Monday, July 30, 2012

The 7 Lessons the GOP has Failed to Learn from the Sarah Palin Blunder

Palin Sarah
Sarah Palin's vice-presidential candidacy was controversial from the moment it was announced. For an assortment of reasons, many thought she was totally unqualified to be second in command. After a disastrous campaign, in which the McCain and his running-mate seemed to be conducting separate campaigns, many lessons should have been learned. Apparently nobody has learned anything at all.

The way the GOP has handled the Sarah Palin problem - from start to finish- says so much about what is wrong with the party. 
Even now, as the presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, heads toward the convention to be crowned (despite some serious concerns about his suitability) the Republican leadership seems to have learned nothing.

The mistakes began in the earliest stages of the Republican party’s Palin blunder. Palin’s rise from relative obscurity was a result of a strange mix of conservative opinion leaders. First there was the the Weekly Standard crowd. After meeting Palin during an Alaskan cruise, Fred Barnes returned to Washington and wrote a glowing review about Palin and what a fabulous politician. He now says:
I thought she was a brilliant choice as McCain's vice presidential running mate in 2008.

Yet, this is an extremely disingenuous remark. After all, the primary role as vice-president (at least until Dick Cheney re-crafted the position) is to step into presidency in the case of a president’s death or resignation. By endorsing Palin as vice-president, it automatically presumes the person is also qualified to be president.

In any case, Barnes lost interest in Palin after she resigned as governor of Alaska. Yet, he is still out there routinely giving political advice to the unwary. 

Then there was another Alaskan cruise a couple of weeks later.which brought a crowd from the National Review - certainly a more influential conservative publication. Take a look at this quote from an October 2008 article by Rich Lowry about Palin's sex appeal:

Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.

Now who could possibly question an analysis like that? It sounds as if somebody couldn't tell the difference between flirtation and political competency. The above paragraph could have been scribbled by a hormonal teenager about his "hot" new teacher. 

Investigative reporter Jane Mayer, who wrote a New Yorker Magazine article, "The Insiders: How John McCain Came to Pick Sarah Palin" explains the reaction from others:

As Jack Fowler, National Review’s publisher, recalled it… “This lady is something special. She connects. She’s genuine. She doesn’t look like what you’d expect. My thought was, Too bad she’s way up there in Alaska, because she has potential, but to make things happen you have to know people.”
But by the time the campaign was in full swing, its reporters were sounding the alarms. By then, the SS McCain was going full steam ahead straight into the iceberg. 

Another even more unlikely source for the Palin support came from blogger Adam Brickley. Like Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, James O’Keefe, Jeff Gannon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Congressman Mike Pence,, Brickley is a product of the Leadership Institute, a conservative 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Arlington, Virginia that teaches "political technology.". (This is an organization that deserves its own post.)

In any case, Brickley set up a blog called Sarah Palin for Vice President after searching for a female vice-presidential candidate that could effectively challenge Clinton. From the New Yorker article:
In February, 2007, Adam Brickley gave himself a mission: he began searching for a running mate for McCain who could halt the momentum of the Democrats. Brickley, a self-described “obsessive” political junkie who recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, told me that he began by “randomly searching Wikipedia and election sites for Republican women.
Brickley had stumbled across the enthralled reviews of Palin and set to work promoting her. Eventually this was picked up by other conservative blogs, given even greater attention by conservative radio, Rush Limbaugh and the American Spectator, and conservative magazines.

There was a kind of informational loop that prevented impartial or adequate vetting of the candidate and by the time McCain and his advisors heard of Palin, there was already a kind of faux groundswell, created by blogs and magazines, and radio show hosts.

Lesson 1. When it came to making crucial decisions, the Republican Party never questioned the judgment of their advisers or backgrounds of their sources.

Oddly, as the vice-presidential choice, Palin was an outsider specifically approved by groups of insiders. That seems to spoil the whole idea of the outsider, especially when the insiders want total control over the results.

And that was part of Palin’s frustration as a vice-president. She was chosen as an outsider, bringing fresh air to a stagnant system, and then was told to take instructions from the same people creating the corrupted system. And as much as one might dislike Palin or her ideas, that contradiction did not belong to her. 

