Quote of the Day

“Mitt Romney was on ‘Live With Kelly and Michael.’ At one point Mitt was asked what he wears to bed. He said as little as possible. It’s the same philosophy that Mitt has in regard to paying taxes.” –Jimmy Kimmel

Bonus Quote:

“Mitt Romney went on live with Kelly and Michael and tried to answer these hardball questions. He was asked what he wears to bed. He said, ‘as little as possible.” Wow, there’s a switch, Romney giving too much information.” –Bill Maher

Mitt Romney’s Father Was Once Part Of The 47 Percent

Mitt Romney’s assessment of 47 percent of this country is wrong in so many ways that to describe them all would far exceed the time I have available for blogging. (Despite being an Obama supporter, I have been far too busy working, earning taxable income, and hopefully creating some more jobs if I can find people capable of reducing my work load). Yesterday I concentrated on the fact that a substantial percentage of those who pay no taxes are Republican voters. Only a small percentage actually fit the Republican view of people existing on welfare. Today a video was found which might force Romney to look differently at people on welfare:

In this video, Mitt’s mother Lenore Romney talked about why her husband George would be a good governor of Michigan partially because he was once “on relief — welfare relief — for the first years of his life.”

Why do moderate Republicans named George wind up with such disappointing sons?

In related news today, Ezra Klein has written more on responsibility and the poor. Some Republican strategists are fearing that Romney’s missteps might keep Republicans from taking control of the Senate. I’m wondering if they have been enough to give Democrats control of the House.
 

Posted in Congress, Mitt Romney. Tags: . 4 Comments »

Romney Unable To Shake Etch A Sketch On His Candid Opinions

The secretly taped comments from Mitt Romney continue to dominate the political news today. Romney’s comments were wrong on so many levels. Beyond the obvious problems of his attack on nearly half the country and on those who legitimately need assistance, he is so out of touch that he doesn’t realize he is actually attacking Republican voters. Despite the right wing myth that they are the job creators and Democrats are welfare leaches, a large percentage of those not paying income taxes are Republican voters. This includes the low-information white male voters who make up a huge percentage of GOP voters–many of these pay payroll taxes but don’t make enough to pay income taxes. Many are also elderly Republican voters who no longer have an income to pay income tax on. Those not paying taxes also include students (who might become job creators after completing their education) and members of the military (who might also be future job creators).

Many low income voters do vote for Democrats, but a tremendous number also vote Republican. The biggest recipients of federal government aide are the red states, not the blue states. While Obama now receives the vast majority of all Democratic constituencies, his greatest support has come from upper middle class Democrats and independents  (in contrast to the less affluent Democrats who backed Clinton in 2008). In offending all the Obama supporters who pay a larger percentage of their income than Romney does,  Romney’s comment might help Obama keep the portion of the independent vote which has drifted away.

On the other hand, if Mitt Romney had his way, he would be joining those who pay no income taxes.

Another irony is that the increased number of working Americans who do not pay federal income taxes is largely a consequence of GOP tax cuts. In order to cut taxes on the wealthy they have had to reduce income taxes on others. It was George Bush and Ronald Reagan who pushed policies which led to many lower income working people not paying taxes, while also cutting taxes on the wealthy.

If things weren’t already bad enough, another video was released in which Romney showed hostility towards the peace process and two-state solution in the middle east. He already showed during his trip to Israel that he will not be able to be an honest broker in a peace settlement. This video further shows his inability to handle foreign affairs.

Mitt Romney Believes All Those Nutty Things About Democrats From Rush Limbaugh

Assuming Mitt Romney remains as far behind Barack Obama as he is at present, one explanation for Romney’s failure as a candidate is that he believes the nutty right wing stereotypes of Democrats which are spread by Fox and talk radio. We know that people like Rush Limbaugh are going to say off the wall things about liberals to excite their listeners. We would expect a more reality-based view to come from Mitt Romney when talking privately (even if he was secretly recorded). A video taped secretly of Mitt Romney speaking to donors shows how out of touch with reality he is.

Here is the segment receiving the most publicity (video above):

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax…[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

If this is what Romney thinks of 47 percent of the country, he is right that he will have difficulty receiving their votes, but not for the reason he believes.

