Dave has his finger on the political pulse of the nation with the latest results of the Zogby Poll.
Responding to the question what "Most Americans would like to see," Letterman said that 6% said they would like to see Mitt Romney's tax returns. He then (jokingly?) said he believes that Romney has "not paid a nickle" in federal income tax, and then adds "We have a felon running for President ."
Dark money groups flooded Albuquerque's airwaves in August, aiming to sway a hotly contested U.S. Senate race by making more than half the political ad buys on top TV stations.
That fact, gleaned through a review of TV station political ad records now available in our Free the Files news application, highlights the role that unlimited anonymous money is playing in this year's election.
Our analysis of a month of ad orders in the Senate race between Republican Heather Wilson and Democrat Rep. Martin Heinrich is possible because of a new Federal Communications Commission rule requiring major-market affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC to upload political ad files to a government website.
In statements to ProPublica, the campaigns of Heinrich and Wilson blamed each other for relying on dark money.
Wilson campaign spokesman Chris Sanchez accused "environmental extremists" of pouring money "into New Mexico to falsely attack Heather Wilson because they know her opponent, Congressman Heinrich, supports their radical agenda."
Heinrich campaign spokeswoman Whitney Potter accused "corporate special interest groups" of spending millions in secret money to support Wilson "because they know she will support their misplaced priorities that put the wealthy special interests ahead of middle-class families in New Mexico."
The Senate race has attracted national attention because, with incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman retiring, it is a rare open seat. The race was considered tight earlier this year. After a summer of heavy spending by outside groups on both sides, Heinrich is now the favorite.
In August, while Wilson's campaign contracted to spend about $512,000 on ads in Albuquerque, four prominent conservative groups booked almost $658,000 of ads attacking Heinrich, station records show.
That means about 56 percent of the ad orders on the Republican side came from groups that don't disclose their donors, including Americans for Prosperity, founded by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and Crossroads GPS, launched by GOP strategist Karl Rove. Campaigns are required to report their donors.
Heinrich, who as a congressman has called for donor disclosure and campaign-finance reform, booked an estimated $246,000 worth of ads in August. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which also reports its donors, chimed in with another $74,000.
But nonprofits on the Democratic side spent an additional $288,000 on ads criticizing Wilson, about 47 percent of the money spent on ads overall.
The liberal dark money groups included a coalition of environmental organizations and the Citizens for Strength and Security Fund, which appears to be a successor to a nonprofit active in the 2010 election.
The spending figures are estimates because most of the files uploaded to the FCC website are ad orders. Sometimes, ordered ads never run because of changes in programming. The numbers also are not comprehensive; other TV stations in the Albuquerque market besides affiliates of the major networks do not have to put political ad files online until 2014.
While the FCC files have long been public, they were previously kept on paper at TV stations and were largely inaccessible. The files capture certain spending not reported to the Federal Election Commission and offer a detailed look at how campaigns and outside groups are spending ad dollars, including how many ads have been ordered, which stations are running them, the programs they run on, and how much they cost.
In possibly his most disturbing interview to date, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney tells Scott Pelley of CBS's "60 Minutes" that emergency room care suffices as a substitute for the uninsured.
While discussing reducing the federal debt, Romney explains that his first step will be to repeal Obamacare, and repeating his often claimed lie that this will knock $100 billion annually off the budget. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office has found that repealing the health care law will increase the federal budget deficit by more than $100 billion in the first decade and more than a trillion dollars in the next decade. The CBO also found that 30 million Americans would remain uninsured without the Affordable Care Act.
Pelley then asks Romney "Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don't have it today?"
With absolutely no hint of emotion, or human compassion whatsoever, Romney tells Scott Pelley, "Well we do provide care for people who don't have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don't sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care.
And different states have different ways of providing for that care."
I don't think Romney even blinks as he finishes this portion of this extended interview:
Pelley: That's the most expensive way to do it.
Romney: Well the--
Pelley: In an emergency room.
Romney: Different, again, different states have different ways of doing that. Some provide that care through clinics. Some provide the care through emergency rooms. In my state, we found a solution that worked for my state. But I wouldn't take what we did in Massachusetts and say to Texas, "You've got to take the Massachusetts model."
Some states might have clinics? So if you're having a heart attack after business hours you do sit in your apartment and die? Why such a drastic change in Romney's position on health care?
When asked in a March 2010 interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" whether he believes in universal health care coverage, Romney said, "Oh, sure!"
"Look, it doesn't make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way," he said. See the video below:
During an interview with Glenn Beck in 2007 (See the video below), Romney said that the individual mandate, the centerpiece of ObamaCare upheld by the Supreme Court today as a tax, was the “ultimative conservatism.” Romney said people going to the hospital and “getting free care” was a “form of socialism.”
See what a gigantic flip-flop this is? Now Romney is endorsing socialism? But Romney's version of socialism is unacceptable, as it leaves millions with no health care at all unless it's an emergency, and even then most hospitals have varying degrees of how much care you'll receive. But the 47% of the U.S. who are just moochers should just shut up and be glad with whatever get, isn't that right Mr. Romney?
After appearing on a news documentary show, a young homeless girl from Florida, and her younger brother have been awarded an all-expenses paid education at a private university.
On a recent episode of CBS's "60 Minutes," Scott Pelley met with dozens of Florida's poverty-stricken children who have been forced to reside in cars, vans, or trucks for weeks, or often months, at a time. The state of Florida is now home to one-third of all homeless families in the nation.
Featured prominently in the episode were the Metzger children, Arielle,15. Her brother Austin, 13. Their mother died when they were very young. Their dad, Tom, is a carpenter. And, he's been looking for work ever since Florida's construction industry collapsed. When foreclosure took their house, he bought a truck on Craigslist with his last thousand dollars, and that has been the family's home ever since.
Near the end of the video report - at about 11:47 minutes in - note what the Metzger children have to say about their local library, and eduction:
One threat to a family out here is idleness, so the folks that we met fill the days with every free and normal thing. After school, the Metzgers drive their truck to the library.
Arielle Metzger: 'Cause they've got the computers that we can use. And light and all that.
Pelley: I wonder what education means to you two?
Austin Metzger: It's everything.
Arielle Metzger: It is everything to us. I plan to be a child defense lawyer. If I focus on my studies, I have that opportunity.
We'll, Arielle and brother Austin will be going to college thanks to Stetson University, their alumni, employees and others who were moved by the children's plight and their passion for learning.
Two homeless Seminole County children who captured the hearts of TV viewers nationwide with their optimism and sincerity are receiving an all-expenses-paid trip — to college.
Stetson President Wendy Libby said she has been bombarded by email from alumni, employees and others asking how the college can help 15-year-old Arielle Metzger, who was wearing a green-and-gray Stetson T-shirt for part of the broadcast, and her brother Austin, 13.
It would be great if CBS followed up with the Metzger children either in college, or just after graduation. Greater still if this episode of "60 Minutes" was required viewing for every member of congress.