Be INFORMED

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Satire: WTF? Edition

   Most of the late-night comedians took the week off, I guess to keep themselves from overdosing  on the stupidity of the Republican Party presidential candidates.

Conan O'Brien: President Obama told the nation ‘The state of our union is strong,’ while Newt Gingrich told his wife, 'The state of our union is open.'"

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she has dirt on Newt Gingrich, but so far she's keeping her lips sealed — because that's how the last surgeon left them."

"Mitt Romney is going to release 2010 and 2011 tax returns. Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich is going to release his 1988, 1994, and 2005 wedding vows."

Stephen Colbert: "After Iowa and New Hampshire, Newt's campaign looked terminally ill, which is when he generally moves on to something better."

"Newt Gingrich crushed Mitt Romney on Saturday (in South Carolina). … Gingrich sealed his victory in last week’s debates by going after America’s most dangerous enemy: debate moderators."

Bill Maher: "Rick Perry dropped out. He said while it’s sad he won’t be president, he can always run again next year."


"Newt Gingrich's ex-wife went on nightline and said that he wanted to have an open marriage. This is the second wife, talking about him when he was fooling around with what became the third wife. Newt wanted apparently to have his wife and his marriage and also women on the side giving him oral sex. This way he could be nice and relaxed when he went to work and accused blacks of feeling entitled."

"Newt was mad. He said 'I am not a philanderer; I am a blow job creator.'"

"I thought the race was over; I thought Mitt Romney had closed it. You know for a guy that is supposed to be a great business man, he sure can’t close the deal. And now it looks like Mitt vs. Newt; Alien vs. Predator."

"New Rule: The NAACP must take Newt Gingrich up on his offer to stand in front of the their convention and tell them why black people should want jobs instead food stamps. This way I can finally answer a question that's been bugging me for years: can Newt Gingrich run?"

Friday, January 27, 2012

Challenging the Republican's Five Myths on Inequality

Published on Monday, January 23, 2012 by On the Commons

The Republican position on inequality rests on five statements, all false.        By David Morris

Recent comments by Mitt Romney, the probable Republican nominee for President all but guarantee the inequality issue will remain front and center this election year.GOP candidate Mitt Romney, who thinks its okay to talk about wealth inequality and wage disparity "in quiet rooms" does not think it's appropriate for presidential campaigns.

When asked whether people who question the current distribution of wealth and power are motivated by “jealousy or fairness” Romney insisted, “I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare.” And in this election year he advised that if we do discuss inequality we do so “in quiet rooms” not in public debates.

A public debate, of course, is inevitable. And welcome. To help that debate along I’ll address the five major statements that comprise the Republican argument on inequality.

1. Income is Not All That Unequal

Actually it is. Since 1980 the top 1 percent has increased its share of the national income by an astounding $1.1 trillion. Today 300,000 very rich Americans enjoy almost as much income as 150 million.

Since 1980, the income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans has increased a meager $303 or 1 percent. The top 1 percent’s income has more than doubled, increasing by about $500,000. And the really, really rich, the top 10th of 1 percent, made out, dare I say, like bandits, quadrupling their income to $22 million.

Meanwhile a full-time worker’s wage was 11 percent lower in 2004 than in 1973, adjusting for inflation even though their productivity increased by 78 percent. Productivity gains swelled corporate profits, which reached an all time high in 2010. And that in turn fueled an unprecedented inequality within the workplace itself. In 2010, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, the average CEO in large companies earned 325 times more than the average worker.

2. Inequality doesn’t matter because in America ambition and hard work can make a pauper a millionaire.

This is folklore. A worker’s initial position in the income distribution is highly predictive of how much he or she earns later in the career. And as the Brookings Institution reports “there is growing evidence of less intergenerational economic mobility in the United States than in many other rich industrialized countries.”

The bitter fact is that it is harder for a poor person in America to become rich than in virtually any other industrialized country.

