January 2, 2012

‘Chairman Ann’ Has As Much Interest in the Truth About Mitt Romney as Another ‘Chairman’ Had About His Country

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:04 pm

When it comes to her quintessential blind spot, Willard Mitt Romney, she’s right there with Anita Dunn and Nick Kristof (to be clear, only in terms of interest in the truth about this one man and disinterest in the truth about his GOP opponents).

Here’s Coulter, on Joe Scarborough’s “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC in late November, as addressed by Aaron Barnhart at the Kansas City Star:

Essentially, Coulter’s defense of Mitt Romney celebrates partisanship for its own sake. Romney may have previously held positions untenable to conservatives but he doesn’t now. He did so — and again this is not a classic political argument so much as a sports fan’s mentality — because back then he was playing for Boston.

Romney really had no choice but to take the stands he once did because he was running for senator, then governor in America’s socialist commonwealth, aka the state of Massachusetts. And look how well he did! Not only did he get elected, he nearly knocked off the iconic Ted Kennedy in the 1994 race for the U.S. Senate, before Teddy used a barrage of attack ads calling attention to Romney’s — yep — shifting political views to pull away in the polls.

Alluding to that 1994 race a few moments later, Coulter said, “I mean, you’re flipping from positions you held when you came within five points of taking out that human pestilence. Come on, give the guy a break!”

There’s only one problem with Coulter’s “five points” statement which Barnhart gullibly took at face value (well, two, if you have a problem with calling Ted Kennedy “human pestilence”; before judging Coulter on that, I would ask Mary Jo Kopechne for her take — oh wait, she’s not available for comment): Romney lost by 17 points, not 5. In electoral results, that’s not a “nearly”; what it is, is a “wipeout.” Coulter can’t be referring to preelection poll numbers, because some of them showed Romney ahead of Kennedy as late as mid-September.

Sherrod Brown whipped Mike DeWine by 12.34 points in 2006 — and no one considered that a close call (yes I know, Rick Santorum also lost big that year to pretend prolifer Bob Casey).

That’s just another part of the Romney mythology that has become far more than we should be expected to bear, namely the idea that he was able to win over a blue state’s voters in any meaningful way. Eight years after he lost to Kennedy, he did become Massachusetts Governor, doing so largely because of three things: his stewardship of the 2002 Winter Olympics, the support he received from Massachusetts social conservatives (whom he summarily betrayed once in office), and a very weak opponent (Remember Shannon O’Brien? Not surprised). As John Hawkins pointed out in his Townhall column several days ago, Romney left office in 2007 with his popularity “in the 30s.”

That’s at least fundamental truths howlers about Romney Coulter won’t recognize:

  • That he imposed same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and set the stage for its almost entirely extralegal imposition in other states.
  • That he allowed abortion coverage into RomneyCare and was not legitimately prolife when he was governor, even after his “conversion.”
  • That he won’t “overturn” Obamacare, because he insists that a government-imposed individual mandate that people must have or buy health insurance coverage — the very foundation of Obamacare — is a necessary element of a health care system.
  • That Ted Kennedy kicked Romney’s butt in 1994, the best year to run as a Republican for anything since, well, the last time the Republicans won the House before that — in 1954. In 1994, 54 House seats and nine Senate Seats went Republican — including, oh yeah, the seat won by then-Congressman Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, and a landslide victory by Olympia Snowe in very liberal Maine. In that year, Romney should not have lost to the guy who was HillaryCare’s third-biggest cheerleader (after the Clintons themselves) and was the very face of state-run health care which the nation, even Massachusetts, clearly despised.

Truth hurts, Chairman Ann, especially when you won’t recognize it while continuing to act as if everyone will just take your word about what you write and say.

We won’t — especially not any more — and on far more than Mitt Romney.

Kathryn Jean Lopez Publishes a Pack of Last-Minute Lies About Mitt Romney’s Record

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:56 pm

I’m not going to call Kathryn Jean Lopez a liar.

But I am going to call her out for publishing an astonishingly misleading letter of support for Mitt Romney containing a host of falsehoods (HT to Gregg Jackson in an email).

