The Ledes

Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

New York Times: "A former top United Nations official and a billionaire real estate developer from the Chinese territory of Macau were accused on Tuesday of engaging in a broad corruption scheme, according to federal prosecutors in Manhattan. The former president of the United Nations General Assembly, John W. Ashe, a diplomat from Antigua, was one of six people identified in a criminal complaint outlining a bribery scheme that involved more than $1 million in payments from sources in China for assistance in real estate deals and other business interests. The case is highly embarrassing to the United Nations, which has vowed to act with greater transparency and accountability after past scandals."

New York Times: "Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their discovery of neutrino oscillations, which show that neutrinos — a kind of subatomic particle — have mass.”

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, October 5, 2015.

New York Times: "An American Airlines jetliner with 147 passengers onboard made an emergency landing in Syracuse on Monday after the pilot fell ill and died, aviation officials said. The aircraft’s co-pilot took control of the plane after the captain became incapacitated, and landed safely at Syracuse Hancock International Airport shortly after 7 a.m."

New York: "The Coast Guard believes that the cargo ship El Faro, which has been missing since Hurricane Joaquin struck the Caribbean, sank in the storm. The ship had a crew of 33, and 28 Americans were aboard."

New York Times: "Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police procedurals that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died Monday morning in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67.

New York Times: "Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases,” the Nobel Committee announced on Monday. William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin, which has radically lowered the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). They shared the prize with Youyou Tu, who discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced death rates from malaria."

Guardian: "Islamic State militants have destroyed the Arch of Triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra, a monument that dates back to the Roman empire, Syria’s chief of antiquities told the Guardian. Maamoun Abdulkarim said sources in the city, which was conquered by Isis after a week-long siege in May, had informed him the arch was destroyed on Sunday in the latest act of vandalism against Syria’s cultural heritage perpetrated by Isis."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post [Sept. 11]: "Aggressive treatment of high blood pressure can sharply cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths in people 50 and older, according to a landmark federal study released Friday that urges doctors to bring their patients’ blood pressure well below the commonly recommended target. The new research advises people with high blood pressure to keep their “systolic” pressure — the top number in the reading that health-care providers routinely tell patients — at 120 or below.

New York Times [Aug. 20]: "As many as 60,000 American women each year are told they have a very early stage of breast cancer — Stage 0, as it is commonly known — a possible precursor to what could be a deadly tumor. And almost every one of the women has either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and often a double mastectomy, removing a healthy breast as well. Yet it now appears that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes."

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

White House Live Video
October 5

10:00 am ET: 50th anniversary of the Immigration Naturalization Act

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to


New York Times: "Europe’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that a widely used international agreement for moving people’s digital data between the European Union and the United States was invalid. The decision, by the European Court of Justice, throws into doubt how seamlessly global technology giants — the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — can continue to collect, manage and analyze online information from their millions of users in the 28-member bloc. The court decreed that the data-transfer agreement was invalid as of Tuesday’s ruling."

One More Reason Not to Let Jeff Bezos into Your House. Bloomberg: " Inc. will stop selling media-streaming devices from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. that aren’t easily compatible with its video service, the latest example of the company using its clout to promote products that fit with its own retailing strategy.The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t 'interact well' with Prime Video." ...

... Karl Bode of Tech Dirt: "Amusingly, Amazon unloads what has to be one of the larger piles of ambiguous bullshit in defense of an anti-competitive position seen in some time: "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,' Amazon said in [an] e-mail [to sellers]. 'It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.'" Hilarious. Except it's up to developers to embed Chromecast support into their services and apps, and both Google and Apple publish open software development kits that allows any application to be utilized on both devices. In other words, it's Amazon's choice that Chromecast and Apple TV won't play nicely with Amazon Prime Instant Streaming. It has nothing to do with the devices not 'interacting well' with Amazon's services." ...

... Alison Griswold of Slate: "It will be interesting to see whether Amazon’s move with regard to streaming content raises any antitrust flags. Generally speaking, a company has breached antitrust laws when it has a monopoly and uses that monopoly to stifle competition."

