The Ledes

Friday, July 25, 2014.

New York Times: "Secretary of State John Kerry has proposed a two-stage plan to halt the fighting in the Gaza Strip that would first impose a weeklong truce starting Sunday, an official involved in the negotiations said on Friday. As soon as the truce took effect, Palestinian and Israeli officials would begin negotiations on the principal economic, political and security concerns about Gaza, with other nations attending." ...

... AFP: "Israeli fire Friday pushed the Palestinian death toll in Gaza to above 800, as Washington pressed Israel and Hamas to agree a week-long humanitarian ceasefire and thrash out a durable truce."

AFP: "The United States on Thursday said it had evidence Russian forces were firing artillery from inside Russia on Ukrainian troops, in what officials called a 'clear escalation' of the conflict. Moscow is also planning to 'deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers' to the pro-Russian separatist forces in Ukraine, US deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said." ...

... AFP: "Ukraine's prime minister resigned after his governing coalition collapsed, plunging the former Soviet state into political limbo as it struggles to quell a deadly rebellion in the east.... Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he was stepping down over the "dissolution of the parliamentary coalition and the blocking of government initiatives" after several parties walked out on the ruling group. The collapse of the ruling coalition paves the way for early elections to be called by President Petro Poroshenko within 30 days."

New York Times: "As a detachment of French soldiers reached the crash site in Mali of an Air Algérie jetliner, officials in Paris said Friday that the accident was most likely weather-related and that the distribution of the wreckage over a limited area suggested that the plane probably hit the ground intact."

 

Guardian: "The Washington Post's correspondent in Tehran has been arrested along with his Iranian wife and two American photojournalists. Iranian judicial offficials confirmed on Friday that Jason Rezaian, who holds dual American and Iranian citizenship, had been detained and is under investigation."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, July 24, 2014.

New York Times: "A series of explosions at a school run by the United Nations sheltering hundreds of Palestinians who had fled their homes for safety from Israeli military assaults killed at least 16 people on Thursday afternoon and wounded many more. The cause was not immediately clear."

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

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

... New York Times UPDATE: "An Air Algérie jetliner with 116 people on board crashed early Thursday in a remote area of Mali near the borders with Burkina Faso and Niger, officials said."

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

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

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

Public Service Announcement

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

White House Live Video
July 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Yorker illustration.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact the Constant Weader

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

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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