Romney’s Runes

The once-secret Romney tapes are a treasure of insight into Romney’s psyche and one needs to step back and look at what they have revealed so far:

♦ Romney has what should be an intolerably low opinion of half of America (no surprise there).

♦ Like his recent shameless exploitation of the murder of Americans in Libya, Romney seems willing to exploit a Jimmy Carter-like hostage crisis for political gain (no surprise there). And by the way: Jimmy Carter got those hostages released, not Ronald Reagan.

♦ He is resigned to doing virtually nothing to help bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, saying, “the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.” Gee, thanks for that uplifting breath of American exceptionalism.

♦ His sarcasm regarding the immigration issue reveals his lack of empathy for and understanding of folks who come here and how hard most of them work:

I’d like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, “Come to America, we want you here.” Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life. [Audience laughs.] It’s very strange.

No, he’s very strange.

♦ Romney, who hasn’t hidden his disdain for labor unions, fielded a suggestion from a big-shot guest (Mittens called them “dignitaries”) at that big-money fundraiser that went like this:

…my recommendation would be clean house, immediately. The SEC, the CFEC are disaster areas.

ROMNEY: I wish they weren’t unionized, so we could go a lot deeper than you’re actually allowed to go. Yeah.

Yeah. All the union voters out there who can’t wait to pull the lever for Romney—and there are plenty of them—should rejoice at that sentiment.

♦ All that stuff we found out about Romney’s view of America and the world is bad enough, but other than the comments about the 47%, the most telling, and perhaps in terms of the country’s economic health, the most outrageous thing Romney said at that gathering of plump partisans, was the following, which I will set in its entire context:

Audience member: When the [unintelligible] in September, the markets are going to be looking—marginal tax rates going up, overheads going, fine, but sequestration under the debt ceiling deal—what do they call it?

Romney: Taxageddon?

Audience member: Yeah, they call it that. The Obamacare, taxes on dividends and capital gains—I mean, the markets are going to be speaking very wildly in October on all of those issues.

Romney: They’ll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president’s going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends, of course, which markets you’re talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is, if we win on November 6th there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back, and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets reelected, I don’t know what will happen. I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get the—the “Taxageddon,” as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can’t work together, it really is frightening, really frightening in my view.

The idea that the markets could respond any better if Romney gets elected than they have under Obama—they have been up, up, and away since March of 2009—is preposterous. But what is more preposterous is this claim Romney made:

…my own view is, if we win on November 6th there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back, and we’ll see—without actually doing anything—we’ll actually get a boost in the economy.

Now, that comment, if it happens to be true, is pregnant with irony. Romney’s whole case against Obama is that he is in over his head, that his policies have failed. Yet here Romney is saying that the simple act of a Romney victory will be enough to “see capital come back” and provide “a boost in the economy.” All “without actually doing anything.”

Without actually doing anything“! Since economies aren’t sustained by sorcery—notwithstanding Republicans’ insistence on the magic of supply-side economics—all that “capital” sitting on the sidelines* must actually be partisan capital, with a big fat “R” stamped on it. Which tells us that those holding onto that capital, who are refusing to invest it in American jobs and increased wages, are Republicans before they are Americans.

At least that is what Romney must believe.


* David Cay Johnson wrote in July:

IRS data suggests that, globally, U.S. nonfinancial companies hold at least three times more cash and other liquid assets than the Federal Reserve reports, idle money that could be creating jobs, funding dividends or even paying a stiff federal penalty tax for hoarding corporate cash.

The Fed’s latest Flow of Funds report showed that U.S. nonfinancial companies held $1.7 trillion in liquid assets at the end of March. But newly released IRS figures show that in 2009 these companies held $4.8 trillion in liquid assets, which equals $5.1 trillion in today’s dollars, triple the Fed figure.


