Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pawlenty Quits On Romney and What It Means for The GOP in 2016

Ever since Tim Pawlenty threw in the towel on his presidential bid, he's been one of Mitt's most outspoken supporters. Whereas other Republican contenders like Perry and Santorum have never really said anything gushingly nice about Romney, offering just tepid endorsements, Pawlenty always went that extra mile and praised as if he really meant it.

So to see T-Paw quit on Mitt to head up a large financial services lobby group says quite a bit about the rapid descent of Mitt's chances in November. One has to think this job opening would've still been available for Pawlenty in about five weeks, making his abrupt resignation all that more befuddling. But Tim likely knew what Nate Silver recently wrote about, that a candidate in Romney's position at this point in the race rarely pulls out a victory come Election Day.

But what I find even more interesting is the fact that Pawlenty took this job at all. Of course, I'm sure it's a cushy gig that pays very well. However, at the start of the primary season, Pawlenty quickly became a favorite pick to be the Republican nominee. He was the presumed reasonable one who would be able to appeal to the widest audience. Eventually he washed out and yet many a pundit doubled-down and put him atop the list for 2016.

Question: when was the last time you saw a presidential front-runner coming from the ranks of a lobbyist organization, much less one that fronts for Wall Street firms? I would have to say never. So what gives?

It's obvious Pawlenty believes Romney has no shot to win. But I also have to think Pawlenty has concluded that his party will remain crazy for the next several years -- or at least for the next four. If he wanted to run again in 2016, it's unlikely he would've accepted such a perception-challenged position, one that would significantly compromise his candidacy. Yet as mentioned, Pawlenty is sensible and not psycho and that's a huge negative in a party that celebrates the likes of Bachmann, Cain and Santorum. We're starting to hear more calls for the Republican Party to change its ways, to quit catering to the lunatic fringe and become more moderate. And yet Pawlenty for one thinks such a transformation is a pipe dream, so he's taking the big $$$$.

What a shame. With Romney fast sinking in the polls, I'm hearing and reading how it's not so much his fault but rather his party is to blame. The modern-day GOP makes it near impossible for any candidate to appeal to the wider electorate, forcing someone like Romney or John McCain to disavow their record and recite the party talking points -- points that drift ever-more to the right with each passing election season. I've been writing about this Republican problem for years, how it forces electable (read: not crazy) candidates to twist and turn and tie themselves up in knots like a pretzel, siding with the positions that are too extreme and often make no sense or even conflict with one another.

It's been clear for some time that as long the GOP continues on this course to seemingly outdo itself in a race to ultimate insanity, it will have less and less of chance to win the White House again (at least fairly, without voter suppression or help from the SCOTUS). While this may be a good thing for Democrats, it's a tragedy for the country, which in the end is all that matters.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh The Irony: Non-Union Refs Screw Gov. Scott Walker's Team

Anyone watch the NFL game last night? In case you missed it, the Green Bay Packers were screwed by the replacement refs, losing a close game to the Seattle Seahawks due to a blown call with no time left on the clock.

Although I feel for the Green Bay players and fans, I thought it was poetic irony that non-union NFL officials ended up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's team. I wonder what he'll say today about the painful and unfortunate loss.

The fact is the last two weeks of NFL football have been a nightmare when it comes to officiating. It has become clear to all those involved -- players, coaches, fans, broadcasters, etc. -- that the replacement personnel are not up to the job. They have either blown one call after another, like last night, or they're not calling penalties when they should, like in the Patriots/Ravens game when it was obviously getting overly amped-up with skirmishes and fights. There's even data indicating these refs are favoring home teams by calling more penalties on the visitors, perhaps due to intimidation by the crowd or even even getting caught up in the home environment euphoria. Oh, and now there's talk the NFL hired some refs who were fired from the Lingerie Football League due to incompetence!

If anything, the start of this year's NFL season is turning into an Exhibit A for what can happen when management decides to go with less experienced, less trained, less professional employees during a labor dispute. Admittedly, I'm not aware of where things stand with current negotiations, but all you have to do is listen to sports radio to realize how out of control things are getting. Calls are mounting to boycott games, to not attend stadiums or refuse to watch the games on TV. It's not only that NFL's "product" has become a laughing-stock and its brand is fast eroding, but more importantly players are increasingly exposed to serious harm and injury. Something horrific is likely to happen, it's just a matter of time.

