The HyperTexts

Mitt Romney’s $100 million Cayman Island IRA: Did he pay 13%, really, or is he a tax cheat?
Will Romney's Fascist Dreams of an "American Century" lead to more unwinnable wars in the Middle East?
Will Bishop Romney continue to Wage War on American Women and Teachers and Big Bird and China and American Workers and Flood Victims?
Will Romney Hood rob Americans blind with his Medicare Scam, by stealing from the poor to give to the rich?
Are Romney and the Romulans trying to get rid of Martin Luther King Day and Buy the White House?
Mitt Romney Quotes, Paul Ryan Quotes and Ann Romney Quotes
Mitt Romney Poems, Parodies, Songs, Jokes and Nicknames

an immense blog and cornucopia of Mitticisms compiled by Michael R. Burch

Related Page: Romney Cayman Island IRA Part 2

Mr. Free Stuff

Willard Mitt Romney scornfully accuses ordinary Americans of wanting "free stuff" when they request affordable healthcare, and yet it seems he may have paid virtually no federal income taxes for years, despite being one of the world's wealthiest men. Wouldn't that make Romney the King of Free Stuff?



Does Romney really believe in American exceptionalism, or just his own "exceptions" (i.e., evaded income taxes)? If he believes in American exceptionalism, why did he stash so much cash in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands? Romney drives high quality American-made cars, so why does he park his money in obscure financial institutions on tiny, insecure islands? Why did a fabulously wealthy man choose the Yugo of banks, rather than a Cadillac? The answer seems obvious: offshore "IRAs" are a rich man's way of shafting working Janes and Joes who are forced to pay their taxes, rain or shine, via automatic payroll deductions. That Romney scams his fellow Americans calls his character into question: whatever happened to leading by example? That More Money (his nickname at Bane Kapital) would mock less affluent Americans by claiming they want "free stuff," after he used every trick in the book to avoid paying taxes, is simply beyond the pale.

Rich Americans frequent the Cayman Islands for two reasons: either to work on their tans, or their tax shelters. Obviously, soaking up the Caribbean sun does not require 137 offshore shell corporations. Other Americans are limited to retirement contributions of a few thousand dollars per year, but it seems Romney put entire companies in his IRAs, which have been estimated to be worth up to $100 million. How? It seems he probably assigned his shares implausibly low initial values, then let them "appreciate" only once they were safe from taxes. If there's any other explanation, I'd certainly like to hear it, but Romney remains mum despite even his supporters' anxious pleas for him to come clean. Thus, he obviously has something to hide. And Romney's assertions that he paid at least 13% in taxes every year mean nothing, without the evidence of the hidden returns. If he paid 13% on one-tenth of his income, while sheltering nine-tenths, that means he actually paid 1.3% on his total income. Romney's malarkey has earned him nicknames like Matinee Mitt, Mitt Robme, Decepticon, Willard Fillmore, Mitt Moneybags, the King of Bain Pain, and Romney Hood.

HMS Romney

In 1767 the British Empire dispatched a warship of the Royal Navy to New England to enforce its right of taxation over American colonists. The name of that warship was, ironically, the HMS Romney, a fourth-rate Man of War. Operating under the command of Captain John Corner and Admiral Samuel Hood, the Romney entered Boston Harbor to support royal commissioners who had asked for help in enforcing the Townshend Acts. ("Shend" means to shame, injure or destroy.) Being short of men, Captain Corner began to corner and impress Massachusetts seamen. This was understandably unpopular with the locals, who began attacking the cornering gangs. Hostilities escalated when the royal tax commissioners ordered the seizure of the merchant vessel Liberty, which belonged to John Hancock. When sailors and marines from the Romney attempted to seize the Liberty, the American colonists turned on the tax commissioners, who then took refuge aboard the Romney before transferring to Castle William (named after a feudal British monarch). These incidents heightened tensions that would eventually lead to the Boston Massacre in 1770. The underlined names are interesting, to say the least. Albert Einstein once said the God reveals himself through coincidence. To read more on this subject, please click here: HMS Romney.

"Look at my record: I vetoed any bill that was in favor of choice."

Where does Mitt Romney stand on a woman's right to choose? As a Mormon Bishop with a Diocese, called a "Stake," by his own admission he told girls to bear unwanted babies, and as governor of Massachusetts he vetoed all pro-choice legislation that crossed his desk, even birth control [RU486] and sex education. In 2007, while campaigning in Iowa, Romney appeared on WHO-AM 1040. The host, Jan Mickelson, brought up abortion, questioning Romney's pro-life credentials. In a video of the encounter, a visibly agitated Romney explodes in defense of his record as an arch anti-choice conservative: "Let me help you understand. You don’t understand my faith like I do. So give me for a moment the benefit of the doubt, that having been a leader of my church, and a Bishop and a Stake President, I understand my church better than you do ... I was beaten up in Boston because I pointed out time and again that I encouraged girls not to get abortions, that I told them to have adoptions ... The [Mormon] Church says, "We are vehemently opposed to abortion ourselves, and for ourselves. But we allow other people to make their own choice. I disagree with that view [i.e., he disagrees with freedom of individual conscience and other people's right to choose]. Politically, I looked at it and said, That's wrong! It's not a Mormon thing, it's a secular position to say, You know, I was wrong. We should have a society with a prohibition on abortion in the following circumstances ... I was governor four years—it’s not just what I’m talking about—I was governor four years. I had a number of pieces of legislation that came to my desk that dealt with abortion, abstinence education, RU486, and so forth. I vetoed any bill that was in favor of choice ... So it’s not just my word you can take—look at my record."

Immoral Aid?  

As Hurricane Sandy threatened 50 million Americans with devastating floods, I was reminded of Mitt Romney's statement that it is "immoral" to borrow money to help flood victims. Romney, a Mormon Bishop and therefore someone who should presumably understand the term, didn't call it "immoral" for the federal government to borrow billions to bail out the Olympic games and his rich Wall Street cronies. He obviously doesn't consider it "immoral" to borrow the better part of $7 trillion dollars to give even bigger tax cuts to the super-rich and increase defense spending for things the Pentagon hasn't requested. According to Bishop Romney, it seems the only people it's "immoral" to help are the 47% of Americans who need help the most, including flood victims, Detroit auto workers, homeowners facing foreclosures, homeless veterans, the elderly, the uninsured, people with preexisting conditions, and girls who need Planned Parenthood’s help with contraceptives and preventive healthcare. To read more on this subject, please click here: Romney: "Immoral" Aid to Flood Victims?



Mitt's Storm Tips

"Poor people make great flotation devices!"
"Move your binders full of women to higher ground, to keep them warm, dry and exploitable!" 
"Use car elevators to get your dancing horses to higher ground!"
"Borrowing money to help flood victims is immoral, but borrowing money to bail out Wall Street tycoons is absolutely grand!"
"Sheesh, 47% of these hurricane victims think they're entitled to food, water, shelter and blankets!"
"If you don't have a mansion on higher ground, just borrow the money from your parents!"
"After I de-fund FEMA, I will give flood victims a voucher that covers one-tenth of what they need to live!"
"My prayers are with the successful 53% ... the rest of you don't concern me in the least!"
"If you die, I'll blame the failed policies of Barack Obama!"
"But if you get lucky and survive, I'll take all the credit!"
"I know how to keep you magically alive, but I can't tell you until after the election!

Shades of Julius Caesar

I came, I saw, I wonkered.—Paul Ryan
I came, I saw, I metamorphed into Barack Obama at the third debate.—Mitt Romney
I came, I saw, I lost my Battleship.—Mitt Romney
I came, I saw, I requested a P.O. for $2 trillion worth of mules and bayonets.— Mitt Romney



"Pretty Pitiful" ... Decepticon Strikes Again

A new campaign ad claims that Chrysler is going to begin producing Jeeps in China, creating the misleading impression that the move will come at the expense of American jobs. So began the latest attempt by Decepticon (aka Mitt Romney) to woo Ohio voters over to the Dark Side of the Force with fear-inspiring disinformation. In reality, Jeep has announced plans to add 1,100 jobs to an Ohio assembly plant currently being refitted for the next iteration of the Jeep Liberty. Chrysler was only considering resuming production in China for its consumers there. Jeep currently makes vehicles in Egypt and Venezuela, and all the largest automakers have factories in multiple countries, so there was no need to scare the living daylights out of American auto workers in order to deceive voters.

Bruce Baumhower, the president of the United Auto Workers local at an Ohio plant, said that Romney’s allegations about Jeep moving production to China drew a rash of calls from members concerned about their jobs. When he informed them that Chrysler was, in fact, expanding its Ohio Jeep operation, the response to Romney's deception was, "That’s pretty pitiful!"

Pitiful, indeed. Chrysler quickly released a scathing statement calling suggestions that Jeep is moving American jobs to China "fantasies" and "extravagant." Fact checkers locally and and nationally have called the Romney campaign’s statements misleading. Calling the Romney ad a "blatant attempt to create a false impression," former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland demanded that Romney stop airing it. Former president Bill Clinton called Romney's ad the "biggest load of bull in the world."

Romney will have a hard time blaming this fiasco on other people, as he recently told a rally in Defiance, Ohio that Jeep was considering "moving all production to China." Not some production, but "all" production.

The auto bailout was one of the first major moves of Mr. Obama’s presidency, and gave Romney a chance to prove his conservative credentials. So just as the incoming Obama administration was beginning to contemplate a bailout, Romney wrote an op-ed article for The New York Times entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" in which he predicted that in the event of a federal bailout we "can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." But President Obama was right, and Romney was wrong. Now Decepticon wants to take credit for the bailout he opposed and said would doom the U.S. auto industry. And he want to use distortions and outright lies to scare Ohioans into voting for him.

Pitiful, but by no means pretty.

Romney Donors: Buying the White House

We can easily follow the trail of money that leads to the Waffle House. How do people without principles (other than making money) buy the presidency? By telling voters whatever they want to hear. That, of course, explains why Mitt Romney has more flip-flops than Daytona Beach during a spring break wet T-shirt contest. Romney is the ultimate confidence man, selling a used Yugo by telling gullible voters what they want to hear: that it's "much better" than the car they're currently driving.

Willard Mitt Romney is named after hotel magnate J. Willard Marriot, one of the best friends of his father, George W. Romney. At least twelve members of the Marriott clan contributed to Mitt Romney's campaign. More troubling is the list of big-money donors to Romney's campaign and associated PACs. According to OpenSecrets.org and other sources, here are some of the main suspects in what seems to be the buying of the White House by the big banks, Wall Street investment companies, and hedge funds: Buying the White House.

Romney Fires Big Bird, Outsources Sesame Street to China!

During his first presidential debate with President Barack Obama, the extraterrestrial android Willard Mitt Romney came up with a truly unique solution: fire Big Bird and outsource Sesame Street, along with the rest of PBS, to China.

Big Bird Will Work for Food

Romney Exposes Enormous Ass, Shocks Schoolchildren

romney_fairfield_100812.jpg

Madame Butterfly

Egad, yet another act of shape-shifting metamorphosis by Bishop Romney. During the final presidential debate he emerged from the political chrysalis as a peaceful, serene, almost feminine butterfly ... not to mention a fan, advocate and supporter of the Obama administration's values, policies and actions.



As the New York Times pointed out, this more moderate version of Multiple Choice Mitt "kept talking about American 'strength' and the need to be 'tougher,' but he seemed at times unnerved by the president, a man he accused of being too weak." Is this because Romney's handlers, spin-meisters and neo-con advisers instructed him to once again reset the Etch-a-Sketch, but he had to look the president in the eye while parroting their lies, and that gave him a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach? Is he belatedly coming to realize just how oily and unctuous his used-car salesman act seems to the American public? Is even Romney himself growing weary of his constant dissembling?

Ironically, Romney looks weakest on jobs and the economy, which were supposed to have been his strengths. Romney's only consistency through three debates is that he never gave a straight, specific answer when when President Obama pointed out the massive illogic of $5 trillion in tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthiest Americans, plus $2 trillion in additional military spending the Pentagon hasn't requested.

Horses and Bayonets



"Horses and bayonets" became the most memorable catchphrase of the third and final debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, as the Democratic president used  the past to paint the Republican candidate's worldview as hopelessly outdated. Romney had criticized Obama's military policy throughout the campaign, accusing the president of spending too little on the U.S. military by noting that the Navy has fewer ships than in 1917. When the former Massachusetts governor made the point again during the  debate, President Obama was ready with the perfect rejoinder: "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines." Obama even invoked a children's military role-playing board game: "The question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships." 



Romney's is a "pointless" comparison, as CNN noted recently, explaining that it’s "wrong to assume that fewer ships translates to a weaker military" because of "the technological supremacy of current Navy ships." Hundreds of 1940s-era fighter planes combined can’t match one modern Stealth bomber, and the same is true for Navy vessels. The Washington Post's fact checkers agreed with CNN, saying: "This is a nonsense fact." Factcheck.org called it "a meaningless claim.

Believe it or not, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan sealed their political nuptials by running down the gangplank of a decommissioned battleship to the podium (below), laughing and waving, even though neither of them ever served a day in the military. Bishop Romney avoided the Vietnam war by living in a French palace as a 19-year-old "missionary." The palace, owned by the Mormon church, had stained glass windows, chandeliers and servants.



As President Obama pointed out, Romney and the Romulans are backward-looking in every respect: "Governor, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s." Here's just one of many examples of Romney's backwardness ...



The New York Times recently disclosed a September 2011 memo drafted by Mitt Romney’s advisors which advocates the resumption of so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" initiated under President George W. Bush but banned by President Barack Obama on his second day in office. In a December 17, 2011 Town Hall meeting, Romney said, "I will not authorize torture." But at the press conference after the Town Hall meeting, when a reporter asked him if he considered waterboarding to be torture, Romney responded "I don’t." Romney’s stance led one UN official to warn that his election would amount to "a democratic mandate for torture."

