The Ledes

Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

New York: "The FBI arrested three North Carolina men on Saturday for allegedly planning to go to war with the United States when the government imposed martial law."

AP: "Two people were killed and more than 20 injured when a circus tent collapsed in a storm during a performance in New Hampshire. Authorities said about 100 people were inside the tent at the Lancaster Fairground, about 90 miles north of the state capital in Concord, when it fell down on Monday."

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, August 3, 2015.

Guardian: "Former City trader Tom Hayes has been sentenced to 14 years in jail after becoming the first person to be convicted by a jury of rigging the Libor interest rate. Hayes, 35, a former UBS and Citigroup yen derivatives trader, was convicted of eight counts of conspiracy to defraud."

New York Times: After being closed for five weeks, the Greek stock exchange reopened today, & prices plummeted.

AP: "Fire officials called for thousands of evacuations as numerous homes remained threatened by Northern California wildfires Monday, while more than 9,000 firefighters battled 21 major fires in the state, officials said. Wildfires were also burning in Washington and Oregon as the West Coast suffered from the effects of drought and summer heat."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

Washington Post (June 4): "The first-ever 'female Viagra' came one step closer to coming to market, as a key advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration voted Thursday afternoon to recommend that the FDA approve the drug with conditions. The committee voted 18-6 to recommend that the FDA approve flibanserin, a drug designed to boost the low sexual desire of otherwise healthy women."

White House Live Video
August 4

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

2:00 pm ET: White House Demo Day

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

New York Times: "Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a 'shake-up.'”

"Where Are My Pancakes?"

The Word Salad King. If Donald Trump's good friend & possible running mate Sarah Palin is the Word Salad Queen, it stands to reason that the Donald would be the king. Slate challenges you to diagram this "sentence." To help you out, Slate has transcribed the words in the order delivered. Not that the order delivered matters much:

Obama Slept Here

For a mere $22.5MM this Martha's Vinehard house on 10 acres can be yours. The Obamas stayed in the house for 8 days in 2013. The current owner bought the property, which has expansive views of the Atlantic & Chilmark Pond, in 2000 for about $3MM. So, hey, the price is negotiable. Slide show.

The Birth of Franklin. Washington Post: After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Glickman, a white California mother wrote to cartoonist Charles Schultz urging him to introduce a black character to his "Peanuts" cartoon strips. When Schultz demurred, saying he was afraid "it would look like we were patronizing our Negro friends," Glickman got two of her "Negro friends" who backed the idea to write to Schultz. A short time later, Schultz introduced Franklin. Oh, yes, & strips showing Franklin in an integrated! classroom upset Southern editors, according to Glickman.

Jane Hamshire of Firedoglake: "... I have decided to pass the torch on to Kevin Gosztola and Brian Sonenstein, who will launch their own media organization called Shadowproof that will build on the success of FDL."

Dylan Byers: "MSNBC has formally decided to cancel three programs -- 'The Cycle,' 'Now with Alex Wagner' and 'The Ed Show' -- as part of a larger effort to shift its daytime lineup away from opinion programming.... Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, a 'Cycle' co-host and MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, will remain with the network. Ed Schultz, the host of 'The Ed Show,' will leave the network, as will 'Cycle' co-hosts Abby Huntsman, Krystal Ball and Toure.... In September, MSNBC will add a 5 p.m. program hosted by 'Meet The Press' moderator Chuck Todd, while Brian Williams, the former 'Nightly News' anchor, will serve as the network's breaking news and special reports anchor."

If you can memorize & learn to use the University of New Hampshire's long list of "bias-free language," you can be the most politically-correct person in your neighborhood. Via Jonathan Chait. ...

... CW Etiquette Tip: calling out your friends for using outmoded terms like "overweight" & "rich" is not politically correct. Simply try to steer the conversation in a more "inclusive" direction. So if your friend says to you, "My rich neighbor got so overweight he has to use a wheelchair now," you say, "Oh, that person of material wealth has become a person of size who is wheelchair mobile? Wow! He's your neighbor? I remember him when he was a person experiencing homelessness who lacked advantages that others have." It sounds so natural, your friend will never realize you've corrected his biased, dated stereotypes. ...

