the media, and not letting it die. And plus, how is Reid going to prove it? He’ll just throw it back at Romney and say, well just release your tax returns and you can prove me wrong, just putting more pressure on the campaign to do that.

    Incidentally, since Reid is already one of the least liked people in Congress, and he just won reelection, this will not have any real cost for him, and Romney can’t credibly say that this is a White House move.

    Are people sleep at the wheel, over there?

  94. jan says:

    David Drucker of Roll Call has speculated that Harry’s Reid’s claim about Romney’s taxes arises from the area code 312 — meaning Chicago politics. It’s simply another abstract diversion away from anything to do with real issues like the flat UE numbers, failing economy, plunging GM profits ,“unexpected” fall of factory orders etc. Anything the Obama people can bring up to keep people off topic is the topic that is rolled out — making noise over minutia, Ann Romney’s horse, how many eggs Romney had for breakfast. However, tomorrow will be yet another job’s report, and then it will be a matter of putting deflection on overtime!

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Geez, Doug, sounds like you’re unhappy with your loyal commentariat here. Haven’t you figured out yet that to them, you’re just a “useful idiot?” They love you when you kcik the right, and turn on you when you don’t toe their line.

    As far as integrity goes… many of these same people gleefully parroted the “Mitt Romney likes to fire people” lie. They simply don’t recognize any need to show any integrity when it comes to partisan politics.

    That’s the crew you’ve harbored, nutrured, tolerated, and catered to. You’ve lain down with dogs, and now you’re noticing you’ve picked up fleas.

    By the way, how goes your work on your more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger “why I can’t vote for Mitt Romney” piece? I’m starting a betting pool on when you publish it. Not that I’m saying you’re predictable, but… you kinda are.

    It’ll be a well-written piece, saying a few nice things about Romney, then a long list of excuses why he’s not your ideal candidate. And at the end, you’ll throw your vote to the libertarian. Meanwhile, you’ll never actually publish a parallel piece explaining why you can’t vote for Obama — which would include a far, far more extensive list of far more compelling reasons.

    Because, as you’ve seen, that’ll upset your most faithful readers. They expect you to dance to their tune, and will try to smack you down when you try to buck the leash.

    See above for examples.

  96. jukeboxgrad says:

    many of these same people gleefully parroted the “Mitt Romney likes to fire people” lie

    According to google, no commenter here ever said those words. I see you still haven’t learned how to use quote marks honestly.

    Anyway, why don’t you show us who here ever told a “lie” regarding Mitt’s statement (“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me”). This should be easy for you, since you said “many.”

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I wasn’t speaking to you. Note the “Doug” at the beginning.

  98. mannning says:

    @anjin-san:

    Now that is a typical response from the likes of you. Ignore the issues about your favorite President, and send a sweet message to me, but in reality playing to your cohorts who also don’t want to face the facts that friend Obama is a loser first class. An honest and intelligent person would have actually made the comparisons that I did between Romney and Obama, but, no, you have to attack me and not the argument itself.

    That in a nutshell covers why we have an Obama in the White House at all. Flacks like you.

  99. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    I wasn’t speaking to you. Note the “Doug” at the beginning.

    Are you having trouble finding his email address? Aside from not knowing how to use quote marks, you don’t understand how the internet works. If you’re interested in “speaking” to Doug and Doug only, send him an email. If you post a comment on a blog, you’re “speaking” to everyone reading, and anyone reading might decide to respond to you. If you don’t like that, you should stay away from the internet until you understand how it works.

    And here’s something else about how the internet works. You made a bogus claim, and now you’re using a lame excuse to avoid taking responsibility for your bogus claim. This is a good way of letting everyone know that you are not to be taken seriously.

  100. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: And it turns out that it was actually Doug himself who parroted that line. Guess I should have picked a better example.

    But note that in that thread, Socrates, Hey Norm, Ozark Hillbilly, David M, and Rob In CT had no problems with Doug’s misquoting.

  101. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: And here’s something else about how the internet works. You made a bogus claim, and now you’re using a lame excuse to avoid taking responsibility for your bogus claim. This is a good way of letting everyone know that you are not to be taken seriously.

    Oh, look, I went and backed it up, with an actual link and everything. Sorry to pee on your parade of smugness.

  102. jukeboxgrad says:

    it was actually Doug himself who parroted that line

    The post you are citing doesn’t contain the quote you invented (“Mitt Romney likes to fire people”).

    Socrates, Hey Norm, Ozark Hillbilly, David M, and Rob In CT had no problems with Doug’s misquoting

    No quote marks were used, which means there was no “misquoting.”