If this topic interests you, please click here: Mules and Bayonets.

Shades of China, Romney Hominy Plagiarized!

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose."

Mitt Romney seems to be obsessed with the "clear eyes" slogan, used by the small-town high school football team depicted on the now-defunct TV series Friday Night Lights. It came up again during the third presidential debate, which took place in Boca Raton, Florida (ironically, where Romney’s infamous "47 percent" video was recorded). When the former Mormon Bishop and Massachusetts governor was taken to task by President Obama for claiming that Russia remains America’s foremost "geopolitical foe," Romney replied: "I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin ..."

Well, there he goes again. Peter Berg, the executive producer of Friday Night Lights, recently fired off an angry letter to the Romney campaign, claiming they plagiarized his show’s trademark phrase: "Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series. The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and Friday Night Lights is in the character of Buddy Garrity—who turned his back on American car manufacturers [by] selling imported cars from Japan."



Ouch, that does sound like Bishop Romney, who famously (or infamously) wrote an article entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Romney claims to love American cars, but his comments about the 47% and his liquidation of American companies and job during his tenure as CEO of Bane Kapital make it seem pretty obvious that he doesn't love American factory workers.



As is his imperious wont, ignoring Berg’s fiery missive, Romney has not only kept the phrase in his repertoire, but has even begun selling cheap plastic red, white and blue bracelets bearing the slogan for $10.

Shades of China! Not only did the Romney camp steal the phrase, they're now making money by selling something they don't own. Bishop Romney condemns China for stealing American trademarks and intellectual property, by selling cheap knock-offs, then turns around and does the same thing himself!

Obama's Battleship reference seems doubly ironic because Peter Berg directed the movie Battleship—one of filmdom's biggest box office busts. Berg’s Friday Night Lights and Battleship both exude a dizzy, unthinking  patriotism. Romney wants to increase the military budget to 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, even though there is widespread agreement that spending cuts must be made. According to the New York Times: "Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, has calculated that even if a Romney administration slowly increases the military budget to 4 percent of the G.D.P. over two presidential terms, that would still amount to spending $7.5 trillion over the next decade—or $1.8 trillion more than the Obama administration plans for the Pentagon’s base budget in the same period."

Can even Visine get the red out of Romney's blurry budget vision?

To further investigate this subject please click here: Romney Clear Eyes Full Hearts?

Milk of Romnesia ... or is it Bilk of Romnesia?



Here is the definition of romnesia, a new disease that threatens the lives and health of 47% of Americans, or roughly 150 million people:

rom-ne-sia noun /rom nē zha/
A state of self-induced amnesia, usually for political gain, in which a candidate conveniently forgets his/her previous positions even though they have been indelibly entered into the public record.
Example: "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard." [but] "I never really called myself pro-choice." [and] "I was a severely conservative governor." (Mitt "Myth" Romney)
Etymology: a modern coinage based on the name of its exemplar nonpareil, the Mormon Bishop, CEO of Bane Kapital and American political figure Willard Mitt Romney, who elevated self-induced amnesia into a political art form during his campaigns for elected office.
Synonyms: balderdash, baloney, blather, bull, bunk, bunkum, hooey, hogwash, poppycock, selling ice to Eskimos, selling swampland
Antonyms: truthfulness, honesty, candor



For a more detailed account of the history and etymology of the word, please click here: Romnesia History and Etymology.



Tricky Dick Redux

The more I learn about Willard Mitt Romney, the more he reminds me of Richard Milhous Nixon ... Tricky Dick, meet Wily Willy!



Mr. Transformer



Mitt Romney seems to be running for shape-shifter-in-chief of the United States. If he was a superhero, he would be an incredibly flexible Plastic Man, with extra-long arms, hands and fingers suitable for lifting people's wallets, extracting their money, and handing it over to the owners of Chinese sweatshops. If he appeared in the Twilight movies, he would be a cross between the Cold Ones and the Werewolves, with the worst characteristics of each, and none of their redeeming values. If he was a character on a children's show, he would be either a very sketchy Etch-a-Sketch or a human eraser like Gumby, only with a nastier disposition. If he starred in a comic book, he would be Stuporman, able to induce a state of shock in the presidents of world superpowers, by making $8 trillion disappear in the blink of an eye.

Mitt and Ann Romney: War on Moms is a "Gift" to their Political Campaign

During a closed-door fundraiser in Florida, Ann Romney told the audience that Hilary Rosen's remark that she had never worked was a boon to her and her husband's political campaign: "It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it." Mitt Romney obviously agreed because, speaking after his wife, he called the ensuing "war on moms" a "gift."

I find it hard to understand why a man running for president of the United States, and his potential first lady, would consider a war on mothers to be a "gift." But that was not Rosen's intention. Rather, she had criticized the Mormonator for turning to his wife for advice on women's economic concerns, when she had never entered the job market and has long lived a life of incredible luxury because Willard Billhard is one of the world's wealthiest men. Most American mothers these days have to work for pay and be their children's primary caregivers. While Rosen's choice of words may have been unfortunate, her point seems valid. Especially when Ann Romney has made statements such as: "My horse has more style and more class in its hoof than they [presumably less affluent people] do in their whole deal!"

Also, the Romneys have made it clear that only rich stay-at-home moms should get credit for working.



Like her husband, Ann Romney comes across as a rich boor ... so perhaps Hilary Rosen was more right than she was wrong.

Mormon Tribune: Too Many Mitts

The Salt Lake Tribune, originally created as the Mormon Tribune and currently the largest-circulation newspaper in the state of Utah, has endorsed President Obama for reelection, in an editorial highly critical of Republican challenger Mitt Romney. How did the American Borat go from being a "favorite son" candidate from Utah, the historic and cultural center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to an object of scorn and ridicule?



The article begins on a positive note: "Nowhere has Mitt Romney’s pursuit of the presidency been more warmly welcomed or closely followed than here in Utah. The Republican nominee’s political and religious pedigrees, his adeptly bipartisan governorship of a Democratic state, and his head for business and the bottom line all inspire admiration and hope in our largely Mormon, Republican, business-friendly state." The article also praises Romney lavishly for his rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics and described him as "the Beehive State’s favorite adopted son."

But the Tribune sharply and severely criticized Romney’s "servile courtship of the Tea Party," called him "shameless" in his pandering to right-wing radicals, and labeled him the GOP’s "shape-shifting nominee" for his constant and outrageous flip-flopping.



"Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?’" the editorial asks, then opines: "The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear. More troubling, Romney has repeatedly refused to share specifics of his radical plan to simultaneously reduce the debt, get rid of Obamacare (or, as he now says, only part of it), make a voucher program of Medicare, slash taxes and spending, and thereby create millions of new jobs. To claim, as Romney does, that he would offset his tax and spending cuts (except for billions more for the military) by doing away with tax deductions and exemptions is utterly meaningless without identifying which and how many would get the ax. Absent those specifics, his promise of a balanced budget simply does not pencil out. If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, 'is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.' Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found."

There are, it seems, simply "too many Mitts" to believe in any of them.

The article goes on to list President Obama's leadership and accomplishments, such as the auto bailout and Obamacare, then concludes: "In considering which candidate to endorse, The Salt Lake Tribune editorial board had hoped that Romney would exhibit the same talents for organization, pragmatic problem solving and inspired leadership that he displayed here more than a decade ago. Instead, we have watched him morph into a friend of the far right, then tack toward the center with breathtaking aplomb. Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust. Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first."

Fact Free Dressing

Some restaurants serve fat-free dressing. It seems the presidential debates are fact-free window dressing for Mitt Romney. He reserves the truth for the jet-set elite. How can we tell? Well, if you gave $50,000 to reserve a spot at Mitt Rotney's swanky retreat for donors in New York this week, you would have received this confidence letter: "All events are closed to the public and you should treat all statements, whether made during formal presentation or informal conversations, as off the record. Please be mindful of the security and confidentiality of your meeting notes and materials. Please do not post updates or information about the meeting on blogs, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, or in traditional media." Why so secretive? Perhaps Mitt the Ripper wants to be able to level with his wealthy donors about his $5 trillion "rescue plan" for the super-rich. Experts say it will cost the average family with kids $2,000 per year in order to give multi-millionaires more humongous tax cuts. Or perhaps Pink Slip Mitt wants to be able to talk freely and disdainfully about how 150 million Americans are lazy, irresponsible freeloaders ... even the ones fighting and dying in Afghanistan. Or maybe Rombo just wants to brag about how he bought a Chinese sweatshop complete with guard towers, barbed wire and thousands of young girls providing virtual slave labor so that Bain Capital could profit even more from the closing of American factories and outsourcing of  American jobs. One thing is certain, though. Re-money's finance chairman gave the donors a firm goal: raise $2 million in 45 minutes!

Myth Romney: Candidate or Con?

Candidate contains the word "candid." I think most American presidential candidates since Richard Nixon have been reasonably candid, at least about their primary beliefs and intentions. We knew, for example, that Ronald Reagan saw communism as a threat to the free world and wanted to cut taxes for the rich in the hope that some of the money would "trickle down" to ordinary Janes and Joes. So certain things he did as president, such as beefing up the military, taking a hard line with the USSR until its leaders were ready to negotiate peace, and cutting taxes (although he eventually compromised and raised them), made perfect sense, whether we agreed with him or not. We also knew that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were liberal-to-moderate Democrats who stood for equality for minorities and women. And we know that Barack Obama is also a liberal-to-moderate Democrat in the FDR-Kennedy-Carter-Clinton mold, despite the wild and false claims of right-wing nuts that he is a "communist," a "totalitarian socialist," etc. And we know that George W. Bush was a brash, vain, reckless, not-so-intelligent Texas cowboy, which helps to explain why Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld were able to so easily dupe him into invading Iraq on false premises. Still, Bush Junior was never disingenuous; he was just in way over his head. 

But Mitt Romney seems more like a con-didate than a candid-ate to me. Even people in his own party have called him out in public repeatedly: not only for constantly flip-flopping on major issues, but also for flat-out lying. Flip Flopney lies even when the truth would serve much better. He is not only out of touch with most Americans, but also with basic reality. For instance, the Mighty Mormon Power Ranger claims to have lived a hardscrabble existence without running water or refrigerators in France as a 19-year-old "missionary," while other young Americans fought and died in Vietnam. But Rook Romney's fellow missionaries say that he lived in a multi-million-dollar French palace owned by the Mormon church, and that it had not only running water and refrigeration, but chandeliers, stained glass windows and servants. Phony Bologna claims to be a "self-made" man who "bootstrapped" himself to wealth and success without help from other people, but his wife Ann once admitted publicly that they never had to work while her husband earned three degrees (including two from ultra-expensive Harvard) because whenever they needed spending money they would sell some of the stock his millionaire father had given them as gifts. The only deprivation Ann Romney mentioned was very mild indeed: they chose to forego entertaining guests until Mitt graduated. But how many college students put on the Ritz? The fact that she even thought to complain about not being able to host soirees suggests a deep sense of privilege and entitlement, in my opinion.

Why would Fancy Cheesebag (his nickname at prep school) lie about such things? My educated guess is that he lies for the same reason he bullied gay classmates, co-workers, employees, the Colorado schoolteacher he told to shut up because he hadn't asked her a question (even though they were engaged in a roundtable discussion), the elderly moderator Jim Lehrer at the first debate, and the female moderator Candy Crowley at the second debate (kudos to her for standing her ground). Hell, he even tried to bully President Obama, who's hardly a milquetoast. So what gives? I think Bain in the Ass (as David Letterman calls him) bullies people and lies because he's a narcissist who longs for the approval of other people, and because he's deeply insecure about himself. He also seems to lack empathy for other people's suffering, so he doesn't know when to let up. Children often lie and show off to get attention. Bullies think making other people look bad somehow makes them look good. Romneycon seems like the ultimate illusionist to me: a spoiled, bullying brat masquerading as a man fit to be president of the United States, when he lacks the empathy and self-confidence to be a decent dogcatcher. I certainly wouldn't trust him with our six puppies, much less 300 million Americans.

Golden Showers, or a Reign of Terror?

In a tight presidential race, it’s dangerous to alienate American women, since they outnumber men and thus represent the majority of voters. But Mitt Romney has real difficulty talking about women without sticking his oversized foot in his overactive mouth. Now he’s in a real bind over his "binders full of women" blunder. "Binder" rhymes with "bind her" ... did Medieval Mitt's irrepressible alpha male id inject its two cents' worth into the current debate about women's rights? Romney's disdainful, insensitive bullying of first an elderly male moderator, then a female moderator, certainly makes him look suspect on the equality front.
 
During their second debate, President Obama challenged Romney directly on the issue of equal pay for equal work, bringing up the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act, which was the first piece of legislation he signed as president, but which Romney and the Romulans (oops, Republicans) opposed.
 
Romney attempted to dodge the pay equality issue by claiming that as governor of Massachusetts he proactively requested the resumes of women qualified to join his cabinet. But Romney "didn’t go out looking for those binders" according to Carol Hardy-Fanta, the former co-chairwoman of the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project (MassGAP). Rather, MassGAP initiated and spearheaded the process before Romney’s election and provided an unsolicited roster of qualified female candidates when he won. In an interview with National Review, Kerry Healey, Romney’s former lieutenant governor, confirmed that the binders in question came from MassGAP.
 
Fact checkers were also quick to point out that Romney never made a woman a partner during his entire tenure as CEO of Bain Capital, the ultimate rich boys’ club. So it seems Romney was blissfully unaware of the existence of a single qualified executive-level female until MassGap finally opened his eyes.
 
According to The Huffington Post, one of Romney’s senior advisers, Ed Gillespie, confirmed that if Romney had been president in 2009, he would not have signed the Lilly Ledbetter bill into law. "Is that leadership?" asked Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, pointing out that if Romney was president, "We wouldn't have equal pay. I think that's the point. He doesn't lift a finger to do anything for women."
 
