The Ledes

Thursday, July 24, 2014.

Bloomberg News: "Jobless claims fell by 19,000 to 284,000 in the week ended July 19, the fewest since February 2006 and lower than any economist surveyed by Bloomberg forecast...."

Guardian: "A flight operated by Air Algérie carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early on Thursday, the plane's owner said."

The Guardian is liveblogging developments in the Gaza crisis. More than 700 Palestinians have been killed in the conflict, many of them children.

Reuters: "A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence."

Los Angeles Times: "The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday night lifted its ban on U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

New York Times: "The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to establish an inquiry into human rights violations in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories at a special session on Wednesday in which the top human rights official, Navi Pillay, said Israel and Hamas had likely committed war crimes with indiscriminate attacks on civilians." ...

... New York Times: "As the death toll mounts and passions spike, the Foreign Press Association in Israel condemned on Wednesday what it called 'deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists' who are reporting on the fighting in Gaza. That includes 'forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments,' the association said."

... New York Times: "Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise visit to Israel on Wednesday, as he pressed his effort to forge a cease-fire to bring a halt to the bitter fighting in the Gaza Strip. Mr. Kerry’s plane touched down at Ben-Gurion International Airport just a day after the United States Federal Aviation Administration suspended American civilian flights to Israel." ...

... Guardian: "International airlines halted flights to and from Israel indefinitely on Tuesday citing security concerns in an unexpected twist to the two-week-old conflict in Gaza." ...

     ... CW: Guess that puts something of a damper on the Summer Vacation Insurance Theory of War. ...

... Washington Post: "As Israel pummels Hamas’s infrastructure inside Gaza, it is also trying to prevent attacks originating from the West Bank and Israel — by obliterating the houses of the relatives of Palestinians who allegedly have harmed Israelis. In doing so, Israel’s military has returned to a controversial policy of punitive demolitions that has displaced thousands of Palestinians over the years."

Washington Post: "Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in the same vicinity as a Malaysian airliner that was downed last week, Ukrainian officials said." ...

... Time: "U.S. intelligence resources tracked the 'specific missile' that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a senior Administration official said Tuesday, saying intelligence adds up to a picture that 'implicates Russia' in helping to bring down the plane." ...

... Washington Post: "The Obama administration, detailing what it called evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner, on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive intelligence that officials say show Moscow had trained and equipped rebels in Ukraine responsible for the attack."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, May 29:"The ongoing measles outbreak in the United States has reached a record for any year since the disease was  eliminated in this country 14 years ago, with 288 cases of the potentially deadly infection reported in 18 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday."

White House Live Video
July 23

2:00 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the NAACP national convention in Las Vegas, Nevada (audio only)

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

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

Washington Post: "On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years. 'If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,' physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA."

New York: "Governor Cuomo and CBS announced Wednesday that The Late Show will continue to be shot at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater, its home of 21 years, when David Letterman retires and Stephen Colbert takes over in 2015. While it had been assumed that the show would be staying put, CBS only made it official today, announcing that it had received $11-million in state tax credits and $5-million in renovation money for the theater in exchange for staying in NYC and guaranteeing the continuation of 200 jobs surrounding the show's production." ...

... Nice announcement, but not as long as Cuomo's 13-page response to a New York Times article that showed Cuomo is a pompous, corrupt, two-faced hypocrite.

Lunar Landing, Cable News Version. Slate: "In 2009, Andrew Bouvé imagined what it would be like if the moon landing happened today, unleashing cable news on the event.... This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing."

 

New Yorker illustration.

The New Yorker has opened up its archives for the summer. An excellent opportunity to get in on some fabulous reading.

 

CW: Jordan Weismann of Slate presents this audio as an unusual customer service horror story. It is a nightmare, to be sure. But as someone who has had to deal with stopping & starting various utility & communications services recently, I can attest that it is par for the course for an American U.S. customer service rep. Dealing with non-Americans, who increasing represent U.S. companies, is worse. These reps all work from scripts, but the non-Americans don't understand my English, so their "responses" are even more non-responsive than are those of the Comcast guy there:

 

Airborne Dinosaur. USA Today: Paleontologists have discovered in China a new species of dinosaur that "had long feathers not just on its wings but also on its hind legs, making it one of only a handful of 'four-winged' dinosaurs. It also had big, sharp teeth and sharp claws, indicating it was carnivorous.... Scientists were surprised to find something so large that could take to the skies so early in the history of flying creatures." ...

