Tuesday, July 31, 2012

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Eight) -- Another Lesson in Mitt's Lying Laugh

David Muir of ABC News had a chance to ask Mitt Romney about his tax returns in Jerusalem, and he phrased his question in a way that left Mitt Romney unable to answer with one of his stock phrases. Mitt's first response to the question --"Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9% [paid in 2010]" -- is what I've taken to calling "Mitt's Lying Smile" at the 0'27" mark before he lies about not knowing if he ever paid lower than that rate (or nothing).

Look at the lying smirk and chuckle again at the 0'46" mark when he explains that he wouldn't be qualified to be President if he weren't doing everything he could to take advantage of every loophole available only to the ultra-rich.
Again at 1'49" we see a more subtle version of Mitt's Lying Smile when he tells David Muir that he hasn't looked at his tax rates in previous years.
Finally, look at the commentary at the 3'40" mark.  I'm not the only person who would convict Mitt Romney if he were on a witness stand and I were in the jury box.
The Press needs to learn from this example that an original question can reveal the real Willard 'Mitt' Romney.
Viewers can learn how to spot Romney's lies (beyond the simple "his lips are moving") as we move into the season of debates and more non-Fox interviews.
His debate coaches will need to find a way to cut down on his natural dishonest smiling 'tell', maybe by asking him to imagine Seamus flying off the roof of his car whenever he's tempted to laugh.
Those of us who have been flogging the #MittsMissingReturns hashtag on Twitter over the past month need to continue pushing hard, and pushing every day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Seven) -- Romney finds one issue on which he's 100% consistent

He may flip flop on gun control and a woman's right to choose and support for Saint Ronald Reagan and global warming and his support for the US auto industry and ... and ... but there is one area where Mitt Romney is as solid as Gibraltar, his refusal to release his tax returns for any years before 2010.

Here he is being asked about them once more by Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News last night. Note especially the little facial contortion and chortle that I like to refer to as "Mitt's Lying Smile" at the 25 second mark when he says "hundreds of pages of returns". Look for it every time he is pressed on his tax and business secrecy.

I'm following the same precedent that was put in place by John McCain. Two years, and by the way, hundreds [smile] of pages [chortle] of returns for the Democrat [sic] operatives to go through and twist and distort and to turn in different directions and try and make a big deal out of. But, you know, the American people are not real concerned about tax returns. --Mitt Romney
It's not your job to tell us what we, the American people, may or may not be "real concerned about".  That may work in the CEO world where you can tell your employees what to think, but not in the political world where mere plebeians are allowed to question you.

Catch up with previous installments in the #MittsMissingReturns saga by clicking below:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Six) -- Herman Cain Weighs In!

God, I miss the Clown Circus of last November with Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and the rest (i.e., the two boring Mormons). Well, here's Mr. 9-9-9 giving his emphatic opinion about #MittsMissingReturns while seated in front of the Koch Brothers' "Americans for Prosperity" banner.

Let me say this as emphatically as I can: Who cares about Mitt Romney’s tax returns? Secondly, I love the fact that the guy is rich. You got people who are trying to make it seem like being rich is bad.” -- Herman Cain
But Herman, how do you know if he's really rich if you haven't seen his returns?

Catch up with earlier episodes in the #MittsMissingReturns saga by clicking below:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"...like Icarus ascending on beautiful foolish arms..." Happy 115th Birthday to Amelia Earhart

I should try to avoid petty political remarks about the fact that we'll probably find Ms Earhart before we're treated to a view of #MittsMissingReturns.
When I saw Amelia Earhart's picture in today's Google Doodle, I immediately got this brilliant Joni Mitchell song stuck in my head. It will be there for days.

"A ghost of aviation    /      

She was swallowed by the sky    /         
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly    /          
Like Icarus ascending     /     
On beautiful foolish arms    /     
Amelia, it was just a false alarm"              

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Romney Running-Mate Anagram of the Day

Some of these anagrams -- like "Romney and Christie" equaling "Riches and Enormity" -- come so easily that they're like found objects, but  the combination of Jindal with Romney produced no such immediate unmediated gems, at least in my mind.  However, the name of the current Governor of Louisiana is mentioned so often, along with the terrifically soporific names of Portman and Pawlenty, that I needed to come up with something for this recurring anagram feature on TrueBlueLiberal.org.

