The Ledes

Monday, May 25, 2015.

New York Times: "Texas marked 24 counties as disaster areas on Monday as drenching rains and violent weather swept through that state and Oklahoma, forcing thousands of people from their homes and killing at least three."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, May 21, 2015.

New York Times: "John F. Nash Jr., a mathematician who shared a Nobel Prize in 1994 for work that greatly extended the reach and power of modern economic theory and whose long descent into severe mental illness and eventual recovery were the subject of a book and a film, both titled 'A Beautiful Mind,' was killed, along with his wife [Alicia], in a car crash on Saturday in New Jersey. He was 86."

New York Times: "Anne Meara, who became famous as half of one of the most successful male-female comedy teams of all time and went on to enjoy a long and diverse career as an actress and, late in life, a playwright, died on Saturday in Manhattan. She was 85. Her death was confirmed by her husband and longtime comedy partner, Jerry Stiller, and her son, the actor and director Ben Stiller."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post (May 22): "A salmonella outbreak that’s probably linked to raw tuna from sushi has sickened at least 53 people across nine states — the majority in Southern California, health authorities said."

White House Live Video
May 25

11:20 am ET: President Obama speaks at Arlington National Cemetery

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

Washington Post: "One of the earliest known copies of the Ten Commandments was written in soot on a strip of goatskin found among the trove of biblical material known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, widely considered to be one of the great archaeological finds of the 20th century. Penned on parchment by an unknown scribe more than 2,000 years ago, the scroll fragment is ... so fragile that its custodians rarely permit it to be moved from the secure vault where it rests in complete darkness. But for 14 days over the next seven months, the Ten Commandments scroll, known to scholars as 4Q41, will make a rare public appearance at the Israel Museum as part of a new exhibit called 'A Brief History of Humankind,' a show based on the international best-selling book by Israeli polymath Yuval Noah Harari."

Erik Loomis of LG&M: "It looks like Maggie Gyllenhaal has had her Last Fuckable Day at the ripe old age of 37:

... Sharon Waxman of the Wrap: "Every time we think things are getting better for women in Hollywood, something comes along to remind us — naaah. Maggie Gyllenhaal ... revealed that she was recently turned down for a role in a movie because she was too old to play the love interest for a 55-year-old man."

Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker: "Now that [David] Letterman’s a flinty codger, an establishment figure, it’s become difficult to recall just how revolutionary his style of meta-comedy once felt. But back when I was sixteen, trapped in the snoozy early eighties and desperate for something rude and wild, Letterman seemed like an anarchist."

     ... Here's the Realtor.com page for the property.

AP: "The suburban New York home where F Scott Fitzgerald is believed to have written The Great Gatsby is for sale. A spokeswoman for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said on Wednesday that the asking price for the manor home on Long Island was just over US$3.8m (A$4.8m).... The home is in the village of Great Neck Estates, about 20 miles (32km) from Manhattan.

After years of signing "-BO" at the end of @BarackObama to signal the tweets he crafted himself from an account operated by the Organizing for Action staff, the President now has his very own handle @POTUS, tweeting for the first time: 'Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.'... Per a statement from the White House, the @POTUS handle 'will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him.'"

The $5MM Ankle. New York Post: "Shakedown artist Al Sharpton’s eldest child wants $5 million from city taxpayers after she fell in the street and sprained her ankle, court rec­ords show. Dominique Sharpton, 28, says she was 'severely injured, bruised and wounded' when she stumbled over uneven pavement at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway downtown last year, according to a lawsuit."

My friend Jan C. sent me a list of actual complaints made by dissatisfied travelers who had gone on excursions organized by the British Thomas Cook Vacations. An example: "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It took the Americans only three hours to get home. This seems unfair."

New York Times: "The most striking geographical pattern on marriage, as with so many other issues today, is the partisan divide. Spending childhood nearly anywhere in blue America — especially liberal bastions like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington — makes people about 10 percentage points less likely to marry relative to the rest of the country. And no place encourages marriage quite like the conservative Mountain West, especially the heavily Mormon areas of Utah, southern Idaho and parts of Colorado." ...

Matt Seitz in New York notes that the pilot for "Mad Men" repeatedly points to the series' conclusion. ...

