The Ledes

Friday, April 18, 2014.

Washington Post: "An avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest early Friday morning, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving three others missing, officials said, in what is now said to be the single deadliest disaster to hit the world’s highest peak.”

The New York Times outlines some of the shocking errors made after the Korean ferry began to list. ...

     ... UPDATE: "Prosecutors in South Korea on Friday sought to arrest the captain, third mate and another crew member of a ferry on charges of deserting their vessel and passengers after it capsized and leaving more than 270 people missing, many of them high school students on a trip to a resort island. Prosecutors asked the court to issue arrest warrants for Captain Lee Jun-seok, 69, and the 26-year-old third mate, who they said was steering the ship at the time of accident.... The vice principal, Kang Min-kyu, 52, of Danwon High School, who survived the ferry accident on Wednesday, was found hanging from a tree on a hill near a gymnasium where families of the missing had gathered. The police suspected Mr. Kang had hanged himself."


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/04/10/3772409/fbi-rescues-kidnapped-wake-forest.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: "The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday took the rare step of urging doctors to stop performing a surgical procedure used on tens of thousands of women each year to remove uterine growths, saying the practice risks spreading hidden cancers within a woman’s body. The procedure, known as power morcellation, has long been used in laparoscopic operations to remove fibroid tumors from the uterus, or to remove the uterus itself. It involves inserting an electric device into the abdomen and slicing tissue in order to remove it through a small incision. The surgery is far less invasive than traditional abdominal operations."

The Wires

The Ledes

Thursday, April 17, 2014.

New York Times: "Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist whose 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' established him as a giant of 20th-century literature, died on Thursday at his home in Mexico City. He was 87."

New York Times: "President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia emphasized on Thursday that the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament had authorized him to use military force if necessary in eastern Ukraine, and also stressed Russia’s historical claim to the territory, repeatedly referring to it as 'new Russia' and saying that only 'God knows' why it became part of Ukraine....Mr. Putin’s remarks on eastern Ukraine came as officials from Russia, the United States, Europe and the new government in Kiev were meeting in Geneva for four-way negotiations aimed at resolving the political crisis." ...

... Los Angeles Times: "Russia may invade southeast Ukraine to protect the local population, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday." ...

... Washington Post: "President Vladimir Putin, who repeatedly denied Russian troops had entered Crimea before the March referendum there, changed his version of those events Thursday, telling the nation that they had indeed been there all along. But the green-uniformed men observed in eastern Ukraine right now, storming buildings and raising the Russian flag, are not Russian, he said. 'Those are local residents,' he said." ...

... AP: "Ukraine is hoping to placate Russia and calm hostilities with its neighbor even as the U.S. prepares a new round of sanctions to punish Moscow for what it regards as fomenting unrest. The carrot-stick strategy emerged as diplomats from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia prepared to meet Thursday for the first time over the burgeoning crisis that threatens to roil the new government in Kiev." ...

... Guardian: "Asked if he was expecting any progress, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, simply shrugged." ...

... Reuters is liveblogging of the Ukraine crisis.

... New York Times: "Ukrainian security forces killed three pro-Russian protesters, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in a firefight overnight in the eastern city of Mariupol, the interim Ukrainian interior minister said on Thursday. The clash was the most lethal so far in the east of the country." ...

... AP: "NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia's aggression in Ukraine, the alliance's chief said Wednesday."

Washington Post: "A Canadian cyber crime unit has arrested and charged a 19-year-old Ontario man for allegedly hacking into the country's tax agency using the Heartbleed Internet security bug."

Washington Post: "About 24 hours after [a South Korean] passenger ferry with more than 450 aboard began to slowly sink off South Korea’s southwestern coast, at least nine are dead and 287 others, many of them teenagers, are unaccounted for. South Korean news media put the number rescued at between 164 and 179, most of whom were brought ashore to the island of Jindo, where they were wrapped in warm towels or treated for minor injuries." ...

... Guardian: "The parents of hundreds of children missing after Wednesday's ferry accident off the coast of South Korea have accused the captain of the vessel of abandoning passengers after it emerged that he and six other crew members were among the first to leave the ship after it started to sink." ...

... Los Angeles Times: "Angry relatives of passengers aboard a sunken South Korean ferry criticized the government’s response Thursday as the ship’s captain made an emotional apology for fleeing the vessel before hundreds of others had a chance to get out." ...

White House Live Video
April 18

1:00 pm ET: Jay Carney 's press briefing

2:00 pm ET: President Obama presents the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy to the US Naval Academy football team

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

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

USA Today: "Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she's pregnant with her first child."

