Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

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."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

Attention, Costco Shoppers. E. coli in the Salad Cooler. Washington Post: "Federal health officials are investigating an outbreak of deadly E. coli bacteria that has sickened 19 people in at least seven states, mostly in the west.... Preliminary evidence suggests that rotisserie chicken salad made and sold in Costco Wholesale stores in several states is the likely source of this outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

White House Live Video
November 25

11:15 am ET: Vice President Biden delivers a joint summit statement with President Grabar-Kitarović of Croatia, President Pahor of Slovenia and European Council President Tusk in Zagreb, Croatia (audio only)

2: 45 pm ET: President Obama pardons the national Thanksgiving turkey

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.


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."

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."

... 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:

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The Commentariat -- August 28, 2012

Presidential Race

Milt Shook (I think) writes, "What has Obama Done? Here Are 194 Accomplishments! With Citations! If you're one of those who thinks President Obama is a "disappointment," my condolences for not getting your unicorn." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.

Michael Cohen of the Guardian on why Obama should run on the success of the stimulus. Um, it worked, as "Michael Grunwald's exceptional new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era" demonstrates. "Republicans," Cohen writes, "not surprisingly, like to blame President Obama for the poor state of the US economy, but in reality, the US is living today under a Republican economy -- one that comprises low taxes and curbed spending. The results speak for themselves."

Michael Shear of the New York Times: "Difficult questions loom for Mr. Obama and his political advisers as they plot their attacks. If the storm wreaks havoc on the Gulf Coast, should Democrats ease up? Does Mr. Obama cut short his campaign swing, or continue to rally his supporters against Mr. Romney amid images of mass evacuations and property damage?"

Jim Fallows of the Atlantic says Romney will do a good job in the debates with Obama. A big help: as so many of us said in yesterday's Commentariat, the moderator won't call Romney on his lies. Too bad Chris Matthews isn't a moderator!

Ashley Southall of the New York Times: "Republican ... party leaders want to drive home a message to voters: The federal debt is hurtling toward $16 trillion, and it is President Obama's fault. That's the gist of what the party chairman, Reince Priebus, said as he banged a gavel to open the convention Monday afternoon. The banging activated a 'debt clock' in the convention hall that tallies the amount the debt accumulating during the four-day event. A second ticker that started running earlier displays the total national debt.... Republicans are of course not mentioning their own role in its growth during the Bush administration." ...

Michael Shear of the New York Times: "Mitt Romney's hopes for a highly disciplined and scripted nominating convention continued to fray Monday morning as a tropical storm barreled toward New Orleans and was expected to strengthen into a hurricane. Mr. Romney's convention organizers were also warily keeping an eye on some restive delegates, including supporters of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, who were poised to challenge parts of the convention's rules and platform when it begins Tuesday afternoon. Broadcast and cable networks on Monday began shifting some of their resources toward the hurricane-threatened Gulf Coast...." ...

Oops! So much for "highly disciplined & scripted"; Romney sends the wrong script. Elise Viebeck of The Hill: "Copies of Mitt Romney's book, distributed at the GOP convention, retain a sentiment anathema to the GOP base -- that the Massachusetts healthcare reform law could be a model for the nation. The sentence that makes this case was changed for No Apology's paperback version, but reporters in Tampa received copies with the original wording along with other swag."

This fellow may look like a normal meterologist. But he's an Obama stooge! Maybe the communist-red shirt is the telltale clue.... Rushbo Will Not Be Satirized. Kevin Robillard of Politico: "Rush Limbaugh ... suggested Monday that the National Hurricane Center's forecast models for Tropical Storm Isaac were altered to help President Barack Obama and 'cast a pall' over the Republican National Convention. 'I'm not alleging conspiracies here. The Hurricane Center is the regime; the Hurricane Center is the Commerce Department,' Limbaugh said on his talk show. 'It's the government. It's Obama.' The conservative talker suggested early forecasts, which showed the storm hitting Tampa, the convention's host city, were intended to cause Republicans to cancel the first day of their convention. Newer models showing the storm striking New Orleans, he said, are intended to link the convention to memories of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall seven years ago this week." ...

