REALITYCHEX HAS BEEN HACKED. Sorry for the inconvenience to everybody. Update: back in business after many hours. Update 2: not hacked; "internal issued." (See today's Ledes.)
Reporter Kurt Eichenwald in a New York Times op-ed: "I have ... come to an inescapable conclusion: the [Bush II] administration’s reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it." Read the whole piece: neocons advised Bush, et al., that the CIA's warnings of an imminent attack by bin Laden were wrong & the administration should ignore the CIA. Thanks to Victoria D. for the link.
CW: I'll have to leave it to the reader to decide whether Neil Barofsky or Tim Geithner is right on the payoff of the A.I.G. bailout -- my "arithmetic" isn't good enough. Here's one impressive opinion: "The Government Accountability Office, which is not swayed by politics, estimated in May that taxpayers will receive a profit of about $15 billion from the A.I.G. bailout."
George Will Is Crazy. Jon Chait of New York: "George Will is a longtime hater of liberalism, and a longtime hater of football, so it makes sense that he would try to align his hatreds and write a column arguing that college football is an expression of liberalism." Chait liberally cites Will's column, so I won't bother to link to it. ...
... Paul Krugman: "Last year [George Will] uncovered our plot to undermine individualism by making people ride trains; now he's uncovered our long-term strategy of inculcating collectivist values through, um, college football. Foiled again."
Julie Pace & Philip Elliott of the AP: "Both President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney plan to take down their negative ads in honor of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Neither planned to appear at overtly political events.... Obama has scheduled a moment of silence at the White House and a trip to the Pentagon, the target of one of four planes al-Qaida hijacked 11 years ago. Romney, meanwhile, is set to address the National Guard, whose members deployed as part of the U.S. response to the attacks."
Gary Langer of ABC News: "Barack Obama has emerged from the nominating conventions in his best position against Mitt Romney since spring, a 50-44 percent race among registered voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. But Romney recovers to a virtual dead heat among van those most likely to vote, keeping the contest between them wide open." ...
... Charlie Cook of National Journal: "... if President Obama is reelected, it will be despite the economy and because of his campaign; if Mitt Romney wins, it will be because of the economy and despite his campaign."
Van Duzer & Obama in motion:
... Greg Krieg of ABC News: "Earlier [Monday], users flooded the rate and review website Yelp, sending Big Apple Pizza's overall rating in a tailspin.... But just as quickly as Big Apple's stars disappeared, they were back. The backlash to the backlash was delivered swiftly. By late afternoon, Van Nuzer's [sic.] pizza spot was back up in the rankings, registering a full five stars." ...
... Kevin Cirilli of Politico has a related story here.
Michael Hastings, et al., of BuzzFeed: the Obama campaign sees a clear Obama advantage over Romney on national security issues. Romney's defense goes something like this: "I can speak French! I've met Russian ice dancers! I have money hidden all over the world!" CW P.S.: Romney's French sucks.
Lyndsey Layton & Bill Turque of the Washington Post: "Teachers in Chicago went on strike for the first time in 25 years on Monday in a bitter dispute with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that is reverberating across the country as the issues at the core of the conflict.... The fact that the fight revolves around Emanuel, a former chief of staff to President Obama, has pushed the municipal labor fight into prime time and complicated the political calculus. Obama is relying heavily on the support of unions in his reelection bid...." Despite the fact that President Obama has not addressed the strike, Romney issued a statement saying, "Teachers unions have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples. President Obama has chosen his side in this fight." ...
... Chris Moody of Yahoo! News: "Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke out against the Chicago Teachers Union strike on Monday, saying he stands behind Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's opposition to the demonstration."
Matt Miller in the Washington Post: "Instead of 'Believe In America,' the de facto GOP motto has become: 'Let other people's children fight our wars, funded by debt other people's children can pay off later.' ... It's the ultimate proof the GOP has gone off the rails. The amazing thing is that Democrats almost never make the tax argument this way."
Ezra Klein on why Romney's repeated bait-&-switch ploys are biting him. Example: "Among the most popular parts of President Obama's health reforms is the protection for people with preexisting conditions. So Romney wants to keep that bit... [But] if you don't let insurers turn away people with preexisting conditions, you need some way to keep healthy people from only buying insurance once they get sick. That means you need an individual mandate, or something like it. And if you're going to have some sort of mandate-like policy, you need subsidies to help people afford the insurance the government is now pushing them to buy. And so, soon enough, you've got Obamacare -- or, as it was known in Massachusetts, Romneycare. And Romney opposes Romneycare/Obamacare." ...
ObamaCare Has Become "The New Normal." Amy Fried of Pollways: "Obamacare ... is putting pressure on Romney. A key reason is that Obamacare created a new normal in who's covered. The law requires insurance companies to take all comers. People with pre-existing conditions cannot be excluded... [Romney] wants to associate himself with the new normal, the popular provision on pre-existing conditions. However, from the policy point of view, this is impossible without a mandate.... Obama's advantage on health care is seen in more and more polls, as he favored on healthcare over Romney." Via Jonathan Bernstein. ...
... Pema Levy of TPM: "Democrats are accusing Mitt Romney of purposefully misleading on the issue of pre-existing conditions in order to win over undecided voters." CW: yeah, me too. ...
... Update. Very nice. Robert Pear & Amy Goodnough of the New York Times try to figure out ways RomneyCare Part 2 could work without a mandate. Maybe they should just become advisors to the Romney campaign.
