Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scumney Is Worst Liar Ever To Win A Presidential Nomination

By Manifesto Joe

There have been many lies coming from Mitt Scumney's mouth during the course of this presidential campaign, but he's come to a point at which he's not the least bit artful about it.

The latest mendacity is in an ad in the battleground state of Ohio, claiming that Jeep is outsourcing manufacturing jobs to China. (Recall that this is from a man who has made a fortune off outsourcing union jobs to places like that.) Scumney repeated this lie during a speech in Ohio, which understandably upset many union members in Toledo. In that city, Jeep actually plans to add 1,100 jobs at its plant there.

That didn't stop Scumney, who preened and postured to a crowd that he would personally fight to save those American jobs.

Here's a link to a commentary outlining the sheer audacity of Scumney's dishonesty, by Buzzflash editor Mark Karlin.

We've had dumber people than Scumney who actually made it to the White House. Think Obama's predecessor, Il Doofus. Warren G. Harding also comes to mind. Then there was the mysteriously popular Ronald Reagan. ("Poor dear, he hasn't anything between his ears," British political ally Margaret Thatcher once lamented.)

We've had others with different problems. Coolidge was legendary for his laziness -- he slept 12 hours a day, plus naps. When he died, Dorothy Parker is supposed to have said something like, "How can they tell?" William Howard Taft was so fat, he once got stuck in his bathtub. FDR and JFK were notorious womanizers, and LBJ, by his own account, is supposed to have topped either of them. Nixon is said to have been a specimen who would have kept a psychiatrist of the Freudian philosophy busy for many years.

But I don't recall reading about any presidential candidate, not even Nixon, who has told as many crude, unmitigated lies on the campaign trail as Scumney has. His political philosophy is hard to measure, because he's said so many different things to so many different people. The core ideology is pure Machiavelli -- whatever it takes to win.

The American people have less than a week to decide whether a man this brazenly ruthless belongs in the White House. I hope it's true that the tracking polls are wrong, erring because of an undercount of cellphone-only users, who lean toward Obama. Stay tuned.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Video Upload Shows How Ignorant U.S. Right Wing Has Become

This was presented as "Hilarious Leftist Propaganda from the Mid-50s." I saw nothing hilarious here, and it seems fairly accurate historically. If you compare the anti-Semitic rhetoric of "radio priest" Father Coughlin and the Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith with that of the Nazis in 1930s Germany, they resemble quite remarkably.

I seriously doubt that many right-wingers of today know who those people were, anyway. Such people aren't known for doing a lot of reading.

I suppose that the person who uploaded this considers it "leftist propaganda" because it reflects kindly upon FDR. He was no saint, but his sort of noblesse oblige is conspicuously missing among today's wealthy, to wit the Scumneys.

Also, the hard-core left was not pleased with Roosevelt at the time. He ended up saving capitalism -- for about 80 years. Now it seems to be in trouble all over the globe, in large part because capitalists forgot the important lessons FDR tried to teach them. -- MJ

Postscript: I suppose another reason that someone considered this "leftist propaganda" was that it shows FDR without the customary horns and tail.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Scumneys, Already Rich Off Others' Sweat, Apparently Plan To Turn Money Into Power

By Manifesto Joe

So, who would name their son Tagg? For that matter, who would name their son Mitt? I suppose it doesn't matter what one's name is, provided that one conducts oneself with a modicum of honor. That, it seems, is too much to expect.

Tagg Scumney is a major investor in a company that owns a lot of voting machines in Ohio, a presidential election battleground state. Can you say conflict of interest?

Here's a link outlining the problem. This cries out for an investigation NOW, before the major voting takes place.

And, it gets worse. The Scumney family investment group has been linked to the $8.5 billion Ponzi scheme that got Texas swindler Allen Stanford sent to prison for a 110-year sentence. No Scumneys are under investigation -- well, not in a direct, CRIMINAL way -- but ask some of those who were swindled if that translates into clean hands. The last thing I read about this is that they "aren't cleared."

And it gets worse still. Greg Palast, in The Nation, exposes how the Scumney clan profited, to the tune of $15.3 million, off the auto industry bailout that Mitt Scumney regularly condemns when he's on the campaign trail.