But again I ask, what will Scott Walker say today? Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach, a Democrat, already tweeted his feelings. What say you Gov. Walker??

UPDATE: By now you know, Walker responded with a plea for union refs to return. Since hypocrisy is the GOP's middle name, this shouldn't shock you.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Warren vs. Brown Debate

As usual, I apologize for weighing in so late. With that out of the way, I felt the debate was more or less a tie. Brown did better than expected, GW style (he got big points for stringing together complete sentences) and Warren was OK. You could tell she was a bit nervous, that this was new terrain for her, but she did a good job at handling Brown's attack lines (Native American crap, she wants to raise taxes canard, etc.).

However, it was frustrating to see her miss some golden opportunities. For example, she never mentioned that Brown was one of the top receivers of hedge fund and financial services money -- this despite the fact he was elected during the Tea Party furor with many Republican voters expecting him to change the way things are done in DC. Instead he's been accepting big bucks from the Wall Street honchos just like every other politician that's come before him. Just another hack attempting to convince voters he's different.

Also, Warren repeated many of her points several times, but one point she should've made earlier in the debate: tying Brown with the letter "R". And she should've then pounded that point home repeatedly for the rest of the hour.

The fact is Brown is fairly moderate for a modern-day Republican -- which granted is not saying much given how far to the right the GOP has drifted over the last twenty years. But because his record is not right-wing to the extreme, it's more difficult for Warren to lay out black-and-white differences between the two for voters to appreciate.

However, by starkly aligning Brown with the many kooks in his party, and doing so many times, Warren would've inflicted serious and lasting damage, especially when you consider a state like Massachusetts, where even Republican voters tend to favor non-crazy, more moderate candidates. When Warren made the statement, that by voting for Brown could very well tilt the balance of power in the Senate and thus put the likes of Senator Inhofe in charge of key committees, you could almost see Scott Brown wince in pain. He quickly retorted that she was running against him and not Inhofe, but you could tell then that she drew blood and he was running scared. I think she may have repeated this line of attack one more time, but they then moved on and it was already fairly late in the debate. Too bad and lucky for Brown.

In the next debate, she'll do better. "The Professor" will be more at ease, the Native American stuff is played out, and my hope is she'll do more of what I wrote about above. She should repeat the line that Brown = "R" = possible 51+ Republican Senators, and she should repeat it many times and even expand on it. Everything is at stake with this potential power shift in the Senate. If the Republicans gain control, the list is endless as to what will be affected: the environment, future Supreme Court nominees, etc., and this fact will resonate with all voters in Massachusetts.

Yes, Scott Brown is nowhere near as unhinged as the rest in his party, however that's not the point when the balance of power in the Senate is hanging so precariously. Brown wants this election to be about him alone, but it's not. What truly matters is "R" vs. "D" and unfortunately for Brown he is an "R", nuff said.

I do not mean to say that Warren isn't a superior candidate and that we should vote for her strictly by default against her Republican opponent. But again, no matter what you feel about Brown personally or his record, one can't vote for him due to guilt by association. To vote for him is to increase the likelihood of the lunatics running the asylum come the new year.

Like Warren said at one point in the debate, Brown may not like the answer, but it is what it is. Sorry Scott, but it's your bat-sh*t crazy party, embrace it or leave it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Serial Bad Judgement

Here we go again. I've written many times about Romney's judgement, questioning whether he had what it took to be president. Time and time again, he's provoked the subject. He likes to fire people, corporations = people, the Olympics/foreign tour debacle, the recent Libyan embassy fiasco -- the list is seemingly endless.

And now we have this 47%-of-Americans-are-slacker-grifters video to further beg the serious question. I mean really, is this guy a complete idiot? Forget his pedigree because we all know a person or two in our lives who are from wealth, graduated from an Ivy League college and yet are not the sharpest tool in the shed. Recall GW went to Yale and Harvard.

But in this day and age, when everyone has cell phones with record capability, any shrewd, sensible, smart candidate knows not to say such things, even if they truly believe it. It's just too risky and dumb.

So again, what does this say about Romney's judgement, his ability to make good decisions? Imagine him in the White House. Many bad outcomes can result from rash, poor decisions and "inelegant wording." It's shocking but Mitt's clueless arrogance is making GW look like Churchill in comparison.

All of this said, I don't think it's a Dean-Scream moment. Romney's not going to completely tank in the polls. Unfortunately, there remains a sizable block of voters who will vote GOP no matter what Romney says or does, not to mention many of those voters likely agree with what he said in the video.

