The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, February 4, 2016.

New York Times: "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

New York Times: "Maurice White, the founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, whose genre-defying music made it one of the most successful bands of the 1970s, has died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 74."

White House Live Video
February 5

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

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

New York Times (February 4): "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

USA Today: "Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they're using contraception, federal health officials said Tuesday, in a move to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. 'Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,' said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.'"

New York Times (January 14): "Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies. Officials say it could be the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak." ...

     ... NYT Update (January 15): "Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies." ...

... The Washington Post reports on the crisis in Brazil.

Washington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as board chairman at CBS Corp. after a court battle raised questions about the 92-year-old executive’s mental competence. He was replaced by Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS president and chief executive, CBS announced Wednesday. The transition took effect Tuesday when Redstone was appointed to the role of CBS chairman emeritus, CBS said."

... New York Timess: "A small 16th-century oil on panel largely kept in storage at a Kansas City, Mo., museum is a work by the Dutch Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, researchers [in the Netherlands] said on Monday, a finding that, if accepted by other scholars, would add to the tiny list of about 25 recognized Bosch paintings in the world. The painting, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' dated 1500-1510, had previously been attributed to the workshop of Bosch or to a follower of Bosch, known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the earthly moral purgatory in between."

Radio host Diane Rehm discusses her "retirement" plans with Karen Heller of the Washington Post.

Washington Post: "A lost story by famed British children’s author Beatrix Potter — the Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — has been discovered among her memorabilia and will be published this year more than a century after she wrote it. Jo Hanks, a publisher with Penguin Random House who made the discovery at London’s Victoria & Albert museum in 2013, called the story the biggest Potter discovery in generations and almost certainly the last, the London Times Newspaper reported Tuesday."

Boston Globe: "Late Night host (and New Hampshire native) Seth Meyers stars in this trailer for his fake movie, Boston Accent, which just laughs at all the devices used in every movie ever made in Boston":

Tim Egan's Confession: "I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let a bagel pop from the toaster, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone."

Planet Nine. Caltech: "Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly." ...

... CW: Planet Nine, my ass. I will never abandon Pluto! But this is a mighty thrilling development. ...

... UPDATE. Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post interviews Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Planet Nine. It turns out, as certainly every astronomer knows, that Mike Brown was also the guy who killed Pluto! Even his daughter is mad at him for that.

New York Times: "Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday[, January 20,] in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month. Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It will be the first time in more than a decade that the fab five will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York."

Los Angeles Times: "The backlash against this year's Academy Award nominations escalated Monday with announcements by director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith that they would boycott the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony, citing the absence of people of color in all four acting categories for the second year in a row. If other prominent entertainment industry figures join the boycott, it has the potential to spoil Hollywood's annual showcase event."

Donald Trump playing Donald Trump in movies & on teevee shows:

New York Times: "#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday morning.... The only Academy nods for two of the year’s biggest films about African-American characters went to white people.... In all the lead categories — best director, picture, and all four acting categories — only Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the Mexican auteur who won best director and picture last year, for 'Birdman,' adds a note of diversity. This year he was nominated for 'The Revenant.'”

Los Angeles Times: "Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and 'The Revenant' is leading with 12, including for best picture. Other nominees for best picture are 'The Big Short,' 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Brooklyn,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The Martian,' 'Room,' and 'Spotlight.' All the snubs, surprises and reactions from nominees coming below." Full coverage via the linked page.

Christian Science Monitor: "... thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University, the lowly incandescent bulb is getting a jolt of new life. The six-researcher team says it has found a way to boost the bulb's efficiency twenty-fold, which would leave today's favored compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the dust, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology." ...

     ... CW: If these bulbs go into production, it should make Rand Paul very, very happy. If only MIT could do something about his big-shit problem. Science does have its limits.

Los Angeles Times: "A 21-year odyssey came to an end Tuesday when National Football League owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and gave the San Diego Chargers an option to join the Rams in Inglewood."

