Skip to comments.Romney is a Manufactured Candidate (January 20, 20100
Posted on 04/07/2012 12:15:41 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
A few weeks ago an individual hereinafter referred to as, "the letter writer," circulated a letter urging conservative and evangelical leaders to get behind Mitt Romneys presidential bid. We, the above listed individuals, have decided to respond with the argument that a Romney candidacy would be disastrous for the conservative movement and for the country.
Romneys Business Management Experience Does Not Guarantee He Will Govern As A Conservative
One of the primary arguments presented by the letter writer is that Romneys business management experience and his allegedly outstanding performance managing the state of Massachusetts thereby qualifies him to not only be president but to have the support of the conservative movement. However, business experience does not guarantee a person will govern as a conservative. There have been many liberal presidents with business experience; one that comes readily to mind is Jimmy Carter, who managed a peanut farm business. Indeed, the RINO population is full of businessmen and some of Americas leading businessmen supported the candidacy of Barack Obama.
The goal of conservatives is to scale back government, not manage big government more efficiently. Ronald Reagan had little business experience, but he also knew the business of government was carried out by people he appointed so he set about appointing conservatives. The lesson Reagan left us is that, when it comes to governing, a candidates worldview is far more important than business experience, primarily because ones worldview will determine who you appoint to carry out the duties of government.
Romney Raised Taxes And Destroyed Job Creation In Massachusetts
But lets take the letter writer at his word that Romneys business experience will make him a good conservative president. How did his business experience help him govern Massachusetts? And did he govern as a conservative? For the last five years Romney and his supporters have cultivated an image of Romney as a fiscal superstar and who ran a very tight ship as Governor of Massachusetts. Indeed, the letter writer claims Governor Romney turned a $3 billion deficit into a nearly $1 billion surplus, without raising taxes. But that statement is simply not true. The reality is that Romneys tenure as Massachusetts governor was an economic disaster for the state.
Governor Romney passed a host of new tax and fee increases, hitting the corporate world hard and devastating job creation. As Peter Nicholas, chairman of Boston Science Corporation, stated, tax rates on many corporations almost doubled because of legislation supported by Romney. (1)
The Cato Institute reported that in his first year as Governor, Romney proposed $140 [million] in business tax hikes through the closing of loopholes in the tax code. (2) As Nicholas explains, Romneys tax policies were not helpful for many small businesses when Romney took many IRS subchapter S businesses in Massachusetts and almost doubled their tax rates, it was an important disincentive to investment, growth and job creation. (3). As Joseph Crosby of the Council on State Taxation stated, Romney went further than any other governor in trying to wring money out of corporations. (4)
Romney also raised taxes on business again in 2004 and 2005, for a grand total of $309 million levied upon the corporate sector. (5) He then increased taxes on business property (6), tried to raise taxes on hotels (but was stopped by the Democrat legislature!) (7), joined a coalition lobbying congress to tax internet activity (8), and supported a tax on out of state commuters. (9)
Nor did Romney fight the passage of higher rates on death taxes; indeed, his official position on a state bill was no position. (10). Moreover, Governor Romney supported gas tax hikes both for Massachusetts and for the federal government. (11) He also proposed a new excise tax on SUVs and a new sales tax on all used cars. (12)
Indeed, Romney failed to reduce ANY of the myriad taxes Massachusetts imposes on its citizens, even though the previous two Republican governors, William Weld and Paul Cellucci, were both able to reduce tax rates. As Governor Cellucci confirmed, Romney did not have any broad-based tax cuts in his four years as Governor. (13). Indeed, while Romney raised over a hundred different fees and taxes, the two previous Republican governors signed more than 40 tax reduction bills, even though Democrats controlled the legislature.
Nor are there any taxpayer groups in Massachusetts in agreement with the notion that Romney never raised taxes. As the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation stated, fees and taxes have increased more than $700 million per year under Governor Mitt Romney . (14) For a detailed list of the fees and taxes raised by Romney, go here: http://romneyfacts.com/assets/Romney_taxandfee_hikes.xls
We should not also forget that Romney refused to support the Bush tax cuts while governor, (15) and when campaigning for Governor, refused to sign the no new taxes pledge, calling it government by gimmickry. (16) He only signed the pledge when he began to campaign for the presidency.
By Romneys last year in office, Massachusetts was ranked by the Public Policy Institute of New York on its Cost of Doing Business Index, as the 4th most expensive state in which to do business in. (17) Data compiled by the Tax Foundation reveals that during Romneys term, the per capita tax burden increased from 9.3% to 9.9%, a .6% increase. In real dollars, the per capita tax burden increased $1175.71 during Romneys term. (18)
Contrary to the letter writers comments, Romney didnt turn a $3 billion dollar deficit into a nearly $1 billion surplus. Rather, the deficit was $1.3 billion according to Factcheck.org (19) and he balanced the budget with mostly tax and fee increases with very little spending cuts. According to the Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation, Romney proposed four budgets while in office each budget increased spending over the previous year. (20). As Club for Growth echoed, Romneys last budget was a whopping 10.12% larger than the preceding fiscal year. (21) Out of the 25 freshmen Republican Governors rated by the Cato Institute on fiscal issues, Romney had the 2nd worst score. (22)
Indeed, Carla Howell, president of the Massachusetts-based Center for Small Government, is blunt about Romneys record: Romney claims to have cut the Massachusetts budget by 2 billion. Sometimes he claims he cut it 3 billion .but these cuts were merely budget games .not only did Mitt Romney refuse to cut the overall Massachusetts budget, he expanded it. Dramatically .Romney initiated massive new spending without any prodding. (23)
The alleged budget surplus the letter writer refers to is also mythical. The Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation and the conservative Massachusetts think tank, Beacon Hill Institute, both challenged that notion (24). In fact, Romney left a billion dollar deficit for his successor. (25).
