The Ledes

Thursday, May 21, 2015.

New York Times: "John F. Nash Jr., a mathematician who shared a Nobel Prize in 1994 for work that greatly extended the reach and power of modern economic theory and whose long descent into severe mental illness and eventual recovery were the subject of a book and a film, both titled 'A Beautiful Mind,' was killed, along with his wife [Alicia], in a car crash on Saturday in New Jersey. He was 86."

New York Times: "Anne Meara, who became famous as half of one of the most successful male-female comedy teams of all time and went on to enjoy a long and diverse career as an actress and, late in life, a playwright, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 85. Her death was confirmed by her husband and longtime comedy partner, Jerry Stiller, and her son, the actor and director Ben Stiller."

The Wires

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President commemorated Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women in uniform who have given their lives in service to our country":

The Ledes

Saturday, May 23, 2015.

New York Times: "The United States and China on Friday escalated their dispute over contested territory in the South China Sea, after the Chinese repeatedly ordered an American military surveillance plane to abandon flights over areas where China has been building artificial islands.The continued American surveillance flights in areas where China is creating new islands in the South China Sea are intended to challenge the Chinese government’s claims of expanded territorial sovereignty. Further raising the challenge, Pentagon officials said they were discussing sending warships into waters that the United States asserts are international and open to passage, but that China says are within its zone of control."

Guardian: "An inflatable dam in drought-stricken California was damaged on Thursday, causing the loss of nearly 50,000,000 gallons (190m litres) of water. Police said vandals caused 'irreversible damage' to the inflatable dam in Fremont, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area. The vandalism caused water meant for local residents to instead flow into San Francisco bay."

Washington Post: "The man convicted in the 2001 killing of federal intern Chandra Levy is likely to get a new trial after prosecutors on Friday dropped their long-standing opposition to defense efforts to have a new jury hear the case. Since 2013, attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, 34, have argued that a key witness in the 2010 trial had lied when he testified that Guandique, his onetime cellmate, confessed to him that he killed Levy."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (May 22): "A salmonella outbreak that’s probably linked to raw tuna from sushi has sickened at least 53 people across nine states — the majority in Southern California, health authorities said."

White House Live Video
May 22

10:00 am ET: Vice President Biden speaks at the U.S. Naval Academy commencement ceremony (audio only)

11:00 am ET: President Obama speaks at the Jewish American Heritage Month celebration

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

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Washington Post: "One of the earliest known copies of the Ten Commandments was written in soot on a strip of goatskin found among the trove of biblical material known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, widely considered to be one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century. Penned on parchment by an unknown scribe more than 2,000 years ago, the scroll fragment is ... so fragile that its custodians rarely permit it to be moved from the secure vault where it rests in complete darkness. But for 14 days over the next seven months, the Ten Commandments scroll, known to scholars as 4Q41, will make a rare public appearance at the Israel Museum as part of a new exhibit called 'A Brief History of Humankind,' a show based on the international best-selling book by Israeli polymath Yuval Noah Harari."

Erik Loomis of LG&M: "It looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal has had her Last Fuckable Day at the ripe old age of 37:

... Sharon Waxman of the Wrap: "Every time we think things are getting better for women in Hollywood, something comes along to remind us — naaah. Maggie Gyllenhaal ... revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man."

Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker: "Now that [David] Letterman’s a flinty codger, an establishment figure, it’s become difficult to recall just how revolutionary his style of meta-comedy once felt. But back when I was sixteen, trapped in the snoozy early eighties and desperate for something rude and wild, Letterman seemed like an anarchist."

     ... Here's the Realtor.com page for the property.

AP: "The suburban New York home where F Scott Fitzgerald is believed to have written The Great Gatsby is for sale. A spokeswoman for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said on Wednesday that the asking price for the manor home on Long Island was just over US$3.8m (A$4.8m).... The home is in the village of Great Neck Estates, about 20 miles (32km) from Manhattan.

After years of signing "-BO" at the end of @BarackObama to signal the tweets he crafted himself from an account operated by the Organizing for Action staff, the President now has his very own handle @POTUS, tweeting for the first time: 'Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.'... Per a statement from the White House, the @POTUS handle 'will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him.'"

The $5MM Ankle. New York Post: "Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show. Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was 'severely injured, bruised and wounded' when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit."