Rather than trying to understand those who oppose him, Romney thinks the key was to have been born Mexican:

Describing his family background, he quipped about his father, “Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” Contending that he is a self-made millionaire who earned his own fortune, Romney insisted, “I have inherited nothing.” He remarked, “There is a perception, ‘Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.’ Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America.”

Failing to realize that he was born with a silver spoon (beyond being born in America) is another reason that so many Americans have difficulty taking Mitt Romney seriously. One columnist at Bloomberg sees this as the day Mitt Romney lost the election. Personally I think we might look back on the two party conventions as when Romney lost.

Romney’s gullibility is not limited to believing the right wing talking points about Democratic voters. For example, in other videos he showed that he believed owners of a Chinese factory which he is believed to have invested in when they told him that barbed wire was being used to keep job-seekers out, not to keep their workers in.

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, A Town Called Mercy and other News

A Town Called Mercy brought Doctor Who to the old American west (even if filmed in Spain) for the first time since 1966. The Doctor once again got to wear a Stetson. Another alien doctor, played by Adrian Scarborough of Gavin and Stacy and the recent remake of Upstairs, Downstairs. His character on this episode, Kahler Jex, turned out to be rather morally ambiguous, a situation which Scarborough has experience with in his role of Mr. Pritchard on Upstairs, Downstairs. The ambiguity with regards to who was good and who was evil saved the show from being simply a story of fighting an evil cyborg killing machine. In contrast to the other more ambiguous guest stars, Ben Browder’s character was unambiguously good, although less fun than his character on Farscape.

We are now three episodes into the five episode run scheduled for the fall. There have been some continuing themes. Light bulbs have played a recurrent role in each episode as with Rory’s father changing the bulbs in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship and with the flickering light bulbs at Amy’s photo shoot in Asylum of the Daleks.   The theme of memory was seen with a girl looking back on the story at the beginning and end but, at least at this point, there is no known connection between this and other events of the season. The Doctor’s increased willingness to kill was seen again, until Amy stopped him.

Some memorable lines and dialogue from the episode:

Rory: “The sign does say ‘Keep Out.’”
> The Doctor: “I see ‘Keep Out’ signs as suggestions more than actual orders. Like ‘Dry Clean Only’!”

***

The Doctor: “Anachronistic electricity. ‘Keep Out’ signs. Aggressive stares. Has someone been peeking at my Christmas list?”

***

Jex: “That wasn’t the plan. He’s not following the plan.”
Amy: “Welcome to my world.”

***

And, with regards to the horse: “No, his name’s Susan and he wants you to respect his life choices.

Next week we see an alien invasion and the return of UNIT in The Power of Three. From Radio Times:

“The day the Earth got cubed. The year of the slow invasion. The time the Doctor came to stay.”

There have been many ways to invade the Earth, and the Doctor has seen them all. Or so he always thought – and then the human race wakes up one morning and discovers the world has been overrun by… small black cubes. Which then proceed to… do nothing much at all. A plan is afoot, humanity is endangered – but by what and how and, above all, when? For the first time in his world-saving career the Doctor has to call upon the least of his virtues: patience. And the Ponds face something possibly more terrifying than any world-ending apocalypse – the Doctor is moving in!

Not just a tale of alien intervention, this is also the story of a nice young couple who happen to have a bow-tied lunatic from space staying in their spare room. It’s halfway between an alien invasion movie and The Man Who Came to Dinner.


Steven Moffat and Matt Smith have commented on the return of UNIT:

Moffat told the BBC: “When I was a kid, and just getting obsessed about the Doctor (still not recovered) it was the Jon Pertwee era, and UNIT was as big a part of the show as the TARDIS itself. So when Chris asked if he could bring them back I couldn’t say yes fast enough. And being Chris, he gave it a clever little twist which I know the fans are going to love.”

Matt Smith also spoke about working with Jemma Redgrave, who plays UNIT’s new leader Kate Stewart.

“I loved Jemma Redgrave! She was graceful, funny and charming and an absolute delight. UNIT’s return is one for the fans. I think they like cyclical things and we have a good story. It was great to do an episode with UNIT and I hope the true fans like it.”

