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Barack Obama Rothschild's Choice for President of America wins again 

in the 2012 USA Presidential Elections: 

God Help America and God Help the World
Thank you so much for this amazing true account of why Obama is in the White House
I  knew from the very beginning it was too good to be true for Americana and the world when Obama won by a land slid. I said to myself, that with such little money behind the of only a few million dollars spent, McCain's feeble attempt at becoming presidend of the USA just a few million was spent and all the main stream media owned by the Rothschilds which was always behind Barrack Obama, There is no doubt that Obama was the chosen one
George Kleck Editor of the INL News Group









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He's being called "Messiah," "World Teacher," "Pharaoh," "Savior," and even "God." But Barack Obama is best described in two words: "Rothschild's Choice.


clearly intended to promote the same idea—one more example of Rothschild's mind-bending psychological control techniques.
Barack Obama will go down in history as America’s first Russian Jewish President."  Abner Mikva (Jew)
Former White House Counsel, Clinton Administration (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 2008)
With Rothschilds help Russia has finally taken over the United states of America with the people of America welcoming him with open arms because of their hatred for the terror reign under USA Presidents like George Bush Senior and Junior, Bill Clinton for the 100 years who were also  Rothschilds Choices... the brilliant and  clever marketing strategy.... make life hell for the American people under the most unpopular USA President in History and who ever you put as president of the United States of America the people of America and the rest of the world will bless that person in the short term .... until they realise who he actually works for and why his has been allowed to become the President of the United States of American by the real true owner and ruler of Plant Earth.... our Lord and Master Lord Jacob Rothschild

undefined

Evelyn Rothschild shows off some of the family's fabulous wealth in the form of gold bars.
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Trump’s Twitter rant after Obama win: ‘We should march on Washington and stop this’   

Trump’s Twitter rant after Obama win: ‘We should march on Washington and stop this’



Trump made an offer Obama could refuse. (YouTube)
"....The president may have been helped at the 11th hour when superstorm Sandy roared ashore, killing more than 100 Americans but giving Obama the chance to project leadership at the head of a multi-state disaster response...the USA scientific HAARP technology that can be used to create storms and floods may well have been used to the USA Authorities or create the superstorn Sandy to give Obama the chance to project leadership at the head of a multi-state disaster response...it seems that those who are behind making sure the Obama was re-elected for another 4 years as the USA President that have the control of HAARP technology were not concerned about more that 100 american lives were lost in the superstorm Sandy, as long as their Babylon Pharaoh Barack Obama was re-elected the President of the United States of America with the help of  his unseen masters, mind controllers and handlers, to complete to help make sure that there is only a one world computer based monetary currency, one world government, a one world army, a one world  leader with the general population all implanted with micro chips with their whole life person, business, work and financial history on which is all linked to one controlling computer based in a satellite in space..... so that everyone on earth has a number in a micro chip implanted in their body instead of a debit/credit visa card they carry in their wallets with which they need to be active and working to be able to buy or sell good or service and if they are found out to be talking or thinking things that is against those in power, their chip will be turned off and when they next go to purchase a meal with their family at a restaurant, not even knowing that their chip has been deactivated, when they know they have money in the bank that should give them the right to use this money through their chip implant in their arm...and they at the end of the meal they go to pay for the meal with their chip implant in their arm... and when the waiter scans the chip it comes up with the message retain the card..as often happens when one tries to use their own card but for some reason their bank has put a stop on the card and told the merchant to keep the card... because the card/chip is an implant in the body.. the message retain the card/chip would mean you as a person would be be retained by the restaurant until the police arrive to card you away ...the the crime of thinking or speaking things against those in power ... and the method by which they can locate you and have you arrested is without you knowing...just cancelling your chip/card without you knowing and when you innocently go into a restaurant to buy a meal thinking you can use your card and told at 11 pm at night, maybe while away from home in a foreign country where you have no back up and can not even go to see you local bank because no local branches are in that country, and suddenly you are told that your card can not be used to pay for the meal you have just eat... and you are arrested for obtaining a meal by means of fraud and also for thinking and/or saying someone against those in power.... all very scary indeed..but this is the world the Barack Obama is been given another term as USA Presidency to help his unseen masters, mind controllers and handlers create..and because Barack Obama is so popular is will be easy for Barack Obama to help his hidden masters introduce these draconian measures that complete the final stages of turning everyone, except the powerful elite at the very top into micro chipped mind control slaves.


 
Photo By  @Schwarzenegger/Twitter

Trump’s Twitter rant after Obama win: ‘We should march on Washington and stop this’

Donald Trump, the impossibly coiffed real estate mogul and de facto leader of the "birther" movement, had something of a Twitter meltdown in the wake of President Barack Obama's projected victory in Tuesday's election. "Well, back to the drawing board!" Trumptweeted shortly after several networks, including Fox News, called Ohio in the president's favor, sealing the win. "We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!"
Trumpwho last month offered $5 million to a charity of Obama's choice in exchange for the release of the commander in chief's college records and passport applicationcontinued his post-election rant in 140-character chunks: "Barack Obama is the least transparent president in the history of this country," Trump said in a widely mocked October video shot from his New York office and uploaded to YouTube. "I'm very honored to have gotten him to release his long-form birth certificate or whatever it may be."
President Obama was unfazed. On "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," Obama joked to Leno that the bad blood between him and the "Celebrity Apprentice" star "dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya."
It appears the president saved his best zinger for Trump for Election Day.


 

Obama win has US investors staring at fiscal cliff


This election changes nothing - America is still heading for a $600bn (£375bn) financial disaster. Reuters –



Reuters - U.S. President Barack Obama (R) celebrates with Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and their son Beau (L) at their election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

By Rodrigo Campos and Steven C. Johnson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - US investors will hit trading floors this morning with the same president and the same problems in gridlocked Washington. First up: a looming budget crisis that could send the US economy reeling. President Barack Obama beat back Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term, but he will still have to contend with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives that could make forging a compromise on pressing issues like the coming "fiscal cliff" difficult. "There will be an immediate shift to government gridlock and the fiscal cliff issue, and that will be a headwind for stocks," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive officer and founder of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California.
By Rodrigo Campos and Steven C. Johnson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - US investors will hit trading floors this morning with the same president and the same problems in gridlocked Washington. First up: a looming budget crisis that could send the US economy reeling.
President Barack Obama beat back Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term, but he will still have to contend with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives that could make forging a compromise on pressing issues like the coming "fiscal cliff" difficult. "There will be an immediate shift to government gridlock and the fiscal cliff issue, and that will be a headwind for stocks," said Michael Yoshikami, chief executive officer and founder of Destination Wealth Management in Walnut Creek, California. The fiscal cliff is a $600 billion (£375bn) package of automatic tax increases and spending cuts, scheduled to take effect at the end of 2012, that could severely strain economic growth. Obama is expected to demand tax increases for the wealthy as part of a deal to reduce spending to tackle the nation's deficit. Many investors thought that Romney as president-elect would have had a smoother time in negotiations. "The real challenge is for (Obama) to bridge the differences with Congress and work to get in the middle," said Jason Ader, a former Wall Street gaming analyst and a Romney supporter. Steven Englander, Citigroup's head of G10 foreign exchange strategy, said markets could panic toward yearend if it looks as though no deal is imminent to avoid the fiscal cliff. If that happens, investors will think twice about lending the US government money at low interest rates, which would strain the economy, widen the deficit and hurt the dollar. It also raises the possibility that major credit-rating agencies will cut the U.S. debt rating.
Standard & Poor's stripped the US of its pristine triple-A rating in 2011; the agencies have said they will evaluate budget negotiations and solutions and may take action next year.
Investors have had a tendency to downplay problems emanating from Washington only to find themselves surprised when lawmakers cannot get together on critical issues. The market reacted harshly to Washington gridlock after failed legislation to backstop the banks in 2008 and again during protracted talks to raise the US debt ceiling in 2011. Whitney Tilson, a hedge fund manager and one of the only managers in the $2 trillion industry publicly to endorse Obama for a second term, said he was optimistic that the two parties would compromise. "This was a victory for moderates," he said. "I hope both parties recognise this and move toward each other - to the center - to address the pressing problems our country faces." The end of the drawn-out election campaign puts to rest questions about regulation and monetary policy - Romney had said he would replace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke - but some investors remained on edge about taxes and overall economic health.
Billionaire investor George Soros said late Tuesday that the re-election of Obama will open "the door for more sensible politics." Soros, a major contributor to Democratic causes, said in an email exchange with Reuters that he hoped "the Republicans in office will make better partners in the coming years."
CLARITY ON THE FED, LESS ON THE ECONOMY
Although markets came into the night expecting Obama to win, most traders and investors supported Romney, who raised more money on Wall Street than the incumbent. Obama's win did remove uncertainty about the future of Fed policy. Romney had said he would replace Bernanke, whose dovish monetary policy has helped propel gains in both US bond and stock prices in recent years.
CLARITY ON THE FED, LESS ON THE ECONOMY
Although markets came into the night expecting Obama to win, most traders and investors supported Romney, who raised more money on Wall Street than the incumbent. Obama's win did remove uncertainty about the future of Fed policy. Romney had said he would replace Bernanke, whose dovish monetary policy has helped propel gains in both US bond and stock prices in recent years. The benchmark S&P 500 has rallied 67 percent since Obama took office - one of the most impressive runs ever for stocks under a single president. Benchmark bond yields hit record lows despite a downgrade of the US credit rating last year. Cumulative returns for maturities on all US Treasuries are at 14 percent since Obama took office, according to Barclays. The Fed's easy-money policy has pushed down the value of the dollar, though, and some worry more dollar weakness may be in store, particularly if investors see signs of rising inflation.
"The market rewards this certainty by bidding up gold and selling the dollar against all major currencies," said Axel Merk, president of Merk Investments in Palo Alto, California.
Under a second Obama presidency, Wall Street will have to forgo trying to repeal Dodd-Frank financial reforms and instead continue to use personal relationships in Washington to keep the law from harming firms, said Karen Shaw Petrou of Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington-based research firm. Wall Street has bristled at the reforms, which include stricter capital requirements for banks, and the Volcker Rule, which is intended to stop banks from making bets in the financial markets with insured deposits. But some welcomed the changes. "I don't think any reasonable observer would want to go back to the risk that we had in the system before the financial crisis," said Evercore CEO Ralph Schlosstein. 

(Additional reporting by Tim McLaughlin and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston, Atossa Abrahamian, Daniel Bases, David Henry, Rick Rothacker, Ryan Vlastelica, Sam Forgione, Nadia Damouni, Gregory Roumeliotis and Jennifer Ablan in New York; Editing by David Gaffen, Lisa Von Ahn, Prudence Crowther, Andrew Hay, Leslie Gevirtz and Ciro Scotti)

TIMELINE - America's long stumble toward the "fiscal cliff"

Reuters 
Ph: United States money printing plates are seen at the Museum of American Finance in New York October 15, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
By Kevin Drawbaugh and Patrick Temple-West
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The long, bumpy road to America's "fiscal cliff" has been traveled over many years by Congress and a series of U.S. presidents, including Barack Obama, who won a re-election on Tuesday, and who may turn quickly to the issue.
Some of the steps along the way had good intentions. Some had no intention at all other than to avoid hard decisions.
After Tuesday's election, with Congress still divided between Democrats and Republicans, crucial deadlines loom at year-end.
Major budget and tax decisions are converging in a challenge Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has dubbed a "fiscal cliff." Will lawmakers rise to the occasion? Or will they delay again?
Here is a time line of how the country got where it is today.
* 1998-2001. Long economic expansion of 1990s peaks. U.S. government budget in surplus under President Bill Clinton.
* 2001. Stock market tech bubble bursts. President George W. Bush, Congress enact deep "temporary" tax cuts. Some Republicans predict cuts will spur economy, pay for themselves. September 11 attacks occur. United States and its allies invade Afghanistan.
* 2002. After four years of surpluses, U.S. budget slips into deficit of $158 billion. Bear market in stocks.
* 2003. United States and allies invade Iraq. Bush and Congress cut taxes further. Deficit grows to $378 billion.
* 2004-2006. Stock market recovers. Deficit shrinks.
* 2007-2008. Housing market bubble bursts. World financial crisis. Stock market crashes. Worst U.S. recession since Great Depression. Unemployment, home foreclosures soar. Bush, Congress bail out big banks. Deficit jumps to $459 billion in 2008.
* 2009. Obama, Congress enact $787 billion stimulus, including expanded "temporary" tax breaks for children, education. Auto industry bailed out. Recession ends midyear. Stock market bounces back. Deficit hits $1.4 trillion.
* 2010. Obama signs healthcare overhaul into law. Obama creates Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction panel. Its plan for drastic fiscal reform is largely ignored. Led by Tea Party conservatives, Republicans win control of House of Representatives in midterm elections. Obama agrees to extend Bush tax cuts for two years. Def i c it shrinks to $1.3 trillion.
* 2011. Treasury Department request for increase in U.S. debt ceiling becomes focus of fight in Congress. Republicans, Democrats settle dispute by forming "super committee" to examine fiscal reform. Debt ceiling raised. U.S. credit rating downgraded. Super committee collapses in discord. Deep, mandatory budget cuts triggered for 2013. Stock market makes choppy advance. Deficit estimated at $1.6 trillion.
* Spring 2012. Bernanke warns lawmakers of "massive fiscal cliff" at year-end. Main elements of approaching crisis include the expiration of Bush tax cuts and other tax measures that Congress has allowed to slip, along with budget cuts due to super committee flop.
* Summer 2012. Presidential, congressional election campaigns in high gear. Stock market advances.
* Autumn 2012. Congressional Budget Office warns that the fiscal cliff, left unaddressed, could trigger recession. Mitt Romney named Republican presidential nominee. Obama reiterates support for keeping Bush tax cuts for all except high-income earners. Republicans support extension of Bush tax cuts for everyone. Deficit for 2012 estimated to shrink to $1.1 trillion.
* November 6, 2012. Obama re-elected, Democrats retain control of Senate, Republicans retain control of House, according to network projections.
* November 13, 2012. Congress scheduled to return for "lame-duck" session to deal with Obama on fiscal cliff issues.
* December 31, 2012. If Congress takes no action, Bush tax cuts expire, other "fiscal cliff" elements kick in.
* Early 2013. If no action from Congress, automatic budget cuts set to kick in. Debt ceiling expected to be hit again. (Additional reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Peter Cooney)
 

After Obama win, say goodbye to neocons

At least for a few years.

After Obama win, say goodbye to neocons-At least for a few years.
By Dan Murphy | Christian Science Monitor
Dan Senor has no more influence in the White House today than he did yesterday.
That's the key foreign policy takeaway from the US reelection ofPresident Barack Obama last night. Mitt Romney had surrounded himself with neocons and other hawkish advisers, eager to regain the influence they lost when John McCain fell to Mr. Obama in 2008. Now, it looks like four more years in the wilderness for them. The chance that the US will start a new war has decreased, and Obama and like-minded officials will continue to put their realist stamp on US foreign relations as they wind down the Afghanistanwar and try to use sanctions, rather than combat, to slow Iran's nuclear program. The dreams of transforming the world with US troops and tanks that inflamed so many of President Bush's advisers at the start of the Iraq war, will now be dreamt a long way from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Mr. Senor was a key political player for the Bush administration in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, advising Paul Bremer on how to run the country in 2003 and 2004. The frequent Fox Newscommentator emerged as Mr. Romney's main adviser for the Middle East, squiring him on visits to the UK and IsraelJohn Bolton, the Bush-Cheney ambassador to the UN (who is famous for hating the UN, among other things), also had Romney's ear and was and rumored to be under consideration for Secretary of State in a Romney cabinet. Mr. Bolton has openly mused about going to war with Iranand Syria, and continues to insist the Iraq invasion and occupation was the right course of action.
In all, 17 of Romney's 24 foreign policy advisers served under President Bushaccording to Democratic Congressman Adam Smith, and the US approach to both war and peace abroad would have taken on a decidedly more Bushian cast if Romney had won. While Americans mostly voted on pocketbook issues, the fact that most American voters dislike the Bush approach certainly didn't help Romney at the polls. Among the small number of voters who said they cared deeply about foreign policy, Obama had a 56-33 edge over Romney.
That more hawkish orientation was the reason that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was so eager for a Romney victory, since he expected the a Romney White House could be easier to talk into going to war with Iran than an Obama one.
It will be interesting to watch how Obama handles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the years ahead, given his chilly relations with the Israeli prime minister. While it is unlikely that Obama will make any dramatic overtures to change the nature of US-Israeli relations, Mr. Netanyahu may find an administration that isn't as wholehearted, for instance, in arguing Israel's case at the United Nations. But in the broad strokes we'll be getting more of the same, with Obama promising to end the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014. The president was reluctant to get directly involved in the civil war in Syria before the election, and that reluctance is likely to persist. But while there will be fewer boots on the ground, that doesn't mean Obama doesn't have an aggressive foreign policy of his own. It's just of a different style. The president seems as fond of using drones to kill America's alleged enemies abroad as ever, for instance. Obama has ordered alleged Al Qaeda-style militants killed by the hundreds on his watch in Pakistan and Yemen. This undeclared drone war probably won't abate, with reports from Washington that Obama officials have been working on ways to justify the killings as legal, even when they involve the assassination of American citizens. There is simply no constituency in Washington against it. And the neocons, as they retreat back to their think-tanks and analyst positions on cable news shows, certainly won't complain.
Related stories

Obama's lease renewed despite tough economic times

By NANCY BENAC | Associated Press 
President Obama Wins 2012 Election: Victory SpeechABC News Videos  0:00Re-elected President Obama thanks supporters and speaks of moving the country forward.
 
 
President Barack Obama , joined by his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his spouse Jill acknowledge applause after Obama delivered his victory speech to supporters gathered in Chicago early...
 
WASHINGTON (AP) — His lease renewed in trying economic times, President Barack Obama claimed a second term from an incredibly divided electorate and immediately braced for daunting challenges and progress that comes only in fits and starts.
"We have fought our way back and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come," Obama said.
The same voters who gave Obama another four years also elected a divided Congress, re-upping the dynamic that has made it so hard for the president to advance his agenda. Democrats retained control of the Senate; Republicans renewed their majority in the House.
It was a sweet victory for Obama, but nothing like the jubilant celebration of four years earlier, when his hope-and-change election as the nation's first black president captivated the world. This time, Obama ground out his win with a stay-the-course pitch that essentially boiled down to a plea for more time to make things right and a hope that Congress will be more accommodating than in the past.
The vanquished Republican, Mitt Romney, tried to set a more conciliatory tone on the way off the stage.
"At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering," Romney said after a campaign filled with it. "Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work."
House Speaker John Boehner spoke of a dual mandate, saying, "If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs."
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a more harsh assessment.
"The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term," McConnell said. "They have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together" with a balanced Congress. Obama claimed a commanding electoral mandate — at least 303 electoral votes to 206 for Romney — and had a near-sweep of the nine most hotly contested battleground states. But the close breakdown in the popular vote showed Americans' differences over how best to meet the nation's challenges. With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, the popular vote went 50 percent for Obama to 48.4 percent for Romney, the businessman-turned-politician who had argued that Obama had failed to turn around the economy and said it was time for a new approach keyed to lower taxes and a less intrusive government. Obama's re-election assured certainty on some fronts: His signature health-care overhaul will endure, as will the Wall Street reforms enacted after the economic meltdown. The drawdown of troops in Afghanistan will continue apace. And with an aging Supreme Court, the president is likely to have at least one more nomination to the high court. The challenges immediately ahead for the 44th president are all too familiar: an economy still baby-stepping its way toward full health, 23 million Americans still out of work or in search of better jobs, civil war in Syria, an ominous standoff over Iran's nuclear program, and more. Sharp differences with Republicans in Congress on taxes, spending, deficit reduction, immigration and more await. And even before Obama gets to his second inaugural on Jan. 20, he must grapple with the threatened "fiscal cliff" — a combination of automatic tax increases and steep across-the-board spending cuts that are set to take effect in January if Washington doesn't quickly come up with a workaround budget deal. Economists have warned the economy could tip back into recession absent a deal. Despite long lines at polls in many places, turnout overall looked to be down from four years ago as the president pieced together a winning coalition of women, young people, minorities and lower-income voters that reflected the country's changing demographics. Obama's superior ground organization in the battleground states was key to his success.
The president's victory speech — he'd written a concession, too, just in case — reflected the realities of the rough road ahead.
"By itself the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward," Obama said. "But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over, and whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you have made me a better president." The president said he hoped to meet with Romney and discuss how they can work together. They may have battled fiercely, he said, "but it's only because we love this country deeply."
Photos: Barack Obama wins four more years
 
Photo By LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS
U.S. President Barack Obama hugs his daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (2L) as First lady Michelle Obama looks on during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES
 - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
 
Romney's short concession — with misplaced confidence, he'd only prepared an acceptance speech — was a gracious end note after a grueling campaign.
He wished the president's family well and told subdued supporters in Boston, "I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation." Obama's re-election was a remarkable achievement given that Americans are anything but enthusiastic about the state they're in: Only about 4 in 10 voters thought the economy is getting better, just one quarter thought they're better off financially than four years ago and a little more than half think the country is on the wrong track, exit polls showed. But even now, four years after George W. Bush left office, voters were more likely to blame Bush than Obama for the fix they're in.
It wasn't just the president and Congress who were on the ballot. Voters around the country considered ballot measures on a number of divisive social issues, with Maine and Maryland becoming the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote while Washington state and Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana. From the beginning, Obama had an easier path than Romney to the 270 electoral votes needed for victory. The most expensive campaign in history was narrowly targeted at people in nine battleground states that held the key to victory, and the two sides drenched voters there with more than a million ads, the overwhelming share of them negative.
Obama claimed at least seven of the battleground states, most notably Ohio, the Ground Zero of campaign 2012. He also got Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin, and he was ahead in Florida. Romney got North Carolina.
Overall, Obama won 25 states and the District of Columbia and was leading in too-close-to-call Florida. Romney won 24 states. It was a more measured victory than four years ago, when Obama claimed 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173, winning with 53 percent of the popular vote. Obama was judged by 53 percent of voters to be more in touch with people like them. More good news for him: Six in 10 voters said that taxes should be increased. And nearly half of voters said taxes should be increased on income over $250,000, as Obama has called for. Obama's list of promises to keep includes many holdovers he was unable to deliver on in his first term: rolling back tax cuts for upper-income people, immigration reform, reducing federal deficits, and more. A second term is sure to produce turnover in his Cabinet: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has made it clear he wants to leave at the end of Obama's first term but is expected to remain in the post until a successor is confirmed. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama's rival for the presidency four years ago, is ready to leave too. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta isn't expected to stay on. To the end, the presidential race was a nail-biter. About 1 in 10 voters said they'd only settled on their presidential choice within the last few days or even on Election Day, and they were closely divided between Obama and Romney. Nearly 1 percent of voters went for Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who was on the ballot in 48 states. In an election offering sharply different views on the role of government, voters ultimately narrowly tilted toward Obama's approach.
"We have seen growth in the economy," said 25-year-old Matt Wieczorek, a registered Republican from Cincinnati who backed the president. "Maybe not as fast as we want it to be, but Obama has made a difference and I don't want to see that growth come to an end." Notwithstanding his victory, Obama will lead a nation with plenty of people who were ready for a change. "The last four years have been crap," said 73-year-old Marvin Cleveland, a Romney supporter in Roseville, Minn. "Let's try something else."
Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nbenac

Obama Wins: 'Pacific President' Looks East

By Lisa Holland, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, in Beijing | Sky News 

Obama Wins: 'Pacific President' Looks East

Four more years for Barack Obama in the White House will see a US foreign policy which is increasingly focusing on China and the Asia-Pacific region.

The re-elected US leader has made it clear he likes to be seen as a 'Pacific President'. He talks often of a 'pivot towards Asia'. It gives you an idea of just how important he sees China and this part of the world. After ending the war in Iraq and nailing the timeline of America’s exit strategy from Afghanistan the president's eyes are focussed here in Asia for his second term. That's because China is the rising power of the world and America knows that China wants to take over the title, if not of super-power of the world then certainly economic super-power, over the next 10 years.

President Obama has said he wants 60% of America's warships stationed in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. He wants to extend America's influence as China seeks to spread and cement its dominance in the region. China took delivery of its first aircraft carrier a few weeks ago, sending shudders through American military circles about China's ambitions. China is already the resident super-power in Asia. It practically built Cambodia and Burma's new infrastructures with its no-strings loans. It is busy wooing Thailand, offering it technology for a high-speed rail link. That all stacks up to a head-on geo-strategic rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region between the US and China. China's GDP, while having slowed, is still at a staggering 7.4%. Mitt Romney had said if he won the election he would declare China a 'currency manipulator'. He says China is stealing American jobs by keeping its currency artificially low, enabling it to deliver cheap exports.  It is clear that the issue of trade between the US and China is a top priority for President Obama too, if he is to deliver on his pledge of rebuilding the US economy and delivering more jobs. We watched the US election unfold on big screens at a Beijing hotel at an event hosted by the US Embassy. There was a mock-up polling booth - and people dishing out stickers which said 'I voted'. It is more than an ironic twist that the event was held on the eve of China's once-a-decade power transition - the 18th Communist Party Congress. During the Congress China unveils its leaders for the next 10 years - chosen by the minute inner circle of the Communist Party elite. 

China is the world’s most populous nation - 1.3 billion people - amounting to a fifth of the world's population. Yet none of them have a say in who will lead them. At the US Embassy event, invited Chinese guests could choose whether to stand next to life-size cut-outs of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney to have their pictures taken. It is the only choice these Chinese people get to make when it comes to political events in China this week.


 

Michelle Obama picked Kors for Election Night

By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL | Associated Press –


Associated Press/Jerome Delay - President Barack Obama , joined by his wife Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his spouse Jill acknowledge applause after Obama delivered his victory speech to supporters
 gathered in Chicago early Wednesday Nov. 7 2012. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
 
 
President Barack Obama waves as he walks on stage with first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated...
 
First lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama acknowledge their supporters at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former...
 
NEW YORK (AP) — As Michelle Obama stepped on stage with her husband in Chicago early Wednesday morning, she accepted her role not only as first lady but fashion tastemaker for four more years — this time, wearing a Michael Kors magenta silk chine pin-tucked dress.
As Mrs. Obama joined President Barack Obama, she sported a dress pulled in at the waist, and she topped it with a black shrug that showed a peek of a vintage pink brooch from House of Lavande. She was surrounded by her trend-right daughters: Malia wore an electric-blue, A-line skirt with a pink studded belt that looks like the teen version of the first lady's signature Azzedine Alaia belt, and Sasha had on an abstract-print green skirt, gray bow-front top and mimicked her mom's shrunken cardigan look.
Mrs. Obama has been a reinvigorating force for the fashion industry, from her late-night online J. Crew purchases to her savvy courtship with up-and-coming designers, including Prabal Gurungand Jason Wu. Kors has been a consistent label in her wardrobe, with Mrs. Obama wearing a black, racer-back dress by the designer in her official White House portrait, as well as a hot-pink gown for a White House Correspondents' Dinner and a red halter gown at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards dinner.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America gave Mrs. Obama its Board of Directors' Special Tribute award in 2009 for her influence in the industry.
Four years ago on Election Night, Mrs. Obama wore a straight-from-the-runway black sheath dress with splashes of red by Narciso Rodriguez.
 
