Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blessed Samhain

Or happy Halloween if you don't observe the earth based celebrations. If you're going out to enjoy the festivities, be careful on the roads. Lots of amateurs drinking and driving. And Zombies. This is coolest graphic I found all month. It really works. If you stare at the fog long enough, you see more and more of the walking dead. (works best if you click to make it bigger)

These were my favorite politically themed pumpkins. They won some contest for scariest entry.

I've been collecting Halloween graphics at my other blog, Last One Speaks, all month and I think we all have to agree this is the best sculpture I found. A pumpkin ganesh. Also my favorite Hindu diety.

)

And, if you somehow missed it, today's Halloween google doodle is not in my top ten interactives, but still momentarily amusing. (Click inside the doors too).

I don't get trick or treaters here, so sadly won't be doing the Hallmark holiday stuff. I love the little trick or treaters dressed in their dreams. But I've had many wonderful years of exclaiming over costumes and doling out more candy than was "allowed" to the early tykes. I'm likely to see a few more of those.

Tonight, I will go outside later, under the light of the (so far) fortunately brilliant moon. I'll talk to my Dad, and my other departed loved ones, through the thinning veils. I believe they will hear me. I hope I will hear them answer.
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Old and bold

They're talking politics at the assisted living facility. This could be me if live long enough. Audio is NSFW.

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President's precedence

[ photo via Steven Portnoy on twitter]

Lot of chatter on the internets this afternoon about Chris Christie ditching Miserable Mitt and singing the praises of President Obama. The general consensus goes along the lines of Mistermix's view that Christie is playing for 2016.

There's a small contingent of reluctant admirers ranging from John Cole's near kudos to Atrios who sees Christie as wanting to rise to the occassion and do his job.

Me, I'm somewhere betwixt the three of them. I don't doubt Christie calculates the political ramifications of any act and fine tunes his schtick with an eye on 2016. And like John, I've had a few moments when I've felt some genuine admiration for Christie's refusal to pander to the crazies and flat out take a firm and unpopular position. But I'm generally turned off by his big mouth bully boy style.

I'm with Atrios on the notion that for all the shady dealing Christie does to advance his own ambition and the fortunes of his own benefactors, in this situation I believe he's driven more by wanting to get the job done than by politics. On a practical level embracing Obama and the feds serves his needs the most in bringing relief to the victims of the storm. Of which he has millions. So why would he snub Obama who's bringing in FEMA in favor of Romney arriving with a rented truck full of canned soup and baby diapers?

Not saying Christie didn't weigh the political advantages at all, but really think this time it was secondary to doing what was best to solve the immediate problems.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Romnopoly game

Thanks to someone at Balloon Juice for posting the best pro-Obama ad of the entire season.



Really well done. This should be on TV.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Why I love Charlie Pierce: Reason eleventy million

Sorry kids. Didn't plan to disappear for so long. Took the weekend off to drive a few hundred miles to go to a very long and really fun birthday party. Then the storm happened. And of course, our stupid politics never sleep. I'm on information overload, and it took a while to sort it all out.

Being mainly uninterested in internet spats I haven't closely followed the battle between Nate Silver and the very important pundits. I gather our leading media opinion makers are quite unhappy Nate is ruining their rosy scenarios of an exciting race to a photo finish with his tiresome scientific facts and mathematical equations. They're all, "Who the hell does he think he is, fking Harry Potter?" (not really an exact quote)

So what does this have to do with Charlie, you ask? Well, Charlie Pierce wrote about it at some length, but this is the line in his post that inspired the title.
2) I refuse to believe that the enjoyment of anything can be enhanced by the inclusion of math.
As someone who still refuses to accept the absolute value of numbers, those words resonate with me in various and inexplicable ways.

Oh, if you care about the roots of the spat, here's People Who Can't Do Math Are So Mad At Nate Silver. It explains everything.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

All truths await

By Capt. Fogg


All truths wait in all things
-Walt Whitman- 


It's been asserted that Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln's mother was illegitimate and that President Lincoln himself was her illegitimate son.  History as is commonly taught to school children seems to have left the legitimacy claims behind to those who continue to impugn the man on the Dollar bill and continue to say the same sort of things about every enemy of injustice ever since.  Certainly those who continue to growl and grumble about the man who bent and broke rules to get the 13th amendment through Congress have much in common with Lincoln's mid 19th century detractors, Northern and Southern, and our current assailants of  nearly every Democratic president since FDR. It's tempting to believe that Americans of today, with their rabid and intransigent and often delusional views are something quite new, but Lincoln's campaign for re-election has far too much in common with Barack Obama's effort to make that idea stand on it's own.

He's a tyrant! he's the enemy of freedom! He's trashing the Constitution and our rights! -- are we talking about Lincoln, or Roosevelt. or Kennedy or Clinton?  All of them and more have faced such accusations.  Did Obama go on an "apology tour?"  Did Honest Abe openly endorse 'miscegenation' (a term that may have been coined by the Religious Right,) and were there articles and pamphlets describing a ball that never happened where 'colored belles'  danced with white men and containing fake pictures?  Yes there were!  just as Houston was flooded with wanted posters and other leaflets the day Kennedy was murdered.

 "At the very time shots were being fired at President Kennedy a right-wing protestor stood a few feet away, heckling JFK by comparing him to Neville Chamberlain"

Relates Donald E. Wilkes, Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law; ostensibly for such things as not forcing Communists to register with the government and for "turning the country over to the UN."  Heard it all before?  Of course we have and we've heard it ever since and from the same damned people in many cases.    "The American Fact Finding Committee" apparently actually the John Birch Society, printed one of those insidious, seditious calumnies. Fred C Koch, founder of Koch Industries ( who used to do business with the USSR) and founder of the John Birch Society and  father to the Koch Brothers bankrollers of the Tea Party now hounding Obama with the same slimy and false accusations.  Like Father, like sons. Like American Conservatism, like Treason.

Perhaps the "Modern Man" of the mid 19th century of whom Whitman sang isn't much different from the modern men and women who sit up nights fabricating stories about Barack Obama's ancestry and actions. 19th century calumnies about "Abraham Africanus I" and his fictitious dialogues with Satan smell as ugly as anything Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh or the Koch boys have ever cooked up in their stew-pots. No, I'm afraid America's 'Conservatives,'  those people who will go to war to preserve the past and particularly a  fictitious past designed to cover up injustice and promote privilege, have been with us all along.

Did the infamous but recently recrudescent Joe McCarthy really say "show me a man who talks about the Constitution and I'll show you a communist?"  I don't know, but his 'Conservative' henchmen didn't think that was as anti-American or trashing the constitution or beyond the definition of free speech as reading Marx or having a certain political opinion or promoting civil rights -- and even, in the case of Lincoln: ending constitutional support for slavery.  The Gospel chewing Bible bullies, the feudal Barons of industry then and now only care about the constitution when someone tries to use it to preserve individual liberty, and so granting the same rights to Biblical pariahs as to others, is "trashing the constitution" when Obama  -- or Africanus II -- favors it.