However, it will hurt at the margin and in this election that's all that matters. Romney himself admitted this fact, saying he needed just 50.1% (or more) of the vote. Translation: he only needs to win over the fence-sitters, the undecided, the few votes up for grabs. And yet the dolt stupidly makes these comments, in the process likely losing enough votes at the margin to significantly turn the race. I say with this latest screw-up, the polls will go from about 51-45 favoring Obama to 52-44, which in this election is a huge move.

Lastly, needless to say the 47% mentioned by Romney all have good reasons for not paying income taxes, whether it be they're elderly/retired, poor, a student, etc. But I ask Mitt, what about the profitable corporations not paying their fair share? According to a recent study of 280 Fortune 500 companies, all profitable, 40% of them paid a corporate tax rate below 17.5% (compare to the actual corporate tax rate of 35%), and 30 or 11% paid zero taxes, zilch, none.

These are huge, strong corporations, not the elderly or low-income workers. And remember, according to Mitt, corporations are people too. Well then Mitt, what about those 30 companies (people) that paid zero taxes? I suppose they're grifters and free-loaders, right?

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Fed Is Not The Enemy

With its latest announcement, the Fed has finally shifted focus to its long-neglected other mandate, employment. Riddled throughout the official statement are mentions of labor and employment concerns, such as "Growth in employment has been slow, and the unemployment rate remains elevated." That's the second sentence of the statement, proof that Bernanke wanted to emphasize up-front that he's had enough of the waiting for things to get better.

Further evidence of this new focus is the Fed moderately bumped up its economic forecast for next year, meaning Bernanke could've made the case that conditions were expected to improve and thus no additional QE was needed. However, the Fed did announce more QE is on the way, and lots of it (open-ended).

In my opinion, to some extent Bernanke may have used the continuing unemployment problem as political cover, enabling him to put inflation worries aside and go ahead and act fairly aggressively despite pressure from Republicans to stand down. He also needed to skirt criticism for the Fed doing anything at all with an election just two months away.

I commend Bernanke for not giving in to intimidation by Republicans. You had the likes of Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee say that Bernanke “is beginning to do serious damage to the Fed as an institution.” If anything, the fact that more than a few Republicans are so upset about the Fed's actions has me believing they simply fear it will help to improve things -- heaven forbid! We can't have that!

The Fed's announcement is being characterized as if it's throwing the kitchen sink at the economy, and in many ways that's true. But whereas in the past the Fed has received harsh criticism from the left for not doing enough, I've always felt at least some sympathy for Bernanke's predicament (and wrote about it).

The fact remains the Fed alone cannot solve all the problems of this economy. It needs help from Congress in the form of fiscal stimulus and other spending measures in order to spur hiring and increase demand. This time around is no different from other times in the past as the Fed could never do it alone, with Volcker and Greenspan likewise depending on a more cooperative Congress, both parties working together to get the economy moving again. Also, in the past the Fed could just cut interest rates to boost the economy, but with rates currently at near zero this tool has been rendered useless. All the more reason the Fed needs help!

Republicans have refused to do anything that could improve the economy and Bernanke knows this sad truth all to well. On several occasions, whether it be Q&A or in statements, Bernanke has commented on the impotent Congress, stressing or inferring that the Fed cannot fix what's wrong all by itself, that the help of Congress is needed. To that end if Republicans choose to scold Bernanke, they're being disingenuous (surprise!).

What's ironic is the more the Fed is forced to do on its own, without congressional assistance, the higher the likelihood that some time down the road we may see inflation truly creep higher. Needless to say, Republicans greatly fear inflation given more than a few wealthy donors would be quite annoyed to think that their precious capital may erode in real dollar value. My read is there remains a great deal of slack in the economy which translates into low velocity of money and thus continued low inflation. If wages and prices do begin to finally rise in earnest, the Fed will certainly pick this up well ahead of time and take measures to slow the increase. That said, if not and inflation does shoot up exponentially, in large part the Republicans will be to blame.