 
Barack Obama's team tweeted this incredible image to announce his victory over Mitt Romney

Obama's historic victory: In pictures

 
Earlier lines of voters had waited to cast their ballots in St. Petersburg, Florida - a key swing state


A woman holds her voting receipt at a polling station in Chicago, Illinois

Mom-to-be casts US vote en route to delivery room AFP

Nothing was going to stop first-time voter Galicia Malone from casting her ballot in Tuesday's US elections -- not even the imminent birth of her first child.
The 21-year-old from Dolton, Illinois, a suburb of President Barack Obama's adopted hometown Chicago, had been in labor since the middle of the night, with contractions five minutes apart. But she insisted en route to hospital on stopping at her local polling station -- the aptly named New Life Celebration Church -- to cast her ballot, Cook County clerk David Orr said in a news release..
"I never voted before so this made a major difference in my life," Malone told Chicago's WBBM all-news radio station. "And I wanted this to be a stepping-stone for my daughter."
"I was just trying to read (the ballot paper) and breathe, read and breathe," she added. "That's what I kept telling myself: ?Read and breathe, read and breathe'."
Orr, whose office is in charge of setting up local polling stations, said: "My hat goes off to Galicia for not letting anything get in the way of voting. What a terrific example she is showing for the next generation."
 
 

Romney concedes presidential election to Obama Reuters 
 
 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney conceded the U.S. presidential election to President Barack Obama early on Wednesday morning after a hard-fought campaign."This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney told supporters in Boston after calling Obama to congratulate him.Obama defeated Romney in a number of key swing states, despite the weak economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment that dogged his campaign.Television networks called the election late on Tuesday, but the Romney campaign waited more than an hour to agree on the results in Ohio.
"I so wish, I so wish, that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader," Romney said in his concession speech.This is the second time the former Massachusetts governor has made a run for the presidency. Romney had promised to revive the nation's economy through reforming the tax code, reducing the debt and confronting China on its trade practices.
(Reporting By Kim Dixon and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

 

 
U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is seen on a screen during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts Novmeber 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Domacracy Now
 
 
Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney’s Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill
 

Matt Taibbi: The Secret to Mitt Romney’s Fortune? Greed, Debt and Forcing Others to Foot the Bill

 
A new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds new light on the origin of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Taibbi writes: "What most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romney actually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth." [includes rush transcript]
 
Guest:
Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth article is called "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." He’s author of the book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.
 
Links
"Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." By Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone) See our complete coverage of the Republican National Convention
 
Eitors Picks
Workers at Bain-Owned Illinois Factory Bring Fight to Save Their Outsourced Jobs to Romney and RNC Aug 28, 2012 | Story Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched with Millions from Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities Aug 10, 2012 | Story Laid-Off Steelworker: Mitt Romney and Bain Capital Profited by Shutting Down Kansas Steel Plant Jan 10, 2012 | Story
 
Rush Transcript
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.Donate >
 
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. We are broadcasting from PBS station WEDU in Tampa, Florida. This is "Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency," Democracy Now!'s special coverage from the Republican National Convention, inside and out. I'm Amy Goodman.
We continue our coverage now by turning to an issue that’s been raised repeatedly during the campaign: the personal wealth of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. A new article by reporter Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone sheds light on the origin of his fortune, revealing how Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. Matt Taibbi writes, quote, "what most voters don’t know is the way Mitt Romneyactually made his fortune: by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back. This is the plain, stark reality that has somehow eluded America’s top political journalists for two consecutive presidential campaigns: Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time," Taibbi writes. He goes on to say, "In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on [planet] Earth."
Well, Matt Taibbi joins us now, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth piece called "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital," author of the book also, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.
Matt Taibbi, welcome to Democracy Now!
MATT TAIBBI: Good morning.
AMY GOODMAN: Lay it out for us. Excellent piece, investigative piece, on Mitt Romney’s wealth. Where did it start?
MATT TAIBBI: Well, you know, for me, it started when I had to cover this campaign earlier this year, and I was listening to Romney’s stump speech about debt. You know, he came up with this whole image of a prairie fire of debt raging across America that was literally going to burn children alive in the future. And I kept thinking to myself, does nobody know what this guy did for a living and how he made his money? You know, Mitt Romney is unabashedly a leverage buyout artist. And a leverage buyout artist is a guy who borrows lots of money that other companies have to pay back. And that’s the simple formula.
He started out—his most famous deals, of course, are essentially venture capital deals like the Staples situation, where he built a company from the ground up. But after Staples, he switched to a different model, that he preferred for the rest of his professional career, in which he took over existing companies by putting down small amounts of his own cash, borrowing the rest from—typically from a giant investment bank, taking over controlling stakes in companies, and then forcing those companies to pay him either through management fees or through dividends. And that’s his business formula.
AMY GOODMAN: Explain what private equity is.
MATT TAIBBI: Well, that is what a private equity fund does. They’re essentially—it’s a synonym for what in the '80s we called the leverage buyout business. It's a small group that raises capital and then goes and leverages takeovers of companies using borrowed money. In the '80s, these—this sort of business was glamorized through a couple of things, in particular, in pop culture. One was the movie Wall Street, where Gordon Gekko, the famous Michael Douglas character from the Oliver Stone movie, was essentially a private equity guy. He was a leverage buyout takeover artist. And the other one was a book called Barbarians at the Gate, which was a true story of the takeover of RJR Nabisco by a company called KKR, which was another Bain Capital-like takeover company. And that's what they are. They’re essentially guys who borrow money to take over companies and extract wealth from those companies to pay off their investors.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt, you say that Mitt Romney is not the flip-flopper that critics say he is.
MATT TAIBBI: Yeah. I mean, this is a sort of a subtle point about Mitt Romney. It’s funny. I don’t want to stretch this comparison too much, but, you know, there’s—it’s almost like he has a kind of a religious conviction about being able to lie to people outside of the tent, so to speak. You know, there’s that tenet of some forms of extreme Muslim religions where it’s OK to lie to the infidel. And I think Mitt Romney has a little bit of that. He seems to believe that it’s OK, that there’s nothing particularly wrong with changing one’s mind about things, and he does it repeatedly in a way that I think is different from other politicians. For him, it’s just changing a business strategy, and he doesn’t see why everybody should get so upset about it.
AMY GOODMAN: You say that Mitt Romney has a vision, that he’s trying for something big. Lay out what that vision is.
MATT TAIBBI: Well, Mitt Romney is really the representative of an entire movement that’s taken over the American business world in the last couple of decades. You know, America used to be—especially the American economy was built upon this brick-and-mortar industrial economy, where we had factories, we built stuff, and we sold it here in America, and we exported it all over the world. That manufacturing economy was the foundation for our wealth and power for a couple of centuries. And then, in the '80s, we started to transform ourselves from a manufacturing economy to a financial economy. And that process, which, you know, on Wall Street we call financialization, was really led that—sort of this revolution, where instead of making products, we made transactions, we made financial products, like credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. We created money through financial transactions rather than building products and selling them around the world. And that revolution was really led by people like Mitt Romney. And the advantage of financialization, from the point of view of the very rich and the people who run the American economy, is that it was extremely efficient at extracting wealth and kicking it upward, whereas the old manufacturing economy had the sort of negative effect of spreading around to the entire population. In the financialization revolution, you can take all of the money, and you don't have to spread it around with anybody. And Mitt Romney was kind of a symbol of that fundamental shift in our economy.
AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, Democracy Now!'s Mike Burke caught up with the Texas governor, Rick Perry, and asked him about his comment about Mitt Romney, calling him a vulture capitalist. Let's take a listen.
MIKE BURKE: You described Mitt Romney, compared him to a vulture. What did you mean by that? And you said his work with Bain Capital was indefensible.
GOVRICK PERRY: How are you?
MIKE BURKE: Those were your words during the primary season, Governor. Do you have any comment at all?
AMY GOODMAN: What you were just listening to was the silence of Governor Perry not responding to Mike’s question. Yes, Governor Perry called Mitt Romney a "vulture capitalist." Matt Taibbi, what does that mean?
MATT TAIBBI: Well, look, again, this is what—how companies like Bain made their money. And a great example was a company that I went and visited—well, the place where it used to exist—KB Toys, which used to be headquartered out in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They took over the company with like $18 million down. They financed the other $302 million. So that’s borrowed money that subsequently became the debt of KB Toys. This is an important distinction for people to understand. When they borrowed that money to take over that company, they didn’t have to pay it back, KB had to pay it back. Once they took over the company, they induced it to do a $120 million, quote-unquote, "dividend recapitalization," which essentially means that the company had to cash in a bunch of shares and pay Bain and its investors a huge sum of money. And in order to finance that, they had to take out over $60 million in bank loans. So, essentially, you take over the company, you force them to make enormous withdrawals against their credit card, essentially, and pay the new owners of the company. And that’s essentially what they did. They took over a floundering company that was sort of in between and faced with threatening changes in the industry, and they forced them to cash out entirely and pay all their money to the new owners.
AMY GOODMAN: You know, just for the record, Governor Perry’s comment about Mitt Romney was very interesting. He said, "They’re vultures that sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick, and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass, they leave with that, and they leave the skeleton."
MATT TAIBBI: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly what they do. Again, they borrow money, they take over the company, the company now has this massive new debt burden. So, if the couple was already in trouble, if it was already having trouble meeting its bottom line, suddenly, not only does it have its old problems, now it has, you know, $300 million in new debt service that it has to pay. So it might be, you know, paying millions and millions of dollars every month.
A great example is Dunkin’ Donuts, whose parent company was taken over a couple years ago by a combination of Bain Capital and the Carlyle Group. Dunkin’ was induced to do one of those dividend recapitalizations. They had to pay half-a-billion dollars to their new masters. And just to pay the debt service on the loan they took out to make that payment to Bain and Carlyle, they’re going to have to sell like two-and-a-half million cups of coffee every month just to pay the debt service. So, that’s extraordinary. They are—they’re essentially vultures who hang out waiting for companies to get sick, then they forcibly take them over, and they extract fees, commissions and dividends, by force, essentially.
AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this week, Democracy Now! spoke to two workers from what’s now Sensata Technologies, which Bain Capital is majority owner. A hundred seventy workers there at the Sensata plant in Freeport, Illinois, are calling on Romney to help save their jobs from being shipped to China. The plant manufactures sensors and controls that are used in aircraft and automobiles. This is Tom Gaulrapp, a former—well, he’s a Sensata worker now, talking about the response that they’ve received.
TOM GAULRAPP: We’re there trying to save our jobs, and we were called communists. For trying to save our jobs from going to China from the United States, we were called communists. They—if there hadn’t been a large police group in there, I’m sure we would have been more threatened. They started this "U.S.A." chant. It’s like, yes, we’re all for the U.S.A., too. That’s what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs from being moved out of this country to China. And they make it sound like we’re not patriotic. And it boggles the mind as to what they’re thinking.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Tom Gaulrapp, and he’s describing going to an Iowa Romney campaign event last week—Romney was maybe seven rows in front of him—and asking about their jobs, their company owned by Bain, being sent to China. In fact, some of them went to China, the workers, to train the workers in China, so that they could take over their jobs. Their last day will be the Friday before the elections. They’ll be on the unemployment line to apply for unemployment on Monday. On Tuesday, they vote. Can you comment on this situation, Matt?
MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, no, it’s absolutely typical of a private equity transaction. I think one of the glaring misconceptions about this kind of business that’s persisted throughout Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency is that what these companies do is turn around and fix companies, that they’re in the business of helping these companies. Romney constantly uses this term, that he—that, you know, "help." "I’m either helping this firm, or I’m helping it turn around." He wrote a book called Turnaround. But they are not in the business of turning companies around and creating jobs. That is a complete mischaracterization. What they’re in the business of doing is repaying the investors who lent them the money to take over those companies. The workers are completely irrelevant in this scheme.
Romney is—you know, the old-school industrialists, like Mitt Romney’s father, they were men and women who built communities. They had factory towns. They were very anxious to leave, you know, hard legacies that people could see: hospitals, churches, schools—you know, the Hersheys of the world, the Kelloggs. But these new owners have absolutely no allegiance to American workers, American places, American communities. Their only allegiance is to the investors and to themselves. And so, it’s not at all uncharacteristic to have these situations where people are pleading for their jobs or they’re saying, you know, "We’ll tighten our belts, if you just make this concession and keep us." That’s irrelevant to the Mitt Romney-slash-Bain Capital-slash-Carlyle Groups of the world. They’re entirely about making profits. And if that means shipping jobs to China or eliminating jobs, that’s what they’re going to do. And that’s the new generation of corporate owners in this country.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt, last month, Mitt Romney gave a series of TV interviews defending his role at Bain Capital. This is Mitt Romney speaking to CNN’s Jim Acosta.
MITT ROMNEY: There’s nothing wrong with being associated with Bain Capital, of course. But the truth is that I left any role at Bain Capital in February of '99. And that's known and said by the people at the firm. It’s said by the documents, offering documents that the firm made subsequently about people investing in the firm. And I think anybody who knows that I was out full time running the Olympics would understand that’s where I was. I spent three years running the Olympic Games. And after that was over, we worked out our retirement program, our departure official program for Bain Capital, and handed over the shares I had. But there’s a difference between being a shareholder, an owner, if you will, and being a person who’s running an entity. And I had no role whatsoever in managing Bain Capital after February of 1999.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Mitt Romney on CNN. Matt Taibbi, he’s referring to the—that time gap, 1999, when he said he left, to 2000, 2001, 2002. The significance of this?
MATT TAIBBI: You know, I don’t think it’s terribly important whether he was actively sitting at the helm during that time or whether he was just passively accepting the vast amounts of money that were sent his way as the result of the deals that were concluded at that time. Again, Mitt Romney—well, I’m sorry, Bain Capital took over KB Toys during that disputed time period and made an enormous profit. I think their profit was something like $100 million out of that deal. And Mitt Romney shared in that, in that largesse, even whether he was, you know, actively strategizing or not. You know, the groundwork for deals like that had been laid in the decades before that where he was actively involved in deals like taking over a company like Ampad, which was a very similar deal to the KB deal. So, it’s irrelevant to me, and I think it should be irrelevant to everybody, whether he was actually working there or not. He shared in the profits and clearly didn’t have a problem with any of those deals.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, you have said that Mitt Romney’s fortune would not have been possible without the direct assistance of the U.S. government.
MATT TAIBBI: Yes, there’s a tax deduction for all that borrowed money. So, when Mitt Romney or Bain Capital, when they want to go take over a company like KB Toys and they borrow $300 million to do it, and that new debt becomes the debt of KB Toys, when KB pays the debt service, the monthly service on that debt, that service is deductible. And if that were not true, if they did not have that deduction, these deals would not be economically feasible. They wouldn’t be possible. I spoke to one former regulator from the SEC, who worked both in the SEC and as an accountant at a Big Four accounting firm, and he reviewed a number of these deals in both a public and private capacity. And he said, without that deduction, he’s never seen a deal that would have been economically—a private equity deal that would have been economically feasible. So, this entire business model depends upon a tax break.
AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Romney’s role in Bealls Brothers and Palais Royal. And how is Michael Milken involved with this?
MATT TAIBBI: Sure. And just generally speaking, these private equity deals, they’re made possible by these sort of get-rich-quick, easy-money schemes that started appearing on Wall Street in the '80s. Again, in the old days, the real power in the American economy was—belonged to the industrialists, the guys who—men and women who actually made things, because they had—they were the primary sources of cash and revenue. But in the ’80s, we started to develop all these new methods of simply creating money out of thin air. And the first great one in the ’80s was Mike Milken's junk bonds. And this ability to conjure instant millions gave people, like the fictional Gordon Gekko, the power to take over, you know, mighty companies—airlines, you know, industrial companies—whereas 10, 15, 20 years ago, somebody who didn’t have his own fortune would never have been able to take over those companies.
And that’s what happened with this transaction with Bealls. Romney used Mike Milken’s junk bonds to take over a couple of department store chains, which he subsequently merged. And even after finding out that Milken was under investigation and would shortly have to go to court to defend himself on fraud charges, Romney pressed ahead with the deal anyway and ended up making, you know, another tidy profit on that deal.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt, finally, what do you feel reporters here at the Republican National Convention should be asking Mitt Romney about his time at Bain?
MATT TAIBBI: Well, I just think that the—
AMY GOODMAN: And what his plans are for the presidency?
MATT TAIBBI: Sure. I just think the one unanswered question that reporters just don’t ask either of these people is—they’re making their entire platform about debt. Paul Ryan, his entire political profile is based on this idea that he’s an enemy of debt and a, you know, budget slasher. And Mitt Romney has—again, he’s banked his entire campaign rhetoric on the sort of prairie fire of debt theme. And yet, this is a guy who spent—who made his fortune creating debt. Somehow, this question has not been asked to him. How is that not hypocritical? It hasn’t been asked of either of them, and I would like to see the mainstream press at least ask that question. I think it’s an ideal debate question that should be asked somewhere down the line.
AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, I want to thank you very much for being with us, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent article inRolling Stone is "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." Matt Taibbi is author of the book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History. This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we go to the floor of the convention. Stay with us.
 
Obama Re-Elected to 2nd Term with Near Sweep of Battleground States
Wednesday 7th November, 2012
 
 
President Obama has been re-elected to a second term with a resounding victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. By the end of the night, Obama won 50 percent of the popular vote, securing 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. Obama swept nearly all of the key battleground states, taking Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Hampshire, and a likely victory in Florida. While the major networks began calling the election for Obama at 11:20 p.m. EST, Romney did not publicly concede until nearly two hours later. After avoiding the issue of climate change throughout the campaign, Obama returned to it in his Chicago victory speech, telling supporters: "We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened up by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet." [includes rush transcript]
Guests:
President Obama, delivering his re-election speech at McCormick Place in Chicago.
 
Rush Transcript
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Transcript
 
AMY GOODMAN: President Obama has been re-elected to a second term with a resounding victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. By the end of Tuesday night, Obama won 50 percent of the popular vote, securing 303 electoral votes to Romney’s 206. Obama nearly swept all of the key battleground states, taking Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado and New Hampshire. There were only two states President Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012: North Carolina and Indiana.
While the major networks began calling the election for Obama at 11:20 p.m. Eastern time, Romney did not publicly concede until nearly 1:00 a.m. President Obama spoke close to 2:00 a.m. Eastern time. He addressed thousands of cheering supporters at McCormick Place in Chicago.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics who tell us that politics, nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym or—or saw folks working late at a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.
You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won’t change after tonight. And it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty, and we can never forget that, as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers, a country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all of the good jobs and new businesses that follow. We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.
We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this—this world has ever known, but also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag; to the young boy on the South Side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner; to the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president.
AMY GOODMAN: President Obama, speaking at his re-election victory rally early this morning. He was addressing thousands of cheering supporters at McCormick Place in Chicago. Mitt Romney briefly addressed supporters in Boston.
MITT ROMNEY: The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.
We look to our teachers and professors; we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery. We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family. We look to our parents, for in the final analysis, everything depends on the success of our homes. We look to job creators of all kinds; we’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward. And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.
I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.
Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish—I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.
AMY GOODMAN: Mitt Romney, conceding defeat in Boston early this morning.
The Democrats also retained control of the Senate. In Massachusetts, Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated incumbent Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill held off tea party favorite Todd Akin, who stirred controversy by saying women’s bodies could ward off pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape." In Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly defeated another tea party favorite, Richard Mourdock, to fill the seat of retiring Republican Senator Richard Lugar’s seat. In the Wisconsin Senate race, Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin defeated former Governor Tommy Thompson, making Baldwin the first openly gay senator in U.S. history. In Connecticut, pro wrestling magnate and Republican Linda McMahon lost to Congressmember Chris Murphy despite spending of nearly $100 million running for office. In Maine, former Governor Angus King, an independent, won a three-way contest for the Senate seat of retiring Republican, Olympia Snowe. King is expected to caucus with Democrats.
While the Democrats retain control of the Senate, Republicans remain in control of the 435-member House, in part thanks to redistricting. Florida had two closely watched House races. NBC is projecting Republican Congressmember Allen West has lost a close race with challenger Patrick Murphy, but West has refused to concede so far. Former Democratic Representative Alan Grayson, who lost in 2010 after one House term, has won in a newly created Orlando-area district. In Minnesota, Republican former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann hung on to her House seat by narrowly defeating challenger Jim Graves. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Bachmann led Graves by just over 3,000 votes out of nearly 350,000 votes cast.
This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, we’ll talk about the significance of the elections at the presidential, Senate and congressional levels. We’ll also talk about some historic ballot initiatives around the country. Stay with us.
 
 
Election 2012: Ben Jealous, Laura Flanders on Obama’s 2nd Term & the Future of Progressive Politics

We continue our coverage of the presidential election by hosting a roundtable discussion with Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, and Laura Flanders, host of GritTV. While Democrats have retained control of the U.S. Senate, Republicans held on to the 435-member House, in part thanks to redistricting. The Democrats increased their Senate lead with Elizabeth Warren’s defeat of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Warren, a champion of Wall Street reform, now joins the same Senate that refused to confirm her to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. [includes rush transcript]
 
Guests:
Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.
 
