It’s Friday – let’s go to Paris for breakfast.
I must have missed the memo. Apparently “serving your country” now means both military service (where you risk your life) and pedaling around Paris on a bicycle, trying to sell Moroni and the planet Kolob to to unsuspecting people in Paris who answer their doors.
Raw Story reports on an exchange between Whoopi Goldberg and Lady Ann Romney when she appeared on The View yesterday. “The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday said that her husband and sons had not joined the U.S. military but had found “different ways of serving” by going on religious missions in France, England, Australia and Chile as part of their obligation to the Mormon church.”
Whoopie Goldberg: “When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion.”
Ann Romney: “That’s not correct. He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans. So, you know, we find different ways of serving. And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”
Goldberg: “So, when you’re facing these mothers whose children have not come back, how will you explain to them that your sons haven’t gone? Will you talk about the missions they’ve gone on?”
Romney: “I would say it’s probably the hardest thing that a president and a first lady probably do is to comfort those that have lost a love one and have gone in harm’s way. It is an amazing country, we have the most extraordinary fighting men and women, and we have to be so grateful for them. Of course, it’s hard, and I don’t think that any of us can understand the sacrifice [sic] that are being made by families.”
Oh, you people and your amazing sacrifices… got that, patriots? There’s absolutely no need to volunteer for military service — especially for that new Iran war that Romney and his neocon advisers are so excited about — just to say you served your country. Just sell Kolob door to door. It’s the same thing, it’s just a different way of “serving.”
Romney received a draft exemption – a deferment from the Vietnam draft — based upon his status as a “minister of religion” – basically, an exemption for having been a Mormon missionary. He received numerous deferments after that for educational reasons. Romney portrays his mission in Paris as a time of humbling poverty, but The Daily Telegraph has a different story…
Mitt Romney, August 8 2007 in Iowa: “The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
The Daily Mail: “A newly-unearthed photograph showing Mitt Romney demonstrating in favour of the Vietnam War draft might leave the presidential candidate feeling somewhat embarrassed. The veteran Republican, then 19, can be seen picketing an anti-war sit-in at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, in 1966.”
In December 2011, here’s how Romney described his living “conditions” in France — when he was a Mormon missionary (and when he obtained deferments from the Vietnam War draft):
“At a campaign event in New Hampshire on Sunday, he gave a rare account of his two and a half years from July 1966 as a missionary in France, which he described as “not exactly a Third World country”. He was forced to live off $110 a month. “So, I lived in a way that people of lower-middle income in France lived,” he said. Explaining that he often had no working lavatory, Mr Romney said: “We had instead the little pads on the ground There was a chain behind you with a bucket”.
“There were also no baths or showers, said Mr Romney. “If we were lucky, we actually bought a hose and we stuck it on the sink … and wash ourselves that way,” he said. “Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators,” Mr Romney added. He remembered saying to himself: “Wow, I sure am lucky to have been born in the United States of America”.”
Wow, indeed. Especially when the house Romney stayed in is described SO DIFFERENTLY by everyone else who was there:
“…the Republican presidential hopeful spent a significant portion of his 30-month mission in a Paris mansion described by fellow American missionaries to The Daily Telegraph as “palace”. It featured stained glass windows, chandeliers, and an extensive art collection. It was staffed by two servants – a Spanish chef and a houseboy. Although he spent time in other French cities, for most of 1968, Mr Romney lived in the Mission Home, a 19th century neoclassical building in the French capital’s chic 16th arrondissement. “It was a house built by and for rich people,” said Richard Anderson, the son of the mission president at the time of Mr Romney’s stay. “I would describe it as a palace”.
“[...] “They were very big rooms,” said Christian Euvrard, the 72-year-old director of the Mormon-run Institute of Religion in Paris, who knew Mr Romney. “Very comfortable. The building had beautiful gilded interiors, a magnificent staircase in cast iron, and an immense hall.” [...] Mr Anderson said that as well as a refrigerator, the mansion had “a Spanish chef called Pardo and a house boy, who prepared lunch and supper five days a week”.
“It was “well equipped” with all modern conveniences, including a combination washer-dryer machine, Mr Anderson said. “I never saw anything like it in another private home at that time.” [...] The mission home in Paris was fully plumbed and central heated. “All of the missionary rooms had something like a bath or a shower attached to it,” said Mr Anderson. “The home had several”. This was in stark contrast to lodgings in working class areas given to other missionaries in Paris at the same time. “It was much better than the other places,” said one, Alan Eastman. “Most of us stayed in rented apartments quite a way from luxurious”.
“[...] Regarding spending money, Mr Romney “would have been on the same amount of money as the rest of us, about $125 per month,” said Mr Eastman – about $813 per month in today’s money.”
He suffered, y’all. Big time! They had only ONE houseboy.
“Warner Bros., makers of “The Dark Knight Rises” have canceled the film’s red carpet premiere in Paris on Friday night in addition to media interviews with director Christopher Nolan and cast members. The Hollywoord Reporter said Nolan and Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman were at Paris’ hotel Le Bristol to promote the film. However, journalists at le Bristol for a daytime press conference were told to leave. In a statement, Warner Bros. said: “Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.” — Red carpet premiere of “Dark Knight” canceled after shootings
————————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY
ROMNEY WILL NOT APOLOGIZE for his ‘magnificent’ French vacations — “I have a lot of memories of France. I think the best memories were with my wife on vacations, from time to time in France,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said at a press conference here with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. “The last vacation we had there, walking around the city of Paris, not just in the Champs-Elysees, but also over to the Jardin of Luxembourg and around the city, as one of the most magnificent cities in the world and I look forward to occasional vacations again in such a beautiful place.” Romney just last week accused President Obama of “jetting around the world” and, asked by National Review about exorbitant spending by the General Services Administration that’s now under investigation, said Obama’s “elaborate vacations” set a bad example. [GovExec: Romney gushes over 'magnificent' Paris]
Watch Romney tell students worried about student loans to go to a cheaper college — Or they could just inherit lots of money, like he did. Boot straps!
