I am Mitt. I am you.

I am Willard Mitt Romney. I am you. We are the same. We are Americans. I can prove it.

I too grew up with a Governor as my dad. It wasn’t easy. None of the kids at school liked me either. As many times as I had to explain to the other kids that my parents were just harder workers and more patriotic than their parents, they didn’t seem to understand. To me it was clear. Most of the other students had to eat lunch at the cafe. They clearly weren’t even trying. My dad was a real American, and he made sure to have my lunch delivered to me. Everyday. In a limousine. I even got the driver to dance the tango on his way back to open my door. At first he refused until I mentioned his family. Gets ’em every time!

After high school the Vietnam war was in full swing. I was a huge supporter of the war, and I knew in my heart that this was a war I could get behind. I also knew that the only way to win was to throw more bodies into the fray. So to support the war effort, my family and I decided that the best use of my talents would be for me to go to France for a couple years to tell the good French people about Mormonism. During the war. You can clearly see why I chose that path. It was the best way I knew how to participate in the Vietnam war, as a fellow son of a Governor. Again, being the child of a wealthy governor as I am, I’m sure you understand my position. Governor.

After I returned from my ‘war service’ I went to work on Wall Street. To quote my friend, Texas George, “It’s hard work!“. You have no idea how difficult it is, just to do the math. “How many workers can I possibly fire from this company and still make MY COMPANY a profit?” Again, even the math is brutal. And tiring. Eventually my fellow Governor’s sons and I decided to change things up. Firing people is fun, don’t get me wrong, but it kind of leaves you with a bad feeling. Almost as if you could have done something more. So we came up with a plan. We would fire everyone we possibly could from the companies we purchased, take out maximum loans against their businesses, then pay ourselves from those loans! Again, these people weren’t even trying. It would almost be un-American for us not to do this!

It was on this model of firing as many Americans as I possibly could that I came to my political philosophy. The Republican mantra used to be “pull yourself up by your bootstraps”. Well I don’t wear boots. Neither should you. You will never see me in a pair of boots. I wear shoes. My political philosophy is that I wear shoes, f’n nice shoes. But if I happen to like your shoes more, I’ll buy your house from the bank and evict you. Then I’ll go in and take your shoes. Of course, I’ll sell the ones I don’t like. If you try to take your shoes with you I’ll get my friends to “convince” you to give them up. There’s a reason they call me “R-money”!

In 2003 I became a Governor in my own right of the not-so-great liberal state of Massachusetts. Through no fault of my own, my state was a hive for the liberal elites (see: Harvard, where I got two degrees), so I was forced to govern as a moderate. This pained me. I was forced to institute socialized healthcare, LGBT rights, and I even acknowledged that global climate change was caused by humans. Wow. I still can’t believe the positions that I had to take to get elected. It was brutal. I’m so happy that’s behind me and I don’t have to talk about that anymore.

If you’ve never personally met me, I’m sure you can tell by my story that I’m a true American. According to the numbers, I’m 87% more American than you, so you should feel privileged to have even read my story. I’ve been running for President of the United States for a few years now. What does that tell you about me? Other than that I’m unemployed? That ‘other’ guy is President now. But just picture another rich, white man in charge. The possibilities are endless! I could fire pretty much whoever I want!

If elected I will take down socialism. I will privatize everything. When I say “everything”, I mean EVERYTHING! If you need medical help in my America, call 911, and have a valid debit/credit card ready. Pay me. It’ll probably be an emergency so remember to read the numbers on the card slowly and speak with a steady voice. Stay calm. Same with the fire department, but be faster. Going for a drive? Groceries? Pay me. I bought the pavement between your house and the grocery store. What’s that? You got mugged? We’ll send the police as soon as you provide a credit card number. Pay me.

I also pledge to get rid of guv’ment regulation. If you live on a river or creek, it’s your God-given right to dump as much used motor oil in it as you like. Any restrictions would unequivocally be an infringement on your rights, irregardless of what your neighbors downstream think. I also believe that if an oil company can locate oil they have a right to drill for it. Anywhere. If oil was discovered beneath George Washington’s grave, I believe it would be a disservice to America NOT to move his body and drill for it.

