Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Romney has fewer primary votes than John McCain in 2008

The last Republican primary occurred yesterday in Utah.  Romney got 205K votes, substantially less than he got in Utah in 2008, when they had an early primary.



This doesn't mean that he won't easily carry Utah in November.  But it does cement a picture of a fairly unlikeable candidate when even triumphant Mormons won't turn out for him.

In 2008, before he went on to lose miserably in November, John McCain elicited 9,840K votes in the primary.

In 2012, if you add his Utah total of 205K votes to his previous total of 9,414K votes, you see that Romney's total for all 50 states will be 9,619K votes.,_2012

In short, both years, fewer than 10 million voters determined the Republican nominee, a small enough total for the 1% wealthiest Americans (3 million people, 2 million voters) to have a decisive influence based on their numbers.

The country has added millions of residents since 2008, but the actual vote total for the winning Republican went down.  It is hard to argue that Romney is any kind of popular candidate.

Nonetheless, the Republicans are brimming with confidence this year, because the Supreme Court decision on campaign finance gives them unlimited corporate spending.

This is a true test to see if money alone can defeat the will of the people, by confusing them through slanted news (owned by Bain Capital, its allies, and Fox), by misleading them with lying ads, by suppressing their votes, and by systematic election fraud. The question is, can the overwhelming majority of Americans be hypnotized into consenting to the continuing rape of their nation?  Mind control experts and hypnotists say yes:

Derren Brown with subliminal advertising

Derren Brown creates an assassin

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Romney's get tough policy with China: I will do as I say, not as I did

Romney knows the public is angry at China, and he promises to take on China for its unfair trading practice on DAY ONE.  He says he will issue an executive order threatening "countervailing duties" on China unless they float their currency.

This is a leftist union cause, and when one sees Romney espouse it, one has to ask if this is sincere, just as they, lying, praise Reagan for supporting the Solidarity Union in Poland when he went on an orgy of union busting in this country. China has beggared the American worker by setting the price of the Chinese yuan far below the dollar, so that the same product that costs $20 in the U.S. would only cost $5 in China, and mocking the notion of "global free trade" since no trade involving Chinese currency is "free" as long as the government fixes the price by setting the price of currency.  Setting the currency price too low raises the costs of imports to Chinese consumers, discouraging consumption of foreign goods and creating a hidden tariff wall forcing any foreign firms who want to sell in China to manufacture there, and all foreign firms want to be part of what will eventually be the world's largest market.  Low currency prices also  lowers the cost of Chinese exports, allowing them to undercut American producers.  Thus an American worker cannot compete in wages with a Chinese worker making only one-third as much, even when the Chinese worker has a higher standard of living because everything in China costs one-fourth as much as in the US.  It also allows China to industrialize without offering workers higher wages to boost domestic consumption by taking advantage of foreign demand to bring money into the country. And it allows China to receive vast sums in foreign investment.  China is not a free country, and that investment has come with strings.  The foreign companies are required to share their technology with China, eliminating our technology advantage.  The foreign companies are required to hire Chinese managers and gradually eliminate all western top level leaders.  And the foreign companies are not allowed to remove money from the country at whim, so when American companies have accumulated profits there, they cannot simply bring them back and flood America with them.  This economic warfare has been so successful that the US would have become a food importing nation in 2006 if the Chinese hadn't been persuaded to suddenly to make a huge multibillion dollar purchase of soybeans. China's centralized Soybean purchases have kept us a net food exporting country ever since..

Obama has made this a trade issue and China has grudgingly allowed its currency to appreciate since 2010 in order to avoid trade sanctions.