... Is it any wonder then that conservatives want to defund the weather service? ...

... BUT Rush's hurricane theory isn't the only one out there. While Mother Nature was melting Arctic ice (see yesterday's Ledes, God was steering the hurricane away from Tampa & toward New Orleans. Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch. "Today on the 700 Club, Christian Broadcasting Network correspondent Paul Strand spoke to Jesten Peters of Keys of Authority Ministries who said that her organization's prayer efforts helped steer Tropical Storm Isaac away from Tampa in order to protect the Republican National Convention." ...

... Neetzan Zimmerman of Gawker: "But what about the fact that Isaac is now expected to strengthen into a hurricane and make landfall in Louisiana on the seventh anniversary of Katrina? Oh, that. Something something gay marriage." ...

... Carl Hulse of the New York Times: Louisiana Gov. Bobby "Jindal (R), who at one point had been considered a strong potential candidate for vice president on the Republican ticket, announced Monday that he would not attend events in Tampa while the storm threatened his state, let alone speak as scheduled at 8 p.m. Wednesday."

Dogwhistling' Dixie

For those of you unconvinced that Rmoney's welfare ads are racist, Ezra Klein has the 1-2 punch: (1) Romney's "campaign is running more ads about welfare than just about any other issue." Citing the results of an academic study, Klein writes, (2) "The evidence suggests that the [ads] work particularly well if the viewer is racist, or at least racially resentful. And these are the ads that are working so unexpectedly well that welfare is now the spine of Romney's 2012 on-air message in the battleground states." CW: no doubt Rmoney would run the same types of lies if Obama were white. Republicans have repeatedly run similar racist ads against white Democrats ("Willie Horton" -- Dukakis); the ads this year happen to work particularly well because Obama is black. Never mind that they're lies from beginning to end. ...

... Susan Page of USA Today: "Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to 'shore up his base' for the election." ...

... Tim Noah Translation: "President Obama doesn't represent you; he represents a lot of people on welfare. And you know what they look like." Noah writes, "Of course, Romney isn't interested in the facts; he's interested in associating Obama with black and Hispanic undesirables bent on collecting welfare benefits and robbing white elderly people of their health insurance.... Like Poppy Bush, Romney is not a racist himself. He is, arguably, something worse: A man who, because he has no particularly pronounced views himself, is willing to say just about anything to get himself elected president." ...

... David Firestone of the New York Times: "If Mr. Obama intended his welfare waiver as a political trumpet blast to his base, he had a very strange way of showing it. The actual waivers ... were never publicly announced by the administration." CW: apparently the lazy welfare bastards spend all that free time poring through federal regulations to see what-all is in it for them. Just like Romney & his tax attorneys, they know how to game the system.

... Ed Kilgore of Washington Monthly: "... conservative activists have for decades argued that the 'liberal base' of the Democratic Party is an alliance between a government-dependent 'underclass' and 'elites' determined to socialize the country who use po' folk as their pawns.... That's a big part of their inveterate Obama Hatred: the president is the incarnation of both the snooty secular-socialist 'elites' and the minority underclass."

      ... Jim Vandehei & Mike Allen of Politico: "Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: 'I am who I am.' Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with Politico about his leadership style and philosophy, swatting away advice from Republicans to focus on connecting with voters in a more emotional, human way at this convention. Instead, he vowed to keep his emphasis -- in the campaign and any administration to follow -- on a relentlessly goal-driven, business-minded approach that has shaped his life so far."

It's Official! Paul Krugman: "... the draft Republican platform says of Medicare and Medicaid,

The first step is to move the two programs away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.

      ... That means that instead of Medicare as we know it, which pays your medical bills, you'd get a lump sum which you can apply to private insurance -- they'll yell when we call it a voucher, but that's what it is.... It's basically a way to deny health care to people while denying that you're doing so. You don't say, 'we won't pay for this care', you just hand people a voucher and let them discover that it won't buy adequate insurance. It's health-care rationing...."

