The Ledes

Monday, July 27, 2015.

Boston Globe: "Boston’s Olympic bid is dead. In a joint statement, United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and Steve Pagliuca, chairman of bidding group Boston 2024, characterized the decision to pull the plug as a mutual one."

New York Times: "Peg Lynch, who wrote and starred in 'Ethel and Albert,' one of television’s earliest situation comedies, died on Friday at her home in Becket, Mass. She was 98.... Ms. Lynch, who wrote nearly 11,000 scripts for radio and television without the benefit of a writer’s room committee (or even a co-writer), was a pioneering woman in broadcast entertainment. As a creator of original characters and a performer of her own written work — every bit of it live! — she might be said to have created the mold that decades later produced the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Schumer."

The Wires

The Ledes

Sunday, July 26, 2015.

Washington Post: "Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, the only child of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown died at a Georgia hospice facility on Sunday. She was 22.

Washington Post: "A [female sex worker] in Charleston, W.Va., may have saved her own life and the lives of many other women, as well, when she shot and killed an alleged attacker in her home last week." Police suspect that Neal Falls, whom the woman shot, may have been a serial killer.

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 27

6:20 am ET: President Obama & Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn hold a press conference

10:00 am ET: White House Champions of Change -- disability advocates

11:00 am ET: Vice President Biden speaks on the economy, in Rochester, NY (audio only)

2:45 pm ET: Vice President Biden speaks at an infratructure event in New York City (audio only)

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

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:

Sean Hollister of Gizmodo: "The Mozilla Firefox web browser now blocks Flash by default. And when I say “blocks,” I don’t mean it asks you nicely if you’d really like to use Flash. I don’t mean it automatically pauses Flash videos like Google Chrome. I mean Mozilla has decided that Flash is going down.... Why such a hard-on for Flash? Why now? Well, it could be that the world just rediscovered just how prone Flash is to nasty, nasty vulnerabilities. When the Hacking Team — an Italian security company that sold intrusive spy tools — got hacked, one of those tools got out into the wild. A nasty hole in Flash that Adobe has yet to patch.... It’s probably worth noting that [Monday July 13], Mozilla’s Facebook’s chief security officer publicly asked Adobe to kill off Flash once and for all.... Update: Adobe has already released a newer version of Flash, 18.0.0.209, which Firefox doesn’t block by default. You’ll want to manually download it."

Contributor Nisky Guy takes us back in time to February 2006, when Lewis Black complained, "I can't wait that long":

Washington Post: "On its approach to Pluto, the spacecraft [New Horizons] obtained the most arresting image yet of the dwarf planet. Pluto is not a bland and featureless ball of ice, but rather a complex, variegated, mottled world with broad snowfields, structures that look like cliffs or fault lines, and a strikingly bright heart-shaped area that could be the eroded remnant of a giant impact crater."

New York Times: "About 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest pass by Pluto, coming within 7,800 miles of the surface. The crowd ... at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is operating the mission..., included the children of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930...." ...

... AP: "On Tuesday, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will sweep past Pluto and present the previously unexplored world in all its icy glory. It promises to be the biggest planetary unveiling in a quarter-century. The curtain hasn't been pulled back like this since NASA's Voyager 2 shed light on Neptune in 1989."

New York Times: "Japan’s New Satellite Captures an Image of Earth Every 10 Minutes. See some of the images it took on its first full day in operation. CW: Spectacular!

Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times reviews Harper Lee's novel Go Set a Watchman: Though 'Watchman' is being published for the first time now, it was essentially an early version of 'Mockingbird.' According to news accounts, 'Watchman' was submitted to publishers in the summer of 1957; after her editor asked for a rewrite focusing on Scout’s girlhood two decades earlier, Ms. Lee spent some two years reworking the story, which became 'Mockingbird.'... One of the emotional through-lines in both 'Mockingbird' and 'Watchman' is a plea for empathy — as Atticus puts it in 'Mockingbird' to Scout: 'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.' The difference is 'Mockingbird' suggested that we should have compassion for outsiders like Boo and Tom Robinson, while 'Watchman' asks us to have understanding for a bigot named Atticus.”

