Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's a dog's life

I know it's only Tuesday but this is already my favorite picture of the week. Tweeted last night by David Axelrod under the heading: How loving owners transport their dogs.


This, of course, was a not very subtle dig at Romney, referencing the story of how Mitt's poor dog Seamus was strapped to the roof of the Romney family station wagon. Today comes this rumor that contrary to Anne Romney's claim that the pup survived and lived a long and happy life, in fact Romney's dog Seamus ran away once they reached their destination.
Mitt Romney may not have told the whole truth about the scandalous tale of his Irish Setter, Seamus, being strapped to the roof of his car during a 12-hour family road trip to Canada. According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.
Unsourced internet rumor so who knows if it's true, however one does wonder why the Romneys have never released any photos of Seamus enjoying his old age, lolling in comfort in one of the many Romney family homes.

Meanwhile, the canine contingent have organized their own super PACK, Dogs Against Romney. They ride inside. Just like Bo.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sing along with Mitt

Apparently politicans singing on the campaign trail, as the kids say, is now a thing.



Via Charles Dharapak who was getting a Rat Pack vibe. I'm thinking Mitt was going for a Donny Osmond feel but ended up looking more like a washed up Pat Boone.

In any event, Obama channeling Al Green, he's not.




[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Jailhouse Rock.

by Capt. Fogg

"Well, victims have rights too," is the usual evasion given to the question of why the United States has more people in confinement or under correctional supervision than the Soviet Union under Stalin. Well, of course they do have rights, but it's hard to reach the notion that a victim of a crime, or the state which represents that victim has the right to do anything at all to satisfy the rage we feel when someone harms us or our property from that position. Even the harshest laws of classical antiquity were set in place to hinder the endless cycle of revenge.

Harder it is indeed to get to the level of punishment typical in our land for crimes that in fact harm no one at all: "crimes" that throughout the years include marrying outside the arbitrary dictates of dominant religions, drinking from the wrong faucet, having a beer in private or smoking the herb that makes you feel mellow and sleepy. Most hard to justify is the rage for "Zero Tolerance" that makes judges into clerks and executioners unable to apply reason or a sense of proportion as it relates to crime and punishment.

Imagine, as Adam Gopnik suggests in Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in the January 30th issue of New Yorker, "Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience." At least 50,000 men don't have to imagine it at the moment, they simply have to be conscious.

Although it's tapered off some recently, we've been given editorials and articles and TV harangues about how prison life is too "soft" for "Criminals" such as some teen who sent a naked picture on a cellphone to another teen and gets life in a cage -- or another unfortunate caught with marijuana who has to endure 10 or 20 degrading and terrifying years and lose his civil rights in perpetuity, but Prison life in the US is a veritable nightmare in comparison to what it is in places like Europe. 70,000 prisoners are raped in our prisons every year where HIV is widespread. Texas alone has sentenced more than 400 teenagers to life imprisonment.

My own state of Florida, with a governor who somehow escaped incarceration for having been involved in the largest Medicare swindle ever, is as I write this, trying to "privatize" Florida's prison system. Is that another way of washing conservative hands of blood or is it simply that to the conservative mind, being profitable makes it moral: a corporation locking up people and keeping the corporate bottom line healthy by squeezing convicts as well as punishing them?

Of course Florida, as many other states have done, turned to prison labor as a substitute for slavery after Liberals ended their horrific atrocities, locking up "vagrants" and selling their "slave" labor for private gain in much the same way as China is accused of when we try to seem better than they are.
" More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives"
says Gopnik and mass imprisonment has tainted our mass culture with affluent kids in shopping malls imitating prison dress and speech and tattoos. We wear our incarceration culture on the bodies of our children, like the mark of Cain.
"Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today—perhaps the fundamental fact, as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850. In truth, there are more black men in the grip of the criminal-justice system—in prison, on probation, or on parole—than were in slavery then."
Nor is it tapering off. The rate of incarceration is accelerating; tripling in the last couple of decades and with the tendency toward private slaveholder corporations, the comparison to the anti-bellum south is all the more frightening. We'r e being sold a southern sense of justice, suggests the author, and we sell it, as we sell our wars and our attacks on what we were taught were fundamental rights and even our attacks on reformers with appeals to rage. "If the accused had shot someone in your family, wouldn't you want to kill him?" asks the voice and of course I might, but fortunately for all of us, we have a system of laws, we have a civilization to prevent it. Indeed civilization exists as a brake on our base instincts, which instincts so often destroy it.

Is our current fascination with a withered government that thereby facilitates freedom in some magical way really compatible with a government so concerned with keeping all freedom away from so many people for ever expanding reasons? Or is the subjugation of such a huge number of people only a part of a vast scheme to subjugate most of us, to establish America as a vast plantation for the benefit of a very few slaveholders?

Perhaps not. Perhaps it's simply the fear in which we're all marinating in this safest period in history that's pickled our sense of justice; our fear of terrorists, dope fiends, predators, drunk drivers and heretics, but regardless of where the blame is put, we are, and continue to grow as a nation which more than any others, keeps people in cages and allows other people to profit from it.


Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 30, 2012

Let the chips fall where they may

I'm slow to add follows on the twitter but I did add a few big media tweeps in the last couple of weeks. Really enjoying AP's photojournalist Charles Dharapak. He's got a fine eye for framing and often captures iconic moments.

[original photo]

Not his most compelling capture but a couple of things struck me when I saw it. One, Willard looks less lifelike and more like a Disney animatron as the campaign goes on. Also, it reminded me how many photos I've seen of campaign jets over the years. They're invariably practically empty. Makes me wonder why they charter such large planes. Considering how much it costs to fly those puppies, seems to be incredibly wasteful, financially and ecologically.

On a related note, also recently started following David Firestone who is on the editorial board at NYT. He posted a Romney photo last week and though it does cry out for a caption contest, I found it too gross to post it here. Click if you dare.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Don't know what you got till it's gone

If they outlawed polls, what would the media talk about? Instead of doing the actual work on explaining the real world effects of policy, everybody commissions a poll and reports on the results. Easy work if you can get it. Which brings us to today's "important" news. An alleged majority of voters can't see the benefit of a payroll tax holiday.

Shocking, I know. At the top end of the break, you're looking at 20-30 bucks a week. Imagine the people who don't notice the difference probably get less. So sure, they don't "see" it. But if it disappears they'll most likely notice their paycheck decreased a few bucks.

Of course, that has nothing to do with whether it helps drive the economic recovery. And it no doubt does, by virtue of the fact it's a small amount of money spread among millions of workers. Nobody is going to bank it. They spend it. It helps over time. Not that you'll read that in this important report. But it probably generated a lot of traffic. And that's what really counts in the profit model media.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brokered dreams

With every day that passes, I'm more afraid my crazy conspiracy theory will actually come true. Certainly, a brokered convention is very much on the minds of a lot of GOPers. Newt just came within an inch of predicting it outright.
“We have no evidence yet that Romney anywhere is coming close to getting a majority,” Mr. Gingrich said. “And I think when you take all of the non-Romney votes, it’s very likely that at the convention there will be a non-Romney majority – and maybe a very substantial one – and my job is to convert that into a pro-Gingrich majority.”

