Friday, August 31, 2012

RNC 2012: Old man shouts at empty chair

I watched way too much of the RNC last night. For a while I didn't think I was going to make it to Rmoney's speech. The parade of Mormons with their endless testimonials to "our wonderful, kindly savior Mitt" was putting me to sleep. Then I woke up at the end to a horrible nightmare. A doddering Clint Eastwood arguing with an empty chair. Empath that I am, I found it too painful to watch all at once. Literally had to leave the room. Even today, it's all I can think about. Can't get the tragic image out of my head.

If you wisely skipped the festivities of closing night, MoJo has the transcript and abbreviated video. Or if you can bear to watch the whole Eastwood debacle:



I think Brian Lehrer had the best summation on the twitter machine.
Ha! RT @jbouie "This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama." BL
Of course, within seconds there were several competing Invisible Obama/Empty Chair accounts opened on twitter and #Eastwooding became an instant internet meme.

Many more interpretations at the last two links.

Just because I can't stop laughing doesn't mean I'm not very sad for poor old Clint. The saddest part is the empty chair won the argument.

Also, I'd note in passing that the blogging delegates I've seen have mostly studiously ignored it or reported that he wowed the crowd. Which says a lot about the crowd... But you already knew that.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deep in the overheated heart of GOP diversity

Leaving the Paul Ryan is lying fact checkers to their work and moving on to a secondary theme I've been seeing this week from the GOP, that being their new found dedication to diversity. First noticed it when the leading Republicans at Detroit News starting pushing this fantasy and now seeing it's more widespread.

WaPo takes a perfunctory look at the latent racism in Tampa today. They rightly note it's hard to hide the glaring whiteness in the sea of faces on the convention floor. Non-whites comprise only 2% of the attendees and none of them have a leading policy role in the party. And of course, GOP mustered all dozen or so persons of color that hold some power in the party and gave them speaking roles. But seriously, who do they think they're fooling?

The latent racism in the party base was bubbling just under the surface all week. There was the black CNN camerawoman pelted with peanuts by a couple of attendees. They shouted, "This is how we feed the animals here."

Camerawoman was not surprised. She's from the Deep South where darkies, especially women, are supposed to keep to their place. And holding a camera for a major teevee station ain't one of them.

But that's just a couple of guys who probably spent too much time at the open bars. This earlier incident was much more illustrative of what ugliness bubbles just under the carefully constructed veneer of diversity at the RNC.

This happened at the end of the floor fight over seating Ron Paul delegates:
There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina. RNC chairman Reince Priebus quickly stepped up and asked for order and respect for the speaker, suggesting that, yeah, what we had just seen might well have been an ugly outburst of nativism.
Nativism being the polite word for flat out, hate-based bigotry so firmly embedded in the heart of the angry base who still call the Civil War, the War of Northern Aggression and mutter about illegals stealing their country.

On the bright side, there are signs they're a diminishing group. Apparently Lindsey is worried:
“The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”
Of course, in the short term, even though they're shrinking, they're no less dangerous. They're angry. They get drunk. They have guns. Lots of guns. Doesn't take much to piss them off. That so rarely ends well.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Ryan lied, journalism died

To be fair, there's a whole lot more fact checking and pushback going on in the legacy media than I expected to see, but the people who really need to know won't see it unless it's on teevee. And TPM doesn't find much fact-checking on the cable news:



As Atrios would say, journamilism at its finest. And as Greg Sargent points out -- again:
This sort of thing, by the way, is exactly what the Romney campaign is banking on: that influential reporters and news outlets will prove unable to keep up with the sheer scope and volume of falsehoods the campaign uncorks daily, or just won’t care enough to reckon with what’s actually going on here. Again, this is a test: what should media figures do when one campaign has decided that there is literally no set of boundaries it needs to follow when it comes to the veracity of the assertions that form the foundation of its whole argument?
Obviously, they all should be pushing back immediately and calling the liars out to their faces at every interview. That's the test. One the teevee media is all too likely to fail. Sadly, their failure will be all of ours if the GOP is allowed to take over the country again based on unchallenged, shameless dishonesty.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Tampa and the will to power

By Capt. Fogg

As I've been saying since Richard "you sure as hell are a crook" Nixon departed the White house and the Republican War on Truth began, if the Republicans accuse their opponents of something, you can be sure not only that it isn't quite true, but that the accusation is an attempt to distract from their own guilt.  So when the war criminal Allen West disgusts us with the accusation that the Democrats are "the most racist party I've ever seen in my life" we know the opposite is true.

And why doth West protest? Why because the press isn't showing him the respect his hypertrophied ego demands and why would anyone detest the torturer of innocent civilians; despise the accusations that Democrats are Nazis and Communists (at the same time no less?)  It could only be that he's got dark skin, of course. 

And then, there's Paul Ryan, the delight of Tea Perverts everywhere who enlightens us with lies like:

 "And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly. ... So they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama" 

when it isn't actually true -- the cuts are in payments to hospitals, not in coverage to individuals. The cuts are savings  while Ryan's plan would actually deprive Medicare recipients of coverage.  Paul Ryan is a liar, but what did you expect?  The truth would ride out of town with him on a rail and covered with feathers.

And then There's Paul Ryan howling like a damned soul about the "corporate welfare" that was the stimulus package. Welfare and Communism and all that, even though the Republicans asked for a much bigger package and with no requirement to tell us who was getting what - even though Ryan stomped his feet and whined and begged for even more money for Wisconsin companies.  Paul Ryan is a lying, duplicitous, forked tongued son of a bitch, but I repeat myself.  I already said he is a Republican candidate.

And then there's Paul Ryan, the con man, the liar, the swindler, the bearer of false witness -- there's Paul Ryan blaming Obama for the closure of a Janesville Wisconsin plant that was shut down before Obama became president. Ryan, following in the tradition of accusing FDR of  causing an economic crash that started three years before he was elected. And there's Ryan condemning from the platform in Tampa that Obama disregarded the advice of a bipartisan debt committee that Ryan himself condemned. Did I mention that Ryan is a Republican?  Lying is what they do, whether it's lying to start wars, lying about how top bracket tax cuts don't cause recessions when they do and raising them prevents growth when the opposite is true.  That's what history says, but hey, you can't believe history -- history is Liberal. Hell you can't even hear History, it speaks in timorous whispers while the Right Wing roars and threatens and rages from every screen, from every radio speaker and every corporate owned newspaper.

But why lay the lies on Ryan alone? They're all liars and pickpockets and Romney has to take responsibility for it all.  He has to explain why taking the $716 billion in Medicare savings achieved by Obama and spending it will reduce spending and why reducing revenue will pay off the debt. He has to give us more than vague generalities and slogans and promises that are negated by other promises, but he can't because what he says is designed to "energize" people who know nothing and prefer to remain angry at their chosen scapegoats.  

But of course the truth would lose the election for him and of course the New Right isn't about fixing the country anyway, it's about power.  It's not about you or your life, your liberty or your pursuit of happiness; it's about power, power and more power and such such concentrated power that answers only to money -- power over a country that is more and more irrelevant, increasingly deluded and ignorant, ever more bellicose and yet has the power to destroy the world. 


