CRACKING THE SYSTEM: How does the ridiculousness of a fast food restaurant serving gourmet food relate to the political version of prostitution?

written by Anthony Moore
© 2013

Question: How does the ridiculousness of a fast food restaurant serving gourmet food relate to the political version of prostitution?

Excerpt from Cracking the System: I’ve just seen a commercial that says Taco Bell now has a “gourmet” menu. Really? Going to Taco Bell for gourmet food is like going to a whorehouse to find people who think that paying for sex is immoral. Another way to put it is that going to Taco Bell for gourmet food is like going to K Street to find people who feel like paying for political favors is immoral (by the way, when I compare whorehouses to companies on K street, I mean no offense to whorehouses). For those people who’re offended by the term “whorehouse,” let me provide a comparison that is more Rated PG as opposed to Rated R (by the way, as it relates to the example provided, the “R” could also stand for Rated “Real”—because although some might find it politically incorrect, it’s not like whorehouses don’t exist; nor is it not like many men who publicly denounce whoring don’t secretly finance lots of whoring that they greatly benefit from—just consider any ultra-religious wealthy person who makes anonymous financial contributions to Super PACs). Anyway, back to what I was getting at: the Rated PG version of what I said about Taco Bell’s gourmet food is that going to Taco Bell for gourmet food is like going to an NFL locker room to find people who think you shouldn’t ever hit people hard enough to make them forget what planet they live on.

Speaking of conservative rich guys and Super PACs, it’s ironic that Joe Ricketts, who made a billion dollar personal fortune from founding what is now TD Ameritrade, started a Super PAC as an outgrowth of his efforts to end political earmarks. That’s like if you feel that hardcore drugs are ruining your community, and so you fund a group of meth dealers to help you get rid of the people next door who are selling heroin.

HOW THE PRECEDING BOOK EXCERPT CONTRIBUTES TO “CRACKING” THE SYSTEM: The excerpt above is from the chapter entitled Politics. Within this chapter there are sections such as The College Game Shows the Reality of Politics in America. Among other things, this section shows how when we don’t understand and pay attention to political policies that affect us, we often suffer as a result. It also gets into how government can be very beneficial to citizens in ways that private business can’t (and won’t) be, but this is dependent on citizens being aware, educated, and participatory when it comes to the democratic process (in an “active” versus a “passive” way). The creation of the student loan market in the U.S. shows how government can do things that encourage and assist businesses in benefiting the public and the country as a whole. The evolution of the student loan market in the U.S. also shows how government policies (however well intentioned) can be hurtful instead of helpful when hijacked by self-serving and often short-sighted business and/or political interests. Other topics covered in this chapter include how when everyday people effectively organize and educate themselves, they can overcome powerful entrenched interests that have more money and political capital. In addition to things that frequently undermine U.S. democracy, such as earmarks and lobbyists, also discussed is another factor that also frequently undermines the U.S. political system, which is the Super PAC.

Campaign-finance law in the U.S. has been greatly and fundamentally upended by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case and the subsequent ruling of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the Speech Now case. The “Super” PACs that consequently emerged represent a clear threat to U.S. democracy. A threat that in practice—regardless of the intention of the Supreme Court decision regarding the matter—subverts the best interests of the people in favor of clandestine, well-financed, and self-serving interests.

As long as they don’t explicitly contribute to candidates or political parties, Super PACs can engage in limitless political spending and raise unlimited funds from corporations, unions or other groups, as well as from individuals. Donors are also able to anonymously give to Super PACs that establish a 501(c)4 nonprofit entity (as long as it satisfies the very flexible classification of being a “social welfare” organization).

WHAT THE HELL? Catholic Priests in the Hizz-oouse!

 WHAT THE HELL? Catholic Priests in the Hizz oouse!

WHAT THE HELL?: Karl Rove's Torture Everyday

 WHAT THE HELL?: Karl Rove's Torture Everyday

CRACKING THE SYSTEM: If Chris Brown came up with his own fashion design institute, what type of person might attend it?

written by Anthony Moore
© 2013

Question: If Chris Brown came up with his own fashion design institute, what type of person might attend it?

Excerpt from Cracking the System: Lots of companies look at their employees as products. To put it another way, many companies see their employees as just another cog in the wheel. Just like any other supply (whether it be paper, pens, staples, or whatever) employees are often considered just another supply in the supply chain; just another resource necessary to make money. At least if you have this understanding you can act accordingly. A fundamental aspect of providing value is knowing how people value (or don’t value) you. To put it another way, it’s about being aware of how valuable you are to the operation you’re working with.

