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Romney?

There’s been some discussion about the eligibility of Mitt Romney to be President. It stems from his father George’s birth in Mexico and whether or not the elder [no pun intended] Romney was a really US Citizen. I’m not sure whether I want to cover this topic or not. It’s not about Obama conspiracies, but it stems from the same crank legal theory that is dogging Obama, namely that US Presidents must have US Citizen parents.

Lucas Smith has a new article on his blog attacking Romney for other reasons. From the Republican point of view, one must ask whether challenges like this against Romney actually help the re-election chances of President Obama. That question reminds me of this political cartoon that appeared in my local newspaper, the Spartanburg Herald Journal. The cartoonist, Robert Ariail, was kind enough to give me permission to reprint it.

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I love a good political cartoon and I remember fondly the work of Doug Marlette when he was at the Charlotte Observer in the 1970’s. Spartanburg is very fortunate to have Mr. Ariail’s work in the Herald Journal. He did some fantastic pieces about Donald Trump’s aborted candidacy last year and his most recent cartoon is very near and dear to my heart.

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59 Responses to Romney?

  1. avatar
    J. Potter January 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    May as well pile it on: a letter from Mitt Borowitz

    I thoroughly enjoyed Farah’s rant re Romney’s eligibility from a few days ago πŸ˜€ Set irony meters to stun before clicking here. First lines:

    “How do these things get started?”

    “No wonder people are so confused about the issues of the day.”

    “I am literally deluged with emails from Americans insisting that Mitt Romney is not constitutionally eligible to be president.”

    How indeedy? : D

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Yes, the irony meter goes off the scale. Not only is Farah responsible for the birther movement (and its aftermath), his web site promotes the kind of cotton-stuffed-head thinking that makes it possible.

    What goes around comes around.

    J. Potter: “How do these things get started?”

  3. avatar
    richCares January 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    I got a call asking me to vote for Romney, I said “Who?”, they said “Mitt Romney”. Whos that?” “He’s running for president”, For President, Obama’s is president” the hung up.

  4. avatar
    Scientist January 19, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I think the fact that Romney stashed money in the Cayman Islands, even though it is legal, will be absolute poison for him, if not in the primaries, then in the general
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romneys-investments-in-cayman-islands-raise-new-questions-about-his-personal-fortune/2012/01/19/gIQAx4r09P_story.html

    Being rich is one thing, making the money by ruthless business methods is another, but stashing cash offshore like a Third World dictator is quite another.

  5. avatar
    El Diablo Negro January 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    putting on my tin hat.

    I think that this is a sideways attack at Obama. They are willing to throw Mitt under the bus to get some sort of ammo. To me, this means that they do not trust Mitt and is an acceptable sacrifice. If Obama does get a second term, all they have left is litigation. They will need something tangible to get him removed from office.

    I also think only the hardcore birthers will be left “fight the usurper” if Obama gets re-elected. This “conspiracy” has been around too long to just disappear.

  6. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    I agree. I’ve heard mention that a law passed in the past year or two re: off-shore accounts and changing the rules for what is legal and not legal, in order to make it harder for US fat cats to skip out on owing taxes. The chatter on the ‘net is that these disclosures on Romney’s off-shore accounts might even run afoul of those new laws…

    …So yeah…that’s a pretty poisonous revelation for him in many ways. His tone deaf statement just the other day about paying only 15% taxes and making only a little money on the side from “speaking fees” and then giving a creepy laugh is also reflecting really bad on him. He made over $374,300 last year in those “speaking fees”… so yeah, he really comes off as an out-of touch ultra-rick pr!ck…

    Also – the news today that he LOST the IA caucus and Rick Santorum actually won it instead takes away his “historic first to win both IA & NH” claim… so that’s got to sting too…

    http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2012/01/19/register-exclusive-2012-gop-caucus-count-unresolved/

    FINAL IOWA CERTIFIED COUNT:

    Santorum: 29,839 (1st place)
    Romney: 29,805 (2nd place)

    …So now, Romney didn’t even break 30K, and really did worse than his 30,021 votes there in 2008…

    Should be an interesting debate tonight at 8pm on CNN!

    Scientist: I think the fact that Romney stashed money in the Cayman Islands, even though it is legal, will be absolute poison for him, if not in the primaries, then in the generalhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/romneys-investments-in-cayman-islands-raise-new-questions-about-his-personal-fortune/2012/01/19/gIQAx4r09P_story.htmlBeing rich is one thing, making the money by ruthless business methods is another, but stashing cash offshore like a Third World dictator is quite another.

  7. avatar
    Bob January 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    The not-Mitt’s attacks on Romney hurt Romney but Romney’s attacks on other Republicans hurt Romney as well. The Republican base identifies with the other candidate more than Romney (we won’t mention “why”) and don’t like to see them attacked by another the likes of Romney.

