“…It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings…” – 319 U.S. 624 West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (No. 591) 
Yesterday evening from Mitt Romney (r), via Twitter:
Mitt Romney @MittRomney
Robert Jeffress says “you can’t be saved by being a Jew,“ and “Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.” He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
8:42 PM – 13 May 2018
Today, from Representative Vicky Hartzler (r):
Rep. Vicky Hartzler @RepHartzler
Historic day as the U.S. moves our embassy to #Jerusalem. Is long overdue to recognize Jerusalem as the Capitol of Israel. God established it as such over 3,000 years ago! 2 Chronicles 6:6
7:59 AM – 14 May 2018
Some of the responses:
Except for the fact that we should not be basing our foreign policy decisions in 2018 on a book that was written 3000 years ago!
Is that like Two Corinthians??? Still believing in fairy tales…and u are in the House of Representatives!
Waiting for the Rapture?
Every time god wanted a peace of land it was a one sided issue. Your just cashing in on something that makes you sound like you give a care about religion! Or was that not you trying to pull hlthcare away from the poorest among us? Wake up folks! #BlueWave2018
America has blood on their hands of innocent children as the result of this action! WWJD?
Freaking Clueless, people are dying today ~ right this minute bc of your party’s clueless actions! Tragic!
Awe, how cute….Vicky senses the Rapture is near…you know, when Jesus rides a dinosaur into Israel and converts all Jews into Christians.
Al Jazeera English @AJEnglish
UPDATE: Israeli forces kill at least 41 Palestinians protesting in Gaza and injures more than 1,700. Follow our live coverage:[….]
8:40 AM – 14 May 2018
From Governor Mitt Romney (r), via Facebook:
This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz.
Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.
The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.
I like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.
I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican.
It’s the world they created, now they have to live in it.
Tomorrow we chose whether or not we want to return to politics of the gilded age or if we are committed to sustaining a democracy that makes middle class prosperity possible. A few thoughts from around and about on the nature of the choice:
Greg Sargent on the “post-truth” candidate:
If there is one constant to this campaign, it’s that Romney has startled many observers by operating from the basic premise that there is literally no set of boundaries he needs to follow when it comes to the veracity of his assertions, the transparency he provides about his fundraising and finances, and the specificity of his plans for the country. […]
But this goes well beyond Romney’s claims about Obama. It also concerns what he would do as president. Romney’s own campaign has proven unable to back up the promises in his 12 million jobs plan, even though it is the centerpiece of his governing agenda and his response to the most pressing problem facing the nation. …
Jonathan Cohn on President Obama’s record:
By any reasonable standard, no president since LBJ accomplished as much on domestic policy. And LBJ didn’t have to contend with the same political obstacles. The public wasn’t as skeptical of government. Conservatives didn’t have (quite) as much power to obstruct. Obama made plenty of mistakes, about policy and about tactics, but he also fought the good fight-and, more important, he did so when it was difficult. He didn’t let the auto industry die, even though the polls said it would be unpopular. He didn’t let Republicans roll him on food stamps on Medicaid, even though it would have helped him achieve an elusive spending deal. He didn’t drop health care reform-not in January, 2009, when advisers warned him it would be difficult; not in August, 2009, when the Tea Party protests exploded; and not in January, 2010, when Scott Brown’s election made enactment seem impossible.
Obama staked his political life on these gambits. With this election, progressives can help decide whether he made the right bet. And if they don’t? The damage to progressive causes could last a long time.
Nick Kristoff on Romney and the GOP war on women:
… But whatever we call it, something real is going on here at home that would mark a major setback for American women – and the men who love them.
On these issues, Mitt Romney is no moderate. On the contrary, he is considerably more extreme than President George W. Bush was. …
Here’s the raw numbers from SurveyUSA, 10/28-11/3/2012, for KSDK-TV, KSHB-TV, KSPR-TV and KYTV-TV, 589 likely voters:
If the election for President were today, would you vote for … (choices rotated) Republican Mitt Romney? Democrat Barack Obama? Or one of the other candidates?
Mitt Romney (R) 50%
Barack Obama (D) 43%
Missouri will also elect a Governor. If the election for Governor were today, would you vote for … (choices rotated) Republican Dave Spence? Democrat Jay Nixon? Or Libertarian Jim Higgins?
Dave Spence (R) 39%
Jay Nixon (D) 48%
Jim Higgins (L) 5%
Missouri will also elect a United States Senator. If the election for US Senate were today, would you vote for … (choices rotated) Republican Todd Akin? Democrat Claire McCaskill? Or Libertarian Jonathan Dine?
