The Strangest Campaign in Memory
"We own this country."
-Clint EastwoodDid you happen to check out last night's conclusion of the 2012 Clown Car Race-to-the-Bottom? If this is the best the GOP can do for der Mittster's Coming Out party they're in worse shape than I thought. It was a dud and-a-half from beginning to end. And did you catch Clint Eastwood's pathetic Bob Newhart impersonation? Painful and embarrassing! What the hell were they thinking when they allowed him to go out there unscripted? The very sight of him debating that empty chair gave me the same kind of almost sympathetic feeling I got watching Michael Moore interviewing a feeble-minded Charlton Heston in the film Bowling for Columbine. As George Carlin might have said, it's time to "check his calender". Too sad for words.
That this bit of "theater" backfired on the Romney Show is already accepted wisdom. This morning almost everyone is talking about Clint's little routine. Mitt's acceptance speech has been relegated to the back burner of our national conversation. The headline above Jonathon Chait's article on New York Magazine's website this morning pretty much summed up the feeling:
"Mitt Romney: More Effective Than Clint Eastwood"
Well now! Who could disagree with that assessment? Honestly, this is turning out to be the strangest presidential contest in two centuries; since the Adams/Jefferson debacle of 1804 - and it's not even close to being over! As Al Jolson liked to say back in the day, "Folks, you ain't seen nothin' yet!" Indeed. All of this unintentional comedy is getting to be a bit much to digest. These sure are interesting times, are they not? I can't get enough of this stuff. Seriously.
I only got to focus clearly on the evening's festivities after the fact, in the wee small hours of the morning when the event was replayed on the cable news channels. During the live telecast I got too intoxicated to even describe, and by the time Mitt stepped up to the podium, I was very wasted and my memory of the night is a fog. I have found that it is easier to deal with the grim realities of America's political nightmare by having vast quantities of vodka at hand. Such was the case when Governor Romney accepted his party's nomination on Thursday night. Please don't try this at home, boys and girls.Romney's speech was quite interesting - not so much for the content - but for the audience's reaction to it. On every weird talking point the people reacted as expected, with wild and unrestrained applause. The only exception was when he suggested that the government had a responsibility to take care of the less fortunate. The only thing I could hear at that point were the crickets chirping. There must have been some kind of record set last night. Does anyone know of any other incident in history where so many sociopaths gathered in one place? Nuremberg 1936 perhaps? Someone get back to me on that one, okay?
The one part of the night that I must admit moved me was when Mitt described the love his parents, George and Lenore, had for one another. If we can believe Mitt (and you'll forgive me if I'm inclined to doubt everything that comes out of his mouth) theirs was a storybook romance. Every morning as George was leaving for work, he would leave a single, red rose beside Lenore's nightstand. One morning when she awakened to find no rose, she instinctively knew that her husband must have died. He had. It is a touching story but so what? We're electing a president here - not the CEO of Harlequin Romance Novels Inc. I shudder to think how many people last night decided on Romney just on the sentimental appeal of that story. Let's get a hold of ourselves.
"The question now is whether voters will understand what’s really going on (which depends to a large extent on whether the news media do their jobs). Mr. Ryan and his party are betting that they can bluster their way through this, pretending that they are the real defenders of Medicare even as they work to kill it. Will they get away with it?"
-Paul Krugman, from this morning's New York Times
I've said this before and I'll go on saying it to my grave: we ignore Krugman to our own detriment.
When Paul Ryan dragged his clueless mom to a campaign stop in Florida a couple of weeks ago, she assured the crowd that her baby would never do something so naughty as giving Medicare the ol' heave-ho. Perish the thought! This is the party that really cares about Medicare, they want us to believe, unlike those evil-doing libs who would love nothing better than throwing poor granny into the socialist meat-grinder. Beautiful! To refresh your memory, this is the party that tried everything possible to defeat Medicare when Lyndon Johnson signed it into existence almost fifty years ago. This is the same party that has been working overtime to kill it ever since. They now want us to swallow the fallacy that they are the saviors of Medicare. Isn't that a scream? They obviously don't have a very high opinion of the intelligence of the American people - with damned good reason I might add.
