Saturday, June 30, 2012

If Obama loses

These guys win...



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A reason to vote for Obama

I keep telling people the single most important reason to keep Obama in office is the extreme likelihood SCOTUS vacancies will occur. Apparently John Yoo feels the same way about getting Romney in instead. And this from a fan of Yoo's annoying blather in the WSJ makes the blood run cold.



We can argue about policy and tactics forever, but that won't change the outcome on Nov. 7th. We going to wake up to one of two people. If Obama loses, these guys win. If they get to shape the court, you can kiss 100 years of liberal progress goodbye. Roe would be the first to go.

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No war is won in a single battle

Nice to see one of our own in the NYT. Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis tells us How Liberals Win:
PRESIDENT OBAMA has endured much criticism of his legislative skills from his fellow progressives. His conciliatory approach has been compared unfavorably with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s gleeful pugnacity and Lyndon B. Johnson’s relentless arm-twisting. His willingness to strike deals with corporations has been tagged “business as usual.” Many progressives, frustrated over the past three years, have concluded that the political system is fundamentally broken because corporate power has been allowed to suffocate popular liberal policies.

But the Supreme Court’s upholding of Mr. Obama’s health care law reminds us that the president’s approach has achieved significant results. If his liberal critics paused to assess how he achieved such results, they would not see a system paralyzed by corporations; they would see that the most liberal reforms in more than 40 years have been brought about because Mr. Obama views corporate power as a force to bargain with, not an enemy to vanquish.
Read the whole thing because he's right. Let's not let historical amnesia get in the way of progress. Progress by definition is incremental and the historical equivalencies we draw all too often ignore the trade-offs that built to the better outcomes over time.

Adding, something is better than nothing, isn't it? [More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Post SCOTUS Apocalypse on Wall Street

Tweet of the day on the Obamacare decision.



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Malkin fiddles while Colorado burns



Traffic trolling Queen of the Cons is suddenly singing a different tune about Big Government spending. It's all fun and games until your own house is burning down.
While Colorado burns, conservatives have looked for ways to blame it on President Obama.

Some of the same people who have bashed the president as a big government, big spending liberal now say a wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes in the conservative stronghold of Colorado Springs can be blamed on the president because he has been too slow to spend money to beef up the federal fleet of air tankers.

The meme began more than a week ago when pundit Michelle Malkin, who lives in Colorado Springs, wrote a piece for the National Review Online titled “Obama Bureaucrats Are Fueling Wildfires.”
Of course Our Lady of the Cesspool Commentariat doesn't see any hypocrisy in demanding big government services for herself after spending the last three years demanding local governments fire those lazy, overpaid public employees -- like firefighters -- so she can keep more of her money. And neither will her knuckle dragging fan club. But I'm reminded of this crowd's reaction to that poor family who lost their home because the fire department wasn't allowed to fight their fire, only the guy who lived next door. Because one paid a fee for protection and the guy who lost everything didn't cough up the hundred bucks or so in time to be covered by a municipal service that used to be available to everyone. That was in the dark ages when the civil in civil society still had some meaning.

The "small gummit" cons were all about personal responsibility then. So maybe Ms. Malkin should have taken her own damn advice. Don't wait for the government to help you missy. You don't want to pay taxes for firefighters who help other people. So take some personal responsiblity and hire a private fire fighting unit to save your house.

No, I'm not making light of this tragic situation. Neither do I wish that her house would burn down. I hope our "big government" manages to save it even though she's made a career and a lot of money out of undermining the common good. I just wish she would take this scare as a moral lesson and use her platform to advance civil discourse instead of fomenting hatred going forward. Not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

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Order in the court



Building a bit on John Cole's rant below, sometimes I get sick of the bitching about what Obama hasn't done, or how much the Democrats suck. It's not that I don't get the frustration. Hell I share it. But contrary to apparent belief, bitching on the internets to each other doesn't really change anything. I mean, bitching is good, but in order for it to lead to any real change, it has to be proactive, not reactive. Also, too, change doesn't happen instantly. Especially in politics. It's incremental. And it's useful to remember our procress of governance is so screwed up right now, there's simply no way to fix everything at once.

So you choose your battles and you keep your focus on the battles that will win the most ground. As, Andrew Cohen reminds us that presidents come and go, but SCOTUS is forever.
In the next few years, perhaps even next year, the Supreme Court will be asked to make decisions on some of the most fundamental pieces of our lives. What do you want that Court to look like? Justice Antonin Scalia, a scowling presence on the Court all week as he saw his radical plans checked, is 76 years old. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the mercurial swing vote who swung to the right on health care, will be 76 on July 23rd. It is quite possible that the president next year, whomever he is, may get to replace either or both of those men. Meanwhile, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 79 years old.

Who should replace these justices? Who should next hold the power they hold? And which president do you want making that decision? If there is anything that can be universally gleaned from this Court term, if there is anything upon which conservatives and progressives may agree, it is that the federal judiciary matters more as Congress matters less. Just think what a difference one vote on the Court would have made this week, this month, this term. Do your homework and then vote. The courts matter every day -- not just on the days when you happen to be following their work.
We're four months away from an election. Voting matters. Who you vote for matters. Yeah, Obama failed you on your pet issue. Fact still remains on November 7, 2012, you're going wake up and either Obama gets another chance or you're going to live with President Romney for the next four years. Chances are you still won't get that pony from Obama, but you might get a puppy or a kitten instead. There's no way to predict, but this much I know for sure, with President Romney, all you're going to get a big steaming pile of horseshit. Especially if the GOP gains any ground in the Congress.

We shouldn't be lulled into complacency because a few decisions went our way in this SCOTUS session. The Roberts Court is still a very dangerous body that could destroy 100 years worth of progressive progress with a few pages of paper. So my plan is to work my ass off for the next four months to re-elect Obama and as many useful Congressional Dems as I can. Because I don't want a Supreme Court where Team Scalia's dissents become the rule of law.

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Won't win if you don't fight

John Cole has some timely advice for liberals about what to do post SCOTUS decision on Obamacare:
For once in your god damned lives, put aside your fucking stupid beliefs about purity and how the public option was the bestest thing since sliced bread, accept the massive, game-changing victory you got today, and use it as a god damned bludgeon against the troglodytes whose health care plans are modeled after Ebeneezer Scrooge. For once, focus your bloodlust on Republicans instead of the DLC/Firebaggers/ANYONE WITHOUT AN (R) AFTER THEIR NAME. I’m begging you.
As the saying goes, read the whole damn thing for yourself. Mr. Cole is at his very best at +6 or more.