So here it is. Reflecting the fact that Bobby Jindal might provide a small and temporary boost and distraction for Mitt Romney's embattled campaign, this is all I've got:

"Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal" = "A Tiny Blind Joy Bombardment"

Check out the earlier installments in the Romney Running-Mate Anagram series by clicking on any of these names:
SantorumAyottePawlenty, ChristieCheney, Portman, Ryan. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Language Matters: Contributions Toward the Comprehensive Romney Dictionary

It's time to acknowledge that Willard M. Romney is adding phrases to the 2012 campaign at a record pace. He's already added far more depth and absurdity to the English language than John McCain, the most recent Republican nominee.  

Here are the first obvious contributions to the dictionary: 

Corporations Are People: If only one phrase can follow Mitt Romney into future history books, it will probably be this one, a heartfelt sentiment he voiced to hecklers on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in August 2011. It summed up his personal philosophy as well as the political mood in this year when the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has given corporate money free rein to steal our electoral process.
Retroactively Retired: Who knew that the ultra-rich had the power to so easily time travel and erase responsibility for four years of actions by the company of which you were CEO and sole owner? We didn't know until Romney senior advisor Ed Gillespie explained it to us on Meet the Press last Sunday. Next, Mitt Romney is going to retroactively retire from the Massachusetts Governorship on the day before he signed Romneycare into law.
"Romney" as a verb: To defecate in terror. Self explanatory for anyone who knows the story of poor Seamus the Irish Setter riding on the roof of the family station wagon.
Running for Office, for Pete's Sake: Used to indicate that of course you would take the expedient, slightly-illegal, normal course of action (e.g., having undocumented Mexican gardeners sprucing up the grounds of your six homes) if you did not have that pesky press and inquisitive voters second guessing you. Phrase introduced to America in October 2011 during a debate with Rick Perry about "illegals". 
Self-Deportation: This ideal solution for the problem of undocumented immigrants (or "illegal aliens" in the official GOP Styleguide) was suggested by Mitt Romney in a January 2012 debate, but he was unwittingly lifting the idea from the satirical stance of "Daniel D. Portado" in 1994. It is also a description of what the Romney family may need to do when the IRS finally audits his unreleased tax returns and they self-deport to join their money in Switzerland or Bermuda or the Cayman Islands.
Ten Thousand Bucks: This is equal to $9.28 if you are an average 65-year-old American. It's equal to $0.06 cents if you're an average American between 21-25. In other words, he was putting no serious money where his mouth was when he offered to bet $10,000 with Rick Perry during a debate on December 10, 2011.

Do you have others that need to be added in the next installment? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Remember January 20, 2009

There's an obvious tendency in this blog to spend all my time in horror and amazement that the 2012 election might be bought by those with great wealth whose main purpose is preserving their wealth at the expense of the rest of the nation. But enough about Republicans.
Sometimes we need to cleanse our souls.
Sometimes we need to remember the real reason we need to be committed in this 2012 election.
Sometimes it helps to take the time to remember how proud we all felt on January 20, 2009.

'That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. 
'These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights. 
'Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. 
'They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.' 
--Barack Obama, From the First Inaugural Address

Monday, July 16, 2012

The "Ultimate" Romney Running-Mate Anagram

Don't be scared by the title into thinking that the anagram well is running dry. As long as potential running mates keep turning down Mitt Romney in the 2012 GOP Veepstakes, I'll try to come up with these anagrams that get to the heart of the candidate seeking to follow Mitt into the loser's circle on the night of November 6th.

Today's victim is Paul Ryan, noted Ayn Rand devotee who, in true mittromneyan manner, claims to have flip flopped in his love for the brutal apostle of selfishness. The unassailable beauty of the anagram shows that his love for Ms Rand is never-ending:

Therefore, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan = My Ultimate Ayn Rand Porn

Previous running-mate anagrams can be found by clicking on these names: SantorumAyottePawlenty, Christie, Cheney, and Portman

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Five) - In Which Mitt Romney Gives a Typically Squirrelly Response

In the relatively safe space of the GOP Network's "Fox and Friends" this morning, Mitt Romney had this to say about releasing more years of tax returns:

ROMNEY: The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more. More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try make a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about. We’re going to put out two years of tax returns.
If he doesn't release a dozen years of returns, are we then free to assume the worst? Years in which he paid zero taxes? Investments in Iranian nuclear power plants? Writing off Seamus's roof ride as a test of canine aerodynamics for a Chinese aerospace company? Large charitable donations to Planned Parenthood and pro-life groups in alternating years? Six- or seven-figure horse ballet deductions?  More overseas bank accounts in Albania, Kazakhstan, and Syria? I don't know why we should assume anything other than the worst if he continues to stonewall the press and American voters.


