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The Morning Grumpy – 1/30/2012

Filed under: Morning Grumpy

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1.  There is another choice for republican voters in this election if they don’t care for Newt The Insider, Mitt “1%” Romney, Rick “Santorum” Santorum, or Ron “Gold Standard” Paul. His name is Buddy Roemer and he’s a pretty interesting guy. You see, Buddy lost his job as Governor of Louisiana when a wealthy industrialist poured $500,000 into a last minute advertising blitz during the final days of the election. Since then, Mr. Roemer has been an advocate of getting money out of politics.

Every election features someone trying to run as an outsider candidate. In 2012, it’s Buddy. Politico describes him as the Occupy Wall Street candidate, even though he is a Republican.

“I think conservatives believe in first principles. They believe that hard work should be rewarded. They believe that this country is great because it’s been generally free. And conservatives see that that’s disappearing. They see now that a big check can take the place of a big idea. They see now that the structure is not for the base, but is for the peak. It’s for the top one or two percent. They see Wall Street riddled with fraudulent documents. They see it riddled with the attitude of ‘let’s fire Americans and go overseas.’ They see it riddled with things that have had and will have bad effects on this economy.”

I love the smell of populism in the morning. His campaign has struggled to gain traction, primarily because it is woefully underfunded due to his own self-inflicted campaign finance rules.

Roemer has limited donations to $100 per US citizen, and is denying all PAC, Super PAC, and corporate donations.His campaign garnered some visibility, nonetheless, when Roemer starred in an advertisement for Stephen Colbert’s Super PAC, in November 2011. The ad lampooned the flimsiness of legal restrictions against Super PACs coordinating with the candidates they support.

I’m not pretending that the guy is a legitimate candidate, but the issue he advocates for – reducing the influence of money on politics, elections, and policy is incredibly important. He’s a salient voice of reason in a party that desperately needs it and I hope he can get a little more attention for himself while influencing the public discourse during this absurdly expensive election.

2. Jay Rosen asks a pretty interesting question…

GOP establishment says Gingrich would lose to Obama. How can that be if Obama is a socialist? America would vote for a socialist? #confused
@jayrosen_nyu
Jay Rosen

3. The Republican “establishment” has lost control of their Tea Party “tiger”.

“I don’t think they can (stop Gingrich) because the people behind him are the Fox News viewers and the talk radio listeners, and that is the Republican establishment.”

Newt isn’t dead yet. He maintains a slight national lead over Romney and will pick up some steam in smaller caucus states after he takes his lumps in Florida, setting up Super Tuesday as his final stand.

4. As Mitt Romney is about to win the Florida republican primary, I thought it would be fun to take a guided tour of the mormon religion as written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Not surprisingly, one of the simplest breakdowns of the religion you’ll find anywhere.

Joseph Smith, Part 1:

Joseph Smith, Part 2:

Joseph Smith, Part 3:

Joseph Smith, Part 4:

5. An instant classic from Bill Maher as he takes on the myth of Saul Alinsky and the very real conservative media bubble.

6. Presented without comment:

Fact Of The Day: Charles Manson was a Scientologist. So, they have that going for them, which is nice.

Quote Of The Day: “Everybody aspires to be rich, and everybody understands that you’ve got to work hard if you’re going to be financially successful. That’s the American way. The question is: Are we creating opportunity for everybody?” – President Barack Obama

Song Of The Day: “Love Vigilantes” – New Order

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]gmail.com


  • Jesse

    Don’t give Santorum a chance on that McLovin thing – if the kids hear about that he might get a shot of popularity, and we definitely do not need that.

  • When Ian Curtis died, the rest of his band bought a bunch of synthesizers and voila: New Order. Alas.

  • Honest question: why beat up Romney about the Mormon thing? He talks about personal faith less than any other presidential candidate in the last 20 years (including Obama), and is as close to a secular candidate as you are likely to find in modern America. He has plenty of faults to complain about, but a personal faith he doesn’t talk about? Isn’t that what you want politicians to do? Believe whatever they want and shut up about it?