Romney is on record as saying that it’s not his job to worry about the 47% of Americans who don’t make enough money to pay federal income taxes. He also seems to have few concerns about the 52% of Americans who face rampant pay discrimination in the job market. Does he, perhaps, come off as an elitist male chauvinist oinker because that’s what he is?
 
Lilly Ledbetter herself hit the nail squarely on the head in her comments reported by the Wall Street Journal: "I think women have gotten the message loud and clear from the other side — how they don’t believe in equal pay for equal work and they don’t believe that we women have the right to say what we should do with our bodies."
 
Ledbetter also pointed out that before Roe vs. Wade, many American women bled to death from hemorrhages caused by illegal back alley abortions. While Romney tries to give the impression of being "empathetic " by deigning to allow abortions in cases of rape, incest and a woman’s life being imperiled, where does this leave most teenagers and working mothers who have accidents? They will be faced with either risking their lives and health to bear babies they don’t want and can’t afford, or resorting to expensive butchers or cheap wire hangers. Does any man have the right to send American girls and women back to the Stone Age? Should patriarchal men’s beliefs about invisible gods and soul-infused macroscopic cells trump women’s rights over their own bodies? Why not keep religion a personal, rather than a political, matter?
 
Ledbetter’s remarks about being "shortchanged " (the absolutely perfect word) by Romney, made at the Democratic National Convention are also germane: "Maybe 23 cents [per hour] doesn’t sound like a lot to someone with a Swiss bank account, Cayman Island investments, and an IRA worth tens of millions of dollars. But Governor Romney, when we lose 23 cents every hour every day, every month, it cannot just be measured in dollars." The energized, appreciative audience rose to its feet as she concluded with: "What began as my own, is now our fight for the fundamental American values that make our country great." She was, of course, talking about Americans believing in fair play and a level playing field for everyone.

But as President Obama just pointed out during the second debate, Romney has a one-point economic plan: let the richest Americans acquire even more of the nation’s wealth and hope that a drop here and there trickles down to burdened masses, in the political equivalent of a golden shower, with most of the pissers being rich, entitled men and most of the pissees being discriminated-against women. 

Ledbetter’s speech garnered one of the highest tweets-per-minute ratios during the recent conventions. Romney’s infamous phrase quickly became the third most-searched-for term on Google. So it seems that many American women are paying close attention, and my educated guess is that they are not at all amused by Bishop  Romney’s blatant alpha male chauvinism.

Sheltergate

Paul Ryan recently stopped at a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen to demonstrate his empathy for the downtrodden ... by washing dishes specifically set aside for staged campaign snapshots of him "selflessly" washing them, during a contrived, hasty 15-minute photo op. According to one shelter volunteer, the dishes were already clean and the homeless people had already left before Ryan performed his Good Samaritan act. There is a conflicting report that some dirty dishes were deliberately saved in an unwashed state specifically for Ryan to clean them. In either case, as Jon Stewart implored, "Please for the love of God, make it stop!"

Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, told the Washington Post that Ryan and his people "ramrodded their way" into the soup kitchen in what seemed to be a cheap, cheesy publicity stunt, saying: "They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors." According to the Washington Post, "Ryan stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned. Upon entering the soup kitchen, Ryan, his wife and three young children greeted and thanked several volunteers, then donned white aprons and offered to clean some dishes. Photographers snapped photos and TV cameras shot footage of Ryan and his family washing pots and pans that did not appear to be dirty." Antal said that he "can’t fault my volunteers" for letting the campaign in because the publicity-seekers "didn’t go through the proper channels." He noted that the soup kitchen relies on funding from private individuals who might reconsider their support if it appears that the charity is favoring one political candidate over another. "I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals," he said. "If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem." He added that the incident had caused him "all kinds of grief" and that regardless of whether Ryan had intended to serve food to patrons or wash dishes, he would not have allowed the visit to take place. "Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted ... I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans, and then take a picture."

The Stepford Wife

What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage. — Ann Romney

Since the US has not yet officially banned marriages of human beings to cyborgs, this may well be true. On the other hand, in what sort of "real marriage" does the bride tell her parents that they're not welcome to attend her wedding ceremony because the Mormon Church forbids non-Mormon from entering its Salt Lake City temple? Or, when her father refuses to convert to Mormonism, has him baptized into the faith after his death? Or claims that she never argues with her husband, the autocratic and intimidating Bishop Romney? Or says that he never raises his voice to her (perhaps because she's so wonderfully submissive?) Or who describes their love like this in an anniversary video: "I think Mitt now will say that I dug it in really, really deep, and he’s never been able to escape the grasp that I got ahold of him."

Multiple Choice Mitt

For me the central issue is that people who are here illegally should be able to apply for citizenship; that should not be prohibited.
[Immigrants] should not be allowed to stay in this country and be given permanent residency or citizenship.

I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since my mom took that position when she ran [for Senate] in 1970.
I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard.
I was an avidly pro-life governor; I am a pro-life individual. I never really called myself pro-choice.

It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.
Of course I would have ordered taking out Osama bin Laden.

I believe the world is getting warmer ... I believe humans contribute to that.
My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet.

I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there.
It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.
[He avoided Vietnam by living in a French palace as a 19-year-old Mormon "missionary."]

I believe the tax on capital gains should be zero.
It’s a tax cut for fat cats.

I’m going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry. [Romney later wrote an essay titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."]

I'm a big believer in getting money where the money is, and the money's in Washington.
If our goal is jobs, we have to stop spending over a trillion dollars [more] than we take in every year.

I like [compulsory health insurance] mandates. The mandates work.
Being called the "grandfather of Obamacare" is a "compliment."
I would repeal Obamacare ... because it's a "costly disaster."

As the quotes above indicate, Mitt Romney is either lying through his teeth in order to get elected president, or he is so deeply conflicted that he doesn't know what he believes himself. In either case, he is unfit to be president.

Mitt Romney in his own Words

We should double Guantanamo!
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that!
Let Detroit go bankrupt!
I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back!
(Referring to the auto industry he wanted to go bankrupt.)
I would repeal Obamacare! (Even though Obamacare is modeled after his claim to fame, Romneycare.)
Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend!
Now, the banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now. They're overwhelmed with a lot of things. One is a lot of homes coming in, that are in foreclosure or in trouble ...
(Romney wants us to have compassion for banks because they are overwhelmed from repossessing so many homes!)
Let it [the home foreclosure crisis] run its course and hit the bottom!
Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom!

If we properly parse and interpret Romney's remarks above, it seems he has more compassion for heartless banks and corporations than he does for human beings. He opposed temporary loans for cash-strapped American automakers and the millions of workers and subcontractors they employ. He opposed any financial aid for millions of Americans facing home foreclosures. But he favored much larger bailouts of his fellow Wall Street tycoons and the big banks that created the foreclosure crisis with their greed and irresponsibility. What does that tell us about his priorities and values?

We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps. (Mitt Romney has two Harvard degrees.)

I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks. (Romney insulting NASCAR fans for wearing plastic rain ponchos at the Daytona 500.)

I'm in this race because I care about Americans [but] I'm not concerned about the very poor [and] he dismissed 47% of Americans, or roughly 150 million people, as lazy, irresponsible freeloaders who only think they are entitled to food, housing and healthcare, implying that they are not really entitled to live, in his opinion, since a decent human life requires food, housing and healthcare.

Atta girl! (Taunting a closeted gay high school student, Gary Hummel.)

He can't look like that! That's wrong! Just look at him! (Before tackling a gay classmate, John Lauber, pinning him to the ground and cutting off his long, bleached-blonde hair.)

One of Romney's former classmates compared him to the Lord of the Flies, because of incidents like those above.

I didn’t ask you a question! (This was Romney's insulting comment to Cheryl Arnett, a first grade teacher from Craig, Colorado, when she tried to suggest a solution to an educational problem during a roundtable discussion.)

Mitt Romney explains why he is not qualified to become president:

If I had paid more [federal income taxes] than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. (But Romney chose not to claim all his charitable contributions on his 2011 tax return, in order to keep his tax rate from falling below the13% he said he never fell below when he disclosed his 2010 taxes.)

Creepy Romney

Joe Conason reported in The National Memo that Mitt Romney routinely impersonated police officers by donning a cop uniform that was apparently a gift from his father. One of Romney’s friends, Robin Madden, claims he "told us that he was using it to pull over drivers on the road. He also had a red flashing light that he would attach to the top of his white Rambler." Madden’s wife added, "We thought it was all pretty weird. We all thought, 'Wow, that’s pretty creepy.'" According to Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman in their article "The Real Romney," other sources said that Romney schemed with friends to prank two girls. Romney "put a siren on top of his car and chased two of his friends who were driving around with their dates." Romney pulled them over and "discovered" beer in the truck. Romney and his friends then got into Romney’s car and left the girls behind.

How Willard Mitt Romney Dodged the Draft and the Vietnam War by Vacationing in a French Palace

The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor. ~ Voltaire
Let them eat [non-existent] cake! ~ Marie Antoinette
We should double Guantanamo! ~ Willard Mitt Romney
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that!
~ Willard Mitt Romney
Let Detroit go bankrupt!
~ Willard Mitt Romney
I would repeal Obamacare! ~ Willard Mitt Romney
Don't try and stop the foreclosure process! Let it run its course and hit the bottom! ~ Willard Mitt Romney

Corporations are people, my friend! ... Of course they are! ... Human beings, my friend! ... Now, the banks aren't bad people! They're just overwhelmed right now! They're overwhelmed with a lot of things. One is a lot of homes coming in, that are in foreclosure or in trouble!


Willard Mitt Romney wants us to have compassion for banks because they are overwhelmed from repossessing so many homes! I find that very odd. But what should we expect from a man who avoided the draft and the Vietnam war by vacationing in a French palace as a 19-year-old "missionary"? Here are reports on the matter from reputable sources ...

Daily Kos: Romney supported and protested for the United States to continue drafting young men to be sent to fight and die in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. But when it was Mitt's turn to possibly be drafted, he ran away from America as fast as he could and found refuge in France where he lived in a Palace staffed by two servants—a Spanish chef and a houseboy named Jose.

The Daily Mail: When the president of the [Mormon] mission returned to the U.S. to bury his wife, Romney, who was his assistant, was left in charge, relocating from Bordeaux to a palatial residence in Paris, complete with chandeliers and servants ...

Seeking to show Americans that he can understand their troubles, Mitt Romney has reflected on the time he spent in France as a Mormon missionary. Romney said he lived in apartments so rundown that he was forced to defecate in a bucket and shower with a hose. "Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators," Romney said last week at a town hall New Hampshire. "I don’t actually recall any of them having a refrigerator."

But according to fellow American missionaries who spoke with the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph, Romney not only had a refrigerator and toilet, but a lot more. The missionaries said Romney spent most of his time in France in a Paris mansion that some described as a "palace." It featured a cook, a servant, stained glass windows and expensive art, and later became an embassy!

The Daily Telegraph: ... for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. "It was a house built by and for rich people," said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr. Romney’s stay. "I would describe it as a palace". Tearful as he described the house, Mr Anderson, 70, of Kaysville, Utah, said Romney aides had asked him not to speak publicly about their time together there. The building, on Rue de Lota, was bought by the Mormons in 1952, having been seized by the Nazis during the Second World War. The Church sold it again in the 1970s, and it was until recently the embassy of the United Arab Emirates. It is currently worth as much as $12 million (£7.7 million). Mr. Romney moved into the building following a stay in Bordeaux, after being promoted to assistant to the president, Duane Anderson ... He was given a room on the third floor. "They were very big rooms," said Christian Euvrard, the 72-year-old director of the Mormon-run Institute of Religion in Paris, who knew Mr. Romney. "Very comfortable. The building had beautiful gilded interiors, a magnificent staircase in cast iron, and an immense hall."

National Memo: In 1966 during the Viet Nam war, Romney attended Stanford University in California and while hundreds-of-thousands of young Americans across the nation were protesting the war and the ever-expanding military draft, Willard was participating in a pro-draft demonstration to support sending young Americans to fight and die in South East Asia. While Romney’s classmates were protesting a test designed to help authorities decide who was eligible for the draft, he joined 150 other conservatives to show their support for expanding the draft. Willard did not just join demonstrators, he told a protest leader that "he had some experience with the press, and that he would handle the press for him if he wanted him to." Like many hawkish politicians of his generation, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney managed to avoid serving in the Vietnam War through family connections. The young Romney could not use a student deferment from the draft — having dropped out of Stanford University after only two semesters — but avoided service anyway with the assistance of the Mormon elders. The son of George Romney, then Michigan’s governor, he was one of a limited number of Mormon youth chosen as missionaries — a status that protected him from the draft between July 1966 and February 1969 as a "minister of religion or divinity student." Essentially, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints re-routed Romney from Vietnam to the south of France, where he served as missionary. According to Romney, proselytizing in la belle France was no picnic. Romney recently rebutted suggestions that his immense wealth has left him out of touch with ordinary Americans by claiming he learned how the other 99 percent live through his service in France. According to Romney, his French quarters had no working bathroom ... But Romney’s gritty recollections contradict those of his fellow American missionaries, who told The Daily Telegraph that Romney lived in a "palace." Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president during Romney’s stay, described it as "a house built by and for rich people," complete with stained glass windows (which scandalized the Mormon missionaries due to their depiction of a bare-breasted woman), chandeliers, massive bedrooms, a full-time chef, a houseboy, and yes — a working bathroom. That’s not to say that Romney was lying when he said that he was "not living high on the hog at that kind of level;" for a man who’s worth over $200 million and who doesn’t hesitate to offer $10,000 bets, the French palace may indeed have seemed like a "lower middle income" existence.