This was never done under Clinton and Bush and for several reasons.  First of all, 80% of Chinese exports to the US were by American firms, so their profits would be cut by trade sanctions.  Of course, the leaders of these firms were all well aware that the currency was mispriced and that this could not continue forever.  Second, brainless economists said, yes we will lose manufacturing jobs, but in the future we should be moving to "intellectual" service jobs anyway; and we will have lower prices for our goods that more than offset the losses.  This was manure.  The jobs lost paid well, while the new service jobs paid poorly and required no skills. Indeed, the whole rest of the world is still struggling to move from services to manufacturing since services economies have typically meant rigid and impermeable class distinctions, and there is no global preference for services over goods and probably never will be.  It was all a feel-good childish fantasy parading as "economics" and funded by the billionaires who endowed economics professorships.  The industrial infrastructure lost was more valuable than the cheap goods offered at Wal-Mart, which were usually lower quality too, offsetting the lower price. And since the profits could not always be repatriated, the economy suffered a net loss, not a net gain.  Furthermore, since most shares in publicly traded companies are held by proxies, one could never be sure if the small number of companies creating our trade imbalance were really owned by the Chinese or Saudis through intermediaries or not.

The Bush family had many investments in China, so their interest in the China relationship was no surprise.  Of more surprise was all the aid and technology sharing Bush did with the Chinese military,  servicing our naval vessels at Chinese ports, sending our green berets to train theirs, and letting them help themselves to our most advanced technology.  Remember when Republicans accused Clinton of treason because Loral Corp. shared missile technology with China, under a deal signed under George H.W. Bush?  It may surprise you to know that George W. Bush shared so much technology with China that the Chinese military has proudly announced they can now track all our submarines, one-third of our nuclear deterrent triad. Furthermore, they are engaged in building a large fleet to neutralize our power not with technology but with numbers.  This is the biggest strategic setback to American military power since Russia got the hydrogen bomb, and its author was our true blue patriot George W. Bush, who treated the Chinese leaders as global allies in the struggle against the middle class and poor of all regions.  It was clear they did not feel the same way about him.

Now Romney the super-patriot will fix all this.  Of course, this means misrepresenting his history.

America's offshoring to China did not just "happen." It was made to happen. American CEOs had no experience dealing with the Communist Chinese, and were reluctant to make the leap. They were helped, partly by retail firms like Wal-Mart and Staples, which advanced the untrue theory that manufacturing prices should decline every year. In fact, they should level off after awhile, but that cut no ice with Wal-Mart and other big retailers, which demanded annual reductions.  Offshoring became the only way to satisfy these lying corporate pirates  with their fraudulent business models.

The leading firms for Outsourcing Consulting in the 1990's? One of them was Bain Consulting.  Bain was the company Mitt Romney began his career with, which he left in 1984 to start Bain Capital.  But Bain Consulting brought Mitt Romney back as chairman after Bain Consulting fell into financial difficulty.  One of the problems was that senior partners had borrowed against the firm's equity, which was disappearing.  Romney came in to restructure the company, helped by getting the FDIC to write-off $10 million of the debt Bain owed the closed Bank of New England for Bain's partners borrowing above their income levels, and set the Consultants on a new path with foreign managers who went gangbusters into the offshoring market.  By 2007, Bain Consulting had 37 offices worldwide.

Romney's own company, Bain Capital, also forced and threatened companies with offshoring to India and China when Romney was in charge, and Romney himself faced embarrassment in 2008 when his $100,000 investment in a Chinese company doing business in Iran was revealed.  In defense, Romney pointed out that Bain was involved in "offshoring" meaning the jobs were still under an American company, as opposed to "outsourcing" that is getting a Chinese company to do the work.  But China's regulations on investment are so strict that they amount to the same thing.

He apparently told his blind trust manager to divest from China after his 2008 loss, but it somehow did not happen.  Even today, Romney is profiting from China's growth and America's decline.

Meanwhile his money manager keeps him invested in foreign currencies, so that if the dollar falls, Mitt Romney will not lose money.

Is America expecting great patriotic things from a president who bets against the dollar in his private life?
Meanwhile, Romney has tens of millions invested in global Goldman Sachs funds which undoubtedly also have Chinese investments.

He has structured his wealth to avoid taxes by plugging as much of his Bain money as he can into a tax-free IRA.!C50AD9D0-D0E5-4700-8A6D-4AC0E03CAEBA

So, should we trust Mitt Romney to get "tough" with China when we see Obama has only been able to make minor improvements in the trade war? Or should we laugh at thinking a rich man who has never demonstrated American patriotism claiming he would do better at the same goal which Obama clearly has of forcing China to revalue the yuan? I think the latter.    Obama is certainly no more an advocate of free trade than Romney, and Romney has demonstrated in the past a disregard for the American worker.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Poll Madness: has Romney lost his momentum or did he never have any?