I've seen pond scum like this before, too many times in my life. It's just business, they seem to reason, and that's a totally amoral realm in the eyes of such people. And many people seem to have a perverse admiration for their great mastery of mammon.

Such people make much ado about not smoking or drinking, and they're in church every time the door opens. (They usually wear too much cologne or perfume, perhaps to hide the de facto stench.)

But when it comes to making big loot off other people's toil and misfortune -- in their view, what does one thing have to do with the other?

I think this kind of trashy behavior has even made it to the White House before, and recently. We, the American people, have got a chance to stop it this time, if we will.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Syria-Iran Gaffe Shows Scumney Too Stupid To Be President

By Manifesto Joe

Haven't we had enough stupid MFs as our presidents?

Monday night, Mitt Scumney repeated a gaffe that he'd committed several times before. Unfortunately, Obama chose not to drive a Mack truck through that one. I guess he didn't have time to get to all of them.

Syria, he said, is Iran's route to the sea. He gets an F in geography, and if his staff doesn't get a grade that low, he obviously hasn't been listening to them.

Here's a link explaining the problem.

For one thing, Syria and Iran don't even share a common border of any kind. Look at the map.

For another, both have access to the sea, but quite separately. Syria has Mediterranean shores. There are a couple of ports there. Iran, separately, has access to the Caspian Sea on the north, and to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman on the south.

And, this isn't the first time Scumney has said this moronic thing. And this time, he said it in a nationally televised debate with the president on the subject of foreign policy.

Yes, Obama has made a couple of geography gaffes, too, but never more than once. Scumney seems to consider this foolishness something that bears repeating, and so he has.

He's too damned stupid to be president. This shit should disqualify him. I know it's been said, with good reason, that nobody ever lost a dime underestimating the intelligence of the American people. And the voters have quite manifestly made some mistakes more than once.

Let's hope that this time, Nov. 6, that can come to an end.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Third Debate Shows Scumney Isn't Ready For Prime Time

By Manifesto Joe

What seemed to emerge clearly from Monday night's final presidential debate between incumbent Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Scumney -- er, Romney, may have to get used to that if the bozo really gets elected -- is that he doesn't seem ready for prime time.

Oh, he was very well-coached for all three encounters, and did well enough each time. An overscholarly Obama held him to a boring draw in the first debate, then showed a clear edge in the second. In the third, he administered a pretty thorough spanking, exposing some amateurish sides to Scumney that made clear the latter's unpreparedness to hold the world's most powerful office.

What we saw from Obama last night, saw none of in the first debate and not much of in the second, were the "zingers" that make a TV debate performance memorable. It's unfortunate that American politics has been dragged down to the level of sound bites, but the widespread perception that Romney had an edge in the first debate was based on better showmanship.

Leave it to right-wingers, being the cry babies that they are, to whine and shriek over Obama's "fewer horses and bayonets" zinger in response to Scumney's lament that the Navy has fewer ships now than it had in 1917. (They also threw a lot of public tantrums about the hiding Vice President Biden administered to Eddie Munster.)

Far right-wing mouthpieces like Michelle Malkin made much ado about that response, calling it "ignorant." As a point of dry fact, the military has about twice as many bayonets now as it had in 1916 or so, but those who cling to the literal numbers miss the point.

Here's a link to a sane analysis of the issue.

To the point here -- around 1944, it was crucial for a combat soldier to know how to use a bayonet. And the uses could be unorthodox. My old man won five Bronze Stars for service in the Pacific Theater of World War II, one of them for an incident in which a Japanese soldier entered his tent and confronted him with a bayonet. My old man took the bayonet away from him and stabbed him with it. (I don't know what the other four Bronze Stars were for, because my old man didn't like to talk about his war experiences. Killing just doesn't sit well with some people.)

Combat, even at close quarters, has changed a great deal since 1944, so much so that such an incident would be very unlikely to happen today. That's the point Obama was making.

The most telling point Obama made during the exchanges was a description of Scumney's very backward ideas in all policy areas. To paraphrase, Obama said he embraces a foreign policy from the 1980s (the Cold War is over, pal), social policies from the 1950s and economic policies from the 1920s.

I think he just described the Republican Party's platform.

Not everyone with a center-left view is enchanted with Obama. The first debate pretty much encapsulated what's wrong -- "No Drama" Obama is a law professor who doesn't bring forth passion and fight when they are desperately needed. Fortunately, he got better with each debate.

