The HyperTexts

Romney and the Romulans

The Romulans were Vulcans who abandoned reason and logic for the path of mindless bigotry and conquest, becoming fascists in the process. In many ways, the errors of the Romulans mirror those of modern-day Republicans like Bishop Willard Mitt Romney and Paul Lyin' Ryan ...

Bishop Romney's Modest Proposal

In 1729 Jonathan Swift shocked the world with a "Modest Proposal" in which he suggested that Ireland could solve its problems with the burdensome children of the poor, by eating them. Of course Swift was speaking facetiously in order to make a point. But now Bishop Romney (he was a Mormon bishop with a diocese called a "Stake") seems to have said something very similar, in earnest.

After Mitt the Ripper accused 47% of Americans (nearly half the population) of being freeloaders for not paying federal income taxes, suggesting that they only think they are entitled to housing, food and healthcare, and thus implying that all they are really entitled to is death for being unproductive, there was quite understandably a public outcry. His running mate Paul Ryan claimed that Bishop Romney was "obviously inarticulate," but it seems to me that Romney really does have great disdain for people who are not as successful as he is. In recent days, Romney and his campaign have blasted English Olympics organizers, members of the NAACP who support universal healthcare, blacks who fail to understand America's superior "Anglo Saxon heritage," and the entire Palestinian people for having an inferior culture. And if we examine Romney's stance on women's reproductive rights and gay marriage, it seems clear that he doesn't trust more than half the nation with the personal freedom and responsibility to make essential life choices for themselves. That's a very troubling form of bigotry combined with smug authoritarianism.

Keen-eyed observers quickly noted that Paul Ryan received Social Security survivor benefits after his father died, which he used to finance his education, and that Romney's father received welfare assistance after his family fled a revolution in Mexico. This was verified by Romney's own family. “[George Romney] was on welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities,” Lenore Romney, the mother of Mitt Romney, pointed out in a video which apparently dates back to George Romney’s 1962 campaign for governor of Michigan.

When the Romneys want other Americans to see them as human beings, they point out their family's struggles, and that's perfectly fine. But Mitt Romney seems to want to have his cake and eat ours too. When someone in his family struggles, they remain pillars of the nation, full of character. But when other Americans struggle, we are lazy, shiftless freeloaders ... especially if we happen to be female, gay, or have darker skin. 

Why is the Terminator—as Romney was called at Bain Capital for liquidating American companies and firing American workers after outsourcing their jobs to China and other low-wage countries—trying to shame Americans who are struggling to make ends meet? Does he intend to terminate them too, by denying them assistance with housing, food and healthcare? Should we take him at his own word, or hope that he is only babbling incoherent, time after time after time?

Top Ten Mitticisms

A "mitticism" is like a witticism, minus the intelligence. These things were actually said by the Romneybot in its attempts to communicate with warm-blooded earthlings ...

We should double Guantanamo!
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that!
Let Detroit go bankrupt!
I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back.
(Referring to the auto industry he wanted to go bankrupt and did nothing to help.)
I would repeal Obamacare! (Even though Obamacare is modeled after his claim to fame, Romneycare?)
Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.
Banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now ... scared to death ... feeling the same thing that you're feeling.
I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.
Atta girl!
(Taunting a closeted gay high school student, Gary Hummel.)
He can't look like that! That's wrong! Just look at him! (Before tackling a gay classmate, John Lauber, and cutting off his long, bleached-blonde hair.)

Mr. Roboto

I bathe in statistics.
Who let the dogs out? Who, who?
(During an awkward photo op with a group of African American kids.)
PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air. (After having strapped his dog to the roof of his vehicle for an 11-hour road trip.)

The quotes above seem like the output of a badly-engineered android, one that could not possibly be mistaken for an actual human being. And what about these statements, made by the Romneybot to ingratiate itself with potential voters? ...

I love this state. The trees are the right height. The streets are just right.
I had catfish for the second time. It was delicious, just like the first time.
I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and ... strange things are happening to me.
Morning, ya'll. I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits.
(No one calls them "cheesy" grits.)
I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce and hubcaps. Because there's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.
These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good.

Look at us in here! We are all nice together, all nice and wet, you know, like a can of sardines.
That's a big lava lamp, congratulations!
Davy, Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier!
I'm an unofficial southerner.
Please give us a big hug, that's the girls. I've been getting hugs from the Southern girls ... from 12, to well, a lot more than 12.
I never imagined I'd be up here like Larry the Cable guy
I love the hymns of America, by the way.

When asked at the Daytona 500 whether he followed NASCAR, the Romneybot replied, "Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners."

I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed.—Mitt Romney (one of the earth's wealthiest men)
I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much. —Mitt Romney (in a single year he earned $374,000 in speaker's fees)

When talking about money, as Gary Kamiya put it in a Salon article, Romney comes across "not only as an obscenely rich person, but as an obscenely rich person from another planet."

As Charles P. Pierce wrote in an article for Esquire: "People have been trying to humanize the Romneybot since he first stepped into politics against Ted Kennedy almost 20 years ago. They tried for two years when he was governor and, to most of the people around the State House, he went out as pretty much the same ice sculpture they'd sworn in. They tried for two years during the run-up to the 2008 campaign and, according to the one worthwhile anecdote in Game Change, by the end of the primary process, everybody wanted to spit on him. Did it look to any of you that his rivals this time around wanted to do anything else, either? No matter what they're saying now, they all thought he was a slick bond salesman who was buying the nomination. Newt Gingrich looked sincerely like he wanted to eat Romney's heart in the marketplace throughout almost all of the debates. Here is the simple fact: Unless you are a member of his family, you simply cannot like Mitt Romney."

The Romneybot has a cold, calculating CPU, but its output is wildly inconsistent. For instance, in 2004 the Romneybot said: "The people of America recognize that the slowdown in jobs that occurred during the early years of the Bush administration were the result of a perfect storm. And an effort by one candidate to somehow say, 'Oh, this recession and the slowdown in jobs was the result of somehow this president magically being elected,' people in America just dismiss that as being poppycock.  ... Every indication is that the economic policies adopted and pursued by this president are creating jobs at a very high pace. And so the people of America have to ask, 'Do I stay with the president, who is rebuilding the economy, who is creating jobs, or do you want to stop mid-stream and find someone new?'"

But of course when the president in question is Barack Obama, the Romneybot immediately spits out pure poppycock.

And here is what the Romneybot said about its record of sluggish job growth after four years as governor of Massachusetts, in 2006: "You guys are bright enough to look at the numbers. I came in and the jobs had been just falling off a cliff ... And then we turned around and we're coming back. And that's progress. And if you're going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected somehow jobs should immediately [have] turned around, why that would be silly. It takes a while to get things turned around. We were in a recession; we were losing jobs every month. We've turned it around ... That's progress."

But when the person with the record of job growth progress that is not immediate is Barack Obama, the Romneybot immediately spits out sheer silliness.

In November 2006, shortly before the Romneybot retired as governor of Massachusetts, its approval rating was a dismal 34%, ranking it 48th of 50 U.S. governors.