     ... UPDATE: Turns out the university's president is biased against the bias-free language guide & he was unaware of its existence until this week. Also, a Republican state legislator is "outraged" & finds the guide a good excuse to cut funding for the state university. Naturally. Thanks to MAG for the lead.

Will Oremus of Slate likes Windows 10. CW: I haven't had the courage to try switching over yet. I'll lose EVERYTHING!

Fuck off! I’m done with you. -- Jon Stewart, to Wyatt Cenac

... Alex Jung of New York: Jon Stewart repeatedly yelled at Wyatt Cenac when Cenac questioned a "Daily Show" segment meant to be a defense against Fox "News" allegations that Stewart's Herman Cain imitation was racist. ...

... Maron's WTF podcast of his interview with Cenac is here. ...

... CW: Here's the thing, black people. When you confront white liberals with accusations of racial bias, WE WILL NEVER ADMIT IT. We will remind you that we have been fighting for black civil rights for 50 years (Bernie Sanders). We will tell you all lives matter (Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley). We will tell you that white people are responsible for expanding your rights (Hillary Clinton). We will deny your accusations (Every one of us). And all the while, we will be highly insulted, even if we don't tell you to fuck off. Because white people's feelings matter. And, after all we've done for you, we can't believe you would accuse us of racism.

Even when they're only lip-syncing, some entertainers are pretty damned talented. I'm not much of a fan of Tom Cruise's, but ...

Tech Crunch: "It’s no secret that Google+ didn’t quite work out the way Google envisioned and now, after already moving Google Photos out of the service, it’s starting to decouple Google+ profiles from its regular Google accounts."

Stupid Pet Tricks, Reptile Edition:

Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is replacing MSNBC's Ed Schultz with -- Chuck Todd. [CW: Excellent decision! Let's change "MSNBC" to "VPN" -- "Village People's Network."] "The only programs that appeared safe from disruption were Morning Joe..., hosted by Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; Hardball ... with Chris Matthews; and The Rachel Maddow Show at 9 p.m. Those programs have performed respectably...." ...

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives.... I am very disappointed that Comcast [the parent company of NBC & MSNBC] chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.... At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda. -- Sen. Bernie Sanders

Washington Post: "The latest update from NASA's Kepler space telescope — designed to spot distant exoplanets — adds more than 500 new possible planets to the fray. That's in addition to the 4,175 planets already found by Kepler. And of those 500 new potential planets, scientists say, a dozen could be remarkably Earth-like. That means they're less than twice as large as Earth, are potentially rocky and are at the right distance from their host stars to harbor liquid water." ...

... Guardian: "Scientists on the hunt for extraterrestrial life have discovered 'the closest twin to Earth' outside the solar system, Nasa announced on Thursday."

Worst Person Ratings in the World. Andrew Kirell of Mediaite: Rumors are a'flyin' that MSNBC is headed for another line-up shake-up, which could include the Return of Dr. Olbermann, who is departing ESPN -- again. Because their third place in cable ratings wasn't as bad as their third place is now (sometimes 4th, behind Al Jazeera). And because the New Olbermann is now a suits-licking pussycat, unlike the Old Olbermann from way last week.

Some Would Be Heroes. Washington Post: Coast Guardsman Darren Harrity swims a mile in choppy, fuel-slicked sea to save four men in a leaky lifeboat.

New York Times: "What Pet Should I Get?" -- an aide to Dr. Suess's widow found the manuscript in a box. Dr. Suess -- Theodore Geisel -- died in 1991.

     ... Via BuzzFeed, for the fun of it.

Washington Post: "On Monday, famed physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian tycoon Yuri Milner held a news conference in London to announce their new project: injecting $100 million and a whole lot of brain power into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, an endeavor they're calling Breakthrough Listen." ...

... CW: What a waste. You know all they'll find is angels hovering around a pantheon of some sort & maybe, if they're lucky, their long-dead pooches floating around Pet Heaven, which is real & wonderful.

Contact the Constant Weader

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

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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