Pay No Attention To What I Said, Suggests Mittens

After slamming both President Obama and President Carter yesterday (“even Jimmy Carter” would have given the order to kill Osama bin Laden) Mittens said this on CBS today:

I’m confident that, of course I would have taken exactly the same decision. And the idea to try and politicize this and to say, “Oh, President Obama would have done it one way and Mitt Romney would have done it another.” It’s really disappointing. Let’s not make the capture or killing of Osama bin Laden a politically divisive event. There are plenty of differences between President Obama and myself, but let’s not make up ones, based on, well, “He might not have done this…”

That is obviously the line that Republicans want to push. It is “politically divisive” for President Obama to remind folks that he pulled the decision trigger that ended in a dead bin Laden and that Romney might not have.

Republicans want Democrats to just shut up about the whole thing and move on.

But that would be political malfeasance. It is more than reasonable to suggest that Romney’s expressed philosophy in 2007—about whether it was appropriate to go into Pakistan, with or without its permission, to hunt down bin Laden—would have prevented him from making the decision that Obama made one year ago.

Remember that Obama had campaigned openly in 2007-2008 saying that he would not be afraid to act against terrorists, even if it meant going into Pakistan to do it:

We need more troops, more helicopters, more satellites, more Predator drones in the Afghan border region. And we must make it clear that if Pakistan cannot or will not act, we will take out high-level terrorist targets like bin Laden if we have them in our sights.

Romney pointedly disagreed, saying:

I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours… I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.


I think his comments were ill-timed and ill-considered.

Those and other comments from the 2007 Etch-A-Romney make what the 2012 Etch-A-Romney said this morning sound a little hollow, don’t you think? I mean, when he said, “Of course I would have taken exactly the same decision,” one can at least reasonably object to the “of course,” right?

But nope. Obama is not supposed to say a word about it. He isn’t supposed to mention that he got it right in 2007 and Romney got it wrong. He isn’t suppose to claim that what a presidential candidate says matters, in terms of how he will govern.

Even Arianna Huffington, a lefty who is no fan of Barack Obama as far as I can tell, got in on the act. In a stupefying attack, she also told CBS:

HUFFINGTON: I agree completely — I agree with the Romney campaign. I think that using the Osama bin Laden assassination killing, the great news that we had a year ago, in order to say basically that Obama did it and Romney might not have done it, which is the message. … I don’t think there should be an ad about that. … [T]o turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do. It’s the same thing that Hillary Clinton did with the 3 a.m. call. You know, you are not ready to be commander-in-chief. […]

HOST: In a campaign aren’t you supposed to tout the accomplishments of what you’ve done?

HUFFINGTON: But this is not just what this ad did, does. What the ad does is questions, if we’re talking about the same ad. … It quotes a snippet from Romney in ’07 and uses that to imply that Romney would not have been decisive. There’s no way to know whether Romney would have been as decisive. And to actually speculate that he wouldn’t be is to me not the way to run campaigns on either side.

Are you bleeping kidding me? “One of the most despicable things you can do“? Oh-my-God.

You mean candidates aren’t suppose to speculate about what their opponents might do based on what they said? You mean no matter what a candidate says his opponent is not supposed to draw any conclusions from it? Well, is it okay for voters to speculate about what a candidate might do based on what he said? Is it okay for voters to draw conclusions from what is said on the campaign trail? Huh?

What has Arianna been ingesting?

There is something about Barack Obama that drives people—apparently people on both sides of the ideological divide—to turn the world upside down in an attempt to smear him.

It is really amazing.

Remember Bin Laden And Dance, Dance, Dance

All weekend, and again today, the talk is about tomorrow’s one-year anniversary of the demise of Obama bin Laden.

But Republicans are incensed that last Friday the Obama campaign released a web video—a web video, mind you—featuring President Clinton saying—surprise, surprise—nice things about Obama’s decision to send the terrorist bastard to the bottom of the sea.

The ball-buster was at the end when this question is posed:

Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?

That is a question worth asking because of Mittens’ remarks in 2007 that it wasn’t worth “moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”  John McCain found it in his politically duplicitous heart to criticize Romney at the time, but that was then and this is now. These days McCain is bad-mouthing Obama, claiming he is “doing a shameless end-zone dance to help himself get elected.

