Tag Archives: Eric Cantor

Amodei’s Magical List

AmodeiRepresentative Mark Amodei (R-NV2), ever faithful to his corporate masters, and ever ready to follow the lead of that (not-quite-so) compassionate leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), would have us believe the 112th Congress passed “27 bipartisan jobs bills” [Amodei] and more in the 113th, yielding some 40 “jobs bills.”   These are sadly jammed in that Upper Chamber of Horrors, a Democratically controlled Senate — well, maybe not too sad. Let’s dig deeper into Representative Amodei’s sequaceous sycophancy.

Representative Cantor helpfully provides a web site to list all these wonderful measures intended to “empower” small business owners from sea to shining sea.  Uh, not quite.

There is a huge chunk of House passed measures which is nothing more than a further gallop down the  DEREGULATION Trail.   That led to such wonderful results with regard to the American financial sector as of 2008 — we should want more of it?  Let’s take a look at a few bits of legislation on the Amodei/Cantor list:

H.Res. 72 calls for standing committees of the Congress to review every past, present, and proposed regulation — “That each standing committee designated in section 3 of this resolution shall inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations, orders, and other administrative actions or procedures by agencies of the Federal Government within such committee’s jurisdiction.”    If you believe that this is supposed to alleviate the “burden” on small garage owners, I have some real estate for you…. This is about bringing succor to the international energy giants who are annoyed by environmental regulations, about comfort for the Wall Street Wizards who don’t want enforcement of the provisions of the Dodd Frank Act, especially the part wherein the big banks have to conform to some prohibitions against truly egregious behavior.  It’s also about further confounding efforts to enforce the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in the wake of the Enron Debacle, governing the actions of corporate management.   This passed the House, but as a House resolution the Senate doesn’t deal with it.

H.R. 874 “Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act,”  actually only reduces some very particular regulations.  “Amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act [CWA]) to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a state from requiring a permit under the CWA for a discharge from a point source into navigable waters of a pesticide authorized for sale, distribution, or use under FIFRA, or the residue of such a pesticide, resulting from the application of such pesticide.

In short, neither the EPA nor the environmental authorities in any state can require a permit for discharging insecticides, fungicides, or rat poisons… or any chemical covered by the Clean Water Act… into our waters.  So, if I decide to dump &%#@! into the local river or creek, I don’t have to get a permit — what could possibly go wrong?

H.R. 2018:  Elegantly titled as the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011”  isn’t exactly cooperative, in fact it’s the reverse of the federal system.  Here’s a bit from this legislation; which effectively places environmental regulations in state hands — some states will be cooperative, and as we can well imaging some states will be delighted to exploit and pollute to their heart’s content – “(1) promulgating a revised or new water quality standard for a pollutant when the Administrator has approved a state water quality standard for such pollutant unless the state concurs with the Administrator’s determination that the revised or new standard is necessary to meet the requirements of such Act; (2) taking action to supersede a state’s determination that a discharge will comply with effluent limitations, water quality standards, controls on the discharge of pollutants, and toxic and pretreatment effluent standards under such Act;….”   In short, if any state doesn’t want to follow the Clean Water Act rules, it doesn’t have to.  How cooperative! (not)

H.R. 1315, happily titled the “Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011” is really simple:

“(Sec. 102) Amends the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to authorize the Chairperson of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to issue a stay of, or set aside, any regulation issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) upon the affirmative vote of the majority (currently, two-thirds) of Council members, excluding the Chair of the Commission of the CFPB (as provided for in this Act).”

This is a “jobs” bill?  What it obviously does is gut the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent payday lenders from gouging their victims, to restrain some of the most egregious mortgage marketing practices known to man from devastating American families, and halt the sale of highly dubious financial products  cheating American workers and their families.   The only “jobs” saved or created by this bill are those for the less desirable elements in the financial sector.   Are these the ‘jobs’ Representative Amodei is anxious to save?

