Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Call

And the final debate is in the books.  My initial thoughts:

Mitt Romney spent 80% of the debate agreeing with President Obama's foreign policy.  That was really the entire debate.  The other 20% was Mitt whining about the economy.

The details follow below the jump.

The Wrong Kind

Some four years after he was elected, after two books and numerous speeches and affirmations of his faith, major news organizations are still asking why major news organizations are baffled as to how anyone in America, including Barack Obama, can be both a social liberal and a Christian.

Obama is a progressive Christian who blends the emotional fire of the African-American church, the ecumenical outlook of contemporary Protestantism, and the activism of the Social Gospel, a late 19th-century movement whose leaders faulted American churches for focusing too much on personal salvation while ignoring the conditions that led to pervasive poverty. 
No other president has shared the hybrid faith that Obama displays, says Diana Butler Bass, a historian and author of “Christianity after Religion.” 
“The kind of faith that Obama articulates is not the sort of Christianity that’s understood by the media or by a large swath of Christians in the U.S.,” says Bass, a progressive Christian. “He’s a different kind of Christian, and the media and the public awareness needs to reawaken to that fact.”

Even though millions of liberal Christians exist, from Joe Biden to the Nuns on the Bus or my own family where I grew up, CNN is acting like this is a revelation, that the millions of Catholic, Protestant, Baptist and other flavors of liberal, progressive "I am my brother's keeper" Christians, who view the teachings of Jesus as lessons of social tolerance for all, respect for other's beliefs, compassion for those less fortunate and love of others to help them improve themselves, are some sort of insane cult.  They can't possibly be "real" Christians.  Real Christians are much more interested in telling you what you can't do, not what you can do.  It's the reason I don't subscribe to any organized religion anymore, because "be excellent to each other" and "don't be a douchebag" is way too simple a personal code to live by, apparently.

How hard is that to understand?

Some Christians, however, still see Obama as the “other.” He doesn’t act or talk like other Christians, says the Rev. Gary Cass, a conservative Christian president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

“I just don’t see or hear in his accounts the kind of things that I’ve heard as a minister for over 25 years coming from the mouths of people who have genuinely converted to Christianity,” says Cass, pastor of Christ Church in San Diego.

Cass says he’s never heard Obama say he’s “born-again.” There’s no emotional conversion story to hang onto.

Obama talks about his faith and attends church, but Cass says that doesn’t mean he’s a Christian.

Joining a church doesn’t mean you’re a Christian. “You can put me in the garage, but that doesn’t turn me into a car.”

Translation:  we don't want someone like him polluting our "Christianity".  That's why millions of asshole "Christians" believe the President is a Muslim, or atheist, or worships the Lords of Kobol or anything but a Christian, because that would be admitting that liberal Christianity exists.  It's a bit more than just racism, but otherism as well, and it's long been a big fat schism in American Christianity.

To admit that this brand of Christianity exists blows a huge hole in the whole religion as a cudgel thing.  To admit that President Barack Obama is a Christian is, to millions of Christians, admission that there are some uncomfortable political overtones to where Christianity has gone over the last 30 years in America.

We can't have that.  Better to call him a secret Muslim and be done with it.

Todd Akin: Analogy Fail

So, Todd Akin's wife compares the GOP calling for him to step down as being like a rape.

Akin compounds his "legitimate rape" stupidity by comparing McCaskill to a "wildcat" who had "been let out of her cage."  Oh yeah, he's a regular comedian.

Let's enjoy his newest statement, shall we?

With a little more than two weeks until Election Day, GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin's Saturday fundraiser was highlighted by a questionable analogy.
Two months after his "legitimate rape" comments sparked a firestorm of criticism, PoliticMo captured audio of Akin in Springfield, Mo., comparing Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill's work in office to that of a dog.
“She goes to Washington, D.C., it’s a little bit like one of those dogs, you know ‘fetch,’” Akin said. “She goes to Washington, D.C., and get all of these taxes and red tape and bureaucracy and executive orders and agencies and she brings all of this stuff and dumps it on us in Missouri.”
She's not very ladylike in Akin's estimation.  Now he's called her a bitch and she has so far refused to stoop to his level to answer.  She has to be giddy as he continues to make an ass of himself and the big day draws nearer.

Driving Kids Crazy

The school bus driver arrested Wednesday on charges of driving drunk when he brought a student from the Perkins School for the Blind home was hired by the bus company ­despite a record that includes seven prior ­license suspensions and two previous arrests on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Michael A. Tantillo, 41, of Leominster also lacked the proper pupil transport license.
It was the second time in 10 months that the company, Ride-Rite Medi-Van Inc. in Leominster, has raised concerns by allowing an unlicensed operator to drive a school bus. The company is now facing suspension or ­revocation of its school transportation license plates.
Let's not get too worried here.  They're just blind kids, right?  I mean, seven prior license suspensions surely skidded through a routine background check.  Right?

