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Mitt Romney's Tale of Woe


Well, this year has been an interesting campaign season. Romney began the primary season as the "nominee" to beat. He floundered a bit at the beginning but eventually he managed to obtain the needed number of delegates. Then he begins his attacks on the president. All expected as he does want his job. But Romney's chances to win in the fall have significantly decreased over the last 2 weeks.

First, there was the surprising Supreme Court decision on the flagship program of the Obama administration. A surprise to all concerned. Nevertheless, the decision of the Court has unalterably changed the healthcare debate. Republicans thought that they could win by claiming that Obama was a "failed" president. The Court decided otherwise by upholding the act as constitutional. This means the debate now moves to either implementation, which is more likely, to outright repeal, a disaster for either party.

Now, Romney has been discovered in a lie. It is clear that from the SEC filings in February 2001, Romney signed those documents as CEO, President, and General Manager. Now, Romney and his supporter want to state that he "retroactively" retired in 1999. Ok, but did he work there or not? He drew a salary? And even more obvious, he signed the 2001 SEC filing. That is a major piece of paper folks. So, did he lie to the American people or did he lie to the federal government. Today the Romney surrogates have been out en mass on the talk shows trying to explains their problems. My favorite was from the Governor of Arizona who stated "I think it is a distraction from the Obama campaign to distract from the huge issues, like the economy and jobs." a notable weak line of defense especially since she is a good one to bring on distraction.  But the issue here is one of disclosure and truth.  What is clear is that Romney lied.  Here is the evidence. Romney signed a SEC filing with the federal government in February 2001 stating he was the CEO, President, and General Manager.  This is almost 2 years after he stated that he retired.  Ok, so if he was not working at Bain under any of those titles, then why sign the document?  And if he did not work there, he like to the SEC a felony because not only lied to the federal government, he lied to investors.  So, the question now becomes did he really leave Bain in 1999?  Clearly, he left in some capacity to help organize the Olympics.  A noble deed.  Yet, if he still worked for the company then why hide it?  He want to hide if folks because he would have to admit he is an out sourcer in chief and that is something that Americans have been tired or for over 20 years.  Does this mean the end of Romney?   It is way to early to tell.  He will take his time choosing a VP, but in the end the question will be will it make any difference? 

The latest three way result in the Iowa Caucuses illustrates the great divide within the Republican party. I think King Pyrrhus' statement of the 3rd century BCE best describes the situation after his many victories over the Romans. "One more victory against the Romans and I will not have an army left." Romney should take heed of these words. Yes, he won in Iowa but after 11 months of hard campaigning he should have had a significant victory. Hence, there is much to take away from the Iowa Caucuses and the three way race illustrates the sharper divisions within the Republican party than ever before.

First, Romney must win over more Republican primary and caucus voters. It is clear as of last night that the extreme right of the party is beginning to coalesce around one of two candidates. They have not embraced Romney. Romney needs to appeal to these voters in some way without losing his moderate followers. He has yet to do so. Romney's task is much harder given the sharp divisions that revealed themselves last night. Clearly the Republicans are not wild about Romney.

Second, the late surge of Santorum illustrates that the political "Christians" are still a force not to be ignored. The big news last night was not so much a Romney win as a Santorum Surge that shows sharp and strong divisions within the party. The campaign of former Senator Santorum illustrates that the grass roots "Christian" right is alive and well. If anyone gets a bounce out of Iowa it may be Santorum as a previously discounted candidate will get a second chance going into New Hampshire. Romney may have won the Iowa Caucus but it will be Santorum that has the momentum and that could help him in New Hampshire where a second place finish or a close finish like last night could put the Romney campaign in a tail spin.

Finally, the strong third place finish of Ron Paul the leader of the Libertarian wing of the party illustrates that there is a candidate for everyone. Paul is the candidate of protest in the Republican party. His appeal, while a mystery, is strong among many who feel that government has left them behind, ergo we need less of it. However, Paul's strong showing should not be overlooked. Going into Iowa this last weekend it appeared that he could have beat Romney and Santorum had the "Christian" Republicans not decided on a candidate. Paul also can appeal to some of those "Christian" voters due to his extreme views on personal liberties. However, his stance on some of the issues could also spell doom.

