The Ledes

Tuesday, July 29, 2014.

AP: "A senior PLO official has called for a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza war, saying he is also speaking in the name of Hamas."

Guardian: "Gaza endured a night of relentless bombardment that brought some of the heaviest pounding since the start of the conflict three weeks ago, in the hours after the Israeli political and military leadership warned of a protracted offensive. Palestinian officials say more than 110 people have been killed in Gaza in the past 24 hours."

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, July 28, 2014.

New York Times: "The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in a letter on Monday."

New York Times: "The United States and Europe put aside their differences and agreed on Monday to sharply escalate economic sanctions against Russia in a set of coordinated actions driven by the conclusion that Moscow has taken a more direct role in the war in Ukraine. After months in which European leaders were hesitant to go as far as the Americans, the two sides settled on a package of measures that would target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors. In some cases, the Europeans may actually leapfrog beyond what the United States has done, forcing Washington to try to catch up."

Guardian: "Dutch and Australian police have failed to reach the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 for a second day as clashes rage in a town on the road to the area." ...

... Washington Post: "The Ukrainian military on Monday captured a strategically important swath of territory close to the debris field of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a spokesman said, dealing a blow to pro-Russian rebels but raising new questions about whether an investigation at the site will ever yield conclusive evidence about the attack on the airliner."

NEW. Washington Post: "Israel will press its air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday, preparing his country for a longer and bloodier campaign and dashing hopes that the three-week-old conflict would end soon." ...

... Washington Post: "International efforts to end the devastating three-week-old Gaza war intensified Monday with the U.N. Security Council calling for an 'immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire' in the conflict that has already claimed the lives of more than 1,035 Palestinians and 43 Israeli soldiers. The ravaged coastal enclave was relatively quiet Monday as Palestinians started celebrating the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday that caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Israel mostly held its fire overnight, shelling only a site in the northern Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from there." ...

     ... UPDATE: "Explosions rocked a major hospital and a neighborhood of Gaza City on Monday, leaving at least 10 people dead, witnesses reported." ...

... New York Times: "On Sunday, however, [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry was having difficulty accomplishing even ... a succession of temporary cease-fires..., despite a phone call in which President Obama, in a sign of mounting impatience, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to embrace an 'immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire' while the two sides pursued a more lasting agreement. ...

... A White House readout of the conversation between Obama & Netanyahu is here.

Public Service Announcement

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

White House Live Video
July 29

10:10 am ET: White House Agricultural Champions of Change meet

12:00 noon ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New Yorker illustration.

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Friday
Jun152012

The Commentariat -- June 16 & 17, 2012

My column in today's New York Times eXaminer is on Maureen Dowd's column and is titled "Some Kind of Heroes." The NYTX front page is here.

Dolphus Shields, left, was the great-great-grandfather of Michelle Obama. His mother, Melvinia, was a slave. Research and DNA testing indicate that his father was a white man named Charles Marion Shields. Melvinia and Dolphus were owned by Henry Wells Shields, who was Charles’s father. Dolphus is pictured here with his son Willie. Courtesy of Jewell Barclay, via the New York Times.Rachel Swarns of the New York Times: "All four of Mrs. Obama’s grandparents had multiracial forebears." CW: Your History Lesson for Today is pretty compelling; read to the end. On Father's Day, it doesn't hurt to remember that there are fathers & there are fathers. Some of us have the kinds of fathers we buy ties & weed-eaters for; some of us don't.

Annie Gearan of the AP: "President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will use their meeting Monday, the first since Putin returned to Russia's top job, to claim leverage in a mutually dependent but volatile relationship."

Washington Post: "Leaders of the University of Virginia's governing board ousted President Teresa Sullivan last week largely because of her unwillingness to consider dramatic program cuts in the face of dwindling resources and for her perceived reluctance to approach the school with the bottom-line mentality of a corporate chief executive. Sullivan's resignation after less than two years has prompted an unprecedented backlash...: a flurry of no-confidence votes and protest letters from groups of faculty, administrators and students; a 2,000-signature petition; and a Facebook protest page with more than 3,000 members." CW: strange there's no byline on this story.