He vowed to mount “a straight-out contest for the next four or five months” and said he would go “all the way to the convention.”
Artur Davis is boldly predicting a brokered convention from his perch at The National Review.
Not one bit of it is implausible. Arguably, a deadlock is an entirely realistic outcome in a race where Romney’s institutional edges are considerable, but his vulnerabilities and Gingrich’s raw campaign skills are more than enough to offset that advantage. It is also all too likely that the result of a protracted bout would be two candidates so bruised that neither remains competitive with Obama. If so, there will be a sense of panic, and it is not hard to conceive that Romney could come under intense pressure to sacrifice himself to avert a November catastrophe.
And Jake tells me an extended primary is a feature of the RNC's plan.
Why would this go on for awhile? Because a combination of an elongated schedule, new Republican National Committee rules, and some quirks of fate have diminished the importance of individual contests and reduced the ability for knock-out punches.

Part of the reason for this schedule is then-RNC chair Michael Steele wanted an extended primary season so as to ensure a strong nominee...
All this taken in the context of the power of the super PACs to drive the narrative with their multi-million dollar ad blitz makes it look more likely every day. As I said weeks ago, the people funding these PACs all have a common goal -- to get rid of Obama. Nobody running now can unite the fractured base. An unexpected savior, delivered in August, could not only easily unite, but also excite them.

Say what you will, they almost got away with it with Sarah Palin. They learned from that. This time they'll pick someone who knows, and will play by, their rules.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

War of the super PACs

Thinking 2012 will go down in history as the election where the actual candidates were merely a footnote in the campaigns. It's increasingly obvious the real contest is between competing super PACs.
In the last few weeks, super PACs and other outside groups supporting Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and President Barack Obama launched activities in Florida, other key states, and nationally — including phone banking, field organizing, direct mail, polling, state-of-the-race memos and even surrogate operations — that were once left mostly to the campaigns and parties.

The ambitious expansion is another example of a shift in political power away from the major parties and their candidates to deep-pocketed outsiders. But it’s left campaign operatives and even candidates grumbling about whether the super PACs are actually helping their favored candidates.
Don't think the super PACs care what their "favored" candidate thinks. These front groups are driven by the agenda of their deep pocket funders whose main interest is in establishing a public narrative that advances it. I expect they will claim credit for getting their candidate elected and demand to be effectively paid back for their efforts with a seat at the policy making table. Suspect they choose their favored candidate strictly on the basis of how well they believe he or she will stay bought.

Also thinking it would be useful for someone with better access to the data than me to keep a running tally on how much they're spending in total. Hope somebody does it.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Don't faze me Brokaw

The Romney campaign put out a new ad featuring an old 1997 news clip from a broadcast done by Tom Brokaw about Newt's ethics violations. This made Tom unhappy. Brokaw wants Romney to take the ad down.
“I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad,” he said. “I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign.”
Fat chance. The Romney camp refuses, claiming fair use. Moreover, they're delighted to get the extra attention. They're pimping the piece on Twitter.



My first thought when I watched it was: "Hey. Tom Brokaw aged pretty well, didn't he?"

My second thought: "Damn. I remember watching that report when it originally aired."

Recall thinking at the time the GOP did the right thing in purging that maniac. Sadly, this sort of housekeeping doesn't happen in the GOP anymore. Even sadder, at this point, Newt isn't even the biggest lunatic pulling the strings in the Republican party.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hang 'em high

This Republican represents a district within about 30 miles of me. Here's what Rep. Larry Pittman considers appropriate justice.
“We need to make the death penalty a real deterrent again by actually carrying it out. Every appeal that can be made should have to be made at one time, not in a serial manner,” Pittman wrote in the email. “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.”
Surely nothing shouts civil society louder than a good old fashioned public hanging. Or good Christian for that matter. Pittman bills himself as a pastor, shipping worker and a company chaplain who seeks the Lord’s guidance to help him "be a good and effective servant of the people."

Pittman said the email wasn't meant to be public. But the thing is, it's not at all uncommon in this part of the south to hear "good Christians" promote such barbaric ideals. Which reminds me of a story I read recently in the local paper. A black 14-year-old girl was threatened by a group of white teen boys armed with a hangman’s noose.
“She said that they came up to her and they’d made this noose for her,” Parks said. “When she saw it, it caught her off guard. She tried to take it from them so she could tell her teachers. The boy said, ‘No – I’m taking this home so I can put it on my porch with a sign that says, Whites Only.’”
Authorities are trying to determine if this was "a hate crime of racial intimidation or was it bullying?" The boys said it was a joke and weren't suspended at the time. The school superintendent "thinks the encounter was bullying, but was not a hate crime." He "described the noose this way: 'It was white – a real thin rope about three feet long.'" Oh, well it was a "real thin" rope, so that's okay then.

These are my community leaders and neighbors. Any wonder why I've made so few local friends?

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 27, 2012

Newt won't back down

Willard "Mittens" Romney is feeling all kinds of butch today. He's been out on the campaign trail boasting about his big victory in the debates last night. And to be fair, he did do better than he has recently. Guess all that instruction from Michele Bachmann's former debate coach is paying off. He lied with much more authority. Also expect the current polling in Florida is boosting his confidence.

Newt on the other hand looks a little shaken. After all his blustering about letting the people cheer, because freedom, Willard clearly bested him on the applause-o-meter last night. But never let it be said he won't go down fighting. Hell, he practically invented smear tactics for Pete's sake. Exhibit A, a new attack ad Newt launched on Romney today that pulls no punches.



Have to give his shop credit for a fast turn around. Expect they may have spent more time on the one I saw yesterday from his sugar daddy's SUPER PAC, which was even more brutal.



Don't count him out yet. He still has three days to turn it around. And oddly, as abhorrent as I find the man, I'm kind of rooting for Newt to pull off another upset. It would amuse me on several levels, not the least of which would be witnessing the establishment GOP meltdown.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Big Internet is watching you

This google ad preferences meme has been traveling the internets for a couple of days. If you haven't seen it, they target the popup ads you ignore according to some kind of algorithum that's gauged by the cookies they sleathily embed in your computer. People have been checking and sharing their results and they're hilariously inaccurate.

Google thinks I'm a 55-64 year old male who is interested in combat sports. Not even sure what that means but the only traditional sport I follow at all is baseball. And I'll also follow any link that has to do with aeronautics, including ballooning and skydiving but pretty sure those aren't considered combat. But to be fair, I've often been mistaken for a guy on the internets.

Apparently, google isn't the only one who tracks you this way. Lots of other websites collect your click info. I checked them all and only one was even close to capturing my true essence.

The good news is you can theoretically opt-out from these cookies on all the sites except google. Me, I don't bother opting out of anything. I've found over the years, the more you opt-out the more spam ends up in your in-box. If you ignore them, sometimes they go away on their own. Kind of the same way I deal with trolls.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Huntsman gets a new job

Ah America. Ain't it great. Where else can a kid pull himself up by the bootstraps from an ego-crushing loss in a political campaign and rise up a mere 10 days later to become chairman of an important charitable foundation?