    Last time around Ron Paul didn’t drop out until June and (even with the latest “revelations”) Gingrich has no reason to drop out any time soon.

    The Republican primary could go until the bitter, bitter end.

  8. avatar
    gorefan January 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Earlier this week, while listening to local all news radio, I heard an ad for Newt Gingrich. And I’m in California and our primary isn’t until June.

  9. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    The rest of the order is still pretty much the same (Ron Paul in 3rd w/ 26, 036 votes, etc.)

    What is interesting is that 8th place was “NO PREFERENCE” with 147 votes.

    The SarahPAC delusional folks and their Iowa radio ad campaign to write her in only netted 23 votes in 10th place (Buddy Roemer got 17, Fred Karger 10 and Gary Johnson 8; in 11th -13th).

    What is interesting is that 14th place was Donald Trump with 5 votes!!! LOL! How much do you want to bet those were all Birther votes… !

    G: FINAL IOWA CERTIFIED COUNT:
    Santorum: 29,839 (1st place)
    Romney: 29,805 (2nd place)
    …So now, Romney didn’t even break 30K, and really did worse than his 30,021 votes there in 2008…

  10. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Heck, not only is Romney’s 2012 official total *less* votes than his 2008 performance, but the final percentage he got in 2012 (24.54%) is a worse percentage than his 25.19% take in 2008!

    Romney has got to be the most pathetic front-runner, full of endless red-flag holes, that I’ve ever seen!

    G: FINAL IOWA CERTIFIED COUNT:
    Santorum: 29,839 (1st place)
    Romney: 29,805 (2nd place)
    …So now, Romney didn’t even break 30K, and really did worse than his 30,021 votes there in 2008…

  11. avatar
    Scientist January 19, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    G: Romney has got to be the most pathetic front-runner, full of endless red-flag holes, that I’ve ever seen!

    He’s the only one who has the organization and the money to see things through. Gingrich is surging (again) and a few polls suggest that he might take South Carolina, but what then? He apparenly has no organization at all in the big states. And is he even on the ballot in all of them? But Romney is going to have big time problems in the general. I don ‘t think folks in Middle America want a President who stahses money in the Caymans, even if he followed the law to the letter. And also watch for Gary Johnson, running as a Libertarian. He could siphon away some of the Paul vote, especially the younger ones who are mostly interested in legal dope.

  12. avatar
    J. Potter January 19, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    G: Romney has got to be the most pathetic front-runner, full of endless red-flag holes, that I’ve ever seen!

    And the best part is, his flaws are what make him the Republican ideal. He is darn near everything they say they admire. Wealthy, successful, attractive, family man, religious (may be the ‘right’ religion, but much better than none), what they believe to be a self-made man. For being everything they worship, they loathe him.

  13. avatar
    donna January 19, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    according to what i have read, at the time mitt’s grandparents fled to mexico to avoid prosecution, you could NOT HAVE dual citizenship

    so what did they do?

    AND, at that time, for a “foreigner” to own property, you had to PLEDGE that, in a war against the us, you would fight WITH MEXICO

    so they either renounced their us citizenship OR PLEDGED ALLEGIANCE to mexico

  14. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Three quick comments:

    1. Paul also has the organization & money to see things through. In some ways, Paul’s organization seems to actually be stronger (already more active & prepared on the state level for the “ground game), but the establishment is clearly behind Romney, which is hard to beat. The GOP (and media) will do anything they can to prevent Paul from winning this…but Paul isn’t going to go away without a big fight…and will probably fight it out until the bitter end.

    2. This truly is the weakest field I’ve seen in my lifetime. They all have different plusses & minuses (both from a GOP Primary audience and a General Election audience perspective – and those weaknesses often differ…sometimes even diametrically…between the two…). In the net-net of the equation, *all* of them seem to have different killer flaws that make it highly unlikely that they could beat Obama in the end. But there is such a weird time & year that Obama can’t get overconfident, no matter who he faces. The funny thing is, Romney is really looking more and more like the weakest and dullest of the bunch. Conversely, the one most discounted, Ron Paul, could actually be the biggest General Election threat of the bunch, mainly because he utterly changes the long standing support dynamic & structure in play. Ironic, isn’t it?

    3. I agree with you completely about Gary Johnson and the Libertarian ticket – in terms of being a factor. The Libertarians will only be shooting themselves in the foot if they elect any of those other clowns running, instead of Gary. Further, even though we’re talking 2 different parties here… in many ways…the Libertarian ticket’s fate in the fall is very much tied to what happens with Ron Paul and his supporters in the GOP race…

    But to follow-up on #3 and what you said about siphoning votes, I don’t think it will happen quite as you are describing it. The Libertarians are not having their own separate Primary race throughout the states this year – they will simply gather together at their party convention this May and choose their nominee. I believe that participants have to be declared members of the Libertarian Party to vote in that. So, I don’t see this impacting the GOP race really; more as an impact on the General Election race to come.

