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  1. Aratina Cage says

    Yeah, that was one of the big WTF moments in the debate (after the killing of Big Bird), when Romney said we are currently on a path to Spain. Uhm, what? Spain?

  2. dianne says

    The real lesson from Spain’s problems is that austerity only makes things worse. Tax and spend. Get the money out of the hands of useless rich people who won’t spend it and back into circulation. It’s the only way to improve the economy.

  3. Don Quijote says

    Good ol’ Spanish logic. Vote out Aznar because the terrorist are bombing Madrid. Next vote out Zapatero because things are getting tough. Next go on strike because things didn’t work out.

  4. says

    It’s as if we exported too many right-wingers to Europe. Incapable of a balance approach, they are trying to balanced budgets while eschewing all economic stimulus efforts.

    Same with Greece. So maybe workers will have to negotiate when it comes to automatic Easter and Christmas bonuses, but the cuts to education and infrastructure (not to mention public safety issues related to police and firefighting cutbacks) are destroying the very foundation needed for growth and stability.

    An influential group of international banks and insurers has attacked political leaders in Europe over their handling of the Greek crisis, arguing that the single-minded pursuit of austerity has made the situation worse.

    The Institute of International Finance, which last year brokered a deal between Greece and international bond investors to halve Greece’s private debts, said politicians are playing a dangerous game putting their desire for debt reduction ahead of coordinated efforts to spur growth….

    http://dawn.com/2012/10/06/austerity-has-worsened-greek-crisis/“>Link.

    …No one contests that Spain’s situation is dire, its economy in deep recession and unemployment hovering around 25 percent. But Spain’s level of government spending is actually low by European standards, and significantly less than Germany and Scandinavian countries with far healthier economic prospects. Spain’s woes were chiefly caused by the collapse of a property bubble that had fueled more than a decade of booming economic growth….

    Link.

    Romney’s comments regarding Spain really bother me, in part because the “Romney is generous” bandwagon is rolling along at full steam.

    This is a guy who demonstrates his “I’m human” credentials with mormon stories, told by mormons on the Republican National Convention stage. He presents no, none, nada stories of humanity and generosity involving non-mormons. Link. This is a guy who focuses his limited humanity on his immediate family and on mormons in general. Everybody else, the Spanish lower and middle classes included, he is quite willing to cut off at the knees.

    More on mormons at the RNC here: Link.

    The other aspect of Romney’s purported generosity that is repeated often is his contribution to “charity,” with charity equalling the mormon church. First of all, he’s required to give 10%. Second, the LDS Church is a monolithic corporation that operates a multi-billion dollar global network of businesses. The LDS Church is the largest rancher in the USA, and they recently built a multi-billion dollar mall in Salt Lake City. And that’s just scratching the surface.

    The LDS Church gives a small portion of the approximately $7 billion it takes in annually to charity. By their own accounting, they have spent about $1.4 billion on relief since 1985.

    Romney knows how to Build the Mormon Kingdom. He does not know how to give anyone else a fair shake.

  5. jose says

    I’d like to add another counter argument. Romney said that much spending is bad because look at Spain! 42%!

    What he doesn’t mention is that 42% is less than average for the Eurozone! For example Germany’s public spending is around 45%. That’s with 5.5% unemployment. But it would look pretty funny if Romney said he wouldn’t want to have an economy as “bad” as the German one, right?

  6. says

    Cross-posted from the [Lounge] thread:

    Salon’s Joan Walsh weighs in on Romney’s foreign policy speech:


    Mitt Romney’s hailed foreign policy speech combined magical thinking and mendacity, with promises or threats to maintain, restore, escalate or commence military involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Iran, at minimum. Speaking at the Virginia Military Institute, Romney had to have his audience of cadets wondering how many wars he’d commit them to if elected.

    CEO Mitt also seemed to think he can order other countries around, insisting he would get our European allies to spend more on defense, complaining only 3 of 28 NATO nations spend what they are committed to on the military. Good luck with that. Mitt’s magical thinking was also in evidence as he promised to counter Iran’s military support for Syria’s Assad with…something. “It is essential that we develop influence with those forces in Syria that will one day lead a country that sits at the heart of the Middle East,” he insisted, sounding a little Palinesque….

    Yep, that’s Mitt. His message is, “Do what I tell you to do.” He wants to be President of the USA so that he can run the biggest business of all, planet earth.

