Mitt Romney’s War on American Women
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that!
(What happens to millions of American women and children?)
I would repeal Obamacare!
(What happens to millions of American women and children?)
Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the
(What happens to millions of American women and children?)
I'm not concerned about the very poor. (Not even poor women and
didn’t ask you a question! (Romney's high-handed dismissal of Cheryl
Arnett, a Craig, Colorado first grade teacher.)
I support that [the Human Life Amendment] being part of the
Republican platform. (The HLA would make all
abortions illegal, even in cases of rape, incest and the woman's life being
During a 2007 presidential debate, Romney said that he would welcome a consensus
that “we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all,
Romney said that he would be “delighted” to sign a bill
overturning Roe v. Wade and banning all abortions.
Romney called the "war on moms" a "gift"
to his political campaign, as if the oppression of mothers is good as long as it
benefits him personally.
As Hurricane Sandy threatened 50 million American with devastating floods, I was
reminded of Mitt Romney's statement that it is "immoral" to borrow money to help
flood victims. Romney, a former 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, or his rich Wall
Street cronies. He obviously doesn't consider it "immoral" to borrow the better
part of $7 trillion dollars to rescue the super-rich and increase defense
spending for things the Pentagon hasn't even 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,
distressed auto workers, homeless vets, and poor women who need Planned Parenthood’s
help with contraceptives, family planning and preventive healthcare. The majority of the 47% are
women and children, so this seems like yet another salvo in Romney's war on
"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."
Housework is a Bitch, but only for the Rich?
The Romneys, both Mitt and Ann, have made it clear that only rich
stay-at-home moms should get credit for working hard. Poor mothers should be
required to work for pay, or be considered lazy freeloaders. How is that fair?
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!
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
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.
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."
Republicans' Shocking Positions on Rape and Pregnancy Aren't Outliers—They're Central to the GOP Agenda
written for AlterNet by Adele M. Stan
With all of the excitement attending the recent comments of Richard Mourdock,
the Indiana Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, that a pregnancy conceived in
rape is "a gift from God," much of the political class is shaking its collective
head at the refusal of presidential candidate Mitt Romney to revoke his
endorsement of Mourdock—or at least to pull his endorsement ad for the former
state treasurer from the Hoosier state airwaves. What they’ve missed is the fact
that, in the Republican Party of today, Mourdock’s position is the new normal.
Even Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, held a no-exceptions abortion
stance—at least until Romney, who would allow exceptions for rape and incest,
elevated him to the national ticket. As reported by TPM:
"I’m very proud of my pro-life record," Ryan told WJHL-TV in Virginia in an
interview aired Thursday. "I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the
method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life."
Nearly all of the Republican presidential primary candidates take the same
position: that a rape-induced pregnancy is the will of the Creator—and they
signed a pledge in Iowa that said as much. Of the 33 Republicans running for
U.S. Senate this cycle, all but three are anti-abortion, and among them, at
least nine oppose any exceptions in cases of pregnancy by rape and incest. (That
the incest portion of this position has gotten little attention is even more
troubling: Should an 11-year-old-girl really be required to bear her father a
Against some stiff odds, the Republican Party is smelling winds of change
that would render it control of the upper chamber this year, which would require
a net gain of four seats. Romney doesn’t dare risk harming a single candidate—
or his own chances of winning the votes of religious-righters—which he could
if he withdrew his support from any of them.
The party’s cruel platform ...
If you still have any doubts, just look at the abortion plank in the
Republican Party Platform, as reported by the Associated Press:
The party states that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to
life which cannot be infringed."
Note the lack of any exceptions.
With the takeover of the GOP by the religious right, beginning in 1976, the
party’s position on abortion has been on a slow and steady march toward
deepening misogyny. Women are to be punished not just for choosing to have sex,
but for being sexual beings at all—for having vaginas, if you will.
The critical Christian right vote ...
Although evangelical Protestants, who now comprise 26 percent of the U.S.
population, were not always so draconian in their views on abortion, the
movement’s alliance with the Roman Catholic Church—which prohibits any
exception, even to save the life of the pregnant woman—has led to the
present-day, Dark Ages dictates of the religious right on matters of women’s
sexuality and sexual vulnerability.
Among the most influential of the groups comprising the Christian right is
the Family Research Council, led by Tony Perkins. Here’s an excerpt from a
pamphlet (PDF), The ‘Hard Cases' of Abortion: A Pro-life Response, published by
"If we constantly reaffirm the value of life and the state’s duty to protect
all life from the moment of conception, then we will see the number of pro-life
supporters rise in the years to come."
[The GOP position is that the "rights" of fertilized cells incapable of human
thought or feeling pain, somehow trump the rights of girls and women who are
fully capable of both thought and pain. This is strictly a modern religious
"conception," as nowhere in the Bible did God, Jesus, or any apostle or Hebrew
prophet ever explain anything about when fertilized eggs become imbued with
human souls. Because we know that human beings with severed spinal columns do
not feel pain in their extremities, we can safely surmise that fetuses are
incapable of feeling pain until their brains and central nervous systems
develop. Therefore, there is no reason to force girls and women to bear unwanted
babies, because fetuses in the early stages of pregnancy cannot experience
pain. And there is absolutely no evidence that human personality exists apart from a
developed brain. If a violent man has a lobotomy, his behavior will immediately
change from aggressive to passive. Thus, human behavior is a function of the
brain, not the soul. Thus, there is no reason to believe that aborting a fetus
before its brain develops is murder, since personality is a function of the
developed brain. Surely all human beings are pro-life, in
that we want babies to be born happy and healthy. But in the real world we must
accept the unpleasant fact that not all babies are born into conditions in which they will
be happy and healthy. Therefore, to protect babies from unwarranted suffering,
it is sometimes necessary to spare them the disaster of being born to mothers
who don't want them. But the male chauvinists of the GOP refuse to accept simple
facts, or the evidence of science, or even the evidence that the Bible says
nothing about when human life begins. They insist that they alone know the mind
and will of God, and are willing to inflict incredible and undue suffering
of both mothers and unwanted babies. To me, they seem like the worst sort of
monsters. The sad fact is that mothers have to deal with
the reality of the world, while religious men engage in primitive, chauvinistic
fantasies. —Michael R. Burch]
Romney and the Romulans Wage War on Women's Rights
Romney constantly waffles on the subject of abortion. Sometimes he claims to
want to abolish abortion completely, when trying to convince pro-life
conservatives that he believes life begins at conception. But when speaking to
more moderate and liberal Americans, he sometimes says that he favors exemptions for rape,
incest and cases where a pregnant woman's life is in danger.
Mitt Romney is leading the ever-escalating Republican full-frontal assault on
American women's rights. If there was an Olympics for male chauvinism, Romney
and the Romulans would undoubtedly sweep gold, silver and bronze.
A recent Guttmacher Institute report reveals the startling extent of the GOP's war on
reproductive rights: "By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive
health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011.
In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive
health and rights-related provisions ..."
And the GOP’s biggest stars are leading the dash to force girls and women to bear
their rapists’ babies. When Todd Akin spoke of “illegitimate” rape, he was
merely echoing what Ron Paul said when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that victims
of “honest rape” should be treated differently than other rape victims. Paul
Ryan obviously concurs, as he and Akin were co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer
Funding for Abortion Act,” which in its original form included an exemption only
for “forcible rape.” Rick Santorum has called rapists’ fetuses “gifts” from God
and opposes abortion and contraceptives under all circumstances. Newt Gingrich
and Michelle Bachmann signed the “Personhood USA” pledge, which allows no
exceptions for rape and incest. Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned
Parenthood, to repeal Roe vs. Wade, and to define life as beginning at
conception, meaning that a microscopic egg
fertilized by a rapist against a teenage girl's will can sentence her to death.