In the end, New Hampshire will be an interesting primary to follow. It is Romney's home turf due to the close proximity of Massachusetts. Romney should have a significant victory there. If he does not have a victory, it could really put a wrench in his political campaign. For Santorum, the momentum is his and a good second place show or even a victory for Santorum could make him emerge as the candidate that satisfies most of the Republican party. It is a long shot but not unobtainable. The same goes for Ron Paul. Paul could get some momentum out of Iowa due to the lack luster victory of Romney and his strong 3rd place showing. A good second place show for Paul could make him a more viable candidate and put him in a good strategic position for the southern primaries that follow. The results, we are left with a party divided and no strong contender as yet.

Nullification Controversy


I am still in amazement that the public officials that we put in power are still so ignorant of simple government class principles. Perhaps due to all the education that they have been cutting over the last few years, they neglected to take that class. I am astounded that they simply do not understand Constitutional principles and precedents. Article I, Section 8 specifically gives the power to Congress to "establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,. . . " and of course clause 3: "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department of Officer thereof:" Then of course there is Article VI (aka the Supremacy Clause)

Then there is the whole Nullification Controversy under President Andrew Jackson who established the idea (and Lincoln acknowledged) that the Union was perpetual. Hence, This whole notion of trying to nullify federal laws that the states don't like is utter nonsense. All laws enacted by Congress

Then there are two Amendments that we need to think about Amendment 9 and 10. We tend to forget 9. This Amendment states that the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. At the same time Amendment 10 "powers not delegated to the united States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the People" Hence, all these powers that the State of Arizona wants to nullify, they cannot because the state is denied that power by the Constitution. It has some concurrent powers with the federal government, but it does not have the power to nullify federal law.

Arizona Senate Passes Bill To Let State Nullify Federal Laws

Jillian Rayfield | March 4, 2011, 10:18AM


State Senator Russell Pearce (R-AZ)

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After being shot down earlier this week, the Arizona State Senate revived and successfully passed a bill that would create a mechanism for the state to nullify federal laws.

As TPM has reported, Senate Bill 1433 would create a 12-person "Joint Legislative Committee on Nullification of Federal Laws," which would "recommend, propose and call for a vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the People to the federal government in the United States Constitution."

The bill passed the Senate 16-11 after three Republicans switched their vote.

Iowa passed a similar bill in its House last month, though that bill specified that the state would not be required to follow the individual mandate in the health care reform law. The Arizona bill gives the committee more broad powers to review "all existing federal statutes, mandates and Executive orders for the purpose of determining their constitutionality."

But State Senate President Russell Pearce (R) -- who introduced the bill, and also sponsored the state's controversial immigration law -- implied that health care reform was at least part of the impetus for the law: "If we don't take back our sovereign ability for the states to control the federal government, I guess we have no right to complain," he said, the Arizona Republic reports. "I guess 'Obamacare' is OK for you."

Read more at tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com

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In the words of Lou Grant "I hate snow. I don't like its color. I don't like its shape. .. . " I am just tired of this winter already.

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CCSU is a great Univer. But it has made a huge mistake in changing graduate course times

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Sometimes just getting up in the morning and checking your latest tweets can cause one to just stare at the computer and do a Daffy Duck eye socket pop out.  For those that have been following the Texas State Board of Education's venture into historical fiction, the champion standard bearer for "balance" in the historical and science curriculum, Don McLeroy had retired.  Cause for all to celebrate.  However, this is short lived, for a newly elected "Charlie" Garza R-El Paso has taken up the battle for "balance".  This is noted by the Texas Freedom Network's blog described here.

The latest quote from board member Garza states that "Last year my son came to me and started talking about global warming… and I showed him research that said that there is no clear consensus – either scholarly or otherwise – that suggested that even existed. But yet it was being taught as a basis of fact in the school. And when we have such a paradigm being introduced to children, then we have a problem on our hands."  Makes one think of the scene in Cool Hand Luke "What we have here is a failure to communicate.", or more to the point, failure to understand.

