Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Not Needed – A Return of the NeoCon War Party

If You Liked the Iraq War, You'll Love Romney's Foreign Policy

By Robert Creamer
Beaver County Peace Links via HuffPost

Romney's trip abroad has demonstrated that his foreign policy operation is "bush league" in more ways than one.

By now the entire world has gotten a chance to see that Mitt Romney is no foreign policy or diplomatic genius.

He went to Britain and insulted his host's preparation for the Olympic Games -- leading major British papers to run banner headlines like: "Mitt the Twitt" and "Nowhere Man."

He massively damaged whatever ability he might have had to broker Middle East peace were he elected president by theorizing that the economic difficulties of Palestinians stemmed from their inferior "culture."

On his visit to Poland, Romney received the endorsement of former Polish President and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. The Polish Solidarity union itself -- with which Walesa is no longer associated -- responded by issuing a statement attacking Romney as an enemy of working people.

Romney's debut on the foreign policy stage opened to horrible reviews.

He seems to insult people wherever he travels. He has demonstrated that he is completely tone-deaf -- that he has no ability to understand what other people hear when he speaks. That's bad enough in domestic politics -- but it disqualifies a leader from effectively representing the interests of the United States in dealings with other countries.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Blaming the Victim, Romney Launches Racist Attack on Palestinian 'Culture'

JERUSALEM (AP) — Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who called his comments racist and out of touch.

"As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who breakfasted around a U-shaped table at the luxurious King David Hotel.

The reaction of Palestinian leaders to Romney's comments was swift and pointed.

"It is a racist statement and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"It seems to me this man (Romney) lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people," Erekat added. "He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority."

The economic disparity between the Israelis and the Palestinians is actually much greater than Romney stated. Israel had a per capita gross domestic product of about $31,000 in 2011, while the West Bank and Gaza had a per capita GDP of just over $1,500, according to the World Bank.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Eye Chart for GOP Apologists

One Chart, 10,000 Words:


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Romney's 'Free Stuff' Speech Is a New Low

Dissing the Black Vote, Pandering to the Racist Vote

By Matt Taibbi

Progressive America Rising via Rolling Stone

Wow. If you live long enough, you’ll see some truly gross things in politics, but Mitt Romney’s work this past week "courting black support" was enough to turn even the strongest stomach.

Romney really showed us something in his luridly self-congratulating N.A.A.C.P. gambit, followed by the awesomely disgusting "free stuff" post-mortem speech he delivered the next night in front of friendlier audiences. The twin appearances revealed the candidate to be not merely unlikable, and not merely a fatuous, unoriginal hack of a politician, but also a genuinely repugnant human being, a grasping corporate hypocrite with so little feel for how to get along with people that he has to dream up elaborate schemes just to try to pander to the mob.

At first, it was hard to say what exactly Romney was thinking when he decided to address the N.A.A.C.P. He plunged into the speech with a creepy kamikaze smile and a rushed, weird (even for him) delivery, acting like someone proud of what a ballsily moronic dare he was attempting – like a high school kid mooning a squad car from the back of a school bus, or Peter McNeeley rushing face-first into the ring with Mike Tyson.

Now, it would have been one thing if Romney had put some real thought into this, if he had taken a day or two or three and really pondered the question of why 90% of black voters vote Democratic. That’s a serious question, and it would have been something if Romney had really attempted to bridge what has turned into a disturbingly ugly gap between most nonwhite Americans and political conservatives.

Without accepting blame or admitting guilt, he could have talked about the increasingly strident tone of the national debate over racially charged issues, and wondered aloud if politicians on both sides perhaps needed to find a new way to talk about these things without fearmongering, stereotyping, or trading accusations. He could have met the racial-tension issue head on, in other words, just by saying out loud the simple truth that white and nonwhite Americans, and Democrats and Republicans both, need to find more civilized ways to talk about their political concerns. If he had owned the problem, that would have been a big step forward, for all of us.

Of course, that’s expecting a lot. But even if he had just come up with a fresh, earnest new way to articulate the conservative argument, something beyond the usual sloganeering, that would have been really interesting.

But he didn’t. He came out with the same half-assed, platitude-filled stump speech he usually doles out at campaign stops, literally the same exact speech, only he added quotes from Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Hooks, and Dr. King. As he told a mostly white audience in Montana the next night: “I gave them the same speech I am giving you.” He seemed almost proud of the fact that he didn’t put any extra thought into what he was going to say in his first big address to black America. If some speeches feel like a verbal embrace, Romney’s felt like a stack of cardboard emptied from the bay of a dump truck. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Challenge to the Left: Obama Sinks to Historic Lows Among Blue-Collar White Males


By Ronald Brownstein
National Journal

The new Quinnipiac University and ABC/Washington Post national surveys out this week converge on one key conclusion: as the election nears, President Obama is sinking to historic lows among the group most consistently hostile to him.

