Saturday, September 29, 2012

Experts say Mayans prophesized, but not the end of the world

This is a fun story from Yahoo News:
MEXICO CITY (AP) — As the clock winds down to Dec. 21, experts on the Mayan calendar have been racing to convince people that the Mayas didn't predict an apocalypse for the end of this year.
Some experts are now saying the Mayas may indeed have made prophecies, just not about the end of the world.

Archaeologists, anthropologists and other experts met Friday in the southern Mexico city of Merida to discuss the implications of the Mayan Long Count calendar, which is made up of 394-year periods called baktuns.

Experts estimate the system starts counting at 3114 B.C., and will have run through 13 baktuns, or 5,125 years, around Dec. 21. Experts say 13 was a significant number for the Mayans, and the end of that cycle would be a milestone — but not an end.

Fears that the calendar does point to the end have circulated in recent years. People in that camp believe the Maya may have been privy to impending astronomical disasters that would coincide with 2012, ranging from explosive storms on the surface of the sun that could knock out power grids to a galactic alignment that could trigger a reversal in Earth's magnetic field.

Mexican government archaeologist Alfredo Barrera said Friday that the Mayas did prophesize, but perhaps about more humdrum events like droughts or disease outbreaks.

"The Mayas did make prophecies, but not in a fatalistic sense, but rather about events that, in their cyclical conception of history, could be repeated in the future," said Barrera, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

Experts stressed that the ancient Mayas, whose "classic" culture of writing, astronomy and temple complexes flourished from A.D. 300 to 900, were extremely interested in future events, far beyond Dec. 21.

"There are many ancient Maya monuments that discuss events far into the future from now," wrote Geoffrey Braswell, an anthropologist at the University of California, San Diego. "The ancient Maya clearly believed things would happen far into the future from now."
It is true.  The Mayans did make prophesies about future events, which probably did not mean the end of the world.  Maybe the Mayans were making prophesies about Hollywood making bad, disaster movies about the "End-of-the-World."  Perhaps the Mayans knew about 2012:

Or the Day After Tomorrow (which probably never came after 2012):

Or perhaps the Mayans were just channeling their inner REM: 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Firday's Romneyism, Part Deux--George W. Bush polls more favorably than Mitt Romney

I really don't have much of a comment on this story:
For all the talk about whether Mitt Romney should distance himself from George W. Bush –and the policies of the last GOP White House — a new survey shows that the former president actually has better favorability ratings than the Republican nominee.
A Bloomberg News National Poll released Wednesday has Bush receiving a favorable rating from 46 percent of those surveyed and an unfavorable rating from 49 percent. That’s compared to Romney’s 43 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
When you're polling behind one of the worst presidents in modern American history, you've got a serious problem.

Friday's Romneyism--Mitt Blames Obama for Mitt's losing campaign

I somehow missed this September 23, New York Times story:
Speaking to reporters as his private charter plane flew from Los Angeles to Denver, Mr. Romney blamed his relatively languid campaign schedule — five public events in the past seven days, compared with 11 fund-raisers — on the president’s decision to opt out of the federal campaign finance system four years ago, and criticized Mr. Obama for, he said, “trying to fool people into thinking that I think things I don’t.”
Asked why he was behind in the polls in most swing states, Mr. Romney accused the Obama campaign of distorting his record.
“I think that the president’s campaign has focused its advertising in many cases on very inaccurate portrayals of my positions,” he said. “They’ve been very aggressive in their attacks both on a personal basis and on a policy basis. I think as time goes on, people will realize that those attacks are not accurate and we’ll be able to have a choice which is based upon each other’s accurate views for the future of country.”
So let me get this straight.  Mitt Romney is losing the race because President Obama is fooling voters into thinking the opposite of  Romney's campaign positions? Excuse me Mittens, but the only reason you are losing is because you have consistently contradicted yourself.  You have contradicted yourself on the Flat Tax, abortion, Massachusetts health care, Don't Ask Don't Tell, when Romney left Bain Capital, Medicare, and even Romney's own tax policy.  Does Mitt Romney sincerely believe in one thing--other than Mittens is entitled to the keys to the Oval Office?  Now as the contradictions are coming back to haunt him, Mittens is blaming Obama for his own campaign incompetence. 

Then there is this interesting bit of information:
Mr. Romney also criticized the president for opting out of the federal campaign finance system four years ago. Now, both Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama have opted out, a decision Mr. Romney blames for his light campaign schedule, which has come under scrutiny by fellow Republicans.
“I’d far rather be spending my time out in the key swing states campaigning, door-to-door if necessary, but in rallies and various meetings, but fund-raising is a part of politics when your opponent decides not to live by the federal spending limits,” he said.
So it is also President Obama's fault in forcing you to attend fundraisers to raise money for your losing campaign because President Obama opted out of federal spending limits--just as you have also opted out of federal spending limits--which means you can't go door-to-door in spreading your campaign message, which Obama is also distorting.  Of course, Mittens, if you so desperate for money, you can always use some of the $230 - $250 million of your own personal wealth to fund the campaign, so you can go door-to-door and spread your contradictory message to confused, American voters.

Obama ad: Let Mitt beat Mitt....

Obama ad:  Let Mitt beat Mitt....

I do not usually post political ads, but the Obama campaign has released a political ad that shows the shifting, contradictory positions of Mitt Romney.  Via Daily Kos:

If there ever is a crux of why Mitt appears to be losing, then this is it.  Mittens says one thing, then the Romney campaign issues a press release, stating Mitt Romney really meant to say the opposite.  Or Mitt makes one statement one day, then contradicts himself on the other day.  Toss in some of his snide, condescending remarks about middle-class or poor Americans, and you've got a walking disaster for a presidential candidate. 

Update:  Steve Benen provides a wonderful list of Mitt Romney's contradictions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Wednesday Romneyism....Ryan! Ryan! Ryan!

I found this video off Talking Points Memo, and I just had to share:

Yes, that is MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, with his face in his hands, saying, "Sweet Jesus!" It seems like Mitt Romney has become the Rodney Dangerfield of politicians in this election.  Except that Rodney Dangerfield was respected and funny in portraying his self-depreciating humor. Mitt Romney is neither respected, nor is he funny in this campaign rally. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A weekend of Romneyisms....

