Sunday, April 29, 2012

Romney's reputation for lying confuses Jimmy Carter

Besides intimidation, the Romney propaganda style proved this week that it can fool people, making a laughingstock of former President Jimmy Carter.

First, though, it was a banner week for Romney lies.  As noted in this outraged article, Romney "interpreted"
a speech of Obama's about his own family as a personal attack on Mitt's father George Romney and a "pattern" of attacks on "Americans," thus pushing all the conservative paranoia buttons: Obama is not "American" somehow, the liberals hate success and are coming for you personally, and so on:

It is a shame Democrats won't take the hint and realize that since they are going to accused of attacking Romney's dad, Romney's success, and Romney's religion no matter what they do, they might as well do it.  They won't even though it is a target rich environment.  Dad's untrained national guard massacred people on the streets in Detroit in '68, Romney's success is more white collar crime than competition, and Romney's religious office has been practice for his lying style.

 The author of this story is so incensed he can think of no worse insult for Romney than "professional liar," but that is hardly a strong enough term.  Romney is a high official of a  church whose hierarchy are minimally trained volunteers who are required to piece together the whims of the Prophet into a system the best they can.  For years, Romney has directed the spiritual life of thousands of Boston area people based on...whatever he thinks will work.  It is obviously great practice in making stuff up and saying it with a straight face.

Nonetheless, there are some whoppers so big even Romney leaves them to others  Having vocally opposed the auto bailout as destructive to the industry (because it didn't break the United Auto Workers' union, the goal of every Republican in Michigan for the last seventy years), Romney can hardly say the auto bailout was his idea.  So one of his campaign heavies said it instead.

 It seems very laughable that Romney would even try these lies, and I have previously noted the intimidation factor which is so obviously one reason for them.  But to some extent this propaganda offensive, repeated endlessly, does work.

To see how, we turn to Jimmy Carter, who offered the ludicrous opinion that Romney is a "moderate," and shows that even somebody who should know better can be fooled by Romney's very instability into seeing what he wants to see.

Carter published a book on "The Virtues of Aging" in 1998, a book that conspicuously avoided all mention of mental deterioration, Alzheimers, and dementia, even though preventing that that is an obsessive concern of many elderly.  Carter has always been a man who sees what he wants to see, rather than what is, which is why even in his productive days he surrounded himself with drug dealers, corrupt bankers, military payroll padders, and billionaire thugs like the Stephens family of Arkansas.  In the case of Mitt Romney, the lies of the candidate are so many that Carter made up a self-serving lie, that Romney is "really" a moderate underneath his conservative veneer. 

In this case, Carter has not followed the campaign, since any glimpse of prime time t.v. in the past few months would have taught him that Santorum sometimes voted for tax increases and government programs, as did Gingrich. In short, Carter would have discovered that the claim that Romney was "more moderate" than the others was prima facie false.

It's also clear Carter never followed Romney's tenure in Massachusetts, where the Governor was faced with a Democratic supermajority of 85%, something few other leading Republican politicians have ever seen, and which more than accounts for his appearance of "moderation."  Indeed, Romney was not the least bit moderate in his obstructions, sometimes illegal, taken to thwart the will of that majority.   When he left that office, his aides replaced their own hard drives in order to hide their emails.

That Romney once claimed to be progressive is true.  However, Romney being a compulsive liar, it is fairly certain he never was.   His concrete proposals to privatize social security, end inheritance tax, and outsource government functions is as hard right and self-serving as any ever advocated by any Republican candidate.

