Romney unscripted

Quote from Mother Jones article

Want to know what Mitt Romney thinks of you if you are a committed supporter of Barack Obama? Check out today’s Mother Jones:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”

Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

That’s just for starters. Romney was recorded at a fundraiser with some wealthy supporters last spring — insulting and stereotyping almost half the people in the country. Even if you’re somewhere among the 10% or so of undecided voters that he hopes to appeal to and therefore isn’t talking about here, it’s insulting. Heaven help us all if a man with an attitude like this gets elected president.

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This is only one of several videos on Mother Jones. Be sure to check the others. The story ends with a promise of more to come.

Note: Rachel Maddow was all over this story this evening, including an interview with David Corn, author of the Mother Jones story.



Categories: Election 2012, Politics, Romney, video content

57 replies

  1. Thanks for sharing, Heaven help us all indeed!

  2. What an asshole… but no surprise….

  3. You know, oddly, Mitt Romney appears to actually believe his own distorted view of reality. He, a man who made his fortune by deception, manipulation, secrecy and trickery, and who has stored his wealth in secret offshore accounts, actually believes the bottom 47% of the income scale are irresponsible freeloaders. He chooses to ignore that those same people who “pay no income tax” pay payroll taxes, sales taxes, gasoline taxes, utility taxes and fees, and property taxes. He chooses to ignore that those same people, that bottom 47%, do the ordinary work of society, that they make the beds, lay the bricks, pick the fruit, repair the plumbing, chase the crooks, restore the electricity, teach the children, and defend his nation’s borders. This statement says it all and it is destined to live forever in the annals of journalism:

    Romney went on: “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

  4. LOL… I just posted the video. It’s spreading around everywhere on the internet – and it should! He pissed me off so badly! Just brushing us away like a pesky fly on his shoulder. And the gall to say the people don’t pay income taxes when I am still waiting for him to prove he has been paying them – and not hiding money overseas.

  5. Fun fun fun:

    At the same $50,000-a-plate dinner with wealthy donors where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said 47% of Americans think of themselves as victims, the former Massachusetts governor also trashed a two-state solution for the Middle East, saying the Palestinians “have no interest in peace.”

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18/palestinians-have-no-interest-in-peace-romney-says-in-new-leaked-video-amid-reports-of-campaign-disarray/

  6. I was blown away. What a gimme for the Democrats. I’m sure there was some serious and well-deserved hand wringing and hair pulling in Ditsy La-La Good ‘ol Boy land yesterday. And more today. Probably all week and maybe into next month.

    I checked Faux News to see how they were spinning this to the Kool Aid crew, and sure enough, “Romney Defends ’47 Percent’ Remark, Says More Jobs Mean More Taxes” This was followed by: “Mitt Romney, defending his assessment of the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes, tells Fox News he believes creating jobs will enable more Americans to pay taxes — as opposed to Obama’s plan of wealth ‘redistribution.'”

    Is that all you’ve got Faux News? Creating jobs will enable more Americans to pay taxes? No shit. How are you going to CREATE them Romney? The only way government “creates” jobs is by hiring government workers you idiot. Oh, I forget, making the rich richer by cutting their taxes will cause them to create more jobs. Right. That’s worked before, hasn’t it?

    The thing that really pissed me off, was his implication that people who aren’t paying taxes and don’t have jobs are all Democrats. I looked for statistics and charts that would break down political affiliations with taxes, but couldn’t find any, dammit. I’m willing to beat that this “47%” are vastly Republican though. Hell, I’ll even bet my taxes on it! How about a comparison of the wealth generated by county? Red counties vs. blue counties. Democratic areas win almost every time – generating far more revenue. So where are the taxes coming from?

    Bottom line: people read what people want to read. People watch what people want to watch. And when you’ve got an entire “news network” spinning your lies for you, you don’t have to worry about your base. If there’s one change I’d make to this country, I’d eliminate Faux News. I know so may Conservatives that drink from the dirty tit of that whore and call it ambrosia, that I can’t see any possibility they’ll ever see anything clearly again.

    Anyway, there’s my rant for you. I tried to keep it clean. For me anyway. The words that are actually going through my head aren’t fit for print.

    I can feel the plastic of a million or so “I’m in the 47%” T-shirts being pressed right now.

  7. Seems to me he was talking about the cradle-to-grave entitlement society, not those who have paid into the system and are simply receiving their due. Romney is very careful to point out that their plans do not affect Medicare or Medicaid for anyone over 55. He also doesn’t mean those who have fallen on hard times and are trying to better themselves; those are the people he most wants to support. Republicans want fewer people on the dole, not more. If there is any one difference between the two parties, that’s it.

    Romney has also released his last two years of tax returns, in which he has paid a significant amount of taxes and also given quite a bit to charity. You may not like the Republican platform, but characterizing Mitt Romney as a cold, greedy man is simply wrong. Here’s some examples of the good the man has done:

    http://www.redstate.com/2012/09/17/mitt-romney-friend-in-need/

    Let’s make our election choices based on the issues, not on some biased representation of the candidates’ characters. Because then we’re down to Bain and Koch vs. Soros and Jeremiah Wright, and that’s not really the decision here.

