Saturday, August 11, 2007

Political Fallout’s Mitt Romney Ames Straw Poll Predictions

Money can’t buy you “Big Love,” but it can buy you a formerly Iowa-GOP sponsored Straw Poll victory in Iowa. Given the amount of money and family members Romney has poured into this weekend’s Straw Poll in Ames, he should have naming rights for this year’s fundraising extravaganza: The Mitt Romney Ames Straw Poll (unless of course Marvin Pomerantz has anything to say aout it.)
Feeding off his sponsorship of this year's Ames Straw Poll fundraiser, Mitt Romney has already begun the merchandising component of his campaign's business plan. Romney unveiled the Mitt Romney bobble-head doll at the Iowa River and Power Company Wednesday in Iowa City.
Not to mention, Romney reportedly has chartered over 100 buses that he’s filled with prostituted voters (I say this with apprehension, given my mom is one of these alleged prostitutes…) and has paid for their trip, the $35 ticket, and food. Brownback has supposedly matched Romney with 100 chartered buses, while Huckabee failed to get on the bus early and was too late in chartering buses for the event. Meanwhile, rumor has it that Tancredo contracted the Texas Minutemen to ride up north and deliver voters to the Hilton Coliseum via horseback.

So predicting Romney will “win” the Straw Poll would be like predicting the well-financed Steinbrenner New York Yankees would win the ’98 World Series. Besides, with Romney’s commanding lead in the Iowa polls (followed closely by “I don’t know”), he has nothing to gain, much like the Iowa Hawkeye football team has nothing to gain by adding Western Michigan to the end of this year’s schedule.

That said, let’s look at the race for second:

Brownback and Huckabee are competing for the social conservative vote, and this may end up splitting the vote, but the nod goes to Brownback. After all, he claims to be God’s Senator, and the God-fearing Christian Right cannot risk taking any chances here voting against Brownback – you know, just in case it’s true. Call it spiritual insurance, if you -- or God will.

The Ron Paul Revolution should be in full force, but how much of this force will be qualified to vote in the Straw Poll remains to be seen. Paul could finish anywhere from second to last, but the safe bet is fourth, while the risk-takers (i.e. Ron Paul Revolutionaries) may gamble and bet on Paul to show.

Tancredo should be able to whip up the xenophobic crowd, which takes no pains to closet their spite against illegal immigrants. I didn’t realize illegal immigrants posed such a threat to Western Iowa, which is fairly depopulated and primarily farmland. I thought the point of leaving your family indefinitely and risking your life by crossing the border was to make more money – not less by stealing farmers’ jobs. Drawing from his fervent gun-show base, Tancredo should lead the second tier.

Tommy Thompson and Duncan Hunter have already packed their bags and booked their flights. Thompson said he would drop out if he didn’t finish first or second. Have a safe trip home, Tommy.

So here’s the final scorecard*:

1. Mitt Romney
2. Sam Brownback
3. Mike Huckabee
4. Ron Paul
5. Tom Tancredo
6. Tommy Thompson
7. Duncan Hunter

*Not including the non-participants, Giuliani and McCain, nor the White Knights of the GOP, who are sitting on the sidelines before they announce their intention to rescue the Republican Party (Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich).

More important, here are the real winner of this year’s Mitt Romney Ames Straw Poll:

1. The Iowa GOP – which stands to raise over a million dollars for their fundraiser

2. The Bus Charter Companies (including the out-of-state charter buses Brownback has pimped out to Iowa)

3. Ames – their numbers should do well against the State Fair in Des Moines
4. My Mom -- for scoring an all-expense paid trip to Ames on Romney's dime
5. The Ron Paul Revolution -- win or lose, these folks know how to have fun

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Romney's Sons Surge to Support Him, Not Troops

Last Friday I wrote a commentary piece on the “Iowa Independent” about GOP Hawk hypocrisy. At the end of my commentary, I questioned Romney’s call for a “surge of support,” while his strapping sons drive around Iowa in a 30-foot Winnebago raising more money for his campaign – not the troops.

Yesterday in Bettendorf, Rachel Griffiths, a member of the Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq, asked Mitt about this during an “Ask Mitt Anything”:

Griffith’s question and Mitt’s justification of his son’s call to his duty have taken off in the national media. "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

Here’s the original commentary, “Wanted: GOP Hawks to Sacrifice Themselves for War,” posted on the “Iowa Independent”:

(Commentary) I honestly believe that I was born with irony and hypocrisy radar chips embedded in my cerebral cortex. And nothing sets the radar off more than a civilian hawk, especially one who vehemently calls for war yet is unwilling to donate, sacrifice, or spill his own blood or that of his loved ones in support of the cause.

