The Watering Hole, Thursday, May 31st, 2012: Mitt Romney, Tabula Rasa

Lately, when I think about Mitt Romney and his multitude of verifiable flip-flops and evasions, and his campaign focus on his Bain Capital “business experience” as being his best qualification for becoming the President of the United States of America, the phrase “Tabula Rasa” keeps popping into my mind. So I decided to investigate why the phrase seemed appropriate when referring to Candidate Romney.

According to Wikipedia:

“Tabula rasa is the epistemological[1] theory that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. Generally proponents of the tabula rasa thesis favour the “nurture” side of the nature versus nurture debate, when it comes to aspects of one’s personality, social and emotional behaviour, and intelligence. The term in Latin equates to the English “blank slate” (or more accurately, “erased slate”) (which refers to writing on a slate sheet in chalk) but comes from the Roman tabula or wax tablet, used for notes, which was blanked by heating the wax and then smoothing it to give a tabula rasa.”[emphasis mine]

This certainly explained a good bit about why, when I think of Mitt Romney, I can’t help thinking “tabula rasa.” Mr. Romney does exhibit behavior consistent with one who wants to wipe out the ‘notes’ on the wax tablet of his career as Governor of Massachusetts, during which he not only signed into law healthcare reform similar to President Obama’s “Affordable Care Act”, but also failed to deliver the promised job growth in the state; the job growth promise that he based on his “private business career” at Bain Capital. Instead, Romney took Massachusetts down to 47th place in the nation in terms of job growth. It also explains why the number of jobs that he claimed to have created at Bain went from an unverifiable 100,000 down to 10,000; and why Romney has now gone back to claiming 100,000 again.

In addition, the “Tabula Rasa” theory would explain Romney’s lack of character, empathy, and any sort of insight into the world in which the vast majority of U.S. citizens live.

[1]“Epistemology: (from Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē), meaning “knowledge, understanding”, and λόγος (logos), meaning “study of”) is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. It addresses the questions:

What is knowledge?
How is knowledge acquired?
To what extent is it possible for a given subject or entity to be known?

“Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification…Statements of “belief” sometimes mean the speaker has faith that something would prove to be useful or successful in some sense—perhaps the speaker might “believe in” his or her favorite football team. This is not the kind of belief usually addressed within epistemology. The kind dealt with is when “to believe something” simply means any cognitive content held as true in spite of the absence of proof or even evidence. For example, to believe that the sky is blue is to think that the proposition “The sky is blue” is true even if the sky is visibly red.”[emphasis mine]

And this seems to be the pattern of not just Mitt Romney, but of most Republicans. They have no compunction about firmly stating “facts” that are so completely and patently false, one wonders just what “red-sky” world they think they’re living in. For my part, I WISH that all Republicans were living on some distant planet under a red sky, rather than fouling our own beautiful and fragile blue-sky planet.

This is our daily open thread — share your thoughts!

92 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, May 31st, 2012: Mitt Romney, Tabula Rasa

  1. I suspect we’re all born with a functioning reptilian brain, i.e. the part that houses the instinct it takes to lash out, to mimic the actions of an unthinking snake. When mental ability stops at that point, however, and never increases even in Homo sapiens (Human) critters possessed of a far larger cranial capacity than that of, say, a Crotalus atrox (Western Diamondback), then that critter will be, invariably, a Republican.

  2. How many of y’all that watched The Ed Show last night noticed the major event that happened right at the end of the show?
    Thom Hartmann was a guest! You never would hear either Schulttz or Hartmann talk about the other, for as long as I’ve been listening to them. This was a big step forward, and a direct result of Thom’s radio show moving to 3pm, no longer up against Ed’s show. They both syndicate through Dial Global, so some cross-promotion works there too.

  3. I read the ‘Little Englander Reactionary Rag’ the Daily Mail because my dad does and I want to know what he is being spoonfed every day after he walks to the paper shop in the morning (actually that quaint thought is probably false, he drives the 800 yards because he’s lazy).

    Here’s another fabulous ‘Oh my god, we’re all going to die’ headline….. have to cancel the Yellowstone vacation this year, it’ll probably be gone by the time we get there and we’ll be well into our earthquake stockpile of chicken-noodle soup as we battle the ‘Volcanic Winter’ sure to follow.

    But then, oh wait….. Kim Kardashian’s cleavage….

    • A full scale eruption at Yellowstone would be 1,000 times more powerful than the volcanic blast that tore apart Mount St Helens in 1980.

      There is evidence that a similar super-eruption in Indonesia 74,000 years ago came close to wiping out the entire human species.

