Mitt Romney

The New Progressive Mitt Romney is the Same as the Old Progressive Mitt Romney

Meet the new Mitt, same as the old Mitt.

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Whitehouse.gov

Mother Jones' David Corn has found a new "progressive champion" in a somewhat surprising candidate: Mitt Romney.

Corn is not exactly a committed Romney booster: He helped tank Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential ambitions by publishing Romney's infamous 47 percent remarks, in what was probably the biggest single scoop of the campaign.

But now Corn is arguing that liberals should embrace the newly "remodeled" former GOP governor of Massachusetts, and "encourage him to return to the political battlefield." 

"Romney, apparently seeing the error of his 'severely conservative' ways, has become a progressive crusader," Corn writes. Noting early reports that Romney has hinted he might run to the right of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Corn argues that, in fact, "in public remarks, Romney has been sounding like a born-again lefty."

At an investment management conference in Utah this week, Romney told the crowd that a new-and-improved candidate Romney would focus on climate change, poverty, and education. Yes, climate change, poverty, and education. In a bizarre Freaky Friday sort of way, Romney appears to have been body-snatched—perhaps by the ghost of Ted Kennedy.

Corn isn't wrong that this represents a shift from Romney's last presidential bid, and he's right to flag Romney's remarks in light of initial reports about Romney's likely self-branding strategy. 

But this is less a body snatching and more of a reawakening. It's a return to Romney's old political persona—the moderate, non-ideological Rockefeller Republican he played during his days in Massachusetts politics.

During his first year and a half as governor of Massachusetts, for example, Romney worked on a major climate change proposal, one that, much like President Obama's recent executive order, would have included measures to power plants relying on coal and ramp up reliance on alternative energy sources. Whenever the topic came up, Romney insisted that climate change was both real and caused by human activity. "He was the radical in the room" on the topic, one aide told the Los Angeles Times in 2012.

Ultimately, Romney backed away from those ideas as his term as governor ended and he set his sights on the presidency. But this was his first inclination, and he put a lot of energy into it.

Romney was similarly ambitious on education during his tenure as governor, pursuing significant higher ed reforms (that again, ultimately didn't go anywhere) and signing into law a scholarship program, sometimes described as his signature achievement, for high-achieving high-school students. The scholarship program had problems, but the prominence Romney gave it suggest the strength of his interest.

Tobyotter / Foter

It's true that as governor, Romney didn't place much emphasis on poverty, and, as Corn notes, during his 2012 presidential run, he explicitly said that he's "not concerned about the poor." They "have a safety net"—which he would repair if necessary. 

As governor, that's what Romney did. He made a major upgrade to Massachusetts' safety net as governor, designing, promoting, and signing into law a health care overhaul that would become the model for Obamacare. He didn't need to channel the ghost of Ted Kennedy while doing so either, because Kennedy was a major backer of the law who worked closely with Romney to get it passed.

At the signing ceremony, Kennedy appeared on stage with Romney, who praised the Senator, saying that his "work in Washington, and behind the scenes on Beacon Hill, was absolutely essential."

Romney was frequently tagged as an arch-conservative during the 2012 campaign, sometimes by himself. But this was never particularly believable given his governing record. Corn is right to sell his fellow progressives on Romney, but his mistake is suggesting that it's a new development. It's a return to form for Romney, who has always been a committed technocrat, someone who believes in the transformative power of business managers and government planners working together to design social systems.

Obviously Romney hasn't officially announced a run yet, so it's possible that none of this will matter. And given his history of self-reinventions, he could always go another direction.

But if he pursues this approach, would just be dispensing with the awkward, pretend conservative get-up he adopted for the 2012 campaign and returning to his natural form.

Indeed, back in 2002, when Romney was running for Senate, he offered the following self-description: "I'm not a partisan Republican," he said, "I'm someone who is moderate and my views are progressive." Progressives like Corn may just now be discovering that Romney is an ally, but Romney has long known he's one of them. 

Here's ReasonTV with 3 reasons Mitt Romney blew it in 2012:

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    1. FAKE SKANDUL!

    2. It was covered up?

      1. Worst coverup ever.

        Actually, I think most people just ignored it because it was simpler just to blame banks. And the government programs all meant well.

    3. Was there a minority report or dissent issue?

      1. I guess the book is the dissent? the published dissent was cut down by about 80% from what was written.

        I wonder if the original will ever see the light of day…

  1. Why would anybody describe themselves as “severely” anything?

    1. i’m severely apathetic.

      1. Nonsense! If you were “severely” apathetic, you wouldn’t have mustered up the will to even type that comment. I suspect you are only “strongly” apathetic!

      2. I’m severely mediocre.

    2. It was an odd choice of modifier.

  2. Hmm, good strategy, Mitt. “Say, the base thought I was a milquetoast last time around and stayed home. What should I do to change things?”

