The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, May 27, 2015.

Hill: "The Defense Department accidentally sent live anthrax to labs in nine states and is working with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to contain it, the Pentagon said Wednesday. 'The Department of Defense is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their investigation of the inadvertent transfer of samples containing live Bacillus anthracis, also known as anthrax, from a DoD lab in Dugway, Utah, to labs in nine states,' said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman."

AP: "A second submariner has pleaded guilty to sharing videos of female officers undressing for a shower, continuing a case that a prosecutor calls a 'black eye' for the Navy's integration of women into the nation's sub fleet.... Electronics technician Joseph Bradley entered pleas Wednesday in a court-martial trial. He was sentenced to 30 days' confinement and a reduction in rank.... On Tuesday, missile technician Charles Greaves received two years in prison and a dishonorable discharge for making the videos. Five more male sailors face charges in the case."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (May 22): "A salmonella outbreak that’s probably linked to raw tuna from sushi has sickened at least 53 people across nine states — the majority in Southern California, health authorities said."

White House Live Video
May 28

11:05 am ET: President Obama receives the annual hurricane season outlook & preparedness briefing in Miami, Florida (audio only)

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

New York Times: "Charter Communications is near a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, people with direct knowledge of the talks said on Monday, a takeover that would create a new powerhouse in the rapidly consolidating American cable industry.... The potential acquisition of Time Warner Cable completes a lengthy quest by Charter and its main backer, the billionaire John C. Malone, to break into the top tier of the American broadband industry. If completed, the transaction would be the latest in a series of mergers remaking the market for broadband Internet and cable television in the United States." ...

     ... Update: "Charter Communications agreed on Tuesday to buy its much larger rival Time Warner Cable for $56.7 billion in a deal that would transform the company into one of America’s largest cable and broadband operators."

Washington Post: "One of the earliest known copies of the Ten Commandments was written in soot on a strip of goatskin found among the trove of biblical material known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, widely considered to be one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century. Penned on parchment by an unknown scribe more than 2,000 years ago, the scroll fragment is ... so fragile that its custodians rarely permit it to be moved from the secure vault where it rests in complete darkness. But for 14 days over the next seven months, the Ten Commandments scroll, known to scholars as 4Q41, will make a rare public appearance at the Israel Museum as part of a new exhibit called 'A Brief History of Humankind,' a show based on the international best-selling book by Israeli polymath Yuval Noah Harari."

Erik Loomis of LG&M: "It looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal has had her Last Fuckable Day at the ripe old age of 37:

... Sharon Waxman of the Wrap: "Every time we think things are getting better for women in Hollywood, something comes along to remind us — naaah. Maggie Gyllenhaal ... revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man."

Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker: "Now that [David] Letterman’s a flinty codger, an establishment figure, it’s become difficult to recall just how revolutionary his style of meta-comedy once felt. But back when I was sixteen, trapped in the snoozy early eighties and desperate for something rude and wild, Letterman seemed like an anarchist."

     ... Here's the Realtor.com page for the property.

AP: "The suburban New York home where F Scott Fitzgerald is believed to have written The Great Gatsby is for sale. A spokeswoman for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said on Wednesday that the asking price for the manor home on Long Island was just over US$3.8m (A$4.8m).... The home is in the village of Great Neck Estates, about 20 miles (32km) from Manhattan.

After years of signing "-BO" at the end of @BarackObama to signal the tweets he crafted himself from an account operated by the Organizing for Action staff, the President now has his very own handle @POTUS, tweeting for the first time: 'Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.'... Per a statement from the White House, the @POTUS handle 'will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him.'"

The $5MM Ankle. New York Post: "Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show. Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was 'severely injured, bruised and wounded' when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit."

My friend Jan C. sent me a list of actual complaints made by dissatisfied travelers who had gone on excursions organized by the British Thomas Cook Vacations. An example: "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

New York Times: "The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado." ...

