By Tracy Bloom
Ready for the White House: Who needs a campaign? Mitt Romney is already gearing up for his own presidency, as evidenced by the fact that his transition team met this week. The group, which is known as “The Readiness Project,” is tasked with finding ways to make government run more efficiently. One Romney adviser said of the team: “The transition group is more of a table setter, a drafter of an agenda, an outliner of what you need to do. They will be asking, ‘What are the things you can do right away? What are the things you can think about? What can this president still do between Nov. 6 and Jan. 20?’ ” In other words, it’s nothing like “measuring the drapes,” which Republican presidential candidate John McCain accused Obama of doing in 2008. (Read more)
Keeping It Vague: Don’t expect any specific policy to emerge from Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. That’s because, according to an unnamed Romney adviser, to do so would be “politically unwise.” The adviser said: “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.” So, basically you shouldn’t expect to hear about any specific budget proposals or tax plans unless Romney is elected. (Read more)
Crushing the Poor: Romney may not be getting specific about his budget, but we know plenty about his running mate’s plan. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has put forth a budget that, according to Think Progress, would “devastate” poor Americans. Here’s how: extreme cuts to food stamps ($133 billion, to be exact) and Medicaid (which would be cut by a third under the Ryan plan); the elimination of 1 million Pell Grants for students (the majority of which go to people from low-income households); and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (effectively leaving 30 million Americans uninsured). (Read more)
Break for Sept. 11: Neither the Obama nor the Romney camps will be running election ads on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2008, Barack Obama and his then-challenger Sen. John McCain also suspended their presidential campaigns for the day to attend a memorial service at Ground Zero in New York City. (Read more)
Media Apology: Touré, co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” has apologized for using the N-word during a discussion about Mitt Romney on Thursday’s program. The controversy started when Touré said Romney was trying to portray President Obama as “an angry black man.” He continued, “I don’t say it lightly. But this is ni—erization.” The comment was subsequently picked up by conservative media outlets and blogs, including The Drudge Report. On Friday, Touré apologized, saying, “In retrospect, I muddied the discussion by using the N-word. I could’ve made my point without that word. I shouldn’t have used it, and for that I’m sorry.” (Read more)
Video of the Day: Can Geraldo Rivera ever not say something controversial? The evidence points to “no.” Rivera was discussing recent sexual harassment and anti-male discrimination allegations about the Department of Homeland Security made by a female aide to Secretary Janet Napolitano, when he asked “Is the subtext of the Department of Homeland Security scandal that there is some kind of lesbian cabal, that it’s a same-sex takeover of the big agency?” Say what? He added: “Is that really what people are saying? That men are disadvantaged and that women, and specifically lesbians, are ruling the roost there?” Nope, that didn’t make it any better.