Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Election 2012: Week Two in Review

by Sunnyjane

Admiral Romney, the USS Pinafore's Ruler of the Navy: "A partnership is the only ship that I ever have seen!"

Military Madness

Readers familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan's delightful Victorian-era operetta HMS Pinafore will easily recognize and understand the correlation between that comedy's Sir Joseph Porter character and Mitt Romney.  Sir Joseph went on to say: 

      I grew so rich that I was sent 
     By a pocket borough into Parliament. 
     I always voted at my party's call 
     And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.  
     I thought so little, they rewarded me, 
    By making me the Ruler of the Queen's Navy.  

The jab here, of course, is that too often people who are extremely unqualified are elevated to positions of power simply because they are wealthy and are willing to kiss the, uh, rings of their puppeteers.

Pinafore also pokes fun at the British class system of the period, to which we can all relate during this election cycle, when Sir Joseph states, A British sailor is any man's equal -- except mine!

Mitt Romney desperately wants the title of Chief in Command.  But during the final presidential debate on October 22, President Obama  proved conclusively that the Republican candidate's foreign -- and domestic -- policy expertise is limited to sending jobs to China, putting his money in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland, and lying to get votes.  These things make him frighteningly incompetent to assume the position of Commander in Chief of the United States of America.

The Professor Puts the Dunce in the Corner
Um... Subs?  Aircraft carriers?
 Can I respond retroactively?

After about thirty minutes, the stench of Roasting Romney permeated the air in Boca Raton, FL.  Trotting out his well worn apocalypse-now whine that the United States has fewer naval vessels than it did in 1916, the President took the opportunity to do a little schooling: Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.  Obviously, Mitt  Romney's definition of naval supremacy means that the finest citrus fruit comes from Florida.  Yes, he's just that daft.

Romney also thought it a dandy idea to bring up the President's oft-debunked 2009 Apology Tour.  That was a mistake, a big mistake.   A little fact checking would have been helpful, but the Romney campaign does not care about facts or, as we know, the truth. But they thought their candidate could get away with this lie.  The President did, indeed, visit other countries -- Europe, the Mid-East, and Latin America -- after he assumed office.  It was not, however, to apologize for America, but rather to clean up the mess George W. Bush had made over the previous eight years, when our reputation went into the toilet.  Romney was especially gleeful to report that President Obama had skipped IsraelThe President did not hesitate to say he had been there as a candidate and I didn’t take donors. I didn’t attend fundraisers. I went to the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.  The donors and fundraisers jab was, of course, in reference to Romney's embarrassing Geopolitical Magic Carpet Trip in July when he dragged along big-bucks Sheldon Adelson and scheduled a $50,000 fund-raising dinner on a sacred day of fasting in Israel. 

The President's Apology Tour -- which was actually a Mending Fences Tour -- seems to have been successful, since of the twenty-one countries listed here, only Pakistan would rather see Mitt Romney in the White House.

Map Maker, Map Maker, Make Me a Map

Iran: Big Green Blob, Two Big Waters.
Syria: Small Brown Blob, One Big Water.
Romney:  Big Gray Blob, No Clue.

Cartographers the world over are said to be popping antacid pills at an alarming rate, due to Mitt Romney's five-time claim that Syria is Iran's only route to the sea. 

Romney can spout all the correct words -- Syria, Assad, Hezbollah, Lebanon, Iran, Israel -- without having a clue what he's talking about. 

Now, admittedly, I am not the sharpest needle in the pin cushion, but I've looked at this map rather closely -- far more than it deserves -- and if Syria is Iran's only route to  the sea, then I'm a two-year old Pop-Tart.  Did the only  candidate for president that the Republican Party could come up with sleep through the 1980s' Iraq-Iran War and the 1990s' Persian Gulf War? 

A Village in Indiana Has Found Its Idiot

I disagree with what the fool said, 
but I fully support what the fool said.