Frances Kissling & Peter Singer in a Washington Post op-ed: "Global climate leaders will have a lot of pressing challenges on the table at the Rio+20 conference. It's time to take the meat off their plates."

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post: "The Environmental Protection Agency was spying on Midwestern farmers with the same aerial 'drones' used to kill terrorists overseas. This month, the idea has been repeated in TV segments, on multiple blogs and by at least four congressmen. The only trouble is, it isn’t true.... The EPA isn't using drone aircraft -- in the Midwest or anywhere else. The hubbub over nonexistent drones provides a look at something hard to capture in American politics: the vibrant, almost viral, life cycle of a falsehood." CW: Yeah, and like all these false stories, this one is a zombie that lives on -- especially thanks to Fox "News" & a few Republican MOC's like Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.

GOP Croupier Extraordinaire. Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times: "Sheldon Adelson, a wealthy casino owner, is committing to give at least an additional $10 million to conservative groups expected to play a major role in this year's presidential and Congressional elections, cementing his growing role as one of the country's leading political financiers."

Presidential Race

He Can Still Pander Now. Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post: "Appearing via video at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual meeting Saturday morning, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) delivered a speech that hinged on social issues but also focused in on what remains the top issue in the presidential election -- the economy.... At times, he struck a note that bore similarities to the message former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) delivered on the campaign trail."

La-Di-Da! Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "Jan Ebeling, Mrs. Romney's longtime riding tutor, and his horse Rafalca, co-owned by Mrs. Romney, earned a berth on the United States Olympic dressage team on Saturday.... While Mr. Romney was barnstorming on a bus tour of swing states, Mrs. Romney watched from a V.I.P. tent as Mr. Ebeling executed a smooth 'test' of flying changes, in which Rafalca seemed to skip down the arena, and piaffes, an in-place trot." CW: bit of a contrast between the Ann Romney & Michelle Obama stories in today's NYT. ...

... Stephen Colbert makes dressage his official sport of the summer:

The President's Weekly Address:

     ... The transcript is here. Mary Bruce of ABC News: "President Obama today blamed Republicans in Congress for the flailing economic recovery, saying 'every problem we face is within our power to solve. What's lacking is our politics.'"

Kyle Cheney of Politico: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about the Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act -- and no, she does not reveal what it was. "Ginsburg noted that one ACA-related question the court must decide is whether the whole law must fall if the individual mandate is unconstitutional -- 'or may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of it?'"

Adam Sorensen of Time: "The president's circumvention of Congress on the issue of deporting young undocumented immigrants is sure to rile Republicans, but as a short-term political tactic it's a masterstroke." CW: since the President is acting by executive order, any president can rescind it by executive order -- which is one more reason not to vote for "self-deportin'" Romney. ...

... Glenn Greenwald: "Like LGBT activists, Latinos continuously pressured Obama, and now they have an important victory to show for it." ...

... What He Said. I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach that long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, a short-term matter and can be reversed by subsequent presidents. -- Mitt Romney ...

... What He Means. I'll send the kids back to Mexico on Day One of my presidency. -- Mitt Romney, in his DREAMS

... Aaron Blake of the Washington Post: "Just hours after word leaked out that the Obama administration would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents, the issue is already causing headaches for the Republican Party.... The company line from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and prominent senators like Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Friday was a process argument, in which they decry the decision to make the move without Congress’s consent." ...

... Entre la Espada y la Pared. Helene Cooper & Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "... the president's announcement put Mr. Romney, whose party is already split on the issue, in a tough spot, pressuring him to choose between further alienating Latino voters who chafed at the anti-illegal immigration stances he took in the primary season and alienating conservatives who reject policies resembling amnesty." ...

... Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon: "After repeatedly vowing to veto the DREAM Act, [Mitt Romney] suggests he has no problem with Obama's new policy." CW: what Romney finagled was endorsement by proxy. Since President Obama's executive order is very similar to the watered-down DREAM Act Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he was drafting (but never did), Rubio had to give Obama a limp thumbs-up (results good/process bad), so Romney sez "What Marco said." ...

... Romney Runs Aground. Steve Kornacki of Salon: Obama's move takes the wind out of Romney's likely course, which would be to tack to the middle & endorse Rubio's DREAM-y plan (which he had not yet done).