All truth waits, but who cares to look when it's too likely to challenge our politics, our lies, our precious delusions, our profits, our power?

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Friday, October 26, 2012

You know who else used to photoshop his photo ops?

No sillies, not Hitler. Well, maybe he did, Leni was a great propagandist, but you will recall the many instances of Bush era photoshopping from the toppling of Saddam's statue to the crowds at Georgie's speeches.

Not for nothing, has Romney hired nearly every Bushie apparatchik. They come in very handy when one needs to fake the attendance at a Romney rally. Gotta keep the myth of Mittster's phony momentum going somehow.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Sexual innuendo is in the eye of the beholder - Updated

Before I even saw Lena Dunham's ad endorsing President Obama, I knew I was going to love it because of this tweet:
Erick son of Erick: What's worse than the Obama as is that some people really like it. We do live in a fallen, depraved world destined for the fire.
He, of course, meant to say Obama ad, but typos aside, Erick son of Erick was joined in his horror by the entire population of Nutopia. Surely this is the first sign of the apocalypse and the whole of humanity is doomed to roast in hell now. What's most amusing about their mighty fauxrage is their own hero, Ronald Reagan made such references to first time voting himself and if you ask me, his was much more graphic than the Obama ad.

Being woefully ignorant of pop culture, I have no idea who Lena Dunham is, but she is as cute as a puppy who just learned to run and the ad is sweet. You have to stretch rather far to find the sexual innuendo in it. Seemed clearly to be about voting to me.



On a semi-related note, I'm sorry to tell you this video of Meat Loaf singing America the Beautiful with Mitt Romney has already been taken down, allegedly due to copyright issues. Rather certain it was out of pure embarrassment. It's truly obscene. The old washed up pompous ass from the 70s was more off key than Mitt has ever been. Hoping the internets come up with a bootleg copy somehow. It deserves to be archived for posterity.

Oh and Meat Loaf surprise endorsed Romney at the rally because, Cold War bitchez. Apparently it's still a huge threat. Who knew? Sadly, by tomorrow the GOP base will probably be building bomb shelters in their back yard to protect themselves from it.

Update: Full video is gone, but managed to find a clip of Meat Loaf singing. Watch it quick before they take that one down too. [More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cleveland Rocks

My friends who live there tell me this city really does rock. Feeling it in Jake Tapper's photo of this rousing welcome for Obama. No Eloi vibe here as I see at Romney rallies.

I see an ethnically mixed group of enthusiastic and engaged people. This is my America.

[Other original content at the Detroit News.]

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A Paul Ryan Halloween

Might as well get them used to the system New World Order while they're young...

[cartoon via]

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All that's missing is the flight suit

Adding a bit to the Morlock theme of yesterday's post, this photo looks to me like the Eloi lining up to submit to their Morlock master.

[photo via Zeke Miller]

This was taken at a Romney rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Mr. Romnesia told the crowd: "I'm optimistic, not just about winning. We are going to win, by the way."

Of course the latest polls aren't exactly agreeing with that optimism but the internets tell me it hasn't stopped the Romnesia campaign from "unskewing" (read that as lying to themselves and their supporters) the unfavorable numbers and inventing their own favorables. Everything I'm seeing suggests to me they know they're losing and they're setting up a narrative to paint Obama's win as illegitimate.

And speaking of polls, this tweet from yesterday validates everything I've ever said about them:
PublicPolicyPolling: Lots of folks calling for OH tracking poll- if some org wants to sponsor for 20k we'll do 400 a night tmrw through Sunday before election.
It's all about the money and the incentive is high to deliver "interesting" results. And now that we have a price point, think about all the money the news orgs spent on running these things over the last few years. With that kind of dough they could have hired more journalists and reported -- real news.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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How Republicans care about women

This about covers it:

[Jon Richards cartoon]

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President Obama on Leno

Caught Obama on Jay Leno last night, which is the only reason I didn't keep clicking. POTUS looked very relaxed and he was funny. This, via the man of many modifiers, Doug J, was definitely the best moment of the interview.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rhymes with Morlock

Richard Mourdock, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate doesn't think a pregnancy caused by rape is the final victory of a brutal rapist. He tells us after much thought and prayer he's realized it is a gift from God. Apparently he believes a woman should consider it a blessing to be forced to carry this daily reminder of a vicious assault on her body to term, no matter what the damage to her emotional health or her life plan. Because it's his God's will that she do so. And Mr. Mourdock doesn't think health plans should cover contraception at all. (I don't suppose I need to mention Mr. Mourdock will never have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy himself.)

Mitt Romney has done a video ad endorsement of only one Senate candidate. Yes, that would be the same Richard Mourdock. And although Mitt claims he doesn't agree with his views, Romney fully supports Richard Mourdock's candidacy and will not ask him to take down the endorsement ads. Nor apparently, will Mr. Romnesia's face be removed from the Mourdock website. [graphic via]

Since he's already said it all, outsourcing the outrage to Charlie Pierce:
Mourdock didn't come to these views over the weekend. He held them when he announced. He held them when he beat Richard Lugar in the Republican primary. He held them when he was up in the polls over Joe Donnelly. And he held them before, during, and after Romney endorsed him. And the way I know this is that, a) Romney has yet to unendorse him and that, b) the Republican senate campaign hierarchy is still behind Mourdock and what he believes.

Mourdock did receive support Wednesday morning from a key Republican leader — Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it's come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life,'" Cornyn said.
Tell me again that I don't have to worry about Romney's having two or three Supreme Court appointments to make, or about a Senate full of Richard Mourdocks passing judgment on them.
I'd only add Paul Ryan's PAC gave Mourdock thousands and he's not the only GOPer who is backing their fellow troglodyte. Mourdock has received thousands more from other sitting members of the Senate. And let's not forget this position is part of the Republican party platform. They removed the rape exception.

Romney may well disagree with that position, but he's proven time and time again that he's willing to do anything politically expedient to advance his personal ambitions. Whatever the context, when he said he would delighted to sign a bill supporting that position, he meant it. Mark my words, if Republicans take control this time, Roe will be overturned. And like the song says, you don't know what you got till it's gone...

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Donald Trump's October surprise

It's that The Donald is still batshit crazy. Oh wait. That's not a surprise. We already knew that and I blame the media for his obvious lapse into insanity and inanity. If they ignored his pathetic attention seeking, he might be convinced to seek the professional mental health help he so obviously needs.

