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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Improve your life: Vote for the guy who fired you!

Matt Taibbi has latched onto the very same section of Mitt Romney's speech that irritated me so much (as evidenced by a previous post or two).
The line that astonished me most from Mitt's speech was this one, where he talked about the changes Americans "deserved" and should have gotten during Obama's presidency:
You deserved it because you worked harder than ever before during these years.  You deserved it because, when it cost more to fill up your car, you cut out moving lights, and put in longer hours.  Or when you lost that job that paid $22.50 an hour, benefits, you took two jobs at $9 an hour…
Are you kidding? Mitt Romney was the guy that fired you from that $22.50 an hour job, and helped you replace it with two $9 an hour jobs! He was a pioneer in the area of eliminating the well-paying job with benefits and replacing it with the McJob that offered no benefits at all. One of the things that killed him in the Senate race against Ted Kennedy were Kennedy ads that reminded voters that Mitt's takeovers resulted in slashed wages and lost benefits. He was exactly the guy that eliminated that classic $22.50 manufacturing job, like in the case of GST Steel, where Bain took over with an initial investment of $8 million, paid itself a $36 million dividend, ended up walking away with $50 million, and left GST saddled with over $500 million in debt. 750 of those well-paying jobs were lost.

What kinds of jobs were left for those fired workers to look for? Well, in the best-case scenario, you might have found one at Ampad, another Bain takeover target, where workers had their pay slashed from $10.22 to $7.88 an hour, tripled co-pays, and eliminated the retirement plan.

So a guy who eliminated hundreds of $22 an hour jobs and slashed hundreds more jobs to below $9 an hour blasts Barack Obama for not giving you the better life you deserved, after you lost your $22/hour job and had to take two $9/hour jobs. Are we all high or something? Did that really just happen?
Are there people out there who really think that the best way to earn more money is to vote for the guy who fired you?

Yep. These are the same people who (as Taibbi notes) sit in their wheelchairs -- purchased by Medicare -- while applauding a conservative ideologue who denounces entitlements.

Such people spend their days wandering in a miasma of cognitive dissonance. Salon's Irin Carmon describes their altered state of consciouness in a dispatch from the Republican National Convention. Carmon describes her encounters with Republican women who have surprising views on contraception:
I was surprised to hear her use the phrase “reproductive rights,” which I’d never heard a conservative use. Berden blamed it on seeing Sandra Fluke on TV all the time, volunteering with a chuckle, “She’s a grown woman, we shouldn’t have to pay for her stupid birth control. She could cross her legs.”

“To be fair,” I replied, with some hesitation, “she never talked about herself. She talked about her friend who was raped, she talked about her friend who had a medical condition...”

“She did so,” Berden persisted. “She said that she couldn’t afford as a student to pay for birth control. She said that. I heard her.”

She didn’t. That was what Rush Limbaugh said she said, though.
These people are so devoted to Limbaugh that they consider his bizarre version of Fluke's testimony more believable than an actual transcript of what she said.

These are the same people now flocking to see an anti-Obama movie by (and, I've heard, largely about) Dinesh D’Souza, the guy who wrote The Roots of Obama's Rage. Anyone who can put the words "rage" and "Obama" in the same sentence has more imagination than you'll find in a room full of science fiction writers.

Incidentally, you may enjoy watching Bill Maher skewer D'Souza. D'Souza tries to convince the audience that Obama's health care plan was -- get this! -- completely liberal, completely one-sided, and completely devoid of compromise. Christ, is that guy serious? That whole thing reeked of compromise. That was precisely the reason why people like me became so infuriated: Before negotiations even started, Obama compromised away the true liberal position -- i.e., single payer, the choice of more than half the population at the time.

In the afore-linked video clip, Maher heroically puts D'Souza in his place. We must follow his example. The kind of cognitive dissonance which is the theme of this post can be dispelled only if we tell both the deceivers and the deceived that they will no longer get a free pass. We have to call the shit-spewers on their shit each and every time, even at the risk of being considered rude or unpleasant.

(And anyone -- anyone -- who pipes up with "Maher is a mean old sexist!" will find his or her comment deleted on sight. Now and forevermore. No exceptions. Understood?)
Heh. I suspect the grudge was the primary purpose of giving this maroon some air. I doubt there is any evidence that he actually defended Maher.

D'Souza is the template for arrogant conservative privilege. He didn't even break a sweat after emerging from the Lodge.

In this election, each candidate is the only candidate the other candidate could possibly beat. That's why it's so close.
I saw Maher's Real Time on Friday - he was in fine form - seemed more irate than he has for some time.
After demolishing D'Souza's credibility he did much the same with the Republican panel guest -
Ron Christie(?)

