Daily Archives: August 7, 2012

Another Bad Day For Romney

Time – Swampland  by  Joe Klein  8-7-2012

The theme of the day for the Romney campaign was, as Alex Rogers notes below, that Obama’s Soft on Welfare. It sort of flopped. The factoid planted at the microscopic center of the non-story is that the Obama campaign allegedly granted states the right to request waivers from the current welfare work requirements…which is true, except for the following things:

1. The waivers would be granted only if states came up with alternative ideas to create jobs for people on welfare.

2. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney himself asked for such a waiver in 2005.

And, this third bit is just too good…

3. As governor, Romney offered welfare recipients free auto insurance, registration, inspections and memberships in AAA. From the original Boston Herald piece:

“Over 80 percent of participants have moved off of welfare,” said Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho.

Under Romney’s Car Ownership Program, the state paid out one year’s insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for cars that were donated to welfare recipients. Under the plan, those who lost their jobs and ended up back on welfare were allowed to keep their free wheels.

Now, let me make two points:

1. This Romney–the guy who invented what the Herald called “Welfare Wheels”–is the same guy who launched on Rick Perry during the primaries for offering college scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. In fact, he’s still against–maybe, I guess, but we can’t be too sure, because, well, he’s refusing to answer the question–the federal Dream Act, which would grant citizenship to such children who graduated college or served into the military. But cars for welfare recipients was, somehow, just fine. (By the way, I applaud Romney’s program and congratulate him on the 80% success rate.)

2. How incompetent is the Romney campaign? They keep coming up with these stupid gambits–the last was the lie that Obama opposed early voting for members of the military in Ohio–that are shot down instantaneously (everywhere but in Fox-Rush land). And worse, the Democrats–who seem to have a superior oppo team–can often produce counter-stories, like the Herald item, that make things even worse for Romney.

But there is a larger question here: How stupid does he think we are? Every day brings a mind-boggling act of untruth-telling. Last week, he told Sean Hannity that his economic plan “is very similar to the Simpson-Bowles plan.” Except for the fact that Simpson-Bowles raised $2 trillion in revenue over the next 10 years and Romney’s plan raises…well, he won’t say, but so far he hasn’t identified one red cent. I can’t remember a candidate so brazenly allergic to facts.

What a travesty.

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Filed under Mitt Romney Campaign

Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism

As I’ve said before in a similar article, this study is not a conclusive statement that all of the above have low I.Q.s…

The Huffington Post

Are racists dumb? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent than liberals? A provocative new study from Brock University in Ontario suggests the answer to both questions may be a qualified yes.

The study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on I.Q. tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.

I.Q., or intelligence quotient, is a score determined by standardized tests, but whether the tests truly reveal intelligence remains a topic of hot debate among psychologists.

Dr. Gordon Hodson, a professor of psychology at the university and the study’s lead author, said the finding represented evidence of a vicious cycle: People of low intelligence gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, which stress resistance to change and, in turn, prejudice, he told LiveScience.

Why might less intelligent people be drawn to conservative ideologies? Because such ideologies feature “structure and order” that make it easier to comprehend a complicated world, Dodson said. “Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice,” he added.

Dr. Brian Nosek, a University of Virginia psychologist, echoed those sentiments.

“Reality is complicated and messy,” he told The Huffington Post in an email. “Ideologies get rid of the messiness and impose a simpler solution. So, it may not be surprising that people with less cognitive capacity will be attracted to simplifying ideologies.”

But Nosek said less intelligent types might be attracted to liberal “simplifying ideologies” as well as conservative ones.

In any case, the study has taken the Internet by storm, with some outspoken liberals saying that it validates their suspicions about conservatives and conservatives arguing that the research has been misinterpreted.

What do you think? Do conservatives tend to be less intelligent? Or is this just political opinion masquerading as science?

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Filed under Liberalism

Tuesday Blog Round Up 8-7-2012

Video of Mars landing

Daily Kos Radio is on the air!

Is ‘Obamacare’ on the Rebound?

Christie Back in the Mix for Veep?

Between Politics And Precedent

Fight over voting rights sharpens in Ohio

Meanwhile, in other stories of intolerance

Guess Who’s Profiting Most From Super PACs?

Romney keeps wrestling with tax returns claim

Indefinite Detention Ruling Appealed By Federal Prosecutors

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Filed under U.S. Politics

New Obama Video: We’re ‘Really Screwed Under Romney’

TPM LiveWire

The Obama campaign’s latest web video features ordinary citizens testing out the campaign’s tax calculator which allows people to compare their tax burden under President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s tax plans. The tool was created last week and is based on the Tax Policy Center’s assessment of Romney’s plan.

“We’re still saving a ton of taxes under Obama,” says one woman, looking at the calculator. “And we are going to be…really screwed under Romney.”

Watch:

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Filed under Taxes