    This is pretty basic stuff. It’s pretty amazing to find that it’s still over your head.

  103. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Did you actually READ the linked story? Or the comments? The headline gives the lie going around, and the story NEVER explains that he didn’t actually say the words Doug cited in the headline.

    I also note a distinct lack of comments from you on the inaccuracy (I probably should say “dishonesty,” but I’m trying to be polite) of the story. Mighty selective, that indignant fact-checking of yours.

    Doug, I apologize for my first comment. It’s perfectly clear that you’ve chosen your target audience, and you’re happy to throw them the red meat to keep them happy. Even if you have to embrace a few lies to do so.

  104. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So, did you take advanced training in pedantic prickery, or is it just a natural talent? I’m starting to think you have a ‘net version of Asperger’s — you don’t know how to have a conversation, you treat it all like you’re some noble TV prosecutor who is here to cross-examine those you designate as the guilty-as-sin defendants.

  105. jukeboxgrad says:

    the story NEVER explains that he didn’t actually say the words Doug cited in the headline

    Doug linked to a video of Mitt’s actual statement, and he also linked to an article providing a transcript of Mitt’s actual statement. For readers who aren’t idiots, this is more than sufficient.

    And unlike you, Doug understood the importance of not using quote marks in his title. The absence of quote marks in the title indicates that Doug is not claiming that Mitt said the exact words in the title. That is, for readers who are not idiots.

    I also note a distinct lack of comments from you on the inaccuracy (I probably should say “dishonesty,” but I’m trying to be polite) of the story.

    What “inaccuracy?”

    like you’re some noble TV prosecutor who is here to cross-examine those you designate as the guilty-as-sin defendants

    If you don’t like being challenged to defend your bogus claims, you should refrain from making bogus claims.

  106. anjin-san says:

    So, did you take advanced training in pedantic prickery, or is it just a natural talent? I’m starting to think you have a ‘net version of Asperger’s — you don’t know how to have a conversation, you treat it all like you’re some noble TV prosecutor who is here to cross-examine those you designate as the guilty-as-sin defendants.

    Wow. Textbook projection.

  107. anjin-san says:

    friend Obama is a loser first class.

    Yup. A self made multi-millionaire who became President, and a barrier shattering President at that. I am sure he wishes he could be more of a winner like you.

    You are obviously not stupid, but your thinking is very confused. “Honest and intelligent” does not mean “I agree with Manning.” If you cite right wing rant sites as if they contained the wisdom of the ages, people are going to think you are a bit of a whack job.

  108. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: That’s right, Doug. If only you had banished all the commenters except for honest, sincere, lovable Jenos/Jay Tea, you’d be in blogger paradise. But now you’ve got fleas or something, when it could have been you and Jenos, snuggling happily together.

  109. wr says:

    @mannning: Wow. Jenos only said that us liberal hacks were giving Doug cooties or something. But you believe that our comments are so mean we magically put Obama in the White House.

    I realize it’s tough when you find you have a total stiff for a candidate, but come on, guys, hold it together. Take Jan’s example — she’s already done her research and found someone “speculating” on how evil Obama is. With your help she can turn this “Oh, maybe a phone call came from a certain area code” story into a full-blown right wing pity party. And here you guys are just giving up entirely.

    Really, it’s only August. Anything could happen. Heck, Romney could grow a spine before October, and that could turn the entire election around.

  110. mantis says:

    @jan:

    David Drucker of Roll Call has speculated that Harry’s Reid’s claim about Romney’s taxes arises from the area code 312 — meaning Chicago politics.

    Reid is, after all, a well known Chicagoan.

  111. anjin-san says:

    @ mantis

    You need to face the possibility that Chicago is evil. Obama did live there, after all.

  112. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I just caught a replay of Harry Reid’s statement on the floor of the Senate. Wow. Just… wow.

    He said Romney had hidden money in overseas accounts. And how do we know about these accounts? Because Romney told us about them. Boy, he sucks at hiding things.

    This is obviously Reid trying to distract from both the pederasty rumors, and how he doesn’t want anyone to ask just how Reid himself became fabulously wealthy. He’s been in DC for almost 30 years — elected to the House in 1983, Senate in 1987 — and has become a multi-millionaire in that time. And so have key members of his family, especially his son Rory.

    You don’t get that rich just off a Senator’s salary. Especially a Mormon like Reid, who’s supposed to tithe 10% to the Church.

    As far as the pederasty rumors… he was in the House of Representatives alongside Gerry Studds and Dan Crane, who were caught “bending over Pages.”

