The Ledes

Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

New York Times: "With anger swelling over corruption, inequality and a devastating Islamist insurgency in the nation’s north, Nigerians chose a former general who once ruled with an iron hand to be their next president, according to election results on Tuesday. The election was the most competitive presidential race ever in Nigeria, one of the largest democracies in the world. Now, if power is handed over peacefully, it will be a major shift for the nation — the first transfer of power between civilians of different parties in a country that has spent much of its post-colonial history roiled by military coups."

The Unfortunate Death of a Fool. Washington Post: "What had first appeared to be an attempt to breach security at the [NSA] ... now appears to be a wrong turn by two men who police believe had robbed their companion of his vehicle and perhaps didn’t stop because there were drugs inside. A spokeswoman for the Baltimore office of the FBI, Amy J. Thoreson, said early in the investigation that authorities 'do not believe [the incident] is related to terrorism.' A law enforcement official said: 'This was not a deliberate attempt to breach the security of NSA. This was not a planned attack.'”

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, March 30, 2015.

New York Times: "On Monday, the [U.S.] government charged that in the shadows of an undercover investigation of Silk Road, a notorious black-market site, two federal agents sought to enrich themselves by exploiting the very secrecy that made the site so difficult for law enforcement officials to penetrate. The agents, Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun W. Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service, had resigned amid growing scrutiny, and on Monday they were charged with money laundering and wire fraud. Mr. Force was also charged with theft of government property and conflict of interest."

Guardian: "The personal details of world leaders at the last G20 summit were accidentally disclosed by the Australian immigration department, which did not consider it necessary to inform those world leaders of the privacy breach.... An employee of the agency inadvertently sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament."

Washington Post: "One person was killed and another was injured Monday morning when police with the National Security Agency opened fire on a vehicle whose driver refused commands to stop at a security gate, according to a statement from the agency. The vehicle slammed into a police cruiser after shots were fired." ...

... ABC News: "Sources say the two inside [the vehicle] were men dressed as women. Preliminary information indicated the two men were partying at an area hotel with a third individual when they took that individual's car without permission. However, it's still unclear how or why they ended up at the NSA gate."

New York Times: "Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister who was forced from office under a cloud of corruption, was convicted on Monday of fraud and breach of trust in a retrial of a case involving an American businessman, whose sensational testimony in a Jerusalem court in 2008 was instrumental in Mr. Olmert’s downfall. The American businessman, Morris Talansky, said at the time that he had provided Mr. Olmert with about $150,000 over 13 years, mostly in cash stuffed into envelopes, an assertion Mr. Olmert vehemently denied. Mr. Talansky, known as Moshe, had said that much of the money was earmarked for election campaigns but that some was for Mr. Olmert’s personal expenses."

Public Service Announcement

Reuters: "Scientists believe they may have found a new weapon in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease – not in the form of a drug but in focused beams of ultrasound. While the approach has only been tested in mice, researchers said on Wednesday it proved surprisingly good at clearing tangles of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s in the animals’ brains and improving their memory, as measured by tests such as navigating a maze."

White House Live Video
March 31

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Andrew Sullivan says he quit his blog because blogging is difficult, time-consuming & dehumanizing. CW a/k/a the Blog Nazi: No kidding.

David Graham of the Atlantic: "Trevor Noah's ascent on The Daily Show has been steep — hired on as senior international correspondent four months ago, he'll take over the anchor's desk from Jon Stewart after just three appearances on the show, Comedy Central announced Monday."

If you thought a meerkat was something like a mongoose ... Global News: "Meet Meerkat, the live streaming video service that allows users to host a live broadcast from their smartphones. If you haven’t heard of this new app don’t feel too bad – it’s only been around for about two weeks. But that hasn’t stopped it from garnering an estimated 300,000 active users, US$12 million in funding and even a few controversies."

In Case You Were Wondering... Megan Garber of the Atlantic examines multiple theories on why "men’s dress shirts have their buttons on the right, while women’s have them on the left (to the wearer)."