Think about this. One of the most effective ways to oppress a person is to make them believe they are not being oppressed. For instance, if a guy hits a female because he wants to give her a black eye to match the black dress she’s wearing, don’t associate his desire to make sure she’s wearing matching colors with him looking out for her. While it normally might be a good thing to have someone that makes sure you’re matching from head to toe, this is clearly an exception to the rule. Besides, anybody that associates assault and battery with fashion coordination is probably coo coo for cocoa puffs in a major way—either that, or they attended the “Chris Brown School of Fashion Design.”

HOW THE PRECEDING BOOK EXCERPT CONTRIBUTES TO “CRACKING” THE SYSTEM: The excerpt above is from the chapter entitled Play Your Position. It comes from a section within the chapter entitled Peep This So You Don’t Get Dismissed, which points out how important it is for people to understand how many employers, and people in general, will view them in terms of the financial value they represent. In other words, in the modern corporate and business environment, companies and other types of organizations determine people’s value explicitly in terms of what they contribute to the bottom line. Understanding this increasingly obvious reality is key to not getting played by the system. It is important that people realize this so that they are aware they will be discarded if it is determined that it is in the best interests of those who employ them to do so (regardless of the praise and other types of sentiments that are used to induce loyalty).

The book ties these points into how important it is for current and future college students to see themselves the way prospective employers will see them, which is as a “product.” This enables them to correspondingly consider where they fit in as a product in the distribution chain (in other words, where they fit in terms of how professions and industries they are considering entering, or have already entered, are organized). The book provides techniques for doing so and shows how to take the aforementioned factors into consideration when choosing a college, selecting a field of study, and pursuing scholarships for college.

WHAT THE HELL? : Ronald Reagan Rewarded for Getting Massive Praise Despite Causing Massive Destruction

 WHAT THE HELL? : Ronald Reagan Rewarded for Getting Massive Praise Despite Causing Massive Destruction

WHAT THE HELL?: Flavor Flav Shows What "Time It Is" for Mitt Romney

 WHAT THE HELL?: Flavor Flav Shows What "Time It Is" for Mitt Romney

SCHOLARSHIPS – AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BIGGER PICTURE

By Anthony Moore
© 2012
The same reasons people don’t apply for scholarships are the same reasons many people aren’t successful in life – fear, doubt and having a short-term perspective! Read on to prevent these things from stopping you.

Winning one scholarship that pays for all of a person’s college tuition can be the worst thing that happened to him or her! How can this be? This can be the case because it often causes people to damagingly believe they shouldn’t apply for other scholarships. This is because they only look at the monetary component of scholarships. They figure, “My education is already paid for, so why should I bother?” However, scholarships are about more than money. Winning scholarships leads to other opportunities, such as internships, employment, and building relationships (with both peers and established
professionals) that often yield invaluable guidance and connections.

Consider that a person who wins different scholarships that only pay half of her tuition but put her in contact with a

variety of people and organizations will likely be better off than someone who wins one scholarship that pays all of his costs but doesn’t put him in contact with different types of people and groups. If nothing else, the first person would have a much richer experience in terms of travel to different places and interaction with varying cultures of people. For instance, when I won the Gates Millennium Scholarship I was invited to the Gates Foundation’s conference for scholarship winners, where I had to work with varying cultures of people (much more so than on my college campus). Plus, in addition to the money I was given for school, the conference was all-expenses-paid, so I also was able to travel to a city I had never been to before, stay in a nice hotel, eat great food and snacks, and I haven’t even got into the fascinating people I met and great things I learned from the various seminars that were conducted for us. Yes, it does get much better than just the great hotels and free food. Don’t forget, the college experience is about the Big Picture—think long term. It’s important to learn outside of your class related studies, meet different types of people, and build relationships.

Success in life comes to those who plan for it. The sooner you plan for success, the sooner you get it. Why wait until you get to college or become an adult to plan for success when you’re able to start doing so before you even get in high school? Success is just like compound interest on money you invest, the sooner you start investing and planting the relevant seeds, the sooner and more exponentially they grow.

