Caption Contest. [Marie] Anntoinette Romney, wife of Willard. who famously scraped by with the Mittster in college by clipping coupons, eating macaroni and chesse, and, “living on Mitt’s investments.”
The Romney strategy is currently surprising basic: rev up the base in the half dozen swing states by deploying the technique of Goebbels, The Big Lie(s), fold in racist dog whistling, and, let the so called issues PACS, and Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers, simply bury Obama’s ground game in televised mendacity. I’m expecting a full-on deployment of the means necessary to wage a battle based in old white rural guy class resentment cast in end-times apocalyptic plotting and radical misinterpretations of Jefferson’s advisory.
(Jefferson, doh, was an anti-oligarch.)
The sudden appearance of a relentless effort to alienate female undecideds is counter-intuitive.
Then, if elected, Romney can move back into the ‘absolutist royalist opaque,’ and pivot back to the tried and true borrow-and-spend, and, to a chewy regional war in a new sandy middle eastern locale. Glorious! Bodies of the Iranian tribes and of the domestic poor will be flyin’ everywhere!
Ha ha. Apparently Willard has a thin skin. The debates will be fun.
Still, the question remains, if the Koch Brothers and Adelson, in effect, purchase a ruling majority–with an assist from determined voter suppression–how do they collaborate with GOP plutocrats to etch in their advantage for the remainder of all time?
Romney, despite being a Mormon, is evidently a quasi-nihilist too. Odd combo, I know. What is Romney’s central value, ethic, aesthetic?
Paul Ryan in remarks this weekend, about President Obama. “Whatever the explanations, whatever the excuses, this is a record of failure.”
Linguists could parse Ryan’s phrase, whatever the explanations. I’d be curious to learn more about its construction. Actually, Paul R-Ayn, explanations do matter. Let’s bring our big brackets in to play. On one end is the domestic economy from the mid-nineties going forward into the Bush era, then the inkling of a housing asset bubble, and then cheap money, exotic derivatives and collateralized debt instruments, into that August four years ago, and, soon enough, TARP, and, under the circumstances, a fairly close election.
Obama’s first two years without enough of a congressional majority or mandate to go full-on-Roosevelt, then the Tea Party wave election, and, a spectacular do nothing congress, in which many of the House’s GOP members were, in effect, pledged to the destruction of Obama’s Presidency.
What are the explanations? What does it mean to state whatever the explanations?
Keep the concept explanation in mind for the following thought problem. Here’s a question you can pitch to right leaners, tea partistas, libertarians, and, galtians: if a two trillion dollar stimulus in 2009 & 2010 would have driven unemployment down to 6% by August 2012, would it have been worth it? In other words, assume it would have and decide your answer.
Okay, my iconoclastic view is that if you do not care to accurately explain why a problem came about and happened, then it’s unlikely your solution is going to work. For example, this sense of mine means creationists and advocates of intelligent design disqualify themselves for solving the problem, how is biology to be taught?
It’s likewise with those who advocate supply-side economics; privatizing social security; and democratizing the mid-east. (And, on and on of course, on both sides of the partisan divide.) Paul Ryan is the leading intellect of the GOP and, at the same time, he’s an anti-intellectual, is apparently against explanation.
David Frum: Romney has transformed a campaign about jobs and growth into a campaign about entitlements and Medicare.
[Ryan] does not have the raw balls to explain to the country that, no, he does not believe in government — not the federal government, anyway, and not as it was originally conceived, as the fundamental expression of a political commonwealth. He’s grandfathered his plan to chloroform Medicare so that, despite the deficit that he considers such an urgent problem, nobody alive today who might vote against him will be affected by it. For the same reason, he will not specify the cuts that he will make or the tax “loopholes” —coughMortgageInterestDeductioncough — that he will close. In any way that will come to matter to the people whose lives his policies will make harder and more miserable, Paul Ryan is still the high-school kid living off Social Security survivor benefits and reading Ayn Rand by flashlight under the sheets.
John Dickerson; Slate; But for all of the talk of a new emphasis on policy specifics, this is still going to be a campaign deeply connected to American values. When Ryan spoke on Saturday, he talked about the threat Obama poses to the American way of life. Underneath every policy debate will be the argument that when tough choices have to be made about the federal government, you’re going to want candidates who share your values when they’re doing the awful math of scarcity.