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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tweeting the night away

Tweeting, not blogging tonight. At the moment all I can manage is 140 char or less in reaction. There is a ticker down on the sidebar a ways if you're not on twitter. You can see my tweets there.

I'm watching the convention for a number of complicated reasons. None of which happen to be because I really thought it would be a fun way to spend the evening.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]
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Doctor, doctor give me the news

Late start today because I had a doctor's appointment. At three. Just a routine check-up but it takes me all day to get ready and calm myself enough to drag myself into the office. I suffer from an extreme case of "white coat anxiety."

So while I catch up on the news, just click over and read everything at Charlie Pierce's place. He and his guest bloggers are tearing up the internets with great posts from the RNC.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I was watching TV, the RNC

I watched the roll call. I'd forgotten how much it reminds me of the parade of states at the Miss America pagent, only with less attractive people. Ron Paul got almost 200 votes, including the entire state of Iowa, but no respect from the convention. His votes weren't called out from the podium. Even CSPAN only listed him as "other" though he got all but about three or four of the "other" votes.

The new RNC rule I mentioned in my update, passed on a voice vote, but everyone I've seen says the nays were louder than the yeas.
Mr. Boehner ignored them, pressing ahead by saying the rules would be adopted “without objection,” even as the crowd continued to roar its disapproval. Mr. Boehner announced that the rules were approved and quickly moved on to the adoption of the party’s platform.
As I said on the twitter, if I was a Ron Paul supporter I would walk of that convention and join Gary Johnson's team.

I lost my internet connection for the best part of the roll call, when Minnesota announced their votes. They had some choice words for the floor:
"Minnesota, where we are very proud of our state Republican Party, which runs a fair convention with integrity," the state delegate said at the RNC on Tuesday night as she announced their count. "We cast 33 votes for Ron Paul, one vote for Sen. Rick Santorum and six votes for Gov. Romney."
The other thing that struck me was how forced the "enthusiam" was in the room. A lot of the older ladies looked rather genuinely thrilled, but most of the good ole boys had that look on their face that said, "Let's get this over with so I can get to the bar dammit." Not feeling any real energy on that floor.

[Dave Weigel photo: "Convention aide tells Ron Paul delegate to put away his sign."]

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Floor fight at the RNC - Updated

Earlier this morning, Team Romney were hoping to avoid a floor fight about the establishment GOP's powergrab on nomination rules for the next election. For a while this afternoon, it looked like they might have reached a deal with the delegates. Initially the rules committee report was passed with a huge majority within minutes at the start of the convention. But the insurgent wingers aren't going down without a fight.

Moments ago Zeke Miller tweeted: "Now told they have 28 signatures for Rule 16 minority report - enough to force it on the floor.

If you're wondering what the fight's about, I posted the details at DetNews yesterday. It basically comes down to giving the leading candidate veto power over who gets seated at the convention, no matter who got elected during the primary process by the actual rank and file voters. Clearly targeted at the Tea Party and Ron Paul type candidates. Interestingly, when I woke up this morning, my post was bumped down under our new guest bloggers, the very important Michigan delegates to the convention.

And who are the new guest bloggers you ask? Four state level establishment Michigan GOPers. One of which is Mitt Romney's niece. I actually kind of like her. It's her first convention and of course even more exciting for her since it's a family milestone as well. Her posts aren't all that dishy, but she projects a certain "little country girl in the big city" wide-eyed wonder that I find somewhat endearing. As for the rest of them, my thoughts are better left unsaid. If you're curious, scroll down the main blog to get their deets. [graphic shamelessly stolen from Rump Roast]

Update: To no one's surprise, the floor fight failed. Zeke tells me, "According to RNC official, the correct authorities never received a submission of a minority report to the Rules Committee."

Mitt is now the official candidate and so my favorite conspiracy theory can finally rest in peace in the dustbin of history.

Update two: Just in from Zeke. It appears the insurgents won a small victory. The candidate doesn't get veto power after all, but states must bind their delegates themselves so another Ron Paul workaround to gaining more delegates can't happen again. Also, renegade delegates won't be allowed to remain on the floor of the convention to disrupt the veneer of solidarity. So, very small victory indeed.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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In the eye of the hurricane

Looks like Isaac is going to be a pretty big storm. Not a Katrina category hurricane but bad enough to worry about your friends on the Gulf coast. Likely to be some flooding and power outages.

Josh Stearns, Public Media Campaign Director for Free Press, storified CNN's Lizzie O'Leary's #Hurricane 101 tweet series. I believe she's a Nola native and she put these up as a guide for reporters, but the advice is useful for anyone stuck on the coast during the storm. Added bonus, she name checked me in the last tweet on page two of the Storify.

Lizzie also posts the Nola evacuation map, just in case things take a turn for the worse, but at this point it's probably too late to leave. [Inga Sarda-Sorensen photo of a storm yesterday in NYC]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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The eye of the idiot

By Capt. Fogg

"For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet."


 On August 28, 1963, a year short of 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King told us he had a dream.  I wonder if anyone still does. 

Watching and listening to the madness growling and the lies howling across the country, I have mostly nightmares.  If  "America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned" it's now intent on defaulting on any promise it has ever made to anyone but the corporate robber barons, the rabid Christianist insurgents and the anarchists.

We have a self described Anarchist group of US military personnel, a militia plotting to overthrow the government by violence, some members of which are now on trial for murder. We have the most popular cable news network inventing calumnies against our elected government and some of our wealthiest citizens and businesses spending billions on so distorting the truth that we can't remember how we got here and are eager to repeat everything we did to cause the two largest economic catastrophes  in the last hundred years. We have widespread attempts at voter suppression.



No, you can't get to the truth easily these days, but you can bet that if the Republicans are screaming about all the things the demon Democrats and the Beast Obama have done, are doing and are about to do at any minute, you can be sure the truth is that the Republicans have done the same or are engaged in doing it or plotting it.  Yesterday I received a thick envelope in the mail, ostensibly from John McCain but certainly written by others.  Designed in every way to generate a sense of emergency, it insisted that I take the opportunity and use the express mail envelope (postage not included) to mail $2000, or maybe a little less if I want to risk an accusation of Marxism, as AN EMERGENCY DONATION to "stop the billion dollar Obama fundraising Juggernaut." 


Whether or not Jesus cares enough to weep any more, I do.  I do at least when the growing rage allows it.   Yes, yes, I know.  You poor victims of truth, justice and common decency will tell me as you've been doing since you turned the most prosperous nation on earth into the largest debtor with a cynical smile on your face -- you'll tell me I'm simply wrong and generally stupid because I'm angry at the "legitimate rape of America."

It's the logic of liars, the argument of the evil and if God has forsaken us, or left us behind, which may be a better translation, we're still too stupid to know it. We're legitimately stupid enough to see God's will in our own evil that we nod together like hollow bobble heads and agree with the Robertsonians that God saved the Republican convention from getting wet but if an asteroid fails to fall on the Democratic convention, it will mean nothing.


But in a way, that's true. This is America and meaning is in the eye of the idiot.