My friend Jan C. sent me a list of actual complaints made by dissatisfied travelers who had gone on excursions organized by the British Thomas Cook Vacations. An example: "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

New York Times: "The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado." ...

Matt Seitz in New York notes that the pilot for "Mad Men" repeatedly points to the series' conclusion. ...

Gabriel Sherman of New York: "Tomorrow morning [Wednesday, May 13], in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant.... According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook's news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others. The deal raises all sorts of knotty questions for the Times." ...

... New York Times Update: "— Facebook’s long-rumored plan to directly host articles from news organizations will start on Wednesday, concluding months of delicate negotiations between the Internet giant and publishers that covet its huge audience but fear its growing power. Nine media companies, including NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the deal, despite concerns that their participation could eventually undermine their own businesses. The program will begin with a few articles but is expected to expand quickly.... Most important for impatient smartphone users, the company says, the so-called instant articles will load up to 10 times faster than they normally would since readers stay on Facebook rather than follow a link to another site." ...

.... Here's Facebook's announcement.

Nell Scovell in New York: Dave Letterman' former writers reminisce about jokes they wrote & pitched but which Letterman rejected. Letterman comments.

Vermeil placecard holders, a favorite "souvenir" of White House guests.... Washington Post: Petty thieves show up at White House state dinner -- all the time. Many guests at state dinners & other functions just can't resist taking home mementos, some of them pricey. "While the chief usher’s office monitors exactly what goes out with each place setting when the first family entertains, there is no formal accounting of how much taxpayers must pay each year to replace items that are gone by the end of the night."

Washington Post: The law finally catches up with Frank Freshwater, who escaped from prison in 1959.

Washington Post: Tesla plans to market a home battery system that draws power from solar panels or the power grid to use during outages. It holds up to 10 kw-hours, about 1/3 of what it takes to power an average home for a day. Tesla plans to make the system avalable by the end of this summer.

Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly: "Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave [Letterman]’s seismic impact on comedy.... In today’s’ world of 30 late night programs, it’s tempting now to take Dave for granted. Do not. Dave was a true revolution.... Like all revolutions, it was such a seismic shift that it was disorienting and a bit messy at first, and it has taken us time to realize the sheer magnitude of the shift."

White House: "For a new state china service, First Lady Michelle Obama wanted it to have modern elements, but also for it to be practical, in the sense that it would be complementary to the preceding historic state services. The Obama State China Service consists of eleven-piece place settings for 320":

Timothy Simon of "Veep" gets ready to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is Saturday, April 25:

... Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live will headline the event.

MOOCS! Washington Post: For $45, anyone can become a freshman at Arizona State University. "Students can take classes online for a fee, then decide whether to pay reduced tuition for the credits."

The Sex Life of David Brooks is apparently intensely interesting to Villagers who do not participate in it.

Washington Post: "Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental." During a competition in Dubai, the Georgian grandmaster allegedly hid an iPhone in the bathroom, then consulted a chess app during play.

CBS News: "'Face the Nation' Host Bob Schieffer announced Sunday that CBS News political director John Dickerson will become the new host of 'Face the Nation' this summer when he retires." CW: So "Face the Nation" is going to become even worse. Follows the well-established pattern of Sunday morning "news" shows.

New York Times: "Bob Schieffer, a television anchor who has worked at CBS for nearly half a century and interviewed every sitting president since Richard Nixon, announced Wednesday night that he was retiring this summer. Mr. Schieffer, 78, made the announcement while giving an address at Texas Christian University, his alma mater." CW: This will be a great disappointment to Charles Pierce, as regular readers of Pierce's posts will recognize.

I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.... We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology.... We are not talking about little green men, Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes. -- Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA

It's definitely not an if, it's a when. -- Jeffery Newmark of NASA

... The L.A. Times story, from which the above citations come, is fascinating.

Washington Post: "The quote on the stamp originated with [Joan Walsh] Anglund.... 'Yes, that’s my quote,' Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems 'A Cup of Sun,' published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp." CW: These are forever stamps. Maybe you should rush to the Post Office & buy a pane.

Guardian: "Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, which prompted a crisis at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, have been removed from a federal court case by a judge in the US. Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender. 'At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,' Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning.... Andrew and Buckingham Palace vehemently deny Roberts’s allegations."

Washington Monthly: "Today [April 7] marks the centennial of Billie Holliday’s birth."

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

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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