** Washington Post: "In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms.... Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born." The paper is here. ...

... CW: Sorry, fundies, this is a lot more exciting than a trip to the Noah's ark amusement park or whatever it is.

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

New York: "Lumosity is one of these 'brain training' programs, and yet, according to the Federal Trade Commission, many of those claims aren’t backed up by science. On Tuesday, Lumos Labs — the company behind Lumosity — agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million for misleading consumers on claims that playing these mental games would help with cognitive performance and prevent mental decline as we age. 'Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,' Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 'But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.'”

New York Times: "Twitter is experimenting with introducing a longer form of tweet, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans, in what would be another gradual move away from the simplistic design sensibility that the service was originally founded upon. The project, which internally has been referred to as 'beyond 140,' is still in its testing phase and is not set to be introduced until at least March...."

Washington Post: "Four newly discovered elements managed to squeak their way in[to the periodic table] just before the end of 2015, filling up the table's seventh row and marking the first additions since 2011." CW: Since I know squat about chemistry, let me say here -- in the fullness of my ignorance -- that the periodic table should stick with elements that occur in nature. If chemists want a "sub-periodic table" to show off their lab-created, unstable elements, let 'em have it. I don't see how an "element" can be artificial. Anyone who knows what s/he's talking about is free to set me straight.

TPM: "Twitter announced Thursday it's bringing back Politwoops, the popular gaffe-tracking transparency tool that tracked politicians' deleted tweets, after unceremoniously killing off the service earlier this year.... Twitter revoked developer API access for the project, a venture of The Sunlight Foundation and The Open State Foundation, in August 2015."

If you are interested in what George Lucas thinks about the "Star Wars" series & other stuff, you can find out here, presuming Charlie Rose doesn't monopolize the conversation (okay, silly presumption). ...

... Later Lucas said he was sorry he said some of those nasty things.

... Hank Stuever of the Washington Post: The "final episodes of 'Downton Abbey' are among the show’s best since the first season — and they’ll reassure those hoping for the happiest possible endings for nearly every character."

BBC News: "A monument from a temple in the ancient city of Palmyra destroyed by so-called Islamic State (IS) is to be recreated in London's Trafalgar Square. The 2,000-year-old arch is all that remains of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May. It will be recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer. The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage." ...

... John Brennan & Sarah Knapton of the (Irish) Independent: "Ireland's saints and scholars were descended from farmers and bronze metalworkers from the Middle East and modern-day Ukraine, scientists have found. Researchers have sequenced ancient Irish human genomes for the first time. They discovered mass migrations to Ireland thousands of years ago resulted in huge changes to the ancient Irish genetic make-up. A team of geneticists from Trinity College Dublin and archaeologists from Queen's University Belfast made the findings, which show a massive shift in our genetic mix over the course of just 1,000 years. They believe the genetic influxes brought cultural change such as moving to settled farmsteads, bronze metalworking - and may have even been the origin of western Celtic language." ...

... CW: One trouble with denigrating certain ethnic groups: we're all cousins. Sorry, "white" people.

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Thursday
Jul192012

The Commentariat -- July 20, 2012

CW: I will be at an undisclosed location all morning, but should be back by 1:00 pm ET-ish. ...

      ... Update: here's the undisclosed location, disclosed:

     ... Peter Baker of the New York Times: "President Obama reflected in highly personal ways about the mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater on Friday as he cut short a campaign trip and urged Americans to reflect on the fragility of life." President Obama's full remarks are here.

     ... Here's Baker writing his report. He was sitting just behind me, so of course I gave him hell for all that "he said/he said" reporting. Really, I did, tho I was evah so polite about it. And he was very nice. Plus, as Sherrod Brown's wife might say, "He's really cute":

Congresswoman Bachmann's comments are baseless, irresponsible, and beneath contempt. Having said that, I think I would have chosen her as my running mate over Mitt Romney. -- Sen. John McCain (or so Andy Borowitz claims) ...

