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EditorBlog (1623)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                          delphidollars

You wouldn't know it from the way Paul Ryan has been championing retired non-union workers of Delphi Auto, but his potential boss – Mitt Romney – made a mint off of a hedge fund investment that sent most of Delphi's job overseas and hedge fund principals who blackmailed the government into a huge payoff.

Greg Palast has detailed the ugly story on Truthout (reposted from the Nation). It is also the topic of a United Automobile Workers' (UAW) news conference in Toledo, Ohio, today, as exclusively revealed in a BuzzFlash at Truthout piece by Palast, "UAW Charges Romney With Profiteering From Auto Bailout."

Ryan is claiming to be upset that former non-union Delphi workers are not getting full pensions, which is grotesquely ironic considering Romney made a career of pension destruction that was part of his vulture capitalism formula.  Remember also that -- which is Palast's point about Delphi -- the Romneys are still earning more than some 20 million a year in their "retirement" based in large part on investments in firms that cannibalize industry and workers.

Romney's likely multi-million dollar profit is hidden in Ann Romney's so-called "blind trust." In 1994, when Romney ran unsuccessfully against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, Mitt declared: “The blind trust is an age-old ruse.”

(Photo: 401(K)2012)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                 romneycharity13

Both events were pulled off with calculated cynicism.

Yesterday, Romney's campaign – facing the challenge of a president in command of natural disaster relief – converted an Ohio political rally into a political rally disguised as providing voluntary charitable contributions to help hurricane victims on the East Coast.  The problem was that collecting canned goods and other items is not what agencies such as the Red Cross want.  In fact, attempting to process such relatively small donations hinders massive assistance efforts, according to non-governmental organizations.

Loading donated cans of Campbell's Soup and jars of peanuts into a rental truck makes for a nice photo-op, but it won't help any hurricane victims.  Nine will get you ten that the donations will be dropped off at some pantry in Ohio, far away from the damage from Sandy.

On top of that, BuzzFeed reports that allegedly $5,000 was spent at Walmart by the Romney campaign so that Mitt could be photographed amidst an abundant supply of granola bars and diapers.

(Photo: Wikipedia)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                jeep

By now, most BuzzFlash at Truthout readers know that Mitt Romney is airing a mendacious ad in Ohio claiming that Chrysler is moving Jeep manufacturing jobs to China.  This caused consternation among some union workers in Toledo, Ohio, home of a major jeep manufacturing plant where Chrysler is actually planning to add 1100 new jobs.

A union leader in Ohio told the New York Times:

Bruce Baumhower, the president of the United Auto Workers local that oversees the major Jeep plant here, said Mr. Romney’s initial comments on moving production to China drew a rash of calls from members concerned about their jobs. When he informed them Chrysler was, in fact, is expanding its Jeep operation here, he said in an interview, “The response has been, ‘That’s pretty pitiful.’ ”

Chrysler chastised Romney's campaign for "unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments." The Washington Post (WP) gave the presidential candidate who wrote an op-ed a few years back "“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" four Pinocchios for lying.

(Photo: Eduardo Pelosi)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                             BarackObama16

Forget the post-racial society that so many pundits heralded upon the election of Barack Obama to the presidency in 2008.

In fact, Obama's election was met with a "this is a white nation" backlash from the moment he was elected.  Using coded language that included birth certificates, religion (Obama is really a Muslim) and socialism, a mighty torrent of racially motivated attacks have been unceasing to this day.

A Washington Post article on October 27 contends, on the basis of poll results, that racial prejudice has risen during Obama's term in office:

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell.

The prejudice is not confined to attitudes toward blacks...

(Image: Wikipedia)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                          paulryan45 Paul Ryan

In a presidential race where media coverage has focused more on the horse race and the style of the campaigns, rather than substance, it's edifying to read the occasional article that focuses on actual policy implications of either party.

On Thursday, Steve Benen, who edits the Maddow Blog, wrote a commentary on a Paul Ryan "deficit reduction" speech given Wednesday in Cleveland.  Ryan's remarks were euphemistically entitled, "Restoring the Promise of Upward Mobility in America's Economy."

Benen notes that the speech was laden with factual errors and rhetorical sleights of the hand, particularly that the deficit which so concerns Ryan and Romney would likely be considerably increased under their plan of maintaining tax cuts for the rich and expanding the military budget by two trillion dollars.

Of particular note is Ryan's plan for a new diet to reduce poverty: starvation.

