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>men·da·cious  (mn-dshs)
1. Lying; untruthful: a mendacious child.
2. False; untrue:

Before he departed the U.S. for the Olympic gaffe competition Romney floated what the Washington Post's Dana Milbank says is perhaps his biggest lie yet in a speech to a group of elderly veterans at the VFW this week. He told them that the looming "automatic" defense cuts in the Budget Act of 2011 were Obama's fault, while in fact they were caused by the intransigence of Congressional Republicans and expressly supported by Romney's campaign, that is, Romney himself.

Here's Romney, accusing the President of supporting:

"an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with $1 trillion in cuts," the Republican said. "Strategy is not driving the president's massive defense cuts. In fact, his own secretary of defense warned that these reductions would be devastating, and he's right. ... This is no time for the president's radical cuts in our military."
Dana Milbank calls him on it:
There have been many mendacious moments in this presidential campaign, but it will be hard to top what Mitt Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference this week.
The cuts came about when the Republicans threatened to send our country over a fiscal cliff by defaulting on our debts.  The Democrats agreed to the budget cuts only as it became apparent that the "supercommittee" (remember that?) could not reach an agreement that would have included some tax increases to shore up the budget.
The bill passed with the votes of a majority of House and Senate Republicans and the encouragement of -- wait for it -- Mitt Romney. A Romney spokeswoman at the time said he applauded Boehner's negotiating prowess.
Now Romney is telling veterans that they should blame Obama for the defense cuts that the Republicans in Congress demanded and that he supported.

Lost in the hoopla over Mitt Romney's London flubs this week, the Democratic Senate actually proposed a tax increase upon those making over $250,000 that would have exactly amounted to the 50 billion in next year's "automatic" Defense cuts . Senate Republicans ridiculed the measure, saying 50 Billion was barely enough money to keep the government running for a year. Milbank rhetorically asks:

And yet Romney thinks the military would suffer an existential threat if it were cut by a similar amount?
Of course he doesn't.   He lied to our veterans--not only about the source of the defense cuts but about his own support for them-- to score a cheap political point.

That's just the kind of guy he is.

Milbank notes that Romney wants 2.1 trillion in additional military spending over the next 10 years, while leaving Medicare and Social Security intact. Seriously, that's what he says wants. Such a policy is not rooted in reality. In truth, as Milbank flatly points out, he must be lying about one or the other:  

If Romney wants to make good on his vow to increase defense spending by $2.1 trillion, and he also wants to make good on his support for the tax cuts incorporated in the House Republicans' budget, he would need to cut the rest of the government's functions -- including Social Security and Medicare benefits -- by about 14 percent, according to the Center for American Progress.

If Romney wants to keep his vow not to cut Social Security and Medicare for those age 55 and older, he'd need to shut down all functions of the departments of Commerce, Education, Energy, Interior, Justice, Labor and Treasury as well as the National Institutes of Health.

Sounds like Grover Norquist's dream, but it would be a nightmare for everyone else.  

Romney didn't tell our veterans whether he was lying about his Defense spending increases or lying about his vow to preserve Medicare and Social Security.  What he did do was demonstrate his utter contempt for the intelligence of his veteran audience. Of course, coming from someone who protested in favor of the Draft while actively planning to avoid it, such contempt is hardly surprising.

At some point, hopefully after the Olympics, we're going to get away from the gaffes and the deceptively edited speeches and even the missing tax returns and finally get into the details of exactly what Mitt Romney and his Republican colleagues plan to do to this country, and how they plan to do it.   We can only hope Americans are ready to listen, because "it ain't pretty."

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