Romney Accused Of Attack On Presumed Gay Student As Teen

I am in Omaha, Nebraska today to speak at the Hilton Omaha where Mitt Romney will be raising cash in a private fundraiser for his campaign. It will be interesting if he is pressed on this story picking up steam this week. Romney has been accused of former school chums from his elite all-boy boarding school of attacking a presumed gay student and cutting off his hair. Since in many states the attack on the now-deceased John Lauber would be a hate crime, it is a serious charge even if it was so many years ago. The witness turns out to be a former prosecutor who says that he has been haunted by the act. This week Romney reaffirmed that he opposed same-sex marriage as a personal matter. Update: Romney has apologized for incidents in his youth.


The Washington Post spoke to five students, including one who said that Romney had it out for a younger boy because of his long bleached-blond hair in 1965. The witness say that Romney led friends in tackling and cutting off Lauber’s hair. The witness is Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor. Romney is quoted at the time as declaring “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!”

The response from the campaign was a bit weak under the circumstances. The campaign simply said that Romney had no recollection of the event: “The stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents.”

I have met Romney and even flew across the country on a flight back to Washington. He has struck me as a particularly friendly and decent person despite our disagreement on many issues. However, despite the long passage of time, the leading of an attack on a gay student is a serious matter as it would in a racist or anti-Semitic attack. I would have expected a clear recollection that such an attack could never have occurred.

Four other students recalled the incident, including some who admitted to participating in it. Also troubling are accounts like this one: “In an English class, Gary Hummel, who was a closeted gay student at the time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in class were punctuated with Romney shouting, ‘Atta girl!'”

While Romney may claim that it was not an anti-gay attack but just a prank, one would expect him to have an equally clear memory of the event at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Certainly the memory stuck with Lauber who spoke to some of the witnesses years later. For my part, I am equally troubled by the claim of a lack of any recollection of such events.

Romney however appears to be trying to get ahead of the story and the confirmatory accounts of former friends. On a radio show, he said “Back in high school, I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that. I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.” However, he still denied any recollection of the attack on Lauber: “I don’t remember that incident. I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s so that was not the case.”

Do you think this is a viable campaign issue given the passage of time? If he was a bully decades ago, does it have bearing today on the man running for office?

Source: Washington Post

192 thoughts on “Romney Accused Of Attack On Presumed Gay Student As Teen

  1. Believe me, I am not defending Romney.

    This attack occurred almost 50 years ago, and Romney was 18.

    Are there more recent accounts of his bullying behavior towards the powerless and/or his homophobic behaviors?

    If there are, use them.

    If there are not, well, we were all stupid idiot teenagers once, and if his record is actually clear of similar episodes from 50 years ago, that suggests he has grown.

    I am against “your personal record as a kid will follow you everywhere” mentalities, although I will concede he was 18.

    If we can search back 50 years or more to things that happened when we were kids, can we ever elect anyone?

    This is not a George W. Bush quit drinking at age 40 when he was a youthful kid incident.

  2. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/romney-apologizes-after-reports-of-bullying-emerge/

    Excerpt:

    “Asked about the incidents during a radio interview Thursday morning, Mr. Romney apologized for behavior that might have hurt anyone.

    “Back in high school, I did some dumb things and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously I apologize for that,” Mr. Romney told Brian Kilmeade, a radio host, according to The Post. Mr. Romney added that: “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school and some might have gone too far and for that, I apologize.”

    But Mr. Romney added that he did not recall the incident described in the paper and said that whatever happened was not fueled by antipathy toward the student because of his sexual orientation.

    “I don’t remember that incident. I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual,” Mr. Romney said, the Post said. “That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s so that was not the case.”

    The Post article also describes another incident in which Mr. Romney allegedly mistreated a mostly-blind teacher at the prestigious Michigan institution called Cranbrook School.

    In that incident, students recalled that Mr. Romney purposely guided the blind teacher, known affectionately as “the Bat,” into a closed door.

    “Romney giggled hysterically as the teacher shrugged it off as another of life’s indignities,” the Post wrote.”

    ———–

    (Mike S., Enter Jeb Bush. ;-) )

  3. From a psychological and behavioral perspective, we know the best predictor of future behavior is to examine past behavior. What we do know about Mr. Romney is the bullying incident did happen, is well documented and there are several credible witnesses. Then there was the incident of Shamus the Dog on top of the car. If we know about these two incidents this soon, it is safe to assume that for every incident that comes to light, there are going to be several more that will not be found out.

    And what does this tell us about what to expect? Mr. Romney has little empathy for others. There are a number of studies of psychopaths going on at the moment. Traditionally, studies of psychopaths and psychopathic behavior were confined to prison populations, because that was a location where psychopaths were congregated, making them easy to study. The most recent studies have been looking in another direction, where psychological researchers have been finding densely packed cohorts of psychopaths: The board rooms of big corporations and Wall Street investment firms. Who would have guessed. And one of the defining characteristics of psychopaths is their lack of capacity for empathy.

  4. “Romney has been accused of former school chums from his elite all-boy boarding school of attacking a presumed gay student and cutting off his hair. Since in many states the attack on the now-deceased John Lauber would be a hate crime, ”

    In Jr. High, I was once beat up for being a geek.

    Why are some beatings hate crimes and others not?

  5. From the WaPo article:

    “A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.”

    *****

    A prank? I think not. It was a vicious attack on another classmate by Romney who was too chicken to confront the student on his own. A bully with back-up. What a man!

  6. Meh, another case of left wing attacking right wing. Next we’ll be hearing about how Obama is the most merciless kicker of puppies. Moot issue.

  7. The fact that Romney now says he does not remember it speaks volumes about him. How is it then, that the “prank” has weighed heavily on the conscience of some of the others, to the point it bothers them to this day?

  8. I sincerely doubt that Mitt Romney has no recollection of the incident. I’m guessing that he remembers it in great detail. His failure to take responsibility for it speaks volumes and his lack of remorse is telling.

    Moot issue, you say, CLH? We’ll see.

    (As a point of interest, Lauber died in 2003, I believe.)

  9. I have known people like this, people of incredible privilege who have no concern at all for others and who do anything they can to degrade, demean or ridicule others who are not as fortunate. Look at Romneys ‘joke’ about firing people. He just does not give a shit about anyone who is not in his social class and anything goes to put them in their place. People can be used and abused to give Romney the assurance that he is better in all ways…

  10. Romney has been lying his way through the campaign. Now…I know that all politicians lie–but Romney is elevating lying to a perverted art form. Trust nothing that Mr. Etch-A-Sketch says. Romney doesn’t remember this incident? Oh, sure–and I’m the Queen of Romania!

  11. While this is an awful case and clearly something very awful to do another kid. It was a long time ago. It does speak to his character and I know that as a high school student, I would never have done such a thing. Honestly, I probably would have been friends with the kid (since I and all my friends were the band nerds and geeks).

    I do hope that people vote on policy and vision for the future. Sure, Romeny talks about making things better, but I have no idea how to even evaluate his vision of the future since there is no distinct plan. I know he did not raise taxes in MA but did jack up fees on just about everything the state had a fee for. I know he profited off the losses of companies. I know he is comfortable with letting companies fail and seeing thosands lose jobs.

    So, with this new information we now know we know he is more a run-of-the-mill jerk instead of a more polished political jerk all the other politicians (on both sides).

  12. anon: I read the entire article in WaPo. The significance isn’t in the event itself, but in the attitude it reveals. And frankly, I don’t consider gang assault a normal stage in the process of growing up. That Mr. Romney doesn’t recall the incident is not surprising since he bore no consequences. Nevertheless, it was fifty years ago and there ought to be some sort of statute of limitations on juvenile crimes.

    On the other hand, perhaps the story angers me only because I was always the kid who intervened on behalf of the John Laubers and beat the snot out of the Mitt Romneys, which also meant that I was the kid called out of class later in the afternoon for a brief hallway interlude with Sister Claudia and her leather riding crop.

  13. “Mitt-frontations”, as someone has called them. I’m guessing that there will be more “stories” to come…

    “(In a ) CNN interview, Romney and Ann, who was also on the show, implied that they had been working to lower Mitt’s temperature. “As both of us have gotten older,” said Ann, “you certainly hope you mature. … That’s how you learn to control your emotions. And he’s got—definitely gotten better with that. But there are still some Mitt-frontations.””

    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/97756/mitt-romney-anger-lmfao?page=0,0 (“Temperamental Journey, The peculiar anger of Mitt Romney” by Alex MacGillis) –from the slate.com link supplied by Swarthmore mom

  14. “Are there more recent accounts of his bullying behavior towards the powerless ” (anon)

    Does the dog on vacation story count?

  15. Romney reminds me of a wonderful man I knew who made his own fortune and became very successful at the top of his field of work. His son, however, was cruel & thoughtless in this same way. Romneys father was also self made man of good character, while his son no one can really like all that much because he is such a stuck up wierdo. The more Mitt tries to seem ‘normal’ the more abnormal he looks. I pray he is not our next potus.

  16. I am in Omaha, Nebraska today to speak at the Hilton Omaha where Mitt Romney will be raising cash in a private fundraiser for his campaign.

    So is JT a Romney man, is it a coincidence, or does JT not remember? ;)

  17. “…Sister Claudia and her leather riding crop.” –Mike A.

    I think I’ll just hold my tongue… ;-) …but thanks for making me smile.

  18. So has the mature, 50 year older Romney learned “bulling gay people is bad” from this incident in his past?

    Well, a gay person in his employ (Richard Grenell) was recently bombarded with bigoted filth. Not the same as bulling, but homophobic harassment nonetheless.

    Has Romney defended him? Has the shame from his youthful misbehavior become a positive characteristic, as an urge to defend gays against homophobic insults? Has he grown and matured?

  19. Mike,

    I think this is one more piece of evidence that Romney is an asshole and always has been. And I acknowledge he was 18 and members of age group were not in prep schools but in Vietnam.

    I am just saying that if you have to go back to 1965, the Vietnam War, and the hippie era to find evidence of Romney being anti-gay and an asshole, then that’s pretty weak tea.

    And I definitely hate our culture that believes in scaring kids with “permanent records” and as Otteray Scribe would have it, celebrates those permanent records, and even goes on to diagnose via Internet the psychological pathologies of these stories.

    “That Mr. Romney doesn’t recall the incident is not surprising since he bore no consequences.”

    Or that he committed many many similar actions. :(

    But it is also notable that the individual, Buford, quoted in the story with the worse things to say was a prosecutor and an Obama volunteer. I don’t trust prosecutors to be fair, and I am not sure I can take his statement that none of this is political at face value.

  20. The media can talk about Mitt Romney’s teen-aged pranks, but it refuses to discuss Obama’s adult homosexual relationships, including Donald Young, whose murder in December, 2007 remains unsolved, and his drug and sex encounter with Larry Sinclair.

  21. Mitt by the career he chose- corporate raider- shows his stripes. He whole career on Wall Street was getting together a mob and going on to attack and dismantle companies,

    (cutting their hair and selling it)

    throwing all the unfortunate people who worked at these companies out on the street. He was perfect for this job and obviously good at it.

  22. @InterestedObserver,

    My understanding is that Bill Clinton hand chose Barack Obama to torture Vincent Foster but that Ken Lay got in the way and demanded Paul Krugman kill Foster himself by plucking out his eyes.

  23. There is little to say about this other than Romney is and was a schmuck. That is why he is so unlikable. I would say his introspection level and capability of self criticism are minimal at best. There is no there, there, save for someone born on third base believing he’s hit a triple. He and Donny Trump are soul brothers, though Romney is probably more affable.

  24. He just apologized today. It’s one of those backhanded apologies. If I hurt of offended anyone, I apologize.

    To me, it says, “I did whatever I wanted and if you don’t like it then I guess I’m sorry. I’m more sorry that someone remembered this while I’m running for office and really, it’s your fault for being offended. Are we done here?”

  25. Stupid things happen when we’re teens but I think it significant that Romney claims he doesn’t remember the incident when others have remorse about it. Others remember him being the instigator. Many examples of Romney having a serious lack of empathy for others, especially those not like himself. We don’t need another sociopath in the oval office.

  26. anon: I agree that people ought not to become overwrought concerning an event, the memories of which the long passage of time has reduced to foggy excerpts. I just get a burr under my saddle over this type of incident.

  27. anon, if you have evidence that Romney is NOT some kind of psychopath or sociopath, I am interested in hearing about such evidence.

  28. The event sounds vivid enough that even 50 years isn’t likely to erase it. The response of minimizing (a prank) rather than being contrite both telegraphs a certain attitude that right wingers tend to defend (boys will be boys) but also a lack of simple decency that fancy prep schools are supposed to foster. Given the other info about the Mittster, it sounds like the kindof phobic stuff that belies a certain sexual insecurity that only the most troubled ver bother to voice.

  29. We are reaching the point where only insane people will run for office, when part of that process is that every day of your life will be raked through for every act that you have done from the time you were a small child. This is insane. A person of 18 and a person of 60 are two entirely different people, as we are shaped by the experience of life.

    As Judge Judy would say, “That’s why we don’t let children do certain things; they aren’t cooked yet.”

  30. Everything about this guy screams psychopath. From the career field to the dog to this incident. I’m sure just the tip of the ice burg. Unfortunately this will have little bearing on him getting elected. I hope the news cycle runs with this story and runs hard with it.

  31. @OS,

    “anon, if you have evidence that Romney is NOT some kind of psychopath or sociopath, I am interested in hearing about such evidence.”