Oliver Knox of Yahoo! News: "Inside the elaborate, surprisingly unglamorous world of presidential hotel stays." Or Why President Trump Would Resign Shortly after His Inauguration.

New York Times: "After three days of viewing by thousands who lined up for hours to file past the bier in Leicester’s Anglican cathedral, Richard’s skeletal remains, in a coffin of golden English oak with an incised Yorkist rose and an inscription giving the sparest details of his life — 'Richard III, 1452-1485' — were removed overnight from beneath a black cloth pall stitched with colorful images from his tumultuous times. With the solemn ceremony laid down for monarchs through the ages, the coffin was borne to a marble tomb adjacent to the cathedral’s altar by a party of 10 British Army pallbearers...." ...

... The Guardian has a full page of stories about Richard III.

Twenty percent more people trust Bill O'Reilly now than trusted O'Reilly before the press reported he was a serial liar:

East Wing Mystery. Washington Post: "There’s still no official comment on why [White House head florist Laura] Dowling is no longer at the White House, but according to a source with close ties to current residence staffers, she was escorted from the building on Friday Feb. 13." ...

     ... UPDATE. Thoroughly Modern Michelle. "Dowling ... left because her 'fussy style' was not in line with the first lady’s emerging modern and clean aesthetics, several sources said.... Recently the first lady has debuted a different aesthetic at the executive mansion. Last month, the White House revealed the newly refurbished and now decidedly modern Old Family dining room.... Mrs. Obama unveiled her 'thoroughly modernized' mark on the White House, featuring a custom-made 1950s-inspired rug and bold artwork, to surprised tourists on Feb. 10. Dowling is said to have been escorted from the White House three days later." ...

Reuters: "Whether it's the earnest Josiah Bartlet from 'The West Wing' or the manipulative Frank Underwood in 'House of Cards,' Americans prefer television presidents to their real-life POTUS, President Barack 'No Drama' Obama.'"

Washington Post: Scientists believe they've found the world's largest asteroid impact zone in Australia.

Washington Post: "King Richard III may have been buried quickly and without pomp the first time, but 530 years later, England is reveling in a final farewell to its long-lost monarch. On a sun-kissed Sunday afternoon on the battlefield where Richard III fell in 1485 — he was the last English king to die in battle — throngs of well-wishers, some dressed in medieval costume and blowing trumpets, gathered to honor England’s last Plantagenet king."

Out of the Parking Lot & into the Cathedral. Guardian: England is preparing to (re)inter a king today (Sunday, March 22). "... the coffin will be transferred to a horse-drawn hearse, to lead the way to a service of compline, with a sermon from a Roman Catholic archbishop, Vincent Nicholls. It will then lie in the cathedral, guarded night and day, until the reburial service on Thursday."

Politico: "The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has granted Amazon Logistics, a subsidiary of the Internet retail giant, approval for a drone design that the company plans to use for research, development and training."

David Rackoff: "Things people say that irritate Republicans." Click thru. CW: I'll have to try to remember these. So I can say them. To Republicans. I hope I drive them all Rumpelstiltskin. Then I will ask the Flying Spaghetti Monster to forgive me for being so mean.

Prince Charles & the Duchess of Cornwall are in Washington, D.C., & environs.

President Obama hosts a St. Patrick's Day reception:

... CW: Somebody explain to me why apparently-intelligent people don't actually participate in events they attend but instead spend their time taking crappy cellphone videos, even when they know said events will be recorded by professionals & posted online. I get why a person would want to record some side-conversation with, say, the President, but the main event? It baffles me.

Patrick LaForge of the New York Times: "Welcome to a parallel universe. It is a world of tired news language where the verb 'stir' is bound to be followed by 'debate,' where those debates are always 'heated' or 'bitter.' In this world, anything newsworthy is automatically 'controversial,' and a 'hike' involves taxes, not a trail up a mountain. It is often a 'hardscrabble' place, sometimes 'densely wooded,' sometimes graced with 'manicured' lawns and 'leafy' streets. 'Landmark' agreements are 'hammered out' there, while adversaries are 'lambasted' and 'assailed.'” Meet journalese: a strained and artificial voice more common to news reports than to natural conversation." LaForge cites numerous examples of NYT reporters' use of these cliches.

