The Wires

Public Service Announcement

Washington Post: (August 2): "Federal health authorities on Monday urged pregnant women not to visit a South Florida neighborhood where new cases of the Zika virus have emerged, the first time officials have warned against travel to part of the continental United States due to the outbreak of an infectious disease.” -- CW

Washington Post: "Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday evening in London, becoming the first American ever to take home the prestigious award. His satirical novel 'The Sellout' beat five other finalists for the $60,000 prize, which also essentially guarantees substantial new sales and interest around the world. Amanda Foreman, chair of the Booker judges, called 'The Sellout' 'a novel for our times. . . . Its humor disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve and a snarl.' Originally published last year in the United States, 'The Sellout' is an outrageously funny satire of American race relations. The protagonist, a black man whose father was killed by police, wants to reinstitute segregation in his California town. He eventually lands before the Supreme Court in a bizarre case involving slavery. 'The Sellout' also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in March." -- CW 

Washington Post: "Comic actor, movie star and America’s best friend Bill Murray tried to sum up the emotions of being honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday night [Oct. 23] at the Kennedy Center. 'My theme tonight is what is it like to be beloved,' a straight-faced Murray told the crowd at the end of the two-hour salute. 'It’s hard to listen to all those people be nice to you. You just get so suspicious.'”

Hill: Actor Bill Murray "spoke with President Obama, who congratulated him for winning this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, a White House official said. Asked by reporters in the Oval Office if he met with Murray, Obama said 'absolutely,' but didn’t reveal what else they discussed."

Politico's Late Nite Jokes:

New York Times: "The veteran television personality Jane Pauley will replace Charles Osgood as the anchor of the highly rated CBS show 'Sunday Morning.' Mr. Osgood, who is retiring, announced the news on his last show on Sunday. Ms. Pauley’s first day in the role will be Oct. 9, and she will become only the third anchor of the show, which started in 1979." -- CW 

New York Times: "Modern humans evolved in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago. But how did our species go on to populate the rest of the globe?.... In a series of extraordinary genetic analyses published on Wednesday, researchers believe they have found an answer. In the journal Nature, three separate teams of geneticists survey DNA collected from cultures around the globe, many for the first time, and conclude that all non-Africans today trace their ancestry to a single population emerging from Africa between 50,000 and 80,000 years ago.... All non-Africans are closely related to one another, geneticists found, and they all branch from a family tree rooted in Africa.... There are also clues that at least some modern humans may have departed Africa well before 50,000 years ago, perhaps part of an earlier wave of migration." -- CW ...

... CW Note to White Racists: You, too, are black. It's way past time to give up your quest for "racial purity"; it's genetically impossible. This, BTW, is something non-ignoramuses have known for a couple of decades. No wonder you hate science.


The Los Angeles Times has extensive coverage of the Emmy Awards here.

The video below will most likely be taken down for copyright infringement, so watch it while you can. It's pretty funny. Here's a WashPo report on Jeb!'s cameo on the opening bit for the Emmy Awards. Also, ABC may put up a video of it here, but they have nothing at all up on the awards ceremony as of 8:30 am ET, Monday, Sept. 19.

Chris Welch of the Verge: "Twitter is about to make a big change to the way that tweets work.... Beginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform's 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages."

You'll want to supersize this one:


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, unsuccessful in his bid to become Donald Trump's running mate, has reimagined himself as a celebrity, instead. He'll appear this season on "Dancing with the 'Stars,'" competing against other fabulous celebrities like Ryan Lochte, unless Lochte is unavoidably detained in a Brazilian jail. (Here's a link to Perry's veepstakes proffer. Of course Trump ultimately rejected Perry, but promised to make him head of some agency or department Perry probably can't remember.) CW: As always, we concentrate on the serious, important news because politics ain't funny.

Contact the Constant Weader

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


The Commentariat -- Sept. 26, 2012

Voter Fraud, El Paso County, Colorado-Style. Thanks to contributor James S. for the link:

     ... Tom Roeder of the Colorado Springs Gazette, "County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a Republican..., said the woman ... doesn't work for his office, which oversees local elections and voter registration. Instead, he said, she's probably one of the scores of volunteers who are hitting the streets for both political parties to push voter registration ahead of the Nov. 6 election." CW: Nonetheless, I've registered people to vote during several election cycles, as a volunteer for the Democratic party or a Democratic candidate, and I never received an instruction -- expressed or implied -- to register only Democrats. Rather, we were told to register everyone. Clearly, that's not how the Colorado GOP does it.

