The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, February 11, 2016.

AP: "Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole Wednesday for fatally shooting Robert F. Kennedy after a confidante of the slain senator who was shot in the head forgave him and repeatedly apologized for not doing more to win his release. Paul Schrade's voice cracked with emotion during an hour of testimony on his efforts to untangle mysteries about the events of June 5, 1968. The 91-year-old former labor leader said he believed Sirhan shot him but that a second unidentified shooter felled Kennedy."

White House Live Video
February 11

1:00 pm ET: NOBEL Women presents Girls, Gigabytes & Gadgets

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

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

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

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

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

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

Washington Post: "Scientists announced Thursday that, after decades of effort, they have succeeded in detecting gravitational waves from the violent merging of two black holes in deep space. The detection was hailed as a triumph for a controversial, exquisitely crafted, billion-dollar physics experiment and as confirmation of a key prediction of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity."

New York Times: "... 21-year-old [Arthur Ashe] toppled the tournament’s top-seeded tennis player in a stunning upset on July 30, 1964. We published two photographs of Dennis Ralston, ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time, who walked off the court in defeat. But we didn’t run a single photograph of the winner.... On that day in 1964, he was ranked sixth in the nation and had yet to win a national title. ...

... The 1964 Times story is here. The page has blown up the above photo, worth viewing just to feast your eyes on that gorgeous young man. ...

... The Times is publishing previously unpublished photos of black historical figures & events every day this month. You can see those published to date here.

CW: Not sure if the movie is any good, but Ron Howard's intro is primo. Here's the trailer:

... The New York Times story, by Brooks Barnes, is here. "Kept a secret for months — no small task in Hollywood — 'Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie' was released to coincide with Mr. Trump’s victory on Tuesday in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary."

New York Times: The leader of a group of "aging thieves" who last year pulled off "the largest burglary in England’s history" may have been an ex-policeman. The others have been captured, but "Basil" is still at large & his identity is unknown to investigators. Surely there will be a movie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

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

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Tuesday
Oct022012

The Commentariat -- October 3, 2012

Robert O'Harrow of the Washington Post: "An initiative aimed at improving intelligence sharing has done little to make the country more secure, despite as much as $1.4 billion in federal spending, according to a two-year examination by Senate investigators. The nationwide network of offices known as 'fusion centers' was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to address concerns that local, state and federal authorities were not sharing information effectively about potential terrorist threats. But after nine years ... the 77 fusion centers have become pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions, according to a scathing 141-page report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations.... In a response Tuesday, the department condemned the report and defended the fusion centers, saying the Senate investigators relied on out-of-date data." ...

... James Risen's report for the New York Times is here. According to Risen, The DHS "cannot account for as much as $1.4 billion."

New York Times Editors: "If New York's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, cannot bring banks and bankers to justice for the mortgage debacle, it won't be for lack of trying. It will be for lack of resources and political will that only federal partners can provide, including the Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and, most important, President Obama.... Unless and until federal prosecutors and regulators are willing to follow up Mr. Schneiderman's actions with broad suits based on violation of federal laws, the full range of potential wrongdoing by banks will go unaddressed. And the rule of law, as well as the opportunity for redress, will suffer irreparable harm."

Ari Berman of The Nation: "By my count, Pennsylvania is one of eleven voter suppression laws passed by Republicans since the 2010 election that have been invalidated by state or federal courts in the past year, including in crucial swing states like Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.... It's important to note, however, that voter suppression laws passed since 2010 have not been blocked unanimously.... That said, the pushback against these laws in court has been rather extraordinary, sending a strong signal that restrictions on the right to vote are unconstitutional, discriminatory and unnecessary." With maps. ...

... NEW. Michael Van Sickler of the Miami Herald: "On Tuesday, new details emerged that Strategic Allied Consulting knew of problems in Florida earlier than reported in what is now a case of possible voter registration fraud in a dozen counties." ...