So why all the fuss about Todd Akin, really? He is no more extreme than any of
the best-known conservative presidential candidates, and less extreme than the
only one with a legitimate shot at becoming president.
Romney and the Romulans will sell American women down the river, returning them
to the Dark Ages, the same way Romney's Bain Capital vultures sold American
workers down the river, and the same way Romney intends to sell poor- and
middle-income-class Americans down the river once he becomes president. In
Romney's United States, unless you are rich, healthy, white and male, there is
something terribly "wrong" with you—thus all you are
good for is to work and pay taxes, so that rich, healthy white men don't have to
pay taxes. When you can no longer work and pay taxes, you will be quickly
discarded. If you ask for any help from the government you helped fund all your
working career, you will be called a freeloader in search of "free stuff." But
things will be even worse for girls and women. If a girl iis raped, she will have no choice but to bear her rapist's baby. If a
mother has two jobs and three children, and she forgets to take a birth control
pill, or a pill is defective, if she becomes pregnant she will have no choice
but to bear another child. It will be illegal for her to choose not to become a
A mere two days after Akin's gaffe, we learned conclusively that he is actually
far less extreme than his party, when the Republican platform committee approved
language seeking a constitutional amendment to ban abortions with no exceptions
for rape, incest, or danger to a pregnant woman's life. The wording of the GOP’s
renewed call for a “human life amendment” agrees with what the party approved in
2004 and 2008. Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, noted
that the absolute abortion ban “is the platform of the Republican Party.” The
Romney campaign declined to comment on the platform committee’s vote, but in the
past Romney has endorsed identical language. In 2007, during his first White
House bid, Romney told ABC News: “I support that [human life amendment language]
being part of the Republican platform.” During a Republican presidential debate
in 2007, Romney said that he would welcome a consensus that “we don’t want to
have abortion in this country at all, period.” He added that he would be
“delighted” to sign a bill banning all abortions.
So Romney is obviously much more extreme than Todd Akin. And yet Romney
told a New Hampshire TV station that Akin’s remarks were “deeply offensive” and
that he and Ryan “can’t defend him.” Ryan, seated beside Romney, nodded his head
in agreement. But Akin effectively tied Ryan to his comment when he confirmed on
Mike Huckabee's radio program that by “legitimate rape” he meant “forcible
rape,” the term that appeared in the "No Taxpayer
Funding for Abortion Act." bill co-sponsored by Akin and Ryan!
The bottom line is that—as stupid, evil and offensive as
Akin's comments were—Paul Ryan is just as bad, and Mitt Romney is worse.
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
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
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
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.
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
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."
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
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 has flip-flopped repeatedly on women's reproductive
• "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 solemn word to NARAL Pro Choice ... [but] ...
"I never really called myself pro-choice."
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
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?
Romney invests in Chinese Slave Labor Camp, complete with barbed wire and guard
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
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
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?
Mitt Romney's attempts to return women's rights to the Stone Age have been well
documented. Is his male chauvinism related to his faith? Let's take a look ...
Romney was no layman, but a bishop and president of the Boston Stake (diocese)
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If he wins in November, he
will be the first high-ranking religious official to become president of the
U.S. in modern times.
Perhaps his alpha male chauvinism is related to the Mormon church's legendary
chauvinism, which includes polygamy, female submission, male-only
administration, crusading to repeal gay marriage in California (Proposition 8),
and working to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. Mormons who supported the ERA
received threatening letters from church officials warning them about their
spiritual fates; some were censured, denied church sacraments or excommunicated
(which means being denied salvation). Sonia Johnson was excommunicated after she
delivered a speech entitled "Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics in the Mormon
Church" in which she denounced the church's allegedly immoral and illegal
nationwide lobbying efforts to defeat the ERA. (The Mormon church seems not to
believe in equality for women and gays, or in separation of church and state.)
Bishop Romney, Part II
Was Bishop Romney a male chauvinist? Here's a revealing excerpt from
"The Mind of Mitt" in Vanity Fair:
As both bishop and stake president, he at times clashed with women he felt
strayed too far from church beliefs and practice. To them, he lacked the empathy
and courage that they had known in other leaders, putting the church first even
at times of great personal vulnerability. Peggie Hayes had joined the church as
a teenager along with her mother and siblings ... As a teenager, Hayes babysat
for Mitt and Ann Romney and other couples in the ward. Then Hayes’s mother
abruptly moved the family to Salt Lake City for Hayes’s senior year of high
school. Restless and unhappy, Hayes moved to Los Angeles once she turned 18. She
got married, had a daughter, and then got divorced shortly after. But she
remained part of the church. By 1983, Hayes was 23 and back in the Boston area,
raising a 3-year-old daughter on her own and working as a nurse’s aide. Then she
got pregnant again. Single motherhood was no picnic, but Hayes said she had
wanted a second child and wasn’t upset at the news. "I kind of felt like I could
do it," she said. "And I wanted to." By that point Mitt Romney, the man whose
kids Hayes used to watch, was, as bishop of her ward, her church leader ... Then
Romney called Hayes one winter day and said he wanted to come over and talk. He
arrived at her apartment in Somerville, a dense, largely working-class city just
north of Boston. They chitchatted for a few minutes. Then Romney said something
about the church’s adoption agency. Hayes initially thought she must have
misunderstood. But Romney’s intent became apparent: he was urging her to give up
her soon-to-be-born son for adoption, saying that was what the church wanted.
Indeed, the church encourages adoption in cases where "a successful marriage is
unlikely." Hayes was deeply insulted. She told him she would never surrender her
child. Sure, her life wasn’t exactly the picture of Rockwellian harmony, but she
felt she was on a path to stability. In that moment, she also felt intimidated.
Here was Romney, who held great power as her church leader and was the head of a
wealthy, prominent Belmont family, sitting in her gritty apartment making grave
demands. "And then he says, ‘Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and
if you don’t, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the
leadership of the church,’" Hayes recalled. It was a serious threat. At that
point Hayes still valued her place within the Mormon Church. "This is not
playing around," she said. "This is not like ‘You don’t get to take Communion.’
This is like ‘You will not be saved. You will never see the face of
God.’" Romney would later deny that he had threatened Hayes with
excommunication, but Hayes said his message was crystal clear: "Give up your son
or give up your God." Not long after, Hayes gave birth to a son. She named him
Dane. At nine months old, Dane needed serious, and risky, surgery. The bones in
his head were fused together, restricting the growth of his brain, and would
need to be separated. Hayes was scared. She sought emotional and spiritual
support from the church once again. Looking past their uncomfortable
conversation before Dane’s birth, she called Romney and asked him to come to the
hospital to confer a blessing on her baby. Hayes was expecting him. Instead, two
people she didn’t know showed up. She was crushed. "I needed him," she said. "It
was very significant that he didn’t come." Sitting there in the hospital, Hayes
decided she was finished with the Mormon Church. The decision was easy, yet she
made it with a heavy heart. To this day, she remains grateful to Romney and
others in the church for all they did for her family. But she shudders at what
they were asking her to do in return, especially when she pulls out pictures of
Dane, now a 27-year-old electrician in Salt Lake City. "There’s my baby," she
Here is a disturbing excerpt from a Huffington Post article:
A 1994 article in the Boston Phoenix told the story of an anonymous
woman (who has since been identified) who wrote an article in a feminist Mormon
magazine claiming Romney, as bishop, discouraged her from having an abortion
even though her health was at stake. Romney later said he could not remember the
The episode above was also reported by Vanity Fair. Here is how the
second woman, also a mother of five, described her experience with Bishop Romney
after being told by her doctors that she had a serious blood clot in her pelvis
and that even if she risked her life to give birth, the baby's chance of
survival would be only 50 percent:
"As your bishop," she said that he told her, "my concern is with the child." The
woman wrote, "Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in
the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my
psychological equilibrium, and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in
my uterus—not for me!"