Jon Chait of New York: The Boca tape "shows the degree to which Romney has joined the imaginary world of persecution inhabited by rich conservatives and undergirded by made-up facts.... The paranoia is very weird, not least because the rich have actually prospered under Obama while vast swaths of the populace have struggled.... Most of these myths take the form of wildly misleading statistics about the tax system." Chait has the charts to prove it.

Paul Krugman: "... protracted weakness is normal after a big financial crisis, and if anything we're doing better than average, probably thanks to fiscal and monetary stimulus." Chart included, of course.

Tim Egan: "Just look at who wants to get the union referees back on the job today: Scott Walker, the union-busting governor of Wisconsin, and Paul Ryan, Romney's union-dissing running mate.... The most popular entertainment commodity in the land is willing to seriously tarnish its name, its reputation and the validity of its games for the price of a single half-minute ad." ...

People end up thinking you can get good work for cheap, you can always find a cheaper way and it's going to be just as good a result. I would hope that Scott Walker is just as outraged about decreased quality of teachers that we're going to get as he is with replacement refs in the NFL. -- Chris Larson (D), a Wisconsin state senator

Kirk Johnson of the New York Times: "The Boy Scouts of America, facing what could be an avalanche of unfavorable attention in coming weeks from the court-ordered release of internal files about inappropriate sexual behavior by youth leaders, issued a report on Tuesday by a professor who reviewed the files and found what she called 'a good faith effort' to protect boys from harm."

Julia Preston of the New York Times has an interesting piece on the difficulties President Obama's mini-Dream Act presents to employers of undocumented workers. Eligible young people are asking employers & former employers to provide evidence they have been living in the U.S., but Homeland Security won't guarantee it won't prosecute the employers.

Abdi Guled & Jason Straziuso of the AP: The heyday of Somali piracy seems to have passed. "Armed guards aboard cargo ships and an international naval armada that carries out onshore raids have put a huge dent in piracy and might even be ending the scourge."

Very Diplomatic. BuzzFeed: "As the State Department's story about what happened in Benghazi crumbles, [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton's personal spokesperson, Philippe Reines, loses his temper. 'Have a good day. And by good day I mean Fuck Off.'" BuzzFeed reprints the full exchange between Reines & reporter Michael Hastings. Excerpt -- Reines to Hastings:

I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you're an unmitigated asshole. How's that for a non-bullshit response? Now that we've gotten that out of our systems, have a good day. And by good day, I mean Fuck Off. ...

... Dana Milbank provides background about Reines & Clinton.

Presidential Race

Richard Oppel & Ashley Parker of the New York Times: "The Republican ticket will start campaigning together more often, which suggests that aides fear that Mitt Romney, on his own, is not generating enough attention and excitement." ...

... Maybe that's because Ryan has reportedly "gone rogue" to "wash the stench of Romney off him," & stinky Romney wants to re-tie the leash. Thanks to contributor MAG for the link.

Maureen Dowd: "On foreign and domestic policy, Republicans have outsourced their brains to right-wing think tanks.... The Romney campaign has turned conservative theory into ideology and gone off the cliff with it. If you want to inspire, lead and unite people, it won't fly to take ideologically driven findings and present them unvarnished to voters." ...

... Dowd complains about the President's appearance on "The View." You can watch the show here -- if you don't mind sitting through some ads. Michelle Obama also appears.

A realistic assessment of the state of the presidential election:

Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post finally notices that "there are fundamental flaws" in Romney's tax plan: "The first is the argument that cutting personal income tax rates would lead to economic growth robust enough to help pay for a big chunk of the cuts. The second, related, fallacy is the contention that raising rates on top earners would hurt growth. The third is that raising capital-gains rates would be even more harmful. There is scant reliable evidence for any of the above, yet Romney and fellow Republicans hitch their entire economic argument to them. And their rabid pursuit of lower taxes leads to two dangers: further ballooning the national debt and further increasing income inequality."

Steve Benen: "A surprising number of Republicans ... [are] arguing that all of the evidence pointing to Obama's advantage is wrong.... Every national poll released over the last several weeks -- literally, all of them -- show Obama leading Romney. Unsatisfied with these results, the right has decided to fiddle with the figures, and wouldn't you know it, the new-and-improved polls all show Romney leading Obama." ...

... Jed Lewison of Daily Kos: "According to a growing number of conservatives, an accurate appraisal of polling data shows that President Obama isn't actually leading Mitt Romney by much -- if at all -- in the 2012 campaign.... One optimistic Republican even believes the polls show that Mitt Romney is leading President Obama.... When Obama wins, it won't be evidence that they were wrong: It'll be more evidence that they were right -- and that the pro-Obama polling conspiracy was successful." ...