H.R. 2587, “Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act,” is a beauty, at least in the eyes of the right wing corporate perspective of Freedomworks.  “…the bill would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate or transfer employment under any circumstance. The Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act would help ensure that the government agency does not over step their bounds by dictating decisions made by private sector companies. ” [Fdwks] This isn’t about “all jobs” it’s about Boeing jobs, Boeing moving jobs to a right to work state, Boeing trying to cut labor costs.  And, there IS another explanation for H.R. 2587:

“H.R. 2587 would remove the only meaningful remedy available to workers if a company illegally moves operations or eliminates work because workers engaged in protected activities such as organizing a union. An employer can outsource for any reason, except for an unlawful reason. Retaliating against workers for exercising their rights under the National Labor Relations Act is one unlawful reason.” [NCL]

Once again, this bill isn’t about “job creation,” it’s quite simply union busting. Little wonder old Freedomworks was so enthusiastic.   The House tried another NLRB gutting, labor bashing, anti-union measure, H.R. 3094, which is also stuck in the Senate because union bashing, and the eliminating the protections of the NLRB aren’t so popular in that body.

Meanwhile back at the Pollution Party, H.R.2273 — the Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act, “H.R. 2773 eliminates EPA’s authority under the Resource Conservation and Recovery (RCRA) Act to set minimum federal standards to ensure the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (coal ash).  Instead, the bill allows states to establish their own programs without requiring them to meet any standard of protection for public health, public safety, or the environment. ” [DemE/C]

There are reasons people get nervous about the dumping of coal ash in close proximity to their homes and businesses:

“Coal ash pollution contains high levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, selenium, and hexavalent chromium. The public health hazards and environmental threats to nearby communities from unsafe coal ash dumping have been known for many years, including increased risk of cancer, learning disabilities, neurological disorders, birth defects, reproductive failure, asthma, and other illnesses.” [SCOrg]

How lovely, this isn’t a ‘jobs bills’ it’s a death warrant.

However, the crowning jewel in the deregulation diadem was the not-so-job-creating H.R. 10, the REINS Act.

“Requires a joint resolution of approval of major rules to be enacted before such rules may take effect (currently, major rules take effect unless a joint resolution disapproving them is enacted). Provides that if a joint resolution of approval is not enacted by the end of 70 session days or legislative days, as applicable, after the agency proposing the rule submits its report on such rule to Congress, the major rule shall be deemed not to be approved and shall not take effect. Permits a major rule to take effect for one 90-calendar day period without such approval if the President determines it is necessary because of an imminent threat to health or safety or other emergency, for the enforcement of criminal laws, for national security, or to implement an international trade agreement.”

We could say all this in one sentence — no one from the President to any executive, or quasi-judicial regulatory agency — can promulgate a rule, any rule, without Congressional approval.   Herein we have the Ultimate Deregulation Act.   No more interference from the FDA about marketing drugs, no more interference from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about flammable infant pajamas, no more interference from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with unscrupulous pay day lenders…

These examples from the Republican list of “jobs bills” have little or nothing to do with actual jobs, instead they have everything to do with further deregulation — deregulation of polluters, deregulation of bankers, deregulation of the financial sector.

Somehow, we are encouraged by the Republicans in Congress to believe that unfettered corporate activities are necessary to “create jobs.”   It is, by their lights, acceptable to recreate the conditions which caused the 1948 Donora, Pennsylvania smog disaster, or the day in June 1969 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio.  Unfettered capitalism requires, by GOP reasoning, we accept the fate of Times Beach, Missouri, evacuated in 1983 because of dioxin pollution.

JOBS! will be created if we allow a replication of the Enron Debacle? The collapse of Lehman Brothers? The Financial Crisis of 2007-2008?

Recession job lossWhat deregulation (especially in the financial sector) creates are Bubbles.  Unrestrained by any prohibitions on their reckless enthusiasm or their unalloyed greed, financialism enhanced by deregulation eventually spawns disaster.   The Republicans in the House of Representatives have evidently confused the needs of Main Street with the desires of Wall Street.  The legislation they tout as Job Creating doesn’t do anything for the average Main Street enterprise, but seeks to do everything for even  the most modest Wall Street hedge fund.   The graph above illustrates the Bubble in the housing sector — during which all manner of jobs appeared in order to feed the demand from Wall Street for ever more mortgages to package and repackage into ever more complex and devious financial products.  When the Bubble burst, jobs were LOST, many still vacant, most not yet replaced five years later.