It’s not just about winning scholarships—it’s about enhancing your life! The things I recommend in my book, Scholarship Rich, will not just benefit you in terms of winning scholarships; they are things that will help you to win in life. They will shape and guide your path plus enhance your skill sets. Winning scholarships will be a byproduct of the skill sets, experiences, passion, and focus you will find, improve, and utilize. The underlying theme of the book is to discover and focus on the things about you that will enhance your life and you as a person—scholarship success is merely a resulting outgrowth.

CRACKING THE SYSTEM: How did Mitt Romney and other key figures at Bain Capital profit from a toy story that didn’t have a happy ending for most people?

written by Anthony Moore

© 2012

Question: How did Mitt Romney and other key figures at Bain Capital profit from a “toy story” that didn’t have a “happy ending” for most people?

Excerpt from Cracking the System: I have yet to see any of the Toy Story movies, but I don’t need to see any of them to know that they all have happy endings. After all, they’re Pixar movies, and Pixar only does happy endings—and not the kind of happy endings you get from massage parlors. I would be the first to agree that those kind of happy endings would be inappropriate for a children’s movie. Even so, the animated Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie released by Disney a long time ago gives me the impression that there may have been some of those kind of happy endings going on behind the scenes. Particularly when you consider she was a fair young maiden living with seven dwarfs who were all adult males who had no other women around and seemed to had never before even seen a woman let alone lived with one. Speaking of which, the previews of the newer big budget version of Snow White (Snow White and the Huntsman) give me the impression that the movie would have had some of those “adult happy endings” if it wasn’t for the fact that its distributors wanted to maintain its PG-13 rating. Especially with a name like “snow white,” which sounds like it could very well be the name of a powerful brand of cocaine. So, we can all agree that in some instances experiencing a “happy ending” when it comes to “snow white” isn’t exactly family friendly. Anyway, I digress.

The point I’m getting at is that when Bain Capital invested in KB Toys it didn’t result in a happy ending for the toy store—so it’s one toy story that didn’t have a happy ending; at least not for the toy store itself, although Bain Capital and senior level executives at KB Toys experienced happy endings at the expense of a whole bunch of other people. It’s the kind of perverted happy ending where the happiness of a few is obtained from the misery of the many—you know, just like when people force others to watch performances by their untalented kids so that they can feel like good parents (this is an injustice that’s often committed by powerful people in Hollywood).

In less than a year and a half, Bain Capital transformed $18 million into $85 million via a leveraged buyout of KB Toys. In December 2000, Bain invested $18 million of its own money and used $237 million in debt to acquire the toy store chain. In April of 2002, under the ownership of Bain, KB Toys obtained $66 million in additional debt. After that, the company used the cash it had on hand to pay out a “special” dividend. It was very special—so special that they profited by draining resources from the company and leading it down what turned out to be a path of destruction. The “special” dividend was a cash payout of $121 million, of which $85 million went to Bain and $36 million went to senior executives who signed off on the dividends.[1] I guess the $36 million the senior executives gave to themselves was a reward for giving Bain all that money. There’s nothing like a hard day’s work of giving out money irresponsibly. To make a long story short, in less than two years, KB Toys lost $109 million and filed for bankruptcy in 2004.[2] It closed half of its 1,200 stores and laid off more than half of its 16,000 employees. The bankruptcy filing caused the company who sold the toy store to Bain to lose $45 million of debt owed to it. Unsecured creditors got 8 cents on the dollar for the money they were owed. Bain blamed Wal-Mart for the problems KB Toys experienced.[3] I have no problem blaming Wal-Mart for its atrocities (as I do in this book), but just maybe the destruction of KB Toys had just a little something to do with the questionable “money management” decisions that took place. It’s probably more appropriate to call them “money-giving” decisions (since managing something implies handling it responsibly).

I did not point out Bain Capital’s handling of KB Toys to discredit Bain. I’m not saying that Bain hasn’t had a fair share of success stories. Nor am I saying that in every single one of its buyout did Bain discard employees at a faster rate than monogamy gets discarded at a swingers’ party. However, the reality is that in more than a few instances of its buyouts, Bain did discard employees at a faster rate than the rate at which the ability to act gets discarded in a Cinemax After Dark movie (that’s a very fast rate, by the way). If you’ve never seen a Cinemax After Dark movie, trust me when I say the acting leaves something to be desired. Of course, nobody in his right mind looks at these movies for any of the actresses ability to act—that would be the equivalent of picking up a copy of Playboy magazine just to make sure that the girls inside have nice personalities.

