Saturday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

South Pacific

South Pacific is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The plot draws from James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, combining elements of several of the stories in that book. The musical centers on an American nurse stationed at a U.S. Naval base during World War II who falls in love with an expatriate French plantation owner but struggles to accept his mixed-race children. A second romance concerns a U.S. lieutenant who falls in love with a young Asian woman. The issue of racial prejudice is candidly explored throughout the musical, most pointedly in the song, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”.

South Pacific is considered to be one of the greatest Broadway musicals.[1][2] The musical premiered in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. Several of its songs, including “Bali Ha’i”, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “Happy Talk”, “Younger than Springtime” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”, have become popular standards. The Broadway production won ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Libretto, and it is the only musical production ever to have won all four Tony Awards for acting. The show was a critical and box office hit and has since enjoyed many successful revivals and tours, spawning a 1958 film and other adaptations. The 2008 Broadway revival was a strong success, winning seven Tonys including Best Musical Revival.


BackgroundStage and film director Joshua Logan, a World War II veteran, read James Michener’s 1947 short story collection Tales of the South Pacific and decided to adapt it. He and producer Leland Hayward purchased the rights from Michener. They asked Rodgers to compose music for the work and Hammerstein to write the libretto; Hayward would produce, and Logan would serve as director and producer. Rodgers and Hammerstein accepted, and they began transforming the short stories “Fo’ Dolla” and “Our Heroine” into a unified tale. Since both stories were serious in tone, Michener agreed to include a third story about Luther Billis, a womanizing sailor.[3] Hammerstein knew very little about the U.S. Navy in World War II or about Nellie’s Southern dialect and culture. Rodgers asked Logan to help Hammerstein write the book, and Logan asked to be credited as co-author. Hammerstein agreed but added, “Of course, it goes without saying that you won’t get anything whatsoever of the author’s royalties.”[3]

Rodgers received a telephone call from Edwin Lester of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. He had signed recently retired Metropolitan Opera star Ezio Pinza for a new musical, but the musical fell through and, according to his contract, Pinza had to be paid $25,000 regardless of whether he actually performed. Lester was searching for a new vehicle for Pinza, and Rodgers and Hammerstein eagerly signed the singer to play Emile de Becque, the male lead.[4] Hammerstein had been particularly inspired by Mary Martin, having seen her wearing a gingham dress in the last scene of One Touch of Venus, and he wanted her to play Nellie Forbush, the female lead. Martin was busy playing Annie Oakley in the touring company of Annie Get Your Gun, but after Rodgers and Hammerstein auditioned three songs, “A Cockeyed Optimist”, “Some Enchanted Evening” and “Twin Soliloquies”, for Martin and her husband Richard Halliday, she accepted the role.[5] Although Nellie and Emile were already fully developed characters in Michener’s stories, during the creation of South Pacific Rodgers, Hammerstein and Logan began to adapt the roles specifically to the talents of Martin and Pinza, and to tailor the music for their voices.[6]

The musical explores the theme of racial prejudice in several ways. Nellie struggles to accept Emile’s mixed-race children. Another American serviceman, Lieutenant Cable, struggles with the prejudice that he would face if he were to marry an Asian woman. His song about this, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”, was criticized as too controversial for the musical stage and called indecent and pro-communist.[7] While the show was on a tour of the Southern United States, lawmakers in Georgia introduced a bill outlawing any entertainment containing “an underlying philosophy inspired by Moscow.”[8] One legislator said that “a song justifying interracial marriage was implicitly a threat to the American way of life.”[8] Rodgers and Hammerstein defended their work strongly. James Michener recalled, “The authors replied stubbornly that this number represented why they had wanted to do this play, and that even if it meant the failure of the production, it was going to stay in.”[8]

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43 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. rikyrah says:

    if you didn’t watch the concert for the Queen’s Jubilee, it’s replaying on ABC right now.

  2. rikyrah says:


    they’ve mad a movie of Les Miz with Hugh Jackman as Valjean and Russell Crowe as Javert!!

    yes yes yes!!

