The Ledes

Friday, July 31, 2015.

AP: "Beijing was selected Friday to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, defeating the bid from Almaty[,Kazakhstan,] in a surprisingly close vote to become the first city awarded both the winter and summer games."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, July 30, 2015.

New York Times: "The commander of a group of Syrian fighters trained by the United States has been kidnapped by Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, his group said in a statement Thursday. The commander, Nadeem Hassan, and seven of his fighters were taken by the Nusra Front, a rival of the Islamic State in Syria, as they were returning from a meeting in Turkey."

AP: "Afghanistan's Taliban on Thursday confirmed the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, who led the group's self-styled Islamic emirate in the 1990s, sheltered al-Qaida through the 9/11 attacks and led a 14-year insurgency against U.S. and NATO troops. The Taliban Shura, or Supreme Council, chose Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, who had served as Mullah Omar's deputy for the past three years, as its new leader, two Taliban figures told the Associated Press...."

Washington Post: "The U.S. economy rebounded between April and June, new government data showed Thursday, expanding at an annualized rate of 2.3 percent. Growth in the second quarter remained modest, particularly compared with the breakneck pace seen in much of 2014, but it also signaled a bounce-back from a surprisingly sluggish winter when the economy was at a crawl."

New York Times: "Government officials and families of passengers lost on a Malaysian jet that vanished last year with 239 people aboard responded warily on Thursday to the discovery of possible wreckage from the aircraft, reluctant to fan hopes after more than a year of fruitless searching and false rumors. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss of Australia, whose country has led the search for the jet, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, said that the discovery of an airplane part thousands of miles from the search area was 'a very significant development' but cautioned against concluding that it was from the missing aircraft."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

Washington Post (June 4): "The first-ever 'female Viagra' came one step closer to coming to market, as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday afternoon to recommend that the FDA approve the drug with conditions. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve flibanserin, a drug designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women."

White House Live Video
July 31

1:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest Munoz

2:00 pm ET: Open government public meeting

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Jane Hamshire of Firedoglake: "... I have decided to pass the torch on to Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein, who will launch their own media organization called Shadowproof that will build on the success of FDL."

Dylan Byers: "MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs -- 'The Cycle,' 'Now with Alex Wagner' and 'The Ed Show' -- as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming.... Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a 'Cycle' co-host and MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of 'The Ed Show,' will leave the network, as will 'Cycle' co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure.... In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by 'Meet The Press' moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former 'Nightly News' anchor, will serve as the network's breaking news and special reports anchor."

If you can memorize & learn to use the University of New Hampshire's long list of "bias-free language," you can be the most politically-correct person in your neighborhood. Via Jonathan Chait. ...

... CW Etiquette Tip: calling out your friends for using outmoded terms like "overweight" & "rich" is not politically correct. Simply try to steer the conversation in a more "inclusive" direction. So if your friend says to you, "My rich neighbor got so overweight he has to use a wheelchair now," you say, "Oh, that person of material wealth has become a person of size who is wheelchair mobile? Wow! He's your neighbor? I remember him when he was a person experiencing homelessness who lacked advantages that others have." It sounds so natural, your friend will never realize you've corrected his biased, dated stereotypes. ...

     ... UPDATE: Turns out the university's president is biased against the bias-free language guide & he was unaware of its existence until this week. Also, a Republican state legislator is "outraged" & finds the guide a good excuse to cut funding for the state university. Naturally. Thanks to MAG for the lead.

Will Oremus of Slate likes Windows 10. CW: I haven't had the courage to try switching over yet. I'll lose EVERYTHING!

Fuck off! I’m done with you. -- Jon Stewart, to Wyatt Cenac

... Alex Jung of New York: Jon Stewart repeatedly yelled at Wyatt Cenac when Cenac questioned a "Daily Show" segment meant to be a defense against Fox "News" allegations that Stewart's Herman Cain imitation was racist. ...

... Maron's WTF podcast of his interview with Cenac is here. ...

... CW: Here's the thing, black people. When you confront white liberals with accusations of racial bias, WE WILL NEVER ADMIT IT. We will remind you that we have been fighting for black civil rights for 50 years (Bernie Sanders). We will tell you all lives matter (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley). We will tell you that white people are responsible for expanding your rights (Hillary Clinton). We will deny your accusations (Every one of us). And all the while, we will be highly insulted, even if we don't tell you to fuck off. Because white people's feelings matter. And, after all we've done for you, we can't believe you would accuse us of racism.