Romneys budgets were also full of pork and he was infamous for lavishing money on staff salaries, incurring outlandish travel expenses, and granting pay hikes for state officials and lawmakers. (26). Moreover, he had no problem with corporate welfare, granting millions to local corporations in an effort to persuade them to NOT leave the state or to hire more workers, hardly a sign of a fiscal conservative. (27)
Finally, job growth was devastated by Romneys policies. The Massachusetts Taxpayer Foundation says that under Romney, job growth has been anemic. (28). According to the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 5.2% when he assumed the governorship and 5.3% by the end of his term, a figure significantly higher than the national average at the time of 4.6%.(29) But Romneys unemployment figures are, in reality, 2-3 points higher than what they appear because Massachusetts was ranked 2nd in the nation for the number of people leaving the state to look for employment elsewhere. Since theyre no longer residents, they werent counted in the employment statistics. (30).
According to job creation experts Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin of Northeastern University, manufacturing employment during the Romney years declined by 14%, the third worse record in the country. (31) The same scholars wrote that from 2001 to 2006, Massachusetts ranked 49th in the nation in job creation (32) The Boston Globe business columnist Steve Baily wrote that there are 40,000 fewer people in the workforce than when Romney took over. (33). This view was echoed by the Boston Heralds business columnist, Bret Arends, who wrote, During the four years Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, it had the second worst jobs record of any state in America it wasn't a regional issue. The rest of New England created nearly 200,000 jobs. (34)
Another way to judge a states economy is to look at its Gross State Product and these statistics are kept by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Between 2001-2005, the percent GSP increase for Massachusetts was an anemic 8.44%, one of the lowest five-years increases in the country 44th out of 50 states. (35).
Well let labor market economist Andrew Sum summarize: as a strict labor market economist looking at the record, Massachusetts did very poorly during the Romney years on every measure youve got, the state was a substantial under-performer. (36)
Romney Does Not Have A History Of Sharing Our Worldview Or Values
The letters author wants conservatives to take his word for it that Romney shares our values. The collective evidence of his entire career, even after his alleged conversions, dramatically refutes the claim that he shares our values. Indeed, the media essentially ignored Romneys history of repeatedly changing his views over the last five years. Yes, the media did focus on his abortion flip-flops, but they choose to ignore Romneys history of changing his mind on virtually every other important issue.
Indeed, Romney changed his position on over thirty key issues as he prepared to run for President four years ago. We all expect a politician to change their mind on one or two issues over the course of their career, but when someone changes their mind on EVERY foundational issue of importance to conservatives, we must be skeptical. Indeed, it is hard to accept Romneys conversion on so many issues as authentic.
We must not forget that just a few years ago Human Events newspaper listed him as one of Americas Top Ten RINOs. (37) Only when Romney prepared to run for the Presidency did his views suddenly change. He hired an army of image consultants and pollsters and, wham zam, he changed into a conservative overnight.
Presidents are under enormous pressure to compromise; if the president does not have a long history of adherence to a particular worldview, he will flip-flop all over the place. Even Ronald Reagan was pressured into compromising a few times despite his forty year history of advocating conservative principles. Romney has no such history. Before he started to campaign for the presidency, he never attended conservative functions, spoke at conservative events, or wrote articles of interest to conservatives. He socialized with liberal Republicans and indeed, in the 1960s his father was one of the national leaders of the liberal Republicans and actually walked out of the 1964 GOP national convention to protest Barry Goldwaters candidacy.
As recently as 2007, Mitt Romney was a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership, at the time Americas leading liberal Republican group. The RMSP is pro-abortion, pro-stem cell research, pro-gay rights, and in general, embraces a liberal position on all social issues. They often work in conjunction with the pro-abortion group, Republicans for Choice, and the Republican homosexual group, the Log Cabin Club. They also opposed the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and set up a 527 campaign committee that received funding from far left funder George Soros. (38). Its no wonder Romney distanced himself from Reagan while campaigning for Governor when he said, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. Im not trying to return to Reagan-Bush. (39)
We also must not forget Romneys long history of supporting Democrats. He was not even a registered Republican until 1993. (40) Previous to that, Romney supported Democrat Paul Tsongas in the 1992 presidential primary. (41). Moreover, Romney made contributions to Democratic congressional and senatorial candidates as recently as 1992 (42) and in 1993 supported the election of Democrat Rocky Anderson, perhaps the most liberal mayor in America. Anderson, a former ACLU director and Planned Parenthood attorney, called for the impeachment of President Bush. Indeed, Romney even produced a campaign commercial for Anderson which one can watch here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuFe9_BCvXY
Even as recently as 1994 Romney was bashing Republicans by attacking the extremely mild Contract with America statement as a mistake and considered it too partisan, even though its most ideological plank was to call for a balance budget. (43)
Romneys Actions On Homosexual Marriage Demonstrate Deception, Incompetence or Both
When Romney first ran for President, he declared himself to be a social conservative but as governor he did great damage to America by unilaterally ordering homosexual marriage to be instituted in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Constitution clearly prohibits the judicial branch from specifically changing marriage statutes so when the court issued the Goodridge opinion favoring homosexual marriage, all Romney had to do was to declare the court had no jurisdiction and ignore it.
Neither does the state Constitution allow the court to order a sitting governor to change a statute but Romney, instead of ignoring the illegal decision, asserted the opinion was now the law and then ordered his town clerks and Justices of the Peace to marry homosexuals -- even though the legislature never acted to codify the ruling. Thus, Romney violated his oath to uphold the state constitution. Indeed, the Massachusetts legislature has never changed the marriage statute, which, continues to this day to prohibit same sex marriages. The flatly illegal charade of gay marriage exists solely in Massachusetts due to Governor Romneys illegal actions. By ordering town clerks to participate in the solemnization of illegal marriages, Romney committed a felony. (44)
A letter signed by 45 Massachusetts and national pro-family leaders including the late Paul Weyrich, Sandy Rios, Gary Kreep, Robert Knight, Linda Harvey, Rev. Ted Pike, Peter LaBarbera, Gary Glenn, Brian Camenker, John Haskins, etc. was sent to Romney in December 20, 2006, urging him to use his power as Governor to reverse himself on homosexual marriage:
We note that you swore no oath to execute court opinions, but rather laws and the constitution like much of America, many of us accepted as sincere your explanation of your role in this social and constitution crisis that is fundamentally altering the moral fabric of our culture we are now forced to look at your role, as constitutional sentry and a gatekeeper of our form of government, in a different light. We would be greatly disappointed if your principal contribution to history will be imposing homosexual marriage knowingly or unknowingly, willfully or negligently in violation of the state constitution you swore to uphold. (44)
There was no response to the letter and Romney continued full speed ahead implementing illegal homosexual marriages, thus creating a precedent that led to many other victories for the homosexual movement nationwide. Just a few years earlier, Romney promised the homosexual leadership in Massachusetts -- and even wrote one group a letter on his letterhead to make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent [Sen. Kennedy] cannot do this. He also promised them that he would not fight homosexual marriage. The homosexual leadership of Massachusetts believed that Romneys action on Goodridge fulfilled that promise.
