The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, February 11, 2016.

AP: "Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole Wednesday for fatally shooting Robert F. Kennedy after a confidante of the slain senator who was shot in the head forgave him and repeatedly apologized for not doing more to win his release. Paul Schrade's voice cracked with emotion during an hour of testimony on his efforts to untangle mysteries about the events of June 5, 1968. The 91-year-old former labor leader said he believed Sirhan shot him but that a second unidentified shooter felled Kennedy."

White House Live Video
February 11

1:00 pm ET: NOBEL Women presents Girls, Gigabytes & Gadgets

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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Public Service Announcement

New York Times (February 4): "Pregnant women whose male sexual partners have spent time in a country with confirmed transmissions of the Zika virus should either abstain from sex or use condoms during intercourse for the duration of their pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.'

USA Today: "Women of childbearing age should avoid alcohol unless they're using contraception, federal health officials said Tuesday, in a move to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome. 'Alcohol can permanently harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant,' said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 'About half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, and even if planned, most women won’t know they are pregnant for the first month or so, when they might still be drinking.'"

New York Times (January 14): "Federal health officials are debating whether to warn pregnant women against travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in newborn babies. Officials say it could be the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises pregnant women to avoid a specific region during an outbreak." ...

     ... NYT Update (January 15): "Federal health officials on Friday advised pregnant women to postpone traveling to 13 Latin American or Caribbean countries and Puerto Rico where mosquitoes are spreading the Zika virus, which has been linked to brain damage in babies." ...

... The Washington Post reports on the crisis in Brazil.

Washington Post: "Scientists announced Thursday that, after decades of effort, they have succeeded in detecting gravitational waves from the violent merging of two black holes in deep space. The detection was hailed as a triumph for a controversial, exquisitely crafted, billion-dollar physics experiment and as confirmation of a key prediction of Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity."

New York Times: "... 21-year-old [Arthur Ashe] toppled the tournament’s top-seeded tennis player in a stunning upset on July 30, 1964. We published two photographs of Dennis Ralston, ranked No. 2 in the nation at the time, who walked off the court in defeat. But we didn’t run a single photograph of the winner.... On that day in 1964, he was ranked sixth in the nation and had yet to win a national title. ...

... The 1964 Times story is here. The page has blown up the above photo, worth viewing just to feast your eyes on that gorgeous young man. ...

... The Times is publishing previously unpublished photos of black historical figures & events every day this month. You can see those published to date here.

CW: Not sure if the movie is any good, but Ron Howard's intro is primo. Here's the trailer:

... The New York Times story, by Brooks Barnes, is here. "Kept a secret for months — no small task in Hollywood — 'Funny or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie' was released to coincide with Mr. Trump’s victory on Tuesday in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary."

New York Times: The leader of a group of "aging thieves" who last year pulled off "the largest burglary in England’s history" may have been an ex-policeman. The others have been captured, but "Basil" is still at large & his identity is unknown to investigators. Surely there will be a movie.

Washington Post: "Media mogul Sumner Redstone has resigned as board chairman at CBS Corp. after a court battle raised questions about the 92-year-old executive’s mental competence. He was replaced by Leslie Moonves, the longtime CBS president and chief executive, CBS announced Wednesday. The transition took effect Tuesday when Redstone was appointed to the role of CBS chairman emeritus, CBS said."

... New York Times: "A small 16th-century oil on panel largely kept in storage at a Kansas City, Mo., museum is a work by the Dutch Renaissance master Hieronymus Bosch, researchers [in the Netherlands] said on Monday, a finding that, if accepted by other scholars, would add to the tiny list of about 25 recognized Bosch paintings in the world. The painting, 'The Temptation of St. Anthony,' dated 1500-1510, had previously been attributed to the workshop of Bosch or to a follower of Bosch, known for his comic and surreal images of heaven and hell and the earthly moral purgatory in between."

Radio host Diane Rehm discusses her "retirement" plans with Karen Heller of the Washington Post.