     ... CW: Charles Pierce's take: "The Christianists have been wrong all these years. It's not Intelligent Design. It's Abstract Design. God The Dada."

Houston Chronicle: "The Palm Beach mansion known as President JFK's Winter White House has hit the market for a staggering $38.5 million. That price is even more gasp-worthy considering the same property sold for $4.9 million in 1995 and a mere $120,000 in 1933." More photos, including interior shots, at the linked page.

Heller McAlpin reviews Marja Mills' book The Mockingbird Next Door, a memoir of the writer's friendship with Harper Lee & her sister Alice Finch Lee, for the Washington Post.

According to this Daily Beast headline, the "World Awaits LeBron James' Decision." CW: Even though I so often do the sports report, it turns out I am not of this world.

Smart Girls Don't Swear. Vanity Fair "cleaned up, pored over, and painstakingly transcribed" some of the Nixon tapes, "many of which were muffled and, at times, indecipherable." The post excerpts a few: Nixon on gays, Jews, swearing.

New York Times: Hillary Clinton's "memoir, 'Hard Choices,' has just been toppled from its spot on the best-seller list by a sensational Clinton account by her longtime antagonist Edward Klein. It is a powerful statement about today’s publishing realities that Mr. Klein’s book, a 320-page unauthorized and barely sourced account full of implausible passages, including one about a physical altercation between Mrs. Clinton and President Obama, has landed atop the New York Times best-seller list, knocking 'Hard Choices' to No. 2." ...

... If by chance you believe the major media are the exclusive haunts of "elite leftists," here's evidence it ain't so. Klein, the Times story notes, is "a former editor at Newsweek  and The New York Times Magazine."

Eleanor Clift of the Daily Beast interviews Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times. Abramson still doesn't know what "management skills" means. Kinda makes you think maybe she doesn't have any.

Tim Egan: American children are too sheltered. The world isn't as scary as we think it is.

... Thanks to Bonita for the link. CW: I except you actually could purchase the materials at Hobby Lobby you'd need to make an IUD. However, Dr. Weader strongly advises against this do-it-yourself project.

New York Times: "The New Yorker is overhauling its website, making all articles it has published since 2007 available free for three months before introducing a paywall for online subscribers."

The New York Times Magazine publishes excerpts from a few of Warren Harding's love letters to Carrie Phillips. Also, he was a worse poet than he was a president. And Phillips was unfaithful to Harding; then she blackmailed him. Maybe it was because she was so turned off by all those letters where he personified his penis as "Jerry."

Guardian: A Princeton archaeologist has found what may be the world's oldest extant erotic graffiti on the Greek island of Astypalaia in the Aegean sea. Also, it is so gay.

Wherever in the U.S. you may live, if you missed your local news last night, we have it here. In fact, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, here's what will be on your local news tonight. Thanks to Bonita for the link:

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Tuesday
Jul172012

The Commentariat -- July 18, 2012

Mary Walsh & Michael Cooper of the New York Times: "The fiscal crisis for states will persist long after the economy rebounds as they confront rising health care costs, underfunded pensions, ignored infrastructure needs, eroding revenues and expected federal budget cuts, according to a report issued here Tuesday by a task force of respected budget experts." ...

... New York Times Editors: "Around the country..., states continue to face a fiscal crisis because of rising costs and Republican-driven cuts in federal aid. While some governors and lawmakers are searching for new revenue sources, others are using the downturn as an excuse to end a long tradition of states being the final backstop for society's neediest."

Matt Bai in a New York Times Magazine piece on why the Citizens United decision probably didn't make much difference. CW: it's a point of view, and some of Bai's POV might be right. ...

... For an excellent view to the contrary, Bill Moyers & Michael Winship outline some of the bad effects of Citizens United & tie those bad effects, not surprisingly, to the demise of the DISCLOSE Act this week (not a single GOP Senator voted for it). "... at the time of the ruling..., eight of the nine justices also made it clear that key to the decision was the importance of transparency. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, 'The First Amendment protects political speech and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way.'"; Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link.

Krissah Thompson of the Washington Post: "New laws in 10 states requiring voters to show IDs could present serious challenges to voters without financial resources and transportation, according to a report released Wednesday. The study by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, which opposes the new laws, found several obstacles that could keep voters from being able to cast ballots, including limited access to offices that issue the IDs required under the new measures."