This is going to be a quick posting, highlighting some of the latest news stories I've seen on Mittens--all are still going badly for the GOP presidential candidate. 

The first big story was the Friday afternoon news dump of Mitt Romney publishing his 2011 tax return.  Yes, Mittens is only showing the American people his tax return for last year, while demanding his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, hand over 10 years of his tax returns to the Romney campaign, and Mitt Romney handed over 23 years of tax returns to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign to be vetted for the vice presidential nomination.  There were some interesting scrutinizing over Romney's tax returns--like the fact that Romney apparently "overpaid" his taxes, boosting his effective tax rate from 9 percent to 14 percent.  Had Romney taken all the deductions he was legally entitled to, his effective tax rate would have been 9 percent.  Instead, Romney padded his 2011 tax return with more taxes.  As Steve Benen said:
But that would have proven politically problematic, so purely for show, he deliberately overpaid the IRS, in order to increase his tax rate, on purpose. Romney was in the rather extraordinary position of selecting his own preferred tax rate, and then working backwards from there.
In other words, Romney chose to under-deduct and overpay his tax bill because he's running for office for Pete's sake. That's not my argument; that's the Romney campaign's argument.
Mitt's Romneyism for purposely overpaying his taxes was, "I don't pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don't think I'd be qualified to become president."

There is also the small matter of Mitt Romney presenting a doctor's note, summarizing his tax liability for a 20-year period from 1990 to 2009.  This summary shows Romney paid a lowest annual federal tax rate of 13.66 percent, while Romney donated an average of 13.45 percent of their income to charity.  Of course, Mittens does not provide any income information, investments, tax shelters, or any sort of data to support his doctor's note.  Not to mention that some tax experts are saying that Romney "could still deduct the unclaimed amount of his charitable donations in future tax years."  So if Mittens loses this election, he could still take his 2011 deductions after the election, and still see his tax rate drop down to 9 percent.

Of course, our next Romneyism is that for Mittens, it is only fair that he is taxed at a lower rate, while the rest of the country pays more.  From 60 Minutes, via Americablog:
(PELLEY) Now you made, on your investments, personally, about $20 million last year. And you paid 14% in federal taxes. That's the capital gains rate. Is that fair to the guy who makes $50,000 and paid a higher rate than you did?

(ROMNEY) It is a low rate. And one of the reasons why the capital gains tax rate is lower is because capital has already been taxed once at the corporate level, as high as 35%.

( PELLEY) So you think it is fair.

(ROMNEY) Yeah, I-- I think it's the right way to encourage economic growth-- to get people to invest, to start businesses, to put people to work.
Only the little people pay taxes, eh Mittens?

Our third Romneyism is again on taxes.  This time, Mittens ended up listing U.S.A as a foreign country on his 2011 tax return.  So if Mitt Romney is running for President of the U.S.A, then why is he listing the U.S.A as a foreign country on his U.S.A 2011 tax return?

Our fourth Romneyism is not about taxes, but about how happy Mittens is about being extremely wealthy and famous.  From YouTube:

Let me type out this quote:
"I used to think that becoming rich and becoming famous would make me happy. Boy was I right."
The comment was made well before Mittens even started running his 2011 presidential campaign, coming from a St. Patrick's Day breakfast, when Romney was still governor of Massachusetts.  Still, the surfacing of this video again shows both an arrogance, and a narcissism that Romney conveys--and he's totally clueless about it, or how reflects on his future political reputation.  Or maybe he just does not care about what the average American little people really think about him--he is entitled to the divine right of kings, and the Oval Office.

Our fifth Romneyism is a rather hypocritical flip-flop.  This story is from CBS 29, Los Angeles, via Americablog:
BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came to the Golden State for a two-day series of high-profile fundraisers and reportedly took a shot at California in front of a $25,000 a ticket crowd in Del Mar.

Romney “took a pretty big shot at California,” according to a pool reporter.

“He said that under President Obama we’re becoming a lot more European and that the state of California was something he didn’t want to see the rest of the U.S. look like in a few years,” a pool reporter related.
So Mittens Romney has just slammed California for being a socialist, European state, that he did not want to see expand into the rest of the U.S.  Yet  he is happy to collect campaign contributions from those same Californians that he views as "socialist."  Romney took in $6 million from a Beverly Hills, CALIFORNIA fundraiser on Saturday night,  and he visited Hillsborough, CALIFORNIA, for a private fundraiser, where tickets for the event cost between $1,000 and $50,000 per person.  This private fundraiser was also closed to the media.  So Mittens, if you are so angry at California becoming a socialist, European state, why are coming to California with your hat in hand, asking for money from the citizens in that socialist, European state? 

But the biggest Romneyism for this weekend, really came out today.  First, the back story.  On Friday, Ann Romney's aircraft had to make an emergency landing in Colorado, when smoke from an electrical fire started filling the cockpit.  That is a pretty scary emergency, but the plane landed safely and everyone was okay.  Mitt Romney attended a Beverly Hills fundraiser, on Saturday, and was asked to comment on the emergency.   According to the L.A. Times:
Romney’s wife, Ann, was in attendance, and the candidate spoke of the concern he had for her when her plane had to make an emergency landing Friday en route to Santa Monica because of an electrical  malfunction.

“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.”
You can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open?  I don't know why they don't do that.  It's a real problem.  So it's very dangerous.   Uh...Mittens?  Aircraft cabins are pressurized so passengers can breath at high altitudes.  Remember Payne Stewart?  Stewart and five others were killed when their Learjet experienced a gradual loss of cabin pressure, causing everyone to become were incapacitated due to hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen.  The plane flew for four hours, before crashing in South Dakota when the aircraft ran out of fuel.  That is why there are no windows on jet aircraft. 

I'm sure that Mittens is also happy that is wife was safe, after the emergency.  And he is certainly right that there is no place to go, when you have a fire in an aircraft.  But then Mittens goes into stupid in asking why there are no windows on jet aircraft?  And let's not forget that jet is probably traveling at around 500 miles per hour--talk about a nice breeze flowing into the cabin.  This is just a WTF was Mitt Romney thinking of? Of course, Daily Kos has a posting here, and one here showing the responses to Mitten's airplane moment.