      If it would only wipe out the Republican side of the human species, I could support it totally. And I suppose if it had to wipe out the entire human species simply to ensure wiping out all Republicans, I could still support it, though perhaps with at least a wee bit less vigor.

      Now a probably dumb question: who the hell is Kim Kardashian? I see the name here and there on the web and may have even seen a photo of some chick by that name, but who is she and why does she get mentioned? I’m guessing she’s not a research scientist, not an ecologist cast in the mold of Jane Goodall, not a diplomat, not … etc. So who or what is it, this Kardashian thingee?

      • As we approach our New Dark Age, there are people among us who are famous, not for being anyone remarkable, or having achieved some lofty, altruistic or even terrible goal – they are famous simply for being famous itself…… surely an indication of our cultural bankrupcy.

        And thus there is Kim Kardashian ….

        • Right you are Terry!
          Poor old Bruce Jenner just sits there and acts like he’s a passenger in his own life.
          It’s just a matter of time before he faces his own painful elimination.

    • That’s a good one! Mitt Romney aka Tabula Rasa Man.

      For TtT, it’s Mitt Romney, shaken, not stirred (in my Scottish accent that sounds more East Indian)

    • sad part is….there’s millions of knuckle dragging mouth-breathers out there nodding and saying “yeah that’s it, that’s it”

      • The same ones who believe Rmoney when he says that Obama has carried out ‘sweeping cuts in our military’? When will the SCLM hold that lying bastard accountable?

        • If only Obama HAD “carried out ‘sweeping cuts in our military'” I would be one of his strongest and most vocal supporters. Unfortunately, it’s been military ‘business as usual’ during his entire term and in consequence, my support for him is lukewarm, fueled only by the absolutely dismal quality of his opposition.

          I hate war, I detest the entire concept. Military investment is almost invariably a tragic waste of every resource involved or implied, from humans, to money, to material, and whatever beyond the obvious that I’ve missed.

          One would think that human males could find more interesting and useful means of proving to the world that they have huge dicks (or want everyone to so believe), other than engaging so constantly and eternally in the insanity of military excursion. Such only proves their intellectual inferiority to daffodils, has nothing positive at all to say about any alleged or wished for sexual prowess.

            • Would that they stopped at that. Maybe if Dick Cheney had driven a monster truck, he’d have been less frivolous with other people’s blood.

  4. DOMA Ruled Unconstitutional By Federal Appeals Court.

    Wingnuts have another fund-raising issue and campaign talking point.

    • I didn’t see anything mentioning being groped by TSA or Homeland Security…
      Or, the remainder of my life in GITMO.
      I might have missed it

      • But think of the opportunities… you could compare their hair, see who was the most boring or has the worse laugh…. you could bathe in their poking fun at the poor. Just think of the awkward silences when they find out that you actually served your country.

        Good times.

  5. One year anniversary since TP has been “troll free” with its “improved” commenting system.
    I don’t bother with it much…needing my trusty magnifying glass to read comments isn’t worth the time nor effort.

      • Me too. I’ve never had a problem with their reporting but their unwillingness and/or inability to manage comments was just more grief than it was worth. Plus, I have an irrational hatred of FB and HotMail so I’m out anyway.

  6. Mistrial declared in John Edwards corruption case

    Jurors on Thursday acquitted John Edwards of one of six counts involving him taking money from wealthy heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. They told the judge they are deadlocked on the other five charges against him.

      • The depressing part is that, even if they ever hear the truth, the GOoPers won’t care in the least. They gotta get that black guy out of the White House at any cost.

        • And the more depressing part is that the GOoPers keep voting against their own best interest. I see beat up cars with Republican stickers all the time. The only cars that should be sporting a Repub sticker should only be limos and jags and Mercedes…Makes my head hurt.

  7. I know this is supposed to be a feel-good story; and I’m sure the couple meant well… but it irks the socialist in me that some people have the kind of money to throw around like this, while others are starving. I’m not interested in the lucky chance that some “have” will bestow their generosity on me. I’d rather the “haves” pay their fair share to this society so that all the rest of us can forge our own way; with good jobs, good roads, good public transportation, good schools, etc.

    Greg Rubar, Houston Waiter, Receives $5,000 Tip On $26 Bill After Losing Car

    The generous gratuity was left Saturday by a couple dining at D’Amico’s Italian Market Café in Houston, according to the blog 29-95. The couple were regulars at the restaurant and were often served by Greg Rubar, a waiter there for the past 16 years.