Romney would later contend that he couldn’t recall the incident, saying, "I
don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t
say it could not have been me." Romney did however acknowledge having counseled
Mormon women not to have abortions except in exceptional cases, in accordance
with church rules. The woman told Romney that her stake president, a
doctor, had already told her, "Of course, you should have this
abortion and then recover from the blood clot and take care of the healthy
children you already have." Romney, she said, fired back, "I don’t believe you.
He wouldn’t say that. I’m going to call him." And then he left. The woman said
that she went on to have the abortion and never regretted it. "What I do feel
bad about," she wrote, "is that at a time when I would have appreciated
nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends, I got judgment,
criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection."
That Romney claims not to remember giving advice that could have killed a woman
or endangered her health, especially when she had five children to care for, is
troubling. He has also claimed not to remember tackling a gay classmate, pinning
him to the ground, and cutting off his hair, even though students who watched
the event remember it vividly many years later. Most of us would remember such
things vividly, with tremendous remorse, if we were ever capable of such callous
behavior. But we don't remember ants we crushed by accident. Is that how Willard
Mitt Romney thinks of females outside his family circle, and gays? Here's
another revealing excerpt from the Huffington Post
In July 1994, during Romney's U.S. Senate campaign, the Boston Globe
published a story saying that Romney, in a speech to a congregation of single
Mormons, said he found homosexuality "perverse and reprehensible." The story
cited one named and three unnamed sources. Romney denied the comments. "I
specifically said they should avoid homosexuality and they should avoid
heterosexual relations outside of marriage," Romney told the Globe
then. "I did not use the words perverse or perversion. I just said it was wrong.
... That is what my church believes."
So if his church believes something, it seems Romney believes it too. But the
Mormon church has any number of strange beliefs: ... that Jesus was a
polygamist, that God is an exalted man who lives as a physical being with
multiple wives on the planet Kolob, that only men with multiple wives can reach
the highest heaven (making polygamy a prerequisite for salvation), that in
heaven the wives of polygamists will remain eternally pregnant and have billions
of spirit children, that there are multiple gods, that human beings can become
gods, and that magical underwear required and sold by the Mormon church can
protect Mormons from lust and attacks by supernatural entities.
Is it possible that some of these beliefs are incorrect and should not be used
to deny women and gays fully equal rights? Has the Mormon church, perhaps, been
wildly wrong before?
Until 1978 the Mormon church taught that black people were the children of Cain
and were black because they had been cursed by God, making them unfit to serve
as ministers. The Mormon prophet Brigham Young said that if a white man has sex
with a black woman the "law of God" is "death on the spot." (This despite the
fact that according to the Bible it seems that the greatest prophet, Moses, and
the wisest man, Solomon, both had black wives.) Brigham Young told the Utah
Territorial Legislature that "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ...
in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I
will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know
it." John Taylor a president and prophet of the Mormon church, taught that God
is a segregationist who discriminates against blacks, who "represent" the Devil.
Mormon apostle Mark E. Petersen said that if a child had a single drop of negro
blood, he would "receive the curse" and that the best such a cursed child could
hope for, if he was "faithful all his days," was to be a "servant" (slave) in
heaven. But then in 1978 one of the "prophets" of the church had a "revelation"
that the curse had somehow mysteriously been lifted. But in the church's
official notice, the prophet went oddly unnamed, as if no one wanted to take
credit for the prophecy.
When the Mormon church was so obviously wrong about racism and segregation, and
attempted to correct its obvious mistake in such a contrived and clumsy manner,
can it be trusted to hand down edicts on the rights (or lack of rights) of women
and gays? Should a potential president like Willard Mitt Romney withhold (or
attempt to withhold) basic human rights from women and gays because his church
teaches that women are supposed to submit to men in all things, and that God
discriminates against non-heterosexuals, the way he used to discriminate against
"the children of Cain?
Or are the Mormon church's current teachings about women and gays as absurd and
laughable (albeit not funny) as its former teachings about blacks?
Did Romney call homosexuality "perverse"? Isn't that a teaching of most
conservative Christian churches, including the Roman Catholics, the Southern
Baptists and the Mormons? Romney’s alleged comments on homosexual practices were
part of a 20-minute address he delivered on November 14 to the Cambridge
University Ward, which numbers about 250 to 300 single Mormons. "He said he was
appalled at the incidence of homosexuals in the congregation," said Rick
Rawlins, a 32-year-old Mormon who had previously served as a counselor to the
ward’s bishop. "He went on to say that he found homosexuality both perverse and
reprehensible." Romney denied the veracity of the comments but, as the Globe
noted, the account was confirmed by three other attendees: "I believe that his
general message was that sex outside of marriage is immoral, but on the other
hand, I do remember that there was a specific remark that he was appalled at the
incidence of homosexuality in the ward and he termed it perverse," said one. "It
was specific enough that I wanted to go see Bishop [Steven] Wheelwright right
after that talk." Another person present offered this account. "During the talk,
President Romney began talking about families and family values, and he
mentioned homosexuality as a perversity. He went on for some time." This person
didn’t recall the exact term Romney used to express his dismay at report of
homosexual conduct, but said: "He certainly was conveying that he was appalled."
Said a fourth person: "He started going on about being upset about homosexuality
in this ward. I remember him calling it a sickness and a perversion."
It seems to me that Romney and the Mormon church, like other fundamentalist
sects of Christianity, are now wrestling with intolerance against homosexuality
the way they once wrestled with intolerance against "the children of Cain."
Obviously, the churches are wrong and their prehistoric teachings do not come
from a loving, wise, just, enlightened God.
Can we afford to have a president who refuses to admit that his church's
"prophets" are wrong and that their teachings are relics of a stone age past?
Should millions of Americans be denied full equality because someone like Mitt
Romney believes that God is a sexist and a homophobe?
Why does Mitt Romney deny gay veterans their constitutional rights?
While other American men his age were fighting and dying in Vietnam, young
Willard Mitt Romney took two and a half years off to vacation in France as a
Mormon missionary, receiving a deferment from military service as a "minister of
religion" despite being barely out of high school. While vacationing in France,
Romney encouraged his fellow missionaries to read Think and Grow Rich!
by Napoleon Hill, so it seems Romney was evangelizing Mammon along with God and
magical underpants. Nor did he wish to serve his country as a soldier. As a
Massachusetts Senate candidate in 1994, Romney told the Boston Herald:
"It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam." But when he met an
American veteran of the Vietnam War recently, Romney had the audacity to deny
him his constitutional rights.
"You can’t trust him," said Bob Garon, a gay 63-year-old vet, after meeting
Romney, looking him in the eye, and calling him out for his bigotry.
While Garon was risking his neck in Vietnam, Mitt Romney was tooling around Le
Havre and Paris. But Romney, acting in his usual cold-blooded style, had no
problem telling Garon that he is a persona non grata, despite his
service to his country.
Asked by reporters to assess Romney’s chances for the nomination after their
encounter, Garon replied: "I did a little research on Mitt Romney and, by golly,
you reporters are right. The guy ain’t going to make it. Because you can’t trust
him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes."
Ironically, Romney met Garon during a campaign stop at
Chez Vachon, a French cafe in Manchester, N.H. While working the room,
Romney spotted Garon wearing a flannel shirt and a Vietnam Veteran hat, then
slid into his booth for a quick photo op. But to his consternation, as the
cameras rolled, Garon confronted Romney with a blunt question: "New Hampshire
right now has some legislation kicking around about a repeal for the same-sex
marriage. And all I need is a yes or a no. Do you support the repeal?"