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Historical reference

This was my favorite find making the rounds on the Facebook this week. Sad because it's true.



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Don't, want, to live like a refugee

I was on the social nets all afternoon and for a while this evening. Forget the million lists claiming to have the funniest tweets of the SCOTUS reaction. This one clearly wins the internets.



[Ironically, found on Facebook.]

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Obamacare upheld by a thread

I'm not going to say much about the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare. There are lots of people smarter than me doing analysis. I'm sure you can find it on your own. All I'll say is I am surprised it was Roberts who joined the liberals to uphold. Thought if it was going to survive it would have been Kennedy who tipped the balance. However judging from what I've heard about the insane dissents, Roberts had no choice and he showed some high test political savvy in his decision.

In any event I'm sure we're in for a few more days of hearing about "what it all means" so for now I'm just going to post the ultimate photos of the reaction. In the rush to be first to break the news, which means exactly nothing in the age of twitter, several news orgs got it exactly wrong which made possible a "Dewey defeats Truman" photo op for President Obama.

[original photo]

And I'm told the photo that went with this story was actually taken yesterday but it pretty perfectly captured the moment for Pelosi and Boehner.



Meanwhile, Obama's statement was gracious and well focused on what is really important about this decision.

Frankly I never loved the ACA. It's far from a perfect solution to what ails our health care system. But it's an important step in the right direction. As Charlie said, the way forward is to maintain-and-improve what we have so far. Pretty sure the millions of uninsured who will get the opportunity for affordable health insurance and the many millions more who won't have to worry about losing theirs because of pre-existing conditions will agree.

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Same as it ever was

Our corporate overlords lament has been the same for a hundred years.



[original graphic] [Complimentary soundtrack]

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Slip sliding away

I'm so old I remember when Ted Turner invented CNN. It was a great news source once. Now, not so much. Somewhere along the way they lost sight of their original mission and it's showing in their ratings.
Coming off its least-watched month in primetime in 20 years in May, CNN has taken another big ratings blow: The cable news network has registered to its lowest-rated quarter in primetime since 1991.
I watched CNN pretty much 24/7 in the early days. It's been a really long time since I didn't click right past it. The point of no return for me was when they embedded with the Koch brothers' Tea Party Express and when they followed up by hiring Erick Erickson as an "analyst" they lost me for good. The lesson being, no one is going to be able to bleed Fox viewers from their home base and pandering to that demographic will destroy your brand and lose the viewers that built your brand in the first place.

On a slightly related note, I mostly ignore polls, but couldn't ignore this one showing the odious Eric Cantor is losing his base as well, or at least he's looking vulnerable. It seems even in safe conservative districts, women are beginning to notice the culture warriors of the GOP are entirely too interested in legislating what they do with their lady parts. Polling shows they're not too happy with it.

Chances are Cantor will still keep his seat, but this poll make cause him to dial back a bit on the panty sniffing. It may even scare him enough to browbeat his Tea Party cohorts into getting their noses out of our lady bits. For the short term anyway.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rand Paul mucks up flood insurance bill

This is why the Senate can't get anything done. The Tea Party Republicans are professional asshats. Even when they have an important bill on the floor that actually has bi-partisan support, some grandstanding idiot GOPer like Rand Paul holds flood insurance hostage to pander to his zygote worshipping cult.
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) moved this week to hold a noncontroversial flood insurance bill hostage until the Senate agrees that life begins at fertilization.

The bill, which would financially boost the National Flood Insurance Program on the cusp of hurricane season, had been expected to pass easily in the Senate. But since Paul on Monday offered an unrelated "fetal personhood" amendment, which would give legal protections to fetuses from the moment of fertilization, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is threatening to halt progress on the legislation.

"I'm told last night that one of our Republican senators wants to offer an amendment -- listen to this one -- wants to offer an amendment on when life begins," Reid said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "I am not going to put up with that on flood insurance. I can be condemned by outside sources; my friends can say, 'Let them have a vote on it.' There will not be a vote on that on flood insurance. We'll either do flood insurance with the amendments that deal with flood insurance, or we won't do it. We'll have an extension."
I've long thought the amendment procress is in serious need of an overhaul. It would eliminate a lot of time wasted on horsetrading and increase transparency of the process if they never allowed unrelated amendments to be brought forward. It should be a rule, not an exception to the norm.

Good for Harry for finally drawing a line. Hope he holds to it. The media circus around that showdown would reinforce the GOP War on Women narrative and piss off every homeowner in a flood zone. It's a win for Dems. Sadly, knowing Harry, I expect he'll crumble like a coffeecake at the first mean word in the national media.

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Gut check for progressives

Facebook find of the day. Something to think about from Van Jones.



Lost the link to the original, but click the graphic to embiggen.

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Obama pushes back

The campaign didn't announce this one, but they have a decent new ad pushing back against Romney's current out of context "The private sector is doing fine" mash job. It's good. Wondering why they're airing it under the radar. And it's only being aired in a small market. Maybe they're testing it for a national release later.



[via Anne Laurie]

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Mitt Romney - The Movie

Facebook find of the day. Love this.



[via]

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They cheat to win, don't they

Republicans have become so accustomed to getting away with lying, sometimes they slip up and admit the truth. Take this Pennsylvania Republican who admitted in public Voter ID laws are really about suppressing the votes of Democrats.
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) suggested that the House’s end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically. [...]

“Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
Guy was talking to the home crowd at a Republican gathering and apparently forgot not everyone in the room was a mindless supporter. It's a damning admission but don't expect to see it on the nightly news. They don't have any way to play the false equivalency game with that quote so they'll just ignore it.

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Bernie battles Citizens United on a new front

Not that this is ever going to be allowed to go anywhere, but you have to love Bernie Sanders for trying to revoke Citizens United via a constitutional amendment.



Sign his petition at the link. Yes, I know internet petitions have become somewhat meaningless. I rarely sign them myself anymore, but I signed this one. Good to encourage political bravery once in a while.

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Slow motion coup at SCOTUS

James Fallows asks what would we say if this was happening in another country:
* First, a presidential election is decided by five people, who don't even try to explain their choice in normal legal terms.

* Then the beneficiary of that decision appoints the next two members of the court, who present themselves for consideration as restrained, humble figures who care only about law rather than ideology..