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Wherein I (shockingly) link to David Brooks

Hell, I haven't read a full David Brooks column in (literally) years. I rarely even read posts about his columns, except for Charlie Pierce's reliably amusing posts channeling the long suffering pup Moral Hazard. Yet, I not only read this one, I'm passing it on. Not often you see BoBo try to taunt Romney with satire. A few excerpts:
... Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Virginia and several other swing states. He emerged, hair first, believing in America, and especially its national parks. He was given the name Mitt, after the Roman god of mutual funds, and launched into the world with the lofty expectation that he would someday become the Arrow shirt man.

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired….

...He spent two years knocking on doors, failing to win a single convert. This was a feat he would replicate during his 2008 presidential bid.

After his mission, he attended Harvard, studying business, law, classics and philosophy, though intellectually his first love was always tax avoidance. After Harvard, he took his jawline to Bain Consulting, a firm with very smart people with excessive personal hygiene. While at Bain, he helped rescue many outstanding companies, like Pan Am, Eastern Airlines, Atari and DeLorean.

After his governorship, Romney suffered through a midlife crisis, during which he became a social conservative. This prepared the way for his presidential run. He barely won the 2012 Republican primaries after a grueling nine-month campaign, running unopposed. At the convention, where his Secret Service nickname is Mannequin, Romney will talk about his real-life record: successful business leader, superb family man, effective governor, devoted community leader and prudent decision-maker. If elected, he promises to bring all Americans together and make them feel inferior.
Steve M. thinks BoBo was going for a sort of tough love, but I'm with the Balloon Juice theory, where Anne Laurie tempted me to read BoBo's piece in the first place. I think it likely somebody hacked BoBo's column.

Can't wait to hear what Moral Hazard has to say about it.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Inevitable

Well, who didn't see this coming?
Florida's former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist will be a speaker at the Democratic National Convention.
GOPers get Artur Davis. Dems get Crist. About a fair trade I guess. They're both politically motivated opportunists with an axe to grind.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

No Horatio Alger story here

Paul Ryan's "just a working class stiff who found the American Dream" schtick reminds me a lot of when Scott Brown ran for the Senate. Brown successfully pulled off a "good old boy" scam by driving into rallies in a pick up truck, just like the all the old cranky Yankees that vote GOP because they hate hippies, gays and lazy colored people. He didn't even drive it around himself. Somebody would deliver it close to the venue and he would take the wheel from there.

In any event, Ryan's "humble roots" are just as big a crock:
And yet Ryan, 42, was born into one of the most prominent families in Janesville, Wis., the son of a successful attorney and the grandson of the top federal prosecutor for the western region of the state. Ryan grew up in a big Colonial house on a wooded lot, and his extended clan includes investment managers, corporate executives and owners of major construction companies. [...]

But there was also more to it than work. Ryan's rise to political power and financial stability was boosted by family connections and wealth. The larger Ryan family has repeatedly helped the candidate along in his career, giving him a job when he needed one and piling up tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
Not to mention marrying a high priced corporate lawyer from a very wealth family. And the hundreds of thousands in trust funds from his own family.

I have more at the Detroit News so won't bother to repeat it here. All I'll add is, the GOP base is so easily swayed by fakery, it's pathetic.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Romney/Ryan: The Do-Over

New video from Team Obama. Best. Mashup. Ever. They should get an award for this one. My favorite part was the "pants on fire" bit.



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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guess they should have said "former" Republican Women for Obama

But that wouldn't have fit in the title block. I'm a big fan of Zeke Miller, but boy howdy, he's really stretching to make this an outrage:
One of the women in the Obama campaign's new video of Republicans supporting the president because of GOP positions on women's rights appears not to be a Republican at all.

Maria Ciano who is featured in the web video has been a registered Democrat since October 2006 according to voter registration records.

"People like me and my family have realized that the Republican Party once was inline with our views, but are no longer," the Colorado resident says in the video.
Hazards of slow newsday and the insatiable maw of the 24/7 internet void, I guess. Still rather disappointing. I mean, please, if she registered as a Dem in 2006 that would suggest to me that she voted Republican in 2004 and then realized by the mid-terms that voting Republican for a middle class American is like slitting your own throat.

Needless to say the wingnuts are all over it. Which I suppose was the point. Gotta generate that traffic somehow.



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Just a little humor among cretins

As usual, TBogg has the definitive post on Rmoney's stupid, racist, birther "joke" yesterday.
Congratulations Mitt Romney, you are now just as funny as short fingered TV vulgarian Donald Trump but without having to lower yourself by wearing a comical fright-wig which, most comedians agree, is kind of a cheap way to get a laugh.
Definitely click through to find out how Peggy Noonan made Mitt do it.

I did my longer form post at the Detroit News. Comments over there would make you retch, but it's good. Let the world see the "moral" code under which these knuckledraggers operate. Apparently hit a nerve with the editorial team too. I see Henry buried it deeper on the blog by throwing a late post over it, even after it was already buried by my "wannabe Limbaugh" co-blogger.

Meanwhile, the Rombot swears it was in good fun:
"No, no, not a swipe," Romney said. "This was fun about us, and coming home. And humor, you know -- we've got to have a little humor in a campaign. ...[T]he crowd loved it and got a good laugh."
Seriously folks, that crack about the birth certificate could have been about anyone. Rmoney's five grandmothers are surely laughing themselves silly in the grave.

Yep, that Willard M. Romney is such a card. Hell he's been the king of comedy since he was a kid. Too bad us libtards don't have his superior sense of humor.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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The Romney Bunch

New DNC video. It's clever. Not sure it would play with the 23 undecided voters left in this country. Certainly won't change the minds of the 27%ers. Hell, they won't even get it. But it's perfect for the base.



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Friday, August 24, 2012

Why you can't trust polls

Actually the title should read why you can't trust legacy media reports about polls. Take for instance CNN's spin on this poll with the alarming headline: CNN Poll: Obama 49%-Romney 47% among likely voters.
Washington (CNN) - With three days to go until the start of the Republican convention, President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney remain deadlocked in the race for the White House, according to a new national survey.
That's the CNN summary of the data. My summary of their summary: Horserace!!! Still a big contest.

But then Josh Marshall reads the fine print in the poll and finds the real story.
This is the first poll that CNN has released with “likely voters” — just like Fox’s most recent poll did. If you look at the number for registered voters it’s a 9 point Obama margin.

What that means is that President Obama has actually gained a bit of ground (obviously within the margin of error) on last week’s eye-popping poll showing him with a 7 point lead over Mitt Romney. But it also shows that turnout and propensity to vote are going to be the whole game going into November.
In other words, CNN cherry picked the data to fit their preferred narrative. They weighted their analysis on the assumption lots of registered voters wouldn't vote, but some guys on a bar stool who say, yeah they're gonna for that bastid Romney just to get rid of the Kenyan Marxist Socialist Usurper before he destroys the gotdam country, are going to actually show up in the voting booth.

Discouraging media fail.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Unraveling Paul Ryan's career in 23 seconds

I missed this bobblehead show where the Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed, summed up Paul Ryan's clown act perfectly and almost made Peggy Noonan's head explode, judging by the the look on her face.



Okay, so maybe Peggers was just trying to suppress a wine induced fart. But she clearly was not amused.

