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Mitt Romney's new sloga, "Lie to America," hangs from Pinocchio's nose.
One of the funniest things—on a long and growing list of funny things—about Mitt Romney's refusal to release his tax returns is how the supposedly neutral "fact-checkers" are bending over backward to make it Harry Reid's fault.

Yesterday, PolitiFact decided Harry Reid's pants are on fire for saying that someone told him Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years because Reid has not provided "evidence" to PolitiFact that someone actually told him this.

Today, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post also weighs in:

Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid  incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable.
How would tax experts know whether someone told Harry Reid that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes? Because that is Reid's claim. That's the only claim he's making. And all of the tax experts in the world can't prove that it isn't true.

But Kessler, like other fact-checkers, is really hung up on this idea that tax experts—as opposed to, say, Mitt Romney—can clear up whether Harry Reid is lying, which is irrelevant to anything because the issue is not about Harry Reid. It's about Mitt Romney. But that's something lost on the hacktastic fact-checkers. Kessler even speaks to "a number of tax experts," who agree:

[G]iven Romney’s current portfolio, it was highly improbable for Romney to have had 10 years with taxfree returns — though there could have been one or two years with little or no taxes.
Well, there's a bold conclusion. It's improbable that Romney paid no taxes—except for the years when it's possible he paid no taxes. Thanks, tax experts, for the clarification!

Kessler gives Reid a whopping four Pinocchios for his failure to provide evidence about Mitt Romney's tax returns, explaining that "Reid also has made no effort to explain why his unnamed source would be credible. So, in the absence of more information, it appears he has no basis to make his incendiary claim."

Right. Harry Reid has no basis to make his incendiary claim that someone told him Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes. So obviously, to get to the real truth here, what we need is some evidence from Harry Reid. Not, say, Mitt Romney, the guy who could clear all of this up so easily. He's made some pretty incendiary claims himself, after all, including that he paid a lot of money in taxes. Yeah? Well, where's the evidence? The idea that asking tax experts to explain what might be in Mitt's taxes, or how much he might have paid, or which loopholes he might have exploited is a gigantic steaming waste of time. Why speculate? Why not just look at Mitt's tax returns to know for certain what's in there? Oh yeah. Because he refuses to provide any evidence to back up his incendiary claims.

Kessler the fact-checker goes into hack overtime with his conclusion:

Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress.  He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.
Oh, well, in that case. Reid holds a position of great authority—Mitt Romney merely wants to be president of the United State of America. Clearly, Reid carries that additional burden of accuracy that simply does not apply to Mitt.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It bothers many in the tradmed (59+ / 0-)

    that Reid would say that Lord Romney should release his tax returns more than Lord Romney not releasing his tax returns.  Reid broke the rules of the game.  

    Sure, one can critcize Reid - he's clearly playing a game by doing this - but it's the anger in thee tradmed that reveals much.  Were they this angry with Trump or Arpacio in Arizona?  With Romney 1000s of verifiable lies?  

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:36:17 AM PDT

    •  They also don't seem to get that (25+ / 0-)

      Reid is not saying that Romney paid no taxes. He is saying that a reliable inside source told him that. The only way Reid could be lying about this is if a reliable inside source did NOT tell him that. If what the reliable inside source told him is not true, that still does not make Reid a liar. So for people to call Reid a liar is curiously off the mark in a self-interested way.

      Reid, as a high-level elected official, is pressuring Romney to do what everyone already recognizes that Romney SHOULD do, indeed, should already have done. The hand-wringing journamilism theater is absurd. Put the pressure where it belongs: on the guy who wants to be president. After all, he's running for office, for Pete's sake.

      The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

      by psnyder on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:00:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is another way. (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psnyder, sunbro, bnasley, Aunt Pat, ER Doc, thomask
        The only way Reid could be lying about this is if a reliable inside source did NOT tell him that.
        And that is if the reliable inside source does not exist.
      •  That's a dodge really (38+ / 0-)

        You are technically right but the crux of the matter is the political fight. Reid is essentially passing on a rumor. That is always going to draw a certain amount of heat. And I am sure Sen Reid isn't hearing anything he did not expect.

        The bottom line here is this is not the sort of topic this guy or politicize-A-Fact  should approach with a 10' pole. The only fact they can check is the one you point out. But no editor is going to print a story like, "Did Harry Reid pass along a rumor? We say 'True!'".

        So they delve into this sort of crap and call a probability matrix "Pants-on-Fire". It's enough to make me vomit.

        This is the sort of this that is debated in opinion columns using the tools of prose. It is politics, not something to be weighed and measured and slapped with the false label "Facts".

      •  kessler cares not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat

        He's read that critique in the comments since posting his POS today.  Most of the comments have called him out on it, but he defended himself in the comments by not addressing it, but by citing politifact.  He's got nothing.  He's just a rMoney shill.  That's more and more clear by the day.  

        What amused me almost as much was the winger comments.  They didn't address it either but just got on a tangent about the president's college records, as if that even comes close to being the same thing.  They got nothing.  

        A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

        by dougymi on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:19:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wow.. pretzel logic at its finest (0+ / 0-)

        How far did you have to bend over backwards to come up with that?

        While that logic may apply on the schoolyard, the leader of the Senate is supposed to be bigger than that.  

        It's an unfounded rumor.. and keeping this up will lose Obama as many votes as Romney, if not more.

        Why you ask?  Because people are fucking suffering in this country.  20 million with no jobs. Millions on federal welfare with unemployment running out.  Millions more losing their homes.

        And Harry Reid cannot be bothered to even pass a fucking budget for over 3 years now.  Harry Reid has more time for school boy tattler games than he does trying to get this country running.

        My patience, and the patience of millions of swing voters is running extremely thin when we see this shit.  Democrats -  Stop playing these games and come up with some real solutions, or you will be voted out of power in 3 months.

