The Ledes

Sunday, January 25, 2015.

Weather Channel: "New York City is under a blizzard warning and Boston is under a blizzard watch in anticipation of Winter Storm Juno, which will be a major snowstorm for the Northeast Monday through Tuesday night, lingering into Wednesday morning. Parts of the region will see blizzard conditions and more than 2 feet of snow."

Washington Post: "After five years of extreme austerity prescribed to treat an epidemic of debt, a battered but defiant Greece on Sunday emphatically rejected the medicine. With millions of voters turning out ... the country delivered a historic win to Syriza, a radical leftist party that could put Greece on a collision course with the rest of Europe. The expected showdown has already rattled Greek financial markets and may challenge the core principle behind Europe’s currency union."

The Wires

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President shared his plan, outlined in his State of the Union address earlier this week, to give hardworking families the support they need to make ends meet by focusing on policies that benefit the middle class and those working to reach the middle class":

The Ledes

Saturday, January 24, 2015.

Guardian: "The Pentagon and the White House are pushing back on reports that the Obama administration is pausing drone strikes and other counterterrorism operations in Yemen, amidst the abrupt collapse of a critical partner government. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said both 'unilateral and partnered' operations conducted by the US in Yemen against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) 'are not suspended'."

New York Times: "The Japanese government expressed outrage at an image released Saturday that appeared to show the decapitated body of one of two Japanese hostages captured by Islamic State militants, and President Obama condemned what he called a 'brutal murder.' The kidnappers had threatened to kill the men if a Friday deadline passed for a $200 million ransom from Japan. Hours before Mr. Obama’s statement, the United States and Japanese governments said that they were working to authenticate the video containing the image."

NBC News: "President Barack Obama and the First Lady will travel to Saudi Arabia to pay respects following the death of King Abdullah, the White House said early Saturday. Obama will cut short an official trip to India and will fly to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet the new King Salman, spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement. Vice President Joe Biden, who had been due to fly to Saudi Arabia, 'will remain in Washington' the statement said."

Goodbye, Mr. Cub. New York Times: "Ernie Banks, the greatest power-hitting shortstop of the 20th century and an unconquerable optimist whose sunny disposition never dimmed in 19 seasons with the perennially stumbling Chicago Cubs, died Friday. He was 83." Banks' Chicago Sun-Times obituary is here.

Public Service Announcement

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

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

White House Live Video
January 25

5:40 am ET: President Obama & Indian PM Modi deliver statements in New Delhi, India

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

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

Oh, lawdy, what will they think up next?

... www.cicret.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times on the novels of Robert Stone. Stone died January 10.

Gawker: Apparently Malia Obama -- or someone who looks exactly like her -- has (or borrowed) a T-shirt featuring a hip-hop collective called Pro Era. A teenager into contemporary music!: this is for some reason big Internets news. CW: Old codger that I am, I thought the shirt signified Pro-ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). Now, that would be exceptionally cool.

Washington Post: "In a move that could draw a mass exodus from cable, Dish Network’s Sling TV said it will soon launch a stand-alone streaming service that includes ESPN and other network channels without being tied to a paid TV service."

Anne Karpf, in a New York Times op-ed on "the liberation of growing old": "Age resistance is a futile kind of life resistance: We can’t live outside time, we begin to age the moment we’re born. But the emerging age-acceptance movement neither decries nor denies the aging process. It recognizes that one can remain vital and present, engaged and curious, indeed continue to grow, until one’s dying breath. Then we need only echo the wish of the British psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott: 'May I be alive when I die.'”

Novelist Teddy Wayne, in a New York Times op-ed, laments the days when "we used to receive media cyclically.... Now, with just about every airing of a much greater number of shows obtainable at any moment, there is no excuse for missing one — and, therefore, a more urgent compulsion to catch up, in case you missed it." Thanks to MAG for the link. ...

... CW: This seems a rather silly complaint coming from a person whose chosen art form is available to anyone any time, thru the ages. On-demand media make film, broadcast television & other visual (& audio) events as available as are nonfiction books & novels. It is true that releasing viewers from the strictures of OTO broadcasts & limited-run films may take away some of the sharing of those events with family & friends, but that has been -- until quite recently -- a rather forced sharing, dictated by media suits. And there is nothing stopping people today from having media parties to share their favorite teevee shows or movies.

Bill Moyers announces his retirement. And he means it this time. ...

... Reality Chex contributor Kate Madison on Bill Moyers. (Third comment in the thread.) ...

... Peter Dreier in Common Dreams: "... the end of Moyers' regular presence on television will leave a huge hole in America's broadcast landscape.... No other program has journalistic breadth and depth, as well as the progressive viewpoint, that Moyers' show has provided views for over four decades. Will PBS -- which has been under increasing pressure from Congress and funders to move to the right -- even try to fill that gap?" ...

... ** Paul Farhi of the Washington Post on Moyers' career at PBS: "His work has won more than three dozen Emmys — he doesn’t know the precise number — and nine Peabody awards.... His unalloyed liberalism (“I find it very hard to have intelligent conversations with people on the right wing,” he once said) has made him, to conservatives, a living totem of the news media’s alleged leftward bias, and especially public broadcasting’s." ...

... Here's the final broadcast. If you don't watch it, you may want to read the transcript, especially Moyers' "last words":

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
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.