    Mitt needs to reinvent himself as a retiree.

  3. Romney should come back to politics and run as a Democrat. We dont need the Republican party pulled left. We need the Democratic party pulled right and Romney could do that. He would give moderates a voice in the party again. I bet a lot of Democrats wpuld vote for him And switchong would play the media perfectly. As soon as he switched the media would take the bait and shpwer him with praise as a way to concern troll the Republicans. By the time they figured put what was going on it might be too late. We could do a lot worse than Romney as the dem nominee

    1. i don’t know if we could do much worse than having Romney as ANY party’s nominee.

      1. You obviously are jnfamiliar with Jerry Brown, Waaren, nad Hillary Clinton just to name a few. Romney is light years better than the retards running the Democratic Party. If he were a Dem, reason would probably like him.

        1. yeah, but those people aren’t nationally electable, imo, which means they aren’t worse.

          Also, I’m insulated in texas- so my crazies are different than others’.

          1. The Democrats seem to think they are. They are all they have.

            1. The Democrats have a way of backing the wrong horses all the way up to the primaries.

              1. The Democrats have a way of backing the wrong horses all the way up to the primaries.

                At which point they switch to… the dark horse. /RAAAAACIST

    2. I keep looking for a hidden code in your misspellings.

      1. Read his posts backwards?

    3. Yeah, but Mitt and Jeb are cuddling toghter… or wait, was that huddling? Anyway, so Mittens and Jebediah, THE CLEAR FRONT RUNNERS, are plotting together to save the country from any radical insurgents, you know, like that Rand Paul.

    4. I think Romney would make a good cabinet secretary, and I’m not being snide.

      1. I could see that. He does seem to be a competent manager and a reasonably sharp guy.

      2. I think Romney would make a good cabinet.

    5. Romney is a 100% political animal. He wouldn’t pull the Dem party right, he would fit right in to whatever the polls said would win him their primary. He has no spine and no principles.

    6. That would at least be fun to watch. basically, all he needs to do is adjust his stated views on abortion again and he could be a credible Democratic candidate.

      If he’s switched parties after being Governor in Mass. he probably could have been president by now.

    7. We dont need the Republican party pulled left. We need the Democratic party pulled right and Romney could do that.

      Nah, we need them both pulled libertarian/anti-statist.

    8. What if he’s the guy No Labels is looking for, and he ran as an independent?

  4. Twenty years ago, Mitt would’ve made a fine Democratic candidate.

    1. Clearly the hair would have put him over the top. These days, sadly, hair doesn’t seem like that big a factor when put up against ‘more free shit’.

  5. Corn’s one of those progs who really disappoints me. Back in the ’90s, he was a coherent defender of leftist views. I very rarely, if ever, agreed with him on anything but he was able to marshal thoughtful arguments. Somewhere in the “oughts” his brain turned to mush.

    1. That is about all of them. The entire left went insane during the Bush years.

      1. They really did.

        What was it Christiane Amanpour said? They failed at their job by allowing Bush to get elected?

        Every Democrat I know was utterly apoplectic after Bush was elected. They literally could not understand how it happened or even think straight about it. They still haven’t recovered.

      2. And then Sarah Palin appeared and they went even more insane. That was just bizarre.

        1. Palin pushed buttons because she was attractive and managed to be successful careerwise while also having a family with a good-looking husband.

          Yeah, men hated her for her politics, but women were driven insane with envy over her ability to have her cake and eat it too in that regard.

      3. Yeah, and the best (worst) possible followup to Bush Derangement Syndrome was watching hordes of people who were able to keep up with Bush’s transgressions on an hourly basis manage to handwave or ignore Obama doubling down on all the things they claimed to hate about Bush.

  6. when i heard that obama quip about winning his campaigns I was hoping someone from the GOP would shout back, “yeah, but look who we nominated to run against you!”

  7. In addition to Romney accepting humanity’s role in climate change, you can add Rand Paul, since he voted affirmative for Hoeven’s amendment that asserted “humans contribute to climate change.”

    We’re making progress!

    1. everything contributes to climate change. contribution and causation are different things.

      1. Just that statement alone is progress here, Spencer. Most here think the whole thing is a hoax and conspiracy.

        1. 100% of jackandass’s strawmen agree with each other.

        2. Are you a sunspot denier Jack? People here think the sunspot hypothesis as equal or more merit than the carbon hypothesis, but leftists act as if CO2 increases are the only possible scientific thing that can increase greenhouses gasses….. meanwhile ignoring the sun’s effects on cloud vapor, which account for a large m,ajority of greenhouses gasses (carbon & methane as a % of greenhouse gases are a small minority)

          Funny how people who argue that the carbon hypothesis is real science but act as if the sunspot hypothesis doesn’t exist

          1. I responded to this down below, where you also posted it.

        3. Just once, I’d like you to actually articulate your plan to stop climate change instead of making snide comments.

          What would do? Force everyone to live in some egalitarian, agricultural based commune, mud hut style, or facilitate a mass genocide? Those really are your only two options.

