Thursday, October 25, 2012

Romney's Political Triumvirate

If Romney wins the election, we will have lost more than a year of sane and civilized dinner table conversations.  We will lose our souls.
 I say this because the election will have been bought.  Sheldon Adelson has spent more than all the corporations and super pacs combined and a lot of it was spent in Israel to get the vote of 164,000 American Jews living there. Mr. Adelson is spreading the word – not just for a Romney presidency, but for Netanyahu to get another go as Prime Minister of Israel  in January, 2013.

By producing a daily newspaper called Israel Hayom (Israel Today) and handing it out to readers for free with advertisers getting a substantial discount, Adelson has essentially closed down the Israeli free press. Traditional papers such as Maariv and Haaretz may have to sell to the highest bidder because they cannot compete. Adelson, as you may recall, is the Las Vegas casino magnate who at first supported Newt Gingrich and is now Romney’s benefactor, advisor and big daddy.
What he is hoping to accomplish is to ensure the election goes to Romney with help from the ex-patriot vote in Israel.  As a result, he will have a grateful Romney, control of Netanyahu after the Israeli election, ending in an all but certain war in Iran.  Romney and Netanyahu have been friends for thirty five years and most of Romney’s foreign affairs advisors are former Bush advisors.  Think Iraq.    

And, don’t forget what will happen here in the U. S.  With Romney as president, we will likely have no more balance of powers. The Republicans will control not just the presidency, but the House and soon (with the kind of money machine the Republican Party has no qualms using) they will also control the Senate, and the Supreme Court.  There are two imminent positions to be filled on the Court and you can be certain they will be filled with over the top conservatives.  Does the name, Bolten ring a bell?
There are abundant reasonable American Jews in Israel and there are Israelis who are far more moderate who believe Adelson’s influence in Israel is wrong.  On the other hand, there are people like Barry Rubin and Arlene Kushner, whose anti-Obama vitriol is in perfect harmony with a bellicose prime minister. With Netanyahu’s re-election, and a Romney victory in the U. S., we will have a triumvirate of power -- Adelson, Netanyahu and Romney.   

I can’t make these corporations, super pacs and multi-billionaires refrain from buying our leaders.  All I can do is draw attention to their purpose.

And, I just have.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A Confluence of Conspiracy (Theories)

First, we hear that President Obama is not a U.S. citizen; a conspiracy perpetrated on American citizens, and a theory whose greatest proponent is the intrepid Donald Trump. Mr. Trump, it seems, can’t help periodically roiling the conspiracy waters of the extreme right, even though the President has produced his birth certificate more than once, proving he was born in Hawaii (part of the United States, folks).   

Then we are told that he is a closet Muslim secretly planning on converting our democracy to Sharia,  the strict set of laws set forth by Muhammad and subverting all that we Americans hold dear. Of course the fact that he has been a Christian all his life, even attending the notorious Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity Church of Christ (“Christ” should be a dead giveaway that he’s Muslim) was also a conspiracy and likewise under suspicion.

Next, we’re told Obama’s social security number is a fraud. I learned this from a fantastic website @ 

The attack on the U. S. Counsulate in Benghazy Lybia was the result of a planned terrorist attack and not caused by the anti-Muslim movie, made from a small studio in Hollywood. Of course we KNOW that now, but no one knew for certain why the attacks occurred at first and rather than blame elements of the Libyan revolution, Susan Rice cautioned against jumping to conclusions on all the Sunday morning talk shows.  This was interpreted as a conspiracy to withhold information from the American public, thus placing blame on the administration for being TOO careful, TOO cautious and TOO conspiratorial.

Now, the conspiracy theorists believe that the jobs report figures, released on Friday by the Department of Labor (which at 7.8 were mildly better than they’ve been in the last few years) were “manipulated” by the WH one month before the election in order to squelch those on the right whose main political mantra has been the President has not been able to bring the economy back. The major proponent of this particular theory is the owlie Jack Welch, former CEO of GE (which used to own NBC) who tweeted the day after our first presidential debate the following:

 "Unbelievable jobs numbers ... these Chicago guys will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers." 

All of these conspiracy theories point to the same thing: hatred.  It doesn’t matter what Obama does or does not do – he is somehow illegitimate.  And why is he illegitimate?  It pains me to say this, but he's black, he had a father from Kenya, he's not a red-neck good ol' boy, he's professorial, he's different.  And being different is a reason for suspicion.

Don’t let hatred take over our country.  We are bigger than this.        

Thursday, October 4, 2012

John Sununu's Remarks

anengaging speaker
I'm offended by John Sununu's remarks today on one of the cable TV news programs with Andrea Mitchell.

In the presidential debate last night, the president seemed to be distracted. He has always been an effective speaker and in command when behind the podium. But last night, it was Mitt Romney who came out fighting from the beginning, not Barack Obama.  Mr. Romney was a new version of himself, confident and assertive and articulate.  The role reversals were mind boggling.  It was an unexpected disappointment for me and my family as we were certain Obama would flay Romney. For whatever reason, he simply did not deliver. However, to hear John Sununu’s words today on Andrea Mitchell’s cable TV program was offensive and sad.

 “What people saw last night, I think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and detached he is, how he has absolutely no idea how serious the economic problems of the country are, and how he has failed to even begin to address them” 

Really? Lazy?  No matter how much Republicans disagree with the President, no one, I think, would call him lazy.  Later in this same interview, Sununu says:

 “On the other hand, Mitt Romney came in with a lot of specifics, a lot of very sharp knowledge of issues not only with the Obama version of bumper sticker numbers, but the governor showed that he understands policy and he understands how to make policy into law, talking about what he did in Massachusetts.” 

This was laughable!  Everyone knows that Romney not only stretches the truth but denies his own previous statements as fabrications.  There are sufficient analyses out there to support this supposition without my having to quote fact checkers - Democratic OR Republican. So I won't.  

On top of this, I recently read a column by George Will, which went far beyond what he – a normally articulate though dour ultra-conservative journalist with the NYT -- has said in the past.  In a column for the Washington Post on October 1, he wrote the following: 

“Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.”

Give me a break, Mr. Will.  I submit that there is an undercurrent of racism in this election in spite of “MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls” you so easily dismiss with their “(at most) one-track minds…”  It is not a paradox requiring any special apparatus to smell it.  And, pardon me, but President Obama’s administration is not, as you say four paragraphs back in your piece,  “. . .in shambles. . .”

This kind of journalism is not what this country needs right now.  I had given Mr. Will far too much credit for being "reasonable." And the kind of slander that erupts from the mouths of the radical right like Sununu is unconscionable and unforgivable.

I wonder, does Mr. Sununu represent the views of the recently glorified and “forked tongued” dragon slayer, Mr. Romney?