Again I remind, the Fed has a dual-mandate, price stability and full employment, and with inflation remaining very low Bernanke realized he could no longer ignore the other much larger problem. To do so would've been willful negligence. But he wasn't alone in understanding the need for action as 11 of the 12 FOMC members voted in favor of the policy measures, further making evident the degree to which the entire Fed brain trust believes our unemployment situation is, as Ben put it, of "grave concern."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Romney's Biggest Gaffe Yet

It's been commented on to death but I thought I'd give my three cents. Romney's harsh criticism of Obama concerning the Libyan embassy attack was extremely ill-advised and inexcusable. Though at this point, given his track record, it wasn't surprising. I can't recall a presidential campaign making this many mistakes and worse is the fact that nearly all of them are so amateurish. It's amazing since Mitt has been running for president like forever and yet it appears he's actually getting worse at it, not better.

It's an obvious next-step to wonder what all of this could mean if Romney were to (gulp) win this November. With his sheer number of screw-ups at the most base and fundamental level, one has to be very concerned about the decisions that will be made over the next four years.

While so many of these gaffes have been craven attempts at winning lowest-common-denominator points, this latest embassy fiasco being a typical example, what is more worrisome to me is the rashness involved. Instead of pausing and giving the matter some sober thinking, it appears the emphasis for Romney is hastiness and delivering a speedy blow. It's odd because you would think at Bain the preferred course would have been the opposite, to act purposefully and wisely given the many millions of dollars involved and the risk of a bad decision backfiring. As president, it's not just dollars at stake and choosing expediency over thorough contemplation makes for a very dangerous leader.

I also think this latest debacle comes off as beyond desperate for Romney/Ryan. With just about two months to go, they seem to be in full-panic mode, pulling out all the stops no matter how unsavory or low. All because Mitt feels he needs that extra 0.1% over 50%, those few marginal votes. He's willing to do whatever it takes to pick up a few needed crumbs.

However, what he neglects to realize is those marginal voters are more likely than not greatly turned off by his unseemly tactics. The up-for-grabs folks usually desire civility and signs of maturity and they sure as heck aren't seeing that in Romney's shenanigans.

At this point, I have to think Romney just can't help himself. Taking the low road is all he knows.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Romney = Wizard of Oz

Obama has enjoyed a huge post-convention bounce in the polls, which contrasts with Romney's negative-bounce from his convention. Kevin Drum writes, "there's no way enough people were watching in the first place to account for a change of this size."

Maybe so, but I'm not so sure about that.

I think Romney's anti-bounce in the polls can be attributed to something we've come to learn about the public's perception of him: the more people get to know Romney as a person and what he stands for, the less they like him. And apparently with Ryan at his side, this tendency hasn't changed.

In fact, the case can be made that Ryan agreeing to be VP may be the worst decision he's ever made. Whereas Ryan was once considered to be likeable and a serious thinker, it appears with him basking in the national limelight and allowing voters to get to know him better, it has worked against him -- much like it has for his sidekick. Ryan's mystique has been shredded and he no longer has that cult-of-personality that was working to his advantage. Now he's just another political hack with funny looking ears.

Of course, Romney must know that too many of his positions would be wildly unpopular if the general electorate actually had a clearer sense of what these positions were, and more so a better understanding of the details behind them ("devil is in the details"). But this explains why Romney is keeping so many things secret and under wraps. Whether it be his tax filings, specific loopholes to be closed under his tax plan, what happens when vouchers don't cover health care expenses for seniors and a host of other question marks, Romney has decided to go the smoke-and-mirrors route and hope that he can just wing-it into the White House, banking on his (and Ryan's) ability to duck hard questions and say gibberish that sounds meaningful.

Romney is like the Wizard of Oz: a mysterious man enamored by people who know very little about him, but as they gain understanding it's as bad for Romney as it was for the Wizard. However contrary to Oz, where the Wizard was feared and ended up being a harmless fuddy-duddy, Romney is perceived as a good-looking successful American to be admired, and yet the more the curtain is pulled back, the more people realize he more closely resembles the wicked witch. He comes across as cold, detached and even heartless. And I suppose Ryan at his side makes for the perfect flying monkey.

Obama would do well to constantly mention what Romney/Ryan stand for as it's clear they are their own worst enemy. Recall the pollster who recounted that after presenting the Ryan plan to respondents, they simply refused to believe that any politician could seriously support such a plan!

The choice really is pretty stark: the side continuing to try and make a bad situation better, or the side instead offering up baloney wrapped in hogwash and sprinkled with false niceties. Yet if Romney wins, it wouldn't be the first time the public was hoodwinked. I seem to recall a "compassionate conservative" guy who was installed not long ago.....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Niall Ferguson's Newsweek cover story

I know, I know, this is so yesterday. For most bloggers, a big part of what they do is to strive to be one of the first to comment on any buzzing news story, doing so fast and furiously. God bless them. But given I don't blog professionally, I frequently don't have time to comment on-the-spot regarding developing Big Story A or B. Instead I usually read what others have written, then read the actual source item(s), jotting down my own thoughts on the subject and finally look to post something up here when I get the chance, usually during the weekend.