  3. rikyrah says:

    How a Couture Pioneer Changed Fashion

    She shopped at Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Valentino, Pucci, Emanuel Ungaro, and Pierre Cardin. She spent as much as $1.5 million a year on fashion in some years, her company estimates. But couturiers’ doors didn’t open easily for Eunice Johnson, because for a long time she was a rarity: an African-American fashion client.

    Mrs. Johnson, who died in 2010, ran the Ebony Fashion Fair, a runway show that traveled around the U.S. from 1958 to 2009, displaying high fashion for an African-American audience. The wife of publishing mogul John Johnson, founder of Ebony magazine, she bought some 7,000 items of clothing and accessories over her lifetime, for the show and for her personal collection.

    Now, curators at the Chicago History Museum are combing through her collection to create a March 2013 exhibition. Mrs. Johnson didn’t shy from cutting-edge fashion, and the trove includes dramatic Pierre Cardin and Emilio Pucci designs from the 1960s and 1970s. There is also a well-known “Picasso” dress from Yves Saint Laurent, a gown designed by Alexander McQueen during his brief stint as Givenchy’s creative director and two Paco Rabanne hot-pant ensembles made of plastic discs.

    “Anybody would be bowled over by what Mrs. Johnson was able to collect in her lifetime,” says Joy Bivins, the Chicago History Museum curator of the coming exhibition.
    [FASHION2] Johnson Publishing Company

    The collection also offers a window on a little-known moment in the civil-rights era when a rising class of African-Americans began to embrace a luxurious lifestyle that had been unavailable to them.

    “Black society was never able to participate, and Mrs. Johnson made her own society,” says model Pat Cleveland, who got her start modeling for the Ebony Fashion Fair in 1965 at age 14. “She was able to express what it was like to be able to be a luxurious woman.”

    Mrs. Johnson traveled to ateliers in Paris, Rome and Florence during the buying seasons. Some designers, like Yves Saint Laurent, welcomed her. Others took some convincing.

    We always had trouble getting in,” said Audrey Smaltz, a New York fashion-show coordinator who assisted with Mrs. Johnson’s buying trips and traveled with the fashion fair in the 1970s. She says their team used the high-circulation Ebony magazine as a calling card or worked through a Parisian liaison.

    Yves Saint Laurent was Mrs. Johnson’s favorite designer, says Linda Johnson Rice, Mrs. Johnson’s daughter and current chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of Ebony. “She would run backstage to greet him,” Mrs. Rice recalls, and he included her in events such as his 40th birthday party.

  4. rikyrah says:

    found this in the comments at TOD:

    June 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Sometimes it’s important to step away from all media and go out into the world to listen to real people. Today I registered voters at another street fair, this one in an all white, Republican leaning area. I didn’t expect much action and figured our efforts would largely be ignored. The Democratic booth had big Obama/Biden banners, yard signs, flags, and a carton full of Obama/Biden buttons, Veterans for Obama, Women for Obama and Latinos for Obama. The fair started at 9:00 in the morning and by 1:30 we were cleaned out. All Obama buttons were gone except for the Latinos (since there were no Latinos on the street). We had brisk volunteer signups (a rarity in our county) and a respectable number of new voters (since most were already registered). And what did we hear? Anger against the GOP, including both Romney and PA Governor Corbett about education cuts. Anger at the negativity coming from the GOP. Intense anger at the voter suppression coming from the various state houses. Vets were scarfing up the Vets for Obama buttons and when I commented that the president had done a lot for vets, they said, “he sure has.” I did not hear one breath of criticism of the president, only remarks that he was doing a good job against tremendous jobs. Only once in the entire day, did a Republican walk by and say Mitt Romney. The Republican booth had NOT ONE Romney sign, handout or button. Nada. Zilch. They had signs for local candidates but nothing for their presidential candidate, which truly stunned me.

    So what struck me was this. WE are focused on a lot of the beltway media, the emprogs, the cable nitwits, but ordinary people on the ground are not. They’re angry and they want to fight, but it’s the Republicans who are making them angry. The far right governors that the Koch brothers shepherded into office in 2010 are ending up being PBO’s biggest allies. They are making Republican governance so repulsive that people don’t want anymore of it. So my advice is go out your door and walk, run, or drive to your nearest OFA office and volunteer. Then go out and meet the people.

