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Oct 2012 24

by Steven Whitney

As if the illegal Iraq War and the botched Afghan War were not enough, it seems as if Republicans are going to war against damn near everybody but old, rich white guys.

First up is their War on Facts – their avalanche of misstatements has set a new record (and a new low) in both congressional and campaign practices. The GOP lies about Obama’s record and Romney assiduously avoids any concrete facts about his own plans.

There’s a closely related War on Science – it contains too many perplexing facts and, after all, faith provides all the answers we need.

There‘s a covert War on Voting Rights, particularly VWB (Voting While Black) and VWP (Voting While Poor) – and then the very visible War on GLBTs, especially those who want to hold their weddings at Chick-fil-A.

There’s an open War on Immigrants – in Arizona, and despite being sued by the Department of Justice for racial profiling, the self-aggrandizing Sheriff Joe rounds up Hispanics, detains them in dehumanizing tent city corrals, verbally taunts them, and heads them back over the border. In Missouri, Republican Steve King also views them as animals, recently doubling down on his statement last May that “comparing immigrants to dogs is a compliment.”

There’s a War on Education and the snobs who attend college. And a War on Healthcare – Romney wants to repeal Obamacare on Day One and turn Medicare into a voucher system benefitting insurance companies. (If you have a serious pre-existing condition, do you really think a voucher is going to help you get coverage?)

Then there’s the War on Labor – particularly those nefarious teachers, firemen, postal workers, and policemen who are getting obscenely rich lapping up money from the public trough.

And Romney himself apparently wants to go to war with Big Bird and Iran.

To a degree, I understand their warmongering on these issues – racism, xenophobia, selfishness, skullduggery, and outright stupidity have always found a place in our politics, although never to the extent bandied about by Republicans in this election cycle.

But what I cannot comprehend is the Republican War on Women. While the GOP denies any such crusade, a mere summary of their actions suggests otherwise.

The Republican platform calls for a Constitutional ban and criminalization of abortion without exception – not rape, not incest, not even if the mother’s life is severely endangered by her pregnancy.

It denounces contraceptive education in schools while encouraging teenagers and young adults to abstain from sex until marriage.

Virginia Republicans passed a bill requiring women to undergo invasive trans-vaginal ultrasounds at least 24 hours before having an abortion. Other state legislatures in GOP control quickly followed suit, proposing bills with identical or more severe mandates.

In Michigan, GOP representatives banned Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking “for violating the decorum of the House” after she mentioned the word “vagina” during a debate on women’s healthcare. In defending their action, Republicans characterized the word vagina as “offensive, disgusting, and vile.”

In Congress, Darrell Issa (R, CA) created an Oversight Committee panel to shape policy on Women’s Reproductive Rights without a single woman invited to contribute, either as a panelist or speaker.

For the last several years, House Republicans have vociferously attacked and attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, a non-profit that serves 1 in every 5 women sometime during their lives. The GOP also wants to repeal Title X, which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, birth control, and testing for all STDs to low-income women. Without Title X’s preventive care, thousands of American women will needlessly die before their time.

If their positions on healthcare weren’t enough to reveal the GOP’s stunning misogyny, consider the sexist invective they employ to put women in their rightful place.

It’s no fluke that drug felon Rush Limbaugh – considered by many to be the ex-officio head of the Republican Party – labeled a female law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for speaking to House Democrats about the importance of requiring insurance companies to cover birth control. And it’s no surprise that Rush – who takes Viagra-fueled holidays in the Dominican Republic, famous for its teenage sex trade – encouraged her to send him video tapes of her own sexual activities. Rush, of course, originated the term “Feminazis” for women seeking equal rights and protections under the law, so is it any wonder he likes to watch?

In her book, What I Saw at the Revolution, Peggy Noonan – Reagan speech writer and chronicler/pundit of all things GOP – likened women who have abortions to Germans exterminating Jews during World War II.