Meanwhile, the American Jobs Act, is stalled in the House of Representatives, a bill which would create 1.9 million jobs [Moody’s] and would add about 1.5% to our GDP. [WSJ]

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Farm Bill Tom Foolery

PlowThe House of Representatives of the United States of America was supposed to pass a Farm Bill (HR 1947) on June 20, 2013 but that didn’t happen, and the actions of Nevada Representatives Heck and Amodei weren’t helpful.

Head counters, AKA the Whips, were fairly certain there would be about 40 votes from the Democratic side of the aisle for passage.  Let’s review the basic numbers.  There are 234 Republican Representatives and there are 201 Democrats.  There are no Independents.  Given these numbers, the House Republicans could theoretically pass any bill they want without Democratic assistance.  Since they’ve voted some 37 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Patients’ Bill of Rights it’s reasonable to assume there is some cohesion in the majority.

So, why did the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (HR 1947) go down on roll call vote 286 with a 195-234 count?

Representative Mark Amodei (R-NV2) was among the 195 voting in favor of the bill. Representatives Heck (R-NV3), Horsford (D-NV4), and Titus (D-NV1) were counted among the 234 opposed.  Why did those 40 Democratic votes vanish?

There wasn’t much Democratic support for the House version of the Farm Bill to begin with, estimates of 70 Democratic votes were probably too optimistic in the first place, and if Rep. Collin Peterson (R-MN7) is to be believed the straws that broke the old camel’s back were amendments brought to the floor which decimated the SNAP (food stamp) programs.

“And then, you know, we had made a deal on food stamps where I agreed to more cuts than we had considered last year, but I thought we had a deal that there weren’t going to be any other…that we were going to stand together to oppose any other changes in the food stamp area, but that’s not what happened. And three amendments got approved, that each one of them peeled off more support, so we got down to 24 votes, and that wasn’t enough.”  [Peterson, pdf]

The Southerland Amendment was the last straw — the “deal was off” as far as the few remaining House Democratic supporters were concerned.  This amendment was passed on a 227-198 margin [vote 284] with both Amodei and Heck voting in favor of the deal killing amendment.  House Amendment 231 (Southerland) proposed “An amendment numbered 102 printed in Part B of House Report 113-117 to apply federal welfare work requirements to the food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, at state option.”

The federal welfare work rules are: “The Federal government provides assistance through TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). TANF is a grant given to each state to run their own welfare program. To help overcome the former problem of unemployment due to reliance on the welfare system, the TANF grant requires that all recipients of welfare aid must find work within two years of receiving aid, including single parents who are required to work at least 30 hours per week opposed to 35 or 55 required by two parent families. Failure to comply with work requirements could result in loss of benefits.”  [WI.org]  Rep. Eric Cantor was only too pleased to see these requirements added to the qualifications for the SNAP program. [Cantor] Cantor acknowledged the need to assist citizens in dire need but added, “our overriding goal should be to help our citizens with the education and skills they need to get back on their feet so that they can provide for themselves and their families.”

The last point goes absolutely nowhere toward explaining why the House hasn’t taken up legislation to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4% to 6.8% next Monday — but, that’s another story.  Or, why in the midst of innumerable anti-choice bills there hasn’t been time for a JOBS Bill… but that’s yet another story.

The GOP axe job on the SNAP program probably wasn’t going to secure the total support of Representatives Horsford and Titus, and Rep. Titus’s interest may indeed have declined precipitously when her amendment, H. Amdt. 192, “to continue the USDA’s Hunger-Free Communities grant program,” failed on a voice vote.

Representative Amodei may one day have to explain why he voted for the Farm Bill, AND also voted for the amendment (Southerland H.Amdt. 231) which was the Deal Killer.   Mother always repeated the old saw, “Can’t have your cake and …..”