Priorities USA, a pro-Obama superPAC, hits Governor Romney:

Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times: "The House speaker, John A. Boehner [R-Ohio], on Monday cautiously predicted victory for Republicans up and down the ticket in November, but he avoided saying that a Republican victory would mean a mandate for the sweeping changes to Medicare that Mitt Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan have proposed."

Conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker has an excellent essay in the Daily Beast titled "What the *#@% Is Wrong With Republicans?! It's not just Akin. By pushing some of the most invasive state policies in modern history, the men of the GOP are driving their party off a cliff.... The GOP, through its platform, its purity tests, pledges, and its emphasis on social issues that divide rather than unite, has shot itself in the foot, eaten said foot, and still managed to stampede to the edge of the precipice."

Jackie Calmes of the New York Times: "President Obama received a briefing on Monday afternoon about Tropical Storm Isaac as it approached hurricane force, but aides say no decision has been made to cancel his campaign trip on Tuesday to two swing states, Iowa and Colorado."

Sarah Wheaton of the New York Times: "Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who ran for the Senate as an independent, will speak at the Democratic National Convention next week, taking yet another step away from his erstwhile party. Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, confirmed Mr. Crist's role just a day after he endorsed the president for re-election."

Congressional Races

Women are "one Supreme Court Justice away" from overturning Roe v. Wade:

     ... Jess Bidgood of the New York Times: "While Ms. Warren does not mention her opponent in the ad, she alludes to legislation that she brought up on the campaign trail last week -- including [Sen. Scott] Brown's vote last year against the Paycheck Fairness Act, an unsuccessful bill intended to ease the way for litigation over gender discrimination in pay, and his support for the Blunt amendment, a failed measure that would have allowed employers to deny coverage for treatments like birth control based on philosophical or religious exceptions."

Rape Is a Lot Like Consensual Sex Between Unmarried Adults. Tara Culp-Ressler of Think Progress: "Tom Smith, the Republican challenging Sen. Bob Casey's (D-PA) seat, suggested that having a child out of wedlock was analogous to rape during an interview with a reporter at a press club this afternoon, claiming that it would have a 'similar' effect on a father."

Our Exceptional Judiciary

Manny Fernandez of the New York Times: Texas County Judge Tom Head, "a Republican who serves as the county's emergency management director..., made international headlines [when] ... he said he was expecting civil unrest if President Obama is re-elected, and that the president would send United Nations forces into Lubbock ... to stop any uprising.... He has not apologized, though he said that his statements were taken out of context.... Kenny Ketner, the chairman of the Lubbock County Democratic Party, has called for Mr. Head to resign, as did the local newspaper, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which wrote in an editorial that Mr. Head 'threw civility out the window and went in a bizarre direction that not only embarrassed himself but all county and West Texas residents.' Gilberto Hinojosa, the chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, publicly questioned Mr. Head's 'mental competency to hold elected office.'" ...

... Here the Avalanche-Journal's editors urge Head to resign.

James Barr of the New York Times: Vincent Sgueglia, an upstate New York judge, after signing his own carry permit in 2005, took his Smith & Wesson to the courthouse in Owego, New York, where he tried to repair a faulty firing mechanism -- um, with bullets in the chamber. So the gun went off. Fortunately, the bullet lodged in the wall instead of in somebody's head. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct censured him.

News Ledes

Weather Channel: "Isaac's peak impacts are bearing down on the Gulf Coast beginning today. Hurricane warnings continue for portions of the northern Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, Biloxi and Gulf Shores as Tropical Storm Isaac continues its northwestward march. Hurricane watches are posted as far west as Morgan City, La. In addition, a number of tropical storm warnings are in effect. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Florida Panhandle." With video. ...