    Scientist: He’s the only one who has the organization and the money to see things through. Gingrich is surging (again) and a few polls suggest that he might take South Carolina, but what then? He apparenly has no organization at all in the big states. And is he even on the ballot in all of them? But Romney is going to have big time problems in the general. I don t think folks in Middle America want a President who stahses money in the Caymans, even if he followed the law to the letter. And also watch for Gary Johnson, running as a Libertarian. He could siphon away some of the Paul vote, especially the younger ones who are mostly interested in legal dope.

  15. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    In so many ways, he also represents everything that is wrong with the Establishment wing of the GOP as well. That includes both concerns from within the GOP’s own base against their Establishment masters, as well as much bigger concerns for these manipulative moneyed fat-cats by the broader public…

    J. Potter: And the best part is, his flaws are what make him the Republican ideal. He is darn near everything they say they admire. Wealthy, successful, attractive, family man, religious (may be the right’ religion, but much better than none), what they believe to be a self-made man. For being everything they worship, they loathe him.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Please !!!!!!!!!

    Bob: The Republican primary could go until the bitter, bitter end

  17. avatar
    Joey January 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    Today it comes out that Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s second wife) is saying that he asked her for an “open marriage” so that he could date his third and current wife, Callista.

  18. avatar
    J. Potter January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Joey: Today it comes out that Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s second wife) is saying that he asked her for an “open marriage” so that he could date his third and current wife, Callista.

    If this kinda crap keeps up, a last second entrant or independent/3rd party candidate will be inevitable. The GOP field is free-rolling downhill, foot on the gas, pedal to the metal, free-fallin’. Assuming Santorum has no add’l skeletons, he may be the boy, unless Romney is able to literally buy it. I hope he isn’t fool enough to start dumping his fortune into this.

    A whole slate loaded with what would normally be unelectable flaws …. =8^O

    Hell, maybe the Haskins will set himself up on a “purity” platform πŸ˜‰

  19. avatar
    Majority Will January 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    Joey:
    Today it comes out that Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s second wife) is saying that he asked her for an “open marriage” so that he could date his third and current wife, Callista.

    Also known as a Super Pack.

  20. avatar
    NBC January 19, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Such a family man but nice of him to ask. That’s I guess the least he could do…

  21. avatar
    NBC January 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Revenge is such a …

  22. avatar
    Scientist January 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    G: But to follow-up on #3 and what you said about siphoning votes, I don’t think it will happen quite as you are describing it. The Libertarians are not having their own separate Primary race throughout the states this year – they will simply gather together at their party convention this May and choose their nominee. I believe that participants have to be declared members of the Libertarian Party to vote in that. So, I don’t see this impacting the GOP race really; more as an impact on the General Election race to come.

    That is what I meant-the Paul voters stay with Paul untill he finally is beaten. I see less chance than you that Paul could win the R nomination (almost 0). So, at that point, where do his voters, who make up 25% or so of Republicans, go? Probably in the end most hold their nose and vote for the R nominee. Those are the paleo-conservative, Pat Buchanan, Stromfront crowd. Some stay home. But a decent % go to Johnson, I think. And that is real trouble for the Rs.

  23. avatar
    aarrgghh January 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    J. Potter: For being everything they worship, they loathe him.

    that’s because hardcore conservatives worship a fantasy; their dream candidate does not exist and cannot exist because any combination of its numerous internal contradictions would cause it to implode on contact with reality — which is exactly what the entire world can painfully see unfolding in the primary. republicans dreamt of a messiah, but upon rubbing their eyes, woke only to discover frankenstein’s monster.

  24. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Well said!

    aarrgghh: that’s because hardcore conservatives worship a fantasy; their dream candidate does not exist and cannot exist because any combination of its numerous internal contradictions would cause it to implode on contact with reality — which is exactly what the entire world can painfully see unfolding in the primary. republicans dreamt of a messiah, but upon rubbing their eyes, woke only to discover frankenstein’s monster.

  25. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Scientist, I think our positions are more similar on this topic than where we slightly differ.

    I agree that Paul voters stay with him as long as he is in the race. I also agree that a decent % would go to Johnson if they can’t get Paul and that would be a big threat to the GOP in the fall.

    I do think the portion of Paul’s supporters that would peel away from the GOP to either stick with Paul (or go Libertarian or stay home) is much greater than you feel would.

    I also agree that Paul’s chances of actually receiving the GOP nomination are quite small – but I think that the main factor in that is due to the overwhelming Establishment & Media resistance to him. I’d place his “ceiling” as also an important factor… I just think it can go much higher (under the right conditions) than everyone would have us believe.