P. J. Crowley, a former assistant secretary of state under President Obama who quit under pressure after criticizing the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, writes a Washington Post op-ed about the utility of leaks. "The intelligence committees are suggesting that we should say less. But there is a strong argument that we must communicate more."

Gail Collins has her de Tocqueville moment: "Our biggest political division is the war between the empty places and the crowded places.... People who live in crowded places tend to appreciate government. It's the thing that sets boundaries on public behavior, protects them from burglars and cleans the streets.... The people who live in empty places don't see the point. If a burglar decides to break in, that's what they've got guns for. Other folks don't get in their way because their way is really, really remote. Who needs government?"

Grumpy McCain Goes Way Off-Message: "Corporations Are Not People." Josh Israel of Think Progress: "Though he has been one of Mitt Romney's most visible supporters, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) took aim yesterday at both Romney's Super PAC and one of Romney's most controversial talking points.... McCain told Judy Woodruff that because casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson makes a huge portion of his profits from a casino in Macau, his massive spending in support of Mitt Romney and other right-wing candidates is a form of foreign money influencing American elections":

Steve Benen: "Rob Gray, a senior adviser on Romney's gubernatorial campaign who has no position in Romney's presidential campaign, says Republicans are "rooting against the economy" in hopes it will help their electoral prospects. Thanks to Jeanne B. for the link:

     (... Yo, Frank Bruni. Now, that is candor.)

Here's video of "reporter" Neil Munro of the conservative Daily Caller interrupting President Obama during his remarks yesterday. 99.9 percent of journalists know better. Video of the President's full remarks is in yesterday's News Ledes:

... Elizabeth Flock of US News: "In what may be a first for the White House Rose Garden, President Obama was heckled by a reporter during his speech on immigration Friday." Includes tweet from Tucker Carlson, who runs the Daily Caller: "We are very proud of Neil for doing his job." ...

... Brian Stelter of the New York Times has a comprehensive report, including reactions & background, including this: "Among Mr. Carlson's investors is Foster Friess, the financier who has donated millions to Republican candidates this year." ...

... "Frat-Boy Conservatism." Joan Walsh: "The right pretends to respect authority -- except when it's held by a Democrat.... It's unbelievable how wingnuts treat this man with such unprecedented and bullying disrespect: from Rep. Joe Wilson screaming 'You lie' ... to Speaker John Boehner denying him his choice of dates for another congressional address (for the first time in history) last fall, to Donald Trump's persistent, humiliating demands for the president to show him his papers (with no rebuke from ally Mitt Romney).... The Romney campaign has been glorying in this new form of frat-boy conservatism, first sending campaign supporters to heckle Obama adviser David Axelrod during a press conference, and yesterday sending its bus to circle and disrupt an Obama event, honking its horn."

... When You Need an Etiquette Lesson from Gawker..., You Don't Belong on the White House Lawn. Emma Carmichael of Gawker: "Press conferences have a very simple etiquette that is only heightened when the speaker in question is the leader of the free world. You listen to someone speak.... Munro, who was reportedly wearing 'temporary'" press badges today, now maintains that Obama was the rude party."

News Ledes, June 17

AP: "The Muslim Brotherhood declared early Monday that its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, won Egypt's presidential election, even as the military handed themselves the lion's share of power over the new president.... With parliament dissolved and martial law effectively in force, the generals made themselves the country's lawmakers, gave themselves control over the budget and will determine who writes the permanent constitution that will define the country's future." Washington Post story here.

AP: "Drawing on memories of her childhood and early career, Michelle Obama told Oregon State University graduates Sunday to live life for themselves, not for anyone else. The first lady spoke at the invitation of her older brother, Craig Robinson, the head men's basketball coach at Oregon State."

New York Times: "In a slow, somber procession, several thousand demonstrators conducted a silent march on Sunday down Fifth Avenue to protest the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policies, which the organizers say single out minority groups and create an atmosphere of martial law for the city’s black and Latino residents." The Daily News story puts the number at "tens of thousands."