It is just two more weeks until the final episode with Amy and Rory. Steven Moffat discussed The Angels Take Manahttan with Digital Spy:

“All stories have to end, and painful though that is, the most important thing about a story is how it finished,” said Moffat. “I had over a year’s warning to get this sorted out, and I’m very proud of what we’ve done. A fitting end to the mighty era of the Ponds!”

Head writer and showrunner Moffat explained that he had devised the characters’ exit while in New York, which influenced the episode’s setting.

“There was something about [returning monsters] the Weeping Angels and New York that just seemed to make sense to me,” he revealed. “And I thought of the story for this episode while in New York.

“It’s always good to find a new form for [the Angels] and we’ve got little cherubs this time. I had loads of ideas for the Weeping Angels on both the previous stories that I never got anywhere close to using, so it was good to find the opportunity.”

Moffat previously revealed to Digital Spy that he “completely” rewrote Amy and Rory’s final scenes after completing his first draft.

“I completely changed the ending as I was writing it, thinking ‘No, I’ve got it wrong… I’m on the wrong emphasis’ – but it’s a good one and it’s properly emotional,” he insisted.

This week marks the start of another heavily hyped J.J. Abrams genre show, Revolution (promo above). The big mysteries are why there is no electricity and whether this genre show can survive. You can find out more about the show here, here, and here.

This was a big week for topless pictures on the internet. Besides the highly publicized  pictures taken of Kate Middleton, Alison Pill of The Newsroom accidentally sent out a topless picture of herself on Twitter. So far the show has referred to Anthony Weiner tweeting pictures and had an episode in which a character accidental sent out email to everyone. Being that it is on HBO, there’s nothing to keep Aaron Sorkin from working this nude pic tweet into the show. He might receive even higher ratings if he has Oliva Munn’s character do this. As for Kate Middleton, I guess I was wrong when I wrote that these nude pictures of Camilla Luddington, who played Kate on the television movie William and Kate, were the closest we would get to seeing Kate Middleton nude.

For Once Rick Santorum Is Right–Smart People Will Not Be On His Side

For once Rick Santorum is right:

“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country,” Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, told the audience at the Omni Shoreham hotel. “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”

Rick Santrorum also attacked the libertarian wing of the Republican Party at the Values Voter Summit. If he was criticizing them for not really supporting freedom I would go along, Santorum had other objections:

“When it comes to conservatism libertarian types can say, oh, well you know, we don’t want to talk about social issues,” Santorum said. “Without the church and the family, there is no conservative movement, there is no basic values of America.”

The real issue isn’t necessarily one of values, but opposition to the authoritarian right’s desire to use government to impose their values upon others and make decisions which should be left to the individual in a free society. A large percentage of liberals have rather conservative, heterosexual, marriages and life styles. The difference is that we don’t condemn others and don’t desire to use use government to impose any one life style upon others.

Smart people will not be on their side. They have Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and more recently Mitt Romney. Smart people generally know better than to side with these people who oppose science, promote Voodoo economic ideas which are as faulty as their pseudo-science, and oppose the ideas which this nation was founded upon–including the formation of a secular government with separation of church and state.

ABC Debunks False Claim That Obama Skipping Intelligence Briefings

There are so many lies being disseminated by the right wing noise machine and being spread by email that it is not possible to comment on all of them. It is good to see the mainstream media sometimes debunking them as ABC News did last night. One of the false claims being spread by conservatives is that Obama has been skipping intelligence briefings. The truth is that prior to George Bush, presidients routinely would receive written intelligence briefs. George Bush didn’t like to read. For example, the famous written report that al Qaeda was planning to attack the United States using planes was too much for him to bother to respond to. Bush primarily received verbal briefings. Obama, like most previous presidents, has returned to reading written reports and therefore his schedule shows far fewer verbal briefings than George Bush received. This in no way suggests that Obama is skipping any briefings as the right wingers are claiming.

Considering what a failure the last Republican president was on national security, and how successful Obama has been, it is understandable that the dishonest people on the right would want to fabricate an attack agains Obama on national security. Ultimately raising national security only helps show how weak the Republicans have become on this issue (along with pretty much every other issue). Republican strengths these days are pretty much limited to expanding government intrusion in personal affairs of individuals, undermining national security,  increasing the deficit, crashing the economy, and replacing main street capitalism with a plutocracy. That is hardly a record which the Republicans can run on.