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Wednesday
Jul182012

The Commentariat -- July 19, 2012

Adam Liptak of the New York Times: "Justice Antonin Scalia said in a television interview on Wednesday night that the Supreme Court's bitterly divided decision upholding President Obama's health care law had not led to a falling out with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr." You can watch parts of the interview here. If you can't find anything to piss you off this morning, watch the top segment where Scalia blames Al Gore for Bush v. Gore. ...

... CW: what was more important about the interview was this:

'Thomas Jefferson,' Justice Scalia responded, 'would have said the more speech, the better. That's what the First Amendment is all about.' Then he added a proviso, one that put him at odds with many Republicans who oppose the disclosure of the sources of such spending. 'So long as the people know where the speech is coming from,' Justice Scalia said. He later underscored the point, one endorsed by eight justices in the Citizens United decision. 'You are entitled to know where the speech is coming from -- you know, information as to who contributed what,' he said.

      ... Seven other members of the Court agree with Scalia on this. I don't know if there are any suits wending their way through the lower courts on this, but there should be. It seems to me that the Supremes would find undisclosed advertising by superPACS & "non-profit issues" groups unconstitutional. ...

... Adam Liptak: "The American public's satisfaction with the Supreme Court, which had already been low by historical standards in recent polls, dropped further in the wake of the court's 5-to-4 ruling last month upholding President Obama's health care overhaul law."

Fire Tim Geithner:

"The Feckless Fed." Paul Krugman: "I really believe that we have reached a point where the Fed is afraid to do its job, for fear of being accused of helping Obama."

Steven Mufson of the Washington Post: "... the oil rush in North Dakota has also brought soaring home prices, makeshift camps for workers, overbooked hotels and an explosion of heavy truck traffic and crime. Towns are gritty and cheerless. Stacks of pipe lie along the roads, waiting to be buried." CW: life in Boomtown is pretty much like life in "Deadwood." Times change; people don't.

Ali Gharib of Think Progress: "On the floor of the Senate Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repudiated Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) McCarthyesque witch-hunt to root out the alleged Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government. The flap started when Bachmann all but directly accused Secretary Hillary Clinton's top aide Huma Abedin of working on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in a letter with four colleagues to the State Department's Inspector General demanding an investigation":

New York Times Editors: "Give credit to John McCain, too often a wayward voice in recent years, for taking to the Senate floor Wednesday to skewer a crackpot allegation of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy to infiltrate the government.... It was heartening to hear him back on deck condemning Know-Nothingism, especially in a week that started with his vote against a campaign finance disclosure act that should have had his strong backing."

Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post: "As Apple and Samsung escalated a multibillion-dollar war over one of the hottest consumer gadgets of our time, the tablet computer, a little-known judge did for Apple what the company couldn't do on its own: She shut down the competition. The stunning move by U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh to temporarily order Samsung's tablets off the shelves last month rippled across the tech industry because her decision came as sales of the devices are surging. Samsung's Galaxy Tab was one of the few 10-inch screen tablets that could go toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad."

Presidential Race

Crooks & Bundlers. Philip Rucker & Dan Eggen of the Washington Post: Mitt Romney will be dialing for dollars next week in London among the stars of the LIBOR scandal. "The hosts of Romney's high-dollar reception and dinner on July 26 overwhelmingly represent banks, hedge funds and other financial institutions, some of which are embroiled in the Libor rate-fixing scandal.... One of the event's co-chairs is Patrick Durkin, a Washington-based lobbyist for Barclays, which agreed last month to pay $450 million to settle allegations that it manipulated Libor before and after the financial crisis. Durkin has helped raise $1.1 million for the Romney campaign, according to U.S. disclosure records. This month, the Boston Globe reported that Barclays' chief executive, Bob Diamond, withdrew as a co-host [of the Romney fundraiser]." Diamond has resigned from Barclay's. CW: not sure how much hay Obama can make with this since his own Secretary of the Treasury is implicated, too.

Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post: "Congressional Democrats are using the legislative process to pressure Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to release more tax returns and information about his investments in offshore accounts. In the House, Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) is proposing legislation that would require presidential candidates to release 10 years worth of tax returns and disclose any overseas investments. And in the Senate, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich) are proposing beefing up financial disclosure forms for all candidates for federal office to require disclosure of overseas investments, including Swiss bank accounts."

Abby Huntsman & Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post: "Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president."

Perfect! --

     ... Charles Blow: "Whether a Mitt the Vicious will be more effective than Mitt the Victim at shifting attention away from the 1,500-pound dressage horse in the room remains to be seen."

Sam Youngman of Reuters: "Republican Mitt Romney shrugged off growing pressure on Tuesday to release more of his tax returns, and his campaign lashed out at President Barack Obama in an effort to turn the campaign debate away from Romney's business and financial record."

Zach Carter & Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post: "Mitt Romney has not released his full tax records from 2010, including key documentation connected to his Swiss bank account." Read the whole thing: pretty interesting. The one year Romney said he released he didn't fully released & has refused to do so to the HuffPost. CW: Is he secreting something in those once-secret Swiss accounts? I think he must be. ...

... David Dayen of Firedoglake: "This ought to lead to more speculation about that Swiss bank account, and whether Romney took the tax amnesty on that (a de facto admission of illegal tax dodging) in 2009.... An absence of the account on previous returns would be essentially an admission of tax dodging, as Romney's team has already acknowledged he had the Swiss account since 2003."

Blue Texan in Crooks & Liars: the Romney campaign's evah-so-original new rhetoric that "Obama hasn't been vetted" "is deeply nutty."

Jonathan Chait of New York: "The primary goal of President Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney's business career is to define him as a self-interested financier and thus to soften him up for attacks on the Ryan budget later on. But it also seems to have accomplished a secondary, and perhaps unintended, objective: to rattle Romney and his campaign.... The apparent plan is to mutter darkly about Chicago and drug use and sundry other biographical details that conservatives believe they wrongly shied away from four years ago." ...

... Ditto Kevin Drum: "Operation 'Piss Off Mitt' Seems to Be Working: Obama is unquestionably running a tough campaign, but if Romney is losing his cool over questions about his taxes and his stewardship of Bain Capital, he's just showing he's not ready for the big leagues." ...

... AND Doug J. of Balloon Juice: "I meant to start my blogging vacation today but I love the smell of Republican panic in the morning."

Paul Krugman has a series of posts on Romney's brand of Gordon Gekko capitalism. I recommend you just go to his blog & scroll down. Here's a good one: "... predictably, Romney is accusing Obama of 'attacking capitalism' and 'dividing America'" by raising questions about Bain and those hidden tax returns.... The special Romney twist -- aside from the willful misrepresentation of what Obama actually said about business success -- is Mitt's desire to have it both ways. He's proud of his business record and his success, he says, but at the same time wants us to believe that he had nothing to do with Bain's actions over a three-year period when he was still its CEO, and is completely unwilling to let us see the tax returns that would tell us something about exactly how he achieved his current wealth."

Paul Waldman of American Prospect: "If [the Romney people] want to run the rest of their campaign on the fact that Obama knew Rod Blagojevich and did coke when he was a teenager, I'm sure the Obama campaign would reply, be our guest."

Richard Oppel, Jr., of the New York Times: "The Romney campaign unveiled an advertisement on Wednesday that contends that under President Obama, stimulus money went to the president's political donors and to overseas companies.... Much of the ad is false, including its first claim." ...

I am ashamed to say that we’re seeing our president hand out money to the businesses of campaign contributors, when he gave money, $500 million in loans to a company called Fisker that makes high end electric cars, and they make the cars now in Finland. That is wrong and it's got to stop. That kind of crony capitalism does not create jobs and it does not create jobs here. -- Mitt Romney

Adam Peck of Think Progress: "... during a campaign appearance in Ohio on Wednesday, Mitt Romney misquoted Obama, before agreeing that tax payer-funded programs help all American businesses succeed."