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OMG!

By Capt. Fogg

Could it be that Anne Coulter just said something I agree with?  I think I need to wash out my brain with Lysol.  But I guess it's not quite that bad.  Yes, I do believe that the oh so Typically Tea Twit Tod Aiken is a swine, but I would stop short of using nuclear weapons on him as she demands ( rather messy at best) but I don't think he's not a real Republican as she asserts and I certainly don't, as most of my saner readers will agree,  think the Democratic Party financed his campaign just to make the Republicans look ridiculous.  Hell. they've looked ridiculous for over 30 years.

“What he cares about is his own ego,” said Arrogant  Anne of the Thousand Ton Ego on Insanity Hannity's Fox News show.  She complained about his lack of knowledge of medical facts, as well one could expect of a propagandist who carefully researches and checks her facts to be sure none of her assertions actually corresponds with any.


I probably should rephrase that to use the word 'whined' in ironic emulation of her favorite phraseology:  Anne went wah - she went wah, wah wah.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cement barricades

Tampa prepares for the Republican National Convention.

[Zeke Miller photo]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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The Biden abides in Motor City

Joe Biden is a BFD in Detroit. The supporters were stacked up to the rafters at his public speech.

The dissenters outside his fundraiser formed a less impressive crowd.

Always find it somewhat amusing when the cons try to villify Joe. Of course I don't know him, but I can't think of another politician who projects more genuine empathy. His occasional awkward turn of the phrase only makes him all the more endearing. [More photos at the link.]

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Dems assault on Romney's convention

If you just read headlines and ledes, this from The Hill might have you imagining tanks rolling up to the convention center and spewing out legions of SWAT teams to storm the doors.
Team Obama breaks precedent to try to spoil Romney’s convention in Tampa.

Bucking protocol, President Obama and the Democrats are planning a full-scale assault on Republicans next week during their convention.
And what is this egregious affront to civility that would engender such an alarming lede?
President Obama, Vice President Biden and leading congressional Democrats have all scheduled high-profile events next week to counter-program the Republican gathering in Tampa, Fla.

Even first lady Michelle Obama is in on the act, scheduling an appearance on the “David Letterman Show” smack in the middle of Romney's nominating bash.
Oh the horror. These "disrespectful" Democrats are going to keep campaigning instead of meekly going into hiding for four days? But that's not the worst of it. Just look at this atrocity.:
The most aggressive attack was left for Biden, who is heading behind enemy lines for campaign events in Tampa on Monday and Tuesday. Leading congressional Democrats, including Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), will be joining the vice president to help crash the party.
I'm pretty sure Joe won't be holding that fundraiser inside the convention hall. Meanwhile a battalion of Romney campaign buses are crisscrossing America, circling around Obama events, honking their horns and photobombing Democratic photo ops. Trying to remember when the protocol for that campaign tactic was originally set.

[Holly Bailey photo]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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The Legitimate Rape of Freedom

By Capt. Fogg

I went to bed ruminating about the predicted course of Tropical Storm Isaac which had it ravaging the West coast of Florida from fort Meyers to Tampa next week.  Am I a bad person for dreaming that a random raging force of  nature might do what our miserable excuse for a righteous God never seems to do and tear the Tampa Convention Center to pieces, rending flesh from barbarian bone and yet somehow leave the Tampa General Hospital just across the channel intact to tend to any decent folk who got caught out in the storm?  Perhaps I am, but the teeth and claws of the GOP are as visible to anyone with eyes to see as if they were painted red with gore -- as indeed they are -- and who will be there to rescue us when the wolf has eaten Grandma (and blamed it on Obama?) Sadly today's National Hurricane Center prediction shows Hurricane Isaac passing to the west of Tampa, leaving only some wind and rain to drown out the demented cries of a dying country.

It won't be quite loud enough of course, to obscure the lies and libels, the slanders, the fabrications or the calls for armed insurrection against the decent, the humane or the lovers of freedom  -- nor wet enough to wash away the Tea. But don't bring your guns to Tampa.  It was OK for the toothless Tea Whores to bring firearms to Democratic meetings and threaten to use them, but the GOP has banned guns at their sabbath.


There will be and there already are howls about spending and taxes and budgets, but put in the form of a passion play that has more to do with reversing the guilt for having started a war on invented information -- the most expensive war in our history -- and proposed that it would cost nothing if only we relieved the richest of us of a few more percent in taxes. They'll go on pretending that a middle class tax cut was a tax hike, that no additional gun control was somehow a "gun Grab" and that restoring Ronald Reagan's tax relief for the richest Americans, many of whom like Mitt Romney paid paid nothing and are still paying almost nothing was "the largest tax hike in history" and a flirtation with Marxism.  They'll continue the tradition of posing pornography, legal birth control, the "personhood" of fertilized eggs and abortion as the great issues of the day and the same people who claim that the universe is only a few years older than the pyramids will howl like idiots about how 14 year old girls won't get pregnant if the rape wasn't forceful enough and how women with hydrocephalic babies can't actually die in childbirth. They'll stand on the bloodstained platform or their vampire religion and call for the subjugation of women, the abandonment of the old and sick and weak and claim we simply can't survive if we do what everyone else in the free, modern world does.  They'll suggest a country with a double standard of morality, where the government sleeps in your bed but not in theirs and where they pay nothing and obey no rules. 



No, sorry Messrs. Romney and Ryan, I'd like you and your numbered accounts in Bermuda and Luxembourg and Liechtenstein washed out into the Gulf, never to be seen again and soon to be forgotten by the madmen, the congenitally stupid, the misogynists, the sexual perverts who support all the silly, stupid, racist rhetoric. I'd like to drown the contempt for facts, for science, for mathematics, for history and of course  your contempt for anyone who didn't lie cheat and steal their way to wealth and power, but of course I can't.


I can't because this is a stupid country, a petty, angry, prejudiced, bigoted, selfish and deluded country who thinks it would be better off and safer with no government at all. We're the country that elected George Bush twice and Richard Nixon twice and Spiro Agnew and savaged everyone that spoke up. This is the party that was outraged at anyone who said the economy was unsustainable and now sneers and snarks about how the economy is unsustainable.  This is the country that cheered at the biggest borrow and spend spree and now looks at the spendthrift culprits as saviors. Perhaps we deserve our fate. Perhaps we deserve even worse.  Perhaps a better nation might some day emerge from the stinking wreckage, but probably not and probably some other power will come to dominate the world -- a power who cares less for the kind of country we pretended to be and insisted we were while we danced around a bonfire chanting as America died.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New app IDs SuperPac Ads

Cool tool. Almost makes me want to get a smart phone and download an app:
You know the ultra-useful Shazam and SoundHound apps that let you hold your cellphone up to a speaker to instantly identify the song title and artist? A new app released Wednesday is doing exactly the same thing — but for political ads instead of music.