Let’s contemplate seven phases of the fully realized form of R-Ayn’s utopia perspective. (I read these goals to constitute a furious race to the bottom.)
(1) throw millions of government employees out of work
(2) throw millions of people off their healthcare
(3) throw millions of college students off their Pell Grants
(4) pluck hundreds of millions of dollars from the pockets of the elderly, the salaried and hourly work force, and, give this money to
(5) tens of thousands of high-wealth individuals, including many who never worked a single day in their life for their wealth
(6) just for grins, increase the incidence of the late stage cancers women get
(7) Accelerate tens of millions of sick people visiting emergency rooms
This will be wrapped in Christian ‘ethics’ and Patriotism. Except, obviously, Romney and R-Ayn won’t be running very hard on this platform at all. It’s a loser. They’ll run against Obama the socialist and anti-Capitalist deceiver, and traitor to America, and son of a dirty fucking hippie and African. The GOP side, methinks, are now forced to go completely with the culture war strategy, the politics of resentment, and this seems especially congruent with their patently racist voter suppression strategy.
The point of this would be painting, again, the picture of Obama being something like an African Jihadi Manchurian Anti-colonialist Cosmopolitan Ivy league Affirmative Action Saul Alinsky Communist Organizer who abhors success and loves the culture of handouts. There will be plenty of dog whistles and appeals which suggest Obama is actually trying to buy votes with welfare. This tactic reflects a useful but untrue explanation Romney/Ryan endorse.
As a political and sociological phenomena, I, for one, am interested in how this all works to fit together the social and institutional structure and political economy of the USA. What, come the day after the election, explains the result, and, explains how one might smartly anticipate the new prospects? Just sayin’ . . .explanations matter!
(8) [The Hill] The House Republican budget released Tuesday would shield the Pentagon from nearly $500 billion in automatic cuts and roll back some of the $487 billion reduction approved in last year’s Budget Control Act. The plan from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) asks six congressional committees — but not Armed Services — to find $261 billion in savings to help roll back the automatic cuts through sequestration that were triggered by the failure of the supercommittee. The Ryan plan also increases national defense spending to $554 billion in 2013, an increase of $8 billion over the $546 billion that was agreed to under the Budget Control Act.
War. Destruction. Death.
I suspect the scale of our nation and its resources help conceal how unexceptional in many ways is our nation’s recent performance. My provisional explanation about this particular trend, (rooted to an anthropologically-minded analysis of the socio-political economy,) begins with the 1960 election. We can track over fifty years the curve of an appalling amount of death-dealing, the amount hundreds of billions of dollars purchases.
Meanwhile, domestically, why would anyone intentionally amplify, for example, greed and rent seeking and Randian ethics at the same time, for example, most of Asia and Europe and India, has come to eat our lunch and shorts by committing to eventually educating their billions of children better than we educate our own American children?
Who possibly in their right mind believes America’s future global ability to compete will be secured by making the country into Texas?
Romney/Ryan would be unable to convince me that their intense, self-righteous utopian phantasy about saving America is not also yoked to an equivalent Shadow; underside; blindness; and hubris. But I can’t (much) explain why it is they wholeheartedly endorse America transforming itself into an even more vicious, hyper-aristocratic, Galtian triumph-of-the-makers, society.
Especially this is so when I contemplate a future in which several billion 20-40 year old English-speaking Chinese and Indian men and woman have no trouble rattling off, when asked, what is the scientific method.
Josh Green, quoting Romney’s Twitter nemesis, comedian Rob Delaney, “Romney fascinates me endlessly,” Delaney said before his show at a Montreal comedy festival last week. “He’s such an attractive target comedically because more than any other candidate in my lifetime, he just wants to be president. That’s it! He longs for it. Feels it’s his birthright. I can imagine him getting elected and just saying, ‘Well, that’s that then!’ and staring out a window.”
He just needs to be President. It would, complete him.
