BREAKING GNUS: Romney’s Real Religion Revealed

Questions regarding Romney’s real religion began circulating shortly after it was revealed that the only country in the world that favored Romney over Obama was Israel.

Ever vigilant, The Zoo’s top investigative reporters began digging and snooping around to get to the bottom of this unusual, and some would say unholy, Mormon-Jew alliance. It is now being revealed for the first time that:

MITT ROMNEY IS A JEW.

That’s right. When Romney toured Israel last summer he took part in a secret Bris ceremoney. His Mohel spoke on condition of anonymity. “I have his foreskin right here” said the Mohel, holding up a dried-out ring of pink flesh.

Calls to the Romney campaign were largely derided. The campaign released a short statement: “This is nothing but a desperate smear campaign, cooked up by the liberal left, to discredit Romney’s religious beliefs. Romney was, is, and forever will be a Mormon.”

Reporters, however, are pressing the candidate to disprove this story: “Show us your foreskin”

The Watering Hole, Saturday, October 13, 2012 – Pitchin’ a Lie

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Mitt Romney is a no-good goddamn fucking liar. There, I said it and I’m glad.

Okay, it appears I have said it before. But it’s true. You can see a quick list compiled by Politifact (for what it’s worth), but he’s has told literally hundreds of lies on the campaign trail. And in the famous 47% video, he based an entire answer to a question on a lie. He claimed that all 47% of the people who did not pay any federal income taxes, for whatever reason, were not being responsible for their own lives. That includes the elderly who are retired and living on Social Security, the military who are overseas and putting their lives at risk every day, and the young people just starting out at their first jobs and, like the elderly and the military, not earning enough to owe federal income taxes. It’s not like he said that twelve years ago, it was just this past summer. And it’s not like nobody ever figured out until now why some people don’t pay federal income tax, any competent economist could have explained it in less than five minutes. But there he is lying, again. It seems that’s all Mitt Romney has for a stump speech – lies. Every day, he’s out there pitchin’ a lie.

By the way, this is also our Open Thread (a two-fer). Feel free to talk about Mitt Romney’s Lies, or any other topic you wish to bring up. And enjoy a fun little tune and a parody based on it.

Pitchin’ a Lie
Original Words and Music by Peter Callender and Mitch Murray
Additional Lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider

The dumb goes up when I go by
It’s nearly over now but here am I
Pitchin’ a lie, pitchin’ a lie
Gotta drive it home, make ‘em see the light

It’s not so fair, but why complain?
They’re nearly frownin’ from my time at Bain
Pitchin’ a lie, pitchin’ a lie
Gotta drive it home, get ‘em to my side

Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie
Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie

A distant call from far away
My money’s lonely so I’m on my way
Pitchin’ a lie, pitchin’ a lie
Gotta drive it home, keep ‘em satisfied

Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie
Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie

The dumb goes up when I go by
But don’t nobody stop and analyze
Pitchin’ a lie, pitchin’ a lie
Gonna take too long, get ‘em to my side

Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie
Lie, lie, lie, pitchin’ a lie
Lie, lie
Lie, lie
Lie, lie
Lie, lie

[Posted at Pick Wayne's Brain.]

I Pledge Allegiance

Is Mitt Romney really an American?  Which country does Mitt Romney serve?  Is there something suspicious in Mitt Romney’s tax returns?  What is he hiding?  Why does he fly the flag of another country?  Is this the country that Mitt Romney pledges allegiance to?

The party yacht proudly displays the flag of the Cayman Islands.

More questions, were there years that Mitt Romney didn’t pay taxes?  Is he using accounts in the Cayman Island to hide his money so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes to the United States government?

No wonder Mitt Romney is out of touch with the American people. He doesn’t know what it is like to worry about where his next meal will come from or if he still has a job or if he can pay for his mortgage or rent.  His only worry is how can he hide his money so that he doesn’t have to pay taxes.

Mitt was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He doesn’t know what it is like to be an ordinary American.

The Watering Hole: Saturday, September 1, 2012, The Real Romney

By now, unless you’ve been living under a rock (or, if you are among the more affluent, inside a cave), you’ve heard some kind of story about how Mitt Romney turned a private equity firm around and saved lots of jobs. But what you probably haven’t heard so much about is how he did it, and how he lied about it later. If you knew, you wouldn’t be so quick to want him to run our country the way he ran Bain. You see, Mitt didn’t really “save” the company by building revenue and new sources of income. No. In fact, his attempt to save Bain & Company was a disaster, and the only way Mitt “saved” the company and made himself the quarter-billionaire he is today is “by borrowing vast sums of money that other people were forced to pay back.” And if that wasn’t bad enough, his oft-told story about how he rescued Bain & Company has been proven, thanks to Rolling Stone reporters Tim Dickinson and Matt Taibbi, to be a lie. And just before his big speech at the RNC self-love-fest convention, Romney’s campaign told another lie about how he saved Bain & Company and made it profitable in a year.