Following his widely disseminated remark about “illegitimate rape,” Republican Todd Akin called Claire McCaskill – his opponent in the Missouri Senate race – “one of those dogs.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A Google search for “republican sexist comments” returns thousands of examples. Just this week GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said he came to realize that pregnancy as a result of rape was “something that God intended to happen” and a “gift from God.”

Is it any wonder that Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill mandating equal pay for equal work? Or that the GOP views women as less than equal citizens?

One has to ask: Do Republicans still blame Eve for biting into the apple? Were all their mothers Mommie Dearests? Do they feel emasculated by women? Are they threatened by empowerment?

What is it with these guys? Don’t any of them have daughters?

This isn’t political, it’s neither right nor left, it’s just a human truth – if any father seeks to deny his daughter(s) the same rights, opportunities, and benefits that boys (or men) possess, then he must relinquish his “Best Dad in the World” coffee cup for one that designates him a “Bozo Dad.”

What father wants his daughter to be coerced by law to birth a child sired by a serial and violent rapist – or to be forced to carry a child at the risk of her own life?

What father wants decisions about his daughter’s medical care left in the hands of an all-male House Oversight Committee task force, or by a squeamish male legislature that can’t even say the word vagina?

What father wants his daughter to die prematurely because she couldn’t afford breast and cervical examinations that are now covered by Title X, Planned Parenthood, and Obamacare?

What father deems his daughter less capable than a man to make choices about her own life?

What father adheres to a religious group that values his daughter less than any other person. Or a political party that demeans her through legislation and verbal sexist abuse?

What father doesn’t want his daughter to be all she can be? Or to have the opportunity to achieve everything she wants while pursuing her personal goals And how can she do that without equal rights and equal protection under the law?

What kind of father envisions his daughter as a second-class citizen?

Having a daughter is the greatest gift any man can receive, for through them we finally learn the meaning of and experience a love that is completely unselfish. Wives and lovers bring us much pleasure and happiness, but they are equal partners in our lives, with the expectation of equal “give and take.” But because daughters light up our lives in countless ways, fathers want nothing back from them, except perhaps that they find their own particular brand of happiness.

Those who most severely criticize this new brand of far-right Republicans often accuse them of putting their party before the country they were elected to serve. But for me, their most repugnant betrayal is putting the GOP agenda before their own daughters.

These days our daughters are brought up to think for themselves in all things. Are they now expected to willingly turn over their rights and decisions to an out of touch Republican agenda? If anything qualifies as an “illegitimate rape” that does.

And as a father, my response is simple: I value my daughter more than anyone else on earth and I will fight to my last breath anyone who makes any kind of war on her. And I think every father, deep down, must feel the same.

This November, every father in America is faced with a clear choice. And I suggest each of them votes for the platform that will most benefit and honor his daughter(s).

It’s the least we owe our daughters for bringing both joy and true meaning to our lives…and for shining the light of unconditional love into our hearts.

Related Posts:
The Rich Get Richer
Interview: Greg Palast – Billionaires And Ballot Bandits
Non-Chemical Dependency
Political Ramblings And Random Thoughts
From Death And Despair. . . Dreams Can Soar
Modest Solutions To Voter Suppression
Character. . . And The RNC
The Do-Damage Congress: Who’s Responsible?
Worse Than A Do Nothing Congress
Forget The Barbeque On Labor Day – It’s Time To Take Care Of Business
Chicken Shits: The Slippery Slopes of Chick-fil-A
The Vagina Solution
Fighting Back Part 4: The Big Liar, Intimidation And Revenge
Fighting Back Part 3: Fighting Fire With Fire
When The Past Is Prologue
Fighting Back Part 2: Defining Rovian Politics
Fighting Back
The Electoral Scam
Being Fair
Occupy Reality
Giving. . . And Taking Back
A Tale Of Two Grovers
A Last Pitch For Truth
America: Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.
Gotcha!

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Oct 2012 23

by Greg Palast


“I would do nothing to harm the US auto industry”
…except ship 25,000 jobs off to China.

He’s kidding, right? Did I just hear Mitt Romney say, “I would do nothing to hurt the US auto industry”

Really? REALLY?