New York Times: "It is a bit bigger and somewhat colder, but a planet circling a star 500 light-years away is otherwise the closest match of our home world discovered so far, astronomers announced on Thursday. The planet, known as Kepler 186f, named after NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, which detected it, has a diameter of 8,700 miles, 10 percent wider than Earth, and its orbit lies within the 'Goldilocks zone' of its star, Kepler 186 — not too hot, not too cold, where temperatures could allow for liquid water to flow at the surface, making it potentially hospitable for life."

Jason Zinoman of the New York Times argues that the real king of late-night comedy is Jon Stewart.

 

Whose Pulitzer Is It Anyway? Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity was awarded the Pulitzer Prize this week for his multipart series on denials of benefits to black lung victims. ABC News, which used Hamby's work for a "Nightline" segment, now wants a piece of the Pulitzer, even though the Pulitzer Prize is given for print journalism. ...

... J. K. Trotter of Gawker has more: "Journalist-on-journalist carnage is rarely so open, or so bilious, especially when obituary-worthy awards are on the line. Then again, television news has never attracted, or rewarded, humble folk. According to Poynter, an ABC spokesperson repeatedly 'threatened [{Bill} Buzenberg {executive director of CPI}] and the Center saying they would make this very "messy" ... unless they got what they wanted.'” ...

... Dylan Byers of Politico has more on the feud. ...

... Capital New York: "Fresh off a Pulitzer win for his investigative work at The Center for Public Integrity, Chris Hamby is jumping ship to join Mark Schoofs' investigations desk at Buzzfeed...."

Washington Post: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff is leaving NBC News, by mutual consent. Isikoff told Erik Wemple that "this was a situation that was no longer working out."

Soraya McDonald of the Washington Post: "Thursday night was a deft marriage of the best of the two Colberts: He didn’t break character, but the deference and affable nature that marks his out-of-character interviews was stamped all over the writing." With video. ...

... Dylan Scott of TPM: "Rush Limbaugh framed CBS's decision to replace retiring 'Late Show' host David Letterman with professional conservative skewer Stephen Colbert in some decidedly apocalyptic terms. 'CBS has just declared war on the Heartland of America," Limbaugh said Thursday on his radio show. 'No longer is comedy going to be a covert assault on traditional American values. Now it's just wide out in the open.'" ...

... Bill Carter of the New York Times: "CBS made its choice, quickly and definitively: Stephen Colbert is the successor to David Letterman as the star of 'Late Show,' the late-night franchise created by Mr. Letterman. CBS made the announcement Thursday, exactly one week after Mr. Letterman announced on his program that he would be leaving his post after one more year on the air."

Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times: "A faded fragment of papyrus known as the 'Gospel of Jesus’s Wife,' which caused an uproar when unveiled by a Harvard Divinity School historian in 2012, has been tested by scientists who conclude in a journal published on Thursday that the ink and papyrus are very likely ancient, and not a modern forgery. Skepticism about the tiny scrap of papyrus has been fierce because it contained a phrase never before seen in any piece of Scripture: 'Jesus said to them, "My wife..."' Too convenient for some, it also contained the words 'she will be able to be my disciple,' a clause that inflamed the debate in some churches over whether women should be allowed to be priests." ...

... CW: Sorry, purists. Followers (& non-followers) had all kinds of ideas about what Jesus was like. Married Jesus & sexy Jesus (Gospel of Thomas, "Lost" Gospel of Mark) were among them. The Roman Catholic Church decided, beginning late in the 2nd century what was canon & what was not. And every story, IMHO, is fictional. BTW, the Egyptologist in Goodstein's story who insists the fragment is a fake uses some extremely shaky -- i.e., bogus -- rationales for his opinion.

CW: I think it's my job to run this:

... The full "Today" show segment is here, & it's mildly interesting (CW: NBC's embed code is screwed up, so I can't run it here).

Josh Dickey of Mashable: "Stephen Colbert is CBS' top choice to replace the retiring David Letterman, and has indicated that he's willing to take over the Late Show when the time comes, people familiar with both sides of the discussions tell Mashable." Via New York.

Lauren Moraski of CBS "News": "David Letterman announced Thursday that he's retiring from CBS' 'Late Show' sometime next year. He made that announcement during the taping of his program Thursday afternoon at New York's Ed Sullivan Theater."

No News, All the Time:

Igor Bobic of TPM: "In its wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, CNN has raised the possibility of the supernatural, blackholes, and North Korea; it has interviewed a psychic, tried but failed to rent its own 777 jet, and finally settled on a flight simulator it is using to 'search' for the plane.On Tuesday the network finally turned its attention to garbage."

Washington Post: "Stephen Colbert and his writing staff were in fighting form Monday night, after a controversy stemming from an out-of-context tweet had hashtag activists calling for his head." ...

... This is kinda must-see TV:

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
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