Why was the Romneybot so unpopular? Well, for all its talk about creating jobs, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 states in putting people to work when Romney was governor. And while Romney loves to brag about smaller government and cutting spending, according to research by PolitiFact, spending actually rose by 24 percent during his governorship, making such claims false. As his replacement, Gov. Deval Patrick told the DNC, "He cut education deeper than anywhere else in America. Roads and bridges were crumbling. Business taxes were up and business confidence was down." Also, according to Ellen Story, "He was aloof; he was not approachable. He was very much an outsider, the whole time he was here. The Republican reps would grumble that he didn't even know their names."

The Crown Princes of Entitlements

I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan claim to be "fiscal conservatives" who abhor government spending and can fix America's economic problems with quick waves of their magical wands. But the truth is that Romney and Ryan both supported huge federal bailouts, as long as their rich patrons, cronies and constituents got most of the loot. Paul Ryan effusively praised George W. Bush's 2002 federal stimulus package, which mostly benefitted wealthy Americans by lowering their taxes. And even as he was damning President Obama's much fairer 2009 stimulus package, Ryan was lobbying for millions of stimulus funds for his constituents. Mitt Romney accepted a huge federal bailout of the Olympics, bragging that he knew how to get money from the federal government, then claimed that he "saved" the Olympics when it was really "we the people" who did the saving with our tax dollars. The only thing Romney's and Ryan's magic wands will accomplish, if we are foolish enough to elect them, is to reduce taxes on the richest 1% of Americans to below 1%, leaving the rest of us to pay thousands more in taxes even as we get smaller Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits when we are no longer able to work. That ain't magic, it's highway robbery.

I've learned from my Olympic experience [that] if you have people that really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities ... We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government.Mitt Romney

Romney cited more than $1 million that one his colleagues managed to get for the Olympics from the Department of Education, concluding:

That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do.Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney's Nixonian Meltdown: Let's get rid of the half of Americans who won't vote for me, by letting them starve to death!

Here's what Mitt Romney told fellow millionaires at a closed-door, $50,000-per-plate fundraiser: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That, that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what ... These are people who pay no income tax ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

First, it is the president's job to care about all Americans, even those who didn't vote for him. Second, to say that no Democrat works, or pays income taxes is a blatant lie; millions of people who pay no income taxes are Republicans. Third, to call food an "entitlement" is ridiculous. Is it an "entitlement" not to starve to death, in a land of plenty with more than enough food for everyone? Has any American presidential candidate before Romney ever suggested that we should let half the American people starve to death if they didn't vote for him? That seems to be what Romney is saying, in a Nixonian meltdown, as he expresses his obvious disgust for the 150 million Americans who have the temerity to think independently and disagree with him.

According to W. Mitt Romney, if you believe in helping less fortunate Americans, you are part of a mass of shiftless moochers and parasitic leeches who fall far short of the glory of W. Mitt Romney. But the majority of the Americans in Romney's 47 percent are working people: retirees, soldiers, teachers, cops, firefighters, steelworkers, members of the clergy, and many others. And most of them have worked far more honestly that Mitt the Ripper, who made millions by firing American workers and outsourcing their jobs to China and other low-wage countries, then evaded income taxes himself via off-shore Bermuda and Cayman Island "IRAs."

At the same fundraiser, Mittler (as he is called by the LGBT community) also expressed his disgust for seemingly all Palestinians: "I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way."

When Romney talks about the people he despises—poor people, Palestinians, and most people who aren't rich white Americans like himself—he sounds disturbingly like Hitler talking about the Jews.

Even hardcore conservatives were shocked at Romney's bigotry. For instance, William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, called Romney's comments "stupid and arrogant."

Palestinians who both want and work for peace said Romney's accusations were ridiculous: "No one stands to gain more from peace with Israel than Palestinians and no one stands to lose more in the absence of peace than Palestinians," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. "Only those who want to maintain the Israeli [military] occupation will claim the Palestinians are not interested in peace."

Nobel Peace Prize laureates Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter have accused Israel of practicing apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Leading Jewish intellectuals from Albert Einstein to Noam Chomsky have rebuked Israel for using massive military superiority to unjustly dominate and displace Palestinians, who have now lost more than 80% of their native land without compensation. To blame Palestinians for all the hostilities is like blaming Native Americans for not submitting meekly to ethnic cleansing and genocide at the hands of white supremacists. Rather than exchanging land for peace, Israel chooses to relentlessly gobble up more and more Palestinian land via a massive, brutal military occupation. Romney is either lying through his teeth, or he has failed to study and understand the reality on the ground in Israel/Palestine. Virtually the entire global community agrees that Israel must end its land-grabbing in the West Bank, but thanks to American politicians like Mitt Romney, Israel continues to let robber barons do their thing, protected by a super-powerful military funded and armed by American taxpayers to the tune of more than $130 billion over the years.

"Let Them Eat Cyanide"

Mitt Romney promises to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans. But what does he mean by "middle-income"? During an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos, "No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers." Stephanopoulos then asked, "Is $100,000 middle income?" Romney replied, "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000." But according to the Census Bureau the median American household income is just over $50,000. So Romney seems to be either bent on deception, or hopelessly out of touch.

Even if you are fortunate enough to make $200,000 or more per year, do you think the federal government should give the bulk of tax cuts to the people who make the most money, while other people lose their jobs and homes?

The proposed Romney-Ryan budget plan will further decimate the American middle class, by virtually eliminating all federal income taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans, because it makes capital gains, interest and dividends tax free. If this plan had been in effect in 2010, Mitt Romney would have paid less than 1% (.0082, to be exact) on earnings of $21 million. It seems Romney and Ryan intend to get rid of all taxes for the super-rich, while reducing taxes somewhat for people making $200,000 or more. This will force everyone else to pay more taxes, or leave the federal government without the means to keep the current safety nets of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid intact. But at some point in their lives, especially as they age, the vast majority of Americans will need those safety nets. When Marie Antoinette was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she allegedly said, "Let them eat cake." Now it seems that Willard Mitt Romney, one of the world's wealthiest men, is saying that when elderly Americans need healthcare, we should say, "Let them eat cyanide!" and when poor people are hungry we should say, "Let them starve to death!"

As much as I would like to see my taxes reduced, I cannot sanction this blatantly unjust plan to let the wealthiest Americans avoid virtually all taxes, by condemning elderly Americans who worked and paid taxes all their lives to the human equivalent of a glue factory. Can you?

Magical Mittens

Mitt Romney seems to believe that he can boost the economy without actually doing anything: "If it looks like I'm going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president's going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you're talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We'll see capital come back and we'll see—without actually doing anything—we'll actually get a boost in the economy."

And yet he ridicules Democrats for talking about hope and change!

