Henry BornsteinVail, CO, Colorado

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November 4, 2012
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Vail Valley Voices: Romney wouldn't help Sandy victims; why Gov. Christie praised Obama

In 2011 at one of the GOP's primary debates, Mitt Romney was asked about federal disaster relief for a recent tornado. He called the spending "immoral" and said that FEMA should be privatized. He said that victims in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Massachusetts should not receive governmental assistance. He claimed that it is "simply immoral for there to be deficit spending that could harm future generations It makes no sense at all." Anyone who votes for Romney in these four states deserves whatever loss that have or may suffer in the future, but we do not. This is only one of many selfish, ignorant and cruel statements that Romeny has made, all made without any regrets. He repeated this comment a day or two before Sandy hit the East Coast.Here is what Gov. Christie said after Sandy hit New Jersey. MICHAEL D. SHEAR, NYT 10/30: "In Wake of Storm, Christie Breaks From Attacks to Praise Obama. Chris Christie was supposed to be one of Mitt Romney's most aggressive surrogates, constantly attacking President Obama in the waning days of the presidential campaign. Instead, Mr. Christie on Tuesday repeatedly heaped praise on Mr. Obama for his leadership of the federal government's response to the storm that slammed into his state on Monday.""I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I have a job to do in New Jersey that is much bigger than presidential politics," Mr. Christie said. "If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me." "It's been very good working with the president," Mr. Christie said on the "Morning Joe" program on MSNBC. "He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It's been wonderful." Speaking about the damage to his state on the "Today" show on NBC, Mr. Christie called the president "outstanding" and said the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency had been "excellent."In a Twitter message from his official account, Mr. Christie said he wanted to "thank the president personally for all his assistance as we recover from the storm."Politicus - Rmuse 10/30:"Romney's obscene "immoral' comment was made worse when he said, "What are the things we're doing, that we don't have to do? Those things (disaster relief), we've got to stop doing because we're jeopardizing the future of our kids, it is simply immoral." In Romney's vision of government, all expenditures should to go to the wealthy, the military, and corporations, and his grand idea for disaster relief is handing the task of helping displaced Americans to private enterprise. It is true the federal government does not have to help its citizens, but it also is not required to help the oil industry, Israel, corporations, or Willard Romney, but he never complained about the welfare the federal government provided him, Bain Capital, or the 2002 winter Olympics. Apparently, to Romney, his understanding of government morality is founded in how many tax payer dollars the government hands over to him, corporations, and the wealthy elite." "...However, by asserting that spending taxpayer dollars on agencies like the NWS, FEMA, or NOAA is immoral, it is easy to defund an agency like FEMA or the NWS despite the cost in human terms, and if Americans have learned anything in the past year-and-a-half, it is that Republican cuts always carry a high price in human terms; unless the humans are filthy rich." Willard has stated numerous times that if he is elected, he will de-fund FEMA. And probably numerous other government agencies whose sole purpose is to help our citizens during times of disaster."Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) detailed the problem with GOP's FEMA cuts; "The House bill slashes funding for grants to equip and train first responders by 40 percent, on top of the 19% cut in FY 2011," and she goes on to note the "GOP House defense appropriations bill provides $12.8 billion to train and equip troops and police in Afghanistan, but only $2 billion for first responders to assist American citizens."I am not surprised one bit. All Romney and the Republicans care about is lowering taxes for the rich and protecting the rich, i.e., Romney and his ilk. "Republicans are immoral for, as Romney says, wanting to "get government out of the way" of people's lives which is code for privatization and more tax cuts for him and his wealthy cohorts." "...If it is immoral to use federal funds for disaster relief, then it is a mortal sin for Romney to take $1.5 billion (from the government) for puerile Olympic games, or millions from the federal government auto bailout. Romney's moral dilemma can be summed up in three words; pure unadulterated greed. What the American people need to know is that Willard's moral compass is dictated by the size of his hidden riches and not concern for the American people or this country, and he has projected that sentiment for the past 9 months. It is just another piece of evidence that not only is he not a Christian, he is an immoral human being who thinks so little of the American people that his first priority is enriching the private sector and himself, and although that may be part and parcel of being a good Mormon, it makes him a despicable American, and in keeping with the spirit of the season, a scary monster." I wish I could have said this as well, but Rmuse writings are absolutely accurate. "Jeff Fecke, - Truthout 10/29: "Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking at a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida, 0n 10/27: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times) Hurricane