  • Bbill
  • Hmmm, I guess you haven’t been watching the debates. Romney is very public about his faith, but does his best to tamp down unscripted questions about it because it’s fucking weird.

    http://dailydish.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451c45669e20163001b313c970d-pi

    Also, southern and midwestern evangelicals loathe mormonism almost as much as they dislike black people and scientologists. It’s a massive issue in the campaign.

    Personally, I have trouble supporting someone who wears protective and magical undergarments, believes he will occupy his own planet when he dies, and (until recently) believed that people with darker colored skin were soldiers of satan.

  • Your second point is right on, which is why your first is less than complete. Romney is trying to be safe to social conservatives, which means believing in Jesus and being against all sorts of things: same sex marriage, abortion, etc. But that’s different than talking about being Mormon (not generically Christian), or his actual personal faith. So you’re right – I’d rather eat a pistol than watch every debate, but I’ve watched enough to know that Romney is playing the same game as Obama – placate those who are suspicious, but shut up as much as possible. I would submit we have no idea how good or faithful of a Mormon Romney actually is – I bet its more like a country club membership to him, but we simply have no idea.

    So I go back to my same point: why beat him up? If no one asked Romney about his faith, he’d never say a thing. Which is the way you want it. Is it just fun to pile on with the southern evangelicals? And why are magic underpants and personal planets any weirder than believing in a zombie who crawled out of his own grave? Or a warrior god who told one race to kill every other in their little valley (and that he would help)? Or a 6 armed god who will come destroy the world? If you don’t care for religion, how are any of them actually more or less supportive?

  • Bruce Beyer

    Brian, excellent point — “if you don’t care for religion how…..” All these sky pilots, co-pilots, and their stewardess are flimflam artists no matter what god dejour their serving up.

  • The best line in the post is “The Republican establishment has lost control of its tea party tiger”. Ain’t that the truth.

    back to a point Chris made many moons ago in a galaxy far, far away….it would be best for a real conservative to win the nomination and get whooped and then maybe the deep right wingers will move back tot he center. Gingrich said recently (and I don’t know the years specifically) “We need to run a conservative. We tried a moderate in 199_ (against Clinton), we tried a moderate in 2008 (McCain) and it hasn’t worked.”

    Bruce Beyer, why aren’t you on Facebook anymore. I have a question for you. How do I get ahold of you?

  • starbuck

    How about all the bizarre Christian beliefs of Obama and Hillary? Some guy rose from the dead? Walked on water? Son of God, they say? They tell us it’s normal to believe all that, and we shouldn’t think they’re crazy?

    Will the next time a post mentions Cuomo or Gillibrand say how crazy they are to continue belonging to a religion that insists wine can literally become the blood of someone who died 2000 years ago? And a little wafer thing can be what?

    Should Sheldon Silver’s Orthodox Judaism beliefs make us concerned about his mental state? He thinks it’s a sin to ever eat what with what? And he really thinks people shouldn’t do what things on any Saturday ever, just because of a list he believes somebody who lived 3000 years ago was given by who? Seriously? Should Schumer be asked how much of all that he believes too?

    Why ridicule Romney for his religion and not these others?

  • Bruce Beyer

    Hey starbuck — I think it was Marx who said “religion is the opiate of the masses”. I don’t think Chris holds back any of his ridicule of these others. In fact, it has been my experience that Chris is quite capable of universal unconditional ridicule of all deserving parties.

    @ Peter — I’m a Facebook drop out. Tired of handing tracking updates to homeland security. Now, Google’s up to the same crap. Considering jumping into the wayback machine and returning to the Paleolithic. Chris knows how to contact me but I only take questions on Wednesday afternoons between 9 and 9:15am due to my increasing short attention span and unwillingness to interact with most of our planets inhabitants. Love to hear from you. I also think you can find my # by performing said Google vanity search.

  • @Starbuck. Bruce is right, I hold equal disdain for all of this nonsense.

    Also, Gillibrand, Cuomo, Hillary, and others do not pledge to make their faith in god a central plank in their governing philosophy as Romney, Santorum, and the others have done. People can have their religion and I respect when they keep it separate from how they design policy and create law. (See: Grisanti, Mark)

    If and when one of those liberal Catholics tells me that they believe the word of god influences how they approach matters of policy, I’ll take them to task. Trust me.