    • I’m basing my choice on what Romney himself has said, going back to long before “Corporations are people, my friend.” His statement about the 47% did not make the exceptions you note. In fact, he was quite specific about who he includes in that 47%.

      I don’t base my voting decisions on “biased representations of the candidates’ characters.” I don’t trust campaign ads, editorials, or the media to tell me about the candidates; they are all biased in one way or another. I look to the candidates themselves and what they say.

      Both parties want fewer people on the dole. It doesn’t help the parties, the country, or the individuals to have people on assistance, but sometimes people do need assistance. You might even need it yourself someday.

      Romney’s only released one year of tax returns and a summary of a second. 13% is not a “significant” amount in taxes (and we only have his word that it was even that much, since he won’t release any more returns). I personally paid about 20% in my working years, so he gets no “attaboy” from me. And I don’t give much credence to charitable donations. They’re chump change to multimillionaires.

      • Really? You consider four million dollars to charity to be chump change?

        • It’s chump change to anyone who can afford to give that much to charity. To me it would be many lifetimes of income.

        • That seems a bit class-ist. The Romneys made $21M in 2010 and gave $3M to charity. In 2011 according to their estimated returns they made roughly the same and gave away $4M. That’s nearly 15% in 2010 and close to 20% in 2011. I don’t care how much you make, giving 20% of your gross income to charity is not chump change. Do your own math and figure out how much that would be for you. It would be a sizable lifestyle change for me. In a good year I give about 5% and that’s a lot.

        • How do you know how much they made or how much they have when they won’t release their full tax returns? How much of their charitable donations go to their church? The Mormon Church asks for 10% of one’s income. I don’t count that as charity freely given.

        • Who told you they won’t release their tax returns?

          http://www.mittromney.com/learn/mitt/tax-return/main

          2010, and 2011 estimated. As to what they give and why, who are you to judge which charity is worthy and which isn’t? You seem to be working really hard to turn four million to dollars into chump change just so it fits your own personal narrative, and facts be damned.

        • I don’t consider one year and an estimate for a second year to be forthcoming for a man who wants to be president. Especially one who asked his own running mate for 10 years of returns. As for his charitable giving, I really don’t care how much he gives to charity (except that it makes for a sizable tax write-off)). Charitable donations don’t qualify you to be president.

        • That’s fine. You need to find something to vote against, then you can hang your hat on the tax returns. The current administration lied about the assassination of our ambassador in Libya and you’d rather hinge the future of the country on not seeing enough tax returns, even though the IRS clearly found nothing wrong.

        • Actually, he lost my vote the day I heard him say, “Corporations are people, my friend.”

        • Just as a side note – what exactly do you think is in, say, his 2009 returns? What could be there that would make you vote for the man? Or are you looking for more reasons to NOT vote for him? Is there something specific you think you’re going to see there that would disqualify him from the Presidency? Because there are lots of things I’d like to see from the current President. For example, I’d like to see his college admission forms. It’s possible he falsified his application to say he was a foreign student. Are you as interested in that as you are in Romney’s tax returns?

        • “Charitable donations don’t qualify you to be president.”

          The more I think I about this, the more I realize this may be a futile discussion. Because in my mind charitable donations are EXACTLY the sort of thing that makes you an American. In fact, that’s the argument we’re having. Should society’s safety net be primarily funded by Americans giving freely of their own volition to the charities of their choice, or should the government forcibly appropriate our money and redistribute it as it sees fit. I believe charity to be a defining American trait and one which I think our President should aspire to.

          It seems that you’re in the second camp, which is much more of a liberal/progressive philosophy. Progressives are all about spending other peoples’ money through the intervention of government. To them, private charity is simply another tool of “da man” that allows them to avoid taxes. You do of course realize that at his tax rate of 15%, Romney only saves 15 cents from every dollar, right? So if he truly were the greedy son of a gun he is portrayed to be, he’d be far better off keeping ALL the money and paying taxes on it. No matter how you spin it, charity is a sign of good character. It’s what binds us as a community and as a society.

          The problem, of course, is that in order to receive charity from your fellow man you have to behave in a way that society finds acceptable. Whereas if the government simply gives you money with no strings attached, you’re free to act however you please. I think that subtly (and not so subtly) contributes to a coarsening of society. That corrosive effect combined with the rampant fraud in the SNAP and TANF programs are powerful arguments against centralized redistributive programs.

          So perhaps we’ve hit a fundamental impasse here. You don’t think Romney’s charitable contributions are a measure of his character and instead you want to go over his tax returns with a fine tooth comb in order to find… what, exactly, I don’t know. While I want to reduce government spending and return as much of society’s safety net to the private sector as possible. These may be positions that are impossible to reconcile.

          So be it. I wish you well. I wish us all well.