Rush Transcript
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution
 
Transcript
AMY GOODMAN: Tuesday night, President Obama won a second term in office. We continue our coverage of the presidential election by hosting a roundtable discussion. We’re joined in our studio by two guests: Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, and Laura Flanders, host of GritTV and author of many books, including Bushwomen: How They Won the White House for Their Man.
We welcome you both back to Democracy Now! You were both with us last night in a marathon election special. Ben Jealous, your response to President Obama winning re-election as the 44th president of the United States?
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: You know, this is, I think, a great day for our democracy. We saw the vote attacked with more ferocity this year than we have seen in a very long time. More states passed more laws, pushing more voters out of the ballot box in the past year than we’ve seen in a year in the past century. And so, people really triumphed, because they took their vote seriously. And they took it seriously when it counted, months ago, when we had to push governors to veto these bills, when we had to push DOJ to actually go in and invalidate laws, when we had to file lawsuits and get the job done. But then they stayed engaged, and they turned out their communities. We overcame all sorts of myths, people saying that the black vote, for instance, would lack enthusiasm or it really didn’t matter. Well, it mattered in Virginia. It mattered in Florida. It mattered in Ohio. It mattered in Pennsylvania. Folk—and it mattered across this country. People did great work. You know, we saw brown voters come out like never before, and we saw movements really win incredible victories. I mean, the fact that, you know, all this happened, and he’s pro-marriage-equality, and then we defend marriage equality in four out of four states last night, is huge.
AMY GOODMAN: Laura Flanders?
LAURA FLANDERS: Well, you know, it turns out that women’s bodies can magically shut down under attack: they can shut down radical, misogynistic attacks. And that’s what we saw last night. And the Senate is going to be returning; the 113th Congress will convene with binders full of women—19 women in the Senate, the largest number ever, with four new women senators returning or going to the Senate, including, of course, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin defeating four-term Governor Tommy Thompson; Elizabeth Warren defeating Scott Brown, at one point the flag carrier, the spear carrier for the tea party—became a one-termer.
This was an extraordinary, I will say, up-from-the-bottom set of victories, longshot challenges. Four years ago, we were talking about a longshot candidate for presidency. This year, we were talking about longshot movement victories, like the sort that Ben is talking about, movement victories fighting back an unprecedented assault on voting rights, movement victories fighting back an extraordinary tsunami of money, and people voting against the odds on a wing and a prayer, a prayer that this vote would make a difference. We saw them go out into the wet, cold, rainy night in New York City and around this region, Sandy—Hurricane Sandy survivors leaving their cold, dark homes and going out into the cold, dark streets to cast a ballot.
What happens now is that we hold those hopes and dreams precious, and force our politicians to live up to the extraordinary courage and organizing bravery and smarts that people showed last night.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to play a comment made by Bill O’Reilly being interviewed on Fox News last night.
BRET BAIER: So what’s your sense of the evening? I mean, you look at these exit polls. You look at the, you know—
BILL O’REILLY: My sense of the evening is if Mitt Romney loses in Ohio, the president is re-elected.
MEGYN KELLY: How do you think we got to that point? I mean, President Obama’s approval rating was so low. And obviously this is hypothetical: we don’t know who’s—who’s even winning right now, never mind who won. But how do you think it got this tight?
BILL O’REILLY: Because it’s a changing country. The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it, and he ran on it—and whereby 20 years ago President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment candidate like Mitt Romney. The white establishment is now the minority. And the voters, many of them, feel that this economic system is stacked against them, and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama, overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things. And which candidate between the two is going to give them things?
AMY GOODMAN: That was Bill O’Reilly. Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP?
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah, when you look at those comments, I mean, they’re tinged with everything that is sad about the history of our country: — right? — his disdain for women, the way he just kind of rolls into women at the end — right? — as part of this group that just wants stuff; his disdain for people of all colors except for his own; his equating traditional with oppression. I mean, that’s really what he’s talking about is a system based on gender oppression and based on race oppression, based on, you know, the oppression of people of different sexual orientations than his own. And, you know, Bill O’Reilly has moments—I’ve witnessed a couple—when he’s lucid, and he actually, you know, can recognize what this country really is. I think last night, unfortunately, he saw that his old—his kind of group’s, his dwindling group’s equation for success is now—won’t guarantee that. And he’s going to have to change his game, and hopefully he’ll change his tune.
AMY GOODMAN: Laura Flanders?
LAURA FLANDERS: The demographic shifts he’s talking about are very real. In 1992, a Republican candidate winning six out of 10 white votes could have carried the presidency. It didn’t happen last night, although Romney got that same proportion of white voters. You cannot, in this country, in 2012, win a presidency with white male voters as your home demographic. You can’t do it.
It’s not about stuff; it’s about standing. The history of America has been about those who have been marginalized fighting for standing in this country as equal persons, equal persons under the law, equal persons under a code of morality that embraces us all, and equal persons in a society that is a society of caring and mutual aid and assistance. This is one of the fundamental fights of this election, was about who has standing in this country.
And what we saw was the crazy, upside-down, magical thinking, that the GOP persuaded even many in our media to go along with, that white men would be enough to win the presidency, that unemployed people would blame Barack Obama, that women would embrace a return to second-class citizenship. None of it was true.
Look at the states that won for Mitt Romney—the Great Plains states, the Mountain states. What do they have in common? They have in common relatively low unemployment rates vis-à-vis the states won by Barack Obama. Those who are hurting in this country overwhelmingly, according to exit polls, blamed the record of George Bush. They did not go for this baloney about it being a function of the bailout. And we saw illusion after illusion that Americans don’t vote their self-interest fall, as people actually did vote their self-interest. They voted for a society that is not dog-eat-dog, that actually does believe in some social safety net, and that believes—
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: In itself.
LAURA FLANDERS: —in the dream that DREAMers put forward, which is that when you organize, when you push, when you create a viable political constituency, you can be heard in this country.
AMY GOODMAN: An impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll released on Tuesday, as an alternative to the exit polls, found that President Obama had won 75 percent of Latino voters nationwide, while exit polls found him with around 70 percent of Latino support. Exit polls placed Romney at winning 29 percent of the Latino vote, which is lower than Republican candidates received in 2008, 2004 and 2000. I mean, Mitt Romney coining the term "self-deporting" —
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: "Self-deportation," yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: —I think had a—was problematic for him.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Well, he just self-deported himself from politics, right? I mean, that’s just—that’s just what happened. And I would like to say, Bill O’Reilly is right: we do want stuff. It’s the stuff of freedom. It’s the stuff of equality. It’s the stuff of inclusion. It’s the stuff of our very pledge: "one nation, under God, indivisible, with..." You know, we want all that stuff. And we deserve that stuff, because that’s what this country is supposed to be about.
AMY GOODMAN: Yet Sheriff Arpaio was re-elected in Arizona.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: But Sheriff Arpaio will be in his own jail, you know, within four years.
LAURA FLANDERS: I mean, let’s be clear, the history of America is a history of having to fight really, really hard for standing and the rights promised under the—under the promise of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, fights that have been waged by movements, from the labor movement, the women’s movement, the civil rights movement.
I mean, one of the things we saw yesterday that I’d love you to talk about more, Ben, that you talked about last night, was about the extraordinary organizing that the NAACP was part of, with LGBT groups, with unions, with women’s organizations, with Latino and immigrant rights groups, who fought against—again, we’ve talked about these tremendous odds, but it’s not just magic that this happened. This was strong organizing, with legal challenges, with people refusing to give up the ghost, with organizations like Color of Change targeting the corporate sponsors of conservative groups like ALEC. I mean, people used every tool at their disposal. And again, it comes down to electoral strategy paying off by movements to support a Democratic majority. We now need that Democratic majority to take the leadership from those movement groups and set some priorities that will change economic—and I think also—
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: "Take" as in accept, not "take" as in steal.
LAURA FLANDERS: Yes, exactly.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to one of the most closely watched races in this country. That’s Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeating incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts’ Senate race. Warren is a Harvard law professor who’s promised to fight for a struggling middle class. She helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is part of her victory speech last night.
SENATOR-ELECT ELIZABETH WARREN: For every family that has been chipped at, squeezed and hammered, we’re going to fight for a level playing field, and we’re going to put people back to work. You bet. That’s what we’re going to do, yes. Yes. To all the small-business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we’re going to hold the big guys accountable. Yeah. To all the seniors who deserve to retire with the security they earned, we’re going to make sure your Medicare and Social Security benefits are protected and that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. That’s right. And to all the young people, all the young people who did everything right—who did everything right and are drowning in debt, we’re going to invest in you. We are. To all—to all of the servicemembers and your families, who have fought so hard for us, we’re going to fight for you. You bet we will. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right.
WARREN SUPPORTER: We love you!
SENATOR-ELECT ELIZABETH WARREN: I love you. And to all the women across Massachusetts—to all the women across Massachusetts who are working your tails off, you better believe we’re going to fight for equal pay for equal work.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts. And then there’s the Tammy-Tommy race, that closely watched Senate race in Wisconsin, Democratic Congressmember Tammy Baldwin making history on two different counts Tuesday night when she beat former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson: Tammy Baldwin becomes the first Wisconsin woman elected to the U.S. Senate and the country’s first openly gay senator.
SENATOR-ELECT TAMMY BALDWIN: I am well aware that I will have the honor to be Wisconsin’s first woman U.S. senator. And I—and I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member.
BALDWIN SUPPORTERS: Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy! Tammy!
SENATOR-ELECT TAMMY BALDWIN: But—but I didn’t run—but I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference, a difference—a difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay the bills, a difference in the lives of students worried about debt and seniors worried about their retirement security, a difference in the lives of veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families, a difference—a difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security. But—but in choosing—but in choosing me to tackle those challenges, the people of Wisconsin have made history.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Tammy Baldwin, the new senator-elect from Wisconsin, taking the seat of Herb Kohl, who was retiring. Nineteen women senators now, one of them a Republican woman senator from Nebraska, who defeated Bob Kerrey. She is Deb—Deb—
LAURA FLANDERS: Fischer.
AMY GOODMAN: Deb Fischer from Nebraska. On the issue of Elizabeth Warren, she now becomes a senator in the Senate that refused to confirm her as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: —because of their involvement with the banks, across the board. What does this mean for her to become a senator now? And where does she go with the banks?
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Well, you know, look, she will really—
AMY GOODMAN: Ben Jealous.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: She’ll, quite frankly, really extend the tradition of Barney Frank, extend the tradition of Ted Kennedy, as these great fighters from Massachusetts who are willing to go out and take risks to hold our financial industry accountable. You know, right now, if I was running at payday lending corporation, I’d be very worried. This is somebody who wants to come in and kill payday lending. And we should, because it is usury. You know, and she is someone who I think you will see really be a driving force in her party and come as close to filling the void left by Ted Kennedy—no one can really do that, but come as close as any one person can, because she comes in with an entire movement behind her, and people of all races in this country who look up to her, and women who really want to see her do well, but also a country that’s yearning for somebody to take on the banks who’s not afraid.
AMY GOODMAN: And the racism leveled against her.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah, which—which was insane and perverse and weird, right? You know, the reality is—
AMY GOODMAN: Scott Brown saying that she had said she was Native American, and she said, "Well, my mother told me that I was."
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Right.
AMY GOODMAN: And he would not let go of this.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: No, no, that’s exactly right, as people doing the whole tomahawk thing, you know, and following her—
AMY GOODMAN: His staffers.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yes, you know, and it’s just—it’s so disrespectful. And it inflames racial hatred. It’s probably the—one of the oldest in our country. And it’s desperate. And you saw it with Bill O’Reilly earlier. I mean, you know, I was sitting there, you know, looking at Tammy Baldwin, looking at Liz Warren, you know, thinking about Sojourner Truth saying, "Ain’t I a woman?" Well, it’s like, "Ain’t I white?" You know, I mean, really, can’t we have a more expensive vision of white and actually allow Bill O’Reilly, people who are white who are willing to link up with people of all races in this country on equal and respectable terms, you know, include them and not say to someone that they’re non-traditional whites?
LAURA FLANDERS: Two things on Elizabeth Warren. The irony, of course, is that she came to prominence fighting big money and big power of big banks, and is now going to come to the Senate as the Senate candidate who raised more money than any other in American history. So let’s hope that she doesn’t feel beholden to her big donors. I don’t think—I hope she won’t.
On the question of Tammy Baldwin and the politics that we’re talking about, we’ve often heard in American political punditry that one must, you know, suppress identity politics organizing in favor of, you know, good-class, mainstream politics. If we hadn’t built movements to defend against bigotry against women, against people of color, against LGBT people, if we didn’t have powerful identity politics movements in this country, we would have seen Tammy Baldwin have no chance of defeating Tommy Thompson. The fact that she won shows that these two issues—these movements have always got to walk in—work in lockstep. And that’s what happened in Wisconsin. And it’s a huge lesson I hope we’ll learn.
 
 
From Marriage Equality to Legalizing Marijuana, Election Day Ballot Measures Won by Movements

While much attention was fixed on the presidential race, the 2012 election also saw voters decide on a series of landmark ballot initiatives at the state level. Advocates of marriage equality ended Tuesday with four out of four victories, as voters legalized same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland, upheld same-sex marriage in Washington state, and defeated a measure to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Maryland voters also affirmed the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition. In Montana, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that would limit corporate spending on elections, while Colorado voters also resoundingly approved a measure backing a constitutional amendment that would call for the same. In a historic move, voters in Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, becoming the first states to do so. In California, voters defeated a ballot measure to repeal the death penalty and another that would have required labeling of genetically modified foods. A separate measure to ease penalties for nonviolent offenses under California’s "three-strikes" law was approved. California voters also rejected a measure that would have curbed the political influence of unions. We’re joined by three guests: Justine Sarver, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center; NAACP President Ben Jealous; and broadcaster and author Laura Flanders. [includes rush transcript]
Guests:
Justine Sarver, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center.
Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP.
 
Rush Transcript
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution
 
Transcript
AMY GOODMAN: It is the morning after. Well, while much attention was fixed on the presidential race, Tuesday’s election also saw voters decide on a series of landmark ballot initiatives at the state level.
Advocates of marriage equality ended Tuesday with four out of four victories as voters legalized same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland, upheld same-sex marriage in Washington state, defeated a measure to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Maryland voters also affirmed the DREAM Act, allowing undocumented immigrants to receive in-state tuition, while Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment that would have required a photo ID to vote. In Montana, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that would limit corporate spending on elections, while Colorado voters also resoundingly approved a measure backing a constitutional amendment that would call for the same.
In a historic move, voters in Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana for recreational use, becoming the first states to do so.
In California, voters defeated a ballot measure to repeal the death penalty and another that would have required labeling of genetically modified foods. A separate measure to ease penalties for nonviolent offenses under California’s three-strikes law was approved. California voters also rejected a measure that would have curbed the political influence of unions.
To learn more about these votes and the ballot initiative process, we’re joined now by Justine Sarver, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, who’s in Washington, D.C.
Justine, welcome to Democracy Now! We also have Laura Flanders and Ben Jealous, CEO and president of the NAACP, with us. Justine, lay out the significance of these initiatives around the country, what we know and what we don’t know yet.
JUSTINE SARVER: Thank you. Good morning, and thanks for having me.
Well, you gave a great summary. I think that the best thing about last night was we’re seeing what we’ve known all along, is that this country is changing, and voters made great decisions last night. What a historic evening for the right for all loving couples to marry. This is an amazing, amazing victory in the movement for the freedom to marry. But at the same time, to be able to say that we ended a two-year period with voters rejecting those voter restriction laws that we’ve seen across the country, we couldn’t be more thrilled.
AMY GOODMAN: The—
JUSTINE SARVER: One thing that I think—go ahead.
AMY GOODMAN: Go ahead, Justine.
JUSTINE SARVER: Oh, I was just going to bring up the rejection of the restrictions on women’s health in Florida. You know, last year, we saw Mississippi reject a personhood amendment. And in Florida this year, again, people voted for—to protect women’s health.
AMY GODMAN: On the issue of same-sex marriage, Ben Jealous, something very significant here, and Laura alluded to this before, the issue of—well, theNAACP, for example, fighting hard in Maryland and in other places on the issue of same-sex marriage, NAACP has changed its position.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Well, actually, no, we took a national position. We had fought in state after state for marriage equality. We fought on the right side in California. We turned it around. We sued the state with a bunch of other groups trying to invalidate it. There was only one state in the Midwest where we had ever taken, if you will, a side contrary to where we are now.
What happened, for us, is, look, we saw what happened in North Carolina late last spring, where they actually encoded discrimination into their state constitution. And we said it’s time for us to stop doing this state by state; we have to deal with it nationally. We’ve got to deal with it head on, because we’ve got two things at stake. We have the issue of marriage equality itself, but we also have a 100-year tradition in this country of using constitutions to expand rights, to eviscerate discrimination. And we are invested in both. And so, we stood up. We dug down deep.
And frankly, we were way out there in Maryland when a lot of national groups were willing to write off that race. And we said, "No. You know, look, we can do this. We’ve moved the black community 15, 20 percent just in two weeks, between President Obama coming out and then us coming out, and we can actually get this done." And we saw groups like the Human Rights Campaign really say, "You know what? We’re going to take real risks here." And we saw other groups like Freedom to Marry come on board. We saw the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force come on board. But, you know, Chad Griffin really came in brand new to HRC and decided to take a big risk on a state that the rest—
AMY GOODMAN: Human Rights Campaign.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yeah—that the rest of the movement was really flirting with writing off. And this is a great moment for visionary, courageous movement leadership.
LAURA FLANDERS: You talked about the historic nature of the two votes on the war on drugs and marijuana. Absolutely historic. But these votes in Maryland, Maine and Washington on marriage equality were also historic, the first time ever you had voters affirmatively approve equality. And again, this is an up-from-below victory. Ten years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, nobody would have thought marriage equality was a winning victory—a winning issue. And in fact, leaders in this country, political leaders, even movement leaders, ran a mile. This is an issue that’s been pushed by grassroots folks, driven by their loved, by their families. I just have to say, I’m very excited about the freedom to marry. We also need to retain our freedom not to marry and to not have our identity as persons—
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: You know, and folks have won the right—
LAURA FLANDERS: —our health insurance contingent on our marital status.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: And folks have won the right for gay divorce now, right? But also, this should be a model for all movements—
LAURA FLANDERS: Yes.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: —because when you look at the National Gay-Lesbian Task Force, when you look at Freedom to Marry, when you look at the Human Rights Campaign, when you look at all the other groups that have worked together—the National Black Coalition for Justice, which is a black LGBTgroup—
LAURA FLANDERS: Extraordinary group.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: —all of them have worked together to win victories now, run the tables in a way people thought wasn’t possible. I mean, Minnesota, its politics are interesting. And when it comes to issues of inclusion, the racial disparities there are so deep you would say that it’s Mississippi with snow. So the fact that they actually defended marriage equality there, too, is profound.
AMY GOODMAN: But, Ben Jealous, you lost the death penalty initiative in California, which a lot of people had organized around.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: But we also saw that we could come much closer.
AMY GOODMAN: Which was to turn—overturn the death penalty in California.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Right, that’s right. And we also saw that we came much closer than many thought was possible. And I think this really raises a question, quite frankly, for the Catholic church in this country, about whether or not, when it comes to the doctrine of life, are they willing to go as far in ending the death penalty as they are in trying to end abortion? Because if they’re willing to really dive in on the issue of the death penalty, then we could actually get rid of this much quicker. And that’s sort of the silent thing that wasn’t talked about in California, is that the Catholic church held back a lot more than they should have. And we hope that they will now take a hard look at their responsibility to help this country get beyond a punishment that every pope has abhorred.
One important victory last night I think we haven’t talked about is in Minnesota, where we actually defeated strict photo ID on the ballot. And that’s very important, because it sends a signal to those folks who are investing a lot of money in vote suppression, that maybe they should start investing their money in not—trying to get along with people, rather than trying to take their votes away.
AMY GOODMAN: Justine Sarver, talk about the amount of money that was poured into ballot initiatives around the country, like in defeating the GMO ballot initiative, a proposition in California, to label genetically modified foods.
JUSTINE SARVER: This was a very expensive election. Just like candidate elections, we’re seeing really, really huge amounts going into ballot measures. And so, once all of the spending is tallied across the country, we may see upwards of a billion dollars having been spent on ballot measures, and in California, $350 million alone. So, we have seen a lot of corporate influence rising, rising their spending amounts in ballot measure campaigns and really trying to legislate and buy—buy policy on the ballot. Luckily, in many cases, voters are—have been smart enough not to take the ads, the television ad barrages they’ve seen, and make up their own minds.
AMY GOODMAN: I want end on the question of progressive politics. I mean, President Obama, first African-American president elected in history, now re-elected in history, in a land with a legacy of slavery. But you also have President Obama presiding over the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan, escalating the drone war, presiding over more deportations of immigrants than any president in history, not closing Guantánamo, among other issues. Where do you plan to work in these next four years? What does this mean to you, and the fact that Green Party and other third-party candidates were so locked out of any kind of mainstream discourse?
LAURA FLANDERS: There is simply no way for this nation to address its economic crisis without addressing its global role and its sort of imperial reach internationally. We have got to continue the message of the international peace movements of this country that domestic and foreign policy issues not be divorced. They’re connected, they’re related. The people have to be in the streets around the question of our economic crisis here, but it has to be connected to a shift in our international agenda and a shift in our civil liberties agenda. We need to talk about these voting rights issues, that the administration is going to be so proud of having overcome, as civil liberties issues, as constitutional rights issues, no different from the right to dissent and the right to blow the whistle.
AMY GOODMAN: But, Ben Jealous, will the movements that elected President Obama take him on?
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: Did they take him on in the last—in his first term?
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: Well, look, you’re going to see folks come together. Two years and one month ago, we pulled together a march in Washington called One Nation, where we actually pulled together people from across the left, even some folks from the center in this country, got them to one table—the machinists and the environmentalists, you know, and in a wide range of sort of pairings like that—and said, "We’re going to work together for jobs. We’re going to work together for justice. We’re going to work together for basic rights." And you’ve seen the leadership of many of those organizations keep on strategizing. That’s what makes this whole marriage equality fight we were talking about earlier possible. That’s what made it possible for us to bring 70,000 people to Mayor Bloomberg’s house against racial profiling, with 35 gay and lesbian groups, and 55 more thousand people than we thought were actually going to show up. And so, we will stay in movement mode. We will be more confrontational, because right now—
AMY GOODMAN: We will leave it there.
BENJAMIN JEALOUS: We have a lot to get done.
AMY GOODMAN: Ben Jealous of the NAACP and journalist Laura Flanders, Justine Sarver at Ballot Initiative Strategy Center. That does it for the show.
 
 
Democracy Now

a daily independent global news hour
With Amy Goodman & Juan GonzálezNovember 1st 2012
 
We Are Not Powerless to Confront Climate Change

By Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan
Millions of victims of Superstorm Sandy remain without power, but they are not powerless to do something about climate change. The media consistently fail to make the link between extreme weather and global warming. Through this catastrophe, people are increasingly realizing that our climate has changed, and the consequences are dire.
One meteorologist who defies the norm is Dr. Jeff Masters, who founded the weather blog Weather Underground. As Sandy bore down on the East Coast, I asked Masters what impact climate change was having on hurricanes. He said: “Whenever you add more heat to the oceans, you’ve got more energy for destruction. Hurricanes ... pull heat out of the ocean, convert it to the kinetic energy of their winds.”
Masters’ blog became so popular, it was purchased by The Weather Channel. As Sandy moved up the coast, Masters continued with our interview: “When you do heat the oceans up more, you extend the length of hurricane season. And there’s been ample evidence over the last decade or so that hurricane season is getting longer—starts earlier, ends later. You’re more likely to have this sort of situation where a late-October storm meets up with a regular winter low-pressure system and gives us this ridiculous combination of a nor’easter and a hurricane that comes ashore, bringing all kinds of destructive effects.”
Mitt Romney must rue that line in his Republican National Convention speech, days after Hurricane Isaac narrowly missed hitting Tampa, Fla., and the convention, when he quipped: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family.” Romney drew a big laugh from those gathered to nominate him. No one is laughing now. Sandy’s U.S. death toll has reached 50, with 8 million without power. Initial estimates put the cost of the damage at tens of billions of dollars.
Romney’s latest position on climate change is no surprise, since it conforms with his consistent pivot to the right, away from his previously held views. As recently as 2007, he told CNBC’s “Kudlow and Company,” “But no question about one thing—it’s getting warmer, and [there are] a lot of good reasons for us to use less energy, to use it more efficiently and to develop sources here in this country that could allow us to be more independent of foreign sources.”We also should not let President Barack Obama off the hook. Recall the presidential debates, where he continually boasted of his fossil-fuel credentials. “Oil production is up, natural gas production is up,” he said at Hofstra, during the second debate. “I’m all for pipelines. I’m all for oil production.” In none of the three presidential debates was climate change mentioned, even once, not by the major-party presidential candidates and not by the moderators.
Masters partially attributes the lack of discussion to the power of the fossil-fuel lobby: “You’re talking about the oil and gas industry ... about the entire basis of the industrialized economy. With these sorts of storms, people are going to wise up at some point and say: ‘Hey, what’s going on? Maybe we shouldn’t mess with the very forces that enable us to live on the planet Earth.’ ... We’ve got to get self-preservation in our minds pretty soon, or this is just the start of things, Here we are in the year 2012; what’s going to be happening in 2030 if we’re already seeing storms like this?”
ThinkProgress did an analysis of the 94 stories in major newspapers in the week leading to the superstorm. Not once was climate change mentioned. In a 600-page report issued in November 2011, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority assessed in detail the likely effects of climate change on every aspect of the state. The summary provides a litany of disasters likely to visit The Empire State in coming years, from floods, droughts and rising sea levels displacing entire communities to the complete flooding of the New York City subway system. Sound familiar?
As power is restored to the millions without it, there is a power that cannot be taken from us. That is the power to decide, especially as we move into this election, that the issue of climate change, and what we can do about it, will never be excluded from the national debate again.
© 2012 Amy Goodman
 
Related
"It’s Global Warming, Stupid": As Bloomberg Backs Obama, News Media Ends Silence on Climate Change Nov 02, 2012 | Story A Crisis Foretold: Studies Warned New York Infrastructure Critically Threatened by Climate Change Nov 01, 2012 | Story Global Warming and Sandy: Heating of the Oceans Fuels Record Storm, Leaving Millions Without Power Oct 31, 2012 | Story Bill McKibben on Resilience of New York City Residents Amidst Worst Storm Since 1821 Oct 30, 2012 | Story Climate Change Impact Often Felt Most by the Poor and Migrants Displaced by Extreme Weather Oct 30, 2012 | Story 

 

Photo by JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters

 

 

Emboldened Obama seeks to overcome stubborn challenges

Photos
 
1.  U.S. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden (R) celebrate at their election night victory rally in Chicago November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

2. U.S. President Barack Obama gestures with Vice President Joe Biden after his election night victory speech in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
3. U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd from L) stands with first lady Michelle Obama (L) and Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill (R) as they face supporters following his acceptance speed during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes
4. U.S. President Barack Obama (R) celebrates with Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and their son Beau (L) at their election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
5. U.S. President Barack Obama, who won a second term in office by defeating Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, waves before addressing supporters during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes
6. REFILING CORRECTING DATE U.S. President Barack Obama and his family walk onstage during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. (L-R) Daughters Malia, Sasha, First lady Michelle Obama and the President. REUTERS/Jason Reed
7. U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama (R) embrace Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Dr. Jill Biden moments after the television networks called the election in their favor, while watching election returns at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park in Chicago, in this handout photograph taken and released on November 6, 2012. REUTERS/White House/Handout
8. U.S. President Barack Obama supporters cheer during his victory election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
9. U.S. President Barack Obama supporters cheer during his victory election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
10. Supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama cheer during his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress
11. U.S. President Barack Obama supporters cheer while watching the returns prior to his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress
12. U.S. President Barack Obama supporters cheer while watching the returns prior to his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing
Obama, fresh from re-election, has little time to savour win
By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick | Reuters 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fresh from a decisive re-election win, President Barack Obama returns from the campaign trail on Wednesday with little time to savour victory, facing urgent economic and fiscal challenges and a still-divided Congress capable of blocking his every move. Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Tuesday night after a gruelling presidential race and used his acceptance speech in front of a huge cheering crowd in Chicago to strike a conciliatory note toward his political opponents. But in the cold light of the election's morning-after, it was clear that even though voters have given their stamp of approval for a second Obama term, he could have a hard time translating that into a mandate to push forward with his agenda. Americans chose to stick with a divided government in Washington by leaving the U.S. Congress as it has been since the midterm elections of 2010. Obama's fellow Democrats retain control of the Senate and Republicans keep the majority in the House of Representatives, giving them power to curb the president's legislative ambitions.
This is the political reality that Obama - who won a far narrower victory over Romney than his historic election as the country's first black president in 2008 - faces when he returns to Washington later on Wednesday. But that did not stop him from basking in the glow of re-election together with thousands of elated supporters in his hometown of Chicago early on Wednesday. "You voted for action, not politics as usual," Obama said, calling for compromise and pledging to work with leaders of both parties to reduce the deficit, to reform the tax code and immigration laws, and to cut dependence on foreign oil. Obama told the crowd he hoped to sit down with Romney in the coming weeks and examine ways to meet the challenges ahead. But the problems that dogged Obama in his first term, which cast a long shadow over his 2008 campaign message of hope and change, still confront him. He must tackle the $1 trillion annual deficits, rein in the $16 trillion national debt, overhaul expensive social programs and deal with the split Congress.
The immediate focus for Obama and U.S. lawmakers will be to confront the "fiscal cliff," a mix of tax increases and spending cuts due to extract some $600 billion from the economy at the end of the year barring a deal with Congress. House Majority Leader John Boehner moved swiftly on the fiscal cliff issue, saying he would issue a statement on it on Wednesday, citing "the need for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt." Obama also faces looming international challenges like the West's nuclear standoff with Iran, the civil war in Syria, the winding down of the war in Afghanistan and dealing with an increasingly assertive China. Romney, a multimillionaire former private equity executive, came back from a series of campaign stumbles to fight a close battle after besting Obama in the first of three presidential debates. But the former Massachusetts governor failed to convince voters of his argument that his business experience made him the best candidate to repair a weak U.S. economy.
The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion. But in the state-by-state system of electoral votes that decides the White House, Obama notched up a comfortable victory.
By early on Wednesday, Obama had 303 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to win, to Romney's 206. Florida's close race was not yet declared, leaving its 29 electoral votes still to be claimed. Romney, 65, conceded in a speech delivered to disappointed supporters at the Boston convention centre. "This is a time of great challenge for our nation," he told the crowd. "I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. He warned against partisan bickering and urged politicians on both sides to "put the people before the politics." The Republican Party, after losing two presidential contests, is now likely to go through a period of painful soul-searching, especially over how it has alienated Hispanic voters, an important constituency in Obama's victory.
'FAILURES OR EXCESSES'
In the election aftermath, there were signs that partisan gridlock would persist in Washington. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell gave no sign that he was willing to concede his conservative principles, in a sign of potential confrontations ahead. "The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control," McConnell said. Obama's win puts to rest the prospect of wholesale repeal of his 2010 healthcare reform law, which aims to widen the availability of health insurance coverage to Americans, but it still leaves questions about how much of his signature domestic policy achievement will be implemented. Obama, who took office in 2009 as the ravages of the financial crisis were hitting the U.S. economy, must continue his efforts to ignite strong growth and recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. An uneven recovery has been showing some signs of strength but the country's jobless rate, currently at 7.9 percent, remains stubbornly high.
DIVIDED CONGRESS
In keeping control of the 100-member Senate, Democrats seized Republican-held seats in Massachusetts and Indiana while retaining most of those they already had, including in Virginia and Missouri. The Republican majority in the 435-member House means that Congress still faces a deep partisan divide as it turns to the fiscal cliff and other issues. "That means the same dynamic. That means the same people who couldn't figure out how to cut deals for the past three years," said Ethan Siegel, an analyst who tracks Washington politics for institutional investors. While the Senate result was no surprise, Republicans had given themselves an even chance of winning a majority, so the night represented a disappointment for them. U.S. stock futures slipped, the dollar fell and benchmark Treasuries rose after Obama's victory, which investors took to mean no dramatic shift in U.S. economic policy. International leaders offered their congratulations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a testy relationship with the U.S. leader, vowed to work with Obama "to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel's citizens." British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain and the United States should make finding a way to solve the Syrian crisis a priority following Obama's re-election.
(Reporting by staff in Washington and other bureaus; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Frances Kerry and Eric Beech) For complete campaign coverage.
 

Obama revives 'hope' with re-election win

By Stephen Collinson | AFP 
Photos:
1. US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech in Chicago. Obama has swept to an emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney, making history by transcending a dragging economy to clinch a second term
 2. US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle (L) and daughters Sasha and Malia (R) wave to supporters in Chicago. Obama has swept to an emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney, making history by transcending a dragging economy
3. US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney arrives on stage to concede the election to President Barack Obama in Boston. Obama has swept to an emphatic re-election win over Romney, making history by transcending a dragging economy to clinch a second term
4. Supporters of Barack Obama celebrate in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Obama has swept to an emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney, making history by transcending a dragging economy to clinch a second term
The president ran for re-election on a platform of offering a "fair shot" to the middle class, of fulfilling his pledge to end the war in Iraq, killing Osama bin Laden, and starting to build a clean energy economy.
The president may have been helped at the 11th hour when superstorm Sandy roared ashore, killing more than 100 Americans but giving Obama the chance to project leadership at the head of a multi-state disaster response.
 
