The Ledes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

U.S. Air Force: "Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, in coordination with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, has determined the Boeing 747-8 will serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One."

AP: "A disgruntled, former Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist promised to build 40 nuclear weapons for Venezuela and design a bomb targeted for New York City in exchange for 'money and power,' according to secret FBI recordings released Wednesday.... The recordings were played Wednesday in US District Court in Albuquerque before a federal judge sentenced [Pedro Leonardo] Mascheroni, 79, to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release as part of a plea agreement." CW: Um, isn't this guy just a crazy old coot? He hasn't worked at Los Alamos since 1988.

Jacksonville, Florida, Channel 4: "Marissa Alexander, a woman whose case helped bring national attention to Florida's stand your ground and minimum sentencing laws, was allowed to leave jail late Tuesday afternoon to spend the rest of her sentence on house arrest." Thanks to Jeanne B. for the lead.

Washington Post: "On Tuesday, two years after the attack, a jury in Nashville convicted two former Vanderbilt University football players of aggravated rape and related charges. They were among four players who allegedly participated in the assault. Two others, who have pleaded not guilty, will be tried later. Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, both 21, now face 15 to 80 years in prison. They were convicted after a 12-day trial and about three hours of jury deliberation." The Tennessean story is here.

Weather Channel: "Winter Storm Juno pounded locations from Long Island to New England with heavy snow, high winds and coastal flooding late Monday into Tuesday. The storm is now winding down. The National Weather Service has dropped all winter storm and blizzard warnings for Juno.... In Massachusetts, up to 36 inches of snow has been measured in Lunenburg, while Boston has seen 24.4 inches. Juno was a record snowstorm for Worcester, Massachusetts (34.5 inches). Incredibly, 31.9 inches fell in Worcester on Jan. 27, alone!... uno's most severe coastal flooding occurred in eastern Massachusetts, in areas most exposed to north to northeast winds gusting from 50-80 mph, at times."

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Reuters: "The U.S. Army on Tuesday denied that a decision had been made to bring desertion charges against Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who was released last year in a controversial prisoner swap after disappearing from his base in Afghanistan in 2009.NBC News said earlier on Tuesday that Bergdahl would be charged with desertion, citing senior defense officials. Major General Ronald Lewis, the Army's head of public affairs, said that report, and another from Fox News, were 'patently false.'"

Guardian: "Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has lined up a formidable coterie of academics, human rights advocates, mavericks and visionaries to participate in Europe’s first anti-austerity government. Displaying few signs of backing down from pledges to dismantle punitive belt-tightening measures at the heart of the debt-choked country’s international rescue programme, the leftwing radical put together a 40-strong cabinet clearly aimed at challenging Athens’s creditors."

Guardian: "Moscow has condemned the arrest of a Russian man in New York on espionage charges as yet another instance of unfair persecution by the US. Yevgeny Buryakov, an employee of state-owned VEB bank, was arrested on Monday and charged with gathering 'economic intelligence' along with two other Russian men who had already left the United States."

New York Times: "The first major storm of the winter blasted across eastern New England on Tuesday, unleashing whiteout conditions driven by gale-force winds that left the island of Nantucket without power. The storm may not have lived up to its billing in New York City, but it more than delivered in New England. It cut off Nantucket, where almost all 12,000 year-round residents lost power and telephone service, and it flooded the Atlantic coastal town of Scituate, where a car floated downtown." ...

... Portland Press Herald: "Harsh winds and heavy snow marched into Maine overnight, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency early Tuesday morning. The slow-moving storm is dropping 2 to 4 inches of snow an hour, with north winds of 25 to 35 mph, gusting to 55." ...

... Boston Globe mid-morning report: "The persistent heavy band of snow continues over the Route 495 belt where the heaviest accumulations will likely end up once the storm is over. Snowfall rates of 2 inches per hour or more continue." ...

... Weather Channel: "Winter Storm Juno was pounding New England with moderate to heavy snow, high winds and coastal flooding Tuesday morning. Parts of Connecticut and Massachusetts have seen more than a foot of snow. Snow amounts in the New York City metro area have ranged from a half foot in Central Park to more than 18 inches on central Long Island near Islip. Wind gusts have topped 70 mph in parts of eastern Massachusetts. Coastal flooding has also closed some roads in eastern Massachusetts. Thundersnow was reported in coastal portions of Rhode Island and Massachusetts late Monday night and early Tuesday." ...

... Yahoo! News has area-wide live updates here.

AP: "Gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Libya's capital Tuesday, killing at least five foreigners and three guards, authorities said. The attack, which included a car bombing, struck the Corinthia Hotel, which sits along the Mediterranean Sea." ...

     ... Washington Post UPDATE: "Among the victims in the attack was an American contractor, said two U.S. officials...."

Public Service Announcement

Get Off Your Ass! Los Angeles Times (Jan. 19): "New research that distills the findings of 47 studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death."

Surprise! December 19: Dr. Oz is a quack.

