LiveBlog for Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about Romney’s disastrous overseas trip, and about Scalia’s comments on gun control

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about the Democrats’ efforts to retain tax cuts for the Middle Class

• A three-nation overseas trip envisioned as a relatively low-key endeavor took its second major turn toward controversy Monday when Mitt Romney spoke at a Jerusalem fundraiser about the role culture plays in the relative strengths of the economies of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

• The Democratic Party’s platform drafting committee endorsed including a plank in its official platform backing same-sex marriage. The policy change is not final and must be approved by a larger committee meeting held in Detroit in August.

• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday defended charges from Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and other congressional Republicans that her aide, Huma Abedin, is tied to Muslim extremists, saying those accusations “really have no place in our politics.”

The American women aim for the first team gold in gymnastics since 1996 and Michael Phelps swims for his record breaking nineteenth career medal tonight at the London Olympics.

LiveBlog for Monday, July 30, 2012

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Mitt Romney’s trip overseas and Michele Bachmann’s insane witch hunt

Michéle Flournoy, top advisor to the Obama campaign, calls in at 9:45am ET / 6:45am PT to talk about Romney’s overseas trip, and about President Obama’s foreign policy successes

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to co-host Right Wing World

• Seeking to further extinguish questions about his support for an Israeli military strike on Iran, Mitt Romney said Sunday that “no option should be excluded,” but repeated the caveat that he hopes diplomatic and economic measures will work first.

• Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of more than 3,000 teachers on Sunday that Mitt Romney and fellow Republicans think that teachers are selfish.

Colorado prosecutors are filing formal charges today against James Eagan Holmes, the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora movie theater.

US swimmer Dana Vollmer won a gold medal at the Olympics and set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 55.98 seconds.

LiveBlog for Friday, July 27, 2012

• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Friday With Hal

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to promote the Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour in Los Angeles tomorrow night

Mitt Romney said yesterday that British officials might not be prepared to pull off a successful Olympics. In an interview with NBC News, he called London’s problems with games preparation “disconcerting,” and the remark sparked sharp responses from Britain’s top officials and the British press.

President Obama is reaffirming U.S. ties with Israel, saying he will today sign legislation expanding military and civilian cooperation with the country. This upstages Mitt Romney one day before the Republican challenger visits Jerusalem.

President Obama will not push for stricter gun laws this election year, the White House said Thursday, one day after his impassioned remarks about the need to keep assault weapons off the streets suggested he may plunge into that political fight and challenge Congress to act.

• One of the biggest secrets in London will finally be revealed this evening: what will happen at the opening ceremony for the Summer Olympic Games. Tonight’s Opening Ceremonies are being overseen by “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle.

LiveBlog for Thursday, July 26, 2012

Karl Frisch, columnist, tweeter, and founder of Bullfight Strategies, calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to co-host Right Wing World

Cliff Chenfeld, creator of the progressive media hub The Message — TheMessageIs.com – to talk about how wrong Conservatives’ ideas of Ronald Reagan are

Col. Wayne Powell, who is running for Congress from Virginia to unseat Eric Cantor, calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about how his campaign is going

President Obama yesterday embraced some degree of control on the sale of weapons. He said responsibility for curtailing bloodshed also rests with parents, neighbors and teachers to ensure that young people “do not have that void inside them.”

Mitt Romney said Wednesday that more restrictive gun laws would likely not have prevented last week’s deadly mass shooting at a Colorado Cineplex, and argued that it would take Americans changing their hearts, not their legislation, to prevent similar future attacks.

• Some of the victims of the Colorado movie theater massacre face enormous medical bills without the benefit of insurance. Three of the five hospitals treating victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills.

LiveBlog for Wednesday, July 25, 2012

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Wednesdays With Fugelsang

• Today, the Democratic-led Senate plans to hold a procedural vote to start considering a $250 billion Dem bill that would extend the tax cuts for individuals making less than $200,000 per year and couples making $250,000 per year.

• In a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday, one day after President Obama’s appearance, Mitt Romney slammed the Obama administration for national security leaks and budget cuts to the military.

• According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, if Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans are successful in repealing the Affordable Care Law, it would increase the federal budget deficit by an estimated $109 billion between 2013 and 2022.

• Four Democratic lawmakers proposed a ban on high-capacity ammunition Tuesday, breaking with politicians from both parties who’ve steered clear of calling for gun control legislation in the wake of the Aurora, Colo. shootings.

Sherman Hemsley, who played George Jefferson on “The Jeffersons,” has died. He was 74.

LiveBlog for Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about gun control in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado shootings

Willie Nelson and his wife Annie calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about his new album “Heroes”, and about sustainable alternative energy

The suspected gunman in the Colorado theater massacre faced a judge Monday in his first court appearance yesterday. Wearing orange-red hair and looking at times emotional and at other times bleary-eyed, James Holmes sat as Chief Judge William Sylvester told him he was being held without bond.

• With the presidential race reverting to its regular course following the hiatus imposed by last week’s Colorado shootings, Mitt Romney on Monday attacked President Obama for failing to understand the business environment or meeting more frequently with his jobs council.