Well, after years of watching Republicans slander Democrats as being weak abroad, it is about time we danced and spiked the ball after our guy sent bin Laden snorkeling without a snorkel.

But more important, the Obama web video also featured a quote from a Reuter’s article from 2007:

Mitt Romney criticized Barack Obama for vowing to strike al-Qaeda targets inside Pakistan if necessary.

Whoops! Mittens shouldn’t have done that. Makes him look weak. And it is certainly fair game for the Obama team to point out that Romney couldn’t have been more wrong.

And that, of course, is what has Republicans, and their cable “news” channel friends, so theatrically indignant.

The truth of the matter is that it is more than okay for Democrats to point out their successes, even if it pisses off the entire Obama-hating world. And the reason it is okay is because the other side would be quick to point out Democratic failures. Just imagine what kind of campaign commercials we would be seeing from Romney, should the mission to get bin Laden have failed.

Some of us still remember Operation Eagle Claw.

That was the name given to the failed attempt in April of 1980 to rescue the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran by a mob of revolutionaries who had stormed our embassy in Teheran.  That failed mission, and the fact the hostages would not be coming home before Election Day, figured greatly in President Jimmy Carter’s loss to Ronald Reagan.

Anyone think that the Reagan campaign in 1980 simply ignored the botched mission? Anyone think that Republicans simply refused to go there? Refused to be divisive about a national failure? Or criticize Jimmy Carter for failed leadership?

Of course not. The campaign time and again emphasized Carter’s alleged foreign policy and leadership weaknesses.

Here’s the text of an ad that aired in 1980:

Do you really think Iranian terrorists would have taken Americans hostage, if Ronald Reagan were president?

Do you really think the Russians would have invaded Afghanistan, if Ronald Reagan were president?

Do you really think third-rate military dictators would laugh at America and burn our flag in contempt, if Ronald Reagan were president?

Isn’t it about time we had the strong new leadership Ronald Reagan would provide as president. Isn’t it about time America had a president whose judgment we can trust?

Nothing subtle about that.

In an ad aired just before election day, and “paid for and authorized by the Reagan Bush Committee,” a somber narrator read the following text:

In a copyrighted story in the New York Times on October 27th, William Safire wrote: “The smoothest of Iran’s diplomatic criminals was shown on American television this weekend, warning American voters that they had better not elect Ronald Reagan. Ayatollah Khomeini and his men prefer a weak and manageable U.S. president, and have decided to do everything in their power to determine our election result.”

Here’s another ad that aired that campaign season:

MALE NARRATOR: Very slowly, a step at a time, the hope for world peace erodes. Slowly, we once slid into Korea, slowly, into Vietnam. And now, the Persian Gulf beckons.

Jimmy Carter’s weak, indecisive leadership has vacillated before events in Angola, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan. Jimmy Carter still doesn’t know that it takes strong leadership to keep the peace. Weak leadership will lose it.

REAGAN: Of all the objectives we seek, first and foremost is the establishment of lasting world peace. We know only too well that war comes not when the forces of freedom are strong. It is when they are weak that tyrants are tempted…

Jimmy Carter’s weak, indecisive leadership…” Hmm.

The Republicans in 1980 even used Ted Kennedy in an ad against Carter. Kennedy ran against him in the Democratic primary and hurt him by saying things like this:

EDWARD KENNEDY: I say it’s time to say: No more American hostages. No more high interest rates. No more high inflation, and no more Jimmy Carter.

MALE NARRATOR: The time is now for strong leadership. Reagan for President.

“Strong leadership” is always worth emphasizing. It’s just that Republicans aren’t used to our guys emphasizing it. And it is just too damned bad that Republicans are upset that Obama’s team is showing American voters that this election year Democrats aren’t going to sit back and let Republicans smear them once again as foreign policy and military weaklings.