On the same night Mitt Romney was demonstrating to more than fifty-six million American voters that he is unfit for the Office of the Presidency, the only Republican senate candidate he has endorsed in the 2012 General Election was telling the Hoosier State electorate that if a woman became pregnant as a consequence of rape, it was what God intended.  While Richard Mourdock made a small effort to, um, purify his statement, let's make one thing clear -- he meant exactly what he said: I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from GodAnd I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

Make no mistake, this is Romney's kind of far-right-wing Christianista nut job.  Mourdock is right up there with Rick Santorum who believes that rape babies are gifts from God; Paul Ryan who believes that rape is just another form of conception; and Todd Akin who believes that with a legitimate rape, the woman has magical powers to shut down conception. If there is a Romney/Ryan administration, every rapist will be assured that his violently conceived child will have an advocate in the White House.  Yes, seriously.

Hurricane "Superstorm" Sandy

The mother of all hurricanes hit the East Coast of the United States during Week Two, and  President Obama cancelled his scheduled campaign stops to take control of the situation.  Mitt Romney was taking advantage of that situation by running around Ohio campaigning, but keeping the people in harms way in his prayers.  Uh huh.   Then Romney decided that he had to get in on the action and started urging people to donate disaster relief items for the victims.  Never mind that the Red Cross does not want donated items.  

On behalf of all Politicalgates readers and commenters, special thanks to Sleuth1 for her devoted and far-ranging coverage of the hurricane.  Excellent and extremely beneficial effort, Sleuth1! 


Let's imagine a Romney presidency during this crisis:

AideMr. President, there's a huge hurricane coming that's threatening the United States! 

President RomneyReally?  OK, get FEMA on the phone and tell them to handle it. 

Aide: Um, Mr. President, you got rid of FEMA.  You sent responsibility for disaster relief to the states so you could shrink government and save money. 

President RomneyI saved money?  Well, money is more important than people’s lives, right?  I’ll take a nap now; call me when it’s over.  Oh, and if any governors want to whine to me about their state's desperate situation, switch the phones to the Call Center in India.

Remember Michelle Obama's statement at the Democratic National Convention:  Being President doesn't change who you are.  It reveals who you are.

A natural or national disaster is one of the best arguments for early voting in every state, no restrictions and no justifications required.


Courtesy of Rolling Stone
 We have a real leader in the White House.  Let's keep him there.

Who supports American workers, and who supports Chinese workers?  Just askin'.

  V  O  T  E     B  L  U  E

Congratulation to Politicalgates' newest citizen, Linda, who voted in her first ever U.S. election -- for the Obama/Biden ticket! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy is on her way

By Patrick

Unless a little miracle happens, Hurricane Sandy will hit the East coast with full force. The very detailed and interactive "Google Crisis Map" currently shows this picture:

NASA provided stunning images of the storm.

From October 26, 2012 - already a few days old, but it provides a fascinating high-resolution view:

See this excellent post at Gizmodo with lots of other satellite images, more pictures and constant updates.

Also see the main article with live updates on Huffington Post.

When we looked for videos from today, we found the following:

We saw other clips on youtube in which New Jersey residents said that the situation at the coast already appears to be much worse then in 2011 with hurricane "Irene."

President Obama addressed the nation today:

In related news, Mitt Romney said during the campaign that he wants to get rid of FEMA and transfer its responsibilites to the states. Mitt Romney believes that Federal relief spending is "immoral":

But it is even worse: Mitt Romney also says in this clip that it would be "even better" to transfer these responsibilities to the "private sector." Mitt the twit just has the best ideas, hasn't he?


Sunday, 10:04 p.m.-- A Romney official reaffirmed the former governor's position Sunday evening in an email. "Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters," the Romney official said.


Monday, 9:10 a.m.-- The Washington Post's Greg Sargent adds: "There’s another nugget here worth highlighting, though. In that appearance, Romney also suggested it would be 'even better' to send any and all responsibilities of the federal government 'to the private sector,' disaster response included. So: Romney essentially favored privatizing disaster response."

If only all these Obama-haters would actually listen carefully to what Mitt Romney has to say! Oh well...

But let's forget about politics right now. We do hope that all our readers will get through the "Frankenstorm" unharmed. Take all precautions and be careful. Please tell us in the comments about the situation. Good luck and stay safe!


Sandy and planet earth (click for full picture):

The comparison of "Sandy" to "Irene" is quite a shocker:

GIZMODO provides the links to five webcams to watch "Sandy" live.

Link from USTREAM to several webcams.

