Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quick Question - Romney a "Lousy candidate"?

Speaking with Politico, a top official in the Romney campaign described Mr. Romney as a “Lousy candidate; highly qualified to be president. The candidate suit fits him unnaturally. He is naturally an executive”.

???   Is it just me, or does this statement confirm that irritating sense of smug entitlement that Mr. Romney carries wherever he goes--the sense that the campaign is just a silly time consuming exercise that, given his obvious superiority, is delaying what will surely be his rightful ascension to the presidency?

Muhammad and the Right to Freedom of Speech

These are excerpts from speeches given at the United Nations this past week, all referring to the trashy anti-Muslim video that some American idiot created and then uploaded to YouTube:

     President Morsi of Egypt - “We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references and not to seek to impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us. Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable.”

     President Hadi of Yemen demanded restrictions on freedom of speech that insults religion. “These behaviors find people who defend them under the justification of freedom of expression.”

     President Zardari of Pakistan - “The international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression.”

what eye thynk:    So, it’s okay to kill people in the name of Muhammad, but no one should be permitted to say bad things about him?

I am not in any way defending the video.  It is singularly crude and insulting, but the actual video itself harmed no one. The resulting harm--and that harm was grievous--was caused by the Muslim world’s response to the video.

What if Islamists in the Middle East had simply ignored the video?  Whatever kick the witless wonders who put the video together were looking for would have been nullified, few would know the video was ever made, even fewer would remember it, and lives--both Muslim and Christian--would have been saved. And shouldn’t a human life be more sacred than a perceived insult?

I'm actually pretty insulted that these men chose to speak to the world and suggest that we weaken our right to freedom of speech because it bruises there much too tender sensibilities...but I'm not going to throw a rock, burn a car, destroy a building or take a life.  I'm just going to ignore them.  Imagine a world where the followers of Muhammad did the same.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Quick Fact - Republicans Caught With Their Hands in the Voter Fraud Cookie Jar

Earlier this year, the Republican Party hired Strategic Allied Consulting to assist them in their effort to register Republican voters.  One of the places they have set up registration stations is at Republican rallies, especially in important swing states like Florida and Ohio. 

This week, the Republican Party was forced to cancel Strategic Allied Consulting's contract in Florida when a Palm Beach County election board member found "100 registrations with similar signatures and incorrect birth dates".  Notice has been issued to other states with SAC contracts recommending cancellation.

So much for the Republican stance that voter fraud is a Democratic/minority issue that must be stamped out with new restrictive voter I.D. laws..

Update:  Questionable voter registration forms have now turned up in seven additional Florida counties ranging from southern Florida to the panhandle area with another 100+ forms being turned over to local prosecutors in Escambia and Santa Rose counties alone.  A number of the fraudulent registrations appear to have come from local Republican Party headquarters, where individual SAC employees were paid per registration form.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Flip-flop Friday -- Romney on Health Care

Look, it’s critical to insure more people in this country. It doesn’t make sense to have 45 million people without insurance. It’s not good for them because they don’t get good preventative care and disease management…But it’s not good for the rest of the citizens either, because if people aren’t insured, they go to the emergency room for their care when they get very sick. That’s expensive. They don’t have any insurance to cover it. -- Mitt Romney, Republican Candidate Debate, August 2007

It doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility -- Mitt Romney in an MSNBC interview explaining that part of the impetus for his Massachusetts health care plan was to keep people out of the ER, 2010

If elected, I will repeal Obamacare on my first day in office --- Mitt Romney, talking point repeated over and over during present presidential campaign, Summer 2012

Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance…We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care. -- Mitt Romney in a 60 Minutes interview pointing to emergency room care as an alternative for people who don’t have health insurance, September 23, 2012.

Don’t forget--I got everybody in my state insured. One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record. -- Mitt Romney, NBC News interview, September 26, 2012
what eye thynk:   Let’s look at the chronology here. Romney supported universal health care as early as 2006 when, as governor, he passed the Massachusetts health care plan. He continued to support universal health care until he entered the 2012 presidential race when, to please his Republican party handlers, he turned his back on six years of universal health care support to become just another Obama hating toady.