The Romney Economy

Before anyone buys the complete and utter malarkey that Mitt Romney is a "job creator" who is "tough on China," they should read How Freeport Became Bainport.

Shit Mitt Emits

To get to know Mitt Romney in his own words, please click here: Shit Mitt Emits.

Mitt Malarkey

I think Vice President Joe Biden found the perfect term to describe the fountain of irrational nonsense that constantly bubbles up from the overheated cores of Myth Romney and Lyin' Ryan, like a political Old Unfaithful: "malarkey." Biden set the Internet a-twitter with a flurry of tweets after he accused Myth Romney and Lyin' Ryan of dishonesty so pervasive their assertions are pure hogwash.

ma·lar·key noun /mə lär kē/ also malarky, mullarky
Meaningless, idle, insincere, phony, pretentious or foolish talk, usually intended to deceive.
Example: "snookered by a lot of malarkey" (New Republic)
Synonyms: balderdash, blather, bunk, bunkum, claptrap, drivel, garbage, hogwash, idiocy, nonsense, piffle, poppycock, rigmarole, rubbish, tomfoolery, trash, twaddle, tommyrot, (slang) applesauce, baloney, bilge, bull, bunk, crap, hooey

The hashtag #malarkey became instantaneously popular and "malarkey" was a top four Google search term during the debate. Here's what Biden said: "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey—because not a single thing he [Ryan] said was accurate." Later, Biden hit Ryan with, "This is a lot of stuff," by which he obviously meant "shit." Biden also accused Romney and Ryan of "loose talk" for political gain that endangers American diplomats and soldiers.

During the debate, @PiersMorgan said, "Biden's smirk is infectious. I'm starting to laugh too. Maybe this is a deliberate cunning strategy." @KrystalBall said, "People are complaining about Biden smiling/laughing. I like it. Paul Ryan is saying absurd things."

Mitt Romney's Extreme Makeover

President Barack Obama recently suggested that Mitt Romney must be bonkers if he thinks American voters will fall for his Etch-a-Sketch act, saying: "He's trying to go through an extreme makeover. After running for more than a year in which he called himself severely conservative, Mitt Romney's trying to convince you that he was severely kidding." Obama mocked this "latest version of Mr. Romney" and again claimed that his opponent was advancing a $5 trillion tax cut that would mostly benefit the wealthiest Americans, while claiming without proof that it would pay for itself, likening Romney's approach to deficit-busting George W. Bush "trickle down" economics: "We heard that same argument back in 2000, back in 2001, back in 2003. We have heard this pitch before — we know it doesn't work."

Bishop Romney

Willard Mitt Romney is a High Priest of the Mormon Church, and once served as a Bishop over a diocese (called a "stake"). While I would not normally be concerned about a presidential candidate's religious beliefs, I would if he was a brainwashed Moonie, for obvious reasons. I think we should all be concerned about the High Priest of a bizarre cult running for president. Here are just a few of the many strange teachings of the Mormon church:

• God the Father is a polygamist who lives on the planet Kolob, where he has sex with his harem of wives.
• God the Father had physical sex with Mary.
• Jesus was and is a polygamist.
• Mormon men will become Gods.
• Mormon wives can only enter heaven if their husbands consent; in heaven they will remain eternally pregnant, bearing innumerable spirit children.
• Human beings are not saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but by participating in the secret sacraments of the Mormon temple.
• Because salvation depends on temple sacraments, Mormon priests can sentence people to hell, by excommunicating them.
• This, of course, gives the Mormon church and its priests tremendous power over church members.

There are many credible reports of the Mormon church using that power to brainwash and control its members. And it turns out that Bishop Romney has been accused of using ruthless, cold-blooded and high-handed tactics himself, especially against women (which is not surprising in a cult whose most famous—or infamous—teaching is polygamy). For instance, Peggy Hayes, who once babysat Romney's children, said that when she was single and expecting, he showed up at her house one day, demanding that she surrender her baby to the church, via adoption. When she indignantly refused, Romney "somewhat casually" threatened her with excommunication, which was, in effect, to threaten her with hell. It seems Bishop Romney had appointed himself a God, here on earth, with the power to save women or condemn them to hell. Today, Peggy Hayes says, "My son was a gift to me" and "I'm so glad that I didn't listen to Mitt's advice." She thinks Romney is unfit to be president because "He follows the doctrines [of the Mormon church] so closely that he can't waver from it much."

Mitt's Magical Undies

As a High Priest of the Mormon Church, Bishop Romney must wear magical undergarments with special occult symbols that, according to Mormon dogma, protect him from lust, supernatural entities (demons) and various other dangers. Kay Burningham, a lawyer who left Mormonism, explains: "It’s very cultish in its behavior and what it demands of its people. It doesn’t allow free thought and it makes them perform these legalistic, symbolic, very strange behaviors, and tells them that those are required of God for their salvation." When Kay married a Mormon she was given magical underwear on her wedding day. She recalls that on the morning after her wedding night, "I awoke drenched in sweat, and found symbolic markings over the magic undergarments I was wearing." Bizarre occult signs covered her breasts and naval: "They resembled pagan signs, Masonic markings and had nothing whatsoever to do with God or religion." She was required to wear these church-endorsed undergarments every day, beneath her outer clothing.

Park Romney

Park Romney is a former Mormon high priest. He is also Mitt Romney’s second cousin and bears a striking resemblance to his famous relative. He calls Mormonism "an insidious contemporary fraud" and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints "an American cult." Bishop Romney, he claims, would be conflicted in office because "obedience to the leadership of the Mormon Church is part of the covenant of the temple ordinances to which Mitt Romney is absolutely a party."

Mitt Romney was a Mormon missionary to France in the 1960s, studied at the almost-exclusively Mormon Brigham Young University, and rose to become a Bishop and a Stake President (diocesan leader). He led Sunday services, ran Bible classes for children, and presided over a 4,000-strong congregation in Boston for five years in the 1980s. Like all Mormons, he is expected to give 10% of his annual income to the Church and not drink tea, coffee or alcohol. Committed Mormons wear magical underpants, and Romney is believed to follow this tenet of his faith too.

Park Romney questions founder Joseph Smith's prophecies: for example, his alleged "translation" of an Egyptian scroll, part of the Mormon book of Abraham, which Egyptologists say is a fraud. Mormons believe Smith found golden scripture plates buried by an angel, but according to Park Romney, "There's compelling evidence that the Mormon Church leaders knowingly and willfully misrepresent the historical truth of their origins and of the Church for the purpose of deceiving their members into a state of mind that renders them exploitable." According to Park Romney the Mormon leadership are "masters of mendacity" who brainwash their followers in order to take their money and control their lives. If he's right, Mitt Romney is either hopelessly gullible, or one of the cynical manipulators. In either case, he is not fit to be president.

A Concerned Mother Explains Why Mitt Romney Cannot Be Trusted

"My two-year-old daughter, Zoe, was born with half a heart. For her, that is and will forever be a 'pre-existing condition'—she required two open heart surgeries already, and she'll need one more within the next year. At the [first] debate, Mitt Romney told you, me, and everyone else in America that repealing Obamacare would be his first priority as president, including the part of Obamacare that says insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage or charge more based on pre-existing conditions. He said his repeal plan will take care of people with pre-existing conditions, but then his top campaign aide 'clarified' after the debate that all he means is he would go back to the inadequate system that existed before Obamacare, which allowed insurance companies to deny coverage and resulted in bankruptcies and broken families. In other words, despite what he said in the debate, his campaign says he has no intention to do anything to help people like my daughter, Zoe, if she ever loses coverage. I don't say this stuff because I'm a political junkie. I'm not. I pay attention to this because I have to ... The stakes couldn't be higher in this election."—Stacey Lihn

China Finds Comfort in Mitt Romney's Serial Flip-Flopping

China’s Xinhua news service recently called Mitt Romney "foolish" and hypocritical, declaring: "It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics." According to The New Yorker, China had previously "been pleased by his association with Bain Capital, which had been energetic in trying to assist Chinese companies buy American technology firms." But then Romney switched from being an outsourcer of American technology and jobs to China, to being a critic of China. This bewildered China: "Is Romney only capable of saying slogans?" the Global Times asked. But China found hope and comfort in the fact that Romney is a serial flip-flopper who often says what he doesn't really mean: "Is Romney’s toughness toward China just a scam? Western media believed it a temporary tactic by Romney to win the presidential election. His soft stance is only a matter of time."

"How is it China’s been so successful in taking away our jobs?" Mitt Romney asked recently. "Well, let me tell you how: by cheating." But in his former "soft stance" it was Romney who, through Bain Capital and its affiliates, invested millions of dollars in Chinese companies like Asimco Technologies and notorious sweatshops like Global Tech Appliances, even as they acquired American technology and jobs with Romney's and Bain's assistance. According to The New York Times, Romney's financial disclosures reveal investments in at least seven Chinese companies. So his words and actions fail to mesh. A confidential prospectus for one of the Bain funds, obtained by The New York Times, promotes China as a good investment for the very reasons that Romney says concern him: "Strong fundamentals" like manufacturing wages 85 percent lower than what Americans earn, vast foreign exchange reserves and the likelihood that China will surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy.

Global Tech has been accused of violating patents, and for outsourcing Amercian jobs through its involvement with American manufacturers like Sunbeam. Sunbeam was run by Albert J. Dunlap, nicknamed "Chainsaw Al" for destroying so many American jobs. Sunbeam announced at least 6,400 layoffs in 1998, putting it among the top 10 in the country. And yet Romney invested millions of dollars in Global Tech, owning more than ten percent of its stock at one point.

Romney described touring Chinese factories during a Feb. 11, 1998 panel discussion at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston. During that discussion—which also featured Andrew Cuomo, who was then-secretary of Housing and Urban Development and is now governor of New York—Romney said, "I just came back from a trip to China, and I went to a factory of 5,000 workers making bread makers and mixers and so forth. And 5,000 Chinese, all graduated from high school, 18 to 24 years old, were working, working, working, as hard as they could, at rates of roughly 50 cents an hour ... they wouldn’t even look up as we walked by."

It seems Romney never asked himself why the workers didn't look up, or why he saw Chinese factories surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers (as he revealed in another discussion at a Boca Raton fundraiser), or why the workers were all so young. (and therefore vulnerable to exploitation). No, it seems all that Romney saw was an opportunity to make even more money ...

The American Taliban

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have designated themselves "America's Comeback Team" but they seem more like the Taliban to me, with their chauvinistic attitudes towards women and non-heterosexuals, and their autocratic alpha male machismo. They both have advocated prayer in schools. Romney has endorsed "religious ornamentation and celebration" in the public square. They sealed their political nuptials by running down to the podium from a battleship, laughing and waving, even though neither of them ever served in the US military. Paul Ryan looks and dresses like a Cold War spook. Mitt Romney blinks ten thousand times per second, has the most artificial smile I have ever seen, and seems to have absolutely no regard for the truth, or any empathy for ordinary Americans. Do we really want Ayatollah Romney and Imam Ryan to preside over the erstwhile Land of the Free?

Romney and the Romulans Restart the Cold War

In his recent speech at the Virginia Military Institute, Mitt Romney said, "I’ll implement effective missile defenses to protect against [unspecified] threats. And on this, there will be no flexibility with Vladimir Putin." The Cold War finally ended when Ronald Reagan formed a friendship with Mikhail Gorbachev that was based on mutual respect and a willingness on both sides to compromise for the sake of peace. Now Romney and his bellicose neocon advisers want to junk detente and return to the days of nuclear brinksmanship. But the US already has its hands full in the Middle East and with China. Do we really want to bully Russia and risk another Deep Freeze?

As Joe Biden pointed out recently, Romney and the neocons "see the world through a cold war prism that is totally out of touch with the realities of the twenty-first century." Christopher Preble said, "Romney’s likely to be in the mold of George W. Bush when it comes to foreign policy ... I can’t name a single Romney foreign policy adviser who believes the Iraq War was a mistake." When Romney called Russia "without question our number one geopolitical foe," he was immediately rebuked by everybody with a brain. David C. Speedie called Romney's statement "palpably ridiculous." Colin Powell said, "Well, c’mon, Mitt; think! That isn’t the case." John Kerry called the comment "naive." Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Romney's remark "smacked of Hollywood" and reminded him of the Cold War. Lawrence J. Korb agreed with Medvedev, saying: "Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not faced an existential threat, nor does it have any 'number one' geopolitical or nation state foes ... The rhetoric of geopolitical foes should be retired as a relic of the Cold War." In a poll of foreign policy experts taken by the L. A. Times, not one named Russia as our "number one geopolitical foe." Two named Iran, two said "nobody" and two suggested that the US may be its own worst enemy (perhaps because of politicians like Romney?). If he surrounds himself with hawks still intent on fighting the Cold War, we could miss out of the dividends of peace and go bankrupt fighting needless, unwinnable battles.

Mitt Romney’s Sick Joke

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, hammered Mitt Romney for his factual inaccuracies and outright lies during the first presidential debate, saying: "OK, so Obama did a terrible job in the debate, and Romney did well. But in the end, this isn’t or shouldn’t be about theater criticism, it should be about substance. And the fact is that everything Obama said was basically true, while much of what Romney said was either outright false or so misleading as to be the moral equivalent of a lie. Above all, there’s this: "Number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan." No, they aren’t. Romney’s advisers have conceded as much in the past; last night they did it again. I guess you could say that Romney’s claim wasn’t exactly a lie, since some people with preexisting conditions would retain coverage. But as I said, it’s the moral equivalent of a lie; if you think he promised something real, you’re the butt of a sick joke. And we’re talking about a lot of people left out in the cold: 89 million, to be precise. Furthermore, all of this should be taken in the context of Romney’s plan not just to repeal Obamacare but to drastically cut Medicaid. So enough with the theater criticism; Romney needs to be held accountable for dishonesty on a huge scale."