Steve Kornacki: "... just because a president does what voters tell pollsters they want him to do on taxes doesn't guarantee voters will understand it that way -- especially if one of the two major parties is loudly and unanimously arguing that the president has done something completely and totally different from what he says he did." CW: the bottom line here is that Republicans lie a lot & Democrats don't defend themselves against the lies. And goobers are goobers.

Ta-Nehesi Coates in the New York Times: "The problem here is not that [Joe] Paterno shamed Happy Valley, but that Happy Valley, through its broad blindness, has shamed itself."

Lisa Rein of the Washington Post: "The acting chief of the General Services Administration will announce Tuesday that he is canceling almost all bonuses for executives this year and freezing hiring after a spending scandal that prompted a major shake-up at the agency.... Of 75 career senior executives, 67 received bonuses in the last fiscal year.... The average was $9,600, the same award given to Jeffrey Neely, the organizer of the now-famous Western Regions conference. Neely got his bonus even after the inspector general" had briefed GSA leaders "on the excessive spending." CW: Um, why are bureaucrats getting bonuses anyway?

Sally McGrane of the New York Times: Denmark's "cycle superhighway, which opened in April, is the first of 26 routes scheduled to be built to encourage more people to commute to and from Copenhagen by bicycle. More bike path than the Interstate its name suggests, it is the brainchild of city planners who were looking for ways to increase bicycle use in a place where half of the residents already bike to work or to school every day." ...

... AND, by contrast, Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times on couch spuds: "... a group of groundbreaking new reports ... suggest that voluntary physical inactivity, a practice once confined mostly to North America and parts of Europe, is spreading rapidly to the rest of the world and likely contributing materially to global gains in tonnage and declines in health." CW: it isn't just a greater level of income equality that makes Danes the happiest people in the world.

So, okay, I didn't watch this hour-long interview:

       ... But here's a typical quote, courtesy of Taegan Goddard:

Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful. But I have no desire for fame and power anymore.... I crawled out of the swamp and I'm not crawling back in. -- George W. Bush

Charles Pierce on "David Brooks, Joe Klein & the Courtier Press."

Presidential Race

Maureen Dowd: "Campaigning Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Romney called Obama's course as president 'extraordinarily foreign.' But it is the Mitt-bot who keeps getting caught doing things that seem strangely outside the norm to most Americans."

Ultra-conservative Byron York in the ultra-conservative Washington Examiner on why the Romney campaign is floundering. Greg Sargent calls this a must-read. It is a good summary of Romney's problems.

Alex Altman of Time on Romney's Olympic Games credentials. Even they are not as impressive as Mitt would have you believe.

Felicia Sonmez & Philip Rucker of the Washington Post: "The political pressure on Mitt Romney to release more of his personal income tax returns is causing some divisions inside the GOP presidential candidate's camp, according to a Republican strategist close to the campaign. Although some advisers are arguing privately that Romney needs to release additional filings to curb the political fallout, others are resisting that suggestion...." ...

... A Helpful Rebuttal. Manu Raju of Politico: "Mitt Romney's tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a 'better candidate.' McCain received more than two decades worth of Romney's tax returns as the former Massachusetts governor was undergoing the vetting process four years ago, far more than Romney has released publicly in the 2012 campaign. Democrats have questioned whether McCain saw something untoward in those tax returns and decided to choose Palin instead." ...

... Jed Lewison of Daily Kos: "Yesterday, former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt rebutted the insinuation that Mitt Romney's tax returns cost him the vice presidential selection by saying that it was Romney's wealth, not his tax returns, that cost him the job. But while Schmidt was clearly trying to suggest that Romney's returns are clean, by the end of the day, he acknowledged that he'd never actually seen them." With video. ...

... Brett LoGiurato of Business Insider: "Fifty-six percent of Americans think Mitt Romney should release his tax returns from the last 12 years while 34 percent think he should not, according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling. Among Independent voters,61 percent want Romney to release his returns, while just 27 percent say he shouldn't." ...

... Several tax experts tell Greg Sargent it's very likely the Romneys paid very low taxes in the years Romney is refusing to release his returns. ...

... Joshua Green of Business Week on why the theory that Romney paid no taxes in 2008 and/or 2009 is plausible. ...