  7. says

    Madeleine Albright described Romney’s foreign policy speech perfectly: “shallow.”

    Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright dismissed Mitt Romney’s big foreign policy speech on Monday as trivial ideas coming from a foreign policy lightweight….

    “I just find him very shallow in the ideas that he has,” she said. “Shallow. The op-ed that he had in the Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago? I’m a professor and if one of my students turned it in they’d get a ‘C’ because he gave absolutely no specifics.”…

  8. d.f.manno says

    Cole is wrong when he says Romney “doesn’t know.” He doesn’t care to know., and doesn’t feel that he needs to know. He’s running the first postmodern campaign for the presidency. Objective reality doesn’t matter to him; the only thing that counts is what he wants reality to be. That’s why, for instance, he says he can eliminate tax deductions, still give everybody a 20% tax cut, and do both while remaining revenue neutral. He can’t, of course; everybody who’s not dependent on the Republican Party for their paycheck says so. But Romney wants it to be true, therefore it is.

  9. Ichthyic says

    cuts to education and infrastructure (not to mention public safety issues related to police and firefighting cutbacks) are destroying the very foundation needed for growth and stability.

    sadly, I see the exact same thing happening here in NZ with John Key and the National govt., overwhelmingly approved by the voters in 2008.

    -public asset sales (9/10 economists at all universities thought this a very bad idea)
    -merging entire government ministries and firing 30-40% of the employees
    -no investment in infrastructure whatsoever

    result?

    last year 40 thousands Kiwis left for Australia alone.

    …and yet, you STILL find this policy popular enough here that I think National would easily win re-election.

    boggles the mind. The New Zealand that was the socialist gem of the West in the 1970s has slowly degraded away. Well, at least we still have public healthcare.

  10. laurentweppe says

    Good ol’ Spanish logic. Vote out Aznar because the terrorist are bombing Madrid. Next vote out Zapatero because things are getting tough. Next go on strike because things didn’t work out.

    Hum: No: the spanish logic is:
    • Vote out Aznar’s successor because he lied and pretented that the terrorists bombing Madrid were Basques in order to justify making the anti-ETA policies harsher (and also wanted people to forget that he sent spanish soldiers in Iraq in defiance of the public opinion, the European Parliament, and the fact the war was only a costly way to help a guy deal with his daddy issues while catering to his voters’ anti-arabic bigotry).
    • Next vote out Zapatero’s successor because he’s not promising anything but austerity. Not really his fault, since at the time half the european elites were openly discussing using starvation as a way to teach a lesson to southern european countries, but still, there are better ways to inspire voters’ enthusiasm
    • Next go on strike because the new government does not even try to pretend that they will make the upper-class assume its share of the Nation’s pains.
    Spaniards are more logical than people give them credit for.

    ***

    It’s as if we exported too many right-wingers to Europe. Incapable of a balance approach, they are trying to balanced budgets while eschewing all economic stimulus efforts.

    Europe’s problem is different in nature: unlike the US, which has a powerful federal government which therefore has to be deliberatly sabotaged by right-winger to not produce the necessary simulus, the EU’s institution simply do not have the budget necessary to produce a stimulus: you have to convince the individual member states to participate, through a process so baroque that the US’ fucked up institutions look like a paradise of simplicity and straightforwardness by comparison, and the last few years have shown that many european “leaders” are like the german princelings of yore clinging to their tiny nugget of power and prestige no matter what happens to the world around them.

    ***

    Same with Greece. So maybe workers will have to negotiate when it comes to automatic Easter and Christmas bonuses, but the cuts to education and infrastructure (not to mention public safety issues related to police and firefighting cutbacks) are destroying the very foundation needed for growth and stability.

    One thing which is so often ignored about Greece, is that when the crisis hit, Papandreou, then prime minister, vowed to deal with it through austerity and a much needed reform of the clownish greek tax code. The Greek Fisc, that is, the fucking tax collectors answered that he could do all the tax reform he wanted, the wouldn’t apply it. Basically, the tax collectors mutined and openly claimed that they were more loyal toward the upper-class than the rest of the country (Remember people talking about how deep nepotism and clientelism ran in Greece: well: that was the result). At the time, some people discussed the possibility of sending public servants from France, Germany, and other countries with a Fisc which, you know, worked, buuuuut, the European executive lacked the authority to decide that on its own and the member states were not enthusiastic about giving up some of their preeeeecious “National Soverainty”.
    So it became a choice between austerity and default and starvation, with more than a few non-greek politicians being in favor of the second option.

