Monday, July 30, 2012

July 30 - Monday Quote

Having just spent the better part of two days trying to get three photos from my phone to my Facebook page, I dedicate this week's quote to myself.

monday quote: Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy. (Joseph Campbell, author, 1904-1987)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flip-flop Friday - Romney on Abortion

“I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.” -- 2002, Mitt Romney at a debate during his campaign for governor of Massachusetts.   That same year, Mr. Romney signed a pledge for Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts declaring his support for "the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade". 

“I am fighting for an overturning of Roe v. Wade.” -- 2008, during an interview with Tim Russert.

“Today marks the 39th anniversary of one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history, when the court in Roe v. Wade claimed authority over the fundamental question regarding the rights of the unborn. Since that day, the pro-life movement has been working tirelessly in an effort to change hearts and minds and protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Today, we recommit ourselves to reversing that decision…” -- 2012, statement issued by Mr. Romney during his current campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

what eye thynk: Yesterday he was “devoted and dedicated to honoring”.  Today he says "we recommit ourselves to reversing”.  Tomorrow?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary says it better than I can...

  • chameleon - a person given to often expedient or facile change in ideas or character
  • expedient - suitable for achieving a particular end, especially governed by self-interest
  • facile - easily accomplished, shallow, often lacking in sincerity or depth 

Meet Mr. Romney, the most expediently facile chameleon ever to take the American political stage.

I believe every woman has a right to decide what happens to her body. Personally, I don't know what I would choose to do if faced with an unwanted pregnancy; but that doesn't mean I would condemn you if you chose differently.  Roe v. Wade doesn’t force any woman to have an abortion; it simply gives every woman the right to make her own life choices. And they should be YOUR life choices--not mine, not your neighbor's, not Mr. Romney’s.

No matter where you stand on Roe v. Wade, you will want to elect someone who stands with you and who will still be standing with you next year.  If you choose to stand with Romney, make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and watch him closely--he could change color at any time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Willard Mitt Ramirez-Romney for President?

Earlier this year, Mr. Romney was quoted as saying that it would be “disingenuous” of him to claim Mexican heritage.

Now, as he finds himself on the losing end of the projected Hispanic vote count, he is making an all out attempt to connect with Latino voters by playing the Mexican emigration card. Recently, in an apparent attempt to show he is "one of them" he told a group of national Hispanic leaders in Florida that his father emigrated from Mexico.

what eye thynk: How incredibly patronizing.

He didn’t bother to mention that the reason his father had to "emigrate" was that his grandfather had fled to Mexico from the U.S. to avoid America’s anti-polygamy laws.

And it only gets worse. The Romney campaign is now running a Spanish language ad that features one of the Romney sons saying, “My grandfather was born in Mexico. I’m proud of my heritage.”

What heritage?! They were living in Mexico as American citizens in a Mormon church colony. They weren’t there to become Mexican citizens or even to soak up the local culture. They only wanted to continue the early Mormon practice of polygamy and if they could convert a few Mexicans along the way, that would be fine too. They didn’t even speak Spanish for Pete’s sake!

George Romney didn’t emigrate to the United States. He packed his suitcase and moved back home.

The whole thing reeks of  smarmy.  Just another example of Mitt being willing to say and do anything to get what he wants.

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 23 - Monday Quote(s)

In honor of the 2012 London Olympics...

monday quote(s):  A lifetime of training for just ten seconds. (Jesse Owens, athlete and winner of four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, 1913-1980)  

If one synchronised swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too? (Steven Wright, comedian, 1955-    )

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mitt's Tax Return Tap Dance

Mitt Romney has released one complete tax return, (2010), and one estimated return, (2011).  He is adamant about not releasing additional tax returns. When his father ran for president in 1968, he released twelve years of his tax returns. At that time, George Romney explained “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”

what eye thynk: “…perhaps done for show.“ How prophetic. Can there be any question that, prior to this run for president, George’s son kept a substantial portion of his money in tax protected foreign accounts? Can there be any question that, in 2010, when Mitt decided on another try for the White House, some of that money was moved to U.S. accounts in order to make his tax return “show” ready?

