In Scene Befitting His Abandonment of Detroit, Romney Delivers Economic Speech to Empty Stadium

The 65,000 empty seats at Ford Field today when Mitt Romney delivered a speech on the economy seemed an appropriate audience for a candidate who, along with all the other GOP hopefuls, opposed federal recovery assistance for the auto industry. As the Detroit Free Press noted in 2010:

Romney Sought Millions in Earmarks for Salt Lake City Olympics

Earlier this month the Romney campaign released an ad slamming fellow GOP candidate Rick Santorum for supporting earmarks. Ironically, it was Romney who, as head of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee and as Governor of Massachusetts, sought millions in earmarks. In fact the federal government paid a record $1.3 billion in taxpayer money to the Salt Lake City Olympics — money that was used for parking lots, sewer systems, and a horse adoption program.

Ohio House Candidate Wore SS Uniform, Participated in Nazi Re-enactments

As The Atlantic's Josh Green reported recently, the Republican slide into extremism has a notable exemplar in Ohio's 9th congressional district.

Rich Iott, Republican candidate in northwest Ohio, and tea party favorite running against Democrat Marcy Kaptur, "was involved with a group that calls itself Wiking, whose members are devoted to re-enacting the exploits of an actual Nazi division, the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, which fought mainly on the Eastern Front during World War II. Iott's participation in the Wiking group is not mentioned on his campaign's website, and his name and photographs were removed from the Wiking website."

Paladino: NY State GOP and Tea Party Candidate for Thug In Chief

In his September 27 op-ed piece Bob Herbert asks:

Is the Republican candidate for governor of New York a racist, sexist, pornography-loving creep?

As the remainder of Herbert's column goes on to document, the answer appears to be "yes." The story of Paladino's forwarding of videos and images, Herbert writes, is "so vile, so offensive, it is virtually impossible to effectively recount or describe. Reporters keep their distance. Editors lunge for the delete button."

The upshot is that behavior that in a social setting would likely result in isolation or ostracism, or in a corporate setting could result in someone getting fired, receives only superficial coverage. As reported by Herbert, the images circulated by Paladino include:

  • A photo showing a group of black men trying to get out of the way of an airplane that is apparently moving across a field. The caption reads: "Run niggers, run."
  • A doctored photo of President and Mrs. Obama showing the president in a stereotypical pimp’s costume holding the hand of the first lady, who is dressed as a prostitute in a grotesquely revealing outfit.
  • A video clip of a nude couple engaged in intercourse with the title: "Miss France [expletive]." Mr. Paladino characterized it as "a keeper."
  • An image showing a woman performing a sexual act on a horse.

Remember This the Next Time Rudy Giuliani Runs for Anything

Bernard Kerik, Giuliani's police commissioner and, largely on his recommendation, a Bush nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security, was sentenced to a 4-year jail term today after pleading guilty to eight felonies. Five of those counts are making false statements to federal officials while being vetted for "senior posts." The case centered around charges that renovations in Kerik's Riverdale home were paid for by Interstate Industrial Corporation, an NJ firm "suspected of ties to organized crime," apparently in the hope that Kerik would help the firm obtain a city license.

Read the NY Times story.

The Ballad of 'Fredo' Gonzales

Alberto Gonzales was born on August 4, 1955 in San Antonio, TX, to Pablo and Maria Gonzales, who had met when they were migrant workers in Texas. Alberto was the second of eight children. Growing up he lived in a two-bedroom house in north Houston, near the airport where his father worked construction. Gonzales told the Houston Chronicle that the house did not have a telephone until he was in high school, and had no running hot water. "I remember getting water, putting it in a pot, putting it on the stove, heating it so we could take baths," Gonzales told the Chronicle. Gonzales's mother was still living in the house in 2003. "We have hot water now," he added.


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