It is simply not true, as those who signed the letter Lopez published claim, that:

  • “(Romney) Staunchly defended traditional marriage.” Romney unilaterally imposed same-sex marriage instead of waiting for the Massachusetts Legislature to do what the Supreme Judicial Court “ruled” it should do (but could NOT — repeat NOT — force it or the governor to do), and he did because he promised he would.
  • “The new (same-sex marriage) policies were carried out only after and as a direct result of the judiciary’s final action in Goodridge on May 17.” What the Goodridge Court issued was a “ruling,” and NOT an order. It is not arguable. The executive branch was not required to do anything — and as a matter of objective fact, it was required to do nothing.
  • “Governor Romney was stalwart in defense of the right of Catholic Charities of Boston to refuse to allow homosexual couples to adopt children in its care.” The signers don’t even have the integrity to tell their letter’s readers that Catholic Charities ended its involvement with adoptions because, as Gregg has shown, he (Romney) effectively “Forced Catholic Charities, the nation’s #1 adoption and foster care service to place children with same sex couples even though he was under no legal obligation to do so as even former Governor Michael Dukakis has acknowledged.”

I’m going to take the publication of this letter using a serial Mitt Romney apologist as a conduit as an admission that the Romney camp is really nervous, and that they have found that Rick Santorum’s courageous call-out of what Mitt Romney really did in response to the 2003 Goodridge ruling at the last Iowa Caucus debate is having an impact.


So Much Material, So Little Time, Part 4: Mitt Romney and Bain Capital’s Entanglements

When you vote for a candidate, you vote for all of his or her positions. You accept the moral responsibility for the working out of their platform in practice.

– Talk radio host and serial Mitt Romney apologist Hugh Hewitt;
December 23, 2011

Iran, Russia, and China

Recently, Mitt Romney has charged that (in the words of the linked report) “US President Barack Obama has ‘failed’ in his efforts to get Iran to abandon its nuclear program.

While Romney’s contention is certainly true, there are more than a few unanswered questions left over from his 2008 presidential campaign, as well as his attempt to become John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate, concerning whether he is in a position to carry out his duties as president to protect and defend the country as its commander-in-chief while upholding its Constitution, or whether his business and other associations and entanglements pose serious and perhaps irreconcilable conflicts of interest.

Let’s start with this video, which though it’s five years old and comes from the left (and doesn’t do a good job of distinguishing betwee Romney personally and Bain), nevertheless documents important and germane facts about Romney and those entanglements:

(NOTE: CNOOC and Sinopec are Chinese oil companies.)

Four-plus years later, it’s reasonable to ask if Bain Capital — an entity which clearly had heavy investments in Russian and Chinese companies doing business with Iran, and, because of those companies’ major projects, the economy of Iran itself — is still invested in these and other companies which might be doing buisness with Iran. They’ve had over four years to get in sync with Romney’s specific demands in the video:

  • So has Bain done what Romney demanded of the State Comptroller of New York, namely “disinvest any companies doing business in Iran”?
  • Has Bain, as Romney demanded of Republicans in general in 2007, put its “house in order”?
  • Or, if it still has Iran-related investments, is Bain demonstrating, as Romney warned against in 2007, “ethical standards that are a punch line for Jay Leno”?

Romney cannot claim that what Bain does is irrelevant. He is still “getting a share of investment profits and not a salary” from the firm each year, and it is surely based on the selection and performance of the firm’s current investments.

Romney’s 2010 Financial Disclosure Statement (large PDF) has this to say about the Romney-Bain relationship:

Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way. The investments reported on pages 5-7 of Schedule A of this Report were made pursuant to an agreement with BainCapital regarding Mr. Romney’s retirement from Bain Capital. That agreement has expired, but the Reporting Entities retain certain investments identified on this Report pursuant to investments made prior to expiration of such agreement. All of such investments are passive in nature. The total asset value and total income amount for these funds are reported as of December 31, 2010, which is the most recent date for which such information is available to the Reporting Entities. The Reporting Entities have requested information about underlying holdings of these investments and value and income amounts for these underlying holdings. However, the fund managers have informed the Reporting Entities that this information is confidential and proprietary, and have declined to provide such information.