Romney invests in Chinese Slave Labor Camp, complete with barbed wire and guard towers

One of the most disturbing things I have heard about Mitt Romney from his own lips is his confession that he toured a Chinese slave labor camp/factory, then invested in it, with never a word of protest about the terrible conditions he saw there. Instead of protesting the existence of such gulags, the Romneybot became a pioneer of outsourcing American jobs to them, through his vulture capital outfit, Bain Capital. Here is how Romney described what he saw, in private during a high-dollar fundraiser attended by his rich cronies, not knowing that he was being filmed by a whistleblower: "When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married. And they work in these huge factories; they made various uh, small appliances. And uh, as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10 rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room. Three bunk beds on top of each other. You’ve seen, you’ve seen them? And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can’t believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in …"

The account above has been reported by major news services such as the Boston Globe. Because the factory made small appliances, we can safely assume that it belonged to Global Tech Appliances, a company that takes over manufacturing from American companies like Sunbeam and Mr. Coffee. According to SEC documents first reported by Mother Jones magazine, a Bain Capital affiliate called Brookside initially acquired about 6 percent of GTA on April 17, 1998 and later increased its ownership to more than 9 percent. Romney was listed as the "sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc." So it seems clear that Romney alone was responsible for deciding what to do about the 20,000 young girls he saw living in what sounds like a Nazi concentration camp complete with barbed wire fences and guard towers. Did he go public and protest what he saw? No, he invested in the slave labor facility, then helped American companies save money by firing American workers and outsourcing their jobs to such sweat shops.

What would you have done, knowing that at best the girls were being used like pack mules, and that at worst a fire might kill them all? Wouldn't you have said something to someone, to try to help the girls, and others like them in other Chinese factories? Why did Mitt Romney, a child of wealth and privilege and one of the world's wealthiest men, became a business partner of their enslavers, then send them more American businesses as customers?

What sort of man is Mitt Romney, really? Here's a rather blunt appraisal. China’s Xinhua news agency criticized Romney in a strongly-worded editorial, noting the profits Romney has made from investments in China: "It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics."

If Romney wants to get involved in manufacturing, he should stick to his particular area of expertise: flip-flops.

Mitt Inappropriate

When an anti-Islam movie prompted angry Egyptians to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Romney called the embassy's statement condemning religious intolerance "akin to an apology" and "disgraceful." He also accused the Obama administration of "sympathizing" with the attackers. But the Americans inside the embassy were in severe danger. Four ended up dying, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Was it in any way wrong for them to try to calm the waters by pointing out that the U.S. stands for religious freedom and tolerance? After all, diplomats are paid to be diplomatic. How many Americans other than Romney and the lunatic fringe would condemn what the embattled embassy said: "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Even staunch conservatives were appalled at Romney's attempt to further his political aspirations in such a reckless, inappropriate, sleazy way. Mark Salter, the longtime speechwriter and senior aide to Republican Senator John McCain, wrote that to condemn President Obama "for policies they claim helped precipitate the attacks is as tortured in its reasoning as it is unseemly in its timing." Even Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, departed from his petty politics. Speaking in Wisconsin, Ryan described the killings as "disturbing," but didn’t criticize President Obama and said it was "a time for healing." Peggy Noonan, who made waves with her criticism of Romney on Fox News, had an even more withering assessment for the normally conservative Wall Street Journal: "Romney looked weak today. At one point, he had a certain slight grimace on his face when he was taking tough questions from the reporters, and I thought, 'He looks like Richard Nixon.'"

I, too, have been thinking recently that Romney seems like a somewhat-more-attractive but even-more-wooden-and-alien Richard Nixon.

Joe Scarborough, a stalwart conservative, said he was "absolutely flabbergasted" by Romney's response. Even the arch-conservative Bill O'Reilly questioned Romney's sanity: "The embassy was trying to head off the violence. Being conciliatory in that kind of a situation seems logical."

As John Cassidy wrote in an article for The New Yorker, "the search for senior Republicans willing to repeat his suggestion that the President is providing succor to America’s enemies continues. So far, just about the only statements of support Romney has managed to elicit have come from discredited neocons (Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney), paleo-cons (Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton), and nutty-cons (Sarah Palin, Jim DeMint). Meanwhile, John McCain and Condoleezza Rice, arguably the G.O.P.’s two most influential voices on foreign policy, have conspicuously failed to criticize Obama, while paying tribute to Ambassador Chris Stevens, the longtime foreign-service officer who was killed."

Palin once again managed to sound like a complete and utter moron, saying that President Obama "can’t see Egypt and Libya from his house" and needs to "grow" a "big stick," which sounds weirdly sexual and ignores the fact that the use of force does not change people's religious beliefs, but only strengthens them.

"It almost feels like Sarah Palin is his foreign policy adviser," said Matthew Dowd, a former political adviser to President George W. Bush, "It’s just a huge mistake on the Romney campaign’s part—huge mistake." And indeed it seems that Romney is being advised by people as lacking in wisdom as Palin. According to the Washington Post, Romney acted on the "unanimous recommendation of his foreign policy and political advisers." I think Cassidy hit the nail on the head when he said, "Think about that for a moment ... all of them thought it was a capital idea, solely on the basis of statements from the Embassy in Cairo, to accuse Obama and his Administration of expressing sympathy 'with those who waged the attacks.' ... Why? Well, it is widely thought that Romney’s political advisers aren’t the brightest bulbs—his entire campaign has been a litany of errors. What has been less remarked upon is the makeup of Romney’s foreign-policy team. For a former businessman who claims to willing to hire the best and smartest regardless of background, it is a remarkably unimpressive and ideologically driven group, consisting largely of washed up neocons and Cold Warriors, many of whom served in the Administration of George W. Bush."

Newspapers blasted Romney's response as well. The Washington Post called it "a discredit to his campaign" and the Los Angeles Times said it was an "outrageous exercise in opportunism." The Boston Globe labeled it "offensive on many other levels" beyond the timing of his remarks. The fact-checking brigades also had their knives out for Romney. The Associated Press, for instance, said he had "seriously mischaracterized what had happened in a statement accusing President Barack Obama of "disgraceful" handling of violence there and at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo."

Romney has frequently accused Obama of apologizing for America, and titled his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness. However, Romney's accusation that Barack Obama "began his presidency with an apology tour" earned him a "Pants on Fire" rating from PolitFact (its lowest ranking for truthfulness).

And while Romney is invariably quick to criticize President Obama, he refuses to say what he will do differently. Romney seems to believe that we should trust that his august presence in the White House will somehow magically change the laws of cause and effect. But for those of us who don't believe Romney has a magic wand, his long list of goofs and gaffes put him at the bottom of the political class along with mental lightweights George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

Hillary Clinton, speaking for the State Department and the Obama administration, stated the proper American position succinctly: "The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

That is diplomacy ... something Romney and the Romulans seem to be incapable of.

Bishop Romney

Mitt Romney was a Mormon bishop and claims to be a Christian, but Jesus Christ saved nearly all his sternest criticism for hypocrites and clearly said that the rich should help the poor, rather than take advantage of them. It makes my blood boil to hear a prospective American president condemning less advantaged Americans for wanting a fair shake, when the system is tilted so wildly in his favor and he doesn't even have the good grace to pocket his windfall millions without insulting honest working folks.