Does President Obama “Own The Debt-Ceiling Fiasco”? Nope.

A commenter wrote in to ask my opinion of Karl Rove’s article in The Wall Street Journal the other day, titled Obama Owns the Debt-Ceiling Fiasco.  The commenter, Randy, wrote that the article,

Seems spot on to me, but I am open to other perspectives.

Okay. Here is another perspective:


I’m afraid I have to concur with HLG who said that,

Karl Rove is an amoral bald-faced-liar that even when he appears to be telling the truth (which he does so rarely), he still can’t be trusted.

Let me tell you what the Rove piece was designed to do: Tell Republicans to look like they’re fighting hard for a deal, go ahead and cave in at the last minute in some fashion, and the GOP and GOP outside support groups, flush with cash from anonymous donors, will see to it that the 2012 campaign is all about how Obama doesn’t care about the deficit because he is an “incompetent liberal,” à la Jimmy Carter.

Rove begins his piece, filled with little untruths, with this truth:

President Barack Obama and Congress face a mess if the federal government hits the debt ceiling Aug. 2.

In terms of truth-telling, it’s all downhill from there. He says that,

This would be a disaster with no political winners.

Oh, yes, there would be political winners, depending on what the House of Representatives does.  Mr. Obama, whatever you or Rove think of his sincerity, has made it clear to that small segment of the American people paying attention, that he has tried to reason with unreasonable Republicans. If this ship goes down, the culprits will be easily found, tried, and convicted.

You see, Randy, there will always be this fact left over, after all the smoke has blown away from any potential crisis: Republicans refused to take a $4 trillion debt-ceiling deal, filled mostly with budget cuts, in order not to raise taxes slightly on the wealthy of this country

That’s it, Randy. That is how Democrats will sell this thing next year, one way or the other.  If a crisis ensues, the sell job will be easy because most people already know that Republicans today exist to protect the moneyed class. 

Indeed, the moneyed class has finally bought itself a political party, and Karl Rove is one of their spokesmen.  Which leads me to reveal the real reason Republicans like Rove and Mitch McConnell don’t want to take the generous offer Obama made them: It would instantly make President Obama look like he’s doing something big on the national debt, the GOP’s big wedge issue in 2012.

And for folks like Rove and McConnell, this is all about defeating Obama and gaining political power, not what is best for the country.


Egypt: The View From The Paranoid Right

Since nearly every sensible thing that can be said has been said this weekend regarding the upheaval in Egypt, I thought I would look in on what the right-wing is saying.

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are so far playing it safe, essentially approving of the Obama administration’s cautious response to the crisis. But it’s only Monday.

Unfortunately, Egypt is not observable from Wasilla, so Sarah Palin hasn’t yet tweeted her foreign policy advice to the world.  But it’s only Monday. I’m sure after she catches up on her weekend reading, she will offer up some profound analysis.

Bill Kristol, a Fox “News” neocon who agitated for war against Iraq as early as 1998 and who has urged the U.S. to launch a military strike against Iran, has not yet called for invading Egypt and ousting Mubarak.  That’s always a good thing, but it’s only Monday.  

Kristol, who always knows what we should do in every tricky situation, did say the Administration was “a little slow in reacting to events and said a couple foolish things.”  Apparently, patience and deliberation is not a virtue in the Kristol family.

Speaking of a lack of patience and deliberation: The Glenn Beck News Service, The Blaze, featured this headline:

The story, written by Jonathon Seidl and complete with a Goldline ad, is one of those “connecting the dots” specials, which are the forte of the paranoid Right. It seems that the American Left, some of whom rallied this weekend in support of the Egyptian people, is encouraging the uprising because,

the power vacuum that would result from a government collapse would make the country a prime target for a socialist takeover.

Even though the protests in Egypt have been decidedly unrelated to Western politics, that’s not the way it is seen through the eyes of fearful right-wingers, at least when it comes to the motives of those Americans who support Egyptian freedom:

Is it really about democracy, then, as some of the signs suggest?