Sandy threatens to be one of the most devastating storms ever to strike the United States. But if Mitt Romney were president, disaster relief would be up to the states. Romney stands behind "disband FEMA" comment.""The Romney campaign said early Monday morning that Romney stood behind a statement first made during a 2011 Republican debate, in which Romney said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be disbanded, and its powers either privatized or given to the states.""Gov. Romney wants to ensure states, who are the first responders and are in the best position to aid impacted individuals and communities, have the resources and assistance they need to cope with natural disasters," the campaign said."Sandy Could Impact Fourteen States. Romney's paean to states' rights ignores the very important role of FEMA in coordinating disaster relief in events that transcend state boundaries. Hurricane Sandy is expected to impact fourteen states and the District of Columbia; its impact stretches from Maine to North Carolina, and from West Virginia to Massachusetts."Furthermore, FEMA manages disasters on scales beyond the capacity of states to manage them. Hurricane Katrina did over $100 billion in damage to Louisiana in 2005. The entire annual budget for the state is about $25 billion. Simply, states that are hit by devastating natural disasters are usually in no position to manage the crisis by themselves."This loss was to Louisiana alone. The damage to the other states that were hit was enormous, way beyond any of the states ability to provide the disaster relief required let alone pay for it. Does anyone in their right mind believe that any private company could possibly have the manpower, skill and equipment to assist these tens of thousands of people harmed by these disasters? And, who would pay these companies? Under willard's insane thinking, it could only be the US Government. But this cannot happen, because as Willard stated above: "...However, by asserting that spending taxpayer dollars on agencies like the NWS, FEMA, or NOAA is immoral,..." The amount covered by disaster insurance is minuscule relative to the actual cost involved and most people who have been hit by this disaster do not have insurance in part because they cannot afford it. But if you think like Willard, who cares, it is your own fault."In many ways, Mitt Romney's opposition to federal disaster relief programs is what the election is about. President Barack Obama supports using government to help those in a crisis get back on their feet. Mitt Romney believes that government has no role in helping people who are dealing with disaster. Those two very different views of America's future are on the ballot next week." Another issue: The Nation- Katha Pollitt -10/24 Ladies, Don't Fall for the Moderate Mitt! "...Maybe, though, you support women's rights, like most women-did I mention that the gender gap is huge this year?-but you think Romney is a moderate who is only pretending to be anti-choice and dim on equal pay. I can see why you might think that: you never know whether you're going to get the Romney who campaigned for governor of Massachusetts as a pro-choicer and who today talks about how every woman should have access to contraception, or the Romney who claims he governed that bluest of blue states in a "severely conservative" fashion. He's said so many different things over the years, it's really hard to tell what he actually believes. What we do know, though, is that he has said he'll "get rid of" Planned Parenthood funding if elected-that means cutting off more than 5 million low-income women from basic reproductive healthcare. He's said he'll overturn the Affordable Care Act and, specifically, that he supports the Blunt amendment, which would have permitted employers to exclude from coverage any kind of healthcare that offends their religious or moral convictions-birth control, prenatal care for single women, you name it."Romney has backtracked on a couple of provisions in the ACA, that he said he would keep in his healthcare plan, whatever that is. He has NEVER provided a single element of his plan; which probably does not exist."Romney, in fact, supports banning abortion except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the woman's life. He's running ads that tout these exceptions as evidence of his moderation, but what kind of moderate wants to criminalize 93 percent of all abortions? Among those who would not be lucky enough to qualify for Romney's exceptions are women carrying fetuses with fatal conditions, the mentally ill and pregnant women at risk for any injury short of death. In reality, Romney would criminalize most abortions for rape and incest victims, too, since most rapes and incest are not reported: in 2009, only 331 abortions were performed in the whole country that qualified for the Hyde amendment's rape exception, under which federal funds can be used for low-income women's abortions.""