The Ledes

Shooting Wednesday in the Canadian Parliament building:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

New York Times: "The heart of the Canadian capital [Ottawa] was traumatized and placed in emergency police lockdown on Wednesday after a gunman fatally wounded a soldier guarding the National War Memorial, entered the nearby Parliament building and fired multiple times before he was shot and killed. It was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days. While the motive was unclear, the Ottawa attack heightened fears that Canada, a strong ally of the United States, had been targeted in an organized terrorist plot." ...

... Toronto Globe & Mail: "Federal sources have identified the suspected shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a man in his early 30s who was known to Canadian authorities. Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a 'high-risk traveller' by the Canadian government and that his passport had been seized – the same circumstances surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car." The page includes links to related stories. ...

... Here's the Guardian's live feed.

Hill: "The Pentagon confirmed Wednesday that Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters took possession of a stray bundle of U.S.-airdropped weapons and other supplies in the Syrian border town of Kobani earlier this week."

Guardian: "A three-month old baby was killed and eight other people wounded in Jerusalem – one seriously – in what Israel police are describing as a 'terrorist attack' in which a speeding car drove onto a pavement crowded with pedestrians alighting from the city’s light railway. Video footage posted on social media appears to show a car on the main road slowing slightly before crossing to the train tracks and climbing on to the station pavement and ploughing through the people standing on it."

The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

New York Times: "The Ukrainian Army appears to have fired cluster munitions on several occasions into the heart of Donetsk, unleashing a weapon banned in much of the world into a rebel-held city with a peacetime population of more than one million, according to physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims."

Guardian: "The US State Department says Jeffrey Fowle, one of three Americans being held in North Korea, has been released. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Fowle was home Tuesday after negotiators left Pyongyang. She said the US is still trying to free two other Americans, Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae."

New York Times: "Oscar de la Renta, the doyen of American fashion, whose career began in the 1950s in Franco’s Spain, sprawled across the better living rooms of Paris and New York, and who was the last survivor of that generation of bold, all-seeing tastemakers, died on Monday at his home in Kent, Conn. He was 82."

New York Times: "Oscar Pistorius, the South African track star once seen as an emblem of triumph over adversity, was sentenced on Tuesday to five years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp." ...

     ... The Guardian is liveblogging the sentencing.

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post, September 17: "Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

New York Times, September 1: "People who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades, a major new study [financed by the N.I.H.] shows."

White House Live Video
October 22

10:00 am ET: White Champions of Change -- Strengthening the Economy thru Citizenship

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

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

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

Washington Post: A "virtual autopsy" of King Tut suggests the boy king had "buck teeth, club foot and a pronounced overbite."

Stephen Colbert describes his workday:


No Surprise Here. Valerie Tarico of AlterNet, in Salon: "... online search traffic from behind closed doors in Jesusland suggests that the bad, nasty, sexual impulses righteous believers are trying so hard to shut down may be their own. And if Google search patterns mean anything, they’re not succeeding too well: studies consistently demonstrate that people in conservative religious states search for adult materials online far more often than people in blue states."

Jeffrey Frank reviews, for the New Yorker, a new biography of Nelson Rockefeller by Richard Norton Smith. The review is fairly entertaining & informative.

Michael Cieply of the New York Times: "... several of the companies behind 'Citizenfour' — which takes issue with Mr. Obama’s expansion of Bush-era surveillance, and his administration’s attempt to prosecute [Edward] Snowden for espionage — are led by some of the president’s close political allies. They include Harvey Weinstein, the Weinstein Company’s co-chairman, as well as Jeff Skoll, the founder of Participant Media, and Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, who all have been major contributors to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns."

Washington Post: "President Obama's credit card was rejected last month at a restaurant in New York. 'I went to a restaurant up in New York when I was -- during the U.N. General Assembly, and my credit card was rejected,' Obama said Friday while signing an executive order to protect consumers from identity theft. 'It turned out I guess I don’t use it enough. They were -- they thought there was some fraud going on. Fortunately, Michelle had hers.'"

"Who's Gonna Stand Up & Save the Earth?" Not Stephen Colbert:

Novelist John Grisham recants his apologia for child porn. Good to know.

Unsolved Mystery. Washington Post: "Human remains recently exhumed from an Alabama grave are not those of the notorious fugitive William Bradford Bishop, who is accused of killing five family members with a small sledgehammer in Montgomery County in 1976 and setting their bodies on fire, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. The FBI said that DNA taken from the unidentified body in Scottsboro, Ala., on Oct. 9 did not match Bishop, who is a member of the Ten Most Wanted list." Original story further down this column. Thanks to Haley S. for the lead.

New York Times: "CBS announced a new subscription Internet streaming service on Thursday that allows people to watch its live television programming and thousands of its current and past shows on demand without paying for a traditional TV subscription. The new 'CBS All Access' service, costing $5.99 a month, is the first time that a traditional broadcaster will make a near-continuous live feed of its local stations available over the web to non-pay-TV subscribers. At its start, the live stream will be available in 14 markets in the United States." ...

