January 18, 2008

Objectively Unfit Mitt Romney Roundup (011808)

I am pleased to report that the word about Mitt Romney’s myriad weaknesses is spreading, and continues to be enhanced by the contributions of others.

This is the fifth and final installment of a series of daily links to others who have news about Objectively Unfit Mitt leading up to tomorrow’s South Carolina Primary.

Here goes.

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Michael Medved says that Romney did a great job “winning” (go here for why it’s in quotes) in Michiganas a virtual Democrat:

In his victory statement, however, the former Massachusetts governor utterly undermined all those loyal supporters who insist that he’s a “true conservative,” Reagan’s rightful heir, and a solid, loyal Republican.

I’ve watched tape of Romney’s carefully crafted and exuberant speech three times now, and repeatedly reviewed the transcript.

One point comes across inescapably: nearly everything he said last night would have fit comfortably in a Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama victory speech (except for invoking the names of Reagan and, oddly, “George Herbert Walker Bush”). More than 90% of his remarks made Mitt sound like a Democrat – and a demagogic one at that.

Read the whole thing, as Medved takes the speech apart sentence by sentence.

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WorldNetDaily has a major report that takes Romney apart on family matters, including reference to the reason why he is, alone among all politicians I have covered in nearly three years of blogging, Objectively Unfit:

Family leaders call Romney ‘disaster’
Letter criticizes ‘deceptive rhetoric’ around candidate

….. “Most of us are not allied with any presidential candidate,” the letter says. “But we are troubled by the unethical and Orwellian cover-up of Mitt Romney’s role in catastrophic events in Massachusetts, once the cradle of American liberty.

“Actions he took as governor were beyond the pale,” the letter continued.

….. “Though Romney pretends he opposed homosexual ‘marriage,’ he did the opposite,” the letter said. “Since the notorious Goodridge court opinion discovering a constitutional right to ‘gay marriage,’ Romney has methodically lied about the judges’ legal authority and his own legal duty to enforce the Constitution. As professor of jurisprudence Hadley Arkes pointed out, under the state Constitution, the court has no jurisdiction over marriage law.”

“Mitt Romney created homosexual ‘marriage.’ His ‘conservative’ legal experts are aggressively covering up both his role and the plain language of the Supreme Law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” the letter said.

….. “The truth is this: Mitt Romney’s fictional defense of natural marriage, childhood innocence, life in the womb and constitutional governance is sustained only by our silence in the face [of] overwhelming propaganda,” the letter said.

The people who know this, and yet support this Objectively Unfit candidate, should have a lot to answer for, including whether they believe in anything except attaining and holding power.

The original letter is here.

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Imagine if the New York Times had reported this in 1959:

Although John F. Kennedy’s membership in the Catholic Church has often been discussed as a potential political liability, he has taken deliberate steps to turn his affiliation with the church into a fund-raising asset.

….. Last fall, three officials of the Kennedy campaign met privately with a senior leader of the Catholic Church in the Vatican about reaching out to the forty million Catholics around the country.

How credible would Jack Kennedy’s 1960 speech about his religion have been?

Well, this is what the Times reported in April of 2007:

Although Mr. Romney’s membership in the Mormon Church has often been discussed as a potential political liability, he has taken deliberate steps to turn his affiliation with the church into a fund-raising asset.

….. Last fall, three officials of the Romney campaign met privately with a senior leader of the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City about reaching out to the six million Mormons around the country.

So remind me again why Romney’s related oratory, known simply as “The Speech” around here, deserves anything resembling the same level of respect that Kennedy’s speech has earned?

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Ann Coulter, in her near-endorsement of Romney:

unlike Huckabee, Romney doesn’t have a son who hanged a dog at summer camp.

True enough, I suppose. But, since she’s bringing up dogs, I should note that Romney fans support a candidate who did this:

Romney’s Cruel Canine Vacation
Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2007

The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston Globe’s profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said, “emotion-free crisis management”: Father deals with minor — but gross — incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the details of the event are more than unseemly — they may, in fact, be illegal.

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

Massachusetts’s animal cruelty laws specifically prohibit anyone from carrying an animal “in or upon a vehicle, or otherwise, in an unnecessarily cruel or inhuman manner or in a way and manner which might endanger the animal carried thereon.” An officer for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals responded to a description of the situation saying “it’s definitely something I’d want to check out.” The officer, Nadia Branca, declined to give a definitive opinion on whether Romney broke the law but did note that it’s against state law to have a dog in an open bed of a pick-up truck, and “if the dog was being carried in a way that endangers it, that would be illegal.”

….. (PETA President Ingrid) Newkirk called the incident “a lesson in cruelty that was … wrong for [his children] to witness…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.”

Please spare me the criticism over quoting someone from PETA. Torture is as torture does.

