The Ledes

Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

New York Times: "Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for their discovery of neutrino oscillations, which show that neutrinos — a kind of subatomic particle — have mass.”

The Wires

The Ledes

Monday, October 5, 2015.

New York Times: "An American Airlines jetliner with 147 passengers onboard made an emergency landing in Syracuse on Monday after the pilot fell ill and died, aviation officials said. The aircraft’s co-pilot took control of the plane after the captain became incapacitated, and landed safely at Syracuse Hancock International Airport shortly after 7 a.m."

New York: "The Coast Guard believes that the cargo ship El Faro, which has been missing since Hurricane Joaquin struck the Caribbean, sank in the storm. The ship had a crew of 33, and 28 Americans were aboard."

New York Times: "Henning Mankell, the Swedish novelist and playwright best known for police procedurals that were translated into a score of languages and sold by the millions throughout the world, died Monday morning in Goteborg, Sweden. He was 67.

New York Times: "Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases,” the Nobel Committee announced on Monday. William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin, which has radically lowered the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). They shared the prize with Youyou Tu, who discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced death rates from malaria."

Guardian: "Islamic State militants have destroyed the Arch of Triumph in the ancient city of Palmyra, a monument that dates back to the Roman empire, Syria’s chief of antiquities told the Guardian. Maamoun Abdulkarim said sources in the city, which was conquered by Isis after a week-long siege in May, had informed him the arch was destroyed on Sunday in the latest act of vandalism against Syria’s cultural heritage perpetrated by Isis."

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post [Sept. 11]: "Aggressive treatment of high blood pressure can sharply cut the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths in people 50 and older, according to a landmark federal study released Friday that urges doctors to bring their patients’ blood pressure well below the commonly recommended target. The new research advises people with high blood pressure to keep their “systolic” pressure — the top number in the reading that health-care providers routinely tell patients — at 120 or below.

New York Times [Aug. 20]: "As many as 60,000 American women each year are told they have a very early stage of breast cancer — Stage 0, as it is commonly known — a possible precursor to what could be a deadly tumor. And almost every one of the women has either a lumpectomy or a mastectomy, and often a double mastectomy, removing a healthy breast as well. Yet it now appears that treatment may make no difference in their outcomes."

Washington Post: "A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by more than 100 million people every year is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday."

White House Live Video
October 5

10:00 am ET: 50th anniversary of the Immigration Naturalization Act

12:30 pm ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to


New York Times: "Europe’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that a widely used international agreement for moving people’s digital data between the European Union and the United States was invalid. The decision, by the European Court of Justice, throws into doubt how seamlessly global technology giants — the likes of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — can continue to collect, manage and analyze online information from their millions of users in the 28-member bloc. The court decreed that the data-transfer agreement was invalid as of Tuesday’s ruling."

One More Reason Not to Let Jeff Bezos into Your House. Bloomberg: " Inc. will stop selling media-streaming devices from Google Inc. and Apple Inc. that aren’t easily compatible with its video service, the latest example of the company using its clout to promote products that fit with its own retailing strategy.The Seattle-based Web retailer sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast since those devices don’t 'interact well' with Prime Video." ...

... Karl Bode of Tech Dirt: "Amusingly, Amazon unloads what has to be one of the larger piles of ambiguous bullshit in defense of an anti-competitive position seen in some time: "Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime,' Amazon said in [an] e-mail [to sellers]. 'It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.'" Hilarious. Except it's up to developers to embed Chromecast support into their services and apps, and both Google and Apple publish open software development kits that allows any application to be utilized on both devices. In other words, it's Amazon's choice that Chromecast and Apple TV won't play nicely with Amazon Prime Instant Streaming. It has nothing to do with the devices not 'interacting well' with Amazon's services." ...

... Alison Griswold of Slate: "It will be interesting to see whether Amazon’s move with regard to streaming content raises any antitrust flags. Generally speaking, a company has breached antitrust laws when it has a monopoly and uses that monopoly to stifle competition."

Congratulations, Aliens! You are no longer in violation of U.S. copyright law:

... Our Long National Nightmare Is Over. Los Angeles Times: "In a stunning reversal of decades of copyright claims, [a federal] judge ruled that Warner/Chappell never had the right to charge for the use of the 'Happy Birthday To You' song. Warner had been enforcing a copyright since 1988, when it bought Birch Tree Group, the successor to Clayton F. Summy Co., which claimed the original disputed copyright.... Judge George H. King ruled that a copyright filed by the Summy Co. in 1935 granted only the rights to specific piano arrangements of the music, not the actual song."

When the posh British PM David Cameron was a lad, he fucked a dead pig. The antics of our own Aqua Buddha Boy pale by comparison.

