Map of Florida and West Indies1796 – Romneyism and The Plutocratic Model For America

Map of Florida and West Indies – 1796

This map was created by English mariner Captain Joseph Smith Speer. Note that U.S. territory is in green and does not include Florida or any territory west of the Mississippi.

Thomas Jefferson Banner 1800

The banner is one of the earliest known and preserved partisan political images. It shows Jefferson’s victory over John Adams in the presidential election of 1800. Flowing out from the eagle is a streamer in its beak that proclaims, “T. Jefferson President of the United States of America / John Adams is no more.”

Robert Reich’s closing argument against Mitt Romney, Romneyism

The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are:

1. Corporations are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.

2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.

3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant.

4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation.

5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority.

6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy.

I’m not crazy about some of the phrasing, but the major points are still good ones. While political junkies have known this for some time, this election has been notable for Republicans shouting from the roof tops their plantation master view of American workers. Human beings are reduced in the Republican view as mere means to the most profitable ends. Other values are either placed well down on the list, or disregarded almost entirely. There used to be a bumper sticker that was fairly popular back in the 90s that said those who die with the most toys wins. Conservatives took that bumper sticker as some kind of holy writ.

Conservative bureaucrats in Ohio as the energizer bunnies of voting rights infringement, Ohio’s Provisional Ballot Order: The Biggest Legal Story of the Weekend

The motion also is important for what it says these days about Husted and the way he is running the state’s elections. Leaving aside the provisional ballot court fight for a moment, Saturday’s early voting period was hectic, largely because Husted and his fellow Republicans succeeded this cycle in reducing the number of early-voting weekends from five to one. Indeed, they tried to eliminate all such early voting, which traditionally helps wage earners who can’t vote during regular business hours on weekdays, but were rejected in this effort by the federal courts.

This story from the NYT – Petraeus’s Quieter Style at C.I.A. Leaves Void on Libya Furor, is part of the inspiration for this report, News Outlets Held Back Detail Of Benghazi Attack At CIA’s Request

U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on a not-for-attribution basis, provided reporters Thursday with the most detailed explanation yet of the CIA’s presence in Benghazi, Libya, and the agency’s response to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack, while also identifying the two former Navy SEALs killed that night as being employed by the CIA.

But some news organizations, including the Associated Press, The New York Times and The Washington Post, already knew that the two former SEALs — Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were working for the CIA and had agreed not to publish the information at the government’s request.

Reports  or rather spin from Fox News and conservative pundits has portrayed the SEALS as just some guys who bravely helped out when President Obama or the military did not respond fast enough. It is an important element of the narrative that these guys were there working for the CIA and responding to such emergencies was part of their job. They’re still heroes, but not the accidental heroes taking up some slack Fox has tried to turn them into.

Noble prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz: “Romney’s Plan is Based on Magic”

What’s at stake in this election for the U.S. economy?

Quite a lot. First, there’s what we call the macro-economy. The budget cuts that Romney/Ryan propose will certainly slow growth. If the European downturn continues that could tip us into a recession. The cuts certainly won’t provide the kind of stimulus that Obama’s jobs bill, for instance, pushes. Romney’s plan is based on magic: Just because he gets elected, the economy is supposed to take off. There is no evidence that anything like that would happen. Quite the contrary — I think the opposite would happen. The business community would see the cutbacks coming and that would itself cause a slowdown in the economy.

So that’s the macroeconomy. Secondly, the Romney/Ryan budget promises to spend more on the military while cutting taxes and cutting the deficit, and that means only one thing. If you look at the arithmetic, it means less investment in infrastructure, R&D, education … it just can’t add up any other way. And that means we’ll be growing more slowly in the future.

The irony is that these two things — lower growth now and lower growth in the future — means that our debt-to-GDP ratio won’t improve, it will get worse. So even if you were foolish enough to think that the debt-to-GDP ratio is the main determinant of future prosperity — which it’s not — the Romney agenda will fail.

And although I don’t like what’s called “presidential economics,” where you look solely at what happens under a particular presidential regime, the fact is that Romney has many of the same economic advisers that Bush did. Those economic advisers essentially doubled the debt in eight years. And that was in a period of relatively high growth. Why would we think that wouldn’t happen again? I don’t see any reason for that. Particularly when the global environment is more adverse.

While most Americans agree with Stiglitz, Romney and conservatives see making America into a plutocracy as a virtuous goal rather than the end of democracy and genuine competitive capitalism.

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