…to the CNN production crew member who snuck this into a segment on Palin & Chick-Fil-A.
This is a good piece in Newsweek by Michael Tomasky: Mitt Romney: A Candidate With a Serious Wimp Problem:
“…But the new values surface often enough—his fondness for firing people, the way he made fun of NASCAR fans’ ponchos, his reminders to us that his friends are the people who own the teams, and now his putdown of an entire nation, which happens to be our closest ally—to suggest that they won the argument.
“[...] In some respects, he’s more weenie than wimp—socially inept; at times awkwardy ingratiating, at other times mocking those “below” him, but almost always getting the situation a little wrong, and never in a sympathetic way. The evidence resonates across too many years to deny. What kind of teenager beats up on the misfit, sissy kid, pinning him down and violently cutting his hair with a pair of school scissors—the incident from Romney’s youth that The Washington Post famously reported (and Romney famously didn’t really deny) back in May? The behavior extends, through more sedate means, into adulthood. The Salt Lake Olympics remains his greatest triumph, for which he wins deserved praise. But to many of those in the know, Romney placed a heavy asterisk next to his name by attacking the men he replaced on the Olympic Committee, smearing them in his book, even after a court threw out all the corruption charges against them.
“And what kind of presidential candidate whines about a few attacks and demands an apology when the going starts to get rough? And tries to sound tough by accusing the president who killed the world’s most-wanted villain of appeasement? That’s what they call overcompensation, and it’s a dead giveaway; it’s the “tell.” This guy is nervous—terrified—about looking weak. And ironically, being terrified of looking weak makes him look weaker still.
“[...] In a similar vein, it was breathtaking, and a meaningful window into his thinking, that he thought denouncing “Obamacare” to the NAACP constituted courage. That was the opposite of courage—an easy shot aimed at people who aren’t voting for him anyway. Going to the Southern Baptist Convention and telling them they’re all wet about Mormonism? Now that would be courage. Can anyone picture Romney doing that in a million years? The Mormon God will come down from Kolob before that happens.”
“I’m not proposing anything radical here. I just believe that anybody making over $250,000 a year should go back to the income tax rates we were paying under Bill Clinton.” — President Obama, on taxes. (via theatlantic)
Related (things that actually are radical):
“Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference, And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.” – Mitt Romney on Monday morning, suggesting that the Israeli economy had outpaced the economy of the Palestinian territories in part because of advantages of “culture.”
Abraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Inter-Disciplinary Center outside of Tel Aviv said it’s true that Israel has logged tremendous achievements, … but “you can understand this remark in several ways… You can say it’s anti-Semitic. ‘Jews and money.’”
Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responded: “All I can say is that this man needs a lot of education. He doesn’t know the region, he doesn’t know Israelis, he doesn’t know Palestinians, and to talk about the Palestinians as an inferior culture is really a racist statement… I’ve never heard this from any Israeli, to be honest.”
Palestinians are outraged since Romney didn’t mention any of the very NON-CULTURAL REASONS for the economic disparities:
- Israel controls crossings to both Palestinian areas. Israel has imposed a blockade on its boundary with Gaza since the Islamic militant group Hamas took over there in 2007.
- In the West Bank, Israel continues to restrict Palestinian trade and movement.
- the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have said repeatedly that the Palestinian economy can only grow if Israel lifts those restrictions.
But Mitt Romney doesn’t care about all of that: He left Israel for Poland Monday with over $1 million more in his campaign war chest than when he arrived, following a first-ever presidential fundraiser in the country. Some 47 people attended breakfast at a room at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel with Romney, his wife, and one of his sons, at the price of $50,000 per couple.
Mitt’s truly a national treasure.
Newsweek and The Daily Beast: When asked by NEWSWEEK (in 2007) if he has done baptisms for the dead—in which Mormons find the names of dead people of all faiths and baptize them, as an LDS spokesperson says, to “open the door” to the highest heaven—he looked slightly startled and answered, “I have in my life, but I haven’t recently.” The awareness of how odd this will sound to many Americans is what makes Romney hesitant to elaborate on the Mormon question. (via azspot)
Something else I think is interesting about Mormonism and baptism:
Do Mormons believe the baptism of little children is an evil abomination?