Instead of embracing the good that he did as governor of Massachusetts in passing a state health care plan, he turned his back on it and tried to convince us that it was not meant to be a national model. Now, to further muddy the waters, (and in obvious response to the derision he has earned over his lack of empathy for the poor and the middle class), he is trying to raise the banner of his Massachusetts health care act as evidence of his generous heart and the good he is capable of doing.

So, does he believe the Massachusetts health care act is right, but the ACA is wrong? Does he believe that emergency room care is good enough for those who can’t afford insurance or does he believe that it is a waste of money that should be spent on preventative care funded by affordable universal insurance? Is mandating health insurance for everyone a sign of caring or is it socialism at its worst?

Mitt Romney has changed positions so often and on so many subjects, that I doubt even he can be sure what he believes in anymore. As for myself, with the exception of money, I don’t think he believes in anything at all.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Romney Economic Strategy Revealed: Be Happy! (No, really, that's the plan.)

By now, everyone has heard part of the secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney at a Boca Raton fund raiser where he dismissed 47% of the country as "victims" who he doesn't "have to worry about". 

On another section of that same video he talks about the economy:  "My own view is, if we win on November 6, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country.  We'll see capital come back and we'll see--without actually doing anything--we'll actually get a boost in the economy."

what eye thynk:  This is his economic plan?  Do nothing and money will flow back into the economy because everyone will be happy?

No wonder he has offered no details on his economic strategy...he doesn't have one!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Quick Fact - Theatre of the Absurd Edition

In Texas, you can use your weapons permit to vote, but not your student I.D.
Only in Texas--the state where it is more important to shoot straight than to think straight.

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24 - Monday Quote

I'm not sure I like the phrase "little men", but this pretty much speaks to Romney's attitude to the 99%...and exactly how his self-perceived greatness is lacking.

monday quote:    A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. (Lord Philip Chesterfield, statesman, 1694-1773)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eye Recommend ----- Let Them Eat Crab Cake

LET THEM EAT CRAB CAKE, by Maureen Dowd - On the 47%: "Willard, born on third base and acting self-made, whining to the rich about what a great deal in life the poor have. We thought Romney was secretly moderate, but it turns out that he’s secretly cruel, a social Darwinist just like his running mate."

On Palestine: "'And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately somehow, something will happen to resolve it.'  Wow. That’s leadership. He said a former secretary of state had called him to suggest that after the Palestinian elections there might be a prospect for a settlement, but that 'I didn’t delve into it.'"

Eye Recommend ----- I Know Why the Caged Bird Shrieks

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SHRIEKS, by Charles M. Blow -- "One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. In fact, a man convinced of his virtue even in the midst of his vice is the worst kind of man."

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ten is a Good Number for Romney, but the Rest of Us Only Rate a Two

Mitt Romney has finally released a second year of his tax returns. The latest release shows he paid a rate of 14.1% for the year ending on December 31, 2011. The return also shows that he only claimed a portion of his actual charitable contributions for tax deduction purposes. Claiming the full amount of his charitable contributions would have reduced his taxable income to around 10%, well below the 14.1% rate that he paid last year.  And well below the 13% he insists is the lowest rate he paid.

what eye thynk:    Before we congratulate Mr. Romney on choosing to limit his deductions for 2011, let us remember that Mr. Romney has every right to file an amended tax return next year that will allow him to claim the balance of the charitible donations he chose not to claim in 2011 thus reducing his 2012 tax liability 

I know Mr. Romney keeps saying we should trust him on that minimum of 13% rate, but "trust" and "politician"--any politician--are not words that sit well together.   I just can't keep from wondering what it is he's hiding.

So, for my own peace of mind, I’d like to see another eight years to know if, in previous years, he claimed 100% of his very commendable donations and reduced his earlier tax bills to below the 13% mark. It seems obvious that he manipulated last year’s tax return to make himself look as good as possible during his run for the White House; but what about the years when he didn’t plan ahead for closer scrutiny?