Romney Not Only Most Dishonest Candidate Ever–Romney Has Most Chutzpah

Mitt Romney has based his entire campaign upon saying things which are not true. He has frequently taken statements out of context from Obama, attributed statements actually made by others to Obama, and  has entirely made some things up. He is campaigning against a fictitious person who has nothing to do with the real Barack Obama. Romney similarly fabricates his own economic statistics and lies about events. Steve Benen is now on Volume 34 in his extremely long list of Romney’s lies. I’ve been waiting for the debates to see what Romney would do when Obama countered him with the facts. It turns out that pathological liar Mitt Romney anticipated this problem and has come up with a bold attempt to face this. Mitt Romney has the incredible chutzpah to claim that Obama will say things which aren’t true in the debates. Of course, like everything else Romney claims, he has no evidence to back up his accusations that Obama has lied in past debates.

Romney will get away with that with many of his supporters. After all, the primary target of Republican campaigns are low-information voters who believe whatever they hear from the right wing noise machine. The problem is that this limits Romney to the far right wing base, which is probably too small to win a national election. Mitt Romney cannot fool enough people enough of the time. Republicans often use projection to attribute their faults (such as a tendency to run up big deficits) to the opposing party. This attempt is just too comical to have any chance to succeed.

 

Libertarians Might Keep Mitt Romney Out Of The White House

Libertarian candidates might create some problems for Mitt Romney. Three Republican electors who support Ron Paul are saying they might not cast their electoral votes for Mitt Romney. If Romney should win by a very narrow margin, this could throw the election to the House. The vote in the House is based upon state delegations and, as GOP support is spread over a larger number of small states, Romney would still win the presidency in such a scenario. However if Democrats retain control of the Senate, they could re-elect Joe Biden as Vice President. If the Paul supporters are mad enough over the way Romney has treated them, perhaps they might even vote for Obama in the electoral collage.

At present it doesn’t look like Romney is likely to wind up close enough to Obama for this to matter. On top of all the problems leading to Romney falling behind Obama in the polls, another Libertarian might make it even difficult for Romney to win in some of the swing states. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, who was formerly a Republican, is now on the ballot in 47 states. Currently Johnson is polling at 4 percent nationally, but his support is significantly higher in swing states such as Colorado and Nevada. In a close race, he could take enough votes from Romney to keep him from winning some swing states.

 

Romney Response To Middle East Crisis Shows He Is Not Ready To Lead

One of the nagging questions among many of us following politics is why everyone doesn’t realize that Mitt Romney is a pathological liar who says anything which he thinks will help his campaign, with total disregard for the truth. This was the day that many in the mainstream media who either failed to realize this, or considered it inappropriate to discuss, are now writing about this. Mitt Romney has finally gone too far for even some people who support his campaign and as a result his chances to win might have evaporated as John McCain’s chances to win ended when it became apparent that he was clueless as to how to respond to the financial melt down in 2008.

This was not supposed to be an election about foreign policy, but only if voters assume that the candidate of each party is competent to handle national security. Barack Obama himself demonstrated that an extraordinary individual might do an outstanding job without prior experience. Mitt Romney, however, is not an extraordinary individual, and his strengths lie in areas far removed from national security, or for that matter, any positions of leadership in government. Need someone to tear down a company, make money off its assets, and put people out of jobs–Mitt Romney will do an excellent job of this and make a good profit. Want someone who has any idea as to how to handle national security issues? Mitt Romney is like a Sarah Palin who couldn’t even see Russia from her house.

While there was a plan for both campaigns to avoid political attacks on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack, Mitt Romney could not manage to hold off on another dishonest attack past around 10 pm. The situation was set up by this statement from the U.S. embassy in Cairo:

U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement

September 11, 2012

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.

This statement, from the Embassy without support from the White House, was issued before the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya began, most likely in the hopes of calming matters down before any serious violence began. After the attacks began, the right wing noise machine began to mischaracterize this with claims such as that Obama was apologizing to those doing the attacking. My bet is that Mitt Romney saw this as supporting his totally fabricated but ongoing attack line that Obama has been apologizing since taking office, and Romney issued this statement:

“I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

This was an outright lie, and Romney’s subsequent comments buried him further. The media reaction was strongly opposed to Romney, both for the dishonesty of his statement and for commenting while attacks on diplomatic missions were in progress, before all the information was in. There had already been serious doubts about Romney’s ability to handle foreign policy after the repeated fiascoes on his recent international trip. This confirmed that Mitt Romney is not prepared to be Commander-in-Chief.

