July 2012


Having flubbed his way through England and Israel, Romney set his sights on Poland. This time it was not Romney but an aide that provided the sound bite.

Romney hasn’t talked to the press on his foreign ‘getting to know you’ jaunt. So the press has taken to yelling questions at him – which he ignores. So far, par for the campaign course – the President, as well, has ignored his fair share of shouted questions.

But it was all too much for Richard Gorka, Romney’s travelling press secretary. During an event at the ‘Tomb of the Unknown Soldier” Gorka thought that the press wasn’t behaving appropriately. As they shouted questions at Romney, Gorka told them to “show some respect”.

When reporters protested that Romney had answered a total of three questions on the trip, he followed that up with “kiss my ass”, and brought it home with “shove it”. Way to show respect Richard.

This isn’t the first time that Romney aides have made the headlines. Romney’s ex-foreign policy spokesman resigned after two weeks on the job. A prolific tweeter, he had made misogynistic comments about prominent Democratic women. That was OK. What forced his resignation was his support, as a gay man, for gay marriage.

In 2007 Romney’s then director of campaign operations resigned after accusations that he impersonated a police officer and handed out fake badges to the staff allowing them to cut lines and dodge tolls.

I can’t really blame Romney – it is hard to keep everyone on message during long campaigns – but you can bet that if an Obama staffer said something out of line he would be whining about it.


Romney congratulated the Israelis on the “vitality” of their economy. In Poland he lauded the Polish economy. Its too bad that there aren’t more bright spots like them.

So here’s a few facts about those vibrant economies. In Israel the top individual tax rate is 48% (US 35%), social security tax rate is (employer and employee contribution combined) 17.43% (US 10.4%), corporate taxes are 25% (US 35%) and capital gains 25% (US 15%). In addition Israel has a VAT (essentially a sales tax) of 16%. Sales tax in the US varies from 0% to Tennessee’s average of 9.2%.

In Poland the top income and capital gains rate tax rate is 32%, corporate taxes are 19%, social security taxes are 32.23% and VAT is 22%.

The point is, that the two economies that Romney singled out for praise, bear a significantly higher tax burden than we do – and both countries have less income inequality.

Actually Romney is both right and wrong about Poland. They do have a relative strong growth in GDP, but the unemployment rate is 12.4%. Where is the money going, if not to create jobs?


Romney said of healthcare in Israel: “Do you realize what health care spending is as a percentage of the GDP in Israel? 8 percent. You spend 8 percent of GDP on health care. And you’re a pretty healthy nation. We spend 18 percent of our GDP on health care.”

What he didn’t mention is that healthcare in Israel is universal because they have the individual mandate – and citizens chose from four non-profit plans.

Well Mitt – want to try that in the US?


In Poland, Romney gave a speech celebrating the historical links between the Poles and the US, saying in part:

“On behalf of our countrymen, I express deep appreciation for your willingness to fight with us, to stand with us, and to be our friends in times of crisis and military conflict”.

So Romney is praising the Poles for something he chose not to do – fight for America – as he sat out the Vietnam War trying to convert the French to Mormonism. (I wonder how he did – after all they would have had to quit drinking wine – and smoking)



Really? – 7/30/12 – Austerity hurts the economy; Sin in America; Climate change; Romney thumbs the Palestinians in the eye.

July 31, 2012

AUSTERITY HURTS THE ECONOMY – IT’S NOT JUST A LIBERAL POSITION Paul Krugman, NY Times columnist and economics Nobelist, maintains that the reason for the slow recovery is the conservative obsession with slashing spending as the private sector contracted. Mitt Romney and many other conservatives are dismissive – arguing that reducing the debt will spur […]

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Religion in the US – It’s not your father’s church.

July 29, 2012

Americans are more religious than many other countries, certainly more so than Western Europe where church going has declined precipitously. But the nature of our religiosity has changed. 90% of us profess a belief in God. 43% of us attend church almost every week or more. This dichotomy suggests that for many, belief in God is pro forma, […]

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Really – 7/28/12 – Women smarter than men; Does God punish man? Jeff Bezos and gay marriage; Tyson Chicken bungles the ‘values thing’.

July 29, 2012

WOMEN OVERTAKE MEN IN IQ. A  study indicates that women have passed men in average IQ. But the majority of politicians are still men. A VENGEFUL GOD? Chick-fil-A made headlines this week when its CEO, Dan Cathy, defended his position that gay marriage was against his biblical precepts. Other Evangelicals like Pat Robertson and many […]

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Election 2012 – Romney and taxes.

July 27, 2012

ROMNEY INSULTS HIS HOSTS Romney, in London to see his wife’s dressage horse, questioned whether the British were ready to host the Olympics, saying: “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out,” referring to the last minute hiccups in security. “There were a few things that were disconcerting.” He added: “That obviously is not something which […]

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Sin – Who decides?

July 25, 2012

It is the first anniversary of gay marriage in New York. For some it is a momentous moment, to many a matter of indifference, and to others the celebration of a mortal sin. If you are of a mind to consider homosexuality a sin – or even if not – then it might be useful […]

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Perverting Christianity to advance an agenda.

July 23, 2012

A demented man kills 12 and wounds 58. Most Christians prey for the victims and their families. But for some, consolation is not their aim, but the spread of a perverted Christianity. Take Jerry Newman, evangelical spokesman for “Truth in Action” – and his take on the Aurora shootings: “If a Christian dies early, if a Christian […]

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Murder in America – it is more than a debate over guns.

July 22, 2012

In Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes shot into a movie audience, killing 12 and injuring 58. Thirteen years ago in Columbine, Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot 13 dead at the high school. Five years ago, Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people dead at Virginia Tech. A year ago Jared Lee Loughner shot 6 people dead […]

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Election 2012 – Romney is proving that he is no politician.

July 18, 2012

HOW ROMNEY MADE HIS MONEY The Obama campaign is hammering Romney over his claim that he “resigned’ from Bain Capital in 1999. Filings with the SEC show Romney was CEO and sole stockholder of Bain until 2002 and that he was paid a salary. The timing is important, because it is during the early 2000s […]

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