The CBS News live stream is very good - watch:

Free live streaming by Ustream

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boots on the Ground at the New Hampshire Rally with James Taylor and President Obama!!

by Blueberry T

How was your day?  Want to hear about mine?  ;-)  I spent Saturday up in Nashua, NH at the Obama rally!

I got there around 10:30 (for an event slated to start around 2), parked and walked a few blocks toward the school.  There were a lot of police redirecting everyone, and streets closed, of course.  This was one of the first things I saw, just behind the school where the rally would take place.  A little sobering, but I’m glad they were prepared!  

After the police shunted me on a detour a few blocks around the school, I finally found the end of the line, which was about 5 blocks long at that point, and not moving at all.  (Note in this picture, the line goes down the block on one side, back up in the middle of the road, and then back down again on the far sidewalk.)  At this point I was wishing I had one of the coveted “green tickets” that seemed to let people in via a very short line, or that I had worn my trusty walking cast so they would have let me in the ADA entrance (only kidding; that would have been cheating). 

I got to talking to people nearby, and wouldn’t you know it but one of the women I met is a NH woman whose brother lives a few doors down the street from me – small world!  The advance information said they wouldn’t start letting people in until noon, so we were all really happy to see the line starting to move pretty quickly around 11:10; I was through security in less than a half hour.

It was a bit of an odd set-up because I think the original plan was to be indoors, but it was such a nice, warm day (unusual for the last week of October in NH), and the crowd was so big that they opted to be outside.  They had bleachers at either end of a large space about 400-500 feet long, with two stages – one about a third of the way down, set up for the musicians, and the other toward the far end, set up for the President.  So, where to go?  I could have gotten a seat on the bleachers near the entry, but it was so far from the stage that I decided to stand.  (My feet have not yet forgiven me.)  I ended up in a spot in between the two stages, which was actually a pretty good location as it turned out. 

At this point it was about 11:45, and President Obama wasn’t due on stage until around 2 p.m., so this gave us all a lot of time to look around, chat with people nearby, and try to find the best spot to be able to see, given that there was barely room to move.  The crowd near me was surprisingly diverse (NH is not very diverse; I say this as someone who went to school, lived and worked in NH).  There were quite a few people of color; numerous Spanish-speaking people within earshot; many children, teens, twenty-somethings, and all ages up to white-haired folks.  Given the highly touted gender gap and NH’s “Live Free or Die” motto, I’m happy to report that there were a lot of men; in fact, to pass time I came up with my own “profile” of the older male Obama supporter near me (grey/white hair, baseball cap, fleece, glasses, mustache). Lots of younger men too, some in suits. The tall ones all seemed to be in front of me. Many women of all ages, colors, shapes and sizes.  It was good to see small groups, chatting spontaneously while we passed the time.

This T-shirt was a favorite among the crowd:

We knew that the President was nearby when a helicopter started circling and we saw this guy on the school roof.  He looked a little scary, but I think we were all grateful for the work he does. 

A while later, someone to my left jostled me to try to get through the crowd – imagine my surprise to have up close and personal contact with the Secret Service!  I have even more respect for the incredibly hard job they have to do to protect the President in such crowds.

Mercifully sooner than I expected, the program got underway.  Maybe they started early because the place was full, and they were turning people away.  After the Pledge, a teenage girl did a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem; only when she went off stage did we realize that she is blind.  There was a benediction, then a short welcome and firedup-readytogo rallying call from a young field organizer; I expected all the state Democratic candidates to be there making short speeches, but that did not happen.  Nirvana.

Next we had a HUGE treat – James Taylor performed a wonderful set, including quite a few of my all-time favorites.  I was not very far away from that stage – maybe 50 feet or so – and I could not believe we were all being treated to this fantastic, free concert!  He sang How Sweet It Is; Sweet Baby James; Fire and Rain; You’ve Got a Friend; I Feel Fine; MexicoCarolina on My Mind; Shower the People With Love; and a couple more that I am forgetting right at the moment. His voice sounded even better than on recordings – he and his musicians (including cellist from the Boston Symphony Orchestra) were fabulous!  He also spoke about how important this election is, and made a strong pitch for re-electing President Obama, leading a “4-more-years” chant.  "Vote for President Obama and give him a Congress he can work with." I kind of doubt that James Taylor is the “warm up act” very often, and I want to publicly tip my hat to him and say how much I appreciate having heard him today - so much so that I decided to give another donation to the Obama-Biden campaign, in his honor. Just fantastic – what a class act!


