The Ledes

Friday, November 27, 2015.

AP: "Malian special forces have arrested two men over last week's attack on a luxury hotel in the capital that killed 19 people, according to a statement distributed Friday morning. The statement identified the two Malians, both arrested in Bamako, but provided no other details on their background or their potential roles in the attack."

The Wires

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims – men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families, What makes America America is that we offer that chance. -- President Obama
White House: "In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving, and reflected on America’s history of welcoming men and women seeking a safer, better future for themselves and their families":

The Ledes

Thursday, November 26, 2015.

Guardian: "Sex abuse allegations against priests at St John’s Abbey in Minnesota were revealed in stark detail on Tuesday with the release of confidential documents concerning five priests accused of child sex abuse."

Reuters: "A 23-year-old Indiana man has pleaded guilty to breaking into a medical museum and stealing preserved human brains that he then sold online. David Charles, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to six charges including receiving stolen property and burglary in a Marion county court. Magistrate Amy Barbar sentenced him to one year of home detention and two years of probation, county prosecutor spokesman Anthony Deer said."

White House Live Video
November 27

11:00 am ET: Michelle Obama accepts delivery of the White House Christmas tree

Go to


Domenico Montanaro of NPR with everything you never wanted to know about the strange tradition of presidential "pardons" of turkeys.

Frank Rich reviews "Carol," the film based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, published under a pseudonym. As usual, Rich goes deep.

New York Times: "Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction Wednesday[, Nov. 18,] night for “Between the World and Me,” a visceral, blunt exploration of his experience of being a black man in America, which was published this summer in the middle of a national dialogue about race relations and inequality.... The fiction award went to Adam Johnson for 'Fortune Smiles.'..."

Slate: Carly Simon told People magazine that "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty. CW: Somehow I think I knew that a long time ago.

Guardian: "Gawker, the gossip website..., is giving up on reporting gossip in order to refocus on politics and 'to hump the [2016 presidential] campaign'. The site, founded by British journalist Nick Denton in 2003, announced on Tuesday that Gawker was steering in a new direction that would “orient its editorial scope on political news, commentary and satire'.”

Washington Post: Actor "Charlie Sheen confirmed on Tuesday that he is HIV-positive, as rumored in recent days by an onslaught of tabloid stories. Sheen told Matt Lauer on the 'Today' show that he is going public with his illness for multiple reasons, including that he’s been blackmailed for upwards of $10 million since he was diagnosed four years ago."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (October 26): "A research division of the World Health Organization announced on Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer, and that red meat probably does, too. The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat yet taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States."

New York Times (October 20: "The American Cancer Society, which has for years taken the most aggressive approach to [breast-cancer] screening, issued new guidelines on Tuesday, recommending that women with an average risk of breast cancer start having mammograms at 45 and continue once a year until 54, then every other year for as long as they are healthy and likely to live another 10 years. The organization also said it no longer recommended clinical breast exams, in which doctors or nurses feel for lumps, for women of any age who have had no symptoms of abnormality in the breasts."

... For about $880,000, you can purchase Julia Child's excellent little house in Provence; her kitchen is intact, except for the stove.

New York Times: "Archaeologists have over the years cataloged the rocks [forming Stonehenge], divined meaning from their placement — lined up for midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset — and studied animal and human bones buried there. They have also long known about the other monuments — burial chambers, a 130-foot-tall mound of chalk known as Silbury Hill and many other circular structures. An aerial survey in 1925 revealed circles of timbers, now called Woodhenge, two miles from Stonehenge." With slide show.


New York Times: "In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early-20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christie’s. It was the second-highest price paid for an artwork at auction."

Artist's rendering of the main exhibition hall of the planned wing of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "In designing its $325 million addition on Columbus Avenue, the American Museum of Natural History has opted for an architectural concept that is both cautious and audacious, according to plans approved by its board on Wednesday. The design ... evokes Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao, Spain, in its undulating exterior and Turkey’s underground city of Cappadocia in its cavelike interior. The design, by the architect Jeanne Gang for the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation, aims to unite the museum’s various activities, solve its notorious circulation problems and provide a multistory showcase for the institution’s expanding role as a hub for scientific research and scholarship.”