Not really. The reality seems to be closer to something like this: when a revolution opposes a leftist dictator, leftists and socialists ignore it. When a revolution opposes an American ally (particularly an ally as pivotal to U.S. security as the Egyptian alliance is) leftists and socialists support it. Succinctly put, the groups have a vested interest in the current American system being defeated (a goal shared by leftist dictators). That’s why they can support Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and even Hussein, but rally against someone such as Mubarak.

In the same vein, Red State, a popular right-wing site operated by Erick Erickson, now a CNN commentator, featured this headline:

The story takes the Beckian view one step further and involves the Obama administration in the plot to make Egypt and the Middle East a socialist paradise:

For all the lack of clarity on where the Obama administration stands, one thing is becoming more and more clear: Signs are beginning to point more toward the likelihood that President Obama’s State Department, unions, as well as Left-leaning media corporations are more directly involved in helping to ignite the Mid-East turmoil than they are publicly admitting.

Meanwhile, Dick Morris, another Foxinating right-winger who sees an Islamic terrorist hiding behind every crisis tree, is urging the U.S. to “send a signal to the military that it will be supportive of its efforts to keep Egypt out of the hands of the Islamic fundamentalists.He wrote:

The Obama Administration, in failing to throw its weight against an Islamic takeover, is guilty of the same mistake that led President Carter to fail to support the Shah, opening the door for the Ayatollah Khomeini to take over Iran…

Now is the time for Republicans and conservatives to start asking the question: Who is losing Egypt? We need to debunk the starry eyed idealistic yearning for reform and the fantasy that a liberal democracy will come from these demonstrations. It won’t. Iranian domination will.

It appears that some on the Right, who night and day lie and stoke fear about Obama’s imaginary disregard for the freedoms of Americans, don’t mind if he helps squash the yearnings of Egyptians who want liberty—and jobs—in their own land.

We really run the risk of some Iranian style regime emerging in the end here,” foreign policy expert Sean Hannity said on Friday.

And even though the real experts discount that possibility (the Muslim Brotherhood reportedly represents around 20% of the population), it doesn’t matter. What matters is that however the situation in Egypt ends, Obama will have either done too much or too little.  He will either have sided with the Egyptian dictator or sided with the Muslim Brotherhood or engineered a socialist revolution.  

And to think it’s only Monday.


Obama, Carter, And The Chipper Gipper

Realizing I am but a lowly blogger and Paul Greenberg is a mammoth Pulitzer-totin’ columnist, I will nevertheless attempt yet again  to criticize the opinion of a man who seems to have (well, his columns read like he seems to have) a firm grasp of “What It Means To Be An American.”

In today’s Joplin Globe appeared Greenberg’s already out-of-date commentary on Barack Obama’s oil speech last week.  But maybe a chance to resurrect Jimmy Carter once more was just too tempting for our fair newspaper to resist printing a column whose stale-by date had come and gone. 

Here is Pultizer Paul’s opening paragraph today:

Surely it’s just my fallible memory, but I can’t recall a presidential address that has fallen as flat as Barack Obama’s last week, at least not since Jimmy Carter gave his (in)famous malaise speech back in the dismal summer of 1979.

Poor President Carter.  He hasn’t been president for 30 years—thirty years!—but conservatives rarely miss an opportunity to scratch his eyes out anew, usually with a view to tainting a current Democratic president.

The usual mode of attack is to bring up that “(in)famous” Malaise Speech.  The one that supposedly doomed Jimmy Carter’s presidency and put him forever in the pantheon of pathetic presidents.  Greenberg writes that in the speech, Carter’s message was easy to discern:

…that beleaguered president got his message across clearly enough: He was the victim of a crisis of confidence on the part of the American people.

Sorry, your Southern Highness, but that wasn’t the message of the speech at all.  Read it for yourself right here.