... People, Suppressing Their Own Votes. Amanda Michel, et al., of the Guardian: "A Guardian survey of six of the most crucial swing states upon which the outcome of the presidential ballot is likely to depend has found that new voter registrations recorded between January and August this year are markedly down compared with the same period in 2008. The drop is particularly pronounced in several states for the Democrats -- a likely indication that Barack Obama's re-election team has been unable to match the exceptional levels of voter excitement generated by his candidacy four years ago."

Eli Lake of Newsweek: "In the five months leading up to this year’s 9/11 anniversary, there were two bombings on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and increasing threats to and attacks on the Libyan nationals hired to provide security at the U.S. missions in Tripoli and Benghazi. Details on these alleged incidents stem in part from the testimony of a handful of whistleblowers who approached the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the days and weeks following the attack on the Benghazi consulate. ...

... Maureen Dowd: "Susan Rice's tumble is part of a disturbing pattern of rushing to pump up the president on national security, which seems particularly stupid because it's so unnecessary."

Presidential Race

The legendary Newton Minow, in a New York Times op-ed: "The [presidential] debates are an institution now, and among the most watched television events in America. They are one place in the modern campaign -- perhaps the only place -- where the voter is treated with respect.... Once derided as a creature of the parties, the [presidential debate] commission has gradually become independent of them."

Uri Friedman of Foreign Policy has an excellent "Top Ten Debate Moments on Foreign Policy." This is more substantive than the usual blooper reels of the "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" genre. With video.

Jake Tapper & Mary Bruce of ABC News: "On the eve of the first presidential debate, the conservative website The Daily Caller Tuesday circulated previously unreported clips of a five-year-old speech in which then-Senator Barack Obama praised his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and suggested the federal government discriminated against the victims of Hurricane Katrina." ...

... Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed has video & audio. ...

... David Graham of The Atlantic has the transcript. ...

... Howard Kurtz of Newsweek: "Under a banner headline, Drudge said that 'Obama describes a racist, zero-sum society.' But nothing on the tape supports that."

Trip Gabriel of the New York Times: "After [Vice President] Biden described the middle class as having 'been buried the last four years,'" Republicans pounced, treating it as an unwitting admission of President Obama's failures. The vice president was criticizing the Republican ticket for pursuing a tax overhaul that would raise taxes on the middle class, he said. 'How can they justify raising taxes on the middle class that's been buried the last four years?' Mr. Biden said at a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C."

"My name is Richard Hayes, and I pick up Mitt Romney's trash." A great spot by the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees:

A new Obama Web video, based on the New York Times story on Romney's taxes, linked in yesterday's Commentariat:

Catherine Rampell of the New York Times: when Paul Ryan said, "… it would take me too long to go through all of the math" explaining the Romney-Ryan tax plan, "There's a reason why it would take too long -- infinitely long, you could say -- to go through the math that holds this policy proposal together: because math will never hold this particular policy proposal together.... There's an $86 billion shortfall -- the difference between $251 billion in tax cuts and $165 billion in potential tax increases on this high-income group." ...

... Kevin Drum of Mother Jones: "In other words: -$251 + $165 + 0 = 0 In my 7th-grade pre-algebra class, this bit of arithmetic wouldn't have passed muster. Maybe they taught math differently at Cranbrook." ...

... Steve Benen: "If you think Paul Ryan is telling you the truth, you need a better calculator." ...

... Jonathan Chait of New York: "Today Bloomberg News spoke to Ryan and promised he could have all the time he wanted to get into the math. Guess what? He still didn't." Video here.

Sahil Kapur of TPM: "Under pressure to provide more details about his tax reform proposal, Mitt Romney floated an idea Tuesday to help fill a revenue hole in his plan. As an option you could say everybody's going to get up to a $17,000 deduction; and you could use your charitable deduction, your home mortgage deduction, or others -- your healthcare deduction....' ... In other words, cap the total amount individuals can benefit from tax loopholes."

Congressional Races

Rep. Todd Akin (RTP-Mo.) is only one point down in his challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Dave Weigel of Slate goes to Southwest Missouri to find out why.

Monica Davey of the New York Times: "Campaign advisers for Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who has been undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, say he is on the ballot to stay and is awaiting permission from his doctors to return to public life. A tour of his district on a recent day turned up no evidence of billboards, new yard signs or surrogates on the stump, and a campaign office that was locked during business hours."