Here’s one example: Among the National Review crowd, there was one political insider that took Palin under his wing. The once disgraced Clinton aide- turned political consultant, Dick Morris was one of Palin’s earliest supporters, Jane Mayer says:
And, in fact, Dick Morris sort of pulled her aside for a private conversation, which she then revealed later to the group, in which he said, "If you want to be successful politically, you've got to continue to hold onto your image as an outsider. Play up that outsider thing."

This cynical approach to politics has led the Republican party astray time and time again. In fact, Candidate Romney’s weakness is that his packaging, crafted by the unseen hands of a hundred image consultants, simply doesn’t match his history. Mitt's solution has simply been to lie, to call it "evolving" and to try to hide the evidence. Comedians have made the accurate observation that Romney greatest challenger is Romney of 2008. (or Romney of 1994)

If there is one idea that appeals to Americans, whether Republican or Democratic, more than any other is individualism. It’s true that personal style can transfix voters but ultimately, the complications of the issues, the details of legislative battles will fade from the voter’s mind and what is left is the character of the individual. A candidate who is their own person is important to voters. It’s not the cover, it’s the content. It’s not the package, it’s the principles.

Lesson 2. No matter how attractive the style and appearance may be, these simply cannot replace substance.

McCain’s decision to chose Palin over his first choice, Joe Leiberman, appears to have been based more on demographic voting blocs rather than sound politics. Like many conservatives, McCain was convinced that Hilary Clinton supporters would turn away from Obama when he was nominated and that, when he chose Biden as his running mate, women would petulantly reject the Democrats altogether. It was cynical and it was based on the incorrect premise that women voters would vote for a woman no matter what her political views were. 

We see this time and time again. This election is no different. The incessant polling perpetuates this myth. None of the demographic factors will supersede the character of the candidate. 
Progressives, independents and even undecided voters are all much more prepared to examine candidates on an individual basis, judging the candidates on their character. 

We can be assured that the Republican party are, even now, having learned nothing from the Palin debacle, are basing their selection of Romney’s vice president on which demographic group he or she will most appeal to. Of course, there will be deep checks into possible scandals lurking in the shadows of the candidates’ past. That will probably be the only considerations.

Lesson 3. People cannot be represented solely in demographic terms. Voters’ decisions are based on factors more complex than the Republicans think.

To the surprise of McCain and his campaign staff, Palin proved impossible to manage. It soon became apparent that not only was Palin an inappropriate choice, she was downright unstable. Behind the scenes, some people had already understood that Palin had no business being that close to the executive position (even as a vice-presidential candidate.)

All of this inside information came out later, of course, and then, only when staffers wrote their respective versions of events. For profit and not because their consciences prevailed.

And yet when it mattered, none of those insiders (including McCain himself), took the necessary steps to resolve this admittedly difficult problem. Nevertheless there were opportunities to deal with Palin. Real leadership- which escaped John McCain- could have taken that step and asked her to withdraw her name. Instead what happened?

They allowed her go rogue and hoped that, despite her provocation of the crowds and the animosity she was stirring, they could continue to reap the rewards. In turn, she hijacked McCain’s campaign and turned off many undecided voters with her extremism and her general lack of knowledge.

Lesson 4. When faced with the difficult decisions regarding Palin, the Republican party chose cowardice and the short term advantages rather than face the potential for long term danger for the nation. Putting party first is not in the best interests of the nation.

After the 2008 election, Sarah Palin continued to influence the Republican Party in a number of ways. The influence was further amplified by Fox News, (namely by Hannity and Van Sustersen) which gave her a platform to voice her opinions without any kind of challenge or critique. In the same, Palin used Facebook and twitter to fire salvos from behind her castle walls. 
Very few in the party questioned Palin’s right to pass judgement. Few asked the legitimate question: Why is this person’s opinion so important? In the end, the news organization were even mistaking McCain's daughter as some kind authority on politics. 

Instead they allowed Palin to promote her Tea Party agenda into the mid-terms of 2010. Even then, the Republican leadership said nothing. Their idea was that anything that hurt Obama had to be good for the Republican party. Again it was all for the sake of short term advantages. 