3. Income inequality is not a result of tax policy.

Nonsense. A painstaking analysis by economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Stefanie Stantcheva found “a strong correlation between the reductions in top tax rates and the increases in top 1% pre-tax income shares from 1975–79 to 2004–08”. For example, the U.S. slashed the top income tax rate by 35 percent and witnessed a large ten percent increase in its top 1% pre-tax income share. “By contrast, France or Germany saw very little change in their top tax rates and their top 1% income shares during the same period.”

4. Taxing the rich will slow economic growth

An examination of 18 OECD countries found “little empirical support for the claim that reducing the progressivity of the tax code has spurred economic growth, business formation or job growth”.

Indeed, Piketty, Saez and Stantcheva’s rigorous analysis came to the opposite conclusion. Our economy may be growing more slowly because we are taxing the rich too little, not too much. Economists Peter Diamond and Saez estimated the optimal top tax rate, that is the tax rate that would maximize revenue without slowing economic growth, could be as high as 83 percent.

Redistributing income stimulates economies in part because when 1% make more they save whereas when the 99% make more they spend. As a result, according to Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s, a dollar in tax cuts on capital gains adds .38 cents of economic growth while a dollar in unemployment benefits gives the economy a boost of $1.63 and a dollar of food stamps adds $1.73.

5. Taxing the rich would not raise much money

Of course it would. If only the richest 400 families, whose average income in 2008 was an astounding $270 million actually paid the statutory rate of 39 percent (revived as of next January 1st) an additional $500 billion would be raised over 10 years, putting a substantial dent in the projected deficit.

In 2010 hedge fund manager John Paulson made $5 billion. That year, according to Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, Paulson paid no income taxes. Am I envious Mr. Romney? You bet I am. But I’m also angry at the stark injustice of it all. And terrified of the power such wealth can wield in a country that allows billionaires to spend unlimited sums influencing legislation and elections.

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that two-thirds of Americans now believe the conflict between rich and poor is our greatest source of tension. I agree. It is a conflict that deserves to be aired fully and in public.

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

David Morris is Vice President and director of the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which is based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. focusing on local economic and social development