Romney is the candidate of the 1%, even though income maldistribution has been a direct cause of unemployment and economic stagnation in the USA.  In Europe, which Romney scornfully dismisses for its debt, it is clear there is a correlation between government austerity required by Euro rules and economic distress.  Listening to Romney, you might never know that Greece had the highest economic growth rate in the world after Japan from 1950 to 1973, substantially higher than in the United States, and that Greece consistently grew faster than the EU average right up until 2008.  You'd never know that France, where the retirement age is 60, vacations average 6 weeks per year, and health care is practically free....France has had more total economic growth than the United States since 1945 and the leading candidate for president has advocated a 75% tax on the rich.  You might miss that Germany, where unions have a seat on every corporate board of directors, now has the highest employment in its history, that it runs both trade and current account surpluses every year despite low spending on education and concentration on manufacturing;  and has 5% more of the total population employed than the United States does.  Yes, they all have problems, and Greece's has been aggravated by the austerity demanded by its EU partners. However, European industry has been remarkably resilient despite a high currency and competition from India and China.

It is Romney's "sacred mission" to prevent anything like that ever happening in the United States, and since it would only benefit the United States if it did, that mission has to be accomplished through lies.

The real difference between Obama's upbringing and Romney's, is that Obama had to fight to get anyone in authority to take him seriously.  Bush didn't have to "fight" to be taken seriously, but then again he wasn't taken seriously and was treated like a nonentity even by his own vice-president.   Romney, in contrast, was given leadership positions all his life, and even teased he was the fulfillment of Mormon prophecy.  When Romney went on Mormon mission, it wasn't to ring doorbells in the third world but to manage other missionaries in wealthy France. When Romney was brought to Bain Capital and the Salt Lake Olympics, it was as CEO despite no experience in these fields.  He brags that he needed guarantees to agree to serve as Bain CEO, and it is highly likely there were similar guarantees at Salt Lake.  George W. Bush never had so much handed to him.  The only apparent rejection Romney has faced in life other than political defeats, was his teenage girlfriend Ann breaking up with him when he was in France.  He wound up in two car wrecks, the  first involving a fatality and nearly claiming his life.  Supposedly he didn't cause it, and he definitely won Ann Romney back.  We can only hope self-injury and vehicular manslaughter were not his response to rejection.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Romney is an Anti-Capitalist

Peter Kotz has uncovered more stories of horror from the vaults of Mitt Romney's Bain Capital.

However, once again he has missed how and why Romney did this and got away with it. I mentioned it before on this blog,  discussing the Dade and Damon deals, but the bottom line theme seems to be escaping people.


Bain Consulting prided itself on only representing one firm in an industry to avoid conflicts of interest.  Bain Capital took this one step farther by using equity capital to destroy competition within an industry.  They would buy a company and split its different businesses up; or combine a series of companies in one industry.  Bain would damage and loot those companies, but they were still able to sell at a profit.  How?

Because the buyers were the competitors of these companies.  The buyers would then either close the companies or fit them into their models, and they didn't care if Bain had looted them.  The point was to reduce their own competition so they could raise prices and be more profitable.  Bain was their hit man, able to buy when the owners of a company would never sell out to a competitor.

That is the essence of the Bain Capital model.  Their goal in buying control of companies was the same as that of the monopolists in the Gilded Age.  Reduce competition and make everyone pay more.  Defeat the competitive nature of capitalism by using its own weapons against it.

However, in their frantic search for profits, Bain engaged in no little dollop of fraud.  Every time they went into a company, stuffed it with debt to pay themselves and abandoned it to bankruptcy, they were guilty of defrauding the banks who loaned that new money to companies thinking it would be used to improve operations. Instead the money went directly to Bain's pockets and the company was left to repay the new creditors, if it could.  Many could not.

Therefore there were three sets of victims in these Bain operations: the employees  of the acquired company; the public and customers who had to pay more money for the same or inferior products as competition was curtailed; and the lenders who were fooled by the credit worthiness of the companies purchased into throwing money into the pockets of Bain and its investors.