Mythical Conservatism

Krugman had previously pointed out that Paul Ryan's budget plan would leave "tens of millions" of people without health insurance and take money from the poor to give it to the rich, while increasing the budget deficit. "How can [Ryan] get away with this?" he asked incredulously, wondering how Americans can fall for this "flimflam." He also skewered the belief that Ryan is serious about balancing the budget, calling him a "mythical" conservative: "Paul Ryan understood that a lot of people in the media [and] a lot of people in the beltway establishment wanted there to be such a person, and so he played into that desire. He became the figure of their dreams. In reality, he is nothing like that."

Mr. One Percent

Peter Gloor of FairShareTaxes.org explains how Mitt Romney would reduce taxes for the 1% to 1% or less: "Warren Buffett, billionaire, pays a total tax rate (federal, state & local; personal & corporate) of 11% of his income and investment gains. A single person earning a minimum wage pays taxes amounting to 37% of her wages, double Mr. Buffett’s rate [and Romney's]. Mr Obama wants to end this inequity; Romney wants to expand it. Romney has applauded his running-mate's budget, which coincidentally, would reduce his own federal tax rate to 1% [.0082, to be exact]. He has said he would sign that budget bill. The top 1% in the US have gone from owning 22% to 40% of the nation's wealth in the last thirty years. This is largely due to the tax cuts for the wealthy investor class, started under Reagan. They were supposed to encourage investment and strengthen the economy. Since then, the average annual GDP growth dropped by one-quarter. Twice in our history the wealth held by the top 1% reached 40%. Once before the Great Depression and right before our current Great Recession. Coincidence? [Hardly!]" Gloor concludes that unless we implement a fairer system of taxation soon, "All but the wealthiest are at risk of losing their jobs, homes, retirement savings."

Comedians Complain: "Mitt Romney is beyond satire, and yet he keeps beating us to the punch!"

One would think that a presidential candidate who seems to be a cross between Beaver Cleaver and the android Data, with a bit of Lurch and Herman Munster thrown in for good (or bad) measure, would be a comedian's dream come true. But the Romneybot's uber-Mormon-cleanliness, alienness, stiffness, and utter lack of human warmth, charm and personality ... well, it leaves comedians with the problem of trying to make fun of a vacuum cleaner. Human beings are funny because they are human. Robots are not funny unless they have human foibles, like C-3PO. Will Tracy, editor of the satirical news site The Onion explains: "We have had quite a bit of fun with Mitt Romney, but my sense is that we are fighting against a certain amount of disinterest in him as a human being, which seems to be the exact thing Mitt Romney himself is fighting against. Nevertheless, anyone who sleeps upon a massive pile of crisp $100 bills every night, as I’ve been assured he does, is bound to yield a few interesting stories."

Fire Big Bird, Outsource Sesame Street to China!

During his first presidential debate with President Barack Obama, the extraterrestrial android known here on earth as Willard Mitt Romney came up with a truly unique solution: fire Big Bird and outsource Sesame Street, along with the rest of PBS, most probably to China.

(Speaking of China, why did Mitt Romney invest millions of dollars in a Chinese sweat shop where thousands of young girls worked as virtual slaves, in terrible conditions, surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers? You and I would have reported the girls' plight to the proper authorities and the American public. Mitt Romney saw an opportunity to make lots of money and became a financial partner of the slave drivers.)

President Obama pointed out Romney's absurdity: "When he was asked what he'd actually do to cut the deficit and reduce spending, he said he'd eliminate funding for public television. That was his answer. I mean thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird. It's about time! We didn't know that Big Bird was driving the federal deficit. But that's what we heard last night. How about that? Elmo, too?"

PBS quickly issued a statement noting that the federal outlay for public broadcasting was "one one-hundredth of one percent" of the nation’s budget.

The internet community was not nearly as polite, producing images of Big Bird giving Romney the bird, creating a "Big Bird for President" Facebook page, and plotting a Million Muppet March on Washington.

Romney's suggested sacking of Big Bird set the internet a-twitter, creating a spike of 350,000 tweets (roughly 17,000 per minute). Supporters of the popular Sesame Street character rushed to Twitter to create accounts such as @SadBigBird and @FiredBigBird, with messages like: "Mitt Romney favors Wall Street over Sesame Street." By the following morning, Romney's remark had emerged as an Internet meme: a cultural event reinterpreted in commentary and parody online. One image depicted Big Bird seated on the front stoop, next to two children, holding a sign declaring: "Will work for food."

The debate was the most tweeted-about political event in U.S. history. Users posted 10.3 million tweets about the 90-minute debate, eclipsing the 9.5 million tweets generated about the multi-day Democratic National Convention early last month. The Republican National Convention produced less than half as many tweets: 4 million, according to Twitter. Romney's dissing and dismissing of Big Bird didn't spark the largest reaction, however. That came when Romney started to suggest a debate topic, saying, "Let's talk about —" and moderator Jim Lehrer quipped, "Let’s not." That phrase generated 158,690 tweets per minute, and was my favorite moment of the debate.

Romney was so rude to Lehrer that Jimmy Fallon, playing Romney in a skit about the debate, told the actor playing Lehrer to "Shut the f*** up!"

Romney looked uneasy firing Big Bird, according to body language expert Chris Kowal: "When he talked about Big Bird he looked down at his right and I suspect he was actually uncomfortable making that point. If you're uncomfortable with something you don't give great eye contact." Kowal also said that Romney expressed "anger, contempt, scorn and pride," saying, "Those are the emotions that voters in his base feel." Kowal is a professor at Purdue University who has studied Obama's and Romney's facial expressions since 2007. He said that the emotions Obama expressed were "positive" on the whole. Republicans claim in a new ad that Obama sported a "smirk" at times during the debate, which they suggest is a sign that he was "uncomfortable" and struggling with his answers. Kowal, however, said that Obama's face registered more frustration than uncertainty, according to his software. And that's completely understandable, since Romney lied repeatedly during the debate (numerous examples appear below).

While Romney professed to "love" Big Bird despite being ready to give him the ax, he has also professed to care deeply about Americans whose jobs he outsourced to China during his stint as CEO of Bain Capital. Such cold-blooded axings have left many Americans wondering if thethird strike will be aimed at them. Romney comes across as an eel-slick, consummate salesman who will say and do anything necessary to "trim away the fat," in order to close a deal and make lots of money for his employers. But the "fat" seems to be "we the people," while the employers funding Romney's run for the presidency are mega-billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers. If Romney's partner in crime Paul Ryan succeeds in eliminating federal income taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends—the main revenue sources of billionaire investors—their effective tax rates will drop to below 1%, along with Romney's. President Obama and Bill Clinton are correct that the Romney-Ryan budget math just doesn't add up: there is no way to give the super-rich such exorbitant tax breaks without either raising taxes on middle income Americans, or slashing the safety nets of the elderly, sick and poor. Or both.

Romney's main talent and the source of his own wealth is helping the rich get richer, by "trimming fat," which means liquidating jobs. He once said that he likes being able to fire people, and I see no reason not to take him at his word. He was against the federal government making loans to cash-strapped auto companies or helping homeowners facing foreclosures, but he was for much larger bailouts of his fellow Wall Street tycoons and the big banks. He recently called 47% of Americans, or roughly 150 million people, lazy freeloaders. So it's not hard to see why he refuses to reveal any of the specifics of his "plans." He clearly favors the rich and successful, and sees everyone else as so much dead weight. And while Romney has promised not to raise taxes on the middle income class, he recently revealed that by "middle income" he means families who make $200,000 to $250,000 per year, even though the median income for American families is only $50,000. Romney can't reveal the specifics of his budget plan until after the election, because he is about to ratchet up the economic suffering for all but the wealthiest Americans. He can only win the election by persuading poor- and middle-income Americans that he is their "savior," but his real allegiance is to the financial elite.

Some people are claiming that Romney "won" the debate, but I disagree. I think it was more like a cobra mesmerizing a mouse, preparing for the lethal strike.

President Obama seemed to see the same sort of "cobra dance," saying at a post-debate rally: "Gov. Romney may dance around his positions but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth."

Obama accused Romney of once again changing his political stripes: "I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn't have been Mitt Romney" because the "real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow on stage last night said he didn't know anything about that." The president also accused Romney of misrepresenting past statements on education and outsourcing, concluding that Romney "does not want to be held accountable ... because he knows full well that we don't want what he's selling."

Obama seemed to be initially caught off guard by Romney's gigantic flip-flop on his budget "plan." For months Romney has been talking about massive new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, coupled with a massive increase in military spending. Out of blue nothing, Romney suddenly disavowed the main planks of his economic platform. "It was a very vigorous performance, but one devoid of honesty," David Axelrod said of Romney, accusing him of delivering "fraudulent" lines that will be hard to hold up over the remainder of the campaign.

Brenda Peterson suggested that Romney didn't "win" with many women, saying: "The women I spoke with who watched the debate were dismayed by Romney's rude interruptions, his high-handed dismissal of the venerable PBS moderator, Jim Lehrer, his turning away from the audience—who should be his primary focus—to fix his feisty attention all on President Obama. While Obama calmly addressed the audience and moderator and the world audience, Romney was riveted on Obama as if he were the only person in the room. This is the way a predator focuses on prey. It's not the behavior of someone seeking to serve and heal a country divided. This was a sports event, not an exchange of ideas affecting us all deeply. Romney's fervent goal of seizing the presidency was evident in his body language, his snobbish smirks, his false sympathy for those of us "crushed" in the middle class—those 47 percent he so contemptuously dismissed when he was among his rich cronies. Romney's combative dogfight stance may impress men or those who have held power so long they assume it belongs to them. But women, or anyone who has been in an underclass or faced racism, read this behavior as arrogant and overly aggressive—the language and habit of dominance."

Romney came across as an alpha male bully intent on dominance to me also, and I felt my sympathies going out to Jim Lehrer, an elderly gentleman who deserved far more respect than Romney showed him.

Brenda Peterson again: "We've had bosses, fathers, boyfriends and co-workers like Romney who invade our space, try to dominate every discussion and see every encounter as a chance to 'win,' rather than dialogue. It's the old patriarchal model that women have endured for way too long ... many women are weary of angry, entitled white men controlling our bodies and our workplaces."

While it appeared at first glance that Romney won the first debate by being more aggressive and decisive, he may have won by aggressively and decisively lying ...

• Romney claimed that "pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan" but this was refuted after the debate by Eric Fehrnstrom, one of his top advisers. It would be up to 50 states to pass and enforce 50 laws before every American with pre-existing conditions was covered. Romney as president would have no authority over state laws, courts and legislatures. So his "plan" does not begin to cover everyone with pre-existing conditions.

• Romney haughtily and condescendingly denied that American companies receive tax breaks for moving jobs overseas, as if President Obama didn't know what he was talking about. But according to Annie Lowrey of the New York Times, the tax code currently allows companies to deduct certain expenses when they move operations overseas. As part of its plan to aid the manufacturing sector and promote job growth, the Obama administration has proposed ending this deduction, and instead giving tax credits to companies that move jobs back to the U.S.

• President Obama is correct that Romney rejected a deficit reduction plan that included $10 in spending cuts for every $1 of revenue increases. At a debate in Ames, Iowa, in August 2011, Bret Baier, a Fox News moderator, asked the Republican candidates to raise their hands if they would refuse to sign a legislative package that included $10 of spending cuts for every $1 of revenue increases. Slaves to a rigid ideology, they all dutifully raised their hands.

• Romney claimed that President Obama "doubled the deficit." This is a blatant lie. When Obama took office in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office had already estimated that the 2009 federal deficit would be $1.2 trillion. The deficit ended up being $1.4 trillion. For fiscal 2012, the deficit was $1.1 trillion, which is lower than when Obama took office. And "measured as a share of the economy, as economists prefer, the deficit has declined more significantly — from 10.1 percent of the economy's total output in 2009 to 7.3 percent for 2012."

• Romney claimed that President Obama is at fault for the Solyndra affair. However, the Solyndra grant process began under the George W. Bush administration, and it received bipartisan Congressional and lobbying support. Romney campaigned at the Solyndra factory in California, where he called the venture "a symbol of gross waste," a failure of the president’s stimulus package and an example of Mr. Obama¹s poor stewardship of a shaky economy. But Republicans bear much of the blame, perhaps because neither Republicans nor Democrats have perfect crystal balls.

• Romney claimed that President Obama had "cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare" but according to FactCheck.org these are cuts in the future growth of spending which will prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund. There is no transfer of existing money from Medicare to Obamacare, as Romney insinuated. The New York Times said that Obama "did not cut benefits by $716 billion over 10 years as part of his 2010 health care law; rather, he reduced Medicare reimbursements to health care providers, chiefly insurance companies and drug manufacturers. And the law gave Medicare recipients more generous benefits for prescription drugs and free preventive care like mammograms." While fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked this claim, it remains a standard attack line for Romney. The charge that Obama took $716 billion from Medicare recipients has several problems — not least the fact that Mr. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, included the identical savings in his annual budget plans that nearly all House Republicans voted for in the past two years.

• Romney denied proposing a $5 trillion tax cut, but he did, according to the New York Times, when he "proposed cutting all marginal tax rates by 20 percent — which would in and of itself cut tax revenue by $5 trillion." FactCheck.org has weighed in on this subject, tweeting during the debate that "Romney says he will pay for $5T tax cut without raising deficit or raising taxes on middle class. Experts say that's not possible." PolitiFact has also given a "mostly true" rating to the charge that "Romney is proposing a tax plan "that would give millionaires another tax break and raise taxes on middle class families by up to $2,000 a year." As President Obama pointed out, "For 18 months, he’s been running on this tax plan. Now, five weeks before the election, he’s saying that his big, bold idea is ... never mind." Here’s the problem. As explained in a detailed paper by the Tax Policy Center, if you cut tax rates by 20 percent, you give the wealthy a multibillion-dollar tax break. Even if you take away all their credits and loopholes and preferential rates, they still do not owe the government as much as they did before. If the rich are paying less, then the poor and middle class must pay more in order to raise the same amount of money.