... New York Times: "HBO announced Wednesday that it would start a stand-alone Internet streaming service in the United States in 2015 that would not require a subscription to a traditional television service, a move that intensifies the premium cable network’s growing rivalry with Netflix. Just hours after HBO unveiled plans for its new service, Netflix announced that its subscriber growth was slower than expected...."

Joe Coscarelli of New York: "Following its initial mercy killing at the hands of Jon Stewart, Crossfire was rebooted last year with Newt Gingrich and Van Jones to dismal returns..., CNN ... scrapped it for good today [October 15] so that Newt can spend more time with his animals — and hopefully run for president again."

Joe Concha of Mediaite: "A well-placed source tells me MSNBC will be announcing major programming changes sometime in the next month, including the cancellation of Ronan Farrow‘s afternoon program, Ronan Farrow Daily." CW: I've caught a few minutes of Farrow's show a couple of times, & it was clear the guy was in way over his head. His performance was as embarrassing as the Russert kid's, though he isn't an obnoxious bro in the Russert-kid mold. I'm not sure if the suits will ever figure out that legacies & children-of-famous-people are usually not the best & brightest, perhaps because a lot of the suits themselves are legacies.

Philip Shenon in Politico Magazine: "If even Robert Kennedy was a conspiracy theorist, it is hard to see how millions of other Americans will ever be convinced to accept that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone."

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "MSNBC has seen its ratings hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows."

Snowden, The Movie:

... AND, Snowden's girlfriend is living with him in a Moscow apartment. David Harding of the New York Daily News: "His girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, moved into his apartment in the Russian capital in July, a detail that was revealed in the new documentary, 'Citizenfour.'” ...

... George Packer of the New Yorker on Laura Poitras & making the film "Citizenfour." ...

... Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times discusses the film. He attended the premiere at the New York Film Festival, where the documentary got a rare standing O. CW: I'm kinda sensing that "Citizenfour" can best be described as "documentary as hagiography." And, yes, I'm definitely seeing an Oscar here. Call me an oracle.

 

 

A video for Marco I'm-Not-a-Scientist-Man Rubio & Bobby I'm-Not-an-Evolutionary-Biologist Jindal, & all their non-scientist Republican friends:

Selina Gray, on right, saved Arlington House treasures during the Civil War.Michael Ruane of the Washington Post: "When Robert E. Lee’s wife, Mary, fled Arlington House at the start of the Civil War, she gave her personal slave, Selina Norris Gray, the keys to the mansion and responsibility for the grand house the Lees had lived in for 30 years. Gray fulfilled her duties. She is famously credited with saving from marauding Union soldiers numerous heirlooms belonging to George Washington that were stored in the house. Now the National Park Service, which administers Arlington House, has acquired what it says is a rare and previously unknown photograph of Gray and, apparently, two of her eight children."

"An FBI wanted poster shows William Bradford Bishop Jr. The image on the left shows how Bishop would look now. (Getty)"Dan Morse of the Washington Post: "For nearly 40 years, the legend of Bethesda fugitive William Bradford Bishop Jr. carried an air of not just evil brutality but refined sophistication. This was a man suspected of killing his family with a small sledgehammer in 1976 and setting their corpses on fire. Then he vanished, taking with him fluency in five languages, the experience of a world traveler for the State Department, and a fondness for playing tennis, flying airplanes and drinking Scotch. There were alleged sightings: a public park in Stockholm, a restroom in Sorrento, Italy, a train station in Basel, Switzerland. Now, in a potentiality stunning development in the case — centered in a municipally owned cemetery in the northeastern corner of Alabama — remains that were exhumed Thursday may tell a different story. Bishop could be the heretofore unidentified man called John Doe, who was struck by a car while walking down a highway in 1981, a person who appeared to be homeless, who’d worn several layers of heavy, dirty clothes and weighed just 155 pounds." ...

... CW: If you like mysteries & enjoy reading about how they're unravelled, you should find this a compelling story.

Contact the Constant Weader

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Monday
Sep172012

The Commentariat -- Sept. 18, 2012

Art by Eric Leppanen.

Allison Linn of NBC News: out-of-work Mainer Eric Leppanen, once a heavy credit-card user, "recently found [a] box of 169 credit cards [he had discarded]. He used the cards, plus 50 state quarters, to create his own artistic tribute to the boom years of the early 2000s. He calls the piece 'Indebted States of America.'"

"America's Bloodiest Day." CW: I missed this piece by Rick Beard in yesterday's New York Times: "By 5 p.m., the Battle of Antietam was over. Over 22,000 Americans lay dead or wounded or were among the missing: the highest single-day casualty total of the Civil War.... (Sept. 17 also proved to be the war's deadliest day for civilians, when 78 workers in the Allegheny Arsenal were killed in an explosion.) An official with the Sanitary Commission wrote: 'No words can convey the utter destruction and ruin. For four miles in length, and nearly a half mile in width, the ground is strewn with hats, caps, clothing, canteens, knapsacks, shells, and shot. Visit a battlefield and see what a victory costs.'"