        • @ AJSD,

          Regarding charity vs. welfare, the conservative resents government stepping in to redistribute the fruits of those who labor and favors charity as the alternative. In fact, I think it is especially American to resent any kind of government mandate or anything that smacks of socialism. For example the general acceptance of Social Security is dependent on the ubiquitous meme that its benefits are simply a return of one’s own contributions with interest, whereas it is really socialism. However, I see downsides to relying on charity. Besides being variable, subjective, and famously liable to corruption, it generally comes with a big slice of humble pie. In our town the principal charity that takes in the homeless demands regular attendance at religious services. Frankly I find that demeaning, not a “sign of good character”. There are certainly some who abuse food stamps, but I believe they are very much in the minority. Many, especially in the current recession, have found help through SNAP and rather than “coarsening society” that method preserves a person’s dignity. That’s the kind of government I like to think of because misfortune can happen to any of us.

          When Mitt Romney gives generously to charity he is in the process attaching strings to it, or rather is permitting the LDS Church to do so. What they spend it on does help the poor, but from what I read it primarily helps LDS Church members down on their luck. They run a charitable network that rivals some grocery-store chains. And of course some of this great wealth from mandatory tithing, a secret and publicly unaccountable amount, goes to build the Church itself, which is why it claims to be the fastest-growing religion in the world.

          Bottom line for me: dignity over religious prostration.

          I wish you well too, Daddie, and I hope you never need food stamps, but for now they’re there if you do.

        • @Jim: Thank you for your post. It raises some points that are very interesting, but I thought I’d address one common misconception first. I normally wouldn’t reach so deep into my own personal background, but you took the time to make a thoughtful post and I decided it was only fair that I do the same. You said “I hope you never need food stamps” which I believe represents a regular assumption: that those of us who believe in smaller government only think that way because we’ve never needed it. Forgive me if I’ve put words into your mouth, but I sort of got that impression.

          And it’s simply not true.

          In fact, long before AJ was born I was homeless. Homeless and in dire straits. My only option was a charitable organization, one which was funded by a combination of public and private money. They provided room and board but under some pretty rigorous rules, one of which was that if you were physically able, you worked. You paid for your room and board out of your paycheck, and so you were expected to work. Now, if you knew someone who knew someone, you could get one of the better paying warehouse jobs, but if you were a new fish off the streets you by default ended up doing telemarketing at a local cold call center. I hated that job. To me, it was selling people things they don’t need, and it preyed on folks who couldn’t say no. And because of that, I did everything in my power to get back on my feet and get out of that shelter.

          I bring all this up because you don’t like private charity because the charity in your town demands attendance at a religious service and you find it demeaning. I agree, it can be demeaning to have to follow someone’s rules in order to get charity. Been there, done that. But do you find it less demeaning than accepting money that was taken from your neighbors through threat of imprisonment? It seems to me that your primary argument is that private charity is bad because you have to do things you don’t like to get it, and you’d rather the government did the heavy lifting, taking money from your friends and neighbors and giving it to you. That’s an awfully tough sell for me, sir.

          I’ve also seen first hand the rampant abuse of the system. Fraud and waste, buying and selling of food stamps and a entire underground economy based on free government money. This problem has only been exacerbated by the move from food stamps to EBT cards, and the issuance of TANF EBT cards that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs. When the government has to pass laws prohibiting people from using their assistance cards at casinos, the whole system has gone awry. This isn’t a small thing; various forms of welfare fraud happen on a large scale in just about every poor community. Nor is it a racial issue; there are more white families on assistance than minorities, and the fraud is just as prevalent.

          And even when it’s not straight abuse, the system is failing. Multi-generational welfare families were never the goal of this program, were they? You know the program has gone off the rails when you have young mothers with several kids and nobody in the family has ever known anything but welfare as an income. What do you see happening to the kids? There is no stigma whatsoever with receiving cash. Maybe there should be. When the government has to pass laws prohibiting people from using their assistance cards at casinos, the whole system has gone awry.

          So, I don’t have any pat answers. I’ve been the beneficiary of the system and I know that it can help. I also know that the fraud is ongoing and growing. While I want there to be a social safety net for AJ, I don’t want him paying for the fraud and bloat in the current system. I want the whole thing smaller, and I want it more local and I’m willing to allow for a little more discomfort if it means less waste.

          I know we don’t agree on a lot of this but I thought you deserved a proper response. Hopefully this gives you a little understanding as to how a person can be against the ever-expanding role of the government in redistribution of wealth without being a heartless cretin.

        • @ Daddie, (re: your comment of 6:41 AM of 9/21/12)

          I appreciate and respect a thoughtful response like yours. Allow me to respond to some points you raise.

          “But do you find it less demeaning than accepting money that was taken from your neighbors through threat of imprisonment?”

          I do indeed. It is one thing to trade in ordinary commerce for the material things that compose our lives, including food, clothing and shelter, but quite another to involve matters of the intellect, the soul, the conscience. Suppose instead of religious acts the price of a bed included reading political tracts and attending political classes? How would that sit with you? To me it’s akin.

          As for accepting tax money, I have no problem with it for several reasons. First, none of my neighbors is held captive in this country. They are perfectly free to move to Canada, Australia or any other place they like but if they choose to stay here then as far as I’m concerned that choice comes with common obligations, one of which is to pay taxes and obey the laws, whether they like them or not. In fact, I see this as something many have misconceived. Being a citizen has real obligations.