        •  Your concern is noted. Nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, madhaus

          GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

          by Attorney at Arms on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:53:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, shall we discuss the litany of (0+ / 0-)

          high level people on the Right who have passed on endless rumors as fact? Ones with absolutely no basis in fact? From death panels to Obama's a Socialist, from birth certificates to the effects of the Citizens United ruling, from Obama's a Muslim to college transcripts, from Obama's gonna take your guns away to the stimulus didn't work...all rumors and propaganda, pushed by the Rightwing media and happily pushed as fact by elected and appointed Republicans from the Senate minority leader, the Speaker of the House, a SCOTUS judge and a long list of Congresscritters and pundits. Your feigned outrage over Reid's assertion and the attention it is receiving show your desperation. Want to complain about the unemployment rate, unemployment funds and the Economy look no further than the dysfunctional Congress who spends their shortened legislative sessions passing Bills to regulate women's health issues instead of the "jobs, jobs jobs" platform that they ran on, the Tea Party coalition and their downgrade of Our AAA rating, the utter abuse of the filibuster, an abhorrence of honest bargaining with Democrats and the Republican's staunch aversion to passing ANY legislation that might be perceived as good for Obama if it succeeds. Can't blame Obama for a Jobs Bill that Congress won't pass due to nothing more than partisan assholishness.

          •  And the Repubs have paid dearly (0+ / 0-)

            for a lot of their shenanigans.

            I'm simply telling you what I hear day in and day out here in the real world.

            Congress and this White House are out of touch.

            The Repubs in Congress, you may have noticed, are keeping their heads low lately.. They barely batted an eye at President Obama's executive order on the Dream immigrants.. they were almost silent on his gay marriage stand.  

            There is an election in 3 months!  But, here's Harry chuckling and passing on unsupported rumors - on the floor of the Senate, no less!  The only ones laughing with him are front page diarists and their readers on places like Daily Kos.  The major news organizations are even calling Reid's comments "outrageous".

            So.. fine.. have your "fun" with this.  But, I'm telling you this will come back to bite Dems (especially the President) in the ass.

            •  You miss 1 thing: Mr. 1% continues to hide the evi (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              madhaus

              dence.  In law that is called 'consciosness of guilt' and is proof.  And Mr. 1% 'defended' that admission of guilt by further admitting the returns would be more hurtful politically than the specualtion.  Now, what could possibly be worse than?

              So, far from being 'unsubstantiated', there is strong circumstantial proof for Reid's inference.  Prisons are full of folks convicted on circumstantial evidence.

              Sadly, Williard et. al. is not (yet) in one.

        •  What is this obsession some people have about (0+ / 0-)

          Democrats in the Senate not "passing a budget"?  I don't get it.  Government is still being funded but since it's sooooooooooo important to you (and Fox News), let's take a trip down memory lane for the past 3-4 years on how things have operated in the Senate, shall we?  Aside from a few months window, Democrats have NOT had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and Senate Republicans have profusely invoked filibusters on even routine business matters.  Let us suppose that Reid and the Democrats in the Senate submitted and tried to bring 50 budgets to a vote in a Senate where the GOP demanded 60 votes for everything. How many budgets would have been approved?  It's been even worse since the teanuts were voted into Congress and currently control the House and the GOP is still filibustering everything but what it deems acceptable in the Senate.  How many budgets would have been approved between 2011 and now?  I rest my case.  If you're so worried about Democrats in the Senate passing a budget, go scream at that other party running the House and gumming up the works in the Senate!

          •  Thug talking pt, so only less important than God (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Proud Liberal Dem

            Repeat it on Limpbulb or Faux and 30% will dutifully spew it as if it matter (and with great outrage! outrage, I tells ya!).  The folks 'in the real world' will hear and repeat it...

            ... rather than just asking the person they heard 'where'd you hear that?', 'what does it mean?', 'what's the differnece b/t a budget resolution (non-binding btw) and CR (which is law) and why do you care?'

            Lotsa people don't want to clean the spittle off as the wingnut sputters indignantly on actually being asked to explain and justify their b/s, so.... :)

    •  Perhaps many in the tradmed have flaky returns... (6+ / 0-)

      ...too, and therefore feel some sympathy with Romney.

      Or maybe they are honestly naive enough to think that Romney is telling the truth (in which case they really shouldn't be employed).

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:13:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The crux of the matter is: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thomask, JayBat

        What is Mitt Romney hiding from the American People that would, if revealed, make them NOT want him to be President?

        Being a serious candidate for President of the United States requires that the electorate have enough information about the candidate that they can feel comfortable trusting that individual making decisions that affect their lives.

        Clearly, there must be something Mitt is hiding, that if revealed, would destroy that potential trust.

        -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

        by sunbro on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:29:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Reid Broke no Rules. (7+ / 0-)

      Repugs are  pissed because he called out Romney from the Senate Floor, as protected speech and part of the OFFICIAL record.  

      That's GOTTA HURT!

      However, on the other side, Truth is a Total Defense.  

      So, We'll know the truth when Romney Releases Multiple consecutive years of tax returns!

      I still want to see 2009, I think it's a smoking gun.

      Just guessing/saying....

      ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

      by NevDem on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:51:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Clearly, you don't understand, Tom -- (11+ / 0-)

      The Washington Post ALWAYS names its sources immediately so that the public can judge their credibility.  Journalists using unnamed sources is unheard of!

      Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:53:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  a Dem is playing by Rep rules (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kingfishstew, a2nite, JayBat

      and doing it far more responsibly.  oh teh horrors

      "They have tried to sell us this trickle-down, tax-cut fairy dust before. And guess what? It does not work. It didn't work then, it won't work now." --Barack Obama

      by lizah on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:20:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This guy Kessler is one of them (14+ / 0-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(journalist)

    Kessler is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy. The book, which revealed new details on the making of Bush administration’s foreign policy, was described as “brilliantly reported” by the New York Times Book Review and generated news articles and reviews in two dozen countries around the world.[3]
    Kessler's reporting played a role in two foreign policy controversies during the presidency of George W. Bush. He was called to testify in the trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in which he was questioned about a 2003 telephone conversation with Libby in which the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA operative, might have been discussed.[4] (Libby recalled they had discussed Plame; Kessler said they did not.[5]) Meanwhile, a 2004 telephone conversation between Kessler and Steve J. Rosen, a senior official at American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was at the core of the AIPAC leaking case.[6] The federal government recorded the call and made it the centerpiece of its 2005 indictment of Rosen and an alleged co-conspirator; the charges were dropped in 2009.
    The Wall Street Journal called Kessler "one of the most aggressive journalists on the State Department beat."[7]

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:39:47 AM PDT

    •  Which WSJ was this? (4+ / 0-)
      The Wall Street Journal called Kessler "one of the most aggressive journalists on the State Department beat."[7]
      Was this BEFORE Rupert Murdoch bought the venerable old paper and turned it into yet another of his right wing poodles, incessantly yapping at the left?