However, pro-family leaders in Massachusetts were not surprised. After all, Romney had, in 2002, opposed a marriage protection amendment that would have preempted the court ruling. His official reason for opposing the amendment was that it didnt allow domestic partner benefits. In other words, he refused to support a ban on homosexual marriage because it didnt grant benefits to homosexual lovers!
Moreover, after the Goodridge decision, Romney had the opportunity to remove the activist judges for their illegal opinion based on a procedure the state constitution grants a governor for just this type of situation. This procedure has been used many times in Massachusetts history but Romney publicly opposed their removal even though he accused the judges of violating the state constitution. (45) Moreover, in 2006, Romneys Department of Social Services honored a homosexual couple as Parents of the Year. The DSS was managed by Romneys appointees who certainly would not create such a controversial news story without consent of the Governor. (46) However, by 2006, Romney was running for the presidency as a same sex marriage opponent, and hoping, to be sure, that no one noticed his illegal actions or the DSS Parents of the Year story.
Lastly, the most revealing action by Romney regarding his personal beliefs on same sex marriage occurred following the Goodridge decision. Apparently excited by the new homosexual marriage law he had created out of thin air, Governor Romney issued special Governors one-day marriage licenses to 189 same-sex couples in 2005, including to a homosexual activist state senator and to many other personal friends of his in the homosexual community. Romney defenders claim he could not legally give such special marriage licenses to heterosexual couples but not to homosexual couples. True, but he simply could have stopped this practice altogether. Moreover, as Romney knew well, a court opinion issued while running for governor clearly stated that only the legislature could legalize homosexual marriage; therefore Romney had to know that every time he issued a special license to a homosexual couple, he was committing a felony. This incident alone demonstrated where Romneys heart was on this issue. (47)
Romney Has A History Of Supporting Homosexual Rights And Still Does Today
One could write a book on how Romney promoted the homosexual agenda while Governor but due to space limitations, we have pointed out the highlights of this bizarre agenda: As Governor, Romney implemented a Executive Order that created a vast diversity agency to make sure those of all races and sexual orientations be hired throughout state government. (48) Romneys senatorial and gubernatorial candidacies were endorsed by homosexual groups because he lobbied them and promised that he would be an advocate for gay civil rights. (49) Romney supported President Clintons Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy of allowing homosexuals to serve in the military, saying it was a step toward gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nations military. (50) Romney opposed a US Senate amendment by Senator Jesse Helms to the 1994 Elementary and Secondary Education Act to ban federal funding to public schools that encourage or support "homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative". (51) Romney supported the Federal ENDA anti-discrimination law which is a full assault upon religious freedom. (52) Romney is on record supporting Domestic Partner Benefits: I support Domestic Partner benefits. (53) Romney increased funding for a commission led by homosexuals appointed by the Governor whose sole duty was to fund and promote homosexual speeches, dances, and disseminate homosexual propaganda in the public schools. (54) Despite an epidemic of homosexual molestations in the Boy Scouts, Romney opposed the Scout ban on homosexuals: All people should be able to participate in the Boys Scouts of America regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a full attack upon the rights of private groups to be able to set their own moral standards. (55) Romney appointed leading homosexual activists to key positions all over his administration. One was Patrick Guerriero, former National President of the Log Cabin Club and one of the nations top homosexual campaign operatives working to defeat pro-marriage candidates and initiatives such as Prop 8 in California. Guerriero served on Romneys gubernatorial transition team.(56) Romney issued a state proclamation honoring Gay/Straight Youth Pride March. (57) In 2002, Romney supported hate crimes legislation (58) In 2005, Romney nominated Stephen Alban, a radical homosexual judge active in the battle to legalize homosexual marriage, to a district court. (59) In 2004, Romney donated $10,000 to AIDS Action committee, a radical homosexual group that pushes homosexual literature in the public schools and opposes all abstinence education. (60) When the state passed a homosexual anti-discrimination law, Romneys Dept of Social Services informed Catholic Charities that it had to comply with the law by placing children with homosexual couples. However, the law didnt actually require such action; The law specifically applied to Hospitals ..operating for profit. Apparently, Romneys bureaucrats were creating their own implementing regulations which Romney could have easily waived. Even former Governor Michael Dukakis told the press that the States anti-discrimination statutes didnt apply to Catholic Charities, stating that theres nothing in there to the best of my knowledge that mandates anything . After chasing Catholic Charities out of the adoption business, Romney had the gall to say in 2006, there are many, many other agencies that can meet the needs of those gay couples and I recognize that they have a legitimate interest in being able to receive adoptive services. (61)
While the above actions occurred during Romneys Gubernatorial term, once his presidential ambitions began, he altered his position on some of these issues such as Hate Crimes and ENDA. However, he continues to support many aspects of the homosexual agenda even today, though in a far more subtle fashion. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Romney told CNN commentator Roland Martin off stage that he was pro gay rights. (62) Likewise, in 2008, The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper, reported that Romneys representative at a Log Cabin forum stated that Romney wont oppose them [gay rights]. (63)
In 2008, Romney informed Tim Russert that rather than support a federal ENDA, he would support state versions of ENDA: I think that policy makes more sense to be evaluated or to be implemented at the state level. (64) And Romney continues to support the right of homosexuals to adopt children, a position he took during the last presidential campaign: There are other ways to raise kids thats fine: single moms, grandparents raising kids, gay couples raising kids. Thats the American way This confirmed what he said two years earlier in 2005 when, in response to a question about homosexual adoptions he said, I believe that there should be rights and privileges associated with those unions and with children that are part of those unions. (65)
Romneys Pro-Abortion Roots Are Deep And His Alleged Conversion Is Questionable
For thirty years Mitt Romney was a strong advocate of abortion. His wife, Ann, contributed money to Planned Parenthood in 1994 at a PP event both she and her husband attended, but she was filmed during the 2008 campaign claiming, Ive always been pro-life. (66) Moreover, another video has appeared showing Ann insisting that pro-abortion women need not worry about her husband due to his commitment to the abortion issue. (67) Like her husband, Mrs. Romney has engaged in deception in regards to abortion, giving us yet another reason why we doubt the sincerity of the Romneys.
