Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

BREAKING NEWS

Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.



According to the BBC, the Spanish nurse who was the first person to contract Ebola outside of West Africa has tested negative for the virus (a second test is required before she’ll be officially free of the disease). And the United States has reached an important milestone: the 21-day monitoring period for the 48 people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died of Ebola in Dallas, ended on Sunday and Monday. Aside from the two nurses who cared for him, there have been no new infections.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mitt's Inner Joe Isuzu Lives!









For those of you who don't remember the brilliant ads featuring Joe Isuzu, here's a reminder:



J





Joe Isuzu was a fictional spokesman used in a series of television advertisements for Isuzu cars and trucks. Created by the ad agency Della Femina, Travisano, and Partners, the segments aired on American television in 1986-90, reaching their zenith in 1987 after the character was featured during Super Bowl XXI. Played by actor David Leisure[1] (Empty Nest), Joe Isuzu was a pathological liar who made outrageous and overinflated claims about Isuzu’s cars.




PATHOLOGICAL.

Mitt Romney's Plans for Natural Disasters


This is the guy who suggested it is "immoral" for the federal government to spend money in times of national disasters, and that individual states could handle catastrophes without a big gummint FEMA:





"The city of Peabody Massachusetts is a quiet borough north of Boston, neighboring Salem in Essex County. Historically tied to the tanning industry and agriculture, it was an early hotspot in the automobile industry. Through the town runs the Ipswich River, which is where the problems for Mitt Romney originate.

In 2004, severe rain caused the river to overflow, causing widespread flooding. In response, the state developed a flood prevention plan. With that plan in place, flooding would no longer be an issue should severe rain return to the area. The total cost would have been a paltry $5.7 million, a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of millions in damages caused by flooding.


The measure, prepared, detailed, and ready to go, hit the governors desk for signature. And Governor Romney promptly vetoed it.

In response to the veto, the Boston Globe ran a scathing editorial on the Governor:
Peabody officials yesterday lashed out at Governor Mitt Romney’s decision to block $5.7 million to pay for a flood control project in downtown Peabody. Romney blocked the money as part of $76 million in election-year spending he vetoed last week.

At a State House press conference Friday, Romney said he had tried to contact Peabody officials to obtain more information about the funding, but was unable to reach anyone. Yesterday, state Senator Frederick E. Berry said, 'We hand-delivered all kinds of information. They had all the information they needed … I don’t want to use the word ‘lie,’ but … how he could say he didn’t get the information? That’s not true.'

Yesterday, Romney’s communications director, Eric Ferhnstrom, said the governor stands by his statement. 'Governor Romney is not a rubber stamp for the expenditure of taxpayer funds. If there is no information to support a particular expenditure, our inclination is to be cautious and to wait until a rationale is put forward,' Ferhnstrom said. 'In this case, we endeavored to get answers to our questions but none were forthcoming. We would be happy to take another look and if it appears to be a necessary and worthwhile expense we will include it in the next spending bill the administration proposes.'  --Addicting Info

Yeah.  Let's leave disaster planning and relief to the individual states.  We can see how well that worked in Massachusetts when Mittens was governor.  Why would anyone believe it would be different if he were *shudder* elected to the presidency? 

That would be a real natural disaster.


HARRY REID WAS RIGHT!

NO WONDER MITTENS WOULDN'T RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS!

IN ADDITION TO STASHING HIS MONEY IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES--THE ONLY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN U.S. HISTORY TO DO SO--HE USED HIS RELIGION TO AVOID PAYING TAXES.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Everything they say is a goddamned lie." by Capt. Fogg of The Swash Zone

Capt. Fogg of The Swash Zone says what I think and would write if I had one tenth of his literary skills.

Another righteous rant from the good captain:



"I try to learn something new every day and lately, thanks to our friends in the media and all those helpful folks who work at PACS and "think tanks" today has been very informative indeed.  Sitting a doctor's waiting room, watching ABC this morning between 9:00 and 9:15, I learned that Democratic candidate Patric Murphy, running for Congress against Disgraced war criminal Allen West, was really the morally reprehensible choice because he'd been arrested at age 19 for being drunk.  Probably unforgivable even  25 years afterward and much more so than West's being forced to resign from the Army rather than face a Court Martial and a probable 11 year prison sentence for torturing an innocent Iraqi.  Abu Ghraib?  Never heard of it.  Did you hear about Obama's apology tour?