    Oh, and if you can, learn to make Obama buttons and if you’ve got extra cash, stock up on Obama/Biden bumper stickers. Someone once described these items as “chum” or bait that attracts other fish. The buttons drew people in, helped us to identify supporters and led to conversations that resulted in volunteers and new voters. I had so many on my chest I looked like a four-star general, but it got attention and did the job.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Bain Capital: the conventional wisdom may not be wise
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jun 8, 2012 12:30 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    When President Obama’s re-election campaign began criticizing Mitt Romney’s controversial private-sector background, the pushback was immediate. Republicans said it showed hostility towards capitalism; some high-profile Democrats balked; the many in the media predicted a public backlash.

    The political establishment quickly formed a consensus: talking about Romney’s history of leveraged buyouts and mass layoffs simply wouldn’t work.

    But there’s sometimes a gap between what Americans believe and what they’re told they’re supposed to believe, and this might be just such a development. ABC’s Amy Walters had an interesting report the other day:

    “Bill Clinton and many in the chattering class may think that the attacks on Mitt Romney’s record at Bain are a flop, but a group of women swing voters at two focus groups I watched last night suggest that they are working. While these women in Las Vegas and Richmond, Virginia still don’t know much about Mitt Romney, a number of them volunteered that they were concerned about what they had heard about Romney’s record from TV.

    Said Rebecca from Richmond, “the whole thing where factories have shut down — that concerns me.”

    Well, that’s just a couple of focus groups. Maybe it was a fluke.

    Or maybe there’s something more to this: “The Obama campaign’s jabs at Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital, which have been widely panned up and down the Acela Corridor, could work quite well in Ohio, judging by the latest survey from the bipartisan Purple Poll. Across the 12 battleground states the monthly poll surveys, 47% of likely voters said they agreed with the statement that private equity firms ‘care only about profits and short-term gains for investors. When they come in, workers get laid off, benefits disappear, and pensions are cut. Investors walk off with big returns, and working folks get stuck holding the bag.'”

  6. Ametia says:

    Roaming the blogosphere today and see a whole lot of this going on:

  7. Ametia says:

    Republicans Block Online Disclosure Of Campaign Television Ad Spending
    By Adam Peck on Jun 9, 2012 at 11:12 am

    The Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision has created a flood of television ad spending — hundreds of millions of dollars — from outside groups, corporations, and individuals. The Justices who voted for the decision and its supporters argue that disclosure is all voters need to make informed decisions. But yesterday, a panel of House Republicans moved to keep much of this spending in the dark.

    A new FCC guideline that would have forced the nation’s top television stations to list the funders behind political advertisements online.

    But the House Appropriations financial services subcommittee voted along party lines to prohibit the FCC from implementing their proposal to add another layer of transparency to the political ad process. Committee Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) argued that fiscal matters are private and should remain that way, according to the LA Times:

    The proposal, which had cleared the Federal Communications Commission in April, would require TV stations affiliated with the four top networks in the 50 largest markets to post political ad sales records online. Stations are already required to make the records available to the public upon request, but most stations keep them in paper files, making it difficult to compile and track the information.

  8. Ametia says:

    The G.O.P.’s Gay Trajectory
    Published: June 9, 2012

    OVER the past year, the main story line in the push for marriage equality has been the ardor and success with which leading Democratic politicians have taken up the fight. The Democratic governors of New York, Maryland and Washington all promoted and signed same-sex marriage laws, for which President Obama expressed his support last month.

    But the progress within Republican ranks has also been pivotal, not to mention fascinating. And a compelling character in that subplot just added a new twist to the narrative, one that suggests the rapidly changing political dynamics of this issue and its potential import to a party dogged by an image of being culturally out of touch.

    That character is Paul E. Singer, 67, a billionaire hedge fund manager who is among the most important Republican donors nationwide. In just one Manhattan fund-raiser last month, he helped to collect more than $5 million for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.

    He steadfastly supports conservative candidates. He also steadfastly supports gay rights in general and marriage equality in particular. Along with a few other leading Wall Street financiers, he contributed and helped drum up the majority of the money — more than $1 million — that fueled the campaign for same-sex marriage in New York.