And each debate progressively (pardon the choice of words) exposed Scumney's lack of fitness for office this powerful.

Tyler Perry aptly described Obama as a guy who volunteered to take command of the Titanic after it had already hit the iceberg. He's had less than four years to clean up a mess that was eight years in the making. And he's had little cooperation from congressional Republicans.

I can't muster that much enthusiasm for Obama, but he's all that is standing between us and a tragic reprise of the Il Doofus administration. He's been performing, albeit rather ploddingly, in prime time. Scumney's clearly not ready for the job.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Geekus Maleekus Returns! And He's Looking For A Job!

By G.M.

The Job Hunter's Mantras:

Jobhungo: We going get you job! As copy eddtor!

Super Jobs: No, WE going get you job! As poofreader!

Snagajobski: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

JobsNearYourAss: If we can get this dog in our logo a job, we can get you one! Give us credit card number, and we get you job!

Jobsforalldudes: Like, wow, Jack, we'll, like, find you something, man. Long as you don't have to pass a piss test.

Wesuckupjobs: Ever considered owning a franchise, or selling insurance?

RIP, George McGovern: 1922-2012

He had a reputation for being a daredevil bomber pilot during World War II, which seems strange for the quintessential "peace" candidate.

I suppose that shouldn't be surprising. Almost everybody was for the defeat of Hitler, the Nazis, etc., during the "good" war.

I still wonder whether I would have voted for him for president in 1972, had I been eligible then and even had the views I have now. Nixon was too crazy to support, so I may have just stayed home or thrown my vote away on a fringe-party candidate.

I might have voted for George, considering that it was apparent early that he had no real chance of winning. A lot of what he said rang true, but the remark about crawling to Hanoi on his hands and knees to "beg for peace" was a bit much. Presidents just aren't supposed to say things like that, even if they privately think them.

Well, he had the courage of his convictions, and plenty of physical courage as well. Godspeed, George. -- MJ

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scumney's Binders Full Of Women

Many tracking polls still have Romney slightly in the lead, even after Tuesday night's debate. Go figure. -- MJ

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yes, Mittens, Government Can And Does Create Jobs

By Manifesto Joe

Mitt Scumney lost Tuesday night's encounter with President Obama on points, and Obama showed more fire than he did in their lackluster first debate. Scumney, though, seemed prepared for a more spirited show from Obama and didn't do badly, on the whole. But one "point" he emphasized stuck in my mind because of how dead wrong he is on it.

"Government doesn't create jobs," Scumney said repeatedly, with passion and emphasis.

Scumney didn't live through World War II, nor did I. But if that war effort wasn't powerful, compelling proof that government can and does create jobs, there couldn't be anything more to demonstrate that. Suggesting otherwise has become part of the mindless nonhistory of contemporary America.

A mantra of Republicans in my younger days was that "The New Deal didn't get us out of the Depression; World War II did."

Yes, exactly. And here's why.

The New Deal was a bid to mobilize the U.S. against the Great Depression, but it was often blocked, with a reactionary Supreme Court striking down two of its centerpiece programs, the NRA in 1935 and the first AAA in 1936. Southern Democrats often sided with the Republican minority against the more far-reaching measures, and a double-dip in the business downturn followed FDR's moves toward austerity during 1937-38.

It wasn't until Dec. 7, 1941, when U.S. military forces suffered a direct and devastating attack, that the national government finally got a free hand. Defense industries flourished as direct recipients of government contracts. The Detroit auto industry was literally commandeered for national defense. No new civilian automobiles were built for four years, and the assembly lines became the source of tanks, Jeeps, and other military vehicles. Commodities such as meat and sugar were rationed.

And soon, the U.S. had full employment, with a jobless rate of about 3% in comparison to nearly 25% during the 1932-33 depths of the Depression.

It's a valid point that government isn't a long-term solution to joblessness. The Soviet Union and its imitators were proof of that. But World War II was vivid proof that it can work in the short term as a way of jolting an economy back into motion. The Obama stimulus plan didn't profoundly affect the American workforce, mainly because a stubborn right wing would never have let it go far enough.