... Update: "Isaac has strengthened into a hurricane just as its peak impacts are bearing down on the northern Gulf Coast. Hurricane Isaac will pound the region with storm surge flooding, heavy rainfall, strong winds and an isolated tornado threat Tuesday into Thursday." With video. ...

... Update: "Hurricane Isaac made its first U.S. landfall along the extreme southeastern Louisiana coast at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday evening, but quickly veered west back over water. Isaac will continue to move very slowly near the Louisiana coast into Wednesday. Since Isaac is moving at a snail's pace, the hurricane will pound the northern Gulf Coast with storm surge flooding, heavy rainfall, strong winds and possible isolated tornadoes through Wednesday." With video.

Washington Post: "A federal court on Tuesday threw out Texas's redistricting plans, saying the maps drawn by the Republican-led legislature undermined the political clout of minorities who are responsible for the state's population growth. The three-judge special panel in Washington said Texas could not prove that plans for the state's congressional districts and both houses of the legislature were not drawn without intentional discrimination against the state's burgeoning Latino population. In addition, it said new district lines removed the 'economic guts' from congressional districts now held by African-Americans."

Washington Post: "The Obama administration announced strict new vehicle fuel-efficiency standards Tuesday, requiring that the U.S. auto fleet average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, an uncontroversial move that, unlike other administration energy policies, was endorsed by industry and environmentalists alike."

Washington Post: "French President Francois Hollande became the first Western leader to call on Syria's rebel movement to form a provisional government, putting additional pressure on President Obama to back the diplomatic gambit or authorize U.S. military action to protect civilians."

New York Times: "An Israeli judge ruled on Tuesday that the state bore no responsibility for the death of Rachel Corrie, the young American woman who was run over by a military bulldozer in 2003 as she protested housing demolitions in the Gaza Strip."

National Journal: "Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania's longest-serving senator who lost his bid for reelection in 2010 after three decades in Washington, has been hospitalized with a 'serious illness,' according to a Philadelphia media outlet." ...

     ... Washington Post Update: "Former senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is being treated again for cancer, his office confirmed Tuesday."

Reader Comments (26)

Here what i remember is the last president was President George Bush,who ran for two terms.2008 HAS SEEM TO DESTROY AMERICA 'S VALUES TO REALITY OF TRUTH AND GOD ...When 2012 , pray God finally hear his children by putting a president in the White House..Romney,would make a great president.Finally something to place back in the world of realty..

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarahphillip

Though he has not been mentioned in today's Commentariat, I know all of you are drooling to know how much M-O-N-E-Y our casino creep, Sheldon Adelson possesses--'specially in comparison to several small countries. Also, how many politicians he could buy. And how it looks on a little chart. Think Progress has answered your prayers: (and mine)

http://thinkprogress.org/wp- content/uploads/2012/08/AdelsonSuperRich.png

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison


Jokin' right? I'll bet Gawker sent you to mess with our little left wing minds!

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@Kate Madison. Not Gawker, but God, who apparently does not offer spell-checks to the common cloud-dwellers. Evidently, heaven is run on the Romney/Ryan budget -- lotsa manna for God, Abraham & Jesus, but no public schools for the littlest angels. It would appear that sarahphillip was home-schooled by the sort of illiterate that the Romney/Ryan plan guarantees will be the future for most of us. Consider her the canary in the cave.

August 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

CW: Don't get too puffed up with pride, now that you've prompted a comment (ms. sarah, need I say?) worthy of far too many in the Washington Post.

Interesting that Kathleen Parker is attending more often to her party's shortcomings lately. She writes, and often thinks well; given the state of her party, must be hard for not to pull a Charlie Crist. Can't imagine her going through the painful contortions David Brooks undertakes to pull a Rightist column out of his hat that still leaves him safely distant from from the Right's essential stink.

Parker seems to have more sense and fewer pretensions than Brooks, so we'll see.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Here's a tidbit that jumped out at me from the NYTimes' Michael Shearer's story that Marie mentions today,( it's about ten paragraphs down): "All of it unfolded before a restless audience of about 4,500 delegates and 16,000 journalists left with little to do but stare at television screens covered with images of Isaac bearing down on the Gulf Coast..."