Congratulations, Aliens! You are no longer in violation of U.S. copyright law:

... Our Long National Nightmare Is Over. Los Angeles Times: "In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, [a federal] judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the 'Happy Birthday To You' song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.... Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song."

When the posh British PM David Cameron was a lad, he fucked a dead pig. The antics of our own Aqua Buddha Boy pale by comparison.

New York Times: "It was a night of firsts, and a night for establishment cable at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for best lead actress on a drama series, for her role as a defense lawyer on ABC’s 'How to Get Away With Murder'; Jon Hamm won his first Emmy after seven previous nominations for his role as the tortured Don Draper on 'Mad Men'; and HBO, led by victories for the comedy 'Veep,' the drama 'Game of Thrones' and a four-part limited series, 'Olive Kitteridge,' had a triumphant showing, with 14 victories, including best drama and outstanding comedy series."


Washington Post: "When Pope Francis arrives in Washington this week for the start of a six-day visit to the United States, he might find at least one local spot that reminds him of home. That’s Brookland, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington so chockablock with Catholic institutions that it has been called 'Little Rome.'”

New York Times: "When the comedian Steve Rannazzisi has explained his success, which includes seven seasons starring on a popular TV show, 'The League,' and a one-hour special this Saturday on Comedy Central, he has frequently attributed it to decisions he made after narrowly escaping the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.... Confronted this week, though, with evidence that undermined his account, Mr. Rannazzisi, after a day of deliberation, acknowledged on Tuesday that his account was fiction."

Washington Post (Sept. 15): "King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain ... arrive in Washington this week for their first official visit.... The couple will meet with President Obama and Senate leaders on Tuesday (which happens to be the queen’s 43rd birthday), open an American-Spanish scientific conference at Georgetown University [where Felipe attended grad school], meet with American chief executives who do business in Spain, and head to Florida to celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine."

Perfect! Guardian: "Arnold Schwarzenegger is to replace Donald Trump as the host of the NBC reality show Celebrity Apprentice, the network has announced."

New York Times: "For the first time in more than a quarter-century, a new subway stop [in Manhattan] is open for business.... The extended subway line is a descendant of the train lines that ran along 11th Avenue from the mid-1800s until 1941." The stop is an extension of the No. 7 line. Exits are at 34th St. & 11th Ave.:



MoDo goes to Paris to check out Google's Google's Cultural Institute, which is on a mission to "digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth." CW: The Times should stop giving Dowd these difficult war-correspondenty assignments. Why isn't she in New York, checking out the runways during Fashion Week?

The President Awards the National Medals of the Arts and Humanities:

Washington Post: "New images of Pluto show the amazing diversity of" the planet's landscape. "Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, added that the surface was 'every bit as complex as that of Mars,' with jumbled mountains, nitrogen ice flows, and possible dunes." Includes slideshow.

Wowza! New York Times: "Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africa discovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star cave: lots and lots of old bones. The remains covered the earthen floor beyond the narrow opening. This was, the scientists concluded, a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi. The new hominin species was announced on Thursday by an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The species name, H. naledi, refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; 'naledi' means 'star' in the local Sesotho language." ...

... Here's the Life Sciences report. ...

BBC News (Sept. 9): "Cheering crowds have greeted the Queen in Edinburgh on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Bad weather delayed her arrival at Waverley Station, but the 89-year-old Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have now set off on the new Borders Railway. The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and seven months - calculated at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes at about 17:30 BST." Elizabeth exceeds the reign of her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. CW: Could be a good time to abdicate in favor of the awkward kid who's been in training for the top job for 66 years.

The Druid News. Washington Post: "Scientists working with the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project have discovered evidence of a massive henge just two miles away.... The 100-odd stones, which were discovered using ground-penetrating radar technology, sit beneath three feet of earth and are thought to be 4,500 years old -- roughly the same age as the more famous henge down the road. The new find sits beneath a henge known as Durrington Walls, a previously discovered, younger 'superhenge' thought to once be one of the largest settlements in Europe, spanning a space five times larger than Stonehenge. While some of the stones are only known by the depressions they left behind, others are still buried.... Here's a visual reconstruction for scale:

Ken Doctor of Capital New York: "Tribune Publishing will announce Tuesday the termination of highly regarded L.A. Times publisher Austin Beutner...."