LEAKED STRATFOR EMAILS reveal anti-Obama predjudice. Embarrassing details continue to dribble out of the 5 million emails leaked from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including the firm’s reference to President Barack Obama’s administration as the “Barry Hussein” White House. The remark, made by Stratfor Vice President Fred Burton, appears to be a racially-charged insult aimed at the President Obama’s middle name. [...] Burton, the firm’s VP of intelligence, was a distinguished counter terrorism agent in the U.S. State Department before joining the company. More recently, he’s held posts in the Texas government, advising on security issues. [...] In previously released emails, Strafor analysts discussed the White’s House “weakness and wimpiness” towards China, and speculated the president would lose support of a billionaire Democratic donor “unless Obama finds a spine.” The firm also closely monitored Mitt Romney’s views on international affairs, particularly his views on China. [Buzzfeed]
TAMPA STRIP CLUBS PREPARE for the Republican National Convention – Tampa Gold Club and Scores Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse … have been gearing up for the onslaught of normal, family-oriented, churchgoing, upstanding members of society. Club remodels are underway, with upgrades in everything from furniture, lighting and booze to higher end strippers with fewer thigh bruises. — TampaBayTimes via Wonkette
FOX IS NOT NEWS: Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy will on Tuesday clarify a partially fabricated quote from President Obama. – TPM
AUSTERITY FOR THE REST OF US: Which state had the largest decrease in employment last year? That would be Scott Walker’s Wisconsin! — Think Progress
BUSH YEARS FOREVER!* (*the one percent wishes) – RNC Spokeswoman: Republican Economic Platform Will Be The Bush Program, ‘Just Updated’ Because the worst incomes and jobs record since Herbert Hoover was just an accident. – Paul Krugman
WHAT ARE THE GOP FRESHMEN up to today? …now our deficit hawks want to continue the Bush tax cuts, enact more tax cuts for the rich, expand our already bloated defense budget, and now they have even given up on their token issue to pretend they cared about spending: Hypocrisy alert: House Republican freshmen are begging their leaders to bring back a certain type of earmark so that they can help companies back home in an election year. – Balloon Juice
PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS—————————————————————-
Buzzfeed: President Barack Obama strikes the Heisman pose, while presenting the U.S. Air Force Academy football team seniors with the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy today. The Air Force beat the Army and Navy in 2011 to claim the trophy for the 18th time. (Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla)
THE YOUTH VOTE: MITT ROMNEY AGREES WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA on student loans. “…I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans. There was some concern that would expire halfway through the year, and I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students, as a result of student loans, in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.” — Think Progress
THE LIBERAL MEDIA has consistently given more positive coverage to likely Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney compared to President Barack Obama, according to a new survey of media coverage from the Pew Research Center’s Excellence in Journalism Project. During the early weeks of 2012, Romney’s media coverage was slightly negative—between January 2 and February 26, 33 percent of the stories about the ex-Massachusetts governor were positive and 37 percent were negative, according to Pew’s analysis. But Romney has received mostly positive coverage since then (47 percent positive to 24 percent negative). By contrast, according to the report, President Barack Obama “did not have a single week in 2012 when positive coverage exceeded negative coverage.” The media’s overwhelming focus on “strategy” and Obama’s consistently negative coverage indicate that a preoccupation with public policy and an unwillingness to criticize the president are two afflictions the mainstream press is not suffering from. – Mother Jones
- So much for that vast left-wing conspiracy – “There will be an effort by the quote ‘vast left-wing conspiracy’ to work together to put out their message and to attack me. Many in the media are inclined to do the president’s bidding.” — Mittens Romney, last week
SCOTT BROWN IS BAFFLED BY THE MEANING OF HYPOCRISY – Earlier this year, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) began criticizing his main Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, for being a “hypocrite.” The argument went like this: Warren makes a fair amount of money, but she’s an advocate for struggling, working families. Ergo, she’s guilty of “hypocrisy.” — Maddow Blog
THE ARGUMENT DRIVING DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION to Republican austerity cuts …high debt levels aren’t directly responsible for the economic slowdowns that typically accompany them. Instead, the economy can slow because high debt often prompts policymakers to impose fiscal austerity measures that can hamper the economy, particularly one that’s already in recession. — Suzy Khimm
BILL O’REILLY CALLS ROBERT REICH A COMMUNIST, Reich challenges O’Reilly to debate him ‘like a man‘– “It’s like being back in the 1950s,” he said. “This communist witch hunt that has suddenly been launched. The irony is that there are not even many communists left in the world today. It would be one thing if we were back in the 1950s, but there is not a communist threat. [...] Reich challenged O’Reilly to debate him “person-to-person, like a man.” “But he doesn’t have the guts to debate,” he added. — Raw Story
montmarte by nicolasv
GO WEST, WING President Obama walks on the tarmac while changing to a Boeing 747 from a 757 at Orly airport near Paris en route to Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: AFP-Getty via the New York Post)