Romney claims to have had a sudden epiphany that changed his mind on abortion, but what about Ann? Are we to believe that his wife had an epiphany at the same time? We must also remember that in 1970, three years prior to Roe vs. Wade, Romneys mother, Lenore, made abortion an issue when she ran for the United States Senate in Michigan. To be an abortion advocate in 1970 was considered extremely radical. (68)
During the 2008 election the media focused a lot of attention to the series of flip-flops by Romney on the abortion issues going back a decade. By the time Romney started to plan his 2008 presidential candidacy, he was claiming to be a strong pro-life advocate as a result of a epiphany he had while meeting with stem cell researcher Dr. Douglas Melton. Romney claims that Melton stunned him by casually referring to killing embryos. But Dr. Melton was astounded to hear about this and quickly informed the media that regarding the conversation in question, we didnt discuss killing or anything related to it. (69)
Romney Continues To Engage In Pro-Abortion Actions Since His Alleged Pro-Life Conversion
More disturbing than what appears to be a faked conversion is the number of pro-abortion actions Romney has engaged in SINCE his alleged November, 2004 epiphany, actions that cause us to question the depth of his commitment to the sanctity of life: 2004 2007. Romney invests in stem cell research. Romney had investments in Novo Nordisk and Millipore, two companies involved in stem cell research. He also had investments in Warner Chilcott, the firm that produces Loestrin, an abortifacient. (70)
Romney defended these investments by claiming his investments are chosen by a blind trust, but as Romney himself stated, "You give a blind trust rules. You can say to a blind trust, don't invest in properties which would be in conflict of interest Romney maintained investments in these companies for three years after his conversion but never bothered to instruct his trust manager to avoid investing in anti-life companies until after it became public knowledge. (71) 2005. Romney celebrated Right to Privacy Day. Every year Romney was governor he signed
a Right to Privacy Day proclamation which, up until 2005, made reference to Roe vs. Wade. In 2005, he signed it again, but, apparently mindful of his impending presidential candidacy, removed the reference to Roe vs. Wade. While the day was originally conceived to celebrate the Supreme Courts 1972 decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people, abortion advocates also celebrated this proclamation since they regard privacy as foundational to their worldview. Regardless of how Romney tweaked the fine print in the proclamation, the question is why would he issue such a proclamation after his conversion?
Moreover, when Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom was questioned by the media about the omission of the Roe vs. Wade reference, he said the change was a clerical, not political! (72) 2005. Romney refused to advance the pro life agenda while Governor, even after his conversion. Yes, the Massachusetts legislature was and is controlled by the left, but regardless, Romney made little to no effort to fight for pro-life issues or even fight against pro-abortion causes. Indeed, shortly after his conversion in February, 2005, he stated, I am personally pro-life. However, as governor I would not change the laws of the commonwealth relating to abortion. (73)
Romney even boasted about his success with ignoring pro-life issues in a video clip now on You Tube: I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintaining the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far Ive been able to successfully do that .(74) 2005. Romney forces Catholic hospitals to distribute the abortion pill. In 2005 the Massachusetts legislature passed a bill requiring all hospitals to provide women with the abortion pill. Even though Romney had campaigned on expanding access to the abortion pill he vetoed this bill, something which has become a fixture in pro-Romney propaganda proving he fought for pro-lifers while Governor. What the Romney forces dont mention, however, is that Romney reversed himself on this issue a few days later! The legislature, as expected, overrode the veto, but Romney publicly claimed the bill didnt apply to private religious hospitals. This was an accurate statement since the Massachusetts Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the state had existing religious conscience protection statutes on the books. The Massachusetts Catholic Conference even announced that the new bill does not expressly nullify the older statute; the conscience protection already on the books still remains in force.
Moreover, the State Health Commissioner, Paul Cote, Jr., announced, his department felt strongly that the new emergency contraception law did not compel all hospitals to provide the morning after pill.
However, the pro-abortion crowd started protesting and Mark Nielson, Romneys legal counsel, suddenly claimed the new law superseded the preexisting conscience protection statute, even though there was nothing in the bill to indicate this. Indeed, wording that expressly removed the conscience protection exemption for religious entities was removed from the bill in committee, so Nielsen was claiming the bill said something the bills authors had purposely left out.
Nielsen had run for congress in 2000 as a pro-abortion candidate and had received over $7,000 from pro-abortion groups, but Romney blindly accepted his opinion over those opinions of the Catholic Church, the State Health Commissioner, and his health department -- and it was contrary to the intent of the bills author.