      If so, this might mean something - but if it was after Murdoch bought it, pffft - nothing to see here....

      For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

      by dagnome on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:43:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't matter, He's tarnished now. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, madhaus

        ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

        by NevDem on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:54:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right after Murdoch bought the WSJ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gorette

        Three months after to be precise;

        Ms. Bumiller, however, doesn't seem particularly interested in Ms. Rice's time as America's top diplomat, spending a mere 50 pages on her work as secretary of state. That's where Glenn Kessler picks up the story in "The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy." A reporter for the Washington Post, Mr. Kessler is one of the most aggressive journalists on the State Department beat. (He broke the story of Israel's strike in September on an alleged nuclear facility in Syria.)

        Murdoch bought the WSJ on Aug 1st 2007.

        It took me 2 minutes on my iPhone to do this research while waiting at a car service.

        Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

        by Shockwave on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Fact" Checker creed: If its a "fact" that a.... (28+ / 0-)

    Republican is claiming it, it must be true....

    If it is a "fact" that it is a Democrat who is saying it, it must be false.

    That certainly makes life and work much simplier for them I suppose.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

  •  The fact he's fact checking Harry (11+ / 0-)

    is the good news, every speck of ink on this subject is golden...

    Harry gets a Geppetto in one respect however....in putting the wood to Rmoney...

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:41:30 AM PDT

    •  It's beautiful (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, ferg, durrati

      Let them claim Reid is Baron Munchausen, for all it matters... the important thing is that this keeps the focus squarely on Romney and what he might be/ could be/is hiding from the American people.  Reid knows that, and he doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks of him:  the focus is on making sure no one forgets for a moment what a secretive, untrustworthy weasel Romney is.  And in this, the media - both mainstream and towers of babble like Faux - are playing right into his hands.

      Beautiful.

  •  Well......if Kessler says it....it MUST be so. (9+ / 0-)
  •  I love the notion that Reid should comport himself (17+ / 0-)

    differently than the rest of the GOP Mob in congress.

  •  Highly unlikely that Romney has $100M in 401k (12+ / 0-)

    Experts all agree that it's highly unlikely; impossible, even.

    I guess that means that Romney does not, in fact, have $100M in his 401k, no matter how often it's been reported.

    •  Reported range $20.7 million - $101.6 million (0+ / 0-)
      Like many Americans, Mitt Romney has an individual retirement account. Unlike most Americans, Mr. Romney has between $20.7 million and $101.6 million in it, a big chunk of his fortune.

      http://online.wsj.com/...

      •  The WSJ is lying, obviously (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Attorney at Arms

        Experts have said that it's unlikely that he has those amounts.  Experts who have not seen the evidence are clearly more reliable than anyone reporting the facts.

        If Romney confirms those numbers, he's obviously lying as well.  

        •  And Mr. 1% voilating tax law, since pd no taxes (0+ / 0-)

          on whatever millions is in 401L, which is 'highly unlikely' (according to 'tax experts') to = that from $ 30k a year max legal contrib + -God-only-knows how many insider trades.

          So obviously, Mr. 1% is as saintly as Jesus.  More even, 'cause Jesus didn;t have all that dirty, dirty money to tempt him and all those evil workers to fire.

  •  let's try this (19+ / 0-)
    Moreover, Glenn Kessler holds a position of great authority as a media watchdog for the Washington Post.  He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.
    Yeah, that works.
  •  Exactly. Two things ignored by Kessler (15+ / 0-)

    are that Reid did not say Romney did not pay taxes for ten years. He said that he has a very reliable source who worked at Bain who said Romney paid no taxes.

    Secondly Romney told ABC that he would disclose his tax rates for prior years and has not. So Romney lied about what he would do. And that lie adds strength to the argument that his tax rates in prior years were zero or embarrassingly low.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:56:36 AM PDT

  •  The problem with the WaPo finding... (8+ / 0-)

    ...is the same problem Rachel Maddow had with the Tampa Bay Times' "pants on fire" finding on what Harry Reid said...can these guys really prove that Harry Reid is wrong? If you're going to prove Harry Reid wrong, isn't Reice Priebus wrong too for calling Reid a liar? Instead of jumping to conclusions, these so-called "fact checkers" would be wise to wait until Mitt Romney himself releases the returns (which he has refused to do). At that point, we can see who's telling the truth and who's not.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Gandhi

    by alaprst on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:01:03 AM PDT

  •  Updating WaPo's paragraph (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Tonedevil, madhaus

    Without -seeing Romney’s taxes- hearing directly from Reid's source at Bain Capital, we cannot definitively prove Reid  incorrect [or correct]. But tax experts [who also have not interviewed the source] say his claim is highly improbable.

    Republicans: They hate us for our Freedom.

    by mikeconwell on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:01:05 AM PDT

  •  so what about Republicans (8+ / 0-)

    that hold positions of authority in Congress, some of them say Obama might have been born in the US but it is open to question.

    Given the nature of some fund winning and some losing,  there could have been plenty of years when Romney paid almost nothing, if not nothing.    It is just as damaging to pay at 2% or 5% as to pay nothing with the public.    Romney can't really afford to admit he pays 15% a year every year, but wants to pay even less.   Not a good campaign slogan.  Fifteen percent or less for me,  thirty percent for thee.

    •  Yes, exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, jfromga

      "Nothing" is a relative term in the context of this discussion.

      When the average person's tax rate is upwards of 25% (a an arbitrary figure) then 2% or even 5% is "nothing" in comparison.  Especially when the person paying that 2 or 5% is raking in tens of millions a year doing ... well, nothing.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by lcbo on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:49:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's funny to do a fact check (8+ / 0-)

    when we have no facts. Just unsubstantiated claims.

  •  R's can dish it out, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JTinDC, deben, sunbro, OhioNatureMom

    but they sure can't take it.

    Listen to them whine over this, all the while, keeping the story alive.

    Just can't help themselves.


