Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Republican racism (only closer to home); plus - did Mitt Romney make money from dead babies? And did David Koch buy the VP nomination?

Hot on the heels of the racist voter-suppression tactics of Republicans in Ohio, we learn of this recent episode in Vermont:

"A county Republican Party chairman in Vermont apologized Monday afternoon for a racist statement that had appeared on the county GOP's Facebook page. The apology came after Green Mountain Daily reported Sunday that the Rutland County GOP had posted the joke on their Facebook page, generating a series of negative comments. The post and comments have since been removed from the page.

The post read:

Just wanted to let you know -- today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my butt, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard. The directions were in Spanish. Watch for yours soon.

Green Mountain Daily also posted three comments that the Rutland County GOP had posted on the original Facebook post in response to comments opposing the joke -- which has been circulated on the internet. In one, the county GOP said "comedy is usually based in reality .... call it racist if you must ..... not too far off from the truth." The author of the comments for the Republican Party is not identified."

What a riot!

Meanwhile, though, some real funny business has begun to haunt the Republican ticket just prior to the Tampa convention.  Sites like Mother Jones, the Huffington Post, and Jezebel have been buzzing with the news that documents have recently come to light revealing that Mitt Romney was an active participant in the 1999 Bain Capital deal that funded the expansion of Stericycle, the country's leading medical waste firm, which disposes of waste from abortion clinics (among other medical institutions). Indeed, Romney is listed as the only Bain executive with voting power over $75 million worth of shares in the company. (Bain - and Romney - eventually sold their stake in the deal, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.)

Stericycle had a horrible safety record - it has had to reach settlements in several lawsuits with plaintiffs exposed to dangerous waste - but let's be honest, Republicans don't care about that; what they care about is abortion.  And it seems that Mitt Romney may have made money off it - or at the very least he helped underwrite the expansion of a very large company that made money off it, and walked away with a small fortune for his trouble.  Even if he was never involved in the business decisions at Stericycle, simply linking him to their business model would be utterly toxic to the Republican base (the company has recently been vilified by anti-abortion Republicans, who don't realize that the firm was largely funded by their nominee).

But that's not all.  Speculation has surfaced that David Koch, of the infamously evil Koch brothers, actually "bought" the Vice Presidential nomination for Paul Ryan with a donation of $100 million to a Romney Super PAC.  A vicious slur, you say?  Funny - the rumor's source is a Republican, long-time operative (read: dirty trickster) Roger Stone.  Hmmmm.  Stone details how the deal (probably?) went down at a Hamptons fund raiser on his blog.  Now perhaps he only has some sort of personal axe to grind against Ryan - or Koch.  But the story has already gained traction on the fringe - it has enormous resonance as the obvious end-game of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision - and of course even denying it would prove highly toxic to Romney.  So will it and the Stericycle story ever break into the mainstream news cycle? Will these obvious opportunities for investigative reporting receive even a fraction of the attention that Obama's birth certificate has?  All I can say is - wait and see.

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