Todd Akin (R) 36%
Claire McCaskill (D) 51%
Jonathan Dine (L) 8%
So let’s go into the details
The first detail worth noting is that on a survey with the sample of 38% Republicans and 31% Democrats, Claire McCaskill leads by 15 points. Yes, that is possible.
SurveyUSA finds McCaskill leading by 24% (55-31) with Independents. She wins 67% of Moderates and 20% of Conservatives (81% of the electorate). She wins 47% of landlines and 61% of non-landlines. SurveyUSA uses a system where “Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (28% of likely voters) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, laptop or other electronic device”.
That landline number is 47-40 Claire. That’s important, compared to the landline-only Public Policy Polling results, where Claire leads 48-44. While the whole cellphone/landline debate hasn’t exactly produced any real consensus about the impact of being landline-only or being landline/cellphone/others. The SurveyUSA numbers move closer to the PPP numbers when you compare their numbers on the exact method uses to survey voters.
(for reference: SurveyUSA landline numbers for President were 55/40 Romney and Nixon 47/Spence 45)
Another difference between SurveyUSA and Public Policy is the partisan composition of their universes.
SurveyUSAs sample: 38R/31D/29I (as noted)
PPP’s (.pdf) sample: 36R/33D/32I
So Claire’s numbers are better on a +7R SurveyUSA than a +3R PPP? Yes, that’s possible.
Public Policy says that Claire and Akin are tied with Independents and that Akin wins 79% of Republicans, instead of the 67% that SurveyUSA put in the Akin column.
If you get wild and creative, you could combine the Public Policy sample, and SurveyUSA party numbers, then you get the following numbers:
President: Romney 48, Obama 46
Senator: Claire 54, Akin 35
Governor: Nixon 50, Spence 39
If you combine the SurveyUSA sample and Public Policy numbers, you get:
President: Romney 54, Obama 43
Senator: Claire 45, Akin 45
Governor: Nixon 50, Spence 46
So that sets up a fun little universe of possibilities if you mix your drinks. (Although the Romney v. Obama numbers from Mason-Dixon were the same as Blunt/Carnahan numbers (54/41). But that’s Mason-Dixon.)
If Claire McCaskill finishes ahead of Jay Nixon, the SurveyUSA method is going to be vindicated and/or we will have wound up in a world we didn’t expect to be in back on August 7th.
If she doesn’t do that well, then the universe continues undisturbed. Because it’s not like the varying success of non-landline methods has stopped Reuters/Ipsos, YouGov, and other online-friendly pollsters. Sometimes pollsters like SurveyUSA get a direct hit (McCain 48, Obama 48). Sometimes they miss slightly (Claire 51, Talent 42). Polling is sort of like a science.
The Presidential race in Missouri is pretty much two campaigns who only run ads in the parts of Missouri whose TV stations cover Iowa. But in all likelyhood, the better Obama does, the better the rest of the Democrats do in the election and the Missouri Democratic ticket probably runs slightly ahead of Obama.
In 2012, We live in a very surreal state. And in a few days, we’ll begin the process of forgetting Todd Akin, Dave Spence and Mitt Romney.
Left overnight on the windshield of a vehicle parked in a driveway in a residential neighborhood in a small town in west central Missouri.
This is what passes these days for a republican presidential campaign GOTV operation in Missouri.
I just wanted to let you know that some knucklehead vandalized your car by slapping an Obama sticker on it. The last thing you want is to be driving around all day looking like an idiot.
A Good Samaritan
Gee, it’s not even an original idea:
LETTER: Reply to supermarket note-leaver (July 10, 2012)
Right wingnuts are doing this all over the country.
This is why Mitt Romney (r) will lose the election.
Instead of knocking on doors and engaging voters directly, or working a phone bank, or doing a literature drop a whole bunch of people have spent time implementing this and placing it on vehicles.
Remind me now, who’s the fucking idiot?
According to Talking Points Memo, Todd Akin’s got a super PAC – a real one – behind him and they’re ponying up $800,000 to place ads asking folks to vote for Akin because he’ll help tip Senate support to a potential Romney administration. Guess they haven’t seen the latest polls or else they wouldn’t be counting their chickens before they’re hatched. It doesn’t necessarily look like there’s going to be a President Romney.
Be that as it may, the Now or Never Pac, which supported Sarah Steelman in the primary contest, is, to put it gently, kind of holding its metaphorical nose and sneering at old Todd as it tosses money in his direction:
Todd Akin may have not been our first choice for Republican nominee in the race to replace Claire McCaskill,” said Tyler Harber, the group’s spokesman. “But, Congressman Akin plays an important role in securing the Senate chamber.”