• Romney said that six studies prove that Obama's charge about him raising taxes is "completely wrong." The "studies" Romney cited include two Wall Street Journal editorials, an article in the same paper by one of his own economic advisers, and two analyses by conservative think tanks. And even those studies, according to Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post, "do not provide much evidence that Romney's proposal — as sketchy as it is — would be revenue neutral without making unrealistic assumptions."

• Romney claimed that President Obama had "added almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined." That is not even close to being true.

• Romney claimed that ObamaCare creates "an unelected board that's going to tell people what kind of treatments they can have." This attempt to resurrect "death panels" was called "one of the biggest whoppers of the night" by National Journal, which says it's a line Republicans "regularly and inaccurately" use. In fact, the Medicare board created by ObamaCare is "explicitly restricted from directly cutting Medicare benefits." Its charge is to keep overall spending within a specific target. According to PolitiFact, "Romney's claim can leave viewers with the impression that the board makes health-care decisions for individual Americans, and that's not the case."

• Romney claimed that half the green energy companies given stimulus funds had failed, but three out of nearly three dozen is far less than half. Romney's claim is "a gross overstatement," according to John M. Broder in The New York Times.

• Romney said, "I’m not going to cut education funding. But in the past Romney and Ryan have both said they would do just that, particularly Pell grants and student loans. Romney is on the record as saying that students should borrow from their parents: "Take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents." But many parents don’t have enough money to finance their children’s educations. Romney seems like an out-of-touch elitist. His father was the CEO of a major automaker, AMC, but few American children are beneficiaries of such wealth. Romney's own position paper on education says he would "refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students who need them most," suggesting that fewer people would qualify. That Romney would allow banks bank into the federal student loan system is also evidence that he would cut Pell Grants. Obama eliminated the banks’ role as middlemen servicing the loans, saving billions of dollars in fees—money that is helping pay for the Pell expansion. In a speech to donors in Florida that was overheard by reporters, Mr. Romney said he would either merge the federal Education Department with another agency "or perhaps make it a heck of a lot smaller." As always, Romney’s "plans" are very hazy, and light on specifics, but it seems that he intends to save money by reducing educational opportunities for less affluent students.

• Romney vowed to repeal ObamaCare, but that would actually increase the federal deficit. This summer, after Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill to repeal the law, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that doing so would increase the federal deficit by $109 billion over the next decade. Repealing the law would also mean that 30 million fewer people would have health insurance by 2022.

• Romney promised to create 12 million jobs over the next four years if he is elected president, but that is about how many jobs the economy is already expected to create, according to some economic forecasters.

Mr. Etch a Sketch

John Avlon, a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, wrote about the first presidential debate: The Etch a Sketch was in full effect at the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night. Mitt Romney put forward a strong performance, transforming back into his 2002 Massachusetts moderate mold, a belated advocate of bipartisan leadership. It would have had a lot more impact if it hadn't contradicted almost every policy statement Romney has made on the campaign trail since he started running for president. This flip-flopping is a force of habit, but it was used to great effect, reflecting a campaign and a candidate finally focused on the general electorate. The audacity of the Etch a Sketch was evident in the first 15 minutes of the debate, when Mitt Romney said, "I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans." It was an eye-popping assertion, almost as if the candidate hadn't been listening to his own campaign rhetoric for the past 18 months or more. ["Etch A Sketch" entered the campaign lexicon in March, when Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told CNN that Romney would shift from being a conservative in the primaries to a moderate for the general election.] The pattern continued with Romney asserting that after repealing Obamacare, he would advocate the implementation of his own individual mandate plan—"And the best course for health care is to do what we did in my state"—but it would be state by state, along a federalist model. Romney did not hesitate to play the MediScare card—the most discredited Democrat tactic against entitlement reform, but apparently acceptable if it is done by a Republican trying to win Florida. Happily, for hypocrisy watchers, this move also scored worst with the focus group of undecided voters conducted by CNN's Erin Burnett in Denver during the debate. The litany of flip-flops increased when the candidates' policy positions were pushed for specifics ...

Romney's Bad Budget Math

William Gale, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, wrote: For months, voters have been in the dark about key details of Mitt Romney's tax plans. He specified $5 trillion in tax cuts, a 20% cut in income tax rates, a 40% cut in the corporate tax rate, repeal of the estate tax and alternative minimum tax and elimination of taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for households with incomes below $200,000. He did not want his changes to raise the deficit, but he was utterly mum on how to raise $5 trillion to offset the tax cuts. During the summer, two colleagues and I showed that if Romney did not want to add new taxes on savings and investments—and raising savings and investments is the second of four main planks in Romney's overall economic package—he could not finance his tax cuts without generating a net tax cut for households with income above $200,000. Even if all the available tax expenditures were closed in the most progressive manner possible, it would not raise enough revenue among high-income households to offset the tax cuts they would receive. This was true even when we adjusted the revenue estimates to allow for the impact of potential economic growth, and even when we gave the campaign a trillion-dollar mulligan by ignoring the cost of the corporate tax cuts. As a result, we concluded that if Romney did not impose new taxes on savings and investments, the only way to finance his tax cut proposals and reach revenue neutrality was to raise taxes on households with income below $200,000. This was not a forecast of what Romney would actually do; it was simply a matter of arithmetic.

Romney Hood: Debate Winner or Sinner?

Most voters probably don't fully understand what a "revenue neutral" tax plan really means. But they will soon learn, if Mitt Romney becomes president. Revenue neutral means that the tax system will be changed, but will not bring in more money. It's essentially a way to redistribute money from one group of taxpayers to another. Romney's blind adherence to Republican dogma forbids him from raising revenues to reduce the national debt. Therefore, wealth redistribution and spending cuts alone can reduce the deficit, in Romney's scheme. This is not liberal conjecture, but basic math, as Bill Clinton recently pointed out.

Romney's plan sounds evil and crazy, because it is evil and crazy: he wants to transfer even more of the nation's wealth to the richest Americans, by robbing lower- and middle-class Americans.

Romney's argument is one we heard before, from the lips of President George W. Bush. It's been called "supply-side economics," "trickle down economics" and "voodoo economics". The idea is that if we give wealthy people truckloads of money by deeply slashing the taxes they pay, some of the largesse will "trickle down" to the American public. But the Bush tax cuts had the opposite effect, resulting in the worst recession in 70 years. The rich have gotten richer, while unemployment remains high and wages remain low.

Now Romney plans to redistribute wealth as Bush Junior did, but on steroids. Although during the debate Romney lied, saying that he has not proposed a $5 trillion tax cut that will mostly benefit the wealthy, even Republican think tanks have agreed that he actually has, unless he can come up with $5 trillion in cost savings, plus $2 trillion more to cover his proposed increases in military spending over the next ten years. Again, it's just basic math.

How does Romney intend to further enrich the super-rich? If his plan is actually revenue-neutral, tax experts say that he will have to either increase taxes for other Americans, or make drastic cuts to the safety nets people like Romney love to call "entitlements." So, for instance, Romney will probably follow his running mate Paul Ryan's proposal to strip away the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families. Thus, the working poor will pay higher taxes. PBS and Big Bird will have to go. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education, environmental protection, food safety, and other "wasteful" programs will also have to go, or suffer drastic cuts.

Who benefits? The wealthy. For instance, Romney's plan eliminates all federal taxes on investment income (capital gains) and inheritances (estate taxes).

Romney has revealed his disdain for the 47 percent of Americans who don't make enough money to pay federal income tax. Romney describes them as parasitic, government-dependent layabouts who refuse to take responsibility for their lives. But in reality they include retirees who paid taxes all their working days, soldiers, teachers, firefighters, cops, and people who are out of work today because of the voodoo economics of people like George W. Bush and Willard Mitt Romney.

Bishop Rotney Ridicules NASCAR Fans

While Bishop Romney is not a fan of NASCAR racing, he has "some great friends who are NASCAR team owners." But he doesn't seem to think much of NASCAR fans. He mocked race-goers he saw wearing plastic rain ponchos, saying: "I like those fancy raincoats you bought. Really sprung for the big bucks."

Why does Romney speak and act so boorishly to people who are not incredibly wealthy? In his own words he explains that being rich and famous is the key to happiness: "When I was a boy ... when I was a boy ... I used to think that becoming rich and becoming famous would make me happy ... boy was I right!" So according to Romney, money really does make the world go 'round, and he seems to be unhappy with anyone who's not in his economic class.

Bishop Romney Accuses Ordinary Americans of Envy

Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of promoting the "bitter politics of envy." And according to Romney, if you question the motives and tactics of Wall Street and the big banks, you too are full of bitter envy. Here's an illuminating exchange on the Today Show ...

MATT LAUER: When you said that we already have a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy, I'm curious about the word "envy." Did you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country, is envious? Is it about jealousy, or fairness?

ROMNEY: You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it's about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent versus one percent, and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent, you have opened up a wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.

LAUER: Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?

ROMNEY: I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms and discussions about tax policy and the like. But the president has made it part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It's a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach and I think it will fail.

So if you and I question the way Wall Street and the big banks act, then according to Mitt the Ripper, we must be envious!

Bishop Romney Expresses Compassion for Corporations and Banks, but not Average Americans

One of the strangest things about Mitt Romney is that he seems to care more about banks and other corporations than human beings. He actually said:

Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.
Banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now ... scared to death ... feeling the same thing that you're feeling.

Romney opposed bailouts for Detroit autoworkers and homeowners, but supported much larger bailouts for the bankers and Wall Street tycoons who helped create the debt crisis. One of the oddest things I have ever heard a politician say is this statement by the Romneybot:

Now, the banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now. They're overwhelmed with a lot of things. One is a lot of homes coming in, that are in foreclosure or in trouble ...

In other words, we should have compassion for banks, because they are foreclosing on so many houses that they're having trouble keeping up! Romney also said:

The banks are scared to death, of course. They're feeling the same thing that you're feeling. And so they just want to pretend that all this is just going to get paid some day.

But banks don't have babies and children to feed. They don't have elderly parents and grandparents who face health and financial problems as they age. Yes, banks can have problems. But how can anyone equate a bank's problems with those of families that confront suffering and possibly death if family members become homeless or can't obtain proper medical care?

The statements above were made by Mitt Romney during campaign speeches in Florida, as he asked people to have compassion for banks because they were being overwhelmed with foreclosed houses. Speaking in shirtsleeves beneath a blazing sun, Romney reinforced earlier statements he had made about the need to let the foreclosures continue:

Let it [the foreclosure crisis] run its course and hit the bottom.

His comments echoed his sentiments expressed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial board:

Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom.

Romney then took a swipe at Newt Gingrich, who at that time led him by four points in Gallup's rolling Florida polls. Recycling a line from his recent debate in Tampa, he said Gingrich was "peddling influence" as a consultant to Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant that Romney said was one of the biggest causes of the housing crisis, built on a pile of government-guaranteed debt. "We can't have an influence peddler leading our party," said Romney, standing on a makeshift stage in front of a one-story house that was in the process of foreclosure.

Gingrich in his response pointed out that Romney made millions of dollars from his investments in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Goldman Sachs: "So maybe Governor Romney in the spirit of openness should tell us how much money he’s made off of how many households that have been foreclosed by his investments?"

Hypocrite Mitt

After Bishop Romney refused to disclose more than two years of his tax returns and his wife Ann imperiously told the American public that "you people" have no right to question how the Regal Romneys live so affluently, it turns out that Mitt Romney required the people on his short list of potential VP candidates to provide him with ten years of their tax returns! Once again he declines to lead by example. In response to questions about the ten-year requirement for potential VPs, Romney campaign press secretary Andrea Saul declined comment. "We do not discuss the VP selection process," she wrote in an email. It seems Hypocrite Mitt intends to keep the game rigged, by having one set of rules for himself and his super-rich patrons, and a more "taxing" set of rules for everyone else. Mitt's modus operandi is "Do as I command, not as I do myself."

Last August, Obama campaign chief Jim Messina suggested a compromise: If Romney agreed to release five years of tax returns, Team Obama would declare a cease-fire and stop calling for more years of returns. Romney rejected the offer. Thus, it seems clear that he was doing something prior to 2010 that he doesn't want the American public to know about. Even staunch conservatives like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and William Kristol have castigated Romney for failing to disclose more tax returns.

Lewd, Crude, Rude and Obnoxious

Willard Mitt Romney has a long history of insulting and bullying other people. Here is a transcript of the filmed testimony of Cheryl Arnett, a Craig, Colorado first grade teacher who was invited to participate in a roundtable with Mitt Romney: "When I was asked to speak with Mitt Romney, it seemed like a very important thing to me and I wanted to put a lot of careful thought into what I would say, so I went to the roundtable discussion, very optimistic and interested in hearing what he had to say. When he sat down one, of the questions he asked was: 'I understand there’s a teacher here today, which one of you is the teacher?' So I raised my hand thinking that’s a good thing, he’s interested in education. But it wasn’t a good thing. I—I felt like his view was a little old-fashioned. I was surprised by it. He went on to kind of lecture me about schools and how bad they are. He talked bad about the teachers' union. He was talking about the importance of private schools and voucher systems. At one point, I said to him: 'I have an answer for that.' And he said: 'I didn’t ask you a question!' When I think of Mitt Romney I don’t think of a person that could really relate to small-town Craig, Colorado. Although he came here, I don’t think that his life experience would allow him to really understand the perspective of people that live in a small town. One of the things I like best that Obama has done for education is that he is releasing states from 'no child left behind.' Colorado is one of the states lucky enough to be released. I did not become a teacher to become wealthy or powerful. I became a teacher to make a difference. It’s important to us to have a government and a leader that respects us, who will listen to us even if he doesn’t agree with us. We need to have open conversation and open communication between educators and government, and I think President Obama is the one to do that."