I was baptized as an infant, and so was my brother. The “evil abomination” language comes from the lds.org website, where the following verses from the Book of Mormon were found:
14 Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither afaith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.
15 For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.
16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for bperfect clove dcasteth out all fear.
I welcome any comments from Mormons, because I am curious and that’s pretty strong language. Who’s supposed to be an evil abomination — the priest / pastor performing the baptism or the child being baptized? Or just the act itself? Oy.
Is this relevant to today? Yes, because Romney’s going to Poland.
“Poland, of course, is one of the most Roman Catholic nations on earth, and, despite noble efforts at reconciliation, there have been historic tensions between Mormons and Roman Catholics. Most recently, there had been the bizarre and — to some — hideous practice of posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims — from Poland — and other countries into the Mormon faith, which the LDS leadership has stopped.
“In the practice of posthumous baptism, a living person is baptized on behalf of a dead person so that the dead person can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. These “proxy” baptisms are established practice in the Mormon faith, and they have been performed for a variety of famous and infamous people, including the founding fathers, Barack Obama’s mother, Adolf Hitler and possibly Anne Frank.
“When Catholic and Jewish organizations, among others, complained about proxy baptisms being performed when there was no Mormon genealogical tie with the deceased “beneficiary,” church leadership put a stop to this category of baptisms. But names are still being submitted by some church members.”
Buzzfeed: “Romney, who championed the Massachusetts health care mandate, but is an opponent of the federal mandate passed by President Barack Obama, marveled at how little Israel spends on health care relative to the United States.
“Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? eight percent,” Romney told donors at a fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, speaking of a health care system that is compulsory for Israelis and funded by the government. “You spend eight percent of GDP on health care. You’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18% of our GDP on health care. Ten percentage points more. That gap, that 10 percent cost, compare that with the size of our military — our military which is four percent — four percent. Our gap with Israel is 10 points of GDP. We have to find ways — not just to provide health care to more people, but to find ways to find and manage our health care costs.”
“[...] Romney has explained that he opposes ObamaCare because what worked in Massachusetts may not work for other states. Highlighting the success of the Israeli system — in a country that enjoys one of the highest life expectancy rates in the world — could complicate matters for Romney at home.”
Americans should have the same health care system — I agree! It seems very similar to Great Britain’s NHS (and other civilized countries), and the idea ”it doesn’t matter who you are, you will get treated the same in terms of health care.” Look at this:
Rights of the Insured under the National Health Insurance Law
-—Every Israeli citizen is entitled to health care services under the National Health Insurance Law.
—Every resident has a right to register as a member of an HMO of his/her choice, free of any preconditions or limitations stemming from his/her age or the state of his/her health.
—Every resident has a right to receive, via the HMO of which he or she is a member, all of the services included in the medical services basket, subject to medical discretion, and at a reasonable quality level, within a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable distance from his/her home.
—Each member has a right to receive the health services while preserving the member’s dignity, privacy and medical confidentiality.
—Every Israeli resident has the right to transfer from one HMO to another.
—Each member has a right to select the service providers, such as doctors, caregivers, therapists, hospitals and institutes, from within a list of service providers who have entered into an agreement with the HMO to which the member belongs, and within the arrangements in place for the selection of the service providers, and which the HMO publishes from time to time.
—Each member has a right to know which hospitals and institutes, and other service providers, are included in the agreement with the HMO, and what are the selection processes at the HMO.
—Each member has a right to see and to receive a copy of the HMO regulations.
—Each resident has a right to receive from the HMO complete information concerning the payment arrangements in place in the HMO for health services as well as the HMO’s plans offered for additional health services (CIP).
—Each member has a right to complain with the Public Inquiries commissioner at the medical institute that treated the member, to the person in charge of investigating member complaints at the HMO of which s/he is a member, or to the complaints commissioner for the national health insurance law in the Ministry of Health.
—Each member has a right to file suit at the district labor court.
