The Ledes

Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Guardian: Ukrainian troops are moving against pro-Russian separatists. The Guardian's liveblog is here.

Washington Post: "Three American medical staff members died when an Afghan security official opened fire Thursday at an American-run Christian hospital in Kabul in the latest violence targeting foreigners in Afghanistan."

Guardian: "Pupils at the elite Southbank International School in London were victims of serial paedophile teacher William Vahey, the school has confirmed. The scale of the abuse is expected to be revealed later on Thursday in a letter to parents.... Vahey, a 64-year-old American who taught at Southbank between 2009 and 2013, killed himself after being found with 90 images of boys. The FBI believe the children were drugged with sleeping pills and molested in assaults dating back to 2008."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

Guardian: "The Oklahoma supreme court has dissolved its stay of the executions of two men who challenged the state's secrecy about its source of lethal injection drugs. The court reversed the decision of a district court judge who said the law that keeps the source secret is unconstitutional. The turnaround heads off a potential constitutional crisis sparked by the state's Republican governor, Mary Fallin, who had tried to override the stay by issuing an executive order to go ahead with the sentences.... The court's reversal on Wednesday came hours after a resolution by an Oklahoma House member to try to impeach some of its justices."

New York Times: "The latest accord between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization appeared more serious than past attempts, experts said, and came as hopes faded for a resolution to peace negotiations with Israel."

New York Times: "Russia continued Wednesday to ratchet up pressure on the government in Kiev, warning that events in eastern Ukraine could prompt a military response and again accusing the United States of directing events there."

Not All Fish Are Created Equal. Time: "Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed President Barack Obama to Tokyo Wednesday by taking him to the greatest sushi restaurant in the world, the three Michelin star Sukiyabashi Jiro."

Reuters: "Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Tuesday they were holding an American journalist in the city of Slaviansk and the online news site Vice News said it was trying to secure the safety of its reporter Simon Ostrovsky."

AP: "When armed men seized the police station in this eastern Ukrainian city, mayor Nelya Shtepa declared she was on their side. She changed her story a few days later. Then she disappeared — the victim of an apparent abduction by the man who now lays claim to her job. On Tuesday, she resurfaced, expressing support once again for the pro-Russia insurgents — but possibly no longer as mayor."

AP: " A senior Canadian diplomat was expelled from Canada's embassy in Moscow in retaliation for Canada expelling a Russia diplomat as tensions grow over the Ukraine, Canadian officials said Tuesday."

AP: "A Moscow judge on Tuesday left open the possibility of jailing President Vladimir Putin's main critic for years, a sign of Putin's increasingly hard-line rule against opponents. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was fined $8,400 on Tuesday for slandering a lawmaker. His second trial starts Thursday, and prosecutors who previously secured his house arrest are widely expected to ask for jail for him pending trial, with Tuesday's verdict making him a recidivist. If there's a guilty verdict at that trial, he could get a prison term."

AP: "A Kansas judge will on Wednesday consider Army Pfc. Chelsea Manning's petition to legally change her name from Bradley, as she serves a 35-year sentence for passing classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks." ...

     ... Washington Post Update: "An Army soldier convicted of leaking classified military and diplomatic records persuaded a Kansas judge Wednesday to legally change her name from Bradley Manning to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning."

Time: "President Barack Obama paid a visit to the small community of Oso, Wa., on Tuesday, exactly one month after a massive mudslide there claimed at least 41 lives. He promised survivors that the entire country will be on hand to help for 'as long as it takes'”:

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 24

The White House has no scheduled live feeds for today.

Jonathan Topaz of Politico: "The Hannity-Stewart feud: Day Three. During an 11-minute segment on the 'The Daily Show' Wednesday night, Jon Stewart called out Sean Hannity for what he perceived as hypocrisy on the Cliven Bundy issue and called the Fox News host 'The Arby’s of news.'”

CW: It's worth remembering that Stewart was the guy who brought down CNN's shouting pundits show "Crossfire." Of course the Blitzer Channel is, by comparison to Fox "News," a paragon of journalistic excellence.