Strange results are abroad in the polling world.  Obama had a clear if small lead over Romney throughout April.  In May, suddenly Romney started catching up and it wasn't clear why.  Many polls started to show him leading and many leading Democrats went into full-bore panic mode.   Romney had consolidated his Republican victory, but that had been expected.

The economy had not suddenly dipped or improved, gas prices were high but falling, and business confidence a wildly mixed bag.  In short, there didn't seem to be a reason for Romney's sudden surge.

Over the last week, suddenly it's gone.  Some polls now show Romney as a large underdog, most notably the Bloomberg poll.

Conservatives immediately moved to question it, but some of their own polls suddenly showed an Obama shift.  Had Obama received some "juice" from coming out in favor of gay marriage and stopping the deportation of children? It seems unlikely, and conservatives credited a big boost in their campaign contributions from these actions, as has Obama.

It is most likely that Romney's "surge" was never real, that it was invented to prevent any last minute shenanigans among dissatisfied Republicans.  It had the additional benefit of demoralizing many pseudo-Democrats, most crazily Dick Morris, who claimed the race was a "Romney landslide" on May 9.

Morris of course, predicted something similar in 2008, and his continued presence in the media proves the contention that political consultants are the one tribe which has never in history weeded out the incompetents and fools.

I think neither is right. I don't think Romney gained any momentum in May, nor do I think Obama has any now, although enthusiasm is up in his followers.  I think the parade of polls represents an attempt to frame the race, and doesn't represent an uncertain or shifting public opinion at all.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Romney fails to consider the costs of competition; assails Rick Scott for noting economic improvements

All of conservative economics falls to the ground with the answer to one question: what becomes of those who compete and lose?   Competition, you see,  is supposed to be the mechanism that makes free markets and corporations work to benefit everyone.  Just as sports benefit when more compete, leading to better play and a market for watching; so, apparently competition is said to make products and services better. In truth, competition can be inefficient.  What rewards there are go to the winners, while those who compete and fail get nothing and lose the time and effort they would have better spent developing other skills and doing other things. Yet they have to be fed and watered, cared for and educated while developing the failed skillset and again when developing its replacement.   Competition can easily become destructive, and the inefficiency of  more and more people competing for fewer and fewer places, a condition increasingly common across different industries, can lead to social inefficiencies, pauperizing entire classes of people.   This is not how Europe and North America created wealth in the last three hundred years, nor is it the governing principle in today's Asian success stories.  Competition, it turns out, is a red herring.  It assists neither innovation nor wealth building.  Necessity is not the mother of invention, but of crime.  The invisible hand of capitalism is Fairness and putting value into work.  Competition leads only to a gambling ethic, and only if rewards are too outsized to be fair.  In Romney's case, competition is a somewhat deliberate red herring, since his business career was all about reducing competition instead of increasing it.  But you should not conclude, from Romney's hypocrisy on the issue, that he would leave the nation's tattered social safety net alone or that he understands that he is kneeling before a false God of Competition behind the conservative economic theories he espouses.  Republicans, in general, show such contempt for the poor their policies border on genocide.  Romney is no different.

He will mislead you with his statements.   Earlier in the campaign he said he "doesn't care about the very poor" because there is a social safety net for them.  He says he won't touch medicare and social security for ten years, although it's clear he cannot not touch them and reach his fiscal goals. And he says he wants Americans to have more income and less unemployment, promising a big reduction to unemployment in his first term (as Obama also did).

Sounds like  a stand up guy.  Until you find out how he intends to do all this.  His plan for unemployment insurance is simple: make the workers pay.  Currently, employers pay into a fund to help people who are unemployed.  Romney wants employees to have to pay into the fund, cutting costs to employers and raising it to employees, and it can only be used for their personal unemployment so if you have only paid in for six months and are unemployed for a lengthy time, you will run out.  If you are never unemployed,  you get to roll your unemployment into your retirement savings.  Furthermore the accounts will be managed privately, subject to the risk of the stock market falling or the custodian running off with your money.   You will be able to get 30-50% of your previous salary, which is less than the 50% to a maximum level, the current benefit.
The logic behind this is that by forcing workers to pay it will give them an incentive to avoid unemployment - by accepting lower wages.

