US Republican ‘frontrunner’ Romney loses primaries

This video from the USA says about itself:

Visit or to see more of the crazy sh*t that Rick Santorum says.

Rick Santorum Tells Boy Not to Use Pink Bowling Ball: here.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Santorum wins Republican primaries in Alabama, Mississippi

14 March 2012

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won the Republican presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi Tuesday, narrowly defeating former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who finished second and third, respectively, in the two states. The fourth candidate in the race, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, did not campaign in either state and trailed badly.

Santorum’s margin of victory was relatively narrow—35-29-28 in Alabama, 33-31-30 in Mississippi—and under the rules of the two state Republican parties, the three leading candidates will get roughly equal shares of the 84 delegates to the Republican National Convention chosen in the states.

Nonetheless, the twin victories for Santorum stalled the campaign of frontrunner Romney, who poured millions into the two states in an effort to finish off his two major rivals. Romney had the support of nearly all Republican state officials in Mississippi and most of those in Alabama.

According to exit polls, Santorum was leading among those who rejected the theory of evolution, those who claimed to believe Obama is a Muslim (50 percent of the voters), those who thought banning abortion the most important issue, and those who said a candidate’s religion was very important to them (a measure of anti-Mormon sentiment among the evangelical Christians who made up three quarters of the electorate).

One pre-election poll found that a quarter of likely Republican primary voters in the two states believed that interracial marriages should be illegal. These voters sided more with Gingrich, who has made thinly veiled appeals to racial prejudice a part of his campaign. Last week he gave a speech devoted to “states’ rights,” the banner under with Southern segregationists fought the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

The two primaries continued the pattern of the 2012 campaign, which has seen voter turnout well below that of 2008. Barely 500,000 voted in Alabama, down more than 50,000 from four years ago. Voter participation in Mississippi was slightly up compared to 2008, but only because the primary four years ago took place after the nomination had already been decided. As a proportion of those eligible to vote, turnout in Mississippi was even lower than in Alabama.

Santorum’s victories in Mississippi and Alabama followed a much wider win in the Republican caucuses in Kansas, where a tiny turnout of barely 25,000 people delivered him nearly all of the state’s 40 delegates.

The outcome of the three contests raised the likelihood of a protracted contest for the Republican presidential nomination, possibly extending all the way to the convention in Tampa in early September—only two months before the general election.

In television interviews late Tuesday night, Gingrich rebuffed suggestions that his second-place finishes had made his campaign unviable. He said that because of new party rules establishing proportional representation and the presence of four contenders, no single candidate would be able to win an outright majority of the delegates.

In that event, he said, Romney would have failed to win the nomination and the anti-Romney majority would be compelled to come together to choose a candidate, either Santorum, himself or someone not currently seeking the nomination. …

As the campaign has continued and the Obama administration has moved further and further to the right, his Republican opponents have been compelled to adopt ever more extreme positions in order to outflank him.

Romney, in particular, has repudiated nearly all the policies he pursued as governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2006 in order to embrace a series of political litmus tests laid down by the ultra-right Tea Party elements.

The most recent example was his conversion on the issue of the minimum wage, which he supported in Massachusetts and even during his 2008 campaign for the Republican nomination, advocating indexing the wage to inflation. But in a television interview last week, he reversed himself, declaring, “There’s probably not a need to raise the minimum wage.”

‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters target Romney fundraiser: here.

Bain Capital Tied to Surveillance Push in Chinese Cities. Andrew Jacobs and Penn Bullock, The New York Times News Service: “In December, a Bain-run fund in which a Romney family blind trust has holdings purchased the video surveillance division of a Chinese company that claims to be the largest supplier to the government’s Safe Cities program, a highly advanced monitoring system that allows the authorities to watch over university campuses, hospitals, mosques and movie theaters from centralized command posts”: here.

Birthers want proof that Mitt Romney was born in America: here.

Siding with Gov. Walker in union fight could cost Romney in Nov.: here.

Romney’s Top Five Assaults on Women’s Health. Annie-Rose Strasser, ThinkProgress: “Of women under 50 years old, only 30 percent support Romney, while over 60 percent back the President…. Romney’s record on women’s health is hardly strong, and women voters, especially the young voters who tend to be pro-choice and pro-contraception, are likely responding to Romney’s affront on these issues. But it hasn’t always been this way…. Romney has moved significantly to the right on almost all women’s health issues”: here.

Did the Koch Machine Put Romney Over the Top in Wisconsin? Adele Stan, AlterNet: “Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin Republican presidential primary by a mere 4-point margin over Rick Santorum … He outspent Santorum on television ads by a margin of 4-to-1 during the Wisconsin, all for a weak finish. And of Romney’s top Wisconsin endorsers, four are solid allies of the state’s muscular Koch machine, a political apparatus comprising a particularly aggressive state chapter of the Koch-founded Americans For Prosperity, as well as a handful of think tanks and associations”: here.