Even when they're only lip-syncing, some entertainers are pretty damned talented. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Cruise's, but ...

Tech Crunch: "It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts."

Stupid Pet Tricks, Reptile Edition:

Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is replacing MSNBC's Ed Schultz with -- Chuck Todd. [CW: Excellent decision! Let's change "MSNBC" to "VPN" -- "Village People's Network."] "The only programs that appeared safe from disruption were Morning Joe..., hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; Hardball ... with Chris Matthews; and The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. Those programs have performed respectably...." ...

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives.... I am very disappointed that Comcast [the parent company of NBC & MSNBC] chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.... At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders

Washington Post: "The latest update from NASA's Kepler space telescope — designed to spot distant exoplanets — adds more than 500 new possible planets to the fray. That's in addition to the 4,175 planets already found by Kepler. And of those 500 new potential planets, scientists say, a dozen could be remarkably Earth-like. That means they're less than twice as large as Earth, are potentially rocky and are at the right distance from their host stars to harbor liquid water." ...

... Guardian: "Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered 'the closest twin to Earth' outside the solar system, Nasa announced on Thursday."

Worst Person Ratings in the World. Andrew Kirell of Mediaite: Rumors are a'flyin' that MSNBC is headed for another line-up shake-up, which could include the Return of Dr. Olbermann, who is departing ESPN -- again. Because their third place in cable ratings wasn't as bad as their third place is now (sometimes 4th, behind Al Jazeera). And because the New Olbermann is now a suits-licking pussycat, unlike the Old Olbermann from way last week.

Some Would Be Heroes. Washington Post: Coast Guardsman Darren Harrity swims a mile in choppy, fuel-slicked sea to save four men in a leaky lifeboat.

New York Times: "What Pet Should I Get?" -- an aide to Dr. Suess's widow found the manuscript in a box. Dr. Suess -- Theodore Geisel -- died in 1991.

     ... Via BuzzFeed, for the fun of it.

Washington Post: "On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen." ...

... CW: What a waste. You know all they'll find is angels hovering around a pantheon of some sort & maybe, if they're lucky, their long-dead pooches floating around Pet Heaven, which is real & wonderful.

New York Times: "In a pair of legal filings on Friday, two nuns who object to [singer Katy] Perry’s proposed purchase of their order’s convent on eight acres [in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles] disclosed an email describing any sale to the saucy pop singer as a breach of their sacred vows.... The court papers include claims by several of five surviving nuns in the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the archdiocese is betraying them and bullying them into supporting a sale other than their preferred transaction with [another buyer]."

NASA: "In the latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains, in the center-left of the heart feature, informally named 'Tombaugh Regio' (Tombaugh Region) after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930."

Hill: "President Obama is making a final 'Daily Show' appearance before host Jon Stewart leaves the political comedy program after 17 years. Obama will sit down for his final chat with Stewart on Tuesday, the White House confirmed Friday."

For an actual feel-good moment, Lindsey Bever of the Washington Post tells the story of 16-year-old small-plane crash survivor Autumn Veatch. Veatch, who was injured in the crash that killed her grandparents, walked untold mild through rough terrain until she came to a public road & parking area.

Washington Post: "Nearly two months after a molestation scandal prompted TLC to pull reruns of the popular reality program '19 Kids and Counting' from the air and online, the network announced that it has officially canceled the program."

Washington Post: "Filmmaker George Lucas, singer-songwriter Carole King and dancer-actress Rita Moreno are among an unprecedented six honorees to be saluted at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. Seventies rockers the Eagles, actress Cicely Tyson and conductor Seiji Ozawa will also be honored at the Dec. 6 event, Kennedy Center officials said Wednesday. A major fundraiser for the arts center, the gala celebration will be televised on CBS on Dec. 29."

Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker reviews Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman. ...

... Laura Marsh of the New Republic: "Scolars have been pointing out Atticus Finch's racism for years."

New York Times (July 15): "It was the last day of business at F. A. O. Schwarz on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan."

New York Times: "A day after its successful flyby, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent back the first close-up photographs of Pluto, revealing a young surface dotted with ice mountains. The piano-size spacecraft traveled nine years and three billion miles to study the dwarf planet and its five moons." Includes one close-up photo from 25 miles out. More on NASA's site.

New York (July 14): "We're halfway through July, but until this morning, there was still snow on the ground in Boston. The last of the city's historic snowfall, a disgusting frozen mass of dirt, snow, and trash, was officially pronounced melted this morning"."

