Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mitt Romney's Baldfaced Lie Emporium

If Mitt Romney decided to start a new business called the Truth Store, he'd go broke in a week. Even Bain Capital couldn't save it. But the Baldfaced Lie Emporium? The shelves would be stocked! And customers? Heck, even the New York Times is buying.

I thought, then, since it means so much to me to not be like, say, the New York Times's Judith Miller and repeat stuff George W. Bush's handlers told her about the reasons for invading Iraq (How'd that work out, Judy?), that maybe I'd just keep my eyes out for the whoopers.

It really gets my goat because the NYT knows better, especially in a post-Judy world. It's high time they acted like it. So, I'll be your Truth Vigilante and peruse Mitt's Bullshit Bodega from time to time. Here is a sampling of the fare, Jared Bernstein:

Everyone’s Got a Right to Their Own Opinions…

…but not to their own facts.
When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney asserted that federal low-income programs are administered so inefficiently that “very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them,” my colleagues at the CBPP got to work on this graph.

C'mon, Mittens, that was too easy. Open mouth, spout nonsense. The Internets make it impossible these days to lie, even if the media are stenographers to the masses. We'll try to counter your every move. Admittedly, you might wear us out. We might have to be Truth Joggers to keep up with your Blistering Pace of Deception.

Talking Points Memo has got a report on what Romney doesn't want to talk about, income inequality. One of Mitt's frequent gaffes -- a word that describes events when candidates actually let voters peek behind the screen and glimpse the real person -- had him saying, out loud, that income inequality shouldn't be discussed by politicians except in "quiet rooms." Here's TPM's take on it:
Thirty years ago, the U.S. underwent a shift — from an economy that grew in a way that lifted all segments of society, to an economy that gives heavy preference to the wealthy. That’s the broad story of the last three decades, but as Krueger pointed out, policy has a role to play. The trend abated temporarily in the 1990s, when the country returned to an era of fairly uniform income growth distribution. That all changed for most people, and their lost income has instead trickled up the ladder.
 As Krueger said, “We were growing together for the first three decades after World War II, but for the last three decades we have been growing apart…. I should point out that the pattern in the post-1970s period is not monolithic…. [T]he period from 1992 to 2000 was an exception, when strong economic growth and the policies of the Clinton Administration led all quintiles to grow together again. Indeed, all income groups experienced their fastest income growth in years…. If in the first decade of the 2000s the income of the median household had grown at the same rate as it did in the 1990s, middle class households would have an extra $8,900 a year to spend on their mortgages, rent, cars, food, and clothing, or to add to their savings.”
 Romney doesn't want to talk especially about the last 30 years, beginning with Ronald Reagan and excepting the beneficent Clinton years, because only in a quiet room is there a chance that no one would hear.

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly pins the tail on Romney's donkey about job creation, noticing that Romney went from
  1. "Over a 100,000 jobs," to...
  2. "Tens of thousands of jobs," to...
  3. "Thousands of jobs," in...
...about three weeks. To drive the "point" home, TPM puts it together in a video (click the link to watch).

Okay, I thought I'd seen it all. In a mad gesture perhaps to distract the country from Mitt's truth aversion, Sarah Palin decided to offer Mittens some advice! Check out this supernova of a political flame out (I wonder if this will be visible 15 billions light years from here, you know, shortly before the Final Collapse?):
Republican star and Fox News political analyst Sarah Palin said criticism of Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital by some Republican rivals is fair game and that voters should get "proof" of the 100,000 jobs Mr. Romney said he helped create while he headed the private equity firm.
In an interview with Fox host Sean Hannity Wednesday, Ms. Palin was asked about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's comments that Mr. Romney had practiced "vulture capitalism" rather than venture capitalism at Bain. Fox and The Wall Street Journal are owned by News Corp.
"I don't agree with attacks on free-market capitalism at all but I don't believe this is really what is at the heart of Gov. Perry's criticism of Romney and his time at Bain," the former Alaska governor replied.  "This isn't about a politician making huge profits in the private sector. I think what Gov. Perry is getting at is that Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain and you know, now people are wanting to know is there proof of that claim."
 Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin suggested Wednesday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should release his tax returns, as well as records from his time at Bain Capital.
"What I heard was a little bit what's going on today is some inoculation of the candidate himself, the frontrunner, and what it is that he's going to face when he comes up against Barack Obama. Nobody should be surprised that things about Bain Capital, and maybe tax returns not being released yet, and maybe some records not being as transparently provided to the public as voters deserve to see right now, don't be surprised that's all coming out today," she told Sean Hannity Wednesday on Fox News. "Let's get it out there, let's hear the defense of the candidates who are being charged with some of this. It's kind of like some come-to-Jesus moments for these candidates, and that's good, that's healthy."
 Almost feel sorry, well, sorry for Palin, actually. She's reduced to weighing in on Mitt Romney.

Christ. I thought Sarah Palin adding her 2 muck-lucks' worth was bad enough. Now we've got Jonah Goldberg -- the LA Times lets him write in their paper? -- openly criticizing Romney where it hurts. Best one-liner? "Authentic inauthenticity problem." a bit more:
For instance, in Sunday's "Meet the Press" debate, Romney suggested that he didn't run for reelection as governor of Massachusetts because to have done so would have been vain or selfish somehow. "That would be about me."
Newt Gingrich ridiculed that as "pious baloney."
And he was right. Romney's claim that he's just a businessman called to serve — Cincinnatus laying down his PowerPoint — is nonsense. Romney, the son of a politician, has been running for office, holding office or thinking about running for office for more than two decades. "Just level with the American people," Gingrich growled. "You've been running … at least since the 1990s."
For some reason, Romney can't do that. Or at least it seems like he can't. His authentic inauthenticity problem isn't going away. And it's sapping enthusiasm from the rank and file. The turnout in Iowa was disastrously low, barely higher than the turnout in 2008 — and if Ron Paul hadn't brought thousands of non-Republicans to the caucus sites, it would have been decidedly lower than in 2008. That's an ominous sign given how much enthusiasm there should be for making Obama a one-term president. It's almost as if Romney's banality is infectious.
I guess being inauthentic isn't actually telling a baldfaced lie, so it's probably not on the shelves at the Emporium yet. Give it time, because sooner or later Romney's going to blame his inauthenticity problem on people misunderstanding his Mormonism, or something.

Here's something that is on the shelves at the Baldfaced Lie Emporium. It's just a trifle, so it's by the checkout lines. That's if lying about your name is a trifle:

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