But if Mittens needs a visual response:

I swear, this Romney campaign is heading directly into the Twilight Zone....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mitt's rescue plan is more campaign appearances over fundraising?

In my posting Romney campaign imploding, I noted a Real Clear Politics story, stating that the Romney campaign will be concentrating on fundraising over that of campaign rallies.  Now a Politico story has come out, contradicting that first claim:
After taking a beating for comments he privately wishes he never made and from conservative critics he wishes he could muzzle, Mitt Romney and his campaign are settling on a rescue plan to show more of him — in ads, speeches and campaign appearances. A big focus, according to campaign officials, will be on Romney talking a lot more about how his ideas will help regular Americans who remain deeply suspicious of him.

The aim: Switch the emphasis from Washington policies to personal pocketbooks. Look for a heavy emphasis on jobs and specific ways to cut government spending.
“He has to own his message for people, especially women, to buy the messenger,” one top adviser said.
A campaign official said: “In a lot of the current survey data, there’s a desire among the electorate to know more about Mitt in terms of how he would lead. Over the next six weeks, the campaign is going to provide a lot more of that.”
Aides also expect more joint appearances by Romney and running mate Paul Ryan – most likely in the swing states of Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The plan, described by top aides and advisers in interviews this week, is an acknowledgment that Romney is in enough of a hole that he cannot depend on the presidential debates to turn his candidacy around. In fact, Romney, who recently did five mock debates in a 48-hour period to practice, has confided to advisers that it may be hard to win a debate because every attack against President Barack Obama will seem stale while the attacks on him will seem fresher and newsier to a hostile media.
Instead, Romney plans to dial back on fundraisers and vastly increase his personal appearances — on the stump and in ads — to convince what’s left of the undecided voters that Obama has been a disappointment and that he has a specific plan that is less risky than the status quo.
 It is almost like the hole that Mitt Romney has dug for himself has got half the campaign staff digging the hole deeper, and the other half of the staff filling the hole in with the freshly dug dirt. One Republican adviser said, "We are going to look back at this as the week he got his act together, or the beginning of the end."  The campaign is trying to calm nerves among top donors.  At a fundraising breakfast in New York, Friday, a will-Mitt-win poll was taken at one table of 10 men, where each paid at least $2,500, and some raised up to $50,000 for the campaign.  None of the 10 men said yes. 

Mitt Romney's got a perception problem--people think he is not going to win. The Libyan controversy and the unplugged video has pretty much sealed that perception problem.  Look at top Republican leaders who have criticized Romney on his 47 percent comment--Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, Mo. Senator Roy Blunt, William Kristol, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (who excused himself and did not take any questions from reporters), and even conservative columnist Peggy Noonan, who called the Romney campaign "an incompetent one."  Do any of these conservatives actually believe what Mitt Romney said in the video?  It does not matter--they at least know you do not say such a thing in public, for the American people to see.  The campaign is scrambling to reassure conservatives, but the conservatives are not buying it.  “We will, if you get your act together,” is the response.  The problem, as Politico points out, is that those same conservative pundits, politicians, and donors, have latched on to Mitt Romney as "a vessel for their ambitions to defeat Obama...."  They had an overwhelming desire to make President Obama a one-term president that they supported a stuffy, arrogant, wooden stick, who had no charisma, to run as their own.  Mitt Romney is not a man of the people--he could not even play-act a "man of the people's" candidate as a means to fulfill his political ambitions.  Now with the entire campaign crashing down on itself, is there even enough time, or even a campaign strategy, to reboot Mitt Romney before the election?

Tim Pawlenty leaving the Romney campaign

Talk about a top rat leaving a sinking SS Romney ship:
Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, is resigning as a national co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to take a job in Washington as a top lobbyist for a group representing banks and financial companies.

Mr. Palwenty’s new role as President and chief executive of the Financial Services Roundtable was announced by the organization Thursday morning. In a statement, the group said that Mr. Pawlenty would step down from his role at Mr. Romney’s campaign because the organization is bipartisan.

“My time in public service was rewarding and focused on achieving results,” Mr. Pawlenty said in the statement. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve, but I am now moving on and committed to focusing fully on this new opportunity.”

In a statement issued by Mr. Romney’s campaign, Mr. Pawlenty added: “My work with Mitt has been a privilege. Mitt Romney is a truly good man and great leader. As the campaign moves into the home stretch, he has my full support and continued faith in his vision and his policies.”

Mr. Palwenty was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination last year but dropped out of the race early after a disappointing performance at the Iowa straw poll. He endorsed Mr. Romney early in the fall of 2011 and campaigned for him during the height of the primaries.

He was also on the short list to be Mr. Romney’s vice-presidential running mate. But despite an aggressive campaigning effort by Mr. Pawlenty earlier this year, Mr. Romney passed him over in favor of Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.

In a brief interview at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last month, Mr. Pawlenty played down his role on Mr. Romney’s behalf.

“I’m just a volunteer,” he told The Caucus, “so I’ve got other stuff I’ve got to do. So as my schedule allows, I’ll go out and do surrogate speaking.”
Pawlenty was a general conservative, and a third-tier presidential candidate for the 2012 GOP primaries.  He, with possibly every other GOP presidential candidate has-been, were probably all on Romney's short-list for VP candidates that could inspire any type of enthusiasm among the fanatics and Tea Party voters. T-Paw threw his hat into the Romney ring, campaigned for him, and probably dreamed of a strong cabinet position within the future Romney administration.  But with the disaster of Romney's unplugged video, I'm guessing T-Paw has decided that the grass is greener with the bank lobbying industry.  Look at the timing--Pawlenty leaves a top, Romney campaign position two days after the video disaster story.  Top rat leaving a sinking ship!  Again, this is not going to be good for the Romney campaign trying to reboot their floundering campaign with having to perform more damage control spin. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Roger Simon at Politico: Mitt is down; out looms next

This is from Roger Simon at Politico:

The wheels are not coming off the Mitt Romney campaign. They came off some time ago. The press is just beginning to notice.

The Romney campaign is skidding along on its axles and scraping its muffler. Soon it will be down to the dog on the roof.

I hate to say I told you so. No, scratch that. I love to say I told you so. I just don’t get to do it very often.