After teasing it for the last couple of weeks, and amid a storm of media speculation and rumor mongering about divorce decrees and cocaine use, it turns out The Donald's big reveal is he thinks he's a character in a Godfather movie and offered President Obama a deal "he can't refuse." As if anyone believes The Donald would actually cough up the 5 million if POTUS took his rancid bait...

I'm too kind hearted to embed the sorry spectacle. If you want to see it, LGM has the youtube of Trump's latest public breakdown.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Gloria Allred springs October surprise

Until the court agrees to unseal the records, this falls under juicy gossip only, but if it plays out it would be a bombshell. Because if Romney lied under oath to help a friend screw over his wife during a bitter divorce, that's a serious crime.
Mitt Romney LIED under oath when he testified in the divorce of his good friend and screwed the friend's wife out of a lot of money in the process ... so claims the ex-wife of Staples' founder Tom Stemberg.

Multiple sources connected with the divorce tell TMZ ... during Tom's uber nasty divorce case with ex-wife Maureen, Mitt Romney gave a deposition and testified during the trial that Staples was worth virtually nothing. Romney testified that the company was worth very little and Tom was a dreamer and "the dream continues."
Here's the tell that gives it credibility:
Partly as a result of Romney's testimony, Maureen got relatively little in the divorce, but we're told just weeks after the divorce ended, Romney and Tom went to Goldman Sachs and cashed in THEIR stock for a fortune. Short story -- Romney allegedly lied to help his friend and screw the friend's wife over.
And it gets uglier. In shades of Newt Gingrich the ex-wife "suffered from MS and had multiple bouts with cancer." Romney's BFF Tom Stemberg cancelled her health insurance, left her homeless and in severe financial distress. One might call such vile heartlessness the Vulture Capitalist Code, so beloved by conservatives across our country.

Time is short, so who knows if this will play out in time to make a difference but Gloria Allred was in court with the ex-Mrs. Stemberg and various newspapers have petitioned the courts to release the records. It would be really good if the truth came out before millions of Americans make the same horrible mistake as they did in 2004.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The last debate -- 2012

To the extent victory can be declared in these things, Obama clearly won the debate last night. He was fully present, well versed on policy and well prepared to parry every cheap shot Romney could possibly take at him. Mr. Romnesia, despite his best efforts to fake peace lovin' Mitt, who just happens to have hired nearly every one of the Bush era neo-con foreign advisors, was reduced to a puddle of flop sweat by the end.

(And where, I ask, was that famous handkerchief when he really needed it?)

Willard Romnesia very nearly duplicated McCain's awkward lolling tongue exit from the stage.

Of course, nothing will dislodge the "both sides" narrative of a corporate media desperate to maintain the ratings only a "tight" race can deliver. To be fair, old Bob did better at moderating than I expected. (Granted it was a very low bar). But he spoils what little respect one might have when he delivers this nonsensical assessment of the debate:
Debate moderator Bob Schieffer said Tuesday he was "surprised" that President Obama and Mitt Romney sought to shift the final debate on foreign policy issues toward domestic policy concerns.
Maybe we watched two different events. I'm pretty sure if you read the transcript or watch the video, you'll find that it was Romney who derailed the discussion from foreign policy to his favorite domestic talking points which have been well covered already. If it can be said Obama "did it too" it was because he was responding to Romney's false slurs. If old Bob had been a bit better at his job, he would have insisted the Mittster answer the actual questions instead of changing the subject altogether.

Slate at least noticed Romney's deflection tactics but they still missed the mark with the "both did it" elide. What do they think Obama was supposed to do under the circumstances? When you have your opponent on the run, you have to follow them in order to keep fighting. You don't deploy onto an empty field.

Obama demonstrated his competency, his cool and his experience. Mitt went to a foreign policy debate and did everything possible to deflect the questions and change the subject. That is when he wasn't explicitly agreeing with and endorsing President Obama's current policy. Willard's entire argument was: "I'd do the exact same thing as the President, only it would better because I'm so awesome, everyone will love me and fear me."

Willard's biggest problem is not "everyone" agrees with his grandiose self-assessment:
A BBC World Service opinion poll has found sharply higher overseas approval ratings for US President Barack Obama than Republican challenger Mitt Romney. — An average of 50% favoured Mr Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries.
This is important but sadly, a much too large percentage of Americans either don't understand how critical international consensus is to our national security or they're too hooked on self-destructive chest thumping nationalism to care. [Photos via LGF and knck1es.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Last debate 2012

Didn't realize Bob Schieffer was moderating, gah! To the extent I'm watching, I'll be on the twitter, tweeting notes to myself. You can watch it on the little ticker down the sidebar if you care.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]
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Let it be a sign unto you. . .

By Capt. Fogg
Living right on the Atlantic coast in Florida, I often see and hear blimps cruising the shoreline at low altitude.  It was a a beautiful day yesterday and I spent the balmy afternoon reading and listening to music on my boat and perhaps I would have seen the Romney Blimp ( technically a hot air dirigible) had it made the trip up the coast from Miami, just over a hundred miles south of here.

It didn't, because as WPLG TV reports, it was forced down by high winds, crashed and went limp in a field near Davie, FL.  In other words the winds of  reality outweighed the artificially created hot air holding it aloft.



There's something amusingly Ozymandian about the smiling image of Willard Mitt Romney looking out from the wreckage of a collapsed airship; something so appealingly metaphorical and  prophetic.  Please, God -- let it be a sign.
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mitt outsources his campaign workers

Mr. Romnesia is out there shouting his main priority is jobs, jobs, jobs. That could be true if he meant offshored jobs outside of America. Tweet of the day:
Mark Agee : TRUE STORY: A friend got called by a Romney canvasser. She asked, and he was in the Phillipines. Mitt outsourced his own fucking campaign.
Guess cutting costs on canvassers is why he can afford to shower his executive lackeys with hundreds of thousands in bonus payments.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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RIP George McGovern

Sorry to see George McGovern died. He was a good man. He was the first national candidate I actively worked to elect. I was crushed when he was defeated. But his indominable spirit inspired me to keep working for change, no matter what the odds of success. And over the years I've seen some wins.

Sadly, all these years later, I find myself fighting those same battles all over again. But George never quit trying and neither will I.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

He who dies with the most toys wins

Brutal travel day. Burned to a crisp. Fortunately, looks like it was slow news day too. Don't have the energy to leap into the twitter mayhem but made the usual rounds. Atrios captures the essence of the problem in one of his terse, semi-cryptic posts. Just read it. It's very short. The Galtian Overlords Don't Know What They're Doing.

Or you might say, they know exactly what they're doing in the moment, but don't understand the consequences of what they do. I see no evidence the law of diminishing returns factors into their calculations. Ever.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Another "home" state rejects Romney

This strikes me as a pretty BFD. Salt Lake City Tribute issues stinging condemnation of Romney and endorses Obama:
Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear. [...]