Called “Super PAC App,” the app uses audio recognition technology to identify political advertisements. Then, it provides users with a wealth of information about the ad: What campaign or organization made it, how much it cost and how accurate the claims made in the ad actually are. It also lets users rate the ads with a variety of responses, including “love,” “fair,” “fishy” and “fail.”
I was just wishing for a list of the SuperPac groups running these ads under the fake populist sounding names. Maybe now some techie activist will compile one using this ad. It would make it easy.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wherein Jake Tapper expresses opinions on air

Unlike many of his critics, I'm rather fond of Jake Tapper. He was one of my first twitter follows and over the three or so years since, I've come to like him as a person. But as a journalist, not always so much. This wingnut radio interview is disturbing:
In an interview on Tuesday with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, ABC News’ White House correspondent Jake Tapper addressed many of the concerns that Republicans have with the media. Tapper said that he was concerned that key issues, like the economy, were being ignored in favor of political issues like Mitt Romney’s tax returns. Tapper said that he hopes the media does not unfairly cover this election and favor one candidate over another, as he says the institution did in 2008.

Ingraham asked Tapper if he was happy with the substance of political media coverage thus far. Tapper replied that he was not, saying that the state of the nation’s economy and the high unemployment rate are voters’ paramount concerns and that he would like to see “more action taken and more emphasis given to this issue.”
How sad. If only Jake Tapper knew some well placed media figure on the network news, he could get that person to cover those issues. In depth. Instead of say, obsessing about a single dog joke that was completely in context with the actual issues President Obama was speaking about. Which issues were not covered in any depth at all. But the dog joke was.

To put that last bit in context, I wandered on to the twitter the other night and found Jake defending his emo-tweets about POTUS daring to make a joke about poor old Seamus.

I would have thought as a dog lover, Jake would have been more relaxed about it, but instead he told Ms. Laura his concerns about media hysteria:
Tapper on Romney's tax returns: "I was surprised that the tax issue got as much coverage as it did."
Oh really? How shocking since the last polling I saw showed 63% of Americans wanted to see Romney's tax returns. What? Asking for credentials from an applicant for the most important in America is too over the top? You can't get money from a bank with the amount of disclosure Romney's made so far.

I get that Jake has a new book to promote and is making the circuit. I get that he'd want to slant his conversation to appeal to Laura's wingnut audience. I know at heart he's a conservative. I don't hold that against him. But he's ventured pretty far from savvy neutral journalist into pure opinion in this interview. I don't find that to be a good thing.

Addendum: And this why I think it's a bad thing. Ms. Laura's fans respond:
OTOOLEFAN: RT @ravgames: It took @jaketapper 4 years to REALIZE the media elected Obana, or 4 years to ADMIT it?
The slightest validation fuels the darkest conspiracy theories of the far right. Pretty sure this won't improve the status of the press or remedy the much lamented bi-partisan co-operation in the public square.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Setting the stage for Tampa

Team Rmoney is in Tampa now and the Mittster, being a world famous Olympics extravaganza stager, is reportingly taking an active role in designing the Republican convention. He has a particularly keen interest in the set staging in the convention hall. Word has it they're very excited about how it all turned out. They now have the tools to really tell his story and finally humanize the Rombot.

It looks like the set for America's Funniest Home Videos to me and I don't doubt there will some hilarity involved in the production. Sadly, the joke is going to be on the electorate. [Zeke Miller photo]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

When Paul Ryan loved stimulus spending

Filed under IOKIYAR, what a difference a decade makes. I mean, let's just review Congressman Ryan's vigorous defense of stimulus spending in a previous life:
“What we're trying to accomplish here is the recognition of the fact that in recessions, unemployment lags on well after a recovery has taken place,” Ryan said at the time. “We have a lot of laid-off workers, and more layoffs are occurring. And we know, as a historical fact, that even if our economy begins to slowly recover, unemployment is going to linger on and on well after that recovery takes place.”

Ryan’s advocacy of stimulus spending wasn’t limited to Washington, either. When he returned home to face constituents, he used similar language to make the case for the Bush stimulus bill. “You have to spend a little to grow a little,” Ryan told constituents at a town hall in Wisconsin in January 2002, according to the Journal-Times, a local newspaper. “What we're trying to do is stimulate that part of the economy that's on its back." [...]

“We've got to get the engine of economic growth growing again, because we now know because of recession, we don't have the revenues that we wanted to, we don't have the revenues we need, to fix Medicare, to fix Social Security. To fix these issues we've got to get Americans back to work,” Ryan said. “Then the surpluses come back, then the jobs come back. That is the constructive answer we're trying to accomplish here on, yes, a bipartisan basis.”
Back then Congressman Ryan was all about creating jobs and helping the unemployed. Fast forward to the present day and now the same policy is simply dangerous and unacceptable socialism that creates a culture of dependency.

I've already done a longer post at Detroit News on this one, so I won't repeat my commentary here. I'll just add, if overdosing on hypocrisy was fatal, these guys would all be dead.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Somebody owes the Dixie Chicks a big apology

What is it about wingnut country music stars that makes them such asshats? You know, like the flaming idiot Hank Williams, Jr.:
Country legend Hank Williams Jr. played to a crowd of nearly 8,500 at the Iowa State Fair Grandstand Friday night.

Following the song “We Don’t Apologize For America” a chant of “USA, USA” broke out amongst the crowd. Williams smiled, telling the crowd that he was their mouth piece and adding:

“We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the US and we hate him!”

The cheers that followed were loud and enthusiastic.
These would all be the same asshats that were burning Dixie Chick CDs for the cardinal sin of mentioning they were embarrassed that George Bush was living in their home state of Texas. And of course, as Steve M. points out, this isn't even the worst or most stupid remark good ole Honty Tonk Hank Jr. has ever made. But Hank's proud gun-clinging, real 'Murkin fans, are just cheering this crap because they're the only true patriots in the USA.

And by the way, they ain't the racists here. Hell, they got a black friend to prove it. The "real" racist is Joe Biden for saying "y'all" and "chains" in the same sentence. And of course, Hank just speaking the truth. Nothing hateful about it. The real hater is President Obama for making a dog joke. Now that be some real politics of "division and anger and hate."

Swear to the gods, I really try not to broadbrush demographic groups, but if these knuckledraggers could be any bigger morons, I don't want to live to see how. Just send the fucking meteor already.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Accomplished lies

Find this rather incredible. I remember when campaign advisers would try to hide this stuff. Yet I've lived to see the day when Republicans openly flaunt their trickery. Apparently they're so sure they can manipulate the media and the base to their advantage, Team Rmoney laid out the details of their deceit:
Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal.

The Romney strategy is simple: Hammer away at Obama for proposing cuts to Medicare and promise, in vague, aspirational ways, to protect the program for future retirees — but don’t get pulled into a public discussion of the most unpopular parts of the Ryan plan.

“The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating direction to the American people,” a Romney adviser said. “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.”
Not so sure Team Rmoney's confidence is misplaced. They're playing to keep the base agitated. Their lies are what the base wants to hear and believe. And dammit, they will believe them in the face of indisputable empirical evidence to the contrary. Or they will excuse them. These people cannot be moved.

So the question is, along with the various voter suppression schemes, will that be enough to let them steal the election? Thinking that will depend on the media more than ever this year. [Via Greg Sargent. Read his post.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bring them the head of Joe Biden

The White House says Joe Biden is still their man while it would seem every wingnut in Outer Nutopia is screeching the White House must dump the Biden from the Democratic ticket and replace him with Hillary.

