Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President highlighted the progress made towards rebuilding our economy, including the creation of nearly 10 million new private sector jobs in the past 53 months and the rise in the number of American exports to an all-time high":

The Ledes

Saturday, August 23, 2014.

Washington Post: "White-tarped trucks from the controversial Russian convoy that provoked a dramatic escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine began returning to Russian territory Saturday after delivering supplies to the war-torn city of Luhansk, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in the capital Kiev for a symbolic show of support and behind-the-scenes efforts to ease rising tensions. Russia had sent the aid convoy of over 200 trucks into rebel-held Ukrainian territory Friday without permission.... The maneuver came amid reports from NATO that Ukrainian troops were coming under Russian artillery fire from inside their borders. A top Lithuanian diplomat was also killed in ongoing violence."

Reuters: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent resumption of peace talks on Saturday as violence continued unabated in the Gaza Strip with Israel carrying out air strikes and militants firing rockets. Gaza health officials said five people, including two children, were killed in an Israeli strike on a house in central Gaza. Three more Palestinians were killed in other strikes." ...

... AFP: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday vowed harsh retribution against Hamas, the Islamist rulers of Gaza, after a mortar round fired from the Palestinian territory killed an Israeli child." ...

... Democracy Now!: "More than 467 Palestinian children have died since July.... According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 children have been injured, of which an estimated 1,000 will suffer from a lifelong disability."

... CW: Res ipsa loquitur.

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, August 22, 2014.

New York Times: "A Chinese fighter jet flew within 30 feet of a Navy surveillance and reconnaissance plane this week in international airspace just off the Chinese coast, the Pentagon said Friday. The encounter, known as an intercept, 'was very, very close, very dangerous,' said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. The Pentagon filed a diplomatic complaint with the People’s Liberation Army on Friday morning, Defense Department officials said. As of Friday afternoon, it had not received a reply."

** New York Times: "Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and was using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday. The West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence that the Russian military was operating in Ukrainian territory."

Guardian: "Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters have launched attacks to recapture two towns in the north from Islamic State (Isis) militants, as Western governments consider how to mount an effective response to the threat posed by the extremist group that has redrawn the border of Iraq and Syria."

New York Times: "The first trucks from a long-stalled Russian convoy said to be carrying humanitarian aid crossed the border into eastern Ukraine on Friday, without the consent of the Ukrainian government and unaccompanied by Red Cross escorts, as had been earlier agreed upon. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a long statement in Moscow saying, in essence, that it had authorized the crossing because it was fed up with stalling by the government in Kiev." ...

... Washington Post: "Ukrainian authorities appeared to be scrambling Friday to decide how to respond to the border incursion. A Ukrainian military spokesman backed away from previous bellicose statements, but state security chief Valentyn Nalivaychenko told journalists in Kiev, 'We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine,' Reuters news agency reported. He said Ukrainian forces would not use force against the convoy because they want to avoid 'provocations.'”

AP: "Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque and shot after midday prayers, in response to Israel’s deadly airstrikes against top Hamas military commanders."

Washington Post: "Ever since the retirement of the space shuttle three years ago, American astronauts have had to hitchhike their way to the International Space Station aboard Russian spaceships. It is an increasingly costly arrangement..., made worse by U.S.-Russian tensions over the crisis in Ukraine. But in the coming weeks, NASA is expected to announce its long-awaited solution: a multibillion-dollar contract to build a U.S. spacecraft, which could help reignite a struggling American space program."

Public Service Announcement

New York Times, August 15: "The Food and Drug Administration has approved Avastin — made by Genentech, a unit of the Swiss drug maker Roche — for a new use against late-stage cervical cancer, the seventh indication for the biotech drug, which had global sales of $6.25 billion last year."

White House Live Video
August 22

1:30 pm ET: Press briefing by Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz

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

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

Looking for a bucolic retreat where the townspeople will protect you from curious outsiders? Got about $700K to burn? Then you might be interested in purchasing the former home of fiction writer J. D. Salinger. the property is located in Cornish, New Hamphire:

... Many more pix & a virtual tour here.