Here's the first chapter of Harper Lee's book Go Set a Watchman. Actor Reese Witherspoon reads the chapter:

Read This Review. Carlos Lozada of the Washington Post: "'The Speechwriter' by Barton Swaim, on his time working for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, will become a classic on political communication."

Hollywood Reporter: "Keith Olbermann is exiting ESPN once again. The television personality, who rejoined the sports network in August 2013, won't be renewing his deal to anchor his ESPN2 program. The news follows THR report on July 1, noting that ESPN management floated an ultimately unworkable caveat: that Olbermann cease engaging in commentary." CW: Maybe he can get a job subbing for Brian Williams at MSNBC.

boston.com: 15-year-old Joseph Rosenfeld found a math error in a Charles & Ray Eames exhibit at Boston's Museum of Science. "There were minus signs where there should be plus signs.... On Tuesday, the Museum of Science released a statement commending Rosenfeld for his keen eye, while explaining that 'the way the Museum presents the Golden Ratio in its exhibit is in fact the less common — but no less accurate — way to present it.'” The museum has fixed the mistake on the exhibit, which has been on display since 1981.

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Sunday
Sep302012

The Commentariat -- October 1, 2012

Reader Creag H. points out this remark which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made last week when speaking before the Clinton Global Initiative. You can watch her full speech here:

... one of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner, especially from the elites in every country. You know I'm out of American politics, but it is a fact that around the world, the elites of every country are making money. There are rich people everywhere. And yet they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries. They don't invest in public schools, in public hospitals, in other kinds of development internally. And so it means for leaders telling powerful people things they don't want to hear.

Richard Hasen in Slate: at issue in "an appeal being argued today by telephone, SEIU v. Husted..., at issue are potentially thousands of Ohio ballots that the state will not count solely because of poll worker error.... A numberof the state's polling places, especially in cities, cover more than one voting precinct, and in order to cast a valid vote, a voter has to be given the correct precinct ballot. Poll workers, however, often hand voters the wrong precinct ballot mistakenly."

GOP voter suppression & voter fraud notwithstanding, these stars think voting is a good idea:

Paul Krugman is planning President Obama's second term, & he is warning him off Simpson-Bowles -- "a really bad plan.... This election is ... shaping up as a referendum on our social insurance system, and it looks as if Mr. Obama will emerge with a clear mandate for preserving and extending that system. It would be a terrible mistake, both politically and for the nation’s future, for him to let himself to be talked into snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" by agreeing to a Catfood Commission-style "Grand Bargain." ...

... Matt Yglesias of Slate: "The looming payroll tax hike ... is entirely pointless. Neither progressive ideology nor conservative ideology in any sense mandates that we implement a big regressive tax increase amidst a period of sky-high unemployment. Doing so is only going to stall the household deleveraging process, make it harder for businesses to get customers, and immiserate stretched American families. We really need to stop this."

** This you gotta read. And many thanks to Calyban for catching it, because I missed it. J. D. Kleinke, a fellow of the righty-right-wing American Enterprise Institute & an specialist of health care, writing in Sunday's New York Times, makes the case for ObamaCare. Kleinke lists element after element of ObamaCare & explains why these features are conservative. "The real problem with the health care plan -- for Mr. Romney and the Republicans in general -- is that political credit for it goes to Mr. Obama. Now, Mr. Romney is in a terrible fix trying to spin his way out of this paradox and tear down something he knows is right -- something for which he ought to be taking great political credit of his own." CW: I hope Obama is taking note.

Chrystia Freeland in the New Yorker: "... Hostility toward the President is particularly strident among the ultra-rich." When you read the excuses & rationalizations billionaire Leon Cooperman comes up with to justify himself & his disdain for Obama, you may laugh out loud (he didn't send a thank-you note when I gave him a self-published book of poetry my granddaughter wrote) or feel like throwing something -- Obama never worked a day in his life. This isn't Right Wing World; it's Rich Wing World. These people, who think so much of themselves, are ignorant myth-peddlers; for instance, this should sound familiar:

Our problem, frankly, is as long as the President remains anti-wealth, anti-business, anti-energy, anti-private-aviation, he will never get the business community behind him. The problem and the complication is the forty or fifty per cent of the country on the dole that support him. -- Leon Cooperman

Ernesto Londoño and Abigail Hauslohner of the Washington Post write an interesting account of the lax security in Benghazi, Libya, before terrorists there killed four Americans, including the ambassador.