Stanley Fish: "We have decided that the potential unhappy consequences of a strong free speech regime must be tolerated because the principle is more important than preventing any harm it might permit. We should not be surprised, however, if others in the world -- most others, in fact -- disagree, not because they are blind and ignorant but because they worship God and truth rather than the First Amendment, which not only keeps God and truth at arm's length but regards them with a deep suspicion."

Presidential Race -- Romney Tapes, Part 2

David Corn of Mother Jones: "Romney spoke of 'the Palestinians' as a united bloc of one mindset, and he said: 'I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say there's just no way.' ... In public, Romney has not declared the peace process pointless or dismissed the two-state solution." Take a look at Corn's whole post. There is more.

AP: "GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney told donors in a newly released video clip that Palestinians 'have no interest' in peace with Israel and suggested that efforts at Mideast peace under his administration would languish."

Presidential Race -- Romney Tapes, Part 1

Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "All the Sad Young Men," 1936

** Jonathan Martin of Politico on why Obama is winning. This is a good, comprehensive, impartial analysis. ...

... NEW. Ramesh Ponnuru, an editor & contributor to the right-wing National Review, writes a Bloomberg News opinion piece that knocks the wind out of some conservative memes about voter preferences & GOP policy. ...

... NEW. Jon Chait of New York has a very good post on the significance of Romney's remarks: "Instead the video exposes an authentic Romney as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party. He believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it. ('I have inherited nothing. Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way.')"

Nicely timed:

The End of the Line for Willard. David Corn of Mother Jones: "During a private fundraiser earlier this year..., Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them.... To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination":

     ... Corn has three more short videos embedded in the linked post, and writes he will be publishing more. ...

... Here's Corn on Rachel Maddow's show. He has an interesting tale about the venue where the Romney Tapes were recorded:

... Michael Shear of the New York Times: "The blunt political and cultural assessment by the Republican presidential candidate offers a rare glimpse into Mr. Romney's personal views as the campaign enters its final 50 days. Liberals quickly condemned the remarks as insensitive and Mr. Obama's campaign accused him of having 'disdainfully written off half the nation.'" ...

      ... Update: Romney responds to release of the video. ...

      ... Michael Barbaro of the New York Times on how Romney's mini-presser came about. Read to the end.

Had [my father] been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot of winning this. -- Mitt Romney, at a private fundraiser, pointing out, I guess, that "those people" get all the breaks

 

... Digby: "He's literally saying that nearly half the country is a bunch of parasites.... I don't know that I've ever seen a presidential candidate with more contempt for the American people than Mitt Romney. It's one thing for a candidate to attack his opponent, but to attack half he country as a bunch of losers you don't have to care about is just unprecedented. He's obviously as much a believer in twisted Randroid tropes as his chosen VP." ...

... Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic: "What is most jarring about Romney's comments here is ... that sense that Romney's grasp of America is so thin, that he believes that half of it is dismissible strictly on the grounds of laziness." ...

... ** "Thurston Howell Romney." David Brooks: "... as a description of America today, Romney's comment is a country-club fantasy. It's what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney." ... CW: a la Lyndon Johnson's response to Walter Cronkite's criticism of the Vietnam War, Romney -- if he knew any history, which he probably doesn't -- would be saying right now, "If I've lost Brooks, I've lost the election."

... Paul Krugman: "... if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job -- that is, they're people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque. If this is real, it's very, very ugly." CW: it's real. Michael Shear's post quotes a Romney spokesperson, who doesn't even try to deny it; she just says Romney is "concerned" about the grifters. ...

... AND where are all those freeloaders? Oh, my goodness gracious me! A whole passel of them just might be Republicans!

     ... Map via David Graham of The Atlantic.

... AND, as Kevin Roose of New York magazine points out, some of those freeloaders are Mitt's BFFs: "There are two primary ways to pay no (or negative) federal income taxes. The first is to be poor, and the second is to be elderly.... There, are, of course, some exceptions to the old-or-poor rule. As Bruce Bartlett noted last year, roughly 12 million households making over $33,542 in 2011 paid no federal income tax. And there are an untold number of illegal tax evaders who haven't paid a dime either. (Like Wesley Snipes!) But the most egregious members of the 47 percent are the 3,000 people who made more than $2,178,866 in 2011 (putting them in the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers), and yet paid no federal income taxes." ...

... AND, since Lord & Lady Willard Romney won't release their own tax returns -- for all we know, they are among the non-taxpaying freeloaders. Of course we already know they're major moochers, since they have knocked themselves out not to pay their fair share of income tax. Their own record of serial tax avoidance makes Mitt's little "socioeconomic theory" one giant, oozing corpuscle of hypocrisy. ...

... ** Ezra Klein: "Part of the reason so many Americans don't pay federal income taxes is that Republicans have passed a series of very large tax cuts that wiped out the income-tax liability for many Americans.... When you look at graphs of the percent of Americans who don't pay income taxes, you see huge jumps after Ronald Reagan's 1986 tax reform and George W. Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.... Republicans have become outraged over the predictable effect of tax cuts they passed and are using that outrage as the justification for an agenda that further cuts taxes on the rich and pays for it by cutting social services for the non-rich.... Romney's theory here is ... actually core to his economic agenda." ...