It’s a fascinating, if long, story that sheds some light on how the world of high finance works, or doesn’t, depending on your perspective, by which I mean whether or not you are the one making the money or paying it. Romney’s basic strategy was to buy a struggling company, borrow hugely against the company’s assets, pay himself and his partners millions of dollars in consulting fees, then leave the company to twist in the wind under a mountain of debt, with many of them declaring bankruptcy, but not after Romney and his friends made a profit. Some people applaud this kind of Capitalism, but I feel there ought to be laws against it and protections for the people whose company is being bought. Perhaps the biggest lie Romney and his backers tell is that he was some kind of job creator who turned struggling companies around. But creating jobs was never the goal of taking over those companies. It was to make money for himself and his partners. As Matt Taibbi explains, “If you invest in a Bain or a Carlyle or a KKR takeover deal, you’re not betting on the future success of whatever company they took over. You’re betting on the ability of those firms to make money on the deal, which may – or, just as importantly, may not – involve turning the target company around.”

We do not need to have people like this in charge of the whole system, and choosing who will regulate the banks and financial institutions of our country. We need people we can trust to do the right thing, which is what Public Service is supposed to be about. It’s not about having a chance to change the rules to benefit you and your friends, though many have gone to Washington with just that goal in mind. It’s about serving your country, which includes all of its citizens, not just the top one percent in income. I would take the job, but an atheist like me could never get elected in this God-loving country. Maybe you or your children can do better (assuming the country is still around when your children are old enough to become president.)

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne's Brain.]

The Watering Hole – Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 – Soledad O’Brien, GOP Lie Detector

It’s been a while since I had any desire to tune into CNN, but thanks to Soledad O’Brien, there’s a chance slightly better than a snowball’s in Hell that I might start watching again. Soledad has been doing something lately you don’t often see on the TV machine – challenging Republican lies. And boy, do they get testy when you do that. This past Tuesday she nailed former NH Gov John Sununu, a former GHW Bush Chief-of-Staff who resigned after misusing government resources to conduct personal business, over his lie that the Romney Medicare plan is not being turned into a voucher program. Apparently the word “voucher” must not have tested well with focus groups when used in conjunction with Medicare (as opposed to when used with “school choice”) because the Republicans insist that it is not a “voucher program,” it’s a “premium support program.” The government will give seniors a fixed amount so they can go out on the free market and buy their own Medicare plans. That fixed amount in known in reality-based circles as a voucher. Notice how testy Sununu gets when Soledad points out the facts. He starts name-calling, and saying she’s just mimicking the White House. (Actually, she’s mimicking the CBO.) How mature.

The next day, she got in to a heated discussion with Romney Surrogate Liar Tim Pawle-zzzzzzzz.

I’m sorry, with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawle-zzzzzzzz.

I’m never going to get this post finished if I keep doing that. Try again.

She got into a discussion with T-Paw, who tried to milk an old Washington trick to “prove” his point. The controversy centered around the Washington definition of the word “cut” in relation to spending and budgets. For those who don’t know, whenever someone proposes reducing the amount of money by which a government program will increase spending, it is called, by both political parties, a “cut.” They do it so they can say, “The other guy wants to cut Medicare!” (Or Education, or Defense, or whatever.) They say this even if the actual amount of money to be spent increases! And, of course, both sides do this because they know the American public doesn’t understand what they’re really saying. They hear “spending cuts,” and they think spending will actually go down. It doesn’t. It just goes up by less.

Which brings us to yesterday and an interview with Rep Jason Chaffetz. This time they were back to whether or not the Romney plan is a “voucher” program or a “premium support” program. Like his fellow Romney surrogates before him, Chaffetz just flat out denies the meaning of words in order to claim he’s right and she’s wrong. It’s another favorite tactic of Republicans – just say the opposite of the truth and claim that whatever the other person is saying is “simply not true.” Keep in mind that their goal is not to win the argument, which they can’t because they don’t have the facts on their side. Instead, the goal is to confuse the American people enough so they don’t believe the side that is telling the truth. The fact is that Obama’s plan saves money by reducing fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare spending. So the Republicans want to make people believe anything but that. And that’s pretty much how they approach any political argument.

