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“Not Even Close”: Newsweek Gets It Wrong, Mitt Romney Is A Bully

Howard Kurtz, whose usual beat (for the last 20+ years) is media reporting, not politics, has a story in this week’s Newsweek claiming that John McCain is desperate to help Mitt Romney, but Romney is apparently not seeking the legendary maverick’s assistance.

The headline says McCain staged a campaign intervention for Mitt Romney, but that apparently happened months ago, during the primaries. (McCain and his BFF/sidekick Lindsey Graham called Romney and told him not to say “self-deport” anymore.)

McCain is I guess disappointed that Romney won’t take his advice on foreign policy issues (bomb everywhere forever) and immigration (be a little bit less anti-immigrant) and also no one invited McCain to speak at the convention.

We get another wonderful iteration of the “Obama failed to reach out to McCain” story:

The other glitch was his strikingly antagonistic relationship with Obama. Despite a fence-mending meeting at the White House last year, the president never called again. McCain contrasts Obama’s aloof approach to lawmakers with that of Bill Clinton, who “was remarkably good to me.” In fact, McCain told me that he and Clinton chatted about policy in occasional phone calls during his 2008 campaign, even as the former president was backing Obama.

I never get sick of hearing this. Obama’s legendary “aloof approach” forced John McCain to be a bitter, petty man who holds grudges forever after minor perceived slights! He only got one invitation to the White House!

I can’t even really figure out the point of this story. At least Kurtz got most of his sources — McCain and Steve Schmidt — to speak on the record, which is better than your average Politico non-story, but it doesn’t really strike me as odd or unusual that Romney is not making a man who lost badly to Barack Obama a major surrogate in his campaign to beat Barack Obama.

It’s especially unsurprising because Romney, a supremely self-confident man, doesn’t care to take advice from anyone not already in his inner circle. He thinks he and his hand-selected staff know best, and he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.

That analysis would seem to be contradicted elsewhere in Newsweek (on the cover), where we learn that Romney is actually a “wimp.” How is he wimpy? Well, Newsweek called another guy wimpy once and it got a lot of attention so Romney is also definitely a wimp.

Poor Michael Tomasky is forced to write a Romney analysis shoehorned into a desperate retread of one of the half-dozen Newsweek covers people still sorta remember — the one where they called George H.W. Bush a wimp. It was a silly cover, and one that presaged much of the worst aspects of modern presidential campaign coverage, like the elevation of some amorphous pundit-based “perception” of a candidate over the actual tangible facts of his story and positions. It’s remembered mainly because it made Bush mad (and it should have, the guy was a war hero!). What’s worse about this one is that it’s not even close to being accurate. Romney is indeed a stiff, rich twit, and a guy who was horrible at athletics as a kid, and a guy who says “gee whiz” or whatever, but he’s not a “wimp.” He’s a bully! He bullied other kids in school, he was arrested for mouthing off to a cop who dared to question him on a minor violation, he publicly berated a teenage volunteer traffic cop at the Salt Lake games and then refused to apologize, and he generally loses his temper at any time he’s challenged by anyone he considers a subordinate. And he considers just about everyone a subordinate!

Poor Newsweek! They’ll get this “weird blog that comes out once a week and is on paper” thing right one of these days.


By: Alex Pareene, Salon, July 31, 2012 

July 31, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bush Tax Cuts Turn 10: Wall Street Celebrates, Americans Suffer

Break out the bubbly, because there will be celebrations today on  Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms and mansions all across America. Why?  Because today is the 10th anniversary of the big Bush tax breaks for  bankers and billionaires and the businesses that bankroll their big-budget  campaigns.

Today is an opportunity to ponder these questions: If the Bush  tax cuts are so great, why has the economy been so bad since they became law 10  years ago? And how about this brain  teaser: If the GOP theology of cutting taxes for the rich brings in more  revenue, why is Democratic President Bill Clinton the only president in the  last generation to leave a surplus behind for the next president?

In 1980, President George H.W. Bush called it voodoo economics.  Bush 41 conveniently changed his position when he became Ronald Reagan’s  running mate that year. But the first President Bush was right the first time.  The idea that tax revenues will go up when you cut taxes has cast an evil spell  over the U.S. economy going all the way back to Ronald Reagan. In 1981, the new  GOP math became 1 + 1 = 3. With this kind of fuzzy math, it’s no wonder that  President Reagan left behind a massive budget deficit.

George W. Bush may have had George H.W. Bush for a father, but Ronald  Reagan was his role model. The latest incarnation of voodoo economics was the  creation of the second President Bush. The tax cuts for bankers and  billionaires that became law in 2001 quickly turned the Clinton surplus into  the Bush budget deficit as big as Donald Trump’s ego. Voodoo is what  Republicans do so well.

But Bush 43 did not stop there in handing out goodies to Wall  Street. In 2008, the president asked his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, the  former CEO of Goldman Sachs, to bail out Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street  investment firms to the tune of three quarters of a trillion dollars. Of  course, President Bush never even considered an attempt to rescue the millions  of working Americans who first lost their jobs and then their homes because of malfeasance  on Wall Street.

Last month, the Center for Budget Priorities released a study  that demonstrated that the two biggest reasons for the current budget deficit  were the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So what do the  Republicans do? Do they vote to cut  Pentagon spending or end  dole welfare for wealthy Americans? Of course  they don’t. They gut Medicare. Genius!

Yesterday, Frank Patitucci, CEO and Chairman of NuCompass  Mobility Service, called on Republican Speaker John Boehner to increase taxes on  Americans making more than $1 million a year. Patitucci explained his position  by saying businesses need a strong middle class to prosper.

But I don’t want to be a party pooper or rain on Wall Street’s  parade, so party hardy, guys. Don’t scrimp on the Dom Perignon and the caviar.  Santa Claus comes only once a year. Let’s worry about the GOP cuts in healthcare for seniors and nutrition programs for women and their infant children another day.

By: Brad Bannon, U. S. News and World Report, June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Banks, Budget, Businesses, Conservatives, Consumers, Corporations, Debt Crisis, Deficits, Economic Recovery, Economy, Financial Institutions, GOP, Government, Health Care, Ideologues, Ideology, Jobs, Medicare, Middle Class, Politics, Republicans, Right Wing, Seniors, Taxes, Wall Street, Wealthy, Women | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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