And in case you missed the previous installments of mine on this topic, here are links to:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Retroactive Retirements, Etch-a-Sketches, and Neuralyzers -- so many ways for Romney to dodge responsibility

In case you missed it on Meet the Press this morning, here's the video of Mitt Romney Senior Advisor Ed Gillespie saying that Romney "actually retired retroactively" from Bain Capital in 2002, thereby trying to avoid responsibility for anything that happened while Mitt was CEO there between 1999 and 2002.

#Retroactively quickly became a trending hashtag on Twitter earlier today, with tweets about everything from Seamus Romney retroactively riding inside the car to Mitt Romney retroactively retiring from the Massachusetts Governorship immediately before the signing of Romneycare (one of mine).
 It took on the viral character of that earlier famous Etch-a-Sketch moment started by this remark from another Romney Senior Advisor, Eric Fehrnstrom, on CNN back in March:

Mitt Romney personally offered yet one more metaphor for this desire to induce amnesia in American voters who might notice his flipping and flopping -- the Neuralyzer used by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black:

The real issue here is why Mitt Romney is running from his whole history.

  • Why is he running from his Bain experience when his experience as a businessman is his one (specious) argument for why he would be a better President than Barack Obama?
  • Why is he running from his major accomplishment as Governor of Massachusetts, the health care act that helped insure many uninsured people and served as one of the models for the program he now refers to dismissively as "Obamacare"?
  • Why is he running from Mormon experience as missionary and bishop in the Mormon church? Is he afraid of being connected with the White Horse Prophecy?

And to get back to the specifics of today's claim, if the Romney people on all the Sunday talk shows were saying that he was inactive in his role of CEO at Bain Capital between 1999-2002 because he was too busy working on the Salt Lake City Olympics, doesn't that work against him too?  Shouldn't any high-powered executive applying for the job of President be able to run a Utah Ice Show and a Boston Vulture Capitalism firm at the same time? Doesn't Barack Obama seem like he'd be able to add an Olympics to his portfolio with no problem?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Four) -- In a Nutshell

I owe ABC World News an apology. I stumbled upon their newscast last night when they were asking Mitt Romney about Olympic uniforms being made in China rather than asking him about his missing tax returns and I had some unkind things to say about them on Twitter.
 However, this morning I stumbled upon this report from a few days earlier -- July 10 -- in which Jon Karl lays out the issue of #MittsMissingReturns as clearly and succinctly as anyone has. Watch it:


And in case you missed the previous installments of mine on this topic, here are links to:

I'm not planning to let this die until Mitt Romney has his underlings pull his returns out of his Swiss safe deposit box. Why can't I be as dogged about this issue as Birthers were about the non-existent issue of President Obama's birth certificate?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Running-Mate Anagram of the Day

In a move to deflect today's news about Mitt Romney's Bain tenure, the questions raised by his missing tax returns, and his disastrous appearance before the NAACP yesterday, his campaign is floating stories about a  "surprising" Vice-Presidential choice.  The name that's popping up in right-wing blogs is Condoleezza Rice, but when push comes to shove it's hard to imagine Romney -- with his own iffy social conservative bonafides -- choosing someone who is even more liberal than he is on issues like abortion, gay rights, and immigration.

I'd like to suggest an even more surprising name in the 2012 GOP Veepstakes, a man with impeccably right-wing credentials, experience in foreign policy, and service under multiple Republican Presidents.  Mitt Romney is having dinner with this man in Wyoming tonight (no photographers allowed please).  Richard "Dick" Cheney has a new heart, he's ready to serve, and Vice Presidents are not limited to a mere two terms in office.  Plus, Dick probably knows what secrets lurk in Mitt's missing tax returns and where other bodies are buried (not that we're suggesting that blackmail will play any role in Mitt's final decision about his running mate). Surprise! This will turn the 24-hour news cycle away from Bain Capital questions.