If Soledad O’Brien keeps this up, I may just start watching CNN again. At least, I will when she’s on.

[H/T Pete, who brought Soledad O'Brien's exploits to my attention.]

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

[Cross-posted at Pick Wayne's Brain.]

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, August 8, 2012: Hump Day! Now What!

This post is being written as NASA gives its first press conference following the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars.

At this point, this author will look into his crystal ball and report the following stories now, ahead of them happening in real time, to be revealed later, when they have already occured.

Republicans were quick to give George Bush full credit for the Curiosity landing. This program began 8 years ago, when Bush was President, therefore He gets full credit for its success.

Republicans were also quick to blame Obama for Curiosity’s failure. Two days have gone by, and Curiosity failed to find proof of life on Mars. Christian leaders across the evangelical spectrum blamed Obama for seeking out new life forms, when God only created life on Earth. “Life on Mars goes against the Bible.” one editorial proclaimed.

But this Mars landing has created a bit of a rift within the extremes of the Right Wing. On the one hand, many consider this to be part of a plot to bring Communism to the United States. Mars is the Red Planet, and by going to Mars, Obama has aligned himself with the Red Menace, i.e. communism.

But others take a different view. Mars is Red, just as Conservative States are Red. Bush, in sending this Rover to Mars has staked out a new frontier for conservatives in our solar system. These forward-looking conservatives look to the day when Mars’ electoral votes secure a permanent conservative majority in the solar system forever. However, it did not escape their notice that all of the NASA scientists were wearing blue…

Meanwhile, Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced bills to eliminate funding for the Curiosity program. We need jobs here in the United States, not on Mars. People working in goverment jobs such as NASA aren’t working in real jobs. One alternative bill seeks to privatize NASA, with Halliburton purportedly backing the effort.

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD, WE GO BOLDLY WHERE NO BLOG HAS GONE BEFORE, TO REPORT THE NEWS BEFORE IT HAPPENS, AFTER IT HAPPENS

Watering Hole: August 3, 2012 – Just for chuckles…

Someone sent me this link to an article where anonymous claims to have “hacked the IRS database” and retrieved Romney’s tax records. It is really funny.

Here’s a few excepts that caught my eye:

Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul stated last week that “there has been no year in which Romney paid zero taxes”. In 2008, this was true. He earned $23,425,316 and paid $412.18 in federal income taxes. This calculates to a federal tax rate of 0.0018%. How did Romney get his tax burden so low? According to his return, he had approximately $23,407,000 in itemized deductions. These deductions ranged from $78,923 for “Toupee Creators Unlimited” and $41,826 for “Spray-on tan services” to a $3.8 million dollar write-off for a trip to Las Vegas with potential campaign donors. The Romney family also paid salaries to their numerous employees including, two yacht captains, three pilots for their private jets, two professional dog walkers, one toupee stylist and a “live-in contortionist”. What someone does with a live-in contortionist, one can only speculate. However, the $891,064 Romney spent on an “EWS Donor Party at the Pennsylvania Mansion” might give us a clue. While the return does not indicate what “EWS” stands for, given that the deducted supplies for the party included “Venetian masks, alcohol, lubricant and various Egyptian leather accessories” it was most likely an “Eyes Wide Shut” party.

And then there is this part:

In addition to his wild nights, Romney also deducted health related expenses.  These included $127,000 for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for a condition termed “Pseudologia fantastica” also known as Compulsive Liar Syndrome. This may explain why the Republican nominee’s views seem to change dramatically depending on his audience. In fact, his recent string of political gaffes may be the direct result of his inability to keep up with the many competing “truths” he has spoken over the past year. According to noted Psychiatrist Bryan King, “Pathological liars seem utterly sincere about their lies, but if confronted with facts to the contrary, will often just as sincerely reverse their story.” According to Politifact, a news organization that researches the veracity of politician’s statements, only 16% of Romney’s examined statements were found to be completely true.

Enjoy the laughs.

Watering Hole: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 – Apples

They say that apples don’t fall far from the tree.  It’s a metaphor used for explaining the behaviors of parents and their children.  Most of the time, the apples remain close to the tree unless they are carried away by an animal or roll down a hill.