But as I have been saying for a while now, Mitt Romney is a deeply flawed candidate who got the Republican nomination by beating a ludicrously weak field. Don’t believe me?

You know who came in second? Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich was third, and Ron Paul was fourth. That’s not a field; that’s a therapy group.

Romney’s defects as a nominee, which I will get to in a moment, were obvious, but considered unimportant because he really did not have to attract voters. Instead, voters would flock to him.

They would be driven to him by a bad economy and a lack of jobs, jobs, jobs. The latter was the Romney campaign’s magical incantation that would make up for any of its own faults and deficiencies.


Jobs, jobs, jobs, the Romney team chanted. That would solve everything. That would make voters desert Obama in droves. And it did not matter that the evidence suggested otherwise. Unemployment has been above 8 percent for every month of the Obama campaign and he has beaten Romney in the polls in every month of his campaign.

With its tunnel vision, the Romney campaign assumed an economic downturn would mean Americans would want to elect a businessman to the presidency.

Yet the economic downturn was caused in part by shady business practices, runaway greed and outright dishonesty at the highest reaches of America’s corporate community. Did Americans really want to elect the guy on the cover of the Monopoly box or throw him in jail?
This is just ouch! Ouch!! OUCH!!! Simon has pretty much ripped a new one into Mitt Romney here. Read the rest of the story.

Romney campaign imploding

In the wake of Mitt Romney's unplugged video, it appears that the entire Romney campaign is starting to implode.  First up is a couple of Politico stories, starting with Mitt Romney woes jangle Republican nerves:
If political campaigns have nine lives, nervous Republicans feel Mitt Romney has used up at least eight.
While insisting the party is still short of full-fledged panic, the video of Romney disparaging Americans who don’t pay income taxes and the GOP nominee’s consistently unsteady explanation of what he meant has prompted a chorus of fed-up Republicans to speak out about a campaign they see as badly in need of a jolt.
Opinion is mixed on just how damaging Romney discussing “the 47 percent” at a spring fundraiser will ultimately be for the campaign. But longtime GOP hands find the video and Romney’s attempt to neither fully embrace nor fully apologize for his comments to be symptomatic of a larger problem. The former Massachusetts governor can’t seem to string consecutive positive days together and often is his own worst enemy. A month’s worth of woes, beginning with a forgettable GOP convention, has taken its toll on the Republican psyche.
“The problem is the campaign is now in a spiral and no one knows how to pull out,” said Republican strategist Greg Strimple, who worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “Romney needs a big idea, then he needs to shift the debate to spending.”
Another senior Republican who’s also deeply involved in this cycle’s campaign was more blunt about what many in the party are concluding about their standard-bearer this year.
“As a candidate, he is just not going to improve,” said the source.
This Republican, looking at fresh polling showing President Barack Obama still in the lead in key states such as Ohio and Nevada, described the mood among GOP officials as: “Not panic, but a recognition that the way to get [to 270 electoral votes] is limited.”
And that is what has Republicans more worried than Romney’s latest stubbed toe: They’re looking at grim swing-state numbers with the soundtrack of a ticking clock.
“We’re losing,” said veteran GOP strategist Jim Dyke. “And when that happens — it doesn’t matter if it’s a Republican or Democratic campaign or whether the campaign has been run masterfully or has been total crap — when the election gets closer, people start to get nervous.”
The second Politico story, titled, Mitt Romney, man of constant sorrow, seriously skewers the campaign:
Now, Romney heads into the final seven weeks of the campaign struggling to shed the aura of a candidate on the skids — an Inspector Clouseau-like figure who can’t perform the basic tasks of his job without getting into trouble. It’s an image wildly at odds with Romney’s background as a successful businessman and entrepreneur, the picture of managerial competence in the board room and the governor’s office.
“You don’t see them calling ‘silly season’ on this,” [Democratic strategist Tracy] Sefl continued. “The problem is, [Romney] is the cause of the silliness. He’s the one making the silliness, he’s the one approving Eastwood’s appearance [and] approving the half-baked statements and talking in private fundraisers in terms that are questionable.”
Of course, when I think of Inspector Clouseau, I often think of Peter Sellers in his iconic role:

Is this an apt metaphor of Mitt Romney's attempt to get into the White House?

Apparently, a "mood of gloom" is starting to afflict the campaign:
A palpably gloomy and openly frustrated mood has begun to creep into Mr. Romney’s campaign for president. Well practiced in the art of lurching from public relations crisis to public relations crisis, his team seemed to reach its limit as it digested a ubiquitous set of video clips that showed their boss candidly describing nearly half of the country’s population as government-dependent “victims,” and saying that he would “kick the ball down the road” on the biggest foreign policy challenge of the past few decades, the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Grim-faced aides acknowledged that it was an unusually dark moment, made worse by the self-inflicted, seemingly avoidable nature of the wound. In low-volume, out-of-the-way conversations, a few of them are now wondering whether victory is still possible and whether they are entering McCain-Palin ticket territory.


Still, a flustered adviser, describing the mood, said that the campaign was turning into a vulgar, unprintable phrase.

Aides did little to hide their annoyance: on Monday night, a Romney aide cursed loudly as he tried to corral reporters into an impromptu news conference in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Mr. Romney himself seemed pensive on the early-morning flight Tuesday from California to Utah, sitting alone with a white legal pad and a pen as he picked at a vegetarian breakfast burrito. An aide said that he had eaten dinner alone in his hotel room the night before as the video controversy began to unfold.
Perhaps Romney realized then, sitting pensively on that early morning flight from California to Utah, that he was getting into trouble with all the flack he was getting over his negative attacks against the Obama administration during the crisis in Libya this last weekend. The staff was stressed out in applying an unsuccessful damage control to Romney, and right on the heels of the Libyan controversy comes the video controversy. No wonder the vulgar curses started flowing freely.

Now Talking Points Memo is reporting that the Romney campaign's Libyan response may have hurt Mittens:
Polls show significant swaths of America are interested in the Mideast attacks and generally unhappy with Romney’s reaction.

A Monmouth University survey released Monday indicated that 90 percent of respondents were familiar with the crises in Libya and Egypt, including 61 percent who had heard “a lot” about it. Among likely voters, Obama got positive marks for his handling of the situation from 39 percent of respondents and negative marks from 27 percent. But only 25 percent approved of Romney’s behavior during the same period versus 29 percent who disapproved.