    However, I just like to remind and stress that his organization and financial abilities are not limitations for him – they are strengths. I only keep harping on this point, because the media and memes out there seem to so excessively discount it…and even perversely, sometimes point to it as somehow a “weakness” for him.

    In that same vein, I simply push back that the meme of Paul having “no chance” is way overdone out there. Yes, his realistic chances (probabilities) are small, but they are still POSSIBLE. Not likely (i.e. not probable) but not infintessimal to the point of being treated as impossible either.

    My whole point on that is that each candidate has their own window in the calendar of this race to improve, lesson or completely render an end to their chances of success in this race.

    Bachmann’s, Santorum’s and even Perry’s window were very dependent on Iowa Santorum succeeded there and continues on…completely changing the probabilities and dynamics for himself and the race as a result. Bachmann failed and came to an end.

    Perry’s Iowa results didn’t help his closing window…but were just marginal to allow him to limp on to make one last attempt to regain traction in SC. That has now come to an end.

    Romney’s establishment backing, organization and financing along with “perceived inevitability” give him the biggest and longest window of everyone. Barring an utter collapse of his backing and financial structure, he should be able to go the distance and compete in every contest until the end. The only other thing that would change that is if he started losing several races in a row to someone else and then chickened out or caved to pressure to bow out to the new “frontrunner”. (That is the strategy Newt is hoping for). I would say such scenario is highly unlikely. But again, not impossible and not improbable either.

    More importantly, as long as Romney is the defacto lead, it is everyone else’s who has to prove themselves in order to match and stay in with him. At some point, strings of unopposed 1st place wins chalk up too much of a delegate margin for anyone else to take it away from him, regardless.

    Then, the rest of the race is just a matter of whether anyone else accumulates enough delegates to barter with for position or platform issues at the GOP convention – still matters of sufficient import to “runner ups” in the history and tradition of these races. In terms of what Paul can accomplish, that is his most realistic “hopeful” scenario.

    Newt and Santorum – their window right now really depends on SC. Anything other than a solid performance there should be the end for them. However, failure to outright win isn’t yet itself a guarantee that either will *need* to drop out before FL. A bad performance, sure (now with the race down to 4 – hard to justify getting less than 20%). But above that, each campaign has picked up enough money so far that they might try to give it another go and see if they can improve their fortunes.

    I think this “window” is in more jeopardy of closing for Santorum than Newt right now.

    Ron Paul is truly in a separate situation – he’s got the money and organization to go the distance, sure. But he also still has a more serious opportunity to try to turn his fortunes into something more real than most acknowledge. Neither SC or FL are where the true tests of his ability or support are in this race. Those are some of his weakest states. Therefore, his performance in both needs to be looked at more from a comparison to factors of growth and improvement over his performance in them from 2008. That will give a more honest perspective of whether he’s still holding up or gaining / losing support.

    The Feb calendar reflects a number of contests that I’ve already discussed extensively in the last few weeks – one’s that are particularly suited to Paul and therefore give him chances to surprise that no one is paying attention to. All I’m saying is that if he can pull of any such upsets in that period of pre-Super Tuesday events… *that* is his window to make something happen. It truly would close after Super-Tuesday is done if he hasn’t pulled a 1st place rabbit out of the hat somewhere. Sure, he can still collect a limited amount of delegates, but he ceases to be a “contender” at that point, regardless of whether he continues on or not.

    My whole point is that I caution buying into being too quickly dismissive and ruling him out until we’ve reached that point in the calendar and learned whether or not he can pull out any surprises. Because if he does, his chances and window remain open and extend.

    Scientist: That is what I meant-the Paul voters stay with Paul untill he finally is beaten. I see less chance than you that Paul could win the R nomination (almost 0). So, at that point, where do his voters, who make up 25% or so of Republicans, go? Probably in the end most hold their nose and vote for the R nominee. Those are the paleo-conservative, Pat Buchanan, Stromfront crowd. Some stay home. But a decent % go to Johnson, I think. And that is real trouble for the Rs.

  26. avatar
    G January 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    SC is all about the Conservative Alternative battle – either Romney beats them or they have a chance. (Newt or Santorum…or even both). Paul just needs to do well compared to his 2008 turnout there.

    FL will be shaped by SC, obviously, but it is a state where both Romney and Newt have strong presences, regardless. If Newt stays in the race after SC, he can use that fanbase to rationalize making a go at FL regardless. Again, here Paul still needs his supporters to turnout for him, but this is the race he’s least focused on in his campaign strategy.

    Most of the immediate post-FL media focus goes to NV – as it is the “first in the West”. Both Romeny & Paul have strong followings there. Newt’s numbers have shown that he has a base of support above just last years “bubble effect” there as well – not as great as SC or FL – so he needs to pull them off and still be in this to go after NV…but if Newt is still in competition by then, NV holds promise for him as well.