Alex Altman of Time on the two campaigns of Mitt Romney. Romney originally planned to run solely on a platform of bashing Obama on the economy. But when his campaign saw that wouldn't work, they tailored red-meat base-motivating rhetoric to selective audiences. CW: evidently, the campaign is unaware the national media are following Willard around.
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post writes about one good column out of a hundred. This one is it: Ann Romney doesn't understand poverty. "Poverty, after all, is not about bookcases made of planks and bricks but about utter hopelessness." CW: Lady Romney is just an embarrassment.
Kevin Roose of New York: actually, Bain Capital isn't the worst of the private equity firms.
** Thomas Edsall in the New York Times: "... the Ryan budget contains an $897 billion sinkhole: massive but unexplained cuts in such discretionary domestic programs as education, food and drug inspection, workplace safety, environmental protection and law enforcement. The scope of the cuts -- stunning in their breadth -- is hidden.... While the Ryan budget does specify cuts in programs serving the poor, many of whom are Democratic constituents (Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment benefits), it hides under the abstruse veil of 'Function 920 allowances' the cuts in programs popular with many other voters. This maneuver stands in stark contrast to Ryan's campaign rhetoric." ...
... Paul Krugman: "... the Ryan story isn't just about Ryan; it's about how the establishment allowed itself to be taken in by such an obvious shyster, despite warnings from many of us that he was, well, an obvious shyster."
Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post comes up with two more whoppers by Ryan in his "Face the Nation" Lie-a-Thon: (1) that Obama never proposed an alternative to the sequester -- he did, for 10 years; and (2) that "'the supercommittee offered' a sequester alternative. In fact, the supercommittee failed to come to an agreement." (See also yesterday's Commentariat.)
Eric Hananoki of Media Matters: "Fox News contributor Elaine Chao has recently appeared on Fox Business to criticize Obama over the economy and push the falsehood that he stripped the work requirement from welfare. During these appearances, Fox didn't disclose that Chao is a national chair of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. Fox News has made it a regular practice to not disclose some of its frequent guests' ties to the Romney campaign.... News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, recently nominated Chao to join its Board of Directors. Chao is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).... Fox News contributors John Bolton and Walid Phares, and Fox regular Jay Sekulow, have all appeared on the network to criticize Obama without disclosing they're Romney advisers." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.
Jonathan Weisman & Jennifer Steinhauer of the New York Times: "With less than two months until Election Day, the Senate landscape is both broader and more fluid than it has been in years, with control of the upper chamber now anyone's guess. Both parties have seen new opportunities and new challenges, but the net result is that Democrats appear to be in less danger of losing the Senate, while Republicans have a more difficult path to gaining the majority."
Reid Wilson of National Journal learns that Republicans are going to run ads pushing the Democratic Senate candidate in Maine in hopes she will peel off votes from the popular independent Angus King, who is likely to caucus with Democrats if he wins. CW: Say anything; do anything.
Washington Post: "The Internal Revenue Service awarded $104 million to a banker-turned-whistleblower who helped the government penetrate a scheme in which Switzerland's largest bank helped its American clients dodge taxes. The award, confirmed by the IRS on Tuesday, was announced by the legal team representing Bradley Birkenfeld. The former UBS banker gave federal investigators an inside account of the bank's conduct over several years, but he ended up serving nearly three years in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to helping one of his clients evade taxes."
Washington Post: "Signaling a deepening dispute with Washington over issuing ultimatums for Iran's nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that those who won't make such demands on Tehran 'don't have a moral right to place a red light before Israel.'" CW: wouldn't be trying to influence the U.S. election, would you, Bibi?
New York Times: "After two years of study, a panel of top scientists and military experts working for the National Research Council has concluded that the nation's protections against missile attack suffer from major shortcomings, leaving the United States vulnerable to certain kinds of long-range strikes."
Washington Post: "The U.S. government's debt rating could be heading for the 'fiscal cliff' along with the federal budget. Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday said it would likely cut its 'Aaa' rating on U.S. government debt, probably by one notch, if budget negotiations fail."
Washington Post: "The detainee who was found dead over the weekend at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was a Yemeni who had recently gone on a hunger strike and had previously attempted to kill himself multiple times, according to his lawyer. Adnan Latif, 36, was discovered unresponsive in his cell Saturday and did not respond to emergency treatment. After extensive lifesaving measures were performed, the detainee was pronounced dead by a physician, the military said."
President Obama speaks at the Pentagon:
Vice President Biden spoke in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Video here.
USA Today: "President Obama said Tuesday the 9/11 anniversary is always a difficult day, but the United States has emerged stronger in the 11 years since the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon."
New York Times: "GoDaddy, the Web services company, said on Tuesday that its extensive technical problems on Monday were a result of internal issues, not an attack by a supporter of Anonymous, the loose confederation of rogue hackers."
Chicago Tribune: "Talks between Chicago's school board and the city's striking teachers failed to produce an agreement Monday, leaving more than 350,000 children locked out of the classroom for a second day. As parents faced another day of figuring out how to care for their children without school, thousands of teachers in red T-shirts flooded the Loop on Monday afternoon to show solidarity for the strike, filling streets and stopping traffic."
AP: "A territorial flare-up between China and Japan intensified Tuesday as two Beijing-sent patrol ships arrived near disputed East China Sea islands in a show of anger over Tokyo's purchase of the largely barren outcroppings from their private owners."
Guardian: "WikiLeaks has released a batch of more than 32,000 emails relating to the Syrian foreign ministry." (The story is on the Guardian's liveblog of the Middle East.)
New York Magazine: in an interview to be aired on the CBS morning show today, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta calls out former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette for writing about the Osama bin Laden raid, a raid in which Bisonnette participated.