New York Times: "... Jon Stewart has signed a production deal with the premium cable channel HBO, the channel announced on Tuesday. As part of the arrangement, Mr. Stewart will work on some digital short projects that are expected to appear on HBO’s apps like HBO Now and HBO Go. Mr. Stewart could also pursue movie or television projects with the network. The contract covers four years."

Guardian: "Facebook has announced plans to water down its controversial 'real names' policy, after lobbying from civil liberties groups worldwide."

If you'd like to know whatever happened to former NYT food columnist Mark Bittman, the Washington Post has the answer.

Jennifer Senior of the New York Times reviews Notorious R.G.B., by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik: "It’s an artisanal hagiography, a frank and admiring piece of fan nonfiction."

Digital Globe photo, via NASA, republished in the New York Times. CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.... New York Times: "Satellite pictures of a remote and treeless northern steppe reveal colossal earthworks — geometric figures of squares, crosses, lines and rings the size of several football fields, recognizable only from the air and the oldest estimated at 8,000 years old. The largest, near a Neolithic settlement, is a giant square of 101 raised mounds, its opposite corners connected by a diagonal cross, covering more terrain than the Great Pyramid of Cheops.... Described last year at an archaeology conference in Istanbul as unique and previously unstudied, the earthworks, in the Turgai region of northern Kazakhstan, number at least 260 — mounds, trenches and ramparts — arrayed in five basic shapes."

New York Times: "In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior. The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as 'locality,' which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings. The Delft study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, lends further credence to an idea that Einstein famously rejected. He said quantum theory necessitated 'spooky action at a distance,' and he refused to accept the notion that the universe could behave in such a strange and apparently random fashion." CW: Everything is relative, Al.

Gizmodo: On Halloween, "a rather large asteroid — discovered less than three weeks ago — is set to to fly past the Earth at a distance not seen in nearly a decade.... NASA says that 2015 TB145 will safely pass by the Earth and continue to following along its exceptionally eccentric and high-inclination orbit — which may explain why it wasn’t discovered until only a few weeks ago. During the flyby, the asteroid will reach a magnitude luminosity of 10, so it should be observable to astronomers with telescopes."

For $299,000 you could buy the house where Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run." It looks like a dump prone to flooding every time it rains, but it's a block-and-a-half from the Jersey shore beach.

New York Post: "During his time in the White House, President Richard Nixon — pug-nosed, jowly, irascible, charmless-yet-devoted husband to Pat — was known to awkwardly hit on middle-aged female staffers. In 'The Last of the President’s Men' (Simon & Schuster), veteran journalist Bob Woodward quotes Alexander Butterfield, Nixon’s deputy assistant, about the commander-in-chief’s sad seduction techniques."

The Washington Post thought it would be great journalism to feature Donald's Digs in their weekend edition.  You'll be happy to know that Trump's taste runs to the gaudy & garish. You can take the boy out of the boroughs but you can take the boroughs out of the boy. I'd call Donald's style Early Modern Lottery Winner. Here's a sampling:

... There's much more where that came from. Ugh. Here, by contrast, is the study in Michael Bloomberg's New York City pad. Bloomberg is quite a few $$BB richer than Trump.

CW: I've completely ignored the buzz about the film "Steve Jobs," so this was welcome:

... Sharon Shetty in Slate: "As the latest attempt to mine every last bit of meaning from the life of Apple’s late founder, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs will probably make lots of money and spark lots of debate. For those preemptively exhausted by that debate, there’s Conan O’Brien’s less controversial take on a tech biopic: Michael Dell":

AND contributor D. C. Clark was kind enough to remind us of Eva Cassidy:

Contact the Constant Weader

Click on this link to e-mail the Constant Weader.