Oh, did we mention said charitable foundation was founded by his billionaire father? I'm sure that had nothing to do with it. Certainly, in our society where only the lazy and unambitious are poor or unemployed, Jon was selected solely on his merits.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here


CNN is live streaming so I'm watching GOP debate number Fifth Circle of Hell. Not sure how long I'll last. Definitely not going to live tweet. You want the snark go to the twitter or to that guy at the Guardian. He's good.

Addendum: Okay I lied. Going to liveblog this bit. Romney just announced he is having fun. I don't think he really is though.

Also too, this is the most amusing debate so far. Granted, it's a low bar.

[Original graphic Link includes brilliant theory on hell's thermic properties.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Romney fails in financial filings

Buddhists have a saying; money is suffering. Mitt Romney is about to live those words. The twitter tells me the Romney camp optimistically predicted earlier that Willard's tax returns would cease making news after tomorrow. I assume that was before Romney's inconsistent financial filings hit the news wires.
Some investments listed in Mitt and Ann Romney’s 2010 tax returns – including a now-closed Swiss bank account and other funds located overseas – were not explicitly disclosed in the personal financial statement the GOP presidential hopeful filed in August as part of his White House bid. [...]

A review by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau found that at least 23 funds and partnerships listed in the couple’s 2010 tax returns did not show up or were not listed in the same fashion on Romney’s most recent financial disclosure, including 11 based in low-tax foreign countries such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
The Romney campaign described the discrepancies as “trivial.” Of course they are. What's a few foreign tax shelters, more or less, among friends?

Paraphrasing a bit, a campaign spokesmouth pointed out Romney released 600 pages of tax returns for Pete's sake so why is anyone surprised that it's hard to keep track of that much money? Also they would like to point out they will have to pay an army of accountants overtime to straighten the filings out, thus Willard's personal contribution to the job creation just doubled.

Think this might come up in the debate tonight?

[Big thanks and a huge hug to my old pal blogenfreude who kindly linked in at Mike's Blog Round-up. It's been way too long since I've seen him on the internets.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Brent Bozell declares war on liberal media


Lunatic culture warrior and self-appointed media watchdog Brent Bozell plans a $5 million attack on the "librul" media. Well actually he only has $3 million so far but apparently feels confident he'll be able to fleece the rubes for the other $2mil, no doubt with the help of his friends at Fox "News" who always are ready to lend a fellow Obama basher a hand.

Bozell plans to muster the troops of Wingnut Nation with a campaign conducted via "bumper stickers, billboards, traditional and online advertising" which will culminate with "the largest social media effort ever undertaken by conservatives." By golly, by the end of this campaign there won't be a single loyal Fox viewer in America who will believe a word the lying, character assassinating, liberal media says.

Rumors of his impending hire as a contributor on CNN so far remain unconfirmed. [original photo]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

No surprise, Newt lied, he has no friends

You'll recall John King opened the South Carolina debate by asking Newt Gingrich about his second wife's claim he asked for an open marriage while he was boinking Callista on the side. Newt reacted with great indignation. Newt pounded the lectern and roared, "Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period says the story is false." Newt further claimed these friends were offered to ABC News and ABC refused to give them air time to refute Marianne Gingrich's allegations.

Well, now comes his campaign spokesmouth who admits, Newt lied. He has no friends who were willing to speak to ABC on his behalf. The only "witnesses" Gingrich proffered were his two daughters, who were duly quoted in the news cycle right along.

Politico calls this confession "(a)n important victory for John King in his ongoing effort to justify last Thursday's confrontation." Wonder what they're smoking over there?

John King still looks like an idiot. He had two shots at Newt. As someone who almost always thinks of a killer comeback an hour after an argument is over, I had some sympathy for his failure to confront Newt the first time. It was an unexpected and aggressive response. But King had another chance with a second interview. When King told Newt that the campaign didn't actually produce any alleged friends willing to testify on his behalf, he allowed Gingrich to call it a bunch of baloney. What kind of victory is that? It's pure journalistic incompetence.

King had plenty of time to prepare for the second round. As I mentioned after the debate, the appropriate response would have been to ask Newt to produce the names of these ignored friends. As it stands the victory goes to CNN for forcing the campaign to finally admit Newt lied.

Meanwhile, Newt still wins because his fan base doesn't watch CNN and I think it's a safe bet this won't be mentioned on Fox "News." [original image]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Bring out the Bibles, bring out the guns, Jesus is coming to town

By Capt. Fogg

The headline in yesterday's paper summarizing the President's State of the Union message is 3/8 of an inch tall. The headline just under it, reading RICK SANTORUM RALLIES IN STUART is in bold face type and is much bigger. Welcome to the monkey house.

Santorum was here on Florida's Treasure Coast Tuesday, holding forth at the Community Christian Academy to parents and grade school students, a horror of which some are particularly proud. It's an "up-close look at politics in action," said school officials.

That live action, these politics, included a prayer by the 'Reverend' Dan Holland, affiliated with the school and the pastor of Community Baptist Church in Stuart, Florida.
"I like what he said in the South Carolina rally, where he said ' I come from a place where they have a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other'"

Rick Santorum doesn't need a script, because he really isn't saying much and with such an audience, it doesn't matter whether he makes sense or mangles facts or makes them up. Rick speaks from the pulpit and anything said Ex Cathedra will not be questioned by this crowd. Besides, it's precisely what they want to hear: Barack Obama is the worst president this country has ever had, who hates capitalism, wants to take away what God wants you to keep to yourself and is destroying our natural order of things. Don't forget this is a religion that demands that women be subservient, hints that black people should stay in their place and since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would vote for anything that hated Democrats.

Santorum's ever predictable message was about "family Values" "fiscal responsibility" and "ridding the White House of Barack Obama." One can take the last of the three as the real message since my idea of family values does not include veiled calls to armed crusade and lying about the economy.

An all-white group of 350 heard him say:
"we have to have a candidate who stands proudly, consistently, aggressively, forcefully for the values that made this country the greatest country in the history of the world."

Presumably that greatness was attained with Bibles and guns and anyone suggesting that we are in any way sinners, transgressors or less than perfect instruments of God's Christian ambitions, can go straight to Hell along with that apologist Obama.

They heard him howl about That Commie, apologist, freedom hating Obama bailing out Wall Street from the excesses and crimes the Republicans encouraged them in instead of using "free market forces" which would as any legitimate economist would likely tell you have brought that "greatest country in the history of the Universe" down to the level of Haiti. Still, the problem of galloping poverty isn't lack of resources, said Santorum, contradicting himself,
"the problem is in the home, the problem is in the churches, the problem is in the community. The people living in these woods are not the federal government's problem. . ."
Let's use poverty, disease and misery to fill the pews, because a just society is a commie, secular humanist Christ-hating society.