Respectable GOP contempt aside, it might be just what Akin needs. Missourians have definitely gone rampaging off the reservation into wild, red territory in the past couple of years – it’s hard to believe that Akin polls as high as he does without positing some sort of mass insanity. Add to that fact that no matter what his overall chances are, Romney is likely to take Missouri (although we’ve still got to work our tails off to get out the vote and gin up Obama’s share of the popular vote), and he could possibly pull Akin along with him. A last minute money boost with a “take your medicine for Romney and the GOP” message might be just what the GOP doctor ordered.
UPDATE: The Missouri Republican Party wants to get in on the act. Per Politico, a “a stunning reversal by Texas Sen. John Cornyn and other Senate GOP leaders”:
Rep. Todd Akin and the Missouri Republican Party are launching a nearly $700,000 TV ad blitz in the closing days of his challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, but the source of the funds for the effort is unclear.
These are the first ads run by the Missouri GOP in conjunction with Akin’s campaign. Of the total, $386,000 will come from the Missouri GOP to pay for the ad run, with the remaining supplied by Akin’s committee.
Democrats would undoubtedly pounce on such a move as a sign of Republican hypocrisy.
Yup. But, hey, who ever expected anything else? We watched the GOP batten down the hatches when Mourdock jumped overboard – and understood that they learned their lesson. Times are hard and nobody can afford scruples anymore.
Kevin Horrigan in his Sunday column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch brought up a study (pdf) by a couple of academics that question the practice of “peer benchmarking” CEO salaries in order to keep them from moving on to more lucrative jobs. The idea is that companies have to pay more in order to keep talented CEOs in place. The two researchers, Charles M. Elson and Craig K. Ferrere, question the wisdom of that practice:
… Scholars have long recognized a distinction between firm-specific and general skills. It is quite apparent that successful CEOs leverage not only their intrinsic talents but also, and more importantly, a vast accumulation of firm-specific knowledge developed over a multi-year career. Whether it is deep knowledge of an organization’s personnel or the processes specific to a particular operation, this skill set is learned carefully over a long tenure with a company and not easily capable of quick replication at other firms. In fact, when “superstar” executives change companies, the result is usually disappointing.
Horrigan was interested in the issue of CEO compensation, particularly as it involves Robert R. Archibald, the embattled director of the Missouri Historical Museum. It strikes me, though, that the point is just as apt when applied to businessmen who claim that their business success will allow them to shine as government leaders.
My thoughts went immediately to two GOP candidates for high elective office who want us to believe that they are qualified for those positions because of their past business careers: Missouri gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence, and ex-financial mogul and current presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. However, the Elson and Ferrere study suggests that there is nothing in the background of a successful financier and a plastics manufacturer that would necessarily translate to success in government.
Certainly history suggests that businessmen in government are rarely effective leaders. According to journalist Daniel Akst who consulted with Historian Barbara Perry about the relationship between the success of twentieth century presidents and their earlier careers:
It’s important to know whether a president has worked in business. It’s important because having worked in business is associated with being a lousy president, at least in the modern era.
Recollect that while Mitt Romney was successful in the highly specialized financial realm, he was also by many measures a failure as governor of Massachusetts. The performance of the Massachusetts economy under Romney wasn’t that great to say the least – there’s a reason few in the state support his presidential bid. Although Romney has tried to claim that the fault lay with the Democratic legislature, the current Democratic governor, Patrick Duval together with a largely Democratic legislature has been able to rescue the state from the Bush recession twice as fact as other states. Massachusetts currently ranks in the top 10 states in job growth. So much for Romney’s vaunted claims to understand what makes an economy successful.
Nor, by the measures that Elson and Ferrere suggest, should we assume that Mr. Spence’s success in a very specialized plastics business would translate into the skill set that would allow him to take the reins of a complex state government. As for his more generalized management skills, we have only to examine his to-date feckless, largely self-financed campaign, to get an idea of his ability to run entities that are not organized around a specific body of manufacturing knowledge.
None of this is surprising, of course. Think of successful businessman and colossally failed president Herbert Hoover. Or, to take a more recent example, think back to the hilarious spectacle of real estate tycoon Donald Trump contemplating a run for President and it’s easy to conclude that instead of a savy manager, successful businessmen transplanted to government are apt to prove either inept as in Hoover’s case, or total clowns, as would surely be the case were Trump to ever win office.
Here’s a stormy, relevant and current reason to not vote for Mitt Romney. He wants to decentralize America’s disaster management and throw senior responsibilities to the states.
Essentially, he wants to gut FEMA-which of course worked so well for President Bush.