The Commentariat -- August 14, 2012

** Kim Barker of ProPublica: "Two conservative nonprofits, Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, have poured almost $60 million into TV ads to influence the presidential race so far, outgunning all super PACs put together, new spending estimates show. These nonprofits, also known as 501(c)(4)s or c4s for their section of the tax code, don't have to disclose their donors to the public.... Crossroads GPS ... is the brainchild of GOP strategist Karl Rove, and spent an estimated $41.7 million. Americans for Prosperity ... is backed in part by billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, and spent an estimated $18.2 million."

** Joe Stiglitz & Mark Zandi, in a New York Times op-ed: "Housing remains the biggest impediment to economic recovery, yet Washington seems paralyzed.... A mass refinancing program would work like a potent tax cut.... Senator Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, has proposed a remedy.... Mr. Merkley's plan would speed the healing."

Ernesto Londoño of the Washington Post: in a few short weeks, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has defied predictions by standing up to the military & restoring the power of the presidency.

First Lady Michelle Obama on healthcare reform. You can see other segments of her Leno interview here:

Presidential Race

Helene Cooper of the New York Times: "President Obama came out swinging at Mitt Romney's running mate on Monday, accusing Representative Paul D. Ryan of standing in the way of aid to farmers and ranchers who have been hurt by the severe drought."

Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "Representative Paul D. Ryan received a raucous baptism into public speaking as a vice-presidential candidate, State Fair-style, when he encountered determined hecklers on his first day of solo campaigning." ...

... Dana Milbank went to the fair, & -- watching Ryan attempting to speak -- realized why Romney had chosen him: "Ryan is almost as awkward as Romney."

Jonathan Chait of New York: "The non-extremist defense of Ryan is that his extremist plan is a 'negotiating' position designed to lead to a bipartisan fiscal adjustment with tax and entitlement reform. But literally nothing in his actual record (as opposed to his rhetoric) supports this interpretation." ...

... Garance Franke-Ruta of The Atlantic looks at Paul Ryan's so-called "legislative career" -- during his Congressional career, he has sponsored a total of two bills that passed into law, one naming the Janesville post office & the other changing tax policy on arrows (he's a bow hunter). It is a "... symptom of the corruption and divisiveness of contemporary Washington that a man who has not passed a single piece of substantive legislation, ever, can be hailed as a substantive and deep thinker and the voice of budgetary sanity while racking up an actual record consisting overwhelmingly of renaming post offices, honoring Ronald Reagan and Wisconsin, providing for the issuance of commemorative coins, and increasing the deficit through massive tax cuts.... [He has been] a force for gridlock and the sort of legislative failure that has come to characterize the 112th Congress.... Since he took over the chair of the House Budget Committee, the budgeting process has been even more of a mess than usual."

A Really Scary Thing about Paul Ryan I Didn't Know. Matthew O'Brien of The Atlantic: "Ryan is scared of the inflation monster under his bed.... He thinks that trying to bring down unemployment will unleash the inflation monster -- and that's why he wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal back in May of 2008 calling on Congress to revoke the Fed's dual mandate to target both low inflation and low unemployment.... He has sharply criticized Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for printing money, and issued melodramatic (and incorrect) predictions about 'currency debasement.' ... Where did Paul Ryan get such a truly nutty idea?" Literally, literally, from Ayn Fucking Rand.

Gene Robinson: "Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate underscores the central question posed by this campaign: Should cold selfishness become the template for our society, or do we still believe in community? ... At least three times in recent days..., Romney has told campaign audiences...: 'When a young person makes the honor roll, I know he took a school bus to get to the school, but I don't give the bus driver credit for the honor roll.' ... What I hear Romney saying, and I suspect many others will also hear, is that the little people don't contribute and don't count."

Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News: "Speaking to reporters on the tarmac outside his campaign plane at [Miami International A]irport, Romney repeatedly declined to get into the specifics of where he and Ryan differ on federal budget proposals. Asked specifically to say where he disagrees with Ryan, Romney twice dodged the question."