Perhaps he could have explained to me why the Republican's promise to provide jobs instead of food stamps while it's 'not the government's problem' isn't honest or consistent -- or how unlettered country folk with bibles and guns are going to help in the new anarchistic utopia he offers them -- but trying to present Rick Santorum as a rational candidate with any further agenda than dismantling all the rules that keep markets free, creating a new Christian aristocracy and most of all, hanging up that "White's Only" sign over the door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a scam and a con and a farrago of flim-flam as great as any in the history of the world.

People like me can wonder how dismantling our entire economic system, refusing to pay the bills, can be called Conservatism, or any of the other radical, ultra-Chauvinistic, Denialist and dishonest rhetoric that smells more like Attila's unwashed hordes, but the blue-hair church ladies, their God smitten and brainwashed children and the rest of the angry Community Christian Academics don't seem to care. There's just something wrong out there and they don't know what it is and the sick Mr. Rick and his sanctimonious rabble are at hand to point out the enemies and heretics for the burning.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"This is why the earth is more than something to run your damned pipelines through"


Snow leopards. Sometimes Charlie Pierce and I think so much alike I wonder if we're somehow related. He could be my long lost brother. [original photo by leopard-pictures.com]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

A year late and a few hundred million short

Charlie is right of course, Romney knew he was running for office, for Pete's sake and he also knew he's what us peons refer to as filthy rich. If he had just released a few years of his tax returns a year or so ago, chances are it would be "old news" and nobody would be talking about it now.

By waiting so long, and only releasing one year, this happened:



Who could have predicted an ordinary Swiss bank account and few innocent off-shore investments wouldn't win the undying admiration of people worrying about possible foreclosure because they're underwater on their mortgage? [Via Political Wire]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Everything changes

I've been following him for nine of the ten years he's been blogging and never thought I would live to see the day when John Cole posted a photo of himself. Mixed reaction and not the world's most flattering pose, but my vote is adorable.

Meanwhile, my old pal, the blogger formerly known as Cernig of NEWSHOGGERS, who finally came out under his real name, Steve Hynd is moving to Editor In Chief of the Agonist.Org. Congrats to them both.

And my old friend Heretik has resurfaced at a new blog, Man Are We Screwed. Doesn't appear to be doing so many of the old photoshops we loved at his former blog, but he's still writing with a wit so sharp it could slice roast beef. Check out What Heretik learned at Sundance, in two parts.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Room to Move

Song in my head.

Steve Benen has been at the Washington Monthly for so long, I had to google to remember the name of his first blog I read religiously, The Carpetbagger Report. He's possibly the most prolific blogger on the planet. He curates everything. He catches the stories early. He includes copious important context. Brutally honest but reliably equanimous in his opinions. When I want to get up to speed on an issue, I read him first.

This burst of nostalgia inspired by the news Steve Benen is moving to MSNBC. Feels like a good match. Congratulations to them both.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 23, 2012

If called, Christie would serve

Back from my dinner date with one last thought about my favorite conspiracy theory before we throw it back into the catch-all folder.

Steve M. flags New Jersey gasbag governor's interview on Meet the Press. I agree Dancing Dave's hero worship of Christie is nauseating. And I agree Christie's carefully phrased answers signal a decided interest in a changing his zip code to 20050. But not so sure it's the VP's doorbell he's hearing in the distance.

This suggest to me, Christie is musing about a street address that starts with 1600:
Christie also suggested Sunday that his previous aversion to the idea of being president was more about having to spend a year-plus campaigning, rather than how ready he was to take on the job. Does it?

“Everybody’s misunderstood what I meant about saying being ready for president,” Christie said. “I meant that, you know, being ready to leave the job that I had and being ready to run for president of the United States, with all that entails. I didn’t want to do it, didn’t feel ready to do it.”
Preemptive revision of the one remark he's made that could haunt him in a two month long campaign?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But, the Village punditry is talking about a brokered convention. The buzz gets louder over time. Guessing Christie is listening.

Sure it's a long shot. But it doesn't hurt to be ready, just in case your dark horse comes in.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

If it ain't brokered, how are they going to fix it?

I was planning to let my favorite conspiracy theory rest but with Newt's big win in South Carolina, the panic among the GOP establishment demands a brief resurrection. This comes up today because Josh at TPM noticed GOP pundits wishing for a savior to emerge from the shadows and rescue their primary from this lunacy. Josh runs the numbers and rightfully notes it's much too late for someone to jump in via the traditional route.

I tweeted Josh to mention the wishful thinking I've seen rests more on a brokered convention. Not making that up. I don't have cable but Angry DougJ saw it on the morning after South Carolina. And I saw a few headlines roll through Memorandum suggesting it as well.
Josh then tweeted: To answer: I think in the 21st century, brokered convention guarantees loss in Nov. & who convinces Newt/Mitt to give up their delegates?
I have an answer to that. It wouldn't fit into a tweet, but let's review my old posts. If you think about it, a draft in August leaves a candidate with only two months of media exposure. Which happens to be about the same length of time every GOP frontrunner who is not Mitt has enjoyed the adoration of the base. I wouldn't bet money that they couldn't win with that strategy.

If the primary battle does continue until the convention, all the candidates will have fatal flaws well exposed. Party is fractured. Not exactly a path to victory either. What do they have to lose with a draft? And my money is still on Chris Christie as the guy they would pick to save them. Sure he's had some exposure as Romney's wingman, but he's said nothing on the campaign trail yet that has hurt him. He's wowed the crowds at every stop. Not impossible for me to envision, if it indeed did come down to Mitt and Newt, that Mitt could be Christie's VP instead of the other way around. Mitt is still young enough to parlay a VP slot into one more future run for top dog in eight years.

And as for Newt, hell, how hard is it to buy him off? They could do it with a straight money bribe. Or they could offer him a high profile slot in the administration where he could parlay his grifting skills into a personal fortune.

Again, not saying I believe it's a plausible theory, but never say never, especially given politics as they're practiced in this age.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Off the hook

Why I love the twitter machine. This, from 1964, showed up in my stream with the caption, "They seemed so dangerous then." So they did, but in retrospect, they look so innocent compared to what happened after...



Via my long time pal A. Rascal, who introduced me to the fabulous Michele Hush, who not only has an exquisite eye for the gorgeously historic sounds and images of my era but is on a mission I admire and support. Instantly fell in love with her blog dedicated to rescuing the endangered word "divinipotent." Click over and check the sidebar to find other words in need of adoption.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

It's Mitt's turn

Willard "Mittens" Romney wants his turn darn it, so don't you try to jump the line.



Crankiness is just so presidential. [via Think Progress]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Who does Romney think he's fooling?

So after his thrashing in South Carolina, Romney announced he'll be happy to release his tax returns on Tuesday so everyone will stop talking about it. His use of the plural is somewhat misleading. He's only going to show his 2010 return and an estimate for 2011. Which is good enough for Newt, who says as far as he's concerned, the issue is behind us. However it seems unlikely to shed much light on Willard's finances. Easy enough to sanitize the current returns. And willing to bet a few people might be interested in taking a look at his returns from his prime years at Bain.