New York Times: "Rodney G. King, whose 1991 videotaped beating by the Los Angeles police became a symbol of the nation's continuing racial tensions and subsequently led to a week of deadly race riots after the officers were acquitted, was found dead Sunday in a swimming pool at the home he shared with his fiancée in Rialto, Calif. He was 47." Los Angeles Times story here.

New York: "Just days after seven Republican senators on the Foreign Relations Committee urged President Obama to pick a new nominee for the ambassadorship to Iraq, the White House is doubling down on Brett McGurk."

New York Times: "The Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination born in 1845 in defense of slavery and a spiritual home to white supremacists for much of the 20th century, is poised to elect its first African-American president. The Rev. Fred Luter Jr., 55, a New Orleans pastor who got his start preaching on the streets of the Lower Ninth Ward, is expected to be the only candidate for office on Tuesday when Southern Baptists gather [in New Orleans] for their annual meeting."

New York Times: "President François Hollande's Socialists and their allies won an absolute majority in runoff parliamentary elections on Sunday, strengthening the hand of Mr. Hollande both at home and in Europe, where he is pressing for less austerity and more growth in the face of a deepening recession."

New York Times: "Greeks turned out on Sunday to vote in elections that once again are being seen as a referendum on the country's membership in the euro." ...

     ... Update: "Greek voters on Sunday gave a narrow victory in parliamentary elections to a party that had supported a bailout for the country's failed economy. The vote was widely seen as a last chance for Greece to remain in the euro zone, and the results had an early rallying effect on world markets."

New York Times: "Egyptians turned out at the polls in lower-than-expected numbers again Sunday for the second day of the runoff to choose their first president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a sign of a low morale and lack of enthusiasm as military rulers tightened their grip on the government." ...

... Haaretz: "Israeli security officials say that the rockets that landed on Friday in the area near Ovda and Mitzpeh Ramon, were launched after a request by senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt."

New York Times: "The United Nations said Saturday that it was suspending its observer mission in Syria because of the escalating violence, the most severe blow yet to months of international efforts to negotiate a peace plan and prevent Syria's descent into civil war."

Washington Post: "A June 1 attack on a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was much worse than originally disclosed by the military as insurgents pounded the base with a truck bomb, killing two Americans and seriously wounding about three dozen troops, officials acknowledged Saturday. The blast flattened the dining hall and post exchange at Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, a frequent target of insurgents in the past. Five Afghan civilians were killed and more than 100 other U.S. troops were treated for minor injuries. U.S. officials estimated that the truck was carrying 1,500 pounds of explosives."

News Ledes, June 16

New York Times: "Polls opened on Saturday as Egyptians began two days of voting in the country's presidential runoff election, choosing between ousted former President Hosni Mubarak's former prime minister and an Islamist candidate."

AP: "China launched its most ambitious space mission yet on Saturday, carrying its first female astronaut and two male colleagues in an attempt to dock with an orbiting module and work on board for more than a week."

AP: "Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Saturday ordered the restart of two nuclear reactors, a move that returns Japan to atomic power but also counters public concern about its dangers."

Washington Post: "A Secret Service employee implicated in the agency's prostitution scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, this year was a supervisor with security information about President Obama's visit there. Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan ... delayed two weeks before disclosing that information to congressional oversight committees in the wake of the public revelations about the scandal...."

AP: "Sharpening an election-year confrontation over religious freedom and government health insurance rules, the nation's Catholic hospitals on Friday rejected President Barack Obama's compromise for providing birth control coverage to their women employees."

AP: "Crown Prince Nayef, the hardline interior minister who spearheaded Saudi Arabia's fierce crackdown crushing al-Qaida's branch in the country after the 9/11 attacks in the United States and then rose to become next in line to the throne, has died. He was in his late 70s."

AP: "There was 'wind coming from every which way,' mist so powerful it clouded his vision and an unfamiliar wire beneath him, but daredevil Nik Wallenda didn't let that stop him from becoming the first person to walk on a tightrope across the Niagara Falls."