AND YET. CBS News: "President Obama and Mitt Romney are effectively tied in the race for the presidency, according to a new CBS News/New York Times survey. Forty-seven percent of registered voters nationwide who lean towards a candidate back Romney, while 46 percent support the president. Four percent are undecided. The one percentage point difference is within the survey's three point margin of error." ...

... Jim Rutenberg & Marjorie Connelly of the New York Times: "Declining confidence in the nation's economic prospects appears to be the most powerful force influencing voters as the presidential election gears up, undercutting key areas of support for President Obama and helping give his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, an advantage on the question of who would better handle the nation's economic challenges, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll."

... BUT. Latino Decisions: "Latino Decisions released new national poll of Latino registered voters showing Barack Obama winning 70% of the Latino vote compared to 22% for Mitt Romney. The poll ... illustrates an increase in support for President Obama, and comes after a month of outreach to Latino voters, starting with the June 15 Dream announcement, appearances by the President and Vice President at NALEO and NCLR conferences, and comments opposing Arizona's SB1070 immigration law."

Gail Collins reviews the literary efforts of possible GOP running mates. She is very kind & quite funny. You are not likely to rush out & buy any of the books, though the Shaker one does sound okay.

Right Wing World

Shocking Exposé! Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) caught hugging female journalist. Journalist reveals on Facebook page she also kisses Brown "so hard he passes out from lack of oxygen." CW: And, yes, journalist is right -- Brown is "really cute."

Local News

Laura Myers of Reuters: "Washington will become the first U.S. state to allow eligible residents to register to vote through Facebook, in an initiative due to launch this month.... Online voter registration has existed in Washington since 2008, but the latest effort to increase voter participation is designed for users who already have a Facebook account."

CoMa! Dylan Byers of Politico: "The war between Rep. Connie Mack and Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith continued today when the Republican representative told Smith to his face that he wasn't a real journalist." CoMa -- my very own horrible Congressman -- is a candidate for the Senate seat of Bill Nelson (ConservaD); he's running a primary race now. Adam Smith is a Florida treasure.

ToMa! Reuters: "FBI agents early on Wednesday raided the home of Trenton, New Jersey, Mayor Tony Mack, who has been accused of nepotism and mismanagement since taking over the crime-plagued, economically depressed city in 2010. FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff said the raid took place at about 2 a.m. EDT, but she declined to say what the agents were looking for or what they may have removed from Mack's house." The Trenton Times story is here. CW: well, it's New Jersey.

News Ledes

New York Times: Tom Davis, Al Franken's comedy-writing partner on "SNL," died today.

New York Times: "The attack on a tour bus carrying Israeli vacationers outside the airport here was carried out by a suicide bomber carrying fake American identification, officials said on Thursday."

AP: "Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman, deposed president Hosni Mubarak's top lieutenant and keeper of secrets, died Thursday, the country's official news agency reported. He was 76. Suleiman, who said little but had a finger in virtually every vital security issue confronting Egypt, was dubbed by the media as the 'the black box.'"

Reader Comments (12)

As South Africans (most of them) celebrate the birthday of Nelson Mandela, it's worthwhile to consider how the concept of apartheid has been addressed in this country.

I don't think it's possible to appreciate what Mandela means to South Africans. He is a combination of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Harriet Tubman, who carries with him the fantastic jolt of still being alive despite decades of imprisonment and torture by his right-wing racist white captors.

It's true that Mandela engaged in and conducted operations designed to free his brethren from the captivity and social slavery inflicted by white masters who sought imprisonment and death for any black Africans who dared question their control. But had he been a white man struggling against a black ruling elite he would be placed, by many American conservatives, on a par with the greatest freedom fighters of all time.

Instead, we have Republican racist mouthpiece Rushbo Limbaugh castigating Mandela for his actions, declaring him a criminal communist and crying out for a return to apartheid after Mandela was elected president.

