Sunday, September 23, 2012


          GOP presidential candidate, Mitt Romney proudly proclaimed that he liked to fire people who did not deliver services.  That does not explain how so many people, who did deliver products and services for decades, were fired when their companies were placed under the umbrella of Bain Capital.  However, it does explain Gov. Romney’s unreasonable lack of transparency in his plans to repair the economic woes of the country.  After bludgeoning many successful American companies, including KB Toys, the second largest toy company in the nation, and raising the poverty and misery index of thousands of employees and their families with his slash and burn business model as CEO of Bain Capital, Romney believes that the American people are supposed to trust his judgment and capacity for business success based on the size of his bank account(s).  And that is why the GOP contenders for the 2012 presidency should never have shown such cowardice when they vehemently, and correctly, raised the issue of “vulture capitalism.”

Because of the excessive noise of the “right-stream” media and the overbearing influence of the GOP’s “Tea-nut Gallery,” many of the Republican presidential hopefuls folded their tents and failed to pursue what is, perhaps, one of the seminal issues that a Mitt Romney campaign for president should be compelled to answer.  Contrary to the private equity, and Bain Capital defenders, the importance of debating Gov. Romney’s tenure at Bain, and his lack of transparency in all things financial can be summed up in two words – Bernie Madoff.   The absurdity of the Romney pledge to roll back needed financial regulations can also be summed up in two words – housing crisis.  Therein lies the folly in believing a person’s wealth qualifies them for executive political office.

Though Mitt Romney and Bernie Madoff made their fortunes worlds apart from the letter of the law, a close examination of the factual aftermath might easily consider them to be kindred spirits.  When all was said and done, their “clientele” was left financially ravaged.  In Mr. Madoff’s case, many of his investors were well-heeled persons looking to subsidize a comfortable lifestyle.  In Mitt Romney’s case, small, medium and large sized successful businesses incurred unsustainable financial burdens under the auspices of Bain Capital.  Romney’s business practices then left thousands unemployed, bankrupted families, devastated entire communities and basically wire-transferred our physical and financial wealth to foreign banks and countries.  It was political malfeasance for the GOP candidates to drop this issue, under the guise of free-market capitalism, when it is this kind of market policy that contributes to the slow growth and stagnant unemployment numbers that they were making the centerpiece of their campaigns against President Obama.  It was not only short-sighted and ignorant, but it was patently dishonest to malign how other countries are surpassing the American economic and educational engine while many of those “free-market” politicos advance outsourcing, free trade, and foreign investment but eschew investment in our own American education, infrastructure and industrious spirit.

The GOP celebration of wealth without the scrutiny of how it was obtained results in making millionaires at the cost of millions of homes placed underwater and/or in foreclosure.  It results in banks taking on insecure properties and riddles the nation with debt. 
By allowing the Tea-nut Gallery and their right-stream media advocates to dictate the entire direction of the Republican Party, the GOP has abandoned any and all sense of compromise toward a better America.  They continue to advance the great lie, without specificity, that after losing 750,000 jobs per month at the close of George W. Bush’s second term, that President Obama has made things worse.  And, for the first time in recent memory, they have refused to support putting people to work to repair our crumbling infrastructure.     

There is a rank hypocrisy among conservative noisemakers in refusing to allow into question, the path to Mitt Romney’s fortune, his arrogant ability to toss around $10,000 bets, and his pathological need for financial secrecy when they were boisterously apoplectic about the tax returns of Timothy Giethner, Tom Daschle, and others at the beginning of the Obama administration.

This negligence toward the best interests of the United States is unprecedented.  And it is ironic that President Obama often thinks of, and quotes, Abraham Lincoln as he faces the kind of vitriol that the sixteenth president must have faced in his effort to keep the Union together.  Hopefully, brother will not begin to fire upon brother in a long and protracted Civil War.  However, as soon as Barack Obama was elected to the presidency, they certainly purchased enough weapons to do so.