Gabriel Sherman of New York: "Tomorrow morning [Wednesday, May 13], in what marks a tectonic shift in the publishing industry, the New York Times is expected to officially begin a long-awaited partnership with Facebook to publish articles directly to the social media giant.... According to people familiar with the negotiations, the Times will begin publishing select articles directly into Facebook's news feed. Buzzfeed, NBC News and NatGeo are said to be also joining the roll out, among others. The deal raises all sorts of knotty questions for the Times." ...

... New York Times Update: "— Facebook’s long-rumored plan to directly host articles from news organizations will start on Wednesday, concluding months of delicate negotiations between the Internet giant and publishers that covet its huge audience but fear its growing power. Nine media companies, including NBC News and The New York Times, have agreed to the deal, despite concerns that their participation could eventually undermine their own businesses. The program will begin with a few articles but is expected to expand quickly.... Most important for impatient smartphone users, the company says, the so-called instant articles will load up to 10 times faster than they normally would since readers stay on Facebook rather than follow a link to another site." ...

.... Here's Facebook's announcement.

Nell Scovell in New York: Dave Letterman' former writers reminisce about jokes they wrote & pitched but which Letterman rejected. Letterman comments.

Vermeil placecard holders, a favorite "souvenir" of White House guests.... Washington Post: Petty thieves show up at White House state dinner -- all the time. Many guests at state dinners & other functions just can't resist taking home mementos, some of them pricey. "While the chief usher’s office monitors exactly what goes out with each place setting when the first family entertains, there is no formal accounting of how much taxpayers must pay each year to replace items that are gone by the end of the night."

Washington Post: The law finally catches up with Frank Freshwater, who escaped from prison in 1959.

Washington Post: Tesla plans to market a home battery system that draws power from solar panels or the power grid to use during outages. It holds up to 10 kw-hours, about 1/3 of what it takes to power an average home for a day. Tesla plans to make the system avalable by the end of this summer.

Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly: "Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave [Letterman]’s seismic impact on comedy.... In today’s’ world of 30 late night programs, it’s tempting now to take Dave for granted. Do not. Dave was a true revolution.... Like all revolutions, it was such a seismic shift that it was disorienting and a bit messy at first, and it has taken us time to realize the sheer magnitude of the shift."

White House: "For a new state china service, First Lady Michelle Obama wanted it to have modern elements, but also for it to be practical, in the sense that it would be complementary to the preceding historic state services. The Obama State China Service consists of eleven-piece place settings for 320":

Timothy Simon of "Veep" gets ready to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner, which is Saturday, April 25:

... Cecily Strong of “Saturday Night Live will headline the event.

MOOCS! Washington Post: For $45, anyone can become a freshman at Arizona State University. "Students can take classes online for a fee, then decide whether to pay reduced tuition for the credits."

The Sex Life of David Brooks is apparently intensely interesting to Villagers who do not participate in it.

Washington Post: "Gaioz Nigalidze’s rise through the ranks of professional chess began in 2007, the year the first iPhone was released. In hindsight, the timing might not be coincidental." During a competition in Dubai, the Georgian grandmaster allegedly hid an iPhone in the bathroom, then consulted a chess app during play.

CBS News: "'Face the Nation' Host Bob Schieffer announced Sunday that CBS News political director John Dickerson will become the new host of 'Face the Nation' this summer when he retires." CW: So "Face the Nation" is going to become even worse. Follows the well-established pattern of Sunday morning "news" shows.

New York Times: "Bob Schieffer, a television anchor who has worked at CBS for nearly half a century and interviewed every sitting president since Richard Nixon, announced Wednesday night that he was retiring this summer. Mr. Schieffer, 78, made the announcement while giving an address at Texas Christian University, his alma mater." CW: This will be a great disappointment to Charles Pierce, as regular readers of Pierce's posts will recognize.

I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years.... We know where to look, we know how to look, and in most cases we have the technology.... We are not talking about little green men, Stofan said. "We are talking about little microbes. -- Ellen Stofan, chief scientist for NASA

It's definitely not an if, it's a when. -- Jeffery Newmark of NASA

... The L.A. Times story, from which the above citations come, is fascinating.