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Chances: A View From China

Romney: The Right Choice Is Better
Than an Early Choice

19 January 2012

Translated By Michelle Deeter      Edited by Gillian Palmer

China - Sina - Original Article (Chinese)
When former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney dropped out of the U.S. presidential race in 2008, it was both lucky and wise. He dropped out in spring, before he could know that Lehman Brothers would go bankrupt that September. If he had won the Republican primary that year, during the elections, his connections with Wall Street would have made him lose badly.
Four years ago, at approximately the same time, I wrote another article about Romney. At the time Romney had just announced his plans to drop out of the Republican primaries for the 2008 election. As one of the frontrunners for the Republican candidacy, Romney’s decision to drop out surprised many. At that time, I predicted that Romney’s exit was to prepare for the 2012 election; the mood in 2008 was such that any candidate linked with the Republican Party was going to lose by a wide margin. That included a candidate like Romney, who was willing to take moderate or Democratic positions. After a major defeat, it would have been difficult to stage a comeback. Thus, pulling out of the race early and gathering strength was a wise decision.
Not surprisingly, Romney is on stage for the primaries again, four years later. This time he looks like he wants to go all the way.
If he can win the Republican primary and enter the election race against Obama, Romney has a distinct chance of winning. In 2008, so many Americans were disappointed with the Republicans that a few states that usually were Republican strongholds switched and supported the Democratic Party, including New Hampshire and North Dakota. Swing states overwhelmingly voted for the Democrats, including Florida and North Carolina. At the time, Americans had many complaints with the Republican Party: The war in Iraq was never ending; the war on terror was gloomy; and the Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy in September 2008 precipitated a financial crisis. This dealt a fatal blow to the Republicans’ election prospects. When we consider these factors, Romney’s decision to drop out was lucky and wise. He dropped out in spring, before anyone could predict that Lehman Brothers would go bankrupt that September. If he had won the Republican primary that year, during the elections, his connections with Wall Street would have made him lose badly.
But times have changed. Now, in 2012, people have other things on their minds. Americans, who were once dancing in the streets celebrating Obama’s election, have found that the honeymoon is over and they are no longer interested in his “Change” campaign. They have started to grumble. Change has happened. Bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has pulled out of Iraq. However, there is no peace in Iraq and Iran has become a new foreign policy issue. What’s worse, the economy has not picked up much in four years, the government is facing massive debt and the U.S.’ allies in Europe are constantly fighting. Economic recovery is a weak sapling that is unlikely to survive, while economic disaster hangs over the United States like the sword of Damocles. Looking back at the health care reforms the Democrats pushed so hard to pass, many people now feel that the decision was a poor one. Even though there are many long-term benefits, the benefits will only come after waiting patiently, while relevant taxes are going to increase very soon. The news of increased taxes seems like an overwhelming burden to the middle class, which is already heavily burdened. The middle class will be more likely to support the Republicans and their small government policies.
Therefore, I think Americans will find Romney very appealing. He got his degree at a prestigious school and worked at a famous consultancy. When compared to the traditional Republican candidate, some cowboy from a small town in the South, Romney’s background will resonate with moderate voters. Plus, voters who are typically wary of Republican positions on social issues will take comfort in his background. As a Republican, Romney is more conservative than Obama on issues such as increasing taxes. Romney might not continue the health care reforms Obama put in place. This will all give him extra support in the presidential election.
The biggest hurdle for Romney is the Republican primary. The New York Times recently reported that Romney’s latest actions make it seem like he is already thinking beyond the primaries, which means that he thinks his nomination is certain. I think Romney should not act like he has already won. The same thing that makes Romney successful could make him fail. Romney’s background will make it easier for him to earn the favor of moderate voters and some Democrats; at the same time, it will cause some Southern Republicans to mistrust him. Even though in terms of the presidential election, Romney’s victory is much more likely than any of the other candidates in the Republican primary race, that doesn’t mean that Republican voters are going to let Romney take the stage.
Recently, Jon Huntsman pulled out of the Republican primaries and supported Romney’s candidacy, which is good news for the latter candidate. The two candidates have similar backgrounds, which could split votes. However, there is still one major weakness that Romney has to overcome in both the primaries and the presidential election: the fact that he is a rich person. This might sound laughable. All of the Founding Fathers were rich slave owners, and even today, there are many examples of rich politicians: The Bush family owns a huge ranch in Texas, Clinton and Obama were professionals with high incomes, not to mention the wealth of the Kennedys. The problem for Romney is that he accumulated his wealth while working at Bain Capital. This is a major sore point for a public frustrated with Wall Street businessmen. Bain Capital is a private equity fund whose employees pay low income taxes; for this reason, it stands in eye of the storm of a crusade against capitalism. This problem may not become the Achilles’ heel of Romney’s candidacy, but he had better be prepared to take some criticism from the protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The Republican Corporation Doesn’t Care For Gingrich

   Just take a read at what some of the beltway hacks on the GOP side have to say on the topic of Newt Gingrich being the Republican nominee, if he makes it over Mitt Romney.

                    

Henry Barbour:

“I like having a Republican speaker of the House,” Barbour cracked, suggesting Gingrich would be a disaster as the GOP nominee. “He puts all our down-ticket candidates at risk.”

Former John McCain advisor Steve Schmidt:

[N]ot only are we not moving towards a coalescing of support by the Republican establishment for Newt Gingrich, we're probably moving toward the declaration of war on Newt Gingrich by the Republican establishment. And if Newt Gingrich is able to win the Florida primary, you will see a panic and a meltdown of the Republican establishment that is beyond my ability to articulate in the English language.

People will go crazy and you will have this five week period until the Super Tuesday states which is going to be as unpredictable, tumultuous as any period in modern American politics. It will be a remarkable thing to watch should that happen in Florida.