... Molly Hooper of The Hill: "At a press conference Thursday, [House Speaker John] Boehner (R-Ohio) defended Huma Abedin, the deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.). Boehner said he did not know Abedin well, but that 'from everything that I know of her she has a sterling character. I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.' Boehner is the latest high-profile GOP official to criticize the charges by [Rep. Michele] Bachmann [RTP-Minnesota] and four other GOP lawmakers that Abedin could be using her position at the State Department to aid the Muslim Brotherhood.” CW: Could this be the beginning of the end of Tea Party histrionics? Let's see if Boehner gets after Allen West (RTPCrazy-Florida). ...

... Alexander Abad-Santos of The Atlantic: Ed Rollins, Bachmann's former campaign manager, told her in a Fox "News" op-ed, to apologize on the floor of the House. ...

... AND Bachmann says the letters she wrote "are unfortunately being distorted."

His Troubled Ass. Neil, I have been the most fucking transparent Secretary of the Treasury in this country's entire fucking history! ... No one has ever made the banks disclose the type of shit that I made them disclose after the stress tests. No one! And now you're saying that I haven't been fucking transparent? -- Tim Geithner to Neil Barofsky, then the special inspector general for TARP. Thanks to Kate M. for the link

Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe: "An Obama campaign official confirmed to the Globe Wednesday that US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is ­being considered as a possible keynote speaker for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C."

Presidential Race

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. -- Nick Carraway, the narrator of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

We've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our life. -- Ann Romney

Ann Romney's Marie Antoinnete Moment." Rita Ciolli of Newsday: "The stir over the 'you people' faux pas ... is overshadowing what Romney said about not releasing the returns just before the 'you people' line. 'There are so many things that will be open again for more attack.... And you just want to give more material for more attack. And that's really -- that's just the answer.' ... Romney's response underscores that she doesn't understand the real question." ...

... Dan Amira of New York doesn't think Romney said "you people." CW: even if she didn't, it's clearly what she meant. ...

... Digby: "Dear me, it appears that Lady Romney has lost her patience with the riff raff and their unseemly questioning about money. One simply doesn't respond when the lower orders begin to believe they're better than they ought to be.... The very idea that a man of Mitt Romney's obvious superiority could be questioned about his finances is utterly offensive. Enough." ...

... Ed Kilgore: "You have to wonder if in future Mitt is going to 'outsource' all questions about his finances to his wife, and then object that anyone who complains about it is engaging in personal attacks on his family." ...

... "Pathos of the Plutocracy." Paul Krugman: "Not only do many of the superrich feel deeply aggrieved at the notion that anyone in their class might face criticism, they also insist that their perception that Mr. Obama doesn't like them is at the root of our economic problems.... Mr. Romney..., too, argu[ed] that because the president attacks success 'we have less success.' This ... is crazy (and it's disturbing that Mr. Romney appears to share this delusional view about what ails our economy).... Clearly, Mr. Romney believed that he could run for president while remaining safe inside the plutocratic bubble and is both shocked and angry at the discovery that the rules that apply to others also apply to people like him."

Aw. No more dressage videos. The DNC is heartily sorry to have offended Lady Romney. (See yesterday's Commentariat.)

Betting against the U.S. Tim Egan: "Anyone who wants to lead this nation, and stashes millions of dollars in foreign banks, overseas financial havens and byzantine accounts in countries without tax or regulation, had better be prepared to defend that financial betrayal."

** Joseph Tanfani, et al., of the Los Angeles Times: "When Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital in 1984, he struggled at first to raise enough money.... So he and his partners tapped an eclectic roster of investors, raising more than a third of their first $37-million investment fund from wealthy foreigners. Most of the foreign investors' money came through corporations registered in Panama, then known for tax advantages and unusual banking secrecy.... Bain Capital was enmeshed in the largely opaque world of international high finance from its very inception."

News Ledes

New York Times: "Sylvia Woods, known to so many as the Queen of Soul Food, died at 86."