    He has given nearly $10 million of his own money to gay-rights initiatives, including the same-sex marriage efforts not only in New York but also in New Hampshire and New Jersey. And that figure doesn’t include his assistance in tapping a broad network of donors for individual candidates. He was pivotal in rounding up about $250,000 apiece for the Republican state senators in New York whose votes for same-sex marriage provided its margin of victory in the Legislature.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Romney calls for fewer cops, firefighters, and teachers
    By Steve Benen

    Fri Jun 8, 2012 4:12 PM EDT

    The rules of the political discourse apparently dictate that the story that matters today is President Obama saying the private sector is “fine” relative to the public sector is The Scandal That Matters. It’s a dumb story, and reporters obsessing over seem to realize it’s a dumb story, but the train has apparently left the station.

    If anyone’s looking for more meaningful quotes from presidential candidates, Mitt Romney’s line today on public-sector jobs is arguably one of the more important things the Republican has said in a very long time

    For those who can’t watch clips online, Romney said of Obama:

    “[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people

    Let’s be clear about this: Romney is rejecting the idea of saving the jobs of cops, firefighters, and teachers. He sees this as an applause line. The Republican nominee for president believes we can “help the American people” by laying off, not just public-sector workers in general, but specifically cops, firefighters, and teachers.

    As Greg Sargent explained, Romney “has singlehandedly reframed the debate from one over despised government bureaucrats to one over whether we should hire more cops, firefighters and teachers to get the economy going.”

    Here’s a radical idea I’ll just throw out there: maybe during the race for the White House, candidates and media professionals can spend a little time on this. I mean, honestly, isn’t this one of the more important positions Romney has taken all year?

    I’ll make this really easy: Dear Mr. Romney, please explain why America will be better off when more teachers, cops, and firefighters are unemployed.

    It reminded me of a story from a month ago. Romney stopped by a Manhattan fire station with Rudy Giuliani — by pure coincidence, it coincided with the anniversary of the mission that killed Osama bin Laden — and reflected on one of the conversations he had with a firefighter.

    Speaking at a Ritz Carlton fundraiser in a wealthy D.C. suburb the next day, the Republican said, “I spoke with a fireman yesterday, and he has a one-bedroom apartment, and his wife is pregnant, and he can’t afford a second bedroom. I asked the firefighters I was meeting with, about 15 of them, how many had had to take another job to make ends meet, and almost every one of them had.”

    As of this afternoon, Romney believe he can “help the American people” by making sure that some of those firefighters are laid off.

    I can’t stress the importance of this enough, because it underscores so much of what the 2012 presidential campaign is all about. President Obama’s American Jobs Act intended to protect or create 400,000 jobs for school teachers, police officers, and firefighters. A CNN poll taken at the time found that 75% of the public — and 63% of self-identified Republicans — endorsed this jobs proposal.

    Romney isn’t just against these jobs; he’s bragging about his opposition, assuming this line is popular.

    Elections have been fought over less.

  10. Ametia says:

    Why the Public’s Growing Disdain for the Supreme Court May Help Obamacare
    NationofChange / Op-Ed
    Published: Saturday 9 June 2012

    The public’s growing disdain of the Supreme Court increases the odds that a majority will uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare.

    The latest New York Times CBS Poll shows just 44 percent of Americans approve the job the Supreme Court is doing. Fully three-quarters say justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal political views.

    The trend is clearly downward. Approval of the Court reached 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 had slipped to around 50 percent.

    As the Times points out, the decline may stem in part from Americans’ growing distrust in recent years of major institutions in general and the government in particular.

    But it’s just as likely to reflect a sense that the Court is more political, especially after it divided in such partisan ways in the 5-4 decisions Bush v. Gore (which decided the 2000 presidential race) and Citizen’s United (which in 2010 opened the floodgates to unlimited campaign spending).

  11. rikyrah says:

    Michigan just got weirder
    By Laura Conaway

    Fri Jun 8, 2012 5:03 PM EDT

    The dispute is over the letter N. This one is a letter press 10-point Kabel.