Senator (and former Governor) Jeanne Shaheen gave a rousing and blessedly short introduction to the President, including a great line about “not needing binders full of women because we have ballots full of women.” 

Then, voilá, there was President Obama, right in front of us, with that megawatt smile!  (Sorry, photos here aren't great because I had to take pictures with camera held with one hand, high above my head, and I couldn't see what I was doing!)  He made a great closing argument, emphasized that has kept his promises, kept the country safe, honored our veterans, and worked to level the playing field; argued that we cannot go back to the policies that got us into the financial mess.  He made an impassioned plea that the inalienable rights of Americans apply to us all (black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, man, woman...) and argued that politicians should not make health care decisions for women.  He included a new riff detailing how Romney cut taxes for 278 ultra-wealthy families while he raised fees on everyone when he was Governor of Massachusetts.  He highlighted how certification fees to become a barber or a nurse went up, fees on gas, fees on milk, fees on the blind, along with fees at the state colleges and universities, and then the best part – how Romney increased fees on birth certificates (“which would have been expensive for me”), marriage certificates and for funerals and burials – literally “cradle to grave fees” that hit everyone in Massachusetts.  (Here is the excellent new campaign ad on Romney's fees.)  He made a strong plea that he will continue to fight for NH and he asked NH to stick with him.  

Here is the C-Span video of the rally.  I was really interested to see the after-speech interactions with the crowd (most of which I could not see at the time, but my part of the crowd did show up around the 35-38 minute mark (I was near where Joe Scarborough was standing, if you spot him).  It must be so exhausting and energizing at the same time!  He is truly a man of the people. 

Here are two reviews that I found that give a recap of the event: WaPo and local paper.  Here are more photos from the rally and a transcript/summary.

My feet hurt, but the rest of me is very happy!   

Saturday, October 27, 2012

America, you have the choice: Vote for the black Mitt Romney, or the white Barack Obama

"I think that when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States."

John Sununu, Mitt Romney's campaign co-chair, in an interview on October 25, 2012, after being asked why he believes that Colin Powell's support for Barack Obama is not only based on issues.

By Patrick

Well, it's simple! In this racially charged presidential election, all you have to do is to close your eyes and try a little experiment. Imagine that Barack Obama is white and that Mitt Romney is black. Just for the fun of it. You do not need to feel guilty. Anyone here knows that the colour of ones skin or ones ethnicity does not matter one bit. However, judging from what I hear and read on the internet, some citizens have a very different perception. Probably many more citizens than we want to believe simply do not like having a "black man" as president. That is a fact the USA has to deal with.

Therefore, I present to you: The white US President Barack Obama!

Photoshop created by Azure Ghost

Black or white, Barack Obama is a very handsome man, and also a man of many accomplishments.

Barack Obama's most important accomplishment is also possibly his most unknown one: He has saved the US-economy and brought it back on track.

On October 17, "Business Insider" celebrated an event you won't hear about on Fox News: The "full-on comeback" of the American consumer. As "Business Insider" is not a left-wing publication, they were forced to come to this conclusion due to undeniable facts. Here are some of the graphics they presented in this article (original screenshots):

For more graphics and details, see "Business Insider."

But that's not everything. Barack Obama also has an extensive and very well laid out plan of how to further improve America and to take the country forward (click here to for the PDF-document).

Now, what about Mitt Romney? Taking the fact into account that people from the right who complain heavily in public about Barack Obama do not like to be called "racist", these people certainly won't mind seeing Mitt Romney as a black man. Correct?

Photoshop created by Azure Ghost

He is a charmer, Mitt Romney, isn't he?

To refresh the memory of his fans, he is also the candidate who:

That should be sufficient for now.

America, black and white, white and black, you have the choice, and do not get confused, please.


Many thanks to our great friend Azure Ghost for creating the photoshopped pictures upon our special request!



The inspiring music video "Forward", published just yesterday, is the perfect addition to this post!

