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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
July 31, 2012

Brown ad: "Let America be America", uses scenes from Europe


It was a web ad with a patriotic message that went viral.

But it turns out that the web ad released by Mass. Senate race Scott Brown last week - “Let America Be America Again” – featured some scenes that were shot in Europe.

The ad is a critique of comments made by Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in 2011, runs 2 and a half minutes long. It features video of past presidents talking about free enterprise, interspersed with footage of businesses throughout the country- and, it turns out, in Ireland and Spain too.

The Boston Globe reported that the ad, which has received over 800,000 hits since it was released, features stock footage of small business. One scene- about a minute into the video, features a man standing outside of O’Connor’s Family Butchers. O’Connor’s, it turns out, is located in Dublin, Ireland. Another shot features a man standing inside a restaurant kitchen- a kitchen which is in Barcelona.

The Brown campaign had no comment.

It appears that the Brown spokesman was not available because he was on the phone with his banker and the banks in Zurich close 5 hours before those in Boston.
July 28, 2012

Romney in Israel "Governments should spend like Jews"

My good friend "The Desperate Blogger" has just published his finest satire ever and perhaps the greatest of the whole campaign season and I base that solely on the title of this brilliant satire piece.

Romney in Israel: “Governments Should Spend Like Jews”


A mere 48 hours after impressing London residents in a manner unmatched by a foreign dignitary since renowned German aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun shared with them his love of rocketry some seventy years ago, former Massachusetts governor and one-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney brought his three-nation ‘Barnstormer of Charm’ tour to Israel Saturday. And speaking at an international economic symposium at Tel Aviv University, he delivered remarks many experts agree may even overshadow his Olympic performance.

Sharing his views on current global economic conditions, most notably the Eurozone crisis and the slow rate of recovery in the United States, an uncharacteristically emotional Romney whipped the crowd into a frenzy when he concluded his remarks by offering his solution while simultaneously paying his own unique form of tribute to his audience’s heritage.

“For far too long, liberal and socialist policies have led not only to increased dependence on government, but also to unsustainable budget deficits,” the man many from England now refer to affectionately as the ‘taxation tallywacker’ lectured. “Governments have been spending money like they’re drunken sailors when they should be spending like they’re Jews.”

So impressed was the Sabbath day crowd in attendance that immediately following the speech, calls went out to prestigious academic fraternity Delta Tau Chi to bestow – for the first time upon a Mormon on Israeli soil – its highest honor, “The Goy Clip”, a ritual form of retaliatory circumcision.

Reaction in the United States was not only overwhelmingly positive, but also unusually bipartisan.

Conservative radio personality and amateur pharmacist Rush Limbaugh was quick to praise Romney’s statesmanship.

“He not only sent a message to the rest of the world about the importance of getting their fiscal houses in order,” the porcine pill-popper gushed, “but he also made it clear to our key ally in the region that even though the United States is a Christian nation, we nonetheless appreciate many of the positive aspects of their Jewness.”

Pueblo State University professor Newton Toomey, a former aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who was recently pressured by Congressional Republicans to resign after being heard on a wiretapped phone conversation uttering the words ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, also praised Romney for “forever improving future relations with Israel by ensuring their leaders will be much more receptive to dealing with an American President who has ‘Hussein’ in his name.”

If you have followed The Desperate Blogger's other satirical pieces you will see that they are so funny because they are so close to what is actually happening, to what is actually being said. Time and time again he comes out with his satire a few days before and event only to have the people he is lampooning say almost exactly the same thing.

And no one more richly deserves the "Goy Clip" than Governor and one time Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, make it so.
July 28, 2012

The Opening Ceremonies humane dimension.

The salute to England's National Health Service wasn't political it was saluting United Kingdom's deep affection for all things humane.

It was a constant thread through all of the ceremony.

Noting the joy of the 7/7 announcement ceremony they took a brief moment to remember those that were killed the next day in a terrorist attack (and that other threads have pointed out was edited out by NBC for the Seacrest/Phelps interview).

But this wonderfully generous view of humanity was seen through out the entire ceremony. It was appropriate for a country that has taken telling adventurous children's stories where good always wins into a national industry. They didn't salute their tradition of childrens stories because it helps with their national trade balance they did it because it helps give a better view of the world.