Besides, this paltry offering hardly fulfills historic precedent. As Steve Benen notes:
When Barack Obama ran in 2008, he released returns for the previous eight years. When Bill Clinton ran in 1992, he disclosed 12 years. As we were reminded on Thursday night, when George Romney ran, he set “a groundbreaking standard,” releasing 12 years of returns. He said at the time, “One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show.”
Our man Mittens could take a lesson from his Dad. Granted Papa Romney didn't win, but at least he set a standard for telling the truth. A family legacy that his son now trashes daily with every shameless falsehood he spews on the campaign trail today.

Addendum: Of course, you realize that Tuesday is also when President Obama gives his State of the Union speech. A mere coincidence, I'm sure.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Till we meet again Congresswoman Giffords

Not unexpected that Gabby Giffords is stepping down. Still. Fair warning. Grab some kleenex before you watch her goodbye (for now) video.



Tears of sadness and anger that she would be robbed so cruelly of her life's work. But she's a strong woman and made great progress already. Like to think she'll make a full recovery someday and a triumphant return to D.C.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

That's no dog whistle

Of course, you know by now Newt trounced Willard in South Carolina's primary yesterday. The exit polling showed the voters were most concerned about the state of the economy and many decided on their votes only at the last minute, choosing Newt based on his debate performance. And by that they don't mean that he presented a grand, cohorent plan to repair said worrisome economy.

Hearing a lot of talk about dog whistles this morning. That was no dog whistle that enthralled the true conservatives of the south. Newt pulled out a high powered bullhorn with the volume set on 11. He won their hearts with his sneering putdown of Juan Williams, his self-righteous indignation at the despicable, elite liberal media daring to question his morality and his only slightly more subtle jabs at that uppity usurper in their White House. Visions of a cowed "Nobama" on the debate stage dance in their befuddled heads.

What does it mean going into Florida? Damned if I know. This is weirdest primary ever but I'm thinking not much. For one thing, the twitter tells me turnout was nearly historic. About 100K more turned out than might be expected. I'm also told it was an open primary, meaning Democrats could vote in it. Wondering how many Dems may have decided to help keep the GOP freak show going for the pure entertainment value.

In Florida only Republicans will be voting. And Florida conservatives are not all the sons and daughters of the Confederacy. They include a lot of transplanted Yankees of some means who are less likely to hold Willard's wealth and awkwardness in glad handing the hoi polloi against him.

It's politics, so anything can happen. It's a fool's game to predict the whims of a fickle electorate all too easily swayed by slick campaign ads. My guess is Willard is still looking good for it in the long run. But one thing I know for certain, the "elite" media is delighted with last night's outcome. Judging from my tweet stream, they're very much looking forward to spending some time in sunny Florida.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Not that much

Sadly I seem to have lost the links that went with photo. The twitter has been cranky and seems to delete my saved tweets randomly, so I don't remember who to credit for this, but here's a screenshot from some journalist at a Mitt Romney event.


Only saw the single tweet so not sure if this is just for the media or if everyone is expected to pay $450 to access the internet. Wouldn't be surprised if it was the going rate though. For a guy like Romney, who thinks making some $374K in a year on speaking engagements isn't very much money, I suppose $450 seems like pocket change.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Ain't no doubt about it - Updated

If one can believe the latest numbers I saw on the twitter this morning, the winner in South Carolina tonight is a given. Newt was polling at 40% to Willard's 26%, which is good news for me. But that I mean, my creds as a prognosticator are going up again. Somewhere on the tweetie machine, I predicted that SC would not be the race that crowned Willard as the nominee apparent.

And to say Romney looks a bit awkward when he's down grossly understates the situation as aptly illustrated by this morning's "Hamgate."

Romney steps into Oliver's grits.

Tommy's Ham House in Greenville is a must stop on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, for Willard, both he and Newt were scheduled to arrive at the same time. Newt suggested an impromptu debate but Willard chickened out. He arrived early and rushed out before Newt got there. But he didn't leave before he stepped into Oliver Knox's breakfast. Let's look at that again, in live action.



Of course, Willard and Newt are both awkward when their numbers are down, albeit in different ways. And they're both obnoxious when they're up. So one thing for certain, if Newt's polling holds up in the results, he's going to be simply insufferable going into Florida.

Update: Seems only fair to offer Oliver's eyewitness account of the "Thrilla in Greenvilla."

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Where were you when I needed you

I really could have used this photo Chris Hayes commissioned for his TV show a few weeks ago when I wrote this post on "zany" Newt.


It's exactly as I envisioned it, had I only possessed a photoshop program and the ability to use it. But it's a keeper. Think we'll find a use for it again before this horror show is over. [original photo]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 20, 2012

So long Marianne

I fell asleep just before the promised "explosive" interview with the second Mrs. Gringrich aired on Nightline last night. Just as well since having watched the archived video, it's clear we were seriously pwned by ABC. One wonders what about it required such soul searching as to when to air it. Especially since they leaked the "open marriage" punch line early on, giving Newt plenty of time to come up with a defense before John King so lamely lobbed the question first thing at last night's debate.

They couldn't have engineered the narrative more transparently, or any more in Newt's favor. Today's news cycle is all about Newt's indignation at despicably being subjected to questions about his despicable behavior.

Anyone could have predicted this interview would be a bomb. The second wife, who cheated with him on the first wife would have to come up with something better than, gee he wanted an open marriage, to gain any sympathy. And what was with the bit about meeting with the arms dealer in Paris? She looked as smarmy as Newt with that denial.

Besides, everybody knows about Newt's past affairs. The base considers these to be mere peccadilloes. Ancient history that the men secretly admire and the woman accept with resignation because most of them have forgiven their own husbands for such passing lapses of fidelity. Besides, Newt admitted his sins and asked God for forgiveness. That's good enough for them. The only thing that might have resonated with that crowd would have been Newt's refusal to support his past wives and families after the divorce.

The story that should have been hyped was the legal pleadings from Gringrich's first divorce. How he abandoned his first family, leaving them so destitute they had "no lights, no heat, no water, no food in the home." Their church held a food drive for them. Newt didn't give them a dime until the court forced him to honor his obligations.

But the second wife? Of course the reaction is meh. Maybe it's true that Newt has friends who would testify she was overstating the transition to wife three. If so, maybe the media could ask him to produce them. But otherwise, as far as the base is concerned, "It's time that we began, to laugh and cry, and cry and laugh about it all again." Or not.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Of thee I sing

There may be nothing more cringe inducing than a politician who treats a speaking engagement like a Karoke contest. I still have nightmares from watching the video of John Ashcroft singing "Let the Eagle Soar." But some do it better than others. Herman Cain suffered no small amount of mockery after he sang that gospel hymn, "He Looked Beyond My Faults." Which paled in comparison to the outpouring of derision when he sang, "imagine there's no pizza."

The pizza song was worthy of the snark, but I thought he pulled off the gospel song pretty well. It was weird but he has a decent voice so it wasn't that painful. However, when it comes to singing pols, President Obama is the new king of soul. Everybody is posting this one, and so am I, just so I have it in the archives forever.