Local News

New York Times Editors: "Gov. Jerry Brown of California dropped the ball on Sunday when he vetoed the Trust Act, a bill aimed at keeping harmless immigrants out of the deportation dragnet -- not out of misguided compassion, but to bolster public safety. The police in immigrant communities depend on the cooperation of witnesses and victims; when local officers become federal immigration deputies, fear overrides trust, and crime festers.

A City of San Diego sanitation truck. See Comments for context.

News Ledes

New York Times reporters are liveblogging/fact-checking the presidential debate.

Reuters: "Turkish artillery hit targets inside Syria on Wednesday after a mortar bomb fired from Syrian territory killed five Turkish civilians, while NATO called for an immediate end to Syria's 'aggressive acts'. In the most serious cross-border escalation of the 18-month uprising in Syria, Turkey hit back at what it called 'the last straw' when a mortar hit a residential neighborhood of the southern border town of Akcakale."

Guardian: "Republicans in Congress have written to Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, claiming to have evidence of a previously undisclosed attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and threats to American ambassador in Libya in the months before he was killed. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House oversight and government reform committee, and Jason Chaffetz, chairman of a subcommittee on national security, are demanding Clinton hand over information about previous attacks and threats as Republicans step up pressure on the White House with accusations of incompetence and a cover-up over the assault that killed the US ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other American officials last month." ...

... Foreign Policy: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrel Issa (R-CA) Tuesday afternoon to pledge the State Department's full cooperation with Congress in getting to the bottom of the Sept. 11 attack on the Benghazi consulate that killed Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans."

Al Jazeera: "A Chinese-owned company has filed a lawsuit against US President Barack Obama for blocking its purchase of wind farms near a US military base on national security grounds, court documents showed. Obama signed the decree on Friday banning the sale of four wind farms in Oregon to the Ralls Corp and its Chinese affiliate, Sany Group. In the decree, Obama said companies linked to Chinese nationals 'might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States'."

AP: "Investigators were scouring a rugged area near the U.S.-Mexico line looking for evidence in the fatal shooting of a Border Patrol agent. Nicholas Ivie and a colleague were on patrol in the desert near Naco, about 100 miles from Tucson, when gunfire broke out shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Border Patrol. Ivie, 30, was killed. The other agent, whose name hasn't been released, was hospitalized after being shot in the ankle and buttocks." ...

     ... Reuters Update: "Mexican troops arrested two men on Wednesday suspected of involvement in the killing of a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot dead in Arizona while responding to a tripped ground sensor, Mexican security officials said."

Al Jazeera: "Four blasts ripped through a government-controlled district close to a military officers' club in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 90, opposition activists said."

Reuters: "Russia told NATO and world powers on Tuesday they should not seek ways to intervene in Syria's civil war or set up buffer zones between rebels and government forces. Moscow further called for restraint between NATO-member Turkey and Syria, where violence along their shared border has strained relations between the former allies."

Reader Comments (27)

Please, dear Universe, save us all from Southwest Missouri! And from Todd Akin and his supporters. This has made a very nice day rather shitty--because it is another reminder of how dumbed down and ignorant some people are, and proudly so. Imagine saying it is commonly known that women under stress do not get pregnant! Yikes.

In the many years I worked as a therapist, I had as clients more than a dozen women who had become pregnant through rape. They indeed were under stress, but nevertheless became pregnant. Most carried their child to term and put him/her up for adoption. Only one kept her baby, but her parents raised him. All suffered from PTSD--which is why they sought treatment.

Another phenomenon I remember is that quite a few women I saw became pregnant after their first sexual encounter as young teens--which must have been highly stressful. All of these women have suffered throughout their lives from getting pregnant at such a young age, and being treated as sluts as a result. Some were "sent away" by their families (to Florence Crittenden "homes" for unwed mothers), and gave birth to babies--who they were never allowed to see or to hold, and their babies were put up for adoption immediately. This for them has been a lifelong trauma--even if they reunited with their children as adults.