    Yes, it’s rather clear this is how you approach most people you have disagreements with in life. By demanding proof that anyone who disagrees with you is not a psychopath or sociopath. And by diagnosing them over the Intarwebs. And of course with superior forensic psychology tools like Computer Aided Automatic Scream Identification(CAASI).

  32. My history is weak, can anyone help me out with prior examples from history where political opponents were regularly diagnosed with psychological disorders?

  33. OS, TheDisco,

    I agree — sociopath or psychopath and tip of the berg, as you said, “TheDisco.” I may be repeating myself, but I’m guessing that there’s more to come. I wish that Lauber were still alive to tell his side of the story. It would likely be compelling…

  34. “You were probably very good at playing dodge ball.”

    Actually, I got beaned once and hit the asphalt, went home with a headache, went to bed, my mom later got a call from the school saying I had a probable concussion. And I did!

    /not sure if I ever woke up

  35. I know this is going to come as a shock, anon, but “psychopath” and “sociopath” are not clinical diagnoses. They are descriptions of behavior patterns. Whether the subject fits the clinical diagnosis of “Antisocial Personality Disorder” (DSM-IV-TR code 301.7) is quite another question.

  36. Of course he doesn’t remember, here is a guy who’s opinions and legislative thoughts change from election to election, heck, sometimes day to day…Why anyone, liberal, conservative or independent would put creedence to anything that Romney says is a mystery to me.

  37. FWIW:

    http://allpsych.com/disorders/personality/antisocial.html

    “The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a longstanding pattern (after the age of 15) of disregard for the rights of others. There is a failure to conform to society’s norms and expectations that often results in numerous arrests or legal involvement as well as a history of deceitfulness where the individual attempts to con people or use trickery for personal profit. Impulsiveness if often present, including angry outbursts, failure to consider consequences of behaviors, irritability, and/or physical assaults.

    “Some argue that a major component of this disorder is the reduced ability to feel empathy for other people. This inability to see the hurts, concerns, and other feelings of people often results in a disregard for these aspects of human interaction. Finally, irresponsible behavior often accompanies this disorder as well as a lack of remorse for wrongdoings.”

  38. http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-pattern-of-cruelty.html

    Excerpt:

    “”It was a hack job,” said Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer and friend of Romney’s who saw what happened that day. “It was vicious.”

    David Seed, a retired principal who witnessed the incident, ran into Lauber years later at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Seeing an opportunity to get something off his chest, Seed brought up the incident and apologized to Lauber that he “didn’t do more to help in the situation.” Lauber told Seed “it was horrible,” explaining how frightened he was during the incident. “It’s something I have thought about a lot since then,” Lauber said.

    A dentist, a lawyer, a prosecutor, and a principal all remember the incident clearly. The only person who doesn’t remember it is the GOP nominee for president of the United States.”

  39. “I know this is going to come as a shock, anon, but “psychopath” and “sociopath” are not clinical diagnoses. They are descriptions of behavior patterns. Whether the subject fits the clinical diagnosis of “Antisocial Personality Disorder” (DSM-IV-TR code 301.7) is quite another question.”

    I know this will come as a shock, but twits that prate about how they are forensic psychologists and courtside expert witlesses should know better than to describe how they have diagnosed over the interwebs that their political opponents are crazy.

    And you should probably have a go at fixing the wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

    Psychopathy and its synonym, sociopathy, are terms related to ASPD. ASPD replaced psychopathy as a diagnosis in the DSM but the terms are not identical. Psychopathy is now usually seen as a subset of ASPD

  40. FWIW:

    http://allpsych.com/disorders/personality/antisocial.html

    “The symptoms of antisocial personality disorder include a longstanding pattern (after the age of 15) of disregard for the rights of others. There is a failure to conform to society’s norms and expectations that often results in numerous arrests or legal involvement as well as a history of deceitfulness where the individual attempts to con people or use trickery for personal profit. Impulsiveness if often present, including angry outbursts, failure to consider consequences of behaviors, irritability, and/or physical assaults.

    “Some argue that a major component of this disorder is the reduced ability to feel empathy for other people. This inability to see the hurts, concerns, and other feelings of people often results in a disregard for these aspects of human interaction. Finally, irresponsible behavior often accompanies this disorder as well as a lack of remorse for wrongdoings.”

    e.g. the ex-wife

  41. Kids are cruel. And stupid. How many of use turned out halfway decent is a mystery. Except psychologists, who took the course to get free analysis of their narcissistic obsessions.
    I went to college in Michigan in the early sixties. I remember the Cranbrook boys to be snobbish, unfeeling, and unrepentant. Jerks.
    While I never met Willard, I did meet his dad, for whom I campaigned for governor. Nice guy, and very quietly Mormon, when they were still Christians. At that time, the bigots were having too much interest in black civil rights to pay attention to Mormons.

  42. As in Gore Vidal’s 1960 play, The Best Man, Obama’s team is busy trying to collect dirt on the other guy, rather than focusing on the issues that are truly important, like the economy, unemployment, energy, national defense and terrorism. It’s the time-honored political deflection technique, and, unfortunately, far too many people are swayed by these distractions, which is why they’re done in the first place: because they work.

    Obama’s need to keep the media highly focused on non-issues like this one– an irrelevant purported incident involving Romney when he was a teenager–is made clear by the recent results in West Virginia’s Democratic primary in which Obama did not do all that much better than than Keith Judd, federal Inmate No. 11593-051, who received nearly 43 percent of the vote. Although Obama won, the results were clearly an embarrassment for him.

    While the Leftists–who are never gun-shy to call anyone else who disagrees with them a Bigot, a Blank-a-phobe (fill in the blank depending on who the Lefitsts are defending), or just a plain-old “hater”–they were just as quick to apply their own broad brush to the West Virginia voters, calling them stupid, ugly, low-IQed, rednecks, hillbillies, or whatever perjorative terms they can think of. Of course, the Leftists are not bigots when they do this, as they are merely the rational, objective, profound, deeper thinkers that they have always been.

  43. mr. ed, don’t know about you but I never threw stones at horseback riders:

    From Wonkette_ now Mitt Romney is detailing his horrible Mormon mating rituals:

    “We met in elementary school – we did. I was a Cub Scout, and she was riding a horse bareback over some railroad tracks. What do Cub Scouts do when they see a little girl on a horse? We picked up stones and threw them.”

  44. Atta boy Willard!
    Myself, I dont want some person who went to a prestigious boys prep school to be our President. I want someone who grew up with some hard knocks. I dont want any Franklyn Delano Roosevelts, or Bushies, or Johnboy Kennedies. Willard was raised to be the Bain of Capitalism. He is. Willard was named after the Willard Hotel in DC where he was conceived. The tag Mitt came from the insurance companies who own him. Mitt in Swedish translates to My in English.

    It is probably lame to criticise Willard for being a bully at age 18. But it is lame to want a schmuck like him to be near the White House after sundown.

  45. From Americablog: On its face, a rap sheet isn’t the worst thing for a candidate like Romney. The multi-millionaire, who’s in the process of installing elevators for his cars in his beach house, is struggling to convince America that he’s an average guy who isn’t afraid to mix it up now and again even if it means an altercation with the boys in blue.

    But the nature of Romney’s arrest deviates so little from his image of, to quote Jon Stewart, someone who looks like they “just stepped off the Monopoly board,” that I laughed out loud when I first read the details.

    From Jackie Koszczuk:
    Romney was arrested…for putting his pleasure boat in the water at Lake Chochituate in Massachusetts. The crime unfolded after a park ranger told Romney to cease and desist because his boating license was not properly visible [a violation that would incur a $50 fine]. Romney later told the Boston Globe that he felt that the license was sufficiently visible and that it was worth it to him to be fined $50 in order to enjoy the day on the lake with his family.

    Additionally, the charge of disorderly conduct was dropped and sealed after Romney appeared in the local courthouse the next day and threatened to sue.

    I’ll leave it to the comments section to try and find a more elitist way to get arrested and subsequently let off the hook for disorderly conduct.
    !

  46. Otteray Scribe 1, May 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    anon, if you have evidence that Romney is NOT some kind of psychopath or sociopath, I am interested in hearing about such evidence.
    =================================================
    There is an interesting video here (mid-page) of a professor who teaches psychiatry, has done so for decades, and who was surprised to find out he has the “markers” of a sociopath, and psychopath to a lesser degree.

    Evidently if one is not practicing, not walking the walk, or ever has, then it is a benign potential only.

    But when, from childhood on one walks the walk, I glean that then it can be said that the condition is active, not benign, not passive.

  47. “I’ll leave it to the comments section to try and find a more elitist way to get arrested and subsequently let off the hook for disorderly conduct!”

    I was once arrested for having an expired jar of Grey Poupon in my picnic basket. But Tom Buchanan was able to have all charges dropped when he called his cousins Mortimer and Randolph at the 19th hole and the put in a good word for me with Judge Smails (as well as graciously allowing Smails to re-put the 14th hole.)

  48. anon:

    that was funny. But I have a jar of Grey Poupon in the frige that is very old. that shit gets better with age.

  49. So let’s see. These are all some allegations of some incidents that happened amongst kids attending a private school of 1%er lineage 50 years past right? Let’s assume the victim is an offspring of the privileged as the tuition today stands at $38,000 per year. I’d say a lot of you here could care less about the victim if you couldn’t try to connect him with Mitt. We all follow the crowd as adults let alone as idiot kids. Look at how many of us follow our flawed heroes blindly. JFK, W, Willy, Reagan with his soothsayer wife, and so on. What are you perfect? Tell me you don’t have some type of malfeasance daily, if not as long ago as 50 years. You don’t have “impure thoughts”? desires to beat the crap out of your real, perceived or imagined rivals? I dare say the good Professor here could tell quite a number of stories about sibling abuses and neighborhood conflicts that he would be both disgusted by and quite proud of at the same time. There is no bottom of any pecking order. Romney never professed to be perfect – only worthy of the ultimate job of leadership in a country desperately in need of it. He had never claimed to be able to hold back the rising seas. and blah X 3.

  50. It was fifty years ago, and his classmates seem to have grown up enough to be ashamed of their behavior. Not Mitt. Mitt Romney is a child of privilege who grew up thinking of others as his inferiors.

    As bitterly disappointed as I am in Barack Obama, I would leave this country if we elected Romney president (or any other leading Republican, all of whom are incapable of engaging with reality, preferring instead the bubblicious world of Fox News).

    Eight years of Bush-Cheney was hell enough without electing a man who thinks of the Bushs as white trash.

  51. Geeba Geeba, well I certainly can identify with the victim here since anyone who was an ‘outsider’ at school can.

    We were usually studious introverts who avoided people and cliques like the groups Mitt would rally in order to beat us up, steal our stuff or play other ‘pranks’ and ‘hijinks’ on us.

    Yea, we know these people. We never wanted to beat the crap out of anyone, we just wanted them to leave us alone.

  52. AY, regarding the DSM. Yes, the latest version will the the DSM-V. It had to be updated due to recent discoveries in psychological and psychiatric research. New technologies in brain scans, especially functional scans such as the PET and fMRI are to mental health as the Hubble telescope has been to astronomy.

  53. Reading and rereading these comments, I can’t help but notice that there are a remarkable number of anonymous comments that are quite hostile and which assume certain liberal traits previously known only to viewers of Fox News.

    Given that Gov. Romney belongs to one of America’s oldest religious cults, I think it would behoove our host to assign an intern to the comments to check to see if there is a sudden influx of Utah-based ISPs involved.

    Paranoid? No, I just doubt very much that Mitt’s peers would bother to leave comments like those. (Hire an indie contractor to leave comments, maybe.) Since we all know the Republican rank and file is repulsed by Mormon Mitt, who are Mitt’s anonymous defenders?

  54. As far as remembering and still being affected 50 years later. I still remember coming out of the School Bus, after school on a beautiful Friday afternoon in June, feeling excited about a long weekend ahead. I bent down a little to pick a
    small pine needle branch from a flourishing tree, when a fist crashed into the back of my head knocking me to the ground. Groggy I turned around to see
    Michael Lerner and Wally Berlinger, surrounded by a group of older kids from the grade ahead of me. They were laughing at me. Wally was the Center on our school basketball team and Lerner was about 6’4″. Lerner told me “That’ll teach you to pick flowers, you fag” as they all laughed scornfully and walked away, while I lay on the ground. That was 49 years ago and I remember it vividly, with the emotions attached. If I ran into Lerner today I’d break his nose and I’m not the violent type.

    The bullies of High School rarely change as they grow, they remain bullies. Mitt sounds like the classic bully and of course he’s a foreign policy militant who ever served in Viet Nam. By the way though I’m straight, being called “fag”, “queer” and “fairy” in High School taught me compassion for those who really are gay. I understood their feelings. Some though, possibly even Barney Collier, went the other way and identified with the people beating him up.

  55. “Do you think this is a viable campaign issue given the passage of time? If he was a bully decades ago, does it have bearing today on the man running for office?”

    Yes. No. I have mixed feelings about this. The amount of time that has passed in conjunction with the “offense” does not make it an issue for me personally. However, I agree with other posters that the way he is responding to the incident does reflect on his character now, and therefore makes the issue relevant. How does the old cliche go…”It’s the coverup, not the crime.” something like that.

    I have done many of stupid things up until my early 20s. But then again, I am not running for POTUS. So strange how the 24 hr media and instant information age has impacted politics. Just think in 25-30yrs, candidates will have well more documented lives (e.g., twitter, facebook, etc.). Will only the squeaky clean be running for well-known public office? I digress.

