The Ledes

Sunday, August 2, 2015.

Los Angeles Times: "The Rocky Fire exploded overnight, burning 47,000 acres as of Sunday morning and threatening 6,000 structures in [California's] Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties. The U.S. Forest Service said "fire activity dramatically progressed"  late Saturday, forcing the closure of several state highways in the area. The fire is just 5% contained; about 12,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. Nearly 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze and more are coming into the area."

The Wires

Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week's address, the President celebrated the fiftieth birthdays of Medicare and Medicaid, which together have allowed millions to live longer and better lives":

The Ledes

Saturday, August 1, 2015.

USA Today: "Staggered by a $72 billion debt load, Puerto Rico was likely to miss a debt payment due Saturday, setting the stage for what could be one of the largest U.S. municipal debt restructurings. Puerto Rico's government said Friday it would not make a $58 million bond payment due over the weekend."

CNN: "Three members of Osama bin Laden's family were among four people killed in a small plane crash in southern England, British police said."

White House Live Video
July 31

1:00 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing with Energy Secretary Ernest Munoz

2:00 pm ET: Open government public meeting

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

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."

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.

New York Times: "In a pair of legal filings on Friday, two nuns who object to [singer Katy] Perry’s proposed purchase of their order’s convent on eight acres [in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles] disclosed an email describing any sale to the saucy pop singer as a breach of their sacred vows.... The court papers include claims by several of five surviving nuns in the Sisters of the Most Holy and Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary that the archdiocese is betraying them and bullying them into supporting a sale other than their preferred transaction with [another buyer]."

NASA: "In the latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains, in the center-left of the heart feature, informally named 'Tombaugh Regio' (Tombaugh Region) after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930."

Hill: "President Obama is making a final 'Daily Show' appearance before host Jon Stewart leaves the political comedy program after 17 years. Obama will sit down for his final chat with Stewart on Tuesday, the White House confirmed Friday."

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Saturday
Sep012012

The Commentariat -- Sept. 2, 2012

Oh My. Nicholas Confessore, et al., of the New York Times: "New York attorney general [Eric Schneiderman] is investigating whether some of the nation's biggest private equity firms have abused a tax strategy in order to slice hundreds of millions of dollars from their tax bills, according to executives with direct knowledge of the inquiry.... Schneiderman has in recent weeks subpoenaed more than a dozen firms seeking documents that would reveal whether they converted certain management fees collected from their investors into fund investments, which are taxed at a far lower rate than ordinary income. Among the firms to receive subpoenas [is] ...Bain Capita, which was founded by Mitt Romney...."

Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post writes an interesting overview of some of the literature on "what's the matter with American capitalism," but strangely, he couldn't seem to find anything that addressed the interests of workers. As long as ordinary workers have no representatives at the table -- and that's the situation today -- don't expect income inequality to magically collapse.

Anne Eisenberg reviews The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povitch, the story of how women brought suit to force Newsweek management to give them writing jobs. Their effort eventually led to industry-wide change, though -- as Eisenberg writes -- "Feminism is an incomplete revolution."

Presidential Race

Jackie Calmes of the New York Times: "With his party's nominating convention approaching next week, President Obama started a four-day, four-state campaign trip in Iowa on Saturday, the state where he opened his unlikely quest for the presidency five years ago." ...

... Devin Dwyer of ABC News: "Greeting Air Force One as it touched down under sunny skies and sultry heat [in Sioux City, Iowa] was a hand-painted banner draped across the top of an airplane hangar that reads, 'Obama Welcome to SUX - We Did Build This.' 'SUX' is the airport code for Sioux City." In the photo accompanying the article, you can see that the "Welcome to" is written in tiny letters, so the banner appears to say only "Obama SUX."

     ... "Ale to the Chief." This White House blogpost has the recipes for White House honey ale & White House honey porter.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr. & Ely Portillo of the Charlotte Observer: "Eight months after evicting Occupy Charlotte protesters from public property, police now appear ready to let protesters camp at an uptown park that has become the center of protest activity during the Democratic convention. A bus that arrived at Marshall Park Saturday brought dozens of protesters who erected tents at the county-owned park.... Local officials, while not explicitly granting permission, suggested the city and county are inclined to let protesters stay overnight as long as no trouble arises."