Is There More to Sen. Snowe’s Resignation Than Congress’s “Crumbling Center”? Danny Weil, Truthout: “Snowe is hardly a moderate. Casting the conservative senator from Maine as such exemplifies how far to the right this country has moved … Snowe’s announcement she will not seek another term in the Senate may have little to do with ‘civility’ or ‘loss of the center’ within contentious politics and more to do with the fact her husband is knee-deep in controversy over an educational for-profit college chain know as Educational Management Corporation or Wall Street ticker (EDMC)”: here.

Limbaugh, Santorum, Sex, and the Origins of the Roman Catholic Church: here.

VOTER SUPPRESSION 101: How conservatives are conspiring to disenfranchise millions of Americans: here.

Gingrich lies about migratory birds for Big Oil

Newt Gingrich cartoon

United States Republican party presidential candidate Newt Gingrich does not just insult newts. He lies about birds as well.

This video from the USA says about itself:

In 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) estimated that 2 million migratory birds were lost each year to oil pits throughout the United States.

From the Statesman Journal in the USA:

Fact Check: Gingrich energy ad errs on facts

9:00 PM, Feb. 25, 2012

WASHINGTON — A 28-minute political ad offers a candidate something sound bites can never capture — a chance to explore a subject in depth.

But in the case of Newt Gingrich’s unusual extended commercial on American energy policy, it just means more time for mistakes.

In the ad, Gingrich offers a pain-free prescription for cheap energy that betrays a misunderstanding of how oil markets work, blames President Barack Obama for suppressing development that is actually on the rise, criticizes a dependence on Iranian oil that doesn’t exist and misstates the facts behind the deaths of migratory birds in oil waste pits in North Dakota. …

Here are some of Gingrich’s claims and how they compare with the facts: …

GINGRICH: “In North Dakota, where the developments are on private land so the liberals have not been able to stop them, the Obama U.S. attorney for North Dakota filed a lawsuit because eight migratory birds had been found dead near oil fields.”

THE FACTS: In August 2011, U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon — an Obama appointee and top Democratic activist — charged seven oil companies with killing 28 migratory birds in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Some of the birds were not found “near oil fields” as Gingrich claims, but were discovered drenched in oil in waste pits, which birds and waterfowl land in after mistaking them for ponds. In North Dakota, such waste pits have multiplied in the state’s drilling boom.

Prosecutors have dismissed charges against one company, and a federal judge in September dismissed charges and rejected plea agreements for the other six firms. The U.S. attorney plans an appeal.

All seven companies had previously been fined for violating the same law, and some of those enforcement cases had been filed under previous administrations. Bird deaths from oil pits can be avoided by simply covering the open tanks with netting, federal inspectors say.

The Justice Department has also brought criminal proceedings against oil companies for breaking the law prior to Obama’s tenure.

Newt Gingrich on Drugs. Mike Ludwig, Truthout: “Irina Alexander is a young activist with a college education. When she approached Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich at a New Hampshire town hall and asked if she should be arrested for being a recreational drug user, Gingrich told her, ‘… no, you shouldn’t be arrested for being a recreational drug user, but you also shouldn’t do it.’ Does this mean Gingrich could support drug decriminalization and deescalating the war on drugs and people who use them? Well, no”: here.

US democracy up for grabs by moneybags under new laws: here.

US Republicans’ far-Right extremism

Newt Gingrich cartoon

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Infighting in South Carolina presidential primary

21 January 2012

The campaign for the Republican presidential nomination reached a new low in this week’s campaigning in South Carolina. Rival right-wing candidates appealed to racism, anti-immigrant prejudice and religious bigotry in an increasingly vicious contest in the state, with the polls opening at 7 a.m. Saturday.

Only four candidates remain in the race with the withdrawal of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman on Monday and Texas governor Rick Perry on Thursday. Huntsman endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, seen as the frontrunner nationally, while Perry endorsed former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who now holds a narrow lead in the polls of likely voters in South Carolina.

Besides Romney and Gingrich, the remaining candidates include former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

This week’s campaigning revolved around two debates, Monday night in Myrtle Beach with the four candidates plus Perry, who had not yet quit the race, and Thursday night in Charleston, with the field reduced to four.

The turning point in the South Carolina primary may turn out to have been the debate Thursday, when the first question put to the four candidates went to Gingrich. CNN host John King asked him about the impending ABC News broadcast of an interview with his second wife, Marianne, in which she denounced him for his marital infidelity in the 1990s.

Gingrich responded with a denunciation of both ABC for its broadcast and King for his question, which prompted a standing ovation from the audience.

There is vast irony in Gingrich’s purported outrage, as he declared, “I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office.” It was Gingrich who pioneered what came to be known as the “politics of personal destruction,” particularly in his role in spearheading the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998-99.

As ABC News pointed out in its broadcast Thursday night, Gingrich was having an affair with a congressional aide, now his third wife, Callista, at the very point that he was declaring that Clinton had “less moral authority than any administration in history” after the exposure of Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

There was, however, no discussion of the Clinton impeachment in either the Republican debates or the media coverage of the campaign. Gingrich’s personal conduct in the 1990s was raked up only to provide lurid television footage and headlines, while the critical political background—the right-wing effort to oust a twice-elected president through a sex scandal—was ignored.