Incredibly, Romney, after being opposed to the bill a few days earlier, then announced, ''I think, in my personal view, its the right thing for hospitals [referring to private hospitals] to provide information and access to emergency contraception to anyone who is a victim of rape. Remember, this is not a public hospital but a private Catholic hospital opposed to abortion except when the mothers life is in jeopardy. This is a frontal assault on religious liberty but Romney not only did not fight for Catholic hospitals and religious freedom, he readily switched his position based upon a very weak and illogical legal opinion supplied to him by his pro-abortion counsel. (75) Romney not only acted on Nielsens opinion, but personally agreed with it, thus creating a horrible precedent allowing government to strip away the religious freedom rights of a private institution. 2005- 2007. Romney belonged to a pro-stem cell research GOP group. Romney belonged to the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group supported by George Soros that made stem cell research its most important issue. Its web site listed Romney as a gubernatorial member during the 109th Congress which ended in 2007. Wikipedia describes the group as being allied with other moderate Republican groups, including Christine Todd Whitman's It's My Party Too, Ann Stone's Republicans for Choice, the Log Cabin Republicans, the Republican Majority For Choice . In 2005, the group was instrumental is passing the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act in the House of Representatives. (76) 2005 -2007. Romney appointed pro-abortion judges to the bench. The Boston Globe reviewed Romneys Judicial nominations and found that Romney passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents including two gay lawyers who have supported expanded same-sex rights. Given the fact the Democrat party in Massachusetts is extremely pro-abortion, we can assume that most of the Democrats Romney nominated to the bench were pro-abortion. Many of the appointments occurred after Romneys conversion, including that of Stephen Abany, a far left Democrat homosexual activist nominated in 2005. Just two months after his epiphany, he nominated liberal pro-abortion Democrat Matthew Nestor to a lifetime seat on the Somerville District court. Romney claimed he does not look at political leanings but only at legal experience and toughness on crime. That comment raises additional concerns and its also false. When Romney met with NARAL leaders in 2002, he promised them his judicial picks would be MORE likely to protect abortion rights than those of a Democrat Governor! He kept his promise even after his conversion. (77) 2006 - Present. Romney develops a states rights position on abortion. In Romneys words: My hope is that the Supreme Court will give to the states over time or give to the states soon or give to the states their own ability to make their own decisions with regard to their own abortion law. He is opposed to a single federal rule and thus opposed to a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution. If one believes abortion is murder, why would you allow states to decide whether or not murder is permitted? However, he has also told some pro life activists he now supports a HLA as long as it has exemptions for life of the mother, rape, incest, and embryonic stem cell research. HLA is opposite of the State Rights approach. Which approach does he favor? It depends who he is talking to. (78) 2006. Romney introduced RomneyCare which dramatically increased state funded abortions. As Governor, Romney signed into law a government-controlled health care behemoth which mandates that all citizens pay into. The program covers abortion and makes it much easier for people to obtain a state-funded abortion for as low as $50. The Romney team claims that the state Supreme Court ruled in 1981 and 1997 that the state constitution required payment for abortion services for Medicaid-Eligible women. However, a court ruling is not a law and is not binding unless the legislature codified them and theres no evidence they did. (79)
Secondly, the Massachusetts Constitution specifically prohibits the courts from changing laws or ordering the legislature to change law so Romney could have ignored the court opinions by stating they have no jurisdiction over RomneyCare. Nor are there any utterances in the State Constitution about abortion, a laughable assertion since abortion would be aberrant to the founding fathers who authored that document.
However, as with the pro-homosexual marriage Goodridge decision, Romney has deferred to the courts for policy making, a situation which would have shocked our founding fathers. (80) Lastly, the two court decisions made it clear that the state was only to fund medically necessary abortions, a phrase not found in the RomneyCare legislation. Indeed, the legislation doesnt have any restrictions on abortion. One can have an abortion funded by the state for any reason whatsoever. While state funded abortions existed in the past, RomneyCare created a whole new category of people now eligible for abortions. Around 250,000 previously uninsured women are now eligible for state funded abortions. According to studies, at least 25% of all women have an abortion at some point, so this means that 62,000 women previously not covered will likely get an abortion compliments of RomneyCare. (81)
Romney also created a permanent position for a Planned Parenthood representative on the MassHealth Payment Policy Advisory Board that governs RomneyCare. No, there are no pro-life representatives involved in any capacity with RomneyCare nor is there any evidence that Romney or any member of his team fought for legislative language restricting abortion in any way such as banning third term abortions. However, they did choose to fight with the legislature over certain aspects of dental care coverage. More disturbing, Romney also fought to keep coverage of in-vitro fertilization out of the bill so at least he is consistently anti-life. (82)
* 2006. Romneys administration gave funds to Planned Parenthood. In November, 2006, Romneys economic development agency approved a $5 billion tax-exempt bond to be used by Planned Parenthood to build an abortion clinic in Worchester. Romney claims he was not aware of what his own appointees were doing, but this begs the question: If Romney is unable or unwilling to control what his own appointees do when it comes to abortion related decisions, what makes anyone think things will be different when hes president? (83)
* 2006. Romney refused to oppose Planned Parenthoods radical sex ed bill. Romneys refusal to use his power as governor to help with pro life issues is echoed by Ray Neary, the director of Pro-Life Massachusetts. In 2006, he issued this statement: Since his election as governor, he has not lifted a finger to allow one single unborn child the breath of our environment, and his posture has been to stay aloof from a messy issue. The Romney record in support of our efforts in this state is zero theres no evidence of a Damascus experience by Mitt Romney on abortion On the Opt-in rather than Opt-out issue regarding sex education, while low-level personnel were always pleasant, it was impossible to get an appointment with a single [Romney] staffer to discuss the ramifications of the mandated Sex Ed core curriculum proposed by Planned Parenthood (H1641). This 2006 bill never made it to Romneys desk for a number of non-ideological reasons, but Romney never spoke against it or used his power to lobby legislators about it. (84)
* 2007. Romney opposed legislative interventions to save Terri Schiavo. In the course of the last presidential election, when Romney was questioned about efforts by Congress to save the life of Terri Schiavo, he responded, I think its probably best to leave these kinds of matters in the hands of the courts. Then he said, I generally think that its not a good idea for courts to legislate. Nor is it a great idea for the legislature to adjudicate in a specific circumstance. In others words, allow Schiavo to die. (85)
* 2007. Romney refuses to state his position on laws that require ultrasound screening before an abortion. While campaigning in South Carolina, a reporter asked Romney about his position on the pending ultrasound bill, but all he would say is that I would like to see each state be able to make its own law with regards to abortion. Does he really think such a bill is that controversial? Is he afraid to anger the Planned Parenthood crowd? (85A)
* 2007 to present. Romney continues to support stem cell research. Romney says he opposes creating human embryos for research purposes (cloning), yet, he supports research on stem cells obtained from surplus embryos from invitro fertilizations, even though there is no moral distinction. The Republican National Coalition for Life, founded by Phyllis Schlafly, states that Romneys claim that he is pro-life is belied by his position on the use of human embryos for research purposes. Carol Tobias of National Right to Life stated, Hes still in favor of killing new lives that are in existence right now. (86)
Romney Has Also Switched His Position On Numerous Other Issues
Due to lack of space we cant go into great detail, but there is ample evidence showing that aside from switching his views on gay rights issues and abortion, Romney has also been both in favor and against minimum wage legislation, capital gains taxes, amnesty for illegal aliens, campaign finance reform, the Kyoto agreement, gambling, gun control, and many other issues. He even enrolled Massachusetts into a very expensive regional cap and trade scheme that would have destroyed many jobs in that state. Only after the business community screamed bloody murder did he withdraw from the pact. He has also called for companies to disinvest from countries that support terror while investing personally in companies tied to terrorist regimes. He has been critical of activist judges but as Governor appointed dozens of liberal and Democrat judges using diversity as his guideline. As a candidate he spoke out against pornography but he sat on the Marriott Hotel board for ten years without ever raising his voice against the companys policy of providing pornography on demand.