Mo Rocca interviews Stephen Colbert for CBS "Sunday Morning."

Contact the Constant Weader

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The Commentariat -- August 10, 2012

Rural Acreage for Sale. Mountain, valley views. Private setting; distance to nearest neighbor averages 225 million km. Commute time to nearest town: about 8-1/2 months. A portion of Curiosity's first color photo of Mars.

Q&A with Frank Rich: why Harry Reid is no Joe McCarthy. And other stuff.

In a New York Times opinion piece, Jon Grinspan compares 19th-century political "discourse" & voting practices to today's campaigns. Things have been worse.

Dana Milbank on the newest McCarthy: "Andrew McCarthy's work is providing the intellectual underpinnings -- such as they are -- for Rep. Michele Bachmann's outrageous suggestion that Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood." Milbank so thoroughly tears McCarthy's attack of Abedin to shreds that McCarthy ends up saying, "I'm a whack job, I guess."

Mark Bittman of the New York Times forgets about food & pleads for gun contro'. Good for him.

Jim Salter of the AP: "At a pivotal national meeting, members of the largest group for American nuns have been weighing whether they should accept or challenge a Vatican order to reform.... The president of the nuns group, Sister Pat Farrell, is expected to make an announcement Friday as the meeting ends. She has indicated in her public remarks this week that the sisters may not formulate a definitive response."

Jennifer Preston of the New York Times: "Leadership changes at the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure six months after an online uproar over a decision to cut funds for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood was greeted with skepticism on Thursday among breast cancer advocates and longtime former supporters."

An Employee of the New York Times & Damien Cave: on top of everything else, a crime wave in Syria.

Presidential Race

Jonathan Easley of The Hill: "Obama’s lead in the [new] CNN-ORC poll is buoyed by men and independents -- two groups that until recently had favored Romney. Obama leads 53 percent to 42 among independents, and has a 6 percentage point advantage among men. Romney's unfavorability rating climbed considerably in the poll."

Mike Allen of Politico: "Advisers to President Barack Obama are scripting a Democratic National Convention featuring several Republicans in a prime-time appeal to independents — and planning a blistering portrayal of Mitt Romney as a heartless aristocrat who 'would devastate the American middle class' ...."

You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad. 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. -- Mitt Romney, Thursday, apparently with a straight face

... Paul Waldman of American Prospect writes on Romney's welfare attack ad & echoes my view of Newt's "rationale" for it: "In my former career as an academic I did a lot of research on political ads.... I cannot recall a single presidential campaign ad in the history of American politics that lied more blatantly than this one.... Newt's argument is ... that although the Romney ad makes false claims, that's OK because Barack Obama and those who work for him are, in Newt's opinion, the kind of people who would gut work requirements if they could, so therefore it's OK to say that they are actually doing it, even though they aren't." ...

The Obama camp hits back on the welfare claim:

... Michael Cohen of the New York Daily News: "So Mitt Romney has two new ads out this week, and they offer a pretty clear indication of his larger political problem: He hasn't closed the deal with conservatives. First there was an ad on Monday that that accused Obama of gutting welfare reform.... Then there is an ad [Thursday] that accuses President Obama of declaring a war on religion because of his decision to force employers to offer contraceptive services to women.... Both of these ads are deeply dishonest.... Accusing Obama of a 'war on religion' is the height of political slander.... And once again it's completely hypocritical: when Romney was governor he went along (without comment) with a similar contraceptive policy in Massachusetts." ...

... CW: following Cohen's logic, I'd say Romney would have to choose Paul Ryan as his running mate, though Ed Rendell's suggestion that Romney choose Michele Bachmann would be great, too. Michael Shear & Trip Gabriel write in today's New York Times: "That Mr. Romney has not yet named his vice-presidential nominee has created an opening for social and economic conservatives to pressure him publicly, and they have taken the opportunity to make an aggressive case for Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin."