HOW THE PRECEDING BOOK EXCERPT CONTRIBUTES TO “CRACKING” THE SYSTEM: The excerpt above is from the chapter entitled The Game Has Changed, or Has It? Within this chapter there are sections such as Student Loans – Less About Educating and More About Money-Making. This section provides a broader context for the current state of college financing in the U.S. and the corresponding role of college within it. This is done by breaking down how and why the game has changed. It is explained how many of the failings of the U.S. economy and other ills perpetrated by the financial industry are actually the continuation and realization of a larger on-going trend. Also examined is the importance of understanding certain aspects of financial markets even if you’re not working in a finance-related industry, being that these aspects have a far-reaching, often unobvious, and (some would say) excessive impact on the U.S. as well as the world as a whole—student loans becoming more exploitive and burdensome is a byproduct of this reality. Also examined are the origins of this trend—a trend that has led to private equity fueled predatory practices such as the ones Bain Capital has engaged in as well as the practices that have resulted in Sallie Mae going from being an organization founded by the U.S. government (to help students pay for college) to being just another profit-driven company that was a highly coveted acquisition target by private equity firms and other large companies. Sallie Mae is currently a publicly traded strictly for-profit enterprise. The essence of this trend is the U.S. economy (driven by the finance industry) making a clearly noticeable shift toward the business practice of making money from the acquisition and selling of businesses while shifting away from a focus on more organic business success driven primarily by business expansion and development that spurs job-creation, infrastructure investment, as well as market growth.

This chapter also has a section entitled William E. Simon – Economic Pioneer or Plain Ol’ Pimp? It addresses Wesray Capital Corporation, a company that was a pioneer in the sometimes predatory practice of leveraged buyouts. The company’s founding is an example of the inter-connected relationships and revolving doors between government and business (especially as it relates to the finance industry). This is clearly demonstrated by one of the founders of Wesray, William Simon, who was Secretary of the U.S. Treasury before becoming one of the richest men in the U.S. due to his subsequent exploits as a financier. This pattern has been perpetuated in numerous instances, including in the case of the founding of the Blackstone Group, which is one of today’s largest financial services company and has been one of the biggest practitioners of leveraged buyouts in the most recent decade.

How Switching from Barack Obama to Mitt Romney Would've Been Like Going from Being a Respected Spouse to a Disrespected Booty Call?

By Itself, Obama’s Re-election Doesn’t Mean Much

Going from Spouse to Booty Call

Sometimes You Should Leave, Sometimes You Should Stay

So How Does This Relationship Analogy Relate to the U.S. Presidency?

The Fox News Channel Detracts from Mitt Romney’s Credibility

President of the United Mistakes of America

Voter Suppression is Distressing

 

By Itself, Obama’s Re-election Doesn’t Mean Much

First of all, I want to disclose that I voted for Barack Obama for President in 2012 and 2008. Although I’m glad that Obama was re-elected, I’m under no illusion that this by itself will improve the lives of the many people who voted him back into office. The reality is that the “actual” people in power are still in power. The “actual” people in power are the ones behind the scenes on whose behalf most politicians “actually” serve and get elected. The votes that prevented Mitt Romney from being elected President didn’t extend to any major corporation, or powerful lobbying organization, or any influential think tank whose footprints are reflected by many politicians and political policies. In other words, the firmly entrenched behind-the-scenes powers that were in power before the 2012 elections are still in power after the 2012 elections. In fact, the balance of power within the Executive and Legislative branches of government is still the same as it was before the election (the President is still a Democrat, the U.S. Senate still has a Democrat majority, and the U.S. House still has a Republican majority). Although my views tend to be more progressive in nature, I didn’t vote against Romney simply because of ideological factors (don’t get me wrong, I was firmly against some of Mitt Romney’s policies—even though it was hard to tell what his policies really were considering how they seemed to change based on what audience he was talking to).

In my honest assessment, Mitt Romney didn’t make a strong enough case to be elected. That’s why this article is about how going from Obama to Romney “would’ve been like going from being a respected spouse to a disrespected booty call” (I explain why I’ve concluded this).

Both Romney’s campaign and Obama’s (to a certain extent) reflected what’s wrong with politics in the U.S. Among other things, this includes a focus on style versus substance, short-term versus long-term thinking, and the tried and true (yet very destructive) political tactic of “telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear.” In essence, Mitt Romney’s case was, “This guy has been a terrible President—so shouldn’t you give me a chance since I’m not him? So what if I’m not making a case for why I would be a better choice. The next-man-up philosophy often works in the NFL, so why wouldn’t it work for the U.S. Presidency?