(h/t to "Got a life")

Friday, October 26, 2012

Donald Trump's Big Challenge To Obama - Also: Trump Lawyers Tried To Ban Film "You've Been Trumped" Recently Shown On The BBC

By Kathleen

Menie Dunes before Trump's bulldozers moved in. Image source:

It is official. Donald Trump is a creep! But he is not a harmless one.

Trump's challenge to President Obama is proving to have fallen flat and even President Obama himself mocked his efforts at trying to create controversy when there is no there there. This Guardian article written by Anthony Baxter, Director of the documentary film You've Been Trumped, reveals that Trump is a joke but that he IS NOT a harmless one. In fact his reach would appear to be so extensive that after Baxter himself was arrested whilst filming at Trump's site there were accusations that not only did Trump have the Scottish Government in his pocket but that the police themselves always seemed to take Trump's side throughout the many disputes that occurred during the construction of his elite golf course.

Trump has also been making further waves in connection with Baxter's documentary which has been awarded countless awards around the world. Last week Trump had his lawyers contact the British Broadcasting Commission in order to prevent the screening on television of Baxter's film You've Been Trumped. Trump's lawyers threatened to "formally complain to Ofcom", the British television regulatory authority, because they claimed that the documentary was "highly defamatory, biased and misleading". The BBC did not back down to Trump's lawyers and instead released a statement pointing out that the film had won many awards and that Trump had been given the opportunity to immediately respond to the film and didn't.

In a short statement, the BBC defended its decision. "You've Been Trumped is an award-winning film that has been screened at international festivals around the world," it said.
"During the making of the film, Donald Trump declined the opportunity to take part. We are confident that Donald Trump was offered sufficient right to reply in accordance with BBC editorial guidelines. Donald Trump chose not to participate but the film-maker took care to reflect his views on a number of different occasions in the film.
"In addition, Donald Trump was offered the chance to be interviewed live on the BBC following the BBC2 broadcast. He has not taken up our invitation."

After the film was shown last Sunday evening to an audience of some 1.1 million, a spokesperson for Trump International Golf Links, Sarah Malone, claimed that Baxter was trying to make money for himself  off the Trump name. This is a false and very untrue statement. In an interview for the Independent newspaper Baxter reveals that he first became involved in the plight of Scotland's sand dunes when he produced a documentary for BBC Radio 4's Face The Facts about the loss of the sand dunes in his home town, Montrose. It was his involvement in the Face the Facts documentary that piqued his interest in "the rare sand dunes a little further up the coast that had been purchased by Trump for his golf course."  In order to produce the film Baxter had to remortgage his own home. He was not given lots of money to produce it.

The film itself reveals the destruction that Trump's developer made to what was once one of the most magnificent and diverse stretches of coastline on the east coast of Scotland. The site is a designated site of special scientific interest due to the dynamic and shape shifting sand-dune system which houses the habitat of many species of birds and small wild-life. Many of the sand-dunes have now been replaced by Trump's vanity project, an exclusive golf course which will be played on by Trump and his rich golfer buddies. It is highly unlikely that locals will be able to afford to tee off there as the fees are even more expensive than those at the famous Old Course in St. Andrews which houses the oldest and most famous of the Scottish golf courses.  

Sadly, it is not only the environment that has been destroyed by Trump's golf course. Using vile methods of intimidation Trump has isolated and rode roughshod over the local people who refused to sell their homes to make way for Trump's folly. Folly? Read this post by local activist, writer and researcher, Andy Wightman,  in which he outlines ten excellent reasons why Trump's golf course is bound to fail and become unmanageable.

Trump's arrogance and the intimidation tactics that were used on his behalf against the locals is revealed in the documentary in a very powerful and moving way. I found an embedded copy of the documentary on the good old youtube which I have included in this post. This film should be seen by as many people as possible - I hope that you will find some time to watch it. 

The documentary that Donald Trump tried to ban:


Disclosure: I have met the director of the film, Anthony Baxter, several times. He has been a guest in my home. My eldest daughter who is a photographer has also met with him several times. 