... AND Matt Yglesias has another plausible theory: in 2009, perhaps Romney took advantage of an amnesty that the IRS offered Americans who evaded taxes by holding secret Swiss bank accounts. Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, had cut a deal with the IRS to disclose 4,000 accounts held by Americans. Yglesias' reasoning is solid: "Romney might well have thought in 2007 and 2008 that there was nothing to fear about a non-disclosed offshore account ... precisely because it wasn't disclosed. But then came the [UBS] settlement.... Failing to apply for the amnesty and then getting charged by the IRS would have been both financially and politically disastrous.... But even though the amnesty would eliminate any legal or financial liability for past acts, it would hardly eliminate political liability."

Garrett Haake & Michael O'Brien of NBC News: "The Romney campaign ratcheted up its language on Tuesday in a conference call on which former New Hampshire governor and White House chief of staff John Sununu said he wished President Obama 'would learn how to be an American.' Sununu led a series of Romney surrogates in questioning the president's commitment to economic freedom, dredging up the president's ties to Tony Rezko; another speaker on the conference call said Obama's policies were akin to 'socialism'":

     ... As McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed writes, "Earlier Tuesday, Sununu made several of the charges in an interview with Fox News, suggesting that his words on the conference call were part of a new Romney campaign effort to turn the focus of the race away from questions about his time at Bain Capitol":

Obama has no idea how the American system functions. And we shouldn't be surprised about that, because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia, another set of years in Indonesia, and, frankly, when he came to the U.S., he worked as a community organizer, which is a socialized structure, and then got into politics in Chicago. -- John Sununu, former New Hampshire governor & Romney surrogate on Fox "News" Tuesday. Coppins has the video.

      ... Update: A Romney adviser said, "'I mean, [Obama] is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett 'appointed to the Senate.... The bottom line is there'll be counterattacks.' The reference to Obama's past drug use seems to suggest that ... John Sununu wasn't going off-script after all when he dinged the president for spending 'his early years in Hawaii smoking something' during a Tuesday morning Fox News appearance."

... Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon has as excellent post on why John Sununu , of all people, should know better than to attack President Obama's ethnic & cultural heritage.

Kevin Robillard of Politico: "A day after forcing YouTube to pull a Mitt Romney campaign ad featuring a snippet of Barack Obama singing Al Green's 'Let's Stay Together,' a major music publisher is doing likewise with videos of the president's crooning. Romney's ad disappeared Monday, and the Obama clips — shot at a January fundraiser at the Apollo Theater in Harlem -- began coming down Tuesday."

Andy Borowitz: "Manufacturing workers from across China flooded downtown Beijing to show their gratitude for Mr. Romney's robust record of job creation in China while at the helm of the private equity firm Bain Capital. While Mr. Romney's feats of outsourcing have taken a political toll at home, they have made him a national hero in China, according to workers like Qiu Huang, who attended the rally."

Right Wing World

Still at It. AP: "Investigators for an Arizona sheriff's [Joe Arpaio] volunteer posse say President Barack Obama's birth certificate is definitely fraudulent." CW: I have serious bad news for the birthers: even if the certificate were fraudulent -- which it is not -- Sheriff Joe's volunteer posse would have to prove that Obama's mother was not a natural-born citizen, as her American nationality grants Obama automatic citizenship.

News Ledes

New York Times: "A Senate committee advanced a measure on Wednesday to normalize trade relations with Russia for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union while also sanctioning officials implicated in human rights abuses."

New York Times: "The nation's consumer watchdog on Wednesday delivered its first enforcement action against the financial industry, fining Capital One for pressuring and misleading more than two million credit card customers. Capital One, one of the nation's biggest banks and credit card lenders, agreed to pay $210 million to resolve a pair of regulatory cases, the latest legal setback for the financial industry."

Washington Post: "Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday that the central bank did all it was required to do after learning in 2008 of the manipulation of the Libor interest rate, including notifying counterparts in Britain. But Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, addressing Parliament earlier in the day, said ... 'The New York Fed did not raise any evidence of wrongdoing with regards to Libor.' ... King said that he received only a memo of suggestions from then-New York Fed President Timothy F. Geithner...." CW: ah, the "all that was required" defense. A little like "just following orders." Fire 'em all.