  56. Romney is an elitist jerk and evidently always has been. I was teased and picked on as kid for being short and having a lisp. While I never got my hair cut, people who were abused and picked on do tend to remember those incidents. I might have endured more if my brother, who was/is over 6 feet, hadn’t saved my ass more than once.

  57. Wege,

    If you didn’t see the following article last week, you might appreciate it.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/mitt-romney-homeland-security-massachusetts_n_1467940.html “Mitt Romney Homeland Security Record In Massachusetts: Domestic Spying, Wiretapping” by Andrea Stone

    Excerpt:

    To Carol Rose, executive director of the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union, that “penchant for secrecy” characterized Romney’s administration. Shortly before he left office, for example, his aides quietly erased all of his administration’s electronic records.

    Romney has said that as president he would continue to develop the fusion centers “and other innovative systems to collect and systematically analyze information about domestic activities.” That confirms the worst fears of Rose, whose organization issued a report on surveillance in Massachusetts that raised concerns about the growing “intelligence network” the former governor established.

    Rose said that while the Obama administration has done little to shrink the national security bureaucracy that Bush built, Romney “was an affirmative, unapologetic proponent of building a domestic surveillance infrastructure” that is “really focused on ‘the enemy within.'”

    “I haven’t seen a lot of evolution in terms of his thinking on homeland security,” Rose said. “He still seems to be stuck in a hyper-militarized, hyper-surveillance mindset.”

    By September 2003, Romney decided that average citizens had “fallen into complacency” against terrorism. He said he wanted to enlist Massachusetts residents into an “intelligence network” to help prevent and detect future plots.

    As the co-chair of a National Governors Association task force on homeland security and as head of a national Homeland Security Advisory Council task force, he urged state and local agencies to join the federal government in stepped-up intelligence gathering.

    ”The eyes and ears which gather intelligence need to be as developed in our country as they were in foreign countries during the Cold War,” Romney said in 2005. ”Meter readers, EMS drivers, law enforcement, private sector personnel need to be on the lookout for information which may be as useful.”

    Civil liberties groups objected. Two years earlier, Congress had rejected a similar program that would have encouraged cable installers, home contractors and other citizens to spy on neighbors.

    Yet in 2010, soon after a street vendor alerted police to a car bomb in New York’s Times Square, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano launched a variant of the idea, the “See Something, Say Something” campaign. One of her top counterterrorism officers, John Cohen, was Romney’s senior homeland security adviser in Massachusetts and has also been involved in DHS monitoring of social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.

    As a Bush appointee to the Homeland Security Advisory Council, Romney also advocated wiretapping mosques and spying on foreign students in a manner similar to the widespread surveillance of Muslims by the New York Police Department recently uncovered in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series by the Associated Press.

    “Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what’s going on?” Romney asked in a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation in September 2005.

    The governor also stressed the need for community policing and working closely with local leaders to detect radicalization before it turned dangerous.

    …..

    Said Rose in an interview: “Romney’s instincts are to use fear of difference as a way to justify using the power of the state to conduct domestic surveillance of people — not because they’ve done anything wrong — but because of who they are or where they worship.”

  58. I dont think it is the privileged childhood, I think it is the Mormon in Mitt. I have known a few and they seem to look down on other people. I guess when you are going to become a God/king on your own personal planet it goes to your head. I have no idea if that is Mitt’s problem.

    The other possibility is that Mitt is an introvert and doesnt do well in crowds. I went to a function 5 or 6 years ago and Romney was there but he wasnt mixing it up and that was in a restaurant full of friendlies. Any politician worth his salt would have worked that room and taken names and numbers.

    Being an introvert is not necessarily a bad quality.

    Having a car top carrier for a dog is in no way indicative of a personality disorder. If the carrier is safely secured what is the problem? He has never eaten dog.

    By the way has anybody seen First Dog Bo lately?

  59. Wege:

    “Since we all know the Republican rank and file is repulsed by Mormon Mitt, who are Mitt’s anonymous defenders?”

    Probably everyone who is going to vote against Obama. Mitt will be the first president ever elected because of voting against the incumbent rather than voting for the candidate. Almost 100% of people voting for Romney are doing so as a protest vote against the democrat party and the incumbent. It has nothing to do with Mitt’s attractiveness as a candidate. Had Paul and Gingrich left the race early, Santorum would have routed Romney. And he would have beaten Obama.

    So democrats ought to be thanking their gods that Romney is the nominee, he will be a RINO who is good with money but he doesnt have any conservative instincts. He will fake them till he makes it to the big white house at 1600.

  60. Mike S., your observations and those of Tony and several others are spot on. As the old proverb goes, zebras don’t change their stripes. Psychiatrist Dr. William Glasser, developer of Reality Therapy, worked for years with troubled youth. Based on his observation and research, he opines that one’s basic personality is pretty well set by the age of ten years. If they are cannot be reached and changed by that age, the personality is amazingly resistant to change after that.

    Interesting personal observation. My youngest daughter was one of those kids who was not afraid to stand up to bullies. When she was in the sixth grade, I saw her insert her tiny self between two high school boys and a chubby kid they were picking on. She gave them a tongue lashing that would not wait. The one time she was bullied, she had us take her down to the courthouse where she swore out a warrant to have the boy arrested on assault charges. Personality traits running true to form, she is now a sworn law enforcement officer, currently working as a correctional officer. She loves her job. Some of the bullies she used to know are now guests at her “bed and breakfast inn.”

  61. Bron, now I do think that Santorum would have rallied the democratic masses like nothing else. No one wants these religious fanatics anywhere near the levers of power- witness Sarah Palin.

    I do think it will be a close race, but hopefully Obama will prevail over Romney and the vote will be a clean & fair one. I know, that is a hell of a lot to hope for.

    I don’t think Romney is a introvert. No, I think he is so privileged, like Poppy Bush, he is afraid to make that cash register mistake- you know, where Bush marvels at bar code technology in the supermarket. Mitt is just watching his step with his lizard brain warning him when he is on unfamiliar territory…

  62. I would say that it is just another item in the list that shows Romney as unable to empathize or sympathize with anyone. I watch some of the stuff he says and how he says it and wonder if he is a high functioning autistic? Perhaps Asperger’s?

  63. If he hadn’t done it, he would have simply denied it outright rather than weakly saying he didn’t recall the incident. So yes, he did it.

    As for it being so long ago… Think about the people you knew when you were young. I never bullied anyone nor acted like that. However, those I knew back then who did were bullies from the first grade onward, and REMAIN bullies in one form or another today.

    Want to know why Romney can’t relate to people? This might be one very good indicator- he was immune to the feelings of others as a youth, and he NEVER grew into an understanding of them as an adult.

    This is NOT a man who should be president.

  64. Romney campaign now beating the bushes to find high school ‘friend’ who will make Romney seem more normal. Not going that well, hmmmm

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/romney-friend-stu-white-says-campaign-wants-him-to-counter-prank-accusations/

    “According to White, he knows of several other classmates that have also been approached by the campaign to counter the article. White declined to name the fellow classmates.
    Romney often mentions White on the campaign trail as the friend who threw the party where Romney met his wife Ann, whom he has now been married to for more than 43 years.
    One former classmate and old friend of Romney’s – who refused to be identified by name – said there are “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook who have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies.”
    The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember it.
    “It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.”

  65. shano, May 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm: “However, those I knew back then who did were bullies from the first grade onward, and REMAIN bullies in one form or another today”

    I was bullied by a gang of four. I really try not to take joy in their many incarcerations, two for domestic violence and assorted other assaults, The third guy inherited a thriving business and drove it into the ground while he tried to be a political power broker. He went away for fraudulent business practices .All three each have at least two strikes.

    Number four was doing pretty well as some type of commodity trader in Houston. Haven’t heard anything about him since Enron went kaput.. He was one of the smartest guy in the room, doncha ya know?

    I didn’t get it nearly as bad as some others they bullied. The family with the gay kid moved to another town after a particularly nasty incident. No one tried to stop them. No one ever did. Nothing ever happened to the bullies. They came from the best (wealthiest) families and were star athletes.

    I’m coming up on a half century of missed high school reunions. Classmates ask my family members why I don’t attend. I never say, but it’s because I remember every damn thing they did — or didn’t do.

  66. OS,
    congrats to your daughter!
    Excellent link shano. It looks like Romney just doesn’t understand that being a punk when you are young is one thing, but if you don’t own up to it when you are his age, something is very wrong.

  67. Oro Lee, I remember rich kids like that once throwing pennies at my sister to humiliate her….oh we know these people. They were dangerous in numbers.

    My favorite quote on Romney:

    ” Mohamad Ali didn’t go to Vietnam because of his religion and went to jail. Mitt didn’t go to Vietnam because of his religion and went to France”

  68. Thanks for your observations…..

    But aren’t people capable of changing…..Especially if they were under some disability at the time of the event….

  69. Romney never professed to be perfect – only worthy of the ultimate job of leadership in a country desperately in need of it
    ———————————————————————————————–You do partake of the koolaid, don’t you. How you can even think the above comment much less actually express it on this blog is mindboggling. Worthy of something but definitely not the “ultimate job of leadership” in any country. Maybe you are a bully as well.

  70. Bron,

    “Probably everyone who is going to vote against Obama. Mitt will be the first president ever elected because of voting against the incumbent rather than voting for the candidate. Almost 100% of people voting for Romney are doing so as a protest vote against the democrat party and the incumbent. It has nothing to do with Mitt’s attractiveness as a candidate.”

    And your proof for this is what exactly? No one I know who isn’t voting for Obama is voting for Romney. To a one they are voting a write in or they simply aren’t voting for President this go around. Sure, it is anecdotal evidence, but I’ve seen nothing in the polling to indicate that what you say is true. Plus, it is not the first time in history that voters voted against the incumbent. The example that leaps to mind is LBJ, who dropped out of the race after losing the New Hampshire primary. However, prior to that, there are four President’s who failed to get their party nomination for re-election in the days before primaries: Pierce, Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Arthur, although Pierce was the only one elected President with the other three ascending to the Presidency via being VP (Fillmore took over when Taylor died and Johnson and Arthur took over when Lincoln and Garfield were respectively assassinated).

    “Had Paul and Gingrich left the race early, Santorum would have routed Romney. And he would have beaten Obama.”

    Are you serious? Santorum is a theocratic lunatic that Obama would have defeated far easier than the more moderate appearing Romney and Gingrich and Paul were a non-player also-rans from the start. For the GOP to even hope to appeal to moderates and independents while getting someone willing to tow the party line, Romney was a foregone conclusion once the field settled down and other moderate appearing Republicans declined running.

  71. Anonymously Yours 1, May 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for your observations…..

    But aren’t people capable of changing…..Especially if they were under some disability at the time of the event….
    ====================================
    The problem is not exactly with individualism, it is more so the society around.

    It has tremendous influence, and our subconscious 98% is hard wired to the society around (e.g. peer pressure) to a significant degree.

    I think that people make personal changes more successfully when they are able to “jump the tracks” as it were, or to “get off the train” to use another metaphor.

  72. Gene H:

    I am talking conservatives. They will vote for Romney and hold their nose. Santorum would have won the republican primary if Paul and Gingrich had not been in the race.

    If your friends are liberals and are not going to vote for Obama, Romney is a foregone conclusion.

  73. Bron,

    Many of my friends are liberals and most are independents, but you’d be surprised the number of moderate conservatives I know who are opting to write in or simply not vote for President this time. It is way more than one. You underestimate how badly the GOP is alienating moderates by doubling down in playing to the far right. Their ever religious pandering does not play well to people who understand and appreciate the necessity and wisdom of the Separation of Church and State Doctrine nor has their blatant attack on women (52% of the population and able to vote) done them any favors either. I don’t think the election is going to be a landslide, no, but I don’t think even with abstentions that Romney is going to win unless some incredible game changing event happens between now and the election. The bad news is that both parties suck and are aiding and abetting the elimination of any pretense of democracy in this country in pandering to corporatist fascists (albeit slightly different ones).

    Very few people like the choices of candidates in this election.

  74. Bron, I don’t know anyone that is protesting Obama with their vote except for some people on this blog. These people don’t form the democratic base, and many did not vote for him last time. The independents in a few swing states will decide the race.

  75. Bron, But then, again. I know a lot of women, minorities, public employees and gay people. We form the democratic base.

  76. SwM,

    I’m not so sure it will be the independents although their vote will be important … the way it’s trending now … the base, the young and a big emphasis on the Hispanic bloc.

  77. Blouise, Definitely those groups will get pushed to turnout. I am wondering how the hispanics are going to react to the gay marriage announcement. There have been some negative responses from some ministers in the black church. Independents have been swinging back and forth, and the polls are tight.

  78. Bron, I hate to intervene in your exchange with Gene, but the assertion that Rick Santorum could beat Pres. Obama is almost delusional. His nomination would make the 1964 and 1972 elections look like squeakers by comparison.

  79. I did a really stupid thing in high school that hurt someone. I remember every detail.

    Mitt remembers.

  80. Mike Appleton:

    I dont think you are right. Obama is a weak candidate even as incumbent. I think Santorum would have beaten him. Obama won because of McCain and people had Bush fatigue. The economy sucks and if it continues to suck then Obama is going to lose.

    People are tired, the last time Obama promised people a respite from Bush and they took it. This time they are going to think really hard before pulling the lever for Obama. His rhetoric has lost it’s charm.