Glowing with triumph, President Barack Obama revived his old theme of hope Wednesday, telling Americans "the best is yet to come" after defying dark economic omens with a decisive re-election win. The 44th US president and the first African American to claim the Oval Office was returned to power after a joyless election which appears to have deepened, rather than healed, his nation's political divide. "In this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back," Obama, 51, said at a victory party in Chicago. "I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope," Obama said, striving for inspiration rarely shown in a campaign where the prophet of hope of 2008 became a conventional, brawling politician.
"I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting," Obama said. With only Florida among the battleground states still to be declared, Obama had 303 electoral votes -- well over the 270 needed to win the White House -- and Republican challenger Mitt Romney formally conceded the race. Obama had a slim lead in the national popular vote, leading Romney by 50 percent to 49 percent after drawing more than 56 million votes. Turnout appeared strong, though official figures had yet to be released. As Obama's victory was confirmed with wins in rustbelt Ohio and his spiritual political home in Iowa, large crowds suddenly materialized outside the White House, chanting "four more years" and "O-bama, O-bama". Republican nominee Romney, 65, deflated and exhausted, offered a classy tribute, as he consoled dejected supporters in Boston moments after phoning Obama to formally concede. "This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation." Romney said.
In a show of bipartisanship after a searing campaign, the president said he wanted to meet his vanquished foe to find common ground to move America forward.
Obama's victory means that he will get the chance to embed his healthcare and Wall Street reforms deep into the fabric of American life -- Romney had pledged one of his first acts would be the repeal of Obamacare. The president may also get the chance to reshape the Supreme Court in his liberal image for a generation, a move that would shape policy on issues like abortion and gay rights. The president will also look abroad as he builds his legacy, and will face an immediate challenge early in 2013 over whether to use military force to thwart Iran's nuclear program. Obama's win on Tuesday bucked history, as it came with the unemployment rate pegged at 7.9 percent, the highest level for a re-elected president in more than 70 years. Remarkably, his coalition of Hispanic, black, and young voters turned out in similar numbers to those of his heady change-fueled campaign in 2008, shocking Romney's team and presenting a new American face to the world. But once the fades, the president will face a tough task enacting his second term agenda after Republicans, who thwarted him repeatedly in his first mandate, retained control of the House of Representatives.
Democrats kept the Senate but fell short of the 60-vote super majority needed to sidestep minority blocking tactics. Obama will soon face a showdown with Republicans on Capitol Hill over the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- a combination of dramatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect if US lawmakers cannot cut a deal on the deficit. It remains to be seen whether Republicans -- who have opposed the president tooth and nail for the last four years -- will be more conciliatory after Romney's drubbing or double down to block any potential legacy projects. The president paved the way to victory with a staunch defense of Democratic bastions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, at which Romney had made a last-minute run when he saw more conventional paths to the White House blocked. Obama also locked in swing states, including Virginia -- where he became the first Democrat to win since 1964 four years ago -- Nevada, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa, crushing Romney's slim hopes of a viable path to victory.
Romney could only wrestle Indiana and North Carolina from Obama's 2008 map. The win in Iowa will be especially sweet for Obama, as the heartland state nurtured his unlikely White House dreams way back in 2007. A tear rolled down his cheek as he held his last-ever campaign rally there late Monday. His victory in Ohio represents a delayed repayment for his gutsy call in 2009 to mandate a federal bailout of the auto industry, on which one in eight jobs in the state depend. Romney had opposed the move. Obama won with a fiercely negative campaign branding Romney -- a multi-millionaire former corporate turnaround wizard -- as indifferent to the woes of the middle class. Exit polls showed that though only 39 percent of people believed that the economy was improving, around half of Americans blamed former Republican president George W. Bush for the tenuous situation, and not Obama. Obama's victory was a complete vindication for a campaign team that had predicted a close but winnable election, despite the painful after-effects of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression. He was also helped by Latino voters, whose strong support was crucial in the western desert state of Nevada and the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado. Republicans had insisted right up to election day that Obama's army, disaffected by busted expectations for his first term, would stay home, and had predicted instead a late Republican wave that would elevate Romney. The president ran for re-election on a platform of offering a "fair shot" to the middle class, of fulfilling his pledge to end the war in Iraq, killing Osama bin Laden, and starting to build a clean energy economy. The president may have been helped at the 11th hour when superstorm Sandy roared ashore, killing more than 100 Americans but giving Obama the chance to project leadership at the head of a multi-state disaster response.
 
 

By John Whitesides and Steve Holland | Reuters 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Emboldened by a resounding election victory, President Barack Obama immediately pledged to reach across America's political divide and seek deals on stubborn issues that dogged his first term.
Obama scored a clear win over Republican challenger Mitt Romney in Tuesday's vote, overcoming deep doubts among voters about his handling of the weak U.S. economy. Americans chose to stick with a divided government in Washington, however, by leaving the U.S. Congress as it has been since the mid-term elections of 2010. Obama's fellow Democrats retain control of the Senate and Republicans keep the majority in the House of Representatives. After a long, bitter and expensive campaign, the 51-year-old Obama struck a conciliatory tone in his acceptance speech in the early hours of Wednesday before thousands of cheering supporters in Chicago. "You voted for action, not politics as usual," Obama said, calling for compromise and pledging to work with leaders of both parties to reduce the deficit, to reform the tax code and immigration laws, and to cut dependence on foreign oil. Obama, who became the first black U.S. president when he won the White House four years ago, told the crowd he hoped to sit down with Romney in the coming weeks and examine ways to meet the challenges ahead. The problems that dogged Obama in his first term, which cast a long shadow over his 2008 election message of hope and change, still confront him. He must tackle the $1 trillion annual deficits, reduce a $16 trillion national debt, overhaul expensive social programs and deal with the split Congress.
The immediate focus for Obama and U.S. lawmakers will be to confront the "fiscal cliff," a mix of tax increases and spending cuts due to extract some $600 billion from the economy at the end of the year barring a deal with Congress. Romney, the multimillionaire former private equity executive, came back from a series of campaign stumbles to fight a close battle after besting Obama in the first of three presidential debates. The nationwide popular vote remained extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 49 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion. But in the state-by-state system of electoral votes that decides the White House, Obama notched up a comfortable victory. By early on Wednesday, Obama had 303 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to win, to Romney's 206. Florida's close race was not yet declared, leaving its 29 electoral votes still to be claimed. Romney, a 65-year-old former Massachusetts governor, conceded in a speech delivered to disappointed supporters at the Boston convention centre. "This is a time of great challenge for our nation," he told the crowd. "I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation." He warned against partisan bickering and urged politicians on both sides to "put the people before the politics."
'FAILURES OR EXCESSES'
In keeping control of the 100-member Senate, Democrats seized Republican-held seats in Massachusetts and Indiana while keeping most of those they already had, including in Virginia and Missouri. The Republican majority in the 435-member House means that Congress still faces a deep partisan divide as it turns to the fiscal cliff and other issues. "That means the same dynamic. That means the same people who couldn't figure out how to cut deals for the past three years," said Ethan Siegel, an analyst who tracks Washington politics for institutional investors. While the Senate result was no surprise, Republicans had given themselves an even chance of winning a majority, so the night represented a disappointment for them. U.S. stock futures slipped, the dollar fell and benchmark Treasuries rose after Obama's victory, which investors took to mean no dramatic shift in U.S. economic policy. International leaders offered their congratulations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had a testy relationship with the U.S. leader, vowed to work with Obama "to ensure the interests that are vital for the security of Israel's citizens." [ID:nL5E8M72XG] British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain and the United States should make finding a way to solve the Syrian crisis a priority following Obama's re-election.
(Reporting by staff in Washington and other bureaus; Writing by Steve Holland, John Whitesides and Karey Wutkowski; Editing by Frances Kerry and David Storey)

 

1.      Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivers his concession speech during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts, REUTERS/Mike Segar

Related article

 

Romney concedes presidential election to Obama

ReutersReuters 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Mitt Romney conceded the U.S. presidential election to President Barack Obama early on Wednesday morning after a hard-fought campaign."This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation," Romney told supporters in Boston after calling Obama to congratulate him.Obama defeated Romney in a number of key swing states, despite the weak economic recovery and stubbornly high unemployment that dogged his campaign.Television networks called the election late on Tuesday, but the Romney campaign waited more than an hour to agree on the results in Ohio.
"I so wish, I so wish, that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader," Romney said in his concession speech.This is the second time the former Massachusetts governor has made a run for the presidency. Romney had promised to revive the nation's economy through reforming the tax code, reducing the debt and confronting China on its trade practices.
(Reporting By Kim Dixon and Rachelle Younglai; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

 

 

O    RELATED ARTICLE

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is seen on a screen during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts Novmeber 6, 2012. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi
10. U.S. President Barack Obama supporters cheer while watching the returns prior to his election night rally in Chicago, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Obama revives 'hope' with re-election win

By Stephen Collinson | AFP 
Ph1: US President Barack Obama celebrates after delivering his acceptance speech in Chicago. Obama has swept to an emphatic re-election win over Mitt Romney, making history by transcending a dragging economy to clinch a second term
Glowing with triumph, President Barack Obama revived his old theme of hope Wednesday, telling Americans "the best is yet to come" after defying dark economic omens with a decisive re-election win.
The 44th US president and the first African American to claim the Oval Office was returned to power after a joyless election which appears to have deepened, rather than healed, his nation's political divide.
"In this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back," Obama, 51, said at a victory party in Chicago.
"I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope," Obama said, striving for inspiration rarely shown in a campaign where the prophet of hope of 2008 became a conventional, brawling politician.
"I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting," Obama said.
With only Florida among the battleground states still to be declared, Obama had 303 electoral votes -- well over the 270 needed to win the White House -- and Republican challenger Mitt Romney formally conceded the race.
Obama had a slim lead in the national popular vote, leading Romney by 50 percent to 49 percent after drawing more than 56 million votes. Turnout appeared strong, though official figures had yet to be released.
As Obama's victory was confirmed with wins in rustbelt Ohio and his spiritual political home in Iowa, large crowds suddenly materialized outside the White House, chanting "four more years" and "O-bama, O-bama".
Republican nominee Romney, 65, deflated and exhausted, offered a classy tribute, as he consoled dejected supporters in Boston moments after phoning Obama to formally concede.
"This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation." Romney said.
In a show of bipartisanship after a searing campaign, the president said he wanted to meet his vanquished foe to find common ground to move America forward.
Obama's victory means that he will get the chance to embed his healthcare and Wall Street reforms deep into the fabric of American life -- Romney had pledged one of his first acts would be the repeal of Obamacare.
The president may also get the chance to reshape the Supreme Court in his liberal image for a generation, a move that would shape policy on issues like abortion and gay rights.
The president will also look abroad as he builds his legacy, and will face an immediate challenge early in 2013 over whether to use military force to thwart Iran's nuclear program.
Obama's win on Tuesday bucked history, as it came with the unemployment rate pegged at 7.9 percent, the highest level for a re-elected president in more than 70 years.
Remarkably, his coalition of Hispanic, black, and young voters turned out in similar numbers to those of his heady change-fueled campaign in 2008, shocking Romney's team and presenting a new American face to the world.
But once the fades, the president will face a tough task enacting his second term agenda after Republicans, who thwarted him repeatedly in his first mandate, retained control of the House of Representatives. Democrats kept the Senate but fell short of the 60-vote super majority needed to sidestep minority blocking tactics.
Obama will soon face a showdown with Republicans on Capitol Hill over the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- a combination of dramatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect if US lawmakers cannot cut a deal on the deficit.It remains to be seen whether Republicans -- who have opposed the president tooth and nail for the last four years -- will be more conciliatory after Romney's drubbing or double down to block any potential legacy projects. The president paved the way to victory with a staunch defense of Democratic bastions in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, at which Romney had made a last-minute run when he saw more conventional paths to the White House blocked. Obama also locked in swing states, including Virginia -- where he became the first Democrat to win since 1964 four years ago -- Nevada, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa, crushing Romney's slim hopes of a viable path to victory.
Romney could only wrestle Indiana and North Carolina from Obama's 2008 map.
The win in Iowa will be especially sweet for Obama, as the heartland state nurtured his unlikely White House dreams way back in 2007. A tear rolled down his cheek as he held his last-ever campaign rally there late Monday. His victory in Ohio represents a delayed repayment for his gutsy call in 2009 to mandate a federal bailout of the auto industry, on which one in eight jobs in the state depend. Romney had opposed the move. Obama won with a fiercely negative campaign branding Romney -- a multi-millionaire former corporate turnaround wizard -- as indifferent to the woes of the middle class. Exit polls showed that though only 39 percent of people believed that the economy was improving, around half of Americans blamed former Republican president George W. Bush for the tenuous situation, and not Obama.
Obama's victory was a complete vindication for a campaign team that had predicted a close but winnable election, despite the painful after-effects of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s Great Depression.
He was also helped by Latino voters, whose strong support was crucial in the western desert state of Nevada and the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado.
Republicans had insisted right up to election day that Obama's army, disaffected by busted expectations for his first term, would stay home, and had predicted instead a late Republican wave that would elevate Romney.
The president ran for re-election on a platform of offering a "fair shot" to the middle class, of fulfilling his pledge to end the war in Iraq, killing Osama bin Laden, and starting to build a clean energy economy.
The president may have been helped at the 11th hour when superstorm Sandy roared ashore, killing more than 100 Americans but giving Obama the chance to project leadership at the head of a multi-state disaster response.

With key wins, Obama takes strides to re-election

1.      US President Barack Obama supporter Dina Rutledge celebrates as she watches voting results on election night in Chicago, Illinois. Obama took two big strides towards re-election Tuesday by blocking Mitt Romney's grab for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the first key states called in their bitter White House race

2.      The podium rests on center stage at McCormick Place, where US President Barack Obama will speak, ahead of election night coverage in Chicago. Obama took two big strides towards re-election Tuesday by blocking Mitt Romney's grab for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the first key states called in their bitter White House race

3.      Supporters of US Presidential candidate Mitt Romney gather on election night in Boston, Massachusetts. President Barack Obama took two big strides towards re-election Tuesday by blocking Romney's grab for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the first key states called in their bitter White House race

4.      A view of the Empire State Building in New York, New York that is projecting an LED illuminated meter to show the results of the 2012 Presidential Election as CNN counts the numbers of electoral votes for each candidate, showing US President Barack Obama in blue and Mitt Romney in red, as polling in each state closes

5.      Supporters of US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney watch results on television in Boston at Romney's election night event. President Barack Obama took two big strides towards re-election Tuesday by blocking Romney's grab for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the first key states called in their bitter White House race

 
By Stephen Collinson | AFP 
President Barack Obama took two big strides towards re-election Tuesday
 by blocking Mitt Romney's grab for Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the first key states called in their bitter White House race. 
Romney had made a late run at the solidly Democratic states, as his aides predicted a late wave would oust Obama, 51, from the Oval Office after one term as he struggled to deal with a slow economic recovery and high unemployment. A huge cheer rang out at Obama headquarters when television networks projected Obama would retain Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes. Obama's Midwestern line of defense also appeared to be holding, as networks called Wisconsin, the first of a trio of Obama firewall states, also including Iowa and Ohio, in a blow to native son Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee. In another blow to Romney, Obama also captured the northeastern swing state of New Hampshire, which was de-facto home ground for the Republican as he has a holiday home there, and was governor of neighboring Massachusetts.
Early in what was expected to be a long evening of vote-counting, Obama had 158 and Romney had 154 of the 270 votes needed in the state-by-state electoral college needed to claim the White House. The results so far declared left Obama with a much easier path to the White House than his rival and Romney appeared to need at least five of the remaining seven swing states, possibly including Florida, Ohio, and Virginia. Obama appeared to be performing well in the key counties in Florida, in some cases matching his showing of his stirring 2008 White House race, likely powered by African American and Hispanic voters.
At Romney headquarters in Boston, a stony silence greeted news that television projections had handed Michigan, the state of his birth and where his father George was governor, to Obama.
The president, who made history by becoming America's first black president after a euphoric victory, was aiming to carve new precedent on Tuesday, by defying the portents of a hurting economy to win a second term.
He awaited his fate in his hometown of Chicago, while Romney, a multi-millionaire former investment manager and Massachusetts governor was laying low in a hotel in Boston awaiting results.
Early results and evidence from key counties in swing states did not show any sign of the Republican wave that Romney had predicted, and rather appeared to confirm the predictions of the Obama campaign for high voter turnout.
As expected, television networks projected that Republicans would win the House of Representatives, and Democrats were favored to cling onto the Senate.
In early calls in the presidential race, television networks, handed the rivals the safe states they always knew would be in their column.
Both candidates had earlier marked time while voters dictated their fates.
Romney appeared caught up in the emotion of seeing his name on the ballot for President of the United States and also saw an omen in a huge crowd that showed up at a multi-story parking lot to see his plane land at Pittsburgh airport.
"Intellectually I felt that we're going to win this and I've felt that for some time," Romney told reporters on his plane.
"But emotionally, just getting off the plane and seeing those people standing there... I not only think we're going to win intellectually but I feel it as well."
While Romney penned his victory speech, Obama took part in his election day tradition of playing a game of pick-up basketball with friends, including Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen, after visiting a campaign office near his Chicago home.
The president, who like a third of Americans voted before election day, congratulated Romney on "a spirited campaign" despite their frequently hot tempered exchanges.
"I know that his supporters are just as engaged and just as enthusiastic and working just as hard today. We feel confident we've got the votes to win, that it's going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out," he said.
"I think anybody who's running for office would be lying if they say that there's not some butterflies before the polls come in because anything can happen," the president added later in a radio interview.
CBS News, quoting early exit polls, said 39 percent of people approached after they had voted said the economy, the key issue, was improving, while 31 percent said it was worse and 28 saw it as staying the same. Voters were also choosing a third of the Democratic-led Senate and the entire Republican-run House of Representatives. But, with neither chamber expected to change hands, the current political gridlock will likely continue. The US presidential election is not directly decided by the popular vote, but requires candidates to pile up a majority -- 270 -- of 538 electoral votes awarded state-by-state on the basis of population.
A candidate can therefore win the nationwide popular vote and still be deprived of the presidency by falling short in the Electoral College. The election went ahead in New Jersey with thousands of people without power, and large areas devastated by superstorm Sandy which roared ashore last week killing more than 100 people. Adora Agim, an immigrant from Nigeria, said the chaos shouldn't stop voting. "I have lived in a Third World country where your vote does not matter. It's nice to be somewhere where it matters," she said, in Hoboken, New Jersey. The central message of Obama's campaign has been that he saved America from a second Great Depression after the economy was on the brink of collapse when he took over from Republican president George W. Bush in 2009. He claims credit for ending the war in Iraq, saving the US auto industry, killing Osama bin Laden, offering almost every American health insurance, and passing the most sweeping Wall Street reform in decades. Romney sought to mine frustration with the slow pace of the economic recovery and argued that the president was out of ideas and has no clue how to create jobs, with unemployment at 7.9 percent and millions out of work.
 

1.      Victory: Obama's team tweeted this image to announce his victory (Twitter)

2.      U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama (R) embrace Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Dr. Jill Biden moments after the television networks called the election in their favour, while watching election returns at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park in Chicago. REUTERS/White House/Handout

3.      President Barack Obama and his family walk onstage during his election night victory rally in Chicago (L-R) Daughters Malia, Sasha, First lady Michelle Obama and the President. REUTERS/Jason Reed

4.      U.S. President Barack Obama gestures with Vice President Joe Biden after his election night victory speech in Chicago. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ELECTIONS)

5.      U.S. President Barack Obama, who won a second term in office by defeating Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, waves before addressing supporters during his election night victory rally in Chicago. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

6.      Supporters of President Barack Obama cheer the news of the president's re-election during his election night rally in Chicago. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

7.      Obama supporters cheer during his victory election night rally in Chicago. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

8.      Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivers his concession speech during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts, REUTERS/Mike Segar

9.      Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney arrives to deliver his concession speech during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

10.   U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney stands on stage with his wife Ann during his election night rally in Boston, Massachusetts. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

11.   U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann kiss after his concession speech during his election night rally in Boston. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION)

12.   A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reacts to results on election night in Boston, Massachusetts.

13.   Happy faces of Obama supporters at his election night rally in Chicago. REUTERS/John Gress

14.   Students at the State Elementary School Menteng 01, where U.S. President Barack Obama studied from 1970-1971 show their support for Obama while they watch the U.S presidential election on television in Jakarta. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni (INDONESIA - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION ELECTIONS)

15.   Celebrations at Melba's 25 at the Harlem State Office building in New York. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ELECTIONS)

16.   Mass elation at Obama's election night rally in Chicago. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

17.   Supporters of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann listen to the news on a large screen television that Barack Obama was projected to defeat Mitt Romney in Ohio during their rally for Bachmann in Bloomington, Minnesota. REUTERS/Eric Miller (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS USA PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ELECTIONS)

18.   Obama supporter Dina Rutledge celebrates as she watches voting results on election night in Chicago, Illinois.

19.   Obama supporters cheer during his election night rally in Chicago. REUTERS/John Gress

20.   Earlier lines of voters had waited to cast their ballots in St. Petersburg, Florida - a key swing state

21.   Supporters of US President Barack Obama watch a live broadcast of the US presidential election at a bar in Sydney.

 

















Colorado investigating reports of machines changing Romney votes to Obama

November 6, 2012
The Republican party of Pueblo, Colorado, has begun an investigation into reports that voting machines have been switching voters' selections.
The Pueblo GOP received at least a dozen complaints about voting machines changing votes for Mitt Romney, Republican nominee, into votes for Barack Obama, the incumbent.
Speaking to local media outlet, KRDO, Gilbert Ortiz, Pueblo County clerk and recorder said:
"..Just like when you're texting on your cell phone or using any other touchscreen technology, there's a chance  that you might think your finger is touching one area and it's actually touching another...."
Interactive: US inner circles of power
Meet the top consultants, advisers, and pollsters behind Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's candidacies.
Mohammed Haddad and Hasan Salim Patel Last Modified: 31 Oct 2012 10:45


US votes in tight presidential race
Long lines reported in some states as millions of voters take to the polls after a grueling campaign.
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2012 20:20
After a seemingly endless presidential campaign, voters in the United States are going to the polls to decide whether to give president Barack Obama a second term or replace him with his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Voters in dozens of states were lined up before dawn, with lengthy lines and hour-long waits reported in many places. In New York and New Jersey, eastern states battered last week by Hurricane Sandy, voters queued outside of tents and other makeshift polling places.
There were scattered reports of irregularities across the country, particularly from voters who said they were asked to show identification while waiting in line. In Pennsylvania, a judge ordered Republicans to stop demanding ID from voters outside a polling station.
Voting machines also broke down in a number of polling stations. One man in Pennsylvania posted a video of a machine which did not let him vote for Obama, apparently a malfunction.
Romney voted on Tuesday morning near his home in Belmont, Massachusetts. From there he planned to hit the campaign trail, a rarity for presidential candidates on Election Day; his campaign has scheduled events in Pennsylvania and the battleground state of Ohio.
Obama voted more than a week ago in his hometown of Chicago, part of a campaign to encourage his supporters to take advantage of early voting. Some 30 million Americans have already voted, a record number.
The president plans to spend the day at his headquarters in the city, and has no plans to hit the campaign trail, though he did make phone calls to volunteers.
"[I] want to say to Governor Romney, congratulations on a spirited campaign," he told reporters on Tuesday morning. "We feel confident we've got the votes to win, but it's going to depend ultimately on whether those votes turn out."
His vice president, Joe Biden, cast his ballot in the early morning hours in his home state of Delaware. He will travel to Chicago in the afternoon to watch the results with Obama.
Tuesday's vote caps off a grueling campaign that became the most expensive in history: Candidates and outside groups spent some $2.6bn on the presidential race alone.
Both candidates have spent the last few weeks barnstorming the handful of "swing states" which will decide the election. Obama made campaign stops on Monday in Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio, while Romney visited New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
Obama used his final campaign stop to remind voters of his accomplishments: the economy's slow recovery from recession, the rescue of the American auto industry, and the end of the war in Iraq, among other things.
He sought to sharpen the contrast between his policies and those of his opponent.
"It's not just a choice between two candidates and two parties, it's a choice between two different visions for America," he said.
Obama has not laid out a detailed agenda for his second term, and Romney has seized on that in his final speeches, warning voters that the president will simply repeat his policies from the past four years - which the Republican nominee described as a failure.
"His plan for the next four years is to take all the ideas from the first term - the stimulus, the borrowing, Obamacare, all the rest - and do them over again," Romney said, referring to the president's $787bn economic stimulus package and his health care reforms.
"He calls that ‘Forward.’ I call it ‘Forewarned,'" the former governor quipped.
Polls positive for Obama
The last round of national polls heading into the vote were good news for the president. A Pew Research Center poll showed him leading Romney by three points, 48 per cent to 45 per cent. The same poll had them tied last week.
Two other polls showed a closer race: A Washington Post-ABC News poll had Obama leading by one point, 49 per cent to 48 per cent; and a CNN poll had the candidates tied with 49 per cent of the vote.
All three of those results were within the polls' margins of error. 
But the popular vote will not decide the outcome. States are apportioned a number of electoral votes based on their population, and the candidate who wins a majority - 270 - becomes president. And the final state polls showed the president leading in most of the crucial swing states.
Surveys in Ohio have had Obama leading by anywhere from three to five points. A victory there would mean Romney would have to win at least six of the remaining eight battleground states, which seems unlikely: Obama led every poll conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin; Romney's lone bright spot was North Carolina, where he looks poised to win by a narrow margin.
The other two battlegrounds, Colorado and Florida, seem too close to predict, with polls showing a range of possible outcomes.
In Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, a small village which traditionally opens its polling places just after midnight - the first vote in the nation - Romney and Obama tied, 5-5. It was the first tie in more than 50 years of midnight voting in the town, which is not a bellwether for the national result.