I’d like to see another eight years of tax returns to know if he used tax sheltered accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda or Switzerland to avoid paying taxes to the country he wants to lead.

I’d like to see another eight years of tax returns to know if he used any of the questionable income switching techniques that some private equity firms like to use…the same techniques currently under investigation by the I.R.S.

I’d like to see another eight years just because it seems fair. After all, he required those he was considering for his running mate to disclose ten years of their tax returns to him.

I'd like to see another eight years because, if I’m going to enter into a four year contract with someone who can't seem to stay on the same side of any issue long enough to form a shadow, I feel I deserve to see more than two measly tax returns. After all, it was Mitt’s dad, George, who, after releasing twelve years of tax returns during his run for the presidency, said “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.” Of course, George Romney’s returns showed that, over that twelve year period, he had paid an average tax rate of approximately 50%…which looks a lot better on a presidential candidate than the 14.1 and 13.9 percents that Mitt has produced.

On Friday, CNN quoted Romney as saying that the obsession with his tax returns is “small minded”. I prefer to think of it as due diligence.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Flip-flop Friday - Romney on Global Warming

I believe that climate change is occurring--the reduction in the size of the global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. --- Mitt Romney, in his book “No Apology”, published in March, 2010

Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that, but I think that it is…I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans…What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.--- Mitt Romney, at a New Hampshire rally, August 2011

what eye thynk:   This is one of Mr. Romney’s most efficient flip-flops…from: global warming exists and humans are at least partly at fault, to: nope, global warming is a maybe and the chance that humans have anything to do with it is a maybe and a half…in just over a year.

Can anyone doubt that the oil industry managed to find a dollar figure that was large enough for Mr. Romney to decide he could ignore those melting ice caps after all? I mean, he did say “hard to ignore”, not impossible. And, really, just between pals, what’s a little global warming if it means Mitt gets to sit in the boss’ chair in Washington?

After this week’s 47% “My job is not to worry about those people” fiasco, Romney has spent the last few days trying to convince us that he would represent “100%” of Americans.

I sincerely doubt that he’ll ever represent my point of view on most issues, but I do buy a lottery ticket every week, so there is hope that some day I might have enough money that I can at least put in a bid to help choose Mitt‘s opinion de jour. Of course, I’m going to have to win the lottery more than once if I am to have any chance of actually buying a Mitt opinion of my very own.  

The percentages are not in my favor.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eye Recommend --- It Takes One to Know One

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE, by Nicholas D. Kristof --  "Romney has proved himself right: We manifestly do have a problem with people who see themselves as victims even as they benefit from loopholes in the tax code.   One is running for president."

Republicans Choose Obstructionism Over Jobs for Veterans

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted to effectively kill the Veterans Job Corps Bill, a bill designed to give grants to federal, state and local agencies to help them hire and train unemployed military veterans for jobs as police officers, firefighters and national parks workers. The vote was 58 yeas to 40 nays.

what eye thynk:   This looks like a no brainer. We have men and women who have served honorably in our military who can’t find a job now that they are home. Considering that the bill was fully funded with existing revenues, what could possibly stop this bill from passing?

Well, first, there is the current Senate’s ridiculous and sad filibuster addiction, requiring that every and any bill must first attract 60 votes before it can be brought to the floor for consideration. (I know this is the way the filibuster rule works; but, it sort of begs the question: If you already have 60 votes--which is more than enough to pass a bill--does that mean you have to have enough votes to guarantee a successful outcome before you even begin to debate it?) No wonder Congress can’t get anything done!

Next, the Veterans Job Corps Bill was introduced by a Democrat, (a Republican red-flag right there). Washington Senator Patty Murray(D) wrote the main body of the bill, but she wrote it with bi-partisan support. Four Republican senators had some basic input in the writing and Sen. Richard Burr(R) from No. Carolina acknowledged that Sen. Murray had directly incorporated his ideas into her bill; but when the vote was taken, the bill failed, with all 40 of the negative votes coming from Republican senators--including Mr. Burr and the other co-authors!