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:15:24 AM PDT

    •  An excellent lesson here, (3+ / 0-)

      which should be learned by Washington Dems.  First, they should have Reid's back.  A simple, "Yes, what the heck's Romney hiding anyway?  Why is he afraid to show voters how much he paid in taxes?"  The second lesson is that attacking like this works.

      If Washington Democrats had spoken like this and in unison to hound W. Bush on his AWOL record from the National Guard, his mysteriously purged drunk driving records, and his insider stock sales of his failed businesses, we almost certainly would have had a President Gore instead.

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:10:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let me show you how easy this is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evanaj

    "someone, who should know, told me Obama was listed as a foreign exchange student on his Occidental transcripts".  

    See my claim is true!

    Reid is being really sleazy if you ask me.

    •  concern duly noted. (13+ / 0-)

      You pity the fool who calls Mitt's bluffs, huh?


      "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:17:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let me show you how easy this is. (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lcbo, Rooe, sngmama, OhioNatureMom, looty, askew, madhaus

      Show me the papers.

    •  That would be like asking Romney for the actual (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, Tonedevil

      transaction number of the payment used to pay the taxes.  But he won't show the 'birth certificate' tax form.  So we can't ask for he actual transaction number.

      President Obama has given his birth certificate and all his tax forms.  

      Rich Romney Hood just wants what he always wants .  .  .  more, More, MORE.

      . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

      by 88kathy on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:58:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except for the fact that the President has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, Tonedevil

      released his Hawaii birth certificate for everyone to see.  All Mitt Romney has to do is release his tax returns.  You may call it sleazy, but it is really effective and given what has been dumped on the President over the years by birthers, Rev. Wright accusers, and the Obama is a Kenyan anti-colonial socialist crowd, a little sleaze form Harry Reid bothers me not one bit if it gets Romney to put out his taxes (or puts him on the defensive as to why he will not).

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:01:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But you are missing the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        evanaj

        A) I referred to the college transcripts which some seem to have conniptions over. And B) It is easy to simply assert some explosive allegation and say "someone told me" without any proof. The diarist implies that simply SAYING it, makes it true. See? It is really unbecoming a Democratic majority Leader. It's Donald trump territory.

        •  Forgive my lack of high dudgeon over Harry Reid's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          comments, but college transcripts don't mean shit in the context of birtherism, a birth certificate does, and that has been released.  "Somebody told me" may not be admissible in court, but as a prod to keep Romney's taxes in the news and to keep the public focused on the Governor's lack of transparency with regard to how he made his money, a very skill that Romney is putting out there as the reason he should be President, is a great tactic for keeping this story alive.  

          If Governor Romney actually did put out ten years of his taxes and then Harry Reid said that they were not the actual returns, then Reid would be entering Trump territory, since Trump is making his charges in the face of the released birth certificate.  As it is, Romney has only released one year, which in the modern Presidential tradition is simply not enough.

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:48:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  See the difference between this and birtherism (9+ / 0-)

      is that Obama's birthplace is easily verifiable with already-available public records. You would have to be a loon to ignore that evidence.

      Romney's tax record on the other hand, is about as transparent as a stone. There is already compelling circumstantial evidence that Romney is a huge tax cheat: multimillion dollar IRA, Swiss bank accounts, investments in the Cayman Islands, etc.

      Romney paying no taxes for an extended period of time is a plausible accusation, whereas Obama being foreign-born is the province of the delusional.

      •  I didn't say anything about birthers (0+ / 0-)

        although that too is a good example. But the charges- without evidence- is my point. anyone can do it for anything and be "correct" by the diarist's logic. And by the remarks here and elsewhere it is perfectly civil political discourse. I'd rather not see our leaders sink to the level of Donald Trump.

        •  Yes you did. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Attorney at Arms, dougymi, askew, madhaus

          You said "foreign exchange student".

          That's standard racist birther talk.

          -Jay-
          
          •  yes, that IS my point (0+ / 0-)

            I can say "hey someone told me". And that is what Reid is doing. No proof, no nothing. He hasn't released his transcripts so until he does I can say "someone told me" and it's true.

            I am not saying Romney is in the good here or leave that issue alone. But the sourceless anonymous charges is reminiscent  of the birthers, truthers, McCarthy etc. I'd rather our leadership be more civil and focus on issues (or at least substantiated charges) than this type of gutter tactics.

            At the very least a new (low) base has been set. Senate Majority Leaders of the other party can now, according to us, also hurl unsubstantiated shares as an acceptable political tactic.

    •  who is this "someone, who should know" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tonedevil

      that is the only question that Reid can answer, or refuse to answer.  But everything that comes after that is, as Reid fully acknowledges, hearsay.  

      Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

      by looty on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:05:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There could be a reason for this (0+ / 0-)

      If this is true, it wouldn't prove anything other than that there is a form that lists BHO as a foreign student.

      Perhaps he was instructed to apply as a foreign student by the admissions officer or that there was a grant or scholarship available to foreign students and he was advised to apply for that. Schools do like to trumpet geographical diversity so this is not inconceivable.

      Then there is the stupidity of accepting a college form as the gospel but somehow believe the birth certificate is a fake.

      •  I was not saying it is true! (0+ / 0-)

        I was just making the point, that what Reid is doing (and so many applaud) is certainly a new low in acceptable political rhetoric for prominent party leaders. Anyone is free to make up any charges they please, according the logic in this diary.

  •  Geappettos and Pinocchios-on-Fire (7+ / 0-)

    Look at the cutesy names these supposed "guardians" choose to use. If they were actually grounded in solid common sense and were genuinely diligent, then perhaps the appeal to childhood imagery would play well. Mike Royko could have gotten away with something like that. But coming from these guy and the Pol-Ill-Fact team, it comes off as self-mockery. It is like they are saying to us, "We know we're hacks. Even we don't take ourselves seriously."

    These self-proclaimed advertisements of Truth are pretty much the same thing as the Jimmy Swaggert: Holy-than-thou in public whoring it up in private.

  •  What about Mitt's claim that he paid lots of (12+ / 0-)

    taxes? Isn't that a "pants on fire" because there is no way, with available evidence, to tell if it's true or not? And gee, there would be a simple way to prove it, but Mitt's refusing to release his taxes.

    What about Mitt saying Obama is trying to keep active military from voting in Ohio? Another big lie.