Its a world where everyone should be able to see a doctor if they need to.

Now I have been roundly lampooned in my family for having the worst singing voice in human history even bringing all of the loud cathartic weeping to a standstill at a funeral while people looked around in my direction trying to find out 'what in the hell that noise is". So how is it possible that you can have an integrated choir of hearing and deaf children sing like angels when they sang the British National Anthem. There are two issues here. One is that they would be so clever to think to invite them. The second is that some music teachers were so brilliant to think of such a choir. Singing and signing together. How wonderfully humane.

Read about the choir here: http://www.thekaos.org/#/the-kaos-signing-choir/4534466631

And then they had dancers in wheel chairs. Did you see that. Wonderfully athletic dancers jumping around and then if you looked carefully you could see dancers wheeling around in wheelchairs.

There is a common value in British society that no one should be left behind, not in singing, not in dancing and not in health care.

It wasn't always that way. They had a conservative opposition that wanted a minimalist government.

Then World War II landed on their doorsteps and they learned that they really did literally need each other.

After the war that sentiment was used to form the NHS. It wasn't easy.

Doctors were initially opposed to Bevan's plan, primarily on the stated grounds that it reduced their level of independence. Bevan had to get them onside, as, without doctors, there would be no health service. Being a shrewd political operator, Bevan managed to push through the radical health care reform measure by dividing and cajoling the opposition, as well as by offering lucrative payment structures for consultants. On this subject he stated, "I stuffed their mouths with gold". On July 5, 1948, at the Park Hospital (now known as Trafford General Hospital) in Manchester, Bevan unveiled the National Health Service and stated, "We now have the moral leadership of the world."

Through the combined sacrifice and terrible experience of WWII where the whole nation was under attack a profound change occurred in Great Britain where a simple empathy for every single other citizen became the norm. That is what was on display last night. It was beautiful to see. Everyone benefits from it, even the conservatives for they too have children in wheel chairs and children who have to sign when they sing and children who need to see a specialist.

Well done English cousins, well done.
July 27, 2012

RW "WeAskAmerica" Ohio - Obama way up. More Republicans are moving toward the President.

Ohio has been ground zero for the President's campaign. Its where he is running ads non stop on Bain and Romney's outsourcing.

We Ask America (read Jenmito's thread about them here) a pollster based in IL that is " is a partisan Republican pollster and an arm of the pro-business Illinois Manufacturer's Association" is showing that Ohio is moving for the President 48 to 40.

But here is the big news:


What pops out immediately is the high percentage of self-described Republicans who say they will vote for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. An outlier? Perhaps. But we went back into the field last night to test it again. The results: almost identical. Hmmm. We going to keep an eye on that.

Since Independents are leaning toward Romney, if the “wayward” GOP electorate come back home to roost, this will tighten up considerably and quickly. And a rumored choice of Ohio Senator Rob Portman as Romney’s VP running mate could reverse what we’re seeing today.

Then again, maybe those GOP voters leaning toward Obama are the result of the President working Ohio like Rocky Balboa on a side of beef…breaking a few political ribs while he’s at it.

And those take a long time to heal.

July 27, 2012


We all know Americans like that don't we? One of my cousins. One of my neighbors. One of the secretaries of the office. They are just so full of American hubris and so intellectually rigid that they should just never leave the country. Not good for them, not good for the people they meet and not good for anybody who is going to base what they think the US is like on meeting them.

Those Americans that shouldn't leave the country, they also shouldn't lead the country. The last one that needed to be held by the hand as he went from country to country was George Bush and we saw how that worked out.


Mitt Romney has been rebuked by the US Olympic legend Carl Lewis after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee questioned whether London was fully prepared for the Olympic Games.

As Romney was mocked on US television and by the London mayor, Boris Johnson, in front of a crowd of 60,000 people, Lewis called on him to return home.

"Seriously, some Americans just shouldn't leave the country," the nine-times Olympic gold medal winner told the Independent.

Asked whether London was ready to stage the Games, Lewis said: "Of course London is ready."

July 26, 2012

Romney on England: "It is a small island . . doesn't make things. . the world wants to buy".

On edit: Just for fun I emailed this to the Guardian writer who wrote about Romney's other gaffes.

As reported by the Political Wire


Romney wrote, in his book, No Apology:

"England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions."

