Jewish Legislator Silenced Defending Religious Freedom & Choice

After these remarks, House Republicans censored Rep. Lisa Brown (D-MI) for using the word “vagina,” and barred her from the subsequent debate on education. Brown said at a press conference: “If I can’t say the word vagina, why are we legislating vaginas? What language should I use?”

According to Benjy Sarlin:

A second lawmaker, Rep. Barb Byrum (D), was also gaveled down after introducing a bill that would require men to prove that their life was in danger before they were allowed to receive a vasectomy.

“I was ignored by the majority floor leader and not allowed to speak on my amendment, which would have held the same standards for men and women when it comes to legal, voluntary procedures in reproductive health, and now I am being silenced for standing up for women,” Byrum said, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Will Someone Tell Mitt That Losing Your Job Is Not Funny

Romney was campaigning today in Wisconsin and tried to inject a little humor into his stump speech in order to show how “down to earth” a guy he really is before their primary next Tuesday.

One of most humorous I think relates to my father.
You may remember my father, George Romney, was president of an automobile company called American Motors… They had a factory in Michigan, and they had a factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and another one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And as the president of the company he decided to close the factory in Michigan and move all the production to Wisconsin. Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign… So every time they would start playing ‘On, Wisconsin, On, Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin.

Audio follows the jump.

Which Candidate Connects Better With His Base?

Gov. Mitt Romney spoke on  February 24, 2012 at Detroit’s Ford Field. At a similar stage in 2008 election, Sen. Barack Obama spoke on February 12, 2008 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

As he battled to claim his due in Michigan, the state of his birth and state in which his father served as Governor, Romney’s economic message missed its target in a nearly empty stadium. The stands are empty and seats are still available in the fourth row. Romney had written a New York Times editorial “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”, so protesters outside Ford Field carried banners reading “Let Romney Go Bankrupt”. Meanwhile, a standing room only crowd enthusiastically greeted Obama’s message of change, and Obama had to apologize to his supporters outside the stadium who were turned away for lack of space.

Which candidate connects better with his base?

Does Romney really think he is the Republican candidate with the best chance of beating President Obama?

Michigan Flip-flops On Romney’s Behalf

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Republican Party will award both at-large delegates to Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) “despite the party’s rules that the two at-large delegates are supposed to be awarded on a proportional basis based on the statewide popular vote. The rest of the state’s delegates will be split evenly between Romney and Santorum because each won seven congressional districts across the state. As a result, Romney gets 16 delegates and Santorum 14.”

For those keeping score, this makes Michigan the 3rd state unclear on how to run an election. First, “Mitt Romney was declared the winner in Iowa until several days later miscounted votes were found which put Rick Santorum ahead. Romney was named the victor in Maine without all caucus votes counted because they were lost in someone’s email. Now, the Michigan delegate count was changed two days after the primary either due to sloppiness, ambiguity in the rules or a backroom power play.” (Taegan Goddard)

Romney wins Wyoming caucus. Washington votes this Shabbos.

  • TPM: “Last night, after weeks of voting, the Wyoming caucuses drew to a close. Mitt Romney won them with 39% of the vote to Rick Santorum's 33%. Ron Paul won 20% and Newt Gingrich 8%. In terms of delegate allocation, CNN estimates that Romney will likely take 10, Santorum 9, Paul 6 and Gingrich 1.”
    See Wyoming Capital Journal for the details the next steps of delegate selection.
    Over 10% of Wyomans are Mormon. Only Idaho and Utah have higher percentages. Mormons have historically favored Mitt Romney who is a Mormon elder. (See map after the jump.)
  • Republican's in the State of Washington will hold their caucus this coming Shabbat. The oddmakers give Romney a slight advantage over Santorum.
  • Next week is "Super Tuesday" with Primaries or Caucuses in 10 states.
    • Only Romney & Paul are on the ballot in Virginia and Massachusetts, so Romney is favored to win there as well as Vermont since it is so near Massachusetts and Idaho which is 27% Mormon, second only to Utah’s 72%. (See map after the jump.)
    • Paul’s best chances are in Alaska and North Dakota‘s caucuses.
    • Gingrich will likely pick up his home state of Georgia.
    • Santorum is strongest in the Midwest: Ohio, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.

    The latest odds according to Intrade follow the jump.

 Other Key Dates

  • PBS/NPR Debate, Monday, March 19 at 9pm ET, Portland, OR
  • Republican National Convention, August 27-30, Tampa, FL
  • Democratic National Convention, September 3-6, Charlotte, NC
  • 1st Presidential Debate, Wednesday, October 3, Univ. of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Vice-Presidential Debate, Thursday, October 11 at Centre College, Danville, KY
  • 2nd Presidential Debate, Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
  • 3rd Presidential Debate, Monday, October 22 at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
  • General Election, Tuesday, November 3

Color Key
Santorum: Dark green
Romney: Orange
Gingrich: Purple
Paul: Gold
Perry: Dark blue
Not yet voted: Grey  

States Won
Santorum: IA CO MN MO
Gingrich: SC  

Next Contests
Mar  3: WA
Mar  6: Super Tuesday  AK GA ID MA ND OH OK TN VT VA
Mar 10: KS VI GU
Mar 13: AL AS HI MS
Mar 17: MO
Mar 18: PR
Mar 20: IL
Mar 24: LA
Apr  3: MD DC WI  
Apr 24: CT DE NY PA RI
May  8: IN NC WV
May 15: NE OR
May 22: AR KY
May 29: TX confirmed
Jun  5: CA MT NJ NM SD Jun 26: UT
Probability of winning primaries according to gamblers on intrade as of Thursday, March 1