Washington Post: "Syrian state television said Wednesday that a bombing in Damascus killed Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, the latest and most dramatic sign of upheaval in more than 16 months of civil revolt." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "A suicide bomber attacked a meeting of the most senior ministers and security chiefs in central Damascus on Wednesday, according to state television, killing both the defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law who is the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian military." ...

     ... Story has been updated. New lede: "A lethal bomb attack in Damascus struck at the heart of President Bashar al-Assad's inner circle Wednesday, killing at least three of his most senior aides, including his minister of defense and brother-in-law, in the most audacious challenge to the government's grip on power since the Syria uprising began 17 months ago."

Washington Post: "A chunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan has parted from Greenland's Petermann glacier, a break researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service attributed to warmer ocean temperatures."

Reuters: "Days after a blistering report accused [Joe] Paterno of covering up the child sex abuse of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky to shield Penn State's reputation, Paterno's alma mater, Brown University in Providence, R.I., said it stripped his name from an annual athletic award."

Reader Comments (15)

Re: Real American; I want to be first on board to comment that John Sununu is a first rate no count prick (can I say that?) What motherfucking bullshit! (betcha I can't say that.) He knows what he said. You can't take those words back. Words do matter. That was a call out to all the racist assholes that populate this great land of ours. His words spit on every person of color and every person who gave his life for the red, white and blue. Fuck him. Rich dumb fucks I can put up with. Greed I understand. But this God damn country belongs to all races and all creeds. Never, never underestimate the level that the Republicans can sink to. It is called race baiting something I thought was left behind in the sixties. I repeat, fuck him.
I really apologize for all of the above.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@JJG-

Pu-leez do NOT apologize for what you wrote. I was with you until you did. Truth is harsh. And words to describe truth can be even harsher. Just ask Akhilleus!

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Matt Bai: " You aint seen nothin yet". The super pacs are just starting the defamation push.
"Should learn to be an American".
"Has a foreign view of business."
"A socialist."
"Hates America."
The big blast in September and October will have the public believing Obama should be in jail or Guantanamo.
The Right is convinced that H. L. Mencken was absolutely right
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."
Since G. W. Bush was elected twice, the odds favor the wing nuts.

July 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

From Ross Douchebag tonight on the possibilty that RawMoney will win the election:

..."There is historical support for this case. The last two times an incumbent president was defeated by a challenger – Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George Bush in 1992 – the hinge moment arrived only in the last few months of the campaign. In 1980, it came after the lone debate, when Ronald Reagan’s smooth, reassuring performance turned a tight race into a walkover."


What Douchebag did not say, and what most of us think will happen, is that come late September and all of October--the Republican SuperPacs will dump close to $1 billion worth of Tee Vee ads on dumbed down, Kool Aid drinking Amuricans watching their beloved reality shows. Across the networks. Of course, they don't need to pay Faux News. And one of the hacks will find out that Obama's father fucked and impregnated one of his African daughters, and Barry knew about it but did not tell--or similar crazy crap.

I am checking out real estate in Costa Rica.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Thanks JJG. Confession is good for the soul. Therefore, mea culpa:

I apologize for thinking what a great country this is when:

an Arab American can start throwing around racial slurs just like an entitled white guy;

a member of a cult that once had to decide between its tenets and statehood and concluded that not EVERYTHING on the invisible golden plates was actually true decides to run for President and to convince me that his afterlife, which involves interstellar travel, is "Christian," or in other words the cult with which we're all comfortable;

a fat little prick who probably read Machiavelli too many times is given yet another chance to influence the votes of those too dumb or lazy to do their own research;

a woman who claims that vaccinations cause autism because she read it on the back of a cereal box is taken seriously enough to prompt bored bloviator debate when she claims that Congress has been taken over by a furrin group she read about;

a child of an Indian immigrant can move to the Deep South, become a Republican, and get elected governor so as to then remove funding from public schools and give that money to schools that teach little children who really don't know any better that the Loch Ness Monster is real and thus proves that Jesus created the whole thing in 7 days.

I'm sorry that I'm so proud of my country. With downcast eyes, we right-thinking Americans regret wishing that you pansy liberals would move to France and let us get on with the party. Amen.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Mahoney

Carl Sandberg has a few words for Mr. Sununu:

Look out how you use proud words.
When you let proud words go, it is
not easy to call them back.
They wear long boots, hard boots; they
walk off proud; they can't hear you calling—
Look out how you use proud words.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbarossa

@JJG wrote in yesterday's comments: " Re: Marie; Go with some nice sconces on dimmer switch for room lighting and some well placed cans for area and spot lighting. Call it good and get back to the keyboard. Your letter to the editors was not up to snuff when compared to your normal column retort to Mr. Brooks."

