West Virginia’s “Democrats” are a little different

Keith JuddFEDERAL INMATE NO. 11593-051, Keith Judd, receiving sizable percent of vote in West Virginia Democratic Primary – Judd, who is serving out a 17.5 year sentence for extortion, currently has received 40 percent of the vote, with 83 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Obama currently has received 60 percent of the vote. Obama’s lack of popularity in West Virginia has been well-documented. The state’s governor Earl Ray Tomblin and it’s junior senator Joe Manchin, both Democrats, have kept their distance from the president. – Yahoo! News

You might not be surprised to learn that exit polls reported that West Virginian voters thought Judd had a ‘real purdy mouth.’

Romney’s conditional non-apology apology on bullying incident he said he didn’t remember

Andrew Sullivan points out that one of the witnesses / participants in the hair-cutting incident described himself and his friends as “a pack of dogs:”

“It’s a haunting memory.  I think it was for everybody that spoke up about it…  because when you see somebody who is simply different taken down that way and is terrified and you see that look in their eye you never forget it.  And that was what we all walked away with,” said Phillip Maxwell, who is now an attorney and still considers Romney an old friend.

“I saw it with my own eyes,” said Maxwell, of the anecdote first reported by the Washington Post.  Maxwell said Romney held the scissors helping to cut the hair of a student, John Lauber, who was presumed to be gay and who had long hair. “It was a hack job… clumps of hair taken off.” Maxwell said he held the boy’s arm and leg, describing he and his friends as a “pack of dogs.”

Sullivan says:

Today, Romney actually laughed off the assault. Laughed. We have two options: this man is so callous that, unlike all those others involved in this assault, he has forgotten it. Or he is a liar.

Now Romney seems to recall the kid and says he “certainly doesn’t believe” that he and his buddies tackled that kid and cut his hair because he thought he was one of those homosexual fellows.

Seems like the Romney campaign realizes that average people don’t consider this kind of physical bullying as some kind of “prank” or youthful “hiijinks.” In fact average people consider this level of physical bullying as vile, disturbing, and cruel. Especially coming from Mitt the governor’s son, born into wealth and privilege.

Yet Romney gave one of those “if-then” conditional non-apologies:

Romney: “Back in high school I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended by that I apologize.”

He further said: “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s.”

Earlier Romney, through spokespeople, had said he didn’t remember the incidents.

He didn’t remember the incident but he remembers the guy? Josh Marshall adds even more background:

And more is coming out. The Romney campaign has apparently already spoken to a number of ex-classmates asking them to step forward and speak on Mitt’s behalf. And ABC has spoken to a number of them. Here’s one graph from a piece just published by ABC.

One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies.”

The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember [the hair-cutting incident].

“It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.

LORD OF THE FLIES. As JM Ashby points out,

Many of us did things in our childhood we regret, however not all of us went on to bankrupt companies for profit, strong-arm our political opponents, or sideline our national security adviser because Bryan Fischer doesn’t approve of his homosexuality… 

Bullies grow up and just find different ways to inflict pain on others for their own amusement or gain.

via: mittromneysamerica

Mitt Romney’s high school years: a privileged, rich punk who enjoyed bullying others

“I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.” – MITT ROMNEY apologizes for behavior in high school after the Washington Post published a story on his high school years.

The most surprising thing about this story on youthful Mitt Romney isn’t that it reveals he was another privileged, rich punk at an exclusive prep school who enjoyed (and had a real talent for) bullying others, but that Romney’s classmates admitted it:

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 teenaged 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 named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

“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 pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall.

Continue reading…

Imagine if that was your kid. Romney considers this incident a “hiijink” or “prank.” Lifestyles of the rich and famous. Isn’t this kind of behavior what most of us already understand to be the standard mentality for many of the wealthiest one percent? It’s horrifying that this guy wants to be our president.

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 5.10.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—

BIPARTISANSHIP to the modern Republican: after defeating Sen. Dick Lugar in the Indiana primary, Richard Mourdock dismissed Lugar’s parting shot.
 
Source: sandandglass

PART OF SEN. RICHARD LUGAR’S searing concession statement – “Too often bipartisanship is equated with centrism or deal cutting. Bipartisanship is not the opposite of principle. One can be very conservative or very liberal and still have a bipartisan mindset. Such a mindset acknowledges that the other party is also patriotic and may have some good ideas. It acknowledges that national unity is important, and that aggressive partisanship deepens cynicism, sharpens political vendettas, and depletes the national reserve of good will that is critical to our survival in hard times. Certainly this was understood by President Reagan, who worked with Democrats frequently and showed flexibility that would be ridiculed today — from assenting to tax increases in the 1983 Social Security fix, to compromising on landmark tax reform legislation in 1986, to advancing arms control agreements in his second term. I don’t remember a time when so many topics have become politically unmentionable in one party or the other. Republicans cannot admit to any nuance in policy on climate change. Republican members are now expected to take pledges against any tax increases. For two consecutive Presidential nomination cycles, GOP candidates competed with one another to express the most strident anti-immigration view, even at the risk of alienating a huge voting bloc… If fealty to these pledges continues to expand, legislators may pledge their way into irrelevance. Voters will be electing a slate of inflexible positions rather than a leader…” Ezra Klein