And then theres RomneyCare, a mini-version of ObamaCare that Romney continues to defend to this day. It forces everyone to buy health insurance and massively regulates the market, just like ObamaCare. And RomneyCare is bankrupting the state, creating sharp premium increases and destroying the quality of health care, just like ObamaCare will do if it survives. But this should be no surprise. ObamaCare was inspired by RomneyCare, and Health Care For All, a socialized medicine advocacy group, was heavily involved with both efforts. Even Obamas chief of staff David Axelrod admitted, we got some good ideas from him.
Jonathan Gruber, a MIT economist involved with designing both programs, told the Wall Street Journal that, if any one person in the world deserved credit for where we are now [with passage of ObamaCare], its Mitt Romney. He designed the structure of the federal bill. As conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote in the Washington Post, unless Mr. Romney is more honest about the system he set in motion in Massachusetts, he will have a hard time convincing Republican primary voters that he has learned his health-care lesson. (87)
Lets face it; Romney simply doesnt have a consistent worldview and much of what he does believe is contrary to the conservative and Christian worldview. That might be fine for someone running for city council, but hes running for the presidency of the most powerful nation in the world. To accept his multiple conversions as authentic and then give him the keys to the White House would be foolish. At this critical time in American history, we need a leader more than ever who has spent a lifetime defending and promoting conservative principles. The last thing we need is someone whose ideology abruptly shifted only after he and his consultants decided to prepare him for his first Presidential campaign.
There Will Be Other Candidates Besides Romney Able To Raise Enough Money To Be Competitive.
The letter writer points to Romneys prodigious fundraising record as another reason why conservatives should support him, arguing that because he out-fundraised everyone else in the 2008 primary, he should be our nominee. But it can also be argued that Romney is not electable because he raised so much money in 2008 and was still unsuccessful. Indeed, he managed to win only three primaries and only in states where he had some strong personal connection: Utah, the base of the LDS church, Massachusetts, and Michigan, where he was raised. The states in which Romney campaigned the longest and spent the most money Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina -- he lost, so one could conclude that where voters got to know Romney best, he was rejected. Indeed, Gov. Mike Huckabee spent 1/7th of what Romney spent and yet cleaned his clock in a number of primaries.
Indeed, as the letter boasts, Romney raised a record $107 million in 2008, but the fact is he was still unable to defeat John McCain in the GOP primary. McCain was a terribly weak candidate with no consistent worldview to speak of but Romney and his millions were unable to defeat this bland, boring, establishment candidate. What makes the letter writer think Romney can defeat Obama?
As for fundraising, there are plenty of other potential candidates we believe are capable of raising enough funds to be competitive. The idea that only Romney can raise enough money to be competitive is absurd. There are some very successful conservatives considering a presidential run such as Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza, not to mention a number of governors, former governors and U.S. Senators with successful fundraising track records. It should also be noted that should Mike Huckabee decide to run again, he will have a much easier time raising money as his name ID is well known due to the success of his top rated Fox weekend show. Additionally, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have all maintained high media visibility and have outstanding fundraising capabilities.
The Tea Party Movement Will Not Support Romney
The Tea Party movement has transformed American politics and the vast majority of Tea Party activists are across- the-board conservatives who will be voting in GOP primaries. This will change the whole dynamic of many GOP primaries but the Tea Party movement will not accept Romney as a conservative. They view him -- for good reason -- as precisely the type of shallow, slick, manufactured career politician they believe has wrecked this country over the last few decades.
Nothing captures Romneys phoniness better than what happened at the 2008 presidential debate in Florida in which a campaign worker had to prompt Romney on the tax issue using the candidates ear piece. It was picked up by the microphone and is now on You Tube. One can easily hear a voice whispering, raise taxes to Romney shortly before he states, Im not going to raise taxes. The whisper is NOT an echo as it occurs before Romneys statement. You can listen to it here:
Nor will Tea Party activists be impressed with the way Romney used his foundation and a half dozen PACs over the last five years to spread money around the conservative movement, thereby creating new supporters. Indeed, without naming names, dozens of conservative leaders endorsed Romney during the last presidential election after their organizations received money from the Romney empire. Romney knew his record as governor was so liberal that the only way he could gain cred with conservative voters was to obtain the endorsements of key conservative leaders. So he bought them. There is something very distasteful about that.
The letter writer cites a number of polls to bolster his idea that Romney can win, but these are polls not of GOP primary voters but of all voters. Another poll the letter writer cites is simply a survey of Republican insiders, which usually means the RINO crowd. Yes, we already know RINOS love Romney, but such a poll is not very convincing to conservatives who have been fighting RINOs for control of the GOP for decades. Moreover, there are many other polls showing Romney doing poorly, especially in the southern states. And the latest Washington Post/ABC News national poll shows Romney in 3rd place behind Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. In any case, polls this far out mean very little.
The real reason the letter writer sent his letter is the concern by the Romney campaign that many of their most important supporters and big name endorsers have abandoned him. As outlined in a recent edition of Politico, an array of Republican heavyweights who backed Mitt Romneys 2008 presidential bid are not yet committed to and in some cases, downright skeptical of the former Massachusetts governors all-but-certain 2012 campaign. (88)
Thanks to a large influx of Tea Party activists into the GOP, conservatives have an historic opportunity to dominate most GOP state primaries and we should use that influence to elect someone with a history of supporting the Constitution. Millions of voters have been shocked by the effort by Barack Obama to transform America into a socialist country and have flocked to Tea Party rallies by the millions. They are looking for an authentic conservative to lead America out of the chaos we now find ourselves in. They are looking for someone with a history of upholding conservative values and who will not compromise once elected. Romney is simply not this person.
