Tag Archives: romney

Shocked?

I can’t be shocked that Mitt Romney got his clock cleaned in the electoral college.  If there is a bright side for the GOP is could be that they ran a Mormon with a severely moderate track record, who had to contort himself into a right-wing zealot, while still trying to appeal to moderates, but not be a moderate.  Romney’s Mormonism wouldn’t come into play here, except that it was less than a month before the election when Billy Graham agreed to remove Mormonism from his church’s list of cults.  For a party that considers the religious right to be its wholly-owned property, that is kind of a big deal.

See Ya.  Wouldn't Want to Be Ya.

Thank you, America. You just made my wife Ann the happiest woman in Massachusetts, I mean, after Elizabeth Warren… obviously.

There was the issue of “who is Romney”, or maybe “which Romney are they asking me to vote for, again?” Romney couldn’t be the Romney that ran for and won the Massachusetts Governor’s seat.  That much was immediately apparent.  His “moderation” was moderate in the way that Rachel Maddow is “moderately lesbian”.  He also couldn’t be a conventional moderate Republican, because the GOP is running out of ice floes to push their moderates out to sea on.  And he couldn’t be a blatant right-wing champion because it would mean having to explain every one of the massive slate of whiplash-inducing position reversals as a whole, instead of being able to dismiss them piecemeal.

He did, however, do everyone a favor by explaining the official GOP position on the “47 percenters” for us.  You don’t make that kind of statement to $50k per plate Republican high-roller donors without a little help.  You do it with your campaign team at your right hand.  If he did make this long statement “off the cuff”, it makes any of Sarah Palin’s “going rogue” moments look like a Judy Blume book.  So if you see him on the street, thank him for clearing that up.  If you don’t want to click the link and see Limbaugh’s bloated mug peering back at you, I’ll save you the click:

“Romney, he [Limbaugh] said, had promoted “traditional” values of hard work, which had been rejected: “In a country of children where the option is Santa Claus or work, what wins?” 

Ah yes, the old “those people don’t want to work for a living” rouse.  Really?  I don’t know for sure because I live in Connecticut, and maybe we are so punch drunk from high taxes we don’t notice, but nowhere on my IRS forms does it ask my party affiliation and give me fabulous prizes if I check “Demon-Crat”.  We all pay the same fucking taxes.  Adherents of neither party are more or less likely to need or avail themselves of Local, State, or Federal aid if they need it.  Republicans are not graciously throwing in an extra $2000 with their tax bill and telling the IRS to “keep the change”.  The ass-backwards-ness of Limbaugh railing against this shadow demographic while he demands first world accommodations without the tax bill to show for it, well, that’s just Rush.

If there is a bias (and the bias is nowhere near as large as it is made out to be in the popular media) it is that Democrats and Independents seem more likely to acknowledge that giving tax breaks to corporations and the super-wealthy does not create jobs and does not get magically balanced out by… well, you never get an answer to where that money is supposed to come from.  The top 1%, and as far as I can tell, the top 10%, haven’t payed lower tax rates in over 100 years.  Ditto for corporations.  The fabled “job creators”, aka mid-sized and small businesses, are justifiably pissed off that they have not gotten in on as much of this fabulous tax cut action as the mega-wealthy.  And since the mega-wealthy would rather not level the playing field by paying their share, you have an outcry for lower taxes on midsized operations and the less-than-tycoon class.  And if those guys are getting breaks, why are Joe-Twelvepack and Joe-E-Microbrew and Giuseppe-Chianti paying 35% to Uncle Sucker?  In a mystifying coincidence, Local, State, and Federal tax receipts are at an all-time low, creating record shortfalls, and forcing cuts in non-essentials and luxury items like health care, services to the children and the elderly, arts education, parks, transit options, etc…

If you just noticed that the drastic cuts in the tax rates for high-earners and corporations are coincidental with decreased tax receipts, and that the people who cut the taxes now want to cut services depended on by individuals that didn’t get the tax break, all while telling the people who’s taxes they actually did cut that they won’t cut services that high-earners and corporations need… well, an angel just drank a Red Bull.  You also just figured out which way the class-war billiard table actually slopes.  Have a cookie.