* Once on the bench, for life, those two actively second-guess and re-do existing law, to advance the interests of the party that appointed them..

* Meanwhile their party's representatives in the Senate abuse procedural rules to an extent never previously seen to block legislation -- and appointments, especially to the courts..

* And, when a major piece of legislation gets through, the party's majority on the Supreme Court prepares to negate it -- even though the details of the plan were originally Republican proposals and even though the party's presidential nominee endorsed these concepts only a few years ago.
With due respect to James, I think they got the headline right the first time. Looking at the court's decisions today, particularly their failure to revisit Citizens United in the Montana case, despite overwhelming evidence that "dark money" is corrupting our electoral process, if it's not a slow motion coup, then what on earth are we supposed to call it? .

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wall Street: Modern day Mafia

"One of the biggest lies in capitalism," says Eliot Spitzer, "is that companies like competition. They don't. Nobody likes competition."
Here's your Sunday long read, but take your blood pressure meds first. It's infuriating. Matt Taibbi read the pleadings in the recent conviction of a few minor league Wall Streeters and discovers a long running scam that comes straight out of the Mafia handbook. Brazen bid rigging on municpal bonds.

Nobody noticed since no one municipality lost startling sums of money, but as the saying goes, mulitply it by thousands of cities and towns in every state in America and suddenly you're talking about real money.

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Unholy alliance

This was the funniest thing I saw last night. So bizarre, yet so appropriate. The headline alone made me laugh. For real.
The Vatican has hired a Fox News correspondent to help improve the Catholic church’s media relations, Reuters reported Saturday. Citing a church source, the news agency reported that Gerg Burke, a Fox correspondant for Europe and the Middle East and a member of the right-wing Catholic group Opus Dei, had been hired as a “senior communications advisor” to the Vatican’s political arm, the Secretariat of State. The Vatican has yet to formally announce Burke’s hiring, though the church official said they are expected to do so shortly.
[via]

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Family outings

The family reunion is ongoing so I'll be away most of today again. This cartoon doesn't describe my family specifically, but the dynamic is universal. Made me laugh out loud for real.



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Saturday, June 23, 2012

No blogs today

Heading out to a big family get together. We've having a memorial for my Dad. Unlikely I'll be posting today. Enjoy your weekend and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. You never know when you're going to lose them.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Many rivers to cross

I've crossed the 59th Street bridge many times in my life. If memory serves, there was always a few squeeqee guys lurking at the traffic light at the end. And there was a whole long block full of motorcyles on the way to the West Village.



Click to embiggen. It's worth it. [Sorensen NYC photo, via]

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Suspended abomination

Politico suspended one its reporters for telling the truth about Mitt Romney. The big honchos justified the suspension by claiming he made "numerous disparaging and vulgar comments" about the Romneybot but it was this TV appearance that was the final straw:
The reporter, Joe Williams, had a history of describing Mr. Romney and other conservatives in provocative terms on his Twitter feed. And on Thursday, after Mr. Williams appeared on MSNBC and said that Mr. Romney only appeared comfortable around “white folks,” Politico said that it had taken action.
Christ with a Drudge siren is there anybody who thinks Romney looks comfortable with the hoi polloi? Hell he's the living embodiment of Mr. Drysdale choking down some fresh killed possum with the Beverly Hillbillies when he's around poor white folk. He only looks truly comfortable when he's hanging with "his people" at high priced fundraisers. And even then, he still looks awkward. He has the social skills of your average hapless sad sack who lives down the block.

I was composing a brilliant response to Politico's chickenshit kowtowing to the handful of screeching residents of Nutopia who were the real reason Williams got suspended, but as usual, Charlie beat me to it and did it better so outsourcing the commentary to Mr. Pierce:
Here's the thing. Joe was exactly correct in what he said about Romney. I know we're not supposed to bring this up, but Romney is a high official in a church that, as recently as 1977, thought Joe Williams carried the curse of Cain. The Romney campaign has shown little or no inclination to engage any of the issues of race in any serious way, and he ran through the primary campaign as Joe Arpaio in a better suit. He has shown no desire to distance himself from the racist rhetoric aimed by some in his party at black people, at immigrants, and at the president of the United States. From this, it is not a far reach to conclude that Romney is most comfortable around white people. And Politico is more comfortable around, say, Joe Scarborough than it is around its own employees.
Adding, I'm sure you'll be shocked to learn Mr. Williams is a black man.

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Lucky Dog

Apparently it was "take your dog to work day." I'm such a pushover for this pup just have to post the photo.



[Original photo]

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where the truth lies

Sad because it's true.



And he'll get away with it because Big Media will never call him on it.

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Premature congratulations

This is the funniest thing that happened all day. Creepy Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock cheered SCOTUS overturning Obamacare in a video obviously mistakenly posted to the internet today. Priceless prose:
“Well, we’ve had our brief moment of celebration, because the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is, in fact, unconstitutional. It’s what many of us argued all along," Mourdock begins. "But don’t sit back and think the fight is over because it isn’t. Barack Obama and Congressman Joe Donnelly are already putting Obamacare 2.0 together and they’re going to try and pass it once again. We cannot let that happen."
There's more but that's not the funny part. He actually made four different videos for every possible decision and they were all posted today. At once. And of course you know, SCOTUS didn't release the decision today. The campaign took them down once the word got out, but not before Josh at TPM captured all the videos for your viewing pleasure.

One can only imagine the conversation at Mourdock HQ this afternoon...

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Money, money, money

This will probably be useful down the line. A Pinterest page of Romney's super-wealthy patrons as of May 31, 2012. Of course, this is only the money that was required to be reported. You can be certain there's plenty more "dark money" being sluiced into the various front groups created under the anonymity of Citizen United. Which is reaching hundreds of millions. In fact, I saw some prediction recently that expects at least a billion to be spent on the Romneybot.

It's a lot of money, but still, when you look at the net worth of these guys, it's not that much. Not sure what pisses me off more. You kind of expect politicians are going to be bought off. That's been happening forever. But it really rankles to see how cheaply they'll sell their souls to the oligarchs. Technically, the oligarchs still need them to rubberstamp the policy. You might think they would drive a harder bargain. [graphic via]

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Ship of fools

This is quote of the day from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer:
“There’s no intention on behalf of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to try to help the president move this country forward,” Hoyer told a small group of reporters in his Capitol office on Thursday morning. “I quote Jesse Jackson, who I thought said it best, there are a lot people in Washington who want to drown the captain and are prepared to sink the ship in order to do so.”
We've all been saying this stuff for a long time now, but it's good high profile Dems are finally speaking up about it. Probably should have started sooner, but at least they're turning up the volume now. So there's that.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two choices

Too late to take down the system. In real life, in the first week of this November someone is going to be POTUS. It will be either be the guy we have now, or this guy.