The fallout of that decision, however, has been the 112th Congress which has had the lowest approval rating in US history. And Republican-led obstructionism may have thwarted the president’s every move but it is also likely to lead to a revolt against the Republicans in the upcoming election. People, no matter how they might feel about Obama, are for the most part even more sick of the cynical strategies of the Republicans.

Lesson 5. Sometimes it is necessary to condemn in unambiguous terms the actions and the opinions of those in your own party. It’s called leadership. Silence amounts to consent.

Up until the mid term elections of 2010, the Republican leadership tolerated Palin’s constant intrusions. With fingers crossed, it assumed she would not make a run for the presidency and their good fortune held, much to the dismay of Palin’s die-hard supporters. The GOP leaders assumed that Palin was in it just for the money and it’s true SarahPAC conned a lot of people into donating to her mythic campaign. 

There was a price to pay for Palin going free range. The Daily Beast notes:

But Palin continued to vex Romney’s candidacy, questioning his conservatism, encouraging the non-Romneys still in the race, and publicly cheering for the prospect of an open convention. Even after Romney clinched the race in late spring, Palin remained pointedly hesitant about the presumed Republican nominee. She has not yet extended to Romney her full endorsement, and, while she speaks animatedly of the urgency of defeating President Obama in November, her support for Romney derives from the fact that Romney meets Palin’s threshold qualification—as “anybody but Obama.”

Yet that shaky support, that carefully expressed doubt does indeed represent what a lot of Republican voters think about Romney. How conservative is he? If he is what he says he is, why does he have to flip-flop, to withhold or destroy evidence, and well- to lie? What is he hiding? What does he represent? Can he beat Obama? 

All those perfectly legitimate questions are ones that the Republican party fears will lead to dissension at the convention. And strict party unity without any disagreement has been Republican party’s greatest strength. Without it, some say, and the party will never be able to hold all of the fringe elements under the same umbrella. The tent poles will collapse on the whole circus.

Lesson 6. Problems- like Sarah Palin and the Tea Party in general- do not go away just because you ignore them.

Even now the Republican Party has failed to deal with their Palin creation. At this point, it’s not an easy situation to resolve, of course. They have come to the conclusion that ignoring Palin and the Tea Party is the best way to go. Shutting her out is their last option. 

Indeed she has fallen very far since the cheery day she spoke at the Republican National Convention. Now she is apparently a persona non grata for Romney who clearly wishes that woman would just go away (but is too much of a coward to say that.) At the moment she is little more than a nervous joke for Republicans heading to Tampa. 

Her name- if it is mentioned at all- is now related to a look-a-like stripper who will doing a tour of strip joints in Tampa during the convention. She- not Sarah, is attracting a lot more interest among the delegates apparently. As one source tells us:

"Hands down, the Republicans have always been our best customers," Association of Club Executives Executive Director Angelina Spencer recently told WFAE. "We get clients from all walks of life, but for whatever reason... I have heard club owners say, 'Boy, those Republicans really are great customers.'"

She says it’s not that there are more Republicans at the clubs. It’s that they have more to spend.

Of course they do. That's what the Bush tax cuts were all about.
The leadership of the GOP is pinning their hopes on the possibility that voters will hate Obama more than dislike Romney. That’s pretty much all they have to run on. 

How the Republican Party treats Palin now says so much about how the party actually thinks about people and especially women. Something to be used, something to be put up with, with all the headaches and to endure the nagging (at least while the advantage lasts). But as soon as the advantage becomes a liability, she is promptly never to be mentioned again. Phones calls will not returned. Right now, Palin has become the locker room joke, the sad fate of the promiscuous cheerleader.

And we all know what the next step is. The greatest of all Republican Palin fears. The scorned bitch out for revenge. Palin hasn't stepped into this role.. yet. 