Scenes from Election Day: America heads to the polls

By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News | The Ticket 

A polling station in Los Angeles, California Tuesday. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)Obama mural in Philadelphia. (Tim Miller)

The most expensive presidential race in American history—some $2.6 billion was spent—is finally coming to an end. The barrage of political ads is quieting, and voters now have the chance to speak.
Polls close in Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Vermont at 7 PM ET, with other states following close behind. Alaska's polling stations, the last to close, finally shutter at 1 AM Wednesday. In the meantime, we'll be gathering all the latest news about the candidates, polling stations and swing states here.
3:01 PM: If you thought it was a hassle for you to vote today, we'd like you to meet Galicia Malone. The 21-year-old first-time voter from Illinois managed to cast her ballot today even though she was in labor.
2:50 PM: Check out this series of photos of voters in Queens, who took a break from trying to salvage their Sandy-hit homes to vote in makeshift voting stations today.
2:40 PM: Guess they're not too nervous for a big lunch. Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney grabbed lunch at a Wendy's in a Cleveland suburb after stopping by a campaign office. Here's a photo of them greeting the staff. Joe Biden, meanwhile, grabbed lunch at a local restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, where he had a Cobb salad.
2:38 PM: For the third day in a row, Joe Biden and Mitt Romney's planes passed each other on the tarmac. This time, in Cleveland.
2:30 PM: A judge has ordered officials to cover up the Obama mural in a Philadelphia polling placethat raised controversy earlier today.
1:20 PM: An estimated 50 million eligible Americans will not vote today. Here's why.
1:00 PM: Better late than never? Google searches for "who's running for president" spiked in November.
12:25 PM: You might want to think twice before posting your filled out ballot to Facebook, Flickr, or Instagram. Propublica reports that some states have laws that prohibit people from showing their ballots to anyone. Violating the rule can result in having your ballot thrown out. See if it's legal in your state at the Citizen Media Law Project site.
12:18 PM: In Washington D.C., There are reports that some lines are so long at polling sites that people are giving up on voting. How was your polling place? Let us know in the comments.
12 PM: Republican National Committee official Tim Miller is complaining on Twitter that a Philadelphia polling place has put up voting booths right next to a mural of Obama. The location of the polling site is 35th ward-D18 Franklin School, according to the Weekly Standard. Miller wrote that the Pennsylvania GOP has filed a complaint. Electioneering is not allowed within 10 feet of a polling place. The Philadelphia City Commissioners' office is looking into the complaints.
11:40 AM: Elections officials in Pinellas county in Florida mistakenly sent hundreds of robocalls telling voters they had until 7:00 PM Wednesday to vote, the Tampa Bay Times reports. (The last polls close at 8 PM Tuesday in the state.) Elections officials sent a second message to alert voters who received the calls of the mistake. A majority of the county voted Democratic in 2008.
11 AM: A Chrysler official wrote on Twitter that the car company has given its entire workforce the day off to vote. (He added that the auto workers union and Chrysler, GM and Ford have agreed that workers get the day off to vote for years.) Late last month the company had strongly denied the accuracy of an ad from Mitt Romney's campaign stating that the automaker was moving its Jeep production to China. The company, in fact, said it recently added 1,100 jobs in the swing state of Ohio, where one in eight jobs is connected to the auto industry.
10 AM: All four major candidates have cast their ballots. President Barack Obama voted weeks ago in Chicago as part of his campaign's push to get their supporters to vote early in states that allow it. Voting on Tuesday: Vice President Joe Biden, at a Wilmington, Del., high school; Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, near their Belmont, Mass., home; and Paul Ryan cast his ballot in his hometown of Janesville, Wis.
9:40 AM: The first election results are in—and it's a tie. In New Hampshire, Dixville Notch's 10 registered votes split evenly 5-5 between Romney and Obama. The small village has cast its ballots at midnight since 1960, giving political junkies an early look at how candidates are faring in the Granite State. President Obama carried the small village in 2008, but Dixville Notch went to George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004.





http://www.democracynow.org./2012/8/30/daughter_of_billionaire_gop_donor_sheldon

Democracy Now Display full version a daily independent global news hour With Amy Goodman & Juan González

Daughter of Billionaire GOP Donor Sheldon Adelson Pushes Democracy Now! Staff, Seizes Camera at RNC

When Democracy Now! senior producer Mike Burke attempted to interview billionaire casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson inside the Republican National Convention, a woman identified as Adelson’s daughter grabbed our video camera, tried to take it into a private suite and then threw the camera to the ground. While Adelson’s daughter first accused Burke of hitting her, she later came out of the suite to apologize. The incident was caught on tape, shortly after Burke questioned another billionaire GOP donor, David Koch, as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele. Burke files a report and joins us to describe what happened. [includes rush transcript]

Filed under  RNC 2012, Election 2012, Mike Burke

Guest:

Mike Burke, senior producer, Democracy Now!

Related

Amy Goodman Questions Top GOP Donor David Koch: Does Concentration of Wealth Subvert Democracy? Aug 31, 2012 | Story Federal Court Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law in Ruling That Could Help Decide 2012 Election Aug 31, 2012 | Story Near Where RNC Attendees Harassed a CNN Camerawoman, Alabama Delegate Discusses Black Support of GOP Aug 31, 2012 | Story The Romney-Koch Handshake: Network TV Misses Revealing Moment Between Nominee & Billionaire at RNC Aug 31, 2012 | Story Top GOP Strategist Karl Rove Loses Cool Under Questioning from "Boss Rove" Author Craig Unger Aug 31, 2012 | Story

Editors Picks

As Senate GOP Blocks DISCLOSE Act, Top Donor Sheldon Adelson Probed for Bribery and Mob Ties Jul 18, 2012 | Story Dark Money: Inside the Final Frontier of Unlimited Political Spending (Part 2) Jun 27, 2012 | Story

Rush Transcript: This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution

 

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, "Breaking With Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency." We’re broadcasting fromPBS station WEDU here in Tampa, Florida, as we cover the Republican convention, inside and out. We are doing two hours of daily coverage from the Republican convention. You can go to our website at democracynow.org if your station is just playing one.

We begin today’s shows in the suites. Democracy Now! senior producer Mike Burke filed this report.

ADELSON HANDLER: Respect their privacy. Probably shouldn’t have had—

HANY MASSOUD: We weren’t recording her. We were doing an interview.

ADELSON DAUGHTER: You’re recording right now.

ADELSON HANDLER: They’re in here for a private event, and you stuck—do me a favor.

HANY MASSOUD: Who are you guys? Who are you guys?

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor.

ADELSON DAUGHTER: Are you recording me now?

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor.

MIKE BURKE: ...has taken the stage. We’ve been spending the last several hours walking along the corporate suites inside the convention hall on the lookout for Republican politicians and campaign backers. Earlier in the evening, we ran into David Koch, founder of the Koch Industries.

Just on Paul Ryan as VP?

DAVID KOCH: I like Paul Ryan. He’s a superstar.

MIKE BURKE: What do hope to hear in his speech tonight?

DAVID KOCH: Well, good things about correcting the budget deficit and reducing our national debt and keeping us as a country from going bankrupt.

MIKE BURKE: And how has Citizens United affected this year’s campaign?

DAVID KOCH: Pardon me. I’ve got to go in.

MIKE BURKE: And how much money are you going to spend on this election, Mr. Koch? How much money?

Approaching us now is Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican National Committee.

Mr. Steele, can I ask you a quick question?

MICHAEL STEELE: Yes, sir.

MIKE BURKE: What impact has Citizens United had on this election campaign and the relationship between like these shadowy groups and the Republican National Committee?

MICHAEL STEELE: Well, not just the Republican National Committee, but the Democratic National Committee, as well. Both committees have benefited from the Citizens United ruling, yeah. I mean, there’s—you know, there’s more money coming to one side or the other, but there’s still cash flowing out there. I think—you know, look, my view of it is money is property, and as long as you are properly disclosing, which is the problem with the—with the law that is the—you know, the underlying law in the Citizens United case—you know, if you get that in place, then all of a sudden you know who the donors are, you know what their addresses and their businesses are, and it becomes a different dynamic.

MIKE BURKE: We ran into Newt Gingrich on the fourth floor and asked him about the impact of Citizens United.

NEWT GINGRICH: Oh, I don’t think much of it. I personally prefer a reform that allows everybody to give their money directly to the candidate, as long as they reported it every night on the internet so the candidates are responsible. I think that would be a better system. But I’m not particularly frightened by the current system.

MIKE BURKE: But what about a system that we currently have where someone like Sheldon [Adelson] can spend maybe over $100 million on this campaign?

NEWT GINGRICH: Well, you just saw in Indiana, in Nebraska and in Texas, the candidate with the most money lost—and in Missouri. So, I don’t—I don’t think money is the be all and end all. I think that it’s a factor, but I think there are a lot of other things that get involved.

MIKE BURKE: And we’ve just spotted Sheldon Adelson being pushed in a wheelchair down the hall. Karl Rove is right behind him. We’re going to try to follow them to see how far we can get.

Mr. Adelson, your thoughts on the Romney-Ryan ticket?

SHELDON ADELSON: No comment.

MIKE BURKE: We’re trying to follow Karl Rove and Sheldon Adelson as they go down the hallway here in the suites.

Mr. Adelson, how much money are you going to spend on this election?

ADELSON HANDLER: Guys, guys, hey!

ADELSON DAUGHTER: Get off me!

ADELSON HANDLER: Hey! Hey!

ADELSON DAUGHTER: Get off me! I’ll hit you!

HANY MASSOUD: He’s just walking.

MIKE BURKE: I did not touch her. She ran back into me. She just grabbed our camera! This woman grabbed our camera.

AMY GOODMAN: Loud noise was the sound of Democracy Now!'s video camera hitting the ground. Just moments after our senior producer Mike Burke attempted to question the billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a woman identified to the Democracy Now! team as Adelson's daughter grabbed the video camera from the cameraman, Hany Massoud, then attempted to take the camera into a private suite. She then dropped the camera on the ground. Our senior producer Mike Burke joins us to describe what happened. Mike, explain.

MIKE BURKE: Well, we were up on the fifth floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. This is the site of the Republican National Convention. And Hany Massoud, our cameraperson, and I—we spent most of the day walking along the hallways where the corporate suites are, you know, trying to find politicians and campaign donors and various other people to speak with. Near the end of the evening, we were walking down the hall, where we see Sheldon Adelson, who of course has played a critical role in this year’s election. He’s already donated tens of millions of dollars, first to Newt Gingrich’s campaign, then to Mitt Romney’s campaign. And so, we attempted to ask him a question, and we got two questions in.

And then what happened, it just—it really shocked me. A woman that was standing right behind Sheldon Adelson, who we later learned that apparently was his daughter, she stopped and then forcibly pushed herself back into me, where I lost my footing. And then, from there, she went over to Hany Massoud, our cameraperson, and actually grabbed the camera. And we were—she was only about two or three feet away from the suite where they were going to be watching the convention speeches. And she attempted to go into the suite, into the door, with the camera. Hany said something along the lines of, you know, "What you doing? This is our camera." And then, at that point, she drops the camera on the ground, and you heard that sound. She goes into the suite, and there’s some commotion outside. We actually have some audiotape—I mean, it’s videotape, but it’s from Hany’s camera. And at that point, we weren’t sure if Hany’s camera was broken or not. And we actually still aren’t sure. I mean, it was—it forcibly fell on the ground. But we have some tape. I think it’s important to hear. It’s a little bit unclear at times who is speaking, but there’s two times in this tape where Sheldon Adelson’s daughter comes out from the suite and actually apologizes to us. And this, of course, is after several—

AMY GOODMAN: This is after she body-slams you, steps back into you?

MIKE BURKE: "Body slam" might be a bit—that might be a bit too much, but she definitely, you know, stopped and then went back with force.

AMY GOODMAN: Into your body?

MIKE BURKE: Right, in an attempt so that I could not ask a question of Sheldon Adelson, who, of course—I mean, regular viewers of Democracy Now!might know, he—very infrequently does he speak to the press. So, for us, it was a very rare chance to speak to such an influential figure. So, I think—another voice we hear on this tape is a top aide of Sheldon Adelson. His name is Andy Abboud. He works for the Las Vegas Sands Corporation. This is one of the casinos that Sheldon Adelson owns. He basically came out said, you know, "We’ll take care of it. We’ll take care of it. Everything will be fine." And—

AMY GOODMAN: And who identified this woman as Adelson’s daughter? You certainly didn’t know that was the case.

MIKE BURKE: No, I believe that was Andy, but it was either Andy or someone else.

AMY GOODMAN: Their person that came out of the suite.

MIKE BURKE: Yeah, and there was a very large entourage that ended up responding to this incident. And there was actually a third incident that happened, where another one of his aides ended up grabbing my cell phone and attempting to take my cell phone, because once Hany’s camera was on the ground and we weren’t sure if it was working, I attempted to take out my Android and—because I wanted to record what was happening. He immediately grabbed my hand and grabbed onto the phone and refused to let go. And he held on for about probably 20 seconds or so. You can hear that, as well, in this tape. So, I think we should take a listen.

ADELSON HANDLER: ...their privacy. Probably shouldn’t have had—

HANY MASSOUD: We weren’t recording her. We were doing an interview.

ADELSON DAUGHTER: You’re recording right now.

ADELSON HANDLER: They’re in here for a private event, and you stuck—do me a favor.

HANY MASSOUD: Who are you guys? Who are you guys?

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor.

ADELSON DAUGHTER: Are you recording me now?

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor.

HANY MASSOUD: Mike. 571.

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor.

MIKE BURKE: Sir, you just stole my camera!

ADELSON HANDLER: Do me a favor. Do me a favor, OK? When you run into someone in the hallway—

MIKE BURKE: That’s my camera.

HANY MASSOUD: It’s on camera. It’s on camera. Are you joking? Are you joking?

ADELSON DAUGHTER: I am sorry. I don’t know who. I thought you were hitting me.

HANY MASSOUD: OK, that’s fine. That’s fine. Well, it’s on camera. It’s on camera. We’re not worried about it. We’re not worried about it. I mean, she grabs my camera and tries to run off with it. So how am I supposed to respond to that? That’s exactly my point. It’s on camera. I’m not even near her. I’m behind her. I’m behind her.

MIKE BURKE: I’ve been working on this job for 12 years. I’ve never seen somebody grab a camera like this.

HANY MASSOUD: Is there a spokesperson?

ADELSON HANDLER: She’s his daughter.

HANY MASSOUD: See, I didn’t know that. So that’s why she’s more emotional, you see?

ADELSON HANDLER: That’s his daughter. And they’re giving—and they gave [inaudible]—

HANY MASSOUD: So, she took it personal. She took it personal.

ADELSON HANDLER: She did. Well, it is personal, because they’re private citizens.

HANY MASSOUD: Which I also understand. Until she grabbed the camera, it wasn’t a big deal.

ADELSON HANDLER: I know. I understand.

HANY MASSOUD: That’s what I’m saying. We’re used to handlers bumping us and things like that, and we respect their jobs.

ADELSON HANDLER: Yeah, I’ve got it.

HANY MASSOUD: We respect their jobs.

ADELSON HANDLER: So, but just—the best thing is to back off. Contact me. We’ll fix it.

AMY GOODMAN: There you have this bit of commotion here. Mike, what happened next?

MIKE BURKE: Well, one interesting thing I forgot to mention is, Karl Rove was actually standing by when almost all of this happened. He was walking down the hall with Sheldon Adelson and was going to the same suite as Sheldon. So, he actually witnessed at least the beginning part of this, and I’m not sure how much after that.

Also interestingly, a few minutes later we decided to leave outside his suite. And we were walking down the hallway, and all of a sudden we see Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, former presidential candidate, who is close personal friends with Sheldon Adelson. Sheldon Adelson gave the Gingrich campaign tens of millions of dollars, really helped keep Gingrich in the race earlier this year. So we were able to—once we saw Newt Gingrich, we decided to, you know, follow him and just see where he was going. We weren’t sure if he was going to go into Adelson’s suite or not.

AMY GOODMAN: Into suite 571.

MIKE BURKE: And it turned out, he went into 571, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: And that is Sheldon Adelson’s suite. And to explain what these suites are, the corporate suites overlook the arena. And so, you walk in a door as if you’re just walking into an office, but the other side of it looks out. It’s a skybox that looks out onto the arena. And these are where the large corporate donors have their parties and their suites for the evening. Some of these large donors also can sit out on the higher—on the higher bleachers of the arena, and they sit with their wine, and they watch the proceedings below.

MIKE BURKE: We tried to get into several of these suites last night, and every single time we were turned away. But we’ll keep trying.

AMY GOODMAN: Mike, maybe we can talk more about who Sheldon Adelson is.

MIKE BURKE: Sure. I mean, there was a reason we were trying to speak to him. You know, he’s pledged to spend as much as $100 million on this year’s campaign in, you know, an attempt to defeat President Obama. And this is really one of the most significant figures post-Citizens United, where you can now spend unlimited amounts of money, you know, whether it’s the super PACs or the 501(c)(4)s. And, oh, on Democracy Now! , we’ve interviewed one investigative journalist named Peter Stone, who’s—he now is a freelancer with the Huffington Post, several times. And I want to go back to a clip of Peter when he was on Democracy Now! in July, really outlining who Sheldon Adelson is.

PETER STONE: He was the leading supporter of Newt Gingrich’s effort, the outside group that was backing Gingrich. He had longstanding ties to Gingrich and was hoping he would get the nomination. When Gingrich withdrew, he threw his support, initially, reluctantly, to Romney. He felt that Romney was not as decisive as Gingrich and might not be quite as good on certain issues of particular importance to Adelson. Number one on his agenda is strong support for the Israeli government, and particularly the conservative wing of Israeli political parties. He has close ties to Netanyahu, and he is generally considered a hawk on Middle East issues. He opposes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And Gingrich had been, you know, far more outspoken. Romney is strong on these issues, too. And, you know, he is now backing Romney.

His overriding concern is to defeat President Obama. He thinks Obama is weak on Israeli issues, Middle East issues. He also has publicly castigated him for his economic policies, described them, I think, to Forbes as socialist-style economic policies, which he’s worried about, you know, continuing for another four years. So he’s dedicated to defeating Obama. He’s also throwing a lot of money, tens of millions of dollars, into other groups, outside groups, that are playing big in trying to help Republicans win the Senate and keep the House. I reported in Huffington Post a few weeks ago that he has given an estimated $70 million or committed estimated $70 million thus far this cycle. We know about $30 million of that is public at this stage. I learned that he has given at least $10 million to a Karl Rove group that doesn’t have to disclose its donors, Crossroads GPS, and pledged another $10 million for Rove’s operation. Likewise, he has given $10 million recently to a Koch entity, one of the groups backed by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. So, he is definitely committed to helping get Obama out of the White House and trying to help Republicans make major gains in the fall in the congressional front.

AMY GOODMAN: Investigative reporter Peter Stone, describing the casino billionaire magnate Sheldon Adelson, who is playing such a significant role in this post-Citizens United election, promising to spend some $100 million in this election. Mike Burke?

MIKE BURKE: Amy, it’s fascinating. When we were outside the suite—this is after the camera—after Sheldon Adelson’s daughter took our camera and threw it on the ground, we spent several minutes right outside the suite. And one gentleman—I didn’t get his name, but his—he was kind of urging us just to leave. And he made a comment saying, "He is funding all of this," as if that’s a reason why we should not be questioning him and why we should not be up in the suites.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we will continue to be in the corporate suites, covering the streets, and also being on the convention floor. This is a media event that thousands—it’s estimated 15,000—journalists are covering. And it’s very important not to cover—just cover, but to uncover what is taking place, both here in Tampa at the Republican National Convention and also as we move on to Charlotte next week for the Democratic convention. Democracy Now! senior producer Mike Burke, Mike, thanks so much.

MIKE BURKE: Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. When we come back, we continue to follow the money. We will be joined by Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi. Stay with us.

 

http://www.democracynow.org./blog/2012/7/30/matt_taibbi_explains_wall_streets_license_to_steal_offshore_tax_havens_and_private_equity_firms

 

Democracy Now Display full version a daily independent global news hour With Amy Goodman & Juan González 


Matt Taibbi Explains Wall Street’s "License to Steal," Offshore Tax Havens and Private Equity Firms

In part two of our interview with Matt Taibbi, he describes recent Wall Street scandals — including a decade-long Wall Street scandal that drained money from every county and state in the United States — and notes not a single bank executive has faced individual consequences. He also explains how Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, and others have used private equity to raise money to conduct corporate raids. "It’s just a scheme to take a cash-rich company and move all that cash to a few actors — typically it’s the executives of the target company and the executives in the private equity firm — and then you force everybody else to pay," Taibbi says. "The workers pay by either losing their jobs or taking reductions in salary, and the guys at the top win." Click here to watch part one of this interview.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Matt Taibbi is our guest, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth piece is "The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia: How America’s Biggest Banks Took Part in a Nationwide Bid-Rigging Conspiracy—Until They Were Caught on Tape." He’s author of Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.

OK, explain what this scam Wall Street learned from the Mafia, how America’s biggest banks took part in a nationwide bid-rigging scheme.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, this is actually somewhat similar to the Libor situation, because what we’re dealing with is a kind of a cartel-style corruption scheme. In Libor, it was 16 banks acting in concert to rig the international interest rates. What this one was was a number of the world’s biggest banks colluding to artificially suppress the amount of money that cities and towns earned on their municipal bond service. So this is—it’s very complicated inside baseball stuff, but when a town or city wants to borrow money, it goes to Wall Street. It issues a bond. Let’s say it borrows $50 million. It doesn’t spend all that money right away, so it doesn’t build the school right away, it doesn’t build the baseball field. It keeps that money in an account somewhere, and banks are supposed to compete with each other at auction for how much that money is going to earn. That money is going to be invested, and they’re supposed to out bids against each other for how much they’re going to pay the towns and the cities on that investment income. And what they’ve been doing is they’ve been getting together secretly and parceling out business. So the banks—one bank will say, you get to do the bond service for the school in this town, you get to do the bond service for the—you know, the hospital over here, a third gets to do the bridge or the highway in another state. And essentially, this was every state—every county in every state in the United States was affected by this scandal over a period of about 10 years. We just recently had a trial for a few of the participants here in New York, but it extends far beyond those individual defendants

AMY GOODMAN: Give names. Give examples.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, the particular—the particular defendants in that trial, which was two months ago here in New York City, they were three guys who worked for a subsidiary of GE Capital, but GE was really the fifth big bank to be caught up in this scandal. JPMorgan Chase has already paid a $228 million settlement. Bank of America, UBS, Wachovia, which is now Wells Fargo, they’ve all paid settlements in excess of $100 million. This all came out last year, although surprisingly there was no real coverage about it. It was also—this is actually the scandal that helped submarine the appointment of the—I’m blanking—the New Mexico governor who was nominated by Barack Obama.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Bill Richardson.

MATT TAIBBI: Bill Richardson, excuse me, yes. His commerce secretary appointment was submarined by this scandal indirectly, because he was taking money from a middleman company called CDR, which was arranging these rigged auctions. So this—the conspiracy extends to probably a dozen or two dozen of the biggest banks in the world. And we have criminal cases now that are just wrapping up for 18 of the defendants in this conspirace, but it extends beyond that.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about JPMorgan Chase and JB—Jamie Dimon, not to mix their names together.

MATT TAIBBI: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: The appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, the kinds of questions that were asked, or instead, the kinds of advice that was asked for by senators on both sides of the aisle—

MATT TAIBBI: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: —who were receiving millions of dollars from him?

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right. So, Jamie Dimon gets summoned before the Congress, and he’s there to answer questions about how it could possibly happen that a bank could suddenly have a $3 or $4 billion loss overnight. And the reason we ask these questions is that—because there’s an implicit federal guarantee. This is a—you know, a commercial bank like Chase is FDIC guaranteed. And so, when it gambles and it risks enormous sums of money, it’s essentially all of our problem because if JPMorgan Chase were to go under for any reason, then all of us would have to pay for it. Jamie Dimon and a lot of people on Wall Street don’t really see it that way. And so, when he was hauled up before Congress to answer questions about how this loss could possibly happen after everything that happened in 2008, why wasn’t there better risk assessment, how could there not be controls that prevented this sort of thing from happening, he really acted very put out that he even had to answer any questions. And most of the questions actually weren’t that tough, to begin with. They ended up really more asking him advice on how to better regulate the economy. It was a comical kind of situation where there’s sort of a widespread misunderstanding of what the dangers are here.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And to get back to this point of the level of scandal that we have seen continually exposed, one after another, with the banks continuing just to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and billions of dollars in settlements, then just keep on—keep on keeping on. You know, there seems to be no sense of total outrage or shame, or at least among government officials, there’s no sense of the outrage that is felt among the public—

MATT TAIBBI: Right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —about these banks continuing to rig the financial system.

MATT TAIBBI: Right. Yeah, no, this is—I think this is the key thing that people don’t understand, is that in the law enforcement community there’s an incredible amount of enthusiasm, for some reason, among people in law enforcement for doing things like catching undocumented aliens. You know, I was down in Georgia last week. I heard about a case where a guy was deported for fishing without a license. You know, it’s incredibly easy to start a criminal case everywhere outside of Wall Street, but in Wall Street, we’ve had one scandal after another involving enormous sums of money, you know, not just billions of dollars but, with the Libor thing, trillions of dollars, and not a single person has had to have any individual consequence. So you talk about all those settlements. Those are all paid by the company and by the shareholders. Not a single person since 2008 has gone to—has been indicted, has gone to jail, has spent a day in jail, or has paid any kind of money out of his own pocket. And until there’s any individual consequence, it’s really a license to steal. I think the Libor thing is really going to be a litmus test for all regulators, because if you can’t go to jail for rigging an $800 trillion market, what can you go to jail for?

AMY GOODMAN: Who do you think should be tried first, jailed first?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, all the traders and all of these—the Libor submitters all have to be indicted, clearly. But it has to go higher than that, because this can’t happen without the consent of the senior executives in the companies, so they all have to go, too. And I think the British acted appropriately in immediately, you know, making sure that the Barclays chief stepped down. But that’s just for starters. I think, you know, we have to do that. We have to remove all the executives who are responsible for this.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, of course, all the sports fans now who go to these stadiums, renamed after banks—

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —including now the new New York Nets in the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn—

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right, exactly. And then—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —are facing having to walk into these stadiums for these thieves, being named after them.

MATT TAIBBI: Exactly, and then think about another—here’s another sports thing. The Justice Department assigned 93 agents to the Rogers Clemens case. Think about that. Ninety-three guys assigned to the case of injecting Roger Clemens with steroids. How many people are investigating the mortgage-backed—or who are on the mortgage-backed task force that Obama allegedly started a few months ago? It’s less than that, from what I understand. So here you have this massive criminal conspiracy that involves all the biggest companies in America, and we’re spending less resources investigating that than we do on a single baseball player—who’s retired, incidentally.

AMY GOODMAN: On the stadium issue, speaking about sports—

MATT TAIBBI: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: —right, President Obama going to speak in Bank of America Stadium—whoops! I mean Panthers Stadium.

MATT TAIBBI: Right, Panthers Stadium, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Bank of America bought the rights in 2004.

MATT TAIBBI: Right.

AMY GOODMAN: And now, as the Democrats do their fundraising, they’ve stopped calling it "Bank of America Stadium."

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right.

AMY GOODMAN: And they’re calling it Panthers Stadium, which is interesting in itself, but—for lots of reasons, but your response?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, first of all, I did a big exposé on Bank of America a few months ago, and so I hope I had a tiny, tiny part in this. I think the Occupy movement has done a lot of work with Bank of America, and I think that has a much bigger part to do with this.

AMY GOODMAN: Recap what you found in what you—your investigation.

MATT TAIBBI: Well, Bank of America, they were a—they’re sort of a poster child for everything that’s wrong with "too big to fail," but most importantly, in 2008, they were really the most aggressive actor in the whole—in the sort of scheme to sell toxic, explosive mortgage-backed securities to public funds like pension funds and unions. And that was really just a gigantic fraud scheme. And Bank of America, along with its subsidiaries, Countrywide and the investment bank—my god, I’m losing my mind—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Merrill Lynch.

MATT TAIBBI: Merrill Lynch, exactly—they were all probably the most aggressive in their respective fields in pushing those toxic mortgage-backed securities. So, it would be, I think, bad for the Democrats to associate themselves with that company, heading into the campaign.

AMY GOODMAN: OK, speaking about the elections, explain Bain, private equity. I think the reason so many get away with so much, or so few, you know, at the top get away with so much, people just cannot understand it. It’s like going to a surgeon, and he starts explaining what he’s going to do to you. In fact, it affects all of us, or in that case, it affects you, right? The surgeon. But you have no idea what he or she just said.