    You underestimate people like Santorum and their appeal to regular middle class people.

    You also seem to miss the reality that the democrat party of Sam Nunn, Scope Jackson, etc. is gone.

  81. “You underestimate people like Santorum and their appeal to regular middle class people.”

    What appeal? The man is a rabid right wing zealot out of touch with anything but the fringe elements even within his own party. Moderates and independents are key to elections once the partisan bases are mobilized and directed. Candidates like Santorum (or Gingrich) do not appeal to either moderates or the non-partisan.

  82. @Curious,

    “I did a really stupid thing in high school that hurt someone. I remember every detail.

    Mitt remembers.”

    Yeah, me too, in kindergarten. And I agree about Mitt.

  83. One doesn’t need to know if Mitt Romney qualifies as a sociopath or psychopath, since electing him to the Presidency of the United States will make him both in any event. As Thomas Jefferson said: “Wherever a man has set his eye upon high office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.” President Obama provides all the evidence of this rottenness that one could possibly want, gleefully dancing on the corpses of Osama bin Laden and other insignificant Muslims at every opportunity.

    If the Republicans think that they can monopolize the low road like they usually do, President Obama and his re-election campaign have obviously got news for them. Not that the Republicans don’t deserve to eat their own excrement, but it hardly encourages hopefulness to see yet another corporate Democrat taste it for them first.

  84. Mitt, the prep-school sadist
    His attacks on gay students and disabled teachers reveal a preppy, entitled cruelty. Not remembering makes it worse
    BY JOAN WALSH
    http://www.salon.com/2012/05/10/mitt_the_prep_school_sadist/singleton/

    Excerpt:
    Lauber wasn’t the only gay student bullied by Romney. Gary Hummel, who was closeted, recalled that Romney mocked his efforts to speak out in class by shouting, “Atta girl!” He pulled several pranks on a teacher with seriously compromised eyesight, once “escorting” him into a closed set of doors and “giggling hysterically” when he ran into them. Another time he propped up the back axle of the teacher’s VW bug and laughed as the man hit the gas pedal “with his wheels spinning in the air.” Hilarious!

    In a hastily scheduled interview with a friendly Fox host, Romney made this statement: “I participated in a lot of hijinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.” He sort of said he didn’t remember assaulting Lauber. “I don’t remember that incident,” Romney said, laughing. (Laughing?) “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case.” So he obviously remembers something – but he didn’t know the guy was gay! About taunting Gary Hummel with “Atta girl,” Romney offers a similar qualified denial: “I really can’t remember that. As this person indicated, he was closeted. I had no idea that he was gay and can’t speak to that even today.” So I didn’t do it, and anyway, the guy was closeted. Romney closed with the classic non-apology apology: ”If there’s anything I said that is offensive to someone, I certainly am sorry for that, very deeply sorry for that.”

    I’m not sure what’s worse – that he remembers his cruel pranks, and he’s lying about it, or that such cruelty doesn’t stand out in his memory. It’s all of a piece with Romney’s cavalier statements about power and entitlement: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me;” joking to a group of unemployed voters that he’s “unemployed” too; the $10,000 bet with Rick Perry; his statement the other day that retirees “can’t begin to live off the puny interest from their CDs.” He’s still the same entitled rich kid, the one whose classmate told the Post he thought deserved some punishment in the Lauber incident – punishment that of course never came. No wonder the story of poor Seamus on the roof of the car never goes away: we have stories of Mechanical Mitt, and Mean Mitt, and very few of Mitt as a man who shows genuine empathy to people (or other living beings) less powerful than he is.

    One Obama-Romney parallel is striking. On Wednesday President Obama hastily schedules an interview to announce that he supports gay marriage. On Thursday Romney hastily schedules an interview to say he can’t remember assaulting one gay student and insulting another. That’s a pretty stark choice right there.

    Update: This is rich: Some of Romney’s school-days friends are being asked by the campaign to step forward and defend him from the Washington Post story charges – and they’re balking. Stu White told ABC News that he is “still debating” whether he will help, addding, “It’s been a long time since we’ve been pals.”

    Another classmate and old friend of Romney’s told ABC “a lot of guys” who went to Cranbrook have “really negative memories” of Romney’s behavior there. He described it as “evil” and “like Lord of the Flies.” The classmate, who wouldn’t be named, says Romney is lying when he says he can’t remember the hair-cutting incident.

    “It makes these fellows [who have owned up to it] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?” the former classmate said.

    And another classmate, Phillip Maxwell, who witnessed the hair-cutting incident, told CBS today: “Mitt was a prankster, there’s no doubt about it. This thing with Lauber wasn’t a prank. This was, well, as a lawyer, it was an assault. It was an assault and a battery. And I’m sure that John Lauber carried it with him for the rest of his life.”

    It seems like Romney’s glib dismissal of the story is bothering his old friends. Stay tuned; Romney’s going to have to say more about this soon. A lawyer just termed it “assault.”

  85. Bron, it’s Democratic Party. Santorum’s popularity was regional, and primarily evangelical. He was angry, authoritarian and intolerant, qualities that endeared him to caucus activists and right-wing Christians and… no one else. Educated Catholics regard him as generally uninformed and he is an absolute disgrace on Catholic social doctrine. In short, he was and is a one-trick pony, and I believe that would have become glaringly obvious to the electorate long before November.

  86. Boy are all you people just sorry victims? Yes, WE are all victims of “bigger kids” messing with us. Some of us get over it. I was certainly bullied and I remember all the incidents. I got even with some, not others. This is the law of the land folks. Be stronger and better than the others ooorrrr let the State coddle you and be the sorry wimps that some of us are. MAN UP.

  87. Jebus, Joan Walsh is the worst of the pseudo-liberals around.

    Here she is again, meme-repeating what the wapo reported on, adding nothing but her layer of blather.

    That monothought woman single handedly destroyed Salon, I would find some one else to model after.

  88. Geeba Geeba: I gave my thoughts on this early on in the thread. This isn’t about “manning up,” whatever the hell that means. Had Lauder been my friend, I would have called Mitt out and beaten the crap out of him the following day. I’m not suggesting that that is the proper approach, but that’s how I was raised. I don’t like people who do things in groups, whether it’s gang assaults or gang rape. And, frankly, I was taught to respect people long before I was in high school, for Pete’s sake.

  89. SwM,

    Neither you or I were big Obama supporters last time around and I doubt either one of us has changed our opinion over the last four years but, that being said, I strongly believe his win this time will be greater in numbers than last time. If you move outside this blog to the base, the young, the minorities and women from all walks of life and political persuasions, his support is rock solid.

    Public Polls will be used (it’s all in the way the questions are phrased) to build the suspense so that people don’t sit at home thinking their vote won’t be needed, but inner, privately commissioned polls tell a very different story. He knew he could afford to come out in favor of civil unions without jeopardizing a damn thing.

    The Republicans know it too which is why Romney was offered up as the throw away candidate. They’ll keep up their work in the states and wait for 2016. I suspect it will be Jeb and we’ll know that for sure if he starts getting active after Obama is sworn in.

  90. SwM,

    p.s. the petition to create a constitutional amendment that would effectively overturn the Citizens United decision is gaining strength. Sherrod Brown just signed on.

    The amendment is simple — it gives Congress and the states the power to pass campaign finance laws.

  91. Mike A.,

    Copy that.

    ******************

    Blouise,

    “The Republicans know it too which is why Romney was offered up as the throw away candidate. They’ll keep up their work in the states and wait for 2016. I suspect it will be Jeb and we’ll know that for sure if he starts getting active after Obama is sworn in.”

    Yep. They are counting on the short attention span of the electorate to be glossed over before they put their fascist pet Bush back on the selling block. There is literally nothing you could do to convince me, however, that a Bush should be allowed to hold public office of any sort in this country every again and at any level. If they run Jeb? I may not be campaigning for his competition, but you can guarantee I’ll be campaigning against him and his entire criminal family.

  92. Gene,

    I hate to say it but I think that’s what’s coming. The Bushie’s would love to beat out the Adam’s family ((gbk … control yourself!)

  93. Poor little rich boy. From debasing a blind teacher, the scissor incident, the terrified dog on the roof. His fleeing to an estate in Paris to avoid the draft, his early adult years struggling to get by selling off a nice pile of daddy-supplied stock here and there to his starter manse purchased by daddy.

    All interesting and tangible examples of a spoiled scion enjoying his station with a complete lack of basic empathy or understanding of what most people go through. All make for good press but the biggest example of the way Rmoney sees the rest of us is through his years as a vulture capitalist with Bain. Wealthy already, it takes a special kind of soulless asshole to turn profit off draining company’s assets, ruining employee pensions, laying off a dedicated workforce and then happily scampering off to buy the next company to do it all over again. Rmoney is no businessman. Businessmen are generally in the “business” of trying to run a profitable business, not buying them with someone else’s money, raiding them, stripping them for parts and shuttering them up after laying off the remaining staff. More like anti-businessman.

  94. I can still remember back at our remote ATSB in South Vietnam where the local SEAL team detachment would gleefully get another sailor drunk and shave off half his hair. They had a German shepherd, too, and delighted in having it kill some of the other sailors’ pet dogs. One of my friends whose pet dog had died in this way got out his weapon and started off to kill the SEALs’ cur, but since the Navy considered the animal official property, we talked our shipmate out of getting busted for giving the SEAL team a little of their own medicine. You want to see psychopaths, you really need to see a Seal or Special Ops team up close and personal. I have no problem at all visualizing twenty-five of these goons murdering an unarmed man in front of his family.

    Mitt Romney’s prep-school queer baiting, however distasteful, doesn’t hold a candle to what damage he could do if given command of some real psychopaths. I think President Obama has pretty much got that low road all to himself, much to the delight of his own party and the envious dismay of John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Lindsay Graham.

    Fareed Zakaria recently accused Americans of acting like a bunch of “scared, fearful losers,” which reminded me of Gore Vidal saying, decades ago, that “Americans are among the most easily frightened people on earth.” This coming election season promises to vindicate these accurate assessments — who can scare whom the worst over the least, with evil, lesser or greater, the only sure winner in the end. As H. L. Menken said almost a century ago: “I never vote for anyone. I always vote against.”

  95. I am loathe to draw too many conclusions from an incident occurring so many years ago, but forgetting about tormenting another male to the point of tears seems awfully callous to me. A haughtiness of mind and spirit is precisely what we don’t nee right now.

  96. “Blouise, Bush v Clinton? The conspiracy people will go crazy… …short trip.” (SwM)

    LOL … that’s just what I was thinking. That would be an election!!

  97. The point is that this incident was so “normal” in Mitt’s minds, so uneventful that he cannot distinquiish this from any of the other “pranks” he claims to have been party to. He can’t expected to choose to remember it. Many want to dismiss it because it happened 50 years ago. Seems pretty evident from personal testimony here that victims of such bullying behavior still remember the pain of those incidents quitev well many years later.

  98. The point is that he had a mean streak then, and judging from the ads he ran during the primaries, still has today.

  99. Personally I’d like to hear of more recent aberrant behavior of both candidates. Get me some dirt about Romney during the time period that Obama is blocking information about his grades, papers and all the other stuff his legal team is hiding. But really all this doesn’t really matter anyway. If ya’ll want to go down the tube like Europe then re-elect this guy. But my guess is that your descendants will hate you for it. If you want to give them a chance then elect a person with actual executive experience for the Executive Branch. Romney. At least he will show some leadership and will have street cred when it comes to a tussle with Putin or Mr. (not a chance for a Mrs) China.

    And btw, I haven’t read all the commentary but why don’t I see much conversation here about Obama’s bragging (ok that’s my word) about pushing around Coretta in his book? If I had to chose between a rich kid that picks on other rich kids and a guy who finds it in his heart to publish a book that contains his exploits pushing around a girl – I would not chose the abuser of women. HE IS ANTI-WOMAN!

  100. Geeba Geeba; huh, the only thing Romney would do would be to reinstate all the Bush financial policies. Which means more bubbles, more pain for average Americans more austerity leading to more depression. Sure.

    No, I know the Independents of this nation do not want to go back. And now with the Occupy movement, mobilizing the progressive vote will be easier. They may not be voting ‘for’ Obama, but they will be voting ‘against’ Romney. No doubt.

  101. Geeba Geeba, From that very day Obama pushed Coretta, he had cooties. Cooties for the rest of his life.

  102. JPMorgan just announced a $2B trading loss. How will Romney and Obama handle this? Similarly, or differently?

    Same shit different day?

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0511-jpmorgan-chase-20120511,0,4625412.story

    Barely four years after Wall Street’s wrong-way bets plunged the world into a financial crisis, JPMorgan Chase & Co. admitted it lost $2 billion from a trading portfolio that was supposed to have helped the bank manage credit risk.

    “These were egregious mistakes,” said Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, who is considered one of the world’s savviest bankers. “We have egg on our face, and we deserve any criticism we get.”

    The announcement stunned the financial industry, in part because it came from such a highly regarded bank. Dimon had navigated JPMorgan through the crisis in good shape by clamping down on some of the excessive risks that torpedoed rivals.

    Dimon told analysts that the bank racked up $2 billion in trading losses during the last six weeks, and that could “easily get worse.” He said JPMorgan could suffer an additional $1-billion loss from the portfolio during the second quarter.

    “My jaw is on the table,” said Nancy Bush of SNL Financial. “I never expected this right now — not in a million years.”

    The losses stemmed from derivative bets that backfired in the company’s Chief Investment Office.