  11. Ichthyic says

    thanks for that perspective, Laurentwepe

    a perspective and history too much lacking in the media coverage of the EU these days.

  12. shuckstuck says

    Huh?

    “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,”

    I’m a fairly typical English Brit and I can tell you the empathy Romney feels for me is not mutual. Anglo-Saxon heritage? It’s meaningless nonsense. The man’s an arse.

    I’m a run of the mill, middle-class Brit, born and raised in England. I consider my genealogy and heritage typical: I know for a fact that as well as the English my ancestors of the last two hundred years included Scots, Irish and Welsh. It’s certain that a few centuries further back than that I have some French ancestors. It’s highly probable I have Norman, Viking, Angle, Saxon, Roman, Celtic, Pictish and Brythonic ancestors in equal measure. Since I probably have some Roman genes in me, it’s quite likely I have genes from all over the European and African melting pot… and way back before all that my ancestor were running naked around the plains of Africa…along with Romney’s and everyone else’s!… oh and my wife is Sikh so do my kids share in Romney’s heritage?

  13. says

    I think Romney wants to invade lots of places. He certainly plans to get ready to do so. He wants to add 100,000 troops to the US military, and his plans also include a massive spike in military spending. It took me seeing a graph of past spending, present spending, and Romney’s planned spending to really get how shocking Romney’s plan is.

    See the graph and discussion here:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#49337238

    15 more ships per year for Navy? More cash for the military. At least in this case we do have enough details from Romney to figure out about how much money he plans to spend: 4% of GDP, IIRC.

  14. says

    This is what happens when you continue to cut funding for essential services:

    The Detroit Police Officers Association is warning citizens and out-of-towners that they enter Detroit at their own risk, saying that the “grossly understaffed” and overworked police force cannot adequately protect the public in the increasingly violent city….

    Link.

  15. says

    In case you don’t want to watch the video, here’s the text and graph concerning the stark choice between Romney’s plans for military spending and those of Obama: Link.

    “People say there’s no real difference between the candidates? Holy mackerel! When you’re talking about the biggest pile of money in the whole world, the largest amount of discretionary money spent on anything by our government — boy, howdy, is there a difference here. Boy, howdy, does this election matter.” — Rachel Maddow

    Incidentally, how does Romney intend to pay for all of this additional defense spending? He refuses to tell anyone — the GOP candidate expects to get elected first, then he’ll let Americans in on the details of his plans — though Big Bird is apparently in big trouble.

    For the record, PBS gets about $400 million a year from Congress. Romney intends to spend an additional $2 trillion on the Pentagon — on top of the money already being spent on defense….

    Oh, yeah, I left the submarines out of my previous post. Romney is going to build more submarines. 15 ships per year, plus 3 submarines. I’m wondering if there are a lot of mormon defense contractors.

  16. says

    If you want a source that is not obviously liberal, (as Rachel Maddow is), for the discussion and graph of Romney’s planned military spending — something you can forward to your crazy, conspiracy-bedeviled relatives, here’s the same info presented at Foreign Policy (FP).

  17. says

    I’m not sure I want to learn anymore about the way far-right conservatives think.

    I haven’t recovered from Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment yet.

    Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell” meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. Link. Video: http://bit.ly/TefuyK

    Both Akin and Broun sit on a key congressional science advisory committee. Bill Nye had something to say about that.

    And now this.

    Arkansas state Rep. Jon Hubbard (R) has a written a book to clarify for us what he thinks, how he thinks. Excerpt:

    “… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” (Pages 183-89)

    African Americans must “understand that even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa….

    Hubbard goes on to wax nostalgic over those halcyon days before schools were integrated, and so forth. Link.

  18. yoav says

    Lynna #15, you forget one of the most important lessons of the Bush years, money spent on the military is magical, you can spend as much as you want and it doesn’t count toward the deficit.

  19. says

    Lynna #15, you forget one of the most important lessons of the Bush years, money spent on the military is magical, you can spend as much as you want and it doesn’t count toward the deficit.

    Oh, right. And furthermore, wars are even more extra magical and special. Wars can be financed on the God-Is-On-Our-Side credit card. On which payment never comes due. There aren’t even any interest charges on the debt.