By the way, watching Paul Ryan bring his mother out on the stage to do his lying for him had to be one of the most desperate acts that has been committed by an American politician since Dick Nixon's "Checkers Speech" on September 23, 1952 - that's damned near sixty years ago! Can you see why I love this job?
As I write these words, Republican governors in key swing states are in the process of denying the vote to the traditional Democratic constituency by means of the so-called "Voter ID" laws. Here's something you can take to the bank, kids: if the polls don't correspond to the results - in other words if Obama loses to Romney despite exit polls that have him clearly ahead - the proverbial shit is going to hit the very real fan. I've got an ominous feeling that most Americans won't look too kindly on a coup d'etat. Expect a mass, nationwide freak out if that happens. We can put this place out of business if we want to. Occupy Wall Street is merely a dry run.
"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed."
-Mitt Romney, Acceptance speech
-Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
So many of the pundits have been calling this campaign a huge disappointment, and as far as substance is concerned I'm inclined to agree. Campaign 2012 is symptomatic of the disintegration of America's political dialogue in the last thirty years. No doubt about it, it's been quite disappointing. Train wrecks are disappointing, too. No one likes to see them - BUT DAMN! - you just can't take your eyes off of them either. Mining comedy out of this fiasco is as easy as gathering snowflakes in a blizzard. It's the gift that keeps giving.
This isn't the first time I've shared this song, and I assure you it won't be the last. Thank you, Leonard Cohen for nailing it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU-RuR-qO4Yamen, brother cohen.
Post #434: Random Observations
"Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity - and I'm not sure about the former."
The following collection of shameless, LEFT WING propaganda were thoughts I had jotted down in my notebook (Yes, some of us still rely on ink and paper) or posted on various SUBVERSIVE websites out in cyberspace. Any similarities to any persons living or dead is purely intentional. Sue me.
1. Shakin' Akin
Despite the calls of his fellow Republican for him to cease his bid for Clair McCaskill's senate seat following his stupid "legitimate rape" remarks last Saturday morning, Missouri congressman Todd Akin insists on staying in the race. He doesn't give a damn about the party he professes devotion to. It's all about his ambition. If he brings them down in November, so be it. Hang in there, Todd!
2. Hindsight is a Funny Thing
From "The Rant", April 2011:
"The religious bigots and crazy people who long ago hijacked the "party of Abraham Lincoln" will never - EVER - nominate a Mormon. As the old Ringo Starr song says: "Pigs will fly and the earth will fry" before that ever happens. David Duke will be named chairman of the NAACP before THAT ever happens"
Okay, so I got that one wrong - but look at the choices they had!
3. Sherrod Brown
His rumpled suits are off-the-rack, he sometimes needs a shave, his haircut is pretty bad, and he always looks like he has a hangover. Is it any wonder why I love Sherrod Brown so much? I never thought anyone could replace Ted Kennedy, and no one has. But Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has come pretty darned close. He is one of the few Democrats in Washington who remember that theirs is the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The moneyed interests (the oil lobby in particular) are spending untold millions to see that he is not reelected in November. He needs our help. Please, if you can afford it (Times are tough, I know) go to his website and make a little donation, okay? Here's a link:
I can't afford to lose Sherrod Brown. Neither can you.
4. The Party of Rape
Check out the Republican National Convention when it commences on Monday. It's always a fun thing to watch. Unintentional comedy always is. This year it's going to be a hoot-and-a-half! Did you check out their party platform? They would like to make all abortions illegal - EVEN IN CASES THAT INVOLVE RAPE OR INCEST! Isn't that a scream? Any man with a wife or a sister or a daughter or a niece - indeed any man even distantly related to a female - who would cast their vote for that disgusting party ought not to be involved - in any matter - in the electoral process. Any woman who would cast their lot with the GOP should not have access to sharp objects. I'm just sayin'.