    Santorum’s chances in either FL or NV would require him to do really well in SC and be perceived at that point as more favorable over Newt. His chances more and more become tiled to being the only Conservative Alternative left at this point.

    For Paul, he benefits if enough can remain in that it is not just him & Romney going into or coming out of FL. If he can keep it at least a 3-way race into NV, he can regain competitiveness there. However, with all the focus there, that is actually the least likely of those early Feb contests for him to pull off a surprise.

    His chances are much better in the caucus races in ME, CO, MN and even the beauty-contest primary of MS, all which take place by Feb 7th. Especially if everyone else is mostly still distracted with a Conservative vs. Romney battle and mainly only focused on NV. Those are his key targets and chances to change his fortunes.

    Scientist: That is what I meant-the Paul voters stay with Paul untill he finally is beaten. I see less chance than you that Paul could win the R nomination (almost 0). So, at that point, where do his voters, who make up 25% or so of Republicans, go? Probably in the end most hold their nose and vote for the R nominee. Those are the paleo-conservative, Pat Buchanan, Stromfront crowd. Some stay home. But a decent % go to Johnson, I think. And that is real trouble for the Rs.

  27. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    Joey:
    Today it comes out that Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s second wife) is saying that he asked her for an “open marriage” so that he could date his third and current wife, Callista.

    Gingrich should have just become a Mormon.

  28. avatar
    Thrifty January 20, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    News stories are saying Gingrich is surging in South Carolina, but isn’t that one of the less significant primaries? I’m sure they’ve still got more delegates than, say, Alaska or Wyoming or Delaware, but isn’t the state still being penalized and losing delegates because they moved their primary ahead?

    What I’m personally finding most disturbing about this election is that Romney is being attacked for being a moderate. How awful that being moderate should be considered a vice. I know some liberals attack President Obama for not being as liberal as he seemed to be during the 2008 campaign, but they at least seem more, I dunno, understanding. Like the attitude isn’t “President Obama is a weak willed moderate and bad for the country” but more “Damnit he’s not as liberal as I’d like though maybe others might find that more appealing though personally it makes me second guess my decision to vote for him.”

  29. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Gingrich is the Laughing Buddha!

  30. avatar
    Majority Will January 20, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Thrifty: News stories are saying Gingrich is surging in South Carolina

    What about his campaign aides? Is he surging in them too?

  31. avatar
    Majority Will January 20, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    J. Potter:
    Gingrich is the Laughing Buddha!

    All I can say is I’m so glad that photo is cropped from the chest up.

  32. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Majority Will: All I can say is I’m so glad that photo is cropped from the chest up.

    If I get bored enough, I may erase his clothes to up teh creep factor. If I can keep my cookies down long enough.

  33. avatar
    Majority Will January 20, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    J. Potter: If I get bored enough, I may erase his clothes to up teh creep factor. If I can keep my cookies down long enough.

    You could market it as a guaranteed weight loss program.

    I feel bad for the shame and disgrace brought to innocent aquatic amphibians.

  34. avatar
    Lupin January 20, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I read in the NY TIMES that Monsieur Romney speaks (some?) French:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/kristof-why-is-europe-a-dirty-word.html

    Ouh la la. Presumably that will be the nail in the coffin.

  35. avatar
    J. Potter January 20, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Lupin: I read in the NY TIMES that Monsieur Romney speaks (some?) French:

    Yep he was a missionary in France.

    Supposedly, he was planning to run in ’08 under the slogan “First, not France”

    http://www.salon.com/2007/05/04/france_12/

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/02/27/document_shows_romneys_strategies/?page=full

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1643290_1643292_1644540,00.html

    http://bluemassgroup.com/2007/03/first-not-france/

    [Your choice of mind-boggled expletive here]

  36. avatar
    Lupin January 20, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    J. Potter: Yep he was a missionary in France.

    Supposedly, he was planning to run in ’08 under the slogan “First, not France”

    http://www.salon.com/2007/05/04/france_12/

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/02/27/document_shows_romneys_strategies/?page=full

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1643290_1643292_1644540,00.html

    http://bluemassgroup.com/2007/03/first-not-france/

    [Your choice of mind-boggled expletive here]

    Maybe he meant: “FIST, not France”?

  37. avatar
    Scientist January 20, 2012 at 10:31 am #

    Lupin: I read in the NY TIMES that Monsieur Romney speaks (some?) French:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/opinion/sunday/kristof-why-is-europe-a-dirty-word.htmlOuh la la. Presumably that will be the nail in the coffin.

    Newt Gingrich also speak French. He lived in Orleans as a teen, while his father was stationed at a military base near there. He did his PhD thesis in History on Belgian colonial policy in the Congo, which undoubtedly required reading documents in French.

  38. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    J. Potter:
    Gingrich is the Laughing Buddha!

    Gingrich is the model for the Pillsbury doughboy. Or were they seperated at birth?