These pregnancies occurred before Roe vs. Wade (1973)--before abortion became legal in much of this country. I wish I had made tapes of some of my sessions with these women, and could take Todd Akin and his supporters into a locked room with armed guards. I would force them to watch the tapes all the way through. Might break through their denial and scorn--then again, probably not.

I am joining the MoveOn fact-checkers tomorrow night during the debate, and will "tweet" (had to open an account) lies and untruths I hear. Hope some of them have to do with "legitimate rape," refusal to supply birth control and banning of abortion--even for those women who were victims of rape and incest. GET ME OUT OF HERE!

To another matter: Remember the Supremes!

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Kate,

In China, the emotional and psychological damage experienced by human beings is routinely dismissed. So it is as well by many (especially right wingers ) in this country.

The take in RomneyWorld is that women should shut up, suck it up, and not bother the MEN.

Todd Akin is NOT a misunderstood PATRIOT as teabagging douchewads would have you believe.

He represents the shriveled heart and soul of movement conservatives

In short he is one of the army of pricks whose hatreds and stupidity have sent so many poor girls and women to seek succor and support from you and all your noble colleagues.

We can't thank you enough.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

It quite fascinating how some pundits/journalists can take something and make it into SOMEthing other than what it is. Reading Dowd's diatribe this morning I was struck by her first paragraph which neglects to give poor Susan Rice a first name and sounds more like Rice snubbed Maureen at one time and now it's payback or maybe Dowd's love of Shakespeare spurs her on to tell tales of black intrigue and conspiracy. If I recall correctly Susan Rice prefaced her first remarks by saying "This is what we think we know now," in other words, look folks, until we do the extensive investigating and since we have to tell you something, our best guess is...

And Rumsfeld? Darrell Issa? Plunked down in her column as credible?

The video of Richard Hayes is dumb. Most garbage collection trucks have an automatic lifter that hooks on the cans ––unless there is additional "stuff" not in the cans the workers need not get out of the truck. What exactly is the message here? That Hayes is one of the 47% that Romney can't reach or is Hayes complaining about his bad back because he has to lift (dubious) heavy "stuff" and nobody gives a shit, especially the Romneys who live in that great big house on that tree lined street?

@Kate: Have you watched the PBS––two nights––Nick Kristof and his wife's documentary on the treatment of women –-can't remember what it's called––it's excellent ––makes you want to cut off a lot of lower members of the male species.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Re: Ouch! Hey P.D.; as a lower member of the male species I'm more than a little offended by your suggestion. Just what was your intent? Cut off, as in chop, slice, saw, fillet, de-bone? Or cut off, like you're never gettin' what you want ever, ever...ever. Neither sounds good. Maybe I'm not getting something, like the mid-wife said,"We don't know if it's a girl or a boy, the newborn has a brain and a dick."
Re: Ms. Dowd is missing something too; Betcha ten thousand the mission in Libya was to pay cash for unused Stingers. The deal went south because guns and cash always go south. Chris Stevens was there because he was a hands on guy. Just guessing though.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Given that Republicans are trying to drum up a scandal based on the conflation of the Bengazi attacks with 9/11, and launching various dog and pony show "investigations," this article in Media Matters exploring and deconstructing the various Republican talking points is worth reading:
http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/09/26/myths-and-facts-about-the-benghazi-attack-and-p/190150

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I got some great personal news this morning. The NY Yankees game tonight will determine the winner of the AL east. Therefore I have a excuse not to watch 90 min. of political crap.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

To JJG, member of the male species: Sorry, sorry, sorry––didn't mean males like you, I meant the males in Somalia who insist on having their females–-starting at seven or eight––castrated––and then impregnating them as often as they can which because of the castration causes difficult and painful births which many times end in the death of the mothers; the extensive prostitution in India (and selling of) of young girls; the rape of females as young as three years old in some other African countries. The point of the documentary was to show the horrendous conditions of women's lives, but also how they have been helped by forming strong alliances and given education and money to start their own businesses thereby giving them the power they need to free themselves from this slave labor and degradation.