Many Tea Party conservatives have noticed this ill-treatment too. American Thinker just the other pointed out the Republican betrayal of Palin in an article:
This is a little perplexing to Americans who now hear what some members of the GOP are saying about Sarah Palin. Joe Scarborough recently advised the party to avoid "the perils of Palin." An unnamed Romney adviser claims she "poisoned the well" for women in the GOP. A New Hampshire paid politico and 2008 state Republican Party chairman believes that Palin was the "error of 2008."
With the possibility of a rogue Palin crashing the party and turning the Tampa Convention on its head, former vice-president Dick Cheney commented about McCain’s selection of Palin on ABC News.
"That one, I don't think was well handled."
"I like Governor Palin. I've met her. I know her. She - attractive candidate. But based on her background, she'd only been governor for, what, two years. I don't think she passed that test...of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake."

A vice-president “taking over” the presidency is certainly something Dick Cheney is qualified to speak about. Still, it took four years for him to say even this and even now, many conservatives are shocked that he could make such a statement. 

On the surface, this remark by Cheney is telling. Either the party is unable to move forward since 2008, still unable to accept their mistakes or... the Republican elites are passing a message to Palin. "You were a mistake. You are not welcome. You are yesterday's news. Lose our number. Get lost, Scram. Good-bye already." 

McCain is apparently still in denial. He recently said that naming Sarah Palin his running mate was "still the best decision I've ever made." Quite possibly true, but that's a shameful thing to have to confess so late in his career.
Lesson 7. When mistakes are made, a coward hesitates, a liar denies, and an idiot continues on the wrong path. Real leadership possesses the strength of character to admit the mistake, do everything he or she can to rectify the problem or to prevent it from happening again and then moves on quickly.

*    *    *    *

The nightmare scenario for the Republicans, is Palin the rogue rearing her head in Florida completely uninvited. She has, according to sources, has not been asked to speak at the convention. Nobody has contacted her about even attending the events. she has been cast aside. 
Palin does not seem surprised. “What can I say?” she responded in an email from Alaska, when asked by Newsweek about the convention, just before heading to Michigan to deliver an Obama-thumping speech. “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”
Even now the Republican leadership wants to forget the whole Palin fiasco and it is up to Palin herself if she chooses to let them.

Related articles

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bad Karma: How Romney's Bain Capital Worked its Magic on Clear Channel Communications

 by Nomad
Just saw this good news article about the slow inevitable sinking of Rush Limbaugh and the perfect storm mounting against right-wing hate radio. As you probably have heard, the campaign against Limbaugh has been effective at getting big name corporations from providing advertising revenue for the promoters of controversial radio show host.

According to the article,
(A)nother threat to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, et al, looms on the horizon, and comes from a very different direction: vulture capital.

None other than Mitt Romney's Bain Capital owns Clear Channel, which is the parent of the conservative talkers' syndicator, Premiere Networks. Clear Channel recently downsized, simultaneous with Bain Capital squeezing the company through a forced 2.2 billion dollar dividend. (This is one of the mechanisms by which Mitt Romney and friends have amassed their fortunes -- sucking cash out of troubled corporations, subsequently allowing some of them to go bankrupt.) Clear Channel was already 19.2 billion dollars in debt, and is facing a shareholder lawsuit related to loans between different Clear Channel entities that were used to cover the huge payout. In spite of crushing debt, Clear Channel is "splashing the cash" in "an attempt to rebrand itself as a hip digital music giant."
The move away from controversy cannot be very good news for the likes of Limbaugh. Hip is not really his thing. Not to worry too much; the devil takes care of his own (for the most part) and Rush is no exception. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Laughing at Mitt's Expense: More Romney Cartoons

by Nomad
With the Romney campaign looking more and more like a disaster, it shouldn't surprise anybody that politicians might not want to throw away their careers by agreeing to be his running mate. 

Of course, there's always Sarah Palin. She's already thrown away her career. Probably a few careers actually. Poor Sarah really doesn't have much else to do nowadays anyway. Who knows? She was certainly a game changer for McCain in 2008.

Here's my favorite:
In the end, it has boiled down to a man that nobody likes, and nobody trusts who campaign is awash with the seemingly unlimited funds from special interests and the 1%.

Related articles

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aurora Reflections: Why Nothing will Change

by Nomad

In the aftermath of the Aurora shooting, it's time to be perfectly frank here.