Here are time-lapse photos of the long melt:

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Saturday
Oct202012

The Commentariat -- Oct. 21, 2012

Presidential Race

Jeff Mason & Steve Holland of the AP: "Facing a cliffhanger re-election attempt, President Barack Obama will launch a round-the-clock, two-day campaign blitz through six battleground states next week to try to fend off the challenge from Republican Mitt Romney. Polls show Obama's strong debate performance this week gained him little or no ground against the former Massachusetts governor with just over two weeks until the November 6 election."

Truly Troubling. Tom Kludt of TPM: "President Barack Obama's lead in Ohio is down to a point, a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling on Saturday shows.... The poll was conducted after Tuesday's debate, and the results suggest the town hall in Hempstead, N.Y. was not a game changer for the president, whose overall lead dropped despite a plurality of Ohio voters declaring him the winner of the debate." ...

... CW: this is the first time in perhaps six months that I've thought it likely Romney would win the election. I'm pissed off at everybody. (Which is supposed to come first, anger or depression? I went right to anger.) ...

... Nate Silver has more. ...

... AND It Matters that Romney Owns the Fucking Voting Machines. Gerry Bello, at al., in the Free Press: Mitt Romney, "his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public." The controlling firm also "has on its board of directors at least three close associates of the Romney family" who have contributed megabucks to Romney's campaign. Fully a third of [the company's] leadership previously worked at Romney's old Bain firm." ...

... In a somewhat tepid endorsement, the Cleveland Plain Dealer nonetheless favors Obama for re-election.

Alina Selyukhof, et al., of Reuters: "Mitt Romney held a financial advantage over President Barack Obama heading into October thanks to strong fundraising by the Republican Party that will allow its candidate to spend more on the last stretch toward the November 6 election."

New York Times Editors: "Mr. Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan -- have become ... artful about obfuscating their plans for Medicare, Medicaid.... Almost nothing the Republican candidates say on these or other health care issues can be taken at face value.... Mr. Romney ... says his plans would have no effect on people now on Medicare or nearing eligibility. But ... most beneficiaries would see their annual premiums and cost-sharing go up. The average beneficiary in traditional Medicare would pay about $4,200 more over the 2011-12 period, and heavy users of prescription drugs about $16,000 more over the same period, if the act was repealed...."

CW: if, like me, you are a middle-class taxpayer, and if, unlike me, you think Romney will give you a 20 percent tax break & strew your garden path with rose petals, WAKE THE FUCK UP. Pat Garofalo of Think Progress notes that to support his case that his math-free tax plan will totally work, Romney uses a study which assumes that almost all middle-class tax breaks will be eliminated. Thanks to Victoria D. for the link.

Digby: "... obsessing over what the administration said in the first days after the [Benghazi] attack is the stupidest right-wing manufactured pseudo-scandal I've come across in quite some time. And it's pathetic that the mainstream press is still so willing to chase after these shiny objects."

David Firestone: "Bill Clinton took the stage at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Friday night and delivered an hour-long education in the real issues at stake in this election. He talked about Medicaid and financial reform and the student loan system with an appreciation for the granular not usually displayed by the man he was stumping for, President Obama. It was the dream speech of a policy wonk, but Mr. Clinton never assumed that the details would bore a general audience, and they did not." Thanks to Victoria D. for the link. Here's a taste:

Jeff Sommer of the New York Times: "Through Friday, since Mr. Obama's inauguration -- his first 1,368 days in office -- the Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent.... The market's rise and fall has an enormous effect on the wealth of ordinary Americans -- and on whether they feel themselves to be wealthy. American presidents since 1900.... The stock market has flourished under the president -- and under Democratic presidents generally. Since 1900, it has returned 7.1 percent annually when Democrats have occupied the White House, and only 3 percent under Republicans.... Are you better off than you were four years ago? For stock portfolios, at least, the last four years have been bumpy but they haven't been bad at all."

MoDo doesn't like Obama & she doesn't like Romney: "In some ways, the two rivals are alike: cold, deliberative fish, self-regarding elitists with upbringings out of the norm and trouble connecting at times...." Read at your own risk.

This was inevitable:

Multi-billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticizes both candidates, too. At least his criticisms are substantive.