For me to express myself as I did means I am besides myself with fury at the aforementioned situation, because truth be told, I have always loved men and have favored them throughout my life so please forgive my vitriol which was aimed only at those males whose members would do well with a slice and dice.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@P. D. Pepe: I'm with @JJG on this one. And the opening line of the ad: "My name is Richard Hayes, and I pick up Mitt Romney's trash." is worthy of Dinesen -- "I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills...." or, aptly, Ralph Ellison -- "I am an invisible man." I think it's a terrific ad, but obviously -- if people aren't getting it -- I just might be wrong.

If Richard Hayes says he has to lift trash cans, I believe him. Maybe his/Romney's town doesn't have the newfangled trucks.

When I was growing up in Miami, the driver was white & all the men who collected the trash were black. The cans were not on wheels, & the men had to walk in back of the houses where everybody kept their cans, pick them up full of stuff & carry them to the truck, then heave the contents in the truck before carrying the cans back to the rear of the houses. The white driver just sat in the truck like a bump on a log.

In the summer, my father gave mangoes from our mango tree to the men who carried the cans. He did it as an act of friendship, not of charity. That was one way I understood they were the same as us white people. Also, kids had to sit on the back of the city bus, so riding home from school on rainy days, I was one with the black people. If you're lucky, you find out as a kid what's what.

Marie

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

@ Marie: Not liking that ad does not mean in any way I am not sympathetic to people like Hayes. I just thought it was a dumb ad. Like you, I am well aware of the drudge hauling and lifting of garbage collectors before the automatic lifters were put on the trunks, which apparently have not been appropriated on all. But I would think in Romney's neck of the woods they would have those kinds of trucks.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@P. D. Pepe. Hayes works for the City of San Diego. He picks up trash from Romney's La Jolla home. According to the caption on the photo above, "Rear loading garbage trucks are not so common in San Diego anymore. Most are now the side or top loaders with arms that hoist the cans into the compactor area." So I'm guessing Hayes works off a rear-loader like this one. It's possible they're smaller &/or better at maneuvering the narrow, winding streets in La Jolla.

P.S. Quit making me do so much homework!

Marie

October 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Re: Put out your can, put out your can, here comes the garbage man; I haven't looked at the video of the trash collector but I was puzzled by PDs response too. Collecting garbage is a tough job with or without a mechanical arm to sling the cans. Go out on a hot summer day and smell your waste can. So I"m with Marie even though I haven't seen the ad. Long time ago Mike Royko wrote a column about the striking garbagemen in Chicago and in it he wrote people are always saying, look at their wages they get paid way to much. Mike's response was, do it for a day and see if they are getting paid too much.
PD; about what I did comment on: there is only one group universally still held in slavery and that's women. I'm sorry I made light of a world wide injustice. Women need to control their own bodies and men need to learn to respect women.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Ok. One more time: With or without automatic lifters on garbage trucks I agree that this kind of job is hard work, low paid, stinky, sweaty, and certainly the kind of job Romney does not give a moments thought about. But I think the ad lacks punch. That's all.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

To put the garbage man story another way, just think of what out world would be like if no one regularly picked up the garbage. In other words, we could live without Mitt, but America would fall apart without the garbage men. And I really mean that.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Couldn't get in on the 'trash-talk' earlier, was watching the Waste Management guys collect the garbage here in my little subdivision! In the rain, no less! Afraid we don't have the fancy kind of self-loading pickups either...but, I do agree with PDP the video didn't quite work as well as it might have. It had message potential...but definitely short on savvy editing!

Speaking of videos, the one with Howard Kurtz & David Brooks came across as totally amateurish. Appeared to be a homemade video. Hey? Aren't these guys in the media biz! Best I could figure, they had the camera rigged to an office chair with casters and were moving it back-and-forth with their feet to capture themselves speaking. Can't believe they'd even want it released! Yikes!

