The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

AP: "In the most high-level visit of a U.S. official since crisis erupted in Ukraine, [Vice President] Biden told leaders from various political parties that he brings a message of support from President Barack Obama as they face a historic opportunity to usher in reforms." The Guardian story is here.

CNN: "The first American man to win the Boston Marathon since 1983 crossed the finish line Monday, triumphant in a storied race that has become a national symbol of resiliency and determination. Meb Keflezighi, 38, won the men's division with an official time of 2:08:37, according to the Boston Marathon's Facebook page. With video.

AP: "Although [a] 15-year-old [airplane stowaway] apparently wanted nothing more than to run away, his success in slipping past layers of security early Sunday morning made it clear that a determined person can still get into a supposedly safe area and sneak onto a plane.... In San Jose, airport officials said they were reviewing how the boy slipped through security that includes video surveillance, German shepherds and Segway-riding police officers."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took the rare step of urging doctors to stop performing a surgical procedure used on tens of thousands of women each year to remove uterine growths, saying the practice risks spreading hidden cancers within a woman’s body. The procedure, known as power morcellation, has long been used in laparoscopic operations to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the uterus itself. It involves inserting an electric device into the abdomen and slicing tissue in order to remove it through a small incision. The surgery is far less invasive than traditional abdominal operations."

White House Live Video
April 21

All Day: White House Easter Egg Roll. There's a schedule of events here, plus live video.

If you don't see the livefeed here, go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

***********************************************

New York Times: "David Letterman introduced his successor, Stephen Colbert, on his 'Late Show With David Letterman' Tuesday night on CBS with a monologue joke and some cordial conversation — but no measuring of the drapes."

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa. Paul Fahri of the Washington Post: The ratings for "Meet the Press" are so bad that NBC hired a psychologist to analyze Greggers. ...

     ... CW: Here's the rub. Fahri writes, "The impossible burden for Gregory, of course, has been to follow the beloved Russert. As one NBC colleague describes it, Russert is a 'ghost' who still haunts Gregory’s tenure at 'MTP' six years into his run." This is strictly VSP bull. Russert was a mediocre interviewer, who continually let politicians get away with evasive answers. He left big shoes to fill only because he had big feet.

MoDo loves her '65 Mustang.

USA Today: "Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she's pregnant with her first child."

New York Times: "It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday. The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the 'Goldilocks zone' of its star, Kepler 186 — not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life."

Jason Zinoman of the New York Times argues that the real king of late-night comedy is Jon Stewart.

Whose Pulitzer Is It Anyway? Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this week for his multipart series on denials of benefits to black lung victims. ABC News, which used Hamby's work for a "Nightline" segment, now wants a piece of the Pulitzer, even though the Pulitzer Prize is given for print journalism. ...

... J. K. Trotter of Gawker has more: "Journalist-on-journalist carnage is rarely so open, or so bilious, especially when obituary-worthy awards are on the line. Then again, television news has never attracted, or rewarded, humble folk. According to Poynter, an ABC spokesperson repeatedly 'threatened [{Bill} Buzenberg {executive director of CPI}] and the Center saying they would make this very "messy" ... unless they got what they wanted.'” ...

... Dylan Byers of Politico has more on the feud. ...

... Capital New York: "Fresh off a Pulitzer win for his investigative work at The Center for Public Integrity, Chris Hamby is jumping ship to join Mark Schoofs' investigations desk at Buzzfeed...."

Washington Post: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff is leaving NBC News, by mutual consent. Isikoff told Erik Wemple that "this was a situation that was no longer working out."

Soraya McDonald of the Washington Post: "Thursday night was a deft marriage of the best of the two Colberts: He didn’t break character, but the deference and affable nature that marks his out-of-character interviews was stamped all over the writing." With video. ...

... Dylan Scott of TPM: "Rush Limbaugh framed CBS's decision to replace retiring 'Late Show' host David Letterman with professional conservative skewer Stephen Colbert in some decidedly apocalyptic terms. 'CBS has just declared war on the Heartland of America," Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show. 'No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open.'" ...

... Bill Carter of the New York Times: "CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert is the successor to David Letterman as the star of 'Late Show,' the late-night franchise created by Mr. Letterman. CBS made the announcement Thursday, exactly one week after Mr. Letterman announced on his program that he would be leaving his post after one more year on the air."

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: "A faded fragment of papyrus known as the 'Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,' which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, has been tested by scientists who conclude in a journal published on Thursday that the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery. Skepticism about the tiny scrap of papyrus has been fierce because it contained a phrase never before seen in any piece of Scripture: 'Jesus said to them, "My wife..."' Too convenient for some, it also contained the words 'she will be able to be my disciple,' a clause that inflamed the debate in some churches over whether women should be allowed to be priests." ...

... CW: Sorry, purists. Followers (& non-followers) had all kinds of ideas about what Jesus was like. Married Jesus & sexy Jesus (Gospel of Thomas, "Lost" Gospel of Mark) were among them. The Roman Catholic Church decided, beginning late in the 2nd century what was canon & what was not. And every story, IMHO, is fictional. BTW, the Egyptologist in Goodstein's story who insists the fragment is a fake uses some extremely shaky -- i.e., bogus -- rationales for his opinion.

CW: I think it's my job to run this:

... The full "Today" show segment is here, & it's mildly interesting (CW: NBC's embed code is screwed up, so I can't run it here).

Josh Dickey of Mashable: "Stephen Colbert is CBS' top choice to replace the retiring David Letterman, and has indicated that he's willing to take over the Late Show when the time comes, people familiar with both sides of the discussions tell Mashable." Via New York.

Lauren Moraski of CBS "News": "David Letterman announced Thursday that he's retiring from CBS' 'Late Show' sometime next year. He made that announcement during the taping of his program Thursday afternoon at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater."

No News, All the Time:

Igor Bobic of TPM: "In its wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, CNN has raised the possibility of the supernatural, blackholes, and North Korea; it has interviewed a psychic, tried but failed to rent its own 777 jet, and finally settled on a flight simulator it is using to 'search' for the plane.On Tuesday the network finally turned its attention to garbage."

Washington Post: "Stephen Colbert and his writing staff were in fighting form Monday night, after a controversy stemming from an out-of-context tweet had hashtag activists calling for his head." ...

... This is kinda must-see TV:

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Monday
Aug272012

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

sarahphillip-

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

@sarah

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?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qItugh-fFgg

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?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/28/opinion/brooks-the-real-romney.html

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.

Marie

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:

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/08/dave_barry_take_on_romney_biography_comments.html#disqus_thread

http://www.businessinsider.com/david-brooks-on-the-real-mitt-romney-2012-8#comment-503d1ae96bb3f77d5e000001

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?

Seriously?

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

sarahphillip-

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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