Republicans won't believe this poll from the biased, radical leftist New York Times, the pinkos at CBS News & the eggheads at Quinnnipiac U.: "In Ohio — which no Republican has won the presidency without -- Mr. Obama is leading Mr. Romney 53 percent to 43 percent in the poll. In Florida, the president leads Mr. Romney 53 to 44 percent in the poll. The surveys ... also included a Pennsylvania poll, where Mr. Obama is leading Mr. Romney by 12 percentage points."

Boy Band! Via Thanks to contributor Forrest M. for the link:

CW: I can't emphasize enough the stupidity Romney's remark about emergency room care, a position which he clearly knows is stupid, but since he will say anything, do anything, to deride President Obama, stupid is A-Okay.

Congressional Races

Boston Globe: "The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation today denounced Senator Scott Brown's campaign staffers for what he called 'offensive and racist behavior' against Native Americans, calling on Brown to apologize." Thanks to Akhilleus for the link.

Katharine Seelye of the New York Times: "With the high-stakes Senate race still very close, Senator Scott P. Brown is seeking to convert almost everything into a character attack on Elizabeth Warren." Warren has had a hard time responding to claims, partly because the issues are complex.

Yesterday, we had a discussion in the Comments to the Commentariat on whether or not Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass) had "attacked Elizabeth Warren's family," as she claims in the ad embedded in the Commentariat. I said no, he had attacked only her, & not for her heritage but for her supposed attempts to capitalize on that heritage. Then contributor Kate M. weighed in with this:

WCVB: "Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown chanted Indian 'war whoops' and made 'tomahawk chops' during a rally for the Republican senator this week in Boston. In a video posted on YouTube, Brown's staffers are seen holding campaign signs near the Erie Pub, chanting and making tomahawk chops, presumably in reference to Elizabeth Warren's claims of Cherokee heritage." According to Blue Mass Group, which also posted the video, among those participating were Brown's constituent service counsel & a GOP operative. Standing by but not participating were Brown's deputy chief of staff, his state director & a special assistant. ...

... Michael Levenson of the Boston Globe writes that the state Democrat party ID'd the participants. "On Tuesday, Brown said he had not seen the video but 'if you're saying that, certainly that’s not something I condone. It's certainly something that, if I'm aware of it, I will tell that [staff] member never to do that again.' Still, [Brown] struck a defiant tone when asked if he would apologize for his staffers' behavior. 'The apologies that need to be made and the offensiveness here is the fact that professor Warren took advantage of a claim, to be somebody -- a Native American -- and using that for an advantage, a tactical advantage,' Brown said.... The video points to the political peril Brown faces as he steps up his attacks of Warren's claims to Native American ancestry. War whoops and tomahawk chops -- once prevalent among fans of Indian-named sports teams -- have become a flashpoint in the sports world because many consider them offensive to Native Americans." No kidding.

Here's the video:

ABC News: "Federal agents and local police are investigating an explosion outside Democratic congressional candidate Brendan Mullen's northern Indiana home.... ATF agents say the blast Monday afternoon in a newspaper box outside Mullen's home in Granger, Ind., is among four this week in the area eight miles northeast of South Bend."

News Ledes

Washington Post: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday for what was likely to be the last time, denounced military threats against Tehran by 'uncivilized Zionists' and attacked Western leaders as handmaidens of the devil."

Al Jazeera: "Two explosions have struck the Damascus general headquarters of Syria's army..., the latest in a series of major bombings in the capital.... Rebel spokesmen for the Free Syrian Army released a statement claiming responsibility and saying that dozens had been killed, but Zoubi said the bombings caused 'only material damage'."

New York Times: "Widespread protests erupted across Greece on Wednesday as trade unions called a nationwide strike to contest billions of euros worth of new salary and pension cuts being discussed by the government and its international creditors."

Reuters: "Violent protests in Madrid and growing talk of secession in wealthy Catalonia are piling pressure on Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he moves closer to asking Europe for rescue money."

Al Jazeera: "China has claimed that islands at the centre of a territorial row with Japan are 'sacred territory' in talks between the two countries foreign ministers on the subject, the state Chinese news agency reports. Koichiro Gemba, Japan's foreign minister, met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday."

AP: In New York, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad talks about the "new world order" he envisions. Hint: no Israel, the U.S. is a pipsqueak.