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Here in small town southern Wisconsin we don't have many minorities picking up garbage. Cities used to do it before Waste Management took over the monopoly.
City used to hire college kids in the summer when full time employees took vacations or did street construction. My son did it for two summers. The experience turned him from a so,so student into an engineering school graduate with honors near the top of his class.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Henry

@ "Roger Henry"-

What is your point--that college kids do hard manual labor on garbage trucks during regular employee's summer vacations, and turn out to be honor students--because why? What is your not-so-hidden message about the (I am sure) much older permanent workers who do this difficult labor day in and day out--who likely are supporting families and who never had the opportunity to attend college? Also, you say no minorities do this work? Hmmm......southern Wisconsin. Where? Could it be you are talking about Paul Ryan's hometown of Janesville, where few minorities live?

I come up with a bad feeling about. Sounds like you're are one of those "independent-free-market-Tea Party-friend of Paul's." Why doncha just say so? I don't do well with veiled racism.

Here is a link to a statement about Janesville's diversity:
http://www.bestplaces.net/backfence/viewcomment.aspx? id=47AD9150-6C27-4E6C-B161-98FB1371EAFC&city=Janesville

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Re: garbage man

I think everyone here agrees that being a garbage man is indeed tough work, and these people can be invisible or looked down upon by others. This is true for many low paying but essential
occupations in society.

When Massachusetts was in the process of passing Romneycare, I recall having arguments with some republican friends who were against it (and now against Obamacare). At the time his father was receiving care in his home by a home health care aide. This aide had no health care benefits, and certainly did not earn enough to buy insurance. Exasperated, I bluntly asked, "don't you think the women who wipes your father's ass should have health care"? He said, "if people want health care they should get a job with benefits". Say what?

I don't get it! In some folks view of the world not all hard working people deserve the necessities of life, nor respect.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Massachusetts

@Julie. Ha ha. Your friend sounds as sensible as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who during the ObamaCare debate answered a constituent who complained he didn't have health care insurance that was as good as Grassley's : "If you want a plan as good as mine, go work for the government." Never mind that Grassley wants to reduce the size of government; Grassley's solution to healthcare coverage is that everybody quit their lousy private-sector jobs & get gummit jobs. Video here.

October 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

@Kate Madison: I took @Roger Henry to mean that his son realized how tough "real work" was & decided he'd better further his education if he didn't want to spend the next 40 years breaking his back -- as Hayes says he has. Like so many of us, Henry's son was able to get a post-high-school education, & he contributed to the cost of that education.

I didn't take Henry's remark to be even mildly racist; just a statement of fact about what the situation is in his hometown. I suspect he only mentioned race because I did, & I mentioned it in the context of who did the hard work in the town where I grew up.

Marie

October 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Re: Garbage in, garbage out; I've been checking out some other sites, lefty and nutty, and I just want to say that Reality Chex is the only site that is smart, funny and civil. I'm not sure why; I think it's Marie first and then the rest of the locals. I am afraid we(I include myself, just 'cause I know where the "I" is on the keyboard) are fighting the rearguard position. Am I channeling my own father when I write all the polite people are old? Anyways,Marie, thanks for an oasis of calm manners in a www of anger, fear, and loathing.
PS. I sense fear in most all right wing comments. Fear of change; fear of the unknown, fear of the price of the ticket for riding the roller coaster of life. Ak quoting Jim Morrison, "Nobody gets out alive."

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

There are several points to be ascertained from my comment.
1. When municipalities handled services such as garbage pick-up, employees got vacations and earned enough to use them.
2. Young people who experience the physical working world young in life even though they have the opportunity to go to higher education tend to find more meaning in their education.
3. Working with working people helps to understand the human condition no matter what your station in life evolves to be.
4. I mentioned race because the dirty work of this world is not performed uniformly by one race anywhere.