What possible logic can there be for voting against a bill you helped to write?! The only explanation can be that the Republican party will do anything to obstruct forward movement while a Democrat is in the White House. They are more interested in making points than in making progress, even if it is at the expense of the people who risk their lives to defend Congress’ right to exist.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney's 47% Statement is a 100% Gaffe

Mitt Romney got himself secretly recorded at a Boca Raton fund raiser earlier this year.  A clip of that recording was released by Mother Jones magazine and is available on YouTube.

The text:  Question from unseen person - For the past three years all everybody's been told is "Don't worry, we will take care of you".  How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections to convince everybody, you have got to take care of yourself?

Mitt's response - There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.  That, that's entitlement.  And the government should give it to them.  And they will vote for this president no matter what.  And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 4...  He starts off with a huge number.  These are people who pay no income tax.  Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax.  So our message of low taxes doesn't connect.  So he will be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich.  I mean, that's what they sell every four years.  And so my job is not to worry about those people.  I will never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.  What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10% in the center that are independents, that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon, in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not.

what eye thynk:  This pretty much speaks for itself; but I do want to point out that, while his percentage is technically correct, he failed to say that the 47% includes retirees, students, the unemployed, those on disability and the many people who work but at very low paying jobs and that most of them did pay some form of payroll tax.

The true numbers...
1.  In 2011, 46.4% of Americans paid no federal income taxes.
2.  However, 28.3% did pay some form of payroll tax such as social security
      taxes or state and local income taxes.

3.  Which leaves only 18.1% who paid no taxes at all.  This percentage includes
      many elderly and those citizens working at jobs that pay less than $20,000 a

I have no doubt that every one of those working Americans making $20,000 a year would jump at the chance to move into a middle class job--you know, one of those $250,000 middle class jobs Mr. Romney talks about.

At 10:00 last night, Romney called a quick press conference to try to stop the damage to his campaign.  He tried to explain that his message, whether public or private, is the same, saying that his words recorded in Boca Raton were not "elegantly stated".

Mitt, whether your words are dressed in diamonds or in mufti, they come down to the same thing--you are a smug elitist who holds a large number of American citizens in contempt.  You seem unable to accept the fact that the President of the United States represents and protects all the people--you don't get to pick and choose those you feel are worthy.

Jim Messina, manager of President Obama's campaign, said in a statement that someone "who demonstrates such disgust and disdain for half of our fellow Americans" does not deserve to be president.


Monday, September 17, 2012

September 17 - Monday Quote

I agree...

monday quote:  You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. (C.S. Lewis, author, 1898-1963)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eye Recommend --- The Foreign Relations Fumbler

THE FOREIGN RELATIONS FUMBLER, by Nicholas D. Kristof -- "Diplomacy is a minefield, and Mitt Romney spent the last week blowing up his foreign policy credentials to be president...The essential problem is that every time Romney touches foreign policy, he breaks things."

Totally Useless Information - Hairy Lemon Island

There is an island in Uganda named Hairy Lemon Island.  

Do you think the guy who came up with that name was just off his meds that day?

Quick Fact

The pace of job creation in the private sector during President Obama's tenure in the White House is higher than at any time in either of W's terms in office.  Obama = .10%  W = 1st term it actually fell, 2nd term .06%  
Still too small and too slow, but better than W did in eight years...and Obama did it despite a major recession.

Eye Recommend --- The Mitt Mirage

THE MITT MIRAGE, by Joe Klein -- "The Republican nominee can no longer say for certain what he believes in.",9171,2124397,00.html

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Egypt - Yemen - Tunisia - Sudan - Pakistan...

As I watch the rioting in the Middle East…

what eye thynk: …I try to tell myself that these people live in a world where they are told what to believe and how to think, where all opinions come from and are disseminated by their government and religious leaders with the expectation that they will be accepted as the only truth. 

I try to tell myself that these people are uneducated; that they have no reference point for understanding our democratic concept of an individual’s right of free speech. They cannot know that, in our country, opposing sides of any issue are openly expressed and discussed, that our people are encouraged to voice their opinions--even on issues of government and religion--even in opposition to issues championed by government or religions.