There is, they insist, no other remedy to this serious affront to civil society. It seems Joe Biden uttered the forbidden word -- chains. Out loud. Where black people could hear him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Romney wants to let—he said in the first hundred days, he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boo!

BIDEN: They’re going to put y’all back in chains!

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)
The Conservative Rights Strike Force, with their long history of great concern for the blah community, will not allow such a grave abuse of syntax go unchallenged.

Sadly, their new Steerless Leader found himself tongue-tied when called to the charge, but have no fear, for Grifterella of the North is here.
Let us recall, from like an hour ago, that His Lord High Hairgel Mittens of Romney could not come up with anything actually wrong with what Old Handsome Joe said, except that it was “divisive” and “not uplifting” and “inaccurate” in that it said Mitt Romney wanted to deregulate Wall Street, which is only on his website. (Also, the Obama campaign seeks to divide on “ethnic” lines.) What does Sarah Palin think about Romney’s recent remarks? Are they “disgusting” and divisive? Let us go to the blockquote.
Click the link if you care for a bite of Griftzilla's word salad. Which isn't really worth it. But the full platter of high grade snark at Wonkette is always satisfying.

This whole charade brings up three thoughts. One, Willard Rmoney is never going to get a gig at Fox News. Good thing he doesn't need the money. Two, this united call to oust Joe Biden suggests the GOPers are terrified of what he'll do to Ryan in the debates. And three, I suspect the push for Hillary is because they really want to finally get to use all that oppo they accumulated back in 2008, which was sadly rendered useless when that uppity "blah" usurper moved into their White House instead.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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When pigs fly away

A sad moment for me. Newshoggers is shutting down. I blogged there for a couple of years. My most viral posts were published there. I came to love my co-bloggers like family. It was a special place and hosted some of the best foreign policy analysis ever.

But times change. Everyone has now moved on to other ventures so they've archived the blog. Newshoggers isn't dead, but will join so many others in a sort of eternal rest. May it live in memory (and on google) forever.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Damn the lies -- part II

By Capt. Fogg

Perhaps you'll recall my post entitled Damn the Lies the other day about the latest act of treason from the Republican Lie Machine, or Fox news as it's sometimes called.   It was about a totally fictitious story warning us about how if  "Obama gets his way" voting rights of military personnel would be restricted in Ohio. I suppose that adherents to the Obamahate faith accept unquestioningly that the POTUS writes election laws unconstitutionally in the State of Ohio. I suppose Fox Folk are actually stupid enough, or at least so disgustingly desperate enough  to legitimize their hatred of  our uppity president that they will believe anything without question and guard the lies with their miserable lives.  But needless to say, the most polite thing an honest observer can say about Fox Fraudster Shannon Bream is that it's a filthy, contemptible lie worthy of tar and feathers.


But who cares?  This isn't actually reality you know, it's a kind of  fantasy amusement park for deranged sociopaths and other borderline personalities with room temperature IQs and it isn't nearly possible for even a well funded and staffed effort to counter the lies or disseminate  the facts.  It's not just that there isn't enough money outside of the insurgency, it's also that believing the lies is a mighty fortress of faith. If you don't like the Flavor Aid, why then, you're a Liberal and that's that.


So, sure "that Obama" hates soldiers or "warriors" or "warfighters" as the anger merchants like to call any GI who ever peeled a potato.  It's all just another passion play.  So why get angry about the latest round of TV adds, paid for by unidentified "concerned citizens" who actually are the Koch's Folks or Rupert's Raiders which insist in full snark mode that "that Obama" has removed the Work for Welfare system put into place by that other Commie, that most far left Liberal ever, not the real president; that one-term-at-most Bill Clinton.


Do I have to tell you it ain't true?  Probably not if you've read this far.  Should I mention that not only is it not true, even in part, but that what the White House is trying to accomplish with further Welfare reform is to accede to the long time requests of  Republican Governors to allow them the flexibility to tailor their State's programs to their needs? 

Perhaps it's galling to the Fascists and Bigots and Brown Shirts masquerading as Conservatives that, as it was with Bill Clinton, the man they tried to portray as another Trotsky was actually more conservative than they were in some respects and no further to the Left than the center.  It's nearly as galling to me that a mob of irate patriots doesn't put these lying bastards, these unscrupulous despoilers of liberty, Truth, Justice, Democracy and Decency in a pillory and piss in their faces.
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Tweet of the day

This is a couple of days old but deserves more acclaim than it got on my twitter feed.
Rob Whisman: AS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED "VICE PRESIDENT PAUL RYAN" IS AN ANAGRAM OF "EVIL PUP RECITES AYN RAND"
[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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You've got to be kidding - part II

By Capt. Fogg

There's something infuriating about those election year robo-calls.  For me, it's because of the feeling of helplessness.  You can always interrupt a human or even a sub-human caller, or if one has fallen into an incoherent, blubbering rage, can hope for some small effect by slamming down the phone on someone whining obscene untruths in your ear.

I had just finished an annoying conversation with my mechanic yesterday about being in line for a very expensive marine engine repair and before I could stand up, go outside and scream at the top of my lungs, the phone rang again.  I normally screen my calls because the majority of them are from people I've never heard of trying to sell me everything from Viagra to mortgage scams, but this time I didn't look at the caller ID. I just picked it up.

Before I could issue a surly "hello" I was blasted by a wild and frenzied voice demanding that I make "an emergency contribution to help Romney fight Obama's disastrous policies."  Well, of course it was a recording and no human was offended by my returning the handset to its cradle just a bit harder than the Chicxulub asteroid impact, but the real pain was not so much that I couldn't vent my rage but rather that there was no possibility of asking the paid actor just what those "policies" might be.


Doesn't it seem that the reference is always to unspecified policies?  Why would that be but to harness the inchoate rage of the Teabastards while allowing them to preserve the illusion that that rage had anything to do with President Obama and his policies -- and not his ancestry.  Perhaps it's no different than the constant reference to "liberals" rather than to people who are opposed to the various scams and handouts and outrageous intrusions into private life that constitute the Republican political platforms of recent years -- things like the war on birth control, the war on pornography, the battle against public education (because as Rick Santorum told us, it promotes "elitism.") and the continued persecution of people who don't wish to be bound by religious taboos or would like to speak Spanish now and then.


Yes, I would have liked to get Mr. Roboto in a stranglehold and demand to know why Obama is to blame for paying for Bush's war and Bush's Medicare prescription plan and Bush's gifts to the oil cartel and why Obama is to blame for giving a tax break to the 98% of Americans who are not in the upper 2% of income earners rather than telling them to eat cake and giving an extra 2% to the Koch brothers and their ill bred ilk. I'd like to know whey that had nothing to do with the recession that started under Bush.  Really, the only "Obama Policy" of any stature I can think of is the health care plan written by one Willard M. Romney in conjunction with the health care industry and the one that hasn't really gone into effect yet, nor has it been a "disaster" to Massachusetts.