Jonathan Chait of New York makes the case that the real theme of the GOP convention was "we rich people deserve our money & we should be able to keep it all. Too bad for everybody else."

Maureen Dowd: Republicans "knocked themselves out producing a convention that was a colossal hoax."

End of the Affair. Alina Selyukh of Reuters: "A modest bump in popularity for U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney from this week's Republican Party convention looks to be short-lived, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Democratic President Barack Obama regained a narrow lead on Saturday by 44 percent to 43 percent over his Republican challenger ... in the latest daily installment of the four-day rolling poll. Romney was ahead by one point in Friday's online poll and two points in Thursday's survey." ...

... Nate Silver: "We'll need to wait another day or two before we can make a more confident judgement on the size of Mr. Romney's bounce, but the information we have so far points toward its being a little underwhelming."

AP/Huffington Post: in his "I Care" photo-op trip to storm-torn Louisiana, Mitt Romney advised a woman whose house was literally underwater to go home & call 211, a public service number. Maybe one of his ace staffer should have explained to Romney what "flooded-out" means. The woman still said Romney "... is good. He'll do the best for us. He has our best interests at heart. I thought he'd be more like a politician, but it was more understanding and caring." Okay.

David Sirota has a swell piece criticizing the New York Times puff piece on Janna Ryan. In real life, as opposed to the Times story, Ryan was a privileged, connected Washington lobbyist.

Caroline Bankoff of New York on why Paul Ryan's lie about running a sub-three-hour marathon matters. Bankoff puts together commentary by Nicholas Thompson of the New Yorker & Paul Krugman. ...

... Shushannah Walshe of ABC News points out that Ryan also left the impression during the Hewitt interview that he ran "marathons." But according to his campaign, he ran only one. CW: the honest answer to Hewitt's question would have been something like, "Yeah, I ran a marathon once when I was in college & I think my time put me somewhere in the middle of the pack. Now I run only 10Ks." But look at how Ryan answers Hewitt's questions. Now, could somebody show me some pictures, please, of Ryan's catfish-noodling. What with his being given to fish stories, maybe that's one, too. How about some shots of Reverse Robin Hood's killing Bambi with a bow-&-arrow. Maybe we'll find out that like Romney, Ryan's big-game hunting is limited to setting mousetraps in his basement. (Romney has Jeeves do it, of course.)

AND Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post: "We've entered the final stretch of the presidential election, and it has become apparent that Mitt Romney actually won't release any more back tax returns, on the moral principle that nobody can make him, so neener, neener.... On one hand, it would be unfair and irresponsible of me to baselessly speculate about what embarrassing facts those tax returns might reveal. On the other hand, no one can stop me, so neener, neener." Weingarten's speculations include "His tax-shelter plan is so shrewd that he is, technically, indigent. He qualifies for, and uses, food stamps."

News Ledes

New York Times: "The former Navy SEALs member who is a co-author of a first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden was willing to break 'the code of silence' honored by many commandos because of 'bad blood' with his former unit, the elite SEAL Team 6, according to a new e-book written by other Special Operations veterans."

New York Times: "The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Korean evangelist, businessman and self-proclaimed messiah who built a religious movement notable for its mass weddings, fresh-faced proselytizers and links to vast commercial interests, died on Monday in Gapyeong, South Korea. He was 92."

New York Times: "The training of Afghan Local Police and special operations forces has been put on hold for at least a month while their American trainers conduct stricter vetting to try to root out any infiltrators or new recruits who could pose risks to the coalition troops working with them, American officials say." Washington Post story here.

AP: "A senior Obama administration political appointee and longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigned Saturday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior lodged by at least three Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. Suzanne Barr, chief of staff to ICE Director John Morton, said in her resignation letter that the allegations against her are 'unfounded.' But she said she was stepping down anyway to end distractions within the agency."

Washington Post: Yosemite National Park officials have closed "the park's 91 signature tent cabins, where park officials say they believe a deadly outbreak of hantavirus originated in June, sickening four people and killing two. The cabins are closed indefinitely as officials wait to see whether their efforts to close gaps between the cabin walls are enough to keep virus-carrying deer mice out."

AP: "Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu called Sunday for Tony Blair and George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Tutu, the retired Anglican Church's archbishop of South Africa, wrote in an op-ed piece for The Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to 'answer for their actions.'" His opinion piece is here.