His campaign keeps saying that prior to 2010 Mitt paid all the taxes that were legally required.
What he and his campaign fail to grasp, but what is painfully obvious to the average American, is that there is a vast difference between legally required and morally just.  The average American doesn’t get to choose how much of his income will be taxed.

When Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, attempted to explain that shielding money from the I.R.S. was praise worthy, (“It’s really American to avoid paying taxes legally”), his explanation only served to highlight the “other-liness” of Mitt Romney and his ilk.

It is possible that we’re wrong in chasing this issue. It is possible that Mr. Romney's older tax returns would show a higher tax rate, fewer off shore accounts and millions of dollars invested in American companies; but, if so, why keep them hidden? This is not an issue that is going to die, not while Mitt’s recalcitrance is keeping it fed and watered.

As for myself, I believe the 13.9% tax rate he paid in 2010 was probably a high watermark rate for him and Mitt is refusing to release more tax returns because they would expose a man who, while he wants to run the country, does not want to have to pay for its maintenance.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Norquist vs. the Citizens of the U.S.?

If Congress cannot get past their present income tax stalemate, the Bush tax cuts will expire on January 1, 2013 raising income taxes for everyone. The Democrats would like to extend the cuts for middle and lower income Americans for one year while ending the cuts for the wealthy. Republicans, who signed the Norquist I-will-never-raise-taxes pledge want to make the tax cuts permanent. This week, Democrats offered a new solution to this conundrum. They offered to allow all the tax cuts to expire on January 1 and would then immediately vote to re-instate the tax cuts for those in the lower and middle income brackets.

Republican Senate Minority Leader, Mitch O’Connell said “This isn’t an economic agenda. It’s an ideological crusade”

what eye thynk: I would call the Democratic plan a convoluted last ditch effort, but an “ideological crusade”? No. 

Mr. O'Connell's comment is even more absurd when you remember that it is coming from the man who, in 2008, said that his party’s main objective would be to defeat President Obama. Not to improve the economy, not to seek an end to a baseless war, not to protect the health of American citizens nor safeguard the environment, not to do anything constructive -- simply to defeat President Obama.

Also consider that this is the party that boasts that over one thousand Republicans, (including Mitt Romney), have signed Grover Norquist’s I-will-never-raise-taxes pledge and have bull-headedly stuck with it even though economists on both sides of the aisle have said we need to generate more tax revenue if we are to have any hope of reducing our national debt.  Now, that is what I would call an "ideological crusade".

Recently some Republicans have voiced their regret at having signed up to be one of Norquist’s groupies. Taking a cue from ex-Florida governor Jeb Bush, (“I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions…”), Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina, has said he intends to attempt to convince his fellow Republicans that the time for compromise on tax issues is here. Unfortunately, many of the congressional Republicans whose names are on Norquist’s list fear reprisals from their own party members if they go back on their pledge.

What really angers me about this pledge business is that the same Republicans who are so intent on remaining loyal to Mr. Norquist seem to have forgotten that they also swore an oath of office when they became a member of Congress; and nowhere in that oath does it mention swearing allegiance to one man’s dogma. The United States is supposed to be a country governed by the people, for the people---not by the people, for Grover Norquist.

The Democratic plan, (which, frankly, makes me a little nervous; I mean who is to say that those middle and lower income tax cuts will be reinstated as promised?), gives the Republicans a way to avoid actually voting to raise taxes on the wealthy, allotting them some cover from those who would take to the media to renounce them as pledge breakers. It is sad that governing has come to this -- that in order to accomplish anything, we have to find a way around a self-engendered roadblock.