16,000 journalists! 16,000 JOURNALISTS! are there in Tampa.
This is probably 15,500 too many (I'm being generous) to cover this event that will produce practically identical news stories. Oh, and there are approximately 4,500 delegates. Or 3.5 journalists per delegate. Idiocy!

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

The delusional Right is at it again, folks.

Under the Ledes heading here on RC, you'll find a link to a story that broke yesterday concerning the arrest, for a double murder, of soldiers stationed in Georgia who had formed a right-wing terrorist cell with plans to (among other things) blow up a fountain in Savannah, GA, poison apple orchards in WA, ahhh....let's see....what else.....oh yeah, assassinate the president and overthrow the government. Gotta hand it to these righties, they're creative AND ambitious. Who'd a thunk that poison apples would be on the same list as presidential assassination? Must be the fairy tale connection.

But they're not just harmless, if deranged, kooks. They did murder a former fellow soldier and shot his 17 year old girlfriend through the head. The alleged shooter and mastermind in this weird affair is a former page at the RNC 2008 convention who describes himself as the "nicest cold blooded killer you'd ever want to meet." Well, I'll forgo that pleasure for the nonce (although I can't help thinking how many more potential killers are at that convention right now, buying "legal" semi-automatic pistols with the multiple kill-true hundred shot cartridge attachments complete with NRA decoder rings from the trunks of BMWs in back of the convention hall. Wayne La Pierre could make a fucking killing in Tampa this week!).

I'm betting there are probably several hundred right-wing whack jobs out there right now, shaving their heads, popping pimples, reading Paul Ryan autographed copies of Ayn Rand, renewing their subscriptions to Soldier of Fortune, stockpiling ammo, purchasing legal WMD, happily flashing their NRA badges to each other as they meet at outhouses in the woods for their weekly circle jerk, drooling on their stained camo outfits as they listen to Rushbo via implants in their teeth, calling each other by their Black Ops names and planning on which one of them will get to actually shoot Obama first.

In earlier times (pre-Ronald Reagan), this sort of thing would be looked at with a jaundiced, but cautious eye, as the mentally dysfunctional masturbatory fantasies prompted by adolescent aggression and bullying braggadocio. Today however, it's much more than that.

How do I know?

A judge (a freakin' judge, fer crissakes) in Texas is thinking along the same lines. An adult, so-called, in a position of authority, paid by a county government, with access to shitloads of weapons and ammo. And THIS guy has come right out and declared that he will be ready to shoot to kill if Obama is elected and civil war is declared.

Another way I know is the responses from fellow droolers. Just look at any site that so far has reported this story. You'll find a plethora of righties screaming that those killer soldiers are actually left-wing operatives, or plants to make right-wingers look bad. Or they complain that this story was timed to coincide with the Orgy of Haters convention in Tampa. No, Rush, now listen carefully....it was timed to coincide with the arrest of these right-wing militia murderers, one of whom was a page at the last Orgy of Haters. Moron.

The problem, as I'm beginning to see it, is that for many serious conservatives who felt that government had become overly intrusive, there were reasonable solutions. I'm pretty sure most of them weren't thinking "Hey! How 'bout revolution? How 'bout overthrowing the government, and while we're at it...murdering the president?!! Yeah!"

These people have gone way, way off the rails. They're a freight train on a dirt road. They remind me of George Santayana's definition of a fanatic as someone who redoubles their efforts after they've forgotten their purpose. Or as Neil Postman once put it, fanatics hold beliefs that are self-fulfilling. The problem with that is not so much that fanatical beliefs are necessarily false but that "...they are expressed in such a way that they can never be shown to be false".

Thus we have imbeciles like Rushbo claiming that Obama ordered meteorologists to declare that Tampa would be hit by a hurricane in order to fuck with Republicans. Other imbeciles then claimed, apparently, that they countered Obama's evil move with prayer and god turned the hurricane away.