The message of the speech—which had as its backdrop the “energy crisis” of the time—no matter what you think of the wisdom of it, was to honestly express to the American people what their president thought was a major problem going forward:

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

He continued:

The symptoms of this crisis of the American spirit are all around us. For the first time in the history of our country a majority of our people believe that the next five years will be worse than the past five years. Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.

As you know, there is a growing disrespect for government and for churches and for schools, the news media, and other institutions. This is not a message of happiness or reassurance, but it is the truth and it is a warning.

Carter’s message in the 1979 speech was not one which attempted to blame the American people for his own problems, as the myth about the speech—told and retold by conservatives—would have it.

How about this paragraph, which could have been written yesterday:

What you see too often in Washington and elsewhere around the country is a system of government that seems incapable of action. You see a Congress twisted and pulled in every direction by hundreds of well-financed and powerful special interests. You see every extreme position defended to the last vote, almost to the last breath by one unyielding group or another. You often see a balanced and a fair approach that demands sacrifice, a little sacrifice from everyone, abandoned like an orphan without support and without friends.

Again, folks, that was 1979.

In any case, the speech itself was very well received at the time. Americans initially responded positively to Carter’s call to renew their “strength in the struggle for an energy secure nation,” and his poll numbers went up 11 points. 

That solidly contradicts Greenberg’s—did I mention he has a Pulitzer Prize?—claim that such honest talk from our presidents “just doesn’t seem to get it done…in flyover country, where introspection may be taken as just an early symptom of constipation.”

Notwithstanding Greenberg’s uninspiring vision of the common folk, the real reason the American people abandoned the sentiments in the speech is because Carter, only two days after the speech, fired his Cabinet, understandably causing the public to lose confidence in his leadership.

As Ezra Klein wrote last year,

The real lesson of that period is that presidents shouldn’t abruptly fire their cabinet and signal that their government has fallen into chaos. Voters, it turns out, have a quirky tendency to find that sort of behavior unsettling.

So, our Pulitzer winning writer from Arkansas, who just doesn’t like Barack Obama’s un-Arkansan—and by subtle implication, un-American—demeanor, has it all wrong about Jimmy Carter’s speech.

But for conservatives, particularly those who feign an unassailable acquaintance with the sensibilities of the American people, the truth doesn’t often get in the way of an opportunity to denigrate a Democratic president, past or present.

Finally, commenting on the American people’s penchant for the positive, for leaders who exude confidence no matter the circumstances, Greenberg said, “we like our leaders chipper, especially when the roof is falling in,” like, he continued,

Ronald Reagan when he inherited the Carter Malaise but acted as if he had just been handed the lead in a musical comedy co­starring Jimmy Cagney — and the happy ending was waiting in the very next reel.

Like any good conservative, Greenberg can’t resist a tip of the cap to the patron saint of deficit spending, Ronald Reagan, especially when attacking a Democrat, whether it be Carter or Obama.

But the truth—there’s that nasty word again—is that on January 28, 1983, Reagan’s approval rating was at 35%, and if an election had been held at that time, Greenberg’s philosophy-hating, non-introspective, flyover-country nobles would have sent the Chipper Gipper back to Hollywood.  As it turned out, the economy improved and so did Reagan’s approval ratings.

You see, it’s not cheery, starry-eyed optimists we want, Mr. Greenberg, it’s results. Carter didn’t bring us any and Reagan did.

And Obama has only been in charge about a year and a half.

He Scared The Beje$u$ Out Of Me

Sadly, David Horowitz has gone from cavorting with Black Panthers in his youth, to cavorting with people who push the idea that our white European cultural inheritance is under attack by America’s latest black revolutionary, Barack Obama.

Horowitz emailIn an e-mail he sent out Tuesday, hot “From The Desk Of David Horowitz,” he is soliciting donation$$$ for his effort to “Expose Obama.” He wrote:

As I’ve said on the Glenn Beck show and places where I’ve spoken in recent months: This isn’t like four bad years of Jimmy Carter or even eight years of Bill Clinton. This is the systematic transformation of our nation from an open, capitalist society, to a Big Brother-type socialist nation. We must stop it. Now. [emphasis, his]

Wow! Barack really is a Magic Negro.