Throughout his career on the national stage, Obama has struggled among white men without a college education. But in these latest surveys, he has fallen to a level of support among them lower than any Democratic nominee has attracted in any election since 1980, according to an upcoming National Journal analysis of exit polls from presidential elections.

Though pollsters at each organization caution that the margins of error are substantial when looking at subgroups such as this, each poll shows erosion within that margin of error for Obama with these working-class white men. The new Quinnipiac poll shows Obama attracting just 29 percent of non-college white men, down from 32 percent in their most recent national survey in April, according to figures provided by Douglas Schwartz, April Radocchio and Ralph Hansen of Quinnipiac. The ABC/Washington Post survey found Obama drawing just 28 percent of non-college white men, down from 34 percent in their May survey, according to figures provided by ABC Pollster Gary Langer. Romney drew 56 percent of the non-college white men in Quinnipiac and 65 percent in the ABC/Washington Post survey.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Will Young People Vote This Year?

Key 2012 Demographic: 30% of

Young Voters Still Undecided

By Susan Saulny
Progressive America Rising via The New York Times

Maria Verdugo, a 20-year-old graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, barely remembers the presidential election of 2008 -- the one that spawned a youth movement that was singular in its scope and political effectiveness -- except for "something about Obama saying we needed a change."

These days, Ms. Verdugo is so busy working to pay off her student loans that she has not decided whether to register "as a Democrat, a Republican, or what," she says.

Chad Tevlin, 19, a student trying to pay for college by cleaning portable toilets in South Bend, Ind., cannot recall if he registered to vote at all. "Pointless" is how he describes politics.

And Kristen Klenke, a music student in central Michigan, has decided to skip this election altogether. "I know it sounds horrible," said Ms. Klenke, 20. "But there's a lot of discouragement going around."

In the four years since President Barack Obama swept into office in large part with the support of a vast army of youth, a new corps of young men and women have come of voting age with views shaped largely by the recession. And unlike their counterparts in the Millennial generation who showed high levels of enthusiasm for Mr. Obama at this point in 2008, the nation's first-time voters are less enthusiastic about him, are significantly more likely to identify as conservative and cite a growing lack of faith in government in general, according to interviews, experts and recent polls.

Polls show that Americans younger than 30 are still inclined to support Mr. Obama by a wide margin. But the president may face a particular challenge among those voters ages 18 to 24. In that age group, his lead over Mitt Romney -- 12 points -- is about half what it is among 25- to 29-year-olds, according to an online survey this spring by the Harvard Institute of Politics. And among whites in the younger group, Mr. Obama's lead vanishes altogether.

Among all 18- to 29-year-olds, the poll found a high level of undecided voters -- 30 percent indicated that they have not yet made up their mind. And turnout among this group is expected to be significantly lower than for older voters.

"The concern for Obama, and the opportunity for Romney, is in the 18- to 24-year-olds who don't have the historical or direct connection to the campaign or the movement of four years ago," said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics.

Experts say the impact of the recession and slow recovery should not be underestimated. The newest potential voters -- some 17 million people -- have been shaped more by harsh economic times in their formative years than anything else, and that force does not tend to be galvanizing in a positive way.

Indeed, for 18- and 19-year-olds, the unemployment rate as of May was 23.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For those ages 20 to 24, the rate falls to 12.9 percent, compared with the national unemployment rate for all ages, at 8.2 percent. The impact of the recession on the young had created a disillusionment about politics in general, several experts suggested.

Today, specifically, the youngest potential voters are more likely than their older peers to think that it is important to protect individual liberties from government, the Harvard data suggest, and less likely to think that it is important to tackle things like climate change, immigration reform or health care. Mr. Tevlin, for instance, found the Supreme Court's upholding of the Affordable Care Act troubling. "I don't think the government should force you to buy anything," he said.

Brandon Dennis is one voter who says he is open to someone new. Mr. Dennis, 20, comes from a black family of Obama supporters. But when he came of age to vote, he registered as an independent. He is listening to Mr. Romney's appeals. "This time, it's more about what you're going to do for the economy," said Mr. Dennis, a chemistry major at Clark Atlanta University.

First Published 2012-07-02 00:22:09


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