          “While I want there to be a social safety net for AJ, I don’t want him paying for the fraud and bloat in the current system. I want the whole thing smaller, and I want it more local and I’m willing to allow for a little more discomfort if it means less waste.”

          Unlike you I have never been homeless so I deeply respect that experience and the fact that you have lifted yourself up from it. No doubt you have also availed yourself of other government services, perhaps unemployment insurance – you statement here implies approval of such. I want the same as you and like you I abhor fraud and abuse. Also like you, I would like to see government smaller and more efficient. Would it surprise you to learn that the size of government has actually decreased during the Obama administration? That is what I understand to be the case, although the rhetoric from Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party would have you believe otherwise. Just maybe, Daddie, the sky is not falling after all. Just maybe the welfare system is not as broken as it seems and we only hear the worst of abuses and not the good, as is the wont of the news. Just maybe there is hope that the two parties might at some future time actually work together again for the common good. Or, we could move to Canada – always an option.

          Be well, and thanks for your moving and candid comments.

        • @Jim-9/20/12-9:06

          Thanks for taking the time, and I also wanted to be sure to thank you for your service. I wanted to take a day or two to ruminate upon your last comments. First, the easy one, the size of government. You’re right that growth of the government in pure outlay has slowed. But that statement is dependent upon a lot of things. For example, the real explosion in growth was fiscal 2009, Bush’s last year, and you can attribute a lot of that to TARP. Since then, fiscal 2010 dropped a little but 2011 went back up. And 2010 didn’t drop because the size of government got smaller; pensions went up, health care went up, defense went up, education went up, welfare went up. It dropped because entirely due to the fact that there WASN’T a TARP program in the 2010 budget. A single line item in the federal budget (“Other advancement of commerce (376)”) accounted for a $350billion swing and covered up the massive increases elsewhere.

          After that, it’s been ugly. I can see why they don’t want to release a budget. From 2010 to 2011 spending increased 5%, but at the expense of education and welfare (not a problem for me, clearly, but I think it’s important to note that social programs are being gutted). Pensions, healthcare, defense, all went up, along with our ever=ballooning interest payments.

          http://www.usfederalbudget.us/federal_budget_detail_2013bs12011n#usgs302

          So, no the government isn’t getting smaller, and worse it’s being eaten alive by entitlements. Not only that, but it doesn’t look to get any better. The deficit will grow, federal spending will grow, but education, welfare and eventually even defense will begin to be cut to feed the beast.

          That’s the easy part. 🙂

          Now on to your social statement. I really had to think about this for a while, because it just doesn’t work in my head. Your statement, if I boil it down, says you’re okay with the government taking my money and giving it to you and if I don’t like it I can leave. That may not be your WORDS, but it is the essence of the conversation. I have an “obligation” and that obligation means that I have to give you my money (with the government taking its slice off the top), and if I’m unhappy with that I can always move. Even if it means that I can’t afford the house I’m living in, or it’s the difference between AJ going to college or not. Your expenses are my obligation.

          To me, that’s a slippery slope. Tell me if I’m misreading your position.

          Finally, I wonder what you feel now that Romney has released his tax summaries. I’ve seen several reactions:

          1. Okay, the guy pays taxes and spends a lot on charity.
          2. These are only summaries, they don’t count!
          3. HE SPENT TOO MUCH ON TAXES SO HE’S UNFIT!!!111!!eleventy!!
          4. A lot of his money goes to his church so it doesn’t count.

          Obviously the folks who like him point to number one. Interestingly, not one person I talked too who was pounding on this issue said “hmm, guess we were wrong, he’s not hiding anything”. Now, though, I really want to see the President’s college transcripts and application forms. 🙂

          Anyway, thanks as always for a pleasant conversation. You make me stretch my brain.

        • And sorry about the anonymous post. I thought I was logged in when I wasn’t.

  8. “Republicans want fewer people on the dole, not more. If there is any one difference between the two parties, that’s it.”

    This is where I disagree. The difference is, Republicans are trained to *think* Democrats want more people on the dole. In reality, both parties want more people employed. Both parties want tax reform. Both parties want the economy to improve. Their differences in how to do that is the sticking point. And both sides must articulate their plans to make that occur. So far, Romney’s plans appear to amount to lower taxes for everyone, including the rich, and unchaining the power of free enterprise. Lowering taxes won’t do anything, as has been seen time and again. Making the rich richer does not embolden them to create more jobs. What Romney needs to define are the restrictions on free enterprise that he would remove. What are these restrictions? Where are they? And what are the ramifications of removing them? Whatever “restrictions” he would remove are there for a reason. What is that reason, and is it important? What will happen if they are removed?