And why did Romney say that the government should let Detroit go bankrupt, after he used a federal agency and its money to bail out his sugar daddy, Bain & Company? When Bain was told to go through bankruptcy by a Goldman Sachs advisor, why did Mitt Romney refuse, choosing instead to rely on dirty tricks and fiscal blackmail? As Rolling Stone pointed out in "The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney," government documents indicate that Mitt Romney's personal mythology is just that: a wild fantasy. He didn't save Bain or the Olympics; we bailed them out. One reason Romney is so rich today is that "we the people" bailed out Bain to the tune of millions of dollars written off by the FDIC. But did Willard Mitt Romney ever have the good grace to tell us "Thanks" for saving Bain? No, of course not. According to Rolling Stone, "Federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney's initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster—leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had 'no value as a going concern.' Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC—the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers—out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds."

Romney paid 30 cents on the dollar to retire Bain's debt, and we covered the rest. Now, rather than thanking us for our generosity, Romney wants to take all the credit. What a hypocrite! How did he pull off this stupendous feat? Rather than going through bankruptcy the way he advised Detroit automakers, Romney threatened to take all the cash out of Bain by giving it to Bain's highest-earners as bonuses, unless the FDIC agreed to let Bain avoid paying the bulk of its debts.

This is like me owing you $1,000 and saying that you can take $300 and call things even, or I'll give all my money to hookers and pay you nothing!

So you tell me ... does Willard Mitt Romney have any reason to accuse ordinary Americans of wanting "free stuff," when he blackmailed the FDIC into giving Bain millions in free stuff? And then, after we bailed him out, he insisted that we let Detroit go bankrupt, which could have cost more than a million Americans their jobs. Why does Willard Mitt Romney demand that we bail him out, and his rich Wall Street cronies, only to insist that we let American autoworkers bite the dust?

"None of us wanted to see Bain be the laughingstock of the business world," recalls a longtime Romney lieutenant who asked not to be identified. "But Mitt's reputation was on the line." It seems to me that Mitt Romney cares a lot more about his reputation and his money and power, than he does about us, the American people.

Mr. Creative Destruction

Romney used the term "creative destruction" repeatedly in his book No Apology, calling for government "to stand aside and allow the creative destruction inherent in a free economy." He acknowledged that such "creative destruction" is "unquestionably stressful—on workers, managers, owners, bankers, suppliers, customers, and the communities that surround the affected businesses." During a photo shoot for a brochure to attract investors, Romney and his Bain Capital partners gleefully clutched $10 and $20 bills, stuffed them into their pockets, and even clenched them in their grinning teeth. But while they romped in piles of money, thousands of American workers at companies owned by Bain were being fired as their jobs were being outsourced to China and other low-wage countries.

I have a very hard time imagining Jesus Christ taking such shark-like delight in "creative destruction" and other people's misfortunes. Jesus, after all, said that a man cannot serve two masters, and so had to choose either God or Mammon.

But destroying jobs is how corporate raiders make their money. Marc Wolpow, a former Bain partner who worked with Romney on many deals, once pointed out that discussions with buyout companies typically do not focus on how jobs will be created. "It’s the opposite—what jobs we can cut ... because you had to document how you were going to create value."

It takes an unusual type of person to suggest that destroying American jobs "creates value," but Romney and the Romulans seem to be such cold-blooded creatures, unfortunately. How do vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney make huge amounts of money, while the hardworking, honest people go broke? By transferring wealth from workers to "investors." As we will see together, if you continue reading this page, this is exactly what the Romney-Ryan budget plan will do the American middle class, if we elect them. The Romney-Ryan "rescue plan" would virtually eliminate all federal income taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans by making capital gains, interest and dividends tax free. If this plan had been in effect in 2010, Mitt Romney would have paid less than 1% (.0082, to be exact) on earnings of $21 million.

If you're ready to swim with the real sharks, these cold-blooded predators ("investors") will be only too happy to oblige.

Bailout Baloney

Mitt Romney, the ultimate cold-blooded predator, wrote an op-ed for The New York Times entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." In this article, Romney confidently predicted that "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." But today the U.S. automotive industry is much healthier than before the federal government intervened. General Motors just had the most profitable year in its 103-year history and surpassed Toyota as the world's best-selling auto company. According to estimates, over a million jobs were saved by the bailout, the auto industry has since added 240,000 new jobs, and the Big Three were all profitable for the first time in seven years.

Arthur J. Gonzalez, the federal judge who presided over Chrysler’s bankruptcy case, told ABC News that if Mitt Romney’s advice had been followed, the auto giant would be dead with thousands of jobs lost because there "were no other sources of lending" besides the federal government.

Romney opposed a federal bailout for auto manufacturers but favored a much larger bailout for his super-rich Wall Street cronies and banker buddies. Then, after Romney said that the federal government should let the auto companies go bankrupt, he tried to take credit for their later resurgence, saying: "I’ll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry’s come back." But as puts it, Romney is full of "Bailout Baloney."

Big Brother

During his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Romney, not just a devout Mormon but a missionary and bishop who oversaw a Mormon diocese for eight years, promised that if elected he would attempt to have a pornography filter installed in every new computer sold in the United Sates! 

Patrick Trueman, the head of ominous-sounding Morality in Media, told the conservative Daily Caller that he was promised that fighting porn will be a top priority for a Romney administration. Trueman said he and another anti-porn prosecutor from the 1980s Justice Department, Bob Flores, met earlier this year with Alex Wong, Romney's foreign and legal policy director. "Wong assured us that Romney is very concerned with this, and that if he’s elected these laws will be enforced. They promised to vigorously enforce federal adult obscenity laws."

Like Rick Santorum, another would-be Big Brother, Mitt Romney is a prude who doesn't trust American adults to make their own decisions about sex. Romney thinks it's a "sin" to drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, or look at racy pictures, thanks to his religion's puritanism. He has called pornography a "home invasion" of "unwanted filth." But the simple truth is that most Americans are much more relaxed about sex than the straight-laced Mormon Bishop, and we don't want a domineering overseer telling us what we can do with our free time, in the privacy of our own homes and bedrooms.

Et tu, Brute?

Classmates of Romney's say that he tackled a gay classmate, John Lauber, pinned him to the ground, then cut off his long, bleached-blonde hair. "He can't look like that," an "incensed" Romney told one of his friends, "That's wrong. Just look at him!"

Gary Hummel, a closeted gay student at the time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in class were punctuated by Romney shouting, "Atta girl!"

Another classmate compared Romney to "The Lord of the Flies."

As you will see if you continue reading this page, Romney's behavior as an adult continues to display remarkable insensitivity, at best, and brutish boorishness at worst. He seems to be clueless when dealing with women, gays and other people who aren't rich, lily-white Grand Old Patriarchs.

Mormon Chauvinism

Mitt Romney's attempts to return women's rights to the Stone Age have been well documented. Is his male chauvinism related to his faith? Let's take a look ...

Romney was no layman, but a bishop and president of the Boston Stake (diocese) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If he wins in November, he will be the first high-ranking religious official to become president of the U.S. in modern times.

Perhaps his alpha male chauvinism is related to the Mormon church's legendary chauvinism, which includes polygamy, female submission, male-only administration, crusading to repeal gay marriage in California (Proposition 8), and working to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment. Mormons who supported the ERA received threatening letters from church officials warning them about their spiritual fates; some were censured, denied church sacraments or excommunicated (which means being denied salvation). Sonia Johnson was excommunicated after she delivered a speech entitled "Patriarchal Panic: Sexual Politics in the Mormon Church" in which she denounced the church's allegedly immoral and illegal nationwide lobbying efforts to defeat the ERA. (The Mormon church seems not to believe in equality for women and gays, or in separation of church and state.)

