The Wires

The Ledes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Washington Post: "Overwhelmed by thousands of asylum-seekers, Hungarian authorities Tuesday briefly halted rail traffic from their nation’s main train station, the latest blow to borderless movement in Europe.... The asylum-seekers, many of whom are fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, hope to make it onward to Germany, which has promised shelter and sustenance for Syrians. By midday in Budapest, the train station had been reopened, but migrants were being kept away, Hungary’s state-owned news agency reported."

Public Service Announcement

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."

AP: "Federal health advisers on Tuesday[, June 9,] recommended approval for a highly anticipated cholesterol drug from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but with the caveat that more data is needed about its long-term ability to reduce heart attacks. The expert panel recommended by a 13-3 vote that the Food and Drug Administration approve the injectable drug, called Praluent."

White House Live Video
August 28

12:00 noon ET: Josh Earnest's press briefing

Go to WhiteHouse.gov/live.

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

New York Times: "Bloomberg News laid off as many as 90 journalists on Tuesday[, Sept. 1,] in its newsrooms in New York, Washington and across the world, part of a plan to refocus the organization’s coverage on business, finance, economics, technology and politics. The rationale for the dismissals was outlined in a lengthy memo to the staff from Bloomberg’s new editor in chief, John Micklethwait."

Maureen Dowd: Trump has got the best of Jeb! & Hillary: "Trump’s 'gusto,' as he likes to call it, has thrown into sharper relief the grinding-it-out, impatient entitlement, the overthinking and overcorrecting of Jeb and Hillary. Both campaign like they are owed, not because of their great national achievements, but because of their byzantine family dynamics."

The Oliver Brief. We do note, however, that the so-called 'Insular Cases,' which established a less-than-complete application of the Constitution in some U.S. territories, has been the subject of extensive judicial, academic, and popular criticism. See, e.g., Juan Torruella, The Insular Cases: The Establishment of a Regime of Political Apartheid, 77 Rev. Jur. U.P.R. 1 (2008); Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: U.S. Territories, Youtube (Mar. 8, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE. -- Footnote, Paeste v. Guam, Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha S. Berzon

Jordan Golson of Wired: "Boeing’s developed a laser cannon specifically designed to turn unmanned aircraft into flaming wreckage. The aerospace company’s new weapon system, which it publicly tested this week in a New Mexico industrial park, isn’t quite as cool as what you see in Star Wars — there’s no flying beams of light, no 'pew! pew!' sound effects. But it is nonetheless a working laser cannon, and it will take your drone down. People keep flying their drones where they shouldn’t.... Luckily, there haven’t been any really bad incidents — that is, no one has been killed by a civilian quadcopter or plane, yet."

"The cream cheese is too damn much." Scott Lemieux and I agree.

Sunday Morning Come-Down. Politico: "Al Sharpton is leaving MSNBC's weekday dayside lineup, and moving to Sunday mornings. Sharpton's last weekday 'PoliticsNation' will be Sept. 4. He moves to Sundays a month later on Oct. 4, according to a memo sent to MSNBC staff by the channel's president Phil Griffin Wednesday evening."

Washington Post: "Stephen Hawking believes he’s solved a huge mystery about black holes."

Washington Post: "The case for canonizing [Sister Blandina Segale,] the 19th century Italian-born nun, whose run-in with Old West outlaw Billy the Kid is the stuff of legend, was presented at a ceremonial 'first inquiry' in Albuquerque on Tuesday. If approved, her name will be sent to the Vatican, where it will head down the long (and somewhat secretive) path toward sainthood."

New York Times: Can't sidewalk scaffolding be attractive? Yes, it can.

Terror in Toledo! ABC News: "A man caught on video the moment a public art installation in Toledo, Ohio -- a giant, 250-pound red ball -- decided to run away and start rolling down streets lined with parked cars. Part of a Toledo Museum of Art exhibit, the RedBall Project had been wedged between Roulet Jewelers and Ice Restaurant in downtown Toledo when a thunderstorm and strong winds this past Wednesday evening knocked the ball loose and caused it to start rolling away, according to Kelly Garrow, the museum's director of communications."

... AP: "America’s two foremost Democratic families, the Obamas and the Clintons, mingled on Saturday[,August 15,] as politics mixed with summer repose on swanky Martha’s Vineyard."

Washington Post: "Offering such perks as 'free' bags and 'free' airline tickets, [some credit] cards are big on promises, but they often fall short on the delivery. And although these financial instruments are legal, experts say they are not always worthwhile."

