Mitt Romney is quickly feeling the heat over this comment at an Iowa campaign event that, while none of his five sons volunteered for military duty, they are aiding the country by “helping me get elected.”
(Rachel Griffiths, who asked the question that prompted the comment, has her recollection of the entire episode at Daily Kos.)
The responses, while predictable, have been pretty amusing: “Mitt Romney, as you’ll recall, avoided combat duty in the rice fields of Vietnam by getting multiple deferments to perform his Mormon mission in the vineyards of France,” writes John Perr, at his Perrspectives blog. “He has deployed his sons to the cornfields of Iowa to aid his campaign. The perfect hair and gleaming teeth of the Romney clan are found on the Five Brothers blog, not with a band of brothers outside of Baquba.”
Chet Scoville at Big Brass Blog was more upset with something else Romney did at the event: saluting a man in uniform. “A salute is something that people in the military give to each other; it represents the bond not only of command but of mutual sacrifice,” insists Scoville. “I would never think of saluting a soldier; it would be presumptuous, disrespectful, and wrong for me to do so. It’s also wrong for Romney to do so.”
Of course, the real Web response we’re all waiting for won’t come from the left, but from the Romney boys themselves on the Five Brothers blog they’ve been writing in service to their father and, apparently, the nation.
Prominent liberal blogger Jerome Armstrong has agreed to pay nearly $30,000 in fines in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over allegations that Armstrong touted the stock of a software company on Raging Bull, an Internet bulletin board, in 2000, without disclosing that he was being paid to do so.
Armstrong, the co-author of “Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics,” with Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos, and the founder of the Democratic activist site MyDD.com, consented to a civil penalty of $20,000, plus disgorgement of $5,832, and $3,235 in interest.
Click here to read the S.E.C.’s litigation release on the settlement.
The settlement resolves the S.E.C.’s claims against Armstrong, said Robert Burson of the S.E.C.’s Chicago office.
Under the agreement, Armstrong neither denies nor admits to the allegations.
“It’s good to see the matter finally end,” Armstrong said in an e-mail message to The Opinionator today.
For The Opinionator’s previous coverage of the S.E.C. allegations against Armstrong, see:
The third wheel squeaks: Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack of the Brookings Institution raised a lot of eyebrows last week with their Times Op-Ed article in which they wrote, “we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily ‘victory’ but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.”
Now Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who accompanied O’Hanlon and Pollack in Iraq, has delivered his thoughts on the journey.
“The U.S. now has only uncertain, high risk options in Iraq. It cannot dictate Iraq’s future, only influence it, and this presents serious problems at a time when the Iraqi political process has failed to move forward in reaching either a new consensus or some form of peaceful coexistence,” writes Cordesman, yet “there is still a tenuous case for strategic patience in Iraq, and for timing reductions in U.S. forces and aid to Iraqi progress rather than arbitrary dates and uncertain benchmarks.”
Cernig at The Newshoggers feels that while “Cordesman’s report is going to be cast by the mainstream media as cautiously optimistic” anyone who reads it carefully will realize that, “Planning a withdrawal that does not become a rout which would destroy any last vestiges of U.S. prestige should now be a priority.”
Jules Crittenden reads things quite differently: “Another harsh war critic who doesn’t particularly like the situation in Iraq, but likes the Congressional rush to abandonment even less. No wonder Congress was in such a hurry, repeatedly, to pull the rug out from under Petraeus. Political animals must smell something in the wind.”
While less optimistic than the NYT op-ed, the difference is in degree and emphasis rather than substance. Both reports agree that significant progress is being made on the security front and very little movement on the political front. Both agree that precipitous withdrawal would be catastrophic.
Both agree that we could do everything right and still lose. The question remains between choosing least bad options.
Point well taken: but one thing all can probably agree on is we can one receive only so much from the idea of “least bad.”