M. J. Lee of Politico: "Embattled conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Wednesday dismissed reports of dozens of advertisers pulling their commercials from his show.... Limbaugh, citing claims he had lost 28 sponsors, said that is 'out of 18,000. That’s like losing a couple of french fries in the container when it’s delivered to you in the drive thru. You don’t even notice it.'”
CW: Expect to see a lot of stories like this. Travis Waldron of Think Progress: "Paul Carroll, an 86-year-old World War II veteran who has lived in the same Ohio town for four decades, was denied a chance to vote in the state’s primary contests today after a poll worker denied his form of identification, a recently-acquired photo ID from the Department of Veterans Affairs." BTW, the story doesn't say what Carroll's party affiliation is; he not necessarily a Republican -- Ohio had some Congressional primaries yesterday because of redistricting. Thanks to Kay S. for the link. ...
... Carroll was offered a provisional ballot, which he did not accept because he couldn't read it. More insights on the "provisional ballot" scam from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a former Ohio Secretary of State, via Katy at Balloon Juice.
I meant to post a link to this the other day: Dean Baker has a very good, short post that illuminates what is awry in the deficit hawk's nest. I blame 95 percent of Washington politicians & punkdits (typo I'm letting stand) for this form of "morality" that urges "belt-tightening" in a recession.
President Obama's press conference Tuesday:
... Loose Nukes, Loose Cannons. Michael Crowley of Time: "In their speeches to AIPAC [Tuesday], the Republican presidential candidates made clear that they consider an Iranian nuclear weapon a nightmare that must be stopped at all costs. Yet however potentially dangerous Iran may be, there’s something askew about the emphasis on its nuclear program to the near-exclusion of the many other nuclear threats America faces–threats the GOP candidates have spent virtually no time addressing." ...
... Charles Pierce: "I don't think we should ever minimize the political value of carefully bridled contempt. The president ... held a press conference on (Super) Tuesday afternoon in which most of the questions were about the ongoing concerns about the Iranian nuclear program, the issue on which the Republican presidential candidates have become increasingly bellicose.... The president pretty much feels as though he's been pecked at by ducks who really don't have any skin in the actual game, and that he finds their bellicosity not only against the national interest, but also politically offensive. They don't have the courage to stand up against their own compulsion to demagogue the most serious job a president has. Who are the cowards now? ... This was a subtle, deft assault on the notion that anyone on the Republican side has any real idea of the gravity of the job they're running for...." ...
... AND. How Do Iranians Get Those Cute Little Boats to the Strait of Hormuz? Oh, Through Syria! Steve Benen: "At the most recent debate for the Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney wanted to show off his understanding of international affairs, and told the audience that Syria is Iran's 'key ally' and Iranians' 'route to the sea.' Iran, of course, has 1,520 miles of its own coastline -- and doesn't share a border with Syria.... And yet, the former governor continues to feign expertise on the subject matter. Today he has an op-ed in the Washington Post, calling for Iranian sanctions (which Obama has already imposed); backing Israel (which Obama has also already done); and shaping a U.S. policy towards Iran that's "the same as Ronald Reagan's." Um, Mitt? The Reagan administration sold Iran weapons, in violation of an arms embargo, in order to help illegally finance the Contras in Nicaragua. Reagan also sought a check on Iranian power by cozying up to Saddam Hussein after he used chemical weapons against his own people." ...
... Benen has a good piece on President Obama's response to a question about the Limbaugh controversy. (See also Right Wing World.)
Frank Phillips of the Boston Globe analyzes the Massachusetts Senate contest between Sen. Scott Brown (R) (instead of hitting "R" there, I kept typing "$" -- just as appropriate) & his likely challenger Elizabeth Warren.
Right Wing World
I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life. I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word. I think the rest of the world is looking at us these days and saying, ‘What are you doing?’ -- Barbara Bush (R), former First Lady
Too Poor to Go to College? Get over It. -- Willard. David Firestone of the New York Times: Romney takes a question from a high school senior worried about rising college tuition costs: "... the advice was pretty brutal: if you can’t afford college, look around for a scholarship (good luck with that), try to graduate in less than four years, or join the military if you want a free education. That’s the face of modern Republican austerity. Don’t talk about the value of higher education to the country’s economic future, and don’t bother to think about ways to make it more accessible to strapped families. Tell students not to take on more debt than they can afford, wish them well, and move on."
Bomb First, Think Later. Maureen Dowd: with GOP warmongers -- i.e., most of the GOP -- hubris trumps humility.
Confessions of a Campaign Volunteer. Charles Pierce campaigns for Rick Santorum. Really. If you've ever worked on a campaign, you'll see yourself in Pierce's post.