Garza was not put off by this comment he later stated that he was all for assessing balance in the curriculum stating "The real question this board should be dealing with is not so much what is clear or isn’t clear because you can’t define it, but rather, if there is opposing points of view, that both sides be presented in order to add a more balanced point of view about what’s happening in the classroom."  Apparently we should also have "balance" for the grammatically impaired.  Nevertheless, I think Garza has a point and we should all start making lists to start addressing balance in the field of history.  Here are some guidelines to start with.

1.  We need to focus more on the family values of important leaders.  Hence, I would suggest that in Modern European history we start focusing in on "Mussolini the Family Man".  Yes, never mind that the man cheated on his wife and slept around, or that many of his children would not speak to him, these are irrelevant.  Mussolini was the family man of Italy; just ask his mistress who was strung up next to him by her ankles.  And let's not forget his alliance with the Catholic Church.  Despite the fact the man did not attend church.  But we need to emphasize the family importance of this period.  And the values that he instilled in his Fasci troops.  One, be the first to blame your opponent of what you are doing.  That will confuse and confound the public.  Two, eliminate your opponents through legal and extra-legal methods to show that you have at least a 30% consensus.  Finally, spend loads of money on rebuilding "culture" so that the people don't have time to realize they are poor, illiterate, and exploited.

2.  Refocus our attention on the virtuous personal lives of other important leaders.  Hitler for example, we need to offer a balance between the evil that he has been shown to possess and the warm fuzzy personal side of megalomania.  Just because you kill over 11 million people for political reasons, one should show the moral and upright side of these "justified" policies.  After all, Hitler's intentions were fully spelled out in Mein Kampf and clearly illustrated his intentions of making the German people the superior people that they already were.  Let's talk about his home life, his compassion for his dogs and his strong work ethic.  He slept until noon did very little work and then stayed up till midnight partying at the expense of the nation, but all in the direct attempt to destroy . . . everyone else.  A worthy goal for "balance"

3.  What about colonial policies of the Portuguese and Spanish.  They not only intended to bring "civilization" to the new world, but also sought through conquest to instill "Christian" values.  A force conversion of the heathen races of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas was all in an effort to bring Christ to a lost people.  Never mind the fact that these same groups were killed by foreign viruses that wiped out their populations, forced on to plantations to work until they died; and were forced to destroy at the hands of their captors their cultural and historical past.

4.  Let's not forget the forced importation of Africans to the Americas.  Should we, once again, justify slavery as Aristotle did to promote one race over another?? Heavens no!!!, But we must emphasize the natural order of life and the necessity of domestic harmony.  After all, the slaves were in a better position after they were forced to leave their land in Africa.  Who would want to live in such primitive conditions?  They were able to make better lives here on the Brazilian sugar plantations where they died of exhaustion. 

5.  Then, of course, the public policies of Joseph Stalin must be considered.  His fantastic planning to bring his country into the modern industrial age is illustrated through the importation of "surplus" German industrial machinery.  His population control objectives were stunning.  Throughout the 1930s and 1940s he single handedly manage to bring focus and direction to public policy defining new levels of state welfare.  From the happy work farms of the gulags to the industrial work towns behind the Ural Mountains, Stalin had vision. 

Colleagues, we all understand that as historians, the overwhelming existence of "facts" show that there are certain areas of history that one cannot be neutral about whether these facts are about the Holocaust, Hitler, or the Founding Fathers.  We know from overwhelming evidence of eyewitness testimony, pictures, and intimate friends, that Hitler's goal for the peoples of Eastern Europe was inhalation.  Just the same, we know from the evidence of their own diaries, letters, and documents, that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison were influenced by the Enlightenment ideas of Rousseau, Hobbes, Locke, and Montesquieu.  Facts are funny things and no matter how often that one may argue to the contrary, they do not change.  Hence, we should not ignore the attempt of others to argue against established fact.