Delegates 43 27 76 32 41 28 66 43 58 17 50
Romney 57-62% 64-73% 2-18% 93-95% 98%+ 38-50% 3-11% 57-59% 15-17% 91-96% 95-98%
Santorum 30-39% 18-25% 4-10% 1-3% X 3-63% 86-90% 41-44% 72-85% 0-9% X
Gingrich 0-1% 1-6% 81-88% X 1-20% 10-24% 0-1% 0-14% 0-9% X
Paul 3-4% 12-24% 0-7% 11-26% 0-4% 0-9% 1-7% 1%-6%

Leading Religion by County, 2000

  • Dots indicate leading religion actually has a majority.
  • Red: Baptist
  • Blue: Catholic
  • Yellow: Christian
  • Beige: LDS/Mormon
  • Pink: Mennonite/Amish
  • Green: Methodist
  • Cyan: Reformed
  • Grey: Other

Mormon Population Density by State, 1990

Crossvoter Mitt Romney Objects To Cross Voting

Rick Santorum and various Democratic groups have appealed to Democrats to crossover and vote in the Michigan Republican primary for Santorum and send a message to Mitt Romney for his opposition to the auto bailout. Michigan has an open primary so all voters are allowed to participate in the primary of their choice.

Mitt Romney characterizes this development as “the dirty tricks of a desperate campaign.” However, Romney himself cross-voted in the Massachusetts primary for Paul Tsongas (D-MA) in the 1992 Democratic presidential primary.

In 2007, he told ABC News’ Jonathan Greenberger:

When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.

But in 1994, he had a different story for the Boston Globe:

Romney confirmed he voted for former U.S. Sen. Paul Tsongas in the state’s 1992 Democratic presidential primary, saying he did so both because Tsongas was from Massachusetts and because he favored his ideas over those of Bill Clinton,” the Boston Globe’s Scot Lehigh and Frank Phillips wrote on Feb. 3, 1994.

These crossover votes may play a critical role in Michigan’s 13th and 14th Congressional districts which are located in Detroit and have a preponderance of Democratic voters.

Mitt Conceptions: For Romney Not Only Does Life Begin At Conception

His earliest childhood memories appearantly start at conception as well.

Mitt Romney regaled the crowd Thursday night with his recollections of the 1946 Automotive Golden Jubilee.

“I think my dad had a job like being the grand master or whatever of the 50th celebration of the automobile in Detroit. They painted Woodward Avenue with gold paint… my memory is a little foggy here…. so I was probably four or something like that, and had the cars go down Woodward Avenue. I know they still have the parade of cars every year.

The Jubilee was May 29 to June 9, 1946. Mitt Romney was born March 12, 1947, so it is possible that he was conceived during the 1946 Automotive Golden Jubilee which would explain his foggy memories.

Romney Perfects Endorsements

Candidate cannot leave well enough alone.

Romney was endorsed by the Arizona Republic on Friday, and he was quick to share the news with voters in Arizona, but in reproducing the endorsement he left out key sections critical of his immigration policy.

Similarly, last week he was endorsed by the Detroit News and left out the key paragraph highlighting Romney’s criticism of the auto bailout:

We disagree with Romney on a point vital to Michigan – his opposition to the bailout of the domestic automobile industry. Romney advocated for a more traditional bankruptcy process, while we believe the bridge loans provided by the federal government in the fall of 2008 were absolutely essential to the survival of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. The issue isn’t a differentiator in the GOP primary, since the entire field opposed the rescue effort.

This manipulation of the endorsement was charactized by the Detroit News as a “distortion” of their words.

TPM’s Benjy Sarlin:

The auto czar who led the bailout, Steve Rattner, has a simple challenge to Mitt Romney’s claim that private investors could have rescued Detroit: find me one.

Rattner, writing in the New York Times, wrote on Friday that Romney’s contention that American automakers didn’t need federal loans to move them through a managed bankruptcy intact is ludicrous given that the only financiers big enough to step in were barely hanging on for dear lives themselves.

Last month, Buzzfeed reported that the Romney campaign was also editing transcripts of its own conference calls with the press to leave out pointed questions and less than stellar answers from its surrogates. In addition, the campaign edited an article on supporter John McCain to leave out a section on their past disagreements and left out concerns in a Des Moines Register endorsement over Romney’s history of changing positions on some issues.

Ford Field Fumble

As he battles to claim his due in Michigan, the state of his birth and state in which his father served as Governor, Mitt Romney (R-MA) economic message misses the target.

Ezra Klein distills Romney’s budget down to about 150 words:

Let’s try to make this as simple as possible. Money comes into the federal government through taxes and bonds. The vast majority of it is then spent on old-people programs, poor-people programs, and defense.

Mitt Romney is promising that taxes will go down, defense spending will go up, and old-people programs won’t change for this generation of retirees. So three of his four options for deficit reduction — taxes, old-people programs, and defense — are now either contributing to the deficit or are off-limits for the next decade.

Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.

Panderer In Chief

According to the new NBC News-Marist poll, Mitt Romney has finally caught up to Rick Santorum in the Michigan primary and now leads 37% to 35%, followed by Ron Paul at 13% and Newt Gingrich 8%.

Nationwide, the new Quinnipiac poll shows Rick Santorum leading the Republican presidential field with 35% among Republican voters, followed by Mitt Romney at 26%, Newt Gingrich at 14% and Ron Paul at 11%. Santorum leads Romney in a head-to-head match up by 50% to 37%.