The concept of “non-group think”, that any idea could be created by a single individual and distributed without the knowledge and support of a government or religious assembly is as foreign to them as the ability to breath mud would be to us.

I try to make myself understand, but I keep coming back to this thought:
no civilized society encourages its citizens to voice their discontent by destroying buildings, burning cars or throwing rocks--and no God I know advocates murder in His name.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So, Who Do You Choose for President?

On Wednesday, in response to growing anger over a video made in the U.S. that mocked Mohammed, the American Embassy in Cairo issued a statement, (who issued the statement is not clear though it was not approved by the White House), asking for religious tolerance. This statement was issued hours before the attack on the our mission in Benghazi, Libya. “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

When news of the attack in Benghazi reached Mitt Romney, he seized the moment and, quoting the unauthorized statement from Cairo, (which had been issued hours before the attack, and so obviously was not a response to the attack), accused the President of apologizing for American values while appeasing Islamic extremists. “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.”

President Obama’s actual response was: "The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack, and make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people."

Later, in a statement in the Rose Garden, he said:  "I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives...As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward."

what eye thynk: So who do you choose for President? The man who offered comfort to the victims’ families and vowed justice for their losses or the man who crassly attempted to use the situation for his own political gain?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Romney's Buddy Bibi Wants Another War?

Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel criticized the United States and President Obama for not setting clear “red lines” regarding Iran’s nuclear program, with the expectation that, if Iran were to cross our drawn boundary, we would undertake a military strike. Because we refuse to draw a line in the sand, Mr. Netanyahu believes that the U.S. has no “moral right” to stop Israel from taking military action on its own.

what eye thynk: And Israel has no “moral right” to expect us to jump to their summons if they decide to start a war on their own. We’ve had enough war. We’ve seen enough American lives wasted on nebulous causes promoted by gunslinger attitudes.

Mitt Romney has been quoted as saying that, if he were President, he would check with his buddy Bibi Netanyahu before taking a position on Israel and the Middle East. It appears that Bibi thinks he can force the same obsequious loyalty out of President Obama. Good luck with that.

Mr. Netanyahu may believe that his best buddy status with Mitt Romney and his unquestioning endorsement from Romney patron Sheldon Adelsen give him the right to dictate U.S. foreign policy; but Mitt isn’t running this country and Adelsen is still nothing but a rich casino owner. And if the voters in this country have any sense, that will still be the case on November 7.

In this era of shoot first, ask questions later, United States diplomacy needs to stand tall.  Yes, Iran's nuclear program scares me.  No sane person would want a loose cannon like Ahmadinejad to be one button away from a nuclear weapon; but starting a war to stop a war is not a rational course of action.

Talking may not get you all or exactly what you want, but it won’t squander another young soldier‘s life either. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eye Recommend --- The Shallow End of the Campaign

THE SHALLOW END OF THE CAMPAIGN, New York Times editorial -- "On issue after issue raised in the first weekend of interviews after the conventions, Romney and Ryan actively tried to obscure their positions, as if a clear understanding of their beliefs about taxes, health care or spending would scare away anyone who was listening."

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 10 - Monday Quote(s)

Some of my favorite quotes from the DNC...

monday quote(s):
Ted Strickland -- “Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda shell corporation. Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes.”

Bill Clinton -- “We believe ‘we are all in this together’ is a better philosophy than ‘ you are on your own’…Democracy doesn’t have to be a blood sport. It can be an honorable enterprise.”

Michelle Obama -- “(Barack Obama) believes that when you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
And these three by Barack Obama -- “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can't visit the Olympics without insulting your closest ally.”

“Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feeling a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, reel back some regulations and call us in the morning.”

“If you turn away now--if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn’t possible…well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void: lobbyists and special interests; the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are making it harder for you to vote: Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should make for themselves. Only you can make sure that doesn’t happen...if you believe in a country where everyone gets a far shot and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules, then I need you to vote this November.”