I wonder about Willard’s Mormonism. Does Romney justify his mendacity for theological reasons? Does Romney understand Jesus did come to America, (or appeared so-to-speak. as reported in the Mormon holy epic?) Against these several things I’m curious about, the probable toxic contents of his unrevealed tax returns are, to me, boring. Oh, he won’t destroy his campaign by releasing any more returns.
Today, I am amazed Romney and his courtmen figured out a way to lie, and, piss off military men and women in a single swoop. How could Mittens be so stupid to let this happen?
Meanwhile, and speaking of someone “substantial and important,” who is by reputation Mitt’s intellectual superior, Paul Ryan, some ripe and embarrassing footage:
How can Ryan be considered intelligent and also spout anti-intellectual clap trap such as that on display from the beginning to the end of this clip? It showcases his puerile Randian fantasizing and his sober allegiance to the thorough-going banalities of his ideological fixations.
Curious about Ryan, I now know way too much about how his youthful enthusiasms got the best of his raw intellectual potential. I’m fairly certain Ryan will never tutor himself on the principle ways purist political ideologies–as a genre–are in all cases found to be disreputable and incredible.
The moral of the story is to beware of politicians pumped up on ideological visions stoked by novelists and fairy tales about how slashing taxes and spending sets us free. The world is more complicated than that. Our economic challenges will never be resolved by those who pledge never to raise taxes or spending any more than it would by those who pledge never to cut them.
And especially don’t be fooled if they happen to possess the numeracy to write their ideas down in budgets. Their numbers just don’t add up.
Reminding me of Reagan, the iconic Republican who figured out the political advantages of matching the ‘supply-side’ with white resentment. Romney, as I sense his motivations, wants to usher in a sea change as Reagan did in his time. It seems to the point that Reagan, now a template, wanted to get his foot in the door as a matter of his having successfully retailed a fresh ideology, and then, once elected, Reagan just did what he wanted to do. So, he was a Keynesian; a proxy cold killer of hundreds of thousands of innocent Hispanic peasants; a radical anti-Constitutionalist; a taxer, borrower, profligate spender; a negotiator with terrorists; a benefactor of jihadis; and, incidentally, the headman for a famously corrupt administration; and one that served as a finishing school for future war criminals Rumsfeld and Cheney and many others.
Soon enough, during the eighties, in effect, the contras came to feast on the Laffer Curve.
Already, the fever dream of leading American military might into a desert world war in Iran has struck chicken hawk/draft dodger Romney’s fancy–with all his talk about stopping Iran’s capability. If Romney is elected, my guess is that Ryan’s fantastic plan to rapidly race to the bottom in the name of Ayn Rand will end up being subsumed by a counter-productive conflagration in Iran.
It is helpful always to remind yourself that, in the mind of Willard Romney, there are only two kinds of people — himself and his family, and The Help. Throughout his career, and especially throughout his brief political career, Romney has treated The Help with a kind of lordly disdain. It was there when he swooped down from snowy Olympus and shoved an incumbent Republican governor named Jane Swift under a train. It was there in the general election in 2002, when he glibly pushed aside the Democratic candidate, state treasurer Shannon O’Brien, who raised almost all the same issues against Romney that the president and his people are belaboring him with today. The only time it didn’t work was in his race against Senator Edward Kennedy, when Romney found himself up against a candidate with so much money that he couldn’t outspend him, and so much historical gravitas that he couldn’t ignore him.
The Help has no right to go pawing through the family books, giggling at the obvious loopholes and tax dodges, running amok through all the tax shelters, and probably getting their chocolate-y fingerprints all over the pages of the Romney family ledger. And, certainly, those members of The Help in the employ of the president of the United States, who is also part of The Help, have no right to use the nearly comically ostentatious wealth of the Romney as some sort of scrimey political weapon. He does not have to answer to The Help. I mean, jeepers, he’s running for office.
This isn’t stubbornness. That’s often an acquired trait. What this is, fundamentally, is contempt. Contempt for the process, and contempt for the people who make their living in that process, and contempt for the people whose lives depend on that process. There are rules for The Help with which Willard Romney never has had to abide, and he has no intention of starting now. My dear young fellow, this simply is not done. (Charles S. Pierce, Esquire, July 16)
During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.