Gerardo Reyes & Santiago Wills of ABC News: Univision uncovers new details about "Fast & Furious": "Univision News identified a total of 57 more previously unreported firearms that were bought by straw purchasers monitored by ATF during Operation Fast and Furious, and then recovered in Mexico in sites related to murders, kidnappings, and at least one other massacre. As part of Operation Fast and Furious, ATF allowed 1,961 guns to 'walk' out of the U.S. in an effort to identify the high profile cartel leaders who received them."

Presidential Race

This whole race is going to be turned upside down come Thursday morning. -- Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), predicting Mitt Romney will win the presidential debate Wednesday ...

Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he's not known for sound bites. And these are 60 second, 90 second responses. -- Brad Woodhouse of the Democratic National Committee, predicting Mitt Romney will win the presidential debate Wednesday

Alex Pareene of Salon thinks Mitt may find his inner Dick Cheney during the debates & advocate for torture.

Flim-Flam Man Zips His Lips. Steve Stromberg of the Washington Post: "On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan claimed that Americans don’t know enough about what a Romney-Ryan presidency would do, which explains the campaign's current troubles. But when Chris Wallace pressed Ryan to discuss the specifics of the Romney-Ryan tax plan, the mathematics of which have confounded non-partisan experts, he refused even to say how much the tax cuts the ticket has proposed would cost." With video. ...

... Romney has promised $5 trillion in tax cuts skewed toward millionaires and billionaires, but refused to say how he'd pay for them without raising taxes on the middle class or exploding the deficit. He's promised to repeal ObamaCare, but refused to say what he'd replace it with to protect the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. He's promised to repeal Wall Street reform, but refused to say what he'd replace it with so that big banks aren't writing their own rules again. -- Obama Campaign

David Carr of the New York Times: the conservative claim that the liberal mainstream media have rigged coverage of the presidential election -- and poll results -- is bogus. "Even if legacy media still maintained some kind of death grip on American consciousness, it would be hard to claim that the biggest players in those industries are peddling liberal theology." Carr cites the Wall Street Journal, the paper with the highest U.S. circulation & Fox "News," the cable news channel with the highest ratings, plus radio showmen Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc. to argue that "the growing hegemony of conservative voices makes manufacturing a partisan conspiracy a practical impossibility."

Paul Krugman on the short memories of political pundits. Funny line: "The only [GOP primary] contender who even looked on paper like a real alternative, Rick Perry, turned out to have three major liabilities: he was inarticulate, he was slow on his feet, and I can't remember the third (sorry, couldn't help myself)."

Michael Shear of the New York Times suggests five possible sources of an October Surprise that would shake up the presidential election.

AND for those readers who took Roger Simon seriously last week when he wrote that Paul Ryan called Willard "The Stench," you've got a lot of company. Also, it's one of those stories you just want to believe.

Local News

More GOP Voter Fraud. Patrick McGreevy of the Los Angeles Times: "Formal complaints filed with the state [of California] by at least 133 residents of a state Senate district [in Riverside] say they were added to GOP rolls without their knowledge, calling into question the party's boast that Republican membership has rocketed 23% in the battleground area." CW: the trick was to tell people they were signing a petition for some liberal thing, then telling them they also had to fill out a voter registration form. Apparently, if the signer didn't fill in the party affiliation, the recruiter checked the Republican box.

Erik Eckholm of the New York Times: "California has become the first state to ban the use for minors of disputed therapies to overcome' homosexuality, a step hailed by gay rights groups across the country that say the therapies have caused dangerous emotional harm to gay and lesbian teenagers. 'This bill bans nonscientific 'therapies' that have driven young people to depression and suicide,' Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement on Saturday after he signed the bill into law. 'These practices have no basis in science or medicine, and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery.'" ...

... Don Thompson of the AP: Brown also "signed SB9, by Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. It would let the inmates [who were sentenced to life imprisonment as juveniles] ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison."