Well, I’ll admit that the next-man-up philosophy has often worked out well in the NFL (Steve Young replacing Joe Montana and Tom Brady replacing Drew Bledsoe are just a few examples). However, in the case of an NFL team (or any sports franchise), the worst case scenario is that the team will fail. But in the case of a country, if this strategy doesn’t work out, the country could fail! Plus, in sports if the next man up doesn’t work out, he can replaced at will. With a U.S. President, you’re stuck with him or her for at least four years. See the difference? Plus, despite the way many diehard fans act, if an NFL team fails it won’t be the end of world (although, like I said, many fans would have you think this is the case considering how they act). On the other hand, when you factor in things like nuclear weapons, a U.S. President being a failure can literally result in the end of the world. So, if Romney had been elected on account of the “next-man-up” case he made to the public, it would have been a bad precedent. Read on to see why this is the case.

 

Going from Spouse to Booty Call

The heading above refers to situations in which people end good relationships for “something new” that makes them worse off. Some people leave loving and stable relationships out of boredom. They opt for new and exciting relationships that turn out to be about as exciting as racing a car with brakes that don’t work. Think about it. If a car’s brakes don’t work, driving the car at fast speeds will be extremely exciting since you’ll have an adrenaline rush more intense than the kind Tiger Woods has whenever he sees a blond white woman raising a golf club. Either that, or you’ll have an adrenaline rush more intense than the kind a Wall Street executive has whenever somebody with integrity checks the books. On the flip side, racing a car with brakes that don’t work will cause your excitement to end once it becomes painfully apparent that being a human crash test dummy is counterproductive to keeping low insurance premiums (it’s also counterproductive to having bones that aren’t broken). In other words, if you crash a car after driving it at superfast speeds, (assuming you’re still alive) your expenses will go up—whether it’s from higher insurance premiums, hospital bills, legal bills, etc… This is similar to how leaving a good and stable (but maybe boring) relationship for an exciting fling (with no real substance) can also cause your expenses to go up. Particularly after you find out things you should’ve found out before you left the stable relationship; things like finding out the new person has a fervent belief in stealing every possession you own if you leave him the keys to your house. How does this relate to the Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney? Read on to find out.

As a general rule I don’t believe in settling for less, and that definitely applies to the leaders I choose to accept. Yet, even when there’s a justified sentiment that the existing leadership should be better, one of the worst things to do is to impulsively replace an existing leader with one who hasn’t credibly proved he or she can or will do better—especially if choosing the person is just because of the desire for something new. How often do people take someone for granted and impetuously opt for “something new” only to end up worse off as a result? The reality is that this happens all the time—just like America continues to put out progressively worse reality television shows all the time. Don’t get me wrong. If a person or thing clearly isn’t working, then it might be time for a change. Say you’re in an abusive relationship with a significant other. I’d be the first to recommend ending the relationship because abuse is unacceptable under any circumstances. For example, if you’re dating a person who’s a fan of the legendary performer James Brown, and the two of you are listening to one of James’s albums and the person you’re dating hits you every time James Brown sings “hit me” on one of his songs, that’s not cool—even if the person says he only hit you because James Brown said so.

 

Sometimes You Should Leave, Sometimes You Should Stay

The need to leave an abusive relationship doesn’t just include physical abuse. It also applies to other abuses that might be present, such as drug abuse. For instance, if a person would rather spend time with a crack pipe than with me, I’d give my best wishes for that person and the crack pipe to live happily after ever. Of course that’s like somebody wishing that the hot grits they threw on you were the best you’ve ever tasted. I know that might be a random thing to say, but I just read about how back in the day one of singer Al Green’s girlfriends threw some hot grits on him. As much as I enjoy eating hot grits, if the price of having a significant other who makes phenomenal hot grits means she’ll