Jon Stewart on the Cliven Bundy story:

... AND on Sean Hannity's support for Bundy:

... AND Hannity is pissed off. Apparently, it upsets him to hear his own blatant hypocrisy ridiculed.

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."

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Thursday
Jul122012

The Commentariat -- July 13, 2012

Annie Lowrey of the New York Times: "Despite the recent run of disappointing economic data, a broad range of experts and forecasters expect the economy to improve slightly in coming months, thanks to lower oil prices and new signs of life from sectors like automobiles and housing. Call it a firming up, if not quite a comeback."

"Geithner Tried to Curb Rate-Rigging in 2008." Ben Protess of the New York Times: "When Timothy F. Geithner ran the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he acknowledged fundamental problems with the process for setting key interest rates in the midst of the 2008 financial crisis.... Mr. Geithner, who is now the United States Treasury secretary, questioned the integrity of the benchmark as reports surfaced that Barclays and other big banks were misrepresenting the rates." ...

... Jia Lynn Yang has the Washington Post story here.

Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post: Washington, D.C. "Mayor Vincent C. Gray's 2010 campaign inaccurately documented at least $100,000 in expenses in records filed with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, according to campaign treasurer Betty R. Brown.... Her comments underscore the extent of the legal troubles concerning Gray's official mayoral effort, including guilty pleas from three associates in a federal probe of the campaign.... According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, more than $653,000 was secretly poured into a separate 'shadow campaign' whose spending was never reported."

Somini Sengupta of the New York Times: "Richard O'Dwyer, an enterprising 24-year-old college student from northern England..., started [a Website] that helped visitors find American movies and television shows online. Although the site did not serve up pirated content, American authorities say it provided links to sites that did. The Obama administration is seeking to extradite Mr. O'Dwyer from Britain on criminal charges of copyright infringement. The possible punishment: 10 years in a United States prison." CW: it's okay to help your Hollywood campaign contributors beat pirates, but isn't this too much?

"Perfect Attendance. Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post: "Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) cast her 5,000th consecutive vote Thursday, earning her the third-longest consecutive-vote streak of any senator in U.S. history. Standing at her desk shortly after 2 p.m., Collins beamed before her name was called on a vote to table a proposal on tax cuts for small businesses.... Not only has her vote streak consecutive, but it accounts for every vote held in the Senate since she joined the chamber in January 1997."

New York Times Editors: "For all its right-wing political muscle, ALEC has long enjoyed tax-exempt status as a nonpartisan charity under section 501(c )(3) of the tax code, which is supposed to bar it from influencing legislation as a substantial part of its activities. And because it is a charity, its donors are allowed to deduct contributions from income taxes.... Marcus Owens, the former chief of the I.R.S. division in charge of tax exemptions, has recently filed a complaint with the I.R.S. charging ALEC with illegal lobbying and partisan violations that should lead to revocation of its tax exemption. We agree."

New York Times Editors: "As the nation moves toward greater acceptance of same-sex marriage, there should be at least five justices willing to say that."

Presidential Race

President Obama on the biggest mistake of his first term:

     ... President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. -- Mitt Romney, reacting to the President's remarks

... CBS News: "President Barack Obama questioned presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney's economic credentials, saying that while his tenure at private equity firm Bain Capital doesn't 'disqualify' him from running for president, it won't necessarily translate into job growth for Americans":

      ... CW: Obama could have been, um, more forceful. He seems a lot less comfortable than we are about slamming Rmoney. P.S. Charlie Rose won his V.S.P. merit badge, didn't he?

Robin Wells in the Guardian: "From images of corporate raiding, to luxury speedboats, to offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands, to mega-mansions in the Hamptons, this week's stories suggest that the candidacy of Mitt Romney -- poster-boy for the symbiotic relationship between big money and the modern Republican party -- is in serious trouble.... The domination by the super-wealthy means that Republicans not only have no interest in the welfare of the rest of the 99.9%, they have no understanding of why this is a problem. The noblesse oblige days of the old money, such as the Bushes, the Kennedys and the Roosevelts are long gone...." ...