Chris Christie

“Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time. Whether he'll do it again in the future I don't know, but Gov. Romney never has,” Christie said on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

A "veteran" GOP leadership aide:

Veteran Republican leadership aide Ron Bonjean said on the record what most of his colleagues would only tell CNN privately.

"Most people on Capitol Hill and in Washington are very nervous about a Gingrich candidacy," he said. "It sends a shiver down a lot of Republican spines."

"You can actually feel the nervousness from Republicans around town that Gingrich could actually bring the craziness back of his speakership from the 1990s. It's everywhere."

"We are not at Defcon 5 yet, but we'll see what happens in Florida," said another one of the worried GOP strategists.

If Gingrich does win, veteran GOP strategists tell CNN to expect pressure on Senate Minority Leaders Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders to call key GOP donors and ask them not to contribute to Gingrich's campaign.

William Kristol:

I’ve got to think Monday night’s debate further swelled the groundswell of support for Mitch Daniels. The liveliest part of the debate was at the beginning, when Mitt went after Newt—and Republicans all over America watched with fascinated horror at the thought that these are the two GOP frontrunners. The only spectacle in American politics more off-putting than Newt Gingrich in self-righteous defense mode is Mitt Romney in self-righteous attack mode.

    Sourced from Daily Kos

 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Politics’ Dirty Tricks

By Mariusz Zawadzki              10 January 2012
The schizoid situation where the candidates pose as innocents, while at the same time lead a brutal campaign through front men, is new for U.S. politics.     Translated By Anna Rygiewicz
Edited by Steven Stenzler      Origina in Polish

In his campaign adverts, Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, does not speak ill of other candidates. He does not even mention them. He is friendly and smiles all the time. He talks about how he will save America and find jobs for millions of unemployed. He talks about the model family he has created with his wife Ann, with whom he has been married for 42 years. He enumerates his achievements in business and politics. The ads also show the cheerful Ann who compliments the qualities of her husband’s character.
In Iowa, where the first Republican primary took place on Jan. 4 Romney spent nearly $1 million on such positive advertisements. But he did not win because of them. He beat his rivals thanks to the aggressive spots made by Restore Our Future, an independent political action committee. These ads attacked Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, who has been leading in the polls since mid-December. The spots reproached him for committing tax fraud at the end of the 1990s, for which he was punished by the Senate Ethics Committee, and for supporting the environmentalists in the fight against the greenhouse effect, which is even more embarrassing for a true American conservative.
The Restore Our Future committee, founded by Romney’s former lawyer, spent about $3 million to destroy Gingrich. The founder does not hide that he supports Romney, but apart from that he does not have anything to do with him. In accordance with the law, he is independent. When Gingrich publicly urged his rival to order the committee to stop the attacks, Romney said that he cannot contact this committee or order it to do anything, because in accordance with the law, it is independent.
The wronged Gingrich is not innocent either. He is backed as well by an “independent” political action committee, even with a similar name: Winning Our Future. Next Wednesday, Gingrich’s committee is starting a TV campaign in North Carolina, where on Jan. 21 the third primaries will take place. Advertisements costing $3.5 million will remind Americans about the history of Bain Capital.
The company, established in 1984 by Romney and his business partners, bought enterprises on the verge of bankruptcy, carried out their restructuring (which usually meant mass dismissals) and sold them at a profit.
Such a business model generated a lot of money for Romney. His assets are estimated around $250 million. They are, however, a burden in the presidential campaign. People call Romney a heartless "vulture capitalist." The candidate defends himself by saying that Bain Capital saved thousands of jobs because thanks to the restructuring of the enterprises, many of them did not go bankrupt. Of course, the Winning Our Future committee’s ads show only the people who were fired by Romney’s company.
The schizoid situation where the candidates pose as innocents, while at the same time lead a brutal campaign through front men, is new for U.S. politics. The Supreme Court of the United States led to this situation when it ruled in January 2010 that private companies may without any restrictions finance the "independent” political action committees. Any such committee (super PAC) can, in turn, without any limitations finance its candidate's advertisements, provided that it does not contact him or her (which means it remains "independent.”)
The justices' decision was a real revolution because in the U.S. private companies cannot finance candidates, and private persons may donate no more than $2,500 to their favorite politician (or $30,800 to a political party.)
The U.S. Supreme Court created a legal loophole thanks to which many corporations can finance candidates without any limitations. And in secret, too! Although the “independent” committees have to disclose the donors, there can be among them a 501(c)4 organization (the name comes from section 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code), and such an organization is not obliged to disclose the donors, provided that supporting a particular candidate is not its principal activity. This regulation is perfect for money laundering. Successfully making use of it is, among others, Karl Rove, the master Republican strategist and the most effective bursar of the Republican Party, who has founded American Crossroads, an independent committee, and a 501(c)4 organization called American GPS. The committee receives money from the organization, which gets it from God knows where.
Many politicians, including President Barack Obama and his Republican rival from 2008 Sen. John McCain, criticized the Supreme Court's ruling. It blurs the already fuzzy connections between business and politics in Washington. Now, when a congressman votes for, let’s say, tax reductions for the oil industry, you never know whether it is because he actually believes them to be good for the U.S., or simply because his campaign was secretly sponsored by the oil industry.
And the elections change sometimes into a cabaret because the "independence" of the PACs is a mockery. In the Saturday candidate's debate transmitted on NBC, Romney and Gingrich swore that they did not even watch their "independent" committees' adverts, but then, unintentionally, they engaged in a surprisingly detailed discussion about what is shown in the spots.