Mitch O’Connell, who seems to have appointed himself Grover Norquist’s lieutenant/enforcer, needs to look at his own party when he begins throwing around words like “ideological crusade”. Democrats have bent themselves into pretzel-like contortions to assist the Republicans in avoiding any Norquist blowback. Now it is up to the Republicans to decide where their allegiance should rest-- with Norquist or with the country they promised to serve.

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 15 - Monday Quote

I was looking for a good quote this week when I came across this.  It made me smile because it is so true.

monday quote:  True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. (Kurt Vonnegut, author, 1922-2007)

Romney Proves Himself to be Essentially Clueless

In a speech to the NAACP this past week, Mr. Romney promised to “eliminate every nonessential, expensive program I can find; and that includes Obamacare”.

what eye thynk: Just one short question for you, Mitt.  When did health care become “nonessential”?

The last I heard, we are all human and even the healthiest among us will find himself in need of a doctor’s care at some point.

Do you think the family who is forced to choose between groceries or a doctor visit for their son thinks health care is “nonessential”? Do you think the lady next door who must choose between paying her electric bill or refilling her heart medication thinks health care is “nonessential”?  What about a young man just starting out who suddenly finds himself facing a life threatening illness and who, in absence of his ACA health plan, would be denied care simply because he could not pay for it? Nonessential?

If your family has a catastrophic illness, I guess you can just tap into that Swiss bank account and pay for their care in cash; but for the rest of us, health care is a basic necessity. Your statement is incredibly callous and insensate and shows just how unaware you are of the realities of everyday life for those of us not on your Hampton VIP list.

Health care should not be a privilege allotted exclusively to the wealthy. It would be nice to see the concern you and your fellow conservatives exhibit for the unborn extended to include those of us already possessed of corporality.

And, by the way, the proper name is the “Affordable Care Act”. Please try to remember that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Flip-flop Friday - Romney on Gay Rights and Marriage Equality

“As we seek to establish full equality for America’s gay and lesbian citizens, I will provide more effective leadership than my opponent.” -- 1994, in a letter from Mitt Romney to the gay rights group Log Cabin Club, written during his run for the U.S. Senate.

“Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. I will support an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution to make that expressly clear.”-- 2003 as governor of Massachusetts after that state’s Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling that denial of marriage to same sex couples was not legal. Gov. Romney continued to fight their decision until 2007 when his one term as governor ended.

“I would, unlike this president, defend the Defense of Marriage Act. I would also propose and promote once again an amendment to the (U.S.) constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.” -- 2012, Mitt Romney speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

what eye thynk: So, when Romney wanted to be a U.S. Senator from historically liberal Massachusetts, he was for equal rights for the LGTB community. By the time he became governor of Massachusetts, and no longer needed their support, he was against it.

Now, he would like to change our U.S. Constitution to reflect his current prejudices, turning every gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual American into a second class citizen.  But, stick around, this is only July. Mitt has plenty of time to find another view to embrace on this issue.

If God has a sense of humor, we’ll find out that Sheldon Adelson is secretly gay and wants to marry one of the Koch brothers. Then we can all watch Mitt spin in circles as he tries to retain access to all that Adelson-Koch money while attempting to convince the far right that he is still one of them.

FLIP --“Look at my record. I’ve been best-buds with members of the Log Cabin Club since 1994!”
FLOP -- “But I privately pitied them and only became friendly so I could help them pray away the gay!”
FLIP -- “Look at my record again. I even asked Richard Grenell, an openly gay man, to be my campaign advisor on foreign affairs. No, wait, my conservative patrons didn’t like him and he was forced to quit before he really started. Sorry. Forget that one. My bad.”
FLOP --“You see, I cleansed my campaign of all that nasty gay influence when you asked me to! (And I want you to know that Sheldon is, in reality, a woman. He has just been pretending to be a man because of a secret Russian plot to kidnap him and turn him into a prostitute at one of his own Macau casinos. So, you see, that Adelson-Koch marriage is really okay. And, besides, they‘re both really rich, and the rich are the BEST!)”