          1. Well it’s a good thing we can make catastrophes go away by wishing hard enough. Since two versions of dystopia are our only options otherwise, as you say.

            It won’t really hurt anyone to switch to clean energy. You’ve just been told it will by people who make a lot of money from polluting energy.

            1. Your fear of a impending catastrophe has been debunked repeatedly Tony. People have been crying wolf about the destruction of the planet for generations, yet here we are, more numerous than ever. There’s also this thing called human innovation that keeps trumping your static viewpoint. But you know this. Disingenuous as ever.

              As far as running the entire civilized world on green energy, that’s financially impossible. Energy costs would cripple the lower and middle classes to nothingness. I guess you fall into the genocide camp.

              1. So innovation will magically save us, except innovation will create a crippling genocidal catastrophe?

                1. No. My point was that yourself and Jack think that if we don’t act RIGHT NOW! We will reach some undefined tipping point of no return based on current technology. Even if we are responsible for altering the climate, we posses the technological capability to adapt and survive. You like to pretend that planet Earth existed in a stasis box prior to the evolution of man, and is incapable of surviving our current actions.

                  The fact of the matter is, your logic is based on our current methods of energy use existing for eternity. All evidence supports the hypothesis that we will adapt, evole, and survive. The two options I gave you were based on the doomsday mindset that you adhere to. Which is complete bullshit. Current clean energy is simply not a practical method for the majority of humanity to survive on. You don’t care who dies in order to implement your desired outcome. Yes, the climate is changing, so the fuck what? Over 90 percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. Again, so the fuck what? I have faith that we will address these issues and carry on.

                  So Tony, who would you kill?
                  Why don’t you lead by example and kill yourself? Think about all the carbon emmisions you can reduce by doing so.

                  Saint Tony: patron saint of glad handing and empty gestures.

            2. It won’t really hurt anyone to switch to clean energy. You’ve just been told it will by people who make a lot of money from polluting energy.

              “Green energy” is lots more expensive than energy derived from fossil fuels. And “switching to clean energy” won’t stop climate change anyway.

              Well it’s a good thing we can make catastrophes go away

              Climate change isn’t a catastrophe, not even according to the IPCC report. I suggest you read it.

    2. The amendment didnt say humans caused it. The Cult members in the Senate got snookered. But i guess they figured theor followers would be too stupid to notice. And judging by you, they were right.

      1. There were a few amendments. Hoeven’s said human’s contribute to climate change. 15 GOPers voted for it, including Paul.

        1. …Humans contribute to climate change.

          Learn to speak English before you try condescension.

          1. The grammar police are here!

        2. Humans do contribute to climate change. So what? You say that as if it meant anything.

      2. But typical for you, responding before you even know what you are responding to.

      3. Here, let me help you out once again:

        “Hoeven’s amendment managed to clear the 60-vote threshold for approval because the Democrats voted for it and because there were 15 Republicans willing to say that, yes, people are contributing to climate change. The 15 included Rand Paul of Kentucky, a 2016 prospective presidential candidate, and also John McCain of Arizona, the GOP’s 2008 nominee.”

        http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsal…..-our-fault

        But uh oh, I just cited NPR. Must be a hoax, right John?

        1. You did, of course, misquote the language of the amendment in your original post, and also use much more ambiguous phrasing accepting humanity’s role in climate change to make it appear as though that were a much stronger endorsement of your viewpoint than it actually is. It’s a pretty long road from “Climate change is real and not a hoax, and human activity contributes to climate change” to your doomsday cultism.

          1. Don’t be such a whiner, PM. All I said is that Romney now says humans play a role in climate change, and that echoes Rand Paul. All correct. Humans play a role if they contribute.

            But hey, if you are one here that thinks its not a hoax, and humans contribute to climate change….just like I said…we’re making progress! But you are still in the minority.

        2. That just tells me NPR is as dumb as you are. Lets go to that great right wing hack publication Politico,

          http://www.politico.com/story/…..14463.html

          Though all but one Republican agreed that the planet’s climate was changing ? Mississippi’s Roger Wicker was the lone naysayer ? only a handful of Republicans joined Democrats in tying the rising global temperature to human activities.

          But the GOP engaged in a series of bait-and-switches through the day to parse the voting. The first Republican answer to Democrats’ proposal that “human activity significantly contributes to climate change” omitted mentioning the phrase “climate change,” and instead called for senators to oppose any efforts that raise energy costs or “destroy jobs.”