CW: I wouldn't link to an Erskine Bowles op-ed if that pompous deficit hawk bashed Mitt Romney. Oh, wait, here's Bowles in the Washington Post complaining that Romney's budget wouldn't cut the deficit: "This month, Romney said that his tax reform proposal is 'very similar to the Simpson-Bowles plan.' How I wish it were. I will be the first to cheer if Romney decides to embrace our plan. Unfortunately, the numbers say otherwise: His reform plan leaves too many tax breaks in place and, as a result, does nothing to reduce the debt." Sometimes one has to compromise one's principles for the greater good.

The Obama campaign's latest. CW: I'm going to have to look up that "Son of Boss" story. It's news to me:

Okay, here ya go.... Grace Wyler of Business Insider: "The ad, "Son of Boss," pivots off of a new CNN op-ed from tax lawyer Peter C. Canellos and tax expert Edward D. Kleinbard":

Peter C. Canellos, a tax attorney & former chair of the New York State Bar Association Tax Section, & tax expert Edward D. Kleinbard, former chief of staff of Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, in a CNN opinion piece: for years, Mitt Romney was on the board of directors of Marriott International, & "from 1993 to 1998, Romney was the head of the audit committee of the Marriott board. During that period, Marriott engaged in a series of complex and high-profile maneuvers, including 'Son of Boss,' a notoriously abusive prepackaged tax shelter.... In this respect, Marriott was in the vanguard of a then-emerging corporate tax shelter bubble that substantially undermined the entire corporate tax system..., perhaps the largest tax avoidance scheme in history.... The Son of Boss transaction was listed by the [IRS] as an abusive transaction, requiring specific disclosure and subject to heavy penalties.... The government brought successful criminal prosecutions against a number of individuals involved in Son of Boss.... Romney approved the firm's reporting of fictional tax losses exceeding $70 million generated by its Son of Boss transaction." ...

... Jed Lewison of Daily Kos: "In February, Bloomberg News reported on Romney's role as head of Marriott's audit board, including his approval of the 'Son of Boss" transactions.' Lewison quotes the Bloomberg piece. ...

... Ashley Killough of CNN: "Team Obama said the ad will run in the same states that Romney's bus tour will cross in the coming week, including Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio -- all battleground states."

Antics. CNN: "The Democratic National Committee is rolling out another bus tour to trail Mitt Romney's own over the weekend through key battle ground states, harping on the Republican candidate's economic policies as throwing 'the middle class under the bus.'" And speaking of buses ...

... Network: "NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, is inviting Governor Mitt Romney to spend a day with Catholic Sisters who work every day to meet the needs of struggling families in their communities..., people who will be further harmed by his proposed budget cuts and by the terribly divisive and demeaning political advertisements about welfare. The Sisters' invitation comes after recent false attacks from Mr. Romney that demonstrate his lack of understanding of the struggles families and children face as they work to get out of poverty.... As NETWORK demonstrated in their recent 'Nuns on the Bus' tour, budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and endorsed by Mitt Romney will hurt struggling families throughout the nation. The Romney-Ryan budget would devastate services such as nutrition assistance, childhood education and job training that provide pathways out of poverty for millions of families." Via Steve Benen. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.

Maggie Haberman of Politico: "Bill Burton, the main face of Priorities USA Action, refused to back away from an ad that the pro-President Obama super PAC unveiled yesterday, despite blowback from Republicans and fact-checks that have questioned the account the spot relays. 'What fact in that ad is wrong?' Burton said as he pushed back on a fairly feisty Wolf Blitzer during an interview on the CNN set."

Aviva Shen of Think Progress: "The Romney campaign ... has seized on a new soundbite to distort. The campaign sent an email blast Thursday afternoon featuring a video of an Obama rally in Colorado from earlier that day and falsely claimed that he wants the government to bail out every industry."

Turns out the Romney Liars & Hypocrites Club is bilingual. Lawrence Downes explains in the New York Times.

AND Donald Trump turned down a chance to speak at the GOP convention. CW: uh-huh. A spokesperson for Trump said the former millionaire had given his fortune to the obscure Order of Oopsus Daisi, & has entered a monastery where he has taken a vow of silence. (Well, that's as believable as the "turned down a chance to speak" story.) ...