"I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law," Romney said, confirming that he
denies equality to gay Americans, even if they risked their lives in service to
their country while he vacationed in France, incubating his get-rich-quick
Garon, who was eating breakfast with his male husband, pointed out correctly:
"If two men get married, apparently a veteran’s spouse would not be entitled to
any burial benefits or medical benefits or anything that the serviceman has
devoted his time and effort to his country, and you just don’t support equality
in terms of same-sex marriage?"
Romney confirmed that he not only denies gay veterans the right to marry, but
that he also denies their partners having the same rights and benefits as
heterosexual partners of other veterans. This is consistent with what Romney has
said about denying gays the right to marry or to enter into civil unions, thus
leaving them bereft of essential human rights.
"It's good to know how you feel, that you do not believe everyone is entitled to
their constitutional rights," Garon replied dismissively.
When Romney started to argue that the Constitution is a homophobic document, a
desperate-sounding aide urged him to wrap up the conversation: "Governor, we’ve
got to get on with Fox News right now!" Was Romney saved from a knockout blow by
the ding-dong bell of likeminded bigots?
"Oh, I guess the question was too hot," Garon remarked.
"No, I gave you the answer," Romney replied. "You said you had a yes-or-no
[question]. I gave you the answer."
"You did," Garon agreed, although quite understandably not pleased or impressed.
"And I appreciate your answer. And you know, I also learned something, and New
Hampshire is right: You have to look a man in the eye to get a good answer. And
you know what, governor? Good luck ... You’re going to need it."
"You are right about that," Romney said, unintentionally acknowledging that his
bigotry against gay vets would come back to haunt him.
As reporters swarmed around his booth, Garon, an independent, said that he would
not support Romney.
"I was undecided," Garon said. But "I’m totally convinced today that he’s not
going to be my president—at least in my book. At least Obama will entertain the
idea. This man is ‘No way, Jose.’ Well, take that ‘No way, Jose’ back to
Later, Garon spoke to MSNBC about the exchange. "Well, quite frankly I'm not a
professor of the Constitution but I don't believe it says anything about a man
and a woman defining marriage," he said. "I didn't expect the answer that I
got—I thought he'd be a little more diplomatic in his answer. But I did ask for
a yes-or-no question and I've got to respect that that he did give me a
But shouldn't we expect a prospective president and commander-in-chief to give
answer, the fair answer, the just answer, the equitable
Garon continued, "What I didn't expect from Mr. Romney is how confrontational he
was and argumentative ... my question was really hoping that if he did get into
the White House that he'd be in support of the benefits entitled to veterans and
their spouses. Currently, they're not ... It just makes no sense to me."
Asked by reporters after Romney left why he feels so strongly about the issue,
Garon responded passionately: "Because I’m gay, all right? And I happen to love
a man just like you probably love your wife. I went and fought for my country
and I think my spouse should be entitled to the same benefits as if I were
married to a woman. What the hell is the difference?"
A very good question, indeed.
Garon said there is one aspect of Romney’s candidacy he supports: "I kind of
liked his health care plan in Massachusetts." But of course Romney now
castigates President Obama for Obamacare, even though it was clearly modeled on
his own Romneycare. Romney has also waffled on climate change, women's
reproductive rights, gun control and other issues. Take invasions of other
countries, for example. His father, George Romney, who had once supported the
Vietnam war, famously claimed that he had been brainwashed, possibly costing him
the presidency. Mitt Romney agreed with his father and was quoted in a 1970
Boston Globe article as saying: "We were brainwashed. If it wasn’t a
political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is." But today Romney
is a right-wing war hawk. He supported the invasion of Iraq and the troop surge.
He supported the invasion of Afghanistan. He sealed his political marriage to
Paul Ryan in the shadow of a battleship, after "America's Comeback Teamn" ran
down to the podium from the battleship, laughing and waving. And in his speech
to the Citadel in October 2011, Romney seemed to be the one brainwashing young
American cadets to pursue wars of preemptive retaliation (i.e., offensive wars).
If you continue reading this page, you can hear Romney sounding like the second
coming of Hitler ...
Mitt Romney strikes me as a fascist who believes that might is right and will
say or do almost anything to achieve his personal goals of acquiring money, fame
and power. It seems the only position that he hasn't changed is his belief in
his money, his power and his budding godhood. Like
Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler, this endlessly strange
creature named Willard Mitt Romney seems to see the rest of us a pawns in his
game of cosmic chess. He claims that his Mormon faith is very important to him,
and perhaps that's part of the problem, because Mormonism teaches that human
beings can become gods and rule worlds. Romney and the Romulans seem to be
cold-blooded conquerors intent on ruling ours.
Mr. "Free Stuff"
Mitt Romney is a hypocrite who accuses ordinary Americans of wanting
"free stuff" if they request affordable healthcare, even though it
seems he may have paid
virtually no taxes for years, despite being one of the
world's wealthiest men.
Why does Romney castigate ordinary Joes and Janes, if he evaded millions in taxes
himself, while supporting trillion-dollar bailouts for his super-rich
Wall Street cronies?
Does Romney believe in American exceptionalism, or just his own "exceptions" ...
as in unpaid income taxes? If Romney really believes in American exceptionalism, why
did he stash
so much of his fortune in Swiss bank accounts and
what appear to be Bermuda and Cayman Island shell corporations? He drives
American-made cars, so why does he trust so much of his immense wealth to
obscure banks, on tiny insecure islands? Why did a fabulously rich
man like Romney choose the Yugo of banks?
The answer seems obvious. A multi-million-dollar offshore "IRA" is a rich man's
way of thumbing his nose at the 99% of American taxpayers who have to pay their
taxes, rain or shine, via automatic payroll deductions. That Romney would treat other Americans so unjustly calls
his character into question.
Have people taken to calling Romney the "Romneybot"
because he lacks the things that make human beings
human: warmth, humor, compassion, empathy, and a sense of fair play and justice?
It can be painful watching Romney when he tries to josh around with other people
or connect with them emotionally. Something appears
to be missing ... he really
does act like an android programmed to spit out the correct answers without
understanding the questions at the heart and gut
level. Americans want their presidents to care about Americans who are
suffering, and we have been fortunate to have had presidents who really did seem
to care: Lincoln, FDR, JFK, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Obama, to name a few.
Even George W. Bush, for all the terrible mistakes he made, seemed to care; his
problems lay in other areas, such as thinking and speaking. But Romney strikes
me as being more like Nixon: something essential seems to be missing. This is
evidenced in their inability to connect with average Americans.
For instance, here's what Romney said recently about
less wealthy Americans who want affordable healthcare, referring to his speech
to the NAACP:
When I mentioned [that] I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t
happy ... That’s okay. I want people to know what I stand for, and if I don’t
stand for what they want, go vote for someone else; that’s just fine … But I
hope people understand this, your friends who like Obamacare, you remind them of
this, if they want more stuff from government tell them to go vote for the other
guy — more free stuff.
But Romney seems to be all about "free stuff" ... for himself and his
super-rich friends. Even if it's somehow "wrong" for poor people to want affordable
healthcare for their children and aging parents, isn't it vastly worse from
someone richer than Midas to insult them while ripping apart their safety nets,
so that he can become even richer? (As I wrote this paragraph, I had a vision of
Ebenezer Scrooge denying raises to Bob Cratchit while Tiny Tim wasted away
for want of an operation.)
How can someone who gets away with highway robbery turn around and condemn
average Americans for requesting a much smaller break?