Those idiots.

How Lohan Can You Go?

Michael Lohan was NOT ALONE in orchestrating an emergency intervention on Lindsay Friday -- and TMZ has seen emails proving that her ENTIRE team, including her lawyers and her manager ... were 100% on board
The emails are between Michael, Evan Hainey (LiLo's manager) Dave Feldman (entertainment lawyer) and Shawn Holley (criminal defense lawyer). The emails were sent between Sept. 23rd and Oct. 18th (the day before  Michael's intervention). 
Michael emailed Evan and Shawn on Sept. 23rd, claiming he had been informed by several people Lindsay was "drinking between a bottle and a bottle and a half of vodka per day" adding, "I have seen the empty bottles and even cocaine in her room at Chateau."
Michael Lohan may be one of the worst dads ever, and he is alarmed for  his daughter.  Right now he does seem to be the one making the most sense.  Dina Lohan can't even carry on a conversation.  Lindsay can't get her act together because her mother enables her to justify her own insane behavior.  While he's a total schmuck in most regards, Lindsay's father really does seem to care and be on the side of those in the know.

The Huckleberry Hounds Of War

Sen. Lidnsey Graham doesn't actually have a solution for Iran right now, but he knows that goshdarnit, it can't involve any of that diplomacy crap.

Well I think the Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle to continue to talk. As we talk with the Iranians whether it’s bilaterally or unilaterally, they continue to enrich. And the vice president and the president said we will do nothing without coordinating with Israel. So we’ve talked with them in Moscow. We’ve talked with them in Baghdad. They continue to enrich. I think the time for talking is over. We should be demanding transparency and access to their nuclear program. They’ve doubled their centrifuges so I think this is a ploy by the Iranians. I hope we’re talking to the Israelis and as we continue to talk, they continue to enrich and they’re trying to break apart the coalition. 

Yes, let's forget diplomacy, let's threaten them with "or else" stuff.  And actually, our crippling economic sanctions have gotten Iran in a near panic as it is.  You can certainly bet a President Romney would be making sure that "or else" is military action.  After all, if we're going to be spending two trillion more on the Pentagon under Mittens, we might as well have another costly and awful ground war or three to show for it, right?

There seems to be plenty of appetite for that in the Senate.  Perhaps we should elect more crazy Republicans into office so we can have ourselves another decade-long quagmire.  Sure seems like about half the country is cool with that.

Mitt May Win Where It Counts

It's looking more and more like the Presidential election in 15 days may be decided by Ohio, and as I've said before, Ohio may be decided by Hamilton County and Cincinnati.  But it turns out Hamilton County may be really decided by the voting machine company Hart Intercivic...a company that has numerous ties and direct donations to the Romney campaign and Romney's son, Josh.  Hart Intercivic is owned at least in part by capital firm HIG, and from there, the story gets ugly, according to Forbes writer Lee Ungar.

Numerous media sources, including Truthout, are reporting that Solamere Capital—the investment firm run by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, and the home of money put into the closely held firm by Tagg’s uncle Scott, mother Anne and, of course, the dad who might just be the next President of the United States—depending upon how the vote count turns out, in our little tale, in the State of Ohio—have shared business interests with H.I.G. either directly or via Solamere Advisors which is owned, in part, by Solamere Capital, including a reported investment in H.I.G. by either Solamere Capital or Solamere Advisors.

Lee Fang, in his piece for The Nation exploring the government related activities of various companies in which Solamere has an interest writes-

“Meanwhile, HIG Capital—one of the largest Solamere partners, with nearly $10 billion of equity capital—owns a number of other firms that are closely monitoring the federal government. ”

While the Cincinnati scenario is —at this point—fiction, the rest of this story is all too true, including the part where the voting machines to be used in Hamilton County will be those provided by Hart Intercivic.

And while I am not suggesting conspiracies or that anyone would get involved in any foul play here, most particularly the GOP candidate for President, how is it possible that so many people could exercise so much bad judgment?

Gosh, that's an excellent question, you would think.  At best case, Josh Romney's involvement in HIG and Hart Intercivic represents a massive conflict of interest, especially given HIG's direct contributions to the Romney campaign as Hart Intercivic's partial owner.

Tony Tamer, H.I.G.’s founder, turns out to be a major bundler for the Mitt Romney campaign,  along with three other directors of H.I.G. who are also big-time money raisers for Romney.

Indeed, as fate would have it, two of those directors—Douglas Berman and Brian Schwartz— were actually in attendance at the now infamous “47 percent” fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida.

All this seems awfully convenient.   We'll see where things are in the final stretch, but if Ohio comes down to a recount, you can bet this will become the story of the election.  Keep an eye on it.


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