Jonathan Capehart: DNA evidence does little to back up George Zimmerman's story that he killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

News Ledes

Reuters: "U.S. manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in September for the first time since May as new orders and employment picked up, but the pace of growth showed the economy was still stuck in a slow recovery."

New York Times: "An apprentice elevator mechanic whose murder conviction was overturned after he had spent nearly 11 years in prison has been paid $2 million by New York State to settle a wrongful conviction lawsuit he filed." CW: one of many "it could happen to you or me" stories.

New York Times: "The federal mortgage task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department filed its first complaint against a big bank on Monday, citing a broad pattern of misconduct in the packaging and sale of mortgage securities during the housing boom. The civil suit against Bear Stearns & Company, now a unit of JPMorgan Chase, was brought in New York State Supreme Court by Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general who is also a co-chairman of the task force, known as the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group." CW: Look, Ma, no criminal charges.

Washington Post: "Protesters affiliated with last year's Occupy demonstrations in Washington are planning a series of events to mark the one-year anniversary of the protests. Occupy D.C. participants say they plan to 'shut down K Street' Monday morning, and they say traffic disruptions are possible."

AP: "A lawyer for a cameraman who was accompanying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the U.S. for the United Nations General Assembly in New York says his client has defected. Paul O'Dwyer, a New York City-based lawyer who is representing Hassan Gol Khanban, confirmed Sunday that his client is seeking asylum in the U.S. He provided no other details."

Guardian: "A Moscow court has delayed an appeal hearing by jailed anti-Kremlin punk band until 10 October over procedural concerns."

Reader Comments (12)

Oh, boy...this is a must see movie!
Couldn't sleep, logged on to see if anything new happened since 10 Pm...and found this:

Waaahooooo! Love the savvy women who came up with the idea. See the New York Times story by John Anderson for the background "A Mockumentary Pulls In Real Players"

http://janeanefromdesmoines.com/

Delicious!

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

The GOP steal the vote schemes are making me a little crazy. First, I'm thinking that all the evidence of wrongdoing on the part of that evil little schmuck Nathan Sproul is only the tip of the iceberg.

He cannot be the only one out there doing this if it's so widespread already. There must be other, much more sophisticated, operations at work. Second, although there have been a number of reports of GOP hypocrisy and illegal manipulations of the process, there's been nothing close to the furor in the MSM over ACORN four years ago. Nothing.

And, leave us not overlook the fact that those who are writing about it (that's mostly all it is so far; nothing to speak of on television) are comparing what Sproul's several dirty tricks teams have been doing to exactly what ACORN did, which is not true. ACORN's sins were purely of the voter registration kind. This was not voting fraud.

But registering Democrats as Republicans or throwing their registrations away IS voting fraud. You show up at the polls trying to exercise your franchise and find that your name is either on the wrong page or not there at all. This is NOT what ACORN did.

But no one seems to care about this very big difference.

So I don't believe that a sharper like Rove would be stupid enough to pin all his hopes on a filthy little lizard like Sproul who had already been bagged a number of times for his ham-handed schemes to fuck with Democrats. Not to mention the Teabagger thugs sharpening their knives and preparing their caveman bludgeons for election day.

There's a lot more going on.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Turning to other news, it appears that the Boy Scouts of America, that upstanding right-wing organization of irrational homophobes (I know, they're the same thing), has been forced by court order to release secret files they've been keeping on pedophiles who either tried to join the ranks of the BSA or actually made it in and raped scouts, in some cases, for years. I'm guessing they took a page out of the Vatican's playbook in protecting their own asses rather than the young victims who were attacked under the cover and protection of those upstanding leaders of the Boy Scouts.

http://thetandd.com/news/national/boy-scouts-to-report-pedophiles-missed-previously/article_e620b2f1-ae0d-5a63-999b-e9df6f4a09a1.html

The psychiatrist hired by the BSA to fudge the data on their secret files has stated that abuse of children done under the protection of the Scouts has been "very low". Over a 20 year period beginning in 1965 there were "only" 1,302 cases that can be verified. I'm pretty sure those 1,302 kids are pleased to hear that.

Since 1945 the BSA has compiled a list of over 5,000 sexual predators they knew about.

And never warned anyone.