    In a long-awaited ruling, a Michigan appeals court today said that the font size on a petition to overturn state Republicans’ soupe-up emergency manager law is too small, but that the referendum should go on the ballot anyway. The court wrote, in an essence, that the statutes require them to consider that the people circulating the petition tried to comply substantially with the requirements, and thus their signatures on it should count.

    That’s weird part number one. Weird part number two is that the court then stayed its own ruling so it can poll all 28 members of the appeals court on whether to form a special seven-member panel to consider the case. Eclectablog, a Democratic activist and blogger, calls it a stalling move. He writes:

    This delays even further any final ruling. By doing this, they reduce the amount of time opponents of PA 4 will have to get out the vote for the cause and, conceivably could delay a ruling for so long that it might be too late to get on the ballot no matter what the ruling. Keep in mind that, no matter what the final decision is, it will likely go to the state supreme court.

    And it’s true that this matter is dragging on. The hyper-partisan Board of State Canvassers, with its competing conflicts of interest, deadlocked on the petitions back on April 26. The appeals court heard the case on May 17, and folks expected a decision within a week or so. The referendum would go on the November ballot, and at this point every week counts.

    On the other hand, you could also see in this decision signs that Michigan is wrestling with the way it governs. That the elections board threw out the petitions despite sworn testimony from the printer that the font size was right, and having concurring internal advice from a Michigan State graphics professor, suggests that there are limits to how far a hyper-partisan strategy for running a state can go. Likewise, Michigan judges are elected and come with party ties. If and when the case reaches the state Supreme Court, it’ll find a bench that is whose majority was nominated by Republicans.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Mitt Romney Thinks High Private Sector Growth and 4.3 Million New Jobs is a “Moral Failure of Tragic Proportions”
    By ABL 2.0 June 9th, 2012

    Mitt Romney is a liar. Lately, I’m finding it physically painful to listen to this man speak, or to read his remarks because he is shameless, unethical, and a bald-faced liar. It is unclear who Romney thinks he’s running against, but it is clear that he is not running against President Obama. At least, he’s not running against “IRL” President Obama. Mitt Romney is running against a strawman, all the while erecting strawmen and promptly setting them on fire.

    Take Mittens’ comments on Thursday about President Obama’s economic policies:

    Mitt Romney today declared that the floundering economy under President Obama is not just a “failure of policy” but a “moral failure of tragic proportion,” though he offered few new details as to what he would do differently as president.

    “This president’s misguided policies have seem muddled, confused and simply ineffective,” said Romney, speaking at the minority-run Production Products, a military contractor that manufactures shelters to shield from chemical and biological attacks, among others.

    “When you look around at America’s economy, three-and-a-half years into this presidency, it’s painfully obvious that this inexperienced president with no experience as a leader was simply not up to the task of solving a great economic crisis,” said Romney. “This is not just a failure of policy; it is a moral failure of tragic proportion. Our government has a moral commitment to help every American help himself. And that commitment has been broken.”

    “I will not be that president of doubt and deception,” said Romney. “I will lead us to a better place

    Or take Romney’s comments yesterday after President Obama’s rhetorical “the private sector is doing fine” slip-up in a press conference:

    “For the president of the United States to stand up and say that the private sector is doing fine is going to go down in history as an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a president who is out of touch, and we’re going to take back this country and get America working again,” Romney said.

    After you stop laughing at Mr. Roboto calling President Obama out of touch, let’s take a look at the effect of President Obama’s economic policies. (Don’t groan! Stick with it. It’s not that bad. The links in the list below are charts):

    The private sector has been adding jobs steadily since the end of Obama’s first year, and today there are more private sector jobs than there were before Obama took office.

    The public sector, on the other hand, has fallen off a cliff: Total government employment is far below where it was when Obama started office.

    Excluding federal government workers, the decline in government employment is downright disastrous.

    State and local spending levels are at an all-time low.

    Education workers are a huge contributor to the decline in local employment.

    President Obama’s stimulus helped for a while, but it wasn’t enough.

    Also: school construction spending is on the decline, spending on roads is down, public sector spending on public safety (firefighters and police) has collapsed, and public construction on the water supply is way down.