For instance, Romney served on the board of Damon
Clinical Laboratories, which pled guilty to charges of defrauding Medicare and
agreed to pay the largest health care criminal fraud fine
in history at the time, over $119 million altogether. Corporate Crime Reporter put it like
this: "As manager and board member of Damon Corp, Mitt Romney sits at the center
of one of the top 15 corporate crimes of the 1990’s." Romney never reported
Damon's fraud to the proper authorities. When Corning bought Damon, it
discovered the fraud and reported it. Bain and Romney earned millions from their
investment in Damon, but conveniently never noticed that Damon was obtaining
"free stuff" from our cash-strapped federal government. According to a
Boston Globe report, Romney claimed that he and fellow board
members uncovered what was later determined to be a criminal
scheme to defraud Medicare in 1993, yet acknowledged that the directors did not turn
over their findings to federal authorities who were then investigating the medical
testing industry. While Damon went bankrupt, with
thousands of employees losing their jobs, Bain Capital enjoyed a $12 million profit,
over $450,000 of that money going to Romney personally.
Is it fair that Romney made so much money from
healthcare, then turned around and mocked less advantaged people for only wanting
healthcare they can afford?
Please don't get me wrong: I don't begrudge Romney his success or his wealth.
But if it's true that he paid virtually no taxes for more than a decade, while
amassing a fortune estimated at $200 million or more, that seems
terribly unfair to the 99% of Americans who do pay their fair share of taxes,
rain or shine. When he mocks and criticizes them, that only adds insult to
injury and makes him seem like a heartless, soulless android ... the Romneybot.
Romney strikes me as a hypocritical creep for three reasons: (1)
he blasts Obamacare, but his Romneycare was
obviously the model for Obamacare; (2) he favors bailing out Wall Street
billionaires yet denies average Americans what he imperiously calls
"entitlements;" and (3) he has no compunction about taking "free stuff" himself,
by evading taxes despite his fabulous personal wealth.
Mr. "Free Stuff" Part II
Obviously, there is something terribly wrong when a rich, imperious tax dodger lectures
hard-working American taxpayers about not asking for "free stuff" when, in reality, all they want
is a fair shake.
Romney's hypocrisy about American healthcare seems to know no bounds. When he
traveled to Poland, he praised Poland for its economic success, but Poland
provides free medical care to all its citizens despite having less that half the
per-capita income of the U.S. When Romney traveled to Israel, he praised Israel
for its superior economy, which he attributed to a superior culture. But in
Israel, healthcare is universal and medical insurance is compulsory. As a
result, Israel has the fourth-highest life expectancy among
earth's nations, at 82 years. And of course Romney has no problem giving
"free stuff" to his rich friends in Israel. (He and Israeli Prime Minister
Benyamin "Bibi" Netanyahu are pals.) According to the Washington Report on
Middle Eastern Affairs, since 1949 the U.S. government has given Israel more
than $134 billion in financial aid. That's more than $23,000 per Israeli
citizen. So American taxpayers who struggle to afford healthcare for themselves
have probably paid for every Israeli citizen to enjoy superior healthcare,
either in whole or in part.
Before Romney lectures Americans, I think he should listen for a change to a
Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country.—Ron Paul
Why does Romney want to give "free stuff" to his rich friends in Israel, why
denying affordable healthcare to Americans? Is it because Romney is getting
"free stuff" from rich, powerful Jews, in return for Romney selling his fellow
citizens down the river?
Mr. Etch A Sketch
These and other issues will be
discussed on this page. Romney has been accused of running an "Etch A Sketch"
campaign, which was recently admitted by one of his campaign advisers. The plan
seems to be that Romney will appear to be ultraconservative in the Republican primaries, then "shake to reset"
and appeal to moderates in the general election. Since few conservatives will
vote for President Obama under any circumstances, this deceptive plan may have a
chance of working. But perhaps the most troubling questions about Romney
are not his personal and financial ethics, or his flip-flopping and pandering
for votes, or his willingness to kowtow to the wealthiest 1% of Americans while
leaving the remaining 99% in the lurch. In my opinion, the most troubling
questions about the Romneybot have to do with his character. The quotes below betray a disturbing lack of
empathy or compassion for anyone who isn't cruising down Easy Street in a Rolls
We should double Guantanamo!—Mitt Romney
Should we double the size of an extraterritorial prison camp best known around
the world as a symbol of torture and illegal incarceration of prisoners as young
as 13 and as old as 98?
Back in high school, you know, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was
hurt by that or offended, obviously, I apologize for that … You know, I don’t, I
don’t remember that particular incident [laughs]… I participated in a lot of
high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and
for that I apologize.—Mitt Romney on Fox News Radio
Romney was talking about an incident in which he and some of his high-school
classmates viciously bullied a fellow student, John Joseph Lauber. Romney's
classmates who participated in the bullying incident remember it, and have
expressed remorse. If Romney can't even remember the incident, that suggests
that he either did such things so frequently that they failed to register, or
that he lacks normal human empathy and compassion, or both. His laughter while
discussing the incident seems to suggest that he still doesn't "get" the
seriousness of what he did. Here are the details, from a Washington Post
Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his
studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the
handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he
spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties
and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind
Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality.
Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that
draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it. "He can’t look like that.
That’s wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his
close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection.
Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about
Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled. A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens
Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own
room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s
hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber,
tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with
tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of
scissors. The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their
accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist;
Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed,
a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed
the incident asked not to be identified ... "It happened very quickly, and to
this day it troubles me," said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said
he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to
Lauber, who was "terrified," he said. "What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing
to do." "It was a hack job," recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who
was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. "It was vicious." "He was just
easy pickin’s," said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority
leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.
David Seed, an onlooker who did not participate in the bullying, later
apologized to Lauber for not doing more to help prevent it. The only person
involved not to express remorse, and who claims not to remember what happened,
is Romney. According to his campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, "Governor Romney
has no memory of participating in these incidents."
Atta girl!—Mitt Romney taunting a closeted gay high school student, Gary Hummel
Here's what Amy Davidson wrote about the first incident for The New Yorker:
"Does he [Romney] count this as a high jink or a prank? It was neither; it is
hard to imagine that hurt, rather than being the byproduct, was anything other
than the point of the attack on Lauber. In terms of what a gay teen-ager might
encounter, and what other boys might go along with at a school like Cranbrook,
1965 was different; but memory and empathy are not qualities that have only been
invented since then. As our country has changed, and the other boys became men,
they seem to have turned the events of that day over in their minds, not once,
but many times, and made something new out of it. That’s why it’s all the worse
that Romney says he can’t remember—that he walked blithely away from the boy
crying on the ground and kept going. Was there nowhere in him for that sight to
lodge? ... And how far has Romney moved? This story is resonant because one can,
all too easily, see Romney walking away even now, or simply failing to connect,
to grasp hurt ... Who else might he walk away from?"
Josh Barro, writing for Forbes, made another very interesting point:
"The story is more damning for Romney in other ways. It’s telling that the
campaign seems to be having so much difficulty finding any friends from the
Cranbrook School to talk to the media about what a good guy he was. The Romney
camp reached out to Stuart White (who threw the party where Mitt and Ann Romney
met) asking him to make supportive remarks. Instead, White contacted ABC News
and expressed his ambivalence to do so, saying, "it’s been a long time since we
were pals." Another old friend of Romney’s told ABC on background that Romney’s
behavior in high school was "like Lord of the Flies" and that a number of
people from Cranbrook have "really negative memories" of him. Is there really no
one from Cranbrook that Romney can persuade to vouch for him? The whole thing
gives the sense that Romney was a Regina George-like figure in high
school—"popular," but mostly because other students were afraid to cross him ...