First Read  was very critical of Romney (emphasis mine):

***  Over the top :Yesterday we noted that Mitt Romney, down in the polls after the convention, was   throwing the kitchen sink   at President Obama. Little did we know the kitchen sink would include — on the anniversary  of 9/11 — one of the most over-the-top and (it turns out)  incorrect attacks of the general-election campaign . Last night after 10:00 pm ET, Romney released a statement on the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya. After saying he was “outraged” by these attacks and the death of an American consulate worker, Romney said, “It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” Yet after learning every piece of new information about those attacks, the Romney statement looks worse and worse — and simply off-key. First, Romney was referring to a statement that the U.S. embassy in Egypt issued condemning the “efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” But that embassy statement, which the White House has distanced itself from, was in reference to an anti-Islam movie and anti-Islam pastor Terry Jones, and it came out BEFORE the embassy attacks began. Then this morning, we learned that the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and others died in one of the attacks.

*** When news-cycle campaigning goes awry: Bottom line: This was news-cycle campaigning by the Romney campaign gone awry. Why didn’t the Romney campaign wait until it had all the facts? On his overseas trip in the summer, Romney was so careful not to criticize Obama while on foreign soil. But how much time do you give an administration to work through a diplomatic and international crisis before trying to score immediate political points? You’d expect the Sarah Palins of the world to quickly pounce on something like this, and she predictably did. But a presidential nominee running for the highest office in the land? After the facts have come out, last night’s Romney statement only feeds the narrative that his campaign is desperate. And given that the Romney camp has already moved on to other subjects this morning — issuing a press release on debt and not the embassy attacks — it appears the campaign realizes it, too. Right before our publication time, the Romney camp responds to us that it stands by its statement from last night. The controversial embassy statement, the Romney camp argues, had occurred AFTER the unrest in Egypt and Libya had already begun (citing this CBS report) and that the statement had served as the administration’s sole response until about 10:00 pm ET.

It’s not good for a presidential candidate when he is not only exposed for lying, but compared to Sarah Palin. Mark Halperin, who frequently echoes conservative talking points, was similarly harsh on Romney:

Unless the Romney campaign has gamed this crisis out in some manner completely invisible to the Gang of 500, his doubling down on criticism of the President for the statement coming out of Cairo is likely to be seen as one of the most craven and ill-advised tactical moves in this entire campaign.

If Halperin is calling this “one of the most craven and ill-advised” moves, Romney better prepare for a couple of months in which the media might be more willing than in the past to expose Romney’s lies.

Conservatives tend to generally stay on message, but in this case responses from Republican leaders and foreign policy hands varied. The statement was too off the wall for many Republican Congressional leaders who have to face reelection and for those who wish to have any credibility beyond the right wing echo chamber. Others, such as Rush Limbaugh, for whom credibility is not an issue, joined Romney in spreading these bogus attacks. Just for fun, try to count all the lies in just the first paragraph of GOPUSA’s coverage:

GOP presidential candidate MItt Romney isn’t backing down. Not only is he sticking to his early statement which blasted the Obama administration’s “apology” to muslims in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Romney also stood before the media and held a very presidential press conference. The media were in a frenzy trying to explain Obama’s actions, but Romney held firm.

Obama initially spoke publicly about the situation without reference to Romney. Late on Wednesday, after he already had near universal support outside of Wingnut Land, Obama finally responded to questions on Romney’s statements:

In response to Mitt Romney’s criticism of the Obama administration for its handling of recent violence in Egypt and Libya, President Obama told CBS News on Wednesday that Romney “seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later.”

“There’s a broader lesson to be learned here,” Mr. Obama told “60 Minutes” correspondent Steve Kroft at the White House. “And I — you know, Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the things I’ve learned is you can’t do that. That, you know, it’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts. And that you’ve thought through the ramifications before you make ’em.”

Asked if Romney’s attacks were irresponsible, the president replied, “I’ll let the American people judge that.”