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    Winners and losers: Romney is Etch-ed; Newt gets sensitive; sympathy for the sergeant in Afghan case

    Romney's pattern: Do a face-plant in the middle of every victory lap. But at least he's moving forward, while Gingrich and Santorum stumble even when standing still.

    An aide to Mitt Romney compared his presidential campaign to Etch-a-Sketch activity.

    An aide to Mitt Romney compared his presidential campaign to Etch-a-Sketch activity. DonkeyHotey/Flickr (Creative Commons license)

    James L. McIntire, Washington's State Treasurer

    James L. McIntire, Washington's State Treasurer

    Mitt Romney continues his winner-loser ping-pong match. It's a familiar cycle: come out of a big primary (this time, the win in Illinois), then do a face-plant during the victory lap. And yes, it is a pattern (see Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan...). 

    A Romney aide inadvertently confirmed some of the worst suspicions about the candidate by virtually promising that Romney will change his positions implying that, ideologically, the candidate was an Etch-a-Sketch, just him turn over, shake, and you have a blank slate. Run right, zag center, reboot for the fall. Nobody's hurt, nobody remembers. So much for the GOP frontrunner as a man of convictions.

    Romney's opponents seized on the characterization and began flourishing Etch-a-Sketches on the campaign trail, their hopes, if not their delegate counts, revived. It all but squashed the news that Jeb Bush had finally come down off the fence and endorsed Romney, albeit without much enthusiasm and in the cause of putting the primary campaign out of its misery.

    Etch-a-Sketch is a classic toy made by the Ohio Art Company, great for car trips. Dang, why didn't he just give Seamus one for that trip to Canada? Etch-a-Sketch sales boomed — spiking on Amazon — as a result of the publicity. Romney should capitalize: Mitt's creating jobs in Ohio!

    Gaffes are gaffes, not scandals. Still, as the 40th anniversary of Watergate looms (June 17), one wonders if Romney shouldn't go into damage control with operation Mitt-i-gate. All told, he's a loser this week.

    More winners and losers:

    Mitt, at least, is stumbling forward. His opponents are both losing and falling behind. Santorum seems to have caught Mitt's Disease, which must be related to Tourette's Syndrome. You unintentionally blurt out your real beliefs. Santorum has embraced a moral values campaign, and has boldly stated, and then restated, that it's not the economy, stupid, it's the condoms and porn. He did this by saying he didn't care about the unemployment rate. Not exactly a great recession strategy.

    Romney doesn't care about the poor and is inconsistent to a fault, and Santorum doesn't care about the unemployed and is consistent to a fault. Where does that leave Newt Gingrich? He's in back of the pack and cares about one thing consistently: himself. The demi-god of Grandiosity is going deep into campaign debt to run his losing campaign in the remote hope of being a kingmaker at the GOP convention or a cabinet appointment (Moon Secretary?). But am I missing something? Can't he just put the campaign on his interest-free revolving credit account at Tiffany's? Maybe he could put the national debt there too.

    Newt continued his audacious act by criticizing actor Robert De Niro for what Newt says was a racially divisive comment about white First Ladies (is America ready for one? De Niro joked at a Democratic fundraiser). It's classic Newt: The guy who referred to Barack Obama as "the food stamp president" is now worried about race, at least his race anyway. Newt is adopting the sensitivities of his overly PC enemies on the far left. He's setting himself up to be "the foot stamp president."

    Another loser: What is it Republicans have about wasting energy? In 1964, Lyndon Johnson voluntarily decided to turn out some lights at the White House to conserve electricity. Barry Goldwater and the GOP pounced. Their slogan: "Light Bulb Johnson, Turn Him Out in November." This year, it's the new energy efficient light bulbs law, which has been bipartisan, signed by George W. Bush, and embraced by industry itself. But, no, according to Romney and other Republicans it's another socialist plot by Obama to disgrace the memory of Thomas Edison! Obama is being ridiculed for suggesting that America being more energy efficient. Who took "conserve" out of "conservatism?"

    Speaking of past presidents, architect Frank Gehry has stepped in it by designing what appears to be the EMP of presidential memorials. The Dwight D. Eisenhower family absolutely hates his proposed monument for the former U.S. president and great World War II general. Looking at the concept, you have to wonder: Whatever happened to making a statue of a statesman? Why eat up so much real estate? Why get so conceptual? Is there a marble shortage? And why show Eisenhower as a barefoot farm boy and not as the guy who grew up and became leader of the free world who also used his booted adult foot to kick Hitler's ass? 

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    Posted Fri, Mar 23, 1:42 p.m. Inappropriate

    The Bales' case is tragedy in many ways. But be careful about parroting things like, "brain damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, money troubles, family troubles, he saw terrible things, he was drinking."

    Most of these descriptions came from 'unnamed government sources' meaning that the military-industrial complex is hard at work to blame this guy as some mentally unstable nut case.

    Hopefully the insanity of these wars and the insanity of the Pentagon's policy of unlimited rounds of deployments will be put on trial along with Bales. The Pentagon treats people like cheap household appliances rather than as human beings. They no doubt think of Bales as a malfunctioning toaster and now they are going to show that he's defective rather than the more obvious fact that he was abused by the military.

    Posted Sat, Mar 24, 10:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    The fact that the military has treated like appliances rather than human beings doesn't conflict with the probable fact that Bales was mentally unstable. I'd think the latter is consistent with the murder of at least 16 people, most of whom were children.


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