Washington Post: "A lost story by famed British children’s author Beatrix Potter — the Tale of Kitty-in-Boots — has been discovered among her memorabilia and will be published this year more than a century after she wrote it. Jo Hanks, a publisher with Penguin Random House who made the discovery at London’s Victoria & Albert museum in 2013, called the story the biggest Potter discovery in generations and almost certainly the last, the London Times Newspaper reported Tuesday."

Boston Globe: "Late Night host (and New Hampshire native) Seth Meyers stars in this trailer for his fake movie, Boston Accent, which just laughs at all the devices used in every movie ever made in Boston":

Tim Egan's Confession: "I can no longer wait in a grocery store line, or linger for a traffic light, or even pause long enough to let a bagel pop from the toaster, without reflexively reaching for my smartphone."

Planet Nine. Caltech: "Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun. The researchers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, discovered the planet's existence through mathematical modeling and computer simulations but have not yet observed the object directly." ...

... CW: Planet Nine, my ass. I will never abandon Pluto! But this is a mighty thrilling development. ...

... UPDATE. Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post interviews Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Planet Nine. It turns out, as certainly every astronomer knows, that Mike Brown was also the guy who killed Pluto! Even his daughter is mad at him for that.

New York Times: "Five planets will parade across the dawn sky early Wednesday[, January 20,] in a rare celestial spectacle set to repeat every morning until late next month. Headlining the planetary performance are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. It will be the first time in more than a decade that the fab five will be simultaneously visible to the naked eye, according to Jason Kendall, who is on the board of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York."

Los Angeles Times: "The backlash against this year's Academy Award nominations escalated Monday with announcements by director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith that they would boycott the Feb. 28 Oscars ceremony, citing the absence of people of color in all four acting categories for the second year in a row. If other prominent entertainment industry figures join the boycott, it has the potential to spoil Hollywood's annual showcase event."

Donald Trump playing Donald Trump in movies & on teevee shows:

New York Times: "#OscarsSoWhite, that damning hashtag that made the rounds last year, can again, unhappily, be revived for this year’s Oscar nominations, which were announced Thursday morning.... The only Academy nods for two of the year’s biggest films about African-American characters went to white people.... In all the lead categories — best director, picture, and all four acting categories — only Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the Mexican auteur who won best director and picture last year, for 'Birdman,' adds a note of diversity. This year he was nominated for 'The Revenant.'”

Los Angeles Times: "Nominations for the 88th Academy Awards have been announced, and 'The Revenant' is leading with 12, including for best picture. Other nominees for best picture are 'The Big Short,' 'Bridge of Spies,' 'Brooklyn,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'The Martian,' 'Room,' and 'Spotlight.' All the snubs, surprises and reactions from nominees coming below." Full coverage via the linked page.

Christian Science Monitor: "... thanks to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University, the lowly incandescent bulb is getting a jolt of new life. The six-researcher team says it has found a way to boost the bulb's efficiency twenty-fold, which would leave today's favored compact fluorescents (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the dust, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology." ...

     ... CW: If these bulbs go into production, it should make Rand Paul very, very happy. If only MIT could do something about his big-shit problem. Science does have its limits.

Los Angeles Times: "A 21-year odyssey came to an end Tuesday when National Football League owners voted to allow the St. Louis Rams to move to Los Angeles for the 2016 season and gave the San Diego Chargers an option to join the Rams in Inglewood."

** Washington Post: "In a paper published in the open-access journal eLife this week, researchers say they have pinpointed what may well be one of evolution’s greatest copy mess-ups yet: the mutation that allowed our ancient protozoa predecessors to evolve into complex, multi-cellular organisms.... Incredibly, in the world of evolutionary biology, all it took was one tiny tweak, one gene, and complex life as we know it was born." The paper is here. ...

... CW: Sorry, fundies, this is a lot more exciting than a trip to the Noah's ark amusement park or whatever it is.

The Los Angeles Times' Golden Globe coverage is here.

New Yorker: More Pluto!

New York: "Lumosity is one of these 'brain training' programs, and yet, according to the Federal Trade Commission, many of those claims aren’t backed up by science. On Tuesday, Lumos Labs — the company behind Lumosity — agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for $2 million for misleading consumers on claims that playing these mental games would help with cognitive performance and prevent mental decline as we age. 'Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,' Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. 'But Lumosity simply did not have the science to back up its ads.'”

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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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