Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Countdown to Election 2012: Week Seventeen in Review

by Sunnyjane

President Obama:  But the best part is, he wants me to apologize!
Vice President Biden:  No shit?  Apologize?   Bwhahahaha!

In what in a bygone era would be called That Was The Week That Was, we're going to review the weeks before Election 2012, and the last week was a humdinger!  As we have come to learn -- in a very painful way -- Mitt Romney's relationship with the truth is somewhat, um, strained.  He has always been able to mutate the facts surrounding his business and political experiences according to which way the political wind is blowing.  But this isn't 2001, when he was running for governor of Massachusetts; nor is it 2008, when he lost in the presidential primaries to John McCain.  No, this is an entirely different election, and Mitt Romney hasn't gotten the message that it's become much easier to actually check the facts

Before we know it, the political silly season will be upon us and it makes sense to keep track of everything that's going on as the weeks race by.  So let's take a look at what happened in America during Week Seventeen.

A Contrast in Dedication to the American People

At the end of the seventeenth week before Americans elect the next person to lead the government of the United States, President Barack Obama stood in the rain to speak to thousands of Virginia voters. 


Mitt Romney lounged poolside at his opulent home in New Hampshire -- not with some of his, ahem, dedicated super-sharp campaign advisers, but with one of his five wealthy sons and his iPad. Is there an app for Tone Deaf on that thing?

The Pain of Bain that Refuses to Wane

So Mitt Romney had a bad week.  Tough!  He deserved everything he got -- and more.  But we've all read the articles and seen the videos of Mitt's adamant refusal to release more years of his tax returns for his time at Bain Capital.  And he continues to insist that he did not have any authority or any dealings at Bain after 1999, and even demanded an apology from President Obama for making statements he found offensive.  That little pimple became a festering boil as the Obama campaign continued to give the lie to Romney's assertion that he's a jobs creator, and the Democrats virtually said, Yeah, while at Bain you created jobs -- in China!   So despite various proof to the contrary -- including SEC filings that say he was, indeed, active in Bain business during his time orchestrating the 2002 Olympics in Utah -- Romney still maintains the opposite. There's a lie in there somewhere, and Americans know it. For one thing, because he wanted to run for governor of Massachusetts and had to prove that his major residence was in that state, he gave sworn testimony in 2002 that he remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation during that time.  OK, let's see the tax returns, Mitt.

You know the fecal matter has hit the oscillating air mover when even Fox News goes after the presumptive Republican candidate.  In a scorching commentary on July 11, Joe Trippi made the case that if Mitt Romney were not at the top of the ticket, he'd never even pass the vetting process for vice president.

Think about it, wrote Trippi. What candidate for president -- even a GOP candidate for president -- would pick a guy as a running mate who would only hand over one year of tax returns, as Mitt Romney has done? 

And would anybody pick that guy if that one tax return revealed Swiss Bank accounts and more than $30 million in off-shore accounts in the Cayman Islands -- especially in an election year when public anger at Wall Street remains so high?
The answer is: no. No presidential candidate in their right mind would pick such a candidate as their running mate.

It does make you wonder how horrified John McCain may have been when told about the contents in those twenty-three years of Mitt Romney's tax returns when he was being vetted as a vice presidential running mate in 2008.

Did Arthur Culvahouse say:  John, we've had a thorough look at Romney's tax returns.  You'd be nuts to even consider this guy. Better to go with the twit from Alaska and hope for the best. Surely your guys can teach her a little something and keep her on message, right?   Hello?  John?

Other Issues in the News to Muse

Unflappable Me
-- Former Vice President Dick Cheney, the guy who convinced George W. Bush to go to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction and that's where al-Qaeda was hiding (neither of which had any basis in reality), held a fund-raising dinner for Romney.

It's not that the Romney Campaign's coffers are running on empty, but rather that Cheney can't stand sitting on the sidelines.  So, the man with the bought-heart chose to make a pretty choke-provoking statement.   After declaring that Mitt is the only man who can make the right decisions in unexpected foreign policy crises, he added insult to injury and continued:

When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm's way, that man is Mitt Romney," Cheney said to applause.