    I have no doubt that Romney has good intentions for the country. He’s an American. He wants the country to improve as much as Obama wants it to improve. But just saying “I’m a businessman” does not infer anything to me. He is correct in that a large portion of this country will never vote for him. On the other side of the coin, there’s a large portion of this country that will never vote for Obama. The problem is that insulting the portion of the country that will never vote for him by implying that they’re the ones who aren’t paying taxes and are accepting government assistance is disgusting. It’s equivalent to saying, “if you vote for Obama, then you must be a deadbeat.” Republicans like to indicate that urban areas are filled with blight and scum and deadbeats because these are the blue areas. But if they are so worthless and rural areas are so important, then why is it that the urban areas generate so much revenue in comparison to the rural areas? The supposition is simply incorrect. Those portions of this country that identify as Democrat are also the wealthiest portions with the exception of the areas that rely on the sale of nonrenewable natural resources (big oil).

    One of the other primary differences between the two parties is how to “uplift” the poor – how to assist them. Republicans would like to remove government from this equation as much as possible, and help the poor through private charitable institutions and religious organizations. These exist now, and should exist, and do help the poor. The problem with removing government entitlement programs and government in general from this is that the government is capable of rendering levels of assistance that would be impossible for charitable institutions and religious organizations. Removing government assistance is tantamount to saying, “everyone fend for themselves and hope you can find aid where you can, relying on the charity of your fellow man.” This means there are no education assistance programs to help people obtain the skills they need. This means there are no low cost housing programs to help people obtain shelter for their families. This means there are fewer places the poor can go to find health care for themselves and for their children. And the most affected by this are women and children, and single parents in particular. When you take assistance away from these people, you hurt their children the most. Simply expecting charitable institutions and religious organizations to expand to the point that they can accept this burden with government assistance removed is ludicrous. Romney knows this as well, though he may not say so because it opposes the general philosophy of his base.

    Insulting Democrats by inferring they’re deadbeats does not help Romney. True, these words were spoken to wealthy investors who already believe this, and were not intended for dissemination to the public. But it exposes a dangerously incorrect philosophy. And the most dangerous part of his statement is the fact that the deadbeats he’s identified are largely part of his own Republican base. Not that it matters. Republicans will never believe this, and the Romney campaign has already quoted that they will not let fact checking sites be a factor in their campaign.

  9. “This is where I disagree. The difference is, Republicans are trained to *think* Democrats want more people on the dole. In reality, both parties want more people employed. Both parties want tax reform.”

    You have a very low opinion of Republicans. (Disclaimer: I am not a “Republican”. I am a Conservative. However, I find that the Republican party generally aligns more closely with my values than the Democrats.) In any case, I am not “trained” to think in any way; I make my decisions using the best information available, which in this day and age happens to be many and varied.

    For example, let’s take your assertion that both parties want more people employed. Perhaps, but this administration is actively trying to put more people on the dole:

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/25/news/economy/food-stamps-ads/index.htm

    This is from CNN, not exactly a right-leaning publication.

    You have an excellent point about private vs. government aid. I think it’s an important discussion that needs to be had: how much charity should be private, and how much should be publicly-funded? Remembering, of course, that publicly funded charity is still privately funded; it’s simply taken from taxpayers and then redistributed through government organs. The issue is under what circumstances that model is more efficient and more effective than private charity. The discussion I think centers on this:

    “everyone fend for themselves and hope you can find aid where you can, relying on the charity of your fellow man.”

    Yes, that is the case. Because even if you receive assistance from the government, you are still relying on your fellow man, except that the government is taking that money from them. So under what circumstances is it more appropriate to force people to pay for others rather than allow them to do it by their own free will? And when the money runs out, as it is, how do we reduce the costs? Certainly putting MORE people on government assistance isn’t the answer.

    • For the record, I interpret that CNN article as the government trying to reach people in need who might not be aware that there is assistance available. I don’t see it as the government trying deliberately to get more people on the dole simply for the sake of getting more people on the dole.

      • Perhaps. But how about their outreach to Mexican nationals?

        “USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on its “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”

        Does your idea of good government extend to giving taxpayer assistance to foreign nationals? Or how about giving states more money to give away more money…

        “This week [this was last September] Oregon officials bragged that the USDA has given the state $5 million in “performance bonuses” for ensuring that people eligible for food benefits receive them and for its “swift processing of applications.” The money comes on the heels of a separate $1.5 million award from the feds for making “accurate payments of food stamp benefits to clients.””

        Or maybe making it even easier to give it away?

        “Yesterday the USDA also named Oregon the recipient of a competitive grant to test an innovative approach to the client eligibility review process in SNAP. The two-year grant gives Oregon the waivers necessary to test certifying or re-certifying clients for SNAP without interviews. During the pilot, impacts on participation, accuracy, customer service, staff workload and other areas will be evaluated. The grant ends in December 2013.”

        Under what circumstances does it make sense to give someone food stamps without even an interview? At that point food stamps are no longer an assistance, but an entitlement.

        I have no issue with a well administered TANF program, where the emphasis is on the T (Temporary). But I do have a problem with an automatic, entitled giveaway in which states are rewarded for signing up more dependents. That’s exactly the wrong message: the message should be to give states more money for getting people off of the roles.

        And from what I read above, Democrats are for the same thing: less people on the dole. Aren’t they?

        • I see nothing wrong with encouraging states to adopt better, more efficient and cost-effective ways to conduct their programs. I would, however, draw the line at not interviewing applicants. I don’t see how you’d confirm an individual’s need for assistance without interviewing them. As for the Mexican nationals or any other foreign nationals, I flatly reject giving anything to non-US citizens.