In short, his specific policy idea is inconsistent with his other ideas of risk-taking being the driving force in the economy and that we need more entrepreneurs.  It is also inconsistent with the idea that workers should earn more, if they will now earn less net of unemployment and be prisoners in their current jobs, discouraged from starting new businesses.  Underneath it is an ugly notion that unemployment is a voluntary choice for malingering by workers, rather than a byproduct of the nation's economic system.

In Medicaid, he wants to give states full control of the program instead of sharing it with the feds, and cap the federal contribution at 1% growth per year.  Current health care inflation is expected to be 7% per year due to an aging population.  True, that may be excessive, a number that was set during the Bush era by Medicare, which allowed the large increases.  But Romney has no plan for cutting costs.  By transferring management of the program to the states, without real statutory authority to set prices and standards, it is the states and the states alone who will have to make this work, as Romney is dodging responsibility for health care cost cutting.

Obama, at least has done a few things to rein in costs, such as identifying Medicare fraud.

In Massachusetts, Romney was the cause of Medicare fraud, not the solution.

Meanwhile, all discretionary programs, including food stamps, would have to be cut more than 50% in Romney's world to reach his fiscal goals.

Not content to wait for Romney's budget, Congressional republicans have already asked for big reductions in food stamps to pay for a military spending increase, and also to maintain high farm subsidies.  So we will have higher food prices AND lower food aid, meaning starvation. Republicans, of course, do not believe anyone will starve. They think people don't really need food stamps.  Since Romney plans further military increases - having arbitrarily demanded military spending at 4% of GDP,  a military budget that is already larger than that of the rest of the world COMBINED will grow even bigger.

On top of that, Romney intends on cutting costs for Social Security and Medicare by advancing the eligibility age one month per year after 2022.

Doubtless he would make many more changes, including privatization, but he can't say them during the campaign.

Nowhere do the Republicans or Romney consider what happens to people who compete and lose.  When JP Morgan Chase lost $9 billion on a $100 billion derivatives bet, Romney said it "didn't matter" because somebody else made $9 billion on the bet.   How peculiar then that one of their main campaign themes has been Obama's "corruption" when the government invested several hundred million dollars in a solar energy company that failed.  Obama is "corrupt" when taking a half billion dollar risk on alternative energy, but JP Morgan Chase is just playing around when they risk $100 billion of their depositors' money on a casual bet that their idiot CEO didn't even understand.

No financial institution should be making $100 billion bets that can destabilize the world economy.  But this is standard Republican pap. Those who lose magically start new businesses or accept lower wages or try again and succeed.  The costs are never considered. One Republican candidate in Wisconsin chastised the media for doing stories eliciting sympathy for poor or unfortunate people.

The Romney campaign is angry with Florida governor Rick Scott, who wants to take credit for the state's improving economy and declining unemployment.  Romney needs to win Florida and he can't if people think Obama has done a good job on the economy.  Republicans are trying to sabotage the economy, but in addition, they mislead people about it, even if it hurts incumbent Republican officeholders.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Treason: the Republicans' "Can't Lose" Foreign Policy Strategy

All last fall and this spring, the Republican party lambasted Obama for not doing anything to Iran.  All the Republican candidates except Ron Paul promised war with Iran.  Romney became so hysterical he said, in apocalyptic fashion: "If Obama is re-elected, Iran WILL have nuclear weapons."  None of the media called them out on this purple prose.  Yet, every single one of them believed Obama was doing something on Iran.  Something covert he couldn't talk about.  How can I be so sure?

The U.S. has been dropping hints for ten years that it has operations in Iran.  In 2004, when Bush was president,  the US "leaked" that we had ground operatives in Iran, leading to speculation there would be an invasion.   That year the US Army did a war game targeting a country called "Nair" ("Iran" with the letters rearranged, see link).