    There are many questions Reid has to answer. And another of those should be, “did anyone from the Obama campaign or Obama White House (but I repeat myself) supply you with information about Obama’s tax returns?” Considering the extensive history of Obama’s campaign mysteriously benefiting from disclosure of what should be legally confidential government records, it’s entirely conceivable — if not likely — that they have Romney’s tax returns already, and are leaking details to surrogates like Reid.

    So, Senator Reid. Why won’t you address all these questions?

    Reid

  113. jukeboxgrad says:

    He said Romney had hidden money in overseas accounts. And how do we know about these accounts? Because Romney told us about them.

    He “told us about them” in the sense that some of them are mentioned on his 2010 tax return that he (partially) released. What’s your point, that this is supposed to impress us as an act of great candor? It’s not, because he didn’t have a choice.

    did anyone from the Obama campaign or Obama White House (but I repeat myself) supply you with information about Obama’s tax returns

    You seem to be conveniently forgetting that Mitt handed 23 years of tax returns to McCain in 2008. McCain’s 200-page oppo file on Mitt is available online (link), which proves that the McCain organization is a bit, uh, leaky, and includes people who are not big fans of Mitt. The same people who leaked that oppo book are probably also leaking Mitt’s tax returns.

    So, Senator Reid. Why won’t you address all these questions?

    Here’s one reason: because he’s not the guy running for president. In fact, he’s not running for anything. If you don’t like what Reid is doing, here’s your recourse: move to Utah and vote against him in 2016. If he runs.

    Reid has the upper hand in this battle with Mitt, because Mitt has something to lose. Reid doesn’t, unless Mitt releases his returns and proves that Reid is a big fat liar. Every day that Mitt refrains from doing so it becomes more and more obvious to everyone that Mitt is hiding something big: either what Reid described, or something even worse.

  114. mannning says:

    @anjin-san:

    Talking about confused! You most perfectly illustrate the problem here by refusing to entertain the idea that any “right wing site” could in fact have exposed the lies and prevarications of Obama and is quite relevant to the argument against Obama, yet you uphold left wing sites as gospel, and your own writings as truth. Quite conveniently you also ignore other sources as well, obviously because you know that these sources have the goods on Obama, and that sort of thing must be shunned or somehow neutralized. That is why I tag you with the term Flack: flack for Obama, flack for the left in any event; and flack for the gospel according to angin san for certain.

    Have a nice day, Flack.

  115. Ken says:

    What we have here is misdirected hostility. You want to slam Harry Reid for this crap, but you’d have to concede that politicians of all stripes play this game and Reid’s statement is no more egregious than any other nor more deserving of any special condemnation.

    Interesting that Doug’s usual schtick of “BOTH SIDES R BAD” seems to be conspicuously absent this time around

  116. slimslowslider says:

    @mannning:

    That is why I tag you with the term Flack: flack for Obama, flack for the left in any event; and flack for the gospel according to angin san for certain.

    Sounds like Florack might be a better term

  117. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Oh, good lord, The Arbiter Of Truth has spoken, and spoken wrongly! He has LIED!!!!!

    Here’s one reason: because he’s not the guy running for president. In fact, he’s not running for anything. If you don’t like what Reid is doing, here’s your recourse: move to Utah and vote against him in 2016. If he runs.

    Reid’s from Nevada, not Utah. Nevada, as in where he was on the Gaming Commission before going to Congress and making his millions. Nevada, as in where his relatives just happen to find very well-paying jobs and contracts with the gaming interests. Nevada, where he’s fighting like hell to stop the Yucca Mountain project.

    Here’s a hint: Utah’s kinda squarish, with a bite taken out of one corner. Nevada has a point on the bottom. There’s no way in hell a slimy, corrupt, alleged pederast like Reid could succeed in Utah; he’d only be successful in a corrupt Democratic state like Illinois, or Louisiana, or New Jersey, or New York.

    Perhaps you oughta fact-check yourself every now and then…

  118. anjin-san says:

    @ Manning

    yet you uphold left wing sites as gospel

    Really? Please show where I have done that.

    My daily reading list:

    San Fran Chron (sports and local stories only)

    Political Wire

    WSJ

    The Economist

    Business Week

    That’s it. Sometimes I check out TPM.

    If you get something out of telling yourself that I am a Kossack, well, like I said, you are a bit confused.

  119. anjin-san says:

    @ Manning

    yet you uphold left wing sites as gospel

    Really? Please show where I have done that.

    My daily reading list:

    San Fran Chron (sports and local stories only)

    Political Wire

    WSJ

    The Economist

    Business Week

    That’s it. Sometimes I check out TPM. I usually give Fox News a glance to see what’s up at the asylum. My reading is actually weighted slightly to the right.

