Sunday, December 25, 2011

Time's Joe Klein tries to position Romney as a Centrist

It is perhaps not surprising to see a Mitt Romney puff piece in Time Magazine (“Why Don’t They Like Me?” Dec. 12) since Time Inc.’s chief is a well-known ultramontane Catholic and Joe Klein, the author, is less than progressive.  Indeed, one could well expect that Bain Capital and or Romney and or LDS might be shareholders in Time Warner.

What is vaguely surprising is the attempt to seem “balanced” by charting Romney’s flip flops while stuffing the text with weird pro-Romney statements.  This may be an effort to limit and channel the opposition to Romney rather than to win support, as the media establishment struggle to provide the republicans with a “centrist” candidate.

The entire first page of the article is dedicated to praising Romney for his courage in resisting ethanol subsidy pandering in this campaign, as opposed to his conduct in 2008.  That there might be another explanation, namely that Romney  is following Cheneyomics in wanting to keep oil prices HIGH and establish “energy independence” using US and Canadian tar sands, something threatened by subsidized (or unsubsidized) ethanol,  does not occur to Klein.  In 2008, when gasoline prices doubled in a few months, there was fear in both parties that the American consumer would revolt, since it affected him worse than the oil shocks of the 1970s.  Most urban sprawl has been built subsequent to those shocks, meaning the consumer has less choice to resist oil price hikes now since he has further to travel.  But subsequent shocks and the lack of any urgent public demand to punish oil companies has persuaded conservatives they can safely ignore the public’s feelings on gasoline prices.  To Romney, an old investor in foreign oil companies, it must be a welcome relief.

The second page talks about flip flopping but does not really explain it.  Klein suggests Romney had to pretend to be liberal to get elected in Massachusetts, and he has to pretend to be conservative to get the Republican nomination, but Klein’s belief that makes him a centrist is unfounded and suspect.   Since the Massachusetts legislature was solidly left, all Romney’s “achievements”  in office were bound to have a left tinge, and do not imply any kind of liberalism.  Indeed, some of the small things he did, like the petty way he tried to stop gay marriage in Massachusetts by refusing to print corrected  forms, and his refusing to grant new liquor licenses, suggests that confusion of religious and secular mission which people fear from the Mormons. Klein concedes that Romney may “really” be a social conservative, but his idea that Romney may “really” be an economic relative liberal seems a wild fantasy, as though he is trying to label Romney as the “centrist” Republican candidate in defiance of the candidate.  

 The evidence Klein offers, Romney’s support for the City Year service organization, is laughably out of place. The Mormon hierarchy has been pushing national service  for 80 years and it is an obsession of virtually all Mormon politicians.   To argue that Romney’s support for City Year and non-attacks on Americorps are “Centrism” is to misunderstand Mormon orthodoxy, which views national service as a way to get the rest of America to pay for, copy, and validate their mission  program, and stop Mormons feeling behind the curve professionally with others of their age cohort.  Indeed, Klein even goes so far as to suggest Romney “probably” opposes Americorps, which is a brazen thing to say about a high Mormon official, essentially implying he does not follow his church.  Mormons consider national service "their" issue, and they think that the whole country would benefit from being forced to do service work, as long as their own missionaries might receive public funds.

That Romney has tried to stay closer to the center of Social Security and Medicare means he reads polls, and does not say one thing about what he would do as president.

Klein then launches into a bizarre and laudatory summary of Romney’s business career.  Bain Capital were not “turnaround” artists under Romney but predatory vultures seeking often to limit competition within an industry by pillaging the companies they bought and selling them to competitors.   Klein ends with the now obligatory softball criticism of Romney’s style (“robotic” or “lawn sprinkler”) while indicating Romney may well be the only Republican who can win.  It is as though Klein thinks these bald assertions can forestall any lurking liberals from investigating behind the Bain Curtain.

The important thing is to understand the point of articles like this.   If you are going to puff Romney, why bother with saying anything negative?  The answer is the target readers of the Time article are not Romney fans but enemies.  By taking a jaundiced view of the man but slipping in uncritical admiration of his business and centrism, Joe Klein is trying to disarm Romney’s opponents, to circumscribe and define their thinking so as to make ideas like “Romney is a skilled manager,” something which is not true, a matter of consensus among people who oppose him and narrow the channel where attacks on him will come from to “flip flopping,” where Obama has a similar problem; and style, which is trivial.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

T. Coleman Andrews III

Mitt's partner in founding Bain Capital, and a major source of funding for his campaign today, is the grandson of a man who ran for president on the segregationist States' Rights Party platform!