          Republicans later replaced that amendment from Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) with language that said changing global temperatures was the result of human activity. That was almost identical to Democrats’ measure ? except for the removal of the word “significantly” next to “human activity.” That measure fell a single vote short of the 60-vote threshold it needed.

          I know you are dumb, but you might at least try to get smarter.

          1. So read again…taking out the word significantly still says that humans contribute to climate change.

            I know it is like I am leading an infant, but go back to the article…Romney says that humans contribute, Rand Paul says humans contribute, and what did I say? That Rand Paul and Mitt Romney say humans contribute to climate change.

            Yeesh. But hey, how about you John? Did Rand Paul just leave you behind…you still holding out that humans do not contribute to climate change? Or are you on board with him?

            1. So read again…taking out the word significantly still says that humans contribute to climate change.

              No. You just don’t know what the word “contribute” means. Here is a hint, it is not a quantitative term. And neither is significant.

              Give it up. No one cares about global warming or believes in it enough to be willing to give up their standard of living. Hell even the people who believe won’t do that. They all fly around in private jets and live like Roman emperors.

              Its a dead issue. Go find a new one. The Democrats will never regain the house are unlikely to regain the Senate anytime soon and any proposals based on global warming are dead on arrival.

              It is like gun control. It is a loser issue that times and politics has passed by. But please, keep wasting your time believing. It will keep people like you occupied on losing causes so you will do less damage.

              1. I’m looking forward to Rand Paul’s continued evolution on the matter. Maybe he can lead libertarians forward as well. You may be the last hold out.

                1. You still need to convince people that the supposed cure is not worse than the disease.
                  At the moment it is pretty obvious that climate science is not mature enough to make accurate long term predictions. It just isn’t. Or if it is, we will have to wait to find out.
                  But even if it is or becomes so soon, you need policies that will both actually be effective and which won’t ruin economic growth and people’s standards of living. I don’t think any anti-climate change policies proposed so far will do both of those things. I think the best response will be to adapt to problems as they arise. Big top down plans just don’t work on a large scale.

                  1. Here is what we need to do…convince enough people to agree with what the clear majority of climate scientists and science organizations are saying. Period. And we continue to work on that. I daresay that the election of Obama over both McCain and Romney has been beneficial to our side. And if we reject the next GOP candidate, we will be better off as well.

                    From that, policies and solutions will arise. So far, all of the growth in renewables hasn’t had a deleterious effect on the economy, has it? What, you think further growth will?

          2. But I admit, I take pleasure in that I made you do a bit of research and find out there was not only one amendment.

            1. I take a lot of pleasure in the fact that you and your ilk are wasting your efforts on a loser political issue that will never result in any real policy change.

              In some ways this entire hoax as annoying as it is may end up being a blessing in disguise. It has gotten so stupid and so ridiculous that it is like a honey pot for stupid people.

              1. And we will continue to invest our time in it. Thanks for the encouraging word.

              2. I take a lot of pleasure in the fact that you and your ilk are wasting your efforts on a loser political issue that will never result in any real policy change.

                Sadly, John, I think you are wrong.

                The civil service, particularly in the DOE and EPA are full of science deniers like Jackand Ace and Tony. Their superstitions are being promulgated in schools. They write the regulations that govern development of capital projects that will likely be in place after you and I are dead. Like a liver infected with Hepatitis C, the civil service will likely never be entirely purged of this millennial doomsday cult.

                1. DOE and EPA? And here I thought I was listening to National Academy of Sciences, American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society, American Physical Society, Royal Society…you know, every single major SCIENCE organization the world. If I didn’t listen to what they have to say about climate, then yeah, I might be a science denier.

                  Know anybody that isn’t listening to them, tarran?

                  1. Are you a sunspot denier Jack? People here think the sunspot hypothesis as equal or more merit than the carbon hypothesis, but leftists act as if CO2 increases are the only possible scientific thing that can increase greenhouses gasses….. meanwhile ignoring the sun’s effects on cloud vapor, which account for a large m,ajority of greenhouses gasses (carbon & methane as a % of greenhouse gases are a small minority)

                    Funny how people who argue that the carbon hypothesis is real science but act as if the sunspot hypothesis doesn’t exist

                    1. What is funny is your late arrival to this whole discussion. Not only has been going on for this past week, about all the conspiracy theories about how scientists have been bought off, but its been a theme in comments here for a very long time.

                      If your take is that the climate is warming, that CO2 is impacting that, that man-made CO2 contributes (however significantly), and that natural variation contributes as well….well then, welcome aboard.

                      But you would be in the minority here…most here think that its all a hoax and conspiracy theory.

                      When this went twice this past week, I had to argue with 30 or 40 commenters.
                      Not one…not one, my friend…ever said anything like I just posted. Not one even said anything like Rand Paul and Romney said above.