In one deal, Dade International, the creditors complained to the bankruptcy judge that Bain was guilty of "unjust enrichment," a peculiar way of saying "fraud." It was to get Romney out of this business and away from having his methods land him in jail or a lawsuit, that he was made director of the Salt Lake Olympics after it was too late to move them anywhere else and they looked like a winner.  As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, the Olympics saved him from bearing the consequences of white collar crime.  He did not save the Salt Lake games, they saved him.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romney struggles to get a majority; gay porn king endorses him

Yesterday, Mitt Romney has had a bit of an embarrassment although the news media has again declared him a big winner with gushing hyperbole, as though these last two weeks when nobody campaigned against him were a time  of testing.  We have already seen that Mitt Romney owns the largest share of news outlets covering this campaign and influences the rest, although the public must be getting a trifle uneasy about all the times they've been told that Romney has finally won this thing for good, starting with Iowa last December.  CNN even hid the Santorum percentages in their coverage, showing only Romney, Gingrich, and Paul totals last night.

Still, considering Romney faced no real opposition in the northeast primaries, his showing was dismal.  56% in Delaware, 58% in Pennsylvania, probably less than 60% in New York (the news people apparently stopped counting at 77% of the vote when he had 62%,  so one imagines his end total will drop), and higher numbers only in Rhode Island and Connecticut.  This means that Romney is still more than 300 delegates short of what he needs for the nomination (by some counts 400 short).  That means the earliest he could "wrap up" the nomination is May 29 unless Gingrich and Santorum release their delegates for him, and it is not a foregone conclusion that the delegates would go to Romney.   Indeed, Romney might not be able to wrap it up until Utah on June 8.

Even more interesting, Rick Santorum had bowed out two weeks ago but received from 6 percent to 18 percent in the different states, suggesting that these votes were protest votes, a very high number.  Ron Paul also showed great strength, getting 16% of New York's incomplete tabulation.

That doesn't mean Romney stopped pandering for votes. In liberal New York, he managed to get the endorsement of gay porn producer Michael Lucas.

Ordinarily, one might expect that be viewed as an insult by Romney's base, but Romney seems to think he can win gay votes by appointing openly gay Richard Grenell as a "foreign policy spokesman."  That caused outrage on the right, but not in the northeast, where the primary was.

That does not mean, however, that Romney would be gay tolerant, although somebody has been planting "hints" that the Mormon leaders in Salt Lake City are "thinking" about dropping their opposition to gays.  Since they are all over 80 and many still resent the use of the word "gay" to refer to "homosexuals," that is not going to happen. They didn't spend millions to stop gay marriage in every state, and aren't currently involved in trying to stop it in Maryland, in order to drop that identity issue for Mitt Romney's benefit.

As always, it is merely a political calculation that they could get a few votes here or there, that determined this mini deception campaign.  However, Ron Paul's huge support in New York suggests it was completely ineffective.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Romney and Myers: A match made in Hell?

Mitt Romney has decided to kick start his general election campaign even though he has not yet secured the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

First attack? The dog story.  Trying to get a "reverse gotcha" for the months of punishment he's taken because of his abuse of his family pet, he has the minions out saying Obama ate dogs when he was a child in Indonesia.

The quote lifted from Obama's book "Dreams of my Father" is

"With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy)"

Note he doesn't actually say he ate dog, and he was 6 to 10 years old during his time in Indonesia.  It sounds like the kind of fake story an insecure kid creates to show how masculine he is and so probably doesn't belong in his autobiography written as an adult. Certainly dogs are unclean to Muslims, and Indonesia is a strict Muslim country where dogs would only be eaten by ethnic minorities.   Even if Obama did eat dog, this is different from Mitt the adult father torturing his family pet in front of his boys, although there may be a common thread of insecure masculinity in both cases.  After all, this won't change anyone's mind about Obama, since we've already seen what kind of leader he is not.  It greatly cheered the Republican operatives, to think that they had a return "gotcha" but in the end it won't show Romney in a good light either.

The hardline approach is no surprise.  Mitt's closest adviser these days is Beth Myers, a lawyer who has become ever closer to him as the campaign has gotten dirtier.   He has even assigned her the job of picking his running mate, probably to avoid any charges of sexism should she happen to pick a man.