Representative Heck behaved precisely as one might expect of a Tea Party Darling, voting against the Farm Bill and voting for the Southerland Amendment.   There’s no time, and I’ve no enthusiasm for explaining yet again, the role of Automatic Stabilizers in the U.S. economy (such as Food Stamps) to a Representative who obviously doesn’t understand and evidently doesn’t want to.

Suffice it to say that a bill was reported out of House Committees, and then subjected to recorded votes on amendments from vote 256 to to 284 (not including the voice vote amendments).  It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that the final bill failed after minority support was peeled off during successive waves of amendments.

What is a bit incredible is that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) couldn’t have foreseen the cumulative effect of the amendments on Democratic supporters of H.R. 1947.

Representative Cantor’s feeble attempt to lay the defeat of the Farm Bill at the office doors of Democrats who watched as “deal breaker” amendments were added to the legislation on the floor notwithstanding, perhaps the Washington Wags are on to something — Speaker Boehner cannot control his own caucus.   Brokering a “deal,” and then allowing amendments to come to the floor for recorded votes — amendments which are designed to deplete the store of minority good will — is a recipe for failure.

However, if the Speaker and his Party, are willing to offer the American public the governance philosophy that Nothing is Better Than Anything then he’s been successful.   If this is “success” then how to explain the tanking of Congressional approval?  The Congress of these United States now has an historically low approval rating — a rather miserable 10%.  [Gallup]

This sad state of affairs doesn’t bode well for some important measures which should be coming to the House floor — Immigration Reform, Student Loan interest rates, and JOBS, JOBS, Jobs, Jobs?

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Compounding A Disaster

There’s a place for ideology in the spectrum of political thought.  However, it’s NOT in the midst of a disaster zone.   There are people in Middlesex County, NJ who will be waiting for electricity until next Monday; friends called about an hour ago — they are OK, and counting themselves lucky the storm damage didn’t take out more than just the railings on their deck.  There are people around this part of the country who are looking at the brown and blackened remains of range fires which consumed more than a half million acres in the region in August.  We’ve something in common.  Disaster management is not best organized on the local level.   Nothing so well wipes out mythology than wind, water, and fire.

# Myth Number One:  Local government is best able to manage disasters. Wrong.  (1) Local disaster relief assets, including local government operations like the sheriff’s department, police officers, and fire departments are staffed and equipped to handle local emergencies.  A fire such as the Holloway blaze which consumed some 461,000 acres, including vast  acreage  in Humboldt County, Nevada was completely beyond the capacity of local volunteer fire departments to manage.  Nor should we imagine that the law enforcement and public safety officials in Middlesex County, New Jersey are able to cope with all the needs in their country associated with coping with the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

It should also be noted that local disaster management can only be accomplished IF the assets aren’t themselves subject to the disaster.  It doesn’t take too long a junket down memory lane to recall the situations in which the local police and fire departments found themselves during Hurricane Katrina and the related flooding.

On the best days, local disaster management and assets are part of the total response, but the idea that a local sheriff’s department or local firefighting department could “manage” all the communication, logistic, and personnel  involved in a major catastrophe is pure fantasy.  What would we think of a local Emergency Management division telling FEMA officials where to pre-position equipment and supplies?  Surely the decisions are made with local input, but having New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island all “determining” the positioning of assets and supplies is asking for chaos and not coordination in advance of Sandy’s landfall.

(2) States may coordinate some public safety needs but the idea that situations the magnitude of the Holloway Fire or Hurricane Sandy can be addressed by state and local officials is ludicrous.  (a)   Again, consider the potential for mis-allocation of resources if all the states involved in Hurricane Sandy’s path were to position them on their own, and not in coordination with their neighbors.  (b) Consider the problem of determining which state would share what with whom? And, when? (c) Consider the question of how to coordinate disaster management and relief operation if states not immediately involved are not subject to federal management plans?  FEMA can authorize the pre-clearance of power company resources for use in restoring electricity to areas affected by disasters.  Power crews from around the country will be available to the East Coast — compliments of federal coordination. Similarly, fire crews from at least five western states were available to fight the Holloway Fire — and they were ready thanks to planning by the National Interagency Fire Center which does long term forecasts and had already determined that northern Nevada, because of weather, natural vegetation growth, and drought conditions was ripe for major fires.

