Sun Flowers Meadow wallpaper – Conservatism is a Substanceless Obsession, a Political Train Wreck

sunrise, nature, landscape

Sun Flowers Meadow wallpaper

 

Romney Rebuked in ‘Mini-Tuesday’ Republican Primaries

No delegates were directly awarded by Tuesday night’s primary in Missouri (it was non-binding) or caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota (as in Iowa, they were merely precinct-delegate elections accompanied by a presidential poll). But the results — Rick Santorum’s stunning sweep of all three states — were nonetheless a major rebuke to Mitt Romney.

Santorum could not have had a better night. He won Missouri by a stunning 30 points over the second-place Romney. In Minnesota, Romney polled a distant third, with Ron Paul in second place. And in Colorado, where Romney thought he had a safe lead, Santorum staged an upset.

Giving his victory speech in Missouri, Santorum made the most of the opportunity, giving a rallying cry of a speech that emphasized his strengths: authenticity and passion. He mounted a tough-talking attack on President Obama that made him sound like a nominee-in-waiting — “He thinks he knows better. He thinks he’s smarter. He thinks some privileged person should be able to rule over all of you” — while never losing sight of Romney, either. (emphasis mine)

Little Rick Santorum today's wing-nut cock of the walk

Little Rick Santorum today’s wing-nut cock of the walk

I understand the elitist rabid Right using the elitist card, but Santorum used it in an obvious fumble. Why is he or the other candidates running for office, or any right-winger for any office. Because they think they know “better”. If Santorum doesn’t think he is better – a fundamental component of arrogance – than why bother. Read conservative web sites, magazines and blogs, listen to right-wing radio – the daily message is that they are superior and have all the answers. It doesn’t matter how often or deeply they fail at government, they believe in their innate superiority over others. There is some of that arrogance in all politicians. Though  Democrats do see governing as a battle of ideas. They have better ideas about the economy – as their record shows. When the discussion turns to poverty conservatives tout statistics that show the current generation of Americans have things like TVs and wash machines. They just be too clever. What they’re proving with those stats is that programs like Medicaid, Social Security, along with public policy programs like education funding, community colleges and a public university system do lift large numbers of people out of the abject poverty we had in the 1960s and before. Having a minimum wage that automatically increased with the cost of living would also help more.

When conservatives like Santorum, Gingrich and Romney think of the current state of the economy they think they and conservative polcies had nothing to do with it. Some how via magical unicorns the economy just got to where it is. If that rationalization doesn’t work they’ll blame Freddie Mac ( Freddie Mac has had some corrupt executives over the years, but they are not what caused the financial meltdown). Or some how the gov’mint caused it. True the government had a hand it, but not in the way Santorum believes. Bush and a conservative Congress could have done far more to reign in Wall Street excesses and choose not to. All the conservative presidential candidates have a lot in common in their platforms. Among their top priorities? Gutting the modest financial reforms that would better protect consumers and investors. Wall Street is back to trading derivatives they cannot pay off. The same for CDOs. If there is a conservative president and a conservative Congress should Wall Street collapse once again they’ll find some way to deflect blame. Most of us probably have an acquittance or co-worker like that. If they lose at cards or bowling, or their ideas at work always fail, it is never their fault.

If Freddie and Fannie are evil than why, until last night, were the two front runners neck deep in Freddie and fannie money. We all know that Newt took Freddie mac money as an “historical” consultant, but Mitt has some big bucks invested in them – big bucks to me anyway, Romney Pummels, Profits From Fannie, Freddie

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has long been critical of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blaming the government-backed housing lenders for inducing the home-mortgage crisis and saying they have become too unwieldy.

“I look at Fannie and Freddie and just think that obviously they’ve grown massively beyond the scope that had been envisioned for them originally,” he said two weeks ago at a forum in South Carolina. “The failures of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd are just so legion that we have to rethink about how we’re going to support a growing housing industry.”

Yet Romney has profited from investments that were made in both government entities, according to his personal finance disclosure forms and documents compiled by American Bridge, one of several Democratic groups in Washington formed to back the election campaigns of Obama and other Democrats.

The issue illustrates the potential perils for a candidate with vast financial holdings whose rhetoric does not necessarily match his investment interests.

“Once again, Mitt Romney has proven his hypocrisy knows no limits,” said Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for American Bridge, which was formed earlier this year and has been going through the records of President Obama’s potential opponents. “To continually attack the housing crisis, yet invest up to a half a million dollars in the major players is absolutely mind boggling. I didn’t know a person could flip flop on themselves, but Romney has proven that wrong.”

[...]

Romney made the investment in a mutual fund called the Government Obligation Fund, managed by Federated Investors Inc. The fund invests in a wide variety of sources, including government agencies and US Treasury notes. But out of a $28.5 billion portfolio, nearly half of the fund was in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Home Loan Bank notes, according to an SEC filing made in April.