Beth Myers got her start in Texas, working for Karl Rove, just after she graduated from Tufts in 1979.  In 1986 she was heavily involved in the Clements campaign for Governor, and during that campaign, a most untoward event occurred.    From the Karl Rove Wikipedia article:

 "In 1986, just before a crucial debate in campaign, Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats. The police and FBI investigated and discovered that the bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours, and the investigation was dropped. Critics, including other Republican operatives, suspected Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race."

Myers was working for Rove at the time. Was she in on the bugging caper?  The shouts of Democratic dirty tricks helped Rove's client eke out a tiny victory over Mark White.  Rove was also accused by  Molly Ivins of getting a friendly FBI agent to launch corruption investigations of leading Democrats during campaign season, investigations that were generally dropped after the election.

It is no surprise that Mitt Romney would need a dirty trickster on his campaign.  To put Myers in charge of picking the vice-president, that's something dramatic. This campaign is likely to be one long string of histrionic and highly theatrical attempts to portray Mitt Romney and that vp choice, whoever he is, of being victimized by the big bad Obama.

Meanwhile, Romney has received a bump in the polls, not because people like him, but because people are not happy with Obama.    However, the public will have plenty of time to get to know Mitt Romney, and it is up to Beth Myers to prevent their doing so.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romney against stay at home mothers...if they're poor

He said poor mothers need to learn "the dignity" of paid employment.  Ezra Klein has found the most interesting rejoinder to the right wing flap about stay at home motherhood yet.  Romney actually didn't recognize the value of staying at home for poor mothers.

It is only his wife Ann who is expected to stay at home and not work because her job is so important.

None of this should surprise.  He doesn't want America rewritten in his image, but a secure oligarcy.

I think we can also infer he wants tax money for Mormon missionaries through a national voluntary service program.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Romney intimate Fred Malek involved with animal cruelty and anti-semitism

The Romney campaign ought to be careful of making too much of the remarks of Hilary Rosen or other Democrats, because some of Romney's true intimates have skeletons of their own.

Fred Malek, a long time Republican operative, is planning  a fundraiser in honor of Ann Romney's birthday.
Malek is an old-time management consultant (Romney's original industry) who also serves on the board of directors of Marriott (Mitt's old board). Malek served Nixon as a Jew-finder in government when Nixon wanted to eliminate Jews from his administration; then Malek served Reagan in the OMB when Reagan tripled our national debt; then Malek served as convention and campaign chair for George H.W. Bush.

Mitt Romney has received quite a bit of support from Israeli groups who think that the republican party is better for Israel than Obama.  It would be bad for him to let the general Mormon antisemitism of his background leak to damage that reputation.  The Mormons do not have the strident violent antisemitism of the KKK and some Southern Baptists.  However, their view of Israel is highly negative and uninfluenced by millenial prophecies.  If Israel wakes to this fact, his standing among them will fall.

Malek has more skeletons than this however. In 1959, the year he graduated from West Point, he was arrested for barbecuing a dog in a public park in Peoria, Illinois.  Charges were dropped when his buddies said it was just their idea (and Malek said he was too drunk to stop them), but one must always have suspicion about a well-connected man whose friends cover for him.

Given Romney's problem with animal cruelty towards his own dog Seamus, he can ill afford to have an intimate friend publicly accused of particularly barbarous animal cruelty.

Hilary Rosen may be a millstone for Obama's neck, but surely Fred Malek is a true intimate of Romney and a man no president should be inviting to the White House for a chat.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Manufactured Gotcha: Mormon loving Hilary Rosen transformed into 'Obama Spokesperson'

Today the airwaves were all agog about the first general election "gotcha" moment.  Hilary Rosen "victimized" poor Ann Romney by saying she "never worked a day in her life."  Ann tartly responded that she raised five kids (or managed the help in raising five kids, which she probably thinks is even harder), and Hilary Rosen was portrayed as a "Democratic strategist" and Obama intimate and "frequent White House visitor" and then "Obama spokesperson" and "Obama's lesbian adviser" according to some conservative blogs.