In a country that worships violence, that literally trains its children to hunt down and kill humans in computer games, that, allows a purposefully-misinterpreted constitutional right to make dangerous weapons easy to obtain, it seems pretty hypocritical to pretend to be surprised when these acts of mass murder occur. We all shudder because that's what we are expected to do.

It's All an Act
Let's face it, for the most part, it's all an act anyway because Americans are not going to do anything about any of the underlying causes for this murderous madness.
  • Americans are not going demand decisive action from their leaders. 
  • Americans are not going to change any laws about gun ownership. 
  • There is not going to be any renewed attention at establishing some workable system of identifying and treating the deranged and the dangerous. 
In fact, instead of searching for solutions to the murder-rampage problem, quite the opposite will continue to happen.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Laughing at Mitt's Expense: Some Romney Cartoons

Thought I would take it easy while we all wait for the next Romney train wreck. Last week was really NOT his week. I suspect it's going to be a long but interesting summer. 
In the next cartoon we see what Romney's tax returns might actually look like.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Runaway SuperPACs and the Devolution of Mitt Romney

by Nomad
In yet another case of an "evolving" opinion, Republican Mitt Romney has once again betrayed the high-minded rhetoric of his past campaigns in favor of a more corrupt but lucrative political strategy. Romney has now made it quite clear, he has a price and he is ready to take bids.

Back in 1994 in Burlington, Massachusetts, Mitt Romney spoke about the growing influence of political action lobbying organizations. He told the gathered businessmen the Burlington Business Round Table, 
“I also would abolish PACs. You probably have one – I don’t like them. I don’t like the influence of money – whether it’s business, labor or any other group. I do not like that kind of influence. Lobbyists, I want to register, know who they are. I want to make sure gifts are limited. I think we have to really become much more vigilant in seeing the impact on money – and I don’t care how it’s organized – on politics.”
The "evolved" Romney of today is, however, far less idealistic and, with the Supreme Court's support of Citizens United, he seems quite willing to sell himself to whomever has the cash. Romney's SuperPAC (the nonsensically named) Restore Our Future announced in June that it had collected $100 million. Late last year, I wrote a detailed post on the early million dollar contributors to Restore our Future and the methods they used to remain covert. Open Secrets has a updated list of the names and amounts of the top contributors.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Leaked Notes for RNC Opening Speech: It's a WINNER!

Here are the leaked notes to the opening speech at Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa next month. It certainly covers all of the voting demographics. Sounds like a winning platform to me. 

Mitt Romney and The Ampad Affair: A Bain Success Story

by Nomad

here’s an old saying that you can judge a tree but by the fruit it produces. For people it is a case of looking at the actions and not merely by the words. That’s especially true with politicians.

In the Republican party’s presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s case, if the things he has said can be pretty awful, his past actions are generally far worse. As a corporate head, his treatment of the American worker offers a clear picture of the kind of disdain, or at least, indifference, he harbors for the working class. In July 1994, a Bain-controlled paper company Ampad purchased a Marion Indiana paper plant. 

Two years before, Bain Capital saw Ampad as a troubled company in a thriving market, and so, began the process of restructuring, reducing waste and whatever else was needed with aim of taking the company public. In turn, as it had done with many companies, Bain would sell the stock of newly revitalized Ampad at a profit. 

This is what equity companies do. They buy companies with problems and after increasing their value, then sell them. There are many ways to boost profits, including cost-cutting, modernizing plants, adding products, expanding into new markets, and acquiring similar companies. It might even require hiring more workers. But that wasn’t the case in Ampad.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Republican Party’s Problem Child: We Need to Talk about Mitt

Republican MItt Romney by Nomad

I f you have been following the latest campaign news, you have undoubtedly heard that the presumptive nominee has finally got himself in what I call, the classic liar’s bind

That is, he has told so many different lies to so many people (and under oath as well) that there is now no possible way that any of them can be plausibly fit together into a “workable” truth. In short, the man the Republicans are counting on to put them back into power is an unmitigated mess. 

His timeline about when he left Bain Capital has recently been cast in significant doubt. Again. 