Kori Schulman of the White House: "Today (August 14), the White House joined Spotify — and our inaugural playlist was hand-picked by none other than President Obama. When asked to pick a few of his favorite songs for the summer, the President got serious. He grabbed a pen and paper and drafted up not one, but two separate summer playlists: One for the daytime, and one for the evening." ...

... CW: If you're subscribed to Spotify, you can play the President's list from the linked story (at "Today".)

Washington Post: "Google, one of the best-known brands on the planet, on Monday[, August 10,] radically restructured itself under the corporate name Alphabet, an almost unprecedented shift that reflects the company’s far-reaching ambitions and the vast Web it helped evolve. The move represents Google’s biggest push yet to ... turn the company into a multifaceted General Electric for the digital age."

Bureaucracies Move in Mysterious Ways. New York Post: "The city [of New York] moved to fire an employee for missing about 18 months of work, even though he had the best excuse of all time — he was dead. Bureaucrats at the Human Resources Administration filed charges against Medicaid-eligibility specialist Geoffrey Toliver accusing him of going AWOL — even though his death by cancer was reported in an online obituary.... 'It is my understanding that . . . his employer was fully aware that he was not able to come back to work,' Toliver’s brother Anthony told The Post. 'It is my understanding that my brother’s family spoke directly to his supervisor during his long hospitalization and informed them of his death.'” ...

... CW: Doesn't surprise me at all. When I lived in Manhattan, my mother sent me a gift which came directly from the catalog company from which she had bought it. My father had died a few years earlier, but my mother was still getting these catalogs in his name. So my father's name, not hers, appeared on the package as the giftor. He had never lived in New York City. He was not the addressee on the package. The package didn't come from New York City. And my father was dead. But never mind all that. A few months after I received the gift, I got a letter at my New York home addressed to my father. It was a notification from the city ordering my father to show up for jury duty. Or else.

 

Josh Feldman of Mediaite: "For years and years, plenty of websites (Mediaite included) have written about the many times Jon Stewart has 'destroyed,' 'annihilated,' or 'eviscerated' anything from terrorism to race relations to Fox News. Well..., on his penultimate night, Stewart discovered that he didn’t actually do any of that":

Exit Laughing. John Koblin of the New York Times: "Since [Jon] Stewart started hosting 'The Daily Show' 16 years ago, the country’s trust in both the news media and the government has plummeted. Mr. Stewart’s brand of fake news thrived in that vacuum, and turned him into one of the nation’s most bracing cultural, political and media critics. With his over-the-top presentation of the news — his arms swinging wildly, his eyes bulging with outrage, followed by a shake of the head and a knowing smile — Mr. Stewart attracted a generation of viewers ready to embrace an outlier whose exaggerations, in their view, carried more truth than conventional newscasts." ...

...Stewart hasn't done any interviews prior to ending his run on the "Daily Show," but he did sit down with "Daily Show" producers for an "exit interview" on Episode 20 of the "Daily Show Podcast without Jon Stewart." You can listen to it here.

Los Angeles Times: "Donald Sterling filed for divorce Wednesday[, August 5] in Los Angeles Superior Court, almost a year after a contentious legal fight with his wife, Shelly, led to the sale of the Clippers.... However, the court later rejected Wednesday’s filing because it was incomplete, according to a spokeswoman. The matter is expected to be re-filed."

New York Times: "Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a 'shake-up.'”

"Where Are My Pancakes?"

The Word Salad King. If Donald Trump's good friend & possible running mate Sarah Palin is the Word Salad Queen, it stands to reason that the Donald would be the king. Slate challenges you to diagram this "sentence." To help you out, Slate has transcribed the words in the order delivered. Not that the order delivered matters much:

Obama Slept Here

For a mere $22.5MM this Martha's Vinehard house on 10 acres can be yours. The Obamas stayed in the house for 8 days in 2013. The current owner bought the property, which has expansive views of the Atlantic & Chilmark Pond, in 2000 for about $3MM. So, hey, the price is negotiable. Slide show.

The Birth of Franklin. Washington Post: After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Glickman, a white California mother wrote to cartoonist Charles Schultz urging him to introduce a black character to his "Peanuts" cartoon strips. When Schultz demurred, saying he was afraid "it would look like we were patronizing our Negro friends," Glickman got two of her "Negro friends" who backed the idea to write to Schultz. A short time later, Schultz introduced Franklin. Oh, yes, & strips showing Franklin in an integrated! classroom upset Southern editors, according to Glickman.

Contact the Constant Weader

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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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