I don’t know what happened to Mitt Romney as he lacks the integrity that his father displayed.  This is what George Romney had to say about politicians and taxes.  Perhaps Mitt does have something to hide.

This is our Open Thread.  What do you think?  Speak Up!

The Watering Hole – Saturday, July 28th, 2012 – Busted!

It seems Mitt Romney has a small problem with his advisers. If they exist, they lie about as much as Romney does. They’re also just as cowardly, as they chose to anonymously spew lies about the President of the United States while on foreign soil, which I thought was supposed to be a major no-no (at least, the Republicans see it that way.) The latest little twist of reality involves the famous bust of Sir Winston Churchill that was on display in the Oval Office during the Bush Administration. It appears that the Right Wing has gotten its knickers in a twist claiming that Obama insulted the Brits by returning the bust when he took office and refusing an offer to keep it. The problem is that, as is often the case in things that upset the RW, it is not exactly true. To make matters worse, famous RW crap spewer Charles Krauthammer repeated this twist on reality in one of his columns, which enabled the Romney advisers to anonymously and, in a cowardly fashion, repeat it to British reporters. It didn’t help that the White House initially said that this bust was not returned to the UK at all but is on display in the White House residence. This is slightly inaccurate, as well, but not as egregiously wrong as the lie that Obama was deliberately insulting the Brits by returning it.

It turns out there are two busts in question. One was originally given to the White House during the Nixon Administration and was put on display in the White House residence. According to the White House website:

The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence. The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency. On January 20, 2009 — Inauguration Day — all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.

So, as usual, the RW is taking a non-issue and trying to turn it into an international incident.

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

The Watering Hole: Tuesday, July 17 – Daily Squee

How come I was thinking “sloth” all morning. Well, I had a good look at my kitchen sink, then I couldn’t think of any post to write and now I’m stalling on getting my other work done. But believe me, I am nowhere near as cute as these sloths.

I can still clean my kitchen retroactively tonight.

This is our daily Open Thread. Get active.

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Corporate Person Hood, Part IV

"Tweeter," our investigative journalist hard at work.

Once again, The Zoo has learned exclusive inside information into the developing story of Corporate Person Hood. According to sources deep inside the executive branch, Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., has convened a secret grand jury for the purpose of seeking indictments for First Degree Murder against Bain Capital.

This stunning development began shortly after Presumptive Presidential Candidate Mitt, Corporations are People, Romney stated, in public, that Corporations are People. With that admission, investigators sprung into action.

We’re focusing on the period from 1984 to 1999” an insider revealed. That’s when Romney ran Bain, driving 17 companies into bankruptcy or complete closure. “The bankruptcy cases don’t interest us right now. That’s kind of like sending a Corporation Person into ER, and they recover. We want the cases where the Corporation Person ceased to exist because Bain sucked all the life out of it. That’s murder, and there’s no statute of limitations on murder.”

Sources also indicate the DoJ is looking to indicte Romney as a co-conspirator with the Corporation Person Bain Capital. “He may well be the master-mind behind the whole thing,” another anonymous insider stated. The insider then added, off the record, that the indictments are being planned for the week of the Republican National Convention.

The Zoo stopped by Romney’s headquarters for comment, but staffers there were too busy shaking Etch-a-Sketches to speak. One harried staffer paused just long enough to say, “look, we’ve got thousands of Etch-a-Sketches to shake…one for each of Romney’s positions he has held over his entire political life. We don’t have time to respond to every little rumor about Romney killing this Corporation Person or that Corporation Person.” With that, a moving van arrived. “Oh God, it’s his Stances on Women Etch-a-Sketches – they’ve finally arrived.” The staffer ran screaming into the headquarters, “A LITTLE HELP HERE!!!”

THIS IS OUR OPEN THREAD.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
IF BAIN CAPITAL SHUT DOWN KELLOGS, WOULD IT BE A CEREAL KILLER?

The Watering Hole: Tuesday, April 24, 2102: Waz up?

Anybody notice the moment Mr. Etch a Sketch became the presumptive Republican Nominee, polls showed him in a dead tie with President Obama?

Do The Powers That Be want a race so tight either one could win by a Diebold?

And if The Powers That Be really want Mr. Etch a Sketch, why is the price of gas going down? The surest way to destroy the economy is to raise gas prices above $5.00/gallon, and that’s where they were heading not too long ago?

Newt…why are you still here?

Austerity measures are being rejected in Europe. Maybe that’s because only the working class had to suffer austerity…the wealthy got wealthier while everyone else suffered. The French Government was the first to go. hmmmmm….sounds familiar…..