Rosen is an infrequent contributor to CNN and the Huffington Post. Her resume indicates she is an operative hired by democrats but usually for specific issues.  She was not representing either the Democratic Party or Obama campaign on AC360 when she made her remarks.  She was previously presented as "CNN Political Contributor" but this time as "Democratic strategist" even though she actually agrees with Mitt Romney in the clip.  They also showed her opposite a Republican commentator above a line saying "Romney, Obama camps" implying she is a member of  the Obama camp.   The p.r. firm that employs her has worked for both the DNC and Obama campaign, and she has visited the White House, but she was for Hillary Clinton against Obama in 2008.  When the issue was Rick Warren's privileged treatment by Obama in 2008, she was angry with Obama and they called her "CNN Political Contributor," not "Democratic Strategist."  It appears as though CNN is setting this up to run in a Romney ad. This should have been more a "gotcha" moment on the lines of Rush Limbaugh speaking out for Romney, but the right is falling all over themselves to try to tie Rosen to Obama.

Faux pas:

Rick Warren era:

Hilary Rosen

Some of us have long memories, and we remember Hilary Rosen.  When her then partner Elizabeth Birch was head of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Hilary Rosen was a donor and fast friend of right wing Republican Mormon Senator Orrin Hatch.  In 2000, for example, she gave $1,000 to his presidential exploratory committee.  How can someone who supported Orrin Hatch for president be tarred as an intimate of Obama?  Only in the corporate controlled, right-wing media could such a thing be possible.

She has become more Democratic since then, giving $6,900 to Hillary Clinton in 2008 against $500 to Obama.  Rosen infuriated the Democratic base by her anti-piracy career and her lobbying for British petroleum.

She also had Greta Van Susteren (whose father was Senator Joe McCarthy's campaign manager and architect of many conservative smears of that era) at her fiftieth birthday party.

 Rosen, in short, is a Washington insider of long standing. It is highly unlikely she tossed off this unfortunate phrasing without realizing what it could do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Santorum quits; can Romney win essentially unopposed?

The  sock puppet dance is over.  The Santorum campaign has been suspended and Gingrich goes on but with $4.5 million in debt, more or less proving that they were only funded by Romney supporters trying to prevent an alternative from emerging.   Have they figured out a strategy to stop Mitt at the convention using Mitch Daniels or Chris Christie? Have they united behind Dr. Ron Paul?  No.  Gingrich says he will vote for Romney against Obama.  He may try to use Santorum's dropout to regain credibility as the alternative, but it is unlikely to get very far.  They were sock puppets and they were thrown off the stage by their financial backers.

The 1% have succeeded, with just 4.5 million votes to Romney's credit, installing an unpopular compulsive liar as the Republican party standard bearer, because he happens to be rich.  There is a risk, though, to folding the sock puppetry right now. The first risk is not so much Newt Gingrich, but that Ron Paul will suddenly pick up a surprising bump in support.  Secondly, Romney could well lose primaries to Santorum if his name is still on the ballot.  Look for shenanigans, particularly in Texas, to get Santorum's name off the ballot to prevent that embarrassment.

However, it is not likely Romney will try too hard.  Some embarrassment may amuse liberals, but it doesn't change the basic calculation, which is that the country's economy and election can be manipulated by the 1% in such a way as to make a universally detested man president.  If they manage that, the United States as we know it, is dead.  A man who can rationalize any violence against anyone will command the world's largest nuclear arsenal.  There will be an orgy of privatizations and looting.  Every last dime that can be pumped out of the people will be sent overseas to support dictators in foreign lands.  The only growth profession in the land will be armed mercenaries sent overseas; and Wall Street confidence trickster.  There will be a Wall Street collapse which will make the last one look like chicken feed.  Pathetic as Santorum and Gingrich were, today is a dark day for the United States.

AP falsely declares Superdelegates have decided for Romney

Yesterday all the media were abuzz that the GOP superdelegates were saying Romney has won and forget about the rest of the primaries.  Indeed, Santorum and Gingrich more or less stopped campaigning.  However, if you read farther in the Associated Press article with this theme, you find that only 35 of 114 superdelegates  have endorsed Romney, barely 25% and lower than the 40% of primary votes Romney has been getting.  The reality of superdelegate votes, then, contradicts the story that Romney has won.