Kevin Roose of New York: "How to make $200MM in 28 months." CW: Yeah, I know. Twenty-eight months is a lo-o-o-ong time.

Stupid Wiki Tricks. Telegraph: "Wikimedia, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, has refused a photographer’s repeated requests to stop distributing his most famous shot for free – because a monkey pressed the shutter button and should own the copyright."

The Wrap: "James Corden is taking over for Craig Ferguson as host of 'The Late Late Show' on CBS, an individual with knowledge of the situation has told TheWrap.... Corden stars in Disney's 'Into the Woods' and can currently be seen alongside Keira Knightley in 'Begin Again.'”

John Oliver on "native advertising." Via Juan Cole:

Justice Ginsburg on the Tumblr site Notorious R.B.G.:

Washington Post: "Former president George W. Bush has been writing a book about his father, former president George H.W. Bush. The book will be published in November."

"Homophonia." Caroline Moss of Business Insider: "An education blogger in Utah is out of a job today after writing [righting] a blog post explaining 'homophones' for the Nomen Global Language Center. Tim Torkildson said he was fired by [buy] his boss and NGLC owner, Clarke Woodger, for [four] promoting a gay agenda." Here's Torkildson's blogpost on his firing. Thanks to Akhilleus for the link.

Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times: "New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission would do well to turn down the Frick Collection’s proposed expansion, which imagines replacing a prized garden on East 70th Street in Manhattan with a clumsy addition. The city should avoid another self-inflicted wound, and there are other options." CW: As I recall, the garden is that it is difficult to see from the street. I love the garden court & have spent a good deal of time there.

Martha Stewart has a drone.

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

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

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

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

 

New Yorker illustration.

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

 

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

 

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Sunday
Sep092012

The Commentariat -- Sept. 10, 2012

Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times: "The share of young adults without health insurance fell by one-sixth in 2011 from the previous year, the largest annual decline for any age group since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting the data in 1997, according to a new report released on Monday." P.S. Thank you, Democrats.

New York Times Editors: Citizens United notwithstanding, there are still ways for states & the federal government to impose some restrictions on campaign financing, as a ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court demonstrated last week. Obstructing those restrictions at the federal level: Republicans. Big surprise.

Once Again, It's Paul Krugman v. a Panel of Idiots. You are looking at a screenshot of two powerful know-it-alls who in fact don't know shit about what they're talking about but are unashamed to go on national teevee & flaunt their ignorance:

... Paul Krugman: "... you’d expect government employment to grow with population (remember, the typical government employee is a schoolteacher). And here's what has happened to government employment per capita:"

Michael Schmidt & Thom Shanker of the New York Times: "American authorities have discovered at least three models of a new and sophisticated drug-trafficking submarine capable of traveling completely underwater from South America to the coast of the United States."

Presidential Race

Ethan Bronner of the New York Times: "The November presidential election, widely expected to rest on a final blitz of advertising and furious campaigning, may also hinge nearly as much on last-minute legal battles over when and how ballots should be cast and counted, particularly if the race remains tight in battleground states. In the last few weeks, nearly a dozen decisions in federal and state courts on early voting, provisional ballots and voter identification requirements have driven the rules in conflicting directions, some favoring Republicans demanding that voters show more identification to guard against fraud and others backing Democrats who want to make voting as easy as possible. The most closely watched cases -- in the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania -- will see court arguments again this week, with the Ohio dispute possibly headed for a request for emergency review by the Supreme Court."

President Barack Obama, right, is picked-up and lifted off the ground by Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza and Pasta Italian Restaurant during an unannounced stop, Sunday in Fort Pierce, Florida. Van Duzer, a Republican, says Obama has his vote. AP Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

Sex, Lies and Tax Cuts. That's because all [the Republicans] got to offer is the same prescriptions that they've had for the last 30 years -- tax cuts, tax cuts, gut some regulations, oh, and more tax cuts. (Laughter.) Tax cuts when times are good; tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to help you lose a few extra pounds. (Laughter.) Tax cuts to improve your love life. (Laughter.) It will cure anything, according to them. -- Barack Obama, at a campaign stop in New Hampshire. Read the whole post.