    When the couple learned the Rubar’s car had been ruined recently by thunderstorms, they were understandably concerned. According to the Houston Examiner, Rubar, who is married with a small child, had struggled with transportation ever since his car was destroyed and had been lately borrowing vehicles from coworkers and taking taxis.

    To relieve Rubar of his transportation burdens, the couple left a $5,000 tip on their next bill — which totaled just $26.95 — and told Rubar to “go buy himself a car.”

    • I have the same problem with the TV show: Undercover Boss. Although I applaud the CEO’s that honestly want to improve their business and visit “the trenches” of their working world… and the lucky co-workers that end up getting money at the end of the show is touching, but what about the rest of the employees that weren’t so “lucky” to be chosen to be taped?

      I agree with you, I would rather these employers/companies pay their fair share of taxes so that everyone benefits. When the reality is most of the heads of these
      companies support lower taxes for the corporation.

      • My uneasiness with that show is how out of touch these CEO’s were in the first place to create such horrible working conditions. I think the “rewards” are more the make the CEO feel like they’ve done the right thing, and when the camera is off they meet with the accountants to try and squeeze even more out of their overall work force.

    • This is disturbing on so many levels, not the least of which, there are crazy people that might actually take this advise to heart. It hasn’t been that long ago since a Democratic Representative had a bullet put through her brain. He should have been fired immediately.

        • Nan Hayworth is our (puke) rep. I just filled out her website’s contact form and asked her if she agreed with Townsend’s remarks, and telling her that he must be fired immediately.

          I don’t really care that much for her Democratic opponent, Rich Becker, a cardiologist. Back in December, Wayne and I had met another Democrat who was running, a CPA and mayor of one of the nearby towns, and we enjoyed talking to him. Nan Hayworth and her husband own a big medical group, I just feel that we don’t need another rich doctor trying to represent us.

          • I’d be curious to hear about any response you get from her, but I doubt very much that you will hear back.

  8. I spent an hour trying to log on to WordPress and finally did a system scan and reboot before I was able to connect!

    There’s a company here in that does work for the military. Today, a 27-year employee was fired for telling a “joke” essentially equating POTUS to a pile of shit. The group of co-workers he told the joke to included a black man. I told the person who told me, “Good for the company” and received a strange look. I told him any worker for a military contractor who doesn’t respect the Commander in Chief should be fired. Additionally, I wouldn’t want to work with a person who has no respect for his or her co-workers to tell a joke that would be offensive to a minority worker.

    • Actions have consequences.
      I’d imagine the “joke” teller saw nothing incorrect so figured no harm.
      Hard but correct lesson.

  9. Romney’s unbelievable Solyndra hypocrisy:

    His latest ad has already lied in saying that stimulus funds were handed out to “friends and family”. This is one of those “facts” that Romney has manufactured. But maybe he was projecting, or using a classic Rove tactic of accusing his opponent of what he once did himself, in Massachusetts:

    “When Romney was governor, the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.

    The two companies — Acusphere and Spherics Inc. — stiffed the state on nearly $2.1 million in loans provided through the state’s Emerging Technology Fund, a $25 million investment program created while Romney was governor in 2003 that benefitted 13 local firms.

    Acusphere, a biotechnology firm headed by a Romney campaign donor, got $2 million in 2004 that it was supposed to put toward a $20 million manufacturing facility in Tewksbury, which never became fully operational…

    The loans were approved by a seven-person advisory board that included two Romney appointees and three Romney campaign contributors, a Herald review found.”

    This story was in the Boston Herald, by the way. Not exactly a knee-jerk liberal publication.

  10. I may have a comment in the spam bin. I gave it some time and several refreshes and it hasn’t shown up.

  11. Well, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for tomorrow morning’s interview. Now all I need to do is get a good night’s sleep. Oh boy…

  12. So I was attempting to grab the broom from the corner of a small hallway by the garage. In doing so I managed to smack the light fixture above me with the handle of said broom. And glass rained down upon me. And I looked upon the glass, and said “this is not good.”

    • That criminal running Florida is going to need more than a demand letter. I hope the DoJ is working on the court filings right now.

      Holder is just about useless.

      • Speaking of which: NY Times ‘Quote of the Day” – IMO, it’s the quote of the century:


        “Leadership must be carried out by example by the prosecution of crimes, not the commission of crimes.”
        RICHARD LUSSICK, a judge in the case of Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia, who was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war.

      • I thought Alberto ‘Torquemada’ Gonzales was useless in a venal way, ‘Oliver Cromwell’ Ashcroft was well, venal. And now we have Eric Holder – it’s like ‘Weekend at Bernies’ every day right now at the DoJ.

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