“If the past week was Mitt Romney’s opportunity to show how he would handle a foreign crisis, the GOP nominee did not put his best foot forward as far as voters are concerned,” Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a press release.

Another poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & Press, also released Monday, found that 43 percent of respondents followed the Mideast news “very closely” last week, more than the 42 percent who said they followed the presidential campaign with the same intensity. Obama earned high marks among those who paid close attention to the attacks: 45 percent approved of his handling of the situation, versus 36 percent who disapproved. Twenty-six percent approved of Romney’s response, versus 48 percent who disapproved.
If Mitt Romney was getting voter disapproval for his screw-up on the Libyan crisis, what will the poll results reveal as voters digest Romney's unplugged video comments?

Finally, Steve Benen has a good roundup of the GOP's freaking out in the aftermath of Romney's unplugged video fiasco.

So what is the Romney campaign doing in the wake of this latest disaster? Ironically, the Romney campaign has decided to make fundraising its top priority in the last two months of the campaign:
Romney’s light public schedule in the heart of the campaign’s final sprint has led some GOP donors to grumble that he should be paying less attention to them at this point and spending more time winning over voters who will decide the election at the ballot box.

“There’s not really a campaign here,” said one Republican with extensive ties to the party’s fundraising community. “He’s getting ready for the debates, and he’s out fundraising. You’ve got enough money!”

Over the last seven days, Romney’s public events have included just two rallies: one with supporters at a campaign office in Florida, and a speech to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in California.

During the same time frame, he has attended seven private fundraisers and had two days with no events scheduled at all, choosing instead to prepare for the three upcoming debates with President Obama and conducting one TV interview.

In all, Romney has spent only nine of the 19 days since the conclusion of the Republican National Convention campaigning in battleground states.
The September 19, 2012 New York Times reported that the Romney campaign raised, "$106 million in June and $101 million in July," but that most of the money went into political entities, such as the Republican National Committee. The campaign is apparently on a tight budget, and has borrowed another $20 million to fund expenses. Mittens himself has not used any of his personal wealth to fund his 2012 bid. He is apparently happy to use other rich people's, and corporate, money to buy his way into the Oval Office, but will not spend a dime of his own money to fulfill his political ambitions. And now with the crap hitting the fan, instead of going out and seriously campaigning for vote, Mittens is taking more time to raise money. Maybe the campaign realizes that they've lost the race, and are either going to raise money to settle their accounts, or raise money and embark on a scorched-earth policy of attacking President Obama with everything they have in the final two weeks of the campaign--a Hail Mary pass of lies, mud, innuendo, character assassinations, smelly excrement, dirty underwear and whatever else they could find to drag President Obama into the slime-encrusted gutter the Romney campaign has inhabited in a wet-dream hope of angering enough Republican voters to select Mittens, over Democrats voting for Obama. I can't say if that strategy will be successful.

Or maybe the Romney campaign wants to be the spoiled child, destroying everything in their path because Mittens can't get into the White House which he thinks he's entitled to?

Rick Perry: America undergoing "spiritual warfare"

I found this Right Wing Watch story via the Washington Monthly:
Texas governor Rick Perry spoke today on a conference call with extremist pastor Rick Scarborough as part of his “40 Days to Save America” campaign to motivate and organize Religious Right voters. Perry said that the separation of church and state, which he dismissed as a myth, is being used to drive “people of faith from the public arena.” Perry said that he believes Satan is using the “untruth” of the separation of church and state to remove Christians from public life: “The idea that we should be sent to the sidelines I would suggest to you is very driven by those who are not truthful, Satan runs across the world with his doubt and with his untruths and what have you and one of the untruths out there is driven—is that people of faith should not be involved in the public arena.”
 Perry said that America is undergoing “spiritual warfare” and Religious Right activists who “truly are Christian warriors, Christian soldiers” need to stand up to “activist courts” and “President Obama and his cronies” whom he said are making “efforts to remove any trace of religion from American life.” He called on listeners to use such spiritual warfare against the “growing tide of secularism and atheism” that “preach[es] tolerance and diversity while they engage in oppression and bullying tactics.”
So let me get this straight.  Satan is using the separation of church and state to remove Christians from government and public life, in a spiritual warfare, and that Christians need to stand up to both "activist courts,"  and the evil socialist, Marxist, black, Kenyan-born, Muslim President Obama?  Did I get that right?  I did not see any recruiting posters for Christian warriors at my church.  What churches are Perry and Scarborough selling this nonsense to?

Of course, I am not surprised that both the Religious Right, and right-wing politicians are pushing this madness as a means to turn out the Fundamentalist foot-soldiers to the voting booth.  I have a friend who listens to Christian radio, and she hears this nonsense all the time at how an Obama re-election will destroy this country, Christians will be persecuted, and Satan will probably win.  With the Romney campaign floundering, I'm sure the Religious Right hate talk will increase multiple times to generate more fear and anger, to recruit more "Christian warriors" to stop all the atheists, agnostics, non-religious people, liberals, Democrats, elitists, and President Obama from handing America to Satan on a sliver platter.

Mitt Romney's father was on welfare

I found this Buzzfeed video through Daily Kos.  This is part of a 1962 film, produced for George Romney's gubernatorial campaign, which shows Mitt Romney's mother saying that George Romney was on welfare.  Here is the video:

I would guess that George Romney was part of the 47 percent that Mittens would happily fire now?

Monty Python Upperclass Twit of the Year

With the Romney political insanity that took place over the last couple of days, I just had to bring up this classic Monty Python skit:

And Oliver has run himself over--WHAT A GREAT TWIT!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Romney campaign uploads video: "Mitt does not disdain poor," then pulls video off their site

I found this video, through Americablog, with the original source at Buzzfeed.  According to Buzzfeed, the Romney campaign released this video on their official campaign site of Mitt's wife, Ann Romney, giving an interview to Denver's Fox 31 News station over the comments Romney made on writing off half the country as moochers to his millionaire donors. Here is the video:

John Aravosis, at Americablog, likens Ann Romney as one of "the red-shirted characters on Star Trek. When they show up in a scene you know something bad is about to happen, though in her case it means it's already happened. To bring her out every single time the campaign makes a disastrous mistake. At this point she's not fixing the problem anymore, she's telegraphing it." And in one sense, it is true. I'm guessing that Ann Romney was scheduled to be interviewed by Fox 31 News well before this latest Romney gaffe took place today. I don't know what talking point Ann Romney was planning to recite, but the Romney gaffe forced her to back peddle, and polish the latest, stinking turd the campaign has presented. You watch the video, Ann Romney does look haggard and disheveled. I don't think she's having a blast on the campaign, and is probably ready to kill a few campaign advisers.