But that's not the half of it. His Al Green is the best, but check out his Aretha and Dionne Warwick. Man, but our POTUS can sing. Hoping more of these turn up so TPM can put together a mash-up for future historians.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Romney's inevitability slip sliding away

Tough day for Willard "Mittens" Romney. His commanding lead in South Carolina is disintegrating. Latest polling shows Newt Gingrich as the frontrunner and his lead widens by the hour. Which ought to make tonight's episode of the Endless Debates a bit more interesting. Newt just can't hide his arrogance when he's ahead. And chances are he'll want to draw some blood before he gets beat up by his second ex-wife on Nightline tonight.

Meanwhile, Iowa finally got around to sort of certifying their caucus vote and the final tally shows Santorum actually won in Iowa by 34 votes. Or make that at least 34 votes. It seems eight districts mysteriously lost their ballots in the interim, so the vote can never be really certified but it's likely it would have raised Santorum's margin if they were counted. Not that it really matters now except Willard can't claim two victories in a row and has no chance to be the first ever to win three in a row. Willing to bet he already wrote that into his anticipated victory speech.

Which makes this picture Oliver Knox posted on twitter all the more poignant. Taken at a campaign stop last night, before all this horrible news broke this morning.


Romney sits down with the Batchelor family, autographs sign. "If I'm elected, it's worth saving." [Original photo]

"The nearer your destination, the more you're slip, sliding away."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Rick Perry quits before he loses

Well, the candidate who only a few months ago was hailed as the GOP's savior, today officially acknowledged his fall from grace. Rick Perry is dropping out of the race, which technically preserves his record of never having lost an election since quitting is not quite the same as losing. He's throwing his tens of supporters to Newt.

The only real effect this is likely to have on the race is to destroy my creds as a prognosticator. I didn't count Huntsman in when I predicted nobody would drop out before the SC vote but I thought Perry would hang on to the end. He had plenty of money. Of course, I also thought they would show a swaggering, evangelical Texan a bit more love there. And I forgot to factor in the interminable debates. Dropping out today spares him from another humiliating stint on the stage.

So Gov. Goodhair returns to Texas and will get back to praying for rain I guess.

And Austin weeps.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Castles made of sand slip into the sea, eventually

Can't think of a more fitting tribute to the GOP 2012 field. And is it just the lighting in here, or is that a crescent moon instead of an "O" in GOP? Quick somebody alert the Islamoalarmists keyboard brigade.


[photo credit via Misha44]

On a completely different note, this is sure to become a collector's item. Buy now before it's too late.


I might mention I love sweater vests. Hoping to snag one of little Ricky's branded ones at a clearance price when he drops out. [via]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

The Great SOPA Blackout

Everybody is talking about the internet protest today. At least 7000 websites have blacked out their content or at least part of it. The most noticed has been Wikipedia's blackout since midnight, but the creativity award goes to The Oatmeal. (Fair warning, it's possibly NSFW.) And every geek's favorite cartoon site, xkcd has a good protest page. More here.

Meanwhile, the concerned citizens of the intertoobz have been bombarding Congress with phone calls, emails and tweets. It appears to be working. Congressional sponsors and proponents are dropping out at the speed of light. Interestingly, the GOPers are leading the retreat while I'm still seeing reports that some Dems are holding firm. Actually, maybe someone could explain to me why we have ostensibly progressive Dems like Al Franken and Pat Leahy sponsoring this crappy bill in the first place.

If you need a refresher on what the bill is about, this Barry Eisler interview, this informational page What is SOPA and Clay Shirky at the TED talks should get you up to speed.

In any event, while it appears the internets are winning right now, I feel relatively certain the bill is just withdrawn, it's not dead. I'd suggest you sign the Google petition anyway. Good to let the Congresscreatures know we're watching and we're pissed off. [image via]

Addendum: I'd note my own Dem Congresswoman, Kay Hagan is a sponsor of SOPA and apparently supports another bill that cheats tech workers out of overtime pay. I'd futher note, that I didn't vote for her in the primary and only reluctantly voted for her in the general election. I knew she was going to be trouble from the start. Be happy to see an actual liberal Dem challenge her when her term is up.

Addendum two: More photos.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Boo

By Capt Fogg

"With regards to immigration policy, that those that come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming residents or citizens that's not given to those people that stayed in line legally,"

-Willard Mitt Romney-

One would think, if one had the fortitude to spend more than a moment watching what passes for television news, that for the last half decade or so there were nothing of more than momentary interest happening than the American political circus and perpetual campaign. Geological and meteorological calamities do get reported, but the vast bulk of air time is given over to "the candidates" and the unchallenged lies they perpetrate. There are no pauses between campaigns, no half time shows and no seventh inning stretches.

I say circus although circuses are intended to be family entertainment these days and freak shows have gone the way of Times Square peep shows, cock fights and lynchings -- and sadly, the traces of any sense of shame, decency and honesty that ever had the audacity to interrupt or question the ragemongering has disappeared.

At the South Carolina Fox News debate Monday last (and I call it debate with all awareness of the inherent dishonesty of the appellation) Mitt Romney was booed, not because of what discernible policies he may be espousing at the moment, but because his father was born in Mexico. I don't recall any booing in response to John McCain's having been born in Panama, but of course anything done or said more than ten minutes ago is irrelevant in today's Republican world and that hobgoblin called consistency is always foolish.

George Romney, Mitt's father, entered the US illegally from Mexico, which might have given a better, more decent, less ambnitious Mitt pause before making such harsh statements about not tolerating any mercy for illegal Mexican immigrants, but of course it's a racial and ethnic issue, not an immigration one despite assurances to the contrary. The name is Romney after all, not Ramirez -- and this was South Carolina, Glossolalia, Holy Ghost Power and Rebel Flags, just he way God likes it.

But the mood of the South Carolinian Republican Rabble was ugly and when moderator Juan Williams asked if it wasn't a bit insulting to minorities when Newt Gingrich spewed that nonsense about black people needing to demand jobs instead of food stamps, as though the unemployment problem were caused by laziness and a president that encourages it, the ugly mob conservative citizens booed the black moderator just as Republican snake pits at previous "debates" have booed Child Labor laws, booed a serving US soldier and cheered the killing of prisoners in large numbers.

Is it any worse that they insist on being called 'conservatives' and not snarling beasts and that our only sources of news collaborate in that farce? Is it surprising that the state of South Carolina, still unrepentant for having been the first to take up arms against the United States, would once again boo at Ron Paul's suggestion that the 'Golden Rule' so often quoted as a core Christian value be applied in US foreign policy?
" Quit warmongering, stop going to war, and treat other nations like we want to be treated. "

Hell, no! Boo the bastard! Ask not what Jesus would do, ask what Attila the Hun would do, what a tribe of savage head hunters and cannibals would do, what a pack of giggling, stinking hyenas would do while ripping and tearing at the corpse of America.

It's been suggested to me, that I should approach such people with a more polite demeanor -- that the people who have made most of human history a horror story need to be given a chance to discuss things, to debate things and that monsters and the people who promote monsters can be persuaded by kind words and reason to change.