... Paul Krugman: "... the 'we are V.I.P.' crowd has fully captured the modern Republican Party.... If you're really concerned about the [tax] incentive effects of public policy, you should be focused not on the rich but on workers making $20,000 to $30,000 a year, who are often penalized for any gain in income because they end up losing means-tested benefits like Medicaid and food stamps."

** Bombshell! Callum Borchers & Christopher Rowland of the Boston Globe: "Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.... The timing of Romney's departure from Bain is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date. Contradictions concerning the length of Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital add to the uncertainty and questions about his finances." ...

... This piece by Josh Marshall of TPM, published July 10, covers the territory the Globe reporters expand. ...

... AND this from David Corn of Mother Jones, dated July 2: "... documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission ... list Romney as an active participant in the investment [in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics].... Responding to a recent Washington Post story reporting that Bain-acquired companies outsourced jobs, the Romney campaign insisted that Romney exited Bain in February 1999, a month or more before Bain took over two of the companies named in the Post's article. The SEC documents undercut that defense...." CW: We should give more credit to bloggers who so often lay the groundwork for MSM reports that get all the attention. ...

     ... CW: Oh, looks like even the Globe agrees with me. From Dylan Byers of Politico: "Globe editor Martin Baron said Thursday that the paper failed to credit other news organizations, such as Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo, that had previously reported on the story. Baron said it was a 'mistake' the passages giving credit were removed and that the paper will remedy the error online but added that the Globe 'advanced the story with a more comprehensive and complete look that broke significant news.'" ...

     ... In an interesting update on the Globe story itself, Dylan Byers reports that the Rmoney campaign asked for a correction, and the Globe said no. Byers has the "no" memo from Globe editor Martin Baron, which is pretty good.

... Mackenzie Weinger & Dylan Byers of Politico: "The Obama campaign went on the attack Thursday after a bombshell report revealed that Mitt Romney was the CEO of Bain Capital for years longer than he has previously admitted. Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said this new disclosure shows Romney is 'the most secretive candidate to run for president since Richard Nixon.'" ...

... John Aravosis of AmericaBlog: "1. Romney told the SEC that he remained the firm's 'sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president' up until 2002. 2. But Romney said in a more recent financial disclosure form that he left Bain in 1999 -- so the two federal forms contradict each other, at least one is a lie." ...

... Jennifer Epstein of Politico: "Mitt Romney either lied in federal filings that show he worked at Bain Capital through 2002 and could be guilty of a felony, or has lied to the American people in saying he left the company in 1999, the Obama campaign is arguing in light of news reports on the firm’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 'This is serious business,' said Bob Bauer, the Obama campaign's counsel, in a conference call for reporters...." ...

... Steve Benen: "When the editors of FactCheck.org initially took Romney's claims at face value to reject Democratic criticisms, they said the candidate must be telling the truth about his Bain departure date, because if he didn't really leave until 2002, then 'Romney would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999.' FactCheck.org meant that to be proof that Romney's claims were true. Now that there's ample evidence to the contrary, it's worth considering that whole 'guilty of a federal felony' question again." ...

... "I Did Not Have Economic Relations with That Company." Paul Waldman of American Prospect: "It doesn't seem too hard to believe that while Romney was in Salt Lake, he also continued to be involved in the major decisions at Bain -- even if he wasn't available to pitch for the company softball team.... But if he were to admit that, then he'd have to answer specific questions about his knowledge of the steel mill that went bankrupt, the outsourcing companies, and so on. And there is nothing in the world Mitt Romney wants to do less than have to answer specific questions about Bain and what he did there." ...

... Henry Blodgett of Business Insider: "Sorry, Mitt Romney, You Can't Be Chairman, CEO, And President Of A Company And Not Be Responsible For What It Does...." ...

... Kevin Roose of New York magazine tells Romney's side: "It depends on what the meanings of "manager" and "CEO" are." ...