White House Live Video
January 26

8:10 am ET: President Obama & Indian PM Modi speak at a business summit in New Delhi, India

2:00 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at a Caribbean energy security summit in Washington, D.C.

5:45 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at a sheriffs' association meeting

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

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

Oh, lawdy, what will they think up next?

... www.cicret.com

In the New York Times, Barry Bearak remembers Chicago Cubs great Ernie Banks.

Foster's Daily Democrat (Dover, New Hampshire): "After going through the drive-through at Burger King [in Rochester, N.H.] Friday, a local woman discovered that instead of the sweet tea and junior spicy chicken sandwich that she ordered, she got a bag full of money. Rather than keeping the cash — totaling $2,631 — she came back to the restaurant with her husband and returned it."

Gawker: "Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the 'Lolita Express'—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — with an actress in softcore porn movies whose name appears in Epstein's address book under an entry for 'massages,' according to flight logbooks obtained by Gawker and published today for the first time. The logs also show that Clinton shared more than a dozen flights with a woman who federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends and acted as a 'potential co-conspirator' in his crimes."

New York Times: Director Martin "Scorsese’s partly finished documentary about [former president Bill] Clinton — which once seemed likely to be released as Hillary Rodham Clinton was navigating a presidential run — has stalled over disagreements about control, people briefed on the project said. Though parts of the film were shot over the last two years as Mr. Clinton made a philanthropic visit to Africa and elsewhere, the project is now indefinitely shelved, partly because Mr. Clinton insisted on more control over the interview questions and final version than Mr. Scorsese was willing to give, those people said."

Jessica Roy of New York: "Now that he's been released from jail after his kidnapping-conspiracy conviction was overturned, Gilberto Valle — the former NYPD officer dubbed 'Cannibal Cop' for allegedly planning to kidnap, kill, and eat women — is hungry for love on Match.com. Unfortunately for him, the online dating service told us that they've deleted Valle's alleged profile, even though frankly he can't be any worse than the other dudes you might find on there.... Also, he listed cooking as a favorite hobby!"

CW: Not sure why this is news. As a disconsolate Windows 8 user, I heard this -- in re: Windows 8 -- two months ago. New York Times: "Microsoft said people using the two earlier versions of its operating system, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, would be able to update their computers to Windows 10 free for the first year after the new software is introduced."

Ellen's Gay Agenda. Thanks to P. D. Pepe for the link:

The French discover Ken & Barbie News Fox "News." For some reason the journalistes at "Le Petit Journal" don't find it credible. With English subtitles. Thanks to Creegr for the link:

New York Times: "A person close to the Barack Obama Foundation, which is overseeing plans for the [presidential] library, anonymously told local reporters last month that foundation officials had 'major concerns' with proposals from the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Foundation officials were said to be alarmed that the University of Chicago does not yet control the land where the university wants to build the library. To the shock and horror of residents here, that left Columbia University in New York, where Mr. Obama received his undergraduate degree, as the apparent front-runner. And suddenly a fait accompli has become an open question."

Washington Post: Two treasure hunters may have found the Griffin, a ship that disappeared in the Great Lakes in mid-1679.

And the Winner Is ... A White Person! Tatiana Siegel of the Hollywood Reporter: "For only the second time in nearly two decades, the 20 Academy Awards acting nominations went to a group made up entirely of white actors and actresses. Among the notable snubs was David Oyelowo, who received praise for his turn as the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma." ...

... Scott Mendelson of Forbes: "... the most egregious omission is the sadly not-entirely-surprising absence of Selma’s Ava DuVernay from the five contenders nominated for Best Director.... She deserved a nomination." ...

... Steve M.: Given the sorry state of most of Hollywood's output -- the CGI roman-numeral blockbusters and comedies about farting boy-men, greenlighted mostly by white males -- and given the near-total freeze-out of women in directorial roles (or in most acting roles beyond male stars' arm candy), I guess I know the answer. And it's pathetic."

... Todd VanDerWerff of Vox: "Selma was snubbed because the average Oscar voter is a 63-year-old white man. VanDerWerff also lists other factors he thinks worked against Selma.

... CW: I don't think I linked to this essay by Chris Rock, published in the Hollywood Reporter last month. Subject: The movie biz is "a white industry." I guess so.

Dick Poop. USA Today: "Dick Pope..., the cinematographer for Mr. Turner, made international news after Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science President Cheryl Boone Isaacs mispronounced his name during the nominations, calling him 'Dick Poop.'"

Here's the L.A. Times story covering the Oscar nominations.

New York Times: "Amazon announced on Tuesday that it had signed [Woody] Allen to write and direct his first television series. The company said it had ordered a full season of half-hour shows, as yet untitled, which will make their debut on the service next year. It provided few other details."

Jareen Imam of CNN: "Jeweler Tiffany & Co., for the first time, is featuring a gay couple in an ad campaign. The new 'Will You?' campaign, shot by fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh, features seven scenes of couples. One in particular is drawing widespread praise for showing a same-sex couple. The pair, shown sitting on a stoop in New York City, are a couple in real life, Tiffany spokeswoman Linda Buckley said."

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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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