There was no call for an investigation of leaks by Congress then.
In 2006, there was further sabre rattling.  In 2011, Iran had a setback to its nuclear program (see above link).

In 2009, with Obama a new president, democracy demonstrations broke out in Iran, a resistance movement that lasted three years.  The whole world, but particularly Russia, thought the US was behind it.

In 2010,  while Obama was president, a computer virus set back Iran's nuclear program two years. The US and Israel were the only suspects.

In February 2011, Iran admitted a problem causing the shutdown of a newly completed nuclear plant.

In November, 2011, Iran claimed it caught a number of CIA spies in Lebanon and Iran.

This was trumpeted as a huge failure for US foreign policy, a major administration setback.  A couple weeks later, it turned out that was a response to a huge success for covert operations: a missile testing site in Iran exploded just three weeks earlier, a huge act of sabotage which Iran thought had been accomplished by the CIA.

That story got very limited attention.

In other words, if the Republican candidates for president were having their staff read the news, they knew that the Obama administration had been conducting extensive covert operations in Iran.  So why accuse the president of doing nothing?  Simple: they know the public isn't hearing or seeing or remembering these stories.

If the president does not respond, he looks weak.  If he says he is doing something, he blows a covert operation.  And if the operation is blown by others, the Republicans can claim he leaked it even though Bush used to do it as a matter of policy. .

The last case has now happened, Russian programmers have found something that links the Iran viruses to a previous cyberwar weapon,  and the Republicans in Congress and the Romney campaign, fearing Obama will look strong and competent, and unable so far to generate "momentum,"  are trying to see if they can pin  a leak on anybody in the Obama administration and therefore say it is the PRESIDENT who damaged national security, not their lying.  Indeed, after Attorney General Holder sent two US attorneys to investigate, the Republicans called for him to resign and appoint a special prosecutor.

Now remember what has happened here. The Republicans know that Iran has seen multiple attacks to its politics, nuclear program, and military. They know Iran believes the CIA is responsible.  But they accuse the president of doing nothing on Iran so he will look weak.  If he doesn't respond, and he didn't, they look like they are more concerned with US security than he is.  If he does respond, then he has blown covert operations.  And if somebody else leaks it, the Republicans can claim Obama leaked it and start an open ended witch hunt.

It's all very deceptive, but is it treason?  After all, by accusing him of doing nothing, they are providing him cover.  By threatening war, aren't they scaring Iran and causing it to negotiate with Obama? The answer is no.  First of all, their intent is to goad the President into revealing America's covert operations. If Iran can get such an admission, their case improves dramatically and foreign support for action in Iran falls to zero.
Indeed, they can blame anything that happens in their country on the CIA, and lead other countries to wonder what the CIA is doing on their territory.  Second, by threatening war, the GOP could raise the benefit to Iran of supporting terrorism against the US and even give it a large incentive for a first strike. But a more likely scenario is that whether or not Obama rises to the bait, Iran starts to see US rhetoric as part of domestic political gamesmanship and discounts any and all threats the US may want to make.  And that, dear readers, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. In 1944, the Republicans were keen to expose FDR for leading Japan to war, since a US newspaper had admitted we had broken Japanese codes.  General Marshall  met with the Republican candidate and begged him to lay off because the Japanese would change their codes and set back the war effort.  He didn't believe it, but he did back off.  Can anyone imagine Romney or any other Republican "backing off" in that way today?

Of course you can't.  Can you even imagine them engaging in a serious discussion of the direction, theories, and overall plan of foreign policy? Of course not.  It's merely a gotcha game to them.

They have not stopped at treason. The Republicans are not a political party any longer, but a racketeering influenced corruption organization within the meaning of the federal statute, and are actively working to sabotage the economy and American foreign policy for private gain.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sabotage: Republicans attempt to stop the economy cold

For close to a year, Democrats have been aware of  Republicans gathering to stop the economy dead for the political purpose of getting rid of Obama.   The Tea Party told small businesses not to hire anyone.

Big business said they have trillions stashed overseas that they would love to repatriate if only their US taxes were lower  or they had a tax holiday (of course China wouldn't let them move it all back anyway).