Guardian: "Syrian rebels have seized an air defence facility and attacked a military airport in the east of the country, according to a UK-based monitoring group."

Reader Comments (23)

Regarding the exposé of Ryan's white lie about his marathon time described in Maureen Dowd's piece and earlier by Marie, I couldn't
help but think that Runners' World is putting some of our mainstream media to shame, at least in the fact checking department. Maybe some of the political journalists will take note.

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

How Ross Douthat ever graduated from high school, never mind Harvard (yeah, I read about the cheating scandal but that's not the norm), is far beyond my poor powers to comprehend, never mind support.

The Times Op-Ed page today is given over, as it often is, to the Gods of False Equivalency.

Doucheboy compares Romney, favorably, with FDR, whom he suggests was more often than not, a floundering failure who offered nothing more than vague bromides (a la Romney) in 1932, and won more because Hoover was not a very good candidate--and had bad employment numbers--than anything else.

The goal is to suggest that Romney is pretty much the same as FDR in that no one really knew much about FDR and that his convention speech was not much more detailed than Romney's. Ergo, Romney is in the same boat as FDR and could go on, with the kind of situation FDR lucked into, to be one of the great presidents.

This is a little bit like saying Freddie and the Dreamers, if only "I'm Telling You Now" had charted a bit better in the states, could have been as big as the Beatles. This guy is an industrial grade moron. Oh wait, that's giving him all the best of it. In reality, Doucheboy is a whining, intellectually weak-kneed, winger cry-baby and a disembling rat fuck. (We'll forget that even conservative historians rate FDR as no lower than the third best president of all time--after Washington and Lincoln, fer crissakes--so Blow Up Doll Boy must have some pretty high expectations for President Rat.)

But let's test his assertion that FDR and Romney are pretty much the same candidate. (Please hold snickers for at least the next 10 seconds. Not possible? Okay, go ahead and snicker.)

Romney's experiences include his time as a vicious, amoral vulture capitalist who routinely runs down government assistance, but who made good use of government help both to support his financial, job-killing, business decimating schemes, through tax loopholes, and to save Bain through a government bailout. He also relied on hordes of cash from the government in his "management" of the Salt Lake Olympics for which he takes full credit. His public sector experience boils down to about 18 months as governor of Massachusetts. Pretty much every single public issue he has weighed in on over the years he has reneged on and flip-flopped over.

Roosevelt had experience as a state senator in the hothouse political world of New York in the 20s. He took on the Tammany Hall machine (and paid for it--and learned from it). He gained federal experience as Secretary of the Navy (far closer to the military than the Rat has ever gotten--strolling around on a decommissioned battleship is not, Rossy-poo, the same thing) and later became governor of New York (for two real terms, not Romney's 50 weeks or so until he got bored). All along his career path he left clear political markers as to how he would govern, contrary to Douchewad's claims of inscrutable vagueness on Roosevelt's part.

But the biggest marker of how Roosevelt might govern came not from some smartypants Romney-like takeover in which hundreds of Americans lost their jobs and homes while Romney stashed their nest eggs in one of his secret Cayman accounts.

FDR, being stricken by polio came into direct and prolonged contact with and unassailble fellowship with those who had been cast aside and left, a la Paul Ryan, for dead, by the side of the road. Does Doucheboy seriously think, since he never mentions this, that Romney is still the same as FDR? Perhaps he thinks that a one hour tour of a flood stricken town in Lousiana followed by hordes of reporters is the same, in terms of his association with America's unfortunates, as Roosevelt's years of experience as one of that group, no matter what his wealth (which, by the way was never by any imaginary balance near the kind of riches Romney has reaped off the backs of American citizens and businesses. Willard IS a RAT FUCK thief).

I can go on and on about this, but you get it. FDR's experience as an American cast down by ill fortune, brought him to a major paradigm shift in his thinking about the mass of Americans who were similarly laid low by Republican fiscal shenanigans.

Can anyone seriously maintain that Romney cares about anyone other than himself and his wealthy cohort? Romney and Ryan, if they have their way, will add millions more to the rolls of the unfortunate, while picking their pockets and stealing their watches and jewlery as they are lowered into their graves, graves set aside for them by the Rat and the Fraud (although paid for by someone else).