Oh, There's More. David Corn: Romney "decries China poaching US jobs. But at Bain he held a large stake in a Chinese company that did just that." ...

... Jed Lewison of Daily Kos: "Mitt Romney sure picked a bad day to call the President a liar." ...

... "Projecting Mendacity." Ed Kilgore on the Rovian Rmoney attack ad on Obama: "... the new gambit from his campaign is probably also designed to (a) chip into Obama’s continuing advantage in personal favorability, while (b) reinforcing among GOP 'base' voters the meme that the whole Obama enterprise is a vast Potemkin Village disguising his radicalism and unsavory association with America-haters and Christ-haters." ...

... Jonathan Bernstein, writing in the Washington Post, remarks that these financial bombshells are just coming out now because Rmoney's amateur opponents in the primary didn't do any serious oppo research. CW: I suspect the Obama team was preparing to make the case John Aravosis so succinctly crystallize. The "sources" Aravosis cites are pretty much out in the open: they're public documents that any oppo team would check. That's why the Obama campaign ads accused Rmoney of doing stuff that took place after 1998. Fact-checkers have panned the ads, but the Obama camp had it right all along -- and I think they knew it.

... Dierdre Walsh of CNN: "The chief of the House Republicans' campaign arm said Thursday it was 'fair game' for people to ask for more information about GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's personal financial records. 'His personal finances, the way he does things, his record, are fair game,' Texas Republican Pete Sessions told CNN."

The blind trust is an age-old ruse. -- Mitt Romney, 1994, on Ted Kennedy's blind trust ...

... Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair: Romney "assures us that his assets are held in a 'blind trust' over which he exerts no control. But just how blind are such trusts, anyway? In Romney's case, apparently not quite blinkered enough to keep his trustee -- who is also his personal lawyer and longtime friend Bradford Malt -- from investing more than $10 million of Romney's money in an investment fund managed by Romney's son Tagg." Via Greg Sargent. ...

      Also from the Purdum post, which is well-worth reading in full:

As a freshman senator, Barack Obama — whose wealth comes almost entirely from his book royalties -- set up a blind trust but later that same year sold all of his stocks and closed the trust because he decided that even such an arrangement could not protect him from the appearance of a conflict. Most of his wealth is now invested in U.S. Treasury bonds and diversified funds -- about the most transparent option available. What's good for the country is good for Obama, and vice versa, to coin a phrase.

Yo! Those welfare queens booed me at my NAACP gig because I'll make sure the government doesn't give them any 'more free stuff.' -- Mitt Romney, at a fundraiser, paraphrased (but not off the mark)

Jay Rosen of NYU: "Suppose a major party candidate for president believed we were in a 'post-truth' era and actually campaigned that way. Would political reporters in the mainstream press figure it out and tell us? I say no. They would not tell us. Not in any clear way."

AND Andy Borowitz forwards a note from Willard's doctor attesting to the candidate's memory loss.

News Ledes

On CNN, "... Mitt Romney offered a vocal defense Friday of his tenure [at Bain] and strongly disputed reports he left the firm years later than he has previously said." CW: "A vocal defense"? Does that mean he wasn't singing AND dancing? Here's the CNN interview:

Romney says Obama owes him a apology:


Same story at ABC News. Here's the transcript of Jonathan Karl's interview of Romney.

New York Times: "The Federal Reserve Bank of New York learned in April 2008, as the financial crisis was brewing, that at least one bank was reporting false interest rates.... Although the New York Fed conferred with Britain and American regulators about the problems and recommended reforms, it failed to stop the illegal activity, which persisted through 2009.... Timothy F. Geithner, who served as the head of the New York Fed during the crisis years, and other regulators raised concerns about Libor. But they did not stop the problems."

Bloomberg News: "JPMorgan Chase & Co. had already lost more than $700 million on synthetic credit bets and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon was told that number could climb to almost $1 billion when he dismissed press reports about the positions in April as a 'tempest in a teapot.'"