Nice. Whatever happened to "Always Prepared"? Always prepared to toss kids overboard in order to protect themselves.

But, hey, at least they're keeping out all those gay kids. "Okay boys, no gays as scouts or scout leaders, but molesters are fine."

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I've missed you guys. Too much work!

Anyway, a couple of things:

First, I expect Bill O'Reilly to explain to me shortly why Obama cost us the Ryder Cup.

Second, Romney will shortly unveil his new campaign slogan as a part of Reboot 17.453:

Romney/Ryan: Harvest America!

Have a sane October.

Jack

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJack Mahoney

I'm bringing forward this comment from @cakers which was made recently but wound up in yesterday's Comments section:

RE: Illegal immigrants,
Sorry Marie, but I disagree with you on this. IMO, "undocumented residents" is just a euphemism for illegal immigrants, much like "death taxes" is used by conservatives to describe estate taxes. They ARE here illegally. As a liberal Democrat who lives in a small rural farming community, I am well acquainted with this issue. I see, everyday, the impact on the community, on the schools and on the public services such as police and health care. I know people who have had their social security numbers stolen, jeopardizing their social security and their credit. I have had license plates and registration stickers stolen so that illegal immigrants can obtain "legal documentation". The large number of uninsured drivers in our county means that our insurance premiums are higher. So to me, "undocumented" does not make it sound better, because the lack of those documents makes it harder for everyone else as well. As a social liberal, however, I do have compassion for their situation and do not necessarily want them deported (unless they've been convicted of drunk driving, and then I want them OUT), I want a solution to the immigration issue in this country. Do you have one?
I want them to be able to obtain their immigration status and the documentation they need LEGALLY, not ILLEGALLY by stealing mine. I have worked and played side by side with illegal immigrants for 30 years and they are neither all good, nor all bad. We should be debating how to the solve the problem, not what we call them.

October 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Delicious little crazy nugget for the day.

Mitt Romney's getting advice from all sides before Wednesday's big presidential debate in Denver, including from prominent Romney supporter and birther conspiracy theorist-in-chief Donald Trump.

@realDonaldTrump
In debate, @MittRomney should ask Obama why autobiography states "born in Kenya, raised in Indonesia."

I am writing to ask the Tooth Fairy--dare we hope for this?

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@cakers. I live in Southwest Florida, so -- like you -- I am well-acquainted with the difficulties under which undocumented workers get by in the community as well as the difficulties they present to permanent residents.

First, here in S.W. Florida, & probably where you live, too -- there are at least two categories of undocumented workers: (1) those who come here, usually with their families, or with their families not far behind, who intend to stay; & (2) those who are here to earn what they can, send most of it back home, & go home themselves.

The ultimate solution is two- or three-fold. Obviously, the best way to keep people from sneaking into this country from poor countries is to work toward economic parity. This is particularly important with Mexico & with some other Central American countries. The recession has caused a steep decline in the number of short-time undocumented residents here; there's not a great reason to come. I used to have to lock my car to go to the grocery story to prevent men from jumping into the car -- as has happened. Yeah, it's a little scary to suddenly have 4 men jump into your car at once. This isn't happening any more, but if our economy picks up, I suppose it will again.

We also need to have better relationships with Central American countries in particular. Several years back -- during the Bush administration, as I recall -- the Mexican government was planning to provide "safe maps" to Mexicans who wanted to find the surest route across the Rio Grande.

But, more important, ask yourself why undocumented workers are working in your community. Obviously, people -- perhaps farmers, where you live, are hiring them, no questions asked. There is a Manpower storefront a few blocks from me, but that never stopped rich people from driving to my corner grocery store trolling for day laborers whom they could pay next to nothing & wouldn't have to pay Social Security for, etc. I would make a big deal of writing down the license numbers of their Escalantes or whatever, then yell at them (the rich people) that I was turning them in to the INS. Of course, I never bothered, but a few of them left, bracero-less.

I hope, BTW, you read Tim Egan's column -- the one I linked in reply to some guy who thinks "they" are "raping" "his" country. This brings to mind what you should also realize -- "those people" are contributing to your community's economy, too, whether they're doing the farm work U.S. citizens seem incapable of doing, or whether they're doing some other work. If we sent 11 million undocumented Americans back to whatever their country of origin is, our economy would go into free-fall. Particularly at a time when birthrates are low in the U.S., we need an influx of young people to keep the economy going. So some of what you see as a "problem" is actually a boon to our economy.