On the other side of the Op-Ed page, Friedman whines, as is his wont, in-fucking-terminably, about boo-hoo, we need a third party. Both Obama and Romney are good candidates (really, Tom?? are you that fucking stupid??) but we could use someone else. Full disclosure: I didn't even really read the whole thing. I don't have to. It's the same old bullshit he's been recycling while sitting poolside at his NJ Disney-sized mansion, sipping drinks with little umbrellas in them fashioned out of thousand dollar bills.

The Times fails us on so many levels. It's nice to see that they don't fail to suck on a regular basis by offering this kind of swill. With America on the line, is this really the best they can do? Recycled nonsense and a whining liar?

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

An additional thought about the sad and insulting lameness of writers like Douthat whom the Times sees fit to inflict upon its readers as if we should consider his words seriously.

Surely to god there must be thoughtful, respectable, learned men and women of conservative bent who have not gone (completely) over to the dark side. And I'm not talking about raving maniacs like the anal stretching Krauthammer or smug solipsists like George Will. Is there no one who can carry the conservative banner and do it in an honest and reasoned manner besides the imbeciles and mountebanks who are foisted upon us relentlessly, whose ideas and points of view are laughably refutable and morally and ethically repugnant?

If not, perhaps it has to do with the fact that most their ideas are simply indefensible. Someone over the last few days suggested that Fraud Ryan lost an opportunity to present and defend his true ideas at the convention but declined to do so because they were too radical and therefore indefensible to Americans who aren't the Kochs.

My real complaint here is why Democrats have not been loudly ripping into these liars and charlatans. If their ideas are truly so abhorrent that even they themselves decline to defend them in an open forum, in full light of day, they are selling Americans a bill of goods and someone needs to be pointing this out.

My fear is that many Americans are ready, without anyone to tell them different, to sign on the dotted line.

A great big thank you to the Times and other media outlets for the extreme success of a totally fact-less Republican presidential campaign.

(Oh, but don't miss the article they published about how both sides lie. The headline suggests as much but in the body of the piece there are a dozen examples of Romney's outright lies alongside one or two Obama distortions. The conclusion, suprisingly, is that both sides need to do a better job.)

September 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

A thanks out to Cowichan and Victoria for correcting me re: Romney's snarky mention of global warming. I missed that part––must have been when I was out baying at the moon or getting another popsicle to suck on.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

I am going to check with a psychiatrist or two about the connection between conservative politics and lying. There seems to be a serious link. Perhaps, not giving a damn about anyone except yourself creates the sociopathic mindset.
BTW, sociopaths are fully aware that they are lying. They just believe they are entitled to it.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Re: caught thinking again; Why does Mitt keep some bags of gold overseas? Let's pretend Mitt gets no tax breaks (he said so, and Mormons never lie; except that lie). He keeps millions overseas so he can invest in business proposals that would be illegal, unsavory or traitorous, possibly all three; but very profitable. Having a stash overseas allows him the freedom to invest in, say, casinos in Singapore or labor camp factories in China or petroleum exploration in Russia. He doesn't have to deal with pesky US regulations or sign any forms. He's free to make money on anything.
A British bank just got a slap on the hand for moving Iranian money through the New York banking system. Mitt doesn't like giving up a penny of his hard earned cash; his money doesn't flow through NYC; no slap on the hand. The Caymans hold trillions of South American dope profits that are invested around the world; could Mitt be part of a cartel of "nope profits" operating outside of US banking regulators sight? We'll never know.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

@Marvin Schwalb: if you can do that, it would be a great service. I think it has most to do with the conservatives' basing their whole economic case on disproved paradigms, so they have to make up stuff. They lie to survive. It also has to do with insatiable personal greed. How else can you explain their plotting on the day of the inauguration to undermine the President?

All politicians appeal to greed, though the liberal appeal is more persuasive since its appeal to is the millions of have-nots & have-littles, at the same time it invokes the angels of our better natures -- don't be a selfish bastard, we're all in this together; we're a community. The conservative appeal -- faulty as it is -- is entirely to the selfish bastard within -- don't let those "other" people get a nickel of your money; forget the greater good.

Marie

September 2, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Well said, Marie. I doubt a psychiatrist could add much to your summary. I'm thinking though, it's not just failed economic paradigms that require the Repugnants' resort to lying; it's the fast- changing demographics that equally disturb them, especially ironic because they apparently want all potential fetuses to come to term, and it's all that protoplasm that will bury them, not Obama's "failed economic policies."