I know which outcome I prefer. Supreme Court vacancies coming up. I'm pretty sure giving Roberts an absolute majority isn't going to help in the long run.

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Contemptible Congress

Every time I see the words "Fast and Furious Investigation" my brain first processes it as Whitewater. It's the same kind of time wasting, money squandering, politically driven witch hunt that serves only to provide fauxcontroversy fodder for the media. You have to be an idiot or deluded Fox viewer not to see it.

That being said, Nancy Pelosi pisses me off a little with this remark:
"I could have arrested Karl Rove on any given day," Pelosi said to laughter, during a sit-down with reporters. "I'm not kidding. There's a prison here in the Capitol ... If we had spotted him in the Capitol, we could have arrested him."
To which one can only reply, "Why the hell didn't you do it?

Talk is cheap. If Pelosi's Congress had actually pursued charges against the very real criminality in the Bush White House and had Rove's pudgy ass frogmarched down Capitol Hill, it might have made the thieves and scoundrels think twice before embarking on their next caper. And even if it didn't stop the GOPers, it would have at least made clear Democrats were as willing to fight as hard against the GOP agenda as the left did to put them into a majority.

That they didn't is at least partly why they're struggling right now to recapture the enthusiasm of the base.

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The fracking truth

Found on Facebook. Best explanation of fracking I've seen yet.



[Click on the picture to embiggen.]

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scott Brown afraid to debate Elizabeth Warren



One thing the GOPers apparently learned from the bruising presidential primaries is, don't do unscripted appearances, unless they're on really friendly ground like Fox. And especially try to avoid debates. The propaganda works so much better if they're not put in a position to defend their phony talking points.

Which brings us to Brown's painfully obvious cowardice in wiggling out of a honest debate with Warren at Ted Kennedy's Institute. His demands to dictate the format of the debate spoke of fear. However, it was his requirement Ted's widow Vicki, who had no role in the debate itself, promise not to endorse anyone in the race that screamed of pure terror and desperation.

Mrs. Kennedy appropriately refused, so Scotty was able to squirm out of a challenge he isn't man enough to face. Which, of course, he'll blame on her. Which brings up the question, why is Scott Brown afraid of intelligent women? [graphic via]

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Life is like a Star Trek episode



Charlie reminded me that Voyager reached the end of our solar system and is about to venture into deep space. It was long trip. It started from Earth in 1977.

I suppose Charlie and I aren't the only ones who thought of the Star Trek villain V'ger when we read the news. Which led to a discussion at his place about who are the best Star Trek villians ever.

My personal favorites are Q. Amusing, charming in a fiendish way yet somehow childlike and vulnerable, always seeking approval. Second is Kahn because Ricardo Montalban. Love him in everything. Third, not technically villains but they did present a danger to the ship -- Tribbles. For the obvious reason. [More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Dance the night away

One of my favorite fairy tales is The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I once had a Golden Book version that so beautifully illustrated, the images stuck in my head all these years. I was thinking about this book this afternoon. I made a wish that I find it. This evening, a twitter friend posted this:



Not quite the same illustrations as the version in the head, but really close. A gorgeous remake. The internet is a magical place.
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Unlearned lessons of Watergate

I missed the 40 year anniversary yesterday but Charlie has it covered. He's right. We didn't learn the lessons of Watergate. Memories fade. Vigilance wanes. So then we had Iran-Contra.

We didn't learn the lessons of Iran-Contra either. Half the criminals of that unpunished exercise in deceit and corruption resurfaced again as Czars in Bush the Younger's administration. The Very Important Punditry never mentioned the connection. So awkward and impolite to speak of the peccadilloes of the past.

History repeats itself. [Mandatory soundtrack from Natural Born Killers.]

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Dream team

Bit worn out from a lovely weekend, so, lazy blogging. Twitter find of the week.



Funny -- and sad -- because it's true.

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Get Yer WaWa's Out

It's amazing!



To be fair I've never heard of WaWa myself. Never saw one on the road and I travel a fair amount. Guess they don't advertise on the highway exit signs.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Media is afraid; very, very afraid

This the most under-reported news of last week. When confronted by Jen Granholm in an interview on Current TV, Politico‘s Joe Williams admitted Big Media is terrified of rightwing extremists:
“And there are many who would agree with you that it is false equivalency,” Williams allowed, “but nonetheless, one reason why that still sticks and still maintains a presence in most newsrooms is not only because of integrity of individual journalism, but also because the conservative Republican message machine is very, very good at vilifying people who they believe have crossed the line into advocacy, who have done a number on what they believe is their fair and objective way of looking at things and looking at the White House agenda.”
It's not an unreasonable fear. The far right, have successfully taken down more than a few journalists who dared tell the truth. But, as Tommy Christopher says:
The press needs to realize that when conservatives whine about “liberal bias,” what they’re really complaining about is an absence of conservative bias. Until they do, things like the plainly obvious GOP sabotage of the economy will continue unchecked.
The problem is, until the media grows a spine and stands up to wingnut bullying as a united body, they will continue to be little more than marionettes for the far right's party line. It's understandable in a way. Most of these guys are making a more than decent to cushy six figure living from being good soldiers for false equivalency. They have families and fancy lifestyles to support.

How they live with their conscience is less clear. But what is clear, when the oligarchs are done with us, they'll go after them. Eventually, they'll lose everything too. Sadly, by that time, it will be too late for all of us.

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Romney embraces the crazy



So much for Willard Rmoney moving to the center now that he presuambly has the nomination locked up. As confirmed today on the Sunday bobblehead shows, Romney firmly hews to the Tea Party line.
Mitt Romney is doubling down on the now-infamous rejection of a fiscal policy deal that would provide $1 in new taxes for every $10 in spending cuts.

