The Ledes

Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Guardian: "Nato aircraft have been scrambled to shadow Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea and fighter planes over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity as tensions remain elevated because of the situation in Ukraine. In all, Nato said, its jets intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since Tuesday and some were still on manoeuvres late on Wednesday afternoon. 'These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European air space,' the alliance said."

Sports Illustrated: The San Francisco Giants are once again the champions of baseball. On Wednesday night, the Giants downed the Royals, 3-2, in Game 7 of the World Series in Kansas City to capture the team's third title since 2010."

The Wires

The Ledes

Wednesday, October 29, 2014.

TMZ: "Joan Rivers' daughter Melissa has retained a law firm that will file a major lawsuit over her mom's death ... TMZ has confirmed.... The firm -- Gair, Gair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz will file a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic where Joan stopped breathing and the doctors who were involved."

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 29

12:45 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

3:40 pm ET: President Obama speaks at American health care workers fighting Ebola

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

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

He Took the Money & Ran. New York Times: When Credit Suisse erroneously dropped $1.5MM in the business account of hedge-fund manager Joseph Galbraith, Galbraith kept the money & has moved to parts unknown. He has not completely disappeared as he's had contact with the New York Times (directly or indirectly): in an e-mail he called Credit Suisse's suit against him “ridiculous, bordering on laughable.”

Andrew Rice of New York: "Matt Taibbi, the star magazine writer hired earlier this year to start a satirical website for billionaire Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media, is on a leave of absence from the company after disagreements with higher-ups inside Omidyar's organization, a source close to First Look confirmed today. Taibbi's abrupt disappearance from the company's Fifth Avenue headquarters has cast doubt on the fate of his highly anticipated digital publication, reportedly to be called Racket, which First Look executives had previously said would launch sometime this autumn." CW: Ah, "creative differences." ...

     ... "UPDATE: Taibbi has left the company."

Ancient Grains! Jeez, people will buy anything. CW PS: Unless you're a scientist with specific knowledge about the benefits of ancient grains as opposed to say, oats, don't write in & bitch about my ignorance. We all have our pet peeves, rational & irrational. Fad foods -- in fact, fads in general -- are one of mine.

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.

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:

"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. ...

... UPDATE. 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.

Contact the Constant Weader

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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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