Romney's Healthcare Solution: Wait until the Uninsured are on Death's Door, then let them go to Emergency Rooms!

CBS News: Does the government have a responsibility to provide health care to the 50 million Americans who don’t have it today?

Mitt Romney: Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance, people—we—if someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care.

But should we wait until people are on death's door before we think about ways to help them? Doesn't waiting until they need ambulances and emergency rooms drive up the cost of healthcare? When people don't have bread to eat, should we echo Marie Antoinette and say, "Let them eat [nonexistent] cake!" When they have chronic health conditions, should we let their health deteriorate until their conditions become acute, then cavalierly say, "Let them go to emergency rooms!"

Romney loves to talk about American exceptionalism. During his recent visits to England, Israel and Poland, he praised each nation's culture and economy. But all three nations have universal healthcare, as do all the more advanced free world democracies. How can Americans be exceptional if they can't do what so many other nations have done successfully? And Romney himself helped establish universal healthcare for Massachusetts, when he was governor there. So why does he attack President Obama for trying to help all Americans have access to quality healthcare, before they need ambulances and emergency rooms?

Mr. Flip Flop

Willard Mitt Romney finally released a tax return for 2011, showing that he paid a higher tax rate than required, by not deducting all his contributions to charity. The press immediately unearthed a Romney quote from July: "If I had paid more [federal income taxes] than are legally due, I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president." So by his own definition, Mitt the Flopple is also Unfit Mitt. He has pulled off a sort of reverse miracle, by managing to become even less convincing than Richard Milhous Nixon. Even their names sound eerily similar. Tricky Dick, meet Wily Willy.

What Romney's Conservative Allies Say about Him

Here is what his Republican allies have to say about "Multiple Choice" Mitt Romney's serial flip-flopping, lack of honesty, various other deficiencies, and general money-grubbing madness ...

Republican senator and former presidential nominee John McCain: "Gov. Romney has taken two positions on every issue."

Another widely respected Republican presidential candidate, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, said: "We just call him a serial flip-flopper."

Former New York mayor and hero of 911, Rudy Giuliani: "I have run a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, [and] I have never seen a guy change his position on so many things, so fast, on a dime."

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum: "This is someone who doesn’t have a core. He’s been on both sides of every single issue in the past ten years. This is someone who will say anything to get elected. People want the genuine article. If Romney is an economic heavyweight, we’re in trouble, because he was 47th out of 50 in job creation in his state of Massachusetts when he was governor."

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told CNN: "I think he's certainly being dishonest about his own record. When he said that he had the endorsement of the NRA, he did not. When he says that he didn't raise taxes, in fact there were $500 million in fees that were raised during his time [as governor of Massachusetts] ... He's making up stuff ... It's just incredible ... It's not true ... "

Another Republican presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, in a campaign ad said: "Mitt Romney will do and say anything to become President. Anything."

Asked directly by CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell if he thought Romney was a liar, Gingrich said bluntly, "Yes."

Brit Hume on FOX News Sunday: "You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people start to doubt your character. And I think Romney exhausted his quota sometime back. And these fresh ones, I think are over the limit, and I think they hurt, and I don't think the fact that he's flipping in the direct that the Republicans would like will help very much because I think they don't trust him."

Another Republican presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, told CNN: "You can’t be a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day, whether it’s Libya, whether it’s the debt ceiling, whether it’s the discussion around the Kasich bill in Ohio, where Gov. Romney has been missing in action in terms of showing any kind of leadership."

Rand Paul told National Review: "I do not yet know if I will find a Romney presidency more acceptable on foreign policy. But I do know that I must oppose the most recent statements made by Mitt Romney in which he says he, as president, could take us to war unilaterally with Iran, without any approval from Congress."

Please click here to read more Republican and Conservative criticism of Mitt Romney.

Multiple Choice Mitt is America's First Ultra-liberal Conservative!

Mitt Romney told NARAL Pro Choice, "I’m a strong believer in stating your position and not wavering." But as we will see, Romney changes his positions more frequently than even the most adventurous porn stars. Here are examples of why Romney has earned nicknames like Flip Flopney, Mitt the Flopple and Multiple Choice Mitt ...

Romney has accused President Obama and even his Republican presidential rivals of being Washington insiders guilty of pork barrel spending. But here is what Romney told people about himself, when he wanted to impress them with his ability to get money out of the federal government:

• "I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington."
• "We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government ... That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do."

Romney has also flip-flopped repeatedly on women's reproductive rights:

• "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."
• "I sustain and support that law [Roe v. Wade] and the right of a woman to make that choice [abortion]."
• "I will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose and am devoted and dedicated to honoring my word in that regard."
• "I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it." ... [but] ... "Roe v. Wade has gone too far."
• His position was clear and he gave his word to NARAL Pro Choice ... [but] ... "I never really called myself pro-choice."

Here are more about-faces by Flip Flopney:

• "It's not worth moving heaven and earth ... trying to catch one person." ... [but] ... "Of course I would have ordered taking out Osama bin Laden."
• "I like [compulsory health insurance] mandates. The mandates work." ... [but] ... "I think it's unconstitutional on the 10th Amendment front."
• "I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." ... [but] ... "I did not see it with my own eyes." [Because they never marched together.]
• "I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there." ... [but] ... "It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam."
• "I will work and fight for stem cell research." ... [but] ... "The stem-cell debate was grounded in a false premise."
• "I don’t line up with the NRA." ... [but] ... "I’m a member of the NRA."
• "I believe the tax on capital gains should be zero." ... [but] ... "It’s a tax cut for fat cats."
• "I’m going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry." ... [but] ... He wrote an essay titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
• In a 1994 letter to the Log Cabin Republicans, Romney wrote that he was in favor of "gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly" in the military. But during the 2007 presidential debates, he insisted that they should continue to serve secretly and dishonestly, under "Don't Ask Don't Tell," which he wanted to keep.
• "Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts." ... [but] ... "I don’t support any gun control legislation, the effort for a new assault weapons ban, with a ban on semi-automatic weapons, is something I would oppose."
• "I believe the world’s getting warmer ... I believe that humans contribute to that." ... [but] ... "My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change."
• "I’m not in favor of privatizing Social Security or making cuts." ... [but] ... "Social Security’s the easiest and that’s because you can give people a personal account."

Please click here to read more Mitt Romney Flip Flops.

Rebooting the Romneybot

Maureen Dowd recently called the Romney campaign "a moveable feast of missteps." Even arch-conservative Republicans have pretty much thrown their hands up in the air, asking, in effect, "How can he and his wife keep alienating millions of Americans by sounding like rich, elitist pricks?" But perhaps that's what they really are, and they just can't help themselves. If so, "rebooting the Romneybot" won't do any good, because only a change of heart and mind would result in decent behavior. People who are programmed to value wealth, style and "class" over equality and fair play will always seem distant and out of touch to ordinary Americans ... simply because they are.

13.9 and 14.1 Percent of What, Exactly?

Mitt and Ann Romney claim they paid 13.9 percent in federal income taxes in 2010, and 14.1 percent in 2011, and I believe them. Why? Because I think they realized that if Mitt Moneybags was going to have a shot at becoming president, he was going to have to disclose his more current tax returns. So it seems that in 2010 they decided to pay taxes on a good chunk of their earnings. But a valid question is whether they sheltered most of their earnings from federal taxes prior to 2010. This seems to be the case because there are some rather obvious clues: (1) If there were no major problems with the returns prior to 2010, why risk the presidency by not disclosing them? Even died-in-the-wool conservatives have pointed out that choosing not to disclose the returns indicates that there must be major problems with them. (2) The fact that the Romneys are willing to reveal the percentages paid in the past, but not the income those percentages apply to, suggests that the income reported may be far less than the $21 million reported in 2010. (3) The Romneys have been careful to say that they paid at least 13 percent in "taxes" every year, but they have avoided using the words "federal income taxes." (4) Cayman Island "IRAs" worth up to $100 million suggest that the Romney's fortune has been growing with a lot of help by talented tax attorneys (or perhaps unethical ones).

It seems obvious to me that the Romneys avoided paying federal income taxes on much or most of their income prior to 2010. If they paid 10 percent in federal income taxes on 10 percent of their total income, their effective federal income tax rate on their gross income would be a stunning 1 percent. Of course no one knows what their real effective rate was, but all they have to do to prove naysayers like me wrong is disclose all their tax returns for 12 years, as Mitt's father did when he ran for president. As George Romney pointed out, releasing returns for just one or two years can be deceptive if the returns are not representative. Why is Bishop Romney afraid to follow his father's good example?

Ugh, You People!

According to Ann Romney, roughly half of all Americans are utterly lacking in class or style ... at least compared to her Olympic dressage horse, Rafalca. The Romneys took a $70,000 tax deduction for Rafalca Romney, which is more than the median annual American household income. Has Ann Romney, perhaps, confused wealth with class and style? Here's what she said about Democrats recently, so you be the judge:

My horse has more style and more class in its hoof than they do in their whole deal!

The comment above was reported by Jason Horowitz of the Washington Post as having been made by Georgette Mosbacher — "cosmetics impresario and eccentric grande dame of GOP fundraising" — to her younger sister Lyn Paulsin, who once dated Rush Limbaugh. These are loyal Romney supporters, not enemy infiltrators. Horowitz describes them thusly: "Both sisters wear gold Eagle pins on their lapels, identifying them as Romney mega-donors, and a stack of VIP credentials around their necks." Horowitz informed his readers that the sisters discussed Ann Romney's comment "giddily," as if they were impressed or awed by what she said.

This seems like yet more confirmation that the Romneys and many of their super-rich supporters are the ones who lack not only class and style, but basic human decency and common sense. Here is what Ann Romney recently told Robin Roberts: "We have given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life." She sounded like a feudal queen talking down to a bunch of serfs. Like her imperious husband, she seems to think the America public doesn't deserve full disclosure. Who the hell are we to question someone rich enough to have Swiss bank accounts, Bermuda trusts, Cayman Island IRAs, and horses in the Olympics?

More Ann Romney Quotes

Many conservatives criticized Mitt Romney for suggesting that 47 percent of Americans are lazy, shiftless moochers. The Tax Policy Center estimates that 4,000 American households with incomes over $1 million ended up with zero federal income tax liability in 2011. Another 14,000 households made between $500,000 and $1 million, yet paid not federal income tax. So the problem is obviously not limited to poor people who mooch off the rich. According to 2008 data from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, eight of the top 10 states with the lowest income tax liability are Republican-leaning states. William Kristol was especially harsh, calling Romney’s observations "arrogant and stupid." Conservative journalist Peggy Noonan called the avalanche of tactless gaffes a "rolling calamity."

In response, Ann Romney said:

Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring. This is hard and, you know, it's an important thing that we're doing right now and it's an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt's qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.

The problem for the Romneys is that it really isn't "difficult" not to insult millions of people repeatedly. First it was England, then the Palestinians. Now it's half the population of America. I can't think of anyone outside the KKK and neo-Nazi circles who would find it so very hard to be more diplomatic and tactful.

Ann Romney, like her husband, has a remarkable ability to sound condescending:

I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too.

The Romneys' disdain for "those people," by which they obviously mean "we the people," seems obvious. What Ann Romney means seems clear to me: we (the successful people) value (have some minimal concern for) those people (the less successful ones). Thank goodness that we (the successful people) are such saints, considering the other people we have to put up with!

Please click here to read more Ann Romney Quotes.

Bishop Romney's Modest Proposal

In 1729 Jonathan Swift shocked the world with a "Modest Proposal" in which he suggested that Ireland could solve its problems with the burdensome children of the poor, by eating them. Of course Swift was speaking facetiously in order to make a point. But now Bishop Romney (yes, Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop who once administered a diocese, called a "Stake") seems to have said something very similar, in earnest.

After Mitt the Ripper accused 47% of Americans (nearly half the population) of being freeloaders for not paying federal income taxes, suggesting that they only think they are entitled to housing, food and healthcare, and thus implying that all they are really entitled to is death for being unproductive, there was quite understandably a public outcry. After all that 47% includes millions of soldiers, ex-soldiers, teachers, firefighters and policemen. His running mate Paul Ryan claimed that Bishop Romney was "obviously inarticulate," but it seems to me that Romney really does have great disdain for people who are not as successful as he is. In recent days, Romney and his campaign have blasted English Olympics organizers, members of the NAACP who support universal healthcare, blacks who fail to understand America's superior "Anglo Saxon heritage," and the entire Palestinian people for having an inferior culture. And if we examine Romney's stance on women's reproductive rights and gay marriage, it seems clear that he doesn't trust more than half the nation with the personal freedom and responsibility to make essential life choices for themselves. That's a very troubling form of bigotry combined with smug authoritarianism.

Keen-eyed observers quickly noted that Paul Ryan received Social Security survivor benefits after his father died, which he used to finance his education, and that Romney's father received welfare assistance after his family fled a revolution in Mexico. This was verified by Romney's own family. "[George Romney] was on welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities," Lenore Romney, the mother of Mitt Romney, pointed out in a video which apparently dates back to George Romney’s 1962 campaign for governor of Michigan.

When the Romneys want other Americans to see them as human beings, they point out their family's struggles, and that's perfectly fine. But Mitt Romney seems to want to have his cake and eat ours too. When someone in his family struggles, they remain pillars of the nation, full of character. But when other Americans struggle, we are lazy, shiftless freeloaders ... especially if we happen to be female, gay, or have darker skin.