During a Republican primary debate last August, all GOP candidates – including Romney – said they would reject a hypothetical proposal to trade $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases.
And this is a bald-faced lie:
“One of the absolute requirements of any tax reform that I have in mind is that people on the high end . . . will still pay the same share of the tax burden that they are paying now. I am not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest. I am looking to bring tax rates down for everyone,” he said.
There's reams of analysis on the interwebs that shows his policy proposals, such as as they are, would significantly lower the tax contribution of the super wealthy. Of which is he is one. Not that The Hill bothered to add that as a addendum.

This is why our democracy is dying.

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SWATing at lies

Goddess forgive me for my cynicism, because if it's real, it's dangerous and unacceptable. But I can't help myself, every time I see a story about the wingnut freakout over SWATing, I think of Backwards-B girl from 2008.

It's ridiculous to claim extremist left wing activists are doing this. If they're not manufacturing these incidents themselves, then it seems more likely to me it's some crazy fan of these fauxrage blogging specialists who was tipped over the edge by the their relentless hate mongering.

In any event, now that they managed to manufacture this "crisis" and rope the media and a whole bunch of Congressional GOPers into believing in it, I do hope law enforcement actually investigates. If it's real, it should be stopped. If they invented it themselves simply to get attention, then that story should be told.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

On Broadway

Really can't wait for Tom Friedman, The Musical! Betting "Turn Every Corner" is destined to be a karaoke favorite in the future. And I do hope there will be ponies.

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The Ron Paul revolution

Ron Paul officially gave up his bid for the nomination, but Paul's supporters will not go quietly:
SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) - In a revolt against Romney, at least 40 more national convention delegates asked to join 123 previous plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee, and their attorney said hundreds more may soon follow suit.

The first 123 delegates, all from the 9th Circuit, sued the RNC, its Chairman Rince Priebus, and every state party chairman in the 9th Circuit in Federal Court on Monday, demanding the right to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the Republican National Convention, including the first.
The Ron Paul faithful are alleging all sorts of fraud at the conventions from vote rigging to physical intimidation. And despite all that, they're amassing a significant number of delegates.

Meanwhile, Team Romney isn't winning any friends on the road. One small business owner who loaned her cafe to the Romney campaign for an event ended up feeling rather badly mistreated. They trashed the joint, including destroying personal irrepacable mementos, and she wasn't even allowed to meet Willard.

Willard called her later to lay on some of his "common touch" charm. It didn't go well.
...She says he explained that it was just a misunderstanding that she did not get to meet him, but the phone call didn't smooth things over for her.

"He responded 'well, I'm sorry your table cloths got ripped off, wadded up and thrown in the back room' and I took it as mocking," she said. "We're the ones he's wanting to get the votes from, you'd think we would have been treated better."
To know the Rmoneybot is to loathe him and he still has months of awkward gladhanding to get through. Maybe there won't be a brokered convention, but this could still turn out to be the most interesting GOP convention in decades.

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Obama does the right thing on immigration policy



President Obama announced a new DHS directive ending deportation of young undocumented immigrants. It's a small and temporary fix but it's the best he could accomplish against intractable GOP obstruction of any and all practical solutions to illegal immigration.

It's inarguably the right thing to do. No kid should be punished for being brought in illegally. It's not like they had a choice. They grew up here. They've been fully assimiliated. Those who managed to achieve despite living under the cloud of imminent deportation deserve compassion and respect. They're the living embodiment of the whole "pulling themselves up by their bootstraps" ethic that the cons are always carping about.

As for Tucker Carlson's useful idiot Munro in the Rose Garden today, on reflection, I'm glad he pulled his little attention seeking stunt. It will only play well in the crazy con cesspool of hate. The stink will stick to Team Romney.

Still think WHCA should censure Daily Caller for it, but can't think of a better way to demonstrate the creepiness of the fringe right to the unengaged voters. Hope they pull these asinine stunts every week. It only makes the difference brighter.

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Never forget.

Facebook find of the morning. Conveys much in one simple image.



I still remember reading the NYC newspapers as a young kid. Every week there were stories of women who died alone in dirty alleys from botched coat hanger abortions. I'm long past the concerns of unwanted pregnancy but I fight for women's reproductive rights because I don't want to return to those days again.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Whatever you do, don't say vagina



The Republicans in my virtual home state of Michigan, living exemplar of GOP dominance in government, got a little too arrogant with their power today, drawing well deserved national mockery. In the Statehouse, Michigan GOPers forbid Democratic women Representatives from speaking, about any pending legislation for the offensive use of anatomically correct identification of lady parts and suggesting men be subjected to the same indignities that these Neanderthals want to inflict on women.

I did the polite, long form blogging at Detroit News so all I'll say here is if men were the ones that got pregnant from sexytime for fun, we wouldn't be having this conversation at all. [More at Think Progress.]



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Presidential graffiti

Really like this. I'm sure President Obama thought about it ahead of time, but powerful words. Wonder what the other guys wrote? Especially Christie.



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They beep for Willard

Team Rmoney, proving they have the collective maturity of a bunch of ten year olds poring over a Playboy centerfold, unleashed their latest campaign tactic this afternoon. The Romney bus circled a Obama event site beeping their horn at the crowd waiting to get into the venue for at least 20 minutes. Then Willard's man took to twitter to crow about it.

Not sure if it's slyly smart or incredibly stupid politics in the long run, but I agree with Josh that they did it to appeal to the lizard brain of the GOP base. A quick slog through the blog of some fringenut who calls himself Weasel shows it played well with the little Zippers in the cesspool of a comment section. Much high-fiving going on there as visions of pissed off liberal danced in their tiny little heads. So pathetic. [More coverage here and here.]

I see Mark Knoller was a witness, so major media is well aware of the school yard "hijinks." I'll be interested to see if it makes the nightly TV news. With so much press coverage, hard to believe no one caught any video of it. Rather certain if had been an Obama bus doing the rotary motor nyah nyah, it would be leading all three networks. [graphic via]

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roubini is right

One of the very few experts who correctly predicted the economic meltdown of 2008, Nouriel Roubini told Germany to Stop "the Savings Madness":
Governments in Europe should lower taxes and increase salaries to boost growth rather than insisting on austerity and continued saving, famous economist Nouriel Roubini told a German newspaper in an interview on Tuesday.

Roubini also said the German government should give its citizens incentives to go on holiday in countries in the south of Europe that were affected by the debt crisis to help those states recover.
Not that anyone will listen to him. The Very Serious People Who Were Wrong About Everything hate it when someone like Roubini makes them look like idiots, so they'll just pretend they can't hear him.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sunshine came softly through my window today

Facebook find of the day. An age old truth.