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post: "Romney appears to conflate a few things — Obama's approval rating, the percentage of people who do not pay income taxes and people who rely on government assistance. There may be some overlap between these groups but they really are not the same thing.... Perhaps it is too much to expect a politician to be entirely accurate in a closed door speech, but one would think he would have even less need to stretch the truth if he thinks the cameras are not rolling."

... Josh Barro of Bloomberg News: "You can mark my prediction now: A secret recording from a closed-door Mitt Romney fundraiser, released today by David Corn at Mother Jones, has killed Mitt Romney's campaign for president." ...

     ... John Sides of the Monkey Cage runs the numbers & agrees with those of you who have argued that gaffes are not game-changers: "Many a news cycle was built on a 'gaffe' with a remarkably short shelf life."

... Joe Coscarelli of New York on how President Jimmy Carter's grandson helped leak the secret Romney video. CW: nice payback for Romney's nasty remarks about President Grandpa!

Even tho, like Barro, I think the presidential race is over, let's keep at it. Here's an Obama campaign ad hitting Romney on his promise to get tough on China:

... AND what's left of the campaign will be dirty. Charles Pierce: "There's really only one campaign left to [Romney] now.... It's going to get extraordinarily dirty extraordinarily fast. There is going to be pale birtherism and barely covert racism.... There is going to be poor-baiting, and gay-baiting, and ladyparts-baiting, and probably baiting of things I haven't thought of yet. The polite part of the campaign is going to be Romney's effort to convince You that he was really talking about Them when he was calling people moochers and sneak thieves."

AP: "Republicans ... produced an 'Apprentice'-style Donald Trump video that they never showed to delegates." CW: aw, shucks. The "you're fired" part would have been so clever.

"Patriot Games," by the Gregory Brothers for the New York Times:

News Ledes

Chicago Tribune: "The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates decided this afternoon to end the city's first teacher strike in 25 years and return more than 350,000 students to the classroom Wednesday."

Washington Post: "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday called for more hearings on whether a new Republican-backed voter ID law can be implemented this fall without disenfranchising voters who currently lack the needed photo identification. The decision drew sharp rebukes from two of the six justices. They said it was already clear that some legitimate voters could not secure the needed ID in time for the election."

AP: "The United States said Tuesday it is ending the U.S. Agency for International Development's operations in Russia after a Kremlin demand that the aid organization leave the country, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama;s policy of 'resetting' relations between Washington and Moscow."

Washington Post: "The USS Long Beach, the first nuclear-powered surface warship in history, went around the world in a 1964 tour designed to showcase the possibilities of nuclear power.... The ship, which is docked in Bremerton, Wash., is saying its final goodbyes. But there won't be a ceremonial sinking; instead, the Navy is sending the ship off for scrap."

Guardian: "The Nato-led military strategy in Afghanistan has been thrown into disarray after joint on-the-ground operations were suspended because of a collapse in trust over the killings of Americans and other Nato soldiers by Afghan government forces."

Washington Post: "Anti-American protests that started in Cairo and spread across the Muslim world have stalled negotiations to provide crucial U.S. economic assistance to Egypt, U.S. officials said Monday."

Washington Post: "Ten people were killed near Kabul’s airport Tuesday when a suicide car bomber rammed into a minivan carrying foreign aviation workers, police said. A Pakistan-based militant group said it carried out the attack to avenge an Internet video that defames the prophet Muhammad."

Reader Comments (37)

Saw Corn's videos on Facebook earlier today. Amazing stuff. Bet Rove is trying to figure out how to replace both Mitt and Akin on the ballot, while Axelrod is trying to figure out how to get all those parasites to the polls.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

So the Rat shows his teeth.

Half of America are nothing but bums and scum according to Lord Rat. He never had anything handed to him. He made it all with his own little rat tail wiggling against piles of loot.

The Rat appeals to his own kind with the sort of come on that would work with him: a hate-filled paranoia of the wealthy whose dreams of control over those who would ask them to pay their fair share are wrapped in racism.

This guy is just too filthy for words. A rat fuck if there ever was one. The best thing about this campaign (if the Rat loses) is that everything he has accomplished, his entire life's reservoir of stories of personal glory and solipsistic simpering will be forever coated in the slime he has dragged out from his black soul, smearing millions of Americans in a futile attempt to win something he feels should just be handed to him.

He'll live the rest of his pig-fuck rodent life gnawing on the cheese of his defeat.

Pig.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Easy Akhilleus, easy. You're getting close to going over the top. His Lordship is simply doing what Republicans have always done. Before iPhones, no one documented it.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

James,

True. But this guy is beyond the pale. The best thing about this whiny, racist, homophobic, pampered little rich boy losing will be for him to be humiliated by a black man who really DID come from nothing. Who really didn't have everything handed to him. And for the Rat to be forever held in contempt by everyone, on both sides.