Why is the Terminator—as Romney was called at Bain Capital for liquidating American companies and firing American workers after outsourcing their jobs to China and other low-wage countries—trying to shame Americans who are struggling to make ends meet? Does he intend to terminate them too, by denying them assistance with housing, food and healthcare? Should we take him at his own word, or hope that he is only babbling incoherent, time after time after time?

Top Ten Mitticisms

A "mitticism" is like a witticism, minus the intelligence. These things were actually said by the Romneybot in its attempts to communicate with warm-blooded earthlings ...

We should double Guantanamo!
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that!
Let Detroit go bankrupt!
I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back.
(Referring to the auto industry he wanted to go bankrupt and did nothing to help.)
I would repeal Obamacare! (Even though Obamacare is modeled after his claim to fame, Romneycare?)
Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.
Banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now ... scared to death ... feeling the same thing that you're feeling.
I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.
Atta girl!
(Taunting a closeted gay high school student, Gary Hummel.)
He can't look like that! That's wrong! Just look at him! (Before tackling a gay classmate, John Lauber, and cutting off his long, bleached-blonde hair.)

Mr. Roboto

I bathe in statistics.
Who let the dogs out? Who, who?
(During an awkward photo op with a group of African American kids.)
PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air. (After having strapped his dog to the roof of his vehicle for an 11-hour road trip.)

The quotes above seem like the output of a badly-engineered android, one that could not possibly be mistaken for an actual human being. And what about these statements, made by the Romneybot to ingratiate itself with potential voters? ...

I love this state. The trees are the right height. The streets are just right.
I had catfish for the second time. It was delicious, just like the first time.
I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and ... strange things are happening to me.
Morning, ya'll. I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.
(No one calls them "cheesy" grits.)
I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce and hubcaps. Because there's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.
These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good.

Look at us in here! We are all nice together, all nice and wet, you know, like a can of sardines.
("Nice"?)
That's a big lava lamp, congratulations!
Davy, Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier!
I'm an unofficial southerner.
Please give us a big hug, that's the girls. I've been getting hugs from the Southern girls ... from 12, to well, a lot more than 12.
I never imagined I'd be up here like Larry the Cable guy
!
I love the hymns of America, by the way.


When asked at the Daytona 500 whether he followed NASCAR, the Romneybot replied, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."

I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed.—Mitt Romney (one of the earth's wealthiest men)
I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much. —Mitt Romney (in a single year he earned $374,000 in speaker's fees)

When talking about money, as Gary Kamiya put it in a Salon article, Romney comes across "not only as an obscenely rich person, but as an obscenely rich person from another planet."

As Charles P. Pierce wrote in an article for Esquire: "People have been trying to humanize the Romneybot since he first stepped into politics against Ted Kennedy almost 20 years ago. They tried for two years when he was governor and, to most of the people around the State House, he went out as pretty much the same ice sculpture they'd sworn in. They tried for two years during the run-up to the 2008 campaign and, according to the one worthwhile anecdote in Game Change, by the end of the primary process, everybody wanted to spit on him. Did it look to any of you that his rivals this time around wanted to do anything else, either? No matter what they're saying now, they all thought he was a slick bond salesman who was buying the nomination. Newt Gingrich looked sincerely like he wanted to eat Romney's heart in the marketplace throughout almost all of the debates. Here is the simple fact: Unless you are a member of his family, you simply cannot like Mitt Romney."

The Romneybot has a cold, calculating CPU, but its output is wildly inconsistent. For instance, in 2004 the Romneybot said: "The people of America recognize that the slowdown in jobs that occurred during the early years of the Bush administration were the result of a perfect storm. And an effort by one candidate to somehow say, 'Oh, this recession and the slowdown in jobs was the result of somehow this president magically being elected,' people in America just dismiss that as being poppycock. ... Every indication is that the economic policies adopted and pursued by this president are creating jobs at a very high pace. And so the people of America have to ask, 'Do I stay with the president, who is rebuilding the economy, who is creating jobs, or do you want to stop mid-stream and find someone new?'"

But of course when the president in question is Barack Obama, the Romneybot immediately spits out pure poppycock.

And here is what the Romneybot said about its record of sluggish job growth after four years as governor of Massachusetts, in 2006: "You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers. I came in and the jobs had been just falling off a cliff ... And then we turned around and we're coming back. And that's progress. And if you're going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected somehow jobs should immediately [have] turned around, why that would be silly. It takes a while to get things turned around. We were in a recession; we were losing jobs every month. We've turned it around ... That's progress."

But when the person with the record of job growth progress that is not immediate is Barack Obama, the Romneybot immediately spits out sheer silliness.

In November 2006, shortly before the Romneybot retired as governor of Massachusetts, its approval rating was a dismal 34%, ranking it 48th of 50 U.S. governors.

Why was the Romneybot so unpopular? Well, for all its talk about creating jobs, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in putting people to work when Romney was governor. And while Romney loves to brag about smaller government and cutting spending, according to research by PolitiFact, spending actually rose by 24 percent during his governorship, making such claims false. As his replacement, Gov. Deval Patrick told the DNC, "He cut education deeper than anywhere else in America. Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up and business confidence was down." Also, according to Ellen Story, "He was aloof; he was not approachable. He was very much an outsider, the whole time he was here. The Republican reps would grumble that he didn't even know their names."

The Crown Princes of Entitlements

I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan claim to be "fiscal conservatives" who abhor government spending and can fix America's economic problems with quick waves of their magical wands. But the truth is that Romney and Ryan both supported huge federal bailouts, as long as their rich patrons, cronies and constituents got most of the loot. Paul Ryan effusively praised George W. Bush's 2002 federal stimulus package, which mostly benefitted wealthy Americans by lowering their taxes. And even as he was damning President Obama's much fairer 2009 stimulus package, Ryan was lobbying for millions of stimulus funds for his constituents. Mitt Romney accepted a huge federal bailout of the Olympics, bragging that he knew how to get money from the federal government, then claimed that he "saved" the Olympics when it was really "we the people" who did the saving with our tax dollars. The only thing Romney's and Ryan's magic wands will accomplish, if we are foolish enough to elect them, is to reduce taxes on the richest 1% of Americans to below 1%, leaving the rest of us to pay thousands more in taxes even as we get smaller Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits when we are no longer able to work. That ain't magic, it's highway robbery.

I've learned from my Olympic experience [that] if you have people that really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities ... We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government.Mitt Romney

Romney cited more than $1 million that one his colleagues managed to get for the Olympics from the Department of Education, concluding:

That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do.Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney's Nixonian Meltdown: Let's get rid of the half of Americans who won't vote for me, by letting them starve to death!

Here's what Mitt Romney told fellow millionaires at a closed-door, $50,000-per-plate fundraiser: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That, that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what ... These are people who pay no income tax ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

First, it is the president's job to care about all Americans, even those who didn't vote for him. Second, to say that no Democrat works, or pays income taxes is a blatant lie; millions of people who pay no income taxes are Republicans. Third, to call food an "entitlement" is ridiculous. Is it an "entitlement" not to starve to death, in a land of plenty with more than enough food for everyone? Has any American presidential candidate before Romney ever suggested that we should let half the American people starve to death if they didn't vote for him? That seems to be what Romney is saying, in a Nixonian meltdown, as he expresses his obvious disgust for the 150 million Americans who have the temerity to think independently and disagree with him.

According to W. Mitt Romney, if you believe in helping less fortunate Americans, you are part of a mass of shiftless moochers and parasitic leeches who fall far short of the glory of W. Mitt Romney. But the majority of the Americans in Romney's 47 percent are working people: retirees, soldiers, teachers, cops, firefighters, steelworkers, members of the clergy, and many others. And most of them have worked far more honestly that Mitt the Ripper, who made millions by firing American workers and outsourcing their jobs to China and other low-wage countries, then evaded income taxes himself via off-shore Bermuda and Cayman Island "IRAs."

At the same fundraiser, Mittler (as he is called by the LGBT community) also expressed his disgust for seemingly all Palestinians: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."

When Romney talks about the people he despises—poor people, Palestinians, and most people who aren't rich white Americans like himself—he sounds disturbingly like Hitler talking about the Jews.

Even hardcore conservatives were shocked at Romney's bigotry. For instance, William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, called Romney's comments "stupid and arrogant."

Palestinians who both want and work for peace said Romney's accusations were ridiculous: "No one stands to gain more from peace with Israel than Palestinians and no one stands to lose more in the absence of peace than Palestinians," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. "Only those who want to maintain the Israeli [military] occupation will claim the Palestinians are not interested in peace."

Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have accused Israel of practicing apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Leading Jewish intellectuals from Albert Einstein to Noam Chomsky have rebuked Israel for using massive military superiority to unjustly dominate and displace Palestinians, who have now lost more than 80% of their native land without compensation. To blame Palestinians for all the hostilities is like blaming Native Americans for not submitting meekly to ethnic cleansing and genocide at the hands of white supremacists. Rather than exchanging land for peace, Israel chooses to relentlessly gobble up more and more Palestinian land via a massive, brutal military occupation. Romney is either lying through his teeth, or he has failed to study and understand the reality on the ground in Israel/Palestine. Virtually the entire global community agrees that Israel must end its land-grabbing in the West Bank, but thanks to American politicians like Mitt Romney, Israel continues to let robber barons do their thing, protected by a super-powerful military funded and armed by American taxpayers to the tune of more than $130 billion over the years.

"Let Them Eat Cyanide"

Mitt Romney promises to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans. But what does he mean by "middle-income"? During an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos, "No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers." Stephanopoulos then asked, "Is $100,000 middle income?" Romney replied, "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000." But according to the Census Bureau the median American household income is just over $50,000. So Romney seems to be either bent on deception, or hopelessly out of touch.

Even if you are fortunate enough to make $200,000 or more per year, do you think the federal government should give the bulk of tax cuts to the people who make the most money, while other people lose their jobs and homes?

The proposed Romney-Ryan budget plan will further decimate the American middle class, by virtually eliminating all federal income taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans, because it makes capital gains, interest and dividends tax free. If this plan had been in effect in 2010, Mitt Romney would have paid less than 1% (.0082, to be exact) on earnings of $21 million. It seems Romney and Ryan intend to get rid of all taxes for the super-rich, while reducing taxes somewhat for people making $200,000 or more. This will force everyone else to pay more taxes, or leave the federal government without the means to keep the current safety nets of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid intact. But at some point in their lives, especially as they age, the vast majority of Americans will need those safety nets. When Marie Antoinette was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she allegedly said, "Let them eat cake." Now it seems that Willard Mitt Romney, one of the world's wealthiest men, is saying that when elderly Americans need healthcare, we should say, "Let them eat cyanide!" and when poor people are hungry we should say, "Let them starve to death!"

As much as I would like to see my taxes reduced, I cannot sanction this blatantly unjust plan to let the wealthiest Americans avoid virtually all taxes, by condemning elderly Americans who worked and paid taxes all their lives to the human equivalent of a glue factory. Can you?

Magical Mittens

Mitt Romney seems to believe that he can boost the economy without actually doing anything: "If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, 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."

And yet he ridicules Democrats for talking about hope and change!

Bishop Romney invests in Chinese Slave Labor Camp, complete with barbed wire and guard towers


One of the most disturbing things I have heard about Mitt Romney from his own lips is his confession that he toured a Chinese slave labor camp/factory, then invested in it, with never a word of protest about the terrible conditions he saw there. Instead of protesting the existence of such gulags, the Romneybot became a pioneer of outsourcing American jobs to them, through his vulture capital outfit, Bain Capital. Here is how Romney described what he saw, in private during a high-dollar fundraiser attended by his rich cronies, not knowing that he was being filmed by a whistleblower: "When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married. And they work in these huge factories; they made various uh, small appliances. And uh, as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10 rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room. Three bunk beds on top of each other. You’ve seen, you’ve seen them? And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can’t believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in …"

The account above has been reported by major news services such as the Boston Globe. Because the factory made small appliances, we can safely assume that it belonged to Global Tech Appliances, a company that takes over manufacturing from American companies like Sunbeam and Mr. Coffee. According to SEC documents first reported by Mother Jones magazine, a Bain Capital affiliate called Brookside initially acquired about 6 percent of GTA on April 17, 1998 and later increased its ownership to more than 9 percent. Romney was listed as the "sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc." So it seems clear that Romney alone was responsible for deciding what to do about the 20,000 young girls he saw living in what sounds like a Nazi concentration camp complete with barbed wire fences and guard towers. Did he go public and protest what he saw? No, he invested in the slave labor facility, then helped American companies save money by firing American workers and outsourcing their jobs to such sweat shops.

What would you have done, knowing that at best the girls were being used like pack mules, and that at worst a fire might kill them all? Wouldn't you have said something to someone, to try to help the girls, and others like them in other Chinese factories? Why did Mitt Romney, a child of wealth and privilege and one of the world's wealthiest men, became a business partner of their enslavers, then send them more American businesses as customers?

What sort of man is Mitt Romney, really? Here's a rather blunt appraisal. China’s Xinhua news agency criticized Romney in a strongly-worded editorial, noting the profits Romney has made from investments in China: "It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics."

If Romney wants to get involved in manufacturing, he should stick to his particular area of expertise: flip-flops.

And speaking of flip-flops, here's a real doozy, straight from the lips of Mitt the Flopple himself. At the end of his spiel above, Romney concluded: "The Bain Partner I was with turned to me and said, 'You know, 95% of life is settled if you are born in America. This is uh, this is an amazing land and what we have is unique and fortunately it is so special we are sharing it with the world.'" But this agrees with what President Obama and the Democrats have been saying, which is that Americans built the infrastructure of America together and no one can claim to be completely self-made. Why does Mitt Romney attack President Obama in public as if he is the "enemy" of American values, only to agree with him in private? Is that good character or duplicity?

Related Page: Romney Cayman Island IRA Part 2

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