• Reaching out for the votes of military personnel, veterans and their families, President Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention Monday that he kept the promises he made four years ago, stating that today the U.S. is “safer and stronger and more respected in the world.”

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, has passed away at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer at her home in La Jolla, Calif.

LiveBlog for Monday, July 23, 2012

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about the political response to the shootings in Colorado

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to co-host Right Wing World

• During a visit to Aurora, Colo., Sunday, President Obama met with victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a movie theater, which killed 12 people and injured 58 others.

• As James Holmes, the suspected gunman in the Colorado theater massacre, heads to his first court appearance today, authorities have disclosed that he is refusing to cooperate and that it could take months to learn what prompted the horrific attack on midnight moviegoers at a Batman film premiere.

Nine people remain in critical condition after Friday’s mass shooting, Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He also said they are in “bad shape.”

At least 11 people died Sunday and another 12 were injured after a pickup truck loaded with passengers veered off the highway and crashed into trees in rural South Texas, authorities said.

The statue of Joe Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.

LiveBlog for Friday, July 20, 2012

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours for Fridays With Fugelsang

• Journalist and documentarian Lisa Ling calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about her show on the OWN Network, “Our America with Lisa Ling”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about his call to include marriage equality in the Democratic Party platform

At least 14 people were killed and dozens more injured by a gunman who allegedly began his attack on Denver area movie-goers by hurling tear gas into the crowd at a Batman “The Dark Knight Rises” premiere around midnight on Thursday, police say.

• According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, 54% of adults nationwide say that Mitt Romney should provide further tax returns to the public. That includes three in four Democrats, more than half of independents, and 30% of Republicans.

President Obama slammed Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan yesterday, telling seniors in the battleground state of Florida that his rival’s proposal would force them to fend for themselves and hurt them financially.

The House of Representatives approved on Thursday $606 billion in defense spending for next year after two days of debate.

LiveBlog for Thursday, July 19, 2012

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to co-host Right Wing World

Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post’s “The Fix” calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about his new book, “The Gospel According To The Fix: An Insider’s Guide to a Less than Holy World of Politics”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the Bush tax cuts and extending them for only the Middle Class

Obama and Romney are effectively tied in the race for the presidency, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll. 47% of registered voters nationwide who lean towards a candidate back Romney, while 46% support the president. 4% are undecided.

• A majority of registered voters believe that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s policies favor the rich, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

• George Zimmerman told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday that the Trayvon Martin shooting was “a tragic situation.” He also said he felt that his life was in danger and that the media attention to his case felt “surreal.”

A bombing at Syria’s national security building has killed the country’s defense minister and the Syrian president’s brother-in-law, and wounded other senior officials, Syrian state-run TV said.

• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Humpdays With Hal

• The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students’ achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.

• In an attempt to change the subject from his tax returns and Bain Capital, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney intensified his own rhetoric on Tuesday and called President Obama’s recent comments about small business “insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America.”

• President Obama’s re-election campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party are suing Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine in an effort to get early voting restored in the state ahead of November’s presidential election.

• With pressure building on Mitt Romney to release more of his past tax returns, Ron Paul on Tuesday added his voice to the chorus of people – including some Republicans – who say Romney should just bite the bullet and release the returns.

The Boy Scouts of America yesterday strongly reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by some critics.

LiveBlog for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the 2012 Presidential Race, and about the end of the line for Ron Paul

• Political Strategist Dave “Mudcat” Saunders calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about Wayne Powell’s race in Virginia to unseat Eric Cantor

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about extending tax cuts for the Middle Class, and about Romney’s Bain problem

• With Congress preparing to tackle a series of controversial tax and budget issues this fall, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is warning the GOP that Dems are not planning to stand down in the ongoing battle over extending Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

• Back in the must-win state of Ohio yesterday, President Obama said Mitt Romney’s tax policies would create 800,000 jobs, but, “They wouldn’t be in America.”

Mitt Romney held up the waiters and waitresses serving donors at a well-heeled fundraising event last night as examples of people who aren’t doing well under President Obama, saying the people serving the “refreshments” weren’t “having a good year.”

• A woman identified only as “Witness 9” in the George Zimmerman case told investigators that he molested her when they were children, information released Monday by the State Attorney’s Office reveals.

LiveBlog for Monday, July 16, 2012

• Actress Lisa Kudrow calls in at 9:20am ET / 6:20am PT to talk about the second season of her Showtime series “Web Therapy”

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital problems

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to co-host Right Wing World

Michael Shure of Current TV’s “The Young Turks” calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the inconsistencies in Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital comments

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) calls in at 11am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about The Disclose Act, and how Citizens United has ruined American politics

• Mitt Romney told several news organizations in a Friday interview blitz that President Obama should apologize for his campaign’s suggestion that the presumptive GOP nominee is either a criminal or a liar.

