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Somehow I recently got on to an email list for national Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson and yesterday I received a fundraising message from the campaign that indicates there is a rather nasty split on the American political right.

This is an excerpt from the message:

“Friends,

Your voting rights are under attack – by Mitt Romney and the national Republicans. 

Mitt Romney doesn’t want Gov. Gary Johnson on the ballot.  It’s just that simple.  Read More

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As this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing argues, Americans have much to learn from other countries in a variety of areas and healthcare is one of the most obvious. Happily, there are some small signs that maybe – just maybe – this truth is beginning to dawn on political leaders of both parties.

President Obama, of course, has made repeated allusions throughout the years to the need for America to do a better job of matching the performance of other nations when it comes to providing healthcare to the many while controlling costs much more effectively. 

Now comes word that, yesterday, his chief opponent, Mitt Romney, is embracing a similar argument. According to this article in the Washington Post, Romney heaped praise on Israel’s heavily regulated health care system — some might even call it “socialized” — for its success in controlling costs. 

Could it be that our nation’s leading politicians are finally finding some common ground on this critical issue?  It seems certain that many will portray Romney’s comments as a gaffe, but let’s fervently hope that he meant what he said and that it opens to door to further dialogue across the political spectrum on this critical issue. 

 

 

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So, how does this work? How does the man announced just three-plus months ago as the Chairman of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign in North Carolina endorse Mitt Romney?

I mean talk about loyalty. You’d think the guy would have the decency to at least wait a couple of weeks until after his man is waxed in the primary.

Man, ol’ Newt must really inspire a lot of passionate devotion and commitment in his followers. 

 

Our good friends at the nationally acclaimed polling firm, Public Policy Polling generated a lot of national headlines today when they reported that a huge chunk of Republican voters in Mississippi and Alabama (Surprise!!)  have some pretty distorted views of reality.

“In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure.”

Of course, if you think about it, this all makes a lot of sense. After all, the President’s name obviously sounds downright Mooslim, er ah, Muslim, right? In the words of George Cleveland, “I mean come on. Give me a break!”

Not surprisingly, however, it appears that Deep South voters continue to be thrown off by the names of other major candidates as well. According to a recent, less-well-reported poll result, more than two-thirds of Alabama and Mississippi Republicans also think that:

  • Newt Gingrich is a rare South American salamander. 
  • Rick Santorum is the name of the Albanian parliament.
  • Ron Paul is a famous guitar inventor.
  • Mitt Romney is the back-up catcher for the Atlanta Braves.
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The Mittster has a reputation as sort of a closet moderate, but as John Schmitt argues persuasively at The New Republic. he’s really espousing quite radical stuff these days in his talk about the poor:

“In taking up this new conservative line, Romney and others are trashing an important part of Reagan’s legacy and a significant bipartisan innovation over the past few decades. The idea of supporting and rewarding work and responsibility met up with the recognition that people need supports—health care, child care, income security—in order to take full advantage of opportunities after they leave the ranks of the ‘very poor’….

Romney deserves mockery for his clumsy language. He deserves to be called out for the fact that he wouldn’t actually “repair” the safety net. But we should also recognize that there is an underlying vision to his mangled words, and that that vision marks a dramatic break from the conservative tradition. It’s also far out of step with what people need in order to participate in the modern American economy.”