Bloomberg News: "A former Bank of America Corp. executive was indicted for allegedly participating in what prosecutors said was a 'far-reaching conspiracy' to defraud municipal bond investments through bid rigging. Phillip D. Murphy, former head of Bank of America's municipal derivatives desk, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., wire fraud and conspiracy to make false entries in bank records, according to the indictment filed yesterday in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina.... So far, 13 individuals from banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and UBS AG (UBSN) have pleaded guilty in the Justice Department's investigation. Bank of America, JPMorgan, UBS, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and General Electric Co. have paid more than $700 million in restitution and penalties."

Reuters: "Stocks broke a three-day winning streak on Friday as Europe's debt crisis engulfed markets with renewed fears that Spain may be unable to dodge a costly bailout."

Bloomberg News: "President Barack Obama raised $45.9 million last month and entered July with $97.5 million in the bank.... He started July with more money in the bank than presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who brought in $33 million and reported $22.5 million cash on hand. Obama has now raised more than $307 million for his campaign, compared with more than $156 million for Romney."

Bloomberg News: "The suspect in the Colorado shooting bought two pistols, a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun since May, avoiding federal reporting requirements and taking advantage of the state’s failure to pass significant firearms legislation since the Columbine massacre 13 years ago." ...

... Here's the latest on the Aurora shootings from the Denver Post. The Denver Post front page currently has links to related stories.

Reader Comments (16)

Thanks to Paul Krugman for verifying my diagnosis of Mitt's NPD. The key words are "the discovery that the rules that apply to others also apply to people like him." Seriously, that type of attitude is a classic example of NPD characteristics. And the best part of Mrs. Mitt's comment is not the 'you people'. It's the 'There are so many things that will be open again for more attack'. Really? Didn't she just admit that his tax returns contain very bad things? Anywhere else in the world and Mitt would be toast. I'll bet that half our fellow 'citizens' don't even know his tax returns are an issue.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Lady Romney would have an exceedingly difficult time making the transition to First Lady Romney, where she would have to answer to "you people."

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

The most upsetting and pathetic thing to me right now is that MittWitt, with shit pouring all over him--as he is strapped in his crate on top of his undisclosed tax returns--is that the latest polls show him LEADING Obama by one or two points. Or running even.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR STUPID VOTERS? Or is it the STUPID corporate pollsters?

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Marie,

If you see Darth Cheney while visiting this undisclosed location, could you do us all a favor and give him a swift kick in the balls? Just for old times' sake?

If you had a shotgun I'd ask you to take him duck hunting, but a good kick will suffice.

Thanks a bunch.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterakhilleus

On a more sobering note, NRA poster boys have been showing their support for the second amendment this week, first in Alabama, and early this morning in Colorado.

Two gunmen, nearly 70 innocent people shot, 14 of them dead. So far.

Think the NRA's water carriers in congress will have anything to say about this? I know what David Brooks will say.

Hippies are to blame.

Just another day in conservative paradise. A gun in every (cracked) pot.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterakhilleus

RE: We the people. Peepos, very special peepos; we're the luckiest peepos in the world. I see a cartoon in the New Yorker by the artist who draws those parlor scenes with the drooling, ball licking dogs and the guys wearing the "Stella!" T-shirts. He would be reading the newspaper and talking to his apron-wearing wife. The caption would be, "Yea, those people, right on again Mrs. Howell."

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Yesterday Victoria suggested a good comeback for President Obama when Willard the Rat sniffs that Obama doesn’t understand business because he’s never been a businessman, to which Obama could retort that Romney doesn’t understand the presidency because he’s never been president. (Although he could also say that Romney has never been a businessman either. He’s a carrion eating vulture.)

I like it. But Obama had never been POTUS either before 2009. I think the real issue is the difference in vision each has for the country. In 2008 we all needed a sense that things could get better after the depravity, murder, war-mongering, treason, mendacity, and calumny of the Bush years. "Change you can believe in" was a cri de coeur many voters could rally to. McCain's "More of the same" was not.