Maher is at his best when he doesn't pander to Obama-lovers, which he had been doing after his $1 million donation to "the cause".

like in the case of GST Steel, where Bain took over with an initial investment of $8 million, paid itself a $36 million dividend, ended up walking away with $50 million, and left GST saddled with over $500 million in debt. 750 of those well-paying jobs were lost.

Yet the layoffs didn't occur until 2002, three years after Romney supposedly ceased to manage the company. Yes, he was certainly a large investor, but then so was John Kerry.

They're both loathsome swine, which is why I won't vote for either of them, but at least Romney hasn't committed premeditated murder under color of authority nor has he actively concealed evidence of torture and rape.

He's also not impersonating a Democrat.
'They're both loathsome swine, which is why I won't vote for either of them,"

Good on you. Mt Olympus must give you a great view of these sad little humans.

Propertius.....Romney's key foreign policy advisers are Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, and Dan Senor, three of the four directors of a US think tank which has repeatedly called for US military attacks upon Iran.

On his recent visit to Israel he expressed support for any such attacks.

I mean, give the guy time. He's got to at least get into office before he can commence WW3.

And if you're not going to fix the economy (he's not) then you'd better have a decent patriotic war handy as a distraction,

I promise you, he's absolutely going to bring you the foreign death and mayhem dosage which is every American's birthright.
1) Romney and Iran: and, after Libya Syria, Yemen, and all the other hidden conflicts in Africa (to say nothing of our ongoing adventures in Iraq), exactly how do you think Obama differs? We already have SpecOps troops in-country. Obama is a neo-con - and a neo-con's a neo-con, whether he's got a "D" or an "R" after his name.

2) The economy: I fully expect Romney to embark on a program of "military Keynesianism", just as Reagan did. This is obviously inferior to a stimulus program that rebuilds infrastructure and directly benefits the unemployed (i.e., the sort of stimulus Obama promised but failed to deliver). It will, however, actually put money into the economy (albeit inefficiently). In this respect, it probably beats the sort of whining impotence we've gotten from Obama for his first term (and will continue to get for his second).

So tell me: what mayhem is Romney going to wreak that Obama won't? Unrestricted drone warfare in countries with whom we are technically allied? Assassination of US citizens without trial or even formal charges? Perhaps concealment of torture and rape of prisoners by US troops? Oh yeah - we already have that.

The only real difference is that if Romney's behind it maybe a few Democrats will actually oppose it.

Like I said - they're both swine and I ain't voting for either of them. If you voted for Obama in '08, at least you could claim to have taken him at face value and been deceived. If you vote for him now, on the basis of his track record, you're knowingly voting for assassination, torture, and corporate cronyism (ditto for Romney, of course). There's no "Hope and Change" this time - there's just four more years of, well, the last four years.
Well, Ben, I wasn't aware that it took an "Olympian" perspective to withhold one's consent from murder, torture, deceit, and general thievery. I suppose if enough people believe that then our present circumstances are wholly understandable.
Propertius, you are starting to annoy me -- and frankly, I'm getting the whiff of rat.

There is indeed a battle within the GOP that pits the military Keynesians against the Grover Norquist/Tea Party/Ayn Randroids. Pretty much everyone knows that the latter have the upper hand, and that Romney will be able to do nothing against their will.

The only way he will be able to enact a "military Keynesian" strategy is actual war with Iran, based on some dubious casus belli. Only something that catastrophic will bring the tea partiers around.

And "catastrophic" will indeed be the word. An attack on Iran will make the Iraq debacle look comparitively pleasant.

Everything Romney has said prophesies war with Iran. All of his associates are war hawks.

No, that can NOT be said of Obama. The proof of the pudding lies in the propaganda campaign designed to convince the public that Obama hates Israel. It's hardly true -- in fact, this administration has kowtowed to Israel rather miserably. And yet the propaganda continues. Obama is considered "anti-Israel" because he won't launch a war on Israel's enemy. He won't go there.

I have had a lot of complaints about Obama's foreign policy, and I have expressed those complaints often. But I have never -- ever -- thought of him as someone who wants war with Iran. I've feared that he might be pressured or maneuvered into such a war, but I honestly believe he wants no such thing. And I've believed that even at those times when I filled column after column with anti-Obama vitriol.

War with Iran.

A 7-2 conservative Supreme Court.

Those two issues alone make it imperative to defeat Romney.

Those who say otherwise -- assuming they aren't ratfuckers -- remind me of those who thought that Hitler couldn't possibly be worse than Bruening or Von Papen.
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