But does Romney have empathy for people who are different from him? The tone of
Romney’s reaction today does not look good on the empathy front. Referring to an
assault on a classmate as "hijinks and pranks" is pretty tone-deaf ... Romney’s
actions as governor also suggest that he doesn’t view bullying as a significant
problem. In 2006, Romney threatened to dissolve the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, established
by Republican Governor William Weld in 1992, and then to expand its mission to
cover all youth. The legislature established a independent commission,
overriding a Romney veto, in response to these threats. A key part of the
commission’s mandate is the prevention of anti-LGBT bullying in schools. His
administration also repeatedly delayed the publication of an anti-bullying handbook for public schools,
which had been developed in 2002 by Governor Jane Swift’s Task Force on Hate
Crimes. Kathleen Henry, who chaired the Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth at
the time, said she thought the guidebook was held up due to its LGBT-related
content, particularly content to do with transgender students. Ultimately, the
handbook was published under Governor Deval Patrick, six years after it was
Barro concluded his article by saying, "This actually goes to Romney’s greatest
weakness as a candidate. Nobody knows how he really feels or what he cares
about. People look at him and they can’t see evidence that he understands or
cares about their needs. They’re not sure he can relate to people who are
different from him. This incident, and his nonchalant reaction to being reminded
about it, reinforce the impression that Romney lacks empathy."
I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.—Mitt Romney
Not concerned, when the Grand Old Pontiffs, led by men like Romney, want to
slash the safety nets of what they call "entitlements" while preserving tax cuts
for the super-rich and waging more trillion-dollar wars in the Middle East, the
next one presumably against Iran? Who will end up dying in those unwinnable wars? The
children of the very poor, of course.
I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed.—Mitt Romney
Romney, speaking to unemployed Floridians, once again demonstrated an amazing
lack of empathy and concern for people who are actually down on their luck. His
net worth has been estimated at $200 to $250 million.
I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much. —Mitt Romney
Romney earned $374,000 in speaking fees in a single year, according to his
personal financial disclosure. Once again Romney demonstrates his extreme
disconnect from average Americans, who would consider making that kind of money
from a few speaking engagements a real windfall (please pardon the
I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all
my life.—Mitt Romney
Romney's campaign later said he'd been hunting twice, once when he was 15, the
other time at a Republican fundraiser when he was 59. Hunting twice in 44 years
hardly qualifies one as the Great White Hunter, but perhaps more unsettling than
his blatant vote-pandering is Romney's desire to brag about his hunting/killing
PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air.—Mitt Romney
Oh, really? Romney strapped a crate containing his Irish Setter, Seamus, to the roof of his station
wagon for a twelve-hour drive from Boston to Ontario. When the terrified dog
lost control of its bowels, Romney pulled over, sprayed the car and the dog down
with a hose, then resumed driving. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk
noted: "Any individual who does something like that may have what scientists
term the absence of the mirror neuron, i.e., a pin-pointable absence in the
brain of the characteristic which allows the individual to feel basic
compassion. The implications are frightening ... Mr. Romney seems to hold the
very old-fashioned idea that he needs to actively show he is heartless, hence
the hunting claims he has made. Not subsistence hunting, but pride in killing
defenseless animals for sport, for fun, for show. In the case of the dog on the
roof of the car, if this is true, quite remarkably it obviously wasn't for show
as only his own children were watching, a lesson in cruelty that was also wrong
for them to witness. There was also the obviousness of the situation. Thinking
of the wind, the weather, the speed, the vulnerability, the isolation on the
roof, it is commonsense that any dog who’s under extreme stress might show that
stress by losing control of his bowels: that alone should have been sufficient
indication that the dog was, basically, being tortured. If you wouldn’t strap
your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the
family dog! I don't know who would find that acceptable."
Here's a comment I found online that I believe makes germane points about
Romney: "The classic definition of a sociopath is someone who can feel his own
pain, but is incapable of feeling another's. Remember how desperately wounded
George Bush felt when Kanye West accused him of not caring about black people?
And how utterly untouched he appeared to be in the face of 1500+ such black
people, dead in New Orleans? Classic sociopath. Mitt Romney suffers from exactly
the same pathology—strap the dog on the roof of the car and off you go on your
nice vacation. Trim the hair on the "maybe homosexual" because he shouldn't look
like that, and off you go to finish your homework. There's a piece missing in
Mitt, and it's an essential quality in the man or woman this country needs as
its President at this time in our history. We need a Lincoln or a Franklin
Roosevelt—someone with not only the necessary talents, skills, capabilities,
experience, etc. to lead this nation, but someone who also possesses the
capacity for empathy and the moral compass required to understand in which
direction we should be headed. Mitt Romney is not the man we need—now or
ever—and he would be a total disaster as President of the United States. Vote."
Here's another pertinent comment that I found online: "Like most people, I don't
believe he wouldn't remember an incident like this! But for the sake of
argument, if a person really did not remember holding a kid down and cutting
[his] hair wouldn't the natural reaction to be horrified and indignantly deny
the accusation? Just saying 'I don't remember' without expressing any outrage is
alarming and emotionally backwards in and of itself. Unlike most people posting,
I really was leaning towards voting for Romney but this story sounds bad any
which way you look at it. Also, on a purely pragmatic level. I think that this
kind of bullying shows a low level of emotional intelligence that could actually
be dangerous when it comes to negotiating with enemies or dealing with truly
tough, real-world situations. Regardless of political leanings, any leader who
is strong and effective has to also be sensitive, quick with nuance, and have
sharp instincts in order to survive and fight in hard times. All in all, a very
And here's a third comment: "I'm sorry, but I must speak my mind on this. I
think the concern over this—and a pattern of other incidents—extends far beyond
whether he was a spoiled, rich boy. The real concern about Romney is that his
actual behavior displays anti-social tendencies, i.e., sociopathic. Sociopaths
are very, very good at concealing their real "feelings," if you can call them
that, as they climb to the top of the human pyramid. They crave power over
others, and see no reason for the normal humility and concerns that many of us
feel when in the public's service. Here are a list of qualities for the
anti-social, sociopathic person: - Glibness and Superficial Charm: Check. -
Manipulative: One doctor's definition: "Fail to recognize the rights of others
and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming,
yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an
instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims." The story
speaks for itself. Check. - Grandiose Sense of Self: Check. - Pathological
Lying: No memory? At all? No problem saying so? Check. - Lack of Remorse, Shame
or Guilt: Third-person apology? Check. - Shallow Emotions: Another definition:
"When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more
feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by
insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a
normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises." A
politician's promises? Not genuine? The flip flopping on what should be
heart-felt social issues attests to this issue. Check. - Callousness/Lack of
Empathy: Well, that is what this article is about. The excitement of cruelty is
one of the few, tenuous connections to true emotions they are capable of, which
if emphasized, extends into psychotic behaviors. Thus, this story from Romney's
past is not only revelatory, but deeply concerning. Is the Mormon persona
something that he is using as a disguise, a red herring? If it is, he probably
wouldn't know himself, since his brain may be disconnected from the genuine and
sincere feelings the rest of us experience daily. I am very, deeply concerned.
God bless America. We may be in great need of His help, very soon."
Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are ... Human beings, my
Does the Romneybot confuse heartless corporations with human beings because he
lacks a human heart himself?
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.—Mitt Romney
Getting rid of Planned Parenthood and denying women access to contraceptives
seem to be high on the Republican Party's agenda. But what happens to all the
girls and women who aren't ready to become mothers and/or can't afford to have
children? Where is there any empathy or compassion for them, or the unwanted
babies? Republicans have made it clear that they have no intention of helping
out people in need, so forcing girls and women to have babies they don't want or
can't afford seems truly heartless.