Bishop Romney

Was Bishop Romney a male chauvinist? Here's a revealing excerpt from "The Mind of Mitt" in Vanity Fair:

As both bishop and stake president, he at times clashed with women he felt strayed too far from church beliefs and practice. To them, he lacked the empathy and courage that they had known in other leaders, putting the church first even at times of great personal vulnerability. Peggie Hayes had joined the church as a teenager along with her mother and siblings ... As a teenager, Hayes babysat for Mitt and Ann Romney and other couples in the ward. Then Hayes’s mother abruptly moved the family to Salt Lake City for Hayes’s senior year of high school. Restless and unhappy, Hayes moved to Los Angeles once she turned 18. She got married, had a daughter, and then got divorced shortly after. But she remained part of the church. By 1983, Hayes was 23 and back in the Boston area, raising a 3-year-old daughter on her own and working as a nurse’s aide. Then she got pregnant again. Single motherhood was no picnic, but Hayes said she had wanted a second child and wasn’t upset at the news. "I kind of felt like I could do it," she said. "And I wanted to." By that point Mitt Romney, the man whose kids Hayes used to watch, was, as bishop of her ward, her church leader ... Then Romney called Hayes one winter day and said he wanted to come over and talk. He arrived at her apartment in Somerville, a dense, largely working-class city just north of Boston. They chitchatted for a few minutes. Then Romney said something about the church’s adoption agency. Hayes initially thought she must have misunderstood. But Romney’s intent became apparent: he was urging her to give up her soon-to-be-born son for adoption, saying that was what the church wanted. Indeed, the church encourages adoption in cases where "a successful marriage is unlikely." Hayes was deeply insulted. She told him she would never surrender her child. Sure, her life wasn’t exactly the picture of Rockwellian harmony, but she felt she was on a path to stability. In that moment, she also felt intimidated. Here was Romney, who held great power as her church leader and was the head of a wealthy, prominent Belmont family, sitting in her gritty apartment making grave demands. "And then he says, ‘Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and if you don’t, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the leadership of the church,’" Hayes recalled. It was a serious threat. At that point Hayes still valued her place within the Mormon Church. "This is not playing around," she said. "This is not like ‘You don’t get to take Communion.’ This is like ‘You will not be saved. You will never see the face of God.’" Romney would later deny that he had threatened Hayes with excommunication, but Hayes said his message was crystal clear: "Give up your son or give up your God." Not long after, Hayes gave birth to a son. She named him Dane. At nine months old, Dane needed serious, and risky, surgery. The bones in his head were fused together, restricting the growth of his brain, and would need to be separated. Hayes was scared. She sought emotional and spiritual support from the church once again. Looking past their uncomfortable conversation before Dane’s birth, she called Romney and asked him to come to the hospital to confer a blessing on her baby. Hayes was expecting him. Instead, two people she didn’t know showed up. She was crushed. "I needed him," she said. "It was very significant that he didn’t come." Sitting there in the hospital, Hayes decided she was finished with the Mormon Church. The decision was easy, yet she made it with a heavy heart. To this day, she remains grateful to Romney and others in the church for all they did for her family. But she shudders at what they were asking her to do in return, especially when she pulls out pictures of Dane, now a 27-year-old electrician in Salt Lake City. "There’s my baby," she said.

Here is a disturbing excerpt from a Huffington Post article:

A 1994 article in the Boston Phoenix told the story of an anonymous woman (who has since been identified) who wrote an article in a feminist Mormon magazine claiming Romney, as bishop, discouraged her from having an abortion even though her health was at stake. Romney later said he could not remember the incident.

The episode above was also reported by Vanity Fair. Here is how the second woman, also a mother of five, described her experience with Bishop Romney after being told by her doctors that she had a serious blood clot in her pelvis and that even if she risked her life to give birth, the baby's chance of survival would be only 50 percent:

"As your bishop," she said that he told her, "my concern is with the child." The woman wrote, "Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium, and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in my uterus—not for me!"

Romney would later contend that he couldn’t recall the incident, saying, "I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me." Romney did however acknowledge having counseled Mormon women not to have abortions except in exceptional cases, in accordance with church rules. The woman told Romney that her stake president, a doctor, had already told her, "Of course, you should have this abortion and then recover from the blood clot and take care of the healthy children you already have." Romney, she said, fired back, "I don’t believe you. He wouldn’t say that. I’m going to call him." And then he left. The woman said that she went on to have the abortion and never regretted it. "What I do feel bad about," she wrote, "is that at a time when I would have appreciated nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends, I got judgment, criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection."

That Romney claims not to remember giving advice that could have killed a woman or endangered her health, especially when she had five children to care for, is troubling. He has also claimed not to remember tackling a gay classmate, pinning him to the ground, and cutting off his hair, even though students who watched the event remember it vividly many years later. Most of us would remember such things vividly, with tremendous remorse, if we were ever capable of such callous behavior. But we don't remember ants we crushed by accident. Is that how Willard Mitt Romney thinks of females outside his family circle, and gays? Here's another revealing excerpt from the Huffington Post article:

In July 1994, during Romney's U.S. Senate campaign, the Boston Globe published a story saying that Romney, in a speech to a congregation of single Mormons, said he found homosexuality "perverse and reprehensible." The story cited one named and three unnamed sources. Romney denied the comments. "I specifically said they should avoid homosexuality and they should avoid heterosexual relations outside of marriage," Romney told the Globe then. "I did not use the words perverse or perversion. I just said it was wrong. ... That is what my church believes."

So if his church believes something, it seems Romney believes it too. But the Mormon church has any number of strange beliefs: ... that Jesus was a polygamist, that God is an exalted man who lives as a physical being with multiple wives on the planet Kolob, that only men with multiple wives can reach the highest heaven (making polygamy a prerequisite for salvation), that in heaven the wives of polygamists will remain eternally pregnant and have billions of spirit children, that there are multiple gods, that human beings can become gods, and that magical underwear required and sold by the Mormon church can protect Mormons from lust and attacks by supernatural entities.

Is it possible that some of these beliefs are incorrect and should not be used to deny women and gays fully equal rights? Has the Mormon church, perhaps, been wildly wrong before?

Until 1978 the Mormon church taught that black people were the children of Cain and were black because they had been cursed by God, making them unfit to serve as ministers. The Mormon prophet Brigham Young said that if a white man has sex with a black woman the "law of God" is "death on the spot." (This despite the fact that according to the Bible it seems that  the greatest prophet, Moses, and the wisest man, Solomon, both had black wives.) Brigham Young told the Utah Territorial Legislature that "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it." John Taylor a president and prophet of the Mormon church, taught that God is a segregationist who discriminates against blacks, who "represent" the Devil. Mormon apostle Mark E. Petersen said that if a child had a single drop of negro blood, he would "receive the curse" and that the best such a cursed child could hope for, if he was "faithful all his days," was to be a "servant" (slave) in heaven. But then in 1978 one of the "prophets" of the church had a "revelation" that the curse had somehow mysteriously been lifted. But in the church's official notice, the prophet went oddly unnamed, as if no one wanted to take credit for the prophecy.