This time around Romney's call to arms is "More of the same, only worse. Much worse."

One might surmise, given that, that anything Obama comes up with, short of "Gonna get me a shotgun and kill every whitey I see" should fulfill all conditions necessary and sufficient.

SHOULD be. But likely WON'T be.

Obama will have to come up with something far more persuasive and compelling to overcome the hatred and lies being spread by Romney, his brownshirt apparatchiks at Crossroads, and the sycophantic courtiers lining up to kiss the royal ass.

But even more damaging than "you've never been POTUS" might be the declaration that "you have no idea what the job entails, and don't care." It's not so much that he doesn't have the experience. He has no clue what the job of president is all about. And couldn't possibly care less.

The level of caring on the part of both Romneys about anything other than themselves, money, and power is screechingly clear now that we’ve all gotten a good look up Queen Ann’s upturned nose, an appendage she is obliged--frequently, no doubt--to pinch while on the campaign trail in order to protect the royal olfactories from the stench of average, non-rich Americans. It’s a wonder she doesn’t keep a scented handkerchief pressed against the august visage whilst stepping gingerly through crowds of the great unwashed. So delicate, those royals.

We can make fun of it (and should) but it’s yet another indication of how weirdly different the Romneys are. Just imagine the apoplexy in the MSM and especially the nutball far right media had Michelle Obama or Teresa Heinz Kerry offered such an unvarnished admission of privileged superiority.

The howls would have been biblical.

(I’m tempted to suggest that her royal highness relax a little and take a hint from another historical queen, Catherine the Great. I mean she’s already down with horses, isn’t she? She’d probably have a much better time than with King Rat.)

But, even more disturbing than Lord and Lady Romney’s (I’m reminded here of the old SNL sketch featuring Lord and Lady Douchebag—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_b3oPslctA) innate belief in their own transcendence, is the fact that, as Kate has pointed out, King Rat is in a dead heat with Obama. I really don’t think any of Romney’s multitudes of lies, his sense of entitlement, his tax evasions, and the raising of his middle finger to voters regarding his secret life has made the tiniest dent with most voters. People already in Obama’s camp will vote for the president. People who hate Obama would vote for a smelly piece of cheese so voting for the royal Romneys is, well....a piece of cake. Those in the middle are probably too busy dreaming about their own Cayman Island accounts or wondering how come the Knicks didn’t re-sign Jeremy Lin.

I’m refraining from saying “we’re screwed” but Obama better start making his case against Richie Rich in a much more forceful way (and the case for himself), or Marie Antoinette will be sharpening the guillotine for all of “you people”.

I say again: intolerable twits.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Kate's question: It's something quite puzzling, isn't it? The fact that Romney is doing as well as he is in the polls. We've always believed the populace had a distain for the elite, the moneyed people who run for office. Poor John Kerry got tomatoes (them that's in that Heinz Catsup) flung at him for being erudite and rich. Both LBJ and Nixon had a hatred for the upper classes––the former called them "the Harvards," the latter called them, "The Franklins" (an elite group in college that wouldn't bother with someone like Nixon). So both of these men tried to appeal to the country as being just regular folks––"I understand you, I'm just like you are, I feel your pain along with your need to gain a leg up." Kennedy aced it because at that time the country was hungry for glamour, for that myth of Camelot, for youth and panache. And now when the little people are furious at being such little people you would think they would rally round the guy that's trying to give them some legs, but sadly, for many, they rally round the guy who is going to screw them––the guy with the big bucks and is further apart from them then any one of our recent presidents. Heck, this guy didn't even like their cookies!

The news of the theatre shootings breaks my heart. How easy was it for this deviant to purchase all those "way cool" guns that he used to kill, at random? Just how easy?????