And sent it where? To New Orleans?

If none of this makes any sense, consider yourself diagnosed as "non-fanatical".

Also not stupid, stupid, stupid.

Enjoy the crazies tonight. But remember. They're not just kooks anymore. The kind of fanatical thinking advocated by the modern GOP really does generate people who think about killing the president.

And maybe you too.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus


Sorry, couldn't understand a word of that gibberish you wrote. Say again?

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercakers

From the Department of enigmatic puzzles and stuff:

In AD 2101 war was beginning

Captain: What happen?
Mechanic: Someone set us up the bomb
Operator: We get signal
Captain: What?
Operator: Main screen turn on.
Captain: It’s you!
CATS: How are you gen-tle-men?
CATS: All your base are belong to us. You are on way to destruction.
Captain: What you say?
CATS: You have no time to survive. Make your time. Ha-ha-ha
Captain: Move ZIG for great justice!

So sarahphilip. Can I join your club now? Remember. All their base are belong to us who figure puzzle out good for great justice. And stuff.

(I know this looks like piling on but c'mon, that could not have been a serious post.)

By the bye, doesn't the bad guy's laugh sound just like the Romneybot?


August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Sarahphillip- or Sarah Palin, the word salad queen.
Inquiring minds want to know!!

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

David Brooks today is Funny! As I read I kept waiting for his usual gotcha...maybe his # of words went beyond the NYT limit for op-ed pieces...and the last paragraph is missing! Or maybe we are seeing the invasion of the body snatchers!

His Bip, Chip, Rip, Kip & Drip- the five Romney sons is hilarious. But when did names get to be so so cutsey neo-preppie? Strange trend.

@Marie hope you take on Roger Cohen's "Obama's Team of Idolizers" in one of your NYTimes Examiner pieces. I used to regard his opinion pieces with a lot of respect. But, recently, he has taken some strange positions...and today's column is definitely one of his puzzlers.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Is this for real?


August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail

Set the DVRs tonight if you can’t watch the Orgy of Haters, Racists, and Billionaires (sounds like a reality show? More like a delusional show…but all too real, unfortunately, for most of America), Hollywood giant Janine Turner will be on to lecture the rest of us about our heathen ways, why we don’t know anything about the Constitution (she does, of course), and how much liberals and Obama are pissing off the Baby Jesus by hating America.

In case you don’t remember who that is, Janine Turner had a few years of fame and glory during the 90s on the TV hit Northern Exposure. Anyway, turns out she’s a true right-wing whackadoodle.

Like most conservatives, she’s also a victim of liberal bias. See, she hasn’t had any Oscar or Emmy winning roles in a looooonnnnggg time. True, she won a bunch of Emmys back in the day, but for some reason she attributes her fallow period of late to liberal hatred of her conservative ways, ergo her standing as a victim. This didn’t seem to be a problem when she was winning all those Emmys.

Of course this particular whine fails to account for the success of other Hollywood conservatives like, oh, Clint Eastwood, Chuck Norris, Kelsey Grammar, Victoria Jackson, Mel Gibson, Jon Voigt, not to mention that other John, Wayne. Also Jim Cavaziel (Jesus H. Christ, himself) who goes off on the same “Hollywood hates me cause I’m a conservative Catholic” rant but neglects to note that he’s the star of a currently successful series, Person of Interest.

But back to Ms. Turner who will be spreading her Teabagger/Baby Jesus love tonight. Like many fundamentalists, she is afraid of almost everything not biblically authorized. So she likes Yoga but it comes from a strange country with brown people who talk real funny and worship false gods. Not to mention that thing with cows.

What to do?

Like any xenophobic fundamentalist/conservative nutjob, the answer is to wish it all away. Because good Christian men and women who want to try Yoga but can’t abide the heathenish meditation and salacious sounding names for poses like Downward Facing Dog and Elephant’s Trunk, can relax now that Janine has rebranded this ancient Indian discipline as—I kid you not—Christ-oga.