Has anything really changed in America? The GOP continues to push states' rights.  T. Coleman Andrews was also against the income tax.   Does Romney have an unstated agenda to eliminate this as well?  Is Romney a Republican, or a States' Righter?!

Actually, it's none too clear.  T. Coleman Andrews called his party "States' Rights" but it was not the States' Rights Democratic Party that nominated Strom Thurmond in '48, nor the National States' Rights Party of white supremacy today, nor the American Independent Party that nominated George Wallace in '68, nor the Constitution Party of old-right wing fame although one online biographer misleadingly identifies it as Andrews' party .  It was  a Segregation Party and a party against the Income Tax, but it was really just a handy label for Andrews and his running mate, a California republican.  They only got 107,000 votes, chiefly in Virginia.   He was also a supporter of General Walker of JFK assassination conspiracy theory fame.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bain Capital: the money came from Latin America

Mitt Romney is very rich, and most of that money comes from one source: Bain Capital, a company he founded in 1984 with T. Coleman Andrews III and Eric Kriss. Before that, Romney was just a consultant with Bain & Co., well paid but just a hired management consultant.  Management consultants are not so much experienced business experts, but young MBAs sent out to promote a series of  theories the management consultancy is selling. Bain Capital was started with $37 million in capital, most of it from countries like El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. (Gee who had excess cash to invest in Colombia in 1984? Think about it!).  It was also the time of the "Latin American Debt Crisis" when elites throughout Latin America were encouraged to "recycle"  American loans into American businesses, and force the middle class and working class of these countries to go into poverty working to pay off the stolen loans.   The biggest investor, or the only one clean enough for Romneys to talk about today, is the Poma family of El Salvador, which at the time owned that country's largest auto dealerships, some hotels, and a real-estate and construction firm.  Let's be clear on this: El Salvador was a small, poor country. Being one of the elite from El Salvador in those days was not like being a Dallas billionaire: it was like being a big shot in Dothan, Alabama.  Yet somehow from this narrow base, the Pomas managed to plunk down $13 million into Romney's company.

The Pomas it turns out, however, aren't so clean.  Not only did they financially support ARENA, the party behind the death squads that murdered tens of thousands in El Salvador in that era, which one might understand as leftist guerillas had kidnapped a Poma; but they were also involved with Cuban exiles, employing men implicated in terrorist attacks in Cuba:

ARENA and the Poma family:

In short, the Pomas are so political, that one wonders if it was the Reagan administration and the intelligence community that wanted Bain Capital created and Romney was just along for the ride!  That he became very rich from Bain Capital is not proof to the contrary. Samuel Cummings was a CIA analyst who founded a private company to deal in small arms that the military wanted to dispose of. He became a billionaire.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Audacity of Evil

Today I was shocked to see a pro-Mormon puff piece on the site  There can not be much integrity behind a site that claims to represent gays when it attempts to legitimize Mormons, for nobody has done more to encourage violence, discrimination, and hate against gays in the United States than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1993 a surprise decision by the Hawaii Supreme Court indicated that finally the period where gay rights were considered secondary or even pornographic in the legal field was coming to an end.  There was still no hint that the religious hate which was behind all anti-gay laws would be seen for what it was, but once the first domino had fallen, there would likely be strong pressure in other states to see reason.

The Mormons swung into action. They created a pressure group, ostensibly non-Mormon, and then delivered most of its funding.

The Mormon front group immediately engaged in illegal fundraising, and likely in flat out bribery of the Hawaiian legislature.

Gay marriage was stopped in Hawaii.

They continued their reign of terror in Vermont, which has almost no Mormons, but where they managed to drop something like a million dollars, leaving Vermont temporarily with civil unions rather than marriage.

And they have continued their practices in every state, most infamously in California where they accounted for $22 million and 25,000 volunteers,  and are apparently even today the financial muscle behind the "NOM"

Mormons have even been involved in advocating violence against gays in Uganda.

And yet a lesbian and gay website was so hard up for cash they allowed the Mormons to place a puff piece on their site, even while the Mormon presidential candidate who will benefit from this p.r. campaign, has signed a pledge to "investigate" the alleged "persecution" of  the those who deny gays marriage.

