Thursday, August 30, 2012

Has Fox News Given the Big Kiss-Off to Sarah Palin?

  by Nomad

I've often wondered what bottom would look like when Sarah Palin hit it Since being catapulted onto the national stage, even then it was clear that Palin- an utter slave to her own ambitions- was in over her head. 

Lately Palin's career has been a series of headlong tumbles and public pratfalls. 
Even worse- for Sarah, at least- since her decision not to run, her strident voice has faded into the hallelujahs and amens of the Romney nomination at this week's convention.

Now it appears she has hit another pointy ledge in what seems to be a very deep, very dark pit.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Chosen Defender of the Indefensible: Romney and the 2012 Republican Platform

by Nomad


fter what seems like an eternity, with a campaign filled with endless debates involving a fairly unimpressive line-up of Republican candidates, it still comes as a shock that this man, Mitt Romney, is the best that the Republican party could come up.

When the candidate's wife has to come before the convention as part of a charm offensive, then something has clearly gone wrong with the selection process.

Who's next on the rostrum, his great-aunt June and her bridge partner?

Romney's unyielding ambition to be president at any cost has finally landed him in what can only be an truly awkward position: attempting to defend the indefensible Republican platform for 2012.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tea Party Politicians on Public Education: Bending and Breaking It All to Pieces

(originally posted at Nomadic View April 2011)

When the Turkish leader of the newly created Turkish Republic came to power, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was able, in a single generation, to transform a country, stripped of its territories and, ravaged by war into a stable, strong and proud nation. His vision for his country involved reform on a vast scale. (He even managed to change the writing of the Turkish alphabet from Arabic style script.)

One of his greatest achievements- which in turn allowed even greater development- was to invest in improving education for all citizens of the Republic.
Developing an educated population, in his opinion, was a patriotic duty.
"Education must be apart from all kinds of superstition and alien thoughts; it must be noble, national and patriotic."
Education was not merely a matter of personal development, in the eyes of Ataturk. Without education, no nation can flourish economically.
Our principle is that national education shall be based on single school and secularism. Our goal in education is to raise citizens which shall increase the economic power and civilization and social value of the national society.
Warrors and the Privileged Elite
Unfortunately, in the United States today, the general attitude among conservative Republican politicians has devolved into something quite different. Check out this information from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC)
The Republican governor of Indiana would have you believe that teachers are the “privileged elite.” Gov. Daniels believes that teachers and other public-sector employees enjoy “feather-bedded payrolls, very expensive salaries and benefits.”
In fact the average teacher annual salary in Indiana was $46,640 in 2009. That's an average. Hardly the kind of salary one considers privileged. This was, in fact, somewhat lower than the national 2009 average of $49,720. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has a salary between $95,000 and $107,000 per year. But that's hardly surprising. He is a governor.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Exclusive Nomadic Interview: Lucifer, Prince of Darkness Discusses The 2012 Election, Mitt Romney and the GOP

Devil  by Nomad

fter my repeated requests (mostly through the use of a childhood Ouija board), Satan last week finally agreed to a  exclusive face to face  interview about his take on the upcoming US elections.

Born sometime around the beginning of creation, the publicity-shy father of contention now calls Naples, Florida home. Upon my arrival to uber-elegant villa, I was greeted by Feldgrau-green hunchbacked demon/butler and was escorted through his elaborate Venetian-Gothic residence, (patterned after the Doge's Palace in Venice). After I was escorted through  a marble-floored ballroom the size of Royal Albert Hall, we passed onto a pristine white terrace overlooking 10 acres of formal gardens.  It is all too too perfect, I think, as I wait.

With a brisk, almost feminine stride, Satan arrives precisely on time, flanked by two beefy eight-foot tall demons in Yves Saint Laurent pin-striped suits and Calvin Klein shades. Satan’s in True Religion jeans, a pale iridescent blue T-shirt- (which, I notice, match his eyes), a shoulder-hugging leather jacket and what look to be brand-new black Puma sneakers. He's taller than I thought he'd be with a physique sculpted by hauling morbidly obese souls to continually burning furnaces.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will Gov. Rick Scott's Budget Cuts Create A Perfect Storm for GOP in Tampa?

  by Nomad

ith the Republican National Convention in Tampa opening on August 27 , Florida governor Rick Scott has been scheduled to speak after House Speaker John Boehner on its opening night. There was, in fact, some question about whether Scott would be invited to speak since his popularity ranks at or near the bottom of governors since he took office last year.