E. J. Dionne: Right now, Obama has the advantage. BUT. "The debates next month are Romney's biggest opening, and he's very disciplined in his approach to such encounters. He used them effectively to turn back primary challenges from Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. The president, on the other hand, is out of practice. And although Obama performed well in the 2008 debates against John McCain by directing almost every word he spoke to swing voters, debating has never been his strongest suit. Indeed, some of Obama's most loyal supporters see an additional debate risk for him: The president can look arrogant and dismissive when he doesn't respect an opponent or when he feels he has the upper hand."

Might as well throw this in, too. "The biker lady — who was photographed with the vice-president at Ohio's appropriately named Cruisers Diner — has not been identified.... Biden also reportedly asked to borrow one of the male biker's motorcycles. Judging by the looks on their faces here, it's not surprising that he responded 'probably not.'" -- Caroline Bankoff of New York magazine

John Heilemann of New York profiles Joe Biden. No mention of the biker lady.

Annie Lowrey & David Kocieniewski of the New York Times try to figure out Mitt Romney's arithmetic-challenged tax plan: "Mr. Romney has pledged to cut individual income tax rates for everyone, and to do it without increasing the federal budget deficit or putting new tax burdens on middle-income people to make up for the lost revenues from the rate cuts. But he has provided no further specifics, confounding analysts.... Asked on ... 'Meet the Press' ... which tax deductions he would eliminate, he said only that he would target 'some of the loopholes and deductions at the high end' while lowering the 'burden on middle-income people.' Democrats -- as well as a broad range of economists from the left, right -- and center -- say that the consequence of ending tax breaks substantial enough to offset the lost revenue from income tax rate cuts would be to hurt middle-class Americans. Many independent analysts contend that the only way to raise the revenue Mr. Romney is talking about would be to eliminate breaks like the preferential treatment of investment income or the mortgage-interest deduction."

Paul Krugman explains, for the umpteenth time, Republicans' cynical obstruct-and-exploit policy. He mentions something I noticed this weekend, too: "Right now Mitt Romney has an advertising blitz under way in which he attacks Mr. Obama for possible cuts in defense spending -- cuts, by the way, that were mandated by an agreement forced on the president by House Republicans last year. And why is Mr. Romney denouncing these cuts? Because, he says, they would cost jobs! This is classic 'weaponized Keynesianism' -- the claim that government spending can't create jobs unless the money goes to defense contractors, in which case it's the lifeblood of the economy. And no, it doesn't make any sense."

CW: I've been looking for a good synopsis of Greggers' interview of Willard. Haven't found it yet. But a number of them -- like this post by Michael Barbaro & Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times -- mention this: "When the show's host, David Gregory, asked Mr. Romney what elements of Mr. Obama's health care program he would maintain, Mr. Romney said..., 'I'm not getting rid of all of health care reform.... There are a number of things that I like in health care reform that I'm going to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage.'" But, so far, none of the reports has mentioned that this is a change in policy. Earlier this year, Romney told Jay Leno that people with pre-existing conditions should be denied coverage. ...

     ... Incredible Update. Kevin Drum of Mother Jones: "Within Hours, Mitt Romney Takes Back Everything He Said About Preexisting Conditions." A few hours after promising on 'Press the Meet' that he would guarantee insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, a Romney spokesman "'clarified' what he meant: '... He was not proposing a federal mandate to require insurance plans to offer those particular features.'" CW: in other words, he assures a national audience that they can get coverage if they have pre-existing coverage -- that his program will be as good as ObamaCare; then he tells the insurance companies, sotto voce, "Don't worry. I'm not gonna make you cover those losers." What a despicable, lying prick. ...