5. Happiness is a Warm Gun (BANG! BANG! SHOOT! SHOOT!)
There was another mass shooting this morning. This one happened in New York City, right outside the Empire State Building in fact! Nine people were wounded (none of them seriously). Other than the shooter, only one person died, a fellow named Steve Ercolino from Warwick, NY - which is a scant ten miles down the road from where I now sit. I wrote this paragraph last month. Forgive me but I just can't help repeating myself:
"The NRA types love to jabber on - like diseased little myna birds - about 'freedom'. We need to come to grips with some unpleasant realities. A society that lives in dreaded, mortal terror wondering when and where the next massacre of innocents will take place may indeed be many things - no argument from me there. "Free" they are not. Let's just stop kidding ourselves here and now, okay?"
6. The Queen of Standup
Phyllis Diller died on August 20 at ninety-five. That's a pretty good run any way you slice it or dice it. I always thought she was one of the funniest people who ever lived. She didn't merely blaze a trail - she incinerated it. Although she was not the very first woman to gain membership to that exclusive men's club of nightclub comedy, she was arguably the best. I always thought that the moguls of the film industry missed a good thing when they passed her by. Sadly, as far as cinema is concerned, the only thing she'll be remembered for are a couple of perfectly awful movies she made with Bob Hope - the most overrated comedian of the twentieth century. In the early sixties she made a series of comedy albums that have been out of print for decades. Let's hope they're reissued on CD in her honor.
7. I Can Something Nice about Romney/Ryan
For the first time in American history, there is a nationwide ticket without a Protestant on it. That's pretty much it. That is not meant as an insult to Protestants. It's just that - Jeez Louise! - they have run this country for too long.
8. I Can't Say Anything Nice about Ann Coulter
What the hell is the matter with the American Broadcasting Company? What were they thinking when they put the likes of Ann Coulter on their Sunday morning panel? Are they kidding? She is proof that even a dingbat can have a good vocabulary. Fifty years ago a man named George Lincoln Rockwell was the head of the American Nazi Party. Back then, the only people who took the silly bastard seriously were his fellow American Nazis - or most of them anyway. He would end up being assassinated by one of them. The reason most Americans were unaware of him was because network executives weren't stupid enough to give him the exposure he so craved. That's no longer the case. Now Heaven knows, anything goes.
9. Keep Your Eyes on Fascist Barbie
Sarah Palin is not a happy camper these days. The last thing the Republicans need to do is remind people of the historical blunder they committed four years ago when they anointed her as John McCain's running mate. Do I remember how nicely (for progressives) that worked out? You bet'cha! Anyway she's pissed that she hasn't been given a major role to play at this year's party in Tampa. If there's one thing we've learned about her is that she's one spiteful human being. My guess is that she will try to do something that will ever-so-subtly sabotage the event. I wouldn't put it past her. Hell hath no fury like our gal Sarah, you know what I'm talkin' about?
10. Those Magnificent Men and Their Lying Machine
Count on the right wing SCREAM machine to go into overdrive in the seventy-four days left until the election. We can expect a blitzkrieg of misleading propaganda between now and then. As hollow and pathetic as the Democrats are, the Republicans are beyond redemption. The only thing they have going for them is the BIG LIE. They can't argue their ideas based on logic or merit because those ideas are atrocious. I cannot emphasize this enough: if these jackals and jackasses are ever again able to regain control of both houses of congress and the White House, this country is finished. Think I'm kidding? Vote Republican. You'll deserve everything that happens to you.
On that cheerful note....Have a grand weekend, folks!
I don't have the software on my computer to create anything artistic. But I just got a great idea for anyone who does. You all remember this iconic poster of Barack Obama from the campaign of 2008. Could someone find a photograph of Paul Ryan in a similar pose and produce the same kind of tinted image? Only, instead of the word "HOPE" underneath, it should read "RAPE". Wouldn't that be a knee-slapper?
The two photographs at the top of this piece were taken on August 22nd by my VERY REPUBLICAN sister Susanne Dermigny at her home in Goshen, NY. Ain't she a good sport?
Man Without a Country
by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut's last book in not a novel but an essay. Written during the Bush years it's a scathing indictment of the America of the first decade of the twenty-first century. At the dawn of the second decade things have gotten only worse. Of course, I'm not giving away any state secrets there, am I.
BREAKING NEWS, 8/25/12, 3:30 PM:
Astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human being to set foot on the moon, is dead at age eighty-two.