If they could figure out how to charge us for the sunlight, we would be running on solar power now.

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Truth of the Year

In fact, I should say "Truth of the Decades." Kevin Drum says it out loud. It's now profitable to lie, especially if you're a politician.
It also doesn't matter. Politicians have increasingly discovered over the past couple of decades that even on a national stage you can lie pretty blatantly and pay no price, since the mainstream media, trapped in its culture of objectivity, won't really call you on it, limiting themselves to fact checking pieces like Kessler's buried on an inside page. And because virtually nobody except political junkies ever see this stuff, it doesn't hurt their campaigns at all.
There used to a be a common expression in the world, long ago when I was young. "A man's word is his bond." Time was when honorable men advanced in life by dint of their reputation for honesty. To be caught in a calculated campaign of lies would surely lead to being cast out of civil society. Today honest and honorable men are viewed as losers.

There's no profit in honesty. We're all poorer now that dishonesty is no longer condemned as vice, but rather celebrated as clever tactic to achieve success.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Day One



Greg Sargent is in my head, reading my mind. I've also been thinking Team Obama should co-opt Romney's Day One ad:
By the way, there’s a frame already in place to start amplifying this message more effectively. It’s a frame Romney himself uses regularly. His ads frequently ask: “What would a Mitt Romney presidency look like?” and talk about what he’ll do on “day one” of his presidency. The Obama campaign might consider pivoting off of these very phrases to paint a vivid picture of its own of what a Romney presidency would really look like — cutting taxes deeply on the rich, restarting policies that could make the crisis worse, taking away Obamacare protections the pubic supports, quasi-voucherizing Medicare — and contrast it sharply with what you should expect from Obama’s second term. As many others have already pointed out, the latter has not been spelled out clearly enough.
I've been seeing both Romney's ad and Obama's Romney Economics "didn't work then, won't work now" thing. Romney's ad is actually effective and will work on the simple minded of the GOP base. The Obama ad is kind of awful. By the third viewing, it even bores me and I care about this stuff. My inclination is to click out.

But I would actually suggest an even simpler format than Greg puts forward here. For instance, a kind of call and response thing. Repeat the Romney thing about "standing up to China." Then show some symbolic image that suggests an international incident. Not sure what exactly, but something like Chinese bureaucrats looking angry that fades into a line of Chinese army tanks. And so forth. Pretty sure that would resonate better with the "independents" here in the fever swamps of the south.

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Words matter

Facebook find of the day. Proper framing is everything.



Adding: How to talk about voter suppression.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Media bids goodbye to the waterslide



Joe Biden held his annual picnic for the media and their kids. A lot of people get down on Joe because he tends to blurt out inconvenient remarks. Me I find it refreshingly honest and uncalculated. But in any event, he's at his best when he's with kids. As someone on the twitters said, Joe Biden is like everyone's really cool uncle.

I'm posting about it because the difference between this year's event and the famous year of the waterslide picnic was so striking. No smug tweets from the media this year. And in looking at the Buzzfeed picnic photos one can't help but notice the adults are significantly more reserved. No bare chested reporters romping around with water guns here.

Not that it makes these parties less incestuous, but it does give it at least of veneer of professional detachment. I suppose that counts for something.

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Eyes on you



Fabulous new webcam crossed the radar this morning. Abbey Road livestream. First thing I saw when I clicked over was a couple of tourists recreating the famous Beatle album cover. Not so easy with the heavy traffic. Added to the sidebar along with Retronaut.

People keep linking to Retronaut photo series and this page of 1961 Motorola ads predicting the future finally tipped me over to giving them a permanent spot. Put that one into Daily Buzz, even though I won't check it daily. But it occurs to me it's a good site to explore on a slow news day, especially if you love photography. [photo via]

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Venus Transit

I never posted the pictures I found of the Venus transit last week. Literally looked at hundreds of photos. It's hard to make a dot on the sun look interesting. This is the best real shot of the event I saw. That's the Taj Mahal the bird is landing on:



And this is the funniest take off on the event:



It was cloudy here so I didn't get to see it live at all. Suppose it's just as well. I probably would have forgotten not to look at it directly and gone blind.

Original photos here and here.

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

I remember when we were young

Actually, I don't really remember Barack and Michelle when they were this young, but this was the best picture that passed across my transom this week.



Something about the look on Michelle's face I find charming. It speaks of love to me.

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Spending cuts are for other people

In light of Rmoney's tone deaf response to yesterday's media manufactured Obama "gaffe," Digby takes a little stroll down memory lane and recalls when the Governator attacked public employees as special interests. She makes a good point, but I found this bit at the end about the state of fiscal conservatism even more interesting:
Members of the House of Representatives voted Friday to protect their own office expense accounts from budget cuts.

The bipartisan 307-102 vote came on a $3.3 billion measure funding congressional operations.

Republicans controlling the House have been trying to cut domestic agency budgets by about 5 percent. But when it came to their own staff, travel and office expenses, GOP leaders opted to freeze their $574 million budget after two years of cuts.

The funding bill includes a 1 percent cut that comes chiefly from cutting back on repairs to the iconic Capitol dome, which dates to the Civil War.

After passing the measure, lawmakers immediately left Washington for a weeklong vacation.
It's the entrenched establishment politico's creed: Suffering for thee, but not for me.

They pay no price for it. It goes practically unnoticed because the establishment media would rather invent a fauxtroversy to fit the horserace narrative than report Congressional hypocrisy. Besides, big media won't pump up a story like this because they don't want to risk their access or their place on the cocktail party circuit.