When the Mormon church was so obviously wrong about racism and segregation, and attempted to correct its obvious mistake in such a contrived and clumsy manner, can it be trusted to hand down edicts on the rights (or lack of rights) of women and gays? Should a potential president like Willard Mitt Romney withhold (or attempt to withhold) basic human rights from women and gays because his church teaches that women are supposed to submit to men in all things, and that God discriminates against non-heterosexuals, the way he used to discriminate against "the children of Cain?

Or are the Mormon church's current teachings about women and gays as absurd and laughable (albeit not funny) as its former teachings about blacks?

Did Romney call homosexuality "perverse"? Isn't that a teaching of most conservative Christian churches, including the Roman Catholics, the Southern Baptists and the Mormons? Romney’s alleged comments on homosexual practices were part of a 20-minute address he delivered on November 14 to the Cambridge University Ward, which numbers about 250 to 300 single Mormons. "He said he was appalled at the incidence of homosexuals in the congregation," said Rick Rawlins, a 32-year-old Mormon who had previously served as a counselor to the ward’s bishop. "He went on to say that he found homosexuality both perverse and reprehensible." Romney denied the veracity of the comments but, as the Globe noted, the account was confirmed by three other attendees: "I believe that his general message was that sex outside of marriage is immoral, but on the other hand, I do remember that there was a specific remark that he was appalled at the incidence of homosexuality in the ward and he termed it perverse," said one. "It was specific enough that I wanted to go see Bishop [Steven] Wheelwright right after that talk." Another person present offered this account. "During the talk, President Romney began talking about families and family values, and he mentioned homosexuality as a perversity. He went on for some time." This person didn’t recall the exact term Romney used to express his dismay at report of homosexual conduct, but said: "He certainly was conveying that he was appalled." Said a fourth person: "He started going on about being upset about homosexuality in this ward. I remember him calling it a sickness and a perversion."

It seems to me that Romney and the Mormon church, like other fundamentalist sects of Christianity, are now wrestling with intolerance against homosexuality the way they once wrestled with intolerance against "the children of Cain." Obviously, the churches are wrong and their prehistoric teachings do not come from a loving, wise, just, enlightened God.

Can we afford to have a president who refuses to admit that his church's "prophets" are wrong and that their teachings are relics of a stone age past? Should millions of Americans be denied full equality because someone like Mitt Romney believes that God is a sexist and a homophobe?

The 13% Solution

When asked to disclose his tax returns, Willard Mitt Romney replied, "I am not a business." But he famously (or infamously) said that "corporations are people." Mitt the Flopple changes political positions the way Imelda Marcos changes shoes. But he is remarkably consistent about his taxes. Mitt the Omitter consistently makes up excuses not to explain why he seems to be one of the biggest tax evaders in American history. Perhaps we should call him Darth Evader.

Romney claims that he paid at least 13% in taxes for the last decade, while being careful not to specify federal income taxes. And did he pay 13% of everything he made or only of the money that he didn't shelter from taxes? It seems obvious that Romney has a LOT of money in Bermuda and Cayman Island tax shelters. Major new services like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME, Reuters and CBS News have reported that he may have up to $100 million, or close to half his estimated net worth, in esoteric Caribbean investments. In fact, it seems he may have placed entire Bain Capital holdings in offshore "IRAs." So suppose Romney made $20 million one year, sheltered $19.9 million in offshore "IRAs," then paid taxes on only $100,000 in earnings? Yes, he might have paid 13% in taxes on the $100,000 and that might be commensurate with what other Americans pay after deducting personal exemptions, charitable contributions, etc. But his real effective tax rate might be closer to 1.3%, or zero, depending on how much money he made, and how much of that money was sheltered. The only way for anyone to know Romney's real tax rate is for him to release his tax returns. The fact that he refuses to release any of his returns prior to 2010 suggests that there are major problems with his older returns. Do we want a commander-in-chief who expects American soldiers to risk their lives in battle, when he's too cowardly to pay his fair share of taxes to help provide them with the best possible equipment and training?

The proposed Romney-Ryan budget plan would eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains, making it possible for millionaires and billionaires to reduce their effective tax rates to 1% or less. (According to Romney's 2010 tax return, under the new Romney-Ryan plan he would have paid slightly less than one percent on $21 million in earnings.) In order to fund this lavish bounty for the super-rich, less wealthy Americans will have to pay thousands more in taxes per year. Then, finally, Willard Mitt Romney can legally avoid paying taxes, since you and I will be covering for him!

Mitt Rotney's Art of "Creative Destruction"

During Romney's years as CEO of Bain Capital, he did not specialize in creating jobs, but in "creative destruction," a term he employed twelve times in his book No Apology (but which he now avoids during his race for the American presidency). Mitt Romney did not create jobs ... that was Myth Romney. Here is how Rigger Mortis's business associates described the actual process they employed: creative destruction is like a "forest fire" that "clears out the detritus even if you lose some animals [i.e., human beings] in the short run."

Or, as Romney's Bain Capital partner James McCurry put it, "When the momma bird shows up with a worm, all those little open beaks are down there sending the signal, 'Give the worm to me!'" But what vulture capitalists do in such situations is like the poppa bird greedily gulping down the worm itself, after flinging the fledglings from the nest before they're able to fly.

Mitt Romney became one of the world's wealthiest men by firing American workers, outsourcing their jobs to China and other Asian countries, then pocketing the "savings" himself. But this larceny was inconvenient for his political aspirations. When Mitt the Ripper was running against Ted Kennedy for a Massachusetts senate seat  in 1994, while Bain was closing plants and firing hundreds of workers, he was quoted as saying, "Aw, jeez, do we really need to fire these guys right away?"

The King of Bain didn't have any problem firing American workers; his only remorse was for the impact their firings had on his campaign.

Is Mitt the Omitter a sociopath unable to empathize with the suffering of people he doesn't know?

Wrong Way Romney's Aversion to Risk

Mitt Romney made his fortune by forcing other people to assume all risk for his speculations. When Bill Bain offered Romney the lead role at the then-new Bain Capital private equity firm, Romney refused the job until the salary was guaranteed and he was promised his old job back if the new venture didn't pan out. This led Bill Bain to say that "all the risk and investment was basically on my side."

Romney would go on to do something similar with the companies he "invested" in. He would put up relatively small amounts of money, then load the companies he purchased with massive debt, which he would then pay to himself and and Bain in the form of "dividends" and consulting/management fees. At that point, he had no risk. If the company failed and all its employees lost their jobs, he still profited. No wonder he's called Mittler by the LGBT community.

The Gospel according to Mitt "Rigger Mortis" Romney: Tax cheats shall inherit the earth, while the poor inherit their taxes!

