The Liberal Reader is back this week from some much needed beach time. Tybee Island has always been one of my favorite places, it was a frequent port o' call in the vagabond days of my youth. Its easy living, proximity to an abundant salt marsh and the historic city of Savannah, and funky down-home charm often draw me back. I know there are trendier and more glamorous beaches but Tybee suits me just fine. I highly recommend its restorative powers, enjoy it while you still can.
This past week was an interesting one for the Romney campaign. Mired in slipping poll numbers and relentless questions about his taxes and business practices, a seemingly desperate Romney did what any seemingly desperate Republican presidential candidate would do; he named the man who wants to kill Medicare as his running mate. While this may be red meat for his base it hardly seems likely to win many points with independent and moderate voters.
The announcement party was quite a spectacle. Two guys who never served a day of military service (one who famously avoided serving in Vietnam with the aid of a Minister of Religion deferment) emerging from the bowels of a retired warship to announce their desire to be the Skipper and Little Buddy of the good ship USA. Personally if I were Romney I would avoid nautical metaphors. When the Titanic sank the rich were in the lifeboats, they left the poor in steerage to drown. This would seem the perfect description of the Romney/Ryan budget philosophy.
What struck me most about yesterday's Romnapalooza was the missed opportunity to right the SS Romney and set course for the higher ground Romney was begging for just a day earlier. The call for an "issues" campaign had barely left his lips before both he and Ryan were once again telling the country the "you didn't build that" lie that has evidently become the foundation of Romney's election bid.
That's not the only lie Romney's been caught in recently. His campaign has made the mis-quote an art form and his recent "I approved this message" ad claiming Obama was ending work-for-welfare rules was outrageous in its unscrupulous dishonesty. While we've come to expect a certain amount of spin in our political ads, the Romney campaign is now engaged in a perfidious betrayal of the public trust. This appears to be de rigueur for the Republican party these days.
But enough pirate stories, let's see what else I stumbled upon this week:
- NYT columnist and noted economist Paul Krugman on The Pathos of The Plutocrat.
- Bill Moyers proclaims, "The arsenal of democracy has been transformed into the arsenal of death", in his passionate cry for sanity in gun politics while Alan Berlow exposes the NRA's Doomsaying Sham at Salon.
- More on Mitt Romney's insensitivity to tax obligations from tax experts Peter C. Canellos and Edward Kleinbard on special assignment with CNN.
- For the prurient reader: calling all Sarah Palin look-alikes, the upcoming Republican National Convention is expected to be a boon for the Tampa area hospitality industry.
- My must read this week is Sarah Robinson's take on The New Totalitarianism at AlterNet.org. She's becoming one of my favorite writers.
- From the AP's Big Story: why the US sees Israel as a spy threat.
- If West Virginia is "almost heaven" why are we destroying it mountain-top by mountain-top? My site of the week is rampscampaign.org. Radical Action for Mountain People's Survival.
- A jarring first hand account of gun culture despair by Kiese Laymon. Thanks to Gawker, another must read this week.
- Coming Apart At The Seams from The Economist. Can you say "crumbling infrastructure"?
- And lastly examiner.com examines why chronically misinformed Americans keep voting against their best interests.
If you've read something you think is worth sharing email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll include it with all credit due in an upcoming column. Thanks for tuning in and remember: stay informed, read liberally!!