“Pages 5-7″ of the disclosure form contain about 35 Bain-related listings which return interest, capital gains, or both, and which appear to have generated a minimum of perhaps $2 million in income but possibly over $10 million (10 of the listings returned income between $100,000 and $1 million).

Given past circumstances and the serious of the situation in Iran, it would seem to be a good idea — not to mention a great point to make on the campaign trail if the answer is indeed “No” — to get a legally sworn letter of representation from Bain asserting that it has no investments in Iran or companies doing business with Iran.

But Romney has from all appearances made no effort to get such a representation. I wonder why?

“I don’t know” is not an acceptable answer to a question about possible investments which benefit perhaps our worst enemy.

3Com and China

In November 2007, as I noted here in February 2008, GOP presidential candidate Duncan Hunter wondered out loud about another Bain Capital investment, and asked Mitt Romney to oppose it on security grounds:

San Diego, CA – – – Presidential candidate and current Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Duncan Hunter, today called on former Governor Mitt Romney to send a “clear statement” to the leadership of the company he founded, Bain Capital, to terminate a proposed business deal with a controversial Chinese corporation seeking to acquire U.S. defense contractor 3COM. Bain Capital is attempting to form a business arrangement with Huawei Corporation, a Chinese corporation founded by an officer of the Peoples Liberation Army of Communist China, which faces allegations of assisting Saddam Hussein in the targeting of U.S. aircraft and in helping the Taliban develop surveillance equipment.

“I am extremely concerned that Governor Romney’s company would tout a highly suspect Chinese corporation as a strategic partner,” stated Hunter. “Forming a business partnership with a corporation known to have direct ties with terrorists and dictators while, at the same time, openly seeking to acquire a major U.S. corporation that performs vital cyber security work for the Department of Defense, can only be characterized as irresponsible.”

A resolution has been introduced in Congress, H.Res. 730, which states; “The preponderance of publicly available evidence clearly suggests that as currently structured, the proposed transaction involving Huawei threatens the national security of the United States and should not be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.” A copy of this resolution is provided.

“….. while the Committee on Foreign Investment has yet to rule on the Huawei transaction, this corporation’s connection to Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and the Army of Communist China should clearly disqualify them from becoming, in the words of your former company, “a strategic partner” in acquiring a U.S. firm such as 3COM, which performs vital cyber-security work for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“This letter is a request that you immediately issue a statement of policy that this transaction should be terminated on the grounds of national security. Please let me know what you intend to do.”

Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but I have found no record of Romney’s objection to the proposed deal. Fortunately, the deal was called off in March 2008 when the U.S. government’s determination to stop it became clear.

It seems reasonable to claim that a President Romney would have had no problem with the deal, as he had ample opportunity on the campaign trail to score substantive national security points with the GOP primary electorate but (again from all appearances) never did so. He instead relied on generic huffing and puffing while a deal between his “former” company and a Chinese entity which clearly had the potential to harm our national interest was in process.

* * * *

Both issues brought up here — one still current, one from the past — make it clear that there are genuine unanswered questions about whether Mitt Romney would enter the White House with undivided, uncompromising loyalty to the best interests of the United States. If that seems like a particularly harsh assessment to some readers, so be it. Mitt Romney has had over four years to put these questions to bed, and hasn’t. Why not?

To paraphrase Hugh Hewitt above, if you vote for Mitt Romney when other acceptable alternatives are available, you accept moral responsibility for voting to nominate someone who is potentially compromised on all-important matters of national security.

You can’t defensibly do it, and it’s not arguable.


Prevous Posts:
- Jan. 1 — Part 3: Mitt Romney, in Four Paragraphs
- Dec. 30 — Part 2: Mitt Romney’s Prolife Charade
- Dec. 28 — Part 1: Mitt Romney Praised Obama’s ‘Backbone’ in Effectively Seized General Motors

Ten 2011 Examples of Major Media Malfeasance

It will get even worse in 2012.


Note: This column went up at Pajamas Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Saturday.