...Through a pair of presidential debates, Romney’s domestic agenda remains bereft of detail and worthy of mistrust.

Therefore, our endorsement must go to the incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day. The president has earned a second term. Romney, in whatever guise, does not deserve a first.
Mind boggling that he's come as far as he has. That the soul sucking ninnyhammer Romney is even in contention at this point speaks volumes about the decline of America.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Darrell Issa is worse than a terrorist

No seriously. This Darrell Issa belongs in Gitmo. This just in from Imani. In his never ending quest to prove he's the world's biggest asshole, Darrell Issa signed a death warrant for Libyan activists working with the US:
But this afternoon, Darrell Issa—in a stroke of sheer idiocy—published reams of State Department documents, and this woman’s name appears in the documents—unredacted.

And now her life is in danger. The lives of several other Libyans named in the documents are in danger. And House Republicans, specifically Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz, are to blame.
Republicans have become a greater security threat to America than the terrorists. If they don't arrest them for treason, Congress should at least be demanding their resignation. Effective immediately.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Romnesia

I've been offline all day doing travel prep. Travel tomorrow so I'll be offline until late. So stealing shamelessly from mistermix at Balloon Juice. This is very good. Don't know if it will catch on, but I'm definitely stealing this meme from POTUS. Romnesia is the perfect definition of Rmoney's latest pander to the ill informed.



[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Trash the vote

The GOP obviously can't win the election fair and square with their failed policies, so they do what they always do lie, cheat, and steal Democratic registration forms and throw them in the trash. This story broke last night and it just gets weirder as it develops.

This guy was a supervisor of GOP registration drives in swing states. He got caught throwing only eight forms away and only five of those were of voters not yet registered with the state. It begins to feel like he deliberatively got caught in a serious, but essentially petty crime in order to minimize the extent of the fraud. Authorities are already saying there's no evidence of a widespread problem. Yeah, Occam's Razor, but what better way to disguise a larger crime than to deliberately get caught in a smaller one which defines it as a lone wolf operation?

I mean there's an odd Rove connection in the story:
UPDATE: Sources close to the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office are telling me that Strategic Allied Consulting is involved in this. This is the same group that was in the national news two weeks ago for their "registration" drive in Florida that had forms with made up voters.

Even more interesting. Strategic Allied Consulting shares a Virginia headquarters with two other notables.

#1- American Crossroads- the superpac founded by Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie

#2- The office of Virginia State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel.
And this guy is well connected within the GOP, having worked for Republican officeholders and the RNC. Also Nathan Sproul, who has managed to get away with apparent registration fraud for years, lurks around the edges of the whole mess.

Suppose we'll never know. These people are pros at ratfking. But it will be interesting to see if wide spread registration problems surface at the polls on election day.

On a related note, a few days ago "the Maricopa County Elections Department mistakenly listed the wrong date of the upcoming general election on an official government document." Said document contained a voter ID card. And what a coincidence, the wrong election day date was only listed in Spanish on the document. The English version was correct.

I'm sure I don't need to remind you Maricopa County is home to America's worst Sheriff, Joe Arpaio who has a long history of anti-Hispanic chicanery. This is shaping up to be the ugliest election day ever.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mitt's mental health

Mitt chickened out on his appearance with the "sharp tongued wimmen" of The View but her Ladyship Ann deigned to appear in his stead and brought along some of their "boys." Far as I can tell the only thing new or interesting she had to say was to promise Mitt would never run for office again if he loses this race. But this little item is tweet of the day from someone apparently watching the show.
utaustinliberal: Josh Romney: "You leave my dad alone for too long, he starts to get crazy so we need my mom to stabilize him." O.M.G. #TheView
You'll recall it wasn't that long ago that Ann told us the thing she worried about the most if her darling hubby won is Mitt's mental health. The only thing crazier than this candidate is that anyone in their right mind would consider voting for him.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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The Romneys are such lovely people

At the debate, Mitt Romney blamed parents for the violent tendencies in their children. Then his son Tag Romney, said he wanted to punch out President Obama. Of course, he was just joking (*wink*). I mean, does this look a family prone to anger?
[photo via]

And her Ladyship Ann Romney, was just scratching an itch here -- honest.

Gosh, their Lord and Master, Willard Mitt Romney, he never gets mad.

[photo via]

Not ever. He the epitome of even-tempered.

[photo via]

Nah. The one you have to worry about is that angry blah guy.

[photo via]

Yeah, the blah guy is the big meanie who so rudely contradicts the word of the Mormon's prodigal son.

To paraphrase a Balloon Juice tag, I can't believe we might lose to these people.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mitt's many binders of women

[graphic via]

By now you're aware the seminal moment of the debate was Mitt's bizarre response to a question about equal pay for women. And of course, binders of women became an instant meme. Within minutes, there was a facebook page with 142K likes, a tumblr page and the phrase was trending on the twitter. But the hiliarity shouldn't obscure the larger issues.

To the shock of no one, Mitt lied in his personal anecdote about how he was so very concerned that no women had applied for a job with his cabinet after he was elected governor that he immediately sent forth his menfolk to scour the land and assemble said binders of women. In fact, MassGAP, a bipartisan group had approached all the candidates before the election and asked them to commit to hiring more women. Mitt agreed to sign on, (why not, he'll do anything for a vote) and the group did vet and assemble a list of candidates. In other words, the group did all the work and Mitt took credit for it last night.

To be fair Mitt did hire “roughly two or three” of the suggested MassGAP candidates. (No, I don't know what "roughly" is supposed to mean either.) But the part about Mitt not having any candidates of his own, was another Romney lie. He hired "around" ten women total. The others were off his own list.

And why was Mendacious Mitt so interested in hiring women in the first place, when the Mormon tradition suggests a woman's place in the home and she shouldn't pursue a career once she has a family. Well, I think Matt Bors may have the answer:

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The great debate 2012

Well I'm feeling like absolute hell today so I'm late in my take on last night's debate. There's a lot to unpack on the content but in general, as clearly illustrated by the photo, by any reasonable metric President Obama won this round decisively. He was fully engaged and challenged Mitt's fabrications repeatedly. He struck the perfect balance between respect for the process and disdain for Romney's rude behavior and wild blathering. Romney came off as rude, arrogant, floundering and angry.

Unsurprisingly, Romney's supporters and whining pundits were complaining about Candy Crowley today. I thought she was stellar myself. Not that familiar with her work but I haven't been impressed with what little I did know of her journalism. I had low expectations going in but she turned out to be the best moderator I've seen in many years. She keep them both pretty much within the time limits and didn't allow Mitt to bully her. And of course her on-air fact check will become the stuff of legends.