UPDATE, 8/26/12: A special tip of the hat and a sincere thank you to my Facebook friend Abbey Arletto for coming through on my request for the Paul Ryan poster:
The Vision of Paul Ryan
Voting Rights and Wrongs
"Hear me, people: We have now to deal with another race - small and feeble when our fathers first met them, but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soil and the love of possession is a disease with them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break but the poor may not. They have taken their tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich and those who rule."
-Sitting Bull, Powder River Conference, 1877
Not to make myself appear more scholarly that I really am, I have to confess to you that the quote above was lifted from Hunter S. Thompson's classic, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. I just finished reading it yet again. I've read it every presidential election cycle since I first discovered it thirty years ago. By my reckoning this is the ninth time I've dissolved it from cover to cover. What the Great Chief Sitting Bull had to say in 1877 still resonates one-hundred and thirty-five years later. What Dr. Thompson wrote at the end of that same chapter also strikes a resonant chord forty years after the fact:
"This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it - that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable."
Indeed. At least in 1972 we were at a point where we could comfort ourselves by the (delusional as it turns out) notion that the worst aspects of out national character had been eternally consigned to history's shit pile. The Jim Crow laws that had for over a century denied certain "undesirables" the opportunity to cast their precious ballots were forever behind us. Progress would move slowly, we lied to ourselves, but it would move surely. It was a case of mass self-deception. Any hope for progress in this doomed country is going the way of the Passenger Pigeon and Betamax videotapes.
Four years ago the Plutocratic (WHITE) Power Structure in this diseased land became apoplectic when the first African American in history successfully bulldozed that most sacred of all racial barriers and was handed the keys to the Executive Mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, 20500. "HOW COULD SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN???" they asked themselves positively aghast. They never made a serious inquiry into finding out the answer to that question. Had they done so they would have realized that America was at the dawn of a major (and inevitable) sociological shift in its voting demographic. But the answer didn't matter in the least to them. All that mattered was the fact that they were determined, come hell or high water, to make goddamned-good-and-sure that it never happen again.
What to do? The same thing reactionaries always do; the same thing Hitler did eighty years ago: conjure up phantoms.
It was an epidemic that did not exist. It was all make believe: the "plague" of voter fraud. But they were desperate for an excuse - any one would do - to crack down on this nonexistent crime wave, despite the fact that during the last twenty years, the proven cases of fraudulent voting nationwide are of a number so miniscule that no one ever bothered to pay attention to them - until now.
Incredibly, they still deny the very real epidemic of election fraud - which allowed them to steal the White House in 2000 and 2004 - which will assist them in stealing it again in 2012. But that was beside the point to these treasonous assholes. 2000 and 2004 produced a rock-ribbed, right winged good ol' boy they could relate to - not some slick, commie nigger from Chicago. Stop frettin', Bubbah! THE MAN is gonna be running the minstrel show again come Inauguration Day 2013. Jes you wait and see! Ain't nothin' like Barack Obama ever gonna happen again! Now shut up and pass me them grits, ya hear?
Of course the proposed Voter ID laws would be expected in dear old Dixie. They kinda have a history of this sort of weird behavior, and we're not too many generations removed from it. I could live with that. Honest! But now Jim Crow has taken his strange act on a Nationwide Comeback Tour. And the targets this time around are not only black people, but college kids, the elderly, city dwellers, Latinos - in other words, the traditional progressive constituency. What the right wing extremists who control the Republican party have in mind for this November the sixth is nothing less than an electoral coup d'etat. If you're not deeply alarmed by that observation you really should be. And bear in mind that these murderous jackasses usually get their way.
The Voter ID Law has just been upheld in Pennsylvania. It's now being appealed to a higher court. If it is upheld again - and given to the Supremes to ponder - you might as well start singing democracy's requiem. If Mitt Romney is elected in November (as it appears he very well might be) and is allowed the appointment of even one more hard-line, dim-witted extremist to the highest court in the land, it's all over. So long, America. It's been good to know you. Bye bye!
FUN FACT: Two months ago the Texas State Republican Party announced that part of their platform at the 2012 National Convention will be the demand that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 be repealed as unconstitutional. Since they made that announcement there has not been a single word of reprimand toward them from the RNC - nary a peep. Was this a great country or what!