Those of us who follow the news closely often forget that probably 80% of the adult population (seen as 85% some time ago, but likely lower than that thanks to New Media and the Tea Party movement) is relatively disengaged. They are, at best, passive consumers of news who either legitimately don’t have the time to do their own independent research, or don’t care to.

If we had a responsible establishment press dedicated to informing the public in a fair and balanced way, this would not necessarily be a big problem. But we don’t, and it is.

In 2011, passive news consumers were extremely ill served, as the leftist legacy media seemed to almost completely abandon any pretense of objectivity or fairness leftover from its disgraceful collective performance in 2010.

Why did this happen? Beyond the normal factors, 2011 saw White House thuggery directed at a press corps already inclined to reflexively parrot its positions reach previously unseen heights.

To name just three examples:

  • In March, Orlando Sentinel reporter Scott Powers, sent to cover a fundraiser involving Vice President Joe Biden and Florida Senator Bill Nelson, was confined in a closet “to keep him from mingling with high-powered guests.” Sentinel editors “dropped the story.”
  • In April, the White House banished San Francisco Chronicle reporter Carla Marinucci “for using a video camera to capture an event.” The paper was “threatened with more punishment if they reported on it.” Chronicle Editor at Large Phil Bronstein called the White House’s subsequent attempt to deny it all “a pants-on-fire moment.” Press coverage elsewhere was scant.
  • In May, the White House Press Office “refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser” because it objected “to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed.” The shutout was virtually ignored.

In a mid-May editorial, Investor’s Business Daily called out the press for failing to stand up for it own, and correctly characterized the White House’s actions as baby steps “toward state control of the media, using the carrot of access against the stick of exile.”

Nothing has changed. In December, a Washington Post item noted that “When a reporter gets something wrong or is perceived as being too aggressive, the pushback is often swift and sometimes at top volume” (including heavy doses of profanity). What do you guys expect when you just sit there and take it — something you would never do under a conservative or Republican administration?

It’s reasonable to believe that the constant threats of White House pushback and especially of access denial significantly drove this year’s extraordinarily negligent coverage of the administration’s scandals, corruption, policy failures, and misleading statements. What follows are just ten out of dozens of this year’s worst examples of media malfeasance. Except for the final two, which are clearly this year’s most egregious, they are in no particular order. In most cases, there was no press coverage, or no further coverage, of the items cited.

1. ”I am (possibly) the greatest.” In a 60 Minutes interview with the President which aired on December 11, CBS failed to include Obama’s preposterous claim about his accomplishments to date: “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.” Note well that the superiority of the three other gentlemen cited is only “possible.”

2. “Taunt a Republican for me.” In early December, an Obama For America campaign email asked supporters to in effect taunt their Republican acquaintances when donating by providing their email addresses so that OFA could do it for them in their name. Two days later, OFA added the ability to taunt anonymously.

3. Yet another word for “lied.” In September, Bruce Siceloff at the Raleigh News & Observer identified a false statement Obama made in a Tar Heel State appearance: “In North Carolina alone, there are 153 structurally deficient bridges that need to be repaired.” After interviewing state officials who asserted that North Carolina has no such bridges, Siceloff reached this “brave” conclusion: “[T]he president may have over-suggested the risk to public safety.”

4. “Scandal-free” pretense. As Fast and Furious, Solyndra, MF Global, LightSquared and a myriad of other instances of corruption and cronyism continued to swirl around the administration, at least five media and academic apparatchiks continued to insist that it has been and still remains pure as the driven snow. Among them: commentators Brendan Nyhan, Kevin Drum, Jonathan Alter, and the especially odious Andrew Sullivan, along with American University history professor and presidential prognosticator Allan Lichtman, who described things as “squeaky clean.”

5. Obama’s false Mama drama. In July, a book by on-leave New York Times reporter Janny Scott (who has not yet returned) showed that President Obama’s mother was denied disability insurance coverage during her ultimately life-ending battle with cancer — but not health insurance, even though, as reported by the Times’s Kevin Sack, “the president (in speeches) left the clear impression that his mother’s fight was over health benefits for medical expenses.” Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse’s assessment: “Obama lied about a central fact about his own life which he used — powerfully — to push health care reform.”