It is clear that the editors of are the dumbest, most turncoat gays on the planet.  And it shows that the Mormons will tell any lie and pursue any avenue in order to take over the government. And then Romney's true evil will be unveiled.

From the 2008 campaign, a small sampling of Romney's lies.

Romney engages in what's called "Lying for the Lord,"  a sanctioned Mormon practice where Mormons are encouraged to fool the gentiles if it leads to the betterment of the church, such as controlling the national executive would be.  They are so arrogant they think they can fool even gays into voting for a man dedicated to violence against gay people.

Yes, all religions to some extent practice this, but few so baldly state it as a virtue.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Desensitizing the US about the Mormons to prepare for Romney's Run

The Mormon drumbeats have started. In GQ on July 11, a gentleman named Tom Carson has given his spin on Mormons, namely that they are cool, cute, “too goofy to be menacing” and “the last true American innocents,” a kind of mid-century modern artifact  like an Eames Chair. He admits that it might look different if you are gay or black, but if you are not, the Mormons are supposed to be harmless. Really? Nobody else cares about gays and blacks but gays and blacks?  Or does Mr. Carson think nobody should care about gays and blacks? The Mormons spent millions opposing gay marriage in virtually every state where it had a chance to succeed.  They hid their contributions behind dummy companies and front groups, and broke nearly every election law in the land because winning is all that Mormons care about. Just before the election in 2008, "parties unknown" launched a massed cyber attack on gay groups in both California and Florida.  Meanwhile, the votes on gay marriage were close in both states and the results did not match exit polls. Is that really “goofy” and “harmless” and of interest only to gays, that there is a large wealthy group in America dedicated to winning at any cost and to deceiving the public about their actions and intentions?  Who are the Mormons?

They are a gang.  Salt Lake City has long been famous for having highest rate of business fraud in the nation. Even in official statistics,  Multi-level marketing is second only to tourism as the dominant industry.  LDS members discriminate against other faiths in credit, housing, employment, and even charity. The church's disdain for individuals and individualism is not only notorious, but violently different from the mainstream of American culture, as one can see by the attacks they launched on Sonia Johnson, a previous Mormon who ran for president.

Carson says his view of the Mormons as “cute” is not supposed to refer to Romney, but the epithet used for him, “Cyborg,” is actually one which has been carefully selected for its lack of sting.  Romney is a spoiled rich kid, like Bush, with no experience of risk, whose “genius” business adventure, Bain Capital, was set up to clean dirty Latin American money by putting it to work in American business, and whose political act in Massachusetts was one lengthy record of vetoes overrode by the legislature. This practice of referring to Romney as a cyborg seems to be summoning Romney's speaking style, not his ideas or his record. It has been repeated so many times by so many different people it has the smell of an officially sanctioned meme, one which deprives Romney of evil, the same way Ann Richards and Molly Ivins deprived Bush of the menace that he really represented through their thoughtless condescension. We all paid for their error.

Carson attributes the Mormon chic to the intervention of Parker and Stone and their “Book of Mormon” play, without any recognition that these are two right wingers who have not only a record of crass homophobia but have tried consistently to desensitize the public to Mormons. Their play, about very young Mormons, emphasizes the innocent. And Carson dismisses the joke LDS theology by saying “Anyone whose objection to Mormonism is that it's all made up is not only barking up the wrong crucifix but peeing on a flagpole. Made-up, really? What, ya think the NFL, Superman, Mickey Mouse, and the Declaration of Independence weren't?”

An odd collection, to be sure. Mickey Mouse was created by a man, Walt Disney, who had a Mormon wife, so it is not really a symptom of American society apart from Mormons. Superman never pretended to be non-fiction, as the Mormon story does. The NFL is a machine for converting the tax dollars of working people into the pockets of a few business owners and a few hardly more numerous players through a theatrical pretense of competition. If Romney had his way, the whole economy would be run like the NFL and we would all be victims.  In the sense that the NFL pretends to be about competition just as the Mormons pretend to be about religion, there may be some analogy, but hardly in creative imagination.    The Declaration of Independence is not, as far as I can tell, a fantasy novel, and Carson's trivialization of it as an American fiction is precisely why Mormonism should be resisted in politics.  It is just an insult to America to compare the Declaration of Independence to Mickey Mouse and the Mormons.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