If you are really out in la-la land, you might be concerned that much of American Infrastructure is showing its age, and there is no money to do anything about it.  Each year things like bridge repair, railway upgrades, electrical grid modernization, next-generation transit infrastructure, and a host of other things we totally take for granted, get ignored and put into the “luxury” bin.  As long as Americans are sold on the idea that they deserve ultra-low taxes, and only communists build high-speed rail networks and bike lanes, nothing will ever happen about this.  You don’t have to squint too hard to see what kind of mess you get into if you wait until an interstate highway bridge fails before you recognize the need to build a new one. Or you could scroll up, look at the picture of Romney, and thank your deity of choice that Halliburton isn’t the new FEMA or Fed-DOT.

So no. I’m not shocked by the outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election.  I was too busy being shocked by how many pressing issues were taken completely out of the election year dialogue.  I was shocked that the two-party system is so entrenched that the candidates are not required to debate each other, or even answer the questions posed to them in the fake debates.  I am always shocked that nobody seems to notice or care in any kind of measurable number.  I was shocked that the so-called Fiscal Cliff* was put in dry-dock until immediately after the election was decided.  I could have been shocked that the only place you could see an interview with presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who was a Republican Governor that chose his own Libertarian** ice floe, was OUTSIDE Magazine… I was too busy laughing at the irony.

For my own part, this is the last time I will vote for a member of either major party in a voting booth.  I chose a candidate who might make a few decisions I agree with, over one who would have immediately made many decisions I find morally abhorrent.  That’s no way to participate in a democracy.

*Fiscal Cliff: where each of the two major partys get what they want but has to give the other party what they want in order to get it.  also see: Congressional Circle Jerk

**Libertarian: American slang for “willfully ignorant, in a wonky way”

Fish, Barrel, Shotgun…

Shooting fish in a barrel.  Aside from getting very wet, it is the definition of something so foolproof as to be unsporting.  Which is why making sense of Mitt Romney is like shooting fish in a barrel.  I’m not saying Mitt makes sense, but I am saying that Mitt’s actions are both easily recognized and predictable.

Mitt Romney will say absolutely anything, regardless of any previous position he has verbalized, policy he has championed, or social group he hath shat upon.  He is simply the flippiest, floppiest, most vote grubbing, jellyfish of a candidate I have ever witnessed.

I was reading a piece about his environmental record as Governor of Massachusetts, which I can corroborate because I was working in Climate and Energy policy in Connecticut at that exact time.  If you don’t want to deal with the NYT’s latest annoying article limits, I’ll give you the skinny:

  • He was for “cap and trade” before he was against it
  • He was for green vehicles before he decided they were a bad choice
  • He was against heavily polluting energy until he was paid to realize how great it is!

The article uses the cutesy term “Potomac Fever” to describe his shift to positions that would get him in the door with the RNC.  But I would contest that he had “Charles Fever” before that, telling Massachusetts voters whatever they wanted to hear in order to secure their vote, then playing Lucy to their Charlie Brown when he got into office.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one of his tools in the world of Bain Capital.  In fact, I would say that:

“I think he just didn’t get comfortable [with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative] at the very end, but he didn’t want to stop a creative activity,” Mr. Kriss said. “It was like that at Bain Capital. He would let some partner pursue some deal, and at the end he would say, ‘I know you worked on this for six months, but we’re not going to do it.’ ” – Bain Capital Co-Founder Eric Kriss

…tells me a few things.  Aside from being manipulative and inconsistent, he may very well have used this same technique in his private equity dealings.  You could take Kriss at his word about “comfortable” but the way these things often work is that you commit to one deal as a show of good will/intent to bolster a bigger deal, and then pull the plug on the “bait” deal when you have what you want out of the Big Fish.  So IMO, that could very well be a description of another bait-switch scenario, just like showing some environmental regulation support to Massachusetts voters with an initial commitment to reducing greenhouse gas, but pulling the plug before it comes to fruition.  The Big Fish was securing an election, the bait was faux-support for RGGI, and he didn’t have to be in any hurry to pull the plug because it wasn’t his money at risk… just like Bain!

So when I hear Romney telling the press in Colorado that he could see keeping DACA (executive order in lieu of DREAM Act) in place while he gets a “comprehensive immigration reform package” passed, I hear it through that lens.  I even hear his 47% tirade through that lens.  As in: tell these $50,000/plate bastards that you see the poor sucking at their ample teat… don’t give them an opening to doubt that you consider their money untouchable.

Of course, it is completely probable that Romney has no fucking idea what he is talking about… On that, I would push the whole stack of chips to the center of the table.