# Myth Number Two:  Localizing or privatizing emergency management is always better than federal government interference.  Wrong.   The “private is always better” component of the conservative ideology is a lovely ethereal academic argument.  It doesn’t work when the wind hits the beach or the fire touches dry brush.   If capitalism works, and the profit motive is the core of personal incentive toward productivity — then where is the profit in coping with emergency shelters? Firefighting? Distribution of drinking water? Patrolling devastated areas?  Coordinating the restoration of power?

There is a profit to be made if individuals are to be charged for the cost of the emergency management services.  Unthinkable.  Or, there is a profit to be made if the costs of providing these services are billed to state and local governments.  Why pay any amount above the actual cost of the services?

All that is accomplished in a billing for services system is that the taxpayers are called upon to pay not only for the emergency management services provided but also a margin of profit for the companies providing those services.  This seems like a most cynical form of corporate welfare.

And all this is why Governor Romney’s proposal to cut disaster relief is so horribly out of touch:

“We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.” [BusInsid]

He was talking about disaster relief.  He is touching upon Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) notion that any disaster relief appropriations should be offset by cuts in other non-defense discretionary spending.  It would be sad if it weren’t so silly.

For a party which continually tries to frame revenue and spending in terms of a family budget this doesn’t pass the laugh test.  According to the conservative ideology, families are supposed to plan and save for exigent circumstances.  However, when a government plans for and appropriates funding for disaster relief that’s somehow wasteful?

There’s nothing immoral about planning for natural disasters and their consequences, but there is something immoral about suggesting that it is not the place of our national government to offer protection and provide the necessities of life to our fellow citizens in times like these.

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Filed under 2012 election, conservatism, Disasters, FEMA, Republicans, Romney

Romney, Adelson, and the Mega-Money Mindset

Dirty money will buy you dirty politics.   Princely benefactor of ultra-right wing causes, Nevada’s own Sheldon Adelson, is the subject of a probe into whether he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. [LVSun/ProPublica] Some of Mr. Adelson’s donations should raise eyebrows as well.

The Newt Gingrich PAC, “Winning our Future,” received two major contributions; one of $5 million, and another for $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. [FundRace]  The Sands CEO’s willingness to pour millions, once reported at $21.5 million, [HuffPo] down the pipe into Newt Gingrich’s book promotion tour and sometime presidential campaign should make it clear to all but the most ethically challenged that he meant it when he said his pockets were bottomless when it comes to supporting the Romney Campaign.   So, whatever is raked in from the Golden Bamboozle in Macau could easily fill the coffers of the First Financialist in Chief.

Evidently, all Mr. Romney had to do was promise to make the pilgrimage to Israel, be as hawkish about Iran as the Bush era Neo-Cons, and make statements saying President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus. [NYT] Oh, and a hug for right wing Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu gets bonus points.

However, failure to grant Mr. Adelson his million$ of wi$he$ reveals a less lamb-like corporate executive; an explanation from a Sands executive is illustrative: “Weidner recalled struggling to explain Adelson’s style to the Chinese, once comparing his boss to a famous emperor who became angry with China’s scholars and buried them alive with their books. “I would tell them: ‘He is brilliant. Sometimes, like the emperor, he is brutal.'”  [LVSun]

Governor Romney, apparently unwilling to be buried alive with his tax returns, has bent his knee to our Megalomaniacal Mogul.  It’s also nice to know that Mr. Adelson could be willing to spend as much as $100 million to have a Financialist occupying the White House. [HuffPo]

Governor Romney is not the only recipient of Mr. Adelson’s recent largess.  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA7) sponsored the Young Guns PAC which limped into the campaign season with $55,ooo in the first quarter.  Getting a $5 million boost from the Adelson’s was a lifeline for Cantor’s campaign chest, from which future and current adherents to Cantor’s brand of obstructionist politics will receive donations.