If God were fair, He would guarantee that every family included at least one gay member so all straight people could see that being gay is just a different way of being human.  Unfortunately, God, and life, aren't fair.  It is up to us to ensure that equality is equal.  Stopping Mitt is one way to continue the fight.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

If You Can't Get What You Want Fair and Square -- Cheat

Last week, North Carolina’s Governor Bev Perdue (D) vetoed a budget passed by her state’s Republican legislature that cut all funding for Planned Parenthood. The Republicans overrode her veto.

Last year the same pattern of pass/veto/override occurred, but a Federal judge stopped the defunding of Planned Parenthood by saying that a state may not target a particular health care provider simply because it advocates abortion rights since, though abortions cannot be paid for with federal money, they are legal under federal law.

This year, the Republican legislature is attempting to get around the judge’s ruling by not naming Planned Parenthood openly. Instead they use language prohibiting the state from contracting with “private providers” of family planning services. Since Planned Parenthood is the only organization in North Carolina that fits this criteria, the result is the same.

what eye thynk: Will these people never give up? This new budget language is nothing but a blatant attempt to scam the court into overlooking their prejudicial stand on a woman’s legal right to choose.

And North Carolina is not alone in this. Recently, Ohio abortion foes got language added to Governor John Kasich’s budget review bill stripping Planned Parenthood of 1.7M in federal money that was to be used for health care in that state. Since federal money cannot be used to pay for abortions, what do they think they are actually accomplishing?

As a side note, this is money that you and I pay as taxes that is supposed to come back to us in services--services to which these legislators are denying us access. If our state refuses the money, we don’t get a refund; it just becomes money we threw into the wind and for which we gain no benefit.

This Republican anti-abortion posturing may look good to their religious conservative fan base; but, in the end, they have achieved nothing in their war on abortion rights and, in fact, may be making it worse. By defunding Planned Parenthood, these conservatives are not only denying poor women in North Carolina, Ohio and other states basic health care, but also their access to contraception.

Less contraception can only result in more unwanted pregnancies. And more unwanted pregnancies can only result in more abortions--which Planned Parenthood will still be providing using the same private funds they were using before this legislative finagling started. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9 - Monday Quote

All the Republicans who continue to insist that Ronald Reagan was the be-all and end-all of conservative politics, should remember that he also stood for fairness in our tax laws and that being wealthy shouldn't exempt you from paying your fair share.

monday quote:  We are going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary and that’s crazy. It’s time we stopped it. (Ronald Reagan, President, 1911-2004)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Flip-flop Friday - Romney on the ACA Mandate

In an interview on MSNBC last Monday, Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s senior campaign advisor stated that Mr. Romney “disagrees with the court’s ruling that the mandate (is) a tax”.

On Wednesday, just two days later in a CBS interview, Mr. Romney said “The majority of the court said it’s a tax, therefore it’s a tax. They have spoken. There’s no way around that.”

During the same interview he was asked to compare the ACA mandate with his Massachusetts Health Care Law mandate. He replied, “At the state level, states have the power to put in place mandates. They don't need to require them to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional, and as a result, Massachusetts' mandate was a mandate, was a penalty, was described that way by the Legislature and by me, and so it stays as it was."

what eye thynk: So the ACA mandate is not a tax…no, wait, yes it is…except in Massachusetts where it isn’t!?

My God, he’s starting to sound like Sarah Palin!

Mr. Romney stood up to his conservative handlers for two whole days before caving in to their opinion.  Can he possibly make it any clearer that he is willing to say and do whatever his conservative puppet masters tell him to say and do? 

We need a man in the White House who is capable of standing and thinking on his own, not a marionette who can be maneuvered at will by anyone with enough money to buy access to his strings.

Does anyone really think he will suddenly grow a back-bone and act like a leader if he does win the White House?  W. was ruled by Cheney and Rumsfeld and look where that got us.