The evidence is overwhelming that Romneys business experience did not help him govern as a conservative when in fact, he governed Massachusetts as a big government, anti family liberal. His flip-flops on numerous foundational issues shortly before he became a presidential candidate causes us to question his sincerity, and his suspect conversion to the pro life view has been undermined by the numerous pro-abortion actions taken after his alleged epiphany.
Most disturbing is the key role Mitt Romney played in accelerating two of the greatest threats to our Judeo-Christian culture and free enterprise system: Homosexual marriage and government control of health care. In both instances, the actions Romney took or didnt take on homosexual marriage and RomneyCare have done lasting damage to our country. Romneys aggressive efforts to implement the unconstitutional Goodridge decision set a precedent which inspired pro-homosexual marriage activity nationwide, and his RomneyCare bill served as the model for ObamaCare, the biggest lurch toward socialism since the New Deal.
As such, Romney has done more damage to America in his four years as Governor than any Democrat officeholder we can think of. But Romney, to this day, defends his actions on both fronts and sincerely believes he has done nothing wrong, an attitude which only raises additional questions about his fitness for national office. We must question his worldview, his sincerity, and his judgment. We believe the election of Mitt Romney would be a disastrous mistake for the conservative movement and for the country.
Romneys name won't last to even close that long!
I didn’t vote for him in the primary but I WILL vote for him to stop Obama.
Yeah I’m with you. As much as I don’t like the guy, to compare him to the Anti-American Marxist we now have in office is absolute lunacy.
John McCain never had a chance and Romney’s chances are even worse.
I hope we’re not manufacturing Romney’s by that time.
Even so, I want to know I did MY part in trying to stop Obama - if that means lowering our standards for another McCain, so be it. Sad but true.
“Manufactured” candidates - we have been getting a lot of those lately.
Is there some secret laboratory somewhere, that uses bits and pieces of DNA from historic figures, then proceeds with the programming of the clone thus produced? This would involve a lot of “memory holes” being used, a la the method used in “1984”, where old, conflicting information is erased from the official records, and new, plausible explanations for the altered circumstances are immediately accepted as undeniable “fact”.
Which gets back to the statement, a person may be entitled to one’s own opinion, but is not entitled to one’s own facts.
But the made-up facts are OK to use.
It’s only a nightmare if you believe it is. But geez, when am I going to wake up?
Won’t matter one bit.
Adding to my Romney Republican bumper sticker file...
By the way, you're not "lowering" your "standards." You're admitting that you no longer have any.
Primaries are over barring some out of left field miracle. Better get behind Romney or face Obama with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Obama hates The USA. Romney, while liberal, loves The USA.
I’ll take a Patriot Liberal Romney any day over a Marxist Communist Bastard (yea I said it) Obama.
Its clear by your profile and past post that you fought against the McCain/Palin ticket right up to the November 2008 election. And you admitted that you will fight against the GOP ticket again this year. Perhaps you feel impunity posting what you do because Romney is not popular here on FR. But come Aug 27th you are going to be in an extreme minority here.
Nobody will convince me any of our candidates will be as bad as Obama. I voted at the WA caucus for somebody maybe you would approve of, but come November I dont give a GD who our candidate is, I will be voting for him, to send that disrespectful America-hating A-hole back to Chicago and slam the door shut on the shadow communist he surrounds himself with.
Things don’t get much lower than the guy now in the White House. I’d vote for a fruit bat over him. Romney is NOT my guy but I don’t see another option.
“I didnt vote for him in the primary but I WILL vote for him to stop Obama.”
And I’ll avoid voting for RINOmney to stop him in the general.
In fact, I don’t intend to vote for any pro-gay, pro-abortion, anti-gun, gov’t-mandate-lovin’-liberals... even the one on the R ticket, if it comes to that.
Most of us know who and what Romney is. Bad news and King Obama with his communists power machine will destroy him. When Romney get hit with his failings by King Obama he will stutter and make a fool of himself and collapse.
Only Newt could have backed King Obama in a corner and crush him.
Right and wrong aren't determined by the direction of the herd.
“Primaries are over barring some out of left field miracle. Better get behind Romney or face Obama with nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Oops! Need some emergency correction here!
“Primaries are [almost] over barring some out of left field miracle. Get behind RINOmney or Obama and get two different versions of the same thing. One liberal can be opposed openly and fiercely, resulting in a return to the passions and power of the base. The other liberal will have an R behind his name and appeal to all the worst RINO instincts of the Senate, furthering the destruction of the Republican Party along with putting into law the destruction of the country.
There is nothing in Willard’s actual record while governor that is conservative. Even his picks for judge were 3/4 liberal democrats.
Consider me in your camp. I understand the stakes.
Sure they do. You can have the guy now in the White House AND a conservative movement that has sacrificed all principle on the altar of political expedience.
“Romney, while liberal, loves The USA.”
Clearly, based on his national service in the military... [oh, wait], I mean his family service of military ser...[oops, wait], ah, never-mind.
You are making this up out of whole cloth. He comes from a family that fled to Mexico. He comes from a family where no one serves in uniform. Talk is cheap and that’s what he has given you this campaign. All talk. No walk.
And where exactly would you put Santorums and Newts chances? Have to win a lot more than a handful of Southern states to win the delegate count in November.
Some may say, what does it matter, Romney cant win. I say, by God it does matter. Americas survival may count on it. If its impossible then we MUST do the impossible. American history is full of impossible obstacles. Im going to be a part of this one.
Romney is not liked here. I get it. But we have to ask ourselves, who's cabinet do you want running this ship the next four years, Obama’s, or the cabinet Romney will pick?
This one is between me and my God.
The logic escapes me. Because he isn't conservative enough, like Obama is? Because Obama is so popular now that his record as president is so wonderful? Because Romney isn't fat and obnoxious like Gingrich? Because he has no sweater vests? What?
The “he has no chance” mantra seems to be mostly based on the assumption that Evangelicals won’t come out and vote for a Mormon, therefore places like Mississippi and Georgia will become Obama states.
We are faced with the primary job of removing the man who has nothing good in his plans for our nation. In all likelihood we are going to have to support Mitt Romney in order to accomplish that task.
I think the question is going to come down to whether or not we can be strategically supportive and strong enough to force him to govern right of center. Or, if we will choose instead to devour ourselves with internal battles because the ideal conservative candidate did not surface to stretch his (or her) neck across the media chopping block.