“Said Romney: ‘I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law. From time to time I’ve been audited as happens I think to other citizens as well and the accounting firm which prepares my taxes has done a very thorough and complete job pay taxes as legally due. I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president. I’d think people would want me to follow the law and pay only what the tax code requires.’”
The bottomline is: we get a $3,700 deduction for each child / dependent. The Romneys get a $77,000 deduction for a horse. That’s the tax code (written by politicians) — and now Mitt Romney, the GOP, and the one percent think $77,000 isn’t enough. They want to pay even less in taxes than they’re currently paying, which is already at an historic low.
Don’t forget this week the GOP-led House is trying to fast-track a bill that will give millionaires an average of $187,000 in tax cuts, paid for by eliminating deductions working and middle class families depend on. Also remember that Democrats and President Obama would like to extend the Bush tax cuts to Americans earning $250,000 or less, but the Republican Party is threatening to let all tax cuts expire for every income if the wealthy aren’t included in the extension.
If you’d like to contact your Representative about the Republican plan to make things even worse for working and middle class families, here’s the website: http://house.gov/representatives/
And let’s remind Mitt Romney that we still do want to see more of his tax returns. He’s got to come home and face this issue someday.
Dick Cheney: Sarah Palin pick “a mistake” – “Former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized Sen. John McCain’s 2008 decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate, saying Palin was not prepared to take over the presidency. “That one I don’t think was well handled,” Cheney said. “The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”"
Well DUH, Dick, tell us something we didn’t already know. Such courage! It’s great Cheney spoke up about Palin — about FOUR YEARS TOO LATE. Another Republican “patriot” putting politics before the good of the country. Maybe Cheney could use a spine transplant too.
McCain’s response: “‘Well, I’m always glad to get comments four years later. Look, I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements on whether we should torture people or not. I didn’t think we should have. But the fact is that I’m proud of Sarah Palin, I’m proud of the job she did, I’m proud of the job she continues to do. So, everybody has their own views and I respect those views. But I’m proud of what we did.’”
And that should sum up John McCain’s entire political career as well: just enough morality to hook you before “campaign before country” floats to the surface.
Sarah being Sarah:
Romney left the British shaking their heads in disgust and calling him Mitt the Twit, outraged the Palestinians, acted like POTUS is a position in Netanyahu’s cabinet by promising military action in Iran if Bibi asks… What harm can he do in Poland?
Romney campaign schedule in Poland today (times ET):
10:15 a.m. Mitt Romney participates in photo spray with Prime Minister Donald Tusk in Gdansk, Poland.
11:20 a.m. Romney participates in photo spray with former President Lech Walesa in Gdansk.
11:50 a.m. Romney visits World War II Westerplatte Memorial in Gdansk.
12:55 p.m. Romney visits Solidarity Monument Site in Gdansk.
Will there be any discussion of how the Mormon Church used to (still does?) baptize Jewish people who died in the Holocaust? My guess: no.
Telegraph: “Mitt Romney continues his foreign tour in Poland where he is due to hold talks with Donald Tusk, the prime minister, and Lech Walesa, the anti-communist leader. On the final leg of a three-stop tour designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials, the Republican presidential contender has chosen to visit a country which has notably testy relations with Russia and is now a key pillar of Nato and the EU. [...] The former Gdansk shipyard electrician who won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for galvanising Solidarity and went on to become Poland’s first democratically-elected president in 1990 invited Romney to Poland.
“[...] Mr Walesa, 68, has both snubbed and questioned the foreign policy of fellow Nobel laureate and Democratic challenger, US President Barack Obama. He refused a meeting with Obama during his May 2011 visit to Poland, saying it would “only amount to a photo opportunity.” In July 2009, Mr Walesa and late Czech anti-communist legend Vaclav Havel penned an open letter slamming Obama’s revamp of an anti-missile shield installation in Poland and the Czech Republic planned by his Republican predecessor President George Bush. [...] Poland could serve as a platform from which Mr Romney could hit out at Russia – a country the candidate has repeatedly labelled a key geopolitical foe – in a public address in Warsaw on day-two of the visit when he will also meet President Bronislaw Komorowski.”
Andrew Sullivan: A documentary that would never air in the US.