That Sinking Feeling

In 2000 I had a sinking feeling reading Molly Ivins' investigative work on George W. Bush, entitled "Shrub."  She detailed criminal behavior but tended to excuse him as a well-meaning slightly ridiculous buffoon.  I had a bad feeling because her description of Bush reminded me of a college roommate.  Like Bush, this roommate had a lot of personal charm, self-deprecating humor, and a bumbling folksy manner.  Like Bush, this roommate came from a rich family, name-dropped incessantly about his connections to the "Eastern Establishment" and yet resented them from southern regional prejudice.   Like Bush, he had never been held responsible for any bad behavior, and he had no concept of risk as a result.  Like Bush, he seemed to resent the system which celebrated his parents, as well as the myths of special American virtue surrounding democracy and capitalism.  By the end of the year, this roommate of mine had engaged in theft, vandalism, drugs, and had hatched a scheme to sell narcotics to high school children that only failed because the hashish he bought turned out to be wax.  He was never reprimanded, arrested, or disciplined for any of it.  He arrived the next year full of apologies for his bad behavior the previous year, and immediately began further crimes. 

In short, I had a sinking feeling that in Bush Molly Ivins had mistaken a bold criminal for the spoiled incompetent he wished her to see.  For example, Harkness Energy had decided to defraud the investing public by an accounting misrepresentation. To boost earnings, Harkness formed a new company consisting of Harken insiders, and sold it Harken's problem assets and liabilities at a highly favorable price.   They recognized a big profit on the sale, which saved their profit results for the year and prevented their stock price from collapsing.  The next year they bought the dogs back, closed the new company, and recognized  losses but only after insider Bush had disposed of his shares.  Molly Ivins duly reported that Bush was on the audit committee, but she did not suggest that he knew what was going on.  She seemed to find it plausible that a company employing a Harvard business graduate (Bush), but no other businessmen of significance, had entered into a significant fraud that would have embarrassed the sitting President of the United States (George H.W. Bush)  if discovered, while George W. Bush was on the Audit Committee, without his knowledge.  Nonsense!  Not only was it implausible he wasn't in on it, it had to be his idea because the same fraud was used repeatedly by Enron in later years and that company had nothing in common with Harkness except Bush.  From then on, "insider trading" became the Democrat theme.  It could be proved that an email was sent to Bush telling him not to sell his shares, but they couldn't prove that he ever read it. The larger story, the original accounting fraud, got lost in the shuffle even though the Bush Administration would compile an amazing record of altering statistics to serve political ends.

Bush, I told my friends, was the most corrupt man ever to seek the presidency.  They scoffed and smiled indulgently and felt I was playing the fool for partisan muckrakers, although not a single muckraker I had ever read had understood the magnitude of Bush's threat to America.

In 2008, people knew Bush was bad news.  They realized he had corrupted the Supreme Court and the electoral process, he had wrecked the economy, eliminated America's moral authority in the world by conducting a seamy unprincipled protection racket in both his foreign and domestic policies, and had destroyed America's freedoms one by one as though it were a personal mission.  Nonetheless, they were prepared to vote for Willard Mitt Romney, one of the few men even more spoiled and unprincipled than Bush, but with a greater intelligence, energy, organization, and capacity for harm.

Fortunately, Mitt Romney was stymied in 2008.  He was not torpedoed by the voters.  Indeed, he told workers in Michigan that they were in a "one state recession" because high gasoline prices had caused a crash in car sales.  He promised he would use his business acumen to help them be better at business, while his personal wealth soared, being partly invested in foreign oil companies that made money from the crisis that was costing Michigan jobs.  The foolish Michigan Republicans voted for him anyway, so blinded were they by the Romney ties to their state.    Romney was instead defeated because the many candidates collapsed too early, leaving only a few choices to compare against him and no chance of his winning.

In 2011 Romney has benefited from the sheer number of candidates in the field, and with his personal wealth, he can encourage more entrants in order to split the opposition and carry the day.  I don't know if he has or will do this, but  it is clear that Mitt Romney must be prevented from gaining the presidency and engaging in an even worse orgy of destruction of American values and the American economy than the lazy Bush was able to accomplish.  This blog will be dedicated to examining Mitt Romney, his non-record, his bold deceptions, and his plans to impoverish and crush America.