Why This Is The Best The GOP Can Do

    By  plf515        Mon Jan 23, 2012

The four remaining candidates for the Republican nomination are a pretty pathetic bunch:
Mitt, Newt, Rick and Ron (alphabetical order)

Mitt is a multimillionaire vampire capitalist who dodged the draft (by living in a mansion in Paris), abused his dog, said his sons serve America by helping him get elected and has parked a lot of his money in the Cayman Islands for some reason. A self-centered man with no center to his self. A perfectly lubricated weather vane.

Newt is a disgraced former Speaker of the House, the only one ever to be removed for ethics violations. He's a philanderer who excused his behavior because of the stress he was under serving in Congress, a racist who barely hides it, and a blowhard.

Rick is, at least, consistent. But he's consistently crazy and mean, with views that ought to have died 50 years ago but are sadly alive.

and Ron is against the federal department of, well, almost everything. He's a darling of Storm Front who thinks racists don't have enough rights and that things like clean water aren't important and who claims to be a libertarian but is really a states-rights person.

Is this the best they can do?

Yes it is.

Not because no one wants to run against Obama.
Not because of some vagaries of this election cycle.
Not because of the harshness of the political spotlight.

No.

The reason this is the best they can do is because this is who they are.

Neocons, lunatics, theocrats and pseudo-libertarians.

The Republican party doesn't deserve to just lose in 2012. They deserve to be destroyed.  This should be the last generation in which such a party is viable.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns

By  Georgia Logothetis   for Daily Kos

Tue Jan 24, 2012

First, the facts from the Washington Post:

Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year — virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments.

None came from wages, the primary source of income for most Americans. Instead, Romney and his wife, Ann, collected millions in capital gains from a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments.

Yes, you read that correctly. Mitt Romney had zero wage income. Zero.

More from the NYT:

Mr. Romney said last week that his effective rate was “about 15 percent,” a figure lower than that of many affluent Americans. But his returns suggested that he paid an effective tax rate of slightly below that of nearly 14 percent. [...]

Referring to the fact that nearly all of his income is taxed as capital gains at a 15 percent rate rather than as earned income at rates of up to 35 percent, Mr. Romney questioned a proposal by Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, to reduce capital gains taxes to zero.

“Under that plan, I’d have paid no taxes in the last two years,” Mr. Romney said.

Yes, you read that correctly too. Mitt Romney is actually highlighting the fact that all of his wealth comes from capital gains instead of wage income.