So what are these "Disastrous Obama Policies" other than paying the bills, other than being unable to remove the Bush tax structure, being unwilling to actually increase the policy that basically broke the back of the economy by neglecting to pay for the Most Expensive War in American History because the Tax Fairy would somehow bail us out by making war profiteers even richer.


Let's face it Tea Twits and  Secessionists and all you dishonest hordes of political whores yearning for a scapegoat to excuse the way you've been fighting to ruin life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in America -- repeating lies that you hear because you can't admit that you've been wrong, because you can't admit that you don't know a damned thing about history or economics, because you can't admit that you've made mistakes and because you can't accept that "I've got mine and fuck you" isn't the definition of Capitalism, Democracy or even decency -- let's face it:  you applauded everything that got us here, you mocked and persecuted everyone who warned you and you ignored the history you should have learned from. 


It's your damned fault, not "the Liberals" the Mexicans, the people who told you that no, there were no Goddamn nukes in Iraq and no way to build them: the people who told you that al Qaeda was a menace when your cowboy president shut down the anti-terrorism team right before 9/11 -- it's yours.

Who was it who told us we hated America when we told you slashing the upper bracket would pour a torrent of capital into the markets and hedge funds and real estate, creating the same bubble and bust we had in the 1920's?  It was you, you smug, self pitying, Velveeta and white bread eating, Pat and Rush and Ann cheering sock puppets.


Time to suck it up and take responsibility. There's no way to undo what you've done, no folksy homilies and vague generalities, no Mighty Mitt to save the day.  The debt can't be paid down by putting the old and the sick and the young and dependent on an ice floe. You can't fix things by "deporting" people for their political opinions like that malignant Republican war criminal parasite Allen West suggests. We can't "decrease the size of government by spending even more on Homeland Security the largest Federal Agency ever or by building more carriers and bombers to counter the defunct Soviet Union.  We can't raise taxes enough to do it.  We're going to see inflation - lots of it, at least those of us who can't hide billions offshore like our corporate citizens do, like our Republican supporters and candidates do. We're going to see enough devaluation that foreign countries can hire our non-union, no minimum wage serfs for less than they hire Chinese peasants to work in sweat shops until your grandchildren and your great grandchildren curse your memory, dig up your miserable bones and grind them for fertilizer.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

This magic moment

Took me all day to decide if I liked this photo or not. Decided that I like it a lot. BuzzFeed billed it as The Wizard. I think I would have called it The Visionary. Either way it's a brilliant catch by the photograher. Confirmed to be authentic, as in not photoshopped.

On a related note, I used to mock BuzzFeed. When Ben Smith left Politico to run the place, I sneered along with the rest of the tragically cynical snarksters. But credit where it's due. Their political coverage is more than just decent now.

Ben changed Buzzfeed from a place I rarely bothered with into a site that I click to several times a day. And Zeke Miller has become one of my favorite media tweeps. He's got a good eye for the best buzz and his tweets from on the ground with the Rmoney press corps are unfailingly both informative and amusing.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tweet of the day

Not sure this is true, but it sounds truthy enough and it did make me laugh. Out loud. For real.
Danielle Blake: Fruit. Juicy. Good. RT @WCronkite: Romney on Spanish language radio station in Florida: "I am a big fan of mango, papaya and guavas."
Probably a spoof on a past Mitticism. But funny if you know the subtext.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Chaos at first Ryan rally

Didn't expect to see Paul Ryan get heckled in Iowa at his first solo appearance on the campaign trail of tears. WaPo's Felicia Sonmez tweets from the scene: "Absolute chaos here at Ryan event. Protesters keep shouting stop the war on the middle class. Ryan keeps going." Stage was rushed. Protesters arrested. Video at the first link.

Meanwhile, Ryan has already mastered the art of dodging the press:
Ryan spoke for only 13 of the customary 20 minutes on the soapbox stage and did not take any questions.

As reporters walked alongside him asking questions — including about the region's devastating drought — Ryan declined to answer most of them, saying, "We can play 'stump the VP later.'"
Probably be taking unscripted questions about when hell freezes over. Meanwhile, the twitter tells me his first ritual tongue bath solo interview will be conducted by Brit Hume. Just another "bold" choice. Unclear as to when the campaign will let him venture into more challenging territory. At the moment I see more cancelled appearances in Florida in his immediate future.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Mythical voter fraud debunked

I already did a longer post at Detroit News yesterday so I'm just going to archive the link to this study showing "voter fraud" is a GOP lie.
A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.

The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.
I assume I don't need to tell you the whole vote fraud lie is just a cover to steal the election via Voter ID laws. Reading the comments at my DetNews post is pretty depressing though. It shows just how firmly embedded the lies are in the hard core con psyche.

Latest estimates suggest some five million legitimate voters will be robbed of their right to vote. Which of course, is the real voter fraud. And also why this really is the most important election ever. Every single vote to counter this fraud is critically needed.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney keeps Ryan out of Florida

Team Rmoney was stomping in my territory this morning. Great turnouts at the two rallies here in redneck country. They loves them some Paul Ryan in these parts. Of course, to put into context, I know some of these people. I've been to dinner parties with them. I've even conducted my own personal poll. Granted it was a small pool of respondents, but fully 60% of them wish Sarah Palin was running for President. Because she's smart and a plain talker. Made of that what you will. Still a great reception for Rmoney/Ryan here even though they pissed off the old people by running some 90 minutes late all day and keeping them waiting in dangerously hot, stifling warehouses.

But big late minute changes to the intinerary tell the larger story of Romney's "bold" cave-in to the hard core cons of the base. They're skipping the Triangle stop here, where the voting tallies come in reliably blue and suddenly, Paul Ryan won't be going to Florida after all. They're sending him to the Iowa State Fair to commune with the giant butter cow instead.

The campaign claims this has nothing to do with Ryan's Roadmap to Middleclass Ruin which calls for the destruction of Medicare as we know it and transforming it into an underfunded voucher system in order to pay for mega-tax breaks for the wealthy. Spin seems a little weak though considering this unfortunate headline in the Miami Herald today.

Florida voters are already wary as they deal with their buyer's remorse for electing the mega-rich, Medicare defrauder Rick Scott as governor. Rmoney was already struggling in that usually reliable Republican stronghold. Thinking Ryan won't make the GOP ticket an easier sell.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Every dog has its day

The twitter is telling me Mitt finally had a good day on the campaign trail. Hell the crazy base was so happy he picked Paul Ryan, they hardly noticed when Mitt endorsed the rival to their preferred Tea Party primary pick for governor in Virgina. Not that Mitt didn't quickly walk it back and proclaim an express wish that his friend wins was not actually an endorsement.

In any event, Ryan wowed the crowds at the rallies this afternoon. Reading my tweet stream tells me, Ryan is the new Palin, only with not as good legs and a better vocabulary. And judging from the report of a guy in the crowd shouting, "Obama is a poverty pimp" at every pause in the speeches, Ryan brought the faithful into the fold. In fact, it would appear, just like Palin, they like Ryan better than Rmoney.

Don't think that's escaped the Mittster's notice. This after-rally photo of "papa" Romney on the bus tells me he knows it and he's not really that happy about it. Guess now he knows how McCain felt.

