Critique of Mitt Romney by Joe Klein
In Iowa, Mitt Romney was able to deliver the bad news concerning the end of subsidies for ethanol in a way that was palatable to the businessmen in the room. This indicates a modification of his methods in his second campaign for the Presidency. He is a much stronger candidate today than he was four years ago. Yet, he remains uninspiring to moderates, untrustworthy to conservatives and remains an unloved frontrunner. He has the support of 20% of Republicans desperate to find a candidate to take his place. (This piece was written prior to Newt Gingrich’s re-entry into the race.) Complaints against him are that he is too rich, too polished, too elitist, and he is a Mormon. He has flip-flopped on large and small issues. The people will simply not elect someone they do not trust. The impression is that Romney is either furtive or phony. He has the least accessible presidential campaign in memory. One thing in his favor is the “slapstick haplessness” of his opponents which has provided some diversion from the issues. He seems to be the most presidential of the bunch. His shifts are artful and expedient on important issues such as immigration, assault-bans and abortion. He does not want to close the departments of Energy or Education; he does not want to privatize Social Security; he does not want to totally eliminate the capital gains tax; he does not want to totally eliminate the corporate tax. His fluency and command of facts, though, are easy on the ears. If he were president and faced with making big decisions, one wonders if he would be able to summon the courage that has so often been missing in his presidential campaign.
BPA – A chemical that is everywhere
BPA – the chemical bisphenol-A – is an endocrine-disrupting compound that can interfere with hormones and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and potential problems in fetal development and in young children. It is present in the lining of aluminum cans, plastic water bottles, pizza boxes, toilet paper and cashier receipts. A recent study had subjects eat soup made from fresh vegetables for five days followed by eating canned soup for five days and found that their BPA levels had increased by 1200% after eating the canned soup. The World Health Organization has ruled that it is premature at the point to take steps to ban the chemical. Because BPA leaves your body within a few hours via your urine, you can become BPA-free by not exposing yourself to the chemical.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan is praised for his policies.
Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is genuinely popular across the Arab world. He was ranked the most admired world leader in a 2010 poll of Arabs by the University of Maryland. When he visited the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, President Obama lauded him for showing great leadership. Obama is hoping that the new governments rising from the ashes of old dictatorships will look a lot like the one that the Prime Minister has built over the past eight years. For Arab Islamists, Turkey’s success is proof that they can modernize their countries without breaking away from their religious moorings. Turkey now enjoys economic strength and political stability. Erdogan’s message to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya is to be good Muslims but not to fear secularism because it does not mean being an enemy of religion. Erdogan has pushed hard for Turkey’s admission to the European Union. It is ironic that Turkey is now economically ascendant while many members that won’t admit Turkey are all but bankrupt.
Time Magazine’s Issue of December 12, 2011