Also had little hope for the town hall format. While there are surely a few exceptions, for the most part alleged undecided voters at this point translate to attention seekers in my experience. That may still be true but I found the questions to be much more relevant and interesting than any I've seen asked in recent memory.

So overall, I expected to be bored and disgusted. Instead I was almost enthralled. In fact, I was surprised when I noticed it was close to the end. And almost sorry it was over. As for the specific issues raised, that's a whole other post. Probably more than one. [photo via TPM]

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When the little head does the thinking

Didn't get to post this last night before the debate but it's amusing enough that I still want to archive here for future historians. I mean it is kind of funny that the guy who claimed the terrorists hate us for our moral depravity, Dinesh D'Souza, got caught sharing a hotel room with his "finance" who appears to be half his age and for whom he apparently decided to dump his wife of 20 years.

Did I mention, this little tryst happened at some big Christian convention of the self-righteously "more moral than us heathens" where Mr. D'Souza was the keynote speaker? And our paragon of virtue quite suddenly decided to file for said divorce after their night together, where, he assures us, absolutely nothing that could be even remotely construed as carnal relations happened?

He should have just confessed to his momentary lapse into weakness of the flesh and begged God for forgiveness. The church elders love that stuff. Would have shortened the penance period before they could declare him absolved.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The debate

Guess I'm going to watch for a while anyway. Not sure how long I'll last since I'm still feeling pretty yucky. But for now, I'll be tweeting random thoughts so you can see that on the sidebar widget. Otherwise, I'll recap in the morning.

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Just the facts

John Cole catches best DNC page ever. As John says, this one puts the entire media to shame. And it's really funny. No spoilers. Trust me. Just click here and hit the button.

On another note, I'm really sick today. Went to bed feeling crummy and woke up feeling worse. So laying low and comtemplating a nap even though I slept for eight hours. Hoping I make it to the debate tonight.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Not your father's Romney

Ouch. This guy slaps Mitt Romney for failing to live up to his Dad. Hard.
A longtime aide to George W. Romney issued a harshly worded critique of Mitt Romney, accusing him of shifting political positions in “erratic and startling ways” and failing to live up to the distinguished record of his father, the former governor of Michigan.

Walter De Vries, who worked for the senior Mr. Romney throughout the 1960s, wrote that Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House was “a far cry from the kind of campaign and conduct, as a public servant, I saw during the seven years I worked in George Romney’s campaigns and served him as governor.”

“While it seems that Mitt would say and do anything to close a deal – or an election,” he wrote, “George Romney’s strength as a politician and public officeholder was his ability and determination to develop and hold consistent policy positions over his life.”
Mr. De Vries’s 700-word "stinging assessment" available in full at the link. Going to hurt because it's true. Pass it on, wide and far.

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Paul Ryan's fake photo ops

[photo via TPM]

Paul Ryan is a textbook narcissist. He loves his photo ops so much he's willing to bully his way into pretending to wash dishes at a food kitchen without getting permission through the proper channels. Which didn't sit so well with the director of the charity:
Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.

He added: “The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”

Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned. ...

“Had they asked for permission, it wouldn’t have been granted. … But I certainly wouldn’t have let him wash clean pans, and then take a picture,” Antal said.
Ryan's camera trickery caused Mr. Antal no end of grief. His charity depends largely on private donations. They are deliberately non-political, as a church sponsored charity should be. He would have denied any campaign that photo-op, even if it was real. And apparently his donors weren't happy to see the soup kitchen tacitly supporting a political candidate. The charity will probably lose some donors, which of course will hurt their ability to help the poor who need their assistance. But Ryan got his photo and that's all that matters to him. Classic con move.

This reminded me of Ryan's first days on the road as the anointed one. He crashed a tailgating party at an Ohio State University football game to pretend to flip burgers and lost a game of cornhole to an 11 year old because he was too busy posing for the photographers.
From the pool report:

Mr. Ryan moved on to play a game of corn hole with 11-year-old Zachary Wymer. Each scored one point. As he missed a shot, Ryan said, “I missed trying to get the camera guy there,’’ meaning one of the press pool cameramen.
How prissy does he look in this shot anyway? Really don't get this he-man Ryan schtick the media is always swooning over because he lifts weights. Ryan doesn't even look that buff for all the working out he allegedly does. And I look at Paul Ryan's cornhole photo and my gaydar leaps to eleventy. Is it just me?

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Why are these men laughing?

By Capt. Fogg


This just in:

Fox & Friends claims Biden's debate laughter indicates dementia!


            Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/GettyImages

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

When he is good, he is very, very good

I think the entire internets have a love/hate thing going with Jake Tapper, but today he won the hearts or minds of the left. Don't watch the bobbleheads anymore but assume he was hosting on ABC this morning when Jake Tapper confronted Rob Portman on Romney's continuing relationship with Bain:
TAPPER: In Ohio especially, Governor Romney has been making a big issue about cracking down on China and China’s cheating. There is this other issue though, Governor Romney gets a cut of the profits from Bain Capital’s investments in Chinese companies and in companies that are currently offshoring U.S. jobs to China. Is there not a disconnect between what Governor Romney says he wants to do with China and how he’s continuing to profit off of those very problems he criticizes?
Much more at the link including the Mittster's continuing insistence that he has no idea what his blind trust is doing.
In fact, Mitt Romney’s blind trust doesn’t meet federal requirements for a blind trust. It’s called a blind trust because the candidate chooses to call it so, not because it adheres to the federal rules that would qualify it as such.

Romney is much closer to his trustee, Malt, than federal rules would allow. The two men both have close ties to Bain Capital, Romney as founder, and Malt as a lawyer to the firm. Romney retains large investments in Bain. None of this matches the criteria of independence and arm’s length dealings that are spelled out in the federal rules [...]

Naturally this isn’t a trick that you should try at home unless you have million dollar lawyers to defend you when the IRS comes calling. Taking retirement income and turning it into capital gains under the guise that you are still a managing partner when you are not a managing partner and thus claim you can’t be held accountable for the managing partners’ decisions is a rare advantage saved for the top 2%, who are still very, very mad at the lazy 47% for not paying more in taxes.
Of course, when you're a millionaire, you're not a parasite on society because, job creator. Even if those jobs are being created in China.

In any event, good for Jake for putting it on the TV. There's a lot you can say about his journalism, good and bad, but he's probably the most interactive of all the media stars on social nets and he pays attention to emerging memes on both sides of the fence. And though I've long had doubts about how much impact the Sunday morning shows have on the general electorate, the opinion makers in The Village surely will have noticed. So there's that...