From the latest news, it seems as though he has lied under oath to either the SEC or the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission. And if those reports are true that he was still involved in the decision making at Bain Capital, it opens a whole Pandora’s Box of problems. Bain’s corporate behavior after 1999 regarding closing of American companies, firing of American workers and outsourcing to China and Mexico will all undermine his claims of being a job creator. (For a examination of that issue click here and here.. and here.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mitt Finds a Mate? Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

by Nomad
While nearly every name -except Sarah Palin -has been floated, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is the latest to be a possible vice-presidential pick for Mitt Romney.

Snyder's not what anybody would call a shining star, something of an unknown, but considering some of the other possible choices, lack of public familiarity isn't such a bad thing. In many ways, the selection of Snyder makes a lot of sense.

Last month, when Romney toured the state, he was joined by Snyder who stated:

“Our comeback is being slowed down by the mess in Washington And if you look at the issues there, they’re the same issues we had here. We need more and better jobs.”
Without question, things in the state have, indeed, been rough, but, as the LA Times reports, the situation is slowly improving:
When Obama took office in January 2009, Michigan’s unemployment rate was 11.3%. It rose to 14.2% in August 2009, but had slid back to 10.9% by the time Snyder took office in January 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since then, it has declined further to 8.5%.
That's great news for one of the most desperate areas of the country. But that kind of news is probably not the best news for the Republican campaign. In an effort to find some kind of negative aspect, Snyder blames Washington for the delay in the improvement. Blaming Washington plays well, of course. 
However, when it comes to how the problem developed in the first place, some people thing, Snyder has a few fingers pointed in his direction.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mitt Romney, Lies and The Mormon Church 3/3

by Nomad

In the previous two posts (Part One, Part Two) we have taken a close look at the convoluted history of the Mormon faith, its suspicious origins and the character of its founder. In part two we examined the instances of deception when it came to explaining the religion to outsiders.

I want to conclude this series by coming full circle.  We shall now see how there are certain principles that the modern LDS Church is willing to forsake- purely for the sake of power- that no Mormon follower can possibly accept. 

Honest Hearts, Honest Actions
When it comes to lying, the official stand of the Church is- not unexpectedly- in favor of honesty. In February of 1831, the Prophet of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, in a revelation before twelve elders in Kirtland Ohio stated:
Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out.
Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.
That's not a wishy-washy position. Dishonesty ranks on the list of grievous offenses near the top, along with murder and stealing. In fact, honesty is a steadfast principle of salvation

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mitt Romney, Lies and The Mormon Church 2/3

by Nomad
In Part One, we traced the strange origins of the Mitt Romney's Mormon faith and asked if the entire religion was a hoax perpetrated on 19th century victims. Let’s begin part two with what would seem at first glance to be a question with an obvious answer.

Is lying acceptable to the present-Day Mormon Church?

This is perhaps a more essential question since, no matter how it may have begun, the true value of any religion lies in what it has become and what it teaches its followers. And as far I can tell, no religion officially accepts the practice of lying. (Even Satanists are probably supposed to be truthful to one another, I'd imagine.)

The strongest criticism of the Mormon Church comes, not from other religions, atheists or outsiders, but from ex-Mormons. Former ex-high priest Park Romney, the cousin of the presidential candidate,  has been quite open about this subject. He told BBC,
"There's compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and willfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable."
What that precise evidence was is not mentioned. Outside of the history of the formation of the religion, there are other things that Church leaders would prefer not to reveal.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mitt Romney, Lies and The Mormon Church 1/3

by Nomad

Recently I began to wonder: Disregarding the possibility that it is some kind of pathological problem, where did Romney learn to lie so much? It's really quite remarkable when you start looking at all of the strange things he has said in the campaign.

How did Romney get to be such a despoiler of truth? Was he born that way? Or was it a case of a failure of moral instruction. Or perhaps was a successful education but of amorality. 

To answer that question we must begin at the usual sources of such instruction. Most of us collect our moral or ethical education from our parents, our peers and our faith, which in this case, is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church) , the Mormons. 