Here’s the facts, ma’am:

As I reported in this week’s Nation magazine cover story “Mitt Romney’s Bail-out Bonanza,” the Romneys are in a special partnership with the vulture fund that bought Delphi, the former GM auto parts division.

The Romney vulture fund investment syndicate shipped every single UAW production job – EVERY job – to China.

Just after The Nation broke the story, Washington newsletter The Hill received the Romneys admission of profiteering:

“Romney’s campaign did not deny that he profited from the auto bailout in an email to The Hill, but it said the the report showed the Detroit intervention was ‘misguided.'”

The truth? On June 1, 2009, the Obama Administration announced that Detroit Piston’s owner Tom Gores, GM and the US Treasury would buy back Delphi. The plan called for saving 15 of 29 Delphi factories in the US.

Then the vulture funds pounced.

The Nation discovered that, in the two weeks immediately following the announcement of the Delphi jobs-saving plan, Paul Singer, Romney’s partner, secretly bought up over a billion dollars of old Delphi bonds for pennies on the dollar.

Singer and partners now controlled the company…and killed the return of Delphi to GM.

These facts were revealed in a sworn deposition of Delphi’s Chief Financial Officer John Sheehan, confidential, but now released on the web.

Sheehan said, under oath, that these speculators threatened to withhold key parts (steering columns), from GM. This would have brought the auto maker to its knees, immediately forcing GM’s permanent closure.

The extortion worked. The government money that was supposed to go to save jobs went to Singer’s hedge fund Elliott and its partners, including the Romneys.

Once Singer’s crew took control of Delphi, they rapidly completed the move to China, sticking the US taxpayers with the bill for the pensions of the Delphi workers cut loose.

Dan Loeb, a million-dollar donor to the GOP, who made three-quarters of a billion dollars off the legal scam, proudly announced that, once he and Elliott took control, Delphi kept “virtually no North American unionized labor”

In all, three hedge funds run by Romney’s million-dollar donors have pocketed $4.2 billion, a return on their “investment” of over 3,000%, all care of the US taxpayer. The Romneys personally earned minimum $15.3 million, though more likely $115 million – a range their campaign does not dispute.

Frankly, I’m no fan of the way Obama handled the Delphi bail-out. Allowing these speculators to crank the US taxpayers for $12.9 billion in subsidies – and losing almost all the auto parts jobs in the process.

But when I heard that Son of a …Detroit, Mr. Romney, tell us, “I would do nothing to harm the US auto industry,” I thought I’d lose my dinner. I suggest Romney repeat this directly to the Naylor family of Kokomo, Indiana.

Bruce Naylor lost his job at Delphi, then his health insurance (terminated by the Romney syndicate) – then his home to foreclosure.

Should Obama have done something about that? You bet. If I were the president, I’d have started with putting the vulture speculators out of business – including Elliott’s silent, hidden partner, one Mitt Romney.

***

Want the full story of Romney’s vulture-pack partners? I have several chapters on Paul “The Vulture” Singer and other million-dollar donor magnates backing Romney (and those backing Obama too) in my new book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, which features an introduction by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and illustrations by Ted Rall.

***

And a question to the US media: HELLO, ANYBODY HOME?

This info on Romney’s profiteering and the shipping of Delphi jobs to China by his cronies is on the COVER of The Nation magazine and in a New York Times bestseller (Billionaires & Ballot Bandits). So, where is the New York ‘Paper of Record’? Or, for that matter, MSNBC?

Bill Press explained it to me when I was on his show this morning, “Sorry, Greg. There’s no more investigative reporting in America. No reporters, just repeaters.”

That’s why I fear Jimmy Carter’s statement that, “The American people deserve a president as good as they are.” Now I’m afraid that’s exactly what we’ll get.

***

Greg Palast is the author of the recently published New York Times Top 10 Bestseller Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, which is available via Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Indie Bound. Author’s proceeds from the book go to the not-for-profit Palast Investigative Fund for reporting on voter protection issues.

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