    If you get something out of telling yourself that I am a Kossak, well, like I said, you are a bit confused.

  120. jukeboxgrad says:

    Utah’s kinda squarish

    Those big empty states all look alike from way over here.

    Anyway, thanks for the correction and keep reading carefully. Eventually you’ll find a mistake that matters.

  121. mantis says:

    @anjin-san:

    You need to face the possibility that Chicago is evil. Obama did live there, after all.

    As do I. Muahaha.

  122. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: Anyway, thanks for the correction and keep reading carefully. Eventually you’ll find a mistake that matters.

    Funny, you’ve always given the impression that every mistake matters. You fixate on the finest of details in a way that just manages to completely divert all your attention from the substance of the discussion.

    For example, here. Reid has claimed knowledge, and cited a source that is completely implausible. The two most likely explanations are he is either completely making this up, or he has obtained information illegally. (We’ve already seen how much respect Obama supporters have for legal confidentiality requirements — see the Joe the Plumber case and how quickly his legal records were illegally accessed and released.) And let’s not forget Romney’s character and Mormon upbringing — he does not brag or boast. This is one way of telling Romney apart from Obama — Obama’s favorite word is “I.”

    Reid is making the allegation. It’s up to him to offer up the proof that it’s credible. And so far, it looks like even more slime from the rumored pederast who has made himself a millionaire while on the government payroll.

  123. mannning says:

    @anjin-san:

    Kossak? I thought they were those Polish painters. Not really what I had thought was fitting for you. Or did you mean Russian Cossaks, the fighters? Nrither seems to fit.

    So are you telling me your political stance is slightly to the right, based on your reading list? Of course WSJ is only right in the Editorials, the rest is slanted leftwards.

    Or are you a supporter of Obama these days? Yes, I am confused about that, indeed I am! Please tell! Lay it out for me. What could possibly be your rationale for supporting Obama?

  124. jukeboxgrad says:

    you’ve always given the impression that every mistake matters

    Feel free to show us where I’ve pointed out a mistake that didn’t matter.

    You fixate on the finest of details in a way that just manages to completely divert all your attention from the substance of the discussion.

    This is another bogus claim you should either withdraw or support with examples.

    Reid has claimed knowledge, and cited a source that is completely implausible.

    What a nice example of how you like to present unsupported opinions as if they are proven facts. I have explained why your claim of “implausible” is wrong.

    The two most likely explanations are he is either completely making this up, or he has obtained information illegally.

    Another bare assertion. I already explained why this is wrong.

    let’s not forget Romney’s character and Mormon upbringing — he does not brag or boast

    Naturally. That’s why he never misses an opportunity to remind us how rich and special he is. Example. Also, you’re making an unwarranted assumption: that the information came from Mitt.

    Reid is making the allegation. It’s up to him to offer up the proof that it’s credible.

    We know from Mitt’s behavior that “it’s credible.” Mitt wouldn’t be hiding his tax returns unless there was a good reason. If Mitt was in a position to call Reid’s bluff, he would. Either Reid’s claim is true, or there’s something in there that’s even worse.

  125. anjin-san says:

    So are you telling me your political stance is slightly to the right, based on your reading list?

    No, I am a partisan Democrat. Used to be a Republican, but it just got to0 embarrassing. Was an independent for quite a while, but the Iraq war ended that.

    Is this confusing for you? You are the guy who said I am a slave to left wing blogs. TPM is as far left as I go, and I don’t spend much time there. If you don’t understand the reference to “kossak” with a “K’ instead of a “c”, well, you are kinda clueless, so it is no surprise.

    yet you uphold left wing sites as gospel

    Once again, please show some evidence of this.

    What could possibly be your rationale for supporting Obama?

    I give Obama a B- Bush was an F. I see no evidence Romney would be any better than Bush. He really does seem to have a personality disorder. He is running to the same neocon imbeciles that created the disastrous Bush foreign policy. Do you know who is writing the Romeny campaign’s copy about “The Romney Boom”? Kevin Hassett. Yes, that Kevin Hassett. The author of “Dow 36,000: The New Strategy for Profiting from the Coming Rise in the Stock Market.” You know, the guy who said the .com boom was going to last forever. Yea, let’s hang our hat on this guy. Romneny has.

    ‘Nuff said.

  126. anjin-san says:

    let’s not forget Romney’s character and Mormon upbringing — he does not brag or boast

    Now let us return to reality. Romney bragging about bringing home that DC bacon:

    “We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government,” he says.

    “I have learned from my Olympic experience that if you have people who really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities,” Romney says.

    “I am big believer in getting money where the money is,” Romney says on the video, “The money is in Washington.”