  39. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny January 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Scientist: Newt Gingrich also speak French.He lived in Orleans as a teen, while his father was stationed at a military base near there.He did his PhD thesis in History on Belgian colonial policy in the Congo, which undoubtedly required reading documents in French.

    http://www.vosizneias.com/96197/2011/12/03/washington-gingrich-obama-should-fire-u-s-ambassador-to-belgium-for-linking-surge-in-anti-semitism-to-israel/

    The comments are of course predictable.

    Gutman managed to visit every commune in Belgium and talk to the mayor or at least a member of the council. (quite a feat, considering some communes have fewer than 3,000 inhabitants and there is one with fewer than 100) I have a suspicion some of those local politicians may have told him why Israel is so impopular in Belgium to the point that only the extreme-right wing Vlaams Belang and the right-wing New Flemish Alliance support Israel’s policies.

    That is why Newt’s thesis became a news item in Belgian newspapers. And not one single journalist reading it thought it would have passed at a Belgian university.

  40. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: only the extreme-right wing Vlaams Belang and the right-wing New Flemish Alliance support Israel’s policies.

    When Glenn Beck is your only friend, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    Paul Pieniezny: http://www.vosizneias.com/96197/2011/12/03/washington-gingrich-obama-should-fire-u-s-ambassador-to-belgium-for-linking-surge-in-anti-semitism-to-israel/
    The comments are of course predictable.

    Gutman is Jewish, so now he is a self-hating Jew. Whenever I spoke out against the settlements, someone would shout at me, “You’re not Jewish.” I always replied, “the Germans say I am.’

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy January 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    At the time it was said of Francophile Thomas Jefferson that he was “too French to be President.” Jefferson was a French citizen while he served as President.

    Scientist: Newt Gingrich also speak French.

  42. avatar
    Scientist January 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    The only President who grew up speaking a language other than English was Martin van Buren, who was born and raised in Kinderhook, New York, in a household that spoke Dutch, just as most people in what had been New Netherlands did at the time.

  43. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Paul Pieniezny: That is why Newt’s thesis became a news item in Belgian newspapers. And not one single journalist reading it thought it would have passed at a Belgian university.

    Gingrich’s degrees are from Kennesaw State. Kennesaw is in Cobb country, where Leo Frank was lynched. One time while travelling, I stayed in a motel there. When we went to breakfast, and drove to a plaza, I said to my wife “we haven’t seen one black person here. The only one we’ve seen who is not white, is the Korean who owns the dry cleaners.”

    Kennesaw State is a 2nd tier school.

    -Fall 2010 acceptance rate – 64%
    -Students required to own/lease a computer – No
    -Kennesaw State University’s ranking in the 2012 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (South), 61.
    -“At Kennesaw State University, 61.0 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $5,989.” Sounds like socialism. Oops.
    http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/kennesaw-state-university-1577

    In 1981, Morton Grove became the first town in America to prohibit the possession of handguns. Victor Quilici, a local lawyer, sued the city (Quilici v. Morton Grove). The federal district court as well as the Appellate Court ruled the Morton Grove ordinance to be constitutional, thus upholding the gun ban. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, letting the lower court decision stand. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morton_Grove,_Illinois#Handgun_ban

    True story: When Morton Grove passed its handgun ban, Kennesaw passed a law requiring every homeowner to have a handgun. Progressive people there. Just look at Gingrich.

  44. avatar
    Scientist January 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    misha: Gingrich’s degrees are from Kennesaw State.

    Sorry misha, I’m no fan of Gingrich’s, but facts are facts. He got his BA from Emory and his PhD from Tulane. Both are good schools. He taught at West Georgia College which, is in Carrolton, GA and left when he was denied tenure.

    I’m not sure where you got Kennesaw State from, but Newt neither studied nor taught there.

  45. avatar
    Majority Will January 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Scientist:
    The only President who grew up speaking a language other than English was Martin van Buren, who was born and raised in Kinderhook, New York, in a household that spoke Dutch, just as most people in what had been New Netherlands did at the time.

    George W. Bush is fluent in gibberish. He may have picked it up at drunken frat parties.

    ”If you don’t stand for anything, you don’t stand for anything! If you don’t stand for something, you don’t stand for anything!”

    – Presidential candidate George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

    ”I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right.”

    – President George W. Bush, Rome, Italy, July 22, 2001

    ”I don’t particularly like it when people put words in my mouth, either, by the way, unless I say it.”

    – President George W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Nov. 10, 2007

  46. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I don’t know how you would characterize SC as “one of the less significant primaries” at all.

    Even though the early states are often smaller in delegate count and have their delegates slashed in half this year, they have been the key to “winnowing the field” and therefore shaping the race. That has to be one of the most significant advantages in the entire structure.