[original photo]

I'm not inclined to rain on their parade today. Let them enjoy their moment basking in the enthusiam of the crowds. Storm clouds on the horizon will arrive soon enough. Willing to guess, Ryan will ultimately go down as the second worst VP pick in recent history.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Romney rolls out Ryan for VP

Well it's official. Rmoney caved to the far right extremists and chose "Zombie-Eyed Granny Starver" Paul Ryan for VP. So much for moving to the middle in the general. As expected, Charlie Pierce already won the internets on the commentary.
Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them. He wants to eliminate them because he doesn't believe they are a legitimate function of government. He is a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live. This now is an argument not over what kind of political commonwealth we will have, but rather whether or not we will have one at all, because Paul Ryan does not believe in the most primary institution of that commonwealth: our government. The first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution make a lie out of every speech he's ever given. He looks at the country and sees its government as something alien that is holding down the individual entrepreneurial genius of 200 million people, and not as their creation, and the vehicle through which that genius can be channelled for the general welfare.

Which, among other things, means that Paul Ryan, who lies awake at night worrying that The Deficit will come and eat our grandchildren, lives in a house overseen by the National Park Service, which means that he qualifies for a 20-percent investment tax credit for the house he lives in. Of course, his "budget" would largely decimate the NPS, but that would be only those parts of it enjoyed by other people.
Well worth reading in full at the link. And if you want more, take your pick at Memeorandum. Ezra has a pretty good bullet list, but my favorite so far is Think Progress, 12 things you should know about Paul Ryan. Actually, most of us already know those things but good to have the list handy. I expect there will many more additions as the weekend progresses and people dig through their archives.

On the bright side, this should quell any internal uprising at the convention, so I can probably toss my favorite conspiracy theory back into the old dustbin of history. So there's that...

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Obama vies. Romney cries.

This is just priceless. Crying to the media, Eric Fehrnstrom whines about Obama losing his credibility for saying mean things about Mitt. He's apparently hoping this contrived catch phrase will scare Team Obama into submission:
"I don't think a world champion limbo dancer could get any lower than the Obama campaign right now," he added.
Meanwhile, the Mittster whimpers about false ads being used against him:
"You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad,” Romney said on Bill Bennett's radio show. “They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact-checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they’re wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them.”
This from the candidate who has been running O'Keefe style chopshopped videos from day one and bragged about it. As his man said in excusing their gross mendacity after the first ad was rated "pants on fire":
"We want to engage the president," Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom told Slate. "We look at him as our rival. It's all deliberate; it was all very intentional."
Yeah, it's all fun and games until your rival fights back. But not surprising they're wailing like two years old lost in the supermarket. Fehrnstrom is just a big a bully as his boss and bullies, at heart, are crybabies and cowards.

Pathetic. Especially since the "liberal" media is more than willing to run cover for them. After months of barely suppressing a yawn while dutifully transcribing every bullshit lie Rmoney and the GOPers have tossed out over the last four freaking years, suddenly our media watchdogs are all excited about the veracity of Obama's ads. The Hill informs us:
But the severe nature of the super-PAC ad means that it is unlikely Obama will be able to avoid questions about whether it should be pulled.
Severe? Sure it's emo, it makes implications, but they didn't actually lie while Rmoney ads do so brazenly. And the Hill fails to mention the ad hasn't even actually aired in a paid market. The whole buzz has been built by the mass media hysteria over a preview only shown on the internet. Because: Horserace. Fun. Easy to report. As the kids used to say, this is why we can't have nice things.

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Harry Reid ups the ante

I take back every mean thing I said about Harry Reid being a spineless, ineffective, hapless little sad sack. Well okay, maybe I don't take it back, because it was true then but I'm just wild about the new Harry Reid -- steely eyed warrior -- now. Every GOPer in America, from the big time power brokers to the angriest, meanest foot soldier in the base has been hurling every ugly smear they got at him and he hasn't flinched. In fact, Reid keeps raising the stakes:
"This person is an investor in Bain Capital, a Republican also, and somebody who has been dealing with Romney’s company for a long, long time and he has direct knowledge of this,” said Reid aide Jose Parra, referring to Romney’s tax returns.
Parra has since walked that a little back:
"I do not know the party affiliation of the source, how long he invested with Bain, or his relationship to Romney beyond the fact that he was an investor with Bain Capital, as Senator Reid has previously stated."
But no matter. There is every reason to believe Harry has a credible source for the allegation. I'm proud of him for standing firm and keeping it in the news cycle. It's a question the voters want answered and Harry is fighting not just the Republicans, but a complacent, cynical media to demand that answer on our behalf. Which is how the system used to work though most of the cool kids on the DC beat aren't old enough to remember it.

And perhaps our concern trolls could ask why Romney won't release information the voters have a right to know instead of hurling themselves onto the fainting couch because Harry is so "rudely" pressing the question. Clearly there's something big in those returns Romney wants to hide or else he would have shut this down by releasing them.

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

All that glitters is not gold

Interesting development on a slow news day:
"DUMP ROMNEY" contends that no delegates are actually "bound" by law or GOP rules to vote for Romney and that, to win the White House and toss-up Senate seats, delegates must exercise their right to "conscientiously abstain" from Romney on the crucial first ballot, aiming for a stronger ticket leader in subsequent convention voting rounds.
Nothing to do with Ron Paul. And not exactly a fringe group:
Instead, it's a brainchild of Steve Baldwin, the former chief of the Council for National Policy, a low-profile, well-connected conservative group. Baldwin said the memo was sent out to 20,000 people in politics in media, as well as RNC delegates.

"We’re just saying that Romney has so many liabilities that will be exploited by Obama," Baldwin said in a phone interview. "I don’t have a problems with Mormons personally, but it is a liability issue" among evangelical voters, Baldwin said.
Particularly interesting that it's released on a day when the Mittster's poll numbers are tanking and Karl Rove is nervously posting "rally the troops" tweets. Baldwin's group is basically the old Bush crowd. Trying to decide if it's an internal power struggle or a fake out that validates my favorite conspiracy theory.

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Repeal everything

The poster boy for the GOP's "governing" strategy, that being "if Obama is for it, we're against it," Steve King has a brilliant idea. And by brilliant I mean, batshit crazy.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an outspoken critic of just about everything President Obama supports, is considering introducing a bill that would repeal everything Obama has signed into law.

King put forward this suggestion to an Iowa audience on Tuesday, when he also reiterated his threat to sue the Obama administration for its June decision not to deport younger illegal immigrants. Under that policy change, illegal immigrants who are in school or have served in the military would get a two-year deferral from deportation.
Sure. Just wipe out all the work Congress has done in almost four years and litigate any executive decisions, no matter how sensible. What a wise use of time and the taxpayers money.

If mid-westerners wonder why the rest of the country think they're dumb and /or crazy, I'd point out they re-elected this guy several times and each time by a wider margin. I'm sure the most of the voters of Iowa are probably otherwise nice people who contribute to society, but seriously, repeatedly electing this lamebrain makes you all look like idiots.

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Jump shot

This is my favorite photo of the week so far, and it's not even a Dharapak. I love how easily President Obama engages with people. The contrast between him and the Rombot is never clearer than in the photographs.

[original via]

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