September 13, 2012






          On any given weekday, self-professed conservative talk show hosts, such as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, will draw more listeners to their nationally syndicated radio broadcasts than viewers of the evening news television broadcasts of ABC, NBC and CBS combined.  As one listens to these right leaning hosts, their television counterparts and the paid conservative punditry rail against the “mainstream media” it completely escapes them that they are the mainstream media.  Most of these “conservative” radio talkers are syndicated, nationwide, on hundreds of stations owned by only a handful of major corporations.
          TV talk hosts such as Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Lou Dobbs and pundits such as Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Karl Rove and Dick Morris work for NEWS CORP. – a multi-national media conglomerate - which owns the Fox Television Network, Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.  It also owns the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and several other publications in the United States alone.  However, when you listen to the television and radio hosts and read the op-ed columnists, paid by NEWS CORP. and other media conglomerates malign the “mainstream media,” one would think they believe themselves to be maverick broadcasters airing their dissent over pirated airwaves spreading a message against a brutal dictator, when in fact, many of them have used their positions at NEWS CORP.,  Clear Channel Radio, etc. to become multi-millionaires under the guise of being obscure opinion mavens.
Several of these hosts like to invite ideologically opposing guests on their program to give the illusion of being “fair and balanced,” equal opportunity presenters of dissent.   But the guests are frequently interrupted, mid-sentence, as soon as the host realizes he or she doesn’t like the response.  NBC and MSNBC host Chris Matthews is often guilty of this, as conservatives are quick to point out, but fail to see this lack of journalistic professionalism in themselves.
It is now widely known that on the eve of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration, the GOP leadership vowed to make their number one priority the denial of a second Obama term.  At that point Republicans, en masse, began to vote against, and filibuster their own sponsored and co-sponsored legislation designed to create jobs, spur growth, reduce the deficit, garner bi-partisan support, and had President Obama’s approval.  The GOP legislators who have engaged in this unpatriotic and destructive practice have yet to be questioned as to why they found this course of action to be in the best interest(s) of the nation.  In their very revealing book about the severity of the bipartisan gridlock, IT’S EVEN WORSE THAN IT LOOKS, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein point out, “If the politics of partisan confrontation… and hostage taking has been building since the late 1970s, it has become far more the norm than the exception since Barack Obama’s election.”
Although the GOP candidates, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, have admitted that the president was left a horrible mess, their “mainstream media Duper-Pac” has spent the last three years castigating Obama for pointing out the economic calamity left at his doorstep.  However, they are quick to defend Mitt Romney for no longer being at Bain Capital when a plethora of heartache and destruction was leveled against American companies and American workers.  But those voices in the Duper-Pac  failed to admit that it was Romney’s tenure at Bain that forged the business model of excessive debt, bankruptcy, the stripping of assets and outsourcing that lined Romney’s pockets and it is that business model which continues to live on, blazing a trail of economic destruction against the American middle class long after Mitt Romney had left the building.
And way before Barack Obama even danced with his wife at the presidential inauguration, radio host Rush Limbaugh, the leader of the mainstream media’s conservative Duper-Pac, said he hoped Obama failed.  At which point Sen. Mitch McConnell and the congressional Republicans collectively abandoned their oaths  and began to take their marching orders from Mr. Limbaugh.  They have thumbed their noses and hoisted their finger at the American people and refused to support their own good ideas simply because they could not stomach Barack Obama’s signature on the legislation.  It is the height of audacity when these weak minded public servants, who bow to dishonest noisemakers on the public airwaves, accuse the president of lacking in leadership.  Rush says something one day and the GOP practically recites it verbatim on the daily cable and Sunday news shows.
In the interest of full disclosure, I listened to Rush Limbaugh in the very late ‘80s and early ‘90s when he first came east to New York.  He was humorous, witty, informative and pleasantly thought-provoking.  I liked him and I liked listening to him even when I didn’t agree with his point of view.  I find today’s Rush Limbaugh to be insultingly arrogant, mean spirited, unfriendly in voice and manner and lacking in humor.  In an attempt to decipher this troubling metamorphosis, my best explanation would be to paraphrase a quote of the brilliant and incomparable Richard Pryor while in character as the neighborhood wino  describing one of the other neighborhood denizens.  Them narcotics done made [Rush] null and void!”  Perhaps it is time to begin drug testing and searching the medicine cabinets of the congressional Republicans.  They appear to be sorely in need of rehab.
September 7, 2012