    Second, only NH has officially allocated its delegates so far and only had 12 total to give out – 7 to Romney, 3 to Paul and 2 to Huntsman.

    IA will eventually allocate 25. People are guessing on how they will allocate, but that doesn’t happen until several steps later in the process and really comes down to who’s supporters get selected in several upcoming conventions to be delegate representatives. They are “unbound” delegates, meaning the person eventually chosen to cast that delegate vote can vote for whomever they want. Note: Paul’s team has been focused on trying to load his supporters into many of those positions as possible and thus could end up getting more delegates that expected.

    SC also has 25 delegates to allocate. They allocate as follows: 11 to the winner of the state, plus 2 to the winner of each congressional district (they have 7 districts).

    In the early calendar, FL is the big prize. It too is cut in half, but still has 50 delegates to give as a result.

    For all the rest of the 8 pre-Super Tuesday contests, they range between 24 – 43 in how many delegates they offer (with one exception – N. Mariana Islands is only 9).

    There are also 132 “Super Delegates”, beyond what the state races offer.

    So, SC is still a decent size and prize in these early races. Not that big, but still more important than NH and just as important as IA in terms of delegates.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Results_of_the_2012_Republican_Party_presidential_primaries

    NOTE: In order to secure the GOP Nomination, someone must attain at least 1144 total delegates.

    Thrifty: News stories are saying Gingrich is surging in South Carolina, but isn’t that one of the less significant primaries? I’m sure they’ve still got more delegates than, say, Alaska or Wyoming or Delaware, but isn’t the state still being penalized and losing delegates because they moved their primary ahead?

  47. avatar
    G January 20, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Two things:

    1 – If you haven’t heard GOP folks slam those they consider “moderate” or call them RINOs and try to ween them out of the party, then you’ve been naively asleep for way too many years. They’ve been trying to “purge” moderates from the party since the 1990s. That was actually part of Newt’s agenda back in those days. The pace and push has only increased and become more viscerally hostile over time. This is a party that has shrunk its big tent and seems stuck in an endless spiral of moving further and further to the right. Heck, anything to the left of “hard right” is too “moderate” in today’s GOP. So moderate is a term that doesn’t even mean moderate anymore. What was considered far-right a decade ago might be viewed by them as too moderate today.

    2 – What makes you think that Romeny *is* a moderate at all? Other than that being a media meme, what is there to actually back it up? Just because he seemed less crazy or extreme than the rest of the weak field he’s competing with? That doesn’t make him moderate. Just because he’s said some things that seem “moderate” or “reasonable” in front of certain audiences at a certain time? That doesn’t seem to mean anything, when dealing with a shameless panderer either.

    All that we can say about Romney is that he is an all around phoney and will say anything that he thinks will get him elected. Who knows if he has any core beliefs at all besides just wanting to be President. Change the audience listening and he’ll change his positions to pander to them. This clearly seems like a guy who can be casually bought by whomever will back him at the moment. You don’t get a President with him, you get a Windsock Puppet, that’s all.

    If he got elected, there is no serious reason to think he’d suddenly grow a backbone and govern on any principles at all. No, he’ll just be owned and controlled by those he owes for getting him elected and those he needs to get himself re-elected. Whoever is pulling the strings and has the moneyed connections on a hot-button issue at the moment will be where his wind of governance blows. Considering how the moneyed power structure and the special interest groups are lined up, that is certainly no longer “moderate” at all.

    Being serious, if we got a President Romney, expect the neo-cons to be the first to put the squeeze on him and we’ll see Puppet Romney launch a pre-emptive war into Iran within his first few months of office.

    He’ll also be beholden to just push whatever is the Red Meat Deep Red agenda at the time… because those are the people in the GOP congress and who will have gotten him elected and who he has to constantly appease to get re-elected. But he will mostly be beholden to the various Big Money special interest industries out there.

    If you want to see the most Corporate Controlled Puppet Government possible, by all means, pretend that Romney is somehow “moderate” instead of just a hollow and shameless pandering Puppet.

    Thrifty: What I’m personally finding most disturbing about this election is that Romney is being attacked for being a moderate. How awful that being moderate should be considered a vice. I know some liberals attack President Obama for not being as liberal as he seemed to be during the 2008 campaign, but they at least seem more, I dunno, understanding. Like the attitude isn’t “President Obama is a weak willed moderate and bad for the country” but more “Damnit he’s not as liberal as I’d like though maybe others might find that more appealing though personally it makes me second guess my decision to vote

  48. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Scientist: I’m not sure where you got Kennesaw State from, but Newt neither studied nor taught there.

    I stand corrected. I was given bad information, did not check it independently, and just repeated what I was told.

  49. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Majority Will: George W. Bush is fluent in gibberish.

    “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

    “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” —Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

    “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

    “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” —Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

    “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

    “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” —Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

  50. avatar
    Scientist January 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    misha: I stand corrected. I was given bad information, did not check it independently, and just repeated what I was told.