MATT TAIBBI: Right, right, exactly. Yeah, I know, private equity is difficult to understand. I think what’s funny is, it’s really not that much different from what we saw in the 1980s when we—when corporate raiders and leverage buyout specialists like, you know, Carl Icahn became these sort of Gordon Gekko-style public villains. That’s really all that public equity—private equity is. It’s just that the mechanism has changed. Back in the '80s, what these guys were doing is they were using junk bonds to create the financing they needed to take over companies. Nowadays they're using securitization and what are called CLOs, collateralized loan obligations. It’s the same mechanism that banks used to create mortgage privatizations.

And so, what they’re doing is, you take a company like Bain. It has a small amount of cash. Let’s say it wants to acquire a company for $500 million. It might have $40 million. It will go to a big bank, like a Goldman or a JPMorgan Chase, and it will say, "We want to raise $300 million so that we can go in and buy a majority of the shares in this company." The big bank will go out. It will issue a securitized bond, like the mortgage bonds that they were issuing, and raise a whole bunch of money. The Bain-like company then goes and buys a majority of the shares, and when they do that, when they take over the company, the critical thing is, all that debt, all that borrowed money, that when they borrowed all that money to take over the company, the company now, the taken-over company, now assumes that debt. So, when you take over the company, they now have this additional burden that they have to meet. And in order to meet that burden, they often have to streamline themselves and lay off people. The private equity firm will also typically charge a reorganization fee to the target company. So they’ll say, "We’ve come over. We’ve taken over your company. And in order to restructure, you have to pay us x amount of money." So now the target company has two new obligations that it has to meet: it has to pay the reorganization fee, and it has to pay all that debt service, which is why they have to lay off people, because they don’t have as much money as they did before.

AMY GOODMAN: And the biggest crime around how this all affects everyday people?

MATT TAIBBI: Well, the biggest crime is that you’re taking functioning, healthy companies, and you’re larding them with debt, forcing them to lay people off. And it’s just a scheme to take a cash-rich company and move all that cash to a few actors—typically it’s the executives of the target company and the executives in the private equity firm—and then they—you force everybody else to pay. The workers pay by either losing their jobs or taking reductions in salary, and the guys at the top win. And that’s kind of the direction—that’s really what Mitt Romney represents. He represents this economics that sees massive compensation heading upward and tightening of the belt everywhere else. And we’ve seen this trend develop over two decades or so here in America, and a lot of it has to do with financial maneuvers like this.

AMY GOODMAN: Matt Taibbi, I want to thank you very much for being with us, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth piece is "The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia: How America’s Biggest Banks Took Part in a Nationwide Bid-Rigging Conspiracy—Until They Were Caught on Tape." His latest book, Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.

GUEST

Matt Taibbi, contributing editor for Rolling Stone magazine. His most recent in-depth article is called "The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia: How America’s Biggest Banks Took Part in a Nationwide Bid-Rigging Conspiracy — Until They Were Caught on Tape." He’s author of the book Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History.

Filed under  Web Exclusive, Wall Street, Economy, U.S. Economy, Mitt Romney, Election 2012, Matt Taibbi

 

Realted

Amy Goodman’s Fireside Chat with Workers Set to Lose Their Jobs After Decades at Bain-Owned Plant Sep 20, 2012 | Web Exclusive “Bainport, a Taste of the Romney Economy”: Bain Plant Workers Fight Outsourcing Their Jobs to China Sep 20, 2012 | Story DN! Exclusive: Live from Illinois Where Workers Demand Romney Visit Before Bain Sends Jobs to China Sep 20, 2012 | Story "Romney’s 1 Percent Nation Under God." By Amy Goodman Feb 02, 2012 | Columns & Articles Bipartisan "Super Committee" Turns to Cutting Deficit with "Extraordinary" Powers Aug 12, 2011 | Story

 

Tusday 6th November 2012

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/6/in_key_florida_battleground_tea_party

 

In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked "True the Vote" Challenges Voters at the Polls

Election Day 2012 has arrived, and the battle over voter suppression has reached a fever pitch in battleground states. We go to Virginia, where volunteers with the tea party-linked group True the Vote are challenging voters at the polls. We speak with Brentin Mock, the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. Mock also describes voter suppression efforts in Florida, where True the Vote has also targeted alleged felon voters who will be asked to submit a provisional ballot if they attempt to vote today. [includes rush transcript]

Filed under  Election 2012, 2012 Election, Voting, Brentin Mock, Myrna Pérez

Guests:

Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. His latest article is called "Tea Party Group Blocks Florida Voters, Stops Water Handouts at Polls."

Myrna Pérez, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. She’s part of the Election Protection Coalition’s voter support hotline. Their number is 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

 

Related

Election (Suppression) Day 2012: From ID to Intimidation, How to Protect Your Rights at the Polls Nov 06, 2012 | Story

In Landmark Ruling, "Dark Money" Group Tied to Citizens United Ordered to Reveal Its Donors Nov 06, 2012 | Story In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots Nov 06, 2012 | Story In Tight Race, 11th-Hour Voter ID Laws, Suppression Could Decide Ohio and Other Swing States Nov 05, 2012 | Story As Missouri Senate Race Tightens, New Details Emerge on Todd Akin’s Anti-Abortion Past Nov 01, 2012 | Story

Links

Voting Rights Watch 2012 - The Nation Voting Rights Watch 2012 - Colorlines.com LIVE Election Night 2012 Coverage with Democracy Now! LIVE Election Night 2012 Coverage with Democracy Now!

 

Editors Picks

As ID Laws Risk Disenfranchisement, Intimidation Fears Grow with Tea Party Group’s "Poll Watcher" Aug 28, 2012 | Story

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Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: It’s been a long time coming, but today is the day when people across the country head to the polls to cast their ballots in what remains a tight presidential race. As they do so, voting rights advocates are closely watching, monitoring confusion over whether they’re required to show photo ID. In fact, many of the most stringent new voting restrictions at the state level have been blocked or weakened by courts, including a key swing state, like Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, in the battleground state of Ohio, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has issued a new, last-minute directive that would disqualify ballots not accompanied by a form accurately documenting the type of identification used. Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich was asked about whether this could lead to a greater number of provisional ballots, which could delay election results. This was his response Monday on CBS News.

GOV. JOHN KASICH: A lot of people got ballots to vote early. And if you don’t turn those in, you know, and then you show up to vote, then—that you become a provisional, you know, ballot operator. And so, it is possible, if it’s very, very close, that, you know, we won’t know the results of this for a while. But, you know, again, I’m just not a fortune teller, you know? I can’t predict that. The provisional ballots could be numerous, but, you know, we’ll see. We still have today, and then people can drop that absentee ballot into the ballot box on Election Day.

AMY GOODMAN: Over the weekend, Democrats called attention to other voting challenges by filing a lawsuit to force Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott to extend early voting. Last year, Scott and the Republican state legislature reduced early voting times. Now voters are seeing waits of more than six hours at the polls. Still, the 2012 election is also expected to set a record for early voting. Thirty million Americans have already cast their ballot through early voting across 34 states.

To talk more about about what’s happening at the polls, what voters can expect, and who they can call if they encounter problems, we’re joined now by two guests: Myrna Pérez is senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, part of the Election Protection Coaliton’s voter support hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.

In the battleground state of Virginia, we’re joined via Democracy Now! video stream by Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. His latest article is called "Tea Party Group Blocks Florida Voters, Stops Water Handouts at Polls."

Welcome, both, to Democracy Now! Explain the title of your piece, Brentin.

BRENTIN MOCK: Sure. I mean, if it sounds a little ridiculous, that’s because it is. I mean, let’s take the second part of it, where poll watchers are basically trying to stop water from being handed out. You just talked about the really long lines in—throughout Florida, whether we’re talking about Miami or Tampa. I was just in Tampa, and the lines were literally out the—you know, going stretching around blocks in many of the black neighborhoods. And so, what you had were Republican poll watchers who were standing by, looking for, I guess, voter fraud activity or something of that sort. When you had Election Protection volunteers going to hand out water to the people who were standing in lines, Republican poll watchers intervened, said this was illegal, said that the NAACP and SEIU volunteers were bribing black voters with water to vote for Obama, with the flimsiest of evidence. In fact, no evidence was even offered of this. Basically, you just had volunteers who were trying to hand out water to people who were standing in really long lines.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, explain the lines.

BRENTIN MOCK: Well, so there’s early voting going on right now in Florida. And at least in Tampa, there have been 15 different polling places where you can go to early vote, from last Saturday running all the way into this past current Saturday. And so, about three of those polling sites are predominantly African American, are in predominantly African-American neighborhoods. And, you know, starting with the Sunday previous, where there was a Souls to the Polls campaign, you had churches sending dozens of buses and vans full of people out to these locations to have people vote. And, you know, as a result, the lines have been, you know, backed up, you know, for going—you know, stretching back blocks. And it’s been really hot in Florida. You have a lot of elderly people, a lot of disabled people in these lines. You know, unfortunately, to the credit of the advocates and the volunteers, they have been out densely trying to do whatever they can to help accommodate the voters, not—again, not to bribe them into voting for anyone, but just making sure that, you know, they have water, that some of them have chairs to sit down in if the line is too long. I spoke with people who had been in line as long as five, six, seven hours.

AMY GOODMAN: True the Vote, who is funding it?

BRENTIN MOCK: I think people are still trying to connect the dots on, you know, where the major funding is coming from. We know in Florida, specifically, True the Vote has had a number of—has held a number of meetings and trainings with Americans for Prosperity. We know that Americans for Prosperity was founded and majorly funded by the Koch brothers. We haven’t been able to connect direct dots between the Koch brothers and True the Vote, but we do know that True the Vote has collected money from the Bradley Foundation in Wisconsin. That was a group that was responsible for putting up the voter intimidation billboards in Wisconsin and Ohio. We know that they have, you know, collected money from a lot of tea party groups throughout not just in Texas, where they’re—you know, where they were born out of, but also from a number of different other group—tea party groups around the country. So the money is coming in from a lot of places. We haven’t been able to, you know, find the grand puppeteer yet, though.

AMY GOODMAN: And do people identify themselves as True the Vote at the polls?

BRENTIN MOCK: No. So, there’s a really tricky thing going on right now. I mean, True the Vote itself, you know, as an organization, is born out of the King Street Patriots tea party group in Houston, Texas. But they have these affiliates all throughout the country. So, in Florida, you have Tampa Vote Fair, which is now—you know, it’s a tea—it’s a True the Vote-trained volunteer group. And then, here in Virginia, where I’m at right now, you have the Virginia Voters Alliance, again trained by True the Vote, but we also have learned from the head of the Virginia Voters Alliance himself that True the Vote instructed them not to use True the Vote’s name because of all of the legal—all of the lawsuits that True the Vote was having in Texas right now. So they basically said, you know, "Don’t—don’t use our name, not in your title or anything, so that we can have some kind of safe distance between each other."

But I also think, you know, based off of certain lawsuits that exist right now, that True the Vote might be telling these tea party groups not to use their name, so—mainly because if any of these groups they have trained go out and they do do intimidation or if they do engage in anything that’s unlawful, that True the Vote can kind of wipe their hands of it and say, "Hey, that’s not one of our groups. You know, you don’t see our name on there anywhere." You know, so—and there’s—I’m not pulling that out of my head. I mean, there are some actual legal lawsuits that True the Vote is involved in in Ohio and also in Wisconsin, where they have literally said in their legal complaints that—that they have no ties to these groups and they’re not responsible or liable for what these groups do when they go out to the polls, even though these groups have been trained by True the Vote.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, an affiliated group with True the Vote, you write about, has challenged 75 people in Tampa, an official challenge, where the person has to sign—what is it? Under oath, that they know the person is not eligible to vote.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right, right. And I’ve been making this point a lot. A lot of reporters who have picked up on True the Vote over the past few months, they, you know, understandably and rightfully, have reported on what they suspect True the Vote will do at the polls, you know, based off of what True the Vote has said they would do at the polls.

But that’s really not the most dangerous part. The most dangerous part is what True the Vote does before people even get to the polls. And what—and through that, it’s the filing of challenges. And in states like Florida, you can file—a citizen or a poll watcher can file a legal challenge, you know, at the county elections office, which is what happened in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is the seat. And so, Kimberly Kelley, who’s the head of Tampa Vote Fair, a True the Vote-trained group, filed 77 challenges against people in the Hillsborough County area, over half of those in Tampa.

And these people, when their vote—when their voting status is challenged, they don’t know this. They won’t know this until they show up at the polls and, you know, the person tells them, you know, "Your vote has been challenged." And at that point, that person will not be able to—will not be able to file a regular ballot. They will have no choice but to file a provisional ballot. This is completely unfair to a voter to not know that their vote has been challenged, you know, and you can understand the kind of frustration and confusion that this is going to cause, you know, if someone waits five, six hours in line, finally gets their right to vote, gets up to the front of the line, then they’re told, "Well, actually, you can’t go to the booth; you have to file this provisional ballot, because some person that you don’t know has challenged you."

AMY GOODMAN: I want to talk about Virginia in a moment after break, but I want to bring in Myrna Pérez, who has been following the issue of voting rights and suppression with the Brennan Center. Stick with Florida.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Sure. Florida is an interesting case, because you had one of the most restrictive laws being passed by the state legislature that did a number of things. It put restrictions on third-party registration groups, which are groups that go into our traditionally disenfranchised and disadvantaged communities, groups like the League of Women Voters, who make—you know, their bread-and-butter activities is including people in our democracy. And the restrictions that were passed made it so onerous that they had to close down shop for a little bit. That’s also the same law that brought us the early voting reductions.

Fortunately, like as was the case with other laws around the country, the advocates and the voters fought back. And the courts definitely blocked and blunted a lot of the provisional—a lot of the aspects of this law that made it very difficult for voters.

Now, we’re still seeing some aftermath. One of the things that’s obvious is that while the early voting restrictions are better than they were before, there clearly is a demand and a need for more early voting time. And one of the things that I like about the Florida story is that it speaks to a narrative of voters standing up for themselves. Here was a very suppressive piece of legislation, people trying to shut them out, and they responded in enormous numbers, being willing to wait in line, understanding that advocates have their back, and are there trying to exercise their fundamental right to vote in the face of a legislature that passed laws trying to stifle it. So I think we need to—we need to take away, you know, the very powerful and very beautiful thing that is happening, which is people realizing that, you know, our right to vote is fundamental, it is something that we should not be scared to exercise, and when it is challenged, we need to demand it.

AMY GOODMAN: Are you getting many calls on your voter protection hotline from Florida?

MYRNA PÉREZ: I am not in the call center that deals with Florida, but one of the things that we do know—and I do think that the viewership should know—is that if a voter has a problem, they should call 866-OUR-VOTE. It is a national nonpartisan hotline where there are trained legal volunteers who are able to answer questions that range from "I don’t know where my polling location is?" "Am I still registered on the books?" or "Someone is asking me to present an identification."

This is the day where, as Americans, we all come together, and our vote matters the same. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, you know, young or old, rich or not, like—and we need to make sure that we exercise that right and take advantage of the opportunity being given to us. It’s our civic obligation.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to continue our discussion after break. Brentin Mock is with us. He is the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012. And Myrna Pérez, who is with the Brennan Center and is particularly involved with the voter protection hotline for people to call throughout today. This isDemocracy Now! Back in a minute.

 

http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/6/on_election_day_2012_fears_of

Election (Suppression) Day 2012: From ID to Intimidation, How to Protect Your Rights at the Polls

It has been a long time coming, but Americans across the country head to the polls today to cast their ballots. As they do so, voting rights advocates will be watching closely to monitor confusion over whether they are required to show a photo identification and fulfill other requirements that could lead to disenfranchisement. To discuss what is happening at the polls, what voters can expect, and what to do if they encounter problems, we are joined by two guests: Myrna Pérez, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law and a member of the Election Protection Coalition voter support hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE; and Brentin Mock, the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. [includes rush transcript]

Filed under  2012 Election, Election 2012, Voting, Myrna Pérez, Brentin Mock

Guests:

Myrna Pérez, senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. She’s part of the Election Protection Coalition’s voter support hotline. Their number is 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. His latest article is called "Tea Party Group Blocks Florida Voters, Stops Water Handouts at Polls

Related

In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked "True the Vote" Challenges Voters at the Polls Nov 06, 2012 | Story In Landmark Ruling, "Dark Money" Group Tied to Citizens United Ordered to Reveal Its Donors Nov 06, 2012 | Story In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots Nov 06, 2012 | Story In Tight Race, 11th-Hour Voter ID Laws, Suppression Could Decide Ohio and Other Swing States Nov 05, 2012 | Story As Missouri Senate Race Tightens, New Details Emerge on Todd Akin’s Anti-Abortion Past Nov 01, 2012 | Story

Links

The Brennan Center for Justice Election Protection Website The Brennan Center for Justice Election Protection Website LIVE Election Night 2012 Coverage with Democracy Now!

Rush TranscriptThis transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: This is Election Day 2012. Let’s go to a comment from a former top adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona’s 2008 presidential campaign. Appearing on MSNBC on Monday, Steve Schmidt dismissed concerns of ineligible voters casting ballots and said Republican-backed voter ID laws are based on mythology.

STEVE SCHMIDT: Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, is you want everybody who’s eligible to vote to vote. And that’s how you want to win elections. And so, I think that all of this stuff that has transpired over the last two years is in search of a solution to a problem—voting fraud—that doesn’t really exist when you look deeply at the question. But it’s now part of a—

CHUCK TODD: Have you ever felt like you lost an election on voter fraud?

STEVE SCHMIDT: It’s part of the—part of the mythology now in the Republican Party that there’s widespread voter fraud all across the country. In fact, there’s not. But both sides are lawyered up to the nth degree, and they’ll all posture back and forth on it, but it probably won’t come down to the lawyers.

AMY GOODMAN: Again, that’s Steve Schmidt, who was the senior adviser to Senator John McCain when he was running for president.

Again, we are joined by Myrna Pérez. She is senior counsel at the Brennan Center in the Democracy Program at New York University School of Law. And we’re also joined by Brentin Mock. Brentin Mock is the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, which is a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com.

Myrna Pérez, Steve Schmidt’s comment. He is a top Republican strategist, though I’m beginning to wonder if he’s going to switch his party affiliation, listening to him these days.

MYRNA PÉREZ: It’s certainly the case that there is no dispute that our election system needs to be free and fair and full of integrity. The dispute is over what means people are going to take in order to ensure that and how many people are going to be disenfranchised in the process. And the evidence documents that the kinds of restrictive laws that are being passed do not do anything to make—or do very little, if anything at all, to make our elections more secure. But what they do do is make it very difficult for eligible Americans to participate and to vote.

And the question that we, as Americans, have to ask ourselves is, how many barriers are we going to put in front of the ballot box between eligible Americans and their fundamental right? And we need to make sure that we are not the victims of manipulation by partisans who want to rig the rules of the game such that they can be making the decisions as to who gets to participate and who doesn’t.

One of the examples that I like to use is the Texas photo identification requirement that is not going to be in place. The list of acceptable ID was created with such like target precision that there was a decision made that if you had a University of Texas ID, you couldn’t use that to vote, but if you had a concealed gun license, you could. That’s a specific kind of targeting of certain voters to make sure that some people have a voice, and those voices that politicians don’t want to hear from—

AMY GOODMAN: But wouldn’t that be struck down by a court immediately?

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, the court—the court did block the implementation of this, so it’s not going to be in place. But I think the—

AMY GOODMAN: But that’s not striking it down; it’s just delaying implementation.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right now it cannot be implemented. It was challenged under the Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, of the preclearance provision. And it had—did not—the state did not meet its burden that it was not going to make minority and poor voters worse off. So that is not a law that people have to worry about in Texas.

But you raise a very, very important point. There was so much back-and-forth of this, right up to the wire, that there’s great confusion in Texas over what the ID requirements are. We’re already getting reports that people during early voting are being asked for identification that is not required. The voter registration cards that the state sends out are misleading and suggest that the photo identification law, this stringent law that is not in place, is actually in place.

And we see examples of like that, of the voter confusion happening in a number of instances, also in Pennsylvania. Even though the law will not be in place, we saw two websites in the county, you know, still have the old information when the law was active. And that’s why it’s really important, when voters are unsure or hear something that does not feel right, they need to call 866-OUR-VOTE, where we have up-to-date information, and we’ll be able to help them out.

AMY GOODMAN: Brentin Mock, let’s go to Virginia. Now, Virginia is going to tell us a lot. Democracy Now! begins our broadcast tonight at 7:00 until 1:00 in the morning. That’s Eastern time. We’ll be broadcasting at democracynow.org online, and many public radio and television stations around the country will be running our election special. Seven o’clock is when we start. Seven o’clock is when the polls in Virginia close. Brentin Mock, talk about what’s happening in Virginia, a key swing state.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right, and Virginia mirrors Florida in a lot of different ways, particularly with its felony disenfranchisement law. You know, Virginia joins Florida as one of the states that permanently—permanently disenfranchises anyone who has a felony conviction in their background. And you—that person has to appeal directly to the governor to have their voting rights restored. Also like Florida, there is up to a five-year wait for you to even be able to apply to have your voting rights restored if you have that felony conviction.

But unlike Florida, Virginia didn’t have a early voting period. So, right now in Florida, which we understand—we already know is a much larger state than Virginia, but Virginia is not Rhode Island, by any means. I mean, there are a lot of people in this state who are going to be lined up to vote today. In fact, they’re probably already there at the polls. And we saw five-, six-, seven-hour line waits during—in Florida during early voting periods there. I can imagine what the lines look like here in Virginia, where there’s been absolutely no early voting.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Fairfax County elections board and the man they have spearheading their, well, voting rights laws and how they’re implemented.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right. So, Fairfax County, which is a very important county in this campaign—in this presidential race, so important that Mitt Romney is having his post-election—I hate to call it "party." He’s going to have his post-election event tonight here in Fairfax County. That’s how important it is to the Republican Party.

AMY GOODMAN: Place it for us geographically in Virginia and why it’s so significant.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right, and—well, I’m sorry, what was the question?

AMY GOODMAN: Place it for us, Fairfax County, within Virginia, geographically, and why it’s so significant.

BRENTIN MOCK: In Virginia, right. I mean, it’s a swing county. For the most part, it’s—you know, how Fairfax goes is basically how Virginia will go. And Virginia itself is a swing state. It was important to Obama winning the election in 2008. And Romney, basically, for him to be able to win this year, he’s going to need Virginia and—but, you know, Fairfax is really going to be the weathervane of how Virginia goes.

And here in the election board, the Board of Elections, sits Hans von Spakovsky, who is—who has been the architect of a number of different voter suppression laws. He is a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which is a conservative think tank. [inaudible] He’s a huge proponent of voter ID laws. He’s been a huge promoter of the purging programs that we saw happening in Florida with Governor Rick Scott. In fact, Talking Points Memo reported earlier this year that when Governor Scott was being—Florida’s Governor Rick Scott was being sued because of his purging program, that he began to call on people to help really promote this, to really spin it in the media to make it sound like the purging was a good thing. And one of the—excuse me, one of the main people that he called was Hans von Spakovsky. And so, now Hans von Spakovsky is sitting in the Fairfax County Board of Elections with a huge amount of discretion over which votes will be counted and which will not.

AMY GOODMAN: And his significance, why he should have so much power?

BRENTIN MOCK: I don’t think he should. I mean, I think, you know, a lot of very smart election law experts believe that, you know, these kinds of election boards should be taken out of partisan hands and put into completely independent, nonpartisan, you know, operators.

But right now, we know for a fact that Hans von Spakovsky is by no means a nonpartisan person. He is a very conservative blogger who works with one of the most conservative organizations out there, with the Heritage Foundation. He’s one of the top advisers to True the Vote—one of their most trusted advisers, actually. And he has shared the stage, you know, not only with True the Vote’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, but also with some of the secretaries of states in some of the other battleground states throughout—throughout the nation, such as Colorado’s Secretary of State Scott Gessler. He shared plenty of thoughts and ideas on stage with South Carolina’s attorney general when they were fighting against the Department of Justice to have their voter ID law implemented. I mean, this is a person who, at least for the last 20, 30 years, has done everything in his power to try to restrict voting rights for citizens.

And Jane Mayer in The New Yorker wrote an excellent profile of Hans von Spakovsky to really detail not only the pure partisanship that he engages in, but also the drumming up of the voter-fraud mythology. He has been one of the main trumpeters of this idea that voter fraud exists. And, you know, she categorically debunked basically every single example that he provided where he tried to say that voter fraud had helped swing an elections.

AMY GOODMAN: Myrna Pérez, can you talk about what’s happening in New York and New Jersey? We have this crisis, Superstorm Sandy. In New York, 40,000 residents are displaced. Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey is saying that people will be able to email in their votes. Governor Cuomo has just issued an executive order you can vote anywhere, but that means you can’t vote down ballot. And you can explain what that means. You can vote for president, but not if, you know—if the place you’re going to vote has a state senator you would want to vote for, whatever, where you were living, you can’t then vote in someone else’s district for the state senator there.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right. Well, I mean, I think there are a couple of takeaways. One is, this was an extraordinary circumstance. We had a terrible, terrible storm. Many people were displaced. Many rescue workers can’t be where they’re supposed to be, because they were trying to keep people safe and to put lights on and to make sure that people were found and have the basic necessities. And we saw two governors take creative and unusual measures to try and make sure that people’s fundamental right to vote could still be exercised.

In New York, the governor made it such that certain—certain counties and people, that live in certain areas that were federally declared to be emergency zones, could vote by affidavit ballot anywhere they were at. And, yes, it is the case that they will not be able to vote for what sometimes people call "down-ticket races," and that’s a very practical reason. The ballots are—the ballots are created for the location that they’re at. And I think while there may be some lacking to that, what we do need to take away is that somebody was trying to account for the very unique situation that we’re in and trying to provide a means for voters to be able to participate and to not be shut out.

Now, in New Jersey, they did two things. One of them is getting more press than the other. One of them is the email. That is a—that is something that, in my view, is something that we shouldn’t look at right now as a long-term solution, because there are still technological kinks that need to get locked out, and as—worked out. And as a practical matter, if you don’t have power or you don’t have electricity, the fact that you can email or fax your ballot in is of cold comfort and not likely to be much good to you. But, like New York, there is a provision for people to be able to vote if they are somewhere else, as long as they’re in the state and as long as they’re registered. It is going to have to be provisional. What I do want to tell—

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, interesting on email is that, I mean, if they’re talking about any long-term solution, like people say, "Oh, why don’t we do that all over?" it goes to issues of privacy. People know who’s voting for who.

MYRNA PÉREZ: And it also goes to issues of technological security, and we need to make sure there’s not glitches in computers and that people can have—I mean, it’s something that certainly reformers and advocates—and some advocates look at as a possibility. But, you know, I don’t think we’re there yet as a permanent solution. Maybe one day the facts will change. But we cannot underestimate the importance, though, of the provisional balloting option, because that will not rely on electricity. It will allow people to vote from—

AMY GOODMAN: And that is?

MYRNA PÉREZ: That is, if they are displaced and they are registered to vote, they can cast a provisional ballot where—where that’s closest to them. And like in New York, it will be counted as an operation of state law.