Dick Gregory once said that repression is more detrimental to the ones doing the repressing than it is to the ones being repressed. Now there's something to think about, boys and girls. The plutocracy has seen the writing on the wall. They have no intention of going down - with or without a fight. They are attempting to avoid the unavoidable truth - the undeniable truth - that within a matter of a quarter century this will no longer be a "white man's world". It is my belief that if they have their way, within a decade dissent in America will be federally outlawed. Denying the ballot to so huge a segment of the American electorate is merely the first, baby step on the road to totalitarianism. If these hideous thugs have their way, in ten years you won't recognize this fucking place. It can't happen here? Don't be too sure.
Do you think I'm overreacting? Do you think I'm being just bit paranoid? I'll tell you what: let's all vote for the Republicans on Election Day and see what happens. On that happy note....
I get weary and sick of tryin'
I'm tired of livin' and scared of dyin'
But old man river, he just keeps rollin' along....
-Oscar Hammerstein II
On Election Night 1972 when George McGovern went down to defeat at the hands of Dick Nixon, Hunter Thompson was also a man defeated - bitterly so. Here is how he concluded his book on the '72 Campaign:
"The tragedy of all this is that George McGovern, for all his mistakes and all his imprecise talk about 'new politics' and 'honesty in government' is one of the few men who've run for President of the United States in this century who really understands what a fantastic monument to all the best instincts of the human race this country might have been, if we could have kept it out of the hands of greedy little hustlers like Richard Nixon."
On February 20, 2005, at his home in Woody Creek, Colorado, Hunter Thompson pointed a gun to his head and ended his life. Years of hard living were starting to catch up with him, and his chronic health problems had made his life nearly unbearable. By all accounts he also sank into a deep depression when George W. Bush was reelected three months earlier. As despairing as he felt at the end of the Campaign of 1972, Election Day 2004 was the final nail in the coffin. The good Doctor was quite a perceptive guy. It's a fairly good bet that he saw the future all-too-clearly and wanted to cash in his chips - get out while the getting was good as it were. I won't stand in judgement of Hunter Thompson. I can't.
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72
by Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
by Hunter S. Thompson
The Great Shark Hunt
by Hunter S. Thompson
ANYTHING BY HUNTER THOMPSONSUGGESTED VIEWING:
GONZO: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
This is a warts-and-all documentary on one of the most important American journalists of the twentieth century. It is well worth a look. Hunter's writings are spoken by Johnny Depp. Here is a link to order it off of Amazon.com:
"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
For more recent postings on this diseased site please go to the link below:
"The Rant" by Tom Degan
The Ryan Factor
"What matters to me is that I do what I think is right....I'm a numbers guy, that's my attitude. I know we have a debt tsunami coming, we are bankrupting this country and I'm in a position where I can actually advance ideas to prevent that from happening. That's exactly what I should be doing."
- Paul Ryan
And what are the "ideas" that this tea-partying, Atlas shrugging clown wishes to advance? One of them would turn Medicare into a voucher program. Today the richest four-hundred people in this country have more cash than the poorest one-hundred-and-fifty million. If Paul Ryan has his way, that divide will grow even larger. Have a look at the so-called "Ryan Budget Plan" when you have the time. It's a scream.
One of the more stranger residuals I've received from writing this blog for the last six years is the fact that, the deeper this country sinks into the ideological and economic cesspool, the higher my stock rises.
Vote Republican in 2012, I'm begging you. But seriously, folks....
It was a struggle to keep my eyes open. This was something I needed to see. Having been up most of the previous night (I keep weird hours, I know) I was nodding off toward Dreamland yesterday morning during Mitt Romney's coming out party for the GOP's brand-spanking-new (presumptive) vice-presidential nominee. But I was jolted back into consciousness the moment Romney introduced Paul Ryan as "the next president of the United States".
"Did I just hear that?" I said out loud to no one in particular. In fact I had indeed heard what I thought I had only dreamed. No big deal. In a gaffe-prone career yesterday's little slip-of-the-tongue was fairly low rent. I'm waiting for the heavy duty stuff. You know, like the juicy delights he provided us with during his recent jaunt overseas? That's what I love about the Mittster. He never fails to delight in that respect. All those gems of unintentional humor! We're talkin' Dan Quayle proportions here. Keep 'em coming, Mitt!