Mental health break update (by Patrick):

There is no Donald Trump here - just a dog doing what a dog needs to do in the morning:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Voting for an Illusion - Mitt Romney, the next Richard Nixon?

by Blueberry T

Joe McGinniss warned us about this.  More than four decades ago, McGinniss wrote a brilliant book called The Selling of the President, 1968.  (I wrote about it previously in this post.)  In what was then a ground-breaking approach, McGinniss “embedded” himself in the campaign, gaining unparalleled cooperation from and access to Nixon and all his handlers.  His sharp observations and clear, engaging style gave us an intimate view of history in the making.  His first book became a best-seller and instant classic of the genre, pulling back the curtain to show how Richard Nixon’s campaign remade Nixon’s image through very effective, in some cases subliminally manipulative, advertising and marketing techniques.  Nixon’s team (which included Roger Ailes, now of Fox News, among others) skillfully overcame the negative preconceptions that many people had of Nixon, stemming from his losing campaign against Jack Kennedy in 1960 and his bitter statement to the press (after losing the 1962 California Governor’s race) that “you don’t have Nixon to kick around any more.” The team successfully created a new impression – an illusion, really – of a warmer, more positive and somewhat more likable candidate.  Enough that people could overcome their initial reactions and vote for him. 

As we found out the hard way, over the years of his presidency and afterward, however, the illusion that they created was far from the truth.  The real Nixon was a complex and calculating man who did some good things (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, EPA, China), and was far more moderate than any Republican currently on the national stage.  But as history showed, the mean-spirited, foul-mouthed, conniving and paranoid “Tricky Dick,” with his long list of enemies about whom he actively schemed and plotted, and who thought he was above the law, was a far truer image than the warm, fuzzy,“soft-focus” illusion of his 1968 campaign. 

McGinniss warned us, not only about Nixon, but about the manipulative false imagery of campaigns that sell voters a “product” that has little or nothing to do with reality.  Voters didn’t pay attention, but campaigns did.  The formula was repeated in 1980 with Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” theme – and imagine how much easier a “sell” this was, working with a warm, personable guy who just happened to be a professional actor with a ready-made fan base!  Many voters bought the illusion, hook, line and sinker. 

It’s happened often since then – in fact, all modern campaigns use these techniques – but the attempt to sell Sarah Palin as someone with the qualifications to be Vice President of the United States should have been a major wake up call (or, more like sirens going off) to voters to start paying attention to the “man behind the curtain.”  As the Berenstain Bears teach young children, “appearances can be deceiving.”  In fact, they are often deliberately deceiving, usually by making something look good that is not at all good for you/us.  It is our job as citizens (and the media’s, though sadly they are not too good at it any more) to sort through what is real and what is fake.  Buyer beware.  Thankfully in 2008, Palin’s own woeful ignorance and word salad, along with the brilliant parodies by Tina Fey, the persistent questioning by Katie Couric, and the dogged investigative work by bloggers like us, helped to reveal her for the fraud that she is, and prevented that particular nightmare from coming to pass.  In a beautiful symmetry, Joe McGinniss played a key role in revealing “The Real Sarah Palin” and putting an end to her political aspirations going forward.

But now, here we are again in 2012, with the same fake imagery and marketing techniques being used to package a candidate as someone he is not.  Once again, the focus is on impressions and style, not substance.  How else to explain an image like this, where many media outlets reported that Mitt Romney lied through his teeth at the first debate, yet that message was lost and the debate was almost universally declared as a resounding victory for Romney over President Obama?  (I say this, fully recognizing that President Obama failed to take the many open goal shots he had to call Romney on his dishonesty.)

Plus, this time, Romney has upped the ante.  We’re not just dealing with a few lies about a Bridge to Nowhere and Palin’s executive experience as mayor of the booming metropolis of Wasilla, Alaska.  Now we are dealing with a candidate who is carrying lying, distorting and misrepresenting who he is to levels never before even contemplated.  The sheer number of lies that Mitt Romney has told during his campaign is beyond comprehension to anyone other than criminologists and psychologists who deal with pathological liars for a living.   But, he seems to get away with it.  People allow themselves to be duped.  (More on his lies here and here.)  