IT’S OPEN THREAD TIME – WAZ UP WID U?

The Watering Hole: 4-4-12: Cheney Announces Presidential Bid

What, me worry?

Fresh out of the recovery room following his heart implant transplant, former Vice President Dick Cheney announced his candidacy for the Republican 2012 nomination for President.

“This current crop of candidates is pathetic.” Cheney announced at his press conference. Not one of them are qualified to pick up where I, where President Bush and I left off.”

When asked about Romney’s delegate lead going into the Convention, Cheney brushed it off. “Look, Romney’s the kid nobody wanted, but they’ve been stuck with him because everyone else sucked. His delegates are gonna leave like rats abandoning a sinking ship, now that they can choose a real man…one who’s been there, done that, one who knows what it’s like to bomb a country back to the Stone Age in a war sold to the American people like it was some sort of action-hero movie plot.”

Cheney then launched into an attack on President Obama for cutting and running in Iraq and for daring to even talk about shutting down Guantanamo. “Thank God the Republicans in Congress prevented Obama from closing that prison. Guantanamo is the best weapon we have for instilling fear in political opponents…I mean, those Islamic Terrorists who want to destroy the American Way of Life.”

When asked who he might pick for a Vice Presidential candidate, Cheney was quick to reply, “I ain’t gonna pick no damn Palin, that’s for sure. Actually, I’m favoring Jeb Bush. After all, last time we had a Bush and a Dick. It’s only right that this time it’s a Dick and a Bush.”

OPEN THREAD.
HAVE AT IT!

The Watering Hole: Tuesday April 3, What to watch out for..

…tonight:

As Romney seems to be The Inevitable one now, there are a few things that we still can watch out for in the primaries.

Turnout. If I am correct turnout will be low. As in: Really Low. Mitt Romney is not an inspiring candidate at all, not for the Republican base. Nor for anybody, except maybe for those making 200’000 plus, I dare say.

Santorum is just running his mouth now, but not much else. I can’t see any indication that the Santorum supporters are fighting back, I cannot see much trace of them anymore in the comments sections where they used to hang around.

Paul? Well, nuff said.

Gingrich? Well, nuff said indeed.

Watch out for other races, too. Incumbicide is rampant right now. There may be a few surprises coming on this side.

…in November:

That no Republican gets the White House for a while. Honestly, if it is only to avoid further activist Supreme Court judges.

A whole set of polls can be found as usual here at realclearpolitics. Nevermind they are really conservatives, when it comes to politics I want to see what the other side is thinking and be prepared for the worst case.

This is our Open Thread. What do you think?

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, March 14, 2012: You Might Be A Romney!

When Jeff “You might be a redneck” Foxworthy announced he would campaign for Mitt Romney, Jon Stewart couldn’t help but enjoy this new treasure-trove of comedic delight.

If you have a car on your front lawn because your garage only holds five cars…you might be a Romney!
If you go to the diner and order your eggs Fabergé…you might be a Romney!
If you think ‘Cloverfield’ was a movie about your butler… you might be a Romney!

Here’s a few more, for fun…

  • If you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth…you might be a Romney!
  • If you are married to a woman who thinks your net worth of a quarter of a billion dollars isn’t enough to make her feel wealthy …you might be a Romney!
  • If a day at the beach involves more than a 6-hour flight…you might be a Romney!
  • If you know more sports team owners than players…you might be a Romney!
  • If the smallest bet you’ve ever made in your life is $10,000…you might be a Romney!
  • If you’re a Mormon that makes bets …you might be a Romney!

Ahhh, but what if Foxworthy had campaigned for other Republican notables?

OPEN THREAD
OPEN SEASON
OPEN SESAME

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, 2-22-12: A Limerick for Your Thoughts?

The candidate Richard Santorum,
Touts the ’vangelical forum;
He’d ban birth control,
With great vitriol,
To women who like sex, he’d whore’m.

Mitt Romney is just such a blast,
Once you get over his past,
He’s on every side,
Like the ever-changing tide,
Schizophrenic’s the role he’s been cast.

Now Newt Gingrich, what can I say?
Shut the government down in his day.
It’s not his fault,
He rubs wounds with salt,
And derides all who stand in his way.

Libertarians stand by Ron Paul,
And surely he gave them his all,
Legalize pot,
Smoke all you got,
But his poll numbers still fall.