  •  If there is anything additional at all that Harry (0+ / 0-)

    can reveal about his source to establish further credibility/plausibility without giving away who the source is, that would be great. Any little tidbit that gets some of his attackers in the MSM to take pause, even for a moment and say, hmm, well, maybe there is something too this, maybe we need to wait and see who this source is. Any additional info that can buy Harry a little more cred with the press and make the Romney camp a little more nervous would be terrific.

    Team Romney, I would think, has got to have a list of who they think it could be and are probably going down that list, calling these people and saying who knows what, making threats. It would be very interesting to get some inside info as to how they're really handling this. Are they putting on false bravdo with each other or are there expressions of genuine concern in the inner circle?

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:20:58 AM PDT

    •  what is the problem with (0+ / 0-)

      just announcing who the source is?

      that would up the ante

      •  Need to wait until after the convention. (0+ / 0-)

        Need to be assured Mittens is the nominee. If naming the source too soon means the GOP rallys around an 11th hour savior candidate, that could be very bad new for our team.

        Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

        by JTinDC on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:50:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  if they have to try to (0+ / 0-)

          find a new candidate now, they are already screwed in November.

        •  Who would the GOP pick to be their Savior? (0+ / 0-)

          The one with the next number of delegates would be Ron Paul, and that ain't gonna happen.  Who next, Sactimonious Santorum?  Newt?  Herman Nein, Nein, Nein, Cain?  Congresswoman Michelle I see a Muslim under every Mattress Bachmann?

          Jeb Bush knows that it would be a loser and he won't run.  I'm not sure who the Republicans could draft at this late date to make a showing in November.  

          And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

          by MrJersey on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:07:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I answered my own question. If not Romney, the (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans would reach out and anoint their favorite of all, Donald Trump!

            And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

            by MrJersey on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:10:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not certain Jeb would be a loser. (0+ / 0-)

            8% of the elecorate are still undecided, which means 8% of the electorate are open to considering gving someone else a chance over Obama. I don't think Mittens is an acceptable alternative to most of that 8%. But if they're deperate and dumb enough to insist on making a change, then yeah, Jeb could be the guy. The energy dynamic on the right would change over night and I'd bet good money Obama would lose.

            Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

            by JTinDC on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:15:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When the Teabaggers discover that Jeb's wife is (0+ / 0-)

              from Mexico and he doesn't necessarily want to put all undocumented immigrants into incarceration forever, the Republican anti-immigrant base would abandon him.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:06:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Jeezuz gods, yer right. How could I have forgotten (0+ / 0-)

                Then again, maybe they'd give him a pass as long as it meant they could get the black guy out of the WH.

                Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

                by JTinDC on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 01:49:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  What's the problem with Romney showing 12 years (11+ / 0-)

        of tax returns like President Obama?

        Something to hide, ya think?

      •  Wouldn't solve much (0+ / 0-)

        It would just change the focus from Reid to the source so that this news cycle they could smear the source rather than Reid.  All that would have been established is that Reid was telling the truth about someone making a claim.  


        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
        Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

        by KingBolete on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:26:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't find that unimportant. I believe Harry (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil

          and would like to see him backed up. As for source, if Harry has faith that the source is credible, then so do I.

          Harry also has stated that once the source is revealed, that the source's credibility will be fairly self-evident. IOW, the press may well have their work cut out for them if their goal is to set about discrediting the source.

          Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

          by JTinDC on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:06:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  From a tactical POV (0+ / 0-)

        ...it would be silly to reveal the source now.

        -Jay-
        
  •  How impropable... (7+ / 0-)

    Is it that Rmoney would amass $100 million in his IRA?  Yet he has.  

    Stop the War on the Olympics! Zeus is the reason for the season, put Zeus back into the Olympics!

    by RichM on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:21:13 AM PDT

  •  no doubt mr. romney has paid lots of taxes: (8+ / 0-)

    sales taxes, excise taxes, real/personal property taxes, etc. we just don't know (because mr. romney made a point of not saying) if any of those "lots of taxes" he paid included any federal income taxes, which is the actual issue at hand.

    it's good to know that the wp has a program for hiring the intellecutually challenged, such as mr. kessler, otherwise, they'd be out on the streets.

  •  Reid said he has multiple sources (9+ / 0-)
    On Wednesday, Reid stuck to his story, and broadened it.

    "I am not basing this on some figment of my imagination," Reid said in a telephone call with Nevada reporters. "I have had a number of people tell me that."

    http://www.lvrj.com/...
     

    Reid has said he learned about Romney’s taxes earlier this summer from an investor in Bain Capital who, he said, called his office to pass along the information. The senator has refused to identify the investor and has acknowledged that he can't be certain about the veracity of the charges he's been spreading.

    In a conference call with Nevada reporters on Wednesday, he broadened what he said were his sources for the contention that Romney was able to avoid federal taxes.

    "I have had a number of people tell me that," said Reid, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, while refusing to elaborate.

    http://articles.latimes.com/...

  •  Reid told us what Deep Throat told him. (0+ / 0-)

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:46:01 AM PDT

  •  Proof check the Fact Checker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom

    Show Us Romney's Tax returns!

    That will settle the argument

    Or

    Show us that Romney has a REAL PROBLEM with the IRS!

    ... the watchword of true patriotism: "Our country - when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right." - Carl Schurz; Oct. 17, 1899

    by NevDem on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:46:39 AM PDT

  •  Did Birthers in Congress get this much fainting? (6+ / 0-)

    Many Senators and Reps were spreading the birther garbage, did everyone hyperventilate over that?

    •  Call me a "Worther" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      merrywidow, madhaus

      I want to see Mitt's "Worth Certificate".

      Does that make me a "Worther"?

      * Bill Clinton made me a Democrat. But George W Bush made me a Liberal.
      MugsysRapSheet.com

      by Mugsy on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:59:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, because we are asking for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OhioNatureMom

        things that actually exist in this universe. Unlike birthers, who won't be satisfied until they see the Kenyan birth certificate that doesn't exist.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:07:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's more (8+ / 0-)

    telling is who is not talking.  That would be McCain, the one that's seen plenty of Willard's tax returns.  Why doesn't he come out and say Reid is just making this up?