• On Saturday the Obama campaign released an ad titled “Firms” that will air in nine swing states. The ad superimposes newspaper article quotes such as “In business, Mitt Romney’s firms shipped jobs to Mexico and China” over audio of Romney singing an off-key version of “America the Beautiful.”

LiveBlog for Friday, July 13, 2012

• Sexy Liberal John Fugelsang joins us from the New York Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Fridays With Fugelsang

Matthew Breen, Editor in Chief of The Advocate, calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the magazine’s first-ever presidential endorsement, for President Obama

• The Boston Globe yesterday reported on new evidence that allegedly shows Mitt Romney remained in control of Bain Capital three years longer than he’s claimed. If correct, the findings would complicate Romney’s line of defense that he was gone before many of the firm’s companies went bankrupt or laid off workers.

• The Drudge Report, the conservative website, reports Thursday night that there is a new frontrunner to be Mitt Romney’s running mate: Condoleezza Rice.

• Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney headed to Wyoming last night for a fundraising event and private dinner sponsored by former Vice President Dick Cheney.

• A blistering report released Thursday found former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno helped hush up allegations of child sex abuse against a former assistant that went back more than a decade, sacrificing the ideals he preached to protect his football program.

LiveBlog for Thursday, July 12, 2012

Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies calls in at 9am ET / 6am PT to co-host Right Wing World

• Comedian Margaret Cho calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about her new tour, her DVD, and her new television show

Tammy Duckworth, who is running for Congress from Illinois, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about her run to unseat Rep. Joe Walsh

Cliff Chenfeld, record industry executive, joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 10:20am ET / 7:20am PT to talk about his new Progressive online media hub, “The Message”

Ari Berman of The Nation and “Herding Donkeys” calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the Texas Voter ID trial

• Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney yesterday took his message to the NAACP delivering a speech that was received with mixed response — including multiple instances of prolonged boos.

The GOP-led effort to repeal President Obama’s health care law passed the House of Representatives yesterday, successfully setting up campaign talking points for the coming months, but accomplishing little else.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) is currently being treated for a “mood disorder”, his doctor’s office said today. The office would not give any further information, citing privacy.

LiveBlog for Wednesday, July 11, 2012

• Sexy Liberal Hal Sparks joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 9am ET / 6am PT for all three hours of Humpdays With Hal

Stefanie Brown, National African-American Vote Director for Obama/Biden 2012, calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Obama’s accomplishments for the African-American community

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about extending tax cuts for the Middle Class

• Comedian Carlos Alazraqui calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about the ComiCon appearance of his cartoon “Off The Curb”

• Golden Globe nominated actress Madeleine Stowe calls in at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT to talk about her support of Wayne Powell, who is running to unseat Eric Cantor in Virginia

• House Republicans generally avoided talk of replacement measures yesterday as they mobilized for an election-season vote today to repeal the health care law that stands as President Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment.

• In a speech at the NAACP’s convention today, Mitt Romney will make his case to the African-American community, attempting to establish a dialogue with black voters and making efforts to chip away at the president’s overwhelming lead among them.

LiveBlog for Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Obama’s desire to extend the tax cuts for the Middle Class

Jonathan Krohn, former Conservative child hero turned Obama supporter, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to talk about his stunning political conversion

Charlie Pierce of Esquire’s Politics Blog, calls in at 10:30am ET / 7:30am PT to talk about the bad behavior at Mitt Romney’s huge fundraiser for the ultra-rich

David Shuster of Current TV and WeActRadio calls in at 11am ET / 8am PT to talk about what President Obama needs to do to get the independent vote

• Comedian Michael McDonald joins us in the Los Angeles Bureau at 11:15am ET / 8:15am PT to talk about the news of the day and about his latest gigs

President Obama yesterday proposed a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making less than $250,000, reiterating his calls to let tax cuts for high-earning Americans expire.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) indicated that he “has no intention” of expanding Medicaid or putting in place a state-based health insurance exchange, both central components to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

LiveBlog for Monday, July 9, 2012

The Rude Pundit calls in at 9:30am ET / 6:30am PT to talk about Romney’s comments on the unemployed, and about Rep. Joe Walsh’s comments on Tammy Duckworth

Eric Boehlert, Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America, calls in at 10am ET / 7am PT to co-host Right Wing World

President Obama today will launch a push to extend the so-called Bush tax cuts for low and middle-income Americans, but he will continue to fight for the cuts to expire on Jan. 1 for people earning more than $250,000.

• Fresh off a week-long break in Wolfeboro, NH, Mitt Romney stopped in the Hamptons on Sunday to host three fundraisers, which were expected to raise $3 million, according to the New York Times.

The House will vote this week to repeal The Affordable Care Act. The vote, which was announced by House GOP leaders immediately following the U.S. Supreme Court’s health care ruling, will be the 31st time the Republican House will have voted to repeal or defund all, or part, of the act.

• Internet providers have plans to help their customers today and others are braced for calls to helplines because thousands around the country whose computers were infected with malicious software more than a year ago faced the possibility of not being able to get online.

• Oscar winning character actor Ernest Borgnine died Sunday. He was 95.