... CW: guess I was wrong. Jennifer Wlach of ABC News: "Donald Trump will have a 'major role' at the Republican National Convention, an aide to the real estate mogul tells ABC News."

Congressional Races

** Paul Kane of the Washington Post: "In the battle for control of the Senate, no race has received as much financial attention as the reelection bid of Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, with outside conservative groups working together to pour tens of millions of dollars into Ohio's airwaves to try to unseat him.... The Brown-Mandel campaign is a case study of the aggressive fundraising and spending this election season by interest groups outside the candidates' campaign operations. And because many of the groups behind the spending are not required to disclose their donors, the effort has created a virtual shadow campaign that will probably far exceed what Mandel spends on his campaign."

AP: Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS "says it will stop airing a television ad that is critical of North Dakota Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp's record as attorney general. The ad claims when Heitkamp was attorney general during the 1990s, she spent taxpayer money on private airplanes. Heitkamp on Thursday called the statement 'completely false' and asked TV stations to quit running it.... Heitkamp says ... her office got two surplus planes for free from the Department of Defense. One was flown on anti-drug missions. The second was used for spare parts." Via Greg Sargent.

Cameron Joseph of The Hill: Missouri's GOP Senate nominee "Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) voted against the creation of a national sex offender registry and against reauthorizing a program that assists runaway and homeless children. Both bills passed by wide margins with strong bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled House.... Democrats believe votes like these can be used to paint Akin as too conservative for the state."

Joe Swickard & Kathleen Gray of the Detroit Free Press: "Four staffers of former U.S. Rep. Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, [Michigan,] were charged today in connection with the false nominating petitions that led to McCotter's departure from Congress. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette described the four as 'not simply Keystone Kops running amok ... criminal acts were committed.'"

Local News

CW: this New York Post story was way too entertaining to ignore: "They must have rubbed Mayor Bloomberg the wrong way. City officials pulled the plug on a vibrator giveaway by the Trojan condom company yesterday, disappointing potentially thousands of pleasure-seeking women.... Trojan sent tingles of excitement across the city when it announced the giveaway of some 10,000 vibrating sex toys from hot-dog-style pushcarts.... But instead of climaxing in a successful giveaway, the promotion was prematurely interrupted by City Hall, which sent a dark-suited representative to put the squeeze on Trojan's 'Pleasure Carts.'" ...

... Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Breaking! For $3,100, Trojan was granted the permit they need to please the masses, and will try again on 14th Street between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. tonight. Patience, people."

News Ledes

New York Times: "Now that the murder trial of Gu Kailai has ended, far more detailed accounts have emerged from inside the courtroom of the case that prosecutors built against Ms. Gu, the wife of one of China's most ambitious leaders. The accounts show her plotting with allies, including the local police chief, to protect her son from what she saw as the blackmail demands of the British business associate she is believed to have killed."

Bloomberg News: "The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new regulations that would revamp how American homeowners interact with mortgage servicers. One set of rules aims to provide homeowners with clearer, timelier information about changes to interest rates and options for avoiding foreclosure. A second set of rules requires servicers to credit payments promptly, correct errors, stay accessible and limit foreclosures if homeowners are working on loan modifications."

Washington Post: "The long-moribund housing market has bustled to life, with prices and new-home construction rising in recent weeks. Hiring, so weak earlier this year, picked up last month. And on Thursday, the government reported an acceleration of a downward trend in the number of people seeking unemployment insurance, as well as a sharp improvement in U.S. exports. Together, the signs point to an improving economy, a potentially important shift for President Obama's re-election campaign." ...

... BUT. CNN: "A new national survey indicates that the number of Americans who say things are going badly in the country is on the rise, as a growing number of people believe that economic conditions are getting worse."

New York Times: "Federal authorities ended two investigations into the actions of Goldman Sachs during the financial crisis, handing a quiet victory to the bank after years of public scrutiny. In a statement late Thursday, the Justice Department said there was 'not a viable basis to bring a criminal prosecution' against Goldman or its employees after a Congressional committee asked prosecutors to examine if the bank had been involved with any illegal acts related to several mortgage deals."