Pig.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Agreed.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Hi guys -
I have been watching the Romney catastrophe on MSNBC and had just logged in here to make this observation: Romney is really not a nice human being.
I see from reading the posts above that I have indeed been trumped.
Maybe tying his dog to the roof of his car told us all we needed to know about Romney.......months ago.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

How can any of you be surprised? Our founding fathers were scared silly by Sam Adams and Thomas Paine. When they needed rabble to tar and feather England's officials or Tom Paine's pamphlets they were happy. When they founded a government they took care to leave the rabble without the vote. Those waterfront bums of Sam Adams were just a tool.
The Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court is a continuation of the fear of the rabble by capital. The real thinking of the Supreme Court is that who is better to rule America than the successful.
Our founding fathers were the one percent of their time or agents of the one percent. Who better to rule America?
Sorry about that, but you must know that big money thinks it should rule America and in the end it will.

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarlyle

Sam Iamb sez:

"The harder Mitt's campaign plays fast and loose,
The more well done doth seem his roasting goose."

September 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Connah

@carlyle. I don't think any of us is at all surprised. The tapes are just confirmation of what we already knew & what you expressed very well.

Foolish as we are, we prefer to vote for someone we think would like us if he knew us. Mitt Romney not only would never like most of us, he does not even respect us. Any of us.

A person will not be a just governor if s/he doesn't respect the governed.

Marie

September 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

A bit beside the point, but worth noting. My husband, Donnie Decent, retired physician--watching Ed and Rachel on MSNBC tonight--noted that in the videos of Mitt he seems unable to turn his head. As if his neck is completely stiff. I suggested he may have a steel rod up his ass. My erudite husband thinks he may have had a spinal fusion and, therefore, when he tries to turn his head, has to move his whole body each time. I dunno--looks like a robot to me--or as I suggested previously, a steel rod, etc. etc.

Beyond that little tidbit, let us face it. This man is a growing disaster. Really seems to manifest the classic "Aspergers' Syndrome," with an Emotional IQ of -100--to give him the benefit of the doubt. I would feel sorry for him if he were a patient-- and suffering from being bullied and misunderstood. However, he seems to have turned his affliction around and identified with the aggressor. MittWitt is a BULLY. Pure and simple. The man is a bully. No other way to say it.

P.S. Remember the Supremes, just as PD Pepe and I do daily! Especially in the supermarket when buying apples and peaches. Do not hesitate to turn around and shout!

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

I hate to be so negative but I still feel like we may well wakeup on a Wednesday morning to a President romney. I'm afraid I have more faith in the corporate mafia/1%/rove/koch bro's ability to buy or steal the election by fraud than I do for the average American citizen to distinguish the truth from the lies. God I hope I'm wrong.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Bones

Oh! Happy Days are Here Again!

To kinda paraphrase, one commenter on the David Brooks column today re "...Romney's amazing skill of shooting himself in the foot while said foot is in his mouth!"

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

@Victoria - I love your comment!

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I'm going to have to agree with Tommy Bones on this one. Calling the election over now is IMHO a bit naïve while underestimating the desperation of the neo-con's lust for power. Remember one of the Koch brothers declaring this election "the war of all wars?" In their world of money and power, they never lose. An Obama reelection would be a huge shot to their pride and 'manhood', and they'll avert that consequence by whatever means necessary. They too obviously understand the potential consequences of this election regarding the direction of our country and you can bet they Remember the Supremes!

I love Romney shooting himself in the foot almost as much as I like Cheney shooting his friends in the face, but this is no time to sit back and enjoy the show. Instead of laughing at him while he sits on his ass, now is the time to put the proverbial boot on his throat and apply considerable pressure. No mercy until the white flag is raised. Make the pressure unbearable until election day when he (hopefully) slithers back into his cave. Until it's sure Neo-Cons haven't indeed stolen the election, no mercy. Repugs wouldn't have it any other way

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersafari

A review of the media response to this revelation of Romney's contempt for half of America will expose the corruption of the media.. Some papers have the story below the fold and some play it inside the paper. The Stuart News has the story on page three as a sub head.
I guess I am one of the three Democrats in Martin County

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarlyle

Re: Don't be calling the egg a chicken until it clucks; I with T. Bones and Safari (not a bad name for a take-out steak place). Good scary movies never end till the end. There is a percentage that would vote for a poke in the eye rather than Obama. You just can't forget, like being in a closet with cobra.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Regarding Ezra Klein's point that the reason many pay no Federal income taxes is sue to REPUBLICAN tax cuts: it makes their complaints regarding freeloaders who pay no taxes akin to the old joke about the boy who killed his parents and then complained he was an orphan.
Here's another thought: Wasn't it Romney who proudly said, "I paid all taxes I owed, and not a penny more!" And now he complains about the 47% who are legally paying all they owe and not a penny more?

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Some random thoughts on the Rat's latest scurry for the safety of his hole (something he does almost daily, it seems).

Romney, like so many Republicans does this interesting projection thing (Kate can explain it better) wherein he/they accuse Americans who decline their offer of serfdom and a life spent in servitude to right-wing ideology of feeling that they are "victims". The Rat did it again in his latest video escapade (his exposure is almost pornographic). "They believe they are victims who are entitled..." he whined.