There has been some discussion lately of my finances. I realize that we all have a couple million in accounts in the Caymans and a few more million in Swiss bank accounts. I have never avoided paying taxes. I merely decided to continuously bet against the American economy by investing my money in foreign economies. I figured with all the companies that were failing that my money would be safer overseas, along with the workers.

I feel like I should address immigration policy. This is a very sensitive subject to me since when you really think about it, we’re all immigrants. It’s just a matter of when we arrived. Well, to sum it up, I was here first. You can tell by the hue of my skin. It’s pretty clear that I’m right. I don’t want to sound callous. I really need the Hispanic vote to even have a chance in the coming election. So, basically, I don’t hate people of color, I just want them to leave the country after they vote for me. I think. Thinking out loud here… that sounds kind of harsh. Yup, just checked with Rush, that is in fact my policy. Ouch.

In short, I believe that, well, what do you want me to believe in order for you to vote for me? That’s what I believe. What? You’re a vegan? Me too! Except that I like to bbq when I’m in the middle states. Meat lover? Yes! That’s what I think too! It’s uncanny how alike we are! I also support non-violence. I believe we should manufacture and distribute as many weapons as possible in order to insure non-violence. I like trees. But only if they’re the right height. Cars? I own a shit-ton of those. I even hired a lobbyist to help me change the California building rules so I could build an elevator for my cars. Really, I face the same issues that everyone faces.

USA?!

Run! Here Comes The Deficit!

A letter from Rep. Alan Grayson:

A few days ago, I was stuck in the car for a long drive. Because of the complete absence of progressive talk from Orlando’s airwaves, I had no real choice but to listen to the nasal maundering of Mark Levin on the radio. Levin was very upset about the federal deficit.

Interestingly, Levin was a high-level appointee in the Reagan Administration. Dick Cheney, who was Reagan’s Defense Secretary and later the Vice President, said 10 years ago that “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

I must concede that it is rather difficult to reconcile the conflicting statements of these two gentlemen, Messrs. Levin and Cheney. Evidently, they believe deficits are a terrible tragedy when a Democrat is President, and a wonderful gift when a Republican is President.

There has got to be a more objective standard than that.

Here’s one: the federal deficit is a problem when long-term interest rates are high, and not much of a problem when long-term interest rates are low. The Federal Reserve dictates short-term interest rates, but long-term rates still are, pretty much, set by the market, in its usual ruthless fashion. (Which is why James Carville said that after he dies, he “want[s] to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”)

When long-term interest rates are high, a federal deficit competes against and “crowds out” private borrowing and investment. When long-term interest rates are low, the federal deficit is not taking away from borrowing by the private sector. On the contrary, the federal deficit is acting as a needed boost to aggregate demand in the economy, an action also known as “fiscal policy.” When the economy is slack, every dollar of reduction in federal spending takes three or four dollars off of our gross national product.

So, by that test, where are we? Well, as I explained last week, long-term U.S. interest rates are at their lowest in history. So what does that tell you about the deficit?

Sorry – I didn’t mention that there was going to be a quiz.

When Ronald Reagan was President, long-term interest rates sometimes exceeded 15% – ten times as high as long-term interest rates today. The market was screaming at the top of its lungs that the Reagan deficit was too high. And today? Silence.

Look around the world. The ten-year note in Greece yields a little less than 30%. Pakistan, 13%. Portugal and Venezuela, 12%. In those countries, the bond market is shouting, “Cut that out!”

Not here.

Thanks to all the deficit-mongering by Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Fox “News,” etc., a lot of Americans are scared by the federal deficit. The advice from Democratic pollsters is to go along with this hand-wringing. But there is an alternative: Explain to the American people when a federal deficit is bad, and when it is not.

Like I just did.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

Get Some More!

Here’s a few more links. These are mostly longer-form magazine type formats and provide some very interesting takes on a wide variety of subjects. Enjoy!

The Atlantic Magazine

New Yorker Magazine

Foreign Policy Magazine

The Daily Beast (Newsweek magazine)

Mother Jones Magazine

Al Jazeera
Excellent reporting.

Christian Science Monitor
While neither Christian nor scientific, this site provides some good reads nonetheless.

The Guardian newspaper (UK & US)

Feel free to submit your favorites in the comments!