New York Times: "A county judge in Alabama has temporarily shut down a system in a town near Birmingham where people fined for speeding and unable to afford the ticket are handed over to a private probation company and sometimes sent to jail, where additional fees are imposed."

New York Times: "Mitt Romney will submit to five network and cable television interviews this afternoon after several days of being hammered by President Obama’s campaign on his personal wealth and his time at Bain Capital."

The Hill: "President Obama mocked Republicans on Friday for seeking to repeal the healthcare law 33 times instead of working to pass a tax extension that would help the middle class. Kicking off a two-day, five-stop bus tour in Virginia, Obama sought to hammer home his latest message to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year as part of an effort that, he says, would help the middle class."

Washington Post: "A D.C. police officer who worked as a motorcycle escort for White House officials and other dignitaries was moved to administrative duty Wednesday after he allegedly was overheard making threatening comments toward Michelle Obama, according to several police officials."

Al Jazeera: "Syria's opposition has urged the UN Security Council to pass a binding resolution against Damascus following reports by activists that regime forces massacred at least 150 villagers in the central province of Hama."

Guardian: "China's growth has slowed to its lowest rate since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2009, though analysts voiced optimism on Friday that the economy may have bottomed out already. Second-quarter growth of 7.6% -- down from 8.1% in the previous three months -- was in line with expectations...."

Reader Comments (19)

A sidelight on the Boston Globe report is the extremely misleading way that the Times reported it. The Times headline reads: "Report on Romney’s Bain Tenure Seized On by Obama Camp," making it seem as if the Boston Globe report was simply fodder for political partisanship, rather than highly relevant and devastating evidence that Romney has either lied to the SEC or lied to the voters about when his activities at Bain ceased. Moreover, why did it take the Boston Globe, with far fewer reportorial resources than the Times, to uncover these documents? Shame and double shame on the Gray Lady!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban

This campaign is turning out to be fun. Romney's inept crackers seem to have forgotten that all those unwashed bloggers know where the facts lurk. Sure hope my tequila doesn't run out before my next SSA check... would hate to have to make sense out of this shit while sober.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Calyban,

Your point focuses attention on the way news is dispersed with a barely traceable taint of partisanship. Why would a NYTimes editor approve such a dissembling headline??? WHY?

I cannot even vouchsafe a proper answer. I can, however suggest some rationale. First, the Times, as has been clear since at least the first stolen election by right-wing dullard, war criminal, and financial mountebank, George W. Bush, has been scared out of its wits to present the unvarnished truth or offer anything other than some treacly, puking estimation of what they think the right will accept as unbiased truth (meaning, keening kowtowing to their version of reality).

Second, they fear retribution from the ranks of the screaming, drooling harlequins. Courage in the face of ideological idiocy has vanished from the ranks of nearly all media outlets. They simply cannot abide the spanking stupidity rendered by right-wing zealotry.

Cowardice is what we used to call this.

Finally, much of the media would have not the slightest problem eviscerating a Reverend Wright for an out of control world view, but a figure like Willard the Rat with his slick suits, perfectly coiffed looks, monogrammed shirts, and idiot celebrity spawn perfection evinces only, at best, a kind of surly obeisance.

I would point you all to the lyrics of one of the giant figures from the Golden Age of Calypso, one Neville Marcano, known in musical circles as Growling Tiger. These are the lyrics to his magnum opus, Money is King:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMlfUirBs4E&feature=related

If you have money to buy in a store

The boss will shake your hands at the door

Call them clerks to take down everything

Whiskey, cloth, earring and diamond ring

He may send them to your house on a motorbike

You can pay the bills whenever you like

Not a soul will ask you a thing

They know very well that money is king

A man with a collar and tie and waistcoat

Ask the Chineeman to trust him and float

To extend him credit for food.