I was hoping that Romney would repeat the mistake that John McCain made four years ago by choosing a half-witted extremist so far to the right that he or she were in serious need of assisted living. That didn't happen this time I'm sorry to say. Oh, Paul Ryan is about as extreme as they come - no doubt about it - but unlike most Republican politicians these days, he's one of the very few who doesn't have little birdies flying out of his ears. Another thing that sets him apart from his contemporaries within the GOP is the fact that that he has an IQ above room temperature. President Obama's hope's for re-election got just a bit more difficult yesterday....Just a bit, mind you. Ye need not abandon all hope.
Strategically Ryan was a pretty good choice. He'll bring out the brain-dead base, and uninformed moderates will be wooed by his amiable qualities. By all accounts, the Wisconsin congressman is well liked by his colleagues on both sides of that contentious aisle. Also he is the youngest VP nominee since Dwight Eisenhower chose an obscure, thirty-nine year old congressman from California named Dick Nixon as his running mate in 1952. His youth might work to the Romney campaign's advantage. Think about this: Paul Ryan was born on January 29, 1970 - exactly twenty-five days after the Beatles made their last recording (George Harrison's "I Me Mine"). This fact alone makes me feel just a tad older than I felt yesterday. I'm dealing with it.
Likableness and amiability aside, anyone who has been paying even scant attention in the last six months should be alarmed at the idea of a Paul Ryan being even half-a-heartbeat away from the oval office. All one needs to do is have a gander at his so-called "Ryan Plan". Don't take my word for it. Look it up and see for yourself; right wing social engineering at its cruelest. Under his plan the uber rich will be doing quite nicely. Not so for the rest of us. "Blessed are the meek"? Think again.
If religion were a thing that money could buy
Then the rich would live and the poor would die
All my trials, Lord, soon be over....
If you cast your precious ballot for the Romney/Ryan ticket on November sixth, don't be expecting the kind of enlightened moderation that was personified by Theodore Roosevelt - that last great Republican president. The working and the middle classes will be shouldering most of the the tax burden - and the rich? (excuse me, I meant the "job creators") They will be taxed at an even lower rate than they already are. Remember how well those Bush Tax Cuts worked out last time around? It sent the economy right into the abyss. If you're expecting a different result the next time these knuckleheads are in control of the White House, that's the very definition of insanity. Stay the hell away from sharp objects, okay?
Same Shit, Different Dog
Four years ago I was telling everyone who would listen that 2008 would be the most consequential election in history. What a difference four years makes, huh? We've been offered this lesson over and over and time and again: right wing form of governance DOES NOT WORK - PERIOD. The years following that "horrible" New Deal being "forced" on decent, hard working Americans also saw the greatest economy in the history of the universe. The Romney/Ryan vision is a recipe for catastrophe. Are we really going to be foolish enough to go down this road again? Don't be surprised. I sure won't be.
"I've been known to make a mistake every now and then. I did not make a mistake with this guy!"
We shall see.
Here is Charles Spencer Chaplin on the mountaintop. This is, in my humble opinion, the greatest political oration of the twentieth century, It is the final scene of his 1940 film, The Great Dictator. He is speaking to us from across the decades. Listen. Just listen....
The greatest speech in all recorded human history was not made by a politician. It was not made by a king. It was not made by a queen. It was not made by a prince or a princess. It was not made by a preacher. It was not made by a businessman or woman. It was not made by an old soldier or a young one. It was not made by a billionaire. It was not made by a potentate. It was not made by a senator or congressman. It was not made by a president....
The greatest speech in all recorded human history was made by a little tramp. Charlie Chaplin was the bravest man who ever lived.
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by....
by Charles Chaplin
Chaplin's story in his own words. A fascinating book.