Washington Post: "The quote on the stamp originated with [Joan Walsh] Anglund.... 'Yes, that’s my quote,' Anglund said Monday night from her Connecticut home. It appears on page 15 of her book of poems 'A Cup of Sun,' published in 1967. Only the pronouns and punctuation are changed, from 'he' in Anglund’s original to 'it' on the stamp." CW: These are forever stamps. Maybe you should rush to the Post Office & buy a pane.

Guardian: "Allegations that a 17-year-old was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew, which prompted a crisis at Buckingham Palace earlier this year, have been removed from a federal court case by a judge in the US. Judge Kenneth Marra ordered Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender. 'At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,' Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning.... Andrew and Buckingham Palace vehemently deny Roberts’s allegations."

Washington Monthly: "Today [April 7] marks the centennial of Billie Holliday’s birth."

Contact the Constant Weader

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

Friday
Sep212012

The Commentariat -- Sept. 22, 2012

The President's Weekly Address:

     ... The transcript is here. Byron Tau of Politico: Obama raps the do-nothing Congress.

Paul Krugman discusses a political model for redistribution of wealth -- which is what governments always do. Because the majority of Americans have a huge incentive to demand that money be "redistributed" to them, the rich "... do everything [they] can to exaggerate the disincentive effects of higher taxes, while trying to convince middle-income voters that the benefits of government programs go to other people. And at the same time, [they'd] do everything they] can to disenfranchise lower-income citizens, so that the median voter has a higher income than the median citizen."

Matt Yglesias of Slate: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) gives a lesson in how to kill a bill even if its main purpose is popular with both Republicans & Democrats.

Presidential Race

Jim Kuhnhenn of the AP: "Obama was traveling Saturday to Wisconsin, a state that his campaign had considered safely in his column but which Obama aides seem eager to fortify in case Romney's running mate, Wisconsin native and congressman Paul Ryan, can erode the president's support. The trip is Obama's first to the state since February. Romney ... was staying away from swing states Saturday and raising money in California instead, eager to recover his fundraising advantage."

President Obama campaigning in Virginia Friday. The joke he tells at the beginning is terrific:

Friday Afternoon Mega-News Dump. Brad Malt , the Romneys' trustee: "This morning, Gov. and Mrs. Romney filed their 2011 tax return with the IRS. At 3:00pm today, the Romney for President campaign will be posting the 2011 return online.... Also posted will be a notarized letter from the Romney' tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PWC), giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys' tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009.... The campaign will also be posting on the same website physician letters for both Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan, making public their current state of health." Via Daily Kos. ...

     ... Update: the Washington Post has pdf's of the Romneys' 2011 & 2010 returns here. ...

... Tom Raum of the AP: "Democrats say Mitt Romney manipulated his deductions to keep his overall 2011 federal income tax rate below a certain level for political purposes. The Republican presidential nominee is certain to face new questions about his finances.... The Romneys' tax bill could have been lower. They gave $2.6 million in cash to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the documents show. They gave just over $2 million in non-cash charitable contributions ... to a family trust." CW: Huh? One of you accountants help me out, please. He got a "charitable" tax deduction for "contributing" to his own family? How does that work? ...

... Mark Maremont of the Wall Street Journal, writing in this "live audit" of the Romneys' returns (post is at 5:31 pm ET): "In January, [the Romneys & their advisors] estimated the Romneys' 2011 adjusted gross income had been $20.9 million. But when the actual tax return was filed Friday, their AGI was significantly less, at $13.7 million. The main differences were capital gains, which were reported as $6.8 million, vs. the $10.7 million earlier estimate, and income from partnerships, S corporations and other entities, reported as $120,000, vs. an earlier estimate of $2.8 million. It's not clear why the Romneys' income was so much less than had been earlier expected." CW: So either they're foolishly optimistic, can't add & subtract, or, you know, they hid $7.2 million or so. ...

... ** Jed Lewison at Daily Kos: "Mitt Romney's attorney says he overpaid his 2011 taxes: '... The Romneys ... limited their deduction of charitable contributions to conform to the Governor's statement in August, based upon the January estimate of income, that he paid at least 13% in income taxes in each of the last 10 years.' Mitt Romney in July said if he overpaid his taxes he wouldn't be qualified to be president:" Lewison includes in his post a tweet from Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post: "If Romney had taken all his deductions, he wd have paid closer to 9% tax in 2011. He paid extra VOLUNTARILY just for optics." ...