  20. says

    Just to prove (as if we needed more proof) that there are plenty more fools where Todd Akin came from:

    Missouri Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin has raised more than $1 million in online donations, the Associated Press reports:

    Akin mounted an aggressive online fundraising drive in mid-August after losing the financial backing of some Republican groups because of his remarks about women’s bodies having ways of avoiding pregnancy in what he described as “legitimate rape.”

    Yeah, let’s encourage the cracked-world drift of the Republican Party by giving the most regressive members money.

  21. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Oh, right. And furthermore, wars are even more extra magical and special. Wars can be financed on the God-Is-On-Our-Side credit card. On which payment never comes due. There aren’t even any interest charges on the debt.

    Someone should explain this to England. Financing the Allies in two world wars bankrupted the nation and helped to end it’s empire.

  22. says

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/08/1141898/-It-s-Not-About-Religion

    Redneck Aeschylus has dared to go where few journalists go, under the right-wing religious veneer, and into the heart of the mormon beast.

    Excerpt: …

    “Perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what’s good for them.”
    -Leo Strauss
    …….. [deleted section including quotes from Lee Atwater containing "N" word.]

    Four years ago, then-Senator Obama was vilified because of a few statements of Black Liberation Theology made by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. These were statements he says he never even heard but the right-wing jumped all over him demanding to know, “How could you sit in that church for 20 years?”

    On the other hand, the Mormon Church ended its policy barring black men from their priesthood in 1978. Mitt Romney was 31-years-old. Just like Obama, he could have disavowed his religious leaders or gotten up and walked out of that church at any point during those 31 years, but he chose not to. How come he never got asked, “How could you sit in that church for 31 years?”

    Why does Romney get a pass when Obama doesn’t? Let me make this really easy for you: Because Obama and his former pastor are black. The Southern Strategy says that, because they’re white, Romney and the Mormon Church are victims and are deserving of cultural self-forgiveness. It gives them the power to degrade other people while maintaining a sense of martyrdom….

  23. says

    Tactics. With Romney it’s all about the tactics needed to win, not about the truth.

    One of Romney’s latest ads pushes my check-your-sources! button. I keep harping on the Romney campaign’s inability to vet their sources, and on their inability to interpret what they read.


    And Obama says Romney’s plan would lead to middle-class tax increases, so Romney launches an ad saying Obama’s plan would lead to middle-class tax increases. The GOP campaign desperately wants to muddy the waters so that voters who care about key issues assume the candidates are essentially the same, or at least equally offensive.

    But this particular ad is more glaring than most. It touts an “independent, non-partisan study” which concludes that “Barack Obama and the liberals” will raise taxes on the middle class by $4,000 per family.

    And what’s wrong with that? First, as my friend Allen McDuffee reported, the “independent, non-partisan study” is actually an analysis — not a study — by the American Enterprise Institute’s Alex Brill. Is AEI non-partisan? As a technical, legal matter it is, but “ideologically, one would be hard-pressed to find somebody at AEI who didn’t identify themselves as conservative.”

    Second, the AEI analysis is itself dubious.

    Brill came up with the figure by projecting the cost in tax revenue of servicing the debt incurred under Obama’s budget. But to characterize that as proof of a tax increase is ridiculous, and the Romney ad wildly inflated the figures anyway.

    And finally, far from being “independent” and “non-partisan,” AEI scholars are actually Romney campaign advisers, which makes claims of independence that much sillier..

    Those who see the attack ad won’t know these relevant details, but they should.

    http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/09/14318239-giving-independent-non-partisan-an-entirely-new-meaning

  24. laurentweppe says

    The Detroit Police Officers Association is warning citizens and out-of-towners that they enter Detroit at their own risk, saying that the “grossly understaffed” and overworked police force cannot adequately protect the public in the increasingly violent city….

    Am I the only one who thought about this?

    ***

    Someone should explain this to England. Financing the Allies in two world wars bankrupted the nation and helped to end it’s empire.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. As far as I’m concerned, the end of the british colonial empire (as well as the french, the dutch, the belgian, the portugese, the last bastions of the spanish, the Italian… you get the idea) is one of the good things to happen during the 20th century.

  25. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    We spend at least two weeks a year in Spain.

    If being like Spain means good, cheap wine; decent public transportation; excellent seafood; free medical care even for us guiris; and patxaran and cabrales everywhere; sign me up.