AP: "The federal probation violation investigation targeting the man behind the anti-Muslim video inflaming the Middle East is proceeding slowly and privately, reflecting the explosiveness of the case."

Guardian: "Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson have been told at the Old Bailey that they are not due face a full trial until a year from now, in a hearing that saw the former News of the World editors appear in the dock of the central criminal court."

Reader Comments (18)

For those who think that if Warren had some native blood she should just do a little genealogical research and prove it.
My wife is 1/4 native American but looks full blooded and is accepted as such by all who meet her. For the last 10 years she has been trying to trace her ancestry and so far has traced her lineage back to her grandmother. She started with that amount of knowledge 10 years ago and has made no progress since. It's not as easy as PBS might lead you to think.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercowichan

@cowichan: totally agree; unable to research what my maternal
grandparents told us; she was 1/4 Cherokee, her grandfather
married a Cherokee. She looked it, we didn't. To me, it's no big
deal because millions of people in this country are part Indian or
part something else. Lots of records have been destroyed or
don't exist. But the Mormans will help us to find our true ancestors
to populate that planet. I just hate interplanetary travel.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterforrest morris

I hope the optimism of Republicans about poll numbers doesn't reflect their conviction that they believe they will succeed in suppressing the vote.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

This kerfuffle regarding the Ameridian heritage of Elizabeth Warren brings to mind some fuzzy memories of my youth. I was told by my paternal grandparents that I have Native American blood, and I was also told by a maternal family member same. However, the maternal family member said it was was to be kept hush hush as it was considered shameful.

I don't know if there is any truth to the stories, but the liberal in me would find no shame in this. I wish I could say the same for other members in my family.

I received another one of several, what I call hate mails, from a church going - retired at 57 - public school teacher cousin of mine today. Good grief! Did I mention that her postal carrier husband retired at 62, or that her 16 year old daughter receives social security because the parents are considered elderly? The email describes the evils of socialism ....and blah, blah. You all know the rest!

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Massachusetts

As predicted, the MSM is pretty much making light of the video of Scott Brown workers and senior staff engaging in racist taunts.

The local right-wing rag in Boston, the Herald, reports the video as emanating from a Democrat website and goes on to describe a scene in which both sides, apparently, were "chanting", making it sound like Warren's supporters are no better than Brown's brownshirts. Then, rather than delving any deeper into the racist actions of Brown's thugs, the Herald "reporter" begins a lengthy review of Warren's scurrilous use of false claims of minority status in order to make her entire career.

The Washington Post sniffs that the video came from a "liberal" website then goes on to pretty much pooh-pooh the whole thing, concluding that Brown refuses to apologize.

The rationale for stating, upfront, that the video, whom no one is disputing as genuine, was posted by a "Democrat", "Liberal" site, is to immediately tag it as partisan based therefore unworthy of consideration.

See? They've got it down to a science.

In fact, Brown will get a bump in the polls from this for "Standing Tall" to the PC police.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

It's clear from reading the Seelye article in the Times that Scott Brown is just a scurrilous piece of trash. He knows that Warren wasn't working against victims for Travelers Insurance, but just the opposite. He knows that she was paid fairly at Harvard based on her value to them - it's a FREE MARKET , or don't the Republicans really believe that? He knows all this but realizes he can muddy the waters by throwing mud at her. In other words, he is a true scumbag.
I hope her strategy of taking the higher road works, and that Brown is perceived as the desperate coward that he is. I hope so.

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

It seems to me that when Brown pointed out today that Warren looks white, as in who is she trying to fool, he is attacking her family, as if to say she is so white they must have lied about her heritage.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteralphonsegaston

My sister in Boston has just written me: "Scott Brown is Dead Meat!" My what a difference a racist rally makes. How not amazing that Scott Brown has a bunch of unintelligent, immature, bigoted jerks on his campaign staff. Time to bring out his NUDE Cosmo centerfold, Liz, and point out that he has what Akhillleus describes so aptly in MittWitt: "small balls!"

Besides--does anyone remember that he offered up his daughters at his victory rally in 2010--with some nutty remark about their availability?


September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKate Madison

@Kate Madison: I suppose for many people the video is what makes Scott Brown "dead meat," but what I thought was at least as important was Brown's response when asked about the behavior. The appropriate response to racial "insensitivity" -- as many a Southern white bigot-politician knows -- is to feign outrage at the perps. Brown didn't even try. He just said he didn't "condone" the behavior, if true, & they shouldn't do it again; then he segued into an attack on Warren, which he said was "the real point," or something like that.


