Archive for February 14th, 2012
The Onion reports on the effort to establish a captive breeding program for moderate Republicans in a last-ditch effort effort to save the endangered subspecies. Very well done.
The good citizens of Wasilla voted to recall City Council Member Steve Menard. It wasn’t close, 216-92.
Folks not from the Mat-Su Valley may have forgotten that Steve Menard was the member of the Wasilla City Council who thoroughly trashed his hotel room in Sitka while on a junket there. It was as if all of the clichés about Valley trash had come to life.
The City Council gave him a ceremonial lashing with overcooked spaghetti.
The voters were not amused, however. WC would be happier if the recall effort hadn’t been led by Teabaggers, but in Wasilla, WC perhaps, that’s what qualifies for a liberal.
Move along, people, nothing to see here.
In law, there’s a hackneyed old joke that goes like this:
When you have the facts, pound on the facts.
When you don’t have the facts, but have the law, pound on the law.
When you don’t have the facts or the law, pound on the table.
Mitt’s biggest single problem is that in terms of his candidacy, he doesn’t have the facts or the law and is reduced to pounding on the table. In other words, lying.
Most candidates run on their record. But Mitt’s biggest achievement as Governor of Massachusetts – the only elective office he has ever held – was the state’s health care program, which famously was the model for the federal Affordable Care Act. Obama’s Affordable Care Act is anathema to the Christianists, Teabaggers and Neocons who make up the Republican primary voters. So Mitt can’t run on his record. He tries not to talk about his record, except to call himself a “severely conservative governor,” whatever that means and whatever the evidence. Mitt originally supported a woman’s right to choose, more anathema. Mitt is forever having to explain away his record, which is neither conservative nor Teabagger. He cannot win the Republican primaries based on what he has done when elected.
A few candidates have been able to run on their business record, although notably few have been successful. But Mitt’s business record has consisted of making obscene amounts of money doing leveraged buyouts and killing jobs. As WC has explained earlier, while Bain Capital did do some venture capital work, where Bain had at least a modest role in creating jobs, Bain Capital’s big deals and Mitt’s big bucks came from leveraged buyouts, followed by breaking up, selling off or bankrupting the target of the LBO, and all of the jobs that former employer had. No, Mitt can’t run on his business record either, which looks an awful lot like vulture vomit to the average Teabagger.
So Mitt can’t pound on the facts or pound on the law; he has to pound on the table. And that has consisted of a long series of clumsy lies, aggravated by a real gift for repeatedly putting his expensive shoes into his mouth. Mitt has claimed:
Mitt: “Obama began his presidency by apologizing for America.”
Reality: This counts as a “Four-Pinocchio Falsehood,” as the Washington Post Fact Checker puts it, yet it is at the heart of the Romney campaign. Politifact gave it a Pants on Fire rating.
Mitt: “Twenty-five percent — that’s the percentage of foreclosed homes in America that are right here in Florida.”
Reality: Numbers from RealtyTrac.com indicate the Sunshine State accounted for 12 percent of the nation’s home foreclosures in 2011, representing a drop from 16 percent the previous year.
Mitt: ”President Obama is shrinking our military and hollowing out our national defense.”
Reality: The national defense budget is being cut because the Super Committee – adopted by the Republican-led U.S. House 269-161 in the debt crisis – abjectly failed when Republicans stubbornly refused to compromise. Additionally, it’s much less expensive to have troops at home than fighting in Iraq.
Mitt: “Obama promised he would hold unemployment under 8%.”
Reality: The President’s Council of Economic Advisors issued a chart projecting, with numerous disclaimers, that unemployment was projected to peak at 8.0-8.5%. The charter had a disclaimer at the bottom: ”Forecasts of the unemployment rate without the recovery plan vary substantially. Some private forecasters anticipate unemployment rates as high as 11% in the absence of action.” There was no promise. Politifact rates this Mitt’s claim “Mostly False.”
Mitt: ”We’re only inches away from no longer being a free economy.”
Reality: The conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation published an economic freedom index for 2011– an international ranking of nations using a combination of 10 types of statistics, covering business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. The U.S. ranked ninth out of 179 nations on the list, with a score that placed it near the top of the “mostly free” category. The only nations to be considered more “free” than the U.S. were, in descending order, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and Denmark. Politifact give this corker a Pants on Fire rating. And Obama is more fiscally conservative than Bush was.
Mitt: “When I ask people what they dislike most about the president’s plan, what I typically hear is they say, ‘Obamacare represents a government takeover of health care, and I don’t like it.’ And I think they’re right.”
Reality: This was Politifact’s 2010 Lie of the Year. The facts simply don’t support it. The health care law continues to depend on private health insurance and private-sector physicians. So Romney earns the same rating as others who have made the false claim: Pants on Fire!
All of which is why WC calls Mitt’s dishonest attacks on the President “pounding on the table.” There are matters to legitimately criticize in the Obama presidency, although WC is on record as thinking the President has done a pretty good job under very difficult circumstances. But Mitt isn’t satisfied with honest criticism; he has to lie instead.
It rarely works with juries. WC is doubtful it will work for voters.