Bush neglected FEMA, put a horse-guy in charge and then Hurricane Katrina happened. In the words of another Republican from Texas-oops.
So now we have Mitt Romney attempting to backpedal from comments he made during one of those numerous Republican primary debates this year.
Here’s what he said:
“Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.” ~ Gov. Mitt Romney
This is like a child talking. And it shows a completely sophomoric understanding of what real governing entails. Successful governing involves reacting to specific conditions each problem and/or opportunity presents-not using a one-size fits all, I got a hammer-and-the-world’s-full-of-nails approach. This inflexible ideological attitude toward things, like “always cut taxes,” or, “always deregulate”, is what brought to you other things, like the Great Recession.
Eugene Robinson in a Washington Post op-ed shared how Romney further explained his position on disaster management to CNN’s John King:
“King gave him a chance to back off: “Including disaster relief, though?”
Romney didn’t blink. “We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids,” he said, adding that “it is simply immoral . . . to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids.”
If Romney got his way, FEMA would be gone, or at least drowning in a bathtub somewhere. Social Security would be ravaged by the recession having been privatized during Bush. The American auto industry would have been totally parted out… but wait-a-sec, he’s the son of a car-guy, right?
Yeah, he might be, but as secret tax returns prove, Mitt R is not your father’s George R.
And that being the case, Mitt wanted to part-out Detroit. So he’s not the kind of car guy that builds cars, he’s more like the junkyard car-guy.
Kind of like outsourcing-he sees-no, he knows- the financial benefits to be accrued at the top when breaking apart something into small pieces, selling them off. So now he’s affixed this one-size-fits-all philosophy onto his political palette.
White canvass, one color; splash goes the economy. Trickle-down.
Everything gets parted-out to the states, or “even better,” to the private sector.
Problem is, national disasters are exactly that-national. So breaking FEMA down into individual state programs would invite a logistics catastrophe while our nation attempts to metabolize a multi-state superstorm like Sandy, or Katrina. It’s ridiculous thinking to privatize emergency management, or part-out FEMA. But this kind of moronic, elitist B.S. has come from his mouth and mind before, hasn’t it?
“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt”
Romney is desperately trying to distance himself from the New York Times op-ed he wrote in 2008, entitled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” His campaign has Google ads in place ready to capture any online reconnoiter about what he meant. His campaign would like you to know he didn’t actually say that in the body of the article and that the Times had purposely conjured an inartful rubric and slapped it on his sage business advice for the hemorrhaging U.S. auto industry.
But what he did say was totally wrong:
“IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.”
Oops. But bottom line, even if the Times wrote the “Detroit Go Bankrupt” headline, Romney agreed to put his name on it. Just like the President agrees to put his name on the product of many of the administration’s collaborators-the buck stops there.
And here’s the point, regardless of the detail in the op-ed, allowing that kind of message to go out as representative of a former Presidential candidate’s (Romney’s 2008 run) position shows how completely tone-deaf, callous and irresponsible the man really is. It also foreshadows his political ineptitude and naiveté with several other campaign-road debacles. Like when he went to London and insulted their Olympics. Or the things he said about the irresponsible 47% (half of America) or how Republicans should be very worried that Latinos and African-Americans are gaining more political power with each progressing day. He said something like, “that would be bad for our nation and party.” Un-huh.
As Colin Powell intimated in his recent endorsement for President Obama, Romney is unstable, inconsistent and has zee-row political core or backbone. He’s a wind-sock. Don’t vote for a wind-sock. Vote for the skinny guy with the weird name.
So why was Romney nicer to Bob Schieffer than he was to Candy Crowley? No talking over the moderator tonight, no efforts to steam-roll everyone in earshot? The worst we got was lots of wandering, seemingly pointless, but, I have to admit, very high-speed yammering.
Could Romney’s earlier behavior been been due to the fact that Crowley’s a woman? In my past life in management, I encountered lots of men who consistently tried to talk over female colleagues, and Romney seems to be the type. It was great watching Crowley shoot him down.
But, but, you stammer, he was just as rude to Jim Lehrer, another white male. But, of course, Lehrer is a retired (hence, non-threatening) broadcaster from PBS which Romney’s supporters revile as the lair of the liberal media they fantasize about interminably. Wipe the floor with Lehrer, they all cheer.
Speculation aside, I’m guessing Romney’s gentle stammering and pleading glances were simply an awkward effort to steal himself some undecided or wavering voters, particularly women. There are some indications that the mutual aggression on display in the last debate wasn’t going over well with that particular group. Too bad most of us are just as turned off by would-be leaders who give the impression they’re cringing in the corner while daddy tells them to take a time out and promise not to ever, ever fib again.