May 11, 2012
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Lately there’s been a lot of focus by my fellow liberals on alleged bullying actions by Romney during his high school years including cutting a kid’s hair and closing the door in a blind teacher’s face. Here’s all I need to know:
1. There’s no pictures or video.
2. It happened 50 years ago.
No one is going to vote against Romney because of some high school bullying that people hazily remember from 50 years ago. Nobody. Now, people who were already against Romney might say “See? Just as I suspected, he’s a dick.” But nobody who is unbiased with regards to Romney is going to say that some shit he pulled in high school should outweigh everything he’s done since then. People change, and 50 years is a long time. No one cares about what politicians did in high school.
But more importantly, focusing on what Mitt Romney did in high school makes Romney look good. Why? Because today, Romney’s even more of a dick than he was then:
- He urged Obama to pass the individual mandate, then attacked him for having an individual mandate in his plan, lying about his prior position.
- There’s also the time he did the same thing with the auto bailouts, but in reverse.
- Almost all of his top donors are from the banking industry, meaning that if he wins, he’ll pretty much have to do whatever the banks say or lose a huge chunk of his funding in 2016.
- Romney has refused to disclose his campaign bundlers so far, except for 22 registered lobbyists, which he is required to disclose by federal law. Romney is the first major candidate since the start of the 2000 elections to refuse to disclose bundlers. In fact, many campaigns like to disclose bundlers in order to give credit to them – that is, unless the bundlers are particularly embarrassing. Obama has disclosed his bundlers and does not accept donations from registered lobbyists.
- While Obama gets 45% of his money from small donors, Romney gets just 11% from small donors, depending heavily on a small number of large donors.
- He’s had at least one Swiss bank account that we’re aware of, and has never given a satisfactory explanation of why he had it. As one defensive article puts it: “Swiss bank accounts aren’t just for criminals trying to hide their monetary tracks. They’re also popular among people in countries with unstable banks, monetary policies or governments, because they provide added privacy and security for assets.” So either Romney, who is a banker-politician, thinks our government and banks are extremely unstable, or he is a criminal trying to hid his money tracks. Take your pick. Whatever the case is, Romney’s finances – both his personal finances and his campaign’s – are among the most secretive of any major candidate in recent history.
- And in case you thought Romney just had a thing for Switzerland, he also has millions in the Cayman Islands. Did you know the Cayman Islands are the world’s second biggest tax haven? I wonder what first is. Oh right, Switzerland. Still waiting for that explanation, although I figure that if Romney wanted to explain why he had these accounts he wouldn’t have put them in the first and second most secretive banking nations in the world.
- His tax rate was 13.9% on $21.7 million in 2011. At least, that’s his tax rate on the income the IRS knows about.
There are others too – the roof-dog, the abortion excommunication, the “who let the dogs out” fiasco, etc. But those stories have all been covered to death and frankly, have little relevance to his performance as president. The real issues are that Mitt Romney 1) has zero consistency on issues of national importance 2) lies about what positions he’s taken in the past, and 3) has allowed himself to become dependent on the banking industry for money, 4) has refused to provide us with information about who is supporting his campaign, and 5) either is very aggressively avoiding his duty as an American to contribute his fair share in taxes, or if not that, won’t say what he is actually doing with offshore bank accounts that makes it appear that way.
I’d much rather have a president who hated on gay kids and blind teachers when he was young than someone who right now has no moral compass and is obsessed with profit. Unfortunately, the Democrats, in usual form, will probably screw this up by focusing on ancient history instead of what matters right now.
Factcheck.org reviews a widely-run ad by the Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity group, which claims that the stimulus was mostly spent on overseas projects like traffic lights in China and a solar plant in Mexico.
The verdict? Complete bollocks. I would say that the ad is heavily misleading in that it claims the projects are overseas when they are being done here with parts from overseas. However, even that would be too charitable to AFP – the projects are in the US, and most of the projects were required to use US-made parts. Instead, the ad is making these claims because some of the parts of the parts being used in these projects may have been made overseas.
Once you go that far – claiming projects were done overseas when a tiny fraction of the parts were made overseas – there’s no longer any reason to even attempt to have a grain of truth. You might as well just start making shit up and saying Obama is an evil robot-alien that eats white babies for breakfast. The ad is not only untrue, it’s the opposite of true – it criticizes the stimulus for building projects overseas when they were actually built overheres.
Of course, the Koch brothers don’t care about where the stimulus money went. They’re oil billionaires – they make the same oil billions whether jobs are created here or in China. Instead, what they really want is to get you to vote politicians into office that will allow them to pollute as much as they want. Because they’re Captain Planet villains who would rather watch the whole planet die instead of losing a penny to regulation. And they think the American people are such incredible suckers that they can be fooled with blatant lies like the ones in this ad. Are they right? We’ll find out soon enough.
I’ve been on a sort of unofficial hiatus. I’ve been busy with stuff in my personal life, and I have another project I’ve been working on. Also I’m bit annoyed with this site because the new WordPress dashboard is bullocks. I’m not British but I like saying “bullocks.” We should use “bullocks” more if we ever hope to advance as a society.
But I do like this blog and speculating about random shit and having no one read about it. I mean writing comments on Huffington Post is ok and I usually get some nice comments, but I hate the impermanence and shallowness of it. So I’ll post again here sometime soon.