Cutting Edge: New ideas / Sharp Opinions
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Alec MacGillis in The New Republic thinks Ann Romney might not be the asset to her husband's campaign that she's cracked up to be. For instance, Mrs. Romney recalled at the GOP convention last week how she and Mitt "got married and moved into a basement apartment" and "ate a lot of pasta and tuna" to get through college -- just like many struggling students. Mr. MacGillis recalls how she described the situation back in 1994:
Neither one of us had a job, because Mitt had enough of an investment from stock that we could sell off a little at a time. The stock came from Mitt's father. When he took over American Motors, the stock was worth nothing. But he invested Mitt's birthday money year to year -- it wasn't much, a few thousand, but he put it into American Motors because he believed in himself. Five years later, stock that had been $6 a share was $96 and Mitt cashed it in so we could live and pay for education.
Mr. MacGillis explained: "One blogger did the math and figured out that stocks that were worth a 'few thousand' dollars when bought but had gone up by a factor of 16 meant that the young couple was getting by by 'chipping away at' assets of $60,000 (about $377,000 today)."
In the Atlantic Wire: "Marc Tracy in The New Republic on Chris Christie with a Mitt lens: Political parties remake themselves into their frontrunners, and that happened with Christie's speech ... where a combination of personal ambition and falling-in-line made for a speech that was 'muddled, corked like a bad wine.' Christie stayed on script to follow the Republican talking points, but he also rarely mentioned Romney's name. 'It was as though you had taken an Instagram of the New Jersey governor and then hit the "Mitt" tint,' Tracy writes."
Pittsburgh councilman Bill Peduto in an emailed newsletter says "greening" infrastructure could significantly reduce the $2 billion-plus price tag for stopping the overflow of sewage into our rivers during heavy rains:
"The rivalries with our neighbors to the north and east -- Cleveland and Philadelphia -- tend to revolve around sports, but I think we need some healthy competition on a new issue: green infrastructure. Unfortunately we have some catching up to do. Cleveland and Philadelphia are facing some of the exact same issues with flooding, combined sewer overflows and stormwater management that we are. They are both old cities with aging infrastructure badly in need of maintenance and they're both being pushed by federal regulators to clean up their act. And they're actually doing it.
"Both cities have put in place ambitious plans to invest millions in green infrastructure improvements -- [such as ponds, parks and green rooftops] -- to keep water from ever entering their sewer systems -- and therefore reducing the need to build new, larger pipes to hold and move this water."
Sally Kohn at FoxNews.com sums up Paul Ryan's GOP convention speech in three words: dazzling, deceiving and distracting. She spent most of the piece on deceiving:
"To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan's speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech."
Among the deceptions she catalogs:
• "Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States' credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.
• "Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis., the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing."
First Published September 2, 2012 12:00 am