New York Times: "It was a night of firsts, and a night for establishment cable at the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday. Viola Davis became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for best lead actress on a drama series, for her role as a defense lawyer on ABC’s 'How to Get Away With Murder'; Jon Hamm won his first Emmy after seven previous nominations for his role as the tortured Don Draper on 'Mad Men'; and HBO, led by victories for the comedy 'Veep,' the drama 'Game of Thrones' and a four-part limited series, 'Olive Kitteridge,' had a triumphant showing, with 14 victories, including best drama and outstanding comedy series."


Washington Post: "When Pope Francis arrives in Washington this week for the start of a six-day visit to the United States, he might find at least one local spot that reminds him of home. That’s Brookland, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington so chockablock with Catholic institutions that it has been called 'Little Rome.'”

New York Times: "When the comedian Steve Rannazzisi has explained his success, which includes seven seasons starring on a popular TV show, 'The League,' and a one-hour special this Saturday on Comedy Central, he has frequently attributed it to decisions he made after narrowly escaping the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.... Confronted this week, though, with evidence that undermined his account, Mr. Rannazzisi, after a day of deliberation, acknowledged on Tuesday that his account was fiction."

Washington Post (Sept. 15): "King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain ... arrive in Washington this week for their first official visit.... The couple will meet with President Obama and Senate leaders on Tuesday (which happens to be the queen’s 43rd birthday), open an American-Spanish scientific conference at Georgetown University [where Felipe attended grad school], meet with American chief executives who do business in Spain, and head to Florida to celebrate the 450th anniversary of St. Augustine."

Perfect! Guardian: "Arnold Schwarzenegger is to replace Donald Trump as the host of the NBC reality show Celebrity Apprentice, the network has announced."

New York Times: "For the first time in more than a quarter-century, a new subway stop [in Manhattan] is open for business.... The extended subway line is a descendant of the train lines that ran along 11th Avenue from the mid-1800s until 1941." The stop is an extension of the No. 7 line. Exits are at 34th St. & 11th Ave.:



MoDo goes to Paris to check out Google's Google's Cultural Institute, which is on a mission to "digitally replicate and curate all art and culture on earth." CW: The Times should stop giving Dowd these difficult war-correspondenty assignments. Why isn't she in New York, checking out the runways during Fashion Week?

The President Awards the National Medals of the Arts and Humanities:

Washington Post: "New images of Pluto show the amazing diversity of" the planet's landscape. "Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, added that the surface was 'every bit as complex as that of Mars,' with jumbled mountains, nitrogen ice flows, and possible dunes." Includes slideshow.

Wowza! New York Times: "Acting on a tip from spelunkers two years ago, scientists in South Africa discovered what the cavers had only dimly glimpsed through a crack in a limestone wall deep in the Rising Star cave: lots and lots of old bones. The remains covered the earthen floor beyond the narrow opening. This was, the scientists concluded, a large, dark chamber for the dead of a previously unidentified species of the early human lineage — Homo naledi. The new hominin species was announced on Thursday by an international team of more than 60 scientists led by Lee R. Berger, an American paleoanthropologist who is a professor of human evolution studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. The species name, H. naledi, refers to the cave where the bones lay undisturbed for so long; 'naledi' means 'star' in the local Sesotho language." ...

... Here's the Life Sciences report. ...

BBC News (Sept. 9): "Cheering crowds have greeted the Queen in Edinburgh on the day she becomes Britain's longest reigning monarch. Bad weather delayed her arrival at Waverley Station, but the 89-year-old Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have now set off on the new Borders Railway. The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and seven months - calculated at 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes at about 17:30 BST." Elizabeth exceeds the reign of her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria. CW: Could be a good time to abdicate in favor of the awkward kid who's been in training for the top job for 66 years.

The Druid News. Washington Post: "Scientists working with the Stonehenge Hidden Landscape Project have discovered evidence of a massive henge just two miles away.... The 100-odd stones, which were discovered using ground-penetrating radar technology, sit beneath three feet of earth and are thought to be 4,500 years old -- roughly the same age as the more famous henge down the road. The new find sits beneath a henge known as Durrington Walls, a previously discovered, younger 'superhenge' thought to once be one of the largest settlements in Europe, spanning a space five times larger than Stonehenge. While some of the stones are only known by the depressions they left behind, others are still buried.... Here's a visual reconstruction for scale:

Ken Doctor of Capital New York: "Tribune Publishing will announce Tuesday the termination of highly regarded L.A. Times publisher Austin Beutner...."

Mo Rocca interviews Stephen Colbert for CBS "Sunday Morning."

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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.


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.

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

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

September 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

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


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.


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
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