        • So except for a difference on whether the government should give more tax money to a program for giving away tax money more efficiently (which in a way is almost exactly what a block grant does), our positions are exactly the same. And mine is a pretty Conservative voice and very close to an “average” Republican. So when you compare my position to the position of this administration as evidenced by their actions, which is closer to yours?

          It’s my assertion that if you actually talk to us Conservatives, you’ll find that our values are much closer to yours than are those of the administration, and that only the mischaracterization of our positions through soundbites and selective reporting makes us seem so far apart (this goes for both sides of the media spectrum, BTW).

          No, we’re not going to agree on everything. But I think you and I (and most normal, hardworking folks who believe in the American dream) have more in common than you do with the folks running the show in Washington right now. And by extension, if you can get past the rhetoric, you might actually have more in common with the Republican platform than the demonstrated positions of the Obama campaign.

          I may be wrong, but I think you might want to take a closer look, just as I am doing. And when it comes to the most immediate concerns, especially the administration of the economy, you might see that average Republicans aren’t bible-thumping racists any more than Democrats are America-hating Communists. Perhaps you’ll never even consider voting for Romney. Okay, I can understand that. But do you really think that the average Conservative wants people to die in the streets? Because we don’t. We just don’t want to see the money we’ve worked hard for in order to take care of our loved ones taken from us by force and frittered away on wasteful bloat in government programs that might otherwise actually serve useful purposes.

          We need to focus on the similarities of purpose rather than the differences of opinion. Because after this election, regardless of who is in office, it is going to take all of us to right the perilously off-course ship that is this country, and we can only do it by working together as countrymen rather than as the hyper-partisans that BOTH parties are trying to encourage.

        • I never said I’m a dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrat. I’m a moderate independent, with views that fall to both the left and the right of a center line. I’m not at all happy with Obama and was willing to consider a Republican candidate. Had the GOP nominated Jon Huntsman, for example, I’d be on board.

          I totally agree that the nation must come together and that the obstinate, vitriolic partisanship must stop if we are to move forward. My question is, how do we make our elected representatives in Washington do this? They are so busy appeasing their donors that they’ve stopped representing us and stopped working together to solve the country’s huge and growing problems.

        • I didn’t say that YOU were a liberal Democrat. However, your choice for President in the upcoming election is between what most would consider a moderately conservative Republican and an awfully liberal Democrat. My question is which is closer to you in values? For me, it’s not much of a contest: smaller government is the only sane policy. Four more years of Obama gives us QE 4, QE 5 and so on, until we’re buying bread with worthless old $100 bills. Not my idea of a good future.

          But to your bigger question: how do you get them (all of them in DC) to represent us? Lather, rinse, repeat. The Tea Party folks are doing it for their candidates: they hire them, and if they screw up, they fire them. You need to do the same. Put in people who promise to vote for your values, and when they don’t, primary ’em out. Get involved at the state and local level as well. To be honest, I’m ashamed that I let this country get as out of hand as it is. I kept thinking that it was business as usual as the monied interests kept taking over the government bit by bit, but in reality it was the end of the country I knew. And that’s not some weird sort of megalomania; I had plenty of help letting these events pass. But I want to be sure to take my share of the responsibility.

          But that’s why I HATE, LOATHE, and DESPISE big centralized government. The bigger the government , the bigger the corruption. By defanging Washington and moving the decisions closer and closer to home, then you at least have a chance. It’s a lot easier for you and I to replace a state representative than a US Senator. And once they’re listening to US again, then it’s back to a real discussion of the issues, not a bunch of gotcha journalism and soundbite marketing.

        • The best I can do is cast an intelligent, educated vote. And I do try very hard to do that. Unfortunately, I’m afraid too many people don’t. They vote based on headlines, or the ads, or the debates, or on straight party lines no matter who the candidates are. It’s discouraging to see so much out-of-state money come into Colorado, a swing state, to influence those people and our elections. I think our electoral system is badly broken and with it, our government in Washington.

        • So fix it. Vote. Get out the vote. Engage with people. Find new sources of information (personally, I enjoy reading things from overseas – they tend to print the things our own media won’t). Make decisions. Make mistakes. Learn more.

          And above all, stop hanging around with people who are negative. You can hate the entrenched bureaucracy, hate our economy, hate Washington, and hate the justice system, you can hate all that and still love the country and what it stands for. And that love can keep you positive despite all the rest of the crap.

          Hug someone you love and then go out and convince someone whose views you hate that you believe they’re as important as you. And then maybe, just maybe, you can find an ally with whom you can start to change things.

        • Good suggestions for anyone not already doing those things.

    • “Yes, that is the case. Because even if you receive assistance from the government, you are still relying on your fellow man, except that the government is taking that money from them. So under what circumstances is it more appropriate to force people to pay for others rather than allow them to do it by their own free will? And when the money runs out, as it is, how do we reduce the costs? Certainly putting MORE people on government assistance isn’t the answer.”

