Rich Mitt just doesn’t get it

Mitt Romney is extremely wealthy.  Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson also all had money.  But they also had something else that Mitt just doesn’t have:  empathy for people who have to work for a living and sometimes can’t even make it with a job (or jobs) and certainly empathy for those who can’t find a job, are in fear of losing their homes, and for whatever reason are poor.

Let’s look at selected quotes from Mitt compiled by AshleyParker in the New York Times.

On Wednesday morning in an interview with CNN, Mr. Romney said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” a sound bite that ricocheted around the Web and cable news channels, and which Mr. Romney felt the need to clarify with reporters as he flew to Minnesota.

Taking in the full context of his remarks, as Mr. Romney urged reporters to do, his statement seems more benign: “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich; they’re doing just fine.” He is most concerned about the middle class, he said.  [Of course Romney has already endorsed the Ryan budget which would rip craters into that safety net he wants to repair.]

But for a campaign that has itself been accused of taking President Obama’s words out of context, the remark about the poor immediately became cataloged in a growing list of awkward comments by Mr. Romney, including a remark that his speaking fees last year of $374,327 were “not very much” and his line that “corporations are people.”

 And we know that Romney would make a better President than others because he has “lived on the streets” I think meaning he hasn’t lived in Washington.  If I remember correctly he asked some homeowners facing foreclosure to have empathy for the banks because like corporations they were people, but I may have just dreamed that. 

Last June, he told a group of unemployed workers in Florida, who had just finished telling him their stories, that he understood their plight.

“I’m also unemployed,” Mr. Romney said as a joke. “I’m networking. I have my sight on a particular job.”

At a debate, he offered Gov. Rick Perry of Texas a $10,000 wager — an amount that, even if facetious, reminded voters just how much disposable income Mr. Romney has.

Speaking to crowds in New Hampshire, Mr. Romney claimed that he, too, had feared the “pink slip” during his life.

I think when Romney says these things, going off script, he is showing his true colors.  He really doesn’t understand or care about how the 99% live.  Just like Hollingsworth.

 

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If you don’t laugh, you have to cry

After John Boehner decided to walk out on the debt talks on Friday (and John, we know that it was not because of the President, but because Eric Cantor said no taxes even if you call them tax reform), we moved even closer to default.  So a little humor (from the left) on the situation for Sunday morning.

First up, Ruben Bolling and my favorite, Tom the Dancing Bug

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Then ( I have to say I love it that Daily Kos collects the Comics), we have Matt Weurker’s Tea Party Tango

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To tango or to compromise, it takes two, Mr. Cantor. 

Speaking of Mr. Cantor, you can hear him yourself at this animation by Scott Bateman.

And to end, two editoral cartoons.

Tony Auth on Congress

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And Dan Wasserman

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The President has taken himself out of the talks, telling Congress to come up with a solution.  We shall see.

Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are pictured. | AP Photo

And Scalia, too

A few days ago, I posted about Justice Thomas and his conflicts of interest.  Now it seems that Justice Scalia has his own ethical problems.

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Looking around, it appears that ethics are not a huge consideration for a lot of judges and politicians these days.  Massachusetts has two political leaders currently serving time and a third one is likely on the way.  Plus, a former Senate President, William Bulger, has got to be concerned about his reputation as his brother, James, faces trial on 19 counts of murder here as well as others in Florida and Oklahoma.  There have always been hints that William tried to shield James while James was on the run.  William’s son has been implicated in conflict of interest in hiring at the Massachusetts Department of Probation. 

There is a new translation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics reviewed in this week’s New York Times Book Review.  While I’m not sure I agree with the reviewer, Harry V. Jaffa, that Leo Strauss was the “greatest political philosopher of the 20th century”, a couple of sentences caught my attention.

The existence of politics before political philosophy is what makes political philosophy possible. Politics is inherently controversial because human beings are passionately attached to their opinions by interests that have nothing to do with the truth. But because philosophers — properly so called — have no interest other than the truth, they alone can bring to bear the canon of reason that will transform the conflict of opinion that otherwise dominates the political world.

Unfortunately, what has been called philosophy for more than a century has virtually destroyed any belief in the possibility of objective truth, and with it the possibility of philosophy. Our chaotic politics reflects this chaos of the mind. No enterprise to replace this chaos with the cosmos of reason could be more welcome

Maybe Aristotle should be required summer reading for the Supreme Court, the Massachusetts General Court (Legislature) as well as for the rest of us.  My husband pulled our copy of Aristotle down from the shelf last night.  Neither of us have read it since our freshman year at St. John’s College:  Maybe it is time to read it again.  Maybe Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas need to think about whether the opinions they are writing as influenced by interests “that have nothing to do with the truth.”

Why the Democrats didn’t have a chance

The Democrats never had a chance at overcoming the non- facts repeated over and over by the Republican-Tea Party coalition.  Tom the Dancing Bug explains.

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If you don’t see Ruben Bolling regularly, check him out.  There is a new one every week.

I find it interesting that, like the infamous Joe the Plumber, Americans worry about what happens to the rich because they may be rich themselves someday.  It is an ingrained part of our national psyche.  Perhaps the President compromise on the tax cuts should be raising the middle class cut from $250,000 to $400,000 or thereabouts.  And we need to work on the tax code if people are making that much as a business and still filling on their personal tax returns.  We probably need some kind of small corporation category for filing added to the tax code. 

The discussion in the Lame Duck Congress should be interesting since the Republican Tea Party did run on reducing the deficit and keeping the tax cuts for those making over the $250,000.  I want to see their math as it seems keeping the cuts for the very top earners adds to the deficit without helping to pay it down.  This will be high on the agenda when Congress returns to session On November 15.  It should be fun.