Obama can't afford to contest that point too much, because the job-creation myth has become one of economics' sacred cows. He responded to Romney with his own soliloquy about the so-called free enterprise system. Since he's already being labeled a "socialist" by ignorant right-wingers who don't know what that word means, he's got to play it cool.

And the consensus was that he won Debate No. 2. Too bad he's still having to play the game according to "rules" that history belies.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, October 15, 2012

"Ayn" Can't Decide Whether He's Eddie Munster Or Pinocchio

By Manifesto Joe

It was refreshing to see a Democrat (Joe Biden) acting tough and fiesty at Thursday night's vice presidential debate. But something that's often been lost in the analysis is how many brazen whoppers Paul "Ayn" Ryan told in the 40 minutes that he spoke.

Perhaps the most obvious distortion from "Ayn" was on unemployment. He depicted the jobless rate of 10% or so in Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., as representative of conditions throughout the country.

This may have gotten by a lot of people who don't follow the news, and the aggressive Biden did miss an opportunity to double up on this point. This absurd distortion came only days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent U.S. jobless figure of 7.8% was the top story for most media outlets.

Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress points out further that the U.S. jobless rate dropped from a year before in 325 out of 372 metro areas that the bureau surveyed. Here's a link to Volsky's entire analysis.

Myths about Social Security and Medicare

"Ayn" also rehashed the old myths about Social Security and Medicare going broke. Volsky also addresses this "malarkey," as Joe Biden described it:

[T]he possibility of Medicare going bankrupt is —- and historically has been —- greatly exaggerated. In fact, if no changes are made, Medicare would still be able to meet 88 percent of its obligations in 2085. Social Security is fully funded for another two decades and could pay 75 percent of its benefits thereafter. There is also an easy way to ensure the program’s long-term solvency without large changes or cuts to benefits.

Social Security is taxed regressively, with the levy collected on annual incomes only up to $110,100. It would be very easy to shift some of that payroll tax onto people with higher incomes, thereby making the system able to pay 100% of obligations.

But many Mainstream Media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal are demagoguing this issue in a way that favors the wealthy, and keeping alive the myth among younger people that Social Security and Medicare won't be there for them. It isn't that the programs are destined to fail -- it's that the Republican Party is under the spell of people like Grover Norquist (and "Ayn") who lust for their failure and are doing all they can to undermine them.

Here's a link to an article on the subject by Travis Waldron.

The terrorist bogeyman

It had already become clear, listening to gaffes by the fool heading this "ticket," Mitt Scumney, that these people remain mired in a Cold War mentality. Now comes Eddie Munster, beating war drums and rattling sabres over Iran. That country seems to have become the latest villain in The Enemy of the Month Club.

More from Volsky:

(Quote from Ryan) "When Barack Obama was elected, they had enough fissile material -— nuclear material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five." This is misleading and unproven. Iran now has enough fissile material, but has not yet enriched to the necessary level for a weapon. The Institute for Science and International Security says "it would take Iran more than two months to produce that amount if it started with 20%-grade uranium, and 'several months' to make enough for a bomb using low-enriched uranium. That would give the world community enough time to detect the operation and organize a response, ISIS noted in June."

Well, at least "Ayn" stopped short of saying that Obama wants to implement Sharia law in America. It wouldn't surprise me if he privately thinks that's seriously possible.

Tomorrow night, Obama gets his second shot at Scumney. I hope he's as aggressive as Biden. He made no mistakes on the facts, but his lack of aggression was his perceived failure in the first presidential debate.

With liars like these perhaps only weeks away from the two highest offices in the land, the stakes couldn't be higher.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Joe Biden Stomped All Over Eddie Munster's Ass -- But Obama Will Have To Do Something Similar

By Manifesto Joe

It seems a picture of split verdicts on the vice presidential debate, held Thursday night. I suppose there are enough people living in alternative universes to make that so. I watched every word, and it looked to me like legendary badass Joe Biden drew blood at least five times for every one time for "Ayn."

Of course, I'm prejudiced, but I was a bit concerned about Obama's performance at the first of the presidential debates. Obama is going to have to win the second and third encounters with Scumney. He turned in a dry, professorial performance in their first debate, roughly scoring a boring draw, which was something that worked in Scumney's favor because expectations for the latter were rather low.