    So, relatively speaking, the private sector is doing fine. The public sector, on the other hand, is a disaster. What party is responsible for the failure in the public sector? The GOP. The party led by this fucking guy:

    “[Obama] wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, and more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

  13. Ametia says:

    YeP, Chris, my dad told me the same thing. You don’t wait for the judges, you Knock them mutha…f*&kas out.

  14. Ametia says:

    MHP has a panel of Mormons on this morning.

  15. Ametia says:

    Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought
    By Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Published: June 8

    As Sen. Sam Ervin completed his 20-year Senate career in 1974 and issued his final report as chairman of the Senate Watergate committee, he posed the question: “What was Watergate?”

    Countless answers have been offered in the 40 years since June 17, 1972, when a team of burglars wearing business suits and rubber gloves was arrested at 2:30 a.m. at the headquarters of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office building in Washington. Four days afterward, the Nixon White House offered its answer: “Certain elements may try to stretch this beyond what it was,” press secretary Ronald Ziegler scoffed, dismissing the incident as a “third-rate burglary.”

    History proved that it was anything but. Two years later, Richard Nixon would become the first and only U.S. president to resign, his role in the criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice — the Watergate coverup — definitively established.

    Another answer has since persisted, often unchallenged: the notion that the coverup was worse than the crime. This idea minimizes the scale and reach of Nixon’s criminal actions.

  16. Ametia says:

    Ok, South Pacific is on my top 10 list of favorite broadway musicals! Thank you, rikyrah. :-)

  17. rikyrah says:

    Posted at 03:25 PM ET, 06/08/2012
    Mitt Romney: We don’t need more cops, firefighters or teachers
    By Greg Sargent

    When Republicans attack public workers, they often take care to exempt cops and firefighters, because they are culturally sympathetic figures, and muddle the message that government workers are parasites who are destroying the economic conditions of ordinary Americans.

    But today Mitt Romney got a good deal more specific, claiming we do not need to hire more cops or firefighters specifically, which would, he said, cut against the interests of the American people. He also specifically named teachers.

    Romney made the comments in response to Obama’s presser today, at which the president claimed the “private sector is doing fine.” Per CNN:

    Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

    It’s hard to argue that the message from Wisconsin was that Americans don’t think we should hire more firefighters and cops. They were exempted from Scott Walker’s crackdown on public employee bargaining rights, which enabled him to “divide and conquer” labor.

    But beyond that, this could resonate in the presidential race: It will allow the White House to reframe the debate over public sector workers and job creation on more favorable terms.

    One of the components of the American Jobs Act that Obama continues to demand that Republicans pass would invest $35 billion in federal funds to keep cops, firefighters, and teachers on the job. Republicans, Romney included, oppose this plan. Central to their argument against this type of investment is to keep the focus on public sector workers as a class, arguing that they are bilking the taxpayer and are to blame for the economic plight of struggling Americans. As Romney recently put it: “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.”

    At the same time, however, Romney takes care to show great sympathy with first responders. As Jonathan Chait has noted, Romney has spoken movingly of the financial plight of firefighters under Obama, even though they belong to the parasitic class that he is trying to scapegoat for the economic misery of other Americans. Since teachers are associated with the education of our children, Republicans generally refrain from attacking them directly and instead target teachers union bosses. And in his quest for the female vote, Romney has spoken sympathetically about women bearing the brunt of the Obama economy, even though many of them are teachers, and hence, public workers, too.

    This time, however, Romney deserves points for honesty: He has forthrightly declared that the class of government workers holding back other Americans does include cops, firefighters and teachers. And in so doing, he has singlehandedly reframed the debate from one over despised government bureaucrats to one over whether we should hire more cops, firefighters and teachers to get the economy going. This is a debate the White House will be happy to have.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Romney dodged the draft
    First he didn’t “desire” to serve, but didn’t evade it. Then he “longed” to go. The truth: He got four deferments
    By Joan Walsh

    Mitt Romney changed his story on poverty in St. Louis Thursday. Where in February, during the GOP primary, he said “I’m not concerned about the very poor,” today he called rising poverty rates “a moral failure” – and blamed it on President Obama. But Romney supports Paul Ryan’s budget, which would slash food stamps, Head Start, Medicaid, nutrition programs for pregnant women and their children, and his tax plan would raise taxes on the poor and working class while giving himself an extra $5 million or so. Mitt, you got it right the first time: You’re not concerned about the very poor.