... Caveat. Michael Shear of the New York Times: "It is possible, however, that Mr. Rommey [sic.] could still deduct the unclaimed amount of his charitable donations in future tax years, experts said." ...

... Perpetuating the Aristocracy. Nick Baumann & Adam Serwer of Mother Jones: "David Cay Johnston, a Reuters columnist, tax expert, and Pulitzer Prize winner, tells Mother Jones that without the taxes Romney paid on his sons' trust funds, which are worth around $100 million combined, 'his rate would be much lower.'"

The information released today reveals that Mitt Romney manipulated one of the only two years of tax returns he's seen fit to show the American people -- and then only to 'conform' with his public statements. That raises the question: what else in those returns has Romney manipulated? -- Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Majority Leader

... Joan Walsh of Salon says the Romneys would have paid at a rate of about 12.1 percent if they took the charitable deduction they are entitled to. "There's something both hilarious and pathetic about a presidential candidate manipulating his deductions so he ends up paying what he considers a more politically appropriate tax rate. But it's especially ludicrous in light of Romney's numerous claims that he's always paid the government exactly what he owes, 'and not a dollar more.' ... As has been pointed out numerous times this week, the average worker's payroll tax rate equals 15.3 percent of their income. So even with the jiggering, Romney paid a smaller percentage of his income as taxes than many members of the 47 percent he trashed in his Boca Raton, Fla., speech to fundraisers." ...

... CW: I've seen estimates that the Romneys would have paid from 9 percent to 12.2 percent had they taken the deductions they were allowed. I'm going with the New York Times report by Nicholas Confessore & David Kocieniewski, who write, "Had he claimed all the deductions to which he was entitled in 2011, his effective rate could have dipped to near 10 percent, contradicting his past assurances that he had never paid below 13 percent." The Times report contains a number of other interesting tidbits.

... Daniel Gross of Newsweek: "... the optics on this are still pretty bad. Yes, the Romneys give a lot of money to charity. But somehow a guy who was unemployed for virtually all of 2011 managed to make $13.7 million -- and pay an effective tax rate of less than 14 percent on it. And we're the ones who aren't contributing our fair share?"

Dan Amira of New York magazine lists the highlights of Mitt Romney's physician's report, also released today. This page on the Romney campaign site links to the doctors' reports for Romney & for Paul Ryan.

Steve Benen chronicles Mitt's Mendacity during Week 35.

Paul Krugman: in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove asked Mitt Romney to do the impossible -- show how his 5-point "middle-class tax plan" would actually benefit the middle class. Guess what? It wouldn't.

Shushannah Walshe of ABC News: "Senior citizens at the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP, boo'ed [Paul Ryan] throughout most of his speech [at their New Orleans gathering], especially when he delivered his signature promise to repeal the president's health care plan, or 'Obamacare." Thanks to contributor James S. for the heads-up on the clip:

... AND Digby also sees Paul Ryan's inner/outer Eddie Haskell. Ryan's Eddie mannerisms & speech inflections are particularly noticeable in his AARP speech. ...

... Here, BTW, are the President's remarks to the AARP, delivered via satellite.

Follow the Money. Dan Eggen of the Washington Post: "The financial tide has turned against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his key allies, who spent more than they brought in and were outraised by President Obama during the month of August, according to disclosures filed Thursday.... The numbers signal a financial shift away from the Republicans after a summer of Democratic hand-wringing over fundraising. The Obama campaign argues it is likely to be outmatched by conservative super PACs and nonprofit groups, which can raise unlimited funds from wealthy individuals and corporations...."

James Surowiecki of the New Yorker argues that the ground game is more important than TV ad buys. He thinks Obama has a better ground game.

Ron Brownstein of the National Journal: "President Obama has opened a solid lead over Mitt Romney by largely reassembling the 'coalition of the ascendant' that powered the Democrat to his landmark 2008 victory, the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found. The survey found Obama leading Romney by 50 percent to 43 percent among likely voters, with key groups in the president's coalition such as minorities, young people, and upscale white women providing him support comparable to their levels in 2008."

A "40-year-old white guy who didn't go to college & gets all his news from monitors at gas stations" is not required to have a photo ID to vote in the presidential election:

Contributor Julie L. saw Shame-Us in Massachusetts. She hears Shame-Us is riding on cars in other states, too.