  • @Bruce Another question about getting in touch (& de-technologizing): are you still on email? I tried dropping you a note a few weeks ago at an email address that may not be current…if there’s an up-to-date address that’s best to use, would you mind passing that along to our honorable host, so that he can forward to me–?

    Thanks! And best regards.

  • Turd

    Your just a dick that spews negativity.

  • starbuck

    “Gillibrand, Cuomo, Hillary, and others do not pledge to make their faith in god a central plank in their governing philosophy as Romney, Santorum, and the others have done.”

    @Chris, I recall Obama talking religion a lot in the last campaign. Google agrees. (I think Hillary did the same, btw, but never mind her.) Maybe you tuned it out because you were rooting for him and don’t like hearing him say the stuff?

    His campaign committee even boasted how religion influences his approach to issues:
    http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2008/obama/obama120407pr.html

    PRESS RELEASE from Obama for America
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dec. 4, 2007
    Renowned Faith Leaders Come Together to Support Obama
    Unprecedented group of nation’s top Black religious leaders unveiled
    CHARLESTON, S.C. –U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign today unveiled its African American Religious Leadership Committee at both the national and statewide levels. Together, they represent two groups of key national and South Carolina religious leaders who are supporting Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination.
    These groups are truly without equal and reflect the belief among clergy that Obama has dedicated his public life to living the values of his faith outside of his house of worship. …
    Obama often speaks about the role his faith plays in his public and family life and how it influences his approach to the great issues that face the country — healthcare, education and poverty. .…

    Example of the often:
    http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/07/obama-talked-jesus-sin-and-mor.html

    Obama talks religion in St. Louis — Jesus, sin, and moral responsibility
    By Jeffrey Weiss/Reporter
    7:11 AM on Mon., Jul. 7, 2008
    You may have read that Barack Obama spoke at the African Methodist Episcopal Church General Conference in St. Louis on Saturday. I can’t find a full transcript, but I found the whole 22-minute speech on YouTube. I’ll leave the political analysis to those more expert.
    But his Godtalk was lengthy and explicit. Here’s a remarkable — that is, worthy of remark — nugget from an American presidential candidate:
    “I let Jesus Christ into my life. I learned that my sins could be redeemed and if I placed my trust in Jesus, that he could set me on a path to eternal life. When I submitted myself to his will and I dedicated myself to discovering his truth and carrying out his works, it was that newfound faith that fortified my commitment to the work I was doing in the community. Because it taught me that I could sit in church and pray all I want but I won’t be fulfilling the Lord’s will unless I am doing the lord’s work.”
    I can’t help thinking that a GOP candidate who did such explicit Jesus-talk during a campaign speech would roil the waters among some Democrats who would object that we are not electing a pastor-in-chief.
    “Our faith cannot be an idle faith. It requires more of us than Sundays at church, it requires more than just our daily prayer. It must be an active faith rooted in that most fundamental of all truths; That I am my brother’s keeper. That I am my sister’s keeper. That we must live that truth not only with the words but with good deeds.”

    Are you really saying Romney shoves his religion into the public’s faces even more than the above type of things from Obama-2008?

  • starbuck

    There was also this, from cbn.com July 07, 2008
    http://blogs.cbn.com/thebrodyfile/archive/2008/07/07/obamas-jesus-talk.aspx

    Obama’s Jesus Talk
    David Brody
    CBN News Chief Political Correspondent
    There is only ONE presidential candidate talking about faith.
    There is only one candidate talking about Jesus.
    There is only one candidate talking about having his sins redeemed.
    In case you’ve been in a cave the last year, that candidate is Barack Obama, not John McCain.

    Whether or not you believe he’s a “true” Christian or not, the fact of the matter is Obama wears his religion on his sleeve and therefore suffers the good with the bad. The good comes from the fact that he’s not ashamed of the Gospel and sharing his Jesus story.

    He has become the rarest of Democrats to open up this sort of dialogue. In the process he has been able to get a new audience to listen to him. …

    They sounded impressed!