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Quick Fact

Hundreds of pounds of tar balls and a large tar mat have washed ashore in Louisiana and Arkansas in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac prompting officials to close miles of beaches and restrict fishing along an area of the Gulf Coast there. Tests run by Louisiana State University have confirmed that the oil matches the biological fingerprint of the oil that washed up from the huge BP Deep Horizon explosion in 2010. Testing shows that the oil has not degraded much which means it is resting in shallow trenches and not moving or dispersing. Joel Hayworth, researcher at Auburn University where further analysis is being done, said “We’re in year three and this seems to be the new normal for the Gulf Coast. For some unforeseeable time, this is going to be the new normal for the beach”. BP said some of the oil may not be from their well, but they say they will clean up this new mess.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flip-flop Friday - Romney on the Economy

"Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress (had) dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could have signed that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they'll be doing…And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that's one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed." -- Mitt Romney, when asked about then President-elect Obama’s $750 billion economic stimulus package during a January 4, 2009 interview with Wolf Blitzer.

“No time, nowhere, no how” -- Mitt Romney, when asked about the exact same stimulus package at a town hall meeting in Goffstown, New Hampshire on September 28, 2011

what eye thynk: So, apparently if the stimulus package had been passed by W. it would have been a good thing, but because it was passed by Obama, it is a bad thing?

Republican stimulus = good. Democratic stimulus = bad.

And THAT attitude--which the Republicans have carried over into every issue, no matter how small or how large--is exactly what has all but crippled this country for the past four years. 

Note to the Republican Party:  "Compromise" is not a dirty word; and "No" is not a plan.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Do You Want a President Who Thinks Truth is Irrelevant? Romney is Your Man!

In early August, when Mitt Romney was questioned by the media about the factual haziness in some of his television ads, he said that he believed “the various fact checkers”, not the media, should decide what was appropriate and what was not. By late August, he had changed his mind, with Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse stating “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers”.

what eye thynk: Right! Why let facts get in the way of a little campaigning? Truth is for losers!

The whole truth vs. falsehood argument came to a head in late August after the Romney campaign began airing vitriolic television ads claiming that President Obama had “gutted” the work-for-welfare requirement. Fact checkers from every spectrum have condemned this claim as completely false.

What President Obama did was give states some leeway in applying the work requirement. This is the same type of flexibility that Republican governors asked for seven years ago, including then Gov. Mitt Romney.

But the fact that these ads are based on an out and out lie will not deter the Romney campaign from continuing to air them. They plan on ignoring media criticism and will spend vast amounts of money on them because, as Ashley O’Connor, advertising strategist for the Romney campaign, told ABCNews, the welfare ad is “our most effective ad”. In other words, truth is irrelevant if it gets you what you want.  (I wonder if that’s something Mr. Romney learned in Mormon Sunday School. Maybe the Book of Mormon only has nine commandments?)

It is like the Republicans live in a parallel universe that only they can see; a universe where up is down, black is white, where facts are malleable and where attaining power is a panacea to be treasured above all else--even if it means giving up your soul to achieve it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quick Facts - Theatre of the Absurd Edition

In 2008, the city of San Francisco planned to paint their bike lanes to add an additional layer of safety for their bike riders.  This plan has been delayed for four years because of a lawsuit filed by a local resident claiming bike lanes cause pollution.  Huh?


A federal judge in Boston has decided that the Massachusetts Department of Corrections must provide sex change surgery for a male inmate who wants to become a woman.  The inmate is serving a life sentence for murder. Judge Mark L. Wolf says that denying the inmate the surgery he wants would be cruel and unusual punishment because the inmate is so miserable living as a man.  Note to Judge Wolf: He's supposed to be miserable--he's in prison for murder!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Republican Poster Child for "We Built It" Turns Out to be Anything But

Sher Valenzuela, Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Delaware and a Latina small business owner, spoke at the Republican National Convention on August 28. She, along with her husband, own a small upholstery business that currently employs approximately 40 people. The Republicans chose to highlight her speech by giving her a primetime slot to emphasize their “We Built It” convention theme.

what eye thynk:   Choosing Ms. Valenzuela to speak at the RNC was undoubtedly viewed by them as great P.R. What better way to promote the GOP party mantra that small businesses are born solely through entrepreneurship and built wholly with personal sweat equity, than to present a woman--and a Hispanic woman to boot--as the prime example of how hard work pays off?