 But apparently the GOP has realized it has not done enough, and that the public employee cuts have not stopped the increasing momentum of the private sector.

Therefore the rating agencies are now poised to shut down the entire economy by downgrading America's largest banks.  America's largest banks are a cesspool, and they were never reformed - largely because of Republican obstruction in 2009.  But they aren't any more crooked or exposed this week than a month ago or a year ago. It is blatant political terrorism.

Who owns Moody's? Investor Warren Buffet is said to be its largest shareholder, but Vanguard and  ValueAct, founded by Vanguard principals, had compiled just a fraction fewer shares, and may well have taken over control of the company in recent weeks or in tandem with Jeffrey Rothenburg of Los Angeles's Capital World. Here's something else, the money laundering Wells Fargo Bank is the one bank left off the downgrade list.  Its largest shareholder is also said to be Warren Buffet. On the other hand, Moody's also downgraded ITSELF, a curious move.  It may be an effort to split Buffet from Obama.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Romney dismal victor in California

There is only one Republican primary left to be contested, in Utah, and Mitt Romney, with 79.5% of the vote in California, passed 50% of the overall Republican primary vote for the first time, essentially two months after his opposition quit. His vote total in California, however, was a minimal 1.2 million, meaning that with 9.4 million votes overall, he still trails John McCain's 2008 9.8  million votes with Utah the only state left with a primary.  They will need a huge "get out the vote" effort just to pass McCain, even with the Mormons solidly behind Romney.  Romney also got substantially less than the unopposed Barack Obama, who received 1.7 million votes in California.

Both sides are concerned about California's new "non-partisan" primary, designed by Republicans to blunt the effects of a sharp left hand movement in the state's politics and also to blunt the tea party.  They claimed success of course, but actual results were far from clear.  In the US Senate primary, for example,  the leading Republican received less than 13% of the vote, less than half a million, although she did secure a place on the ballot for the fall election.  Only one really anomalous result was found in the 53 Congressional races: in District 31,  two Republican candidates split 52% of the vote and four Democratic candidates split 48% of the vote. However, the Republicans were the two top vote getters so that even though the Democrats were withing striking distance of picking up the seat in November, they will not have a chance because two Republicans will compete in the runoff.  That was the only district with such an outcome.  There will be more Dem v. Dem Congressional races in the fall than Rep v. Rep, but since those were safe seats, there is no real contest.  Similarly, more than half a dozen candidates got into the runoff with no party preference indicated, but only in safe seat elections, so they will not seriously challenge to win.

Bishop Romney makes private profit a moral crusade, outed as a Creepy Uniform Fetishist

Mitt Romney reached back to his Mormon roots, accusing Obama of a "moral failure" in not leading a fabulous economic recovery, never mind that the private economy stagnated for eight years under conservative George W. Bush.

The attempt to frame economic issues as a moral crusade - but in defiance of where one might normally see it, such as caring for the poor - is standard Mormon pap.  Mormon theology holds that Greed is Good because of God's mystical intervention, not because fairness, social risk spreading, and non-discrimination in a money economy lead to a higher value on work.  The Mormons believe, as one of America's largest sources of private capital, that there is no intrinsic value in work and they prefer a gambling society where people pay for a chance of getting rich, rather than working for steady rewards as demonstrated in Las Vegas, much of it financed by Mormon banker Parry Thomas.  Now America is getting a full view of this particular crazy lie, and from a truly creepy man.

It turns out that Mitt Romney illegally impersonated police officers both as a teen in Michigan, where his dad supplied the uniforms, and at Stanford University in California.  Was he caught? Was that why he never returned to Stanford after his mission?

The public rightly associates this type of behavior with rapists and serial killers, since it shows a compulsive need for power over and control of others.

Meanwhile, the evidence is piling up that Bain Capital were never any kind of business geniuses.

True, Bill Clinton referred to Romney's "sterling" business record, but as previously noted in the blog about Jimmy Carter, the old line Democratic politicians are trying to minimize the obvious threat a psychopath like Romney represents by making him into "normal" businessman within the existing parameters of acceptable American politics.  Given the record of the nation's previous businessman presidents - Bush II and Hoover - that seems like a bad idea.