Ha ha. The New York Times reports that the U.S. & Iran have agreed to talks re: Iran's nuclear program. So I wrote: "get ready for the wingers to claim Ahmadinejad is a key Obama supporter." Well, sure enough, here's some person named Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator: "This is nothing other than an Iranian attempt to bolster Obama's re-election chances." Ditto from Jazz Shaw at Hot Air. Must the wing-nuts be so predictable?

Congressional Races

The New York Times endorses Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) of New York for U.S. Senate.

The New York Times endorses Rep. Chris Murphy (D) of Connecticut for U.S. Senate.

Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times: "U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is heading back to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn."

Other Stuff

In a New York Times column, former Obama economic advisor Christina Romer reports on academic studies that show the stimulus was a big jobs creator. She also goes into what-all could have been done better, implicitly blaming the Obama administration for a failure to communicate. CW: Do you suppose the "undecideds" depicted below will gobble up Romer's analysis & immediately become staunch Obama backers? See, actually, facts don't matter.

For those of you having trouble "Understanding the Undecideds," Brian McFadden of the New York Times is here to help:

CLICK ON CARTOON TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.Bill Marsh of the New York Times outlines new state voting restrictions. "The most rigid voter ID laws are believed to affect about 10 percent of eligible voters, said Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center." CW: of course most of those would be Democratic-leaning voters, so that raises, to as much as double the percentage of Democratic voters who may find they can't or don't dare to vote. So when I said in a comment to yesterday's Commentariat that Obama could lose even though more Americans preferred to vote for him than for Romney, I wasn't exaggerating. Michelle Obama said not long ago that voting rights were the civil rights movement of our era. She was right. ...

... You Are Now Living in a Third-World Country. Alexander Bolton of The Hill: "United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week."

** Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy: "House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government and placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday, according to Obama administration officials.... 'When you dump a bunch of documents into the ether, there are a lot of unintended consequences,' an administration official told The Cable Friday afternoon. 'This does damage to the individuals because they are named, danger to security cooperation because these are militias and groups that we work with and that is now well known, and danger to the investigation, because these people could help us down the road.' ... Even WikiLeaks had approached the State Department and offered to negotiate retractions of sensitive information before releasing their cables.... Issa did not grant the State Department that opportunity...."

Glenn Greenwald on the "unfathomable ignorance" of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (Fla.), who appears, in the embedded video, not to know anything about President Obama's "kill lists."

Tracy Bloom of TruthDig: The Rev. Phil Snider, a Missouri pastor, delivered an impassioned speech before the Springfield City Council in which he appeared to be making the case against amending the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to add protection for sexual orientation and gender identity." Don't be offended, & do listen till the end. Thanks to contributor P. D. Pepe for the link:

... In his post "This Week in God," Steve Benen highlights a preacher of a different stripe: Romney supporter Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association who argues that "'masculine leadership in society over the nation' is 'God's basic plan for today,' and 'political leadership ought to be ... reserved for the hands of males.' Anticipating criticism, the religious right leader added that those who believe in gender equality won't offer a 'reasoned' response to his shameless misogyny." Benen provides video, so enjoy your Sunday sermon. ...

... Also via Benen, Eric Maripodi of CNN reports, "Shortly after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney enjoyed cookies and soft drinks with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham on Thursday at the elder Graham's mountaintop retreat, a reference to Mormonism as a cult was scrubbed from the website of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association." Whaddaya bet Mitt didn't diss the cookies this time?

In a New York Times op-ed, Samantha Bee discusses a recent scientific UCLA study which found that GOP female Members of Congress have more feminine faces than do Democratic women MOCs. Bee is thrilled that research dollars are going to such important work.

News Ledes

New York Times: "Russia's security services have killed 49 rebels and captured dozens more in a counterterrorism offensive that officials called a "considerable" blow to the insurgency in the North Caucasus region, the Russian National Anti-Terrorism Committee announced on Sunday. President Vladimir V. Putin had urged the use of increasingly aggressive means to subdue the insurgency in the North Caucasus ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the southern city of Sochi, which is at the edge of the turbulent region."

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Seven people were shot late Sunday morning at a spa near the Brookfield Square Mall [near Milwaukee, Wisconsin] - apparently none fatally - and police were combing the area searching for the suspect. The multiple shooting occurred about 11 a.m. at the Azana Salon & Spa on N. Moorland Road, just south of Blue Mound Road and across the street from Brookfield Square."

New York Times: "George McGovern, the United States senator who won the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in 1972 as an opponent of the war in Vietnam and a champion of liberal causes, and who was then trounced by President Richard M. Nixon in the general election, died early Sunday in Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90." The Washington Post obituary is here.