Therefore: "Romney and Cheney" = "Deny No Archenemy"

Previous running-mate anagrams can be found by clicking on the names: SantorumAyottePawlenty, Christie, and Portman

Happy Birthday to The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World

50 years ago tonight, "The Rollin' Stones" played their very first gig at the Marquee Club on Oxford Street in London. They went on to meet with some success after adding the dropped "g".

 Here they are playing one of Robert Johnson's biggest hits in 1969:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Running-Mate Anagram of the Day

If Mitt Romney decides that he needs to placate the true-believing nutjob base that has been uninspired by his Olympic-caliber Flipping and Flopping, he may be tempted to reach out to their patron saint: Rick Santorum.

If this dream team ever were to make it to the White House, we could probably (among other atrocities) say goodbye to  support for NPR, PBS, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and anything else that smacked of secular American culture.
Therefore, "Romney Santorum" = "Mourn Arts Money"

Romney has already said that Sesame Street should support itself with advertising. He'd have no trouble cutting other arts funding, even without VP Santorum pushing him harder in that direction.

Catch up with earlier running-mate anagrams here: AyottePawlenty, Christie, and Portman

World Trade Center construction update (with bonus MZ-3A airship)

Here's a picture of the new World Trade Center site taken from my phone a little before 1 this afternoon.  The airship above it was -- amazingly -- not covered with advertisements, so I took a closer look.

It seems that there is only one manned US Navy airship, so it was the MZ-3A that flew up over the Hudson River this afternoon.

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Three)

Here's just a quick video update of how the media are starting to pick up and run with Mitt Romney's evasion of this tax-return issue:

Mitt has come continued to dodge the question in a radio interview in Iowa today, saying there's nothing hidden in his tax returns that we need to worry our little heads about and besides, "I don't manage them. I don't even know where they are." In other words, the buck stops with the hired help. If anything untoward or illegal is found in the pages of documents when (or if) they're released, he's already planning to blame an underling. Klassy. With a Kapital "K".

Thanks to everyone who's been tweeting with the hashtag #MittsMissingReturns on Twitter. Please keep it up until Mitt comes clean (or cleanish).

UPDATE (11:43 am, 7/10/12):
Here's another must-see video of Ryan Lizza on CNN standing up to a stonewalling Romney surrogate, Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah):

RYAN LIZZA: Just yes or no, should he release them or not.
JASON CHAFFETZ: No! No, I don’t…He’s been very successful, he’s released everything that he’s required to release, including paying more than 16 percent of his income to charitable givings. I think it’s a diversionary tactic. Most people, they don’t care about this. Governor Romney’s been very successful, get over it. It’s a reality.

And in case you missed the previous installments of mine on this topic, here are links to:

Saturday, July 07, 2012

A Modest Proposal to Prevent Voter Fraud by the 1%

Ban the use of private jets on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

The Republicans have only one simple and cynical strategy for success in this November's Presidential election. It involves sabotaging the economy by Congressional intransigence, magnifying any slowdown they cause in the economy with their well-financed on-message GOP Pessimism Machine, and denying the voting franchise to as many potential Obama voters as possible.  They want to disenfranchise millions of mostly low-income voters in the name of preventing voter fraud, even though they have trouble citing a single concrete example of fraudulent voting.

Well, I have little concrete evidence that any multi-millionaires have hopped into private jets and voted at all their addresses in California, Utah, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire on the same first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but that's no reason not to pass a law to keep ultra-rich voters grounded until election day is over.

*    *    *

(Seriously, there is another potential voter fraud scandal involving Mitt Romney not involving private jets, but which can only be resolved if he returns his Massachusetts tax returns.  Click the BradBlog link for more information)

Friday, July 06, 2012

#MittsMissingReturns (Part Two)

When I was tweeting with the #MittsMissingReturns hashtag earlier today, I started getting replies from the dark side of Twitter equating our calls for the release of Mitt Romney's recent tax returns with their calls for the release of "Obama's Sealed Records."  I wasn't sure which records they meant, but a quick search showed what all the fuss was about. Nothing.  Unless you consider it vital to know about the President's kindergarten and baptismal records from the 60s or his parents' marriage license or his college grades from the 80s.  The college transcripts seem to cause the most excitement; this seems to have been started by Donald Trump after the release of Barack Obama's birth certificate took some of the steam out of The Donald's earlier birtherist crusade, back when he was toying with the idea of running for President in the Spring of 2011.
"I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?... I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records."
-- Donald Trump
This insinuation plays into the deepest racist resentments -- that somehow a less-intelligent black man was given the place at Columbia University and Harvard Law School that could have gone to a more deserving white right-wing nutjob. (Of course it probably never bothered these same people that our previous President, a proud C student, used the more traditional form of affirmative action to grease his easy path through Yale University and Harvard Business School.)