If there’s a denial about this incident, I haven’t seen it, and I’ve looked. No one has pointed out otherwise in the 16 days since I first noted it (last item at link). If I’m wrong, tell me, and point me to a rebuttal.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (011807)

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:10 am

Here’s more on Rudy’s tax plan, following up on yesterday’s post, from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

The latest bidder is Rudy Giuliani, who last week offered his plan to cut taxes by $6.3 trillion over 10 years. The former New York City mayor wants to cut the corporate income tax rate to 25% from 35%, bringing that rate close to the average of our major trading partners. Mr. Giuliani would chop the capital gains rate to 10% from 15%, and he’d allow capital gains to be indexed for inflation so investors no longer paid tax on phantom gains. He’d also index the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for inflation, and on top of all this he wants to create a one-page, 11-line tax return that would eliminate most deductions and tax credits and install three lower rates of 10%, 15% and 30%.

Filers would have the option of choosing this “fast form” or the current code with its 13,000 pages of rules. Mr. Giuliani would retain the mortgage and charitable deductions on his alternative tax form, no doubt because he fears their political power. In this sense, his plan is inferior to Fred Thompson’s optional flat tax (two rates: 10% and 25%), which is the simplest and best reform in the field. (See “Flat Tax Fred,” Nov. 28.) But Mr. Giuliani’s ideas are a big improvement that would boost the economy.

This will fall on deaf ears, but Congress shouldn’t wait for a possible Giuliani Administration to do what Rudy is suggesting.

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Thomas Sowell writes on an unfortunate and unreported side-effect of enviro-nonsense. Brilliantly, as usual (bolds are mine):

It was front-page news on the January 14th issue of the San Francisco Chronicle that blacks by the tens of thousands have left the San Francisco Bay area since the 1990 census.

….. Skyrocketing housing prices are forcing out families with children, as well as blacks and other people with low or even moderate incomes.

But these runaway housing prices in California did not just happen for no reason.

Prior to 1970, California housing prices were very similar to housing prices in the rest of the country. In more recent times, it has not been uncommon for California homes to cost three times what homes cost nationwide.

What happened in the 1970s was that severe government restrictions on building became common in coastal California. With supply restricted and demand not restricted, it was inevitable that prices would soar beyond many people’s ability to pay.

The main impetus behind severe restrictions on building is environmentalist zealots who demand that vast amounts of land be set aside as “open space” on which nothing can be built.

….. Behind much of the lofty and pretty talk are some ugly and selfish realities.

People who already own their homes in an upscale community pay no price for making it hard for others to move into their community. On the contrary, the value of the homes they already own shoots up when they restrict the supply of new homes.

In other words, they can keep out the less affluent people — or, as they put it, “preserve the character of the community” — while benefiting themselves economically in the name of green idealism.

“Open space” laws are just one of the weapons in their arsenal. Other legal impediments to building include so-called “smart growth” policies, historical preservation laws, and zoning boards and coastal commissions with arbitrary powers to limit or forbid building.

….. When a business sets standards or policies with adverse effects that fall disproportionately on minorities, courts call that a “disparate impact” and equate it with discrimination.

But the same liberals who applaud that approach when it comes to businesses would be appalled if the same standard were applied to their own environmentalist restrictions that force vast numbers of blacks out of their own upscale liberal communities.

Environmentalism: The new segregation.

Many Enviro regs: The new Jim Crow laws.

Yours truly covered the topic without the racial tinge in late 2005:

Very clever. In the name of “quality of life,” what those restricting development are doing is simply reducing the supply of available housing. Reduce supply in the face of persistent demand and you get…. rising prices for existing homeowners, and huge difficulties for potential first-time homebuyers (does anyone even build “starter homes” any more?).

It’s a great investment strategy for existing homeowners. Whether it’s good public policy is debatable. One thing development restrictions definitely lead to is first-time and cash-strapped buyers heading as far out into the countryside as they can to find housing they can actually afford. Then they get to listen to elitist homeowners in the inner rings decry the “sprawl” and “waste” of gasoline caused by the long commutes that the development restrictions they put into place caused.

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Speaking of enviro-nonsense, these headlines were up at Drudge this morning:

EnviroNonsense011808.jpg

Here are the links: Maryland, Greenland (different from Drudge’s, since his link has apparently gotten overloaded by his traffic).

Positivity: ‘That Girl Saved His Life’

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:31 am

From Middletown, Ohio:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The 13-minute 911 call begins: “My dad fell down the stairs, and I don’t know what to do.”

The voice belongs to 6-year-old Kaylee Torrance who’s talking to a Warren County 911 operator on Dec. 17. Kaylee’s father, David, 42, a diabetic, is unconscious, lying on his side, bleeding, and she has no idea why.

A few minutes earlier — like any school day — Kaylee and her 4-year-old sister Taylor are dressing and waiting for their father to drive them to school, Kaylee to Hunter Elementary, Taylor to preschool.

Then the girls hear a loud noise coming from the top floor of the family’s tri-level home. Taylor walks to the second level and sees her father lying at the bottom of the stairs. She races downstairs and alerts her sister.

Kaylee, a first-grader, runs to her father’s side. Kaylee can’t tell if he’s breathing, and Taylor thinks her father is dead.

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