...In 2007, he said he would be "delighted" to sign a total ban on abortion (such a ban is part of the Republican Party platform). He acknowledged that people weren't ready for that, but added that America is "ready to overturn Roe v. Wade." More recently, Romney has clearly stated his "preference" for a Court that would reverse Roe.""As for women's employment rights, he still hasn't said whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which permits women to sue when they belatedly discover they've been paid less than men doing the same job. He does not seem to believe that government plays a role in ensuring fairness in the workplace. Are you ready to say goodbye to your right to bring a complaint against your boss?" "The Romney campaign's basic strategy on so-called women's issues is to change the subject: what women really care about is not their own rights but the economy. You'll notice no one else is being asked to sacrifice their rights to bring back jobs-certainly not employers or the 1 percent. And the joke on women is, few of them will see much of those promised tax cuts-which are skewed toward the wealthy, not the waitress-but women will definitely suffer under the severe budget cuts that are the other half of Romney's proposals, since they are the teachers, social workers, healthcare workers and other public employees who will find themselves unemployed."My third issue: Forbes - Rick Unger 10/20 - Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern"The network political departments get busy and, in short order, discover that the machines used in Hamilton County, Ohio-the county home of Cincinnati- are supplied by Hart Intercivic, a national provider of voting systems in use in a wide variety of counties scattered throughout the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Colorado and Ohio. A quick Internet search reveals that there may be reason for concern."A test conducted in 2007 by the Ohio Secretary of State revealed that five of the electronic voting systems the state was looking to use in the upcoming 2008 presidential election had failed badly, each easily susceptible to chicanery that could alter the results of an election.As reported in the New York Times, "At polling stations, teams working on the study were able to pick locks to access memory cards and use hand-held devices to plug false vote counts into machines. At boards of election, they were able to introduce malignant software into servers. We learn that one of the companies whose machines had failed was none other than Hart Intercivic.""It turns out that Hart Intercivic is owned, in large part, by H.I.G. Capital-a large investment fund with billions of dollars under management-that was founded by a fellow named Tony Tamer. While it is unclear just how much H.I.G. owns of Hart Intercivic, we do learn that H.I.G. employees hold at least two of the five Hart Intercivic board seats. A little more digging turns up a few tidbits of data that soon become 'the story'." "Tony Tamer, H.I.G.'s founder, turns out to be a major bundler for the Mitt Romney campaign, along with three other directors of H.I.G. who are also big-time money raisers for Romney. Indeed, as fate would have it, two of those directors-Douglas Berman and Brian Schwartz- were actually in attendance at the now infamous "47 percent" fund raiser in Boca Raton, Florida." "To everyone's amazement, we learn that two members of the Hart Intercivic board of directors, Neil Tuch and Jeff Bohl, have made direct contributions to the Romney campaign. This, despite the fact that they represent 40 percent of the full board of directors of a company whose independent, disinterested and studiously non-partisan status in any election taking place on their voting machines would seemingly be a 'no brainer'.""And finally, we learn that H.I.G. is the 11th largest of all the contributors to the Romney effort." "Numerous media sources, including Truthout, are reporting that Solamere Capital-the investment firm run by Mitt Romney's son, Tagg, and the home of money put into the closely held firm by Tagg's uncle Scott, mother Anne and, of course, the dad who might just be the next President of the United States-depending upon how the vote count turns out, in our little tale, in the State of Ohio-have shared business interests with H.I.G. either directly or via Solamere Advisors which is owned, in part, by Solamere Capital, including a reported investment in H.I.G. by either Solamere Capital or Solamere Advisors." "UPI- COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The company whose voting machines will be tabulating votes in the swing states of Ohio and Colorado has links to Mitt Romney, a company spokesman said.""Salon magazine reported Tuesday Hart Intercivic's ties to the Republican presidential nominee first popped up last month on the Ohio website Free Press, which reported a key investor in Hart was HIG Capital. Seven HIG Capital directors are former employees of Bain & Co., where Romney was chief executive officer before leaving in 1984 to found Bain Capital. HIG Capital, which has contributed $338,000 to the Romney campaign this year, announced its investment in Hart a month after Romney formally entered the presidential race.""The Nation reported HIG Capital has ties to the Romney family through private equity firm Solamere, which has invested in HIG and is run by Romney's son, Tagg. Salon also noted a 2007 study commissioned by the state of Ohio found Hart Intercivic's voting system does a poor job when it comes to protecting the integrity of elections. The study found the Hart system allowed unauthorized individuals to gain access to memory cards and "easily tamper" with core voting data.""The vulnerabilities and features of the system work in concert to provide 'numerous opportunities to manipulate election outcomes or cast doubt on legitimate election activities ... virtually every ballot, vote, election result and audit log is forge-able or otherwise manipulatable by an attacker with even brief access to the voting systems,'" the study concluded."Lichtenheld said Hart's system has not been upgraded to address the concerns...."Does HIG Capital and/or Hart Intercivic have the ability to alter the voting results in Romney's favor? Absolutely! Will they actually do this, who knows? Any voter in any state which has any of Hart Intercivic's voting machines, should be concerned. Henry Bornstein is an Edwards resident


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 4, 2012 05:53PM Published Nov 4, 2012 05:51PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.