  103. It was about 60 years ago that I was part of group of kids that picked on one boy our own age, the “new kid” in school. We were walking home from school, mostly in twos, when a couple of boys started yelling at this kid. Suddenly nearly all of us surrounded him, yelling, pushing, grabbing his hat and throwing it into a puddle. It was over quickly. I was the last to leave this kid who had started to cry but who refused to let me give him comfort. I knew I had done something really wrong. I was ashamed. There was nothing I could do to fix it. This boy’s family moved right after that. I remember his name. I’ll never forget it.

  104. bettykath May 11, 2012 at 12:14 am –“I’ll never forget it.”

    You choose to remember because you chose to be better.

  105. Geeba

    The European economies that adopted the austerity route are the one’s that are struggling. Our economy is in recovery. It’s not as robust as some would like, but it’s steady and manageable which makes it more resilient. This is in part due to the successful stimulus route used in the US. The Stimulus package of 2009 was never meant to replace the private economy, but to give it the room it needed to begin growth. The President’s strategy worked. Had we followed Romney’s “executive experience” we’d have no auto industry. (We’re not buying his revisionist lie about how when he said let them go broke he meant don’t let them go broke).

    Romney has endorsed the absurd Ryan Budget which will raise the debt, lower Mitt’s personal taxes and gut programs for the elderly, the poor, children and the middle class. This is a European style austerity program destined to the same failed fate as they’re experiencing in England. This isn’t theorectical, the contrasting plans are unfolding before our eyes. Romney has endorsed the failed austerity in England and looks to inflict the same disasterous policies here while Mr Obama’s plan is working. So, if you want to go the route of European decline, vote for the guy with the same story of a Harvard MBA and business experience as the guy who got us into this mess in the first place. Why would you want to take our country down a proven failed road? No, thanks, I’ll take the smart guy who isn’t a bully and who’s significantly raised our country’s standing in the world and has a pocketful of foreign poliicy successes.

  106. How are the Romney/Ryan tax cuts, bloated military spending, deregulated business environment, and reduced outlays social infrasturcture and safety net any different than the policies of G. W. Bush except that they are so much more extreme that we don’t need any foreign war to send this country into a Depression ( but they want one of those, too)?

  107. I haven’t read all the comments, but, Per the WAPO quote that AN posted at 11:34, to wit:

    “I don’t remember that incident. I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual,” Mr. Romney said, the Post said. “That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s so that was not the case.”

    I was a teenager in the late 50’s-60’s, in an middle class suburban setting. We most certainly did think about homosexuality and assumed homosexuals — stigma attached. Romney is disingenuous or lying about this. At prep schools, even more of a fishbowl, the social environment was even more acute.

  108. DonS,

    Also from Jonathan Turley’s article:

    “Also troubling are accounts like this one: “In an English class, Gary Hummel, who was a closeted gay student at the time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in class were punctuated with Romney shouting, ‘Atta girl!’”” (Washington Post, as well?)

    If one didn’t know before that Romney is prone to prevarication (and bullying), one certainly knows it now.

  109. 05/11/2012

    Romney’s troubling reaction to the bullying story

    By Ruth Marcus

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/romneys-troubling-reaction-to-the-bullying-story/2012/05/11/gIQAhjt0HU_blog.html

    Excerpt:

    “Hijinks? Pranks? This was an assault, pure and simple. Romney insists that sexual orientation had nothing to do with the incident he doesn’t recall. “I certainly don’t believe I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960’.” But it’s clear that Lauber’s offense lay in his being different from the others on the island of Cranbook prep, whatever label was attached.

    So I don’t really blame Romney for what he did. I blame him for what he fails to remember, or to acknowledge, that he did. Imagine if Romney’s response to The Post story had been to own up to the episode and talk about his enduring regret.

    “I would think this would be seared in his memory,” one classmate who participated, Philip Maxwell, told the New York Times. “Certainly for the other people that were involved, nobody has forgotten.”

    That Romney has forgotten, or says he has, speaks volumes — more than anything that happened on a spring day in Michigan half a century ago.”

  110. This sick and I do not care how long ago it happened. If anyone has noticed, Mitt just laughs it off like he laughs off everything here in the present. There is a human shell there, but there is nothing inside.

  111. A similar incident happened the freshman year at the elite northeast liberal college I went to (early 60’s) where the bullies assaulted and cut the hair of a kid which they adjudged too long. The details aren’t important, except the kid was from NYC and long hair would not have been unusual for him. He did not return for his sophomore year — unsurprisingly finding the environment stifling for him.

    The thing is, many of us did not fit the mold of the preppies we were thrown together with (not than all preppies were bullies of course), and were pretty horrified at this happening to a friend. Even more to the point, today, 50 years later, I still remember the kid’s name, dorm, floor, where he came from, what he looked like, how he sounded . . . and what his hair was like (actually longish, but very neat). And I still remember the incident with a sick feeling.

  112. it is quite comical reading these comments. Let’s be honest, if this was Obama or Biden, you would say “it was so long ago, let’s not judge him on what he did as a kid”.

    Politics is dirty. Both sides want to win sooo bad that their supporters can read into the mind of those running on the other side and ascribe devious intentions and then try to sell the public on that.

    It would be much more honest if you all would just admit that you vote liberal, you dislike conservative politics, you would never vote for Romney or anyone with an R after their name and you will always vote for someone with a D instead.

    If this one incident disqualifies Romney as presidential, then NO ONE would be qualified because each and every one of us has done stupid things in our lives. Judge not lest ye be judged.

  113. “it is quite comical reading these comments. Let’s be honest, if this was Obama or Biden, you would say “it was so long ago, let’s not judge him on what he did as a kid”.” -nick

    And you would be wrong, Nick.
    —–

    “Politics is dirty.” -nick

    You don’t say.
    —–

    “If this one incident disqualifies Romney as presidential, then NO ONE would be qualified because each and every one of us has done stupid things in our lives.” -nick

    And most of us would take responsibility, be appropriately remorseful, and tell the truth, as painful as it might be.

    And I agree with Ruth Marcus (refer to the following link):

    “”Hijinks? Pranks? This was an assault, pure and simple.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/romneys-troubling-reaction-to-the-bullying-story/2012/05/11/gIQAhjt0HU_blog.html

    —-

    Judge not lest ye be judged. -nick, again

    Oh, please…

    Have a good day, Nick.

  114. nick,

    “It would be much more honest if you all would just admit that you vote liberal, you dislike conservative politics, you would never vote for Romney or anyone with an R after their name and you will always vote for someone with a D instead.”

    *****

    You’re wrong. I have voted for Republican candidates in the past. And there have been times when I have not voted because I disliked all the candidates running. Conservative politics has changed a great deal in the past decade or so. The Republican party seems to have been taken over by extreme right-wingers. The Republicans that I voted for stood for fiscal responsibility–but were open-minded about social issues. They were also supporters of science, believed in evolution and the separation of church and state, and respected women.

    I think these Romney prep school stories speak to who this man is beneath the smiling face.

    Soon after Romney got elected governor of Massachusetts, he went on the road campaigning around the country and badmouthing our state. Is that how a governor is supposed to represent his state and the people who voted for him? I have absolutely no respect for the man.

  115. Bully Pulpit Second Thoughts
    By Joe Klein, May 11, 2012

    I fear that I went too easy on Mitt Romney with regard to his high school bullying escapades. It’s not the incident itself that troubles me–though it was, obviously, outrageous and disgraceful–so much as his current response: He doesn’t remember it. This is patent nonsense. How could he not remember it? Obviously, he remembers it or he wouldn’t have been so quick to issue his blanket apology yesterday for any and all hurt he may have caused at Cranbrook. And this transparent fudge once again raises questions about his character.

    It comes during the same week that he claims credit for saving the auto industry, even though he opposed the bailout that made possible the “structured bankruptcy” he favored. It comes the same week that he expresses his opposition to gay marriage, even though he promised to be a more aggressive proponent of gay rights than Ted Kennedy when he ran for the Senate in 1994–of course, it’s possible that Romney has “evolved” in the opposite direction from President Obama, and most Americans, on this issue, but I doubt it. It seems that a day can’t go by without some Romney embarrassment, or bald-faced reversal of a former position.

    I’m still waiting for the moment when Romney actually tells the truth about something difficult. He could have said, “You know, I’ve been troubled by the Cranbrook episode for most of my life, and I feel relieved, in a way, that it’s come out now. I did a really stupid and terrible thing. Teenage boys sometimes do such things, and deserve to be punished for them. What I most regret is that I never apologized to John, and won’t be able to now that he’s gone, but let me apologize to his family and friends. Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. It is especially unacceptable when prejudice–against race, ethnicity or sexual orientation–is involved. If elected President, I will try to atone for my teenage behavior by campaigning against bullying all across this country. What I did back then should be an example of how not to behave. I hope we can all learn from this. I know that I have.”

    Instead, Romney has a near-perfect record of cowardice, obfuscation and downright lies. It shows enormous disrespect for the intelligence of the public.

    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/05/11/bully-pulpit-second-thoughts/#ixzz1ua2oubGG

  116. Why Romney’s Teenage Bullying Actually Matters
    Frederick E. Allen
    5/11/2012
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/frederickallen/2012/05/11/why-romneys-teenage-bullying-actually-matters/

    Excerpt:
    We all now know that as an 18-year-old prep school student in the 1960s, Mitt Romney rounded up a group of friends, assaulted a student who would later come out as gay, pinned him to the ground, and hacked off the hair he had grown long and dyed blond over vacation. Does it really matter what Romney did as a kid almost half a century ago?

    No. Not by itself. Almost every teenage boy is a jerk. We all do things in adolescence that we can be ashamed of. The problem is that the story doesn’t end there. In the hours since the story came out, Romney has made it worse, in characteristic fashion.

    He has laughed it off. He has also insisted he doesn’t remember it. Five of his classmates all remembered it. Phillip Maxwell, a fellow student who was there when it happened, told ABC News, “It’s a haunting memory. . . . because when you see somebody who is simply different taken down that way and is terrified and you see that look in their eye you never forget it. And that was what we all walked away with.” The Washington Post article that broke the story quoted several students who remembered the incident all too well. Who could ever forget such a thing? Andrew Sullivan writes, “We have two options: this man is so callous that, unlike all those others involved in this assault, he has forgotten it. Or he is a liar.”

    It is unbelievable that he couldn’t remember at all, but he is definitely callous, too. For a response to the story yesterday, the best he could come up with was, “As to pranks that were played back then, I don’t remember them all, but again, high school days, if I did stupid things, why, I’m afraid I’ve got to say sorry for it.” If I did stupid things. He didn’t take the opportunity to say something like, as Joe Klein suggests, “I did a really stupid and terrible thing. Teenage boys sometimes do such things, and deserve to be punished for them. What I most regret is that I never apologized to John, and won’t be able to now that he’s gone, but let me apologize to his family and friends.”

    Romney’s reaction not only seems almost certainly dishonest, it also, together with the anecdote itself, adds to his solid reputation as almost reptilian in his lack of warmth and sympathy for anyone unlike himself or in a situation unlike his own. He has fought that problem throughout his candidacy, but he keeps on only making it worse. And so he again raises questions about his character as a person and therefore as a leader.

  117. Bullying and Mitt Romney’s Empathy Problem
    Josh Barro
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbarro/2012/05/11/bullying-and-mitt-romneys-empathy-problem/

    Excerpt:
    This incident, and the reactions of his classmates, reflect quite badly on Romney’s character as a teenager. But do they tell us anything about Romney today? Romney has had lots of formative experiences in the intervening 47 years—college and graduate school, a Mormon mission, marriage, raising five children, founding a successful company, running the Olympics and a state. Lots of people are pretty horrible as teenagers (I don’t look back fondly on my teen self, either) and yet grow into more responsible, more compassionate adults.

    Full disclosure: in the summer of 2002, before my sophomore year of college, I was a summer intern for Mitt Romney’s campaign for governor of Massachusetts. It was a big operation and I actually worked for his running mate, so I only spoke with Mitt a handful of times. Still, I always found him to be completely polite and respectful, an ethos that spread through the campaign. I worked more closely with his son, Tagg, who was a stand up guy.

    That said, there is a difference between learning to treat others respectfully and having empathy for them. It seems like teenage Mitt Romney fell down on both of those counts, and I’m confident that adult Mitt Romney has figured the respect thing out. But does Romney have empathy for people who are different from him?

    The tone of Romney’s reaction today does not look good on the empathy front. Referring to an assault on a classmate as “hijinks and pranks” is pretty tone-deaf. Let’s say you were told about an incident in your teenage years that you had forgotten, where you behaved cruelly and caused a lot of distress to other people. Wouldn’t you, as Dan Foster describes, feel a little bit ashamed? That’s not at all evident in Romney’s reaction to this story.

    And while Romney denies that he would have thought that a classmate was gay, it’s clear that Lauber was singled out for his nonconformity. This incident reflects not just that teen Romney being a jerk, but that he was using his in-group status to pick on an outsider—has adult Romney reflected on that?

    Romney’s actions as governor also suggest that he doesn’t view bullying as a significant problem. In 2006, Romney threatened to dissolve the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, established by Republican Governor William Weld in 1992, and then to expand its mission to cover all youth. The legislature established a independent commission, overriding a Romney veto, in response to these threats. A key part of the commission’s mandate is the prevention of anti-LGBT bullying in schools.