      It’s an interesting conversation, and worth more discussion. But it is not a philosophy I agree with in a country where 2% of the population possesses 80% of the wealth. (Those aren’t exact figures, but it’s around there). I disagree with the idea of not having government assistance programs. I don’t disagree with requiring those on them to have to get training and seek jobs. But I do see a problem with letting them go without food and shelter. And I don’t see private charitable institutions as the solution. So we will have to agree to disagree on this point. If the wealth distribution and employment opportunities were more equitable, I would agree with you, but then we wouldn’t have so many in poverty.

      As for Obama being an intensely liberal president, I don’t see it that way. He is a socially liberal president, and that’s something I agree with. That’s been one of my main problems with the Republicans to begin with – their opposition to gay marriage, abortion, and any type of gun regulation. But economically, Obama is far more conservative, frequently relying on ideas proposed by Republicans from previous administrations when the Republican party was more moderate. To me, I see a lot of opposition to his policies in congress coming simply because Obama is a Democrat. Obama could be a lot more liberal than he is, even from the social standpoint, and certainly from an economic standpoint.

      Romney was actually my choice for a Republican candidate. In the end, I don’t think his policies are actually as conservative as the other candidates, particularly given his track record. He’s far more moderate. Look at his health care reforms and you’ll see many aspects of Obamacare. Or look at Obamacare and you’ll see many aspects of Romneycare. This is not so of his vice presidential selection, which was a noted tactical decision to help him with his base. Socially, Romney is a definite conservative, and therefore he will not get my vote. Economically, well, I’m still not sure what the regulations are on free enterprise that he would remove. He really needs to refine his message. It is very unclear at this point.

      As for “training” conservatives to adopt a certain philosophy, perhaps you don’t understand what I mean. You may believe that this isn’t the case, but that may come from the definition of the word “training.” I’m not talking about classrooms here. Perhaps “influenced” would be better term. What I meant is that when conservatives talk among themselves, they share their beliefs, and one of those beliefs is that government assistance and entitlement programs are bad and they encourage people to live that way and stay on those programs. Conservatives argue this point with fervor, just as you have. Other conservatives fall in line. Liberals do the same. Another form of “training” comes from Fox News – the media arm of conservatives that claims to be “balanced and fair” frequently promotes this philosophy. They highlight negative statistics, highlight the negative aspects, and say nothing about the positive or what would happen should these programs be removed, reduced, or eliminated. Letting people starve is not the solution. It never is. These programs were never designed to “promote poverty,” yet that is the only implication provided by conservatives. Not who they help, but who they don’t help. I know many conservatives who get their information from nowhere but Fox, and it’s a tabloid. People read what people want to read. As a news junky, I spend quite a bit of time on all these networks, and I know their bias. Liberals who watch nothing but MSNBC are just as guilty. If this isn’t the “training” of American voters, I don’t know what is. And while MSNBC leans very liberal in their interpretation of things, Fox News flat-out lies and spins nearly every article. MSNBC will still post articles that are negative toward liberals and negative toward Democrats. Fox, well, I haven’t seen an article from them that’s negative to a conservative viewpoint. Hence Palin’s term “the lame stream media.” Meaning any but Fox.

      • Please, point out an article on Fox today that is a flat out lie. You should be able to point out dozens, since every one is a lie. In the meantime, I’d point you to the MSM coverage of this administrations abject failure in the wake of the embassy attacks. The administration told them it was that terrible movie that caused all of it – going so far as to apologize for the content, ask YouTube to pull it down and even bring in the filmmaker for questioning, and nobody even questioned it.

        And of course it was clear to anybody with a pair of eyeballs and a calendar that this was a carefully pre-planned 9/11 stunt.

        • There are plenty of sites dedicated to dubunking Fox.
          Here: http://foxnewslies.net/ Although I can’t say this isn’t run by liberals, but it focuses on subject matter.

          For more fun, try this one – it’s independent and hits both parties on their lies and exaggerations: http://factcheck.org/ It’s a great resource.

          There’s a list of fact checking sites here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/elections/list-fact-checking-websites

          Some of them are not bipartisan, so if you’re looking for some nasty lies that liberals or conservatives have told, you can pick your flavor. For Conservatives, there’s http://newsbusters.org/ and for Liberals there’s http://www.mediamatters.org/

          Enjoy the ride! If it’s news, it’s spun, one way or another. The level of spin may vary, but it’s always there.

        • You’ve reminded me — I need to put my list of fact-checking sites back up. Be aware, however, that we’ve been warned by the Romney campaign: “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers,”

        • I guess you missed my point. You exaggeratedly stated that “Fox News flat-out lies and spins nearly every article” which I categorically deny. There is a conservative focus, but not flat-out lies. But since you insist that Fox lies on everything (a meme I hear from all over the Leftist blogosphere) you should be able to find a recent lie on Fox, right? Your pet site hasn’t had a post since June.

          If you can’t find some lie in the last week or so, you’re as mendacious as Jay Carney and “it is in response to video that is offensive to Muslims” or Harry Reid and “Romney didn’t pay taxes for ten years” – flat-out lies which HAVE happened recently. The Democrats and the administration and their willing enablers are lying more than I’ve ever seen and I’ve watched politics for a lot of years.