"Me no trus' am," bawl out de Chineeman
"
And you better move on from me frying pan

You college man, me no know ABC

You wantum accra, gie am penny!
"
De worm start to jump in de man's belly

And he cried out, "A dog is better than me"

A dog can walk about and take up bone

Fowl head, stale bread, fish tail and pone

If it's a good breed and not too wild

Some people will take it and mind as a child

But when a hungry man goes out to beg

They will set a bulldog behind his leg

Forty policemen may chalk him down too

You see where a dog is better than you.

If you have money and things going nice

Any woman will call you honey and spice

If you can't give her a dress, one new pair of shoe

She'll say she have no uses for you

When you try to caress her, she will tell you,
"Stop!
I can't carry love in the Chinee shop
"
I'm sure most of you will agree that it's true

If you haven't money, dog is better than you

Growling Tiger nails it.

The True thrust of the Romney presidential juggernaut is that if you're not rich like him?

Dog is better than you.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Omg! I am so f-ing wicked happy!!! Thank you Ms.(?) Burns... Your posting of this, all of this, has freaking made my night!
Mitty is, to paraphrase Franklin(via Buster, nonetheless!) a freak bitch! Ha ha, you smug motherfucker!! Let's see you weasel out of this one, you mass-hole!
What a great 2 days, first the NAACP snafu, now this... Hate that motherfucker, I really do....
Now, who can we vote for besides Obama???
(I know, I know.....)
....I really just wanted to kinda say thanks for the site. Got a little out of hand...First thing I read in the morning, every morning. Really appreciate all the heavy lifting you do. Your so cool!!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralan

Do I hear the word felony as in jail? This could be serious fun.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Regarding Akhilleus' assessment of today's Times, if memory serves, didn't Lyndon Johnson complain that he couldn't run the Vietnam War with the New York Times, the greatest newspaper in the world, taking sides against him? Gee, what a difference a few decades makes; and oh, how the mighty have fallen.

We can talk of Romney's felonies and lies, but in the end, to what purpose? Will he go to jail? Not likely, the right will start their "elitist, liberal media, hater, both sides do it, etc., etc., etc., crap; he'll become a hero to the low-information voters because he's being victimized (think Sarah Palin); George Soros will be named as a "he did it too and nothing happened to him"; and we will spend countless new cycles listening to each side hurl accusations at the other. Laws are for little, non-politican people not the masters of the universe like Mitt (as Ms. Burns writes) Rawmoney.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacquelyn

And here is the frosting on the cake for MittWitt! It is from no other than Robin Wells--the partner and "shaper-upper" of our favorite Nobel economist, Paul Krugman. She is not only his equal; she has turned the Professor into a CAT FREAK! Yea!

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/12381-romney-of-billionaires-for-billionaires-by-billionaires

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

A thought from Tom Hayden--in response to Linda Greenhouse's op ed in the NYT yesterday about Justice John ("I'm Cool") Roberts. I am in the Hayden camp, though I know it is a minority opinion. I thought this before Roberts' declared himself, and I still do--with due respect to Greenhouse. Here is the first paragraph of what Hayden has to say:


The Roberts Court; Enemy of Democracy

..."While progressive Democrats are giddy over the Supreme Court ruling upholding the Obama health care law, the Roberts' decision can be interpreted as cushioning the reputation of the Court from rising public questioning of its balance and legitimacy. Indeed, salvaging its reputation was one of the reasons for its decision in the case...."

Here is the link: http://tomhayden.com/home/the-roberts-court-enemy-of-democracy.html

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

The heat is on. Mitt's failure to disclose has been an issue from the beginning but now it has moved to a new level. Yes, the Republicans are going to scream 'politics', but the noise will only make the question of disclosure more obvious. Why not? Well now we know. Let's hope the MSM actually spends some time looking into the question that a candidate for POTUS may have committed a crime. I have an idea for a cheap add for the Obama campaign. Just a quick one liner to flash on the screen.

"Hay Mitt, if you nothing to hide, why are you hiding".

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Another day in dumpster heaven for me. I spent most of the day running from tile store to tile store yesterday, and I'm not done with that project by any means. When I called my husband somewhere in there to see how he was doing & if we had any properly-running toilets, the answer was that we had no running water at all: seems some old pipes burst from the vibration of the demolition.