Boooooooo!

Labels:

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For what it's worth

In honor of the Wisconsin activists, the Occupy movement, some of whom are right now occupying Congress, and all the 99%ers who fight in their own ways for equal opportunity for everyone to succeed, this stunning mashup of one my old time favorite songs is for you.



I seriously got goosebumps watching this. Thanks to Watergate Summer for the link.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Million Voter March - Updated

I am so proud of the Wisconsin Democrats. In some ways, you could say the seeds of the Occupy movement were planted there almost a year ago with the mass demonstrations at the Statehouse. Those beautiful cheeseheads kept up the momentum all this time, with or without media attention, and today they trucked in 1.5 tons of recall petitions.
Democrats and organizers filed petitions Tuesday afternoon with more than a million signatures as they sought to force a recall election against Gov. Scott Walker - a massive number that seems to cement a historic recall election against him for later this year. [...]

The sheer number of signatures being filed against Walker - nearly as many as the total votes cast for the governor in November 2010 and almost twice as many as those needed to trigger a recall election - ensure the election will be held, said officials with the state Democratic Party and United Wisconsin, the group that launched the Walker recall.

"It is beyond legal challenge," said Ryan Lawler, vice chairman of United Wisconsin.
They also handed in many more signatures than required to recall the Lt. Governor and four GOP state senators. Can almost believe that democracy isn't quite dead yet. The system can work. Greg has a video statement from Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Mike Tate.

Update: Since Wisconsin is his adopted state and he's brilliant in general, you should certainly read Charlie Pierce's entire post. But I do want to quote just one line, because the same thought occurred to me when I was reading the story. "The most critical requirement right now is that the Democratic party in Wisconsin avoid a primary at all costs."



[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

The rock bottom of the 99%

Finding this image just haunting. This is a reality for so many people and more are joining them every day. Could happen to anybody.


[Via Cape Cod Gurl, original photo here]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bad journalism, Good journalism - Updated

Major journalistic fail for Kevin Liptak at CNN. It's not that he doesn't get the stenography down correctly. This is true:
Americans for Prosperity said they spent $6 million to run the minute-long spot in the battleground states of Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and Iowa. The ad began airing Monday.
And Kevin dutifully reports what the ad says. However, the fail is that he doesn't mention the ad is misleading, gets its "facts" wrong and distorts quotes from President Obama.

Contrast that to the journalistic excellence shown by Jake Tapper on the same ad. And we might mention Jake had this story covered days ago. Jake also takes the time to ask the Koch stooges at AFP some questions and reports the provable facts:
While it may be that White House officials wanted the announcement to be made after the November 2010 elections – the only proof of that is that one e-mail, and the White House denies the charge — the layoffs that were announced were not as AFP describes. What is true: the day after the 2010 elections, on November 3, Solyndra announced it would lay end its contracts with more than 100 contractors, lay off 40 employees, and close one of its factories.

It wasn’t until nine months later, in August 2011 that Solyndra filed for bankruptcy protection, laying off 1,100 full-time and part-time workers. [...]

The ad features George Stephanopoulos asking President Obama in an October 2011 ABC News/Yahoo interview if he regretted holding up Solyndra as a model for jobs and clean energy.

In the ad, the president replies, “No I don’t…overall it’s doing well.”

The full quote is: “No, I don’t, because if you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that have been provided– overall, it’s doing well.”
Context informs. It makes all the difference. Read Jake's whole post. He did a great job on this one.

Update: Add Justin Sink at The Hill to the fail list. While he does at least mention it's a Koch funded smear, the rest is pure stenography.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Huntsman drops out - Updated 2X

The twitter tells me Jon Huntsman dropped out. Will throw his votes to Willard. Which means -- pretty much nothing. Well, except one less lectern at the next debate. [via Political Wire]

Update: Jon Karl disagrees. Jon says it does matter. I think he's wrong. I doubt Huntsman would have received much more than 3% of the vote. Last I heard, Stephen Colbert was outpolling him and Colbert is not even really running. And Huntsman's attack ads on Romney may have been stellar, but nobody saw them and likely nobody would have. In support of that theory, I'd point to my friend who identifies himself as an "independent conservative." When I told him Huntsman would be a better choice than Newt, he replied, "Jon who?"

In any event, unless someone had the foresight to download and save them, Huntsman purged his youtube page of all those clever ads. For the moment you can still see one at the link, but who knows for how long? Too bad. That monkey sure was cute.

Update two: Thanks to ahuntre for digging up this youtube account that appears to have captured more of the deleted Jon Huntsman's ads. Watch them before they're taken down.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Not The Onion - Updated

Apparently the actual cover of the next issue of Newsweek.


Update: It's the real cover for sure. Here's the article, Obama's long game. Getting good reviews in some quarters. In others, not so much. Andrew answers his critics here.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Theocrats anoint Santorum

The 150 "Christian right" powerbrokers at the evangelical confab in Houston, no doubt after much public prayer, decided to bestow their blessing on little Ricky Santorum. It took three rounds of votes to get there. Apparently the first round was offered up in symbolic support for the other Rick, Gov Goodhair. I guess the second vote was to make it look like a hard choice. And they are very careful to inform us that the word Mormon never even came up in conversation.

Of course, Gov Goodhair would have been the natural choice. He's one of them. A true evangelical patriot. He speaks their language. He has money. He's never lost an election. Can't you just imagine the convos in the quiet rooms. Something along the lines of, "We gotta stop that Yankee heathen from walking off with this thing. We loves us some Rick but sweet Jesus, the man is stumblin like a street drunk on a Saturday night."

So little Ricky Santorum it is. Because he's the most reliable. Meaning he hasn't done anything wildly embarrasing yet. In light of this development, my pal Joe Gandelman puts his money on Romney. That's the safe bet for sure. Nobody is going to drop out before the vote. They all have decent money left and they're going to spend it on media buys. Willard's numbers are relatively solid. Looks like the vote only splits under him.

Me, I like long shots. I'm taking the under. If Willard doesn't win by at least ten points, it's still an open race. And no, I'm not impressed by the polling in Florida. The numbers change daily. All it would take is a Rovian style whisper campaign to change everything. [graphic credit]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Comrade Obama?

By Capt. Fogg


I must disagree with Bill Maher that Rick Santorum thinks of gay sex more than a dildo salesman but only because Rick Santorum doesn't actually think, unless one defines that word very loosely. He doesn't remember things too well either and I say that in all generosity since one might interpret the things he says he remembers as outright lies. They aren't even up to date lies or original lies or good lies, yet there are always enough misinformed, low intelligence dung flingers in fatuously faith based America to believe them and make this country seem like the primate house at the world's largest zoo.