** ABC News: "The latest intelligence assessment of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi indicates there was little if any pre-planning for it and that it was in part an opportunistic response to the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.'"

Reuters: "Libyan militias captured Muammar Gaddafi's chief spokesman on Saturday, the government said, but an audio clip posted on Facebook purporting to be the voice of Moussa Ibrahim denied his capture."

Reader Comments (21)

"In some ways, the two rivals are alike: cold, deliberative fish, self-regarding elitists with upbringings out of the norm and trouble connecting at times...."

Vintage MoDo "plague on both your houses" crap. Little relationship to reality. Lots of self-aggrandizing snark. She deserves a good smack down, if only the smacker could be sure that MoDo herself would read it.

October 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalyban

Jeebus! Why did I read that fool's column. She sounds like a jilted lover. At some point in time, Dowd must have felt she didn't get the attention she deserved from Obama. She called him "pampered, petulant, self-pitying, organic arugula, a cold, deliberate fish, and a self regarding elitist". Nonsense. Impossible to keep those dark urges under control. She is so far into her own brand of neurosis that most everything in the column about Obama seems like counter-transference. Lord have Mercy. Has she no friends who could steer her toward a good therapist.

The stuff I read about Iran agreeing to one-to-one talks had 2 important caveats. The Ayatollah had to approve, which he hasn't done to date and the meetings would not take place until after the election. Iran doesn't want to have to begin negotiations with one President and then continue with another. Sounds reasonable on its face, however, I think that means if Romney wins, talks are off - or its possible the whole thing could be a stalling tactic. At any rate, I think it helps Obama in the short run.

October 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Lynnell Mickelsen takes down MoDo back in April 17, 2008)

"Well, if any of you read the New York Times op-ed today, you caught Maureen Dowd writing one of her typical "Obama is an effeminate elitist" columns.

Which, I have to say, sounds just like her old "John Kerry is an effeminate elitist" columns. Which sounded a lot like her old "Al Gore is an effeminate elitist" columns. Which sounded a lot like her "Mike Dukakis is an effeminate elitist" pieces. I mean, does anyone detect a little pattern here?"

To read Charles Leck's entire & relevant blog post go to:

http://chasblogs.blogspot.com/2008/04/lynnell-mickelsen-takes-down-maureen.html

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Mirkin's letter is exactly the kind of testimonial that we need––why don't we have more? Fear of retribution in some way? Thank you, Julie, for getting permission to print it.

Thanks also to MAG for the link––boy, do we miss Molly Ivins––her tearing off the finery facade of Maureen is delicious. I had no idea so many had real problems with Dowd. Interesting.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

I wish I had time today to write a column on Dowd, but I'm hanging light fixtures (one down, six to go) & bathroom vanities (haven't started, expect problems), so I'll have to save it for another day.

In the meantime, I highly recommend the 2008 Molly Ivors (not Ivins) blogpost that MAG indirectly links.

Marie

October 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Garry Wills in his piece in the November 8 NYRB describes this campaign as a revulsion. Romney, it's clear to Wills, never thought this election would be or should be about him. "It was all supposed to be about what is wrong with America––namely, Obama. It has been cast not as a choice campaign, but a retrospective verdict on Obama."

The fact that a historic boundary had been crossed when a black man was elected president, he goes on to say, this breakthrough did not cancel a long sad record of historic American racism.

"Dinesh D'Souza's [this evidently written before Dinesh's fall from grace] book "Obama's America" became number one on the NYT best seller list, and the film based on it played in over a thousand theaters, yet its chapter on Obama's mother revives one of the oldest racist stereotypes, that a white woman must be a slut if she has sex with a black man. A "documentary" with that same theme has been mailed to thousands of voters in key states screened by Tea Party groups and by Phyllis Schlafly's [or as we used to call her back when, "Shoo-fly-pie"] Eagle Forum Council. Guess which man the audience for these, and for hundreds of obscurer tracts, will vote for?"

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@MAG great blog. Wow - the beat goes on endlessly from Dowd.

Julie, thanks for the letter from Mirkin - it is amazing how folks completely miss what is so glaringly obvious.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Yes, thanks Marie, Ivors–– She's been gone so long I can't even spell her name correctly anymore. A shame!

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@P. D. Pepe: Ivors & Ivins are two separate people. Ivors, I assume (but don't know), is using a pseudonym -- the name of the feminist character in Joyce's magnificent novella "The Dead."