@Calyban: I'm going to work on the Times' reaction to the Globe story for my NYTX column. Thanks for highlighting it.

@Kate Madison: I skimmed Tom Hayden's post, & I don't think he says anything counter to Linda Greenhouse's post. I don't know of any progressives cheering Roberts as a new liberal hero; they're just saying in a more positive light exactly what Hayden is deriding: Roberts saved the Court from going over the cliff. I don't doubt they're still going down that same cliff, but Roberts' save was to temporarily slow down the journey. The Court is on a ledge instead of at the bottom of the abyss, but they're working their way into the abyss. Unless both -- (a) a conservative Supreme leaves the Court & (b) a Democrat (Obama) nominates a replacement -- happens, the Court will hit bottom.

July 13, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

The court will hit bottom. When the super pacs really go to work with their flood of negative ads, Obama's support will falter. Negative ads do not backfire, they work even if blatantly false.
The constituency that elected W. two times will elect Willard.
"There is of course, a good chance that the Republicans will control both Congress and the White House next year." Paul Krugman, July 13th.
While this will be a temporary disaster, Republican over reach will create an environment that will make the need for major change evident to everyone. Starving people can be led to food. We are perhaps only eight or twelve years from salvation.
"You can't get there from here." is our current political situation. Without radical change we will suffer for decades in a diminished Democracy.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

OMG, Carlyle. I hope you're wrong.

Given the frighteningly timid temperament of Obama and the Democrats, and the boundless cash available to the Rat and his Super PAC friends, the Kochs, Rove, et al, the voter suppression efforts, the coming election fraud and vote stealing which have become de rigeur for Republicans with national elections on the line, and the soon to come barrage of negative ads describing Obama as a murderous foreigner, a Muslim Stepin Fetchit, tanked up on socialism and crank, a black man with a license to steal, rape, murder, and assault white virtue and American Values (and those will be the good ones), I think two things: first, the charges against Romney lying about the date of his relinquishing command at Bain and what he said when and to whom won't matter a whit. No one will care. No cares now.

They WILL care about the lies being spread about Obama however. This ground has been tilled for three years. So there is every chance that we will have another crook in the White House. And we all know what that means for the Supreme Court. Then John Roberts' temporary burst of conscience or this ploy or whatever it is, won't matter a'tall.

My fear is that Obama won't be roused from his wonkish wonderland until it's far too late to rally the troops and slam the door on the murderous conservative onslaught. It will be like the Orc assault on Helm's Deep in the Lord of the Rings except without the last minute cavalry charge with Gandalf saving the day.

An army of drooling, slack-jawed Fox watchers marching behind the dark lords Rove and the Kochs will descend on the polls in November.

If Obama doesn't act soon (it looks like he may be starting to respond) it will be too late. If he's waiting for the convention, that's too late as well. He needs to be out there NOW, today, slamming the shit out of this asshole, and talking up the ACA, telling Americans how he has helped move us toward a better place and how his opponents want to keep them in their place, without jobs, without decent health care, without hope. Telling them clearly without any dainty language how Republicans' sole goal over the last three years was to hurt Americans in order to win this election.

