Weekly Address

The President's Weekly Address

White House: "In this week’s address, the President reflected on the significant progress made by this country in 2014, and in the nearly six years since he took office":

The Ledes

Saturday, December 20, 2014.

New York Times: "The United States transferred four detainees from the Guantánamo Bay prison to Afghanistan late Friday, the Defense Department announced Saturday, fulfilling a request from the new Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, in what officials here characterized as a show of good will between the United States and the government in Kabul.The four men are not likely to be subjected to further detainment in Afghanistan, an Obama administration official said."

New York Times: "In an apparent targeted killing, two police officers were shot in their patrol car in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon by a man who later fatally shot himself in head, police officials said."

Reuters: "Dozens of protesters were arrested on Friday in Milwaukee when they blocked rush-hour traffic on a major highway to protest the killing of an unarmed black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer this year. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department took at least 73 adults and one minor into custody during the protest that blocked Interstate 43, which runs through the city, according to the department's Twitter feed."

The Wires

The Ledes

Friday, December 19, 2014.

Los Angeles Times: "Lowell Steward, a member of the Tuskegee Airmen who flew more than 100 missions during World War II, died Wednesday, according to Ron Brewington, former national public relations officer for the Tuskegee Airmen. Steward was 95."

NBC News: "The Army has concluded its lengthy investigation into the disappearance of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in eastern Afghanistan and must now decide whether Bergdahl should face criminal charges. Bergdahl reportedly walked away from his base into the hands of the Taliban and was held hostage for five years. Based on the investigation, the Army must now decide whether Bergdahl should be charged with desertion or a lesser charge of being 'absent without leave,' AWOL."

New York Times: "The Pakistani military said on Friday that it had killed 62 militants in clashes near the border with Afghanistan, stepping up operations against insurgents after the Pakistani Taliban carried out an attack at a school that left 148 students and staff members dead."

New York Times: "Mandy Rice-Davies, a nightclub dancer and model who achieved notoriety in 1963 in one of Britain’s most spectacular Cold War sex scandals, died on Thursday after a short battle with cancer, her publicist said on Friday. She was 70."

Denver Post: "James Holmes, the man who killed 12 people inside an Aurora movie theater two years ago, is 'a human being gripped by a severe mental illness,' his parents write in a letter that pleads for him to be spared from execution.'" The letter is here.

Public Service Announcement

Surprise! December 19: Dr. Oz is a quack.

Washington Post, November 21: Learn how to use your thermostat & save $$$.

New York Times, November 17: "For the first time since statins have been regularly used, a large study has found that another type of cholesterol-lowering drug can protect people from heart attacks and strokes."

White House Live Video
December 19

1:30 pm ET: President Obama holds a press briefing

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

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A former resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, calls into outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick's last regular monthly radio call-in show:

Sixteen times Stephen Colbert broke character on his show. With videos. ...

... Winger John Hinderaker of Powerline has never seen Colbert's show, but he's pretty sure it was an hour-long ad for the Democratic party. "I am not in favor of restricting anyone’s right to free speech, but if federal law is going to bar a businessman from contributing enough to buy more than a minimal amount of television time on behalf of his party or his candidates, why shouldn’t Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central be prohibited from airing millions of dollars worth of pro-Democratic Party propaganda?" CW: Evidently, Hinderaker has not heard of Fox "News."

Los Angeles Times: "A hashtag about asking police officers questions for a CNN panel turned extremely negative almost as soon as it was posted Tuesday. #AskACop was meant to be used by viewers who wanted to tweet questions to officers for the town hall segment "Cops Under Fire,” hosted by Don Lemon. There was an overwhelming response -- most of which were criticisms toward police." CW: Apparently CNN had no idea people were pissed at the police.

Bill Carter of the New York Times: "For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character on his late-night show, 'The Colbert Report' — so much so that when he puts the character to rest for good on Thursday night, he may have to resort to comicide. The Grim Reaper is his last guest."

New York Times: "Life on Mars? Today? The notion may not be so far-fetched after all. A year after reporting that NASA’s Curiosity rover had found no evidence of methane gas on Mars, all but dashing hopes that organisms might be living there now, scientists reversed themselves on Tuesday. Curiosity has now recorded a burst of methane that lasted at least two months. For now, scientists have just two possible explanations for the methane. One is that it is the waste product of certain living microbes.... It could have been created by a geological process known as serpentinization, which requires both heat and liquid water. Or it could be a product of life in the form of microbes known as methanogens, which release methane as a waste product.... The scientists also reported that for the first time, they had confirmed the presence of carbon-based organic molecules in a rock sample. The so-called organics are not direct signs of life, past or present, but they lend weight to the possibility that Mars had the ingredients required for life, and may even still have them."

"Oh, God, It's Mom." Kelly Faircloth of Jezebel: "Oh my Lord, shut it down, here is the greatest moment in the history of C-SPAN: A (very Southern) mama called into one of their shows to yell at the guests. Not because she disagrees, but because the guests are brothers and both her sons and she is sick and tired of their shit":


Escape from Alcatraz. Live Science: "... on the night of June 11, 1962, three inmates left Alcatraz in one of the most mysterious prison breaks in American history. John Anglin, his brother Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris tucked dummy heads into their bed sheets and snuck into an unused utility corridor through holes they had crudely drilled through their cells. Then, from the prison roof, they shimmied down the bakery smoke stack and climbed over the fence. From the northeast shore of the island, they floated away from the prison on a small raft made from more than 50 stolen raincoats that were inflated with a musical instrument that was converted into a pump. Even the FBI still calls the plan 'ingenious' on its website. After a 17-year investigation, federal authorities concluded that the men most likely drowned during the escape...."