In line with your and Marvin's thought, have been exchanging some mails with college classmates--ah, those were the days!--about a new book about Reagan's long-time stoolie relationship with the FBI. ("Subversives" by Seth Rosenfeld http://bookforum.com/inprint/019_03/10030)
Those who have read it found it "creepy."

I said to them, "maybe because Reagan is of my father's generation, I can imagine myself into some sympathy with the intellectual and emotional contortions Reagan might have experienced living through the Depression, WWII and the decades-long (its tattered remnants still with us) Red Scare, particularly for those, who True Believers like my father followed the path trodden by many others and, impelled in part by ingrained racism, migrated from Rooseveltian liberalism in their youth to the land of harsh conservatism in the years of our own.

What I have no sympathy for at all are modern conservatives because the lessons of the civil rights movement, Vietnam, obvious environmental degradation everywhere, and all the repeated scandals brought to us by bankers and business in general (feel free to add to the list) are so hard to ignore they present no excuse for current conservative positions on anything. So the only explanation?

A party of stoopid, cynical, grasping, mean-minded bastards. And that's really creepy because there are so many of them."

Which brings me back to your thoughts, Marie, full circle.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Response to JJG... “[Romney] keeps millions overseas so he can invest in business proposals that would be illegal, unsavory or traitorous, possibly all three; but very profitable.” I think you are right. Here is an example of what you are writing about that I recently witnessed.
A sales rep was talking to me at a pharmaceutical trade show. He was working for a company that makes a machine for manufacturing capsules. And he was complaining about how the economy still sucks because of Obama. ( By the way, he also said, ‘why should we intervene anywhere in the world where it is just “Muslims killing Muslims”)?
Eventually, he said he had made a big sale in Mexico but later the company in Mexico informed him they were on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agencies’ ‘do not sell to’ list. The salesman said he told the company in Mexico not to worry because they had a German subsidiary that did not have those same “silly” restrictions.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael D

Akhilleus: Any comparison of Mitt Romney with Franklin Roosevelt begins and ends with the observation that both their last names begin with the letter "R."
Roosevelt was a great example of a long line of wealthy public servants who really did believe that their job was to serve the public. Romney exemplifies the more modern trend of securing office as a way to insure tax breaks and favorable regulatory treatment for rich people.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Eye opening article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi on Romney the blackmailer. Essential reading for realizing just how empty that suit is.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercowichan

Three cheers for Desmond Tutu whose decision not to sit on a panel created to recognize the contributions of real leaders, decorated by Bush lapdog and fellow war criminal Tony Blair, has prompted his call for both of them to stand in a box at the Hague and defend their use of lies to begin a war that has killed, maimed, and/or displaced millions, and has resulted in enormous unrest, purely for their own personal political gain.

Many other liars and scoundrels have suffered far worse fates. Bush and Blair (especially Bush) enjoy lives of ease untroubled by the way their corrupt and immoral actions have unilaterally upended the existence of hundreds of thousands of men and women far superior to them morally and ethically.

Bishop Tutu also makes a point that should ignite lanterns of warning in our own present day Old North Church informing us of the imminent invasion of more and more proficient liars onto the shores of American Democracy. Willard Romney, for one.

The Rat Romney and the Fraud Ryan have taken the lessons of Bush and Blair to heart. Lie about anything you want. No one will call you on it. In fact, the bigger the lie, the better. You better believe that the Rat and the Fraud have learned that lesson well. Lie through your rotten teeth, lie about anything. Tell people that you have run numerous marathons close to world record times (sub 2:20 marathons).

One of Bush's great legacies to the Modern GOP is the secret that one can say just about any fucking thing and who cares if a few liberals find you out? No one else will care and you will have made inroads immediately by making claims that are easily disproved.

THIS is the lesson of the Modern GOP. NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT TRUTH.

Except truly moral people like Desmond Tutu.

This great and good man defines a true leader (ie, one worth following and believing) as someone who equates leadership with morality.

For Republicans, it is exactly the inverse. Or worse, now that I think of it.

Leadership, for Republicans, has nothing to do with truth. Just ask Karl Rove, the Kochs, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Nino Scalia.
It has everything to do with power. However you achieve power makes no difference.