Romney says it's wrong to borrow money from China to fund Planned Parenthood,
but he seems quite content to borrow trillions from China to fund new military
hardware and wars in the Middle East. If it's wrong to borrow a few million
dollars to fund contraceptives, family planning and healthcare for girls and
women, isn't it much worse to borrow trillions of dollars to attack other
I would repeal Obamacare.—Mitt Romney
But "Obamacare" is obviously modeled after Romney's own health care plan,
President Obama pointed out, Romney seems to be pretending that the two plans
are radically different, saying: "We designed a program that actually previously had
support of Republicans, including the person who may end up being the Republican
standard bearer and is now pretending like he came up with something different."
Romney's Massachusetts health care plan served as a model for the Affordable
Care Act ("Obamacare"). Why does he now rail against a very similar plan? Probably because the
only way he can get elected is to appeal to right-wing conservatives who
despises anything President Obama does, on general principle, even if he does
what Republicans formerly suggested. Repealing Obamacare without coming up with
something better might cause American citizens to suffer and die, but that
seems to be secondary to the all-important goal of Mitt Romney becoming
president, regardless of the cost.
I will never, ever apologize for America.—Mitt Romney
But obviously when the United States makes mistakes, apologies are in order.
Ronald Reagan signed legislation that apologized for the internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II. On August 10, 1988, Reagan said himself that "We
admit a wrong." Also, Reagan's Justice Department issued a formal apology to
France for protecting Klaus Barbie, a Nazi whom U.S. intelligence recruited and
shielded in the aftermath of World War II. Reagan also expressed regret for the
U.S. military shooting down an Iranian passenger jet over the Persian Gulf and
offered compensation to both Iranian and non-Iranian victims.
I am big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in
Romney is a braggart who waffles from position to position, depending on the
people he's trying to impress or gain votes from. When he's appealing to
conservatives for votes, he's a down-on-his-luck unemployed hunter who deplores
Washington insiders and spending. But when he's trying to impress someone else,
he's the consummate Washington insider who knows how the get the big bucks from
the federal government. Romney called the auto industry bailouts "crony
capitalism on a grand scale," but he wasn't above lobbying Congress to bail out
the Salt Lake City Olympics, an intervention that ended up costing U.S. taxpayers
about $1.3 billion, according to TIME (August 29, 2011).
Before I made a statement [about the Palestinians] I’d get on the phone to
my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: "Would it help if I say this? What would you
like me to do?"—Mitt Romney
Here's an excerpt from the New York Times about the statement above,
which seems to suggest that Romney will allow Israel to either set or direct
U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East: "Romney has suggested that he would not make
any significant policy decisions about Israel without consulting Mr. Netanyahu —
a level of deference that could raise eyebrows given Mr. Netanyahu’s polarizing
reputation, even as it appeals to the neoconservatives and evangelical
Christians who are fiercely protective of Israel. In a telling exchange during a
debate in December, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Gingrich for making a disparaging
remark about Palestinians, declaring: 'Before I made a statement of that nature,
I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: ‘Would it help if I
say this? What would you like me to do?’' Martin S. Indyk, a United States
ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, said that whether
intentional or not, Mr. Romney’s statement implied that he would "subcontract
Middle East policy to Israel." "That, of course, would be inappropriate," he
Romney's Fiscal Insanity
Romney claims to have a plan for America's financial salvation. He confidently
announces that he will put Americans back to work, end Obamacare with a wave of
his magic wand, balance the budget, restore the federal government's AAA credit
rating, etc. But in reality his "plan" boils down to throwing even more money at
the super-rich, due to the failed thinking that making the rich richer will
cause money to "trickle down" to the less affluent. Albert Einstein, a very
smart cookie, once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again,
hoping for different results. By that rule of thumb, Romney is insane, and so is
After his primary victories in Michigan
and Arizona, Romney
detailed a list of tax changes designed to delight wealthy Americans, while sending everyone
else to the poorhouse. He promised to enact an "across-the-board, 20 percent rate cut for every
American," to "repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax," and
abolish the "death tax" ("death tax" is conservative-speak for the estate
tax paid by by only the wealthiest Americans). He also
pledged to lower the corporate tax rate
to 25 percent, to "make the R&D tax credit permanent to foster innovation," and
"end the repatriation tax to return investment back to our shores."
That's truly wonderful for the Warren Buffets and Bill Gateses of the world, but
what about the rest of us?
Perhaps at first glance an across-the-board tax cut sounds nicely fair and balanced. But a
recent Tax Policy Center study of the impact of
a 20% across-the-board cut indicated that the wealthiest 0.1%
would get an average tax reduction of $264,000. The poorest 20% would get
$78, and those in the middle would get an average of $791. And the TCP predicted that
the plan would add more than $3 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.
Romney Betrays His Roots and Religion
"His father was a beloved governor because he was pragmatic and compassionate
and moderate," former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm told The National
Memo, referring to the late George Romney, who was a popular auto executive
before he was elected Michigan's top official. "Mitt Romney, while he may have
been some of those things while he was governor of Massachusetts, is vying to
outflank Rick Santorum on the right, and he is not his father. He has morphed
into something his father would not recognize."
Like many other Republicans who profess to be Christians, in his eagerness to be
considered a "conservative's conservative," Mitt Romney has forgotten or ignored
the teachings of Jesus, the apostles and Hebrew prophets, all of whom said that
true religion is to practice chesed (mercy, compassion, lovingkindness)
and social justice. Ironically, the GOP's alpha males who profess to "believe" in
God are now practicing social and economic Darwinism: the survival of the
strongest and most ruthless at the expense of everyone else, particularly
mothers, children, the elderly, the sick, the unemployed and the poor.
Just try finding a Bible verse to support that type of behavior!
Romney Waffles Because He Panders to Religious Fanatics in His Quest for
When asked to define himself in a single word during a recent debate,
Mitt Romney chose the word "resolute." But Romney seems to always be willing to waffle if doing so will gain him
votes and campaign contributions. Take, for instance, his inconsistent stance on global
warming. In his book No Apology, he wrote, "I believe that climate
change is occurring — the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to
ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am
uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much
is attributable to factors out of our control." But if global warming is
it doesn't matter a hill of beans who is responsible. All that matters is what
human beings can do to keep ice caps and glaciers from melting to such an extent that sea
levels rise and people and animals living on low-lying islands and in coastal regions begin to
suffer and die in
But recently Romney altered his position, rather obviously in order to win the
votes of conservative Christians whose "faith" leads them to ignore
facts and science. Romney now opposes spending money to address global warming
because it can't be "proven" that human beings are "responsible." Well, the
dinosaurs weren't "responsible" for asteroids hitting the earth and leading to the
climate change that caused their extinction, but they became extinct
nonetheless. President Barack Obama has taken the much more
intelligent and reasonable position that we
need to do whatever we can to do to deal with a warming planet and rising sea
levels. Republicans like Romney are pandering to irrational people in order to
obtain their votes and campaign contributions. That is obviously a very foolish,
very dangerous thing to do.
In my opinion, Mitt Romney is neither resolute, nor acting responsibly. He seems
to believe that his getting elected president is vastly more important that what
happens to our planet, more than eight billion human beings and trillions of
The Romney-Bot Delivers Standard GOP Propaganda
Mitt Romney certainly looks "presidential," but if we tear our eyes away
from his impressive figure long enough to actually heed his words, he sounds like a
robot programmed to mindlessly drone the standard Republican mantras:
"Everything bad that ever happened to Americans is the fault of Barack
Obama, and if you elect me I will wave my magic wand and fix everything my first
day in office, by repealing this, that and the other piece of socialistic legislation."
He makes it sound as if jobs and money will fall magically from trees, the day
he becomes president.