    But Romney’s shifting stories on his Vietnam status could have real political consequences, as an Associated Press expose revealing that he sought and got four deferments from military service during the Vietnam War gets more play. It’s not the deferments that will hurt – Dick Cheney got five. It’s the fact that over the years, Romney has lied about it.

    AP politely says his story has “evolved,” but tracks the puzzling changes. Running for president in 2007, Romney told the Boston Globe, “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there, and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.”

    But in 1994, running against Ted Kennedy for his Massachusetts Senate seat while in his “I’m not a typical Republican” phase, he admitted “it was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” Fair enough: His father, George Romney, turned against the war, and so did a lot of Republicans (even if party hawks would later try to hang the “loss” of Vietnam on the antiwar left and their Democratic enablers). Indeed, in 1970, at 23, Romney told the Globe, ”If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is.”

    But while telling the truth about his lack of “desire to go off and serve” in 1994, Romney lied again, telling the Boston Herald he didn’t “take any actions to remove myself from the pool of young men who were eligible for the draft.” That’s absolutely not true. He got his first deferment while at Stanford University, where in his prep-school prankster phase he counter-protested a Vietnam draft protest. That’s another lie, in a way: While posing as pro-draft and pro-war, he was evading the draft with an “activity in study” deferment. After his freshman year, he got deferment status as “a minister of religion or divinity student,” which he’d keep while working in France as a missionary for his Mormon church.

    Yet the AP reveals that other young Mormons were denied that deferment. And since the church itself strongly supported the war, its leaders eventually limited such deferments, but Romney kept his.

    After his religious deferment, he got another academic deferment to finish school. By the time he was draft eligible, troop numbers were declining, and his lottery number was never called.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Thursday, June 07, 2012
    Romney Rules

    Weekly, Steve Benen tallies up the latest instances of Mitt’s Mendacity. At longer intervals, the Dish flags Romneys Big Lies, the core myths of his case against an imaginary Obama. I find the laser focus on lying a little narrow: the modes of Mitt’s deception are manifold. As a private equity chief, Romney was a master of playing a rigged game, or of himself rigging games in his firm’s favor; he has carried that skill to the political arena. He would have the election played by Romney Rules, compiled below.

    1. Context doesn’t matter. Anything you say I may use against you, e.g., by making it sound like you said the opposite.

    2. My record shall be judged by different standards from that of my opponent. For example, job losses in my first year in office don’t count; in his, they shall define his entire record.

    3. What I said 18, 10, 4, or 3 years ago doesn’t matter. Erase it from your mind. I’ve been as consistent as human beings (all three of me) can be.

    4. When confronted directly with past positions that seem to contradict current ones, I may so thoroughly bend the positions back against each other that none shall be able to penetrate my paradoxes.

    5. I may erase the memory of my record of past moderation by attacking my opponents for their imagined moderation.

    6. It’s not my responsibility to counter the lies, smears, paranoid delusions or bloodthirstiness of my supporters.

    7. I may myself endlessly repeat wild accusations about my opponent that have no basis in fact. Relatedly, I may draw an endless series of false contrasts (on healthcare, Detroit rescue, stimulus) between my policies and his.

    8. I may refrain from taking a stand on pending legislation that, if passed, will have a profound impact on Americans’ lives.

    9. I may promise enormous new tax cuts and call them “revenue neutral” without spelling out the correspondingly enormous tax loophole closures needed to offset those cuts — or the enormous spending cuts that even a “revenue neutral” deficit reduction plan would require.

    10. I may lie with impunity to the American people for months and years — and be rewarded with the presidency.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Greg Saunders @waltisfrozen

    Romney gaffes are when he shows how out of touch he is. Obama gaffes are when he makes a point too complicated for reporters to understand.

    • Ametia says:

      AND ….the reporters don’t want to understand. They have been trained to pick a soundbite , twist it into a negative, create beucoup drama, and run with it. They cater to the fearful and the ignorant, who don’t have the INTELLIGENCE to get the information and discern their own truths.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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