6. Libya Labeling. In May, 60 days after it undertook its “kinetic military action” in Libya, the administration failed to receive or even seek the legally required congressional authorization under the War Powers Act to continue to have U.S. troops engaged there. The Associated Press’s headline: “White House Skips Legal Deadline on Libya.”

7. Condescension Cover-up. At an April town hall, Obama gave an audience member concerned about gas prices, which were heading towards $4 a gallon at the time, grief over his ten children and the fact that he was still driving a vehicle getting only eight miles a gallon. The Associated Press’s Darlene Superville initially reported part of the exchange in an Obama-supportive manner. It disappeared very quickly in subsequent revisions.

8. Goodbye, Iraq. The bias was so pervasive this year that I need to bring out something I haven’t yet touched, namely the Associated Press’s historical revisionism two weeks ago as U.S. troops were about to leave Iraq. Readers here only need to see five words to get a clue as to how bad the AP story was: “No WMD were ever found.” Memo to Rebecca Santana and Robert Reid: Yes they werealong with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq after Saddam was overthrown, specifically “the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel.”

Now it’s time for the two worst examples.

Runner-up: Covering for the Occupy Movement. After Obama effectively endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement, it was inevitable that the press would do its utmost to cover up and downplay the movement’s deaths (including at least one murder); sexual assaults; socialist, far-left, labor union (including the News Media Guild) and “1%” backing; its disease-ridden filth; the costs it imposed on governmentsbusinesses, and the economy; and its fundamentally violent nature. Though the center-right New Media pushback was impressive, I still believe that most Americans don’t understand that the Occupy movement has been and remains an intimidation-driven enterprise co-opted by the mainstream left to assist wherever possible in ensuring Barack Obama’s reelection.

The Worst: Fast and Furious. This wasn’t a close call. The Occupy movement’s death toll is nine. The death toll from Fast and Furious is “at least 300 Mexicans” and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. This is a government-sponsored operation whose only “coherent” justification appears to be to create enough mayhem in the Southwest and elsewhere to justify the imposition of stricter gun laws and ultimately the end of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. We have an Attorney General who is so deep in the muck that he’s parsing the meaning of the word “lie.” And yet, with the impressive exception of Sharyl Attkisson at CBS, we’ve seen near silence and reflexive self-defense from the rest of the establishment press. The story wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for Attkisson and several heroic center-right blogs. In fact, as of December 13, according to Mary Chastain at BigJournalism.com, Brian Williams at NBC’s Nightly News has not mentioned Fast and Furious even once during 2011.

As bad as this past year was, there’s every reason to believe that 2012 will be worse. The press has to figure out a way to drag a president who is very unpopular despite their best efforts to date across the November finish line while the White House continues its “oversight.”

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (010212)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:30 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.


Positivity: Rural Oshkosh man says dog saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Oshkosh, Wisconsin:

Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 11:00 pm

OSHKOSH – Bob Kumbier will forever grateful to his dog, Holly, for saving his life after he was pinned by a machine on his farm southwest of Oshkosh.

The accident happened the day after Thanksgiving when the 57-year-old Kumbier attempted to clean debris from a pedal that raises and lowers a steel bucket on a skid loader. He was getting the vehicle ready to scrape snow from his driveway this winter.

He was standing in front of the skid loader when the raised bucket suddenly fell and struck him, wedging his body between the bucket and the machine.

Kumbier, who operates a small hobby farm near Pickett and has a job in Oshkosh as a mechanic for 4X Concrete, was pinned so hard by the nearly 250-pound bucket that he could hardly breathe. He did everything in his power to try not to pass out.

He called for help, and that’s when Holly, a chocolate Labrador he received as a puppy for a Christmas present last year, came to the rescue. Kumbier said the dog sensed something was wrong.

“She jumped on the bucket and started barking, and then jumped off and ran around the loader barking. She did that several times,” said Kumbier, who now is resting at home and will need three months to recuperate from his injuries.