... BUT ...

... The linked story above has a better video, but it's not embeddable.

Rolling Stone: "David Letterman will retire from late-night television on Wednesday, May 20th. The Late Show host's production company Worldwide Pants announced the news, according to Deadline, with CBS Corp. President and CEO Leslie Moonves praising Letterman’s 'remarkable legacy of achievement and creative brilliance [which] will never be forgotten.'"

Washington Post: "New information from NASA's Curiosity Rover suggests that Mars may once have had large, long-lasting lakes above ground. That would challenge the more popular theory that water on the planet was only underground, or only appeared in a few areas for a short amount of time. The key to this latest theory is Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles tall and sits in the red planet's Gale Crater. But Mount Sharp is a curious formation: The layered mountain is made of different kinds of sediment. Some layers were probably deposited by a surrounding lake bed, and other seem more likely to be the result of river or wind deposits." CW: Yeah, there was probably once a really well-developed life on Mars with flora & fauna & -- eventually -- little green men who didn't believe in climate change.

New York Times: "After weeks of planning, New York City welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on Sunday for a three-day visit, greeting Prince William and his wife, Catherine, with the blend of enthusiasm, sarcasm and bemusing antagonism that tends to tail the urban celebrity tourist."

The Wrap: "Longtime CNN political anchor Candy Crowley is leaving the network."

December 6: Max Fisher of Vox: So two white guys -- guys who will have no trouble finding other jobs -- get fired, & half the New Republic staff walks out in protest. Where was the outrage when Marty Peretz was editor & writing racist screeds? The contrasting reactions speak "to a larger problem of how we think about racism in American society and particularly in the elite media institutions that have badly lagged in employing people of color." ...

... Scott Lemieux in LG&M: "For all its sins [of the past], I don’t see how turning the magazine into another traffic-chaser under the aegis of a CEO who speaks Meaningless Buzzword and apparently lacks the attention span to read more than 500 words at a time is a good thing." ...

... Charles Pierce: "... contra Chait, and even though the magazine unquestionably has regained a lot of its lost quality, especially in its actual reporting, I think the notion that The New Republic is 'an essential foundation of American progressive thought' is a ship that sailed a long time ago." ...

... Zandar in Balloon Juice: " The number of damns I give about TNR as a going concern at this point equals approximately the number of black voices writing for the magazine, which is to say zero, but YMMV."

... December 4 & 5: Dylan Byers of Politico: "Franklin Foer and Leon Wieseltier, the top two editors at The New Republic, quit on Thursday amid a shakeup that will relocate the Washington-based magazine to New York City, sources there told Politico on Thursday. Gabriel Snyder, a Bloomberg Media editor who previously served at The Atlantic Wire, has been tapped to replace Foer as editor. The magazine will also reduce its print schedule to 10 issues a year, down from 20." ...

     ... New York Times Update: "More than two dozen members of the staff of The New Republic, including several contributing editors, resigned on Friday morning, angered by an abrupt change of editors and what they saw as a series of management missteps. The resignations include the senior editors Alec MacGillis, Julia Ioffe and Isaac Chotiner, and the contributing editors Sean Wilentz and William Deresiewicz, according to several staff members who are leaving. A list compiling the names of those resigning was obtained by The New York Times." ...

     ... AND more from Jessica Roy of New York. ...

... Jonathan Chait: The New Republic has lost its way. ...

... Ezra Klein: "It's a bit early, I think, to write The New Republic's eulogy. Gabriel Snyder, the magazine's new editor, is a smart and web-savvy guy." ...

... Leah Finnegan of Gawker: "Indeed, an entire magazine is now doomed to fail because a white man has been fired and — gasp — an internet-savvy white man has been brought in to replace him! In TNR's 100-year history, I never would have imagined such a triage of injustice. It's clear that the new leadership of the magazine—with all their greasy Facebook money—is dead set on ruining a (historically racist) publication no one ever read in the first place, and was on the slow road to Irrelevance City. What will Chris Hughes do next? Perhaps the publication might even become interesting. Scream!"

Charles Pierce is completely taken with Ed Snowden. He's brave, credible & intelligent, blah-blah, & the film "Citizenfour" is bee-youtiful. For an antidote to starry-eyed Charles, see this review by Fred Kaplan of Slate.

This is quite cool:

 

Washington Post: "Scientists are 99.999 percent sure, in their most conservative estimate, that remains found in 2012 really do belong to King Richard III. These results, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, put a 529-year-old cold case to rest -- all thanks to some intense genetic detective work." CW: Let's hope one of the expert detectives wasn't Shaun Parcells. You may weigh in, Dr. Schwalb. ...

Welcome to Gramercy Park! -- "one of the most forbidden places in Manhattan." New York Times: Woody Allen couldn't get in to film, Robert De Niro couldn't get in, but Shawn Christopher, who was honeymooning in Manhattan, borrowed a key and "took three 360-degree panoramas using Photo Sphere, a Google app, and then uploaded them to the company’s ubiquitous Maps site. He had gotten into the park using another of his favorite technologies, Airbnb, where the room he rented included not only fresh linens and Wi-Fi but also one of the 383 coveted keys to the park. Mr. Christopher was unaware at the time that guests had to be accompanied by key holders on their visits and that commercial photography was prohibited." So take an insider's view of the park.

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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
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