AP: "Thousands of mourners are expected to pay their final respects to the half-dozen Sikh worshippers gunned down by a white supremacist at their Wisconsin temple over the weekend.... Dignitaries scheduled to attend include U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan."

Reader Comments (12)

So... Harry Reid was just a stalking horse? Wow! The shith cometh downth!

August 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

What can't those physicists do with a digital camera and a time machine! Great picture of the American Midwest after a few more years of record-setting temps. That's what it really is, isn't it?

But we should expect no less from the wonderful folks savvy enough to lasso the God particle. They already have a time machine; it's called prediction based on observation and they're pretty good at it. Their tricks brought us electricity, medicine, computers and cars we no longer understand.

Too bad when they talk about evolution or fossil fuels' effect on the climate, they're roundly ignored.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Is it just wishful thinking on my part or have we turned some kind of corner in revealing the idiocy of this silly season? When Ann Coulter, that slinky, splenetic blond vampire, gets her knickers in a twist over the Romney mishaps, when Harry Reid turns from a mild mannered Senator into a raging bull, when Kansas votes in another Republican scaramouch*, when the word is finally getting out that Romney LIES––all the time, plus a myriad number of other indications that points to, dare we whisper it––a change in the old atmosphere.

And that article on "Son of Boss" is terrific––we go from Son of Man to Son of Sam to Son of Boss in a twinkle of an eye.

*How many scaramouches do we harbor in that party that once drank tea, but has morphed, as Frank Rich posits, into the Republican party writ large. Perhaps it's time to bring back Queen's ubiquitous rock song "Bohemian Rhapsody"–––"I see a little silhouetto of a man/ Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the fandango?" Will you, punks?

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Re: The buzz around town. If the Trojan give away is a success won't that hurt the sales of the other Trojan lines? Who needs a raincoat when it's sunny all the time? Or is there a plan for Trojan battery packs? Would Mitt allow his horse to be spokeshorse for a fee? A lot of questions to ponder for the day.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

"Who needs a raincoat when it's sunny all the time?"
Good question, but since I'm on a kick of bringing back the oldies, but goodies, we can go with Marvin Gaye's, "Nothin but the real thing, Baby!" Yet–– maybe Springstein's "Waiting on a Sunny Day" speaks more to those raincoats and gray skies that are so prevalent today.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Willard the Rat took some time off from his non-stop sluice of lies the other day. He turned off the “LIES” spigot and turned on the “IGNORANT and perhaps RACIST” faucet.

Making another attempt to appear human (give it up, Pinocchio, you’re never going to be a real little boy) the Mittbot sent out condolences, such as they were, to the survivors of the latest right-wing hate-fueled serial killing, the “Sheiks”. A bit tongue tied? Or does Romney, like the right-wing murderer, have trouble separating brown skinned people wearing turbans. “Shit, they all look like Ay-rabs, Mitt. I guess they’s Sheiks. You know, like them Mooslims who run around the desert chopping people’s heads off?”

The excuse du jour for the latest Romney display of ignorance about people not rich, white, and privileged, is that it was a long day. Wasn’t that the same excuse John McCain used for calling his wife a painted trollop and a c*nt, in front of a roomful of reporters? But then again Romney once referred to Boston’s Big Dig project as a “tar baby”. But he, like Michele Bachmann claimed not to have any idea that it’s considered a racist insult.

Those Republicans, they’re just funny guys, know what I mean?

But even if the Rat’s most recent bout of sterling silver foot in mouth disease was not directly related to his indifference to humans of any race or economic sphere other than his own, it seems like it would put him in solid with the millions of conservatives who daily mine the enormous vein of racism that runs like the Comstock Lode through the Republican Party.

We all know how much Little Ricky Santorum hates those “blah” people, and don’t forget Ann Coulter buddying up to Herman Cain, winking that “Our black people are better than their black people” which sounds like she’s comparing pets. And do you recall that Mr. High Morals, Ron Paul, used to refer to Martin Luther King Day as “Hate Whitey Day”? Not to be outdone, that other proponent of virtue and morality, William Bennett, once declared that the best way to reduce crime in the US, down to virtually nothing, would be to abort all black babies. And leave us not forget the Regent of Racial Repulsiveness, the Newt, who doesn’t think calling Obama a food stamp president has any racial connotations. (They’re all so adept at backpedaling once called on their racist ways.)