I made a prediction that the President's campaign would be leaking little tid bits, and wonder if this is one of them.

Remember Mitt, No Apologies now.
July 23, 2012

Interesting little drive by on CNBC

Don't stop by the stock channel very often but happened to click through while they were playing a clip of Romney speaking to their reporters with a business on the back ground.

It was the best I have ever seen Romney. He wasn't giving the President an 'F' on the economics, nor was he blaming the President for the downturn, here is what he said (roughly);

"The President made a number of missteps when he first took over the Presidency which stunted the recovery. They were more concerned about passing a bunch of liberal legislation than getting people back to work and that's why the jobs recovery has been so bad".

It was thoughtful, reasonable, and articulate.

Of course it was also 100% wrong. Under the President the stock market doubled its value and created more capital paper wealth than any 4 years or 8 years of other Presidents. Moreover Romney's alternative would have crippled the car industry and there would have been more stimulus.

So it was surrealistic seeing Romney talking in an effective and articulate way.

That wasn't the interesting part.

The interesting part was that when they played the clip they then asked the 5 financial analysts to respond.

None agreed with him, even at his best.

One guy noted that he thought the President was wrong in that he should have doubled the size of the stimulus but then said that Romney wouldn't have done anything. The next guy said that he didn't think that more stimulus would have had much of an impact because jobs are a lagging indicator. The third guy appeared to be a Republican who generally supported Romney's comments but he said that Romney's arguments were never based on the known facts but on the facts now known, and he said that if President Obama had known that the jobs market was going to be this slow to recover he believed that the President would have taken other actions.

Romney at his best.

In his wheel house, capitalist traders and market guys.

None of them were buying Romney, they didn't hate the guy but nobody was asking to get on the dance card.

There may be people who will vote for this guy but nobody really likes him. He has to be the most disliked guy to run for the President since Nixon, and this was after he gave what I thought was his best most reasonable effort.
July 20, 2012

The other freedom.

Many people who are focused on their '2nd amendment rights' are focused on the ability to responsibly own and use a firearm.

When I was younger I was 100% against it and joined the anti-gun lobbies at the time, which in retrospect only helped the NRA get millions more single issue voters and contributors.

Here at DU and other places I have met many very responsible gun owners and am frankly quite impressed with how responsible most of them are. In my work I have daily contact with law enforcement officers who also are very responsible about securing their weapons.

I lived overseas for 2 decades and lived and visited almost all of the main countries in Asia and Western Europe. In these countries individuals generally don't have guns and if they do they are never visible and virtually never apart of the daily life of the average citizen. In many countries even the police don't always carry fire arms.

Americans are consumed with their litany of freedoms but it blinds them to other freedoms.

In this case the ability to walk around Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin or London, or most of the other cities of the world at 2 in the morning and simply not have to worry about violence, especially about guns.

Very very few Americans can ever experience this because we carry around a blanket of apprehension that is always with us. If you are in a foreign country for a few days you can't shed this blanket, but Americans who have lived overseas for prolonged periods of time know what I am talking about. Frankly it feels great. You can go anywhere any hour of the day and never have to look over your shoulder and worry about walking up the wrong street.

I have grown somewhat more sympathetic to the responsible gun owner. I know that there are too many people who have made this their only political issue to change it and I even suspect that when the NRA suggests that the current laws are not being enforced well and that if they were (which a fully functional database would assist) then a lot of gun violence would be eliminated. I also have traveled to see relatives that live in remote areas and pass by isolated farm houses in the country that have no neighbors for miles around and I think that if I lived in one of these houses I would want a weapon because no law authority is ever going to arrive in time.

But the bottom line is that having the right for everyone to have a gun is not an expansion of freedom, it is a trade off. You lose the freedom to go anywhere at anytime and not have to worry about someone showing up with a gun. If you haven't lived in one of those countries for an extended period of time you can never experience how liberating that is, and some Americans who do live in those countries never are able to experience the feeling of being able to walk around without any tinge of fear.

The 2nd amendment isn't a one way street to greater freedom, its a two way street and we lose that other freedom. For those of us that have experienced the freedom to walk around not have to worry about meeting up with the wrong guy who happens to have a gun, we know that it is a very high price to pay to give up that other freedom.

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