That means that Christians won’t be infected by nasty Hindu or Buddhist elements as they tighten their tushies. Jesus would never approve otherwise. And no cows!

And not to worry, she’s not just a fundamentalist whackjob, she’s interested in history and literature. She knows first-hand what the Founders thought and how much they would hate Barack Obama (don’t all Teabaggers know this shit?) and she indoctrinate….er, ah, read nothing but Ayn Rand to her little girl as she got ready for bed each night. For years.

Such a good mommy. Such a sound foundation for a warped life.
But all of that makes her the perfect speaker at the Orgy of Haters, Racists, and Billionaires. (What, was Linda McMahon busy bodyslamming wimpy liberals at her billion dollar gym?)

But like many conservative fundamentalists, she talks a great game but seems to have trouble with the walk. That little girl? Fathered by Dallas Cowboys owner, and noted lover of Jesus, Jerry Jones while he was married to someone else. Tut-tut. What would they say if a Democrat had done that? Oh I know...they tried to impeach his ass.....for TWO YEARS.

Anyway, the delightful Ms. Turner will be speaking sandwiched in between Cheeto Man Boehner and Savonarola Santorum. Now if that doesn’t whet your appetite, you ain’t a right thinkin’ ‘merican

Can’t wait.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

That David Brooks column? WTF is that all about? I'm not sure but I'm guessing either he doesn't think Romney can win and wants to be able to say he called it, all the while maintaining his conservative bona fides. You know, the REAL kind, not the Romneybot kind.

(And if the Rat wins, he can say he wrote this thing after coming back from the dentist and it was all the fault of the laughing gas.)

Either that or he's getting ready for a doozy of a column on Obama next week.

Guess I'll go check out Marie's take.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Marie, loved the link you gave about all that our president has accomplished so I emailed it to lots of people. One person said she placed the link on her Obama Tumblr account, which is filled with everything positive about him and so much more. Check out the link ( http://ohyes-wecan.tumblr.com) for a good antidote to the "Orgy of Haters, Racists, and Billionaires" (thanks, Akhilleus!)

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMushiba

I know I hafta do it, but the thought of even scanning all the stories about the "orgy of Haters, Racists, & Billionaires" is depressing me. I hope I can find some funny stuff to cheer us up.


August 28, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

David Brookstone's column today is a throwback to his first book: "Bobos in Paradise,"- The New Upper Class and How They Got There. Clever satire about the yuppies, and their excesses and pretensions.

What is interesting to me is that although David Brooks wrote so wittily about Bobos, he is one of them. And he writes wittily about Mitt RawMoney's 1% mentality--yet he shares that mentality, though he is more likely part of the 2%. He can be critical and scathing about a man whose sociological belief system is almost identical to his own, without seeing the irony. Yeah, I am sure David Brooks sees himself as a "nicer" person. And maybe he is. Certainly more socially at ease, and not so constrained by the Mormon culture, since he is a sophisticated conservative Jew. But he is also a patronizing, clueless, elitist who truly believes that that money should rule. In the end, he is perfectly in sync with RawMoney.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

What's funny is the conservatives who are convinced Brooks is making fun of progressives:



Marie your column is really great: http://www.nytexaminer.com/2012/08/the-real-mitt-romney/

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail

Anyone who believes Brooks was serious in his mocking of Romney today hasn't read any of his other columns, including the one dated August 20th, where he extolls the Romney -Ryan ticket for its excellent approach to Medicare reform (really, it's Ryan's plan, but he gives Romney credit by extension). And basically says Romney is the reasonable choice for moderates and independents because of this (tunnel vision, much, David?)
Anyway, he was having fun at the expense of moderates and liberals who don't like Romney the person.
At least , that's my take....
Oh the knots Republicans will tie themselves in order to support a bunch of extremists, just because they bear the party label.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I didn't know what to expect of Marie's deconstruction of Bobo's biographical parody of the Life of a Rat (a big fucking rat) but what I found is a comprehensive compilation of the most assiduously investigated and acutely observed Ratologies available to which she adds a sharp personal observation that digs deep into Willard's most carefully hidden psychological cranny.