  •  These "fact checkers" are roughly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom

    what it would be like if sports journalists always used the transitive property to prove stupid opinions such as saying that the Charlotte Bobcats are the best team in the NBA

  •  a lot of tax experts would say (6+ / 0-)

    it is implausable that someone with Romney's income would pay only 13% in Federal income tax.  They would probably also say it is implausable that anyone would have $100,000,000 in an IRA.

  •  With over 40 years of ruthless conditioning (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, dougymi, kingfishstew

    by the RWNM, the establishment media is invariably going to identify with the aggressor. The core script is basically that if the GOP asserts something, it must be true even if it clearly isn't true. The vast majority of establishment media "journalists" are either too stupid, self-interested or cowardly to actually report the actual facts. They will ALWAYS report the narrative and fit the facts to it.

    They have been well trained. So has the public. So has anyone who doubts this. No one ever got rich overestimating the media's credibility or public's intelligence.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:56:45 AM PDT

  •  It is quite shocking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OhioNatureMom, JayBat, madhaus

    how much the media is pushing the "Harry Reid is a meanie and a liar" line.

    Well, not that shocking, considering the media is owned by One Percenters and defense contractors who stand to benefit from Romney Hood economic policies.

    Still, they aren't even pretending to be fair on this one.

    News organizations, fact checkers, political columnists, listen up. Harry Reid can't be a liar until the documents come out. He might be wagging the dog, and he might be telling the truth. You don't know one way or the other.

    What you do know (or should know) is that there is one way to shut Reid up for good: Release the tax returns.

    Seriously, media, ask yourselves the burning question: "Why?" Why hasn't Romney released them? After constant badgering from literally everywhere on the political spectrum, left right and center, he still refuses to do it.

    The obvious answer is that he's hiding something he's ashamed of, something that is politically damaging. Otherwise this tax return issue would not be an issue. He would have already released all those tax returns that he gave to John McCain in 2008.

    The old adage goes: "You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide."

    •  Don't you just love it? Republicans are keeping (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, a2nite

      this going in the media.

    •  This is the sort of thing that I and a few others (0+ / 0-)

      were worried about with the Harry Reid situation.

      While everybody else was busy saying that it was impossible for the Dems to come out behind on this one, those of us that have lived in conservative or swing states and that know conservative and swing voters know that they invariably still either trust the news media implicitly OR think that it has a liberal bias (because this has become conventional wisdom in America, correct or no).

      We had Romney on the ropes before Harry Reid.

      Now it's all back in play, and the story has become one about how the Democrats are doing something sleazy and dishonest.

      And we're back to what we always do: bitching about how the media is biased and the public is stupid. But that doesn't help us to win elections.

      At this point we'd better hope that Romney doesn't release his tax returns, because it's a no win for us.

      If Romney isn't endicted immediately afterward, it shows that Romney's tax returns were legal and above-board (they will then assert the presumption that the authorities are right and proper and thus there was no basis for Reid's "slanderous attack," even if he paid nothing for ten years due to being a "job creator").

      If Romney is endicted, it will merely show that "politicians" are doing "what they always do" and that the prosecution is a political one by the Obama federal government, "Chicago-style" politics to take out his opponent.

      No, these two views are not consistent (in the first, authorities are assumed to be legitimate and competent, in the second to be dishonest and illegitimate), but they represent the values and assumptions deeply held by swing voters:

      (1) The system is good, BUT
      (2) It does not create jobs, only incentivized businesses do, AND
      (3) The media is liberally-biased, AND
      (4) Politicians already elected are ALL BAD, so
      (5) ANY not-yet-elected is morally better and also subject to attack.

      It would have been better if we let the public keep simmering at a subconscious level about Romney's dishonesty rather than putting ourselves back into the "he said, she said" game in which we rely on the media (like fools—when has this ever worked for us in recent memory) to side with our "he said."

      -9.63, 0.00
      I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

      by nobody at all on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:12:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh what? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, kingfishstew, JayBat

        The media can beat up Harry Reid all it wants. He's a boxer, he's used to being punched. And he isn't due for re-election until 2016. This will not affect him at all.

        Meanwhile, what this media shitstorm is doing is keeping the tax return story at the forefront. The media could have moved on to gun violence, the olympics, a drunken celebrity, whatever... but largely thanks to Harry Reid, the tax return story persists.

        Bobbleheads can call Reid a liar all they want, but after all the whining has stopped, after the dust settles, Romney still hasn't released his returns, and the question that sticks in everyone's mind, no matter how teabaggery they might be, is "why not?"

      •  No. No one is saying Romney did anything illegal. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat

        We're saying they may have been years when he paid little or no taxes.  We deserve to know.

        No.  The public needs to see Democrats fighting, and all Dems need to have his back.

        Americans don't like weakness.

  •  Gray is being ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evanaj, AmericanAnt

    I can't believe you're resorting to semantic technicalities.  It's so silly.

    The point of Reid's making the claim is that he himself is suggesting Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years.  Very possibly true.  But he doesn't get a pass on fact-checking just because the manner in which he made the claim suggests someone else said it first.  

    An appalling case of intellectual dishonesty here.

  •  But tax experts say . . . (5+ / 0-)

    Until some tax expert explains to me how Romney accumulated $100 million in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), I'm not listening to any tax experts speculating about the contents of tax returns they have not seen.

    Romney: Stubborn, dumb, dishonest, predictable, responds poorly to pressure, and for sale. What''s not to like?

    by tomwfox on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:02:38 AM PDT

    •  The Explanation I've Read (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, JayBat

      Romney placed grossly undervalued shares of one or more of his Partnerships in the trust which allowed him to then realize huge profits. Nobody can figure out what is going on.

      But since Romney's IRA investments are disguised via a byzantine series of offshore entities designed at least in part to minimize US taxes, it is impossible to do this analysis without having access to his returns.
      Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...

      It is amazing that he gets away with this shit. That is the real story. The US has a toothless IRS thanks to intentional under-funding that allows the rich to shield their money.

  •  Deep Throat and a corroborating unnamed (5+ / 0-)

    source were good enough for WaPo to publish Watergate.

    But a Bain investor and "others" corroborating the Bain investor were not good enough for Reid to report what he'd heard - when others have stepped up to attest for Reid.

    So WaPo hypocritically employs a double standard here - what was good enough for them is not good enough for Harry Reid.

