Living in Iowa, a swing state with the first in the nation caucus, we’re used to getting the full court political press. Our mailbox is frequently near to overflowing with glossy print ads about one candidate or another, our doorbell rings with the arrival of hordes of volunteers, and our phone rings more than any other time of the year.
As active engaged voters, the effort is wasted on us as we’ll be voting for Democratic slate regardless. What does add the slightest bit of levity during this barrage of attention are the few misdirected mailings and robocalls.
For example, we got a call earlier today from Bill Clinton. Nice to hear from Bill–if it wasn’t a recording I would have thanked him for bringing up global warming in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. The thing is, he was urging us to get out and vote for Tammy Baldwin, the senate candidate from Wisconsin. Um, we have a 319 area code, I’m pretty sure there aren’t that many Wisconsin voters with out of state area codes.
Also got a call from Paul Ryan today. He went on and on and on about how he and Mitt Romney wouldn’t kick the can down the road, they would do their damnedest to destroy Medicare just as soon as possible. Okay, I might have read that last part into what he was saying. We have also gotten a number of mailings from the Romney campaign, all addressed to my wife… Should I be worried that there is something she isn’t telling me?
Here is the weather channel’s live stream of coverage of Hurricane Sandy:
I tried to get my coverage from CNN, but since I don’t subscribe to cable, I couldn’t stream their content.
While we look forward to the clean-up from this gargantuan storm, let’s all keep in mind what Mitt Romney has to say about FEMA:
Fun fact: the federal involvement in disaster recovery began with then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover taking charge of the response to the Mississippi River flood of 1927. From a piece by Kevin Kosar from the Congressional Research:
In short, the federal response was an executive branch response. President Calvin Coolidge created a quasi-governmental commission that included members of his Cabinet and the American National Red Cross. This commission encouraged the public to donate funds to the relief effort. It also gave Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover near-absolute authority to organize and oversee its response. Hoover used this authority to weave together federal resources, American National Red Cross volunteers, and the private sector to carry out the relief and recovery program.
Scott Walker disputes Mitt Romney’s ‘message of Wisconsin’ By Callum Borchers in the Boston Globe Jun. 10, 2012
Romney said Friday that Obama “wants another stimulus; he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, 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.”
“I think it’s slightly different,” Walker said. “I think in our case what they wanted was people who are willing to take on the tough issues, not only here in Wisconsin but across the country.”
“In my state, I know our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers,” he added. “That’s not what I think of when I think of big government.”
This really reminds me of Mitt’s Severely Conservative self description. He’s trying his damnedest to appease conservatives, but has no real clue how to do it.
Corporations are people, my friend–firemen, policeman, and teachers are not.
Despite a willingness to waffle, flip flop, go negative, lie, obfuscate, take things out of context, and pander in his desperate attempt to get enough Republicans to hold their noses and nominate him, Willard M. Romney has drawn a line in the sand that he will not cross:
“I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try to get support,” Mr. Romney said.
Now, I’ve literally been on fire, and realize that it’s no fun. But it sure would be neat to see the fireball that would erupt from that mess of hair product and dye.
A quick review of the disgusting and disappointing things I have posted about this week. There are certainly many more awful things out there than I have time to cover, so keep in mind that you should continue to be dismayed and disheartened even if you can wrap your head and heart around these things.
Rick “Dick” Santorum–Rick was again the focus of a couple of posts this week, although less prominent than last week. This was due to my lack of time more than his lack of saying tons of stupid shit. Issues not covered: Dick on contraception, Dick on Obama’s
theology world view, Dick on guillotines, and on and on.
- Rick Santorum supports capping medical malpractice lawsuits for everyone except Karen Santorum. It seems that while Rick was out trying to cap medical malpractice lawsuits at $250,000, he and Mrs. Rick were suing a chiropractor for $500,000. Many thanks to Dan H. for pointing out that a group of geese is a gaggle and not a flock.
- He Left Out the Sweater Vest. This was a reblog from one of my favorite wordpress blogs, Embattled Farmers. It is an insightful take on my favorite Sinclair Lewis quote.
Chuck Grassley–Listening to John Mellencamp’s song Country Gentleman (which is about Ronald Reagan) this week, I couldn’t help but to think of Iowa’s own Chuck Grassley: “He ain’t-a gonna help no children/He aint-a gonna help no women/He just gonna help his rich friends.” This is a theme I hope to flesh out in upcoming posts. This week, I delved into the “aint-a gonna help no women” thread.
- Chuck Grassley’s opposition to the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. Ms. DailyDisgust brought this one to my interest, and my hope was to simply link to a summary of reasons for Senator Grassley’s opposition to this very important legislation. Finding none, I had to tackle the Senator’s statement on the matter to pull apart the layers of stupidity.
Proxy Baptism–I had earlier decided to not write about religious issues unless they were causing real harm to real people. This item fit that bill
- Elie Wiesel to Mitt Romney: Get the Mormons to quit with the proxy baptisms. Nothing to add that the headline doesn’t convey.
Snow–Bless my neighbors for clearing my sidewalks after the last two light snows. Perhaps it is the lack of present back pain that allows me to wish for more of the white stuff.
- Where’s my snow? According the to map I posted from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet, the greater West Branch-West Liberty-Iowa City area is between eight and twelve inches below the sixty year average snowfall.
Welcome to all Mormon readers who have found this blog through tag searches and the like. I’m cool with your faith, but I find the practice of proxy baptism to be troubling. I stated earlier on this blog that I would refrain from commenting on religion unless real living people were being caused real problems. This post fits those criteria.
Elie Wiesel has publicly asked Mitt Romney to use his prominence to get the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to end the controversial (and tasteless) practice of proxy baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims. A fair request, I might add.
Elie Wiesel calls on Mitt Romney to make Mormon Church stop proxy baptisms of Jews from the Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2012
Nobel-laureate Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and a top official from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Tuesday that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney should use his stature in the Mormon Church to block its members from posthumously baptizing Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Their comments followed reports that Mormons had baptized the deceased parents of Wiesenthal, the late Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter. Wiesel appeared in a church database used to identify potential subjects of baptisms.
For the record, I do understand that in the belief system of Mormons, the act of proxy baptism does not put a hold on the soul of the departed. They believe that the act simply makes it possible for the dead to convert to Mormonism in the afterlife. Still, like Mr. Wiesel, I would be pissed if I found that someone not related to me was doing anything related to the souls of my ancestors regardless of my own belief structure.
The Mormon Church has responded saying that it was the act of a rogue believer who committed the proxy baptism despite church policy prohibiting the act for deceased Jewish Holocaust survivors.
“We sincerely regret that the actions of an individual member of the Church led to the inappropriate submission of these names,” spokesman Michael Purdy said in a statement. “These submissions were clearly against the policy of the Church. We consider this a serious breach of our protocol and we have suspended indefinitely this person’s ability to access our genealogy records.”
I acknowledge that it a bit sensationalistic for Mr. Wiesel to call out Mr. Romney on this issue, given that Mr. Romney is primarily a secular leader despite his prominence within Mormon circles. But I can understand Mr. Wiesel’s anger and need to speak out on such a distasteful practice. He says the following on that issue:
Romney “is now the most famous and important Mormon in the country,” Wiesel said. “I’m not saying it’s his fault, but once he knows, morally he must respond. . . . He should come out and say, ‘Stop it.’ ”
Nothing like the glamorous life on the road http://pic.twitter.com/Xuj9b3H8