The Ledes

Friday, May 29, 2015.

Washington Post: "The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized pace of 0.7 percent in the first three months of the year, according to government data released Friday morning, a tumble for a recovering nation that until recently seemed poised for takeoff. The contraction, the country’s third in the aftermath of the Great Recession, provides a troubling picture of an economy that many figured would get a lift from cheap oil, rapid hiring and growing consumer confidence. Instead, consumers have proved cautious, and oil companies have frozen investment — all while a nasty winter caused havoc for transportation and construction and a strong dollar widened the trade deficit."

The Wires

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 29

1:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

 

New York Times: "Charter Communications is near a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for about $55 billion, people with direct knowledge of the talks said on Monday, a takeover that would create a new powerhouse in the rapidly consolidating American cable industry.... The potential acquisition of Time Warner Cable completes a lengthy quest by Charter and its main backer, the billionaire John C. Malone, to break into the top tier of the American broadband industry. If completed, the transaction would be the latest in a series of mergers remaking the market for broadband Internet and cable television in the United States." ...

     ... Update: "Charter Communications agreed on Tuesday to buy its much larger rival Time Warner Cable for $56.7 billion in a deal that would transform the company into one of America’s largest cable and broadband operators."

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.

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.

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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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