The Ledes

Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

AP: "At least 34 sailors are being kicked out of the Navy for their roles in a cheating ring that operated undetected for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site, and 10 others are under criminal investigation, the admiral in charge of the Navy's nuclear reactors program told The Associated Press."

New York Times: "Israeli airstrikes killed a wife and baby son of the top military commander of Hamas, the Islamist movement that dominates the Gaza Strip, hours after rocket fire from Gaza broke a temporary cease-fire Tuesday and halted talks aimed at ending the six-week conflict collapsed in Cairo. The fate of the commander, Mohammed Deif, the target of several previous Israeli assassination attempts, remained unclear, though Palestinian officials and witnesses said his was not one of three bodies pulled Wednesday from the rubble of the bombed Gaza City home." ...

... AFP: "An Israeli cabinet minister on Wednesday justified an air strike on Gaza that killed the wife and child of Hamas military leader Mohammed Deif, saying he was a legitimate target. 'Mohammed Deif deserves to die just like (the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama) bin Laden. He is an arch murderer and as long as we have an opportunity we will try to kill him'" Interior Minister Gideon Saar told army radio."

New York Times: "After nearly a week of inaction, a Russian aid convoy destined for the besieged, rebel-controlled Ukrainian city of Luhansk rumbled to life on Wednesday, with 16 of its trucks passing through a Russian border checkpoint. Before heading to Luhansk, though, the trucks still have to be checked by the Russian border service, Ukrainian border guards and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sergei Karavaytsev, an officer in Russia’s Emergencies Ministry, said in a telephone interview."

Guardian: "Russia has shut down four McDonald's restaurants in Moscow for alleged sanitary violations in a move critics said was the latest blow in its tit-for-tat sanctions tussle with the west." CW: Now that could make Putin unpopular.

AP: "Germany says it is prepared to arm the Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says Germany would closely coordinate its efforts with France, Britain and other European countries who are already delivering weapons to the Kurds."

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

Washington Post: "The Islamic State militant group claimed Tuesday to have beheaded an American photojournalist in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. A video released online purported to show the execution of James Foley after he recited a statement in which he called the U.S. government 'my real killers. A second prisoner, said to be Steven Joel Sotloff, like Foley an American journalist who disappeared while covering Syria’s civil war, then appears in the video. The masked executioner, speaking with what sounds like a British accent, identifies Sotloff and says that 'the life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision.'”

New York Times: "Israeli and Palestinian officials agreed late Monday to extend a five-day cease-fire for Gaza that expired at midnight for 24 hours, reflecting the difficulty of reaching more durable agreements after two weeks of Egyptian-brokered talks but also an apparent lack of appetite on either side to resume the conflict." ...

     ... UPDATE: "Another Gaza cease-fire collapsed on Tuesday when Palestinian militants fired rockets into southern Israel, drawing retaliatory airstrikes from Israel and prompting the Israeli government to withdraw its delegation from Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo for an agreement to end the latest conflict."

Guardian: "Armed groups in Syria have several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that could easily be diverted to extremists and used to destroy commercial planes, according to a new report by an international arms research group that cites the risk of the missiles being smuggled out of Syria by terrorists. The report was released a few hours after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice to US airlines banning all flights in Syrian airspace."

Public Service Announcement

New York Times, August 15: "The Food and Drug Administration has approved Avastin — made by Genentech, a unit of the Swiss drug maker Roche — for a new use against late-stage cervical cancer, the seventh indication for the biotech drug, which had global sales of $6.25 billion last year."

White House Live Video
August 20

The White House has no scheduled live feeds for today.

Kevin Roose of New York: "How to make $200MM in 28 months." CW: Yeah, I know. Twenty-eight months is a lo-o-o-ong time.

Stupid Wiki Tricks. Telegraph: "Wikimedia, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, has refused a photographer’s repeated requests to stop distributing his most famous shot for free – because a monkey pressed the shutter button and should own the copyright."

The Wrap: "James Corden is taking over for Craig Ferguson as host of 'The Late Late Show' on CBS, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.... Corden stars in Disney's 'Into the Woods' and can currently be seen alongside Keira Knightley in 'Begin Again.'”

John Oliver on "native advertising." Via Juan Cole:

Justice Ginsburg on the Tumblr site Notorious R.B.G.:

Washington Post: "Former president George W. Bush has been writing a book about his father, former president George H.W. Bush. The book will be published in November."

"Homophonia." Caroline Moss of Business Insider: "An education blogger in Utah is out of a job today after writing [righting] a blog post explaining 'homophones' for the Nomen Global Language Center. Tim Torkildson said he was fired by [buy] his boss and NGLC owner, Clarke Woodger, for [four] promoting a gay agenda." Here's Torkildson's blogpost on his firing. Thanks to Akhilleus for the link.

Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times: "New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission would do well to turn down the Frick Collection’s proposed expansion, which imagines replacing a prized garden on East 70th Street in Manhattan with a clumsy addition. The city should avoid another self-inflicted wound, and there are other options." CW: As I recall, the garden is that it is difficult to see from the street. I love the garden court & have spent a good deal of time there.

Martha Stewart has a drone.

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.

Contact the Constant Weader

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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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