The depressing thing is, I don't see a way to change that dynamic. Media doesn't pay a price for this crap either. In fact, they get rewarded for it too. It's enough to drive you to drink. [graphic via]

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Hey Hey My My, Andrew Breitbart will never die - Updated

You'll recall I recently posted a stunning tribute to His Conservative Holiness, Zombie Andy Breitbart. I'm sure you've been lying awake nights wondering, from whence did this incredible artist get his inspiration? Well, mystery solved. Mr. Bugnon stole someone else's artwork:
Yeah, it’s not so much a painting as a Photoshop mashup of a stock photo of Andrew Breitbart and a character from the copyrighted computer game Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, with a pretty sunset-and-clouds background that probably also came from some stock photo website — no doubt somebody will find that soon, too.
Is this different enough to be considered fair use? Or is it a blatant ripoff? Judge for yourself:



And in the true spirit of conserative economics, Mr Bugnon believes in making a hefty profit:
As a conservative, Mr. Bugnon no doubt thinks that private property is a pretty big deal. Of course, as a conservative and entrepreneur, he also thinks that profit is a big deal; our own Biel_ze_Bubba points out that the cost of printing out a 36″ x 48″ giclee on canvas is only about $150. So figuring the production costs and a few hours of Bugnon’s time at the computer, that’s only about a 2000% markup on the big limited-edition version. Less, of course, if you factor in the licensing fees for using Ubisoft’s intellectual property…surely an upstanding conservative wouldn’t dream of just plagiarizing, would he?
Not that he mentioned it was a photoshop pretty much "swiped from someone else’s original work" in the original promo. Indeed, the casual reader might have thought it was an original painting. But hey. What's a little deception between the acolytes of the Church of the Eternal Breitbart? Somehow I think Andy would have approved.

Meanwhile, TBogg had a photoshop contest for the heretics who mock His Divine Omnipresence. I forgot my log-in over there and I'm too lazy to go through the retrieval process, but my choice was winning anyway. Which was #4. Loved all of them but #4 was the only one that made me literally laugh out loud. Maybe TBogg will see this and give me a vote.

Mandatory soundtrack: "There's more to the picture than meets the eye."

Update: Doktor Zoom checks into comments with this news: "As the perpetrator of the Wonkette Piece (and tonight, a shameless self-Googler), I thought you might like to know that Patriot Depot has sent the Breitbart picture down the memory hole, and David Bugnon has scubbed any mention of his masterpiece from his website and his Facebook account."

Sometimes I really love teh internets.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wisconsin changes nothing

Good grief. Peggy Noonan wins the inane analysis award with today's column. Wisconsin didn't change everything. There's no huge message in Walker winning the recall by essentially the same margin with which he won the office in the first place. Labor has been steadily and successfully undermined by the GOP over decades. Also, little mentioned and ignored by Peggy, it looks like the voters also gave control of the Senate back to the Democrats. So no mandate for Walker at all really. Nothing new and startling happened here.

In the heat of the moment, among activists, cons will gloat and liberals will mope. The vast majority of the electorate is much more concerned about the outcome of American Idol or their local sports competition than this race. Nobody is going to change their presidential preference because of Scott Walker. Five months from now, few outside of Wisconsin will even remember this recall happened.

Well -- unless Walker gets indicted for his prior frauds on the electorate.

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Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose

Been having a lot of bodywork done to fix my bad back that has left me exhausted, so I'm late with a Wisconsin retrospect. Much has already been said on the subject. In some cases, perhaps a bit too much finger pointing and overthinking in trying to pin the blame to fit a personal agenda.

Yes, we lost this one. Sure mistakes were made. We were astronomically outspent. National Democratic machine failed to invest in the race and so on. But in reading Charlie's on the ground coverage, it seems pretty clear to me there simply wasn't enough buyer's remorse to kick Walker out. They did elect him in the first place and the outrage and passion cooled in the time it took for the system to work. Not for nothing, did the GOP use every procedural trick in the book to delay the recall. Trial lawyers widely use this same ploy for precisely the same reason.

As I said before, losing sucks. But this was just one small sortie in a much longer battle for the heart and soul of our country. Barrett voters have every reason to be proud. I'm certainly proud of them. They put up a good hard fight. They made the plutocrats pay dearly for a race that they would have won on the cheap if they hadn't engaged. And now we better know our opponents. That's valuable knowledge for the long war.

Nobody wins every single time. When you lose, you regroup and fight again another day. The way forward is pretty clear to me. Even if imminent loss is predictable, the brave and honorable choice is to go down fighting. The only other option is surrender. Never going to win that way.

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In search of a living wage

Of course, this doesn't have a prayer of passing, but paying people more at the bottom of the economic ladder would be a great form of stimulus:
A group of House Democrats have proposed increasing the minimum wage to $10, which, as Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pointed out would allow the wage to “catch up” with where it would be had it been allowed to grow with inflation. [...]

The minimum wage hit its peak buying power in 1968; to have the same buying power today, the minimum wage would have to be $9.92. If the minimum wage had been indexed to the Consumer Price Index since 1968, it would be approximately $10.40 today.
Cue the anguished wails from Capitol Hill, where they get automatic COLA increases to their six figure salaries every freaking year, about how this would be a horrible, job killing burden on small business owners. Wish there was some way to make these guys live on that hourly rate themselves. Frankly, it's about what their "work" product is worth.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Wisconsin flocks to the polls -Updated

Finally felt well enough to keep a long delayed dinner date tonight. Came home to reports of a massive voter turnout in Wisconsin. Record busting lines at the polls. Ballots running out. People staying in line, waiting for more ballots to arrive. Seriously. I'm almost teary from gratitude and pride in the good citizens of Wisconsin. This is what democracy looks like. Participation is everything.

Meanwhile, exit polls showing an even split on the recall and 12% of the vote is absentee. Unlikely we're going to get the results tonight.

Update: Apparently we've seen the worst exit polls since Kerry/Bush 2004. Eerily reminiscent. I'll have more to say tomorrow, but for now, as I just said on the twitter, losing sucks but winning is not as important as having shown up. Be proud Barrett voters. You made them work hard for it. And now we know some of their tricks.

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Romney spelling errors: sloppy or sly?

The internet spell checkers caught yet another typo in Romney campaign material. I'm with the commenter who suggests this is a cheap and cynical ploy to get more attention to the sites. If they were spelled correctly, the response would likely be a collective yawn. Spelling errors are catnip for the snarkerati, drawing in tons of mockery. And mockery = traffic. Which I might mention as an aside, is probably why McMegan still has a job and just got another plum sinecure at The Beast.

As the saying goes, no such thing as bad press as long as they spell your name right.

Adding, it occurs to me that these silly and avoidable errors also serve to cement the loyalty of the anti-intellectual base. All those highfalutin liberals with their fancy pants edumacation and spellin rules think they're better 'n us salt of the earth conservative folk... Seems to me, mockery just reinforces the tribal solidarity.