The problem is the things Horowitz cites as Obama’s radical “agenda” could have just as easily applied to Bush-Cheney, but I don’t recall getting these scary e-mails while those two were bankrupting the country, destroying our capitalist economy, and funding a couple of wars on our descendants’ dime, wars that had the enthusiastic approval of Mr. Horowitz. Maybe at the time Horowitz was busy hunting for those elusive WMD’s.

I also don’t recall the Horowitz horror over Bush’s “Czars.”

Or Horowitz labeling the Republicans’ creation of a new prescription drug program for seniors as “a maniacal attempt to socialize our health care!” (His exclamation point.)

He also used the “Post Office,” like so many ignorant conservatives do, as an example of what “government-controlled health care” (itself a false suggestion) will look like. He references logo-usps_1__5rjwthe long lines at post offices, but is so blinded by his present ideology that he can’t see that those lines are the result of the Postal Service acting like a private business, rather than a government agency.

Postal management has cut staffing to save money, and if you wait in line or receive your mail after dark, it is because since 1970, the Postal Service by design and by law is required to operate like a private company.

The fact is that the post office is not subsidized by the government, but is financed by postage purchased by its customers, and the cost of a stamp today is, adjusting for inflation, about the same as it was in the early 1970s, despite the fact that there are tens of millions more delivery points and tens of thousands fewer employees.

And notwithstanding the long lines and sometimes-erratic delivery, USPS maintains consistently high customer satisfaction ratings, and Consumer Reports found last year that the post office outperformed FedEx and UPS in a head-to-head test of services, commenting:

Bottom line, all three delivered as promised…but the good old U.S. Postal Service is often the cheapest by far.

In the mean time, private health insurance costs, like a Bill Ayers-planted bomb, have blown the lid off inflation, and it is hard to find someone who doesn’t have a night’s worth of horror stories about the treatment they or someone they know have received from a private insurer.

Horowitz also cited security lines at airports as an example of government malfeasance. Huh? Those lines are a result of The War On Terror and Homeland Security. Let me see. Whose brainchildren were those? I missed that e-mail, too.

Finally, Mr. Horowitz is outraged that Obama,

…plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts, raise the income taxes, the capital gains tax and block the repeal of the estate tax (death tax) for the sake of “morality” he said. But there is nothing moral about taking more and more of your family’s income to feed his socialist agenda.

Again, such solid waste coming from right-wingers would be funny, if there weren’t so many people who believe it. But here is the skinny:

  • Obama has repeatedly said he is not going to raise income taxes on the middle class (wrongly, in my view).
  • Obama’s 2010 budget actually called for a reduction (!) of the capital gains tax for small businesses. The current capital gains tax rate for taxpayers (15%) is due to expire at the end of next year and return to its previous level of 20%. Obama proposes for 2011 that capital gains be taxed at 20% for only those in the top two tax brackets, and at 15% for those in the middle two brackets, and at 0% for those in the lowest two brackets. What a flaming socialist he is!

I’m not even going to get into the morality of the estate tax, since most people reading this blog will never have to worry about whether their wealthy parents can leave them a billion bucks with impunity.

The bottom line is that David Horowitz, a former left-wing radical and Marxist, who gave aid and comfort to real revolutionaries like Huey Newton, now claims that Barack Obama is attempting to lead a new American revolution.

And such outrageously false claims are made to scare the bejesus out of folks, who are then willing to part with some of their $$$$$$$$$ before Comrade Obama gets a hold of them:

…if you are able to join me in the project with a contribution of $25, $35 $50, $100 or even $1,000 today, I will send you – at no cost – my new booklet detailing the radical transformation Barack Obama and the socialists in Congress are implementing.

I suppose 25 bucks is a small price to pay to keep the country out of the hands of Barack, Michelle, Sasha, and Malia, a veritable cabal of Marxist revolutionaries.

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