(Image: Wikipedia)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                          mourdock2 Richard Mourdock

Mitt Romney is airing an ad for only one Republican Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, according to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  In fact, the DNC has quickly cut a video to emphasize the point (which can be seen by clicking here).

Alec Gabriel, a spokesman for the DNC, confirmed to BuzzFlash at Truthout that they stand behind the claim that Romney has not aired a television ad for any other GOP Senate candidate this fall.  The Romney campaign has not, to the knowledge of BuzzFlash at Truthout, refuted the assertion.

Ironically, the Romney endorsement ad for Mourdock started airing in the Hoosier state on Monday, just one day before Mourdock created a national uproar when he stated in a debate: "I struggled with it myself a long time but I came to realize that life is a gift from God, that I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen."

BuzzFlash at Truthout responded to Mourdock's grotesque statement yesterday with a commentary, "God Doesn't Rape Women: Men Do":

(Image: Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:26

God Doesn't Rape Women: Men Do


Did you know that God may be sanctioning "legitimate rapes"?

That's the "take-away" from a comment made by Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.  According to The Hill, Mourdock said during a Tuesday night debate with Rep. Joe Donnelly, the Hoosier Democratic Senate candidate,

"I struggled with it myself a long time but I came to realize that life is a gift from God, that I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that it is something that God intended to happen."

Due to the uproar that ensued, Mourdock was forced to hold a subsequent news conference -- as Missouri Republican Todd "legitimate rape" Akin did in August --  in which he expressed regret at how his statement was "misunderstood," but "stood by" those remarks according to USA Today.

Message to GOP US Senate candidate Mourdock: God doesn't rape women; men do.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                     georgeromney75Mitt's Father Ran for President

It's not a new revelation, but it's one worth remembering in light of Romney's addiction to increasing Defense Department funding: he supported the Vietnam War as a college student, while receiving deferments from fighting in it.

Earlier this year, the UK Daily Mail laid it all out, including Romney's participation as the public relations spokesperson for a pro-war rally during his undergraduate year at Stanford (he later transferred to Brigham Young University after his two Mormon missionary years in France). The coverage included a photo of Romney picketing against anti-war students who were protesting the cooperation of the Stanford University administration with the draft process at the time.

In short, Romney was adamantly pro-draft:

They say every picture tells a story.

A newly-unearthed photograph showing Mitt Romney demonstrating in favor of the Vietnam War draft might leave the presidential candidate feeling somewhat embarrassed….


(image: Wikipedia)

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                               vote32 (By Vaguely Artistic)

It may be less than 150 monitors and observers, but a UN affiliated organization (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)) will be in the US on Election Day to report on any perceived irregularities.  According to The Hill, the delegation is coming at the request of US Civil Rights groups concerned about the massive national effort by the Republican Party to keep non-GOP voting groups from casting ballots:

Civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP and the ACLU, among other groups, warned this month in a letter to Daan Everts, a senior official with OSCE, of “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans — particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities.”

BuzzFlash at Truthout, along with other Internet sites, has repeatedly pointed out that voter fraud at the polls is statistically almost non-existent in the United States. However, the Republicans, through such surrogates as the Tea Party leaning "True the Vote" and laws inhibiting the most basic right of democracy – voting – have created an illusionary perception of hordes of illegal voters. (Jane Mayer has written a timely New Yorker article on "The Voter Fraud Myth." )

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT                                   equality1 (photo by sushiesque)

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was a injustice born in the Clinton triangulation days, when he was adopting some conservative positions to ensure re-election and high poll ratings.  DOMA defines marriage as existing -- as far as the federal government is concerned – only between a man and a woman.

Jonathan Copehart of the Washington Post may have been on a legal high when he wrote:

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York slammed another nail in the coffin of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act on Thursday. The noxious 1996 federal law defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, thus denying same-sex families the right to marry and the same financial and legal stability afforded straight couples who marry. It’s flat-out discrimination. And by a 2-to-1 vote, the appeals court agreed.

After all, the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court, where it is likely that DOMA will be upheld on a 5-4 vote. But Copehart is correct in detailing increased social acceptance of non-traditional "Biblical" marriage. Although the Supreme Court may still uphold DOMA, attitudinal changes in the US will eventually force its repeal.

The case at hand that compelled the temporary overturning of DOMA involved a marriage between Thea Clara Spyer and Edith Windsor.  They had been a romantic couple for 40 years when they formally married in Toronto in 2007: "We were mildly affluent and extremely happy," Windsor said Thursday. "We were like most couples."

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