The drop-outs are there by the score,
Cain, Palin, and Bachmann and more,
Perry said “Oops”
While Palin did loops,
And Cain’s 9-9-9 hit the floor.

Dear Friends, here’s the GOP pool,
Each one sounds a 1 percent tool,
But lest you should dread,
Tis our Open Thread,
Where Comments are really quite cool.

The Watering Hole: January 24 – Damage Control

Newt has them in a frenzy it seems. The GOP establishment is bringing out their heavyweights to try and do damage control. After Chris Christie calling Newt Gingrich an embarrassment on “Meet the Press”, now Tim Pawlenty has come out with a similar message:

“This is somebody who has had so many incredibly unfortunate and questionable activities while he was speaker, post-speaker, that he’s not somebody that I think can carry the banner for the Republican Party and the conservative movement forward as a nominee or as a future president,”

To the rescue of Gingrich comes, of all people,  She Who Shall Not be Named. Calling Chris Christie a “rookie” and accused him of “lack of self-discipline”.

WOW!

Gingrich tends to autodestruct, Romney could try the “No Drama” approach that your President does so irritatingly well, so why does the uproar come so early in the game?

There’s an unCivil War within the GOP raging. And for once it is not along the lines of evangelical purism against liberalism, it is along the lines of fiscal purism. The rebels couldn’t care less whether Gingrich had married three wives and a goat, or Romney entered marriage as a virgin, they care about The Deficit, The Debt and Big Government.

You do not have to follow the link to the article, if you (understandably) don’t want to give them any views on their website, but it was an article in redstate.com that made this clear to me:

There is general philosophical agreement among both Republicans and conservatives about all of this. Where the fault line lies is in exactly how far we are willing to go to do something about it. Many people who got into politics as good conservatives, and still think themselves good conservatives constrained by the limits of practical possibility, are at a loss when it comes to meaningful ways to tame Leviathan. For reasons, some good (the need to use political power to protect national security, preserve control of the courts and restrain regulatory overreach), some less so, they have thrown in the towel on the central issue of the day. That is who we speak of as the “Establishment.” Others – not always with a sense of proportion or possibility, but driven by the urgency of the cause – seek dramatic confrontations to prevent the menace of excessive spending from passing the tipping point where we can no longer save room for the private sector. They are the Outsiders, the ones challenging the system and its fundamental assumptions. The analogy of a Tea Party is an apt one: the Founding Fathers had much in common with the Tories of their day, but disagreed on a fundamental question, not of principle, but of practical politics: whether revolution was needed to protect their traditional rights as Englishmen from being eradicated by the growing encroachments of the British Crown. As it was then, the gulf between the two is the defining issue of today’s Republican Party and conservative movement. (whole article if you want to here)

The cause for fiscal purity is made with precision in that article and Gingrich obviously knows how to tap into that feeling. He could even spin being kicked out as a Speaker into a story about having been a “Maverick” all along (rings familiar eh?). Romney may still come out on top of it, but at what price remains to be seen. Santorum won’t be in the picture very long for the very reasons I have stated, the race is not about religious purity anymore. Paul, yeah well, he can prepare for his run in 2016.

My projected scenarios, being a European Elitist I am by nature an insufferable know-it-all, would be:

Romney wins. He is at best a lukewarm candidate and will not fire up the GOP base at all, but the “Anybody but Obama” crowd will have to be reckoned with. The prospects of President Romney won’t give Democrats a good reason to go vote, even grudgingly, for Obama. Voter turnout will be low on both sides and this could lead to a closer race than comfortable for Obama. But Obama wins.

Gingrich wins the nomination. Obama wins.

Gingrich wins more primaries, but autodestructs and leaves Romney fatally hurt at the roadside, so a brokered convention will pick a third candidate. Unlikely, Gingrich’s candidacy will be propped up for some months and left to lose. If only, because any Republican insider worth his/her salt, especially the younger ones, will wait out another stretch (hey, it is only four more years) and run then. Obama wins.

How will the Republican internal struggle end? Depends on who has more money on their hands. The Koch Brothers and their associates or the establishment’s funders.

This is our Open Thread. Let’s discuss, or let’s vent, or let’s turn this into a caption contest, or, or, or. It’s your thread folks, use it.

The Watering Hole: January 3rd, I O Waaaaahhhh

First of all: A Happy New Year to All the Critters, Zoosters and Visitors here. May it turn out well for you.

I am beginning to get the election bug again. I can tell by the number of times I check in to the realclearpolitics.com website. They may be leaning a little to the right, but I prefer it to getting a little over enthusiastic about President Obama’s prospects.