"My point is, it's all fun, it's all a circus, it's all a rodeo, until it starts to smack of racism, and then it's no longer fun." David Letterman on Donald Trump April 28, 2011.  The quote comes at the 1'30" point in the video up above, but watch the whole thing to see how Letterman won't let Dr. Phil jokingly let his friend Donald off the hook. "If he comes back on this show -- and I'm not sure we want him back on the show under those circumstances -- he ought to be prepared to apologize ... ought to be prepared to apologize just for that kind of behavior."

Needless to say, I was shocked that this racist call for the President's college records was resurrected by a number of people on Twitter today and equated with the call for Mitt Romney's hidden tax returns. It's a false equivalency, to say the least.

Then it got worse.

There's also the ridiculous new issue of the legitimacy of President Obama's Social Security number that was brought up to me today by a number of people on the Right side of Twitter.

And then I was sent a link to this birther video with the message "Michelle Obama can't remember where her husband was born".  That's when I needed to turn off Twitter for a few hours.

* * *
All of these things may have been disproved over and over again. All of them may be irrelevant to the qualifications of the person who's been serving effectively in the White House since January 2009, but there will be a continued drive to create a false equivalency between these fringe concerns and the very real need for us to get information about the very complicated personal business and taxes of his challenger who is running on a platform of business and taxes.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A Bonus Running-Mate Anagram of the Day

Mitt Romney's July 4th march through Wolfeboro with New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte yesterday led many scribes in the stenography pool of our major media outlets to refer to the freshman Senator from the Granite State as another on the lengthening short list of Republican Vice Presidential candidates.

The ineluctable intelligence of the anagram shows that this may be a poor choice. Pairing neighbors from New Hampshire & Massachusetts (& Michigan & Utah & California & New Hampshire & Cayman Islands & Switzerland & ...) may not be the best strategy for fundraising in the GOP's deep-South and Western homes.
The day the Romney and Ayotte ticket is announced could turn out to be A Rotten Money Day.

Click on the names to catch up with previous running-mate anagrams for Pawlenty, Christie, and Portman.

Running-Mate Anagrams of the Day

There seems to be a growing consensus among the consensus-makers of our airwaves, newsprint, and cables that  Mitt Romney will need to pick someone even more anodyne, colorless, and boring than the MittBot2012 himself as his running mate. Rising to the top of this list is Senator Robert Jones "Rob" Portman, who was the Director of George W. Bush's Office of Management and Budget (please don't fall asleep yet).

I liked the Pynchonian overtones of this anagram:
Random Entropy indeed, man. You can just feel the energy being sucked out of our political theater. There's just something very right about this to me, but then I'm someone who's read Gravity's Rainbow four times, and some people might find something wrong about that.

I also happened upon the least relevant anagram for this particular duo:
Obviously ridiculous. Not even the most dangerously hooked political addict (or pornography fiend with a bland-white-person fetish), would find this combination of automatons even vaguely titillating, even momentarily.

If the animations up above aren't working,
the first reads: "Romney and Portman" = "Random Entropy, Man"
the second reads "Romney Portman" = "Momentary Porn"

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Hey Right Wingers, Here's a New Conspiracy for You! (and it's true)

I've noticed that every day those of you on the Right are promoting another new Lie/Myth/ConspiracyTheory in the echo chamber of your email chains, tweets, and blogs.  These are not the normal Fox News half truths and GOP talking points, but the stories about President Obama spending today in Paris (false, he's celebrating the 4th of July at the White House) or that the Affordable Care Act will implant RFID chips in all Americans by the strangely specific date of March 23, 2013 (false, of course, but still very alive on Twitter), or ... well there are a million of them that percolate below the surface until they bubble up into the general conversation like the Swift Boat lies in 2004 or the Birtherist myths in 2008.

But, my fellow citizens on the Right, here's something you can pick up and run with that is actually true!  I know that's a new concept for you all, but bear with me.

The Google Doodle this morning is quoting the words of an actual Communist:

Woody Guthrie was the writer of a regular column for the People's World and Daily Worker.  And if you don't believe that "This Land Is Your Land" is a Communist anthem, here are the last two verses, which don't get as much airtime as the "ribbon of highway" and "endless skyway" first verse.