Does anyone doubt that this asshole, who once told a black caller to "take that bone out of your nose" and ripped the press for supporting quarterback Donovan McNabb who led a dysfunctional team to the Superbowl, purely because he was black, detests the advances made by African-Americans in this country? Limp-baugh, along with most congressional Republicans, would have been "standing tall" next to Bull Connor as he unleashed dogs to attack Americans marching for their rights. And leave us not forget racist pig Dick Cheney who voted against a resolution calling for the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela. Cheney viciously ripped Mandela and supported his continued lifetime imprisonment.

Seriously, has there ever been more evil, slimy snakes than Cheney????

These scum-sucking pigs are clearly seen as the racist turds they are on this, a day of celebration for everyone in the world who raises a glass to one of the great men in the struggle for human rights and TRUE FREEDOM.

Here's to you Nelson. Thank you for ALL you've done for freedom and justice in the world, and thank you for giving all of us such an outstanding example of what it takes to overcome the perfidy of right-wing hatred and moral turpitude.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterakhilleus

Terrific question in one of the posts on Krugman's blog today:

How many years of tax returns has Romney demanded his VP picks give him?

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban

Just gotta say it, Akheilleus: I loves ya, Man! "Limp-baugh" indeed! And I adore Nelson Mendala too.

Marie: Is your bathroom done yet?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@ akhilleus-
You remember where the political bodies are buried, and serve them up in excellant prose. Thank you for your posts in general, but especially today's.
And CW? three deep bows for having this site.
Mae Finch

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermae finch

Marie: Two of Gail Collin's VP candidates managed to disparage Europe and our Republican candidate is spreading rumors that Obama has European ideas. Perhaps if Americans knew a little more about Europe they would not be influenced by such nonsense.
To the best of my knowledge we lead the OECD countries in two catagories, citizens incarcerated, and gun deaths. . I bet you or some of your readers can give us easier access to comparisons of America with Europe and the OECD countries.
More knowledge might make negative asides about Europe seem foolish to more Americans.
Some European Democracies have not been purchased yet and may be unruly but Democracy is stronger in many European countries that it is here.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

OK. So I have been off the comments for many months. I think I just burned out on thinking and writing the good thoughts. I have continued to read and relish all of your comments. Everyone!

This is my bottom line on Rmoney. Anyone who is running for President of this great country who refuses to release multiple years of income tax returns, and I mean up to the dozen that his father released, and surely those returns that document what he took from Bain from and including 1999 through now, ought to be disqualified from leading this country. He is a disgrace! . . . and I do believe, a felon! Not technically so. I believe he was involved in illegal income tax evasion. But who will know? John McCain? McCain’s staff probably took a cursory look at what I’d bet were fairly incomplete returns for the years provided and seeing that they would have to dig further to answer some serious questions about Swiss and Cayman bank accounts and transactions, gave them back to the Rmoney camp like dropping a hot potato.

I grew up with parents who were solidly Republican. They worked hard, went to church, supported their small community, helped run the elections, put three kids through college without leaving us a dime in debt upon graduation (with $1.10/bushel corn), and voted Republican down the ticket. They are both rolling over in their graves as they view what the Republican Party has become. R. Reagan made a Democrat out of me and I thank him daily for doing that.

All of you keep up the good fight!

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFrom-the-Heartland

Calyban,

Excellent question, indeed.

Clearly Romney has something to hide. It must be a doozy too if he's willing to be kicked around like this even by gangster slimeballs like Haley Barbour and effete narcissists like George Will, not to mention having the previous leader of the party state unequivocally that a nodding ignoramus like Sarah Palin was a better fit to be a heartbeat away from supreme power than Willard the Rat.

But today I see that Willard and his honking bus are in Boston (Roxbury, actually. I bet he got out of there in a hurry, Willard not being very comfortable around people of color. Hope he gave them a chorus of "who let the dogs out", in his own inimitable singing style, of course, before disappearing back into the safety of his Rich White People Only conveyance).

He's on again with that line about Obama not understanding anything about business, and about how the president doesn't appreciate that businessmen like himself build things by themselves from the ground up, dammit! Engines of Capitalism and advancement.

Yah.