You're right. I was hoping to score a correction to Brooks' column, which would be a very mini-coup, but it comes as no shock to me that that is not likely to happen. As for picking out puck lights, I have to do a lot more to do than that. Yesterday I spent a good part of the day in plumbing supply stores & I'll be back there today, but only after I do several other chores.

I'm operating on four hours sleep, which is not enough for me. Since it often takes me more than 4 hours to write a column, you will have to speak to Mr. Romney about bending time, as even on no sleep, I could not get a column writ within the limitations of a 24-hour day.

I'm dancing as fast as I can.

Marie

July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Once again conservatives, in their attempt to insult and denigrate Democrats, a Democratic president, and, by extension, anyone who doesn’t pull on Republican jackboots every morning, have instead demonstrated the startling paucity of their own understanding of HOW THINGS WORK.

So John Sununu wishes to drag out that hoary old myth of the stalwart individual (somewhere, Ayn Rand’s skeletal remains are rattling with glee) standing tall against government and the machinations of evil liberals whose “socialist” ideas get in the way of conservative dominance and success. Too many finer writers have pointed out the laughable contradictions in the proposition that those giants of conservatism would prosper without any help from anyone, especially from government and liberal “handouts”. So let’s consider some of the things liberals have conferred on Americans through constructive and effective use of governmental projects and rulings.

Some liberal is responsible for the clean water you and your kids drink. If you live near a river or lake and they are not befouled with chemical waste products and you don’t fear to have your kids play near them, you can thank some liberal. Another bunch of liberals made sure that when you drive to work your car won’t explode because of shoddy workmanship prompted by greedy corporations, and when you get to work, you can thank other liberals that your workplace is protected—by law—from dangers that could cripple or kill you. As much as you might hate unions, you can thank some liberals that you can actually join one (while they last) without being bludgeoned to death by thugs hired by the owner. You drive on (largely) safe roads thanks to the work of liberals.

And when you deposit a check in your bank you can thank a liberal that the bank president can’t abscond with your money and leave you broke anytime she or he gets into financial difficulties of their own making. If you get laid off from your job you can thank a liberal that you can collect unemployment benefits so your kids don’t starve and you don’t lose your house while looking for another job. I know Rush Limbaugh doesn’t think this is painful enough, but you can thank a liberal that you don’t have even more pain to deal with in instances like this. And when you retire, you can thank a liberal that Social Security will (until Republicans completely loot it) ensure that you don’t end your days in poverty and misery. And now, you can thank a liberal (sort of) president that you and your kids (most of you) have medical coverage.

And as others have pointed out, every one of these benefits of living in America—EVERY SINGLE ONE--has been fought against tooth and nail by Republicans who are STILL working to pull them down.

So when bloviated, churlish gascons like John Sununu start running people down for not being as AMERICAN as he is, pay no attention. Remember that this loudmouth, who casts aspersions on the President for not “understanding how our system works” really means that Obama, unlike Sununu, hasn’t been spending the taxpayers’ money hand over fist for personal use, by commandeering military aircraft for a visit to his dentist in Boston and a ski trip to Vail which Sununu charged to all of us--a personal vacation that cost taxpayers nearly $90,000. I guess that’s what he means by understanding how the system works. And don't forget. This is the guy who was essentially fired by Dubya--DUBYA, fer crissakes--for being too far around the bend! This guy was too extreme for the most extreme president in history. But he's A-OKAY with The Rat.

Seriously, the hypocrisy of these fools is staggering. But you know what? Keep on keepin’ on, John. Your idiocy may even awaken the dolts and dullards mired in reality TV and the daily bread and circus served up by corporations to distract us from what's really going on.

But then again, as Marie suggests, sometimes goobers are still goobers.

Nonetheless, if Willard the Rat wants to change the subject from lies and greed to character assassination and personal insults, have at it. This is the kind of presidential candidate the right deserves. As I said yesterday, this is the world they’ve made for themselves: insular, solipsistic, dark, depraved, without a soul, without rationality, without a heart, hollow at the core, supported only by spider legs of hate and greed.