throw them on me if she gets mad at me, I’d rather have a female who doesn’t cook. All I’m saying is that if enjoying home cooking means I’ll end up with third degree burns, let’s go out to eat. Anyway, back to the point I was making. When the prospect of something “new” becomes alluring not because the existing relationship isn’t working or because there are clear “I-can’t-leave-this-relationship-fast-enough” factors (such as abuse), people who fall victim to this type of impulsiveness often realize afterwards that they were better off to begin with (especially when they trade in a proven good thing for a “new” and “maybe” better thing). After the past relationship is no longer an option, people often end up wishing they could back in time the way John McCain wishes he could go back in time and change his mind about choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Relationships are constant work. Intimate relationships that aren’t continually renewed and worked on get old. So you have to spice the relationship up. It can help to do something bold like having sex in a public restroom; or if you’re dating someone who doesn’t look so hot, it can help to do something bold like having sex with the lights on. Hey, you have to do what you have to do, right? For instance, if you’re a religious Conservative, do something different with your wife, like having sex with her instead of your woman on the side (I’m just kidding with religious Conservatives, although quite a few have been caught doing things they criticize others for doing—for more info on this, research people like Newt Gingrich and Larry Craig). Like I pointed out earlier, if somebody is cheating, abusive, or holding you back, I’d be the first to recommend dropping that person faster than AT&T and Verizon drop cell phone calls.  Yet, people sometimes cheat on, and even break up with, good mates because they aren’t willing to work on the relationship. Naturally it’s a no-win situation if the other person isn’t willing to work on the relationship. Yet in other situations, people will simply get bored or dissatisfied with a person just because things have gotten hard—or when certain things don’t get hard (as in “things” that result in subpar sexual performance). So, even when it’s a worthwhile relationship with much more good than bad, sometimes people don’t even try.

 

So How Does This Relationship Analogy Relate to the U.S. Presidency?

When it comes to U.S. Presidents, we don’t have the option of being “single” (in other words, not having a President). Even so, the significant other analogy still applies. The reality is that people have to compel U.S. Presidents (and politicians in general) to do the right thing. Historically, such as with President Franklin D. Roosevelt implementing the New Deal, as well as with President Lyndon B. Johnson passing historical civil rights legislation, U.S. Presidents have needed considerable public support and pressure to pass ground breaking legislation that benefited masses of clout-less people in spite of being opposed by powerful entrenched interests. Even when Presidents genuinely want to serve the people, they often need the popular support that is necessary to overcome these powerful entrenched interests, which have many politicians in their pockets and spend tons of money to promote their interests. The reality is that until we the people demand it in an informed, persistent, credible and organized manner, things in America won’t change for the better (things such as the vast economic inequality in the U.S., declining social mobility, climate change, too big to fail financial institutions, special interest beholden politicians, abusive corporate practices, a gridlocked federal government, a declining education system that is increasingly deficient in a global context, as well as other ingrained systemic problems that are not just negatively impacting Americans, but people around the world). So, to switch to another President—without having specific and well reasoned motivation for doing so—just because you feel the current one isn’t doing his job, is analogous to switching from one lover to another just because you want something new for the sake of something new. In other words, having the mentality of, “this guy isn’t doing a good enough job, so let’s get somebody else” (which doesn’t take into consideration the “somebody else” could be way worse).

We the people must organize and have focused concerted efforts to make sure America lives up to its promise, potential, and legacy (in certain regards) of greatness. On this front, Obama in his second term, and all future U.S. Presidents have their work cut out for them. Even with Obama in office for his second term, we the people must put pressure on him to do the “right thing” when the “right thing” entails serving the public as opposed to major corporations and other special interests. With that being said, despite its lack of specificity, Obama’s election platform was clearly more in touch with working class people’s interest than Romney’s was—so to think the masses would’ve gotten a better shake with Romney was illogical (I’m saying this based on his platform, or the lack thereof, not because of anything personal against Romney). By the way, despite whatever lack of specificity applied to Obama’s platform, compared to Romney’s, Obama’s platform was as open and upfront as a cash register that’s getting robbed.

 

The Fox News Channel Detracted from Mitt Romney’s Credibility

Another thing that really detracted from Romney’s credibility is that the Fox News Channel was the only television news program that unequivocally supported Romney when he made his infamous “47 percent” comment (which essentially disparaged 47 percent of the people in the U.S. as being people who won’t vote for him because they depend on government handouts). Not only did the channel support him, it even tried to spin it in a way they hoped would paint Obama in a bad light. It did this by heavily promoting a recording of Obama from 1998 where he stressed the importance of “redistributing” income to those who need it in order to help elevate them from poverty. For Fox News and the Romney campaign to bring out a recording that Obama made in 1998—when he was just a state senator—to counter a recording that Romney did in 2012, while he was running for the 2012 Presidential election, is comparable to the following hypothetical situation. Say two men were competing for a woman’s hand in marriage. And earlier that year, one of the men was caught on video saying that half of all women are not worth marrying because no matter what you do, they won’t be good wives; and in response to getting caught saying this, he finds and shares a video recording of the other man from fourteen years earlier where he was recorded saying women who’ve been successfully married for a long time should mentor women who haven’t had successful marriages since they’d benefit from learning to be better wives from women who’ve been successful at it. In other words, if the woman chose the first man as her husband despite all of this, she’s likely to suffer from what I call “The Bachelor Effect.” This happens when a marriage has the effect of making a woman wish her husband went back to being a bachelor (either that or the woman stays married for such a short time she might as well have been the winning contestant on The Bachelor).