Jeff Spross of Think Progress: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) is pushing back against Mitt Romney's claim that he and Paul Ryan "co-led a piece of legislation to make sure we can save Medicare." Wyden issued a statement, which reads in part, "I did not 'co-lead a piece of legislation.' I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don;t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won't help promote real bipartisanship."

Catalina Camia of USA Today: "Americans don't believe GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney hit a home run with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, with more of the public giving him lower marks than high ones. Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is seen as only a 'fair' or 'poor' choice by 42% of Americans vs. 39% who think he is an 'excellent' or 'pretty good' vice presidential choice."

** Alec MacGillis: if Romney and "Sad Paul" get away with their lies while pretending to take the high ground, blame the press, which is unable to distinguish between a bald-faced lie and innuendo. ...

     ... CW: much has been made of the fact that members of focus groups, conducted by Democrats, just couldn't believe Ryan's budget was as draconian as it really is. Maybe, just maybe that is because the public reads/listens to the MSM, and the MSM simply won't tell the truth about Republican policies. ...

... Paul Krugman: The Ryan pick "is ... about exploiting the gullibility and vanity of the news media.... Ryan has a completely undeserved reputation in the media as a bluff, honest guy, in Ryan's case supplemented by a reputation as a serious policy wonk. None of this has any basis in reality.... So, a memo to the news media: you have now become players in this campaign, not just reporters. Mitt Romney isn't seeking a debate on the issues; on the contrary, he's betting that your gullibility and vanity will let him avoid a debate on the issues, including the issue of his own fitness for the presidency. I guess we'll see if it works." ...

** ... Matt Miller of the Washington Post: "The striking thing about Paul Ryan's ascent is the gulf between his proposals and the way the media have characterized them. Since Mitt Romney named Ryan to the ticket on Saturday, the news has been filled with talk of the 'fiscal conservative' (NPR) 'intent on erasing deficits' (New York Times) who has become 'the intellectual heart of the Republican Party’s movement to slash deficits' ( The Post). All of this is demonstrably false."

Jonathan Cohn of The New Republic on the Romney-Ryan "cynical Medicare Strategy." It's complicated, but among other things, "... the Romney campaign is attacking a proposal that Romney and his allies endorse." The difference: where ObamaCare moves $$ from Medicare to other healthcare cost savings, Ryan takes the money & runs.

Dylan Byers of Politico: "The Commission on Presidential Debates has decided on the moderators for this year's debates." As Jeanne B. writes, why not Rachel Maddow?

It Don't Begin Til the Fat Boy Sings. AP: "Chris Christie, the sometimes abrasive but always entertaining governor of New Jersey, is set to be announced Tuesday as the keynote speaker for the Republicans' national convention later this month." ...

... CW: Democrats, in a move of monumental idiocy, decided to hold their convention at a little place called Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina (a "right-to-work" state, the better to infuriate unions). The DNC thinks it can get around acknowledgment of some of its monumental idiocy by not calling it BoA Stadium. Oh, and by finally getting around to moving its money out of BoA & into Amalgamated Bank, "which is the only union-owned bank in the United States."

Congressional Races

Alex Isenstadt of Politico: "It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks. 'Do not say: "entitlement reform," "privatization," "every option is on the table," the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. 'Do say: "strengthen," "secure," "save," "preserve," "protect." ... The internal email ... was a clear and immediate sign that Republicans knew Ryan could create trouble down ballot for GOP candidates in tight congressional races." ...

... Cameron Joseph & Alexandra Jaffe of The Hill: "Republicans strategists are worried that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) addition to the presidential ticket will cost their party House and Senate seats this fall. Their concern: Democrats will successfully demonize Ryan's budget plan, which contains controversial spending cuts and changes to Medicare."

News Ledes

New York Times: "The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, denied on Tuesday a report on the Web site of The Guardian that he had decided to grant asylum to the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. 'Rumor of asylum for Assange is false,' Mr. Correa said in a post on his Twitter account. 'There is still no decision.'"