                      Sad, but true.

                    2. And throughout the whole discussion, you have completely failed to grasp that most of us don’t actually believe there is any grand conspiracy about climate change at all. Just normal human arrogance and social signaling.

                    3. Bull, Zeb, bull. Hardly anyone here approaches climate with anything close to the reasonable attempt you make. Truly, I have no need to attempt to convince you of this…just go back and re-read some of the comments in threads that you commented on.

                      In fact, I’ll just wait til the next Bailey climate change article and point it out to you…almost everyone here believes that climate scientists are making their conclusions in order to get funding. This week Inhofe restated his believe that it all is a hoax, and almost everyone here believes it as well.

                      I would have loved just one person to have said, “I understand what every science organization is saying, and I understand what most climate scientists are saying, I just disagree with them.”

                      Great! Have at it then. But no, in order to explain why they believe in what the clear minority of scientists believe, they have to justify it all with a conspiracy theory.

                      I’ll show you next time…enjoy your weekend.

                    4. By the way, I might add this…see all those science organizations I posted above?

                      Not one ever said that natural variation does not play a role in the climate changing. Not one. And I have never said that either.

                      But each one says that man either plays the predominate role, or at a minimum a significant role. In fact, most are saying that we are headed to a problem if man doesn’t do something to curb carbon emissions.

                    5. The measure of the quality of science isn’t in how many scientific organizations agree. It is in making accurate predictions. As far as I have seen, that is not happening with climate science. They can produce fine tuned models that model the past with some accuracy, but so far predictions of future climate change seem to have failed.

                    6. Zeb. Just link this

                    7. If they’ve failed it’s because they’ve been too optimistic. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re trying to have a conversation on a subject about which you only know propagandistic phrases, not facts.

                    8. Every single model cited by the IPCC overshot the actual rate of warming. So, the opposite of what you said, Tony.

                    9. The predictions have been accurate enough. It was a prediction at first that carbon is a greenhouse gas. Bingo. It was a prediction at first that that amount of added carbon from humans will have an effect on temperature. Bingo (please tell me you don’t disagree with that…most here do). And it was a prediction that it will only get worse. Bingo…just check the fact that 2014 was the warmest year since record keeping, eclipsing 1998 which had the El Nino of the Century.

                      The models have not predicted the EXACT temperature rise each and every year? So what…completely meaningless.

                    10. Not every scientist and physician believed smoking causes lung cancer (see Heartland Institute in their attempt to prove otherwise, and one of the leading proponents now that AGW is a myth), but most do believe it. Not every person who smoked gets lung cancer, but many do.

                      You smoke, Zeb?

                    11. You have selective memory, major climate statist have downplayed natural variation in climate repeatedly. See Michael Mann and his hockey stick graph for the biggest example.

                    12. What they have said quite clearly is that the rise in temperature is most likely due to man, and not natural variation. They never…never…have said natural variation plays no role.

                    13. Good. We chicks will let “man” sort that out, then.

    3. “It is the sense of the senate, that a high-carb diet makes you thin, the science is settled!”

      1. Let’s not trivialize getting important work done for the people, like voting on the weather.

        1. Thank you for that laugh, B.P.

        2. They need to vote up some snow for Park City the first week of February, then!

          1. Yeah, I want some snow too. Winter sucks without snow. Come on, Senate.

      2. Senator George McGovern (D) while campaigning for the presidency setup a committee to establish the guidelines that would become the first food pyramid ever created by any government.
        As science journalist Gary Taubes noted in his book Good Calories Bad Calories, McGovern had a hard time taking the testimony of poor farmers about malnourishment seriously, as these were all obese.
        McGovern knew better than to look at contradictory evidence and he just assumed people got fat from eating too much, fullstop. In spite of warnings by researchers about lack of evidence for either side he had his recommendations pre-drafted to him by a vegetarian staffer. One group of researchers believed carbs were dangerous and a high-fat diet was the way to go, the other side believed in the opposite.
        Well, I guess the Senate and U.S. gov’t that was funding the National Institute of Health really did “settle” the science in that case.

        1. The butter/margarine dilemma.

      3. Are they sure it doesn’t make you thick?

  8. Romney/Lieberman 2016!

    1. the stuff of dreams… or nightmares.

      1. They’d have to suspend their campaign after a week because they couldn’t decide on which party’s ticket to run. Lieberman wanted to run on the R ticket, and Romney the D.

        1. You kid but if Paul or Cruz won the Gop nomination and Warren wom the Dem, i could totally see the two estblishments going rogue and running some kind of bizarre unity third party ticket. Liberman Christy or Bush Hillary. No kidding

          1. Bush Hillary

            Running as the nominees of the new Dynasty Party. You have to be the spouse or blood relative of an elected official to get in.