Like Romney has built anything in his life. His entire career has been one of taking businesses that others have built and either running them into the ground, flipping them for a huge payoff, or outsourcing their work and squeezing as much profit out of them as possible before razing them, firing everyone and pocketing their retirements, shunting that money, no doubt, into one of his many double-secret Cayman island tax shelters.

He's never built anything. He lives off the hard work of others.

In the animal kingdom, they call that kind of thing a parasite. A mooching, mouthbreathing, lowdown, clamping, slimy parasite who crawls up on the backs of others, sucks out their lifeblood and leaves them for dead after stealing all he can.

Nice job Mitters. So that's what YOU understand about business?

The Rat is just way too out there for normal people. Cayman tax shelters, hidden Swiss bank accounts, magic underwear, secret handshakes, inhuman laugh, robotic demeanor, oddball ideas. He'll have to find someone much more in tune with average Americans than he is for his VP. Someone not nearly so weird. A regular Joe with the common touch, much more connected than Mittens to the real world.


How 'bout Tom Cruise?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus. Tom Cruise would be... interesting, to say the least. And it would be fun to watch the Scientologists exchanging bear-hugs with the Mormons. Talk about a tinhat confab. Whee.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

James,

Tinhats, like you read about.

Wow, can't you just picture a Joseph Smith/L.Ron Hubbard smackdown?

I can see Tom insisting that Willard take a course in Dianetics in order to recall traumatic life experiences like attacking a fellow student because he was gay.

Oh...wait.

That wasn't traumatic for the Rat, only for everyone else involved.

Beating on a helpless boy whom he believed was gay, assaulting and degrading him wasn't traumatic for Willard.

It gave him a woody.

One of only six in his life if you count the ones that resulted in the births of his sons.

What a guy! Presidential timber, I tell ya.

In the Petrified Forest.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Oh, one other thing.

I've just read that Marie Antoinette....sorry....Her Royal Highness Mrs. Romney, has declared, nose hoisted high, that "We've given you people (sniff) all you need by way of tax returns. Now GO AWAY."

She left off the part about "or my husband, the KING, will have you imprisoned in the Bastille."

Seriously?

Can these people be any more unlike the 99.999999 % of Americans they demand vote for them??

Intolerable twits. That's what they are. Queen Romney should stick with her dressage horses and STFU. Maybe she could learn a thing or two from Catherine the Great where horses are concerned (true or not, it's a great story).

I'm pretty sure she'd have more fun than with King Rat.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Akhilleus: It's funny you should mention Tom Cruise in connection with Mitt Romney, because for the last few days everytime I see clips of Romney speechifying with his overheaed rhetoric and wild gesticulations, I can't get the image of Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch out of my mind. They both seemed slightly deranged.
As to one of your other points, how about this for a comeback by Obama to Romney's charge that Obama could never understand business because he had never been in the "business sector:" Well, Mitt, you have never been POTUS - time to pack your bags and go home as you obviously don't have the experience for this job.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Yves Smith, in "Econned," has a chapter called "Looting," in which she explains what happens in a corporate culture when the current value of a company's assets (physical plant, pension funds, etc.) is greater than the long-term value of the company. "Control fraud" is perpetrated by those in charge who can remove value from the company while loading the company with debt and welshing on the workers' retirement packages, which are implicitly or explicitly guaranteed by the federal gummint. William Black writes a good history of such behavior, along with the political swag necessary to keep regulators at bay, in his history of the S&L grand theft.

However, the more I read about how much money the big banking houses "lost" (and were reimbursed out of our pockets) in their genius foray into MBS, and how future "profits" that were never likely to be realized were booked by traders and their supervisors in time for massive yearly bonuses (that to my knowledge have not been returned or clawed back), the more I believe that we're living in a Potemkin economy, a bogus Rock Ridge if you will, propped up like a movie set while those who know where the money is hidden pile it into their cars. That IS a whole shitload of dimes.

Yes, corporations are people. Unfortunately, they're like your least favorite relatives, the ones that fart during Christmas dinner and then steal the spoons.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Mahoney
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