My first face-to-face encounter with a hypocritical hawk took place in Jan. 1991 at the onset of the first Gulf War. I was a full-time student at the University of Iowa at the time, and I was also in the Army’s IRR ( Inactive Ready Reserves), meaning I could get called back into active duty should Bush Sr. decide my services were needed. I had already completed my active duty service, but as is the case with every soldier who enlists, I had to finish fulfilling my eight-year contract with Uncle Sam. I was feeling conflicted about the notion of having to leave school and return to the Army. I felt as if my life was moving forward and the military chapter of my life had closed behind me.

One snow-covered January day before the spring semester had begun, I was on my way to the University of Iowa book store when I heard shouting at the UI Pentacrest. A group of protestors had gathered to protest President Bush’s Jan. 15 midnight ultimatum and subsequent bombing of Saddam’s troops in Kuwait. Ironically, the shouts weren’t coming from the sign-wielding protestors, but rather, a group of counter protestors. Not only were the counter protestors yelling obscenities, but they were also throwing snowballs at the protestors.

I approached one of the ringleaders who had just heaved a tightly packed snowball at his intended target, while simultaneously yelling, “Support our troops you pussy commies!” When I asked him what was going on, the young twenty-something informed me that he was part of the UI College Republicans, and they were sick and tired of those damn hippies undermining our troops. “Besides, we have just as much right to exercise our free speech as they do.”

“Does exercising your free speech always involve throwing snowballs?” I asked.

“Why do you care?” he responded while his cohorts fired another round of snowballs.

“Just curious, that’s all,” I said.

“I support our troops, and that’s all that matters. They should be supporting them too,” he said.

“By support, do you mean you’re enlisting?”

“You mean join the military?”


“I don’t have time to join right now. I’m in college, and I need to finish up here before I think about doing anything else.”

“I see,” I said.

As I walked away, I could hear the shouts fade in the background as thoughts of having to abandon college and go serve in Kuwait invaded the forefront of my mind. While walking to the bookstore, I pondered a quote from, “The Things They Carried,” a book by Vietnam veteran Tim O’Brien who wrote, “There should be a law, I thought. If you support a war, if you think it’s worth the price, that’s fine, but you have to put your own precious fluids on the line. You have to head for the front and hook up with an infantry unit and help spill the blood. And you have to bring along your wife, or your kids, or your lover. A law, I thought.”

This got me thinking about today’s metaphorical “War on Terror.” Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have yet to be officially declared by Congress, it’s only fitting that Congress pass legislation that institutes an Undeclared Draft---possibly adding it to the 22nd amendment. Here’s a working draft of the bill, The Undeclared Draft Act, which I crafted on Dec. 6, 2006 in response to Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who called for an additional 100,000–150,000 troop surge in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Congress, during times of Undeclared War, shall have the right to institute or reinstitute an Undeclared Draft. Using a lottery system, persons eligible for the Undeclared Draft will be randomly selected from a pool comprised of anyone over the age of 18 who supports any military actions ordered during a time of Undeclared War. The pool will also be extended to include anyone whose mother or father is an elected official and supports, whether it be directly or indirectly, said military actions.

Sounds fair to me, but I’m not sure this would bode well with the hawk-infested political community, especially considering most of their sons and daughters are serving tours on college campuses, while unrelated troops are serving multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The grenade, however, doesn’t fall far from the hawk’s desk, for they’ve managed to breed the same hawk-like hypocrisies into their children. In his documentary-style video, “Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour,” Max Blumenthal documents the next generation of Republican hawks and their hypocritical mentality when it comes to actually supporting the war.

After visiting Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery on July 13, 2007, Blumenthal headed across the street to the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there." Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

"Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour"

Generation Chickenhawk: The Unauthorized College Republican Convention Tour from huffpost and Vimeo.

The other day I received an e-mail message from Mitt Romney, who’s calling for a “surge of support” to go along with the recent troop surge in Iraq. In doing so, Romney attacked the Democrats’ allegiences towards the troops:

While some Democrats in Congress say they support the troops who are making these sacrifices, many don’t support the work they are doing to make the surge a success.