And here I am. I did read Ferguson's piece and needless to say, I've also read through the many criticisms (and trust me, there were many more than just Krugman's). I felt all of the criticisms were more than fair, but I'm a liberal and thus biased, right?

On to Ferguson's piece, "Why Obama Must Go." My comments:

  • He mentions the stock market is up 74% since Inauguration Day 2009. If this kind of market gain was achieved by a Republican president -- during a tumultuous time when we were in the throes of what looked like a global financial meltdown, we'd never hear the end of it. Republicans would be doing non-stop victory laps and Fox News would be reminding us of this impressive advance 24/7. I mean after all, if there's one thing in this country which reflects the free market system in all its unfettered glory it's the stock market, and a 70+% rise is not too shabby for a Kenyan socialist. Especially when you compare it against GW/Cheney's eight year stock market return of near minus 40% (1/31/01 - 1/31/09). But this shouldn't be too surprising since it's documented fact that the stock market fares much better under Democrat presidents than Republican.

  • Ferguson cites that the total number of private sector jobs is still below the January 2008 peak. Yes, as a baseline to judge Obama, Ferguson picks the month in the year before everything goes to hell. With this lame bit of chicanery, it's clear right from the get go that you're not going to get an objective, fair critique.

  • Ferguson cites economic growth estimates from Obama's 2010 budget, faulting him for falling short of these figures. This is one of many examples where Ferguson uses promises made by Obama in his early days as proof of abject failure a mere 2-3 years later. Give me a break. For one, every new president lays out fairly optimistic goals and targets for the future, more or less hopes and dreams to shoot for. In this case, Obama was naively guilty of assuming the GOP would play ball as the Dems did with Reagan to help him and the country get out of a recession. Obama belatedly learned that this demented version of the GOP was unwilling to compromise and more than willing to sacrifice the welfare of the nation to achieve partisan gains. Of course, no mention of that by the Harvard scholar.

  • Ferguson writes, "Under this president's policies, the debt is on course to approach 200 percent of GDP in 2037." Another case of taking a period of time within the worst possible worlds and stretching it out for decades to purposefully portray a near-hysterically horrible picture. Even if the math were technically true, how can anyone take this form of journalism seriously? Ferguson takes figures from the worst recession since the Great Depression, all during a time of fierce opposition and stonewalling from the GOP, and he simply extrapolates out for the next 25 years, assuming the last three years will continue to be the case for the next 2+ decades. Really? This is deemed plausible? This is what passes for Harvard-caliber scholarship?? It's just embarrassing.

  • Ferguson shows a chart of China's GDP expected to surpass that of the U.S. by 2017. This is proof positive Ferguson is intent on providing a disingenuous critique on Obama. I think I've seen this exact chart reproduced repeatedly over the GW/Cheney years and frankly what it reflects has less to do with anything any president can control or influence, whether it be GW or Obama. Instead it lays out the reality of putting a very mature economy with issues up against a fast-growing economy with 1 billion people and minimal regulations (allowing rampant pollution, labor abuses, etc.). It's an unfair comparison and is certainly not something you can hang on one president, but that doesn't stop Ferguson from using the chart to level a cheap shot, further undermining any hope of his views to be taken seriously.

  • He writes, "Polls consistently showed that only a minority of the public liked the ACA, and it was the main reason why Republicans regained control of the House in 2010." Is this true? What polls showed this? The ones I referenced in my post explaining how these polls were deceptive and misleading? And Ferguson knows for a fact that the ACA is why the GOP regained control of the House in 2010? As opposed to the well-known trend that after a new president is voted in, the opposing party does well come election time two years later?? We're talking Poly Sci 101.

  • Then of course comes his whopper when he writes, "the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion," with Ferguson not bothering to mention the CBO scores the ACA as lowering the deficit by over $100 billion in the next ten years. What Ferguson is doing here is text-book deception, parsing words and carefully excluding certain inconvenient truths to fit his narrative. And based on Ferguson's rebuttals to his many attacks, he knew what he was doing. Shame on Tina Brown.