Once again, sensationalized coverage of marital infidelity served to obscure the real political issues, both historical and contemporary. The result—a further degrading of the already abysmal level of political discussion in the corporate-controlled media and the election campaigns of the two big business parties.

While the media was devoting hours of coverage to Gingrich’s conduct towards his three wives, there was relatively little attention paid to the increasingly frenzied shift to the right by all the Republican candidates.

Gingrich openly appealed to racial bigotry during the first debate. Fox News panelist Juan Williams, who is black, asked about his repeated declarations that African-Americans should seek jobs instead of being satisfied with food stamps and his calling Obama a “food-stamp president.”

Gingrich clearly welcomed the criticism and received a standing ovation from the audience when he denounced “political correctness” and declared, “I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job”—as though mass unemployment were not an inescapable reality imposed by the capitalist system on millions of working people, black, white and Hispanic.

In campaign appearances and press statements in South Carolina, Gingrich also avowed that on his first day as president he would issue an executive order to defy Supreme Court rulings providing legal rights to prisoners at Guantanamo and other US facilities who were seized by the US military and the CIA overseas.

Gingrich Surges With Old, Familiar Ploy: Racist Attacks on Poor People: here.

Mitt Romney pays lower taxes than average American: here. And here.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released his tax returns Tuesday morning, revealing that he collected income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million in 2011, nearly $42.6 million over the two-year period. Not a penny of this income was from salary or wages reported on a W-2. Nearly all of it was investment income, including capital gains, dividends and interest: here.

Who Is the GOP Nominee Going to Be – the Adulterer, the Flip Flopper, the Radical, or the Homophobe? Here.

Why Evangelicals Don’t Care When Rich White Conservatives Defile Marriage: here.

Rick Santorum Gets Glitter Bombed, Again: Protesters Shower GOP Candidate With Glitter Over Gay Rights: here.

Santorum Excommunicates 45 Million Christians: Mainline Protestants Are ‘Gone From The World Of Christianity’: here.

Kim Severson, The New York Times News Service: “Fed by antagonism toward President Obama, resentment toward changing racial demographics and the economic rift between rich and poor, the number of so-called hate groups and antigovernment organizations in the nation has continued to grow, according to a report released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center, which has kept track of such groups for 30 years, recorded 1,018 hate groups operating last year”: here.

US Republicans against 99% of people

US Republican Romney flip flops on gay rights, cartoon

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Theater of the absurd in Republican presidential debates

9 January 2012

Back-to-back debates over the weekend in New Hampshire demonstrated not merely the ultra-right views of the Republican presidential candidates, but the vast gulf between the preoccupations of the corporate-controlled media and political establishment and the concerns of tens of millions of working people.

The six remaining Republican presidential hopefuls participated in the two debates before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, where the presumed frontrunner Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, is ahead in the polls. Joining Romney on the stage were former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who tied Romney for the lead in the Iowa caucuses January 3; former House speaker Newt Gingrich; former governor of Utah Jon Huntsman; Texas governor Rick Perry; and Texas congressman Ron Paul.

The two debates took on the character of a theater of the absurd, with multimillionaire candidates—egged on by their multimillionaire media questioners, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer on Saturday night, NBC’s David Gregory on Sunday morning—vying with each other for who could enunciate the most vicious and extreme position.

To cite only a few instances, the candidates declared their support for reducing taxation on corporations to zero (Gingrich), abolishing the departments of Education, Energy and Commerce (Perry), establishing a nationwide right-to-work law (Gingrich, Perry and Romney), means-testing Social Security and Medicare (Huntsman), abolishing food stamps and Medicaid as entitlements and replacing them with block grants to the states (Santorum), slashing federal spending by $1 trillion immediately (Paul).

The candidates made no effort to explain, nor did their media questioners ask, what would happen to the tens of millions of working people, retired, unemployed, disabled and poor who depend on these programs for their economic and physical survival.

Their perspective was summed up by Santorum, who should have been awarded the prize for the most barefaced lie, as he denounced a passing reference to the “middle class” by another candidate. “There are no classes in America,” Santorum claimed. “We are a country that don’t allow for titles. We don’t put people in classes.” This amounted to acceding to a “class warfare argument,” he said, “something that should not be part of the Republican lexicon.”

The reality is that there is no major country in the world so deeply divided along class lines as the United States. The top one percent of the population—which includes all six Republicans and their Democratic opponent, Barack Obama—controls the bulk of the wealth and income, while living standards for the vast majority, including the working class and much of the middle class, have stagnated or declined.

Instead of addressing this well-known economic reality, the candidates advanced various forms of right-wing, religion-based prejudice as a means of diverting and diffusing social tensions. Gingrich claimed “there’s a lot more anti-Christian bigotry today” than discrimination against blacks, gays or women. Perry denounced what he called “the administration’s war on religion.” Santorum presented himself as the most consistent warrior for the Christian fundamentalists against gay marriage and abortion.