    His administration also repeatedly delayed the publication of an anti-bullying handbook for public schools, which had been developed in 2002 by Governor Jane Swift’s Task Force on Hate Crimes. Kathleen Henry, who chaired the Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth at the time, said she thought the guidebook was held up due to its LGBT-related content, particularly content to do with transgender students. Ultimately, the handbook was published under Governor Deval Patrick, six years after it was first drafted.

  118. “I think these Romney prep school stories speak to who this man is beneath the smiling face.” — Elaine M.

    We all remember chapter and verse on Dubya — from the kid who blew up frogs for kicks, to the drunken lout of a Yalie, and the coke-stoking playboy. Yeah, we can “evolve” , some of us anyway. We certainly all change. Politicians have to be especially astute at finessing their pasts and, where not possible, presenting a reasonable facsimile of having “evolved”.

    At least that’s the way it used to be. Maybe in today’s cultural wars, punching a hippy, so to speak, is not considered bad. Gotta check the polls. I guess I’m just tired of politics and politicians

  119. DonS,

    “I guess I’m just tired of politics and politicians.”

    I’m also tired of the “handlers” and political strategists/advisers who tell their candidates what to do/what not to do/what to say/what not to say.

  120. Elaine, “I’m also tired of the “handlers” and political strategists/advisers ”

    Yeah, really. Bush is a great example. All hat, no horse. Totally picked and packaged by handlers from start to finish. And that, of course, is why Jebbie just has to be a natural. The boys in the board room say it’s so.

  121. . . .and the Mittster, spinning around so fast trying to keep up with the message and audience of the day he makes flip flop accusee John Kerry seem like steady Eddie.

  122. “it is quite comical reading these comments. Let’s be honest, if this was Obama or Biden, you would say “it was so long ago, let’s not judge him on what he did as a kid”.”

    Actually Nick I would raise the rafters had this been Obama, or any other Democrat, which illustrates the difference between today’s conservatives and everyone else. To you politics is like rooting for your home team. Decency, morality or other virtues have little to do with it. For you all it’s about the money and you’re willing to even hi-jack Jesus to win. Every single person who has commented negatively here about this incident, would have been just as outspoken had it been Obama, perhaps more so.

    When it comes to the Republican home team adulterers like Newt are fine; prostitution fetishists like Vitter are fine; bigots like Paul are fine, as you all preach “family values” and praise Jesus in unison.

  123. You know its easy to say well it was 50 yrs ago and we all did stupid things as a teenager…well when your on the receiving end of that stick it isn’t so easy to forget….”Oh yeah, I used to beat the hell out of guys who were different than me, but that was long ago I’m better now”

    From me to you that’s f’ing BULLSHIT!

  124. Mike S.,
    Well said. These very same Republicans all voted no to prevent a vote in the Senate to approve of the Student Loan Interest bill from moving forward. I think Sen. Snowe voted present and Lugar and Kirk didn’t vote. This was just another filibuster that doesn’t get reported as a filibuster. Romney will fit in well with these idiots. He is a punk who never grew up and did not have to because of his family’s position and wealth.

  125. Mike S. Absolutely. Exactly. My conservative friends are always puzzled when I criticize Obama. I have to tell them that although I have some criticism of him, I am never going all the way over to the dark side and support any of the GOP corporate puppets, lol

  126. “Actually Nick I would raise the rafters had this been Obama, or any other Democrat, which illustrates the difference between today’s conservatives and everyone else. To you politics is like rooting for your home team. Decency, morality or other virtues have little to do with it. For you all it’s about the money and you’re willing to even hi-jack Jesus to win. Every single person who has commented negatively here about this incident, would have been just as outspoken had it been Obama, perhaps more so.”

    It might be one thing if we had the same information available on all the candidates, but we’re not in that Facebook era just yet.

    So you’re getting a very narrow glimpse of one candidate that is not available on the others.

    Upthread I said, if there’s a pattern of repeat performances of this, then this is relevant. If there’s not, then it’s actually evidence of maturation, or reformed views. And a couple of posters were able to show some events that perhaps point to a pattern.

    Me, I don’t know. It was the height of Vietnam, and the middle of the sixties. It occurred between teenagers in a prep school, and in the article there is not a whole lot of evidence it was gay oriented and not just hippie/long hair/anti-war oriented.

    But worse, look at the posters in this thread that you Mike, would find hard to believe ever engaged in bullying or anything like that, that confess to bullying and stuff like that.

    So go over past Presidents and tell me which ones you are certain never bullied others during K-12.

    By the way, the dipshit Althouse has a small story of Obama being goaded into teasing/bullying a companion.(It’s a stupid claim from Althouse, because mainly what Obama did was what all boys in elementary school might do, deny they like girls. Yuck, Cooties.)

    But currently. we can’t tell who bullied someone in their youth or not, and it’s pretty ridiculous to believe that anyone ambitious enough to be President was incapable of bullying others, so it’s a stupid reason to get your poutrage on.

    As I said earlier, if we make it okay to crawl through candidates stupid youth experiences like this, can we elect anyone?

    So if Obama had bullied someone in K-12 (and hey, my best friend from college went to elementary school with Obama), I would care as little about it as I do that Obama smoked marijuana at Occidental.

    It’s the pattern in adulthood that matters.

    Did George Washington torture cherry trees as a kid?

  127. I have a tune which is similar to chants sung at high school sporting events. This should be sung at any political gathering where the Romney guy appears:

    Atta girl Willard, atta Girl!
    Atta girl Willard, atta Girl.

    Stupid things in high school, stupid things.
    Williard is your name, its your name.

  128. Regarding Romney’s denial, I think, as I said earlier, that Romney clearly remembers this incident.

    If I recall correctly, and paraphrasing, Vincent Bugliosi once said it was stupid and foul for Prosecutors to ask Bill Clinton if he had ever committed adultery, because oath or not, prosecutors, everyone, knows everyone will lie about that.

    Romney’s denial is about what one would expect. Who is he going to please if he admits it? His rightwing supporters? Or the left? And why would he want to please the left and the expense of his rightwing supporters?

    Oh? You’re shocked, shocked Romney lies? Romney lies and flip-flops about a dozen times a day.

    Mainly what I see here is another round of partisan, gotcha, race to the bottom politics, which is great, it very nicely distracts from real issues.

  129. anon: yes, Romneys bad behavior continued, in fact he made a career out of being a corporate bully at Bain Capital. He was extremely good at making a profit from taking away peoples living standards & employment security.

    Obama helped people in his chosen careers.

    Romney only helped himself and his already rich buddies get richer by bullying workers out of a job and destroying sources of tax revenue in communities all over the USA.

  130. shano,

    True. Mitt is the poster boy illustrating the difference between destructive capitalism and constructive capitalism. He’s every bit the robber baron, but I doubt if he could build something if his life depended upon it.

  131. “anon: yes, Romneys bad behavior continued, in fact he made a career out of being a corporate bully at Bain Capital. He was extremely good at making a profit from taking away peoples living standards & employment security.”

    Anon,

    There is your answer right there. Way above I told about the effect on me of a bullying incident when I was 16. That was one of many, many incidents I suffered in High School. Did some of those kids turn out all right, no doubt. However, I’ve never physically bullied anyone and people I stand up to verbally have been on equal footing with me, or in some cases more powerful.
    The other descriptions, by his ex-friends of Mitt’s behavior reflect a person with little compassion for anyone, but himself.

    Now should this alone keep anyone from voting for Mitt, probably not. However, putting this in context with the man’s apparent inability to understand and feel compassion for ordinary, based on his own statements, then I think it is reasonable to infer a kind of sociopathic/narcissistic in this man. By the way although I owned and loved dogs in my youth, I’m not someone who finds articles about pets cute. However, when I heard he put his dog in a kennel on top of a car I found that outrageous, since that should never be done. That adds in to the fact that Mitt has the kind of rich boy, entitled mentality, that characterized George W. Bush. Given that, I doubt that Mitt’s conscience would be any better and that others misery wouldn’t phase him at all. Sadly,
    no one in the Republican primary field seemed to be a better person emotionally.

  132. Mike,

    “Sadly, no one in the Republican primary field seemed to be a better person emotionally.” Which brings us back to the sad truth that the mode of modern politics appeals to the emotionally crippled and usually in the form of narcissists and/or sociopaths of some sort. However, although I did disagree with a lot (most) of his platform, I will have to say that Huntsman did not appear to be cut from that mold. He may be and such facts may have been revealed had he stayed on the campaign trail, but at first blush he seemed to be someone legitimately interested in public service for the right reasons.

  133. Gene H. May 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm “destructive capitalism and constructive capitalism”

    .Without knowing the details of the transactions or the ins and outs of the industry, liquidating ailing although viable companies may actually benefit the economy if the proceeds are properly reinvested and garner a higher rate of return. There are some caveats.

    It is very likely that the trauma of closing a plant will be localized while the benefit of reinvestment may be very diffuse or take place in another locale.That is a transactional problem — how everything gets sorted out.

    There is a larger systemic problem, which is that success is measured in earnings, profits, and rates of return. There is no social utility scale to judge whether the product or service actually increases the general welfare of the people.. Perhaps the company that was shuttered was in the solar power industry and the reinvestment is in tar sands development.

    Of course I present the clean model where capital is freely flowing through capital market is allocated to its best use (i.e,. bigger profits) and no one was getting screwed out of their retirement or termination benefits. That’s something different.

    I’m talking about the economic equivalent of the dung beetle, not a thieiving skunk.

  134. Just in case the various post re ASPD, psycho- and sociopaths, and other such truck have you worried, help is as close as your phone —

  135. Oro,

    While I do both see and recognize the utility of the distinction you are making, those are pretty big caveats you point to in an industry famous for its profit taking. I would bet that that minority of the transactions either adequately recycle capital or go to a beneficial reinvestment when they do. Those in that line didn’t earn the label “corporate raiders” for nothing.

  136. Gene,

    Like those leverage buyout where where the buyer used the target’s pension funds to collateralize the loan to purchase the the target. Things go south, pensioners screwed.. Figure such shenanigans go on in Mitt’s world. Wouldn’t know. He won’t release his tax returns from those years.

  137. “The school that bills itself as the largest christian university in the world,” and for whom Matthew 7:23 may be the scariest verse in the Bible.

  138. It is a little bizarre to say, “If Obama had done that you would not have objected” when the whole meaning of the incident is NOT that a person did something we regard as WRONG, but that a certain kind of conduct indicates a certain kind of person. You just don’t have a bunch of saints who, when they were kids, were torturing animals and setting fires. Ordinarily, if you can tell anything about a person, you can tell it because the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

    So I would expect Bill Clinton to be an unfaithful spouse or sexual partner — any time he COULD! I wouldn’t say, “Oh that was long ago in a far away place and besides the wench is dead.” I’d say, “Oh he’s a philanderer, and a bold one at that.” But would that make me decide he was NOT the lesser of two evils to serve as President of the US? No…

    And I would say, now, “Oh Romney is a bully who minimizes and lies about his behavior but who takes pleasure in putting someone else down. But would that make me decide that he was NOT the lesser of two evils to serve as President of the US? Yes, unless the alternative was such a great evil that it could get greater (on the evil scale) than a bully and a liar. Frankly, since both prospective candidates are pro-torture and essentially neglectful of the life interest of the citizens of this country AND OTHER COUNTRIES, the measurement of greater evils is a problem for me at times but still, a weight goes on Romney’s side for his conduct, when he was of the age of reason.

    Can we say that Trayvon Martin should have had his reputation sullied and been kicked out of school for 10 days for possession of “a baggie with traces of marijuana in it” while Romney would have sailed through without discipline? (After all, if he HAD been suspended for bad behavior toward a fellow student, he would REMEMBER that, wouldn’t he?)

    It’s ludicrous to think that a man expecting the trust of a nation could stand up and say he “doesn’t remember” an incident that would have been so memorable to all concerned. It reminds me of something pretty psycho in my unfortunate history of litigating against a vexatious litigious paranoid. My ex-husband brought in a friend of his to testify against ME in a custody trial that we had no notice of (thanks, great Judge and competent attorney). She got up and said I scared her because I was a bad mother. No details. On cross, my lawyer whispered to me, “What should I ask her?” The only thing I could remember was her telling me that she had gotten so upset one day that she bit her four-year-old son on the nose. Since I knew that Child Protective Services sent a social worker to her house each week, I presumed that she had an open case of child abuse, possibly related to stunts like that. So I told him to ask her about that. He did. She answered, while her eyes shifted around, “I don’t remember anything like that. That doesn’t sound like anything I remember.” Later, I figured out her idiotic response. She was trying to remember WHO WAS PRESENT when it happened in case I might call in a witness who SAW IT. (She probably knew that we couldn’t put CPS workers on the stand to testify; that stuff is confidential.)

    The point is that if you knocked down a kid and cut off his hair, and then you didn’t remember it, you’re an incompetent who shouldn’t be in charge of a hot dog stand at the beach. If you DID NOT DO IT and NEVER WOULD DO IT and KNOW THAT IT IS A LIE, damnit say so and bring in witnesses who will say: “He never did that; he would never do that!”

    Yeah. So that’s all I have.

  139. Hilarious. Debunk after debunk, and the sharks are still circling. Buch of hypocrites. Who razed the rafters after we found out Obama shoved a girl down in high school? Really – get over it. It was 40+ years ago (maybe 20+ in Obama’s case). I was a the skinny small kid that got beat up and didn’t grow until I was a Junior in high school. And guess what – those bullies can change. I see no reason why I should not give them the opportunity.