September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Alphonsegaston: I think Brown was either attacking Warrens's parents for lying, attacking her for making it up , or attacking her for trading on affirmative action in some way which he felt unjustified. In any case, it smacks of a smear campaign and he has the balls to keep pretending it's about her "character." Really, it's about his.
Now he's attacking her for being a nationally ranked scholar , good enough to be high on the pay scale at one of the best schools in the country. Guess Republicans don't like the free market when applied to education., and don't want excellence to be rewarded.
His lines of attack smack of well funded right wing opposition research.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria D.

@alphonsegaston. I don't think so. Brown's point is not that Warren has no Amerindian heritage; it's that she doesn't have enough to qualify for an Affirmative Action bump. Warren has never claimed she did, & the stories she tells suggest her family members didn't, either. There's nothing implicit in Brown's remarks to suggest he doubts her family's stories. In fact, he says the opposite -- that she fraudulently claimed Native American status when she should have known that she did not qualify for such status.


September 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterThe Constant Weader

Thank you, Forrest M., for the great video of "full frontal freedom." I didn't know democrats were that good looking. It was an antidote to the "voter registration fraud" at the top of the column.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

@Victoria: (ahem!) It was all in the packaging!

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Re: so many comments; not enough time.
Loved the video of the voter registration girl. She thought she was helping Uncle Mitt. The "fuck you and fuck you too" pretty much says it all.
I watched a Fox News show yesterday for a about five minutes and was amazed to find out that the show was directed and scripted just like a info commercial. I did not make the connection until I had turned the teevee off. Holy Shit! They might as well be selling a magic tape that stops fire and holds water. Or much better, magic underwear that cures 'roids and deflates prostates. I thought about the confused people that watch info commercials and the messages being sold. The answer to the question, "Who buys that shit?" is sitting in front of a teevee.
Re: Hardscape; Jez, Forrest; if that's your landscaping team how do you guys get anything done sittin' poolside?

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJJG

Hacks at the Boston Herald are now demanding that Warren apologize for starting this whole thing. Why? Because that's how the dominant right-wing echo chamber works. If one of yours insults or degrades someone else, blame that other person and demand that THEY apologize.

Just like the voter ID scam and that MitBot girl who was deployed only to register troglodytes. Clearly that county clerk missed the Rove memo that provided slightly more sophisticated instructions for scamming voters. First, register everyone. Second, tear up any forms for people wanting to register as Democrats (this happened in many Ohio counties in '04). The next step, on voting day, is to challenge everyone who looks vaguely Democratic. If you're not sure, simply challenge all African Americans, Latinos, and people who aren't wearing trucker hats with a US flag, teabagger t-shirts, or who don't look "country-club ready".

I wish I could be a sanguine as Kate's sister in Boston, but we've all seen how effective wingers are at stealing what's not theirs. Remember the Brooks Brothers Riot that helped steal the White House for Chimp-in-Charge?

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

Ryan going rogue! Caught hint of this in Krugman's blog, went to:
for more about Paul Ryan & The Stench.

Guess who Stench is!

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMAG

Cosmo Boy Brown and his racist hate monger campaign apparatchiks may think they can insult Elizabeth Warren with typical Republican insouciance, but the Cherokee Nation has other ideas:

"The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation today denounced Senator Scott Brown’s campaign staffers for what he called “offensive and racist behavior” against Native Americans, calling on Brown to apologize.

'The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse,” the chief, Bill John Baker, said in a statement. “The use of stereotypical ‘war whoop chants’ and ‘tomahawk chops’ are offensive and downright racist. It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.'”

So far, in response to the chief's complaint, Cosmo Boy has replaced his staff's patented "Tomahawk Chop" with a more traditional Republican "One Finger Salute".

Douchebags never go away. That's why they need to be voted out of office.

Full story here:

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus

The teevee channel, AMC, has a mini series on Sundays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. called, "Into the West" which highlights the 'taming' of the West by one family of white men and one family of indians (as they were called then and, still called by bigots like Scott Brown and his ilk). While watching each show, I have a knot in my entire being as I see how vicious, sadistic and inhumane the white soldiers treated them, stole their land and their heritage. Scott Brown and his attacks on Elizabeth Warren is no different from 150 years ago. It is ugly and repulsive and shows the true character of Brown.

I live in Connecticut, the state that has two Native American owned casinos and where most everyone I know chants now and then, "Eventually, there is just retribution in this world." However, money will never repay the savagery that was inflicted on those who were in this country before the white man. Shame on Scott Brown.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMushiba
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