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Walker can't win in Wisconsin without cheating

Today is the Wisconsin recall vote. The social nets are reporting record turnouts since early this morning. The Democratic voters in my world are out in force, working hard to prove the polls showing Walker with a lead wrong. However, the ground game isn't the only factor in this race. Democrats also have to overcome the now predictable Republican dirty tricks:
Some voters say they've received calls telling them they don't need to vote if they signed the recall petition — With both sides counting on dramatic turnout, Tom Barrett's campaign is charging Scott Walker supporters with dirty tricks.
And by some voters, they mean a fairly large number have already publically reported receiving them, though no recording of the call has yet surfaced. This on top of last week's sabotage of Barrett's campaign where a blast spam cell phone text went out to the voters and ended up jamming up the phone lines at Barrett's headquarters.

But the big gun voter fraud is the legislation already enacted by the Republican statehouse designed to disenfranchise the student voters. A residency requirement buried in what survived of that bill will likely rob Barrett of a victory:
Therefore, any student at these schools who registered to vote at school but is now home for the summer will not be permitted to update their registration at their parents’ house because they will have been home for less than 28 days. Under the old law, a student not on campus for the summer would have been permitted to update her registration at the polls and vote because she will have been home (or elsewhere off-campus) for more than 10 days.

As a result, thousands of Wisconsin students will likely be barred from taking part in today’s recall vote.

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug LaFollette worried about the impact it could have on turnout. “It will really have a negative impact among college students,” LaFollette told ThinkProgress.
Meanwhile, for more immediate news, Charlie Pierce is reporting from the ground in Wisconsin and will be updating throughout the day.

Addendum: And so it begins. Reports of students being barred from voting are already coming in. Walker may well "win" this thing, but it will only be because he cheated. [More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

If not Obama, then who?

TBogg ventures into the trenches in search of answers:
Last night I got into another one of my distressingly more frequent commenter flame wars with that Very Special Faction of FDL commenters who are horribly disappointed in Barack Obama because he is, as one commenter pointed out, exactly the same (or possibly worse) than both George W. Bush AND Willard Mitt Romney. After pointing out that anyone expressing said sentiment is, how did I put it? oh, yes : “a fucking idiot” it was explained to me by said cohort of Very Special FDL commenters that I was a Obamabot and a corporate shill and a slew of other epithets which in any other circumstances might be considered mortally wounding if they weren’t so adorably dumb.

I then requested a simple answer to a simple question:

If you think you can explain why Mitt Romney is going to be a better President for everyone than Obama, then spit it out.
He got well over 200 responses, which he distilled in a subsequent post. The seminal answer being, Obama is a sleeper agent for the GOP and every single Democrat in office is too. So TBogg responds:
The only question is why Republicans are putting up such a fight since they will get their way no matter what.

So Romney/Ryan/Christie/Rubio/Generic White Midwestener /John Bolton/Robert Bork 2012. Or Obama/Biden 2012.

Same diff…
Except it isn't. We're 5 months away from a presidential election. Only those two choices count. Having lived in Massachussetts under Governor Romney, I've made my choice. Believe me when I tell you nothing Obama does or doesn't do could be worse than Willard.

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Wisconsin waits for Walker indictment

There was a brief flurry of excitement on the internets this morning when someone posted a story alleging Gov. Walker fathered a child during his college days and walked away from it, refusing to take any responsibility. The story was refuted by the mother of the child a few hours later.

I thought it sounded too good to be true and rather bizarre timing besides. I wouldn't be surprised to find out Walker's camp planted the story themselves to distract from Walker's legal woes:
The investigation began in 2010 when Walker served as Milwaukee County executive. Six people have been charged, with accusations ranging from campaigning for Walker on government time to embezzlement. 13 other Walker associates have been given immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony in the case.

This week, Governor Walker acknowledged he has now transferred $160,000 from his campaign accounts to a legal defense fund. Mr. Walker confirmed the money is strictly for his own defense and not for any current or former staff.

Lawyers for Governor Walker recently appeared at the Milwaukee courthouse but refused to say why they were there. The lawyers have also refused to comment on the Governor's status in the investigation.
Lot of rumors flying around about this one as well, but it's possible the investigation will turn up some kind of criminal activity on Walker's part. You don't lay down with the Koch brothers and not get dirty. As the saying goes, it would be irresponsible not to speculate. Also, considering that the recall election is only a couple of days away, Wisconsin Dems ask a good question. Why hasn't Walker produced a letter from the prosecution that clearly states he's not a target? Apparently it's not uncommon to get one in such circumstances.

Of course, this is all the sideshow. Walker certainly won't get indicted before the recall vote. Have my doubts he'll ever be indicted with the Kochs protecting him. Besides, it will be a moot point if the recall succeeds. Hard to believe, considering everything he's done, that we're looking at such a close race. Apparently, it's all down to the ground game now.

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The Diamond Jubilee

Blogging has been light because I've been struggling with this back problem for a week now. I'm such a wimp when it come to pain, it's hard to focus. Adding to the turmoil, my stepbrother died suddenly a couple of days ago. So not my best week. Still, we do what we can. Ran across this on the twitter. I know lots of people are down on the monarchy, but I love the jutxaposition in these photos.



Weird, I never think of the Queen as ever having been a young woman. But she was rather hot in her day, don't you think? [via]

Addendum: The thing I like best about the monarchy is the hats. Lots of royal hats.

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Saturday, June 02, 2012

The Mighty Breitbart is their God

Seriously. Words fail. Has to be seen to be believed. And even then, it boggles the mind.

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Friday, June 01, 2012

They see the future



Here's something for future generations to look forward to: When Galaxies Collide:
Earth’s home, the Milky Way Galaxy, will collide with a nearby galaxy called Andromeda in 4 billion years, according to new observations made using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope announced Thursday.

“Our findings are statistically consistent with a head-on collision between the Andromeda galaxy and our Milky Way galaxy,” said Roeland van der Marel of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, in a press release.
Good news is, no death and destruction:
The great galactic union isn’t expected to result in the destruction of Earth, the Sun, or any other planet in the solar system. In fact, no stars whatsoever are expected to collide becauase they are so far apart within each system.

But because the Milky Way is flatter than Andromeda, when the two spiral-shaped galaxies collide, they’ll form a single new elliptical-shaped galaxy that is more “three dimensional” in shape, with the merging complete 6 billion years from now.

During the course of the collision and merging, Earth’s Sun, and our entire solar system, will be flung from its current position to a new position on the outer edge of the new galaxy.
More photos and a computer animation at the link. The night sky is going to look a whole different in 4 billion years.

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