            1. You have to be the spouse or blood relative of an elected official to get in.

              Seems to be the case already?

            2. Clinton-Bush? Didn’t we already hear too much of that during the impeachment proceedings?

          2. Bush (doesn’t matter which one)/Clinton (doesn’t matter which one) 2016!

      2. Oh, it can get worse, when your choice comes down to Romney/Lieberman vs. Warren/Sanders.

    2. Romney Bloomburg in a establishment beltway media crap weasel unity ticket. David Brooks would have orgasms from even reading about them.

  9. OT #1:

    British Emergency care improves:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30949775

    92.4% of patients seen within four hours

    1. “Seen” meaning . . . what?

      Trust me, ED stats are nothing if not jukable. Because I’ve seen them juked, and its not hard.

      True story (secondhand, but reliable):

      A big national hospital chain decided to run a big “Our ERs are the Fastest” campaign. They put cameras in their ER waiting rooms so they could monitor from Nashville.

      So the hospitals just lined up a bunch of chairs in the hall outside the ER, and moved people there. From the camera, it looked like they were turning and burning. In reality, they weren’t any faster, and the patients had a crappier experience.

      This is why I say “Inside every incentive is a perverse incentive waiting to get out”.

      1. They were arguing this was an improvement from around 85% in the previous month. My point was that, if a doctor spoke to you within four hours of you entering the emergency room, this was considered a great achievement.

        1. What makes you think it only counts when a doctor speaks to you?

    2. This reminds me of a funny anecdote from Mark Steyn’s new book.

      Steyn wrote an article making fun of the British healthcare system where he said “The British are always telling me the NHS is the ‘envy of the world’ but no one else in the world seems to thinks so. I guess maybe you’d envy it if you’re a Bhutanese yak farmer, but the rest of the world doesn’t much care for it.”

      The next week he got a letter that said:

      “Sir, I must take exception to Mark Steyn’s comments about the NHS. I am from Bhutan, and I have found the British health system to be very disappointing. My parents have had to wait over a year for surgeries and they have continuously been kicked out of hospitals for lack of beds.

      We’d never let this happen in Bhutan, and I’m offended that you’d make the comparison.”

  10. OT#2:

    Now what am I going to read? Skymall files for bankruptcy:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30957861

    1. Awwwww sheeeeiiiit. Guess you’ll have to spring for the on-board WiFi.

      1. I haven’t even got my hot dog machine with onboard bun toaster yet!

      2. Nah. I’ll read the airlines in flight magazine. I like their unbiased helpful vacation tips.

      3. I usually spend flights staring fixedly at the passenger next to me, so no biggie.

        1. I unleash SBDs, then giggle the whole flight.

        2. I usually spend flights nursing a hangover.

    2. I thought that was just a joke from Parks & Rec

  11. Market is 4 times faster?
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db102.htm
    “Two percent of ED patients were triaged as needing to be seen in less than 1 minute (immediate); 10% were triaged as needing to be seen within 1?14 minutes (emergent); 41% were triaged as needing to be seen within 15?60 minutes (urgent); 35% were triaged as needing to be seen within 1?2 hours (semiurgent); and 7% of patients were triaged as needing to be seen between 2 and 24 hours (nonurgent). No triage system was used for the remaining 4% of patients (Figure 5).
    Mean wait times for patients triaged as immediate (28.9 minutes) and those with no triage system (38.2 minutes) were shorter than mean wait times for patients triaged as emergent (51.2 minutes), urgent (63.3 minutes), semiurgent (58.7 minutes), and nonurgent (53.5 minutes).”

    1. Yes but that’s bad. It’s not fair to the nonurgent cases to make them wait while the immediate cases are seen. It’s far more democratic to make everyone wait a long time.

    2. Two percent of ED patients were triaged as needing to be seen in less than 1 minute

      I didn’t know erectile dysfunction could be that serious!

  12. Speaking of which, the new crazy Thomas Friedman is the same as the old crazy Thomas Friedman. An actual quote from a speech he gave today in Davos, Switzerland:

    “The Arab spring is failing not for lack of bandwidth, but for lack of human understanding that can only be forged when someone is 15 minutes late for breakfast and you say “thank you for being late.”

    1. WTF does that even mean?

      1. It means: Thank you for punching me in the face, would you now like to kick me square in the nuts?

    2. Lolwhut?

    3. My brain hurts. I may be going mad.

    4. The Thomas Friedman op-ed generator is goddamn near indistinguishable from the real thing.

    5. Was this after a fall down one of the Alps???!!

    6. I think the Friedman bot needs a SW upgrade. There’s no way that thing can pass the Turing Test.

  13. Of course, he’s a moderate who can appeal to Democrat-leaning independents, until he is nominated and returns to being the most conservative candidate since Goldwater. At which point electing him will see schools shut down, women forced into homemaking, blacks put back in chains, etc.