Confessions of a Ralph Nader Voter. Erik Loomis of Lawyers, Guns & Money on how incredibly stupid it is to vote for vanity candidates like Nader. The best idea for progressives is to follow the lead of conservatives, who learned that the presidency isn't the be-all to end-all & worked to gain power at the local level.

Congressional Races

Andrew Taylor of the AP: "The most partisan, least productive Congress in memory has skipped out of Washington so lawmakers can make their case for voters to re-elect them. The Senate closed the Capitol not long after sending President Barak [sic.] Obama a spending bill that will make sure the government won't shut down Oct. 1, the start of the new budget year. The measure passed early Saturday by a 62-30 vote."

Peter Applebome of the New York Times: the Connecticut Senate race " between Linda E. McMahon and Representative Christopher S. Murphy, has become a high-stakes and high-dollar brawl increasingly focused not on policy issues but on personal ones, with both candidates fending off embarrassing lines of inquiry."

News Ledes

New York Times: "Commanders of the Free Syrian Army, the main umbrella group for fighters opposing President Bashar al-Assad, said Saturday that they had moved their headquarters from Turkey into 'liberated areas' inside Syria, in what they portrayed as a major step forward in their efforts to aid, coordinate and control disparate groups of rebels."

Al Jazeera: "Up to four people have died and dozens of others injured after demonstrators in Benghazi stormed the compounds of militias based in the eastern Libyan city. Protesters seized the headquarters of the Ansar al-Sharia militia and evicted its fighters from its military bases in the city on Friday night. The confrontation appeared to be part of a co-ordinated sweep of militia headquarters buildings by police, government troops and activists following a mass public demonstration against armed groups earlier in the day." ...

... AP: "The heavily armed extremists who laid siege to the U.S. Consulate in Libya used military-style tactics that may have steered Americans toward a waiting ambush, U.S. officials said Friday as they pieced together details about how the compound was overrun."

Reuters: "Thirteen employees of the U.S. Secret Service were entangled in a prostitution scandal in Colombia earlier this year but their actions did not compromise the safety of the president, a Department of Homeland Security investigation found."

Reader Comments (20)

Wow - a NOTARIZED letter from Romney's accountant. I'm impressed !
:-)

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

There are a lot of reasons to keep up the talk about the Affordable Care Act. The more it is discusssd, even attacked, the more people begin to understand it is an act that is in the public interest.
If the Republicans are able to defeat the act, they will pay sooner or later for their action against the American public.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercarlyle

Thank you Julie L. for the great picture of Shame Us. It makes me think back to the beginning of the campaign when I first heard of the incident. I was horrified, but never actually considered that it was more than a temporary lapse in judgment on Romney's part. After seeing him in action lo these many months, it would no longer cause the slightest surprise that he mistreated an animal.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

There seems to be confusion with the various media stories...some say "Romney released his 2011 tax returns today" whereas others indicate it was simply a summary letter from PWC. What is the truth?

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

It seems clear now that the Republicans who were saying “Anyone but Mitt,” were on to something. But the fact that their bench is very thin (Jeb and the fat man; none of stature who can meet the wacko requirement) almost assured him the nomination. His main problem is he is incompetent, unable to focus beyond his desire to be somebody important, unable to feel beyond own aching needs to be loved, to be respected, to be venerated like a proper bishop. And because he now has de facto leadership of the party and its electoral posture, he’s on the verge of dragging much of the Republican down-ballot out to the losers periphery with him.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames Singer

All I can say about the 2011 tax returns: It took PriceWaterhouseCooper quite a while to "cook the books".
Mine get cooked, like 7 months ago and it's "write the check
now or do not pass go".

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

@MAG. The Romney campaign first released the statement from Romney's tax preparer. Then at around 3 pm they released the tax documents, including the Ryans' 2011 returns. I've linked a page in the Commentariat above where you can access them.

Marie

September 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

The picture of Shame Us on a car-top in MA is priceless! I intend to strap my huge stuffed whale to the top of my little RAVA tomorrow. What a great idea! I have sent the picture to my right wing brother and brother-in-law and strongly urge that you do the same PD!