Matt Seitz in New York notes that the pilot for "Mad Men" repeatedly points to the series' conclusion. ...

Gabriel Sherman of New York: "Tomorrow morning [Wednesday, May 13], in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant.... According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook's news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others. The deal raises all sorts of knotty questions for the Times." ...

... New York Times Update: "— Facebook’s long-rumored plan to directly host articles from news organizations will start on Wednesday, concluding months of delicate negotiations between the Internet giant and publishers that covet its huge audience but fear its growing power. Nine media companies, including NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the deal, despite concerns that their participation could eventually undermine their own businesses. The program will begin with a few articles but is expected to expand quickly.... Most important for impatient smartphone users, the company says, the so-called instant articles will load up to 10 times faster than they normally would since readers stay on Facebook rather than follow a link to another site." ...

.... Here's Facebook's announcement.

Nell Scovell in New York: Dave Letterman' former writers reminisce about jokes they wrote & pitched but which Letterman rejected. Letterman comments.

Vermeil placecard holders, a favorite "souvenir" of White House guests.... Washington Post: Petty thieves show up at White House state dinner -- all the time. Many guests at state dinners & other functions just can't resist taking home mementos, some of them pricey. "While the chief usher’s office monitors exactly what goes out with each place setting when the first family entertains, there is no formal accounting of how much taxpayers must pay each year to replace items that are gone by the end of the night."

Washington Post: The law finally catches up with Frank Freshwater, who escaped from prison in 1959.

Washington Post: Tesla plans to market a home battery system that draws power from solar panels or the power grid to use during outages. It holds up to 10 kw-hours, about 1/3 of what it takes to power an average home for a day. Tesla plans to make the system avalable by the end of this summer.

Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly: "Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave [Letterman]’s seismic impact on comedy.... In today’s’ world of 30 late night programs, it’s tempting now to take Dave for granted. Do not. Dave was a true revolution.... Like all revolutions, it was such a seismic shift that it was disorienting and a bit messy at first, and it has taken us time to realize the sheer magnitude of the shift."

White House: "For a new state china service, First Lady Michelle Obama wanted it to have modern elements, but also for it to be practical, in the sense that it would be complementary to the preceding historic state services. The Obama State China Service consists of eleven-piece place settings for 320":

Timothy Simon of "Veep" gets ready to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is Saturday, April 25:

... Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live will headline the event.

MOOCS! Washington Post: For $45, anyone can become a freshman at Arizona State University. "Students can take classes online for a fee, then decide whether to pay reduced tuition for the credits."

The Sex Life of David Brooks is apparently intensely interesting to Villagers who do not participate in it.

Washington Post: "Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental." During a competition in Dubai, the Georgian grandmaster allegedly hid an iPhone in the bathroom, then consulted a chess app during play.

CBS News: "'Face the Nation' Host Bob Schieffer announced Sunday that CBS News political director John Dickerson will become the new host of 'Face the Nation' this summer when he retires." CW: So "Face the Nation" is going to become even worse. Follows the well-established pattern of Sunday morning "news" shows.

New York Times: "Bob Schieffer, a television anchor who has worked at CBS for nearly half a century and interviewed every sitting president since Richard Nixon, announced Wednesday night that he was retiring this summer. Mr. Schieffer, 78, made the announcement while giving an address at Texas Christian University, his alma mater." CW: This will be a great disappointment to Charles Pierce, as regular readers of Pierce's posts will recognize.

I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.... We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology.... We are not talking about little green men, Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes. -- Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA

It's definitely not an if, it's a when. -- Jeffery Newmark of NASA

... The L.A. Times story, from which the above citations come, is fascinating.

Washington Post: "The quote on the stamp originated with [Joan Walsh] Anglund.... 'Yes, that’s my quote,' Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems 'A Cup of Sun,' published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp." CW: These are forever stamps. Maybe you should rush to the Post Office & buy a pane.

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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