Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – December 9, 2011

The Republicans seem to relish lies and untruths. Most recent Mitt Romney has falsely claimed that President Obama has engaged in “appeasement” in foreign affairs. The ghost of Osama bin Laden might respectfully disagree. In Syria, Libya, Yemen and Egypt the people have risen to claim their right to freedom and democracy. Here in the United States these freedoms are being taken away while Americans care more about control of the remote than control of the government. Finally, Jon Corzine who was the head of the now bankrupt M.F. Global Holdings has come up with a novel explanation for a billion dollars that has gone missing.

What’s a Little Lie among Candidates?

Mitt Romney, who has a great deal of experience failing at political campaigns has enjoyed success as the CEO of a government subsidized Winter Olympics and as the CEO of a private equity fund that bought and sold companies with borrowed money. To my knowledge, his foreign policy resume is thinner than Rick Perry’s files.

Nevertheless, in a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition Mr. Romney had the audacity to claim that President Obama has engaged in “appeasement” when it comes to foreign policy. Of course this would be the same President Obama who has ordered the successful execution of 22 of the top 30 Al Qaeda leaders including Osama bin Laden. That would be the same Osama bin Laden that the Bush/Cheney team promised to capture “Dead or Alive” and never did.

Whether ordering SEAL sharpshooters to kill Somali pirates who had seized an American ship or supporting regime change in Libya, Barack Obama has not been seen as engaging in “appeasement” by the rest of the world. But Mitt Romney clearly will not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

An old trick that demagogues use is to tell a lie over and over again. Clearly Mr. Romney is not above using such a sordid and dishonest tactic.

The American Winter?

The Arab spring gave rise to the Arab summer and by autumn regime change had taken place in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The unifying theme in the popular uprisings was a desire for freedom and democracy, including the right to vote.

Meanwhile, in the United States 7 states have already passed laws which have the potential of seriously restricting the ability of American citizens to vote. Another 27 states have similar legislation pending.

These laws will require prospective voters to present various types of photo identification or other requirements that will hit poor and minority citizens the hardest. While we may have thought that the days of literacy test and poll taxes were things of the past, it is the clear and present desire of the right wing of the right wing to restrict the voting rights of citizens who typically do not support their causes.

All of these laws are being presented as protection against “voter fraud” even thought the instances of voter fraud throughout this country are rare and represent a miniscule number of the total votes cast in this country.
Having stolen the presidential election in 2000, the Republicans are now determined to steal the 2012 elections by any means necessary.

Don’t Believe Your Lying Ears

Jon Corzine has quite a resume. The former head of Goldman Sachs, Mr. Corzine has also served as United States Senator and Governor of the State of New Jersey. Most recently he was the Chief Executive of M.F. Global Holdings, a now bankrupt investment fund.

Interestingly enough, as the firm went out of business $1.2 billion dollars simply disappeared. Naturally inquiring minds want to know what happened to the money and Mr. Corzine was asked this question while testifying before a Congressional committee this week.

“I simply do not know where the money went”, was his response. This answer is unique and special for being purely brazen. That the CEO of a multi-billion dollar firm would have no clue as to how a billion dollars could go missing is an indication of sheer incompetence or a clumsy cover up.

It will be interesting to see if Mr. Corzine can get away with this alibi. It is hard to believe that M.F. Global investors or creditors are going to swallow this story.

Have a great weekend!

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