Can Mitt Romney correct the financial course Barack Obama has set and hold do so by holding the line on taxes?
Will he build a solid team of strategists knowledgeable in foreign policy and strengthen our security?
Will he begin to straighten out the problem of immigration by protecting our borders and enforcing laws already on the books?
These are the questions I am asking and trying to answer for my self. Not what did he do once and what can we do to tear him down; but, what can we do to accept what appears to be inevitable and build him up.
Last but not least it is probable that Supreme Court Justices Kennedy and Ginsberg will retire before the next Presidential term is over. Scalia, at 74 still seems sharp and dedicated. But, it is possible that within two terms a president Romney could make three replacements and maybe even four depending on the health and temperament of Breyer. If he is elected, can conservatives move Romney enough to protect our constitution by appointing solid conservatives to strengthen the court?
I don't think this element of our future can be emphasized enough. If Obama is reelected, Ginsberg will surely hand him her chair and knowing how the republicans in the Senate crawl to please the media, he could get Louis Farrakhan approved.
> Some may say, what does it matter, Romney cant win. I say, by God it does matter.
As you stated, it does matter.
“Obama hates The USA. Romney, while liberal, loves The USA.”
What has Bishop Willard ever done to lead you to this speculation? His entire life is aimed at the promotion of himself or his cult.
The difference between Lightworker Hussein and Bishop Willard with regard to America is at what price each would sell it out.
‘The he has no chance mantra seems to be mostly based on the assumption that Evangelicals wont come out and vote for a Mormon, therefore places like Mississippi and Georgia will become Obama states.’
Wrong. We won’t come out and vote for a condescending leftwing activist puke from a corrupt party. That leaves Willard dangling like a saline scalded fetus in Massachusetts.
I’ve read your posts. You detest Mormons.
“My opinon of Mormons has done a 180 with their win at all costs advancement of Bishop Willard. They now rate below Hare Krishnas and Scientologists with me.”
So you choose your candidates based on physical appearance? Surely you couldn't be so shallow. I will say, though, if that's your criteria, Bishop Willard should be out of the running, with that big, bland, vanilla face, the black tooth, the greasy 50s-dad hair, and the pwecious, mincing little walk.
Who is your candidate, BTW?
You not thinking very clearly.
I'll take a lame-duck, unpopular Marxist in the White House with a growing Republicans and conservative majority in congress over a liberal Republican and shrinking minority of Republicans and conservatives in Congress.
Republicans will be able to stop Obama's liberal legislative agenda while Romney will be able to find enough RINOs with help him pass the liberal legislation -- Romneycare, VAT tax, taxes on the rich, etc . -- he proposes.
And, the Obama nightmare will end in four years. The nightmare of Romney and other Democrat in the White House will last eight years.
Romney is Obama, Jr. He will not change anything Obama has done and he is a stooge of Soros.
LOL Everyone thought Jimma Carter was a Christian even with his weird family. He was anything but. The man was dealing with the Communist the entire time he was in office. When he did the gas rationing; it was just a preview of what to come.
Look beneath the surface. Politicians are liars.
But if we are talking electability in the general, when was the last time somebody that looked like Gingrich was elected president? When was the last time somebody so utterly incapable of connecting with anybody other than his base was elected president? Before television for sure.
You might not be a shallow voter. You might spend your evenings pouring over policy papers. But the people that decide presidential elections are shallow and spend their evenings watching "American Idol". Ignoring this obvious fact reveals true shallowness on the part of many Newt people around here, if you ask me.
If I could simply choose the next president from what is left, it would probably be Santorum, Gingrich, and Romney, in that order. Perhaps I would pick Gingrich over Santorum just for the pleasure of watching leftist heads explode. He'd be a better president than Romney, but it doesn't matter. He won't get the chance.
I would enjoy watching Newt dice Obama in debates. But I am not naïve enough to think a debate performance would prevent Gingrich from losing 40 states, as shallow, apolitical voters recoil in horror at the thought of seeing him on their TV screens for 4 years.
I will always be grateful for what Newt engineered in 94, and would move mountains to vote for him over any Dem. But if you can see anything personally likable about him, you have better eyesight than most. I do enjoy his rhetorical zingers from time to time, but can't see much that's admirable or likable about him. I don't think am the only republican that views him that way.
There is way more to getting elected president than appealing rhetorically to your base. Looks and personality matter. Sorry, but denying it requires a shallowness that can't be denied. Given that, how do you think he will play with 19 year old college girls?
There is no way in hell apolitical people, without core beliefs would vote for him. He would suffer an historic drubbing, in an election against a very beatable incumbent. The purists and anti-Morman voters he would attract better than Romney would be dwarfed by the moderate, apolitical, and shallow he would lose compared to Romney. Why is that so hard to understand?
It might not be possible to De-Honkify Willard Romney..
Will make it easier for him to take a dive and throw the election..
For Myth is indeed the NEW Juan McLaim..
Oh, sugar, I don’t detest Mormons anymore than they detest Lamanites like me.
“The purists and anti-Morman voters he would attract...”
If you are going to parrot stupid concepts you might at least try to spell them correctly. Otherwise it is like some “rappa” ranting against “Jooz”. The illiteracy further undermines the vapid argument.
It is very perceptive of you to notice it. It is evidence of your towering intellect and top notch debating skills. The argument is over and has for sure ended in your favor. What was that argument again? It is an absurd notion that Romney might suffer from religious bigotry, or is it an absurd to notion that he won't? In spite of your Volkswagen sized mind, you seem to have failed to say.
It is easy to see why you like newt; having so much in common in the charm, decorum, and full of your self for no particular reason department.
“It is easy to see why you like newt; having so much in common in the charm, decorum, and full of your self for no particular reason department.”
Again, spell check your clichés.
You must be having the same smug, self satisfied feeling Newt got when he pocketed that cool 1.6 mil for giving history lessons.
I anxiously await your next school marm (Is that spelled right? I sure hope so lest my intellect be called into question my better.) evaluation.
The world will end by Y10K anyway (you know, the 5-digit year problem and all). :-)
“I sure hope so lest my intellect be called into question my better.”
Chillax, my man.