It's sad that American politics is so often rooted in the visceral in the outcomes. And debate outcomes aren't always that pivotal. If they were, John Kerry would be a departing president now.

But this race is close, and much will hang on the debate outcomes. Expectations for Obama have been high, given that he is regarded as a superior orator. Against Scumney, the second and third times, he will have to demonstrate that he can think on his feet.

Stay tuned.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Only Jobless Rate Romney Ever Reduced Was The One In China

By Manifesto Joe

News came out Friday that the U.S. unemployment rate, as measured by nonpartisan sources, had fallen from 8.1% to 7.8%, a 44-month low, with the main reason being people moving into new jobs.

No sooner had the news been announced than right-wing Republicans were up to their usual bilge. Most notably, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, infamous for cooking the books at the corporate conglomerate when he was there, was accusing those biased nonpolitical appointees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics of cooking the books right before the election.

Here's a link to an Alternet story on the right-wing response to the loss of one of their big talking points.

One of Scumney's bogus debating points Wednesday night was the notion that he will create 12 million jobs if elected. He neglected to mention that a lot of economists already project that the economy itself will create something like 11.8 million jobs in the U.S. no matter who is elected president next month.

Here's a link to a story on Scumney's assorted inaccuracies at Wednesday night's debate.

Scumney has to distort thusly, because he's got no record of his own to run on. Massachusetts wasn't overly prosperous during his single term as governor there, and as head of Bain Capital he did much more to cut the unemployment rate in places like China than to do anything to help Americans get jobs. The objective of Bain Capital was, in his own words, to "harvest" companies. Lots of U.S. jobs are sent overseas with that kind of harvesting.

But, something it appears we can expect from Republicans for at least another month is this habit: They blame Obama for anything "bad" that ever happened on any day of his watch, even for the calamities he obviously inherited from Il Doofus (Bush 43). But he gets no credit for anything "good" that has happened during the same period. That kind of thing either had to have been done by his hapless predecessor, or in spite of Obama.

Obama was very dry and lackluster for the first debate. I hope he'll be loaded for bear for the second and third ones.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Depressing Letdown: Obama MIA At 1st Debate

By Manifesto Joe

I felt pretty depressed after watching every word of Wednesday night's debate between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Scumney. Oh, it could have been worse for Obama supporters. It looked pretty much like a boring draw, if you'll pardon the boxing analogy. There were no knockdowns.

But this worked very much in Scumney's favor. Expectations for him were pretty low, so this performance actually gave many people the perception that he won. Never mind that the fact-checkers had a field day with all the bogus numbers he was tossing around. TV debates are about telegenic image (ask the ghost of Dick Nixon). He'd been well-coached, and made no major mistakes. He looked sharp -- well, as good as it gets -- and primed for battle.

Obama, in contrast, looked tired, as though he really didn't feel very good and didn't want to be there. His performance was adequate, but very dry and academic, as though he were back at the University of Chicago giving a lecture on constitutional law. He let Scumney get away with a lot of factual liberties, too.

Obama seemed to labor a lot, and with the mummified Jim Lehrer, 78, as the moderator, he ultimately spoke for about 4 minutes longer than Scumney. But he pretty much blew any opportunities he had to score with heavy punches.

Sometimes TV debates don't count for very much. I watched every word of the first 1984 encounter between Reagan and Mondale, and I thought Mondale mopped up the floor with the senile old man. There was a second debate, and a highly coached Reagan was relatively impressive the second time. That seemed to be enough for most of the voters who'd paid any attention -- he won with 59% of the popular vote.

And, I thought John Kerry pretty much pummeled Il Doofus all three times that they met in 2004. But he never quite went for the jugular. The right-wing voters apparently just decided that Kerry was a pointy-headed liberal who had learned how to argue better along the way, and so the debates didn't influence them much, if at all.

On the "strength" of this, Scumney seems to be back in this thing. Obama is probably getting an earful from his staff, and probably from Michelle, too. I pray that he's listening -- he's only got two more debate shots at Scumney this month.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Samuel L. Jackson Says His Piece

Politicians are, generally, not good people. But no, they are not quite all the same. Some are more on your side, others less so. Samuel, in this video, tells it like it is, from my standpoint, anyway.

Check it out. I'll try to get a better version up soon. -- MJ