But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture? In the case of the United States, it is a particular kind of culture that has made us the greatest economic power in the history of the earth. Many significant features come to mind: our work ethic, our appreciation for education, our willingness to take risks, our commitment to honor and oath, our family orientation, our devotion to a purpose greater than ourselves, our patriotism. But one feature of our culture that propels the American economy stands out above all others: freedom. The American economy is fueled by freedom. Free people and their free enterprises are what drive our economic vitality.
The Founding Fathers wrote that we are endowed by our Creator with the freedom to pursue happiness. In the America they designed, we would have economic freedom, just as we would have political and religious freedom. Here, we would not be limited by the circumstance of birth nor directed by the supposedly informed hand of government. We would be free to pursue happiness as we wish. Economic freedom is the only force that has consistently succeeded in lifting people out of poverty. It is the only principle that has ever created sustained prosperity. It is why our economy rose to rival those of the world’s leading powers — and has long since surpassed them all.
The linkage between freedom and economic development has a universal applicability. One only has to look at the contrast between East and West Germany, and between North and South Korea for the starkest demonstrations of the meaning of freedom and the absence of freedom.
Excerpt, and more than enough of a chunk to suppose a venue for further discussion: an introductory anthropology class. Hand this out and call it “fuel” for the final oral exam.
Romney’s sentimental clap trap-and his analysis is ludicrous from the perspective of how anthropology sorts out economic causality at the scale of societies–is obviously falsifiable even in its own silly terms.
Does he not get the fact that his homage here is fit to the context of his exemplar society stuck in the fourth year of an economic downturn, and stuck right now with both the worst increase in poverty, and, a widening gulf between the 99.9% and the super rich? Has Willard realized, currently, in the year of a presidential election, there is a bold attempt being made by a handful of billionaires to purchase a favorable election outcome?
But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?
This is like stating: but what exactly accounts for home runs if not swinging the bat? So, Romney is begging the question. One question begged is, what accounts for prosperity in specific instances, and, also, what accounts for the lack of prosperity in other instances.
American economy is fueled by freedom. I suppose Romney here is meaning to state that a factor or feature termed “freedom” is the principle ingredient of the American economy.
The idea is so under-determined in Romney’s editorial that I would need to know much more, such as what does he mean by freedom and what does he mean by fuel, and, I have little doubt that this would lead to needing to know what he means by economy.
But it would hardly matter because there really isn’t any way to rehabilitate his argument so that it matches up with the actualities that address the fundamental question, in a society, what features of the society are understood to account in some specifiable degree for the likelihood of a citizen of the society being prosperous, or not prosperous?
A person who inherits $100,000,000 earns an account, just as the person who loses their livelihood and home due to cancer, earns an account. The prosperous person in China, the world’s fastest growing economy, earns an account, and, the fifty-five year old unemployed engineer in the U.S. earns an account.
(The “macro” is constituted by the aggregate of micro outcomes. Generalities at the scale of society or nation are required to be applicable to all micro outcomes, (say) at the level of the household. Features and factors given by the macro context would be part of the structure of micro economic outcomes, and, crucially, are knowable particulars given in the structure of micro economic histories and outcomes.)
Willard Romney’s approach to helping us get to know who he is, is his willingness to pose two contradictory “take-aways” simultaneously: on one hand we are supposed to come to know that he is very smart and has tremendous capabilities, and, on the other hand, he speaks of or publishes his really “stupid-on-arrival” understandings about important subjects. For me, the latter undermines the former; granted, I’m biased too.
But it sure helps to face a candidate as uncomfortable in his own skin, as likely to say by accident what he really means and as wrong for the times as Mitt Romney. In an era when even conservatives are populists, enraged about the favors granted the rich and well-connected, Romney is running as a CEO who thinks his taxes are too high. Voters just aren’t warming up to a guy who enjoys firing people and attempts to woo the people of Michigan by referring to his wife’s “couple of Cadillacs.” If Obama offers what well-paid elites call a “jobless recovery,” Romney offers the only thing worse: a promise to restore the policies that led to the joblessness that made a recovery necessary. Drew Weston, Washington Post, July 27, 2012
Will low-info voters in the ‘middle’ in the swing states voting for the Romdroid usher back into office a President and government built on the Bush II template?