Stand up for yourself, Mitt!  It's starting to be embarrassing!

(And, yes, I know today is not Friday, but I like the alliteration. I have a whole collection of Romney flip-flops so check back next week when I’ll share another one…on Friday…really.)

Friday, July 6, 2012


In response to all the Republican declination of the Supreme Court's ruling on the ACA, Governor Jack Markell of Delaware, (D), is quoted as saying that he welcomes the opportunity to help more of his constituents and is working to make sure that the state of Delaware is prepared to implement all aspects of the Affordable Care Act in full and on schedule.

what eye thynk: Finally, an adult has entered the room.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Republicans are Lunching on Sour Grapes

The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act--and the Republicans are not happy.

The facts -- Each state is required to set up an insurance exchange where the people of that state can compare policies and costs before joining a health care plan. If a state does not set up an exchange, the federal government will take over and set up an exchange for that state. Citizens making up to 400% of the poverty level will get a subsidy to help pay for their health care. Those at or below the poverty level would be added to the Medicare rolls with the federal government paying 100% of that cost for the first three years. After that, the federal government’s portion goes down by small increments each year until it reaches 90% where it will stay. Any state can refuse to expand Medicare.

#1 Mitt Romney says that the ACA puts the government between patients and their doctor.

what eye thynk: Mitt, buddy, think beyond your affluent circle of acquaintances for just a minute. Millions of Americans would love to have a patient/government/doctor relationship, but first they need a doctor…and they can’t afford one!

#2 Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio spoke through Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor.  "At this point, the governor and I agree--we discussed this today--he’s been fully briefed--that we do not see how running a state based exchange is good for Ohio. Ultimately we concluded that Obamacare is not consistent with our values…"

what eye thynk: So, the uninsured and the poor in Ohio don’t count in your “values”? Exactly how much money does an Ohio citizen need to have before he has value in your eyes, Mr. Kasich?
#3 Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana says he will neither expand Medicare nor create a state based exchange for those wishing to purchase health insurance. He says he is waiting for November when he hopes that Romney will undo the law.

what eye thynk: Good luck with that. Romney’s promise to repeal the ACA on “my first day in office” is an empty oath. Only Congress can repeal the ACA, and that just simply is not going to happen. Even Louisiana’s hospitals and health care providers are begging Gov. Jindal to reconsider his stance. If Medicare is not expanded in Louisiana, the poorest of the poor will get nothing. The money that the federal government would have spent to help the truly poor in Louisiana will go to other states while Louisiana hospitals and free clinics, (free clinics like Planned Parenthood which is, of course, also anathema to today’s Republican politician), will be left to deal with the problem.

#4 Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said "Just because a couple of people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so".

what eye thynk: Does this man have any idea how our government is structured? Maybe a remedial course in Government 101 is called for.

#5 Glenn Beck is calling Chief Justice Roberts a coward and has begun selling t-shirts saying this.

what eye thynk: Is this man really an adult? Has anyone checked to see if maybe he’s just a 6 year old wearing an old guy costume?

#6 Michael Sanger, (spelling?), conservative radio personality said that Roberts ruled the way he did because he was taking epilepsy medication. “Neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts’ writings, you can see the cognitive dissociation in what he is saying”.

what eye thynk: Whoooo, boy.


The fact is that the Affordable Care Act is a LAW. Conservative pundits can rant against it all they want--this is, after all a country that guarantees their freedom to speak out.

However, the elected officials who are declining to uphold the federal statute need to be reminded that each of them put their hand on a Bible and swore to uphold the laws of their state and their country. There is no small print that says “except when I don’t want to”. Every one of these preening politicians is in contempt of the job he pledged to do.

And, finally, the disdain with which they view their own citizens is chilling...and disgraceful.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July 2 - Monday Quote

Thank you to all those who risked much to pass and defend the ACA.

monday quote:  Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have. (Margaret Mead, scientist, 1901-1978)