As I was walkin'  -  I saw a sign there
And that sign said - no tress passin'
But on the other side  ... it didn't say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple Near the relief office - I see my people And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin' If this land's still made for you and me.

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

And if you want to complete your Google/Obama/Communism circle, here's a video of Bruce Springsteen singing this Communist anthem at an Obama rally in Philadephia in 2008 bracketed by "Yes We Can" chants (yes, I  was one of those chanters).
He leaves out the most incendiary penultimate verse attacking private property, but he does sing the last  "relief office" verse (yes, I was one of those who yelled "YEAH!" when he sang these neglected words).

The question is, how can Chris Christie continue to state that he's Bruce Springsteen's biggest fan? Doesn't he realize that songs have words?

Happy Independence Day. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Running Mate Anagram of the Day

Chris Christie is on ABC's Nightline as I write this.  He's still thinking that he may be on Mitt Romney's potential Veep list, so we'll humor him by making him the anagram of the day.

If the animation up above isn't working, "Romney and Christie" = "Riches and Enormity".

(And if you missed it, here's another running-mate anagram)


One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.
--George Romney explaining why he released 12 years of tax returns when he was running for President in 1968 
"I congratulate Mitt Romney on releasing such extensive tax returns. It is now time that we get back to the issues of fixing our economy and helping the middle class..."
--Chris Christie's statement on Mitt's campaign website after George Romney's son released his return for one year
There is always a lot of wringing of hands here on the leftish end of the political spectrum about our inability (like Fox watchers, Beck acolytes, and Rush's dittoheads) to jump onto one issue as a group and single-mindedly badger the media about it.  We tend to establish our own priorities and we're generally not well adapted to things like marching in step.

I'm hoping that this issue of Mitt Romney's missing tax returns is an exception to that general rule.

Anyone who reads this article, "Where the Money Lives" in the August issue of Vanity Fair will want to know a lot of answers to questions the article raises about Bain Capital, semi-blind trusts, possible nepotistic deals, offshore accounts, IRAs, etc., etc. Many of those answers may be coded into Mitt Romney's 1040 forms and reams of attachments. Who knows what else may appear in 10-12 years worth of tax returns.
We know for sure that there are two embarassing facts that Mitt Romney and his campaign want to keep out of the public debate: 1) His total income each year is an eight-figure amount that is unfathomable for 99.9% of the United States population, and 2) His tax rate will be lower than most of ours because it's based mostly on capital gains rates (though that may be a stretching of tax law if you read the article), but the real reason to release the forms is because we have NO idea what we (through our intermediaries, the tax experts) may find there. This man wants us to elect him President of the United States based on his business background but with minimal actual vetting of his actual finances or business dealings.

If the right-wing could badger the press and the President about Barack Obama's birth certificate on an absurd theory that his mother had made a secret trip from Hawai'i to Kenya just to make sure that her son was not born on American soil, then I guess I can keep tweeting with a #MittsMissingReturns hashtag until he gives us at least a decade's worth of financial information. Maybe some of you will  join me.
The press is currently showing no signs of pushing for these documents. They need to be pushed to push.

Fireworks on the Fourth

I have a question about fireworks for tomorrow's national holiday. What is the very best way to honor our nation, our independence, and the primacy of the Stars'n'Stripes, symbol of our exceptionally exceptional nation?

Traditionally we celebrate by running a gasoline-soaked Union Jack up the flagpole in our backyard and set it alight as we play God Save the Queen (Sex Pistols version) with our beat-up Stratocasters and vintage Marshall amps.

However, this year I'm debating whether or not we should shake up our stale family traditions a little bit by changing the flag at the center of our fireworks.

My grandparents changed it up when they burned German and Japanese flags in alternating years between 1941 and 1945. I'm thinking that the appropriate vexicological sacrifice at the top of our pole this year should be the Yellow Snake Teabag Flag (sometimes known as "The Gadsden").

The musical accompaniment will again come from the classic Sex Pistols songbook of course, but tomorrow we'll play Pretty Vacant.

Monday, July 02, 2012

"The Romney Badger Loves to Fire People"

It's nice to end the day with a joke and a cute animal video.

I've got nothing to add, except to ask why the Romney Badger won't release its tax returns.