But isn't it Mittens and his billionaire backers who feel they are entitled? Who feel they have been victimized by the WSJ's "Lucky Duckies"? Those ungrateful parasites who live off the backs of the rich, who make less than $12,000 a year and PAY NO TAXES!! Lucky Duckies, indeed. (Mrs. Rat probably spends more than that on her nails.)

And to further emphasize how poorly he and his white billionaire brethren are treated by the "mongrel hordes" in this country, the Rat whines that "If I was a Mexican I'd have no problem getting elected." Poor Mittens, such a victim. All those mean dark-skinned Lucky Duckies out to get him.

So the take here is that half the country mooches off the Rat and his fellow oligarchs, people of color have it so easy they get elected just by showing up, and to top it off, they want the government to take care of everything for them, unlike Mittens and co. who never rely on government handouts, corporate welfare, infrastructure, police protection, etc, etc, etc.

But other questions now come to the fore. As Marie's graphic points out, most of the moochers are from Republican states. By far and away. They mooch off Democratic states who pay their full share of taxes. AND most of the moochers are WHITE CHRISTIANS.

But what about the Rat and Mrs. Rat? They're moochers too. We know for a fact that (when they actually pay taxes) they pay a much lower rate than any of us out here, and very likely on the returns he has hidden away in one of his rat holes, Rodent Boy hasn't paid a cent in taxes for years and years.

But unlike all those Lucky Duckies, he's an upstanding citizen (read: white and privileged, therefore: ENTITLED).

The hypocrisy and psychological boomeranging is head snapping.

Still, like others have opined this morning, I have serious doubts that any of this seals the deal. I immediately thought of the Guns and Religion video and Marie has done a stellar job of parsing that question, but none of this means, as some have suggested, that the race is over.

We still have the Super Pacs, Rove, the Kochs, the Teabagger Election Stealing Squads poised to attack at Democratic polling places around the country, and we still have a supine, submissive press running around David Gregory-like with their noses to the ground sniffing out false equivalencies with which to paper over the Rat's latest foot down rat-throat exercise.(Marie's prediction about the Guns and Religion video being compared with the Rat's latest truth-telling will be fulfilled by midday today.)

But he'll survive. And he may still win.

As JJG says, horror movies are never just "over". You usually have to kill the fuckers three or four times.

And don't forget the sequels.

Still, any day on which an evil rat bastard pig like Romney has to do a jig is a good one. Maybe we can send him some Mexican jumping beans.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

The fact that nine of the 10 states with the highest levels of non-federal tax payers are southern Republican red will not change a single vote for that group unless Obama figures out some way to change the color of his skin.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

I'm undecided as to which comment was most breathtakingly dense. Does he truly believe be "inherited nothing"? What about those stock options he paid his way through college with? And does he not recognize that rich people are among the 47% that pay no taxes, and very likely, if the stories are to be believed, include him?
As an accountant in public practice, I sign tax returns every year for wealthy people who have ZERO tax liability at the bottom of the return. I guess they're just a bunch of lazy freeloaders.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercakers

Victoria,

Full of good points this morning!

Great point on the Rat Mittens and his "not a penny more" line.

And your point that we knew all we needed to know about this pig through his treatment of the family pet! The FAMILY PET!

Narcissistic sociopath.

But still, perhaps, our next president.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

In his "half of Americans are slackers" tape, Romney is of course disparaging millions of nice, white Republican voters. If his remarks aren't a game-changer, here's why: probably the vast majority of those Republican -- and Democratic -- slackers don't know it.

I would bet millions of Americans who don't pay income tax think they are paying income tax. And they are, in a way, because they are paying payroll taxes -- for Social Security & Medicare. And those payroll taxes are -- based on their incomes. Employers take this money, usually along with income payroll deductions, out of their paychecks. The earners never see it. Even when they get rebates of every cent of their income tax, even when -- if they are eligible for tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit -- they get rebates that are greater than the income tax deducted from their paychecks, that amount still is not likely to be greater than their total federal taxes -- income & payroll. So in their minds, they are not among the 47 percent of Americans Romney characterizes as irresponsible. It's those "other" people who are lazy, good-for-nothing freeloaders.

The Obama campaign has little "figure your taxes" interactive features on its Website. It should add one that lets users find out if they're among the irresponsible riff-raff "dependent on government." Plus, most soldiers probably fall into the lazy slackers category. Since the military tend to vote Republican, it would be a good idea to let them know just what Romney thinks of them.

Marie

September 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

@cakers. Good points. The rich kid themselves into believing they contribute to society just by being. And they are "jobs creators" even if a lot of the jobs they are creating are outsourced to Bangladesh. Hell, they have maids & gardeners, don't they? They go to the beauty parlor. They buy nice things, albeit not necessarily nice things with a "Made in the USA" label.