I am troubled by workers who come here to send money back home, & who have no intention of staying. Money from Mexicans working in the U.S. is one of the biggest boons to the Mexican economy, so no wonder the Mexican government wanted to scoot people up here. Frankly, if we made the U.S. more attractive to immigrants, more would stay -- and that would be a good thing. The problems you outline: no insurance, more need for police, etc., are problems associated with poor people. If immigrants had better wages & higher living standards, many of those problems would go away. For the most part, people who come to this country at great personal cost to themselves & under tenuous circumstances, are really motivated to work. My neighbors who are undocumented are the hardest workers I've ever seen. And they keep their house & grounds in beautiful condition. They also pay property taxes at a rate twice what I pay because they don't qualify for homestead exemption. Oh, they're contributing.

I've had my identity stolen twice in recent years. I have no reason to think it was undocumented people who stole it.

Hope that helps. I'm sure other people have more & better ideas.

Marie

October 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Thank you, Marie. I've work and lived with Mexican immigrants both in California and Florida for a big part of my adult life. You describe the situation very well.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Just a little psychological analysis on Paul Ryan's Faux interview where time was too short to spell out the math on their economic budget that doesn't actually exist.

Go back and look at the video a little more closely. When he's asked how much the 20% across-the-board tax cuts will add to the deficit, Paul replies that it's revenue neutral and notice what he does next.

He flashes out a shit-eating grin like he just pulled a fast one and only he knows it. One of those mischievous grins like the kid who releases a silent fart in class and knows the damage can't be traced back to him.

Like his little peanut brain, in that millisecond, just visualized all the red lines gutting welfare, food stamps and social security in their attempt to balance the budget "conservatively". Giggling to himself about what's coming for all of those welfare queens and government teat-suckers.

That fucking douchebag embodies that little mole who tunnels out your yard all day long and then when you come home and search him out he's nowhere to be found. Day in and day out he's slowly uprooting everything you've worked for until the day you get really tired of his shit. That day you mix up your routine, come home a little early when he's not expecting you, and you stick a large, sharp pole through his neck.

Please excuse my violent metaphor I'm actually an animal lover. But I certainly don't enjoy my fellow species when they are ideologically-diseased and get all giggly on national teevee from taking away food stamps from young minorities so rich fucks can import more salty fucking caviar from Iran.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersafari

Interesting exchange between Marie and Cakers. I live in an area where the only (non-documented) immigrants we come across are those that work for lawn services, roofing, sealing, carpenters, etc. The workers we have hired we have gotten to know and most have been here in the states for years with families. A very different experience than what Marie and Cakers present which is complicated and problematic and certainly needs addressing.

@Mag: Couldn't access your link so couldn't have anything delicious.

@Safari: The poor mole that may get that large, sharp pole through his neck better count his days numbered cuz you is one mad ombre and if he looks anything like Ryan, than honey, he is gonna be one dead sucker.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Just for the record, the account of the supperrich depicted by Chrystia Freeland made me want to puke.
I do have to admit she did an admirable job of trying to explain the motivations of the Obama-haters of Wall Street. At the end of the day, though, I'm still puzzled. And appalled.

October 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

@Marie, I really can't find a single word in your response that I disagree with. My post was never meant to be any sort of diatribe against illegal immigrants, rather that what we call them is beside the point.
Your assessment about the ones who come here with their families and intend to stay versus the ones who only come here to send money back to Mexico was also spot on, as the latter are also the ones that trouble me.
Whenever I hear "locals" complaining about the illegal immigrants I tell them there is a very simple solution: Raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour and more Americans might be willing to do the back breaking work in the fields that they do.

Just as an aside, I have a once-a-week housekeeper who is Hispanic, and while my impression is that her family is here permanently and legally, I have never asked her for proof of status, because a) I don't deduct what I pay her and b) I wouldn't ask a white person. And BTW, I pay her appx. $20/hour, well above minimum wage.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercakers
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