Marie

October 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Denial.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterfreethink

@freethink. Generally speaking, a one-word comment is not illuminating. Your comment fits the general rule. I have no idea what you mean.

Marie

October 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Marie -and all - please don't lose faith. I am scared to death of a Romney presidency, the return of the neo-cons, and the subsequent new war which would be inevitable. To say nothing of what will happen to the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act , Medicare.....
So what I plan to do this week is - doorbell. I have signed up for ten hours with the OFA local. It will be windy, cold and rainy (three things I dislike) but I plan to bundle up and go forward. I also dislike doorbelling and phone banking, as it is an inevitable intrusion on people. But I will do it.
When I want to give up I will reflect on an experience of last night. I attended a fundraising event for a local charity that provides healthcare for low income people. A young woman addressed the gathering to give the pitch asking for donations. In telling her story, she related that she had seen a doctor for some suspicious breast symptoms, but put off the recommended mammography for lack of funds (at the time, she didn't know this particular organization would have assisted her). When she was finally, after delay, able to have the mammogram, it led to a diagnosis of breast cancer, Stage IV. There she was, standing up there all lovely and glowing, with a death sentence hanging over her head.
People shouldn't have to wonder how they can get basic health care, or go around begging for help to obtain it.
So I am going to do my legwork for this young lady, who will leave behind a 9- year- old son, and for all of us.
And, I will continue to believe our President will win, as he deserves to .

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

"Gabriel found himself partnered with Miss Ivors. she was a frank-mannered talkative young lady, with a freckled face and prominent brown eyes. she did not wear a low-cut bodice and the large brooch which was fixed in the front of her collar bore on it an Irish device and motto."
Again––thanks Marie for clearing all this up and yes, "The Dead"
is indeed, magnificent. As for the dead Molly Ivers, we mourn her passing.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Should the President lose, which, though possible, I still choose to believe is unlikely, the Senate races become even more important. A simple Democratic majority will not allow the Repugnants to modify the filibuster rules at the next session's opening and then we can only hope the Dems, spines stiffened by calamity, will treat the Repugs and the Romney initiatives, which I suspect will make the Reagan years and his fatherly foolishness far fonder in remembrance than in fact, the same way the Repugs dealt with virtually all the President's efforts to right the sinking ship of state. It is clear the Repugs already plan another round of pillage and if the President loses, only a Democratic Senate majority offers any hope of at least slowing down their intended rapacity, maybe the next time around long enough for the LI voters, that is the majority, to notice what has happened to them.

Such is the sad shape optimism must take in these perilous times.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Victoria D. Understand the anxiety. Its difficult not to feel discouraged, mad, incredulous and just plain scared today. Didn't help that George McGovern died, my first Presidential vote at 18. I keep donating what I can and working on a Congressional campaign (Lungren v Ami Bera), because the down ticket races are also critical. I'll miss the debate Monday, as that's my standard volunteer-enter-data night. Jeebus, I'm thinking the folks who make Xanax will clean up in the next couple weeks.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Diane - thanks for providing an idea for a coping mechanism (drugs) as we all carry forward. I'll be thinking of you as I walk the streets this week. (Oops, that didn't come out right !)

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

The real deal, George McGovern, has left our world. It was his time, but still sad. What an excellent human being! I think it tells us in what a sad state our country exists, that he was so humiliatingly rejected in his run for President against Nixxxxon. Yikes! Times have not really changed. We the people are growing older, but our country is still wearing diapers.

Debate night tomorrow--and, in fact, the rest of the time until November 7--we are calling our Ativan Retreat. Glad my husband was a physician, so we still have old samples in our medicine drawer. Do not tell me they are expired! I don't care.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

No, don't despair! Watch "Where the Hell is Matt" video and dance, drive, walk or bike to your nearest campaign office!

Every Friday I join others in sign holding, and for the past 5 Saturdays have canvassed for Elizabeth Warren. Today we worked on a Get Out the Vote mailing for our town. Two of our hardcore volunteers are leaving Friday for Janesville, Wisconsin to tell Wisconsinites what Massachusetts knows about Etch-a-sketch man. These 2 women have full time jobs, and are using vacation time to do this! The least I can do is get my introverted self up to New Hampshire!

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Massachusetts

Why isn't Darrell Issa an Enemy of the State, and in a cell next to Bradley Manning?
Answer in three letters.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGloria

Gloria: I think we all know the three letters are WTF! Ciao.

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

Gloria: GOP

October 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Bones
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