And yet, the Romney campaign seems to be in panic mode now. Daily Kos has posted a timeline, showing the Romney campaign taking almost three hours to respond to the release of the video with a press release, and then another three hours for Mitt Romney to make his TV press statement. It is almost like the campaign was paralyzed, possibly realizing they had pretty much lost the election. Maybe they did not know what to do, and latched on to any source of denial they could present. Hence, the Fox News interview to be posted on the campaign website, only to be removed for....Why? Is it really because Ann Romney is tired of being the red-shirt guy on Star Trek--always getting killed by the blood-sucking alien monster in the first five minutes of the episode? Again, this shows the Romney campaign, not as a well-oiled machine, but a car filled with red-shirted clowns.

Has Mitt Romney jumped the shark?

In light of today's political news insanity, I have to ask, has the Mitt Romney campaign jumped the shark?  From YouTube:

Then again, the Fonz could probably run a better presidential campaign than Mitt Romney could ever jump the shark....

Romney campaign: "Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans"

The Romney campaign has issued a statement regarding the video of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney telling millionaire donors on what he'd like to do to the Obama voters.  According to Talking Points Memo:
Mitt Romney's campaign responded to the hidden camera footage of Romney at fundraiser claimg that Obama's voters are "are dependent upon government" and "believe that they are victims" posted online in a statement Monday evening.
"Mitt Romney wants to help all Americans struggling in the Obama economy. As the governor has made clear all year, he is concerned about the growing number of people who are dependent on the federal government, including the record number of people who are on food stamps, nearly one in six Americans in poverty, and the 23 million Americans who are struggling to find work," Romney spokesperson Gail Gitcho said in a statement. "Mitt Romney's plan creates 12 million new jobs in four years, grows the economy and moves Americans off of government dependency and into jobs."
So which is the true Mitt Romney, and which is the lying Mitt Romney?  Was Mitt Romney lying to his millionaire donors that 47 percent of the American people are both mooching off the government, and not paying any income tax?  If so, then why was Romney lying to his big money donor base?  Or is Mitt Romney lying in saying that he wants to help all Americans who are struggling in the Obama economy, and are dependent on government programs to survive, when he is really concerned about his millionaire donors big tax cuts?  If this is true, then the 47 percent of Obama voters can drop dead, according to Romney.  So which is it?

Update:  Now Mitt Romney is responding to the video:

Here is the printed quote, via Daily Kos:
I believe the point I was made is that the president starts off with a large number of the voters, 47, 48, 49 percent, something like that. These are people who are in his camp and, uh, they will vote for him almost no matter what. [...] I point out I recognize that among those that pay no tax, approximately 47 percent of Americans, I’m not likely to be highly successful with the message of lowering taxes. [...] And so I then focus on those individuals who I believe are most likely to be able to be pulled into my camp and help me win the 51 or 50.1 percent that I need to become the next President.
So I guess Mitt Romney is more than happy to screw half the country. And he is more than happy to lie, according to the Romney campaign statement.

Mitt Romney tells millionaire donors that Obama voters can screw themselves

This is from Mother

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. [UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we've removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here.]

David Corn, of Mother Jones concludes with this:
 Here was Romney raw and unplugged—sort of unscripted. With this crowd of fellow millionaires, he apparently felt free to utter what he really believes and would never dare say out in the open. He displayed a high degree of disgust for nearly half of his fellow citizens, lumping all Obama voters into a mass of shiftless moochers who don't contribute much, if anything, to society, and he indicated that he viewed the election as a battle between strivers (such as himself and the donors before him) and parasitic free-riders who lack character, fortitude, and initiative. Yet Romney explained to his patrons that he could not speak such harsh words about Obama in public, lest he insult those independent voters who sided with Obama in 2008 and whom he desperately needs in this election. These were sentiments not to be shared with the voters; it was inside information, available only to the select few who had paid for the privilege of experiencing the real Romney.
Not only is this the Mitt Romney raw and unplugged, but it also shows America what a President Romney will really be like.  You can bet he will slash all government spending on social programs, Social Security, Medicare, and every "entitlement" program he feels the poor, or working class family are mooching off the government.  He would certainly cut taxes on the rich, and raise taxes on everything else.  He is not a policy wonk, but a rubber stamp for his millionaire donor friends, and "corporations are people too."  And he is more than happy to lie to everyone, as long as it helps him get what he wants.  Is this the president we want?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Romney continues sinking into Libyan morass....

In one sense, this is getting painful to watch. In another sense, I'm happy to see the Romney campaign continue to sink into their own incompetence. Yes, it is another story about the Libyan terrorist attacks, and Mitt Romney's flailing attempts to capitalize on them. Let's go to Talking Points Memo:
The Romney campaign continues to defend its increasingly isolated response to the Libya consulate attack, claiming that the White House implicitly acknowledged its criticism was accurate by disavowing an earlier statement from the U.S. embassy in Egypt.
“If Gov. Romney ‘jumped the gun’ why were White House officials also distancing themselves from the statement?” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement. “Why didn’t President Obama take any questions from the press this morning to explain?”

Saul was referring to a statement released Tuesday by the U.S. embassy in Cairo, which said that it “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” The White House later disavowed that press release and subsequent tweets from the embassy’s Twitter account that referred to it were deleted.