Reader Comments (6)

Errrrrk! I think I am going to lose my lunch, dinner and tomorrow morning's breakfast. Forgive me, but I need to whine. A lot! I do not think I can make it 'till November 6, 2012--unless I smash my Tee Vee, disable my computer (even more than it already is), and discontinue news feeds on my "dumb phone." I will keep reading you, Marie, because you are truthful and sardonic. But after being stuck in the Houston airport on an endless layover last weekend, with only Fox News blaring in the waiting area, I began to feel quite unreal. Where, oh where, was my Velveteen Rabbit when I needed her?

Truly, there is no "news" channel I can watch without wanting to scream. The MSM has finished me off. And the "non" MSM is non-existent. Even the bloggers (yes, even the Progressives and Radicals) have become so repetitive and predictable that they bore me silly. I have unsubscribed to Information Clearing House, and hope I do not run into Chris Hedges at an Occupy rally in Newport! Only Bill Maher seems to have enough humor and disgust to make the moment interesting.

I read the comments here at Reality Chex with admiration and respect. I hope you all can hang in there as I exit stage left. Thank you for listening.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Re: Kate Madison, Hey any wait in an airport will make you feel like that; Houston, multiply by ten. And, you missed the playwright's note: the bear exits stage left; you are to be flown out.
Ah, the simple days before the DNAs
"It's a wise man that know his own father."
I'd say, "Happy Fathers day, Pops!" He'd say, "Prove it."
Here's to everyone's Dad, good or bad.
.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

'Taking meat off the market' again raises the issue that no politician from any party has the guts to deal with. The earth already has more humans than it can sustain.
For me the good news today is that I have an excuse to eat badly, without meat, but with some rumor of a chocolate thing for dessert.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

OK back to politics. Here is some really fun local news. Our glorious leader has proposed tax cuts based on the wonderful recovery of NJ business that he of course in responsible for. Tiny problem. Over the last three months his revenue projections have not happened exactly. Off by about $35M a month. No problem, the governor assured us that on July 1, the new fiscal year revenues will jump through the roof. So the Dems came up with a really brilliant idea. They are going to approve the tax cuts with a tiny added item in the bill. The cuts only take place on Jan1, 2013 if the governors numbers are correct. In other words, every NJ resident will find out if our leader really is the bullshit artist in chief. I am really looking forward to New Years Day.
P.S. The word is that Christie will be the keynote speaker at the Republican convention. I am sure he will boast about his great recovery. Lucky for him the event is before Jan.1. The fact that by the time of the convention, the NJ revenue will be short about $400-500M a year will not stop him for a second.

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Kate: I commiserate with you, because just in the last few weeks my thoughts have revolved around the same notion that you expressed: how to make it to November without starting to look like a model for The Scream. Seriously, I share your angst. Romney is a puppet unsuited for the great office he seeks, yet a tidal wave of right-wing dollars coupled with Citizens Unitedand general Republican lack of scruples gives him an excellent shot at succeeding, against a far better man in President Obama. I can't imagine how distraught I would feel were I to be stuck in an airport in Texas. In my blue state, you rarely see Fox news in public spaces (although CNN is bad enough!). I also relate to your comment about this wonderful space; I so enjoy Marie's choice of material and her own candid and often humorous comments. And the comments from readers like you.... I hope you got home safely Keep the faith!

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I'm with youse guys. My old desktop computer monitor/TV broke down last week, so I just installed a new, bigger one yesterday. I heard David Maraniss was going to be on "Press the Meat" this week, so I thought maybe I could stomach watching it while I was doing other stuff. Big mistake. I watched David Plouffe for a while; then Grumpy McCain was the next guest -- when hard-hitting journalist David Gregory asked him why he was so into bombing Iran (or Syria or whatever Middle East country he was into bombing today) when people were dying & being raped in Darfur, ferinstance, too, McCain's answer was pretty much "Because I want to bomb the Middle East." Okay, good enough.

Then for his roundtable panel, Gregory had on Maraniss & Doris Kearns Goodwin -- Kearns Goodwin never said a word before I changed channels -- and Mark Halperin, the Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Kim Strassel, and for "liberal balance" -- Harold Ford! This is why people in the heartland think it's reasonable to vote for Mitt Romney. Victoria D. sent me a good piece on Halperin by Charles Pierce, which I never got around to linking, but it's worth a read -- tho it may render you, as she says "a model for The Scream."

June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns
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