That might be their idea of America. It ain’t mine. And if a lout like Sununu truly believes that Madison and Jefferson, were they around today, would give him a great big "attaboy", he's in need of serious psychological assistance. I suggest a trip to Doctor Kate.

She'll set his ass straight. I'm thinking.....electroshock therapy. Lots of it.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

JJG,

Don't apologize fer nuthin'.

I'm right there with you, brother.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Romney's relevant experience that allegedly qualifies him for the nation's highest office boils down to this: Four years as governor of the state of Massachusetts. No foreign policy experience, no military experience, no legislative experience at the local, state or national level..
Why isn't the punditocracy - and everyone else - talking about THAT?

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Marie; I hope you know I was just fooling with you. If I could I would be the job site runner. I get spoiled with your rebuttals and I respect and am in awe of your debating skills.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Marie,

Dance as slowly as you need, but PLEASE keep on dancing!

JJG, Kate, Carlyle, Jack, Akhilleus: your words inspire, console, and strike great fear in my heart. I often wonder if the "very important people" making decisions that have such profound consequences for "we the people" ever read blogs like Reality Chex and get a sense of the frustration that is permeating the land.

It is also a constant source of amazement to me that people can have such little empathy for their fellow human beings. But then when you read the words of "the Decider," "Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful," they really say it all, don't they. What chance do we have against the rich and powerful? What will ever be enough for any of these people?

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacquelyn

Given the treasonous past (and present) of the Republican Party, something the Obama people must certainly be concerned with is another October Surprise.

There have been a few of these maneuvers in the past, several have been alleged against Democrats. The big difference is that none of the Democratic surprises involved anything illegal or treasonous, as has been the case with most of the Republican schemes.

In 1968 Lyndon Johnson announced some headway in peace talks with North Vietnam. Nixon, through his attack dog and hit man Henry Kissinger (Hitchens was 100% right about this pig of a criminal), communicated to the communists that they’d get a better deal from a Republican administration. North Vietnamese representatives got up from the negotiations table and walked, condemning thousands more Americans to death just so Nixon could win an election.

Four years and all those thousands of lives later, Nixon and Kissinger came up with another lie. This time, just days before the election, Kissinger announced that the end of the war was near (“peace is at hand”), a fabrication that drove the final nail into George McGovern’s electoral coffin. Nixon would likely have won anyway, but he never was one to allow a little lying to stand in the way of ensuring a personal victory.

Of course the biggest October Surprise was concocted and carried out by agents of St. Ronald of Reagan, that good old soul who made an illegal (and treasonous) deal with Iranians to put off releasing American hostages until he had secured the White House. An earlier release would have been a huge plus for Jimmy Carter, never mind the further pain and suffering it would have ended for the hostages and their families and loved ones. But pain inflicted on little people is a specialty of Republican political schemes, and the Gipper had no problem using Americans as pawns in his plans for the White House. You may recall that Iran, as planned, released the hostages 20 minutes after Reagan was sworn in. The Republican spin was that the Iranian mullahs were deathly afraid of big strong Ron and released the Americans hoping to appease his wrath.

Any buyers for that whopper?

There weren’t any then either. At least not anyone who wasn’t already in the bag.

In 2004 Bush got his good hand-holding buddy Prince Bandar to initiate a precipitous drop in oil prices just in time for the election. That, and plenty of fraud, electoral shenanigans and vote stealing in Ohio and other states allowed Bush to steal his way into a second term.

Obama should not expect to be treated any differently. To Republican schemers like Rove and the Kochs, there are no legal, moral, or loyalty concerns too important to be overthrown when their power and money are at stake. NOTHING is beyond the pale for these creeps.

Take the most outrageous and blindingly baldfaced slander, multiply it by the number of dead, maimed and displaced created by the last Republican president, and you won’t even come close to the level of depravity and mendacity acceptable to such as these.

Obama’s people should start running the most heinous scenarios and getting ready for the bombs to come. October, not April, is the cruelest month and Republicans are ready to turn everything into a Wasteland in order to get their way.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Do I remember this correctly?
Sununu > stamp (or coins) collecting > improper use of government aircraft for non-government business???

Wasn't that big mouth forced to resign? ("...need to spend more time with the family." whatever!).

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

After reading this article we can able to understand that the what happening in the middle of the politicians.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterInterview Questions
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