Meanwhile, the New York Times on Gingrich's claim that he's an "outsider":

There is lot more than that to be learned from Mr. Gingrich’s documents, starting with the mockery they make of his claim to be an insurgent Washington outsider, the supposed anti-establishment candidate.

After he was drummed out of the House speaker’s office in 1998, Mr. Gingrich set about creating a lucrative living, by trading on his political connections. In 2010, he reported a total income of $3.16 million (including a tidy $76,200 Congressional pension).

Most of Mr. Gingrich’s income has come from helping corporate clients gain access and solicitous treatment from Washington’s power elite.

Frank Bruni:

In Monday night’s debate, Gingrich characterized the end of his Congressional career after the 1998 midterms as wholly volitional, making his exit sound like a self-sacrificing blaze of glory rather than the acrimonious firestorm it was.

With Gingrich, the distance between reality and rhetoric isn’t shrinking but growing, and the incongruities mount. He has lately fallen in love with his rants against “the elites,” and casts himself as their most determined foe, but I can’t for the life of me figure out a definition of elite that doesn’t include him.

Amie Parnes previews the president's State of the Union address:

President Obama won’t be mentioning Mitt Romney by name on Tuesday night. But the subtext of his State of the Union address will be all about him.

Just hours after Romney is expected to disclose his much-anticipated tax returns, Obama will attempt — in a read-between-the-lines way — to portray Romney as an ├╝ber-wealthy businessman who is anything but a champion for the middle class. [...]

“Every time he says ‘wealthy few,’ it almost implies ‘investor class’ and Mitt Romney,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a professor of communications at Boston University who specializes in political communications and advertising, adding that it’s an “easy” association. One way Obama will implicitly highlight Romney in Tuesday’s speech will be in renewing his call for a tax code rewrite to codify what he calls the “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, to ensure wealthier people pay a higher rate than do the middle class and poor.

And then, we have this news nugget from Aaron Blake:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Sunday that he would consider being Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate if Romney asked him, but said he remained skeptical that he would ever be on the ticket.

Christie, who previously denied that he was ready to be president but then briefly considered entreaties to run, also appears to have softened his resistance to the idea of being vice president.

Republicans Begin to Doubt Market Economics

By Markus Ziener   19 January                                             Sourced from Watching America

Germany - Handelsblatt - Original Article (German)

Translated By Ron Argentati   Edited by Mark DeLucas

Romney is presenting himself as a successful entrepreneur, but in light of the financial crisis and the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, that doesn't necessarily resonate with many people — not even with those on the right, who are coming to terms with Romney and free markets.