AMY GOODMAN: What’s interesting in New York and New Jersey is they’re not considered swing states. They’re both believed to be voting for Obama. And if many fewer people vote, it sort of goes to this whole question of the Electoral College, the possibility that President Obama could win the Electoral College, which would mean winning the presidency, but not win the popular vote. And this would further that, that there would be fewer people voting.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, I think, as Americans, we should focus less on the horse race than about the voters. I mean, if there are fewer people voting because of a natural disaster, it is appropriate, I think, for the governors to take measures to make sure that more people can vote. And in my view, it doesn’t matter whether or not the elections are close or they’re not. People have a fundamental right to vote. The vote means something to people. Our democracy is more robust, the more people participate. And that’s what these two—these two measures are designed to do, to try and make it such that more people can participate notwithstanding this horrible natural disaster that’s happened.

AMY GOODMAN: Final comments, Brentin, for what people should understand about what’s happening right now? And we hope to have both of you back on tonight at some point during our special broadcast to report on what you’ve found throughout the day.

BRENTIN MOCK: Well, what I would like to do is just, you know, give my highest salute to the voters themselves. Sometimes reporters, such as myself, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do—we’re supposed to report on and expose people who are trying to suppress the vote—but at the same time, voters are not stupid, Americans are not stupid. They are resilient. We have technology at our hands. And people, you know, have been showing in—at these elections, that they are not going to let any obstacles come between them and the vote.

I mean, it’s true, we should not have seven-, eight-hour lines of voting. But the positive thing is that people are actually waiting seven or eight hours to vote, and they’re not letting anything—not True the Vote, not bomb scares, not people not disallowing water to be handed out to them—to stop them from going out to vote. And it’s a true testament not only to the voters, but also to groups like the Brennan Center for Justice, which has been putting out the information proactively and aggressively long before election time came, and also to the Election Protection teams who have been out there willing to help anyone who needed anything. But right now, what we’re seeing is democracy in action.

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, Myrna, on immigrants, a final comment for people who are afraid, you know, that they are absolutely allowed to vote, but what if they could be investigated? Their fear that someone in their family could be deported, the whole questioning of immigrants and their rights to vote?

MYRNA PÉREZ: OK. If someone is an eligible American and they are registered to vote and they have not been disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction or a mental adjudication, they have the right to vote. If someone is attempting to suppress that, there are people that will help you. Call 866-OUR-VOTE, report it. We will—we will do our best to counter the information. We will make sure that the election officials know about what’s going on. We will put media scrutiny on the issue. Every eligible American that is registered should participate.

AMY GOODMAN: And on the issue of prisoners in the states and ex-convicts, felons, the varying laws across the country.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Mm-hmm.

AMY GOODMAN: I remember speaking to a friend a while ago. When I said, "Are you going out to vote today?" he said, "I can’t." And he talked about the state he was in, and he said he’s never been able to vote. And I looked it up, and he was actually able to vote.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right, right.

AMY GOODMAN: And people do not know, because these laws vary from state to state.

MYRNA PÉREZ: That’s exactly right. The first time I was on your show, it was about that. We are a patchwork when it comes to how our state laws disenfranchise persons with criminal convictions. We have some states, like Maine and Vermont, where you never lose your right to vote.

AMY GOODMAN: You can vote from prison.

MYRNA PÉREZ: You can vote even from prison. You can vote from prison. And one of the problems that happens when you have this patchwork is that there’s misinformation. People don’t understand, you know, what the rules are in their state. And one—

AMY GOODMAN: The states where you never, ever can vote again?

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, when there’s bright lines, that tends to be easier. Maine and Vermont, they tend to have not trouble, because they know that, you know. Kentucky and Virginia, they tend to know—they tend to be OK, because they know where the bright lines are. What you have—when you have the most problems are states like New York, where you can vote if you are on probation, but not if you’re on parole.

And one of the things that is really important is that people not disenfranchise themselves because they don’t understand the state law, because what frequently happens is somebody will have bad information, and then they’ll tell their cousin, and then they’ll tell their girlfriend, and then they’ll tell their girlfriend’s best friend, and then you have these entire communities being misinformed about what their rights are.

AMY GOODMAN: So what do you do?

MYRNA PÉREZ: You can call 866-OUR-VOTE, and we can let you know what the state law is. But you should do that before election time. You should look up what your state rules are. If you are eligible to vote, you should register to vote. There are people that can walk you through the process.

AMY GOODMAN: And you have to re-register if you were imprisoned? And—

MYRNA PÉREZ: It depends. It depends on the state. That’s a—

AMY GOODMAN: So you should just call.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Yeah, it’s a complicated issue that has to deal with what their list maintenance procedure is, and there’s no one right side.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us. Myrna Pérez is senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, part of the Election Protection Coalition’s voter support hotline. Their number, 866-OUR-VOTE. And thank you so much to Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. We’ll link to your latestarticle, and we hope to speak to you both tonight to get the latest at the end of this historic day. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

 

AMY GOODMAN: This is Election Day 2012. Let’s go to a comment from a former top adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona’s 2008 presidential campaign. Appearing on MSNBC on Monday, Steve Schmidt dismissed concerns of ineligible voters casting ballots and said Republican-backed voter ID laws are based on mythology.

STEVE SCHMIDT: Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, is you want everybody who’s eligible to vote to vote. And that’s how you want to win elections. And so, I think that all of this stuff that has transpired over the last two years is in search of a solution to a problem—voting fraud—that doesn’t really exist when you look deeply at the question. But it’s now part of a—

CHUCK TODD: Have you ever felt like you lost an election on voter fraud?

STEVE SCHMIDT: It’s part of the—part of the mythology now in the Republican Party that there’s widespread voter fraud all across the country. In fact, there’s not. But both sides are lawyered up to the nth degree, and they’ll all posture back and forth on it, but it probably won’t come down to the lawyers.

AMY GOODMAN: Again, that’s Steve Schmidt, who was the senior adviser to Senator John McCain when he was running for president.

Again, we are joined by Myrna Pérez. She is senior counsel at the Brennan Center in the Democracy Program at New York University School of Law. And we’re also joined by Brentin Mock. Brentin Mock is the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, which is a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com.

Myrna Pérez, Steve Schmidt’s comment. He is a top Republican strategist, though I’m beginning to wonder if he’s going to switch his party affiliation, listening to him these days.

MYRNA PÉREZ: It’s certainly the case that there is no dispute that our election system needs to be free and fair and full of integrity. The dispute is over what means people are going to take in order to ensure that and how many people are going to be disenfranchised in the process. And the evidence documents that the kinds of restrictive laws that are being passed do not do anything to make—or do very little, if anything at all, to make our elections more secure. But what they do do is make it very difficult for eligible Americans to participate and to vote.

And the question that we, as Americans, have to ask ourselves is, how many barriers are we going to put in front of the ballot box between eligible Americans and their fundamental right? And we need to make sure that we are not the victims of manipulation by partisans who want to rig the rules of the game such that they can be making the decisions as to who gets to participate and who doesn’t.

One of the examples that I like to use is the Texas photo identification requirement that is not going to be in place. The list of acceptable ID was created with such like target precision that there was a decision made that if you had a University of Texas ID, you couldn’t use that to vote, but if you had a concealed gun license, you could. That’s a specific kind of targeting of certain voters to make sure that some people have a voice, and those voices that politicians don’t want to hear from—

AMY GOODMAN: But wouldn’t that be struck down by a court immediately?

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, the court—the court did block the implementation of this, so it’s not going to be in place. But I think the—

AMY GOODMAN: But that’s not striking it down; it’s just delaying implementation.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right now it cannot be implemented. It was challenged under the Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, of the preclearance provision. And it had—did not—the state did not meet its burden that it was not going to make minority and poor voters worse off. So that is not a law that people have to worry about in Texas.

But you raise a very, very important point. There was so much back-and-forth of this, right up to the wire, that there’s great confusion in Texas over what the ID requirements are. We’re already getting reports that people during early voting are being asked for identification that is not required. The voter registration cards that the state sends out are misleading and suggest that the photo identification law, this stringent law that is not in place, is actually in place.

And we see examples of like that, of the voter confusion happening in a number of instances, also in Pennsylvania. Even though the law will not be in place, we saw two websites in the county, you know, still have the old information when the law was active. And that’s why it’s really important, when voters are unsure or hear something that does not feel right, they need to call 866-OUR-VOTE, where we have up-to-date information, and we’ll be able to help them out.

AMY GOODMAN: Brentin Mock, let’s go to Virginia. Now, Virginia is going to tell us a lot. Democracy Now! begins our broadcast tonight at 7:00 until 1:00 in the morning. That’s Eastern time. We’ll be broadcasting at democracynow.org online, and many public radio and television stations around the country will be running our election special. Seven o’clock is when we start. Seven o’clock is when the polls in Virginia close. Brentin Mock, talk about what’s happening in Virginia, a key swing state.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right, and Virginia mirrors Florida in a lot of different ways, particularly with its felony disenfranchisement law. You know, Virginia joins Florida as one of the states that permanently—permanently disenfranchises anyone who has a felony conviction in their background. And you—that person has to appeal directly to the governor to have their voting rights restored. Also like Florida, there is up to a five-year wait for you to even be able to apply to have your voting rights restored if you have that felony conviction.

But unlike Florida, Virginia didn’t have a early voting period. So, right now in Florida, which we understand—we already know is a much larger state than Virginia, but Virginia is not Rhode Island, by any means. I mean, there are a lot of people in this state who are going to be lined up to vote today. In fact, they’re probably already there at the polls. And we saw five-, six-, seven-hour line waits during—in Florida during early voting periods there. I can imagine what the lines look like here in Virginia, where there’s been absolutely no early voting.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about Fairfax County elections board and the man they have spearheading their, well, voting rights laws and how they’re implemented.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right. So, Fairfax County, which is a very important county in this campaign—in this presidential race, so important that Mitt Romney is having his post-election—I hate to call it "party." He’s going to have his post-election event tonight here in Fairfax County. That’s how important it is to the Republican Party.

AMY GOODMAN: Place it for us geographically in Virginia and why it’s so significant.

BRENTIN MOCK: Right, and—well, I’m sorry, what was the question?

AMY GOODMAN: Place it for us, Fairfax County, within Virginia, geographically, and why it’s so significant.

BRENTIN MOCK: In Virginia, right. I mean, it’s a swing county. For the most part, it’s—you know, how Fairfax goes is basically how Virginia will go. And Virginia itself is a swing state. It was important to Obama winning the election in 2008. And Romney, basically, for him to be able to win this year, he’s going to need Virginia and—but, you know, Fairfax is really going to be the weathervane of how Virginia goes.

And here in the election board, the Board of Elections, sits Hans von Spakovsky, who is—who has been the architect of a number of different voter suppression laws. He is a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which is a conservative think tank. [inaudible] He’s a huge proponent of voter ID laws. He’s been a huge promoter of the purging programs that we saw happening in Florida with Governor Rick Scott. In fact, Talking Points Memo reported earlier this year that when Governor Scott was being—Florida’s Governor Rick Scott was being sued because of his purging program, that he began to call on people to help really promote this, to really spin it in the media to make it sound like the purging was a good thing. And one of the—excuse me, one of the main people that he called was Hans von Spakovsky. And so, now Hans von Spakovsky is sitting in the Fairfax County Board of Elections with a huge amount of discretion over which votes will be counted and which will not.

AMY GOODMAN: And his significance, why he should have so much power?

BRENTIN MOCK: I don’t think he should. I mean, I think, you know, a lot of very smart election law experts believe that, you know, these kinds of election boards should be taken out of partisan hands and put into completely independent, nonpartisan, you know, operators.

But right now, we know for a fact that Hans von Spakovsky is by no means a nonpartisan person. He is a very conservative blogger who works with one of the most conservative organizations out there, with the Heritage Foundation. He’s one of the top advisers to True the Vote—one of their most trusted advisers, actually. And he has shared the stage, you know, not only with True the Vote’s founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, but also with some of the secretaries of states in some of the other battleground states throughout—throughout the nation, such as Colorado’s Secretary of State Scott Gessler. He shared plenty of thoughts and ideas on stage with South Carolina’s attorney general when they were fighting against the Department of Justice to have their voter ID law implemented. I mean, this is a person who, at least for the last 20, 30 years, has done everything in his power to try to restrict voting rights for citizens.

And Jane Mayer in The New Yorker wrote an excellent profile of Hans von Spakovsky to really detail not only the pure partisanship that he engages in, but also the drumming up of the voter-fraud mythology. He has been one of the main trumpeters of this idea that voter fraud exists. And, you know, she categorically debunked basically every single example that he provided where he tried to say that voter fraud had helped swing an elections.

AMY GOODMAN: Myrna Pérez, can you talk about what’s happening in New York and New Jersey? We have this crisis, Superstorm Sandy. In New York, 40,000 residents are displaced. Governor Chris Christie in New Jersey is saying that people will be able to email in their votes. Governor Cuomo has just issued an executive order you can vote anywhere, but that means you can’t vote down ballot. And you can explain what that means. You can vote for president, but not if, you know—if the place you’re going to vote has a state senator you would want to vote for, whatever, where you were living, you can’t then vote in someone else’s district for the state senator there.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right. Well, I mean, I think there are a couple of takeaways. One is, this was an extraordinary circumstance. We had a terrible, terrible storm. Many people were displaced. Many rescue workers can’t be where they’re supposed to be, because they were trying to keep people safe and to put lights on and to make sure that people were found and have the basic necessities. And we saw two governors take creative and unusual measures to try and make sure that people’s fundamental right to vote could still be exercised.

In New York, the governor made it such that certain—certain counties and people, that live in certain areas that were federally declared to be emergency zones, could vote by affidavit ballot anywhere they were at. And, yes, it is the case that they will not be able to vote for what sometimes people call "down-ticket races," and that’s a very practical reason. The ballots are—the ballots are created for the location that they’re at. And I think while there may be some lacking to that, what we do need to take away is that somebody was trying to account for the very unique situation that we’re in and trying to provide a means for voters to be able to participate and to not be shut out.

Now, in New Jersey, they did two things. One of them is getting more press than the other. One of them is the email. That is a—that is something that, in my view, is something that we shouldn’t look at right now as a long-term solution, because there are still technological kinks that need to get locked out, and as—worked out. And as a practical matter, if you don’t have power or you don’t have electricity, the fact that you can email or fax your ballot in is of cold comfort and not likely to be much good to you. But, like New York, there is a provision for people to be able to vote if they are somewhere else, as long as they’re in the state and as long as they’re registered. It is going to have to be provisional. What I do want to tell—

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, interesting on email is that, I mean, if they’re talking about any long-term solution, like people say, "Oh, why don’t we do that all over?" it goes to issues of privacy. People know who’s voting for who.

MYRNA PÉREZ: And it also goes to issues of technological security, and we need to make sure there’s not glitches in computers and that people can have—I mean, it’s something that certainly reformers and advocates—and some advocates look at as a possibility. But, you know, I don’t think we’re there yet as a permanent solution. Maybe one day the facts will change. But we cannot underestimate the importance, though, of the provisional balloting option, because that will not rely on electricity. It will allow people to vote from—

AMY GOODMAN: And that is?

MYRNA PÉREZ: That is, if they are displaced and they are registered to vote, they can cast a provisional ballot where—where that’s closest to them. And like in New York, it will be counted as an operation of state law.

AMY GOODMAN: What’s interesting in New York and New Jersey is they’re not considered swing states. They’re both believed to be voting for Obama. And if many fewer people vote, it sort of goes to this whole question of the Electoral College, the possibility that President Obama could win the Electoral College, which would mean winning the presidency, but not win the popular vote. And this would further that, that there would be fewer people voting.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, I think, as Americans, we should focus less on the horse race than about the voters. I mean, if there are fewer people voting because of a natural disaster, it is appropriate, I think, for the governors to take measures to make sure that more people can vote. And in my view, it doesn’t matter whether or not the elections are close or they’re not. People have a fundamental right to vote. The vote means something to people. Our democracy is more robust, the more people participate. And that’s what these two—these two measures are designed to do, to try and make it such that more people can participate notwithstanding this horrible natural disaster that’s happened.

AMY GOODMAN: Final comments, Brentin, for what people should understand about what’s happening right now? And we hope to have both of you back on tonight at some point during our special broadcast to report on what you’ve found throughout the day.

BRENTIN MOCK: Well, what I would like to do is just, you know, give my highest salute to the voters themselves. Sometimes reporters, such as myself, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do—we’re supposed to report on and expose people who are trying to suppress the vote—but at the same time, voters are not stupid, Americans are not stupid. They are resilient. We have technology at our hands. And people, you know, have been showing in—at these elections, that they are not going to let any obstacles come between them and the vote.

I mean, it’s true, we should not have seven-, eight-hour lines of voting. But the positive thing is that people are actually waiting seven or eight hours to vote, and they’re not letting anything—not True the Vote, not bomb scares, not people not disallowing water to be handed out to them—to stop them from going out to vote. And it’s a true testament not only to the voters, but also to groups like the Brennan Center for Justice, which has been putting out the information proactively and aggressively long before election time came, and also to the Election Protection teams who have been out there willing to help anyone who needed anything. But right now, what we’re seeing is democracy in action.

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly, Myrna, on immigrants, a final comment for people who are afraid, you know, that they are absolutely allowed to vote, but what if they could be investigated? Their fear that someone in their family could be deported, the whole questioning of immigrants and their rights to vote?

MYRNA PÉREZ: OK. If someone is an eligible American and they are registered to vote and they have not been disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction or a mental adjudication, they have the right to vote. If someone is attempting to suppress that, there are people that will help you. Call 866-OUR-VOTE, report it. We will—we will do our best to counter the information. We will make sure that the election officials know about what’s going on. We will put media scrutiny on the issue. Every eligible American that is registered should participate.

AMY GOODMAN: And on the issue of prisoners in the states and ex-convicts, felons, the varying laws across the country.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Mm-hmm.

AMY GOODMAN: I remember speaking to a friend a while ago. When I said, "Are you going out to vote today?" he said, "I can’t." And he talked about the state he was in, and he said he’s never been able to vote. And I looked it up, and he was actually able to vote.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Right, right.

AMY GOODMAN: And people do not know, because these laws vary from state to state.

MYRNA PÉREZ: That’s exactly right. The first time I was on your show, it was about that. We are a patchwork when it comes to how our state laws disenfranchise persons with criminal convictions. We have some states, like Maine and Vermont, where you never lose your right to vote.

AMY GOODMAN: You can vote from prison.

MYRNA PÉREZ: You can vote even from prison. You can vote from prison. And one of the problems that happens when you have this patchwork is that there’s misinformation. People don’t understand, you know, what the rules are in their state. And one—

AMY GOODMAN: The states where you never, ever can vote again?

MYRNA PÉREZ: Well, when there’s bright lines, that tends to be easier. Maine and Vermont, they tend to have not trouble, because they know that, you know. Kentucky and Virginia, they tend to know—they tend to be OK, because they know where the bright lines are. What you have—when you have the most problems are states like New York, where you can vote if you are on probation, but not if you’re on parole.

And one of the things that is really important is that people not disenfranchise themselves because they don’t understand the state law, because what frequently happens is somebody will have bad information, and then they’ll tell their cousin, and then they’ll tell their girlfriend, and then they’ll tell their girlfriend’s best friend, and then you have these entire communities being misinformed about what their rights are.

AMY GOODMAN: So what do you do?

MYRNA PÉREZ: You can call 866-OUR-VOTE, and we can let you know what the state law is. But you should do that before election time. You should look up what your state rules are. If you are eligible to vote, you should register to vote. There are people that can walk you through the process.

AMY GOODMAN: And you have to re-register if you were imprisoned? And—

MYRNA PÉREZ: It depends. It depends on the state. That’s a—

AMY GOODMAN: So you should just call.

MYRNA PÉREZ: Yeah, it’s a complicated issue that has to deal with what their list maintenance procedure is, and there’s no one right side.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us. Myrna Pérez is senior counsel in the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, part of the Election Protection Coalition’s voter support hotline. Their number, 866-OUR-VOTE. And thank you so much to Brentin Mock, lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. We’ll link to your latestarticle, and we hope to speak to you both tonight to get the latest at the end of this historic day. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. Back in a minute.

Headlines

  • Election Day Outcome Rests on Battleground Vote
  • Obama: "You’ve Seen Me Fight" for Change
  • Romney: Obama Has Failed to Deliver on Promise of Change
  • NY, NJ Widen Voting Options in Post-Sandy Recovery
  • HUD Halts Some Foreclosures in Storm-Hit Areas

Stories

In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked "True the Vote" Challenges Voters at the Polls

Election (Suppression) Day 2012: From ID to Intimidation, How to Protect Your Rights at the Polls

In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots

http://www.democracynow.org./2012/11/6/in_ohio_african_american_turnout_threatened

In Ohio, African-American Turnout Threatened by Reduced Early Voting and Faulty Ballots

As in all recent elections, Ohio again is a crucial state to win for either presidential candidate. And once again, Ohio is at the center of charges of systematic suppression of the African-American vote. In a report for Democracy Now!, investigative reporter Greg Palast discovers that some early voters in the Buckeye State have received the wrong ballots. Palast is the author of "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps." [includes rush transcript]

Filed under  Election 2012, 2012 Election, Greg Palast

Guest: Greg Palast, Greg Palast is an investigative reporter who has tracked Romney’s "vulture" fund partners for five years for BBC Television’sNewsnight. He is the author of the recently released New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

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  • Election (Suppression) Day 2012: From ID to Intimidation, How to Protect Your Rights at the Polls Nov 06, 2012 | Story
  • In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked "True the Vote" Challenges Voters at the Polls Nov 06, 2012 | Story
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  • Third Party Candidates Join in Real Time on Democracy Now!’s Live Coverage of Presidential Debate Sep 28, 2012 | Web Exclusive

Editors Picks

  • Rep. John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon, on the Struggle to Win–and Now Protect–Voting Rights in U.S. Sep 03, 2012 | Story
  • Greg Palast on Vote Rigging and Suppression Ahead of the 2008 Election Oct 09, 2008 | Story

Rush Transcript: This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution

AMY GOODMAN: As in all recent elections, Ohio is a crucial state to win for either presidential candidate. Once again, Ohio is at the center of charges of systematic suppression of the African-American vote. Investigative reporter Greg Palast discovered that some early voters in the Buckeye State received the wrong ballots. He filed this report for Democracy Now!

GREG PALAST: Hallelujah! Finally, it’s Election Day in Ohio. Union workers and rural evangelicals are on the road driving to the polls. Ohio will probably pick our president today, Tuesday, but Democrats hope the election was decided on Sunday.

This is Greg Palast reporting. Here, in the economically wounded heart of Dayton, Ohio, I’m going to church, because Sunday is "Souls to the Polls" day.

Today is Souls to the Polls day?

GIRL: Yes.

GREG PALAST: Souls to the Polls day, when thousands of African Americans in Ohio will go from Sunday church to vote early. While most other Ohioans will vote on Tuesday, the clear majority of black folk in Ohio will vote early. This is the Freedom Faith Missionary Baptist Church, and they will load into the church van to take their singing souls to the polls. Terra Williams, a church member and leader of the Souls to the Polls movement, explains why African Americans vote on Sunday.

TERRA WILLIAMS: Well, because typically on Election Day, everyone works. Particularly, most African Americans are probably working two or three jobs, and it’s harder for them to get off that particular day. So, early voting hours for our community was very essential, especially weekend voting hours, because that gives us a time to get out and vote. Most of—most individuals are off on the weekends. And so, for us, in our community, it’s easier for us to vote early on the weekends.

GREG PALAST: We drive behind the church group to downtown Dayton, to the early voting station. And here’s what we found: a line of nearly 1,000 voters snaking out of the state building and out into the parking lot. What happened? The Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted cut black church day voting from four Sundays to just one, and just for four hours, and at just one polling place for all of Dayton, all of Montgomery County.

So, do you think that this is a good way to do it, where they just have one polling place for early voting?

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 1: Well, that’s probably not a good way, but that’s the way it is now. So, we work with it.

GREG PALAST: You know, it could be an hour or two in line. Are you up to it?

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 1: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

GREG PALAST: Can I ask who you’re going to vote for?

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 1: No.

GREG PALAST: After hours of wait, voters were herded into this auditorium, where they were treated to a slide show. The government crowed that on Tuesday, the day when most whites vote, there will be 176 polling locations. Finally, 10 by 10, groups of voters were sent to get their ballots. But wait, these weren’t ballots. These were applications for absentee ballots. What’s going on here? Absentee ballots are not at all the same as a regular ballot. In U.S. elections, between one and three million absentee ballots are rejected by voting officials, effectively thrown in the garbage. Voting on an absentee ballot is like playing bingo with your vote.

ELECTION OFFICIAL: Number 175. Number 175 and under can head up the steps. Stay to the left as you exit, 175 and under.

GREG PALAST: But to reassure voters—or to fool them—this big notice was projected on the giant screen. "Early voting equals absentee voting." Oh, no, it doesn’t. Not according to voting rights attorney Robert Fitrakis, professor at Columbus State University. I show the professor the absentee ballot form handed out at early voting and ask if this was legitimate or a common practice.

ROBERT FITRAKIS: Absolutely uncommon. And I would suspect it’s either done out of incompetence for convenience or to defraud people of their vote. As you can see, on this form, you have to fill it out. And the secretary of state, Jon Husted, has come up with the notion that if you leave anything blank, even though it’s irrelevant, your absentee ballot can be tossed.

GREG PALAST: So, in other words, these voters could lose their votes.

ROBERT FITRAKIS: Absolutely. Jon Husted, as the Republican secretary of state, really has decided that he’s going to deliver for the Republican Party, that the only way they can win is by throwing as many people as they can off the registration rolls and making it as inconvenient and difficult as possible to vote, particularly during early voting. It’s outrageous! It’s a systematic attempt to eliminate the hardcore base of the Democratic Party. And they’re getting away with it.

GREG PALAST: When you say the "hardcore base," is there a racial element?

ROBERT FITRAKIS: Oh, absolutely. It’s the new Jim Crow.

GREG PALAST: Back at the early voting station, we asked our souls from Missionary Baptist how they did at the polls.

UNIDENTIFIED: How did your voting go, guys?

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 2: It went great. Thank you very much.

UNIDENTIFIED: Thank you to you, too.

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 2: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED: Did it all went—did it all go smooth for you guys?

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 2: Yes, it did.

UNIDENTIFIED: Beautiful.

DAYTON EARLY VOTER 2: All right. Bye. Bye-bye.

GREG PALAST: I didn’t have the heart to tell them, those ballots may never get counted. This is Greg Palast in Ohio at early voting—or early voting suppression—for Democracy Now!

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Greg Palast, author of the New York Times bestseller, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. He will be joining us live from Ohio tonight for our special election broadcast from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. You can tune in on television, radio, watch a live video stream online at democracynow.org. Democracy Now! will be looking at claims of voter intimidation and harassment. If you have photos and video, we’ll be following the hashtag #dnvote, #dnvote. Check our website for details, democracynow.org.