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Cons on the eve of self-destruction

I've come to the conclusion peak wingnut really doesn't exist. There's no depth to which they will not sink. But there's hope for the future. They've reached the point where they're willing to destroy themselves on the off chance it might piss off us dirty libruls:
The voodoo storefront has evoked outrage in the beachfront community of Spring Lake, N.J. But Bill Skuby, 66, owner of the local men's store, Skuby & Co. Lifestyle Clothing, insists that the display is not political. ... "It's personal."

The store's window display depicts an image of Obama's head superimposed in the body of a witch doctor that rests atop the word "Obamacare." The witch doctor image is placed under a tombstone epithet that reads, "I Told You I Was Sick," accompanied by a photo of the president in a doctor's coat and stethoscope.

On the tombstone stands an Obama bobble-head doll sporting a long-sleeved tee that reads, "Hoax," and underneath that is a zombie mannequin rising from the dead wearing a hat that says "F.Y.B.O.," an acronym apparently for an expletive phrase denouncing the president.

"If you want to call me a racist then go ahead. I can assure you I am not a racist; I just really want to see Obama go." Skuby said. "This is a good example of where race relations are under this guy's administration. ... This has absolutely nothing to do with race."
Of course equating our POTUS with a African witch doctor straight out his viral emails has nothing to do with race. He's just taking a stand. Exercising his First Amendment rights. And he doesn't give a damn if his petty assholery ruins his livelihood.

Seeing a lot of this sort of thing lately. It's getting harder for them to sustain the hard right mythology. In the darkest reaches of their tiny closed minds, they know they're losing. Rabid cons are self-destructing all over the place. Thinking eventually they'll just die out completely, like the Shakers.

On a related note, here's another litte "not racist" GOP joke. Republican candidate Tommy Thompson’s son tells the true Murkins at a campaign rally, “We have the opportunity to send Obama back to Chicago -- or Kenya." Of course he's so very sorry if any humor impaired liberals are offended. (Video at the link.)

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A giant leap for Felix Bumgartner

[photo via redbullstratos]

Just getting over my post-jump letdown which was so huge, it almost felt like I made the skydive myself. And pretty sure I was more nervous than Felix. By the time it got close to the exit from the capsule, I thought I might either pass out or vomit from the anxiety. Oh, are you wondering what I'm talking about? Well, it's this historic skydive from the edge of outer space that Felix Baumgartner finally got to make this morning. Or rather this afternoon by the time he finally exited the aircraft.
Unofficially, the Austrian jumped from 128,097ft (24.2 miles; 39km). He fell for four minutes and 19 seconds, reaching a speed of 706mph (1,137km/h). These figures will undoubtedly change slightly once the chest pack information has been properly assessed.
Four minutes doesn't sound that long and it seems even shorter when you're watching it live, but believe me when I tell you that while you're in freefall, it feels like a very long time. My highest skydive was at about 14,000 feet and that freefall felt so long I was almost grateful to get under canopy. Almost. Because freefall is the best part of any skydive.

Of course if memory serves, my top speed was well under 100mph and that was only for maybe 20 or 30 seconds. Can't begin to imagine what it was like going over 700mph for so long. I was terrified for Felix at that point. He was rolling so fast I couldn't believe how smoothly he leveled out once he hit the heavier atmosphere.

He opened early, missing making a new record for longest freefall. I'm convinced he did on purpose to preserve Kittinger's 50+ year record. Kittinger was his mentor for this jump and the only one allowed to talk to him throughout the 2 hour ascent and the jump back to earth. And he stuck the landing perfectly.

If you missed it, here's video of the jump, or if you don't really care, at least look at the gif of his initial leap. Thrilled that I got to see this live.

Addendum: Internets tell me it's official. Felix broke the sound barrier. With his body. This is a big fking deal.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

For whom the dog whistle blows

Granted this is one guy with a hideously racist tshirt at one Romney rally and the campaign quietly denounced the shirt, but it's not as if Team Romney hasn't been encouraging this sort of thing right along. Blow that dog whistle at the decibel level of an air raid siren and all the vicious dogs come out.

This is not at all an isolated incident. There's been hundreds of instances of this sort all over the country. And then there's the countless local Republican politicians and operatives "accidentally" sending racist emails and making racist "jokes" (and they're very sorry if anyone was offended) because it was totally not meant to be racist. I'm sure they would tell you this decoration in South Florida GOP field office was only meant in fun.

Obama on toilet paper by the shitter? Just a little bathroom humor folks. Can't be racist because there's that one black volunteer sitting over there who doesn't support Obama either.

Of course it's not just about a black president. if you live in the south, they all claim to be "not racists" and good Christians but the subtext is always lurking just under the surface of their faked civility. This isn't the first time Charles Blow posted one of his emails. It's so ugly, you'll have to see it at the link. I refuse to post such overtly racist rants in a public space. It only encourages these knuckle dragging cretins.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

When Irish eyes are smiling

The VP debate last night was being billed as the "Thrill in the Ville." It lived up to its billing for me. I didn't want it to end. I got the feeling neither did Joe Biden. He was clearly enjoying his freedom to Hulk smash Paul Ryan's pathetic lies as they popped up. Felt like watching the kids play whack-a-mole at the arcade. And Joe Biden won all the prize tickets.

This of course, dismayed fully half of the on-air punditry. Much pearl clutching and gasping for air on the fainting couches about the heinous incivility of derisive laughter. It totally ruined their pre-written script for Old Joe the Gaffer versus the Whiz Kid of the GOP. Their whimpering was largely drowned out by the rousing cheers of newly heartened liberals in my seating section. Indeed, the collective sigh of relief from the left blew the roof off their newly constructed house of dark despair and let in the light again.

As might be expected, Charlie Pierce has the best telling of the Fall of the Mighty Paul Ryan:
On Thursday night, Biden dragged out the old Paul Ryan — and, I would argue, the real Paul Ryan — and put him on display, and he made the new Paul Ryan own him. ...

The ideas [Ryan] could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
The GOP's whiz kid ended up looking like all kid, no whiz. I was reminded of those movie scenes where the wise, vaguely amused older guy is holding a little enraged kid at arm's distance, while the kid wildly flails at the air.

Unclear how much any of this will matter generally, but if it did nothing else but restore joy and some semblance of serenity on my social nets -- that's good enough. [Getty photo via Holly Bailey tumblr]

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Reality Show

By Capt. Fogg

Oh who cares whether Ryan or Biden "won" this TV spectacle? Vice presidents don't count, unless you think about Cheney, and although Romney is a sock puppet with the strong arm of  the radical authoritarians making his lips move, I don't see him being led around by Ryan as another Darth Cheney.  Who cares anyway? It's not as though the public has become smarter or has learned from experience.  These things are only a game and never, ever does a President resemble in office what he tried to resemble on camera and the platform they sell at the convention is rarely more than a facade.  There's a difference between dealing with the world as it is and dealing with the tableaux, the passion plays, the street theater, the Potemkin Village we take for reality.