Oh, and most of them give to charity -- a popular deduction that helps reduce their tax liability. They decide who should benefit from their largesse rather than letting the government dole it out. Funny, as much as they love a strong military, I doubt many of them are endowing the Pentagon. I'm not suggesting charitable giving is a bad thing -- it isn't -- but the lords & ladies who think getting their names on a plaque at Your Local Artsy Fartsy Building is a worthy endeavor or who think the Church of the Latter Day Oligarchs is the best recipient of their extra cash, may not be using their loose change in places where it's most needed & most efficiency spent. (The Church of the Latter Day Oligarchs has a lot of overhead.)

Marie

September 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

A little information on the Rat's party buddy, Marc Leder, who owns the mansion in Boca whereat Mittens shoved his foot down his gullet.

Leder is just as a big a vulture as the Rat. Another "private capital" parasite who has stated that he waits for things to get bad with the economy, a great thing in recent years due to Republican economic policies, and then pounces. He targets companies that are actually fine but may need a little time to accommodate things like IT upgrades or plant overhauls. These companies are gobbled up quickly by Leder's company, Sun Capital, before they can recover on their own, then broken up, stomped on, relieved of unnecessary things like pensions for their employees, then quickly resold at a profit or ridden into the ground and closed for use as tax break fodder.

One particular company eaten up by Romney's BFF, Leder, was a place I frequented as a kid, a company in the northeast called Friendly's Ice Cream. It was just a small family owned business that made sandwiches and sold ice cream. A fun place we used to go to on Friday nights or after a school dance.

It ran into trouble recently which brought it into Leder's lizard crosshairs. He bought it up then declared Chapter 11 so he wouldn't have to be responsible for the pensions and retirements of its employees. When asked about such a heartless, unnecessarily vicious maneuver, he shrugged his shoulders and basically said "Too bad, that's how it works."

Another Rat bastard.

But it's enormously revealing (well, okay, we already knew this) that these are the people whom Romney considers bosom buddies; who "get it".

They're all nothing but contemptible parasites who purchase their lavish "entitlements" off the backs of average Americans' retirement money. These people didn't "build it". They don't build anything. They destroy, they tear down, and live off the detritus, champagne bottles in hand. Yachts awaiting their pleasure.

Moochers who pay no taxes. Aren't those the people the Rat hates?

Someone hand that rodent a mirror, please.

(As several people have mentioned earlier, this stuff needs to be front and center all the way until the end. No let up. Keep the heat on this scumbag. As Safari stated, Republicans would never let up. They'll be bludgeoning Obama--and us--right down to the wire. Take nothing for granted.)

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

To follow up on Marie's point about charitable giving, Marc Leder's vulture capital enterprise, Sun Capital, an $8 billion company, gave $165,000 to a foundation they have created for show off their philanthropic largesse. My math may be off but it seems like Leder's philanthropy amounts to 2/10,000ths of one percent of his company's worth.

Mighty white of him.

I give to charitable organizations, but I wouldn't be able to match Leder's giving level.

Currency doesn't come in values hundreds of times less than a penny.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Great local news: Standard & Poors downgrades N.J. financial outlook to 'negative'. This along with the fact that NJ's unemployment rate is one the highest in the nation should finally put an end to the 'comeback' bullshit. Oh and did I mention that Christie's income projection was just a little off, by $235M.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

You people are fired up today, but like some I'm skeptical whether this will be, as they say, a game changer. Marie makes some interesting points in her two comments here plus Charles Pierce's prognostication that things are going to get really nasty with the Republicans dishing out the dirt in big buckets. Yet––yet there is this possibility said by Pliny the Elder when the world was young but just as dirty:
"When a building is about to fall down, all the mice [and RATS] desert it."

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

And here's a starter in that bucket of dirt:

Right-Wing Blogs Allege Slain U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens Was Gay
Conservative blog HillBuzz is reporting Stevens was gay—something supposedly widely known in his Chicago hometown—and blame the Obama Administration for knowingly sending a homosexual into a Middle Eastern country, where his death would presumably be inevitable.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

@PD Pepe
Would one of the deserting rats be Marie's "favorite" columnist David Brooks or is it just another ploy by Mr. Two Face?

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

A small correction is in order for most of the MSM latecomers just getting around to Mittens' pitch to billionaires at a mansion paid for by money stolen from average Americans.

Folks, it's not a gaffe. A gaffe is a mistake; a blunder, a boo-boo, a fuck up. The Rat has written new chapters in the book on screw ups but this doesn't belong in that long, long list.

This was no gaffe. It's the complete and unvarnished truth, at least as far as anything emanating from the Rat's piehole can be deemed truthful. (I suppose "I love money" would be a truthful statement...). It's Mittens' very own personal mantra: "Poor people bad. Losers. love big government. Rich people good. Job creators. Don't need government. Non-white people: get all the breaks".

This is stuff he believes in his tiny little lapidarian lizard heart.

And thanks to Marvin for letting us in on the economic truth in the fantasy world of Chunky Christie.

Another prevaricating poseur peddling wing-nut nonsense in his own inimitably imbecilic, blustering manner.

May his colon seize and blow his "big ideas" back up the pipeline the next time he is being orally pleasured by Fluffy Gregory on national TV.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Greetings. This blog and the posters are thoughtful and engaging. Thanks for stimulating my somewhat soggy brain.