"I'm Not Prejudiced, But...." Michael Finnegan of the Los Angeles Times: Mitt Romney just doesn't click in the rural, religious South. CW: this is because the rural, religious South is full of well-informed, intellectual geniuses, to wit:
On Romney: Christ is the head of my church, and his was some Smith guy who claimed to be a latter-day prophet. I'm not prejudiced against a Mormon. It's just some of their beliefs that I'm against. -- Don Teikling, The Barber of Oneonta (Alabama)
On Obama: It's not that he's black, It's that he's not an American citizen. -- Don Teikling
On Obama: I got no use for Obama, and it's not because of the color of his skin. It's his socialist government and all the money he's throwing away. -- Leldon Thomas, Retired Truck Repairman, Tobacco Chewer, Wal-Mart Shopper & Savant
Paper Tigers. Gene Robinson: "Asked to comment [on Rush Limbaugh's slander of Georgetown Law stud Sandra Fluke], the leading Republican presidential candidates — who bray constantly about 'courage' and 'leadership' — run from the bully and hide.... These guys want us to believe they’re ready to face down Vladimir Putin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Eun, the Taliban and what’s left of al-Qaeda. Yet they’re so scared of a talk-radio buffoon that they ignore or excuse an eruption of venom that some of Limbaugh’s advertisers ... find inexcusable." ...
... Upping the Stakes:
... Mizz Murkowski Regrets.... Julia O'Malley of the Anchorage Daily News: "Over the weekend, Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R-Alaska] learned the hard way not to get between women and birth control. Back from Washington, D.C...., the senator kept running into female voters who wrote in her name in the last election.... These women were coming unglued. The reason: Murkowski's support for a measure that would have allowed not just religious employers, but any employer, to opt out of providing birth control or other health insurance coverage.... Regrets are one thing, but real votes in the Senate are another. If she's a moderate, she should vote like one."
Murkoski: I have never had a vote I've taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me.
O'Malley: If you had it to do over again, having had the weekend that you had with women being upset about the vote, do you think you would have voted the same?
Murkowski: No. ...
... Greg Sargent: Murkowski's vote "exposes yet again the hollowness of the complaints by GOP 'centrists' about how both sides are responsible for creating a polarized atmosphere in Washington that has made bipartisan compromise impossible."
Dreaming of the Moon??? --
Virginia Is for Lovers. CBS News: "Amid continued protests from Democrats, Republican Governor Bob McDonnell on Wednesday signed into law a controversial bill requiring Virginia women to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion."
New York Times: "President Obama has asked the Pentagon for military options on Syria, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, told the Senate on Wednesday.But both General Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said the administration still believed that diplomatic and economic pressure was the best solution for protecting Syrians from the Assad regime."
New York Times: "The United Nations’s top relief official visited the ravaged Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday as part of her assessment of emergency needs in swathes of the country devastated by a year-long uprising against President Bashar al-Assad."
Reuters: "The pace of job creation by private employers in the United States accelerated more than expected in February, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. The private sector added 216,000 jobs last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed, topping economists’ expectations for a gain of 208,000."
Guardian: "Six British soldiers are missing, believed killed, after an explosion hit an armoured vehicle in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has said. The five soldiers from the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment and one from the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment were on mounted patrol when their Warrior armoured fighting vehicle was struck on Tuesday in Helmand province. If they are dead it will take the number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to more than 400 and intensify debate about the timetable for withdrawal of troops."
Guardian: "Allen Stanford, the Texan financier, knight of Antigua, Washington power player and billionaire benefactor of English cricket, has been found guilty of orchestrating a $7bn Ponzi scheme. After a six-week trial in Houston, Texas, a jury found him guilty of conspiracy and 12 other criminal charges including obstruction. He was acquitted of one wire fraud charge. Stanford ... faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced." ...
... Houston Chronicle: "Jurors in the R. Allen Stanford case return today to federal court, perhaps for the last time, to consider whether international accounts held by the one-time billionaire and cricket mogul’s Antigua bank should be forfeited. Yesterday, the same jury convicted Stanford on 13 of 14 fraud-related counts against him that accused him of masterminding a $7 billion Ponzi scheme through his offshore bank’s certificates of deposit, or CDs sold to customers worldwide. He now faces up to 230 years in prison." CW: hmm, not sure if that's 20 or 230 years.
AP: "President Barack Obama told business leaders Tuesday that the nation needs to reform its tax system to help boost the economy, saying the American people 'instinctually understand' that the U.S. needs a more balanced approach to solve its economic problems."