To Kate Madison: What happened? Did you grab the sandpaper instead of the Charmin this morning?
Your assumptions about me are rude and insulting and based on nothing in my comment. Thank you Marie for helping point that out.
I am NOT a fan of the fact challenged, crazy eyed, granny starver from Janesville.
It appears that when you view yourself as a hammer everything you see looks like a nail.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Henry

Be still my beating heart:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/03/1139322/-BREAKING-Is-Krugman-Heading-To-White-House-Job

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

The other day, I bookmarked a NYT article that was of interest to me. 'Words of wisdom' to keep in mind and consider what I write/say about things ..and it seems rather apropos to share the link today! (See below):

"On their own, sentences are implacably honest. They may be long, short, simple, complex, clear, ambiguous, even incoherent. But they don’t try to hide those qualities. They are what they are and they say what they say. It’s as plain as the words on their faces. The trouble is that most sentences have writers, a fact that readers are well aware of. That makes it hard to consider sentences entirely on their own. Other questions arise. What’s she saying? What did he mean?" —VERLYN KLINKENBORG

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/the-trouble-with-intentions/?hp

Cheers!

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

It seems the Presidential debate spirit has brought out some sparring in Reality Chex world also. Let the debates begin!

I'm gonna join the joust because being the devil's advocate is always entertaining, though often done in jest.

I'm gonna have to side with the Constant Weader regarding Roger Henry's comment. WHEN you have other options available, a few summers riding behind the dump truck can be an incredible life lesson and could quickly put things into perspective. I can tell the same tale after washing dishes year-round at 16 years old alongside a very interesting character who had been there all his life but unfortunately wasn't going much farther. We're both white guys if that matters. He always had a great spirit considering the hand he was dealt but that experience made me look at books in a very different light as I prepared for post high school reality. Washing dishes is no trash man job (no fancy trucks in Kansas either, just lift, toss, and collect the debris that escapes), but a humbling experience nevertheless.

@JJG The generational generalizations are tiring for those that don't fit the "mold". Only older people are polite? Perhaps, generally speaking. But how many bitter old farts have I come across who have nothing better to do than wag their fat little fingers at me and tell me in their day yadda yadda. My frisbee landed in your yard so I had to walk on your lawn to get it, so terribly sorry. Obviously I do my best to learn from my elders because life is the best teacher and they've been schooled decades longer than myself. But let's not over generalize here. It's mostly the elder generation of the South that's providing life support to the modern neocon GOP. You think those folks are polite....?

I come from the Midwest and I've been instilled with Midwestern values. Where I come from people hold doors for strangers, we ask how you're doing and actually mean it, we give a wave to strangers when passing each other on the country roads. I can't tell you the city because we like to keep this community civility a secret from the coldness of modern societal norms. I agree younger generations these days lack respect for their elders, but it's not as catastrophic as some would have you think. At least where I grew up, this lack of respect most likely comes from a lack of real world experience. Too many pampered kids never being faced with the character-building tests of real life.

On another note, cheers to Romney reboot 46.527!
Now's his time to introduce himself to the American people...only weeks before the election. Here's to hoping he blows a fuse, short-circuits his memory and this time introduces Obama as the next President of the United States.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersafari

@Roger Henry-

Mea Culpa! I was very wrong about your intentions, and I apologize for what I wrote. I think it was a combination of a long phone conversation this AM with my racist, right wing brother and your sentence about your son being an honor student. (That always gets me going--especially those bumper stickers!) I saw nothing in your first comment about the sorry plight of garbage men and people who do hard labor for a living. Your second note clarified what you meant, and I am in agreement with what you say. No matter, I certainly did jump to conclusions unfairly. I will make no more comments on Reality Chex after phone conversations with my brother, and will check my Tea Party paranoia at the door--except when a troll writes positively about Todd Akin. But.....I'd have to line up behind the other commenters on that one, for sure.

Meanwhile, can you spare some Charmin?

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Re: surfin' sarfri: of course old and young have nothing to do with manners, good call. Oh, Rusty the pit bull has your frisbee; he's really old and really grumpy, good luck.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@ Kate Madison, I don't want to beat this to death, but thank you. I have admired your insightful comments on Marie's Magnificent Adventure for many months now. You are vastly more articulate than I, therefore my meanings are often misunderstood. It is a curse that came with an early education in a one room school which didn't help to organize a wandering brain.
I painfully remember the Supreme's each day.
The silver tongued snake who sells magic underwear wowed the after debate spinmasters tonight.

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Henry
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