Take Santorum's tired repetition of John McCain's 2001 attempt to sell the embarrassingly ridiculous notion that President Obama wants to redistribute the nation's wealth in some Socialistic way, a bit like Jed Clampett arriving at the Royal Wedding in his beat up old truck . Coming from a Republican, whose party has engineered what might be one of the largest upward redistribution of wealth, that's already laughable but Mr. Rick seems to be the last man standing who is still driving that rusty jalopy -- the idea that Our president, beset by critics calling him a corporate whore and a sell-out to Wall Street is a radical socialist and perhaps a communist to boot. What Santorum claims to remember is that Obama supported a constitutional amendment to give your money to the poor ( read black people) when what the president really said in a 2001 interview was that the
"Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution. . .”
Essential constraints -- it sounds very little like a man who is deploring those constraints. Indeed when Obama said the court had limited itself to insuring that he could eat at a lunch counter as long as he could afford to pay for his lunch, only a stupid man who thinks other people are even more stupid would interpret, or should I say twist, this as a quote from the Communist Manifesto.

"In the interview, Obama went into extensive detail to explain why the courts should not get into that business of ‘redistributing’ wealth. Obama’s point — and what he called a tragedy — was that legal victories in the civil rights led too many people to rely on the courts to change society for the better. That view is shared by conservative judges and legal scholars across the country."
said Obama spokesman Bill Burton during the 2008 campaign. Certainly no development since then has given credibility to McCain's sad attempt or justification for Santorum's calumnies.

I'm finding it difficult, even without the waves of nausea and loathing, to accept that any candidate could have got as far as Santorum has without being laughed out of town as a cheap, incompetent liar and unscrupulous scoundrel. I can only blame the media ringmasters who continue to provide this charlatan with his own ring in this sad and tawdry circus we call a campaign. Have we forgotten that the purpose of news reporting is to sort truth from rumor, slander and lies? Perhaps we have and it's certainly been a long time since the news was anything but a way for big news corporations and their sponsors to make money. Perhaps we should stop making them richer by occupying Wall Street and start occupying CNN and Fox and the rest instead.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Friday, January 13, 2012

Make this happen

I wish somebody would invent a machine that could upload a video straight from my brain. Like these two young guys that just walked by in the dark. One was describing the sandwich he just made in intimate detail. Bread could hardly contain its glorious goodness.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Burn Notice

Thanks to Anne Laurie for finding Dr. Krugman's new promo poster. Simply perfect.


Click over to see what the good Doctor has to say about big bad Willlard. [Graphic: D.B. Echo at Another Monkey]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

What's wrong with major media in two tweets


The intertoobz have made great progress in cracking the establishment media's stranglehold on the news cycle. The ranks of the informed grow daily. But we're still a minority and these guys still steer the narrative that drives the underinformed. These are not just isolated tweets. They're representative.
PoliticoRoger: Hey, everybody, I think SC is going to be a game changer and our editors should send is there to eat great meals in Charleston. Pass it on.

EdHenryTV: Boys & girls on bus RT @steveholland1 Romney press bus pulling out of Manchester 4 Mass airport for flite to SC. demolished the hoagies
Sure, there's a bit of drudgery involved, but the perks are great and nobody wants to get kicked off the bus. [graphic: Colours of a dream]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Just the facts. man

I'm late to the game, so by now you know that NYT's Public Editor, Arthur Brisbane asked a question yesterday that generated a virtual shitstorm of criticism and mockery. I'm not going to add to that. Think I'll just answer the question.

The answer is yes, it's the newpaper's job to challenge lies. One thing I haven't seen mentioned, by definition a fact is a proveable statement. Based on demonstrable reality. Sure, in feeding the insatiable maw of the 24/7 news cycle deadline pressure makes it difficult to immediately fact check every utterance made and editors have become a timid lot in standing up to their critics, but for the love of Perry White, if a prominent person is repeatedly making the same untrue statement, it's not out of bounds to ask for proof.

I mean, using Brisbane's own example of Romney's accusation that Obama has widely apologized for America. Print that he says it. It's news. But at least ask him to provide some concrete examples of said apologies. And if he can't, print that too. In the same article. Around here, we call that context. It's an important part of the story.

Fact checking has become as skewed and partisan as those they purport to check. Truth would be better served if journalists didn't accept every statement on face value and ask for proof of the claims at the time they're made.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Laffer's Ponzi scheme victims are not amused

In a sane world, this would be the end of Arthur Laffer's influence as an economic pundit. He would be laughed out of town.
HOUSTON (CN) - Fifty-two investors claim fund managers associated with supply-side economist Arthur Laffer took $3.1 million to prop up a Ponzi scheme, then said nothing as their money was "wasted with no reasonable expectation of recovery."

Lead plaintiffs Ronald and Lavonne Ellisor sued David Wallace, Costa Bajjali, and their entities Wallace Bajjali Development Partners LP, Wallace Bajjali Investment Fund II LP, the Laffer Frishberg Wallace Economic Opportunity Fund LP, and Arthur Laffer in Harris County Court.

Laffer is best known for the Laffer Curve, an economic theory that says reducing taxes will increase government revenue. He was a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board during the 1980s.
Sadly, we don't live in a sane world anymore, so I suppose nothing bad will happen to him. His spokespeople say he's no longer affiliated with the defendant firm. I expect he ran "laffing" to the bank with his endorsement fees and didn't lose a penny of his own money on the scam.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Predatory capitalism on trial

Charlie Pierce is right of course, this argument is bigger than Bain. It's about how money has corrupted the system almost beyond repair. And there aren't a lot of ways to fix it.
What's left is 2012. If we wind up with a Republican congress and a Democratic president, that is going to be pretty bad. If we end up with a Republican sweep, that's going to be worse. The mild Dodd-Frank regulations will be swept away. Any attempt to reverse Citizens United through the amendment process will die a'borning. Even if, by some miracle, the Democrats were to wind up with the House, the Senate, and the White House, the chance that the money power will be broken by that development is fairly slim, but it is the only chance that's out there. I've spent a month in the middle of an ongoing hostile corporate takeover of a self-governing republic, an attempt to hijack a country by the same people who nearly wrecked it, and who are hijacking it so that they will never be held accountable for what they did, and so they'll have the opportunity to do it again. This election isn't about the presidency. It's about the power of money in our democracy, and it's about the poison of money in our souls. That's the debate we should be having. That's the debate we should demand
.Yeah, you don't want to hear it's the most important election ever, but really, this time it is. Look at what happened since 2010. This very likely is our last chance.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share

Right to be worked to death

Once considered a potential savior for the 2012 GOP hopes, Mitch Daniels gave his final State of the State address. Wondering if he regrets dropping out. Running for president would probably have been easier. The address didn't go that well. Statehouse Dems boycotted the event and the Statehouse was filled with protesters.
The cause: The state's controversial "right to work" legislation. The proposal has bitterly divided Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly. It has galvanized labor union members who see it as a threat, while businesses consider it an economic-development tool.
This was the scene inside the Statehouse.



There's no doubt that "right to work" laws are "business friendly." But now having lived in a right to work state for a few years, I can definitely say it's not worker friendly. Workers have no real recourse to employer abuses and the average wage doesn't begin to support even a meager existence. I've never seen so many working poor that qualify for, and really need, public assistance such as food stamps, just to barely survive.

Addendum: Thanks to Mule Breath for passing on this link from LGM to eyewitness account of "right to work" exploitation in 1958.


[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share