    No problem, misha. Frankly, a lot of the nonsense Newt spouts would be more understandable if he was a poorly-educated hick, rather than a graduate of good schools.

  51. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    G: All that we can say about Romney is that he is an all around phoney and will say anything that he thinks will get him elected. Who knows if he has any core beliefs at all besides just wanting to be President. Change the audience listening and he’ll change his positions to pander to them.

    Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others. – Groucho Marx

    G: Being serious, if we got a President Romney, expect the neo-cons to be the first to put the squeeze on him and we’ll see Puppet Romney launch a pre-emptive war into Iran within his first few months of office.

    Warning: if Romney is elected, Israel will attack Iran, and the US will get sucked in. I know I’ve made mistakes in my comments before, but this is not a mistake: it will be the start of WWIII.

  52. avatar
    misha January 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Scientist: a lot of the nonsense Newt spouts would be more understandable if he was a poorly-educated hick, rather than a graduate of good schools.

    Gingrich sounds like a Kennesaw graduate, which confirmed it for me.

  53. avatar
    Keith January 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    misha: Kennesaw State is a 2nd tier school.

    Scientist: I’m not sure where you got Kennesaw State from, but Newt neither studied nor taught there.

    And what is wrong with a 2nd tier school anyway? Arizona State is a 2nd tier school and nobody ever makes fun of Arizona State… oh. wait. never mind.

  54. avatar
    misha January 21, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    Lupin: I read in the NY TIMES that Monsieur Romney speaks (some?) French:

    Lupin: France threatens early withdrawal from Afghanistan

    Read on:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/france-halts-training-after-afghan-soldier-kills-4-french-troops/2012/01/20/gIQA77sADQ_story.html

  55. avatar
    JPotter January 21, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    J. Potter:
    Gingrich is the Laughing Buddha!

    Buddha be free!

    (It’s the weekend.)

  56. avatar
    Paul Pieniezny January 21, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Scientist: Sorry misha, I’m no fan of Gingrich’s, but facts are facts.He got his BA from Emory and his PhD from Tulane.Both are good schools.He taught at West Georgia College which, is in Carrolton, GA and left when he was denied tenure.

    I’m not sure where you got Kennesaw State from, but Newt neither studied nor taught there.

    To be fair on Newt and Tulane, until our present King ascended the throne in 1993, it was not done in Belgium to condemn the way Leopold II had ruled the Congo as an absolute monarch until the Belgian State took over in 1908.

    Basically to state that for the Congolese the change in 1908 was like the switch from Stalin to Gorbachev in one go, is an understatement “of biblical proportions”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_Free_State#End_and_annexation_as_Belgian_Congo

    Two problems here: since 1960 and Congo’s independence, foreigners have confused both periods. Belgians who wanted to know the truth about the Free State had to read sources in the English language. Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad were dismissed by the apologetics as mere novelists and Roger Casement, of course, was “an international freedom fighter avant la lettre, who was eventually hanged by his own government as a terrorist”. The English are not neutral, they wanted the Congo for themselves, and the combined forces of Germany, France, Portugal and other European states prevented that – that has been the story you heard from the Belgian right for half a century.

    The journalists I read, feel Gingrich was too friendly for the Belgian colonialists (the post 1908 ones, I hasten to add) but did not mention enough of their mistakes – the main one being that they thought they would always be the boss, so never promoted higher education and ensured that the only real African professionals after 1960 were to be found in the military.

    Surprise, surprise, Newt’s thesis is precisely about education. And he does not seem to have any Congolese sources. Only Belgian ones.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/opinion/what-gingrich-didnt-learn-in-congo.html?_r=1

    At the time Newt wrote this, it was not done in Belgium to criticize Leopold II, but you could write anything almost libellous about the post-1908 colonizers.

    Perhaps Newt wanted to counterbalance that, and his University appreciated his intellectual
    effort. Perhaps.

    By the way, some letters by readers in the Belgian newspapers claimed the journalists were right to pick on Gingrich because “it is the fault of the USA that we had to leave in 1960”. One of these letters was even by a recent African immigrant from the Congo.

  57. avatar
    Greenfinches January 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    JPotter: Buddha be free!

    (It’s the weekend.)

    hey a health warning, please, so sensitive souls like me don’t click on the link unprepared…..

  58. avatar
    JPotter January 22, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Sorry, GF, you are correct, I had posted the unedited image, and suggested I might dress it down a bit, but if you didn’t see all that …. yeah, sorry. Very irresponsible of me.

  59. avatar
    Greenfinches January 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    JPotter:
    Sorry, GF, you are correct, I had posted the unedited image, and suggested I might dress it down a bit, but if you didn’t see all that …. yeah, sorry. Very irresponsible of me.

    I feel better now thanks, after a drink!