If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for? Vote for the other guy, that’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about. Willard delivering a bold ‘southern strategy’ dog whistle to a group of donors the day after getting booed at the NAACP.
The problem is Romney needs a bit more than the racist vote to tip enough swing states into his column in November. In fact, Willard has got the racists and plutocrat lovin’ tea partistas and the 1% and their minions locked up.
His appeal to the wishy washy middle, the amazing sweep of voters in but a dozen states unable make up their minds–as if there isn’t much with which to differentiate the two candidates–has depended on a counter-intuitive promotion of capacities and acumen forged at Bain to be just what the economy needs. This is a ridiculous appeal on its face! After all, there’s nothing about the mechanics of Bain’s mission that align with the boilerplate Reagonomics and supply-side confidence game Romney touts to be the solution. Reminder: solution to the devastation brought on by titans of finance, like Romney!
It’s easy to criticize Romney’s mendacity, vagueness about his future policies, and, the intense positioning and handling going on in the background. I would add to those considerations Romney’s twitchy hyper-active Joycean rambles, the increasing evidence of his thin skin, and, his overall ability to slip into fatuousness and inanity. His latter qualities are, to me, usually amusing, and, probably Romney’s narcissism insulates him from comprehending that he is a laughable/laughingstock figure.
For example, his racist dog whistle is not about all the free stuff the financial industry has received, and, we won’t be seeing Romney square tens of billions of dollars of welfare monies with trillions of dollars of bailout monies.
The controversy over when he left active duty at Bain is much more telling because he’s goes into it knowing he’s lying, anf knowing that the paper trail demonstrating his actions as CEO will grow quickly into a damning pile. Yet, Willard will plow ahead anyway, believing maybe as only a Mormon can believe, that the baloney he’s peddling for the lower orders does not infect the righteousness of his higher order sacred calling.
As his wife put it, “It’s Mitt’s turn.” Her observation should cover all sins, yes?
As for the tax returns, it’s lose/lose. Presumably, in their total sweep, five, ten, twenty, years of tax returns provide a comprehensive manual on how to financially front in the 1%. However, no matter how toxic this tale turns out to be–and I for one doubt Romney will be releasing anything–it is ironic to say the story the tax returns tell will damage Romney’s credibility as an economic white night and warrior for the populist cause.
If you think Romney cares anything about the middle class beyond caring that low-information and cognitively suspect voters give him their votes, I have a bridge to sell. Cheap.
Question: Is literal belief in the truth of the account of the creation of the Mormon Church a necessary commitment for a doctrinal Mormon?
The Wentworth Letter
Following is the complete text of the Wentworth Letter, as written by the Prophet Joseph Smith:
“I was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, on the 23rd of December, A.D. 1805. When ten years old, my parents removed to Palmyra, New York, where we resided about four years, and from thence we removed to the town of Manchester. My father was a farmer and taught me the art of husbandry. When about fourteen years of age, I began to reflect upon the importance of being prepared for a future state, and upon inquiring [about] the plan of salvation, I found that there was a great clash in religious sentiment; if I went to one society they referred me to one plan, and another to another; each one pointing to his own particular creed as the summum bonum of perfection. Considering that all could not be right, and that God could not be the author of so much confusion, I determined to investigate the subject more fully, believing that if God had a Church it would not be split up into factions, and that if He taught one society to worship one way, and administer in one set of ordinances, He would not teach another, principles which were diametrically opposed.
“Believing the word of God, I had confidence in the declaration of James—‘If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ I retired to a secret place in a grove, and began to call upon the Lord; while fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day. They told me that all religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as His Church and kingdom: and I was expressly commanded ‘to go not after them,’ at the same time receiving a promise that the fullness of the Gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.
“On the evening on the 21st of September, A.D. 1823, while I was praying unto God, and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of Scripture, on a sudden a light like that of day, only of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room, indeed the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire; the appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body; in a moment a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the Gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.
“I was also informed concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country and shown who they were, and from whence they came; a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me; I was also told where were deposited some plates on which were engraven an abridgment of the records of the ancient Prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night and unfolded the same things. After having received many visits from the angels of God unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire in the last days, on the morning of the 22nd of September, A.D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into my hands.