God Help America and God Help the World


Thank you so much for this amazing true account of why Obama is in the White House
I  knew from the very beginning it was too good to be true for Americana and the world when Obama won by a land slid. I said to myself, that with such little money behind the of only a few million dollars spent, McCain's feeble attempt at becoming presidend of the USA just a few million was spent and all the main stream media owned by the Rothschilds which was always behind Barrack Obama, There is no doubt that Obama was the chosen one
George Kleck Editor of the INL News Group 

The Great American  Novel
The Definition of Real Power:
Possessing a large bank of experienced important knowledge and information...along with an open minded caring attitude to everyone of your fellow human beings on planet earth ...backed up with the ability of being able to communicate such important knowledge and information to the world at the click of a mouse...Author Stephen Carew-Reid (1950-2010)

The first volume of The Triumph of Truth (whi Is Watching The Watchers?) written by author Stephen Carew-Reid published by the Australian Weekend News in the late 1980's to expose corruption he had been fighting for over a decade in the legal, political, judicial, police, prosecution, prison, public trustee and business world in Western Australia.... www.whoiswatchin gthewatchers.com/

Author of The series of Volumes The Triumph of Truth (Who Is Watching The Watchers?) Stephen Carew-Reid (1950 -2010) was assassinated on the 21st of January, 2010 by the owners of ruler of Planet Earth. Lord Jacob Rothschild for daring to expose in his nineth volume of his books The Triumph of of Truth ( Who Is watching The Watchers?),  Lord Jacob Rothschild's evil and insane plan to turn planet earth into a New World Order, which just has One Ruler, One Bank and One Army where every man, women and child on Planet Earth has a Radio Controlled RIFD Chip implanted in their arm which has all the worlds money controlled on it and also hold everyone person privates details about their whole life from the day they are born and monitored ansd frecords evry seond on their life and movements, which Lord Jacob Rothschild has named his
"Brave New World"

Barack Obama Rothschild's Choice for President of America wins again

in the 2012 USA Presidential Elections: 
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He's being called "Messiah," "World Teacher," "Pharaoh," "Savior," and even "God." But Barack Obama is best described in two words: "Rothschild's Choice.


clearly intended to promote the same idea—one more example of Rothschild's mind-bending psychological control techniques.
Barack Obama will go down in history as America’s first Russian Jewish President."  Abner Mikva (Jew)
Former White House Counsel, Clinton Administration (Chicago Tribune, Dec. 12, 2008)
With Rothschilds help Russia has finally taken over the United states of America with the people of America welcoming him with open arms because of their hatred for the terror reign under USA Presidents like George Bush Senior and Junior, Bill Clinton for the 100 years who were also  Rothschilds Choices... the brilliant and  clever marketing strategy.... make life hell for the American people under the most unpopular USA President in History and who ever you put as president of the United States of America the people of America and the rest of the world will bless that person in the short term .... until they realise who he actually works for and why his has been allowed to become the President of the United States of American by the real true owner and ruler of Plant Earth.... our Lord and Master Lord Jacob Rothschild
http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html

Adolph Hitler, the son of a Rothschild, Rothschilds Choice and publicly popular at the time for the Head of Nazi Germany 
who was mothered by the Rothschild's live in made, who was also a Rothschild's chose to be appointed the head of Nazi Germany to manage the  Rothschild Murder Camps in Nazi Germany during the Second world War, where over ten million poor Jews and low level Freemason were murdered by poisoning them in large ovens filled with the poisoness gas Zyclon B, which was originally developed to kill insects not human beings. The reality  these Rothschild Death Camps as they have become known in history books were actually for the real purpose to use live men, women and children for medical experiments such as  mind control , the effects on human being when injected with different tyles of drugs and poisons and other experiments the way rats are used by scientists to test all sorts of new drugs and other medical experiements
.  http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html
Did Adolf Hitler once live in Liverpool?
20 April 1937 (48th Birthday)

Was Liverpool once th ehome of Adolf Hitler? The claim was made by th elater Bridget Hitler, the Irish woman,who married Adolf Hitler's half brother, Alois. As  Bridget Hitler told in her memoirs,  'A
dolf arrived at Liverpool's Lime Street Station in November, 1912. The 23-year-old nascent Nazi, who was an impoverished artist and dodging militiay service in his native Austria, settled for about six months in Bridget and Alois's three room flat at 102 Upper Stanhope Street in Toxteth, Liverpool, Adolf had a full handlebar mustache and was keen on maps, astrology, and Germany's rightful position in the world'.
Bridget claimed that Adolf not only wandered around Liverpool, but visited London with Alois:' Adolf was enchanted by the Tower Bridge, and they bribed their way into the engine room to see the immense machinery in motion'. But the future Fuhrer's Scouse sojourn is uncorroborated by other sources, and hstorians believe Adolf was safely tucked up in a men's hostel in Vienna at the time. The Luthwarffe finished off 102 Upper Stanhope Street in Toxteth, Liverpool, during a bombing raid in 1942.

Please see video of  I'm In Love with Hitler Part One at  http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html
 Please see video of I'm In love with Hitler Part Two at  http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html


Photos of the Death Camps in Nazi Germany during the second world war taken from the Film 
  I'm in Love With Hitler
http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html

    Adoph Hitler seen palying with young children 
" just a ordinary loving family guy" 
taken from the film I'm In Love With Hitler

http://www.inlnews.com/AdolfHitler_EvaBrownFilm.html
Adolf Hitler (German pronunciation: ['ad?lf 'h?tl?], 20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (GermanNationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, abbreviated NSDAP), popularly known as the Nazi Party. He was the totalitarian leader of Germany from 1933 to 1945, serving aschancellor from 1933 to 1945 and as head of state (Führer und Reichskanzler) from 1934 to 1945.
A decorated veteran of World War I, Hitler joined the Nazi Party (DAP) in 1919 and became leader of NSDAP in 1921. Following his imprisonment after a failed coup in Bavaria in 1923, he gained support by promoting German nationalismanti-semitismanti-capitalism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. He was appointed chancellor in 1933, and quickly transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarianand autocratic ideals of national socialism.
Hitler ultimately wanted to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe. To achieve this, he pursued aforeign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum "living space" for the Aryan people; directing the resources of the state towards this goal. This included the rearmament of Germany, which culminated in 1939 when the Wehrmacht invaded Poland. In response, the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany, leading to the outbreak of the Second World War in Europe.
 Adolf Hitler's Early Years
Ancestry
Hitler's fraudulently claimed father, Alois Hitler, to cover up the fact that Adolph Hitler's real father was a Rothchild, was an illegitimate child and, for the first 39 years of his life, bore his mother's surname, Schicklgruber. Alois’ paternity was not listed on his birth certificate, and has been the subject of much controversy. After receiving a "blackmail letter" from Hitler's nephew William Patrick Hitler threatening to reveal embarrassing information about Hitler's family tree, Nazi Party lawyerHans Frank investigated, and, in his memoirs, claimed to have uncovered letters that revealed Ms. Schicklgruber was employed as a housekeeper for a Jewish family in Graz and that the family’s nineteen-year-old son, Leopold Frankenberger, fathered Alois.  No evidence has ever been produced to support Frank's claim, and Frank himself said Hitler's full Aryan blood was obvious. Frank's claims were widely believed in the 1950s, but by the 1990s, were generally doubted by historians. Ian Kershaw dismisses the Frankenberger story as a "smear" by Hitler's enemies, noting that all Jews had been expelled from Graz in the 15th century and were not allowed to return until well after Alois was born. (For more, see Leopold Frankenberger.)
In 1876, Alois took the surname of his stepfather, Johann Georg Hiedler. The name was spelled HiedlerHüttlerHuettler and Hitler, and was probably regularized to Hitler by a clerk. The origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Hütte), "shepherd" (Standard German hüten "to guard", English heed), or is from the Slavic word Hidlar and Hidlarcek. (Regarding the first two theories: some German dialects make little or no distinction between the ü-sound and the i-sound.)

Childhood

Adolf Hitler as an infant.

Adolf Hitler was born at the Gasthof zum Pommer, an inn in Braunau am InnAustria–Hungary, fraudulenty claim to be the fourth of Alois and Klara Hitler's six children, to cover up the fact that Adolph Hitler was really the son of a Rothschild who had an affair with one of the Rothschild's live in made,
At the age of three, his family moved to Kapuzinerstrasse 5  in Passau, Germany where the young Hitler would acquire Lower Bavarian rather than Austrian as his lifelong native dialect.  In 1894 the family moved to Leonding near Linz, then in June 1895, Alois retired to a small landholding at Hafeld nearLambach, where he tried his hand at farming and beekeeping. During this time, the young Hitler attended school in nearby Fischlham. He was a happy, carefree child who tirelessly played "Cowboys and Indians" and, by his own account, became fixated on war after finding a picture book about the Franco-Prussian War in his father's things. He wrote in Mein Kampf: "It was not long before the great historic struggle had become my greatest spiritual experience. From then on, I became more and more enthusiastic about everything that was in any way connected with war or, for that matter, with soldiering."
His father's efforts at Hafeld ended in failure and the family moved to Lambach in 1897. There, Hitler attended a Catholic school located in an 11th-century Benedictine cloister whose walls were engraved in a number of places with crests containing the symbol of the swastika.  In 1898, the family returned permanently to Leonding.
His younger brother Edmund died of measles on 2 February 1900, causing permanent changes in Hitler. He went from a confident, outgoing boy who found school easy, to a morose, detached, sullen boy who constantly battled his father and his teachers.
Hitler was close to his mother, but had a troubled relationship with his tradition-minded authoritarian father, who frequently beat him, especially in the years after Alois's retirement and disappointed farming efforts. Alois wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as an Austrian customs official, and this became a huge source of conflict between them.  Despite his son's pleas to go to classical high school and become an artist, his father would not budge and sent him to the technical high school in the city of Linz in September 1900. Hitler rebelled, and, in Mein Kampf confessed to failing his first year in hopes that once his father saw "what little progress I was making at the technical school he would let me devote myself to the happiness I dreamed of." But Alois never relented and Hitler became even more bitter and rebellious.
For young Hitler, German Nationalism quickly became an obsession, and a way to rebel against his father, who proudly served theAustrian government. Most people that lived along the German-Austrian border considered themselves German-Austrians, but Hitler expressed loyalty only to Germany. In defiance of the Austrian Monarchy, and his father who continually expressed loyalty to it, Hitler and his young friends liked to use the German greeting, "Heil," and sing the German anthem "Deutschland Über Alles," instead of theAustrian Imperial anthem.
After Alois' sudden death on 3 January 1903, Hitler's behavior at the technical school became even more disruptive, and he was asked to leave. He enrolled at the Realschule in Steyr in 1904, but upon completing his second year, he and his friends went out for a night of celebration and drinking, and an intoxicated Hitler tore his school certificate into four pieces and used it as toilet paper. When someone turned the stained certificate in to the school's director, he “... gave him such a dressing-down that the boy was reduced to shivering jelly. It was probably the most painful and humiliating experience of his life.” Adolph Hitler was expelled, and never to return to school again.
Hitler became a Christian at age 15. He was confirmed on Whitsunday, 22 May 1904 at the Linz Cathedral.  His sponsor was Emanuel Lugert, a friend of his late father.
 
 

Rothschild's Choice for President of the United States.
Frank Marshall Davis, notorious official of the Communist Party U.S.A., who became Obama's mentor and father figure. Davis, a bisexual into kinky group sex and other deviate acts, admired the "achievements" of Lenin and Trots

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Evelyn Rothschild shows off some of the family's fabulous wealth in the form of gold bars.
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 In many of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign offices, his campaign workers displayed pictures and posters of Cuban Communist revolutionary Ché Guevara and Barack Obama side-by-side. 
The Master and His over £100,000 Trillion wealth which amounts to about three quaters of the wealth of the whole of planet earth, which comprises of:
land, gold, silver, Uranium and other precious commodities, energy resources such as oil, food production and distribution, London City through whuich he controls Brutain absolutely with the British Prime Ministers his personal servants whon have been described by David Ike as "Gofers for Lord Jabob Rothschild" , Washington City through which he control the USA, Vatican City through which he controls the Popea nd teh Catholic church ever since he saved the Cathloc Church from bankruptcy and allowed him to take over, The World Bank, the Bank of International Settlement which is in efeftc the one world bank controlling all other central banks. the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), intelligence organisations such as the CIA, MI5, Mosaad, every country's  central banks in the world except five countries which are Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba and Libya.
There are now only 5 nations on the world left without a Rothschild controlled central bank: Iran; North Korea; Sudan; Cuba; and Libya.
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Lord Jacob Rothschild and his luxurious estate. Waddesdon Manor, from where he sends instructions to associates like Obama who oversee America's deconstruction.

The real hidden  reason for Michael Jackson's murder was because he was one of the original motivators of the making of the film the Great American Novel and took part in the making of the film The Great American Novel ...Michael Jackson actually become part of the Illuminated Inner Circle of the Secret Societies Groups and Organisations that already run the American Union, Britain, The European Union, the African Union and soon to be the Asian Union ..... who are determined to include the whole world to be under their control by the 21st December, 2012 .... however, when the actual details of the final plan that these evil criminally insane people have been working on for the last 300 years was revielled to Michael Jackson as an Illuminated Inner Circle Member, to have  their "New World Order", they are calling "The Brave New World"  with One Ruler, One Bank and One Army ... in a world were every man woman and child on plant earth will have a RDIF Radio Micro Chip implanted in their arm, which will control all money transactions on planet earth, hold everyone's personal details and information, track everyone's second to second movements .... with everyone needing to have their chip active to take part in any aspect of  society, and that all personal rights will be removed from everyone .... and if anyone dares to complain about the way the One World Government is runs the "New World Order", they are naming, the "Brave New World" ..... they will simply turn their chip off..  Michael Jackson wanted to be involved with making the film  .... The Great American Novel  .... to expose the details of this evil plan to the world .... thankfully  some of Michael Jackson's input was partly completed prior to Michael Jackson's Murder...which has been included in the film  .... The Great American Novel .....  Michael Jackson was to complete a lot more work for the film, but he was murdered before he could complete the rest of his work and input for the film, to try and stop him doing anymore work on the film and to try and stop the film  ... The Great American Novel   ... being made and distributed to everyone one in the world to see ... to open their eyes as to trap they are leading everyone into... the other real frightening thing is that the same group of people who manipulated, thought of, created, financed, supervised and carried out... the murder of over 10 million Jews and lower lever Freemasons by gasing them to death with Zyclon B,( a poisen that originally was invented only to use to kill insects), in the Nazi Death Camps during the Second Wold War, are in fact the same group of people secret societies, organisations, groups and families, that are in control of these Illuminati Secret Societies that are about to create their "New World Order", they are calling "The Brave New World " by the 21st December, 2012 .. they actually used the Nazi Death Camps as a massive experient to find out the best methods of controlling people and ways to be able to convince people to walk into their own death camps, and what drugs and chemicals to use on them to seem to make them not question anything they are told and make them easy to manipulate, like the chemicals they are putting in our water supplies in recent years that make people easy to manage  and just except what they are told without question... to see how far they can brain wash people and get people to willingly do what they want, that is actually unknowingly, harmful to them.. the Nazi Death Camps were places they could freely experiment on live men, women and children, like scientists and doctors use animals to carry out medical experiments, and kill their victims after the tests, all under the fraudulent and devious false public perception that,  all that was happening, was that some insane  dictator called Adolph Hitler, who was actually the son of one of the Rothschild Family, born out of wedlock to a live in made of one of the Rothschild Family,  was killing Jewish people as an ethnic cleansing operation .. that was just a front for the real reason for the Nazi Death Camps  ...which was to use live human beings for medical experiments to help formulate the methods and chemicals needed to take over the world the create   their "New World Order", they are calling "The Brave New World "....
The King of Pop Michael Jackson was murdered for helping to make The Great American Novel by the Rothschild International Banking Family, who are Russian Khazars who were originally  from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia and their International Banking and Busines Partnerand associates which also includes members of the Royal Families of Europe, and the following family names:  Astor; Bundy; Collins; duPont; Freeman; Kennedy; Morgan;  Sachs, Oppenheimer; Rockefeller; Sassoon; Schiff; Taft; and Van Duyn
    A must see film.....
there is no doubt that  everyone in the world will demand that the film The Great American Novel  
is shown in their town ...NYTToday
 to organise The Great American Novel too be shown in your town please email 
mailbox@TheGreatAmericanNovel.info

An INL News Limited Production
www.INLNews.com
     You will find more about
The Great American Novel at
           www.INLNews.com
www.USAWeeklyNews.com
www.USAWeekendNews.com

Royal Families of Europe, and the following family names:  Astor; Bundy; Collins; 
duPont; Freeman; Kennedy; Morgan;  Sachs, Oppenheimer; Rockefeller; Sassoon; Schiff; Taft; and Van Duyn.are responsible for over 3 billion mass murders in the last 250 years through their manipulation, finance and control of wars and conflicts, starvation, malnutrition, slavery, famine, holocausts, genocide,  ethnic cleansing, disease and other methods are set to be indited in the International Court of Justice as the biggest war criminal the world has ever known after 30 years on investigations have been complete by a special investigation team funded by the real Jewish business people whose families were murdered in Death Camps by poisons originally designed to kill insects made and produced in factories belonging to these evil criminally insane Mass Murderers
1849: Gutle Schnaper, Mayer Amschel Rothschild’s wife dies. Before her death she would nonchalantly state, "If my sons did not want wars, there would be none."
By the end of this century, a period of time that was known as the, "Age of the Rothschilds," it is estimated that the Rothschild family controlled half the wealth of the world.

Rothschild Banking Family Friends and business associates murderess control of over three billion deaths on the planet earth for over 250 years. These people control the central banks in most major countries around the world which includes The USA Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve Bank of Australia, the Federal Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Canadian Federal Reserve Bank and many more. In fact there is only about six large countries they do not control the central banks of which includes Iran. That is of the many reasons why they are determined to make war against Iran which will be the third world war, which will be used to create chaos and fear by everyone in the world so that everyone willing agrees to their One World Order plan with One Government, One Army and One Bank to control the world with everyone on the world will willingly have Micro Chips implanted in them which will track their every move  on the planet and have all their personal information and money on  these RDIF Radio Tracking Chips. In anyone wants to complain about the way the world is run by these powerful elite, then they will simply just term off their chip and they will not be able to buy food, obtain transport, get into their house, or do anything else as the whole of society will be based around the use of these micro chips. They have already named this "The Brave New World" which one of their paid authors Arthur Huxley stated in in book. Rupert Murdochs well paid job in the master plan was to fool the world by hiding all the imporant information from everyone as he controls most of the worlds mainstream media outets owning hundreds of billion of newspapers, internet websites like MySpace , magazines, book publishing, and film companies through his multi billion dollar company News Corp financed on Rothschilds Money,,,and keep the masses entertained with page three girls and other fun stuff like the Simpsons which his partners complete their plans to enslave the world with a one world government, were everyone is micro chipped and all the food has had mosytof its nutrients and minerals removed from it as well as implanted with they pesticides and bovine growth hormones to a level large and dangerous level ,so that billions of people will die from starvation and/or disease becuase they are not getting the correct nutrients and minerals in theitr food and are being poisened with high levels of poisones pesticiesa nd bovine growth hormones and geneticlly modified food Rupert Murdoch's last main job was to help David Cameron's Tory Party gain power in Britain through his control on the media in the UK, who has promised to sell him the BBC, as the BBC was the last truely well financed independant media out let it the world that would stand in their way in obtaining their one world government agenda.

For a complete round up on Michael Jackson go to
www.inlnews.com 

La Toya claims Jacko was murdered

La Toya claims Jacko was murdered

Press Association
Michael Jackson's sister La Toya believes the King of Pop was effectively "murdered" for his money by a manipulative entourage, it emerged tonight.
In interviews with Sunday newspapers, La Toya gave details about the 50-year-old singer's sudden death, drugs found in his body and a stash of cash and jewels that she claims have gone missing.
She told the News of the World: "We don't think just one person was involved in the murder. It was a conspiracy to get Michael's money."
La Toya, 53, accused a "shadowy" group of hangers-on of cutting him off from his family and friends and forcing him to sign up for 50 concerts at London's O2 arena.
They also fed him drugs and saw him as a "cash cow", she claimed.
"He was surrounded by a bad circle," she told the Mail on Sunday. "Michael was a very meek, quiet, loving person. People took advantage of that.
"People fought to be close to him, people who weren't always on his side.
"Michael was worth more than a billion dollars. When anyone is worth that much money, there are always greedy people around them."

USA WEEKLY NEWS EASY TO FIND HARD TO LEAVE 
http://inlnews.org/RothschildOwnWarCIA_MI5.html




 
Rothchild involved with MI5 CIA and Mossad
 
ROTHSCHILD, Lord Nathanial Mayer Victor
 
 
 
Name: ROTHSCHILD, Lord (Nathaniel Mayer Victor)
Nationality British Occupation:Banker Born:1910 Died: 1990
 
The startling accusations against Rothschild is that he is the 'Fifth Man', not John Cairncross. According to Roland Perry's book 'The Fifth Man' published in 1994. That he is the dominant member of the Cambridge Spy Ring, not Philby, Blunt, Burgess of Maclean. That he is possibly the most important Soviet Spy of all. Soviet intelligence officer, Yuri Modin added. 'Just as the Three Musketeers were four, so the Cambridge five were six.'

Rothschild was the British head of the famous banking dynasty, which apart from prolific achievements in art, science, wine and charity. It had shaped recent history by such acts as the financing of the British army at the Battle of Waterloo and the purchasing of the Suez Canal for Great Britain and Prime Minister Disraeli. He was on intimate terms with many of the most senior members of the intelligence and security services Guy Liddell, Roger Hollis, Dick White, Stewart Menzies Maurice Oldfield, Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-secretary of State in the Foreign Office and many others.

It's largely accepted among MI5 officers that during the 1945 to 1963 period, the Soviets were receiving vital information which enabled them to thwart British operations run against the Soviet Embassy and the Intelligence service. MI5 had apparently been penetrated by someone. The inference was always that it had to be an insider. However, one of the leading Soviet double agents working for SIS (MI6), Oleg Gordievsky, who defected to Britain in 1985, denied that the Soviets had anyone of importance on the inside of M15 in the contentious years from around 1950 to 1963.

Rothschild had been in MI5 during World War Two and had been awarded a medal for outstanding bravery for disfusing a new type of German explosive munitions. The argument is that he was recruited for the Soviet cause in pre-war years by playing on his undoubted commitment to a future homeland for the Jews and his anti-Nazi beliefs. Later the fact that he had spied for the Soviets would have been used to blackmail him into continuing to do so, long after it became obvious that Jews were little better treated in the USSR as Nazi Germany. Fear of publicity was to be perhaps the driving force behind his supposed treachery and his later involvement in the Spycatcher affair.

In 1958, Rothschild's fostering of Peter Wright turned quickly to patronage on the basis that they were scientists who understood each other. Wright could have been an easy prey for the sophisticated peer. Although talented, Wright was not Oxbridge educated and therefore an outsider in a service which was run by the old-school ties. For the first time in his professional life, Wright felt wanted, understood and appreciated. In this atmosphere, Wright may have spilled everything of importance in his section of MI5. Rothschild offered help. He was in the oil group Shell overseeing scientific development. He seconded staff to MI5. Wright told him about every piece of espionage technology under development. Rothschild offered ideas of his own and actually devised some new technology himself. He made introductions to heads of major British organizations like the AWRE (Atomic Weapons Research Establishment), which led to further expansion of MI5's R & D.

Later when Wright was deeply involved in 'mole' hunting there were two Soviet code names, which in particular interested him: DAVID and ROSA. The messages decoded indicated that they had worked together, most likely as a married couple. The Soviet defector Golitsyn asked for the files of all MI5 officers who had been working for British Intelligence at the time of the Venona traffic. He studied the files and after a week asked Wright to come and see him in Brighton. Golitsyn pointed to two files on the desk in the study. 'I've discovered DAVID and ROSA,' he said 'My methodology has uncovered them.' Wright knew the names on the files well. They belonged to Victor and Tess Rothschild., both of whom had served in MI5. Wright told him not to be absurd, Rothschild, he informed the Russian, was one of the best friends this Service ever had. Golitsyn, however, was emphatic

Fortunately for Rothschild, his close companion and confidant, Wright had been the one informed and there was no further investigation.. Golitsyn had earlier informed Wright about a file marked 'Technics' in a safe at the Moscow Centre. It was basically a file on all the MI5 technical operations which Wright and his team had initiated. This proved to him that a mole had indeed been spying directly upon him and his activities. Wright never discussed with Golitsyn what he had told Rothschild. If he had, the Russian would have realized that his 'methodology' might have been accurate. According to an MI5 source, Rothschild was later fed information, which ended up 'in the wrong place' However, just as Philby had survived for so long, because his colleagues and the establishment simply couldn't accept his treachery, so the argument goes, Rothschilds charmed life continued.

Later, when Rothschild feared that journalists might link him to his close friend Anthony Blunt, he put a by now retired Wright and journalist Chapman Pincher in touch. The resulting series of collaborative books, 'Their Trade is Treachery;' and 'Too Secret Too Long' neatly deflected suspicion onto Roger Hollis and away from Rothschild. Wright's own book 'Spycatcher' would later reinforce the image that Hollis was the damaging 'mole'. Rothschild apparently quite alarmed about being implicated begged Wright to "write down every single point he could recall of the ways Rothschild had helped MI5" he added, "Things are starting to get rough" Rothschild also secretly channelled cash to Wright via a Swiss bank.

Rothschild was thought by many to be more loyal to his Jewish heritage than anything English. According to both CIA and Mossad sources, Rothschild was very useful to the Israelis in 'mending fences' with some neighbours in the Middle East after the disruption of the Six-Day conflict. For instance, he called on his old friend the Shah of Iran and suggested several 'crop breeding' ventures, which had been perfected in Israel and elsewhere. Some were adapted in Iran. To many observers Rothschild may have been an unwilling Soviet asset after the war until 1963, but their can be no doubt that he would have willingly spied for Israel. In fact Philby claims that on leaving MI5 in 1947, Rothschild had seized or copied all the six by four file cards listing known or supposed Soviet agents in Europe and elsewhere.

Rothschild must have certainly come under suspicion for it is believed that he was investigated and interviewed no less than eleven times by MI5, and when in 1986 he wrote a very public letter avowing his innocence, Mrs Thatcher's response was the famously terse "we have no evidence he was ever a Soviet agent". As a clearance it was less than fulsome. Though when Rothschild died in 1990, Thatcher attended the memorial. The publication of 'The Fifth Man' was greeted in dignified silence by Rothschilds family.

Rothschilds role in MI5 and within the scientific community is considerable, his role with Shell and later as Head of Prime Minister Edward Heath's 'Think Tank' in the early seventies makes him an important player in post war history. If eventually sufficient information became available to prove beyond doubt Roland Perry's belief in his treachery, then Rothschild will certainly have created history for himself, as the most important Soviet Spy in history.
 
Comments The original 2000 and 2002 Workbooks for Spy School were based on the information in "Spy Book, The Encyclopedia of Espionage, by Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen." and"Espionage, An Encyclopedia of Spies and Secrets by Richard Bennett ".
 
 
 
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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2009

DO JEWS RUN THE SECURITY SERVICES?Britain's security service, MI6

On 8 October 2009, MI5's Jewish terrorism fear was reported on by The Jewish Chronicle

The Jewish Chronicle tells us that in his new book about Britain's security services, The Defence of the Realm, Professor Chistopher Andrew quotes one MI5 section head, John Marriot, as saying in 1955 that "our policy is to avoid recruiting Jews if possible." Andrew's book has one chapter on the threat from Jewish terrorists, such as the Irgun and Stern Gang which carried out attacks on British troops in Palestine. In 1947 the Colonial Office in London was targeted by a Stern Gang bomb. In 1947, the Stern Gang sent letter bombs to British politicians. In 1947, grenades and detonators were discovered, by his chauffeur, in the boot of the car of Harry Isaac Presman of n