          You may not like Conservative points of view, but we don’t have to lie. We’ve got the facts on our side. And we’re more than willing to debate our positions.

        • My previous reply appears to have been eaten.
          Anyway, for a list of Fox lies, I refer you to: http://foxnewslies.net/

          For a list of fact checking sites, try this:
          http://www.marketplace.org/topics/elections/list-fact-checking-websites

          Note that some of these are not bi-partisan. News is always spun to some degree, and both campaigns are guilty of lies and exaggerations. I usually visit http://factcheck.org/ It hits both parties equally – and a lot.

        • Sorry, Dood. I just found two of your comments stuck in the spam filter. It’s set to stop any post with 5 or more links.

        • No problems. I figured it was something like that.

        • The administration did not say the movie caused all the violence, did not apologize for the movie’s content, asked YouTube to review, not take down the movie, and questioned the filmmaker about several specific violations of his parole, not the content of the movie. And they have said they believe the attack on the Benghazi consulate was primarily the work of terrorists.

        • You’ve got to be kidding me.

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/21/obama-s-shaky-libya-narrative.html

          “In the days following the killing of the U.S. ambassador and two ex-Navy SEALs, President Obama and top State Department officials portrayed the attack as a spontaneous reaction to an Internet video depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad as a lascivious brute.”

          The Daily Beast is NOT a right-wing publication.

          From an Interview on Fox News:

          JAY CARNEY: This is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive.

          CHRIS WALLACE: You don’t really believe that?

          AMB. RICE: Chris, absolutely I believe that

          The apology, from Sec. Clinton: “#SecState Clinton: The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

          This wouldn’t be bad if it actually held FOR ANY OTHER RELIGION. Attacks on Mormonism and Christianity abound in popular movies and music and certainly on YouTube, but the administration has never seen fit to “deplore” them. No, this is in response to the Muslim atrocities and directly panders to those attacks. It’s unseemly, un-Presidential and profoundly un-American.

          As to YouTube, why would the administration ask for a review other than to take it down; can we avoid a “meaning of the word is, is” semantic parsing? The administration wanted the movie down.

          How often do LA Police Officers go to a man’s house in the middle of the night to pick him up for “parole violations,” take him to talk to Federal probation officers to “investigate whether he breached the terms” – and then let him go? Seriously. Notice by the way, the conflation of probation and parole, two very different things. Probation is a short-term situation and ends – Nakoula’s probation was on a 1997 charge so most likely wasn’t even in force. If he’d broken his parole, there would have been charges. Or the other answer is that he was let go because he’s a government informant and the government was telling him what was going to happen to him.

          In any case, this was a late-night brownshirting, plain and simple and if you think that conversation had nothing to do with the movie, you are deep in the unicorn fields.

          As a final point on the movie, I don’t condone this dude or what he did, but my guess is that not one person on this list complained about “Piss Christ” (paid for in part by my tax dollars, no less!). If you did, please show me your blog posts and I’ll apologize.

          And yes, after a week of lying, evolving and butt-covering, they have confirmed what was obvious to everybody, including the Libyans. This was a coordinated, deadly assassination attempt that had nothing to do with the movie.

          This administration is not just dishonest, it is dangerously dishonest. But hey, if you don’t see that then there’s not a lot else to talk about.

        • Well said, PT, and I’m glad you did or I would have had to. I’m sure there’s more to come as the investigation continues – there always is. In cases like this, cases you might say that are veiled by the “fog of war”, it’s always best to save the anger and resentment for later. For now, let me suggest that we all consider a few facts:

          1. The standard policy in all countries is that defense of diplomats and their staffs is the responsibility of the host countries.
          2. The government of Libya is a fledgling government and is still getting its act together, even while cooperating fully with our government.
          3. The presence of U.S. Marines in our embassies is not for external threats but protection of personnel and classified material in case the security boundary is breached.
          4. The security plan in effect in Libya was likely the same for this administration as it was for the last and if it was flawed, as hindsight usually indicates it is after a disaster, then it is counterproductive to politicize the issue.

        • Here’s a thought: everybody jumped on Romney for talking without the facts. Yet, Jay Carney went on television stating specifically that the Benghazi attack was due to the movie. Very specifically. So he was either deliberately misleading or speaking without knowledge. The former is unconscionable and the latter is perhaps even worse since they had the intelligence from the Libyans. But if he wasn’t lying, if they just didn’t know, then why does the administration get a pass for speaking without knowing?

  10. It reminds me of an old Doonesbury cartoon that has a diagram showing Reagan’s subconscious brain linking to his mouth. “At no point does he think about what he’s actually going to say…our political heritage is the richer for it.”

    I’m not at all surprised Romney thinks that way (and I don’t think anyone else is surprised, either)–I’m just stunned that he said it out loud.

    • He was caught confirming what everyone already suspected. And he was extraordinarily naive if he thought he was speaking “off the record.” With hot mics and cellphones lurking everywhere, there is no longer any expectation of privacy for politicians except perhaps in their own homes.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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