But like most robots, Romney seems to lack empathy for
average Americans. He is certainly no Ronald Reagan. While he’s not as creepy as
Richard Nixon, he seems even more implausibly remote
and alien. Take, for example, his recent remark that "I’m not concerned about
the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it.
I’m not concerned about the very rich; they’re doing just fine." He seems to
somehow calmly equate the pain-wracked struggles of the very poor with the mild
discomforts of the very rich (who just happen to be his friends).
And there seems to be a pattern of such disconnects. Not long ago,
Romney opined that his speaking fees of $374,327 for a single year were
"not very much." In June of 2011, he told unemployed Florida workers that he understood their plight,
saying. "I’m also unemployed. I’m networking. I have my sight on a particular
job." If he was trying to be funny, the joke undoubtedly fell flat, because
Romney has a personal safety net of $250 million and doesn't need the "job" he's
seeking in order to feed his family. At one of the early Republican debates,
he offered to bet Rick Perry $10,000 — an amount that, however facetious,
reminded voters just how rich Romney really is, and how carefree he is about money.
Romney’s $101 Million Cayman Island IRA
How did Mitt Romney end up with a
$101 million Cayman Island IRA? It seems Romney may have sheltered all
or most of his Bain Capital wealth from taxes by putting it into an offshore "IRA" and
only allowing it to be valued correctly once the appreciation was protected from
taxes. If there is some other reasonable explanation for how anyone's IRA can be
so huge, when contributions are limited to a few thousand dollars per year, I'd
like to hear it.
I first became suspicious about Romney's finances when he
started squirming like a fish out of water when asked
about releasing his tax returns during a Republican presidential debate. I was sure at that moment that
there was something in his tax returns that he didn't want the public to see.
Ironically, Romney's father, George W. Romney, had voluntarily released his tax
returns for twelve years when he became a presidential candidate in 1967.
But Mitt Romney's public squirmings told me that something was obviously wrong
with his tax returns. Then later something in a
article about his tax returns caught my eye, because a single Bain fund was valued at $5 million to
$25 million, and yet it was called only "part" of his total IRA. Most
IRAs are relatively small because the contributions are capped at a few thousand
dollars per year. Romney's IRA seemed impossibly large, and it also seemed extremely
odd that it was made up of multiple offshore Bain investments in the
Cayman Islands, which are world-famous for two things: beautiful beaches and
hideous tax shelters. So I began trying
to determine what Romney's full IRA amounted to. Here's a Reuters report that I
found on the subject ...
How did Romney's IRA grow so big?
by Lynnley Browning
Monday, January 23, 2012
In the wake of news reports last week that presidential contender Mitt Romney
owns an individual retirement account worth as much as $101 million, questions
are growing over how it could have gotten so big when contribution limits are
capped at $5,000 or $6,000 a year.
Tax lawyers and accountants suggest an answer: Romney may have made use of an
Internal Revenue Service loophole that allows investors to undervalue interests
in investment partnerships when first putting them into an IRA. These assets can
produce returns far in excess of those that could be generated from other
investments made at the capped level.
An investor could even set an initial value for a partnership interest at
zero dollars, because under tax regulations an interest in a partnership
represents future income, not current value, said Chris Sanchirico, co-director
of the Center for Tax Law and Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law
Whether Romney used this technique, which is legal, when he put partnership
interests into his IRA is a question that won't likely be answered when he
discloses his 2010 tax returns on Tuesday.
Romney's IRA, valued at between $20.7 million and $101.6 million, as reported
by The Wall Street Journal last Thursday, holds stakes in 13 investment entities
run by Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he cofounded and led for 13 years.
"One possibility for its size is that he put his Bain partnership interests
into the IRA and valued them at a very low number," said David Weisbach, a law
professor who focuses on tax at the University of Chicago Law School.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, declined to respond to
emails and calls.
In the wake of growing scrutiny of his personal wealth, Romney, one of the
wealthiest contenders ever for the White House, told Fox News host Chris Wallace
on Sunday that on Tuesday he would release his 2010 tax returns and estimates
for his 2011 return.
The release will not provide much insight into his IRA. That is because a
personal income-tax return shows IRA contributions and withdrawals only for the
year of the return, and not for previous years, and does not show whether any
contributions were in the form of undervalued partnership interests. While an
IRA investor can sometimes be required to file a separate return for the IRA, it
is unclear whether Romney intends to release any such returns.
Romney's personal financial summary, disclosed last August under federal
election rules, shows that his IRA holds his most lucrative investments, which
are stakes in partnerships run by Bain Capital. Those stakes include Bcip Trust
Associates III, a Bain fund that is his single largest investment, with assets
valued at $5,000,001 to $25,000,000. Bcip Trust Associates III produced income
to Romney's IRA of over $5,000,000 over 2010 and through August 12, 2011,
according to the summary.
Robert Stack, head of international tax at law firm Ivins Phillips & Barker,
said it is possible that Romney's IRA grew so large not only because of an
increase in the value of the funds in which it invests but also through
lucrative profits, typically 20 percent of investment gains per year, that funds
can generate for their general partners.
It is not known whether Romney is a general partner in the Bain funds,
meaning invested in the partnership responsible for managing the funds, or
simply an investor in the funds. The Romney campaign has declined to comment on
The general partners' cut of the profit, known as carried interest, is
taxable each year if the funds in which the IRA is invested earn certain
management fees or borrow to make their investments. Tax lawyers say they want
to know whether Romney's IRA holds any carried interest and whether it has paid
tax on it—something not disclosed in his personal financial summary or on a
federal income tax return. "In the context of a $100 million IRA, that is what
we would want to know," said David Miller, a tax lawyer at Cadwalader Wickersham
The average IRA held by Americans holds $42,500, according to the Investment
Company Institute, a trade group. While the Romney campaign has said that some
of his IRA consists of retirement savings rolled over from previous plans,
accountants say rollovers would not likely explain the size of his IRA.
"Even if he rolled over a 401k, with the annual caps on contributions, you're
still only talking about a few million dollars," said Robert Green, an
accountant who is founder of Green Trading, a tax and accounting firm that
caters to the investment industry. Last year, individuals could contribute a
maximum of $16,500 a year to their 401(k) plans.
Tax lawyers say it is also important to know whether Romney's IRA holds
stakes in Bain funds directly, or through related, offshore entities.
These entities, commonly used by tax-exempt investors such as Romney's IRA,
legally allow the investors to avoid having to pay a special tax, known as the
unearned business income tax, or UBTI.
While the Wall Street Journal suggested on Thursday that avoidance of the
special tax was a big reason for the size of Romney's IRA, some tax lawyers said
that its size might simply reflect the extreme profitability of a carried
interest held by the IRA. "The best guess is that he put the carried interest
into the IRA," Miller said.
Romney's IRA produced income of $1.5 million to $8.5 million over 2010 and
through August 12, 2011, according to his financial summary, but it is unknown
what, if any, taxes the IRA may have paid on its carried interest. Saul,
Romney's campaign spokeswoman, declined requests for comment.
(Reporting by Lynnley Browning; Additional reporting by Gregory Roumeliotis;
Editing by Amy Stevens, Eddie Evans and Carol Bishopric)
The average American IRA is $42,500, so
Romney’s seems outrageously large. His IRA produced income of $1.5 million to
$8.5 million between 2010 and 2011, so it seems quite possible that it
may be closer to the high end estimate of $101.6 million. Romney’s total
wealth has been estimated at around $200 million. If he shielded half his money
from all taxes, that would seem to drop his effective tax rate from around 14%
to around 7%. And that would explain why he looked like a fish out of water when
he was asked about disclosing his tax returns. In this case, I suspect that two
plus two probably results in four ... as in four more years for President Barack