So CNN says his supporters think Ryan expressed himself better.  I don't know. I have better things to do with my time, but assuming he did, does anyone think that getting the angry rabble to cheer is the indicator of suitability to administrate a Democracy -- even a pretend Democracy like ours?  Obama's haters were quick to syllogize at us in 2008 that he gave good speeches and Hitler gave good speeches, and therefore Obama is another Hitler. Who cares what such people think?

So the Romney/Ryan thing gives rousing speeches, albeit captious and dishonest ones. So the real truth is not quite as rousing, easily summed up to the satisfaction of one's enemies, or blamed on 'Libtards.'  Who gives a shit?

I had a conversation with someone last night.  An engineer, a very nice guy, a very devout Baptist and fellow Radio Amateur about the peculiar state of the ionosphere.  We're supposed to be near a sunspot peak and yet HF propagation is generally poor, without the Summer openings on 10 and 6 meters we've waited years for. I joked about writing my congressman. He quipped about killing all the lawyers because, as he said, "they'll only blame it on Global Warming and George Bush." He wasn't smiling.

So easily is scientific consensus and massive data dismissed and so easily the destruction of the US economy according to the 30 year experiment with trickle down, debt-doesn't-matter and wars-pay-for-themselves-when-we-cut-taxes agenda as given us by the Republicans. Truth doesn't matter, so how can these 'debates' mean anything?

Really -- why should I listen to these things?  I already know who has built a three ring circus around  the argumentum ad captandum argument, learned to enrage the public with lies and profit from the rage they ignited. No, I'm not going to tell you that Romney will exterminate minorities or that Ryan is a Nazi who wants to put Grandma in a camp, but the people who pull their strings have perfected the same rhetoric, the technique and the ability to harness tribal enmity, bigotry, superstition and self-pity.  They know how to make you passionately believe things that are self-contradictory, follow policies that always and dramatically fail and they know how to get their way. So sure, Romney won and Ryan won and whether or not they're elected, George W. Bush and Global Warming have sealed our fate, or at least made it unlikely that anything will ever be the same. 

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Perverse incentives

Adding a bit to my previous post on polling, herein lies the problem.
Josh Marshall of TPM: PollTracker Mobile just got its 40k download. 40k poll fanatics cant be wrong!! (or they totally can be, but in this case they're not)
I would guess at least 20K of those subscribers also bitch regularly on the internets about how the horserace obsessed media doesn't cover the issues and never makes the connection. Deeper sigh...

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Honesty as fascism

Daniel Henninger at WSJ apparently suffering from some sort of dyslexia, needs some help in making his point. So let's edit his piece a bit for clarity.
The Obama Romney's campaign’s resurrection of “liar” "lying" as a political tool is odious because it has such a repellent pedigree. It dates to the sleazy world of fascist and totalitarian propaganda in the 1930s. It was part of the milieu of stooges, show trials and dupes. These were people willing to say anything to defeat their opposition. Denouncing people as liars for spewing lies was at the center of it. The idea was never to elevate political debate but to debauch it.

The purpose of calling someone a liar flat out lying about someone then was not merely to refute their ideas or arguments. It was to nullify them, to eliminate them from participation in politics.
Now, his silly post makes sense. If he was really saying the Romney campaign should be allowed to lie with impunity without ever being called on it, because demanding honesty from our leaders is fascist... well, that would be extraordinarily stupid. And I certainly wouldn't want to hurt Daniel's feelings, or make him feel nullified, by calling him a dumbass Murdoch flunky.

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Deep sigh

Few see this as a problem.
Josh Marshall on the twitter: Whole Lotta Polls: 113 polls entered into @PollTracker database before 1pm today.
As the cool kids say these days, I just can't...

VP debate day so there's little news and lots of speculating. No surprise that the only pre-debate prediction worth reading is Charlie Pierce. Not going to spoil it with any excerpts at all, but this is my favorite line in the post:
Conservatism's mansion has many rooms, and almost all of them are padded.
POTUS is out campaigning. This is media pick for quote of the day:
Barack Obama on Romney just now :”After a year of running as severely conservative now he’s trying to convince you he was severely kidding.”
Admit I rather like it myself.

And this is the best explanation of the $716 billion Medicare cut lie I've seen yet. Worth a read if you're in the business of debunking right wing mythology. Also pretty good graphic found on Facebook.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bill Clinton ups the ante in Vegas

For all the media salivating over a mythical Obama/Clinton feud, the Big Dawg has become Obama's most effective surrogate. Clinton's speech mesmerized the crowd in Vegas. And no worries about Bill being too polite:
"I had a different reaction to that first debate than a lot of people did," Clinton told nearly 2,000 supporters at a campaign rally for Obama and other Democrats. "I thought, 'Wow, here's old moderate Mitt. Where ya been, boy?'"
You can catch the rest of the transcript at the link, but worth watching the delivery for the voice inflection:



Good stuff but I don't recall much of this sort of adulation while he was in office:
Clinton's rally at the Springs Preserve was plugged in the local media for days. Among those in the crowd was Darlene Love Smith, 49, a Las Vegas bus driver on disability.

"I've always loved Clinton," she said. "He's down to earth, and he says things like he's out for the people — and I believe that he is."
I didn't love the Clinton presidency. In fact, I hated a lot of his policies from the triangulation strategy that cursed us with centrism worship that survives to this day, to the signing of NAFTA. It was a big part of the reason I ended up supporting Obama over Hillary. I believed she would perpetuate that legacy. Figured we at least had a chance for something different with Barack. Wish that had worked out better.

Nonetheless, and having nothing to do with his sex drive, until recently I thought Clinton always felt more smarmy than down to earth. Since he went vegan and lost so much weight, he seems more genuine and credible to me now too. Maybe because he feels more relaxed and less driven by ambition these days. Guess old age eventually does that to all of us.

In any event, happy to have him on our side and appreciate he's working so hard to keep Ratfker Romney out of the White House.

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Skew the polls

I see Lynn Sweet, the woman who single-handed derailed an important national conversation about health care reform and generated a weeks long media circus with her ill-timed, off the wall, out of context question about the Henry Gates arrest at a major presidential news conference, is flogging yesterday's buzz on Romney's alleged surge in the polls. Today's polling has already made those polls somewhat irrelevant.

Of course, regular readers know I put little stock in the polls at any time. They're useless as predictive tools. They only encourage horserace coverage over policy analysis and I'm coming to believe they really are skewed. Not for partisan purposes. Strictly for business reasons.

Polling used to be rare and done by only a few trusted organizations. Now they're a big business and lots of people making serious money on them. If they all asked the same questions, phrased neutrally, they would all get the same results and eventually one or two big firms would eliminate the smaller competitors. Delivering wildly conflicting results is one way to ensure that the horserace obsessed will slavishly follow every damn one of them. And a lot of websites making money on apps that aggregate the results.