The Adelson’s have also funneled $5 million into the Boehner/Cantor Congressional Leadership Fund. [LVSun]  The Adelson money now mingles with donations from AFLAC PAC, AT&T, the Koch Brothers, Home Depot, Valero, and the Nuclear Energy Institute in the CLF. [OS]

The Mega-Money Mindset

There’s a legalistic mindset at play in the political money games.  Only the ultra-rich have the resources to work at the edges of the legal system.  Consider for a moment Governor Romney’s carefully phrased comments about his income taxes:  “I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don’t think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes.” [WaPo]

Governor Romney paid “all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more.”  This is more easily accomplished with a battalion of accountants and tax law professionals generally unavailable to members of the American middle class.   Most people fill in the blanks on the EZ form, put a stamp on it, and mail it in, with a “what the heck, it’s as close as I can get” mentality.   A mind-set unfamiliar to the top 1% of the top 1%.

Compare this philosophical bent to Mr. Adelson’s comments on campaign finance:  “I’m against very wealthy people attempting to or influencing elections,” he said. “But as long as it’s doable, I’m going to do it.” [Forbes]

Governor Romney is going to take every deduction, every dodge, and every tax haven possible because he will do only what is legally required of him. Mr. Adelson will attempt to influence elections because it is legally “do-able.”   There is no internal moral compass directing their actions; only external restraints.

In one case there is no perception that parking money in off-shore accounts in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, or in Swiss banks, isn’t “right” or might be held ethically questionable for someone who is running for the presidency of the United States.

In the other case there is a man worth approximately $25 billion, who in the absence of any external legal restraints on his donations will seek to buy an election — or multiple elections — if it’s black letter legal.  Mr. Adelson has admitted it’s the wrong thing to do, but if it advances his personal interests and it’s isn’t strictly illegal, then there is no internal restraint on his actions.

Morality Matters

Morality “refers to a code of conduct that applies to all who can understand it and can govern their behavior by it. In the normative sense, morality should never be overridden, that is, no one should ever violate a moral prohibition or requirement for non-moral considerations.” [Plato/Stanford]

The very definition of morality requires internal controls, or the application of moral principles by self-governing individuals who are capable of understanding the accepted code of conduct.  In the realm of campaign and personal finance, it seems neither Governor Romney, nor Mr. Adelson, wishes to apply generally accepted codes of conduct as part of their own self-governance.  Governor Romney will seek every edge he can pertaining to his taxes, while Mr. Adelson will do anything not explicitly forbidden — even though their actions give every appearance of dodgy behavior from a public morality perspective.

Small wonder neither man is fond of any restraints on their financial empires.  For such men “freedom” equates to a lack of legal restrictions on their actions.  They are not “free” as long as the rest of society restricts their behavior.  Thus, Mr. Romney calls for the repeal of the Dodd Frank Act regulating the financial sector.  It impinges on his “freedom.”  Mr. Adelson would rather the Justice Department not look too closely at his operations in Macau. That would impinge on his “freedom.”

Therefore, former Governor Romney may, indeed, not understand the commotion about his opportunistic flipping and flopping on issues like women’s rights, or abortion, or global climate change, or support for the policies of the Reagan Administration, [Politifact] and leave the electorate holding the view that he is a hollow man without fundamental political principles.  If all one’s principles are a function of external control, then it’s no wonder the former Massachusetts Governor is a “well lubricated weather vane” revolving as the wind direction changes.

Perhaps neither would understand:

Then, when the clouds are off the soul, When thou dost bask in Nature’s eye, Ask, how she view’d thy self-control, Thy struggling, task’d morality — Nature, whose free, light, cheerful air, Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.”  — Matthew Arnold.

——-

For an insightful piece on the issue, from a different perspective, read “Pay no attention to the billionaire behind the curtain”  Las Vegas City Life, July 6, 2012.

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Filed under 2012 election, Adelson, Cantor, Romney