To belabor the point, Lord Small Balls ( thanks Akillheus) dropped his mask in the video. Not very revealing for those who have been paying attention. LSB always looked like the Vincent D'Onofrio character in Men in Black who provides his body for an especially disgusting cockroach alien. The cockroach constantly struggles with containing himself in the human body while D'Onofrio contorts his limbs, grimaces, and physically deteriorates. OK simple pleasures..

This video story may well be superseded in length and effect by Afghanistan. What a cluster. Suspending "the mission" indefinitely. It's pretty easy to see the response - GET OUT. However, LSB will never miss an opportunity to exploit sentiment around American deaths, even though many of those soldiers are part of the electorate he discards and disdains.

The public has shown a great willingness to embrace racism, stupidity and misogyny even when they are constantly being flashed by the naked GOP in a raincoat. There has to be an emphasis on registering voters and enabling youth, people of color and women to get to the polls.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Just sittin' around feeling more hopeful and enjoying all the comments on RealityChex today. Then I picked up "The Oregonian" and saw a big article about how Black preachers all over the country are telling their flocks "Not so fast with supporting Obama!" They are freaked out that he is supporting gay marriage. WTF? And these are not just Southern preachers--New York, Indiana and a few more. None from the West Coast, thank you Jeezus. Of course we have very few Black people here--just Christian fundies and survivalists!

Up is down and down is up--now I believe this. How could such a persecuted group of people join ranks to persecute another group of such persecuted people? GET ME OUT OF HERE! New Zealand is looking better every day--especially since they gave rivers the rights of personhood. This makes sense to me.

P.S. Remember the Supremes! (Turn up the Motown sound as you dance to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough!" Where are Diana Ross and Smoky Robinson when we need them?)

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

Kate: your query about how can a people that have been persecuted in turn persecute has been something that I have found compelling and confounding for years. It presents its self in adults who have been abused as children and in turn abuse their own children; Jews having been persecuted working for Nazis in their pursuit of persecution of Jews. There are countless examples and since The Supremes are of utmost importance in our daily cries of warning to the populace of super markets, my favorite example is our very own Clarence Thomas who by playing the race card––the game of ethic advantage that Thomas had built a career opposing–- could win him the victim supreme sweepstakes. It might be something like pay-back––getting a sense of satisfaction that someone else is experiencing what they themselves once ––and in some cases still do––had to go through. Rev. Sharpton has come out with great vigor in advocating for gay rights as I'm sure other black leaders have done so that we can hope for some change of heart and head in this matter. But your question still stands and needs to be answered.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

PD,

A good overview of how the process of serial persecution works.

Of course, another piece to the puzzle has to be the effect that organized religion can have in pushing its adherents to act against some of its most basic tenets. Didn't Jesus instruct his followers to love everyone regardless of their station? I don't recall any lines in which he amends that to say "except for gays.."

Of course I'm sure many would say that they don't hate gays, they just hate the idea of them marrying. But other than that they're free to live their lives (until we get a majority who agree to imprison or execute them).

I've always found it interesting that Jews, hated and despised and homeless for centuries would insist on a similar fate for Palestinians and have no sympathy (even in the abstract) for their situation. I realize that there is the nearly insurmountable barrier of the thousands of dead on both sides, but not to be able to see even a small connection?

Still, if black churches and ministers work against Obama's reelection they may find themselves pushed even further down the ladder by the type of hate and racially motivated legislation and social restructuring sure to follow the election of the Rat.

Be careful what you wish for.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Re: I hate you for your hatred; PD; Ak; you all pointed it out, social issues are economic issues. Women are held down by what seems like social anchors but the battleship chain running down to the anchor are economic. Blacks( not the New Zealand kind, Kate) are held down by economics too. With prosperity comes enlightenment, at least I think so. Tough to be nice when the world is fucking you over. Mean as a junk yard dog comes to mind.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Oh Lordy! Sweet Jeezus! Vengence can be verrry sweet.


Carter’s Grandson Leaked Romney Video (From Daily Beast)

A video of Mitt Romney behind closed doors blasting the 47 percent of Americans he says don’t pay income tax has gone viral so quickly that the most wicked influenza strains are undoubtedly jealous. Now, New York’s Daily Intel reports that former President Jimmy Carter’s grandson is to blame—or thank, depending on your view. James Carter IV is credited as a research assistant on the Mother Jones piece that broke the story. Carter spends time “almost every day” searching for video clips of Republicans. Once he unearthed today’s infamous footage, he put the source in contact with Mother Jones, who he has worked with before.


Besides that, Mr. Rat, how didya like the play?

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

The thing that struck me about the Romney video was how eloquent he was in presenting. In Australia we only get soundbites of the canpaign where Romney comes across as somewhat wooden and disconnected, in this video you could really see him espousing his core beliefs for the first time. My (and most of the thinking world) concern is that progressives will think that Romney is no chance and that efforts to increase the Democratic vote are not needed. The wingnuts are rabid. As Marie often points out elections matter.

September 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjonster
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