     ... PLUS Judd Legum of Think Progress: "A Romney campaign aide sends a statement to BuzzFeed stating that Romney 'will ensure that discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited.' This does not mean he supports the protections in Obamacare and would leave millions uninsured." ...

... Driftglass: "Half of Gregger's interview spent on Mitt and Ann's campaign bus with Mitt's arm half-around him asking giggly, open-ended fluff. Greggers spent the other half of the interview in big, comfy white chairs on the roof of the Romney campaign headquarters tossing Mitt softballs (nothing on Mitt's taxes, one-count-em-one question on abortion, etc.) which Romney deflected with big wads of pre-chewed talking points -- 'I'm as Conservative as the Constitution!' -- for which Gregory had no substantive follow-up questions of any kind."

"I Didn't Vote for the Bill I Voted for." -- Paul Ryan. Zack Beauchamp of Think Progress: "Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has gotten in hot water before for criticizing President Obama for the very same defense cuts that he voted for in 2011. When confronted with this incongruity today on Face The Nation, Ryan simply denied that he ever voted for the cuts, telling an incredulous Norah O’Donnell that he didn't actually vote for the cuts he's on record as voting for.... Moreover, Ryan's statement after voting for the bill contained not a single word of criticism about the defense cuts...."

... Paul Ryan Again Demonstrates His Uncanny Ability to Look Directly into the Camera & Lie:

... Jim Fallows of the Atlantic: "Paul Ryan's fame has depended on his reputation as the man who knew the obscure details of federal budget policy, and who was brave and honest enough to tell the public the unvarnished truth about those details.... Therefore questions of selectively presented truth, or incomplete honesty, count against his reputation more than they would someone who is seen as a run-of-the-mill partisan.... In his speech at the GOP convention, Paul Ryan really laid on the 'selectively presented truths,' more than other major speakers from either party." Fallows gives kudos to O'Donnell for knowing the facts & repeatedly challenging Ryan's lies.

Steve Coll of the New Yorker doesn't really say anything you haven't read before or figured out for yourself, but he does write a good, short synopsis/compare-&-contrast of the conventions.

Jillian Rayfield of Salon: "Could this be the final straw for Erick 'David Souter is a “goat-f*cker"' Erickson? Erickson, who's both a CNN contributor and blogger for the conservative website Red State, is being targeted by a women's advocacy group after he tweeted this about the female speakers during day one of the DNC:

First night of the Vagina Monologues in Charlotte going as expected.

      ... "He tweeted an apology shortly after... But that wasn't enough for the women's advocacy group UltraViolet, which shortly after launched a petition to get him yanked off of CNN.... The petition [also] noted how Erickson defended Rush Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke." CW: you can sign the petition here. I did.

Congressional Races

Steve Coll: "Some of the Senate races ... look like Three Stooges punch-ups. In Florida, Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, is in a dead heat with Republican congressman Connie Mack IV (half-Mack, as he is known to those who thought his father, Mack III, was a better politician). Nelson's TV admakers introduced their Republican opponent this way: 'Florida, meet Connie Mack IV. A promoter for Hooters with a history of barroom brawling, altercations and road rage…' (Incidentally, Florida Politifact, a fact-checking nonprofit, rated Nelson's ad 'Mostly True.')"

If you're a New Yorker subscriber, you can read Jeff Toobin 's profile of Elizabeth Warren. The profile will probably be available to non-subscribers in a few weeks.

News Ledes

Reuters: "The first eight months of 2012 have been the warmest of any year on record in the contiguous United States, and this has been the third-hottest summer since record-keeping began in 1895, the U.S. National Climate Data Center said on Monday. Each of the last 15 months has seen above-average temperatures, something that has never happened before in the 117 years of the U.S. record...."

New York Times: "After nearly a year of discord and delay, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reached an agreement on Monday to resume construction of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero in Manhattan."

AP: "Another prisoner has died at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. military said Monday, two days after the man was apparently found unconscious in his cell at the isolated, high-security prison."

