Obama draws line on taxes

Mr. Romney goes to the Hamptons; Obama draws a line on the Bush tax cuts; and other top Monday stories

Topics: Mitt Romney, 2012 Elections, Taxes, Koch Brothers,

The tax fight cometh: Today, as lawmakers return to Washington after the July 4th recess, President Obama will deliver an opening salvo in the upcoming tax wars, declaring in a Rose Garden address later today that he will not extend the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year, even temporarily. Instead, he will call for a one-year extension of the tax cuts for middle- and working-class Americans, which puts him to the left of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, who have advocated extending the cuts for everyone who earns up to $1 million.

“But by calling for an extension for just a year, Mr. Obama hopes to make Republicans look obstructionist and unreasonable,” the Times reports.

Romney donors complain about lack of VIP entrance:  Mitt Romney held a series of high-dollar fundraisers on the Hamptons this weekend, producing scenes of elitism that are hard to believe are real. “Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.,” a woman in a black Range Rover, one of 30 luxury cars waiting to pull into a multi-million-dollar mansion, complained to a Romney aide, according to the New York Times.

At the next event, another woman in a luxury SUV protested to the Los Angeles Times: “I don’t think the common person is getting it … The baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated; two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work.”

But Romney himself said he’s not really concerned for his wealthy guests. “If you’re here, by and large you’re doing just fine. And I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about those that are doing as well as you guys are, or how I’m doing, but I spend a lot of time worrying about those that are poor and those in the middle class that are finding it hard to make a bright future for themselves,” CNN overheard him saying, correcting an earlier gaffe in which he said he’s “not concerned” about the poor.

Romney was expected to raise at least $3 million dollars at three fundraisers.

Protesters arrested: One of the fundraisers was at the Hamptons home of David Koch, the billionaire conservative mega-donor. A few hundreds protesters showed up to demonstrate against money in politics, though police were on high alert for what was described as the first large-scale protest the tony town had ever witnessed. Several activists were arrested, including two who tried to sail, then swim, across a lake to get to the house, but ended up crashing into a police boat.

GOP now too extreme for big business? The AP notes, “Republicans like to tout themselves as the best friends of business … [y]et when it comes to many of industry’s top legislative priorities, conservative Republican lawmakers and like-minded groups including the Club for Growth and Heritage Action have thrown up roadblocks to tasks that had been easy before the 2010 elections and sent a large class of conservative Tea Party insurgents to Congress.” Most recently, it was the Import-Export Bank, which every business association in America wanted approved. It had been re-authorized two dozen times since its creation in 1934, and though it did finally pass, the Tea Party faction of the GOP needlessly obstructed passage for months.

Now, the business community is pressing the Senate to ratify a treaty governing the high seas, arguing that it would open a new path to oil, gas and other resources, as well as produce thousands of jobs. But “prospects are uncertain as conservatives stand united in opposition,” arguing it’s a limit of U.S. sovereignty and a U.N. power grab.

John Boehner gets candid about Romney: At a fundraiser in West Virginia this weekend, House Speaker John Boehner was asked, “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?” ”No,” he replied candidly. “The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney,” he added. Confidence!


Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at aseitz-wald@salon.com, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 7
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    AP/Jae C. Hong

    Your summer in extreme weather

    California drought

    Since May, California has faced a historic drought, resulting in the loss of 63 trillion gallons of water. 95.4 percent of the state is now experiencing "severe" drought conditions, which is only a marginal improvement from 97.5 percent last week.

    A recent study published in the journal Science found that the Earth has actually risen about 0.16 inches in the past 18 months because of the extreme loss of groundwater. The drought is particularly devastating for California's enormous agriculture industry and will cost the state $2.2 billion this year, cutting over 17,000 jobs in the process.


    Meteorologists blame the drought on a large zone (almost 4 miles high and 2,000 miles long) of high pressure in the atmosphere off the West Coast which blocks Pacific winter storms from reaching land. High pressure zones come and go, but this one has been stationary since December 2012.

    Darin Epperly

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Great Plains tornadoes

    From June 16-18 this year, the Midwest was slammed by a series of four tornadoes, all ranking as category EF4--meaning the winds reached up to 200 miles per hour. An unlucky town called Pilger in Nebraska was hit especially hard, suffering through twin tornadoes, an extreme event that may only occur every few decades. The two that swept through the town killed two people, injured 16 and demolished as many as 50 homes.   

    "It was terribly wide," local resident Marianne Pesotta said to CNN affiliate KETV-TV. "I drove east [to escape]. I could see how bad it was. I had to get out of there."   

    But atmospheric scientist Jeff Weber cautions against connecting these events with climate change. "This is not a climate signal," he said in an interview with NBC News. "This is a meteorological signal."

    AP/Detroit News, David Coates

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Michigan flooding

    On Aug. 11, Detroit's wettest day in 89 years -- with rainfall at 4.57 inches -- resulted in the flooding of at least five major freeways, leading to three deaths, more than 1,000 cars being abandoned on the road and thousands of ruined basements. Gov. Rick Snyder declared it a disaster. It took officials two full days to clear the roads. Weeks later, FEMA is finally set to begin assessing damage.   

    Heavy rainfall events are becoming more and more common, and some scientists have attributed the trend to climate change, since the atmosphere can hold more moisture at higher temperatures. Mashable's Andrew Freedman wrote on the increasing incidence of this type of weather: "This means that storms, from localized thunderstorms to massive hurricanes, have more energy to work with, and are able to wring out greater amounts of rain or snow in heavy bursts. In general, more precipitation is now coming in shorter, heavier bursts compared to a few decades ago, and this is putting strain on urban infrastructure such as sewer systems that are unable to handle such sudden influxes of water."

    AP/The Fresno Bee, Eric Paul Zamora

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Yosemite wildfires

    An extreme wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park forced authorities to evacuate 13,000 nearby residents, while the Madera County sheriff declared a local emergency. The summer has been marked by several wildfires due to California's extreme drought, which causes vegetation to become perfect kindling.   

    Surprisingly, however, firefighters have done an admirable job containing the blazes. According to the L.A. Times, firefighters with the state's Department of Forestry and Fire Protection have fought over 4,000 fires so far in 2014 -- an increase of over 500 fires from the same time in 2013.

    Reuters/Eugene Tanner

    Your summer in extreme weather

    Hawaii hurricanes

    Hurricane Iselle was set to be the first hurricane to make landfall in Hawaii in 22 years. It was downgraded to a tropical storm and didn't end up being nearly as disastrous as it could have been, but it still managed to essentially shut down the entire state for a day, as businesses and residents hunkered down in preparation, with many boarding up their windows to guard against strong gusts. The storm resulted in downed trees, 21,000 people out of power and a number of damaged homes.

    Debbie Arita, a local from the Big Island described her experience: "We could hear the wind howling through the doors. The light poles in the parking lot were bobbing up and down with all the wind and rain."


    Your summer in extreme weather

    Florida red tide

    A major red tide bloom can reach more than 100 miles along the coast and around 30 miles offshore. Although you can't really see it in the above photo, the effects are devastating for wildlife. This summer, Florida was hit by an enormous, lingering red tide, also known as a harmful algae bloom (HAB), which occurs when algae grow out of control. HABs are toxic to fish, crabs, octopuses and other sea creatures, and this one resulted in the death of thousands of fish. When the HAB gets close enough to shore, it can also have an effect on air quality, making it harder for people to breathe.   

    The HAB is currently closest to land near Pinellas County in the Gulf of Mexico, where it is 5-10 miles offshore.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>