I'm not suggesting there's any collusion, but in the brave new world of digital media, traffic stats equal money. I see no incentive to challenge the whole premise of daily polling and plenty of incentive to encourage it. Which only serves to engender hysteria among nervous partisan observers. Ultimately, it's the electorate, and indeed our system of government, that loses when the focus is on who's winning which demo because of the way they said it, instead of reporting on the real world ramifications of the policy proposals being put forward. Not I expect it to change in the foreseeable future.

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Mitt Romney, completely wrong

This has been circulating on the social media for a few days. Finally broke down and looked at it this morning. It's better than I expected. Mitt debates himself:



As someone on the twitter pointed out, with that strategy he can always win.

The title of the post comes from this I picked up on the Facebook today. Quite amusing to see what happens when you do a google image search for "completely wrong." Couldn't agree with the results more.

On a slightly related note, I generally hate gifs. Moving images give me a headache. So I'm not going to post it directly, and no idea on the context, but this is a really a great Mitt gif if you like those things.

And the hits keep coming in on the Big Bird meme. Diane found a new Sesame St poster that I liked a lot and has collected a bunch more new stuff at her place.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Don't mess with the Big Bird

Sesame Street asked for this ad to be taken down so don't know how long it's going to stay live. And the tragically jaded cool kids of the campaign media were all, look at Obama jump the shark. But I thought it was a clever ad. Made me smile.



Probably would be more effective if the Obama administration had managed put a few more of those fat cat banksters in jail. Or at least hauled their sorry asses to court. But still a good ad.

On a related note, Rmoney is doing a campaign stop in Asheville, NC this week. In a bit of exquisite cosmic synchronicity, the venue cancelled a Sesame Street Live performance that was supposed to playing there at the same time. They say it was cancelled long before because, slow ticket sales. Maybe that's true, but it's still an odd and amusing coincidence. Feels like a subliminal message from the universe.

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Hound those Blue Dogs out of this town

Even if so many more liberal Dems weren't doing so well around the country, I wouldn't be shedding any tears over the demise of the Blue Dogs:
An unsympathetic look at the numbers shows the Blue Dogs could suffer further losses. If Roll Call’s race ratings bear out — that is, if all races leaning Democratic swing that way and vice versa — the group is looking at a ceiling of 19 members.

That is only true if the party wins all of its Tossup races. If it loses those, membership could dwindle to as few as 14 members to start the 113th Congress.
I've said forever, get rid of the whole lot of them. All they do is dilute the Democratic brand. They vote with GOPers all too often and give them "bi-partisan" cover for horrible bills. Let the GOP own their own crappy policy. And if you think I'm overstating that, well here's their former leader, who is now a lobbyist:
“They are going to shrink in size dramatically, but so will the margin of the majority. So proportionately they can and should remain important.”

That is a familiar refrain for many Members and aides tied to the group. If House Republicans remain in the majority but their margin slims, they say, it will be Blue Dogs who help Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) push compromise legislation out of the House.
In other words, the remaining secure ones see themselves as power brokers, to help Boehner get the governing done. Or as I call it, attention whoring by selling out to the GOP when the price is right. Might hurt to get rid of them in the short run, but this is one area when I've long believed it would lead to a stronger Democratic party over time. Maybe even in my lifetime. [George Rodrigue painting via pawfun.com]

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Nut doesn't fall far from the tree

Like father, like son. Josh Romney is proud to be known as a life-long compulsive liar:
"I don't know if you guys saw the debate last week," Josh Romney said, as the crowd cheered and applauded. "I take a lot of pride in that, because — I don't know if you noticed, but I was — me and my brothers were responsible for my dad doing so well. We were the ones, as kids, that kept saying the same thing over and over. And we'd say the same lie over and over. And my dad learned then, not to believe it. While we didn't go to any of the formal debate preparation, we did the real hard stuff.

"So as a father, he learned how to debate an obstinate child. We had a lot of fun, we had a lot of fun watching the debate."
Apparently delighting in being mendacious bullies also runs in the family. As always, IOKIYAR. Imagine the reaction if it was Malia spewing this crap.

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Romney afraid to face kids

Anybody in show biz will tell you that sharing a spotlight with kids is a dangerous act. They always upstage you with their damned cuteness. In politics, kids ask the toughest questions, so no surprise Romney was afraid to participate in Nickelodeon's program, "Kids Pick the President."
The premise of the show -- kids submit questions to each candidate and based on the answers they make their pick for leader of the free world.

Obama answered the kids' questions, but Romney said he didn't have the time.
Romney would have been forced to explain his educational "reform" scams and no doubt would have been asked why he wants to kill Big Bird. Besides, why would he bother with those little moochers. They can't even vote. [photo via]

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Republicans warm up to Obamacare

At least some Republican voters are coming around to seeing how Obamacare is helping them personally. They still don't like our POTUS but they don't want to lose the health care security provided by Obamacare. So they may end up voting for him to protect their own interests.

It's far from a large trend. Some hard core Republicans, like diabetic Katherine Weaver, won't be switching her vote. But of course, she has, or thinks she has, health care security already:
Weaver, 52, knows it would be difficult if not impossible to buy insurance on her own because of her disease, but she said she's not worried because she has good insurance through her job as a public school teacher in Dallas, where she's worked for 20 years.

"It's very hard to get rid of teachers," she said. "I'm very protective of my job. I document everything I do."
Apparently it doesn't occur to her that she could become too ill to work at some point and lose her job and her insurance. Or her union busting, teacher hating, government slashing GOP party could manage to shut down the public education system altogether and leave her to fend for herself in the merciless private insurance market. Her shortsighted worldview makes a good case for abolishing the tenure system. (No, I'm not advocating we do that.)

More encouraging are the Republicans like Jill Thacker who "felt 'weird' as she stood there in the 7-11 in Sanford, Florida, thinking about which cup to take" in their coffee cup presidential poll.
She thought about her insurance, which covers her only if "I get hit by a bus." It's the only insurance she can afford given her preexisting condition.

She thought about how she's still paying off a $22,000 emergency room bill from last year.

She thought about her 25-year-old daughter, who's on her father's insurance only because of Obamacare.

But she also thought about how, in many fundamental ways, she just doesn't like Obama.

Then she reached for the blue cup with Obama's name on it.

"I really do feel conflicted," she said. "But for me, it's all about health care. It's my number one thing."
Many of us said Obamacare would be more popular once the provisions started taking effect and people began to see how it benefited them individually. GOP succeeded in using repeal as wedge issue in 2010, because that hadn't happened yet. Encouraging to see the strategy beginning to backfire.

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