AP: "An airstrike killed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader in Yemen along with six others traveling with him in one car on Monday, U.S. and Yemeni officials said, a major breakthrough for U.S.-backed efforts to cripple the group in the impoverished Arab nation. Saeed al-Shihri, a Saudi national who fought in Afghanistan and spent six years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, was killed by a missile after leaving a house in the southern province of Hadramawt, according to Yemeni military officials. They said the missile was believed to have been fired by a U.S.-operated, unmanned drone aircraft."

ABC News: "A Taliban spokesman said Monday that the terror group would use 'all our strength' to kidnap or kill the U.K's Prince Harry, who has just begun serving a four-month tour of duty as a chopper pilot in Afghanistan."

New York Times: "Tests commonly recommended to screen healthy women for ovarian cancer do more harm than good and should not be performed, a panel of medical experts said on Monday."

New York Times: "President Obama announced Monday that he would nominate Robert Stephen Beecroft, a career diplomat, as the next ambassador to Iraq after his first choice was forced to withdraw after the disclosure of racy e-mail messages. Mr. Beecroft is now the No. 2 American civilian official in Baghdad and therefore already set to run the embassy temporarily until the Senate votes on his confirmation."

Boston Globe: "The Rev. Paul A. LaCharite, 65, of Boston faces one count of assault with intent to rape a child and three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child. The crimes allegedly occurred over a 10-year period at the St. James Episcopal Church in Somerville..., prosecutors said. The victim is 26 years old now.... LaCharite, who is currently affiliated with the Old North Church in Boston, 'vehemently denies' the allegations against him...."

New York Times: "A supporter of Anonymous, the loose hacking collective, claimed responsibility on Monday for an attack that apparently brought down Web sites hosted by Go Daddy." ...

... "Millions of Sites Down." Tech Crunch: "According to many customers, sites hosted by major web host and domain registrar GoDaddy are down. According to the official GoDaddy Twitter account the company is aware of the issue and is working to resolve it. Update: customers are complaining that GoDaddy hosted e-mail accounts are down as well, along with GoDaddy phone service and all sites using GoDaddy's DNS service."

NBC News: "The federal government is expected to recognize that rescue workers and people living near ground zero on September 11, 2001, got cancer as a result of the terror attacks. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is expected to announce Monday that 14 categories of cancers, for a total of 50, will be added to the illnesses covered in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act."

Chicago Tribune: "Striking for the first time in 25 years, Chicago's teachers set up picket lines this morning after talks with public school officials ended over the weekend without resolution. 'Rahm says cut back, we say fight back,' picketers chanted this morning outside Chicago Public Schools headquarters. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced late Sunday night that weekend talks had failed to resolve all the union's issues."

Washington Post: "The U.S. military prison in Afghanistan known as Bagram, infamous for its association with abuse of detainees during the 11-year war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, was officially transferred to Afghan control Monday. The long-demanded handoff occurred amid tensions between Washington and Kabul over the Afghan army's ability to guarantee security at the prison, and the Afghan court system's preparedness to competently adjudicate detainee cases."

Reader Comments (11)

E.J. Dionne is entitled to his opinion that Romney is an excellent debater, but keep in mind Romney's performance in debates against Ted Kennedy: Kennedy wiped the floor with him.

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I signed the petition too, Marie--as did my sweet husband. And all of my neighbors, except the crazy Tea Partiers. Too busy getting high on Lipton's Pepper-mitt Nutz!

Just read that Larry Flynt (yes...THAT Larry Flynt) has offered $1,000,000 for MittWitt's financial records. Tee hee. He will probably get them, and all Hades will break loose. Even bad ass pornographers have an upside!

http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/318-66/13387-larry-flynt-offering-1-million-for-romneys-financial-records

September 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Marie,

Krugman v. the idiots.

Ain't it the truth. Even Cokey Roberts comes off as feeling the need to rip Obama because he didn't discover the cure for cancer AND pull the Higgs boson out of his ass within the first three months of 2009, and therefore deserved to be stymied for the next three years. Seriously, Cokey?