The clock is already running.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Re: Thurston "Mittless" Howell IV. Of course he wasn't in charge when he was in charge, that's why you have Gilligans around. Gilligan you, Gilligan me, holding the bag when the shit comes down. Does anyone else enjoy the paradox of the 'Party of Responsibility' having a standard bearer who is not even responsible for what comes out of his own mouth? I envision Mitt as a bank account number accessible only to himself. If corporations are people why not off-shore accounts too?
Re: Akhilleus; you've got a way with words, help me out with "Mitt's Money" just a little ditty, you can all join in.
" Where to hide my bags of money?
Where to hide my bags of money?
How about where it's warm and sunny
taxes are few and accents are funny.
Where to hide my bags of money,
Where to hide my bags of money?
Mango trees and an ocean breeze
glad I moved my money over seas.
Where to hide my bags of money,
Where to hide my bags of money?
Don't care too much about the poor
long as I got my stash off-shore.
Where to hide my bags of money,
where to hide my bags of money?
Tell me the country's going bust
well that's ok, I got my secret trust.
Where to hide my bags of money?
Re: Marie; I always tell my clients that the demo starts when everything to be installed new is in garage; tile,lighting and plumbing fixtures, pulls, mirrors, cabs, down to the toilet paper roll dispenser and no change orders if you want to come in under budget and on time. Of course, it's your dime and I can spend it faster than you can say "Kohler." I have no experience with Florida construction, only the west coast, out here the scale goes from first rate to shoddy. I did visit the Outer Banks in North Carolina and was shocked on how crappy the fit and finish was on the house I was staying at. Crap, the new standard; kinda like today's political scene. OK let's make some noise, noise is progress, progress is good.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

I couldn't get my piece together on the NYT both-sides-do-it story, mostly because the so-called fact-checkers have doubled down on their "Romney left Bain in '99" claim. I don't believe there is a chance he had no idea what Bain was doing from '99 to '01; I'm sure he approved all the major stuff, & there's some evidence that he was in the middle of some of it. When you're talking about multi-million $$ deals, you don't just say, "Let's not tell Mitt. He's busy arranging the ice-dancing events."

@JJG: the de-constructors revealed a stunning example of why you don't let plumbers anywhere near sharp implements: to accommodate the tub's plumbing, one of them cut out 18" of a stud on a bearing wall & "connected" the two pieces with a 1x2". That is, they left 18" of air. If I hadn't seen similar examples before, I'd be amazed. But I've seen it. So I'm not.

Marie

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Constant Weader

@Constant Weader

Yes, I agree with what you say about Tom Hayden's views on Johnny (I'm Cool) Roberts. I did not mean to imply (nor did he) that progressives are cheering him on as the "new liberal swing justice," only that Johnny could see the cliff ahead and saw his vote with the crazoids fast pushing the Court over the edge. He does worry constantly about his reputation, since he made a comment several years ago that he did not want HIS to be a "failed Court," as so many have been in the past.

I think Johnny is a very smart, but shallow, dude who does not understand the historical importance of the Court--except as it relates to the Chief Justice. So he has great concern about HIS place in history. And he is not so blind that he cannot see CRAZY all around him in black robes.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

JJG,

Here's a few lines:

Where to cache ill-gotten gains?
Someplace where it rarely rains

I take your company, it’s doing fine
Next thing you know, your ass is mine.

You’re on the street, nowhere to go
Me? I’m off to the Caymans, bro.

But I’ll take care of all your coin
Your retirement, now purloined

Your business, like others, belly up
Don’t complain. Just shut up.

I buy ‘em up, I break ‘em too
Makes no difference what I do.

No laws or rules apply to me.
This is my land, land of the free.

But where to hide my bags of dough
That’s for me to say, not for you to know.

Any day now I'll be president
But your life is over, it came and went.

So vote for me, maybe I'll allow
your kids to finish school somehow.

It might sound strange, or even funny
But screw you and yours. I've got your money.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Re: Akhilleus, you put the bling in the ring. I'll call you when P. Ditty gets in touch. Where are we going to hid the cash? I"m thinking dog biscuit futures and casks of Irish whiskey.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

JJG,

I didn't realize there was such a bull market for canine cookies. Well, if everything's going to the dogs I suppose they'll take a break now and then from a hard day's ravaging for a quick biscuit or three or four.

The Irish whiskey idea is great but first we'll have to empty the casks. Any ideas? Victor McLaglen, as Sgt. Mulcahy in Fort Apache, when told by his CO to get rid of a keg of illegal whiskey, took the indirect approach to this assignment. "Boys" he said to his fellow soldiers, "tis a man's work we have ahead of this day."

I always liked Victor's style. We may all need some whiskey before this election season is over.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
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