New York Times: "Syria's former prime minister, [Riyad Farid Hijab,] who defected to Jordan last week, appeared in public on Tuesday for the first time since his escape, telling a news conference that the government of President Bashar al-Assad was collapsing and controlled no more than 30 percent of its territory."

New York Times: "A new release of stolen corporate e-mails by WikiLeaks has set off a flurry of concern and speculation around the world about a counterterrorist software program called TrapWire, which analyzes images from surveillance cameras and other data to try to identify terrorists planning attacks.

Reader Comments (18)

The man Willard the Rat has determined should be president in 9 years demands civility.

At the Iowa State Fair, Paul (the Fraud) Ryan, was heckled (heavens to Murgatroyd!) by citizens who have not drunk the Kool-Aid he has been peddling and who want answers from Mr Serious Genius. He, however, like most modern Republicans, is not used to speaking before unvetted crowds which, like George Bush's campaign visits, are menaced by armed guards and security goons ready at an instant to beat up and toss out any who didn't bow before the Boy King. Clearly, these pretenders, charlatans, and mountebanks have never gotten the message that politics ain't beanbag.

To their way of thinking, people should do what they're told and shut the merry old fuck up while they are handing down the word of the GOP gods.

As Dana Millbank illustrates, Ryan, with his faux (custom scuffed) cowboy boots and Broadway "Oklahoma" get up, thinks that all he has to do is show up and crowds will just genuflect at the feet of his awesome intellect.

Considering this along with the paucity of Ryan's actual congressional record demonstrates the incredible, and I do mean incredible, amateurishness, intellectual laziness, and slovenly politicking now being foisted on the American public as signs of a "serious and thoughtful and honest" politician.

The fact that this pig boy can't hold his own in the face of voters demanding to know what their children will do once he's through with them, the fact that he demands that they treat him with kid gloves, the fact that he has no fucking clue what real Americans need and what their problems are and furthermore, doesn't give a Willard the Rat's ass how his proposed "solutions" will deepen those problems a hundred fold, AND the fact that "serious" pundits and useless TV types (David Gregory, etc) are treating him as if he were the second coming of fucking Ozymandias, offers a clear indication of the depressed state we are in. First, if any of these morons had ever read Shelley's poem, they might realize that Ozymandias was one of the great pretender losers of history (at least literary history, but you know what I mean). Also just think of the irony of this pig fucker, this thug, this evil piece of shit asshole demanding to be treated with kindness. "That's not how we treat people in Wisconsin" he whined.

No Paulie boy, at least not you. YOU slash their throats and piss on their bleeding bodies while giving out with a zombie giggle. Is THAT what you mean by treating people with proper respect? The way you treat others? Well then, if that's what you want, you're lucky those people didn't tie your scrawny ass to a cow catcher and ram you into a train stop at 90 miles an hour.


The nerve of these fucking people. You want to be Vice President? Learn to run with the big dogs. Stop rolling on your back and licking your own balls and thinking that others admire you for your technique. You're just a ball licker. And an arrogant one to top it off.

August 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterakhilleus

Hard to follow Akhilleus and his brilliant scatological take downs! But I want to say something quite different--i.e., to celebrate and be grateful for our junior senator from Oregon, Jeff Merkley! I worked hard for him in 2008 and have never regretted that--as I sometimes have the time I spent on the Obama campaign. Merkley is the "real deal." He defeated a rich, establishment Senate Republican, Gordon Smith, and promised he would never take money from PACs, because he wanted to "stay honest." He has been true to his word, and has--as a freshman senator--proposed some of the most thoughtful legislation to help the beleagured middle class in this sad country.

Even Joseph Stiglitz applauds Merkley's new program--a mass refinancing--that would help so many with underwater mortgages. Hard to believe that someone who is not rich, and does not have ambitions to become so, could be so effective. I think this is the way it is "sposed to be!'

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@ akilleus--Tell us what you think!

I especially like the doggie reference.