But the end result for the rest of us is a country and a ruling party based on lies, a disproved economic strategy, hatred, racism, disparity, and cynical manipulation.

This is the description of the end times for nearly every great power that has ever existed. But the modern GOP, and most certainly R&R don't give a Willard the Rat's ass about any of that.

Win, baby, Win. Any way possible. Lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, dissemble, conceal, misrepresent, obfuscate, dissimulate, fabricate, invent, deceive, hoodwink, scam, beguile, betray, defraud, flip-flop, sweet talk, chisel, blandish, side-step, evade, delude, shill, shuck and jive, obscure, garble, snow, gyp, and oh yeah, did I say lie?

So, I say again, three cheers for Desmond Tutu. I'm sure Bush, if he hears about Tutu's demand, will roll over in his hammock, smirk the smirk of the unrepentant frat boy, and return to the sleep of willful and undisturbed evil.

Romney is right behind him.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Apologies for my seemingly endless posts.

The outrageous moral corruption on display in Right Wing World, especially by their chosen ones fires my furnaces and I'm off to the races.

I try to rein it in and be a bit less prolix but it gets away from me sometimes.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Akhilleus, there is no need to apologize for your long posts. Reading your information and anger helps keep me under control in this incredible environment.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin Schwalb

Marvin,

Thanks man. We all need to stick together in these days of dipshits and douchebags.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

To Akhilleus' aggressive loquacity we tip our hats and tip our glasses; how heathy it is to vent verbally and here in the written word to assuage one's fury. Remember when you were absent for a time (you had traveled to Mars for a brief vacation) and we were worried that you had caved in, given up, abandoned ship as it were? To reign in and be a bit less prolix would be a disaster not only for you but for us who revel in your revolt. Stop with the apologizing already!

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

PD,

Barely mediated loquacity has rarely blessed with such kind and unequivocal support. Makes me want to thank my parents for vaccinating me with a phonograph needle.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

And to Victoria's comparison of Romney to Roosevelt I would add that Lady Ann couldn't carry Eleanor Roosevelt's shoes let alone come anywhere near filling them.

As a little girl I thought Eleanor Roosevelt was the most wonderful woman in the world, and as I grew older and read about her more extensively, my admiration only grew stronger. I saw a picture of her being hauled out of a coal mine she had visited to assess conditions and thought she was the bravest woman in world. Her reply to the Daughters of the American Revolution regarding their treatment of Marion Anderson was magnificent. Braving the South after direct threats were made against her life was truly courageous. Can anyone imagine Lady Ann lowering herself to any of these tasks?

That Douthat would try to compare these men and, vicariously their wives, shows how truly out of touch with reality he is when it comes to the depths of admiration Democrats hold for FDR.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJacquelyn

What is the single issue on which Mr. Romney has never flip-flopped? He stands doggedly firm on never ever releasing his tax returns.

Why?

With so many questions swirling around Romney's byzantine financial dealings, voters are left with very little real information about this very secretive man, who is running for the most important elected position in the world
.
Obama has released 12 years of tax returns
GW Bush10 years
Clinton 12 years
GHW Bush 14 years
and George Romney 12 years.

It is not just liberals who want to see Romney's tax returns.
It is 63% of American voters who do.

The longer Mr. Romney delays, the more suspicious it appears.
What is the problem, Mr. Romney? Release your tax returns.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDGarr

DGarr. There's a strategic problem here. He's been badgered about those effing tax returns so much that to show them now--even if they show him to be an innocent--is to yield to the others, to admit he erred in not releasing them early on. It's a no-win situation that he's got to do his damnedest to ignore.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Jacquelyn,
Hear, HEAR. I, too, read everything I could about each of them as a child and beyond. ( i loved reading biographies of outstanding Americans even in second grade). Their stories were inspiring when I was young, and they still are. I raise my glass - literally -to two of the finest, most courageous people who ever served our country. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, on this beautiful early September evening, I salute you.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

I saw Franklin. Don't remember when. My parents took me to a parade in LA. FDR was riding in a four-door convertible. Saw Eleanor when I was much older. She spoke at one of our evenings on campus affair at CSULB. Very impressed.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

Hoover sent McArthur to bayonet and burn out the veterans demanding their promised bonus.
Roosevelt sent Eleanor to talk to the same veterans and she charmed them.

September 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarlyle
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