Ha, Ha!  I'm white and you're not!
-- After saying in his speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,  This is going to be a battle about describing my heart, my passion to help -- if you will -- the great majority of Americans Romney declared that he would cut all unnecessary spending, including Obamacare.  That's terrific, Mitt; cut one of the things that the majority of Americans desperately need: affordable health care.  Of course, he knew full well in his racist heart that he'd get booed -- it was his plan all along as he pandered to his fellow bigots out there in far-right land.  He did fail to mention that he is in favor of Voter ID Laws that would potentially disenfranchise more than two million African Americans in November.  If Mitt Romney possesses one core value, it's racial prejudice.

Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone had the best take on Romney's speech to the NAACP that I read:  Romney really showed us something in his luridly self-congratulating N.A.A.C.P. gambit, followed by the awesomely disgusting "free stuff" post-mortem speech he delivered the next night in front of friendlier audiences. The twin appearances revealed the candidate to be not merely unlikable, and not merely a fatuous, unoriginal hack of a politician, but also a genuinely repugnant human being, a grasping corporate hypocrite with so little feel for how to get along with people that he has to dream up elaborate schemes just to try to pander to the mob.

-- During the week, former President George H. W. Bush got a wee bit torqued up at Grover Norquist's tax pledge and said, The rigidity of those pledges is something I don't like. The circumstances change and you can’t be wedded to some formula by Grover Norquist.  It's -- who the hell is Grover Norquist, anyway? 

-- Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, said that the voter ID laws being passed in various GOP states were nothing more than poll taxes,  which are illegal under the Constitution.  

-- Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown introduced the Stolen Valor Act bill.  The inspiration for the bill, Vietnam veteran Doug Sterner, is pleased about the bill, but says he is supporting Elizabeth Warren because of Brown's determination to help repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act.   "That weighs very, very heavily on my decision to endorse [Elizabeth] Warren," the lifelong Republican said. Expanding access to health care is "very much a matter of humanity."  

-- A study finding that House GOP female staffers make $10,000 less than their male counterparts.  That's called Equality, Republican Style.

-- The Democratic Governors Association released a video attacking three GOP governors and Sarah Palin for being assholes lying about the Affordable Healthcare Act.

-- In Florida, 98% of welfare recipients who were tested for drug use passed.  Cost to the tax payers?  $178 million. Savings from the 2% who didn't pass?  $60,000.

Way to hold costs down, fools.

-- CBS reported that those overly zealous spending-cuts advocates in the House have spent nearly $50 million -- thus far -- to repeal Obamacare.  Let's see, that's about a comfortable annual salary ($50,000) for 960 Americans.  Of course, they went to great lengths to protect their own healthcare plans.  And after such a laborious session, the congress creeps spent valuable tax payer money having a long discussion on the two Congressional golf teams.  Do we understand House priorities now?

-- Nobody likes the idea that the Olympic togs designed by Ralph Lauren were made in China, while the textile manufacturing industry in our own country could certainly have used a nice contract to make official clothing for athletes representing, uh... America.

Not that having America's sports ambassadors rigged out in clothing made in other countries is new, you understand.  No, in 2002 while Mitt Romney was chief honcho of the Salt Lake City shindig, the manufacturing of the official wear was outsourced to Burma, or as the committee at the time stated indignantly,  The torch relay clothes were NOT made in Burma. They were manufactured in Myanmar.  So there!  Only problem is, Burma and Myanmar are the same country, and one which has the most devastating record on human rights. 

End Note

Sixteen weeks to go, fellow Americans!   There are the Olympics being held from July 27 to August 12 in London, a vice-presidential running mate to be chosen, the Republican National Convention in Tampa from August 27 through August 30, the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte from September 3 through September 6, those presidential and vice presidential debates, and all that campaigning to be done.  Hold on to your magic underwear, folks -- it's going to be a wild and crazy ride from now until November 6.

Vice President Biden:  So, how'd that apology to Romney go?

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