America, the land of almost limitless opportunity, is facing its next existential crisis. After the bailout crisis and the tea party crisis, the nation is now facing a morality crisis. The bizarre thing about it is that it is conservative politicians who have plunged the country into a national debate about whether there should be limits on capitalism or if “anything goes.” In other words, they are asking whether a former private equity manager like Mitt Romney has the proper moral compass to become president.
And it's equally remarkable that the criticism comes not from the left but from the right. It is politicians like Newt Gingrich, who also seeks the Republican nomination to run for president, who are questioning Romney's integrity.
The ex-Speaker of the House calls Romney a plunderer who enriched himself on the backs of working people. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who suspended his campaign on Thursday, went so far as to call Romney's behavior as CEO of Bain Capital Management “vulture capitalism.”
It is correct that as manager of Bain Capital between 1984 and 1999, Romney amassed a fortune estimated today to be around a quarter of a billion dollars. Bain invested in companies, increased their profitability and then sold them off for considerable profit. It is also correct that at times, thousands of workers were fired in the process, many of the companies went bankrupt and Romney's company profited from low tax rates.
But many other companies were strengthened by the restructuring and later hired workers. Mitt Romney calls this process creative destruction and says it is an important element of capitalism, a system that ultimately results in better, more competitive companies.
That may well be, but it is also correct to say that the social costs of doing business this way are very high — so high that it has led to a discrediting of capitalism in the very bosom of its own motherland. Wherever Romney appears publicly, he finds himself confronted by members of the Occupy movement. They call out to him that they are part of the 99 percent. Romney, in contrast, belongs to the 1 percent of Americans who, according to Nobel Laureate for economics Joseph Stiglitz, control 40 percent of the nation's wealth.
Romney's attempts to butter up the common people just makes them more angry.
Romney tries to defend himself with arguments that are often ludicrous. For example, he claims that as the multimillionaire son of a multimillionaire auto executive, he has also had to worry about losing his job on occasion. He has also said that much like the people he's addressing, he's also unemployed.
Such schmoozing just serves to increase the anger directed at him by critics who know they have hit a raw nerve in society. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, two-thirds of Americans think there is a serious conflict between rich and poor in the United States, an increase of 20 percent since 2009.
Mitt Romney's biggest financial supporters
It is not only leftists and liberals who share that opinion. The strict constitutional constructionists of the tea party movement have an equally large problem with those who profit from the system. Their definition of American success is the entrepreneurial spirit that contains an element of risk and creates additional value. What they don't approve of are those who only know how to get the most out of tinkering with their personal fortunes.
The fact that the Republican Party is preparing to nominate a candidate that is the very antithesis of the capitalist is causing great concern among the ranks of the party conservatives. Gingrich even believes that Romney, if chosen to run against Barack Obama, is unelectable — even if his warnings are nothing more than the crocodile tears of a power politician who milked as much as he could out of the system as an adviser to the quasi-governmental mortgage bank Freddie Mac and as a well-paid consultant for Credit Suisse.
That is what makes this fight so unbearably hypocritical. It isn't being waged truthfully, and it is so exploitative. If these were different times and there was no financial crisis, not one American would get excited about the fact that the made-in-the-U.S. brand of capitalism is often brutal, unfair and demands sacrifices. It was libertarian Ron Paul who leaped to Romney's defense a few days ago. That in itself is remarkable since Paul is closest to Romney in the opinion polls at the moment. Paul says of Romney's critics, “I think they’re wrong. I think they’re totally misunderstanding the way the market works.”
It was a reminder that in the United States, capitalism is market capitalism, not social capitalism, and within those parameters, Romney was absolutely right. If these were different times, Romney would be hailed as a hero.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Romney Versus Gingrich

     Gotta love those two asshat as they now square off against each other over the votes of the ignorant in the state of Florida, which is a much more racist state than South Carolina is.  Romney truly has his work cut out for him if he wants to win in the state, which I do not see happening because most of the “ Christians “ will not vote for a Mormon, period.

   Romney’s tact is to now go after Newt and his lobbying ties.

Mitt Romney attacks Newt Gingrich's private sector lobbying experience

by Jed Lewison      Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon Jan 23, 2012

According to Mitt Romney, if you attack his record in the private sector, you're attacking free enterprise and everything that makes America great ... even though he made millions of dollars by putting companies out of business and throwing workers out of jobs. But when it comes to attacking Newt Gingrich's record in the private sector, Mitt Romney says that's fair game:

Mitt Romney will use the backdrop of Florida’s depressed housing market to launch a fresh offensive against rival Newt Gingrich here Monday, highlighting his consulting work for Freddie Mac and calling on him to publicly release his records relating to the mortgage giant.

As the dramatically reshaped Republican presidential race centers on Florida this week, Romney will air a television advertisement in the state designed to expose Gingrich as a hypocrite. The ad will contrast the former House speaker’s claims not to be a lobbyist with the $1.6 million to $1.8 million in consulting fees he reportedly was paid for his work with Freddie Mac, according to a Romney campaign official.

At a news conference earlier this morning, Romney said, "Saying that Newt Gingrich is a lobbyist is just a fact." Romney called on Gingrich to release documentation of his work in the private sector because "we just have to understand what this activity has been over the last 15 years."

Fair points, both of them. But as Mitt Romney once said, "What's sauce for the goose is now sauce for the gander." His record in the private sector is every bit a relevant as Newt Gingrich's, if not more so. Remember, Romney's entire rationale for the presidency is that he allegedly created jobs as a businessman—but he won't explain whether or how he did that, and every time he's questioned he starts screaming about capitalism being under attack.