    And frankly, if a bully could go to the White House and fix this mess, I’d still vote for him. The indignant some that demand that they cut their nose to to spite their face deserve all the negative consequences they will receive from their poor voting decisions. Whether you are jewish, gay, atheist, poorly dressed, or simply poor, it all hurts when you are a kid. I am really sick of people thinking their burdens are somehow worse than everyone elses.

  140. “I don’t remember that incident. I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual,”

    First in fairness I will admit that Rooney’s views on the economy remove him from any further consideration by me.

    Second, the actions while reprehensible, were taken at the age of 18. Surely there are more important ways to evaluate a candidate than bad actions at the age of 18. Most eventually grow up. If there are adult examples of this kind insensitive or harassing behavior I would be inclined to count it much more heavily. If there are not more examples in adulthood I would say the behavior is largely irrelevant to the real, pressing issues of the economy, foreign policy, health care and a host of others. Of course I’m not voting for him anyway.

    Finally, his remark ‘don’t remember the incident’ distinguishes him as a political satirist near the rank of Warren and Franken. Romney has got to be one of the funniest men on the American political scene today.

    In our time of trial and economic privation, America needs a good laugh. And thank Romney. He has given a brief moment or real pleasure, and a belly laugh to all of us.

    If there were no great Americans like Romney and Warren, people like me would have to write fiction – which requires real creativity and attention to detail. Lucky break. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  141. Mitt was just following an old war tradition of scalping your enemies.

    The right wing loves that he cut the hair off of a hippy.
    Reminds them of Bush.

    And Malisha, just as you are right about Zimmerman staying in the car if he was not armed………… “Can we say that Trayvon Martin should have had his reputation sullied and been kicked out of school for 10 days for possession of “a baggie with traces of marijuana in it” while Romney would have sailed through without discipline?”

    I can safely bet that any plastic baggie in the possession of the young Mitt Romney would have gone straight into the trash can, never to be spoken of again.

  142. Malisha:

    “It’s ludicrous to think that a man expecting the trust of a nation could stand up and say he “doesn’t remember” an incident that would have been so memorable to all concerned.”

    Like the victim’s sister that said their family was never aware of the incident? Or that one of the main witnesses wasn’t actually there but just found out about it a week ago? That this was a complete hack job with very, very sourcing?

    Hey – I can almost guarantee that I clipped some poor girl’s hair at some point during my schooling career. I can’t remember it. Does that make me unfit to be president, oh great Pharisee?

    But the fact is if the kids didn’t understand that it was a big deal back then, then what in their brain would cause them to remember it as a big deal today? I don’t know what planet you’re on, but I think it’s a little pretentious of you to define what should and should not be memorable for others. If the “victim’s” family doesn’t remember the incident, what’s to say that the victim would have? And if not the family, why not Romney? I’ll forget stuff that happened to me, but not to my kids.

    Lame.

  143. Romney sounds like he was the class clown. These people are usually mentally unbalanced and lack self-esteem to the extreme. However, Romney has done a lot with his life and I doubt that he is the same now. I don’t like the man or his politics, but I don’t believe he is a bad person necessarily, though you never know.

  144. Hey Jack,

    The victim’s family probably doesn’t remember because he probably didn’t TELL THEM. He probably didn’t TELL THEM because he was probably very much ashamed of what had happened, since usually, bullies who do things like that blame their victims, enlist the support and help of others who mock the victims, and carry on an all-out attack. It is something very well known to psychologists and sociologists and it is very ordinary, run-of-the-mill abuser technology.

    The fact that you say you probably did it to “some poor girl” at some point in time is interesting. In all the years I was in public school (K through 12) I never had it done to me, never saw it done to anyone else, and never HEARD of it being done to anybody else in the whole school. My mother was a grade school teacher in the next town over from us and SHE never heard of it either. Had she heard of it you can believe there would have been a lesson to go along with her narration about the event. She would have told us kids in the family AND HER STUDENTS IN HER SCHOOL that such behavior was unacceptable, mean, unkind, horrible, and to be condemned in the strongest terms. That’s because she was a GOOD teacher.

    If you did it to a girl in school (and he allegedly did it to insult a BOY by treating him like a “girl”) and then you wanted my vote for the presidency of this country, I’ll give you a big hint as to whether or not you would succeed.

    Cutting someone’s hair like that has several unmistakable implications:

    1. You overpower them (= you get to exert control over them)

    2. You do something that, to certain religions, has a significance in that it “increases [the subject’s] tonsure to the Lord” — translation: SUBMISSION.

    3. You “mutilate” them in a sense. Even a dog feels intimidated after you take them to have their hair/fur trimmed. Everybody knows that.

    4. You humiliate them.

    5. You dominate them.

    6. You disrespect them.

    7. You mark them.

    Now, if you do that and just forget about it, what does that say about you?

    To me, it says: NOT MY LEADER! NOT MY PROTECTOR! I SURE HOPE NOT MY COMMANDER IN CHIEF!

  145. I missed going here, so I bring my comment only now. Its expression is important to me, if someone reads it, good.

    Mitt Romney would seem to be a full-fledged bully who hasn’t overcome his handicap, by his own wife’s referral to “Mittfrontations” He can become more skillful in meeting opposition, as in his contact with JT. but likely has his “trigger words” still.
    Bullies are not anything I have studied, so this is an opinion only, given as I am to such analyses.
    Bullies are characterized by insecure self-esteem, although doubtful they are aware of it. This insecurity seeks comfort in his “winning over others” by deriding them in many modes. Demeaning their ideas in derisive words, demeaning them as not being man enough to have the worth to stand for ideas, implying physical defect in manhood, unsuitable attitudes, and not least physical attack in childhood. They seek approval themselves often, and gather gangs of similarly insecure persons.

    Some have expressed that this is a chronic lifetime issue.

    Whether it is a defect as a President would seem certain. When it is one man who ultimately decides, but can not rely on himself, such as with a bully personality, then outcome is up for grabs.

  146. Let’s remember the context of time. Few people reported bullying or sued the kid’s family “way back when.” It’s the reporting about this and lots more that’s changed our awareness, and our litigious society that’s changing the way we deal with some of these problems. And guns.

  147. My comment was made before reading prior comments to it. Repetition of earlier argumants is therefore inevitable and regrettable.
    A good question, Professor,as it raises “what is pertinent in grading a possible candidate.?

    The class where Obama has been raised has not seemed to guarante his showing empathy in real measure. But can we expect more from Romney. Unlikely.

  148. @idealist707 I think you are posing the right question when you ask what is a reasonable standard for judging candidates. When you raise the question ‘can we expect more from Romney’ you are, in effect, asking us to consider which is the lesser of two evils.

    I think you have asked some of the right questions.

    But I have already indicated, I think issues of the economy require elimination of Romney from further consideration – for me.

    Even if you allow that Romney is a successful businessman there are serious problems with his and Republican advice of austerity and paying down the deficit to solve national economic problems.

    Advice that works very well for business and state governments frequently is absolutely wrong for national governments. The fact is that national budgets are not at all like state, business, or family budgets.

    Normally lowering prices increased demand. But lowering the general wage rate is not likely to increase employment. Lowering the general wage rate may very well lead to further economic decline.

    States may decide to, in effect, buy jobs by luring business to the state. That kind of strategy cannot work at the national level. Moving job around does not increase employment.

    Eventually, we will have to deal with the deficit. But now is not the time. The time to pay down the deficit is when the economy is good, not when unemployment is high and the economy teeters at the brink of a second dip and further decline.

    Real interest rates on 10 year treasuries are actually negative – below zero!!! In effect investors want a scrap of paper with a seal of the US government to such an extent that they are willing to pay storage fees for their money! Investors are willing to give up interest and pay a fee for 10 year treasuries!!! Now is exactly the time to borrow big and invest in capital projects like our depleted transportation system, clean, alternative energy that will be essential in coming decades, and human capital – the education of students and workers that is the very essence of our ability to compete. Some Republicans pay lip service to the need for innovation but they then cut the very programs that will to fruition in future decades. Talk about confused, mixed message, self defeating priorities.

    Romney doesn’t understand that. He counsels austerity, cutting back human services, paying down the deficit. These policies would be short sighted, destructive, and absolutely unnecessary at this time.

    For these and other reasons I am not a fan of Romney. But credit where credit is due. He is a very, very funny man – though a bit derivative of Warren. I am still cracking up over his ‘don’t remember’ one liner.

  149. Anonymously Yours 1, May 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Didn’t they Btw just revamp the DSM criteria…

    ——-

    AY,

    An interesting NY Times article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/12/opinion/break-up-the-psychiatric-monopoly.html?src=recg

    Excerpt:

    Many critics assume unfairly that D.S.M.-5 is shilling for drug companies. This is not true. The mistakes are rather the result of an intellectual conflict of interest; experts always overvalue their pet area and want to expand its purview, until the point that everyday problems come to be mislabeled as mental disorders. Arrogance, secretiveness, passive governance and administrative disorganization have also played a role.

    New diagnoses in psychiatry can be far more dangerous than new drugs. We need some equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration to mind the store and control diagnostic exuberance. No existing organization is ready to replace the American Psychiatric Association. The most obvious candidate, the National Institute of Mental Health, is too research-oriented and insensitive to the vicissitudes of clinical practice. A new structure will be needed, probably best placed under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Institute of Medicine or the World Health Organization.

    All mental-health disciplines need representation — not just psychiatrists but also psychologists, counselors, social workers and nurses. The broader consequences of changes should be vetted by epidemiologists, health economists and public-policy and forensic experts. Primary care doctors prescribe the majority of psychotropic medication, often carelessly, and need to contribute to the diagnostic system if they are to use it correctly. Consumers should play an important role in the review process, and field testing should occur in real life settings, not just academic centers.

    Psychiatric diagnosis is simply too important to be left exclusively in the hands of psychiatrists. They will always be an essential part of the mix but should no longer be permitted to call all the shots.

    Allen Frances, a former chairman of the psychiatry department at Duke University School of Medicine, led the task force that produced D.S.M.-4.

    End of excerpt

  150. anon nurse,

    It is my understanding that the WHO’s ICD-10 criteria and coding is due to be phased in for American hospitals by October 1, 2014, although I’m not sure if Chapter V (the section covering mental illness) is complied by solely psychiatrists or if other specialists are involved. However, Frances’ article raises a very good point.

  151. Mitt Romney’s Support Of Same-Sex Adoption Lasts One Day
    By Zack Ford on May 12, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/12/483187/romney-now-only-acknowledges-same-sex-adoption-days-after-supporting-it/

    Excerpt:
    Among Mitt Romney’s timid responses this week after President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality was an admission that he was “fine” with same-sex couples adopting children, saying, “that’s something that people have a right to do.” But by Friday afternoon, he was already backing away from that position, suggesting that he merely “acknowledges” that many states offer same-sex adoption:

    ROMNEY: Actually, I think all states but one allow gay adoption. So that’s a position which has been decided by most of the state legislatures, including the one in my state some time ago. So I simply acknowledge the fact that gay adoption is legal in all states but one.

  152. Malisha, are you nuts? You think this was about exerting some religious dominance? Really? Second, if a bully thinks something is legitimately funny at the time, he is much more inclined to forget about it. I’ve had 3 polygraphs for security clearances and it’s amazing the things you do and do joy remember when under the bright lights. And if it’s true that this kids family never found out then it’s wasn’t epidemic. I didn’t tell me parents about lots of stuff – to your point – but they know who the bullies were because it happens repeatedly. The only thing your mailing a case for was that it was a one off thing.

    And bless your utopia world that never had freshman hazing. You have no credibility. Particularly since you’ve swallowed so hard on crappy journalism.

  153. Malisha,

    Jack wrote: “And bless your utopia world that never had freshman hazing. You have no credibility.”

    You have credibilty with me. There was no hazing at the regional Catholic high school that I attended in the 1960s. Students weren’t in the habit of bullying each other either. That was left to the nuns who taught us!

    ;)

  154. Malisha,

    FWIW, I went to a wide variety of schools, both public and private, and I can say that hazing was a culture particular to each and every school – some had it, some didn’t. The one commonality I noticed was the more responsive and involved the faculty were, the less likely there was to be any hazing.

  155. @ Jack, I can’t understand your post, man. Let me try to see what on earth you’re talking about before I respond.
    ——————————

    YOU WRITE: Malisha, are you nuts?

    OK, that I got. Well, the answer is: Define your terms. If ‘nuts’ means ‘in disagreement with Jack,’ then, YES. If, on the other hand, ‘nuts’ means ‘psychotic, unable to distinguish reality from delusions,’ then, NO.
    —————————–

    Next, YOU WRITE::

    You think this was about exerting some religious dominance? Really?

    Uh, I think you’re saying that my mention of “tonsure” was an indication that I thought Romney cut the kid’s hair to exert his (Romney’s) religious dominance? No. Here’s an explanation of my meaning:

    Background: I never heard of “tonsure” but I’m a curious person. I have friends who had a baby and they held a christening ceremony in the Greek Orthodox Church and then had a big party afterwards. Lovely ceremony in a lovely church. But I did not understand parts of it. So at the party afterwards, I approached the Eastern Orthodox Priest and asked why they cut the baby’s hair at the Christening. He said that it was to “increase the child’s tonsure to the Lord” and then he gave me a very interesting lesson about the reason for the cut hair, shaved head, and so forth, in religious history. It all symbolizes SUBMISSION on the part of the person whose hair is cut. In a way, it’s the Samson/Delilah story. You’re shaving your head in submission to the authority. The image I was speaking about with Romney — and I will not say that I am sure he did it, but assuming he did it — was not a religious issue, but a dominance issue, and the symbolic meaning of cutting the hair was not initially religious in history either, but originally SUBMISSIVE to authority. So if Romney did that, my point was, cutting the hair of the inferior person against his will is a sign of your superiority to him, a sign that he is being forced into submission.