Yessiree Bob, those Republicans sure do know how to demonstrate their grasp of moral behavior.

Maybe the Mittster should show that good ol’ time Republican Racism more often. He might even get invited to speak at the GOP convention in a few weeks. A few more dog whistles to the drooling racists and they might even send him his very own Teabagger Confederate Flag that he can wave next time he’s hobnobbing with his NASCAR owner buddies.

Plus, he won’t have to worry about running into any "Sheiks" at NASCAR races.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I hope you don't mind me posting this here but I've not seen this particular subject on your site. Perhaps I missed it but I think it would be of interest and also so important an issue it shouldn't be missed.


August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterScott M.

@ Scott M. Thanks for writing. I don't much "do" religion here except when it gets snarled in public policy, but I sometimes make exceptions. In fact, the column I'm working on now for the New York Times eXaminer is a response to Ross Douthat's prescription for saving the nuns from their librul follies.

I'll take a look at the NPR piece of David Barton, who I think is the Christian right's idea of an intellectual. I'm shocked, shocked, that someone would suggest Barton "pulls a lot of stuff out of his ass."


August 10, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Picking up where PD left off (love the Marvin Gaye pick), I might suggest some appropriate music for Willard the Rat today, Frank Zappa's album "Sheik Yerbouti". The Mittster would probably feel a kinship with at least one of the songs: "Broken Hearts are for Assholes."

Or maybe He'd prefer "I'm so Cute" in which the singer, a good looking guy (Mitt?) declares that he's gonna:

Gonna strut
Gonna slide
Hey ugly (poor) people
Take some cyanide
And die.

It sucks not to be rich.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


Interesting link. Another fun, religiously crazed individual made the news today. Dr. Melvin Morse of Delaware was arrested for allegedly waterboarding his own 11 year old daughter. The daughter maintains that he's done this a number of times in the past. Morse's attorney claims that "it's not REALLY waterboarding..." the good doctor was trying to get his daughter's attention.

Oh yeah. I can see that.

So what kind of a doctor is he? Why, he's a pediatrician, natch! But not just any pediatrician. This guy has a website devoted to near death encounters (waterboarding seems to fit that bill) and a top secret way to contact god directly through YOUR BRAIN!

Holy shit! Wire congress! Stop the presses. Calling god, calling god, come in god.

No kidding. The good doctor has discovered a "god spot" that he says is about 32 degrees S/SE of the right temporal lobe, about 2 cm down from the top of the right hippocampus right next to the box of broken crayons, you know, that one that was hidden under the bed in your kid's room for the last 13 years. Yeah, right there. You can't miss it. Just twitch that somabitch and you got Jesus on the mainline.

Oh, and just in case you might be thinking that the little girl is mistaken, the cops picked up Doctor Dad while he was out on bail on misdemeanor charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a child. This kid wasn't waterboarded. Nah. Nothing that cuckoo. In this incident he grabbed another 11 year old girl by the ankles and dragged her face down across a gravel driveway while her 6 year old sister watched so he could administer a spanking.

Did I miss that part of Pediatrician training where they memorize the collected works of Josef Mengele?

But don't worry. I'm sure it will all be fine in the end. Very likely god tweaked his hippocampus and made him do it.

These people. If the devil didn't make them do it, god did.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Just saw that a soldier in Texas who had gone AWOL was given a life sentence for coming up with a plan that could have resulted in the death of American military personnel.

Doesn't that also describe Bush? Deserter concocts plan that kills Americans. And in his case the plan DID result in the deaths of many thousands of American military personnel and tens of thousands of civilians.

So the guy whose plan didn't work goes to the slammer for life. The other guy whose plan actually killed tens of thousands is lolling in a hammock between golf games.

Is this a great country, or what?

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

The polls, apparently, are starting to relegate him to the dumpster--even faux gnus has the black guy up by six--and he's yet to be anointed as the chosen one. Can't imagine what those VP hopefuls are thinking (if anything). Sail on O Ship of State.

August 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer
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