  14. The Mittens is clearly an east coast Republican. So to dissect this, we can start with the certainty that there are NO Republicans on the east coast. At least not north of Virginia. So let’s just think of east coast as Boston and NYC. So what that leaves us with is a Democrat with less kooky ideas about the economy. Which also makes him an outlier. He doesn’t fit in with the Democrats of today because he can’t say ‘businesses don’t create jobs’ with a straight face. This is why he’s a Republican.

    1. Sen. Toomey (R-Pa) qualifies, no?

  15. You don’t have to be a leftist to be concerned about “climate change, poverty, and education.” What makes you a leftist is believing that the only thing that can help solve any of those problems is the federal government.

    1. Yep, as I point out to some of my leftist friends, libertarians aren’t anti-science, they’re anti-statists. And since most scientists can think of no other solution to problems than to give power to the state, they’re going to run into libertarian opposition.

      1. I agree, but would add that libertarians also believe (or should) that when government is required, it should be done at the most local possible level: subsidiarity.

    2. Customary:

      “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

      – Bastiat

      1. Was Bastiat the greatest seer of all time or were his insights into the human condition just the greatest of all time?

        1. Well, it may not be the first part, because-no quatrains.

          Seriously, it’s probably a lot of both.

        2. You guys should branch out in your reading.

          1. We have. Your favorite authors are good for the occasional laugh, but not for a good quote.

      2. I love that quote and use it myself.

        1. Pair that up with the Heinlein quote about “bad luck”, and you’re set.

          1. I’ve been compiling a series for years. Mencken shows up several times. A few recent additions:

            “There is nothing more horrible than the murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts.” ?Fran?ois de La Rochefoucauld

            “Where it is a duty to worship the sun, it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.” ?John Morley, statesman and writer (1838-1923)

            “Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.” ?Oscar Ameringer

            “The free market is not a creed or an ideology that political conservatives, libertarians, and Ayn Rand acolytes want Americans to take on faith. The free market is simply a measurement. The free market tells us what people are willing to pay for a given thing at a given moment. That’s all the free market does. The free market is a bathroom scale. We may not like what we see when we step on the bathroom scale, but we can’t pass a law making ourselves weigh 165. Liberals and leftists think we can.” ?P.J. O’Rourke

            “I don’t think drugs are bad. I used to be a hippie. I think drugs are fun. Now I’m a conservative. I think fun is bad.” ?P.J. O’Rourke

            “Politics can’t save us. Politics is the idea that society’s ills can be cured politically. This is a cookbook where the recipe for everything is to fry it.” ?P.J. O’Rourke

            1. A series I’ve used to poke leftists:

              “Socialism means equality of income or nothing… under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.” ?George Bernard Shaw

              “This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.” ?Herbert Marcuse

              “Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism.” ?Catharine A. MacKinnon

              “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” ?Robin Morgan

              “I consider the Chinese government’s policy among the most intelligent in the world” ?Molly Yard, about China’s compulsory abortions.

              1. “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population. And the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” ?Margaret Sanger, in a letter to eugenics leader Dr. Clarence Gamble

                “By destroying the peasant economy and driving the peasant from the country to the town, the famine creates a proletariat… Furthermore the famine can and should be a progressive factor not only economically. It will force the peasant to reflect on the bases of the capitalist system, demolish faith in the tsar and tsarism, and consequently in due course make the victory of the revolution easier… Psychologically all this talk about feeding the starving and so on essentially reflects the usual sugary sentimentality of our intelligentsia.” ?Vladimir Lenin

                “To be a socialist is to submit the I to the thou; socialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.” ?Joseph Goebbels

  16. OT: I kinda love this. Proggie author gets TOLD, after thinking it would be cute to write a story about an Afghan female warlord.

    1. “What’s wrong with her?”

      Classic.

      1. Seriously. That chick has zero understanding of the kind of life where you just do what you gotta do to get by. I’m sure Commander Pigeon doesn’t even consider her gender or the larger context of what she’s doing – she just does what needs to be done to support her kin.

    2. This terror of forced calories turns into some sort of sexualized hallucination as the old lady’s “fingers slipped in and out of [Percy’s] mouth.” What the matriarch saw, I’m willing to bet, was a monstrously skinny young woman, unmarried, wandering around a combat zone for no sane reason, and so helpless she couldn’t even see that she need to “fat up,” as Huck Finn would say. So the old woman, accustomed to taking charge in spite of her tired, arthritic joints (“I have terrible knees,” she complains to the totally uninterested Percy), sighs and starts doing the necessary, jamming pieces of nice fat turkey into this homeless, husband-less waif’s mouth.