By troop support, Romney means visiting and/or joining an organization that sends supplies, care packages and other moral boosters over to our deployed troops. This is great, but nowhere in his plan does Romney indicate that we should support our returning veterans as well or support Jim Webb’s congressional measure that would give our troops more down time upon their return before redeployment.

Nor does Romney, who has been blessed with five strapping sons, suggest supporting our troops with fresh meat from his own familial den of young military hawks. I received a campaign e-mail yesterday from Josh, one of Romney’s sons, who has been cruising around Iowa in his dad’s 30-foot Winnebago in an effort to raise support for his dad’s Ames Straw Poll.campaign.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jesus Told Tom Tancredo to Bomb Mecca?

Somebody who feels compelled to publicly announce they’ve found Jesus and made Him his personal savior makes me really nervous, especially if that somebody is a politician running for office. (e.g. George W. Bush)

During the GOP debate in Des Moines this past Sabbath Day, the candidates were asked to confess a defining mistake in their lives and why. Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo stepped up to the plate and swung for the Holy fence.

Tancredo’s Defining Mistake: “It took me 30 years before I realized Jesus Christ is my personal savior.”

Now, I realize that people confess they found Jesus as a means of whiting out any moral ambiguities, indiscretions, and/or mistakes they may have made in the past, but this is not what really scares me. It’s what they do after they publicly announce their new relationship with Jesus Christ in front of a nationally televised audience that sends apocalyptic shivers down my spine.

Tancredo is no exception to this post-I-found-Jesus-and-made-him-my-personal-savior phenomenon. Similar to Bush Jr., I’m fairly certain Tancredo hasn’t read the "Dummy’s Guide to Making Jesus Your Own Personal Savior" from cover to cover.

Better yet, Tancredo may want to revisit (or visit assuming he hasn’t read it) the “Old Testament” before joining a book club with Jesus. So when Tancredo made Jesus his personal savior, was it a two-way street? I’m wondering if Jesus had any say in the matter, but the point is really moot, since Jesus loves and accepts all mankind—yes, even Tancredo.

A spiritual source with Political Fallout did manage to intercept a memo sent from Jesus to Tancredo under the newly adopted FISA guidelines -- which permits the government to intercept messages from any entities outside the United States (i.e. Heaven) that are deemed a threat to American Imperialism and the spread of Democracy.

TO: Rep. Tom Tancredo, R.-Colo.
FROM: Jesus, Savior of Mankind
DATE: 8-6-07
SUBJECT: Personal Savior Status

Dear Tom,

While watching the GOP debate on the day set aside for praising my father and only my father, it came to my attention that you had found Me and made Me your personal savior. Although flattered, I don’t recall making this pact and after combing through my files, I found no record of you finding Me. Maybe you could help out by refreshing my memory and letting me know the precise date I became your personal savior. Hopefully, there’s just been a bureaucratic lapse on our end. You’d be amazed how many things get lost through the bureaucratic cracks up here. I mean, how else do you think Bush got elected not once, but twice?

Another thing, if our records do indicate that you have achieved saved status, I’d suggest you read my biography, “The New Testament,” so I know we’re on the same page. (After all, in this modern age of marketing and product branding, I do have to protect my image and how it’s used.) For example, there’s the bit about loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Well, Tom, I really meant those words. They weren’t meant to be taken at a literal level, meaning just love the folks on your street or in your neighborhood. Rather, I was speaking metaphorically and by neighbors, I meant mankind. Comprende, Senor Tancredo?

So, if we’re going to continue our relationship, I want you to promise me that you’ll stop treating your neighbors to the south like sub-humans who are hell bent on coming to your country to destroy your way of life by killing every one in their path. This is no way to treat my dad’s creations. If he gets a whiff of this, there will be hell to pay. Oh, and please stop threatening to blow up Mecca and other holy shrines to serve as a deterrent to war. Trust me, there are other ways to deter war, but I’m sure you’ve familiarized yourself with these teachings when you read my biography.

Like I said, I’ll look into my files for records indicating your saved status. In the meantime, be sure to send us a record of when you found Me, so my staff can update our records up here.

Love Always,


P.S. As a gesture for considering Me to be your personal savior, I would like to send you one of my bumper stickers. I’ll send you your choice of the ever-popular “W.W.J.D?,” “What Would Jesus Bomb?” (BTW, I’m being ironic here, Tom: LOL:) or my personal favorite “Look Busy, Jesus is Coming.” Just let me know in your daily prayers, and I’ll get it to you as soon as possible.