    WaPo provides zero evidence Reid lied because they focused on an out of context implication "Romney hasn't paid taxes in 10 years" without considering the provision by Reid that Reid couldn't be sure of the claim was true. So there is a deep fallacy in how they've examined Reid's remarks. And WaPo has provided zero evidence that Reid claiming he was told this by more than one source is false.

    As I said below the article: eight Pinnochios for WaPo because it's twice as bad when the ref messes up so badly.

  •  We award Don Kessler 4 Pinocchios for.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, dfe

    .. his statement that Reid's statement is false, without providing any evidence to prove the same.

  •  Romney used a foreign address (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I am a Patriot

    when he filed his taxes.  That's why he won't release it.  It makes him ineligible to serve as president.  At least, that's one someone told me.

    I think we should challenge his eligibility.  He has to release his taxes so we can validate he was living in the USA for the last few years and can therefore serve as president.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:18:40 AM PDT

    •  No Just Guilty of Possible Tax Evasion (0+ / 0-)

      Romney has clearly been residing in the US for the past 14 years, no matter what his taxes returns say. If he were to have claimed to be a resident of someplace that is not in the US or a US Territory for tax purposes he would have some explaining to do but it won't change his eligibility.

  •  Washington Post is a right wing hack newspaper (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    I don't know how they get a reputation for being left leaning and a part of the liberal media.

    It blows big time.

    Politifact is actually politihack

  •  Ah contra pierre (0+ / 0-)

    Harry said someone told him that; don't see how any of that is a lie.  so shame shame on you Washington Post.

    maybe the guy who said it is a liar; but NOT Harry.

  •  Kessler's "fact hactivism" has been going on for (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, madhaus

    a long time.

    Another Kesslerism, from my Facebook page:

    In case you've read Kessler's call-out of MoveOn.org & Nancy Pelosi, here's the reality check that he was missing: http://www.snopes.com/...

    Kessler's crap: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

  •  Wonder what odds the Tax Experts would give (0+ / 0-)

    over Willard accumulating One Hundred Million Dollars in a personal IRA with a $6,000.00/year limit ! ! Think about that one and I hope they dont let up on this Willard "Retro trip shennanagen" for sure...Talk about underestimating value and or plain out and out fraud...Sooo much for tax experts and "fact checkers". It all most be tossed out the window when trying to verify Retro Willard. This man's GREED is on an entirely new level

    "Round up the usual suspects"

    by NanaoKnows on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:23:25 AM PDT

  •  On the article (0+ / 0-)

    These fact checkers are actually quite correct. Reid is claiming that a reliable source told him that Romney didn't pay taxes for ten years. One must be quite skeptical of these claims as we don't know who this source is or even if they actually exist.

    The author stated that "Harry Reid has no basis to make his incendiary claim that someone told him Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes. So obviously, to get to the real truth here, what we need is some evidence from Harry Reid." They are quite incorrect. Reid does have a basis to make such a claim as Reid, being a Democrat, wants Obama to have a second term and by making this claim, is bringing heat to Romney under the guise that he just wants Romney to release his tax returns.

    We actually do need evidence from Reid that this claim is true. When one makes a dubious claim, the burden of proof is on them, not the person they are accusing.

    •  The claim is not dubious. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat
      When one makes a dubious claim, the burden of proof is on them, not the person they are accusing.
      I would tend to agree with you on this.  However, given the circumstantial evidence already out there about Romney's tax-dodging tactics (super huge IRA, Swiss bank accounts, Cayman investments) I would not necessarily be inclined to rate the claim that Romney paid little or no taxes for 10 years as "dubious."

      If someone had accused Romney of something like domestic violence, then yes, the claim would be considered dubious and require additional proof on the part of the accuser to sustain credibility.  However, when it comes to Romney's taxes, the evidence (albeit circumstantial) is already out there, and Romney could simply make all this go away by releasing the tax records.  He would even get the added benefit of discrediting Reid, which the GOP should be all over in a flash.  The fact that Romney has not done so is very telling.

      •  The claim is that he paid NO taxes. (0+ / 0-)

        There is a difference.

        "Help me to be, to think, to act what is right because it is right; make me truthful, honest, and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me." [Robert E. Lee]

        by SpamNunn on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:20:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what difference does it make? (0+ / 0-)

          If he really did pay any sort of taxes for 10 years, then the claim should be easy to disprove.  Just release the data, and make Reid look like an ass - game, set, and match.

          So what is Romney hiding?  Either he didn't pay taxes for 10 years, or he did.  If he did, was the amount was so shockingly low that most middle and low income Americans would consider it outrageous?

  •  Kessler uses unnamed sources constantly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi

    So, Glenn Kessler uses unnamed sources in his conclusions that people are lying. But he does not name his sources. So we cannot prove or disprove his allegations.

    He's a real piece of work.

    •  A concrete example of Kessler's unnamed sources (0+ / 0-)

      WaPo "fact checker" Glenn Kessler frequently uses unnamed sources in his columns, including for some outrageous claims, including his claim that Bain Capital's SEC filings showing Mitt was involved there when he claimed otherwise, did not need to accurately reflect facts.

      "We consulted with securities law experts, with many years of experience with these forms. One expert examined this document at our request. He suspected that someone had simply duplicated a filing that had been made many times before, though he acknowledged, “it looks inartful in retrospect.” He pointed out that the titles are basically meaningless, that someone can be listed as a chief executive and actually have no responsibilities whatsoever. "

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

  •  Simple solution (0+ / 0-)

    All Romney has to do to dispel the rumor is to let a credible 3rd party examine the returns and provide a list of the amounts paid in taxes.  The 3rd party's contract would allow them to only address the specific question of how much Romney paid in federal income tax.  

    Of course, he could simply release his returns but we already know that there's some very ugly things in there---otherwise he would have released them.


    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.—Carl Schurz
    Give 'em hell, Barry—Me

    by KingBolete on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:31:34 AM PDT

  •  You Misinterpreted Quoted Statement (0+ / 0-)

    You mock a "Tax Expert" for saying that it is unlikely that Reid was told that Romney paid zero taxes for ten years with this quote:

    Without seeing Romney’s taxes, we cannot definitively prove Reid  incorrect. But tax experts say his claim is highly improbable.
    However, it is clear from the quote and the article it sits in that the "Tax Expert" was saying that it is unlikely that Romney paid no taxes for ten years. He was not commenting on whether or not Reid was honestly repeating what someone told him.