I wonder if it is too late to turn MittWitt in to the ASPCA!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

I'm not really sure how to interpret the disparities in campaign contributions. I'm quite surprised to see Obama in the "financial" lead at such a critical juncture of the campaign. With the financial backing of Adelson, Koch and Co. I figured Romney would have a blank check at this point to win at all costs. After having invested so much of their ill-gotten fortunes on their straw-man candidate (or is he the brainless tin man, or the heartless lion, or the all-evil wicked witch, or quite possibly an amorphous composition of all lacking and deficient qualities sewed together and embedded into his robotic 'soul'?), I can't imagine these ideologues pinching pennies when the day of Armageddon is just over the horizon. How to explain this?

Polls show Romney/Ryan swimming in quick sand and Obama on more stable ground. What can be going through the mind of these Koch heads as they fiend for their power fix?

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersafari

May I recommend an article today from Washington Monthly Political Animal blog about dramatic drop in life expectancy among poor whites. It's not just poor healthcare and lifestyle choices... it's the day-to-day stress of being poor.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_09/shocker_stat_of_the_day_life_e040058.php#more

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrish Ramey, Louisville, KY

Kate: Since I have not received an ugly message or video from my brother depicting Obama as pond scum for at least a month, I think I'll let sleeping dogs lie. The sight of Seamus strapped on top of a car would roil my brother, whose passions have been relegated mostly to the canine species, to a boiling point and lord knows what kind of stuff I'd have to endure. But you go ahead––you probably are stronger than I having had to deal with two instead of only one.*

* Meatheads ( and I'm being polite here)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

Trish,
Or as the Wall Street Journal refers to these poor struggling souls: "Lucky duckies."

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Trish
That article has some additional very interesting data. Black and Latino women with no high school education experienced increases in life expectancy (which is the general trend for all groups over time). Wonder what accounts for the significant differences.

On the fund raising front. Rove's dirty money super Pacs disguised as social welfare non disclosure groups (where the Hell is the IRS) and the Citizens United super Pacs will turn their enormous wealth down ticket. Very very dangerous.

By the by, the Small Balls family attorney manages the blind trust. Cynic though I am, I think the Small Balls are peaking.

I love the stuffed dog tied to the car. I'm afraid my beloved bulldog, Ms Frida K. Rodriguez, would be irreparably harmed by the mere sight of such a horror.

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Safari,

I was wondering the same thing.

There are a couple of ways to look at it. First, they (the Kochs, et al) have come to the conclusion that Candidate Rodent has shot off too much of his little rat tail at this point, and they don't want to throw good money after bad.

The other is an extension of the first point. These guys are in this for the long haul. Right wing oligarchs have been slithering around in the tall grass for decades waiting for their move. Goldwater lit the fuse. Reagan allowed them to achieve escape velocity and they've lived like kings since "What Me Worry?" Bush took over. But 9/11 gave them all a big break. Bush used a national tragedy to start two wars which bolstered his donors in the military industrial complex and then gave all the rest of his wealthy buddies a wet dream of a tax break. But he tilted so far over the side on de-regulation and absentee landlord oversight (meaning none) that the Richie Riches sunk their own boat. But not for long. Can you say "Bailout?"

So you see, the long game has been quite beneficial for them. These guys never actually lose. They just deal with the occasional setback to their plans for world economic domination. Just a bump in the road. Even the last three years have not been bad for them. Obama's presence in the White House has been ameliorated by Geithner, Summers, Rubin, and their merry band of dereg junkies and Wall Street teabagging specialists.

So they might be fine with waiting out another four years. After all, if the house and senate remain the same they can count on McConnell and Cantor and Boehner to kill anything that could hurt them. AND the Supremes are gearing up to destroy affirmative action, support the Defense of Hatred Act, and rule (favorably) on quite a few cases that will solidify corporate hegemony over morality and ethics and concern for individual citizens (you know, real people--not Romney's corporate people).

But there are two other possibilities. One is that they've been assured by Rove that his Steal the Vote plan is well underway. Democratic voters will be turned away or scared off by voter ID subterfuge and poll crashing thugs, and right-wing apparatchiks at the state level in battleground states (Ohio, eg) are gearing up for more ballot box chicanery.

Finally, there is always the possibility of an October Surprise, always a specialty of Republicans in presidential election years.