As far as the Rat and the Fraud allusion, though, I have to say that Ryan is nowhere so entertaining as Toad.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston


Thank you for sharing a bit of positive news regarding your junior senator! It gladdens the heart to know we have some honest politicians.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Massachusetts

The linked article states that foreign donations to political campaigns and candidates is against the law, and that Romney could be prosecuted for his overseas fundraisers. Is this true? If so, why is it not being discussed?


August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Mahoney

@Jack Mahoney. In theory, Romney only raised cash -- directly or indirectly -- from people who hold U.S. citizenship. If it is proved that some of the money he receives -- wherever he is when he gets it -- comes from foreign nationals, he would just return the foreign contributions & say, "whoops." As I recall, the Clintons had some huge whoopsies as their bundler buddies were taking up collections in nations far and wide.

August 14, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Re: Ball licking in publick. I asked my group of advisers; one aged pit bull, three rescue chihuahuas, and a fluffy french mix, how they felt about ball licking in general. Four paws in favor, one undecided( the little girl chi). However it was pointed out that since none of them still have their balls the licking is more symbolic than actual. The discussion then turned to the question of whether Paul Ryan still has his balls. The majority guessed no.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Paul Ryan’s meager (really, read what he has accomplished. You probably did more on your high school student council) legislative accomplishments can be placed alongside his voting record on some of the most newsworthy bills before congress over the last three years to provide an even more focused portrait of lameness buttressed with ideological knee jerking tricked out as independence, courage, and decisiveness. No ipecac needed. Just look at this record.

Predictably, he votes with money and power and against the poor and disconnected and middle class. Surprise, right?

Okay, get ready to hurl or smirk. Or both.

Longterm jobless benefits to support those whose lives have been upended by Republican fiscal chicanery. NO

A bill capping punitive damage awards against medical malpractice at $250K. YES

The Paul Ryan Wicked Serious Budget. NEED YOU ASK?

Bill to prevent the Justice Department from investigating or putting a halt to GOP voter ID shenanigans. YES

A bill changing environmental standards under the Clean Air Act supplanting health concerns in favor of economic impact. YES and Double YES

Repeal of the ACA. GUESS

A bill to remove congressional members who voted to repeal the ACA from receiving the standard health benefits to congress, making sure that they do not receive better health care than the constituents they had just tried to stiff. NO (natch)

A bill to trim the 2013 defense budget by a measly billion dollars. NO (says fiscal responsibility boy)

A bill to audit the Fed also allowing politicians to have a say in monetary policy such as the setting of interest rates. YES

Weather related regulations. Puh-LEASE

Republican tax cuts for billionaires. OF COURSE

A bill supporting the findings of climate change scientists. THOSE FAKERS!

A bill maintaining home mortgage deductions. NO (this one is a big one—many people have no idea that this asshole wants to take away their ability to receive a tax break on their mortgages.)

A bill to delay derivatives regulation. DERIVATIVES RULE!

Expanded offshore drilling. DRILL, BABY, DRILL

A Bill to enhance and fast track blockage of any actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. HELL YES

Bill weakening and attacking unions. YES

Disclose Act, designed to require interest groups, unions, and corporations to identify themselves in political ads they fund.

Bill to help avert teacher layoffs by stepping down funds earmarked for purposes of war. BOMBS, NOT TEACHERS

Extension of unemployment benefits. WHAT? SUPPORT LAZY LOSERS???

So you get the idea. The idea you, of course, already had. But when you look at the long list of things this scumbag votes for and against, it shines an even brighter light on the fact that he is pretty much on the wrong side of everything. Immoral, intellectually dishonest, unethical, arrogant, dismissive of the needs of average Americans in a bad situation because of his actions and those of his Republican partners in crime. A bad actor all around, portrayed now as an honest, decent, regular guy.

As promised, no ipecac needed. Just hand me a picture of Paul Ryan and I'm good.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


I guess that would make Ryan, with his fake testicles, a supporter of the Sim-ball-lick.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Last night's reply to Krugman's post of the Ryan pick that apparently arrived too late to be deemed of East Coast interest:

"Also think the Ryan pick has much to do with the appalling dearth of candidates the Right has to choose from. Once you get past the can't stand Obama because he's black and the they're gonna take my guns and put contraceptives in my milk audiences, the Right has no credible arguments to offer and certainly no one who can make their empty arguments sound convincing to a wider audience.

