Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Why GOP Voters Don't Care If Romney Lies


"Because people hate the truth, you know; they need a pack of lies."
---From Viva Dead Ponies by The Fatima Mansions, 1990.

Mitt Romney is a brazen liar. But if Obama supporters think this is a barrier to Romney's White House prospects, they are sadly mistaken.

The fact is, Americans love a liar in the White House. Well, maybe not all Americans, but enough to count.

Americans would rather have a brazen liar like Ronald Reagan offering them "feel-good" platitudes about "America standing tall" than the bitter medicine of truth from the likes of a Jimmy Carter telling us that we needed to tighten our belts, live within our means, and become energy self-sufficient.

In the 1980s, America was in no mood to hear the painful truth. Rather, Americans wanted to feel warm and fuzzy about themselves. They preferred Reagan's carefully scripted feel-good platitudes.

Never mind that much of what Reagan told us was utter bullsh*t. He claimed his massive tax cuts would not only boost the economy, but they'd somehow balance the budget as well. Reagan was our first "Santa Claus" president, offering something for nothing for the child-like masses.

In reality, the Reagan economy was mediocre at best. During Reagan's two terms, some 18 million jobs were created in the U.S. That might sound good, until you consider than 10 million jobs were created in one term under President Carter.

So much for Reagan supposedly bringing a new era of prosperity to the nation. The fact is, only the very wealthy really ever prospered under Reagan. During the 1980s, the once Great America Middle Class came under siege and it has been gradually vanishing ever since.

Reagan urged America to not worry and be happy. The soaring deficit? Don't worry. The annihilation of America's once world-beating manufacturing base? Don't worry. The loss of good middle class jobs? Don't worry.

Romney, of course, has embraced the Reagan approach. He knows Reagan's platitudes about America's "greatness" always play well with much of the electorate. Americans don't want to be told to sacrifice. They don't want to be told that a hefty round of tax hikes on the rich is in order to stave off America's financial ruin and the coming collapse of the dollar. They don't want America to ever apologize for anything. (Actually, Obama has never "apologized" for America---but try telling that to the average low-information GOP voter).

Like Reagan, Romney can claim that he can cut tax rates sharply without increasing the deficit. Although that is demonstrably false, the average low-information GOP voter couldn't care less about that---any more than they care about any of Romney's other blatant lies.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Film Takes a Look at Mysterious Death of Senator Paul Wellstone


"Authorizing the pre-emptive, go-it-alone use of force now, right in the midst of continuing efforts to enlist the world community to back a tough new disarmament resolution on Iraq, could be a costly mistake for our country."
--Sen. Paul Wellstone, in October, 2002, speaking against the resolution to authorize the Iraq War

Something has always bothered me about the tragic 2002 death of the great Paul Wellstone. And the more I read about Wellstone's death in a supposedly "accidental" small plane crash, the more doubts I have about the official story.

Now, a new documentary examines Wellstone and aims to raise funds for a new investigation. Wellstone: They Killed Him raises troubling questions about Wellstone's death that have never been properly explained.

At this site you can watch a fascinating 15-minute preview of this film. You can order order a copy of the DVD at the site.

As the site notes, on Oct. 25, 2002:

"At 10:18, the plane is disabled, seven miles from the airport. The King Air A-100 turbo prop flies treetop level over shocked witnesses, five miles out: no lights, crabbed cockeyed, engines spooling down, so low witnesses are amazed it stays airborn. Three more miles and the plane stalls, dropping into the woods, killing all eight on board: Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Mn), his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia, aides Mary McEvoy, Tom Lapic, Will McLaughlin, pilot Richard Conry and co-pilot Michael Guess. How to account for the experienced pilots' behavior, unless they had been disabled? But why would anyone go to such trouble to so publicly kill the senior senator from Minnesota? Cui bono? Who benefits? That’s the question VFW veterans in Willmar, Minnesota have. They heard the Senator tell of the threat Vice President Cheney made to Wellstone shortly after the Senator's No vote on the Iraq War. ‘Go along with the program, if you know what’s good for you and Minnesota. Stop sticking your nose into 9/11.’

Intimidation was one tactic used by the FBI on witnesses who had been directed to the FBI (local cops were frozen out) which then suppressed their testimony, just as the FBI sanitized the crash site eight hours before the NTSB came on the scene. The national media began the cover-up right away: bad weather, icing; that scenario didn’t work so the NTSB blamed it on the pilots. Though a high profile crash that many in Minnesota were skeptical about, the NTSB couldn’t afford to hold a public hearing; the truth would quickly become evident. This film, begun the day after the crash, gives voice to the people of the Iron Range: witnesses, first-responders, citizens, assassination experts such as Prof. James Fetzer and Four Arrows."