And if none of that works and Obama is returned to the White House (note, I didn't say "power"), they just slither back into their stinking dens, wait it out and plan for Jebbie in '12 to return them to their rightful thrones to lord it over the country out in the open.

At that point at least three--maybe more--Supremes will be ready to pack it in and they'll have a headlock on the country. If Thomas dies or is incapacitated in the intervening years, they'll have him stuffed and sit him in his chair. Who'd know the difference. If it's Scalia, they'll put him on life support and wheel him in on a fucking gurney long enough to utter "NO" to every case that could badly impact right-wing theology, er, ideology.

The long game.

It worked for Hitler and Stalin.

(I know Marie tries to avoid Nazi references, but it's true in this case. As long as these assholes don't open an eastern front, they could win it all.)

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Arrrgghh...should have been "sank their own boat".

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Also I meant Jeb Bush in '16.

Bad day at the keyboard...

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

I'm so depressed. My son just got a bumper sticker for the REPUBLICAN running for governor in our state. Three weeks ago, I gave a reception for the Democrat, who is an excellent candidate and of course has my vote. It's a very tight race. I knew my son (and his wife) tend to vote Republican (unlike my two daughters). But somehow the fact that he went so far as to get a bumper sticker just bugs me. I know my son is progressive on social issues but he identifies with Republicans as the "party of business." Yuck.
Thanks for letting me vent!

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

Like Victoria, I was "impressed" that Romney is touting a notarized piece of paper from Price Waterhouse as proof positive that he pays taxes.

Like writing a note to your teacher supposedly from your father explaining why you have to be out of school for the next 8 years.

And like Forrest, I look askance at anything coming from an operation that has a loooooonnnnggg history and string of suits against it for falsification and using improper loopholes to illegally hide client money. (Google "Price Waterhouse scandals".)

Just the sort of people a fucking Rat Bastard would use to give an "accurate" accounting of his money.

Not to mention the fact that does he really think people are so stupid as to trust anything he says now. He never would have done this had he not shoved his foot to the back of his throat in Boca. And leave us not forget his vow that he never pays a centavo more than he owes the hated government. What? He all of a sudden turned into an upstanding citizen overnight, who cares more about the welfare of the country than filling his own secret Cayman money silos?

This guy is beyond a joke.

Between them, Romney and Ryan are a pair of double dealing, finger pointing, walkie-talkie-lying pig fuckers. The stupidest and most embarrassing clowns in the Republican Clown Car.

And that's saying something. They beat out ignoramuses, racists, a lying philanderer, a psychotic religious whack job, and a hypocritical solipsist who ditched one wife on her death bed to bang his secretary.

You have to be pretty fucking bad to beat out those morons.

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

@Victoria D. Tell you son he is mistaken if he thinks Republicans "are the party of business." This is true only in the narrowest sense, & therefore ultimately untrue. The economy -- by a number of measures -- generally does better under Democrats than under Republicans. He can find stats all over the Internets, & the Internets don't lie. Here's a recent US News report.

Marie

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Burns

@VictoriaD. Did your son really enjoy his 8 years under the last business leader? Two foreign wars financed by charge card and how many dead and injured Americans, Iraquis, Afghanis, British, and others and of course the sacrifice of hard won freedoms to Homeland Security and the great income tax giveaway. I had thought that that would have destroyed the "president needs business experience" canard. After all what business experience did their hero Reagan have? If he respects your great business leaders he should reflect on the fact that the greatest of them eschew politics (Buffet, Jobs etc) whilst the ones like the Koch brothers demonstrate their political ineptitude by choosing to back the great Rmoney. In fact of course the choice of the billionaires is based not on his skills as a politician but on his ability to reward their multi-million dollar campaign support with multi-billion dollar tax cuts. Adelson's $100,000,000 campaign support, if successful, can easily be rewarded by up $11,000,000,000 of reasonable sounding tax breaks. By right wing standards at least.
Truly Americans have the world's worst system of government. Look at all the effort going into picking the beggar in chief who is powerless to create legislation without control of Congress and all of the Senate. And how about the opposition? 45% of Americans support a party which has demonstrated its fealty, first to ideology, second to a taxation fanatic, third to a party and fourth to their country to the extent of demonstrated willingness to destroy the country in obedience to the 3 more important orders. Other countries have executed as traitors perps who have been less willing to do harm.

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercowichan
Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.