The Skimm, July 31, 2012: Romney contracts foot – and – mouth disease, again|
Romney contracts foot – and – mouth disease, again
THE STORY: Mitt Romney managed to offend yet another group of people during his overseas tour. It wasn’t David Cameron in the library. It wasn’t Ann Romney in the stables. By golly, it was Palestinian leaders at a breakfast fundraiser!
THE WHAT: While speaking to donors in Jerusalem, Romney suggested that cultural differencesbetween Israelis and Palestinians are one of the main reasons why Israel has a stronger economy (aside from bar mitzvahs, of course). A senior aide to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority called Romney’s remarks “racist.”
THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM?): Romney may have taken skimming a topic too far. His analysis left out the deep-seated foundational issues that underlie the troubled Palestinian economy, such as land disputes and strict trade restrictions enacted by the Israeli government. In 2007, Israel imposed a near total blockade of goods and people in Gaza because Hamas, an Islamic militant group, had taken over. The ban has relaxed slightly over the last two years, but the Palestinian economy is still hurting from it.
We’re not taking sides on Israeli v. Palestinian economies or conflicts, except to say that it is complicated. This is not a topic you want to alienate a world leader over, especially one you may have to negotiate with.
THE *: Newsweek’s latest cover entitled, “Romney: The Wimp Factor,” is not the word choice we would have selected.
REPEAT AFTER ME…
What to be disturbed by… James Holmes showed no visible reaction while learning that he faces 142 counts of criminal charges for the deadly massacre that took place in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. For each victim, Holmes was charged with intent and extreme indifference to human life.
What to say in a meeting… I didn’t think anything could make liberals happier than seeing former President Clinton at a convention again, even if it is just to introduce President Obama, but then I heard this: Democrats unanimously approved the decision to include a pro-gay marriage plank in their convention platform for the first time ever! Good thing they were already set on having multi-colored balloons.
What to say when someone wears shorts in November… Thanks to the UC Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, funded by the super conservative gagillionaire Koch brothers, I now believe climate change is for real, and you’re not just making a fashion statement. Sorry no one believed your movie, Al Gore.
What to say to the Monday morning quarterback… Hey, stop being Dick Cheney! That’s what Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said about the former VP. During an interview, Cheney said he didn’t think McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin for VP was handled well in 2008, citing “she had only been governor for about two years – I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over.” McCain’sresponse? “Well, I’m always glad to get comments four years later.” 1 point Maverick, 0 points Darth Vader.
What to say on your co-worker’s last day… Don’t feel too bad, it’s the industry trend. Yahoo’s former top exec and interim CEO, Ross Levinsohn, is out now that surprise pick Marissa Mayer stepped in. Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman is also out, resigning after 10 years. Hey, before you go, can I keep your file organizer and stapler?
What to bring up at Happy Hour… Did you guys hear about the new startup Boink Box? It’s like Birchbox but for high quality adult toys. I think it’s a little awkward, unless you don’t, in which case I should tell you that I’m already signed up and can’t wait for my first shipment.
What not to do… Purposefully kill a turtle and brag about it. Over the weekend, singer Blake Sheltontweeted “Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn’t just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one.” He quickly started a Twitter war over animal rights and now even Ellen DeGeneres has gotten in on the fight – “TheEllenShow: Here’s what’s funny: knock-knock jokes. Here’s what’s not funny: animal cruelty.” We are pretty turtle neutral, but you do NOT make Ellen mad, Blake. (h/t @ellenjdasilva)
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Who’s more fit than you…
Missy Franklin (Team USA) won her first gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Hey, Michael Phelps, where’s your gold?
Ryan Lochte (Team USA) beat Phelps in his London debut but came up real short next to his French rival in the 200-meter freestyle. Maybe he needed his lucky grill.
China’s men’s gymnastics team crushed the competition and won gold, after a disappointing qualifying performance. Meanwhile, the pressure is on for Chinese teenage swimmer Ye Shiwen, who won gold for her 400-meter race and even beat Ryan Lochte’s time in the last 50 meters. The cheating rumors have already started.