No comment on prissy little George. Same as he ever was. Blah, blah, blah, something, something, Democrats suck, something, something, something.

And finally, note the complete lack of effect that hard facts have on Senator Self Certified. A genuinely certified imbecile. Facts don't mean shit to Teabagger turds like 'lil Randy. He just talks over, under, and around them. Maybe if a doctor who wasn't self certified had checked this numbskull's vision, he might be able to see a fact as it was jumping up to bite him in the ass.

Insufferable moron.

But a moron who is in the running as the GOP's next golden boy.

Pyrite Boy is more like it.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Thank goodness I don't watch those Sunday morning shows as they would put a definite damper on the day; it's enough to wade through the other effluvia that presents itself as news on the internet. I always think of Sunday as a Fun day as the father says in Christina Stead's memorable "The Man Who Loved Children," which by the way is a terrific read. There are times when one has to protect themselves from overload––Sunday is that time for me.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

P.S. Liked Steve Coll's assessment––"The Bubba smile" is perfect––almost as famous as the Gioconda smile except in this case Clinton lets us know WHY he's smiling.

The Convention of 1884 had candidates pay delegates for votes while promising some federal jobs. Some wily black delegates, trading on the white man's traditional inability to distinguish one black face from another, sold themselves over and over to both major candidates, stocking up on free cheese and whiskey, and steadily escalating their prices. And fun was had by all.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Marie, thank you for giving us the link to sign the petition on the UltraViolet website. I did, as should everyone who reads Reality Chex. The comment I left was, "Strong, independent, educated women object to the ilk of Erickson and CNN's promotion of him. Being a conservative is not the issue ~ being a misogynist IS."

@Victoria D ~ "Kennedy wiped the floor with him." Agree 100%.
E.J. Dionne: "The president, on the other hand, is out of practice." Seriously, E.J.? I guess all those global confrontations he has had do not count.

@P.D. Pepe ~ I stopped watching the Sunday morning shows when Meet the Press was compromised by installing Gregger as its host. He would not know how to ask a serious question if it was on a teleprompter.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMushiba

Etch, sketch. Etch, sketch. Etch....

This is the sound of those little rat teeth gnawing away at truth, carving little escape holes for this slippery rodent to wiggle through and escape all consequences of his chronic flip-flopping.

And he's at it again. Willard the Rat, this weekend, protested loudly that OF COURSE he wasn't going to take away ALL health insurance. For goodness sake! How ridiculous!

Now that the convention is over and the rabid Teabaggers are back in whatever flag draped domiciles they call home, plotting revolution, gulping down extremist slop, and sending each other pictures of the White House with a watermelon patch on the front lawn, the Rat, with the nomination sewn safely into his magic underwear, is on a major Etch-a-Sketch offensive.

During the convention he says "Obamacare must go! All of it!! For FREEDOM!!" (morons cheer wildly)

Then on Sunday he says "Oh my, I never said anything like that! I'll keep a lot of it, especially that part about letting those poor people with pre-existing conditions get insurance."

But hours later, etch, etch, etch. "We didn't mean EVERYONE with pre-existing conditions. Only the lucky ones or the rich ones."

Sketch, sketch, sketch.

The lies come so fast and furious it takes a battalion of reporters and (good) fact-checkers to keep up with him. But if you can't trust anything he says, why bother?

The result, for those not paying close attention (95% of eligible voters), is to blame the media for trying to confuse them and for saying mean things about that nice Mittens and his pet lizard. I mean, they look so nice and clean cut. And white.

So he'll keep this up as long as he wants. If he's elected--not all that unlikely at this point--he'll keep it up for the next four years. "Bomb Iran? Well....lemme see.....(what did I say yesterday??)....sure why not?"

Etch, sketch. Etch, sketch....