As reported by Bloomberg, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Post and other reputable news services, on August 23, 2012, Willard Mitt Romney told a group of wealthy donors, "Big business is doing fine ... They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses." Romney, who has been accused of sheltering up to $100 million of his own money in Cayman Island "IRAs," obviously sees avoiding taxes as a good thing, at least when speaking to his rich cronies and benefactors. But this presents a huge problem for the 99% of Americans who are forced to pay taxes, rain or shine, through automatic payroll deductions, since we end up paying the taxes of the wealthiest Americans and corporations, while they laugh to their Cayman Island banks. Even worse, if Romney is elected president, he plans to reduce the taxes of the wealthiest 1% to less than 1%, by eliminating income taxes on the main sources of their income: capital gains, interest and dividends. If the Romney-Ryan budget plan had been in effect, Romney would have paid federal income tax of less than 1% on his 2010 income of $21 million. Who is going to make up the difference? Obviously, we the little people. Experts have calculated that when Romney cuts his taxes to almost nothing, each average American's taxes will go up by around $2,000.

So when Romney promises to "fix" our economy, what he really means that he is going to geld everyone who isn't super-rich, like himself.

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks-like website Gawker has released more than 950 pages of information about Romney's finances, which it calls a "black hole" full of "tax-dodging tricks available to the hyper-rich." Gawker describes the net effect of the documents as follows: "Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama's fiscal approach and his money managers' embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren't made until years after he left the company." (When Romney wants to brag about his accomplishments at Bain, he ran the whole show, but after Bain became a pioneer of outsourcing American jobs to China, Romney "wasn't there" even though his name appears over and over again as the CEO of Bain Capital, years after he "left.")

The bottom line? Romney's comments above, his personal $100 million Cayman Island "IRA" and his track record as a corporate raider, vulture capitalist and outsourcer of American jobs speak for themselves. If he wants to prove me and his other critics wrong, all he has to do is disclose how he and Bain made so much money in non-parasitical ways. But he's not going to do that, because the evidence would support our claims, not his.

Here's how Romney described his business career himself: "I spent 25 years balancing budgets, eliminating waste and keeping as far away from the government as humanly possible." But by "eliminating waste" he seems to mean American jobs and workers. And his main avoidance of the government seems to have been tax avoidance.

Romney's main claim to business fame is as a bean-counting number cruncher. Tom Stemberg, the founder of Staples, said that the idea of saving money on paper clips "really resonated" with Romney, whom he called "one of the cheapest sons of guns I ever met in my life." But the problem for Americans is that Romney had the same attitude toward jobs. He closed factories, crushed unions and was one of the pioneers of outsourcing American jobs to low-wage countries like China. Remorseless cost cutting made Romney richer than Midas, but he was doing the opposite of creating jobs.

And of course when incredibly wealthy men like Mitt Romney choose to avoid their taxes, less-well off Americans are forced to make up the difference. His longtime Bain Capital partner Marc Wolpaw was recently quoted in TIME as saying, "I think he believed, and I do believe, that as a businessperson, you have the right to push the tax law into the gray area ..."

The TIME article concludes that Romney's unwillingness to disclose his tax returns stems from the "political reaction" he will receive if "the creativity of his accounting becomes fully known."

White House or Waffle House?

Romney has earned nicknames like Flip Flopney, Mitt the Flopple and Multiple Choice Mitt by waffling on important subjects. Today he tries to project himself as a staunch conservative, but his term as governor of Massachusetts featured state-mandated healthcare, gun control and legalized abortion. He recently had much more liberal stances on stem cell research and climate change as well.

Romney has also been called Pander Bear for being willing to say anything to anyone in search of votes. When pandering for the votes of NRA members, Romney now pretends to be a hunting enthusiast. But business associates of his say Romney wanted nothing to do with guns, which he equated with tobacco and gambling, presumably for ethical reasons. For instance, his longtime partner Marc Wolpaw was quoted in TIME as saying Romney was "adamant" about not making investments in tobacco and firearms and that there was "no way" Bain Capital could invest in weapons manufacturers. Another Bain associate, Geoffrey Rehnert, agreed that tobacco, guns and gambling had a "personal yuck factor" with the partners.

But it seems Romney's values must have been discarded when he entered the presidential race, as his biggest financial contributor is Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul who has pledged to invest a startling $100 million in what seems like a blatant attempt to buy the presidency and move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thereby putting the US stamp of approval on the liquidation of any hope of a Palestinian state, which would probably result in more events like 911, and thus cost Americans thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

Adelson is under investigation by the state of Nevada, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible money laundering and bribery of Chinese officials, which would be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has also been accused of ties to prostitution; more than 100 prostitutes were recently arrested in one of his Chinese casinos.

Adelson obviously doesn't care who gets elected president, as long as he gets what he wants, since much of the $16 million he spent on Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign was used to attack Romney. Now Adelson has made a $10 million donation to the pro-Romney "Restore Our Future" Super PAC, with the promise of more to come. When Paul Ryan was selected as Romney's running mate, one of his first official acts was as pilgrimage to Las Vegas to pay obeisance to Sheldon Adelson.

I think this except from a Democratic Underground article succinctly sums up what we know about the candidacy of Mitt the Ripper: "that Mitt Romney's qualification for the presidency consists of a career at Bain Capital about which we know essentially nothing; that his economic plan is the most massive transfer of wealth to the rich from the rest in the history of the country; that he arrogantly, petulantly and suspiciously refuses to play by the same financial disclosure rules that have applied to presidential candidates since his father ran; that his foreign policy team is a reunion of the neocon club that gave us [the invasion of] Iraq; that the health care reform he championed in Massachusetts is virtually identical to the Affordable Care Act ["Obamacare"] he promises to repeal; that he has changed sides on climate change, gun control, a woman's right to choose and so many other issues that the only consistent theme in his record is the urgency of pandering to the right, a spinelessness he is unlikely to abjure as president; and that Republican efforts to suppress voter turnout may well send him to the White House."

I, Robot

If a robot, android or space alien was running for president, just think of some of the strange things it might say in its attempts to connect with real human beings ... but these are all things actually said by Willard Mitt Romney, a man even stranger than his name and nicknames (Matinee Mitt, Mitt the Twitt, Mitt Inappropriate, the Romneybot):

I love this state. The trees are the right height. The streets are just right.
I had catfish for the second time. It was delicious, just like the first time.
I am learning to say y'all and I like grits, and ... strange things are happening to me.
Morning, ya'll. I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. (No one calls them "cheesy" grits.)
I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce and hubcaps. Because there's no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.
These pancakes are about as large as my win in Puerto Rico last night, I must admit. The margin is just about as good.
Look at us in here! We are all nice together, all nice and wet, you know, like a can of sardines. ("Nice"?)
That's a big lava lamp, congratulations!
Davy, Davy Crockett. King of the wild frontier!
I'm an unofficial southerner.
Please give us a big hug, that's the girls. I've been getting hugs from the Southern girls ... from 12, to well, a lot more than 12.
I never imagined I'd be up here like Larry the Cable guy!
I love the hymns of America, by the way.

The Romneybot expresses empathy for other heartless, soulless entities

Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.
Banks aren't bad people. They're just overwhelmed right now ... scared to death ... feeling the same thing that you're feeling.