Drop taxes even further on the rich? Go to war with everyone? Vaginally probe half the population? Privatize everything? Would be tough for anyone to make those cases as long as some sanity remains.

That's why they're resorting to misleading sound bites and two moderately photogenic faces...It's the best they can do.

Just occurred to me one of the heroes of Atlas Shrugged was a pirate. Though Ryan has lately disavowed Rand, his favorite philosopher manque, somehow the pirate thing fits."

@Akhilleus: According to Maddow, Ryan's legislative accomplishments also include co-sponsorship of bills conferring personhood at the moment of conception and some sort of Federal ultrasound mandate. Maybe the Iowa Fair women knew something about that aspect of his lunacy, his desire to become the Bob McDonnell of the whole country. My guess is, as the campaign proceeds, he will.

BTW, wondered last night if corporate personhood should be legally conferred at the moment of conception. If so....I have this great idea....

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

So another case of plagiarism among the punditry. Last week, Jonah Lehrer, this week, Fareed Zakaria, whose (temporary) banishment from Gasbag World has prompted this great headline from Jeff Goldberg of the Atlantic:

Fareedenfreude (or, Alternatively, Schadenfareed)

There's a Greek literary term for this kind of construction but I'll be damned if I can recall it.

But this event has given me access to some insight about Zakaria on a question that has been puzzling me for some time. Is he the most conservative liberal around, a liberal conservative, or is he just a conservative pretending to be a middle of the roader who can, on occasion, speak at least pidgin Liberal.

The answer? Well who do you think has come Zakaria's rescue? Far right whack job John Podhoretz who has suggested that it wasn't Fareed at all who ripped off Jill Lepore's New Yorker piece, but a copy boy or intern or lackey researcher. It actually does make sense since most of these guys churn out so much stuff (and Zakaria has complained in the past of not having enough time to which case one has to wonder where all the material comes from) but it's a clear indication that if a conservathug like Podhoretz is throwing a lifeline, it can only be because he considers him a useful cog in the conservative machine.

Anyway, just a thought.

Ken, "manqué philosopher" is right on the money. Rand is a two-bit sleazy carny barker which makes Ryan, what? The hustler in training who sweeps up the elephant shit?

Fakers and frauds, all.

Schadenfareed for everyone.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I an waiting for the rest of the story. What is the plan for those that become terminal after being kicked off medicaid? There must be some plan as having lots of sick folk dying under bridges will cause problems.
The eskimos are alleged to have put the old and unproductive out on the ice and let nature take care of them. What does Ryan suggest?He must have a plan to get the dying and the starving out of sight.
It seems to me that if we are going to destroy the safety net we must have some low cost way of getting rid if the human detritus.
Perhaps a national chain of minimum service hospices, privatized of course, will be a low cost method. We really need to have the problem of getting rid of the old and the starving addressed.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

Marie: I don't think (maybe I missed it) the scary article in the Times about the obscene profits that Bain and other private equity firms have made from their investment in Hospital Corporation of America. This is truly disgusting!

Here's the link:

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban


What to do with all the dead bodies of the beneficiaries of the R&R medical plan?

Ever seen "Soylent Green"?

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Mitt must be sorely disappointed that the Brits had a very successful Olympics without his "help."

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbarossa (Bob Hicks)

Ryan's healthcare plan is simple, right after the sperm does a hit on the egg, drop dead.
To sum up what is wrong with healthcare in America (and America in general) is the fact we have a word associated with healthcare that no other country has, it's called INDUSTRY. That says it all.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb


Bullseye, brother.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

If they're not worried about their kids getting educated in privatized Christian schools using Bob Jones textbooks, they sure as hell are not going to be worried about the bodies left under the overpass.

August 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHaley Simon
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