To outsiders who know very little about the faith, Mormons are just another a quirky conservative religion. Jokes are usually made about the “magic underwear”- a kind of soft chastity belt- and that’s about all. Others have called the religion little more than a cult. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Governor Rick Scott and Doubts about Florida's Elections

by Nomad
In a recent two-post series, I examined the business career of Florida governor Rick Scott, a man who by most standards would be a very unlikely candidate for higher office. As founder and CEO of a healthcare company which was involved in the largest Medicare fraud in US history, Scott would seem to be unlikely to have aspired to anything higher than a bartender in some small town. Perhaps a born-again preacher.  And yet there he is today, governor of Florida. And ironically the only qualification for holding high office is his... erm.. business experience. 
Of the two questions that remained unanswered about Scott, the most perplexing was: How could such a person, with such a dubious background ever get elected? 

One person thinks he might have found the answer to that. David Kearns,  a former journalist for Florida Today newspaper covering police beat news, city and county government, and the environment, has investigated the suspicious goings-on in Florida's election system. After sorting through the complicated electronic balloting systems, he believes he may have found the method that has been been repeatedly used to rig the election results. 
If Kearns is correct, this audacious election fraud stretched all the way back to the hotly contested presidential election of 2000, which put George Bush in the White House.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pro-Life Supporters Should be Thinking Twice about Voting for Romney

by Nomad

The handlers of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee in this year's election, have always had a serious conundrum when it came to the topic of abortion. While running for governor in 1994, his pro-choice stand was about as unequivocal as any liberal politician can be. Only he wasn't liberal. It was a transparent strategy to rob his opponent Edward Kennedy of his left wing support. (Romney is nothing if not ambitious.)

During the debate with Kennedy, Romney got up-close and personal with the audience, revealing how a relative had died as a result of a backstreet abortion. Kennedy’s reaction was bemusement with a touch of amusement. He replied that Romney’s position kept changing. Was he pro-choice or was his pro-life and finally labeled Romney “the multiple-choice candidate.”

Romney, clearly irked, demanded a chance to respond. This topic was one, he said, that he would never be changing his position on. This was rock solid. He was without any question and forever pro-choice.
Then, a funny thing happened on the way to the White House. He became pro-life.
Just like that. 

Spinning it like a potter’s wheel, Romney fobbed the contradiction off as an “evolving” opinion. (A concept most of the conservatives apparently don't put much faith in.)
With the cowardly mainstream media in tow in this presidential election, the Republican conservative elite somehow managed to deflect and to distract. The pro-life faction of the conservative right wing were assured that all was in order; that despite his heart-felt statements back in 1994, he was really (no, REALLY!) against abortion. This Romney is not the same as THAT Romney.

Stericycle- Money over Principle?
Then there came the Stericycle problem.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Shameful Truth behind Gov. Jindal's Rejection of Health Care Reforms

Bobby JindalBy Nomad
When it comes to Obamacare, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's position is clear. He will have no part in it. However, his decision will come at a great cost to the welfare of the people of his state. Louisiana, more than most states, will benefit from affordable health care. 

The Quality of Care
Following the Supreme Court's decision, ruling that the Affordable Care Act was, after all, constitutional, all across the land one could hear the sound of the frying of the tiny shriveled brains of right wing conservatives. (It was no doubt made worse by those marvelous screw-ups from Fox and CNN.) 
Yet it was the reaction from Governor Bobby Jindal from Louisiana seemed the most insincere.
Immediately following the announcement of the court's decision, a flustered Jindal surely must have tweeted his fingers raw. He tweets:
Today’s decision is a blow to our freedoms.
He didn't even use all of his 144 characters to explain how our freedoms had precisely been blown. He left that to our imaginations. And later:
The Court should have protected our constitutional freedoms, but remember it was the President that forced this law on us.
As one blog writer noted, how the president forced the law on the American public was by passing it in Congress by majorities. That sly fox. 
However the most galling tweet of the day happened to be this one:
Americans oppose it because it will decrease the quality of care, raise taxes, cut Medicare, and break the bank. All of this is still true.
As we shall soon see, this tweet is, by far, the most obscene.