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Hi Akhilleus! We could also say Mitt doesn't understand the Constitution because he has never studied it, let alone taught it. He doesn't understand the average American's needs because he has always been wealthy. Etc.
This whole business of using his - as you say - Vulture Capitalism experience to leverage himself into the position as best qualified to lead the country is pretty ridiculous. My hope is that voters eventully see that, when they start paying attention. ....if they start paying attention.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

More nonsense from the Rat.

As Krugman points out in his fine column today, rich fat cats like Romney and their shills in the WSJ, on Fox, and, yes, in the NYTIMES, frequently point out that the business environment stinks because…why?

Because the president doesn’t like them.

Boo-hoo.

As Krugman points out this is patently ridiculous. I would add “borderline pathological”. I realize that logic and rationality are vague and fleeting concepts for most conservatives, especially wealthy ones, but bear with me for a moment while I indulge my own fetish for the real world.

In what universe would it be possible for the suspected inner feelings (not even voiced, mind you) of one person to affect—in any way--a multi trillion dollar economy? Let’s stipulate that this person is not a supreme being and even if he were, unless those feelings were A.) real and B.) able to manifest themselves as a force in the world, feelings are still just that.

So in no way can how someone feels (or more to the point, the way certain individuals believe they feel) about a thing or a group or a concept, have the slightest effect on the concrete universe. None. Unless perhaps one were to posit that the groups/individuals held in such (presumed) low regard allowed that belief to seriously affect their own state of mind, judgment, and psychological well being. Were that the case however, the individuals in those groups would have far bigger problems than crying because someone doesn’t like them.

C’mon already. These guys are supposedly the Masters of the Universe. Builders, shakers, movers, JOB CREATORS. Should they fold up like an old lawn chair because someone they’ve never met might think they aren’t so hot? Just imagine how short the Gilded Age would have been had robber barons like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Jay Gould, and the other rapacious buccaneers of that era, all fell on their oriental carpets and kicked and screamed and threatened to hold their breath because Teddy Roosevelt said mean things about them. They didn’t give a shit what Teddy said. Until his trust busting ways got their attention. And even then they didn’t whine like Romney and WSJ editors about hurt feelings. And they actually HAD something to complain about. The Sherman Act and Roosevelt’s public battles with many of them (except the ones he went hat in hand to for campaign contributions) must have seriously inconvenienced their thieving ways.

Today corporations pay fewer taxes and have to deal with less regulation than any group in decades. But still they whine. And still King and Queen Romney demand that we all bow and scrape and treat them like Royalty.

Planet Romney must miss its monarchs. Time to send them back to lord it over the monkeys in the Caymans. That is, if their feelings won’t be hurt too terribly.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Nothing annoys me more than having to look at images of the scumbag that murdered 12 in Colorado. The MSM does it all the time with such events. Hello assholes, that is exactly what the bastard wants to see!

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Dunno, Marvin. At least now we know he wern't an A-rab or one of them foodstamp people. Don't look Jewish neither. Course they coulda fotoshopped the picture.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

I am so saddened and horrified by this latest gun violence in Colorado! But like you, James Singer, I am relieved to see this was another crazy WHITE guy--not an Arab, African American, Hispanic, Asian, or any other minority. He even has a very WASPY name--though that does not mean much.

I am really, really upset that Obama has not spoken up for gun control; he must do it NOW! Fuck the NRA! This kind of outrageous crime could not have happened with a knife!

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Second amendment to the constitution.

Question: Are the actions of the NRA, by fighting to defeat any and all regulation of firearms, unconstitutional? The language above specifically states that militia's must be regulated.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

rats...I only meant for the quote to be bold italic.

July 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

I submitted the following in comments to Charles Blow's column this morning. I don't believe it made the cut (mebbe the language):

The question we need to ask is, "Has the U.S.A. become the N.R.A.'s bitch?" Are we so terrified of confrontation that we kowtow to any cult of nuts who yell loud enough? I believe the answer is "Yes," and all this discussion is merely therapeutic, an attempt to make ourselves feel better by pretending that we just might take a stand one of these days.

July 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Mahoney
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