For today’s IOWAcaucus the polls stand at:

Romney 22.8
Paul 21.5
Santorum 16.3
Gingrich 13.7
Perry 11.5
Bachmann 6.8
Huntsman 2.3

My five cents? Romney has not managed yet to get any significant lead, though he has spent a lot of money to not thoroughly drop into oblivion in Iowa. Still on a national level Gingrich still leads by 27.4 to Romney’s 25.2 with Paul a not so close third at 12.2. Not a really good return on investment from Romney’s side up to now. He is the unwanted frontrunner. The only worse is Perry, who is obviously too thick to get God’s message to muster some self respect and get the fuck out of the race.

In 2008 Huckabee won Iowa and McCain came in only fourth, so winning there doesn’t necessarily make you the inevitable candidate. But somehow it rang in the short but very upsetting stint of one Alaskan, done to get support from the increasingly demanding right wing base. Noteworthy: Romney came in 2nd and held more support (2008: 25%) than he does today.

Personally I do not count Santorum out for the Iowa caucus. His win would be a harbinger of a new rise of the right wingers inside the right wing and as I expect there is some kind of uncivil war going on in the GOP between the Tea Party leftovers and the GOP establishment, Iowa will have a huge impact on the eventual platform of the candidate.

I go even further. The decision whether your country and its form of government will stand or whether parliamentary oligarchy will be your future is starting tonight in Iowa.

As an afterthought here’s our very own poll:

This is our Daily Open Thread. Let us know your thoughts.

Not ROMNEY! The GOP needs a Sorting Hat.

Sorting Hat: Hmm, difficult. VERY difficult. Plenty of hypocrites, I see. Not a bad will for dominance, either. There’s cruelty, oh yes. And a thirst to have all the power all to yourself. But who do I give you?
GOP: Not Romney. Not Romney.
Sorting Hat: Not Romney, eh? Are you sure? He could be useful, you know. It’s all there in his platform. And Romney will help you on the way to greatness, there’s no doubt about that. No?
GOP: Please, please. Anything but Romney, anything but Romney.
Sorting Hat: Well if you’re sure, better be… WHO??

Help the sorting hat. Who is it to be? Oh, and apologies to Ms Rowling, I just couldn’t resist.

The Watering Hole: August 16, Tuesday. Jerusalem Straw Poll ca. 30 A.D.

I am totally dumbfounded about the very unlikeliness of the field of Republican front runners. It doesn’t seem to me there will be any more serious contenders this year. Wildcard Palin will not enter, Bachmann will opt out early and we will face the prospect of another “Texan” in the White House, with Romney as a sidekick eventually. I’m serious. All depends on the left and liberals to bury the hatchet with Obama and get fired up. I perfectly recall that election when the highly intellectual and experienced  Vice President Gore encountered the pushover silly boy from Texas. Nuff said.

This is our Open Thread. We’re open all day! 

BREAKING: Palin Delivers Romney’s Speech

Big Blue over at The Left Anchor reports:

Well, I guess this settles it. Sarah Palin was such a last-minute surprise pick, that even the McCain people hadn’t anticipated it, having already drafted the speech to be delivered by the vice presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention:

Not anticipating that McCain would choose a woman as his running mate, the speech that was prepared in advance was “very masculine,” according to campaign manager Rick Davis, and “we had to start from scratch.”

(snip)

In an effort to prevent any damaging mistakes, the McCain campaign is orchestrating Palin’s public introduction carefully. Except for an interview with People magazine the afternoon her selection was announced, she has not taken a single question from a reporter, and it remains unclear when she will speak to the national news media.

It’s amazing to see conservatives continue to praise McCain’s judgment and experience when it has become abundantly clear that neither he nor his campaign team bothered to put very much thought into the single most important decision he had to make as a candidate. By all accounts, nobody even traveled to Alaska to get on the ground research done regarding Palin. Thusly why her five months pregnant teenage daughter came as a surprise, as too, I’m sure, did her past participatoin with the Alaskan Independence Party — a party that advocated for Alaska to secede from the union. And clearly, anyone who was actually ready to take on this kind of role would not need to be hidden from the media for a week following their announcement. This is a total embarrassment for the McCain campaign.