Here’s the problem: The fallout over Romney’s reaction has much less to do with the content of the initial embassy statement and a lot more to do with the timing of what unfolded Tuesday night. The embassy’s condemnation of an anti-Muslim film was issued before the compound in Egypt was breached and before an attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya killed four people, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. That order of events directly undercuts Romney’s statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”

Romney tried to get around this blatant contradiction Wednesday by saying he was referring to tweets by the embassy affirmed their initial statement after the Egypt protest got out of hand (but well before the Libya murders). But even those tweets actually included a condemnation of the embassy breach as well. Either way, it takes a pretty massive leap to get from ambiguous tweets by besieged social media outreach staff member at an embassy in Egypt to claiming the White House itself reacted to the death of Americans in Libya by expressing sympathy for militants.

In fact, the first reactions from the State Department and White House were strong condemnations.

“Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” said a statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued Tuesday evening. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”

That reaction did not satisfy Romney, either: He said the administration’s decision to break from the embassy’s statement and take a harsher tone constituted “mixed signals.”

Romney could still be upset that the US condemned an anti-Muslim film promoted by Florida pastor Terry Jones. And indeed, many critics have bristled at the idea that America should have to account for an individual citizen’s speech abroad.

But according to talking points from the Romney campaign obtained by CNN, Romney’s surrogates have been instructed to condemn Jones using language nearly identical to Clinton’s:
- Governor Romney rejects the reported message of the movie. There is no room for religious hatred or intolerance. - But we will not apologize for our constitutional right to freedom of speech.
- Storming U.S. missions and committing acts of violence is never acceptable, no matter the reason. Any response that does not immediately and decisively make that clear conveys weakness.
- If pressed: Governor Romney repudiated this individual in 2010 when he attempted to mobilize a Quran-burning movement. He is firmly against any expression of religious hatred or intolerance.
The Romney campaign’s latest attempt to clean up their Tuesday attack ignores the reasons it generated so much backlash to begin with, without providing any new explanation as to why it attacked the White House so quickly and fiercely before all of the facts surrounding the attacks were clear.
What I find so very interesting is not the simple fact that the Romney campaign screwed up with the actual timeline of events, when they initiated this attack against the Obama administration.  Instead we have a campaign that now, in the face of overwhelming evidence which shows the Romney campaign to be completely wrong in conducting their baseless attacks, that the campaign continues presenting these discredited talking points--even as they are repeatedly told how wrong they are. My impression is that the Romney campaign has passed a point of no return in what could be an eventual loss of the presidency for Romney.  If the campaign admits that they were mistaken in their attack against President Obama, then Mitt Romney can kiss his Oval Office dreams goodbye.  This was the big, foreign policy crisis for the campaign to show the American people how a business leader could handle such a crisis better than President Obama.  Instead, Mitt Romney stepped into it big time.  If Romney admitted to stepping into it big time, then why would the American public want to select him, over Obama--who has already demonstrated his own foreign policy skills.  And I'm not talking about this crisis--remember Osama bin Laden? He's rotting away with the fishies. 

So the Romney campaign really has no choice, but to continue to defend their response to the Libyan attacks.  They could try to ignore the issue, however I'm guessing the media and blogs will continue raising questions regarding the campaign's response and why?  The Romney campaign could try to deflect the issue, but that may cause a campaign spokesperson to misquote, or misinterpret a campaign talking point, resulting in more questions of why are they spinning and contradicting themselves again and again?  Neither ignoring, nor deflecting the issue will help the Romney campaign, as it could seed even more doubts among independent and swing voters.  So the only choice is to triple down, and continue to defend their talking points, even though everyone is now realizing that the Romney campaign is blatantly lying.  The more they defend their position, the more the Romney campaign continues to lie, and the more Mitt Romney appears weak, and incompetent in running for the White House.  In the end, Mitt Romney is sinking deeper in a morass of his own incompetence.  Will it be enough to sink his presidential campaign in November?

And as for President Obama not taking questions from the press to explain the issue?  It is obvious that the press were going to ask Obama questions about Romney's statement, saying Obama "sympathized" with the terrorists?  The last thing Obama wanted to do was get into a political pissing match with Romney as the crisis was unfolding throughout the morning.  By not talking to the press, Obama's statement on the crisis looks "presidential" for the evening news.

President Obama responds to Mitt Romney on Libyan terrorist attacks

Now President Barack Obama has responded to Mitt Romney's attacks against him, regarding the Libyan terrorist crisis. Per Talking Points Memo:
 "There's a broader lesson to be learned here: Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and as president one of the things I've learned is you can't do that," Obama told CBS News Wednesday."It's important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you've thought through the ramifications before you make them."
Here is the video:

Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later....OUCH!!!

Mitt Romney's fallout on Libyan terrorist attack continues

The fallout from Mitt Romney's disastrous political attack against the Obama administration over the events happening in Libya just continues on.

First up, is a small error on the part of the Romney campaign staff.  According to Americablog, the Romney campaign issued a press release on Mitt Romney's statement regarding the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt and U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  Within the statement, the word "embassy" was used three times--especially with the phrase "the attack on our embassy at Benghazi, Libya."  The capitol of Libya is actually Tripoli, where the U.S. embassy is located.  The terrorist attacks took place at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  According to John Aravosis, "Any first year international relations student knows that our diplomatic offices in the capital are "embassies," and our offices in cities that are not the capital are "consulates."  Mitt Romney never caught the error.  He just simply read through the statement:

I went back into my previous post, and I also made the mistake as well.   It is a dumb mistake that possibly any ordinary American can make.  However, I am a small blogger, and I am not running for the Oval Office--Mitt Romney is running.  I can probably understand Mitt Romney not knowing the difference, or even caring about the difference, and just reading through the script.  But I would expect that someone on the Romney campaign staff would know the difference, and make sure that the correction was made.  Did any Romney campaign staffer with foreign policy experience, or credentials, even proofread the statement?  Is there even anyone on the Romney campaign that even has foreign policy knowledge or experience?  Or do the top Romney foreign policy advisers feel it is demeaning for them to proofread  press releases in the wake of an American foreign policy crisis?   Because if you think about it, this is a crisis that a president will be confronted with, and the Romney campaign is showing just how screwed up they are in dealing with this crisis.  You can also bet that the Obama campaign is not making such a juvenile mistake as we're seeing with Mitt Romney.  So this dumb mistake really shows an incredible level of incompetence that Mitt Romney has in running his own presidential campaign.  Do we really want this level of incompetence in the White House?