    What I meant, then, was that ONE of the OBVIOUS ramifications of forcibly cutting a bullied youngster’s hair is: I HAVE MY FOOT ON YOUR NECK.

    ——————————
    YOU WRITE:

    Second, if a bully thinks something is legitimately funny at the time, he is much more inclined to forget about it.

    Well, I guess this means that I should agree that it would be probable that Romney could have forgotten about the incident because he would have “thought it was legitimately funny at the time,” right?

    Wow, Jack, I don’t know what to think about that. It doesn’t even make sense to me. You’re saying that he would have forgotten it because IT BEING “LEGITIMATELY FUNNY” [whatever that means] to him at the time would necessarily mean that he thought nothing of it and it just passed out of his memory like the odor of someone passing wind in a large room, right? Am I still with you? Well I suppose there is a possibility that, considering all the neuroscience and psychometrics involved, Romney could have thought so little about the funny (the “legitimately funny”) incident at the time that he no longer remembers it, but that would really scare me about him. It would mean that in the next few days, in the next few weeks, and in the next few months, and even in the next few years after it happened, he never once thought, “Jeez, maybe I shouldn’t have done that.” NOT ONCE? It was just “legitimately funny” at the time and then “legitimately forgotten” thereafter? DO NOT LIKE IT! I remember something from when I was a kid, that wasn’t even me doing deliberate harm to someone. I was taking part in a little nasty private session, with another kid, criticizing the LOOKS (not the behavior) of a teacher. We should have been ashamed of ourselves. But we weren’t — until she came down the stairs and we were still giggling. She smiled kindly at us and said “Hi girls, what’s the joke?” I’m sure I blushed horribly. This made me think she would have assumed we were being cruel. Now, thinking back, I’m pretty sure she had no such idea, for she kept walking and didn’t even blink. Yet for months I wondered if she had heard our unkind chatter and suffered from it. A person with a conscience remembers things they do that are wrong, if it is possible those things caused suffering in another person. That’s what makes us human. I do not like the idea that he could have inflicted a physical assault and a deliberate humiliation on someone who did him no harm, and then blissfully forgotten about it, even if it’s because he thought that it was “legitimately funny.”
    ——————————–

    THEN YOU SAY:

    I’ve had 3 polygraphs for security clearances and it’s amazing the things you do and do joy remember when under the bright lights.

    I just didn’t get this one so I can’t comment at all. I will take this opportunity to tell a little story, though. One time I was booked for a radio show (to be done by phone) to debate Eric Foretich (right after Elizabeth Morgan was released from the DC jail) for an hour-long program. I was ready. The phone rang. The producer said that at the last minute Foretich decided to bow out so they were using the whole hour to interview ME on the case! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I said, OK, and we began. Somewhere toward the middle, the interviewer asked me if I knew that Foretich had taken a polygraph test or somesuch. I either had or hadn’t, can’t remember that part now either. So I commented. In my comments, I said that (a) sociopaths were notoriously good at lying and that they could easily pass polygraph tests as well; and that (b) there were well-known ways to trick the polygraph tests anyway. Then there was time for call-in questions. One call-in was a guy who asked me what those ways were to trick the polygraph tests! I laughed and said that he would have to check them with someone else, because I wasn’t going to broadcast them on this program. The interviewer laughed too.
    ————————
    YOU WROTE:

    And if it’s true that this kids family never found out then it’s wasn’t epidemic.

    ??? I don’t think it would have to be “epidemic” for it to have happened. Do YOU think it would have had to be “epidemic” for it to have happened? Because there are some bad things that have very bad results and they are still not “epidemic.” So I guess I didn’t get that part of it.

    ——————————
    YOU WROTE:

    I didn’t tell me parents about lots of stuff – to your point – but they know who the bullies were because it happens repeatedly.

    Well, I think this means that if Romney had done this, and the victim had not told his parents, that means that Romney was not really a bully, just had done one bullying thing against the kid and nothing more. Well, no, it doesn’t mean that. Look at all the variables we do not know, in this issue, Jack:

    1. Do we know that the victim, now deceased, had the kind of relationship with his parents where he would tell them about a lot of bullying as opposed to a small amount of bullying?

    2. Do we know that the people who interviewed the family of the victim asked them in general about whether their son described bullying conduct at school?

    3. Do we know anything about what would motivate the family of the deceased victim to divulge any of this information? Do we know who they are, what would bother them, what would shame them, what would disturb them, now? Or back then? Or how good THEIR memory is since you say Romney’s wasn’t all that good?

    4. Parents don’t necessarily know that someone is a bully just because the kids have suffered at their hands. I told my mother lots of stuff (my father less) about what happened in school but I generally omitted anything that I still felt embarrassed about. For instance, one kid used to swerve by on his bike while I walked my brother to school, and he would shout “Christ-Killers, Christ-Killers” every damn morning. I never told my mother because I felt like I should have confronted him but I was afraid to, so we both shut up about it. Another time, a kid beat up another kid (the victim’s name was Jan) and I didn’t tell because I was afraid, but about two weeks later, he came at us (my brother and me) and I had to fight him because my brother used crutches. I scratched him and then I was scared because he had a scratch on his face that showed, but he never told and I never told either. (He was ashamed he got blown off by a GIRL!) Word somehow got around the school, and a really big kid whom I had tutored heard, and from that day forward he came to our door 10 minutes early and walked both of us to school. I never told my mother about that either; she just thought he was being gallant because I had tutored him for a year. I can’t remember the bullies’ names; there were about half a dozen of them in grade school and everybody knew who they were, but probably most of the parents did not. Bullying was not a topic we spoke about in school back then, which means, of course, that people like Romney, if they were bullies, would never have been called down for it unless somebody was so badly hurt that the school’s insurance was implicated in a lawsuit.
    ————————————————–
    YOU WROTE:

    The only thing your mailing a case for was that it was a one off thing.

    Didn’t get that.

    ——————————-
    YOU WROTE:

    And bless your utopia world that never had freshman hazing.

    Well, I never joined a sorority so I didn’t know about hazing. When I was a freshman I had 15 credit hours and had to work 20 hours a week so maybe I didn’t hear about all the excitement around me, but I thought we were talking about high school experiences. There might have been freshman hazing in the sororities or fraternities when I was in college, but in high school, (a) if there was hazing I didn’t know about it; and (b) if anybody got their hair cut by another student, I think I would have heard about it, and I never did.

    ————————————–
    YOU WROTE:

    You have no credibility.

    Well now this is interesting. It’s what I call a “conclusory allegation” and I would have to question your credentials before I would qualify you as an expert on it anyway. Besides, arguendo, let’s assume that I have NO credibility. What does that say about Romney?

    “Hey Romney, don’t worry about what you did or might have done or can’t remember doing, way back then. Malisha, who has chosen to comment negatively on it publicly, has no credibility.”

    I guess that’s settled.
    ———————————-
    YOU WROTE:

    Particularly since you’ve swallowed so hard on crappy journalism.

    Hmmmm. I might leave this one alone. Except to say that if I have, it has only served to strengthen my immune system. See ibid, quo ante, i.e.

  156. Dredd, no Professor Turley was in Omaha Nebraska to moderate a panel that was presenting an interactive seminar for lawyers on fairness in the courts. His panel was presenting information on “the cultural defense” and other issues having to do with cultural differences among defendants who are accused of crimes. Mostly. That is, an immigrant gets charged with a crime for doing something that is culturally OK where he comes from, that is a crime here, and how do you defend him, and how do you address this issue, etc. The presentation is called “Strangers in a Strange Land.”

    Unfortunately, ordinary Americans are also “Strangers in a Strange Land” as soon as they step into court. The ground shifts under you. Suddenly facts do not equal evidence; suddenly things you need to show cannot be shown because of section 62.115(a) et seq. Suddenly although you are placed under oath, the proceeding turns into a lie before your very eyes. Nothing can prepare you for the culture shock you get by entering the virtual reality of the courthouse.

    But that’s another story. For another day. And so forth.

  157. OK now, Geeba Geeba, look at this OK?

    “Boy are all you people just sorry victims? Yes, WE are all victims of “bigger kids” messing with us. Some of us get over it. I was certainly bullied and I remember all the incidents. I got even with some, not others. This is the law of the land folks. Be stronger and better than the others ooorrrr let the State coddle you and be the sorry wimps that some of us are. MAN UP.

    Well now, you traveled from “People are criticizing Romney for being a bully” to “They’re ‘just sorry victims’ and ‘worry wimps’ and they need to ‘MAN UP.'”

    So, if I get this right, somebody like Romney can bully somebody else who is not “stronger and better than” he is? And there’s no issue with that? That’s OK, that’s the American way? And perhaps seeing things differently is equivalent to “let[ting] the state coddle you?” And that, letting of coddling, that’s “WOMANED DOWN?”

    So get yousselves into a position to be manned-up enough to be stronger and better than others so you can bully them instead of expecting to be coddled, right?

    Vote for a bully, Geeba. But if something happens to you that you don’t like, don’t come running to me. That Constitution stuff and all that equal protection, that’s for sorry wimps.

  158. Top Romney aide outed transgender woman in political smear
    By David Ferguson
    Friday, May 11, 2012
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/11/top-romney-aide-outed-transgender-woman-in-political-smear/

    Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide and political strategist to presumptive Republican presidential candidate former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA), made headlines earlier this year with a gaffe comparing Romney in the primary fight to an “Etch a Sketch” that you can flip over and shake and start over with as a blank slate in the general election. Before he was an adviser to Romney, Fehrnstrom was a political columnist for the Boston Herald. According to a profile in GQ, in 1992, he outed recently-elected Massachusetts Rep. Althea Garrison (R) as a transgender woman, effectively ending her political career.

    To Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, the malicious outing and the presence of Fehrnstrom on Romney’s staff is simply unacceptable.

    “Privacy for transgender people is a matter of survival, physical and economic survival,” Keisling told Raw Story, “Once you out a trans person, you can’t just ‘Etch a Sketch’ it away.”

    Fehrnstrom made his name in Boston as a “blue-collar conservative” columnist whose hard-hitting style got him moved from sports reporting to the political beat at the Rupert Murdoch-owned Herald, which was the splashy, tabloid-style counterpart to the more staid Boston Globe. He and his fellow reporter Howie Carr brought what GQ called a “nasty and resentful” tone to the paper’s political reportage, making the Herald a kind of perfect weapon against the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, gormless former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

    It was for a local official, however, that Fehrnstrom reserved one of his nastiest political hits. Althea Garrison was a Boston politician and activist who was elected as a Republican to the Massachusetts state House in 1992. Two days after her election victory, Fehrnstrom published an article in the Herald announcing that Garrison had been born male.

    “I can remember his glee when he found the birth certificate,” said a former Herald reporter named Robert Connolly.

    Garrison’s career in politics was over. Speculation had previously gone around the community about Garrison’s gender status, but after Fehrnstrom’s story, it became her defining characteristic to the media. In every mention of her name in the press, her performance as a House member was overshadowed by her gender identity. Howie Carr, who is now a conservative talk show host, wrote in the Herald not long after the outing, “I’ve always liked Althea. She has a big heart. Not to mention big feet. And very, very big hands.”

    The outing of Althea Garrison raises serious questions about the culture of the Romney campaign, where Fehrnstrom operates as a privileged member of the command team and as Romney’s longest-serving, most-trusted political strategist. It has been said that if Karl Rove was “Bush’s brain,” then Fehrnstrom is “Romney’s balls.”

    Mara Keisling told Raw Story that Ferhnstrom’s campaign against Garrison is “just more bullying. It’s an invasion of privacy. We’ve had five or six hate murders of trans people across the U.S. just in the last six weeks.” She said that these kinds of tactics represent the worst form of transphobia, describing it as “putting people at risk just because you get your jollies from it.”

    Also, in recent days, stories of violent, homophobic “pranks” during Romney’s prep school years have come to light, incidents which the candidate claims not to remember, but for which he issued a shallow, blanket apology, “There’s no question that I did some stupid things in high school and, obviously, if I hurt anyone by virtue of that I would be very sorry for it and apologize for it.”

    To Fehrnstrom, on the other hand, the careers and reputations he savaged were of little consequence. In a 1999 article he wrote for Boston magazine, he said, “In my trade, politics was never personal. Hell, people were rarely people — they were ducks in a shooting gallery.”

    Althea Garrison herself refuses to speak about the experience of being outed by Fernstrom. Raw Story reached her by telephone, but when the former state representative realized that the person on the phone was a reporter asking about Fehrnstrom, she ended the discussion.

    “I don’t have time for this today,” she said, and hung up.

  159. The Washington Post Responds To Right-Wing Criticism Over Romney Prep School Piece

    “I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and has long been bothered by the Lauber incident. “But I was not the brunt of any of his pranks.”

    got changed to:

    “I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and said he has been “disturbed” by the Lauber incident since hearing about it several weeks ago, before being contacted by The Washington Post. “But I was not the brunt of any of his pranks.”

    That’s not a correction, that’s a significant change in the meaning. On a story like this, WaPo should have got it right the first time.

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