Frankly, I find it easier for conservatives to defend the not-ready-for-primetime Palin than McCain on this one. Everything we’re learning about Palin is far more damaging to McCain than it is to Palin. McCain is not a serious politician. He selected an inexperienced, ill-informed governor based almost entirely on the notion that he might be able to siphon off some Clinton voters, and the choice was so out-of-left-field that not only was the media caught off guard, but so was his campaign. (h/t Devilstower)

Breaking: Romney gives up!

Mitt Romney has given up on his bid for the White House.

(Source: CNN-Political ticker)

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mitt Romney ended his presidential run Thursday, telling a conservative audience that continuing the race against rival John McCain would make it more likely Democrats would win the White House — and “in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

Read the rest of the story here…

Follow the money!

Now that the field is down to two Democratic frontrunners and another two Republicans (someone please tell Huckabee and Paul) it’s time to look at who is trying to buy themselves favours with a new President, if not the whole. You can find extensive information on campaign financing for every candidate if you click on the links provided.

All information is published by opensecrets.org, who are doing a fine job of tracking the money and it’s sources. They share their data to be freely distributed and thus provide an invaluable tool to learn about the background of campaign financing. Please go there and check upon the candidates you are interested in, and if you can spare a dime, donate for their great work.

So, let’s have a look at the money trail and to keep it neutral we start with the pauper in the field:

John McCain is still way behind in financial contributions with a total of $32,124,785. His main contributors are:

Blank Rome LLP $141,100
Citigroup Inc $137,050
Greenberg Traurig LLP $124,987
Merrill Lynch $113,575
Goldman Sachs $88,700
Univision Communications $82,000
IDT Corp $77,150
Bank of New York Mellon $74,000
MGM Mirage $70,400
Irvine Co Apartment Community $68,400
Pinnacle West Capital $64,000
JP Morgan Chase & Co $59,850
Credit Suisse Group $58,950
Bridgewater Assoc $58,300
Cisco Systems $56,600
Lehman Brothers $53,250
Morgan Stanley $50,950
Wachovia Corp $50,850
Blackstone Group $47,950
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $41,601

Mitt Romney comes in second with contributions amounting to $62,829,069 and the following contributors list:

Goldman Sachs $181,425
Merrill Lynch $147,200
Marriott International $115,000
Bain Capital $112,200
Morgan Stanley $110,050
Bain & Co $103,175
The Villages $96,400
Citigroup Inc $94,150
Compuware Corp $93,800
Huron Consulting Group $91,250
Kirkland & Ellis $89,600
Affiliated Managers Group $77,462
American Financial Group $75,350
PricewaterhouseCoopers $74,200
HIG Capital $71,175
Liberty Mutual Insurance $68,800
JP Morgan Chase & Co $67,450
Credit Suisse Group $66,850
UBS Americas $63,800
Lehman Brothers $60,750

Barack Obama has collected the considerable amount of $80,256,427 and all the well known names appear here, too.

Goldman Sachs $369,078
Lehman Brothers $229,090
National Amusements Inc $220,950
JP Morgan Chase & Co $216,759
Sidley Austin LLP $203,325
Exelon Corp $194,750
Citigroup Inc $180,650
Citadel Investment Group $166,600
Jones Day $158,400
Skadden, Arps et al $150,900
UBS AG $146,150
Time Warner $142,718
Harvard University $141,700
University of California $126,972
Jenner & Block $122,419
Kirkland & Ellis $111,951
UBS Americas $106,680
Morgan Stanley $104,425
WilmerHale $102,360
Credit Suisse Group $92,300

And the winner is: Hillary Clinton with a war chest of $90,935,788 unsurprisingly her donor list matches the who’s who, we have seen above:

DLA Piper $356,100
Goldman Sachs $350,050
Morgan Stanley $323,550
Citigroup Inc $307,350
EMILY’s List $211,642
National Amusements Inc $193,850
JP Morgan Chase & Co $173,350
Kirkland & Ellis $172,000
Skadden, Arps et al $151,460
Greenberg Traurig LLP $150,900
Cablevision Systems $135,113
Merrill Lynch $125,550
Time Warner $124,150
Lehman Brothers $123,450
Bear Stearns $120,580
Patton Boggs $118,400
Ernst & Young $110,650
Blank Rome LLP $105,100
Latham & Watkins $100,950
News Corp $99,350

This is, of course a rough overview and, honestly, I have not yet looked up all the info about all the candidates, there are interests that hide behind the donor’s list. It is an adventure in itself to find out. I’m sending you on the quest to knowledge, the one weapon against populism and lies. And I don’t pretend this makes decision making any easier for you.