Unfortunately, Ms. Valenzuela is not the perfect poster child they advertised.

I’m going to skip right over the obvious, (her goods are moved on public roads, her business depends on municipal utilities, etc.), and point out her even more blatant I-built-it-alone lie.

In 1998, working with the Small Business Administration, (a federal government agency) and the Delaware Small Business Development and Technology Center, (a state government agency), Ms. Valenzuela received a $20,000 express loan so she and her husband could rent storage space beyond what they were using in their own garage.

In 1999, she and her husband were able to gain larger contracts with the assistance of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, (a federal government sub-agency within the Small Business Administration).

In 2002, Ms. Valenzuela bragged “We got two loans from the SBA…!” The SBA gave them a $96,000 loan to “modernize and expand our inventory” and, because “the 9/11 tragedy challenged our very existence”, a $65,800 “disaster loan to maintain our business and employees”. 

In each year between 2006 and 2011, the Valenzuelas received at least $1.5M in government contracts--contracts that the PTAC helped them to find.

In all, the Valenzuelas have received $2M in loans from the SBA as well as $15M in government contracts, (about two thirds of those non-competitive), through the PTAC. For someone who is supposed to exemplify the we-built-it-alone-no-government-assistance-needed mantra of the Republican party, she sure seems to have used a lot of government money to run her company.

Ms. Valenzuela continues to use government resources to operate her business and encourages others to do the same. In 2001, in a presentation given to a group of women entrepreneurs, she told them to “start with the no cost/low-cost resources that you, the taxpayer, have already paid for”, calling the loans and free business advice available from government agencies her “BIGGEST secret weapon!”.

And Ms. Valenzuela is not the only business owner who has given up their personal integrity to promote the Romney campaign. One among other entreprenueurs being used by the Republican machine to criticize President Obama is Jack Gilchrist, owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, who stars in a Romney ad criticizing President Obama for his “You didn’t build that” line.

Mr. Gilchrist received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds as well as a loan “somewhere South of $500,000" from the SBA plus matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center . His explanation? “I’m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government. As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting some of my tax money back." (“Some” of his tax money back? $1.8M?!) “Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available.”

No, shame on you, Mr. Gilchrist, for appearing in an ad that suggests otherwise. And shame on you Ms.Valenzuela for allowing yourself to be used to advance a lie.

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3 - Monday Quote

And now it's the Democrats turn...

monday quote:  I'm not a member of any organized political party.  I'm a Democrat.  (Will Rogers, actor, 1879-1935)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eye Recommend --- Apparently This Matters: Whale Puke

APPARENTLY THIS MATTERS:  WHALE PUKE, by Jarrett Bellini -- "So why, then, is a giant glob of whale barf worth more than a luxury car?"  (It's Sunday on a holiday weekend; what better time to forget politics for a minute and enjoy a good laugh.)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Eye Recommend --- Letter to the Editor

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR, NYTimes -- I'm reproducing this in its entirety.  It is a succinct and well written letter.  Wish I'd written it myself: 

     I am a member of President Obama’s base of supporters. I am disappointed in him because of his failure to sell his achievements to the American people. He inherited two wars and the worst recession since the Great Depression. He also inherited a Congress that was more interested in getting re-elected than in working in the best interests of the American people.
     We have a Supreme Court that feels money is the equivalent of free speech, and so more money is being spent in this election than in any previous election. This money is being spent by both parties to spread lies and half-truths.
     I do not like the America envisioned by Mitt Romney and Paul D. Ryan, in which taxes are cut and there is no safety net for the poor, weak and disabled except for private charities — and in which the primary motive for Americans is to accumulate wealth with no regard for our climate, for the health and education of our children or for the rest of the world.
Newton, Mass., Aug. 31, 2012

Eye Recommend --- The GOP Fact Vacuum

THE GOP FACT VACUUM, by Charles M. Blow -- "Sally Kohn, a contributor to Fox News, said:
'Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech'."