The reasons for his unpopularity are easy to list. As one partisan source tells us:
In addition to the voter purge, Scott’s rock-bottom approval is the product of the Republicans’ unpopular and extremist initiatives. From attempting to restrict women's health care, to attempting to privatize Florida prisons for the benefit of a large political contributor, to a budget that provided zero dollars for public school construction and slashed funding for higher education, Scott and the Republicans spent their months in Tallahassee painting a perfect picture of how truly out of touch the GOP is with the concerns of Florida’s middle class families.
In some ways it is only logical that the out-of-touch Republican leadership should decide that this particular man- who is clearly so unpopular- should be offered a chance to speak at the convention. He is, after all, a proper symbol of what has gone wrong.
Not that the GOP understands that finer point. Throughout Scott's boasting at the convention, absolutely nobody in Tampa will be asking questions about the reasons for this negative opinion of Scott's character, his policies and his performance.
Rick Scott wasn't always so disliked but the honeymoon was surprisingly short.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mitt Romney's Latest Headache: Rep.Todd Akin’s Rape/Abortion Remarks

by Nomad
Just when you may have thought the Republican party couldn’t get any more ignorant and hypocritical, in one fell swoop, a remark by the Tea Party nominee in the Senate race for the state of Missouri has demonstrated that the party has untapped reserves of both.

On a recent St. Louis TV program Rep. Todd Akins was asked about women’s reproductive health issues, and whether his anti-abortion stand included an exemption for rape. He replied that it did not. Why? Because in those cases, he claimed, a woman’s body will somehow know to end the pregnancy itself. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

There was immediate outrage by women’s groups, which is a fairly predictable result whenever a politician- especially a male one- is foolish enough to put the words “legitimate” and “rape” together in the same sentence. (It's also an effective way to isolate yourself at a cocktail party, I might add.)  
Apologists for the Congressman- where they could be found- shrugged off the remarks as just a poor choice of words and (c'mon guys!) an artificial controversy. 

A Closer Look at Romney’s Surrogates- John H. Sununu 3/3

by Nomad

In this final post in the series, we will look at the mounting calls for Sununu's dismissal as Chief of Staff in George Bush, Sr. administration. Even after he had been warned about his questionable misuse of travel expenses, he failed to take the problem seriously. 

Pride Before the Fall
Those that said Sununu would not change were quickly proved correct. When barred from using military aircraft, he resorted to different modes of travel and different methods to pay for them.

According to investigative reporters, Sununu ordered a White House limo to take him to New York to a rare stamp auction at Christies. To make matters worse, Sununu then sent the car and driver back to Washington unoccupied while he returned on a corporate jet.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Closer Look at Romney’s Surrogates- John H. Sununu 2/3

by Nomad

In PART ONE of this three-part series, we examined John Sununu's new role as a Mitt Romney surrogate. We then took a look at the man, his character and how his character affected his performance in his former position as George H.W. Bush's Chief of State in the early 1990s. 
In this post, we will start out with one of Sununu's important miscalculations.

The Appointment Blunder
When Supreme Court Justice William Brennanknown for being a leader of the Court's liberal wing, stepped down, President Bush had expressed desire to nominate Clarence Thomas to the court. This was part of a long term agenda to place a conservative majority on the bench. The genius of the agenda, so the theory went, was that liberals would see a black man, or a woman, or a Hispanic, but the mindset was very much conservative. A faux kind of affirmative action for the Supreme Court.

However, because of Thomas’ lack of plausible qualifications for the position, the idea was eventually nixed. (The idea would later be -out of necessity- revived and that would lead to exactly what President Bush had feared -a major confirmation skirmish for the Bush administration.)
What they needed was somebody whose background was spotless and whose views were not extremist- or at least, not conspicuously so.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Closer Look at Romney’s Surrogates: John H. Sununu 1/3

by Nomad

Here's a three-part post about a man who has appeared on Fox News lately, declaring himself to be Mitt Romney "surrogate." Who is John Sununu and what was his history? It's worth taking a closer look.

The Importance of Being a Surrogate
When you study a candidate for high office, it's sometimes easy to forget that behind that person is a team of advisers who influence each and every one of his decisions. 
Conversely, it is important to note the kind of person that the candidate attracts.

So when it comes to Mitt Romney, it's fair to take a closer look at the people Romney surrounds himself with and who listens to. Should Romney win in November, it is quite possible that these people will form part of his cabinet or his personal staff. In this series, we will look at one such person, John H. Sununu. 

Apparently John Sununu is not exactly an official representative of Mitt Romney. He doesn’t seem to have any actual position in the campaign, as far I could tell. 
He is usually called “a key Romney surrogate”- which seems to mean somebody goes and talks to the media, promoting- and in Romney’s case, generally defending- the candidate. Presumably, these are people who are so in tune with their man that they can speak for him.