Speaking of the Fox News channel, if you want to keep up with who the most extreme people in America are, all you have to do is pay attention to the people on Fox News who actually believe what they say. In other words, pay attention to the extreme right-wing people on Fox News who don’t advocate for the things they promote primarily because they’re getting paid to do so. I bet the wealthy people who backed Mitt Romney and other Republicans across the country were thinking to themselves, “I find it hard to believe that anybody believes this Fox News stuff, but I guess I have to take Karl Rove’s word on it.” In all fairness, I do give Juan Williams credit for being the one person who’s actually hosted a show on Fox News who seems to be even halfway objective and non-partisan in analyzing the issues.

 

President of the United Mistakes of America

The Romney campaign bringing out a fourteen year old video featuring Obama (on which he really didn’t say anything bad) in order to counter Romney being caught on video saying something that definitely was bad, reeks of more desperation than using a twenty-year old photo as your profile picture on a dating site. Fox News unequivocally supported Romney no matter what he did, and always found a way to spin it against Obama. If Romney was caught on tape killing a dog, I bet Fox News would’ve found a childhood friend to say Obama rescued dogs in order to put them in dog fights.  If Romney got caught on video not washing his hands after using the bathroom, Fox News would’ve come out with a witness to testify that Obama did “number two” in public restrooms without flushing the toilet. Although MSNBC definitely advocated for Democrats and Obama similarly to how Fox News advocated for Republicans and Romney, no matter what Romney did wrong, Fox News not only didn’t call him out on it, but it somehow found a way to use it to attack Obama. For those who might say that MSNBC didn’t ever call out Obama either, this can easily be disproven by searching “Chris Matthews freaks out over debate.” Although Matthews is a strong contender for being Obama’s number one cheerleader, after the October 3rd Presidential debate, he was harder on Obama than a man taking Viagra is on a woman at a strip club.

The way Fox News unequivocally supported Romney after he became the Republican Presidential nominee was in itself a condemnation. It’s like if twenty people testified that they witnessed you rob a bank, and the one person who said you didn’t do it is the one person you robbed it with. Although Fox News always found a way to turn Romney’s gaffes into attacks on Obama, I can’t say MSNBC wouldn’t have done the same if Obama made similar gaffes, because we really didn’t have the opportunity to see that play out. In terms of the 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign, (besides the debate performance on October 3rd) Obama didn’t make too many major gaffes. In other words, if the election was for President of the United Mistakes of America, Romney would’ve definitely won hands down.

 

Voter Suppression is Distressing

So in summary, I commend all the people who voted in the 2012 Presidential election (as well as for the other 2012 elections across the U.S.). The fact that many Republicans across the United States systematically worked at restricting people’s right to vote—one of the most fundamental, important and American of all American rights—shows how important the right to vote is. If it wasn’t important, they wouldn’t have tried to take it away specifically for the purpose of increasing the chances of Republicans being elected into office (not just for President, but for numerous other elected targeted across the country to help Republicans gain control of the U.S. House and Senate). Regardless of the bogus justification they gave—such as the need for new Voter ID laws to combat (nonexistent) voter fraud—the fact these efforts were launched to suppress Democrat votes on behalf of Republicans says it all. Fortunately, these efforts seemed to have provided extra motivation for many people to vote—with people being willing to overcome all kinds of adversities, including standing in very long lines (up to seven hours in some places). The fact that such a coordinated effort went into suppressing the right to vote in such despicable ways puts into perspective the value of voting (although with the limited choices we often have in terms of quality politicians, voting can sometimes seem to be about as worthwhile as putting a loud speaker in a home for the hearing impaired). Lastly, whenever voting for any candidate, whether it be for President or any office, do it for educated and thought out reasons, not because of the “something new” reason that was the underlying sentiment Romney appealed to and based much of his strategy for election on.

 © 2012 Anthony Moore