  • "The fiscal train wreck has already initiated a process of steep cuts in the defense budget." Never mind that Defense Secretary Robert Gates had already recommended steep cuts to the military! But what does Republican Gates know, let's blame Obama.

  • I think this part of the piece is my favorite. Ferguson writes, "I know, like, and admire Paul Ryan.... He is one of only a handful of politicians in Washington who is truly sincere about addressing this country's fiscal crisis." Just priceless. Leave aside that Ryan is anything but a deficit hawk. But truly sincere? Does Niall still believe this after hearing Ryan's speech at the RNC convention, a speech that was universally panned for its record-breaking number of lies and gross distortions? We already knew Ryan was as willing as Romney to say anything to get elected, but was anyone prepared for Ryan's convention spectacle, an exercise of unabashed, shameless lying that may never be surpassed. It was breathtaking. And yet Ryan is Ferguson's idea of "truly sincere" -- still have faith in what Ferguson has to say about anything??
  • Wednesday, September 05, 2012

    "Are You Better Off Than You Were Four Years Ago?"

    I wonder when Reagan uttered this line if he knew it would be repeated from then on during nearly every presidential run. It's the type of line that works only if the answer is quite obvious, and in this case it's certainly not.

    I find it incredible but do people really have to be reminded about how bad things were just a few years ago? I know the public has a notoriously short memory, but I for one clearly remember 2008 and it was bleeping scary! It's no exaggeration that it seemed like the end of the world, that this was it, the big one, that this country was finally going to be brought to its knees like no other time since the Great Depression. Many, and I mean many, were very scared that their bank would go under and FDIC insurance -- something no one ever cared about -- suddenly became a must-have that really meant something. The stock market plunged in 2008, but then plunged again in early 2009, a sort of elongated double-crash. People went from scared sh*tless to near freak out. It was an awful time, like no other I can recall in my 30+ years as an adult.

    But here we are, a bit more than three years later, and it's like it never happened. If anything, that so many have forgotten what was a national nightmare, an almost complete meltdown of this great USA, that fact alone speaks volumes to what Obama has been able to achieve -- despite determined opposition from Republicans. Although yes, we still must resolve more than a few problems, the dire situation we were in was successfully averted and very much remedied by this current president. What we now take for granted is testament to a job well done.

    So wake up people, we're all much better off now than we were four years ago. No question, it's not even close.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2012


  • We know Romney likes to fire people, he said as much. With the Clint Eastwood debacle, given its magnitude as a screw-up, I was awaiting the imminent announcement of a firing from his campaign staff. Surely someone must pay the price for such a grievous miscalculation. Yet nothing, no firings. Now I know why: Mitt himself had a role in it.

  • Many are making a big deal about Romney's supposed clever line when he invoked Reagan at the convention by asking, "If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama?" Look, like more than a few Obama supporters, I have some regrets when it comes to what Obama has achieved in his first term, namely that he didn't go far enough and progressive enough. He was too timid and too right-of-center. Granted, he faced constant stonewalling by intransigent Republicans who refused to compromise and support anything Obama proposed. But I feel he still could've fought harder and realized sooner that his wild notion of the GOP working with him was naive and foolish. BUT, in no way does that mean I'm going to vote for Romney/Ryan as the alternative! That choice is laughable.

  • Dana Milbank recently wrote about how many of the big-name speakers at the GOP convention hardly mentioned Romney's name in their speeches, with Milbank believing "the implied assumption is that he’s going to lose." In other words, many of these speakers were using the high-profile convention limelight to promote themselves for 2016. Nice. Milbank also stated, "Romney has a particular problem commanding loyalty" and I have felt this particular weakness is a massive one. In my opinion, if Romney were to win in November, he'd have the most corrupt administration since Harding. I say this not to aimlessly speculate or wish misfortune on a future president. Rather I believe Romney's inability to garner loyalty combined with his lack of conviction for just about anything, with his excessive "flexibility" to go with whatever suits his needs at the time, sets him up as a president to be taken advantage of and abused by opportunistic underlings. And I'm not talking high-level or overly sophisticated corruption, I'm talking sleazy, low-ball, petty stuff, very Spiro Agnew-like.

  • "Mitt Romney Would Pay 0.82 Percent in Taxes Under Paul Ryan's Plan." If you think things have become grossly unequal since 1980 (and of course they have), you ain't see nothing yet were Romney/Ryan to win. The disparity gap would explode.