COLIN POWELL: War with Iraq was never debated — Former Secretary of State Colin Powell provides what may be the most authoritative confirmation yet that there was never a considered debate in the George W. Bush White House about whether going to war in Iraq was really a good idea. [...] “By then, the President did not think war could be avoided,” Powell writes. “He had crossed the line in his own mind, even though the NSC [National Security Council] had never met — and never would meet — to discuss the decision.” – HuffPo

 
AFTER WEEKS of blaming Obama for rising gas prices, Fox News is asking if the decrease in gas prices may be a bad thing, links the decrease to a weak economy and, again, blames Obama. – Fox News: Rising gas prices were bad. Now falling prices are bad. Both are Obama’s fault

MICHELE BACHANN granted dual Swiss-American citizenship – “Congresswoman Bachmann’s husband is of Swiss descent so she has been eligible for dual-citizenship since they got married in 1978,” said her spokeswoman Becky Rogness said in a statement given to the Politico.com website and other US media…“Recently some of their children wanted to exercise their eligibility for dual-citizenship so they went through the process as a family,” the spokeswoman said. – Raw Story 

  • BACHMANN HAS ISSUES with the truth — even about this: Her statement that she has been a citizen since 1978 is based off a technicality – at the time of her marriage, automatic citizenship was granted to those who married Swiss citizens. However, Marcus Bachmann, her husband, did not register their marriage with Swiss authorities until this year – meaning that the Swiss government was not aware of it until recently. — Politico
  • AS A CITIZEN OF SWITZERLAND, Bachmann [and her kids] can now partake in a healthcare system that is the envy of the world. It has transparent costs, it is consumer driven, and it provides near universal coverage. It also has an individual mandate: all Swiss citizens are required to purchase basic health insurance. You may recall that the current Supreme Court challenge against Obamacare rests on the contention that its health insurance mandate is unconstitutional. The Swiss mandate seems to only apply to all residents of Switzerland, so Bachmann may be able to get out of it by not living there full time. – The Daily Beast

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

OBAMA: ‘Same sex couples should be able to get married’ – It’s a breakthrough moment for a president who already has a rather impressive record on advancing LGBT rights, and an unexpected step forward for the gay-rights movement. — Steve Benen [image: drunkonstevphen]

  • That isn’t an “impressive” record. It’s AMAZING. That’s what flummoxes me about many activists. Those are real accomplishments, yet we still had folks (Dan Choi, Aravosis, I’m looking at you) flaming the President. …What is listed here are real actions. …But even if Obama had maintained his earlier position on same-sex marriage, he still has done more to advance gay rights than any other President, by a ridiculously wide margin. Faced with a congress more hostile than what Bill Clinton ever faced, he is UNDOING much of the damage inflicted on the gay community by none other than Bill Clinton. — John Cole

THANK President Obama for supporting marriage equality!

~~~

REID DRAWS A LINE on Rolling Back Sequester – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced yesterday that Senate Democrats would not agree to replace mandated spending cuts unless Republicans agree to a “balanced” approach that asks the wealthy to help pay for it. – Roll Call

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS sees a lesson for the United States in the European elections — “In the United States and around the world, the middle class is in steep decline while the wealthy and large corporations are doing phenomenally well. The message sent by voters in France and other European countries, which I believe will be echoed here in the United States, is that the wealthy and large corporations are going to have to experience some austerity also and that that burden cannot solely fall on working families. In the United States, where corporate profits are soaring and the gap between the rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must end corporate tax loopholes and start making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes. At the same time, we must protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Austerity, yes, but for millionaires and billionaires, not the working families of this country.” — Crooks & Liars

FROM PETER ORSZAG, after reporting on new evidence that the incomes of the very rich are far more sensitive to economic growth than in the past: If anything, high-earning households should be the ones most in favor of aggressively boosting the economy in the short run — and not just out of benevolence. Yet I suspect, without definitive proof, that support for additional stimulus declines as one moves up the income scale. – Well, I suspect that he suspects right. I also suspect that the very rich (a) just flatly don’t believe that Keynesian stimulus works, and (b) know for sure that tax cuts will increase their disposable incomes. So it’s Team Austerity for them. Sure, they’ll have to ride out the bad times by letting one of the yacht scrubbers go, but everyone has to make sacrifices, right? — Kevin Drum

image: Austerity Fever | NYTimes