“These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold, each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, and much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called ‘Urim and Thummim,’ which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breast plate. Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God.
“In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian Era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the Tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country. This book also tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, &c, and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days. For a more particular account I would refer to the Book of Mormon, which can be purchased at Nauvoo, or from any of our Traveling Elders.
“As soon as the news of this discovery was made known, false reports, misrepresentation and slander flew, as on the wings of the wind, in every direction; the house was frequently beset by mobs and evil designing persons. Several times I was shot at, and very narrowly escaped, and every device was made use of to get the plates away from me; but the power and blessing of God attended me, and several began to believe my testimony.
“On the 6th of April, 1830, the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ was first organized in the town of Fayette, Seneca county, state of New York. Some few were called and ordained by the Spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach as the Spirit gave them utterance, and though weak, yet were they strengthened by the power of God, and many were brought to repentance, were immersed in the water, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. They saw visions and prophesied, devils were cast out, and the sick healed by the laying on of hands. From that time the work rolled forth with astonishing rapidity, and churches were soon formed in the states of New York, Pennsylvania[,] Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri; in the last named state a considerable settlement was formed in Jackson county: numbers joined the Church and we were increasing rapidly; we made large purchases of land, our farms teemed with plenty, and peace and happiness were enjoyed in our domestic circle, and throughout our neighborhood; but as we could not associate with our neighbors (who were, many of them, of the basest of men, and had fled from the face of civilized society, to the frontier country to escape the hand of justice,) in their midnight revels, their Sabbath breaking, horse racing and gambling; they commenced at first to ridicule, then to persecute, and finally an organized mob assembled and burned our houses, tarred and feathered and whipped many of our brethren, and finally, contrary to law, justice and humanity, drove them from their habitations; who, houseless and homeless, had to wander on the bleak prairies till the children left the tracks of their blood on the prairie. This took place in the month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy of heaven, in this inclement season of the year; this proceeding was winked at by the government, and although we had warantee deeds for our land, and had violated no law, we could obtain no redress.
But several media outlets — including the Times, CNN, and the British newspaper The Telegraph have reported that Mitt Romney will in fact take time from the campaign to attend the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with his wife on July 27 (the Romney horse’s event begins Aug. 2). He was, after all, head of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games. And an appearance at the opening, filled with extravagant special effects, music and patriotic flag-waving for the U.S. team, is safer than showing up at an event where your wife’s horse is worth several times the mean yearly per capita income for individuals in the United States.
So family loyalty is trumped by political expedience, but while in London, Romney will find time to attend — you guessed it — a private fundraising dinner. According to The Telegraph, “The price of invitations dwarfs the amounts paid for such fundraisers in British politics. Each guest must pay between $25,000 (£17,000) and $75,000 (£50,000) for a seat at the dinner, which will be hosted by Bob Diamond, the chief executive of Barclays.”
Bob Diamond? Why is that name familiar? Oh right, it was announced this week that Barclays would pay American and British authorities $453 million in fines as a settlement over allegations that the financial giant manipulated international interest rates, causing millions of borrowers to pay the wrong amount on their loans. The New York Times reports, “At the height of the financial crisis, regulators say, the big British bank reported bogus figures that in some cases had influenced a benchmark for student loans, credit cards and mortgages.”
An ongoing Justice Department investigation of Barclays — as well as of other banks, including Citigroup — could lead to criminal charges. Calls have come for Diamond’s resignation. He responded by announcing that he would forego his annual bonus for the year — in 2011, Diamond received $4.2 million.
In a speech, British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said, “This cannot be about a slap on the wrist, a fine and the forgoing of bonuses… When ordinary people break the law, they face charges, prosecution and punishment.”
But of course, ordinary people don’t host $75,000-a-plate dinners for the man who may be the next president of the United States. via Salon
After a certain point and after enough ‘inovative’ rent seeking, moral hazard fades to zero and the worst thing that could happen to you when your thuggery is exposed is you bravely give up your annual bonus, or become governor of Florida, or spend more time in St. Barts, etc..