Late Additions, but good reads:

Romney Manages to Silence RNC!

Bull meets China Shop

At least the guy knows how to start a conversation….

Mitt “Mittens” Romney, that is.  I know, the statement made to those $50,000/plate donors last May is being dissected like it was the long lost second Zapruder film.  And rightly so.  I tried to find some kind of thread of sanity to Mitt’s little rampage on half the Nation as teat-sucking layabouts.  Really, I did.

Fot those of you under a rock, or in China, where this news may not have sufficiently penetrated your child-protection filter:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…

“Our message of low taxes doesn’t connect…so my job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the five to 10 percent in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful….”

And yes, it turns out that those freeloading Social Security recipients, active duty soldiers, working poor, low income families with children… all those freeloading yobbos who spend every last fucking red cent on food, clothing, housing and transportation and maybe have enough to spend something on education, but certainly aren’t stashing wads of Benjamins in their mattress… THEY are the problem.  Got that?

If you see one of the myriad copies of the fundraiser video, notice how vociferously the pillars of finance and industry shout down poor uninformed Mittens the Clown!  They can’t sit still while he runs an ideological bulldozer over their lives! NOT.  This is a high priest of “trickle down” preaching to the choir.

While Mitt scoffs at “redistribution” as a code for calling Obama a “socialist”, what exactly would Mitt be doing with the taxes received from those 47% of the Nation? Obama voters or not, wouldn’t those taxes be, by definition, redistributed?  Most likely upward, by my calculation.

I’ll stop trying to make sense of this Möbius Strip of Fuckwit VooDoo.  Someone else did a better job that i could ever do…

As is becoming disturbingly regular (and hilarious) John Stewart beat me to the more obvious points in this, the most awesome video EVER:

Chaos on Bullshit Mountain

It hits on a lot of the things that struck me as particularly baffling:

  • What about corporations that pay no taxes *at all*?  Freeloaders, failing to take “corporate person” responsibility?
  • Since when does paying income tax = personal responsibility for anyone?
  • Don’t most/all of those fine ladies and gentlemen paying $50,000/plate (to listen to Mittens put a boot in the ass of the poor) put a lot of effort into paying as little income as possible?
  • Does Mittens himself not enjoy a massive dose of tax relief by virtue of living off investment income?
  • Does this douchebag really think that the only people who vote for Obama are completely dependent on Government assistance and take no responsibility for themselves at all, ergo, all Romney voters must be paying income tax whether they owe it or not and refuse any assistance from the U.S. Government, on principle?

And this is really just the tip of the iceberg.  Dissecting the words of this captain on industry is bound to become a cottage industry, and I am sure there is someone breaking down a transcript *right now* and you will see that book on Amazon before November 2012.

The sad part of this is that it is completely predictable.  I put a lot of weight on what people say when they are riding high.  After winning the Iowa caucus, Mittens flew directly to New Hampshire to gloat and cement his stature as frontrunner.  When asked about “profiteering” Mitt didn’t even blink, mainly because he thinks profiting and profiteering are a singularity.  He went on to praise “profit” as the driver of the little people’s 401K’s and pensions… proving that he has never even glanced at a 401k or pension because both of those instruments got raped as a result of the exact kind of market de-reg that Mitt thinks will “make America great again”.  Who runs this guy’s campaign?  Monty Burns?

GOP to Women: Lay Back, Relax, and Let God Do The Rest

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” – Todd Akin

As a biologist I find that astonishing, and there is a dark humor akin to seeing a caveman on a dinosaur.  As a human I am nauseated.  However…

Thanks to Todd Akin for blowing the cover of people like presumptive VP Candidate Ryan and his pal Mittens.  Now we don’t have to worry that there will be the usual “silence is golden” approach to campaign season.  Candidates will not only have to make public statements regarding their views on reproductive rights, but their voting records will be front and center.  Expect a lot of dodging and weaving from folks like Paul Ryan as they try to distance themselves from Todd Akin while they wink and nod themselves into a virtual Grand Mal to the religious right wing.

Pure and simple: they don’t care if it was your brother, your daddy, or a stranger in an alley… they want to be sure that a raped woman has no access to an abortion.  Any public statement to the contrary MUST be backed up with proof of legislative protections they support and have supported with a vote.  Otherwise it is pure bullshit and backpedaling.  And just in time for hurricane season: the GOP Convention features an anti-abortion plank that is unequivocally inflexible on the subject.