Sunday, May 31, 2020
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The WaPo Hypes Romney’s “Muscular” BS

Reporting means more than just uncritically repeating a candidate's talking points and calling it a day.   It requires judging what politicians say by the only appropriate standard of journalism, the truth.

By this standard, the Washington Post's coverage of Romney's trite militaristic speech the other day fell miserably short.

First of all, can someone please tell me exactly what a "muscular" foreign policy is? Does it mean we invade other countries at will, even say, when it costs us a trillion dollars with no benefit?

Was Hitler "muscular"?  Is it a good thing to be?  I guess it must be, since its apparent opposite, a "flaccid" policy, doesn't sound too great.

"Muscular", in this context, is an utterly meaningless adjective used simply to make warmongers like Romney sound cooler and sexier. It is in short, a marketing term -- not a journalistic one.

Beyond such phony packaging, the Post story failed to challenge Romney's muscular manhandling of the facts on at least 4 key points.  

“Not One Candidate” at GOP Presidential Debates Stands Up to Hate

From cheering executions to screams for uninsured Americans to die, Republican presidential candidates have let their debate stages be stolen by hateful audience members. New Hampshire's Concord Monitor recently editorialized, "The most disturbing aspect of the WrestleMania behavior at the debates is not that some audience members booed a soldier and many cheered death. It's that not one Republican candidate ... spoke up to admonish the crowd and call for civility. Not one candidate, in situations that cried out for it, exhibited leadership."

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly passes along this new video from the Democratic National Committee highlighting the Republican candidates' cowardly refusal to stand up to their party's insane fringe:

THIS is the Republican Frontrunner for President?


"Corporations are people, my friend...Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

No commentary required, just watch the video and listen to the (well-deserved) derisive, hostile response from the audience of Iowa Republicans hearing this pile of bull. Seriously, THIS is the Republican frontrunner for president?  REALLY?!?  

P.S. Of course, this is the same clown who once ran to the left of Ted Kennedy on abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, etc. Even by politicians' (low) standards, this guy's bizarre.

A Business Model For Government?

Would that be like GM or like Lehman Brothers? Maybe AIG or UBS? This disgraced lament should be out of the lexicon, but somehow it remains as popular as the religion of "free market capitalism." Don't get me wrong, I am a capitalist; just reformed. Too many free market molesters.

One, Mitt Romney, a former Governor, more accurately identified as the unaccomplished son of a millionaire, falls into that category. He never saw a corporation whose carcass couldn't be dismantled, sucked dry, restructured into and sold off as derivatives, then blamed for its own demise. That may be why he can remain so popular with Republican insiders while demonstrating none of the "qualities" relished by the tea pot true believers they pretend to embrace. Republicans see America's economy as capital carrion with limited shelf-life. Imagine the baskets of derivatives that our Federal government represents. Repackaged as public-private partnerships, we can recover all those dollars floating as debt overseas and accomplish nation-building simultaneously with Romney-style leveraged buyouts by offshore investors such as the Libyan Liquid Reserve Bank, Somali Simplified Social Security Scheme, and Mugabe Mollified Medicare Mart all under the auspices of the New Delhi New Deal Derivatives Dealers. We get their US dollars, they get our obligations and when we have to bail them out, we are only paying ourselves. As brilliantly innovative as any Ponzi scheme and intuitively appealing to the uninformed.

There are a whole passel of mini-Mitts across the United States disguised as innovators and reformers. We celebrate one here in Virginia. Two McDonnell initiatives immediately stand out: the privatization of the ABC stores and the "reformation" of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS). One discredited his business acumen and the other, a more successfully packaged shell game, is a financial time bomb.  

Mitt: Not So Hot at Business After All


Run government like a business, Mitt Romney and other Repubs say.  Usually, that's what pols say as they are about to pull the wool over our eyes, fire folks in understaffed offices (just to say they did), privatize our state or national infrastructure, and basically sell us out. Republicans and Blue Dogs pretend that running a for-profit corporation which is accountable to stockholders is similar to running a government, which is accountable to its citizens.  Funny thing, but they never ran their firms as accountable to anyone but their own wallets.  When it comes to stoking his supposed business cred, Mitt Romney has reached astronomical levels of bravado.