Harry Reid Puts Up
One of my main complaints in recent years with regard to the Democrats is their Senate Majority Leader. As I said in a posting a couple of years ago, any political party with a befuddled old Andy Gump like Harry Reid at the wheel is going to have...."issues" shall we say? So you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was this week when the old guy started to show a little bit of long-overdue moxie. The senator from Nevada is an extremely cautious man. He says that a reliable source has informed him that Mitt Romney went for a decade without paying a dime of income tax. Given his well-earned reputation for timidity, if he's gone out on a limb to make a charge as serious as this, it must be true. Old Harry has never been the kind of pol to throw caution to the wind.The Mitt Romney campaign has said that Harry Reid has either got to "put up or shut up". He already has. The ball is now in Romney's court. If we are to take him at his word when he tells us that he has paid what he was legally required to pay in taxes then he should prove it to the nation that he wants to lead. Senator Reid has made a pretty serious charge. Mitt has a golden opportunity here. If he really has nothing to hide he is in the position to make Reid - and the entire Democratic media machine - look really foolish. All he has to do is release his income tax returns for the last twelve years; just like his father George did during the Republican primary campaign of 1968. What the hell is he waiting for?I'll tell you what he's waiting for: he's waiting for the story to go away. Only this is a story that's not going to die of natural causes. It needs to be killed like a rabid wolverine. Watch in the next couple of weeks while Campaign Romney (along with FOX Noise) goes on a desperate hunt for as many mole hills as they can find to make mountains out of. This should be quite interesting.
Der Mittster was considered for the Number Two spot on the ticket during John McCain's 2008 presidential run. While he was undergoing the vetting process, he handed over to the campaign his income tax returns going back over two decades. Call it a silly hunch on my part but I've got a sneaking suspicion that the McCain people were absolutely horrified by what they saw. How can I be so sure of this this you may ask? Because they went running to Sarah Palin as a preferable VP candidate! Talk about desperation. If a relatively sane and intelligent human being like Mitt Romney can't outshine a half-witted extremist like Fascist Barbie, that very fact speaks untold volumes. Mitt's tax history must be pretty embarrassing. That is the reason - and the only reason - they refuse to make it public. I was born very early in the morning, but it wasn't this morning.
If it ever got out that Romney paid less in income tax (even in one year) than your average blue collar worker, it wouldn't bode too well for him come November the sixth. My guess is that if his sordid past regarding taxes ever became public it would mean a landslide for President Obama similar to Richard Nixon's in 1972. Tricky Dick won every state in the union that year with the exception of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Less than two years later he would be forced to resign in complete disgrace. My irony meter goes into the red zone just thinking about that one. Aren't politics strange?
The "Bain" of his Existence
Mitt is trying to portray himself as a tireless champion of the working class masses. It really is an amusing thing to behold, isn't it? Remember that this is the same guy who put thousands of his fellow Americans out of work as the chief of Bain Capital back in the nineties, sending their jobs to China and Lord knows where else. There is no longer a Republican in Washington who gives a damn about hard-working people. Jacob Javits and Milicent Fenwick (photo left) are dead and they're not coming back. This is a party whose sole purpose is to concentrate as much wealth into as few bank accounts as possible. This is a party whose ultimate goal is the utter destruction of the middle class. They'd love nothing weirder than to bring us back to the Gilded Age. You think I'm being paranoid? You think the disintegrating middle class in this country is merely a coincidence? You think it's the fault of all those evil-doin' Liberals? Fine. Keep voting Republican, folks.
It's hard not to feel a little pity for poor old Mitt. I sure as hell don't envy him. He has managed - inside of two months - to take that plate of exquisite caviar that was handed to him when he became the presumptive nominee and turn it into a pile of elephant shit. All of this on top of his disastrous performance overseas during his 2012 Foot In Mouth Tour. The poor schmuck just can't get a break. As each hour ticks by, it is becoming more and more apparent to the GOP "base" that handing the nomination over to this "Massachusetts liberal" will be a huge mistake. Be sure to tune in to their convention later on this month. This is gonna be a riot - and I mean that literally.
Who Let the Dogs In?
by Molly Ivins.
I miss Molly something fierce. We could sure use her now. God rest her witty soul.
There was a mass shooting today at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. Seven human beings are dead. That's okay. They were only a bunch of Muslims or Hindus or something or other. Ain't American gun laws a scream?