Those Who In Live Glass Houses…Mitt and Fannie

 

I had to read some Wingnuttia analysis of why Romney bombed and Santorum won, so who better than Always Wrong Bill Kristol, Romneycare: Worth Getting Worried About

So Santorum has a chance. He’s run an impressive campaign, but he’d better be wearing armor and kevlar tomorrow morning, when the Romney team unleashes all of its negative artillery against him. But what can Romney dwell on that would damage Santorum as much as Romneycare harms Romney? When Santorum was assailing Romney on health care in Jacksonville, Romney told Santorum, “It’s not worth getting angry about.” Well, the voters in Missouri and Minnesota may not have been angry, but something about Mitt Romney concerned them. I suspect at the heart of their concern was Romneycare. And I suspect it’s worth Mitt Romney getting worried about.

Romneycare and probably reached a peak 22 debates ago. Certainly Democratic pundits and bloggers know that Romney took a lot of pride in signing it into law and the right-wing conservative Heritage Foundation was proud that they thought the plan was the responsible free market solution to getting everyone in Massachusetts insurance. Is it possible that  for tens of thousands of conservatives the light suddenly came on. It’s possible. It could be that some blue collar conservatives are finding out that Romney and Gingrich are so corrupt they put Prohibition era gangsters to shame. It is not that corruption seems to bother the average conservative much – they have been enabling for over half a century. They’ might see Santorum as the least corrupt, so the most electable. I wouldn’t bet on it, but with his rise, Santourm will become the next bull’s eye for Romney’s formidable attack machine. They’ll do to little Ricky what they did to Newt in Florida.

Trump doesn’t  ‘get Rick Santorum;’ talks Romney cabinet position

 Trump says, “Rick Santorum was a sitting senator who in re-election lost by 19 points, to my knowledge the most in the history of this country for a sitting senator to lose by 19 points. It’s unheard of. Then he goes out and says oh ‘okay’ I just lost by the biggest margin in history and now I’m going to run for president. Tell me, how does that work? … That’s like me saying I just failed a test. Now I’m going to apply for admission to the Wharton School of Finance. Okay? He just failed a test…. And now he’s going to run for president. So, I don’t get Rick Santorum. I don’t get that whole thing.”

On a Romney cabinet position, Trump continues, “I don’t know maybe a position where I negotiate against some of these countries. Because they are really taking our lunch.”

Funny that Trump sees Santorum’s failures as reason not to vote for, but does not see conservationism 60 years of failure. Trump must be appealing to the grossly ignorant voter – those who think we give away 25% of the budget in foreign aid – it is actually only 1 percent. The top beneficiary of U.S. aid is and has been for years – Israel. Egypt is second. Reagan and even Bush 43 increased foreign aid, ostensibly to help spread democracy. The media seem to live Trump. he is one of the reasons I keep a finger hovering over the mute button, you never know when he’ll pop up. What exactly does he thinks qualifies him for a Cabinet level position. His massive knowledge of bankruptcy. His long familiarity with young trophy wives. Maybe because his bullsh*t works in the NY and Nevada real estate markets, he can bull his way through talks about nuclear disarmament. Better start digging the bomb shelter.

Good quote from one of Paul Krugman’s blog posts today –  So we’ve created a society in which many young people see no chance of ever achieving middle-class status.

The whole birth control bruhaha. Listening to the Right you get the impression that health insurance coverage for birth control is some secret conspiracy that has just been uncovered by the conservative truth squads. Many Catholic Universities, Hospitals Already Cover Contraception In Their Health Insurance Plans and Majority of Catholics Think Employers Should Be Required to Provide Health Care Plans that Cover Birth Control at No Cost

If conservatives really want to go there and make a big issue out of providing modern 21st century health care to women, Romney and likely quite a few millionaire conservative have some explaining to do - Mitt Romney Is Financially Invested In The Birth Control He Seeks To Restrict

Romney’s Goldman Sachs 2002 Exchange Place Fund, valued at over a million dollars in 2010, brought in nearly $600,000 in gains in 2010 and is invested in:

- Watson Pharmaceuticals: manufacturer of nine forms of emergency contraception (which Romney incorrectly identifies as “abortifacients“).
- Johnson & Johnson: launched the first U.S. prescription birth control product in 1931 and produces various forms of birth control.
- Merck: produces various forms of birth control
- Mylan: produces birth control medication and filed the first application for a generic birth control pill last year.
- Pfizer: a contraception producer that recently had to recall about a million packs of birth-control pills that weren’t packaged correctly.

Romney often disclaims any responsibility for or knowledge of his own investments by claiming that they are held in a private trust. But since filing his legally-required public financial disclosure reports and certifying that the information is “true, complete, and correct” to the best of his knowledge, the trust ceased to be a “blind trust” as he knew what was in it. Romney signed such disclosure forms last August and during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid in August 2007.

These companies probably see their products as an answer to market forces – there is clearly a demand and they supply the product. So suddenly the Right wants to Marxist when it comes to women’s health.

There is no such thing as a rational, informed, enlightened political philosophy called conservatism. Conservatism like all political theory should be judged by its actions first. If it constantly eats its own tail, it is not a way of thinking or of governing – unless incompetence is governing. It is not the solution to any problem. It is a giant train wreck.