He's the top-running Republican so far, which is not saying much. After all, Mitt draws at most about 23%.  GOPher after GOPher swears they will never support him.  He has to live down Mitt-care after all, the universal health plan he now runs like the dickens from... You gotta love it!

Mitt's one supposed claim to fame is his "business acumen."  In one brilliant segment, Stephen Colbert lays waste to that pile of mythology.  Take a look, and smile...  But one warning is relevant: We have a lot of work to do to break through MSM mythology.  Are you ready?

Washington Post’s Romney & Climate Story Stiffs Science

romnyThe Washington Post has a story this morning about how Mitt Romney acknowledges the science, at least in general terms, that man-made carbon emissions are driving global warming.

Let's count the "experts" quoted:

  • GOP workers & activists: 3
  • Polluter-funded front groups: 2
  • Rush Limbaugh: 1
  • Climate scientists: 0
As Media Matters reported this week, when it comes to reporting on climate science, climate scientists are the last people the media seeks out.

Wasserman Schultz Welcomes Romney to Race


Welcome to the the race, Mitt Romney, it's going to be loads of fun talking about your stellar record as governor of Massachusetts! :)

Does GOP Only Care About Freedom When It’s For Corporations?

Michele BachmannAt this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, sponsored by a who's who of front groups for billionaires & big polluters, there's been plenty of talk of freeing billionaires from taxes and freeing polluters from laws that keep our air & water clean.

But freedom for Egyptians? As the Washington Post reports, most of CPAC's speakers have been strangely silent - and the loudest voice said America should've done less to encourage the Egyptian revolution:

[F]or the most part, they had little to say about the nation's policy toward Egypt, whether to praise the demonstrators whose protests forced President Hosni Mubarak to step down, or to offer the principles that should guide U.S. policy as the American and Israeli ally takes the next steps toward democracy.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney didn't mention Egypt at all in his speech. Nor did Sen. John Thune (S.D.), although his text included a line that said, "Let's stand with those around the world who are risking their lives for freedom." Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty made a glancing reference, criticizing Obama as appeasing U.S. adversaries, including "Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood."

It was left to Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) to step into the vacuum. The libertarian conservative, who drew an enthusiastic audience of supporters, offered a contrarian view. In a party that has championed the spread of freedom as part of its recent foreign policy and whose leaders helped keep Mubarak in power for decades in the name of stability in the Middle East, Paul stood out as a dissenter.

Saying he disagrees with the idea that the United States has "a moral responsibility to spread our goodness around the world," Paul added to cheers from the crowd, "We need to do a lot less a lot sooner, not only in Egypt but around the world."

The lack of Egypt talk also reveals a major shortcoming of 2011's Tea Party-dominated Republican Party: Today's GOP leaders are foreign policy lightweights. Where are the GOP's Jim Webbs? The Tom Perriellos? The Hillary Clintons? Instead, we get eccentric conspiracy theories from Ron Paul and anti-technology nuttery from Michele Bachmann.

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Sarah Palin sets the bar for chauvinism high. It is shrouded in an appeal to Americans' pride in their nation's accomplishments and position in the world. It hijacks a concept its originator would not recognize. "American exceptionalism" is being recast to excuse any requirement for intellectual rigor or personal achievement.

In today's Washington Post, Karen Tumulty describes the battle within the Republican Party to claim the mantle of patriotic messiah by painting President Obama as a betrayer of American destiny. Clearly it is much easier to portray an accomplished scholar or executive than to be one. And while every day is another day President Obama gains on executive experience and accomplishment over any potential Republican opponent, none of them have demonstrated his scholarship. So they conveniently shift to protestations that rattle personal demons borne in their constituencies' darkest fears, stoking misperceptions.

With a more intellectual sheen than the false assertions that Obama is secretly a Muslim or that he was born in Kenya, an argument over American exceptionalism "is a respectable way of raising the question of whether Obama is one of us," said William Galston, a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  - from Tumulty's WaPo piece

“George Allen attacks Romney/Heritage health plan, then gets confused”


Ah...the mind of George Allen, truly a wondrous thing!