However, there is an even worst fallout from the Romney campaign that has taken place in the wake of this crisis.  Throughout his press conference, Mitt Romney had the unfortunate habit of smirking.  Daily Kos' Jed Lewison caught these smirks here, here, and here, while Americablog's John Aravosis catalogs 15 different images of Mitt Romney's smirks.  Here are a couple of photos for your viewing pleasure:

Finally, here is a photo of Mitt Romney walking away from the podium, after his press conference, with another smirk.  This photo was taken by Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak:

I can not say if Mitt Romney's smirks are an emotional response to this crisis, or are the smirks an unconscious tick that Romney has when speaking before a group?  Is Mitt Romney happy that this crisis presented him with an opportunity to crassly attack President Obama as sympathizing with the terrorists?  Or is this just his speaking style?  In one sense, it does not matter--A smirking photo is worth more than a thousand-word political spin.  American moderates and independents will be watching the news of this crisis on TV at 6pm.  They are going to see both President Obama and Mitt Romney, making their statements on the attacks.  They are going to see the smirk.  Perhaps in the back of their mind, these moderates and independents may wonder if Mitt Romney cares that four Americans died in the wake of these attacks.  Will they see Romney as a callous, uncaring individual who has no morals, other than his crass, political desire to win the presidency and gain political power?  Again, is this the kind of individual you want in the Oval Office--especially when he get the 3am wake-up call?

Mitt Romney blasts Obama, claims Obama "sympathize" with terrorists attacking U.S. consulate in Libya

Last night, terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing the U.S. ambassador and three other American embassy workers in the process.  The attack was heinous, of course, but that is not what really surprised me here.  What really surprised me was GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's initial response to the terrorist attacks:
 “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
 This really goes beyond a WTF moment.  Read the statement again.  Mitt Romney is not just attacking President Obama for cheap political brownie points, but is making the claim that President Obama is sympathizing with the terrorists who attacked and killed a U.S. ambassador, and three American embassy workers.  President Obama is siding with the terrorists, against U.S. foreign policy interests, and against his own country?  Is that what Mittens is actually saying?

Now there is a back story, where before the attacks took place, the U.S embassy in Egypt issued a statement that “condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”  This statement was released before protests took place against the U.S. embassy in Cairo, over a movie "Innocence of Muslims," which shows the Prophet Muhammad as a homosexual son, advocating child slavery, and engaging in extramarital sex. The movie was directed and produced by an Israeli-American real-estate developer, Sam Bacile, and promoted by  Florida pastor Terry Jones, who generated his own controversy by burning the Koran.  The Cairo protests also took place on Tuesday night, before the terrorist attack in Libya.  So a U.S. embassy official in Egypt issues a statement condemning the release of this movie by Bacile, and promoted by Jones, which insults and angers Muslim citizens in the Middle East.  Muslim citizens protest against the movie, terrorists attack the U.S. embassy consulate in Libya, and Mittens Romney attacks Obama for sympathizing with the terrorists over a second-rate PR statement which some embassy staffer wrote before any of these protests and attacks even took place?  Ironically, an administration official told Politico that, "The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government." Oops.

I will admit that the back story of the Cairo statement, in relation with the protests and the terrorist attack in Libya is bad enough.  It is a foreign policy screw-up within the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Egypt.  But the real clusterfrack was the Romney campaign's response to this mess.  After learning of the terrorist attacks, the Romney campaign decided to use this statement as an official Obama administration response to the attacks, and state that President Obama's sympathies were with the terrorists, over that of the Americans killed in the attacks.  They got the timeline completely wrong.  Even worst, instead of taking some time to gather information on what happened in the Middle East, Mitt Romney impulsively rushes headlong into sticking more than his foot in his mouth--he stuck his foot, his ankle, his leg, and his ass way into his mouth here!  This is not the kind of president you want to have woken up at 3am in the midst of a crisis.

Of course, now the story is getting better.  According to Talking Points Memo:
Some moments show you when a candidate is ready or not to become President of the United States. I suspect last night will become one of those moments for Mitt Romney. The verdict will not be positive.
As I noted last night, when the full scale of the events in Cairo and Benghazi remained unknown, the Romney campaign let fly a crude political attack both blaming the Obama administration for the attacks and suggesting that the President actually sympathized with them. This was after it was known that an as yet-unnamed Foreign Service Officer (later identified as Sean Smith) had died....
This was followed shortly by another attack from one of Romney’s prime surrogates, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, explicitly accusing the President of sympathizing with the attackers.
Romney’s attack was not only ill-judged and ill-timed, it was actually based on what appears to be a demonstrable falsehood. Romney, or folks writing in his name at his campaign, claimed that the administration’s first response to the attacks was to issue a press release condemning the anti-Islam film which had helped trigger the attack. This they picked wholesale from the right-wing blogosphere.
In fact, according to all available press reports and the account of the State Department, the press release in question came from the US Embassy in Egypt and preceded the attacks. So to claim it was a response to the attacks was simply false. So while American diplomats were dying in the field, Romney pops up with an egregious attempt to politicize the deaths with a flat out lie.
Behind the curtains a more chaotic and rash picture emerges.
The statement from the Romney campaign was initially released by Romney press secretary Andrea Saul at 10:09 PM — but under an embargo until midnight on September 12th. In other words, it was embargoed until September 11th was over.
Then a few minutes later at 10:24 PM the embargo was lifted and reporters were told they could use the statement immediately. There was no clear explanation of the change.
Bear in mind, this was all happening while attacks on US personnel abroad were ongoing.
According to a statement released this morning by the White House, the President was told last night that Ambassador Chris Stevens was unaccounted for. Only this morning did he learn that Stevens had died in the attacks that were on-going last night.
The campaign also authorized Romney’s top foreign policy advisor to give a blistering interview attacking the president while the attacks were continuing.
So apparently the Romney campaign had set up a GOP-coordinated plan to slam President Obama on the terrorist attacks in Libya, to take place after September 11th memorial events of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.   If this is accurate, then the entire Romney campaign can be considered incompetent for developing a crass, political attack that is not only based on a faulty timeline, but that they planned to engage in after September 11th.

What is even more ironic is that other GOP leaders are shying away from criticizing President Obama in the wake of the events unfolding in Libya.

President Obama's response to the Libyan terrorist attacks can be found here.