On the other hand, from Romney’s point of view, the use of so-called surrogates is exceedingly practical, since his opinion can change at any given moment.,And there’s one major advantage of being a surrogate- as opposed to an official spokesperson. In that surrogate position, you can make any kind of specious and ridiculous claim and the candidate doesn’t have to take any responsibility for the remarks.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Running-Mate Paul Ryan and Mitt’s Medicare Mess

by Nomad
o it seems as if the final chapter in the sorry Romney campaign is presently being written. After what can only be described as a disastrous summer, Romney settled on Tea Party and Fox News sweetheart

Paul Ryan as his running mate.
"It’s a big step toward what the tea party has been trying to accomplish," said Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, a national group aligned with the tea party. "It gives people a reason to be more enthusiastic about the Republican ticket."
In Romney’s never-ending (but futile) quest to be liked, the candidate has made one more desperate appeal to the far right. If that was the idea, then it was a colossal blunder.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Great Society, Medicare and the Summer of ‘65


The summer of 1965 was one of many critical moments of American history. The Great Society, President Johnson's ambitious policy to overhaul the country, became a reality. However, at the same moment, a new movement of a different kind was emerging. It was a kind of backlash that would take 15 years to mature into the conservative movement.

With Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney’s announcement of Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, there’s bound to be a lot of talk about Ryan’s budget proposals, particularly the proposed reforms in Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats are no doubt pleased with Romney’s decision since any changes - no matter how necessary- to these social programs are bound to create some fear with some affected voters. 

Still, something has to be done. Everybody agrees on that, at least. Health care is the biggest driver of future budget deficits.

It is true that Ryan’s tweaking of his original plan should have removed some of this understandable anxiety and yet when it comes to something this complex, voters on both sides of the political spectrum are deeply suspicious of any tinkering. Even the ultra-right wing Tea Party movement is opposed to medicare cuts.
One source- correctly or incorrectly- captures the mood of the anxious voter.

Ryan’s plan has been rightly called “a thinly disguised assault on Medicare.” The House GOP knows they have no immediate hope of ending Medicare, but they’re telegraphing their long-term plans to cut all the cords holding up America’s social safety net. That should be a brutal wakeup call for all of us as we get a glimpse of how they would reshape America as a less kind, less gentle nation. They don’t plan to stop at Medicare; Social Security won’t be far behind.
It would be tempting for Democrats to scare the elderly voters with exaggerated fears about what Romney and Ryan might do. Even without the medicare fears, the less than charismatic Paul Ryan is certainly not going to be giving the Romney campaign anything close to a boost.
As I said, I will leave further discussion of that topic to others. 

Instead, I would like to take you back forty-seven years to a small town in Missouri where important events were happening.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Secrecy and Disclosure: Cheney Offers Romney Free Advice

As vice-president, Dick Cheney's most effective tool was always stealth. Listen the unsolicited advice he has given candidate Mitt Romney about disclosure. Of course, the question is whether Cheney's advice can actually win elections or hide evidence?

I have recently come to the conclusion that the Republican Party is now living in a world where rewards and punishment, shame and honor, have been turned upside down and made completely irrelevant.
The very people that should be hanging their head in utter shame, that should be wear identity-hiding beards and dark glasses or living in total seclusion in a backwoods cabin in Montana are now held up as experts or authorities.

Republican failures are constantly being interviewed and asked their opinions. Why would any intelligent person care?

So when I read about former vice president Dick Cheney giving his “valuable” advice to the presumptive nominee for the Republican party, Mitt Romney, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. After all, the conservative media reveres people like Cheney and think, despite the historical record, their opinions are extremely important.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Reflections on The Passing of Gore Vidal

By Nomad

So much of what Mr. Vidal had to say about American politics and its culture were things that many Americans just didn't want to hear. Yet looking back over his record as a prognosticator, he always seemed to be more on the right side, rather than the wrong side of history. 

It is true that his love for stirring up controversy (often for its own sake) made it easier for people to despise him. Yet, few could deny that when it came to exposition, to expressing the liberal ethic, Gore Vidal could rarely be bested.

There was a famous 1968 televised debate between his mirror image on the right, William F. Buckley, Jr. In this debate, the topic turned to the heavy handed police reaction to protesters at Chicago Democratic Convention. Vidal referred to Buckley as a "pro- or crypto- Nazi" and it was at that point that Buckley lost his cool and said, very uncharacteristically,"Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in your goddamn face, and you'll stay plastered."