    3. That was stunning. Actually, the second great article I’ve seen by the War Nerd.

  17. It seems to me that Romney running is a good thing. If he doesn’t run, the entire GOP establishment will line up behind Jeb Bush. If he does run, they split between the two of them. They supposedly met in Utah. My guess is that the meeting consisted of Jeb begging and pleading Romney not to run and promising any amount of payoff if he didn’t.

    If you don’t want the establishment to have their guy, and no sane person wants that, you want Romney to run and split the establishment vote.

    1. If the GOP wishes to remain a viable political force, all establishment Republicans should resign themselves from politics as soon as the appropriate replacements can be found to take their places.

    2. And the money. Just what the GOP needs, another costly and embarrassing primary.

    1. Which of these three objects does not belong with the others?

      a) Scott Walker
      b) Ted Cruz
      c) Mitt Romney

      1. Scott Walker, because he’s not a member of a minority group.

        1. Mitt Romney’s a Native American?

          1. He’s a cyborg, created by the state to see how many people can be fooled into thinking he’s a real human being. A few people actually think he is human.

      2. Scott Walker
        Mitt Romney

  18. As governor, that’s what Romney did. He made a major upgrade to Massachusetts’ safety net as governor, designing, promoting, and signing into law a health care overhaul that would become the model for Obamacare.

    Tuuuuuuuuuulpaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  19. Mitt is like a reoccurring infection caused by Republicans repeatedly allowing Democrats to help choose their primary candidates for them.

  20. If Mitt becomes the Republican presidential nominee, then the Republican party will lose again to the Democrats.

    Very few Democrats will vote Republican and very few right wing voters will vote for Mitt.

    I’ve seen the reaction on a right wing christian forum already and there is strong concensus, nobody wants Mitt, nor do they want another Bush.

    Right wingers want a strong right wing nominee, someone that understands and implements fiscal responsibility, understands the constitution and will do everything in his/her power to protect and defend it.

    Think LTC Allen West.

  21. Mitt seems like a genuinely kind man, but as presidential material he can eat a bag of dicks.

  22. Romney and Dukakis should share a reality show. It is kind of funny that everyone but Mitt seems to know that he’s a lame duck candidate, as failed candidates have all the baggage and none of the political leverage of an actual president.

    I don’t see a Clinton/Obama-level politician in the GOP field. Cruz is by far the most polished, but he’s got an awful lot of sharp edges and has come across as shrill more than once even if he does run rings around his opponents in debates. Rand is sharp, but not a natural-born politician, and he’s not whore enough to be considered for the executive. I’d guess either Walker or Jindal, probably the former, but both of them strike me as canned in a way that Bill & Barry were able to avoid.

    We might be looking at another 2000, where both parties run a graceless B-team candidate. Maybe there’s some charming Republican dark horse waiting to make his appearance, but I don’t see a lot of raw political talent in the field. The Democrats are even worse off, of course.

    1. I don’t see a Clinton/Obama-level politician in the GOP field.

      I don’t see Obama as being on Clinton’s level. Clinton didn’t have the ocean of campaign cash to draw from nor the barely-disguised adoration of many in the mainstream media. Celebrities didn’t get behind Clinton in the beginning like they did with Obama.

      Given those assets, a lot of people would have won election twice.

      1. Yeah, I should not have put Obama on Clinton’s level politically.

        Clinton’s 2012 convention speech was a masterpiece that Obama could never accomplish in a million years. He’s an amateur compared to Bill, whose only real peer among recent presidents is Reagan (who was an even more accomplished politician, at least insofar as he could avoid the reptilian behavior & personal reputation that’s plagued Clinton).

        But Obama has quite a bit of skill in presenting himself as polished and put together. He’s the ultimate empty suit, and I don’t see anyone in the GOP who has that sort of glamorous appeal.

  23. I don’t want to feel sad for Mitt Romney again. Someone make him stop.

  24. Is there ANYTHING that Mitt hasn’t been FOR and AGAINST?

    Okay, Mitt, it’s time to quit,
    We’ve heard you spout all your s hi t.
    Upon each important point,
    You’ve been both for and agin’ it.

  25. my classmate’s sister makes $76 every hour on the laptop . She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her check was $13884 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to the website………

    http://www.Jobsyelp.com

  26. No, such a make-over would never, ever convince me. More acting, more lies. No substance, no conviction.

  27. Run Mitt, run. You’re just the person to pound the last nail into the GOP coffin so society can finally lay this dysfunctional organization to rest and we can move on to the Libertarian Party. You and Jeb are making Hillary ecstatic with this nonsense talk of running in 2016.

  28. Lets roll em up man, go for it.

    http://www.BestAnon.tk

  29. Once a douche bag, always a douche bag. The best I can hope for is that Romney makes Jeb say something that sinks his primary campaign and vice versa.

  30. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

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