Voters could and should learn much more from the unscripted moments, because they are always a better “tell” than something for which a candidate has rehearsed.  That is why the 47% video should be disqualifying on its face.  Statements like:
·        I’m also unemployed” 
·        “I like being able to fire people” 
·        Corporations are people, my friend” 
·        “you people, ” “these people”
·        the London Olympics insults  
·        on Russia: “without question, our #1 geopolitical foe”  
·        “We don’t have people…who die in their apartments because they don’t have insurance”  
(and many more) tell far more about the Real Romney than his rehearsed performance at the convention, campaign stops or the debate.  His smirk during the press conference exploiting the crisis in Libya even as it was taking place revealed him for the opportunist that he is.  His beyond-the-pale secrecy, unspecified plans and little laugh while saying “trust me” are all “tells.”

There’s the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words.”  So, why is it that people ignore Romney’s actions?  He SAYS he is would bring American jobs back home – but what he and his companies DID (and still do) was to pioneer “outsourcing.”    He SAYS deficits are bad, but his business model is all about loading companies with debt and then sucking the capital out of them.  He SAYS he paid all the taxes he owed, but he stashed millions in offshore accounts and used aggressive and questionable tax shelters and dodges that most people cannot even fathom, let alone use.  Forbes reports that his company, Bain Capital, is under investigation for tax evasionHe profited from Medicare fraud, SAYS government bailouts are bad, but he has made millions off them and they have saved his proverbial butt.  He SAYS he will not raise taxes on the middle class – but what he DID in Massachusetts was to raise fees

And then there are the flip-flops. I mean, how can it be that John Kerry was ridiculed for flip-flopping on one issue, and it was instrumental in his defeat, and yet Romney changes direction on every imaginable topic, like a weathervane, and isn’t laughed off the stage?  Not only that, but the more he flip-flops, the more he seems to gain in the polls.  

How can you trust someone who changes his position almost daily on almost everything?  His words are meaningless.  It seems that many people are just buying a hokey “Father Knows Best” illusion, and Mitt is portraying himself as that guy.

But the truth about Mitt is a lot different.

There were so many lies during the debates, that you would think this in itself would be enough to bury his candidacy in historical infamy.   Think Progress documented the lies here.  Many publications, including the MSM, wrote on the same theme of Romney’s dishonest remarks, yet he was almost universally regaled as the decisive winner of the debate. Why?  Impressions and illusions.  (But here is FoxNews incredulous critique of one reviewer who gave Obama-Biden the win in all four debates.)  Here are TP’s posts on Romney’s lies in Debate 2 and Debate 3 ; at least the consensus was that he lost those debates.  So, maybe we are learning…?

This illustration reminds me that Secretary of Explaining Things Bill Clinton is really good at putting things in plain language that people can understand; here he speaks in favor of “arithmetic over illusion.”  

EJDionne wrote an opinion piece in the WaPo on “Mitt Romney, the product” which touches on similar ideas about marketing a candidate as a product.  

Here’s an interesting article from PoliticusUSA about how, if American’s paid attention, Republicans would never win elections.  I would argue that it’s not only that American’s don’t pay attention, but that they are so easily manipulated by lies, even to the point of voting against their own interests. 

In the end, Romney is like a smooth used car salesman who put a cheap paint job on an old car, and who won’t let you look under the hood or even kick the tires, but says “trust me.”  You wouldn’t trust a car salesman like that – how could you possibly trust a presidential candidate who will affect your future and that of your children and grandchildren? 

So, my fellow Americans, please: WAKE UP!  NOW!  Stop being so easily conned.  Our future depends on it.

UPDATE:  Our reader HonestyinGov pointed out a blog post that Joe McGinniss put up just yesterday about Mitt Romney (quoting heavily from Andrew Sullivan); here it is. 


UPDATE 2 (by Patrick): I am sure that Blueberry T won't mind if I add another update, inspired by our wonderful reader Mrs. TTB, who confessed in the comments that she fell in love with Joe McGinniss when she first read "The Selling of the President." Well, Kathleen and I just recently became the proud owners of an original 1969 copy of this book (you actually can buy these old hardcover editions for very reasonable prices), and we were pleasantly surprised to find a great portrait of a very young Joe McGinniss on the back cover of the book. So for all our readers, but most especially Mrs. TBB, I present this photo of the young Joe McGinniss (click to enlarge):