    We even have video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgYLBk_0t6w&feature=player_embedded

    Of course, Mitt has shaken the Etch a Sketch many, many times since then.

  127. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: That’s a pretty good quote to get a glimpse at Romney’s character. “We” did the accomplishment — he’s sharing the credit. But “I have learned” — an admission of prior ignorance.

    Contrast with a classic Obama example. It’s replete with “I,” “my,” “me,” and other variants thereof.

    And then contrast with the announcement of the capture of Saddam Hussein — Bush didn’t even make the announcement himself, he let his guy in Iraq make the announcement.

    Romney, Obama, Bush — two are secure enough that they don’t need to make sure everyone knows their accomplishments. And one who has to make certain he’s the absolute center of attention and gets all the glory.

    Yeah, Romney’s JUST the type to shoot his mouth off about paying no taxes for 10 years. The only context that makes any sense is if he was being flippant and referring to his first ten years of life or something.

    But the last ten years? Considering Romney’s wealth and the complexity of his holdings and earnings, It’s a safe bet he’s been audited at least once in the last decade. Especially since 2008 — when Obama got elected and it was clear Romney would be a front-runner for the net election.

  128. jukeboxgrad says:

    one who has to make certain he’s the absolute center of attention and gets all the glory

    Yup.

    Yeah, Romney’s JUST the type to shoot his mouth off about paying no taxes for 10 years.

    One of your charming qualities is the way you ignore all facts and arguments that you find inconvenient. I already pointed out to you that there is no reason to assume that the source was Mitt himself.

    We have also just seen him on camera, bragging about his ability to get lots of money by “going after every agency of government,” and that he is a “big believer in getting money where the money is … in Washington.” It’s easy to imagine that a person who would say this in public would brag privately about his ability to minimize his taxes.

    It’s a safe bet he’s been audited at least once in the last decade

    What does that have to do with anything? It’s possible he avoided taxes legally and would therefore pass an audit.

  129. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @jukeboxgrad: So, the allegation is that Romney somehow obeyed the law on his taxes? That’s the big scandal?

    Tell you what — why don’t you show me on Obama’s returns where he actually paid more than he was required to by law. Show me some deductions or exemptions he passed on, some loopholes he could have used but didn’t. Maybe he didn’t claim one or both of his kids. Maybe he didn’t write off his mortgage. Perhaps he made a voluntary overpayment somewhere. Anything that shows he actually acts like he believes what he says — that he doesn’t pay enough in taxes, and actually pays what he thinks he owes.

    As far as your picture of Bush… that’s a standard military-issue flight gear, and he was wearing it just after flying in a standard military-issue Navy jet. And those things are so tight for a reason. It’s called “protection.” It would have been bad if he DIDN’T wear that suit.

    You want me to link to the picture of Obama in his Mom jeans riding the girl’s bike? You really wanna go there?

  130. mannning says:

    @anjin-san:

    Well, you had me there. I am not one to read the Daily Kos, ever, so the coined term Kossak most certainly escaped me. What a trivial piece of info, but it does have it’s uses…

    The partisan Democrat label does ride nicely on your shoulders. I note with glee that you could not defend Obama on his record, but rather slipped into rather weak attacks on Romney. All you could muster is Obama gets a B, and Bush an F.

    From my vantage point, I would give Obama an F for his wasted stimulus money, seriously inhibiting job growth and conventional energy development, running the debt to the sky, not listening to the voice of the people, appointing radically partisan women to the court, plus an enormous string of falsehoods, and the glimmer of collectivism in his thinking and doing, which all by itself is a killer. Rather far, far more impacting on the nation than Romney’s bragging, don’t you think?

    To name a few people you don’t like (for the cut of their jib it seems) that Romney uses is also a very weak condemnation of the man. If that is all you can muster in defense of Obama, you have serious values problems to go with your blind partisanship. Why don’t you look into the collection of radical people, including czars, surrounding Obama that read like the membership of the Socialist Party of America? Does it not bother you that Obama actually fired a CEO in the private sector, and is doing his utmost to cap the compensation of top executives? Again, rather far more impacting on the nation than what you bring to the table against Romney. I read where you went South on Iraq. So how does Obama’s drone war suit you, with its building civilian death count in several nations, and the use of drones in the US for surveillance?

    There is a lot more I could bring up against Obama, but it is actually a non-starter in a partisan blog, so I will cease as of now.

  131. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Personally, I only wish Tim Geithner was leading the charge on the Romney tax distraction. That would be so perfect. A Treasury Secretary who cheated on his taxes, going after Romney who is accused of following the law on his. That would be epic.

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