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

How to explain America's fascination with bestowing such grandiose quantities of our tax dollars to be largely exported and mostly mismanaged by sticky-finger military contractors is beyond me. Especially when trying to question an eventual cut in the budget is tantamount to treason. Brandishing fellow countries with death and pseudo-democracy, paid for by you and me, the average tax payer. Frustrating to say the least.

But a different point to be made here is the question of our crumbling national infrastructure and the inability to find a way to pay for it. We've got all the savoir-faire and the tax dollars to pay for it. But according to Repugs that's nanny government spending and they're waiting for the next wave of free slave labor to come around to finally get to it.

Yet let's take a look abroad at our current Middle Eastern foray. Iraq, at it's culmination, had around 500 bases, big and small. There within including the largest embassy IN THE WORLD in Baghdad. Trying to contemplate the excessive costs of building such infrastructure, one needs to also think about where we're talking about. Iraq. In the middle of a desert. Just the importation of all of the materials to build this temporary infrastructure is mind-boggling.

When we got kicked out (involuntarily) we had to dismantle and ship most of our goodies out (or leave some behind as farewell presents to their now destroyed country).

In Afghanistan it's the same story. We've built even MORE bases and outposts than ever before. Soon we'll be dismantling the majority of it to be shipped out to who knows where (Iran?).

The main point to be made here is that we're spending BILLIONS of dollars to build TEMPORARY shit abroad, and we can't scrape up a few million to reinforce much-needed PERMANENT infrastructure at home. Infrastructure that is vital to our social and economic well-being, not to mention our incredible exceptionalness (à la Palin) we keep hearing about.

Now the Pentagon finally says OK, we'll surrender on budget raises for a bit to help with fixing the budget and the Repugs say NO, take more money and fucking like it!

Ike, a Republican, prophetically warned future generations about the imminent dangers of the military-industrial complex. Should it have been his own political party he should have been warning us about?

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersafari

Health care is going to cause the demise of the wing nuts. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed the Republicans will own health care and all of its problems. They most likely understand this and will fuss and muss and come up with something like a state by state program with all the benefits of the ACA. Failing to do this will put them in the position of taking away from citizens all of the things the citizens like. None of the benefits will work without the added thirty million low cost insured. Retaining pre-existing availability and keeping the donut hole closed will bring premiums high enough to add a few million to the uninsured rolls. Many more employers will drop coverage. Opposition to " Obama care " has created a lose, lose for the Republicans that will probably limit their success even if Ryan & Romney win this election.

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle

Mitt has apparently corrected his statement appearing to support the part of the ACA that prohibits exclusion from insurance of people with pre-existing conditions by reiterating an earlier stance that people who are ALREADY COVERED could not be excluded from getting insurance. Oh yeah, that totally solves the problem. Unfeeling prick.
I wish that wonderful football player would write him a letter.....

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Carlyle,

I'd love to believe that Republicans, if they detonate the ACA, will get their just due but I have zero confidence in this outcome.

Here's what'll happen. They'll get Crossroads and the many Super Pacs devoted to insurance profits to begin a mass media campaign to tear apart the ACA as it stands now, convincing many of those most vulnerable that their freedoms were being protected by the wingers, who saved them from an evil liberal and Obama plan to "socialize" health care. JUST LIKE RUSSIA!!!

Will this incredible lie work?

Of course. At least for many people.

Then they'll blame Obama for screwing with health care and shake their heads about how long and hard it will be (with loads and loads of American Enterprise Institute and Cato studies) to "fix" all of the problems caused by Democrats with lots of sorrowful press conference eye batting from Paul Ryan and crying jags from Boehner.

A special on health care problems will be hosted by Fluffy Gregory who will ask his panel of "experts", Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, how long it will take them to repair the damage caused by that Nee-gro and his socialist allies in congress.

Few will blame the wingnuts.

Think I'm kidding? Let's do a test. Ask most potential voters what is the central cause of many of the problems we face today. How many will say "It's Obama's fault"? Now how many will say "An organized effort by Republicans to stymie any solutions and to ensure the failure of a black president is responsible for much of our dismal condition"?

See what I mean?

September 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
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