The Romneybot however fails miserably in its attempts to empathize with warm-blooded human beings

We should double Guantanamo!
Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.
Let Detroit go bankrupt.
I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back. (Referring to the auto industry he wanted to go bankrupt.)
I'm in this race because I care about Americans.
I'm not concerned about the very poor.
I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed. (Quite a story, indeed!)
I know what it's like to worry whether you're gonna get fired. There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.
I've got a lot of good friends, the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, both owners are friends of mine.
I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals. (Presumably when he wasn't running for office, it was okay to have illegals.)
I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. ("Like"?)

The Romneybot waxes romantic, sorta

I introduce to you the heavyweight champion of my life. Wait, that didn't come out right. (Referring to his wife Ann.)
Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually. (Is that one of her alien superpowers?)
In one of his more bizarre flip-flops, Romney went from strongly supporting federal funding for stem cell research that might cure his wife's multiple sclerosis, to opposing such funding. This strange bit of waffling was pointed out by fellow Republican John McCain and his staff during the last presidential election.

The Romneybot fails to compute and emits static

[Russia] is without question our number one geopolitical foe. (Not true since the fall of the Iron Curtain and end of the Cold War.)
I must admit, I can’t imagine anything more awful than polygamy. (Not rape, incest, murder, infanticide, matricide or genocide?)
I like the Twilight series. I thought that was fun.(We assume he thinks the Cold Ones are comedians; well, perhaps compared to him, they are.)
Who let the dogs out? Who, who? (During an awkward photo op with a group of African American kids.)

The Romneybot's CPU cannot compute basic science

Conservatism has had from its inception vigorously positive, intellectually rigorous agenda and thinking. (Oh, really?)
I am in favor of stem-cell research. (Romney later changed his stance on federal funding of stem cell research.)
My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. (The scientific consensus is that excessive carbon dioxide is the primary cause.)

The Romneybot doing its best George W. Bush and Sarah Palin impressions

I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love.
I'm not familiar precisely with what I said, but I'll stand by what I said, whatever it was.
I'm Mitt Romney—and yes Wolf, that's also my first name. (Romney's first name is Willard; Mitt is his middle name.)

Mr. Doublespeak

I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington.Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney would have us believe that he favors a smaller, leaner federal government. But when the Salt Lake City Olympics was on the financial rocks, what did he do? He relied on a huge taxpayer-funded bailout that exceeded all federal spending on all previous Olympics combined. John McCain called the bailout a "boondoggle" and a "ripoff" of American taxpayers" for "an incredible pork-barrel project" that was "outrageous" and a "national disgrace." Romney, however, bragged about the huge sums of money he procured from Uncle Sam. Later he flip-flopped and said that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich (not-so-coincidentally his main rivals for the Republican presidential nomination) must be "held accountable" for seeking earmarks. But when Romney addressed the New Bedford Industrial Foundation in October 2002, his advice in a Power Point presentation was to "boost federal involvement." (Romney is also obviously a big believer in telling gullible people whatever they want to hear.)

In any case, the real credit for saving the Olympics should go to the American public. Romney's main contribution, really, was that he was an effective lobbyist for federal government assistance (i.e., welfare). So when he attacks poor people for requesting government assistance and accuses the government of what he calls "crony capitalism," he's denouncing what he bragged about when he was leader of the welfare pack. And he seems especially hypocritical when he calls it "immoral" to borrow money to help flood victims, when he had no problem with the federal government borrowing billions to bail out the Olympic games and his rich Wall Street cronies. Nor does he have any problem proposing a budget that will force the federal government to borrow $8 trillion dollars over the next ten years to further increase spending on an already-bloated military.

Romney also waffles on the subject of abortion. Sometimes he claims to want to abolish abortion completely, when trying to convince pro-life conservatives that he believes life begins at conception. But when speaking to more moderate and liberal Americans, he says that he favors exemptions for rape, incest and cases where a pregnant woman's life is in danger. He also constantly waffles on gay marriage. When speaking to a group of gay Republicans, Romney promised to be a stronger advocate of gay rights than Ted Kennedy, who espoused gay marriage. When speaking to more conservative Americans, Romney claims to oppose gay marriage. But when his friends the Cathys were under fire for publicly opposing gay marriage through their management of Chick-fil-A, Romney refused to take a public stance. So he gives friends and foes alike the impression that he would rather sit on the political fence than definitively explain what he really believes.

I believe that God designed the universe and created the universe, and I believe evolution is most likely the process he used to create the human body.—Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney claims to be a Christian, but his belief in human evolution completely contradicts the salvation gospel of Saint Paul, which Paul said he received directly from God. According to Paul, Adam was created perfect and immortal by God, and was only condemned to suffer and die when he disobeyed God. Thus it was Adam's disobedience that required Jesus Christ to be born, live a perfect life and die, thus atoning for and redeeming Adam and his descendents. But if Romney is correct and imperfect human beings evolved in an imperfect world where trillions of animals suffered and died before man was capable of understanding the will and word of God, there could have been no fall or original sin. That would place the onus of suffering and death on the Creator, not man. So it seems that Romney is attacking the core belief of most Christians: that man is fallen and must be redeemed by God (because if human beings evolved, it would be the other way around). During his discussion of his belief in evolution, Romney pointed out that evolution is taught at B.Y.U., the private Mormon university named after Brigham Young, a prophet of the Mormon church. On April 9, 1852 speaking before the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Brigham Young taught that Adam was "our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do." He also taught that Eve was only one of Adam's wives (meaning that God is a polygamist) and that Jesus Christ "was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." Brigham Young's teachings were later confirmed in writing by major figures of the Mormon church, such as Heber C. Kimball and Wilford Woodruff. Just four years before his death, Brigham Young declared that it was God who gave him the Adam-God doctrine. And Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism and its first prophet, also said that Adam was the Ancient of Days, or God. But if Adam was God, then God is responsible for all suffering and death, and thus for all evil. And it seems these sins of God are connected to polygamy, since Brigham Young said: "The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy" (Journal of Discourses 11:269). This would mean that Jesus must have been a polygamist, even though the Bible does not mention Jesus being married. And Mormon prophets have said that human beings can become gods and "have jurisdiction over worlds" as Joseph Smith put it. So it seems this process of God sinning and creating fallen worlds where creatures have to suffer and die and evolve will continue ...?

We have a president, who I think is is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps.—Mitt Romney

But Willard Mitt Romney is a child of privilege with two Harvard degrees!

It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.—Mitt Romney

Romney constantly speaks with a forked tongue, out of both sides of his mouth. As long as Osama bin Laden was at large, Republicans criticized President Obama for not doing enough to bring him to justice. And despite the quote above, Romney called the decision to send a team of Navy SEALs to Pakistan to kill bin Laden an easy decision that "even Jimmy Carter" would have made. While speaking to New York firefighters, he said:

Of course I would have ordered taking out Osama bin Laden.—Mitt Romney

But in 2007 he said that it was not worth spending billions of dollars to catch one person and he criticized President Obama for suggesting that such an attack might be launched in Pakistan, saying in his best imitation of George W. Bush:

I do not concur in the words [sic] of Barack Obama in a plan [sic] to enter an ally of ours.—Mitt Romney

So it seems obvious that Mitt Romney would not have launched the attack on Osama bin Laden, because (1) he thought it wasn't worth the money it would cost and (2) he didn't think the United States had the right to stage such an attack in Pakistan.

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