And what is that?

He is, at heart, an insecure little boy. Bullies are typically scared little shits who fear that those they seek to impress with their aggressiveness snd bluster will see through all the camouflage and realize that they are nothing but balless little shits loved by few and respected by fewer.

Do you remember that line of Romney's about how Obama is being "mean to him" because he's jealous of the Rat?


Barack Obama, President of the United States, a black man who has done what no other non-white has done before him, a guy who earned everything he achieved as opposed to a smarmy prick of a rich boy like Willard is JEALOUS of Romney??????

Sounds much more like Richie Rich who is liked by a tiny sycophantic minority is jealous of the poor kid for whom millions of real people turned out around the world without having to be bribed or paid off.

Romney cannot ABIDE the idea that a poor but very smart and savvy black kid can kick his rich ass.

Solipsistic asshole doesn't begin to cover it.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Victoria D - it's true, confirmation bias is rampant on all side. But all I can say is, if Brooks meant to praise Caesar, er, Romney, he did a better job of burying him than anything else I've seen, by far, haha!!

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGail

@Gail. Yes. But let's not forget that the New York Fucking Times loses cachet beginning about 50 miles west of the Atlantic coast line and increasingly peters out all the way to Arizona.

August 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Kate Madsion,Your kiddening,right.Republicans have been cleaning the bill clinton bullcrap for 1 half terms to make society better.By the time Bush was ready to improve another part ,here come re elections and promises to the other part of the government.So the last thing Bush get a chance to do is Stimulus,Now ,it's the worst thing in the world.Compare with no improvements Bill Clinton Last 4 years ....

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarahphillip

Bill Clinton's last for years for the state of virginia and Georgia left huge unemployed humans on the earth.The first term of Bush, Virginia had employment by the same big wigs of wealth and hardship.Yet it is not enough.Compounded with the resentment of him helping better than Bill Clinton 2 terms.With democratic you get the fausle elusion of them doing the work ,parties ,appearing to help.While all the while money,unemployment and abuse of society is taken place.Which puts us back in Proverty to cleanup.When republican get in office the hardship their ,yet the work is being done and effectively.By the time they put things back in order,someone isn't happy because jobs were made,but they want to control it,society in a hold leaking by waste into the cleanup system and crying wolf to elude the democratics are better..With Bush terms, we got the landfield in order,burning the trash to pay for the light on the highway.Made jobs for unemployed humans.Sewage or utilites system was supported by big wigs who also redid building to house new business to sale thier goods .Which made jobs and employed millions.The lanfields got cleanedup ,recycling ,debra pickup have all made the enviroment in resident area /and public better for breathing.SSI AND SSN is still better than prevous,just bad workers ,who seek embesal the income for mindless approach to life.

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarahphillip

Sorry !for my mis-spelled words ,but my keyboard is constantly sticking or the signal is overdelayed..Cakers real gibberish..Really sad ,when think you have a valid opinion on others.Who stated facts and opinion.Be careful sometime Zillioners and thier children read this web.You be surprise..They may know more than you....But i'll tell higherup 's Middle uppercrust,Middleclass and homebound veterans,ssn/ssi need the evil middle man out of the hardship of life....Because they are starving....

August 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarahphillip


You have more of a "problem" than typewriter keys sticking! I have come to the conclusion that you are a troll and have been assigned to invade this website by--uh--maybe, Dick Armey? Or some other Tea Partier. Rush Limbaugh would be the obvious guess, but I don't think he would bother. I wish you could get your grammar straight and write a readable, correctly spelled sentence. It would make you more credible as a part of the "loyal opposition" and sound less pathetic. Have you considered getting an editor?

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison
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