Well, Mitt ought to do what he's asking Newt Gingrich to do and start providing answers instead of attacking the questioner. The fact that he's been unable to do that is a tacit acknowledgment that he can't. And it's one of the many reasons he won't win this election.

Gingrich and the Revenge of the Little Guys

22 January 2012

France - Le Monde - Original Article (French)   Edited by Jes­sica Boesl   From Watching America

The Tea Party has disappeared, scattered between the chapels and candidates. In South Carolina however, Newt Gingrich has resuscitated the tea party. At the same time, Gingrich smashed Mitt Romney’s main platform, i.e.: "The electability," that is being the most competitive Republican candidate to run against Barack Obama.
"Newt Can Win" was the victory cry at the Gingrich headquarters party in Columbia, South Carolina.
In his speech, Newt Gingrich talked about his performance in the debates. He knows that many activists would love for him to run against Obama. So, Gingrich also challenged the incumbent president to participate in seven debates at three-hours each.
"And I give him permission to exercise his right in to use his teleprompter," he said amidst laughter. Who would not want use a teleprompter to defend Obamacare, better known as Medicare Reform.
The debates have been repeatedly harmful to Mitt Romney, especially considering how the presence of a voracious audience reinforces demagogue trends. (It is important to note that prior to this year, audience reactions were not considered significant.)
The race continues. In fact, it is just beginning, so to speak. But as noted in a key Republican crossover in a hotel in Charleston just before the primary, the establishment is concerned that Mitt is "deteriorating" from week to week. (In fact, Jeb Bush has refrained from supporting Romney in Florida.)
The results of the South Carolina poll have given Newt Gingrich a resounding victory with a 12 percent lead over Romney (40 percent versus 28 percent). The populist outweighed the businessman’s platform of “job creation” among almost every category of voters if one believes the exit polls: evangelicals (two-thirds of voters), Catholics, tea party ... and even women believed that Gingrich was always pursued by the vengeance of his second wife, Marianne.
Newt Gingrich has managed to channel the revolt of the "little guy" against the elite, including staging characteristic hostility against the media, accusing them of "forcing" the American people to be confused.
According to Erik Erickson of RedState.com, one of the spokespersons of the tea party, "the base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since."
The contempt has to do with the particular choice of candidate. For the base, Mitt Romney is considered to be as stimulating as an "old battery," commented Erickson.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chris Christie: Gingrich Is A Disaster Waiting To Happen

By Christian Dem in NC  on Sun Jan 22, 2012      Original Post

Chris Christie was on "Meet the Press" this morning, and pretty much summed up the feelings of the Repub establishment in the wake of Newt Gingrich's massive win last night in South Carolina.  In his usual blunt style, Christie, who is backing Mitt Romney, all but called Gingrich a ticking time bomb.

MR. GREGORY: You've been more pointed when you talk about in favor of Governor Romney. You say he will never embarrass you. Do you think Newt Gingrich will embarrass the party?

GOV. CHRISTIE: I think Newt Gingrich has embarrassed the party over time. Whether he'll do it again in the future, I don't know. But Governor Romney never has.

MR. GREGORY: You say he's embarrassed the party. How and where do you worry he might do it again that makes him unelectable?

GOV. CHRISTIE: Well, listen, David, we all know the record. I mean, he was run out of the speakership by his own party. He was fined $300,000 for ethics violations. This is a guy who's had a very difficult political career at times and has been an embarrassment for the party. You remember these times, you were here. So the fact of the matter is, I don't need to regale the country with that entire list again except to say this. I'm not saying he will do it again in the future, but sometimes past is prologue.

No doubt Christie saw this week's "holy f'ing crap" moment, when Public Policy Polling showed Obama possbly beating Gingrich in Texas.  It cannot be repeated enough--if Gingrich makes Texas even potentially competitive, then he has likely been Goldwatered.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.