    Personally, I am pretty happy to see the Democrats playing hardball on this issue. It is interesting how much effort that are putting forth to defend Romney while they say little to nothing about all of the endless lies that emerge from Romney and his campaign.

    I have no idea if Reid is correct. However, I think it is quite likely they know enough to be certain Romney is never going to release those returns.

  •  Perhaps, "Romey did not pay US Income Taxes for 10 (0+ / 0-)

    years."

  •  A key fact about the Washington Post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus

    It is owned by the The Washington Post Company, which most people think of as a media company.  That was once true, but it hasn't been true for a number of years.  Instead, according to its own annual report for 2011, "The Washington Post Company is a diversified education and media company, with education as the largest business."

    More 58% of the company's total revenue came from its Education division, which consists largely of Kaplan University and other for-profit "institutions of higher education."  Most of the rest of the company's income comes from its cable TV and broadcasting holdings, with only a little more than 15% coming from newspaper publishing.  What's more, those figures are for revenues.  In terms of net income, the newspaper operation is actually a money loser, having lost more than $18 million last year.

    As the newspaper has become less and less what the corporation is all about, the quality of the newspaper bears less and less resemblance to the Washington Post of Watergate fame.  What's more, the editorial policy of the newspaper has more and more become one of speaking for corporate interests.  Clearly, the efforts by primarily Democratic members of Congress and the Obama administration to cut down on the gravy train of federal educational expenditures going to for-profit institutions of "higher education" that provide little worthwhile education is a major threat to a company that is more and more dependent upon revenues from such a business.

    I'm not suggesting that anybody in corporate directly gives orders to the newspaper operation to slant their coverage, and the Washington Post still has some excellent reporters.  But people know what pleases their bosses, and most people have a tendency to want to make their bosses happy.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:40:37 AM PDT

  •  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kingfishstew, JayBat, dougymi, madhaus
    Moreover, Reid holds a position of great authority in the U.S. Congress.  He should hold himself to a high standard of accuracy when making claims about political opponents.
    When is the last time any of these asshats scolded, say, Mitch McConnell or John Boehner for acting inappropriately for their "position of authority"?

    The double standard is ridiculous.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

  •  Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you (0+ / 0-)

    The lazy clusterfuck media loves to 'report' made up stories instead of digging for facts and Factchucker Glenn Kessler is leading the charge.

    Glenn Kessler = 4 Pinocchios

  •  Rachel Maddow is correct about Poltifact. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, madhaus

    And anyone using them as a fact-checker is a fool.

  •  Give Bill Frist a VHS of Romney's accountants. (0+ / 0-)

    That should clear it up.

    Hey Huckabee -- how 'bout a "Religious Freedom Appreciation Day" for mosques?

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 10:56:36 AM PDT

  •  He takes a guess from random "expert" over (0+ / 0-)

    the LEADER of the US SENATE who serves honorably for many, many years without scandal?

    Wow. I used to think Kessler was bad, now I think he's nuts!

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:12:09 AM PDT

  •  Gabby improbable (0+ / 0-)

    Olympic experts.. still ignoring the facts of the results..deem The Great Gabby as still an improbable gold medal winner proving she is the greatest female gymnast in the world..

    Every goddamn day I think about Bradley Manning!

  •  Wouldn't the IRS have come for him by now? (0+ / 0-)

    "Help me to be, to think, to act what is right because it is right; make me truthful, honest, and honorable in all things; make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me." [Robert E. Lee]

    by SpamNunn on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:16:22 AM PDT

  •  question. When Willard "says" he's paid "a lot of (0+ / 0-)

    taxes" isn't that essentially the same thing Reid is saying by he "heard that Willard hasn't paid any taxes"? I mean there's no proof that Willard has paid "a lot of taxes" prior to 2010. We are just supposed to take the word of a man who has been proven a liar when it comes to previous state tax claims?

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:16:26 AM PDT

  •  Well, the poor don't pay taxes! (0+ / 0-)

    Thatss been a common refrain from their blowhards lately.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 11:18:00 AM PDT

  •  kessler's family tree is full of (0+ / 0-)

    major industrialists.

    that's the impression i get from wikipedia.

    or as my uncle harry would say, i heard that mitt and glenn attend dressage events together!

  •  Question... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Liberal Dem

    Why do these "fact checkers" just not wait to weigh in until they have evidence to prove that Reid is lying?  because Mitt says that he has paid a lot of taxes we are supposed to believe that he did even though he comes out with a lie-a-day about President Obama?  So what happens if Mitt releases his taxes and they prove Reid's source was correct?  Also, it's funny because reporters in the media always always always use un-named sources.  How many times do you hear.."a source, who didn't want to go on record said xyz".  It's really funny how these "fact" checkers continue to bend over backwards to find fault with democrats while Mitt lies, and lies and lies with just the minimum "fact checking" done on his baseless statements.  

  •  Pullitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston say so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madhaus

    As in it is NOT improbable for someone of Romney's wealth. Johnston says there are 400 of the highest REPORTED declaring taxes that paid zero or practically zero, including six with incomes over $250 million.

  •  Thanks for publicizing this (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently, the "fact-checkers" are falling into "hackstep" over this.  I posted something elsewhere about Politifact but it looks like other "fact-checkers" are following their lead.  I pointed out exactly the same things that you did- that Reid said that somebody told him about this but neither Politifact nor, apparently, WAPO, are disproving that Reid had a source who told him about this.

  •  You know what else is "highly improbable"? (0+ / 0-)

    Building a tax-free IRA account to at least tens of millions of dollars.

    How about an Office of Fact Based Initiatives?

    by factbased on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 12:51:22 PM PDT

  •  So pretty much every investigative news sotry=lie? (0+ / 0-)

    Srsly?  The WaPo, which made its bones on unnamed sources (Hello! Deep Throat anyone?), no less.

    Oh wait, I see... Its ok if its a 'news agency', like went-toSCOTUS-so-it-could-lie Faux, or payolla-schills or Judith Miller who did it just b/c she's a douche... but not a politican with decades of experience, and not incidently a better reputation for honesty than the press...

    Riiiiight.

    Now, explain why you need that 1st amendment again?

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