The Ledes

Thursday, October 8, 2015.

New York Times: "Paul Prudhomme, the chef who put the cooking of Louisiana — especially the Cajun gumbos, jambalayas and dirty rice he grew up with — on the American culinary map, died on Thursday in New Orleans. He was 75.

Air Force Times: "Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, who helped take down a gunman on a train in Belgium, was stabbed four times in the chest in Sacramento early Thursday morning, Air Force Times has learned.... Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said in an email in Air Force Times, "... He is currently in stable condition." Sacramento police tweeted: 'The assault incident is not related to a terrorist act.  Assault occurred near a bar, alcohol is believed to be a factor.'”

Motherboard: "On Wednesday, a jury in Sacramento, California, found Matthew Keys, former social media editor at Reuters and an ex-employee of KTXL Fox 40, guilty of computer hacking under the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act. In 2010, Keys posted login credentials to the Tribune Company content management system (CMS) to a chatroom run by Anonymous, resulting in the defacement of an LA Times article online. The defacement was reversed in 40 minutes, but the government argued the attack caused nearly a million dollars in damage."

New York Times: "The leadership of world soccer’s governing body plunged into chaos on Thursday, as three of the game’s most powerful figures, including Sepp Blatter, the longtime president of FIFA, were suspended amid an investigation by the Swiss authorities into suspected corruption. In addition to Mr. Blatter, Michel Platini, who is a FIFA vice president and the head of European soccer’s governing body, and Jérôme Valcke, FIFA’s secretary general who was already on disciplinary leave, were “provisionally banned” from the sport. The suspensions took effect immediately."

Reuters: "The number of Americans filing new applications for jobless benefits fell more than expected to near a 42-year low last week, pointing to ongoing tightening in the labor market despite the recent slowdown in hiring."

New York Times: "Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarussian journalist and prose writer, won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday 'for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time,' the Swedish Academy announced."

Washington Post: "The United Auto Workers union narrowly avoided a strike against Fiat Chrysler of America early Thursday morning, announcing an agreement less than two days after threatening to pull as many as 40,000 workers off the job while contract negotiations soured."

The Week: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his wife, Landra Gould, filed a product liability lawsuit Tuesday in Clark County, Nevada, against the makers of a resistance exercise band that Reid said was behind an accident in January that injured his eye."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

New York Times: "The United States Coast Guard will suspend its search for survivors of the cargo ship El Faro at sunset Wednesday, officials told the crew’s family members. The Coast Guard made the decision after searching six days for the 33 crew members of El Faro, a 790-feet commercial tanker that went missing last week during Hurricane Joaquin. The ship set sail on Sept. 29 and two days later reported that its engine had failed and that it was taking on water and listing 15 degrees."

New York Times: "Tomas Lindahl, Paul L. Modrich and Aziz Sancar were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for having mapped and explained how the cell repairs its DNA and safeguards its genetic information."

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 8

11:00 am ET: Michelle Obama honors the 2015 class of the National Students Poets program

12:15 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the American Job Creation & Infrastructue forum

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

Go to


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

Here's a break from the parade of horribles in the left column:

A friend sent me this version. You'll want to supersize it:

MoviePilot: Quite a few people think the film "The Martian" -- which depicts an Earthly astronaut stuck on Mars -- is "based on a true story." ...

... CW: Reminds of Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. History Channel: "Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, 'New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!'”

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. ...

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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) 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 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 ( 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:

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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