How much has Romney won? His vote total is still well below 5 million with the majority of contests over, barely more than he got from all states in 2008.,_2012

Hillary Clinton, in contrast, received close to 18 million votes in 2008. McCain, in 2008, received 9.8 million votes. Can Romney make 10 million?  It is improbable.

Meanwhile, as always, all is not well in the Romney family.  Not only did his cousin run against him, but five family members in Idaho have endorsed Ron Paul.

Things are better for Romney on the fundraising front, since two Marriotts have given $1.5 million (total) to the Romney effort.

When Mitt Romney was on the Marriott board of directors, it was the corporation practice to get kickbacks from vendors that went to the Marriotts while their customers had to eat higher costs from the vendors chosen by Marriott to serve them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Japan tries Romney style deregulation. The result? Fraud and disappearing pensions.

Japanese pensions are disappearing! The culprits? Privatizers who brought flawed Anglo-American conservative theory to bear on the pension system are responsible.

Mitt Romney wishes for more fraud in the USA

Meanwhile, fear is beginning to strike in the hearts of the 1%, heretofore so smug in running someone like Mitt Romney, an unpopular candidate, through electoral manipulation.  France's most important left politician is calling for 75% marginal taxes on the rich, and is leading in popularity.  If the US ever had such a candidate, who would certainly not be Obama, he or she would also be leading.

The Romneyites won't go down without a fight. God wills it, you see.  Mormons are being brought into line by whispers about the White Horse Prophecy, the "One Mighty and Strong" who would intervene to save the U.S. Constitution in order to (eventually) bring about the Mormon theocracy.  Romney has been celebrated (and ridiculed) as the One Mighty and Strong since his youth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Romney "win" in Wisconsin again tainted by fraud; wife suggests he's impotent

"Romney sweep," "He's won," "Game changer," "The straw that broke the camel's back"

Romney spent millions on television ads in Wisconsin. Santorum spent nothing.  And Romney had to rely on electoral tricks and likely fraud to win that state.

The antics of rogue Waukesha County election clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a would be Katherine Harris,  were again on full display: holding back results, requiring precinct workers to bring their tapes in person to the county election office for tabulation, and then delivering 60% to Romney, his highest margin in the entire state except for Ozaukee County where the wealthy suburbs are.  No other counties besides these two gave Romney more than 60% and only 5 others in the SE corner of the state gave him 50%.

Nickolaus also abused the photo ID law, which is supposed to be on hold, to disenfranchise a voter.  Apparently these particular voters were targeted before the election.
Nickolaus was the same one who found extra votes to flip the Supreme Court election in 2011 (see link).

What else did she do in that election cycle? She prevented exit pollers from doing their work in Waukesha County, as reported on BradBlog

There was a smoking gun pointing to fraud in 2011: a poll tape dated before the election that was part of the recount.

Nothing was done except a lame fake "investigation" by Republicans.

Nickolaus was up to shenanigans in the August recall election, which prompted agonized calls to have Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder investigate.  Apparently there were problems with a previous election she superintended.  Holder did not pursue the investigation.

Of Romney's margin in Wisconsin as much as a third came from Waukesha County.

The real story is that Santorum almost won when unanswered anti-Santorum ads blanketed television for several weeks prior to the election. Romney underperformed even though the media treated him like he had already won, and it is a well known truism of elections that people like to vote for the winner.  Despite being the near-certain winner, he can't get a majority of Republican votes in any state, possibly the most personally unpopular candidate to front for a major party since Richard M. Nixon.

Strains were seen elsewhere in the Romney camp, where his wife made a startling "unintentional" admission.
She said Mitt Romney's is not STIFF, which you can find if you UNZIP him, suggesting he is sexually impotent.   It was treated as a joke, but the question is, did she know?