But wait, there's more.  The Democratic candidate has a secret plan to eliminate Social Security (which he doesn't) and Allen West who has campaigned long and hard to end it, is obviously the better choice -- but you say you want more for your money -- you say you're not satisfied with the level of mendacity?  Why, you can be certain says another half panicked voice on the tube; you can be certain that if Murphy is elected, then  Iran will launch the nuclear weapons they don't have on missiles they don't have and commit suicide by bombing  the United States. I guess a junior Representative has a lot more power than I thought!


Arriving home, there was a large flyer in the mail from the NRA insisting that "After four years of Obama, we have More Debt ( 87% of which is attributable to his predecessor) There is more Spending ( vide supra) and Higher Prices." I did a little quick arithmetic and under Obama there seems to have been a smaller increase than under the Commanderguy, but never mind, this isn't about the numbers, it's about tactical dishonesty.  It's about the triumph of lies, the ascendancy of evil --  a Republican campaign.

  "There's only one thing we have less of," says the NRA "and that's FREEDOM."  You can look it all up at gunbanobama.com.  That's right gun ban - the one thing you can't honestly accuse Obama of  doing and during his administration, not only have there been no new gun laws, but gun laws limiting where I can can carry a weapon have actually been loosened.  Yes, the pigs have slightly less freedom to use fake Bible quotes as a suppository today.  Less freedom to interfere in our marriages and romantic attachments and private moments.   Again, none of this is about truth and again, half the country sucks up  this sewage like a vulture gulping down carrion.

Which brings me to my conclusion.  For the 8 years of the Bush misadventure, which brought us the longest and most expensive wars in our history, the biggest increase in government borrowing and spending in memory and the largest most extensive invasions of privacy (remember when Bush told us we'd have to give up civil liberties, 'cause there's a war on?) During the Bush years of  slashed taxes that gave us zero job growth and the biggest economic catastrophe since 1929 -- for all those years I was told that I, as a Liberal, hated America, was unforgivably rude for mentioning Bush's transgressions against the Constitution and individual liberty -- and just laughably and liberally trying to bring down the robust economy with pessimistic predictions (which came true.)

Well Guess what, you lying Tea Whores, you lying revisionist Zombies, you lying enemies of everything you pretend our country stands for -- at this point I do.  At least I hate half of it's brainless, undead beasts.  I hate the half that can't see any difference between pretty good and bottomless evil.  I hate the millions that decide not to vote because Obama can't raise the dead or walk on water or undo 8 years of sabotage in 6 days. I hate the ones who have been yelling that the government can't create jobs and now are sobbing that the government can't create jobs for them.  I hate you smug, ignorant, Denialist bigots; paranoid that 'the coloreds' are living off your money and too many people are having sex against your wishes and that we aren't letting them all die to decrease the surplus population and lower Mitt Romney's already meager taxes.  I hate you irredeemably stupid weasel turds who insist that high taxes gave us economic collapse when they've never been lower ( under both Bush and Obama)  and while we've had our most prosperous times under much higher tax burdens. History matters. Numbers matter. Truth matters and while your dogmas never, never, ever produce results, you still want to choke us to death with them. I hate breathing the same air that carries the sound of your lies.

I hate the average moderate Americans -- like me -- who aren't dragging these horrors out of their homes and dragging them through the streets in tar and feathers, because as nasty as that might be, we'll get accused of it anyway no matter what we do.

And it's our own God Damned fault. "


Go HERE to Stonekettle Station to read "Guns and Butter. Also, Nazis!"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy Comes to Boston Harbor

Photos by Max taken today at 2PM at the lower end of my street. 

Boston's inner harbor:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
From The New Yorker magazine:
 
A couple of weeks ago, Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurance firms, issued a study titled “Severe Weather in North America.” According to the press release that accompanied the report, “Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America.” The number of what Munich Re refers to as “weather-related loss events,” and what the rest of us would probably call weather-related disasters, has quintupled over the last three decades. While many factors have contributed to this trend, including an increase in the number of people living in flood-prone areas, the report identified global warming as one of the major culprits: “Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity.”




From The New York Times:


"Over the last two years, Congressional Republicans have forced a 43 percent reduction in the primary FEMA grants that pay for disaster preparedness. Representatives Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and other House Republicans have repeatedly tried to refuse FEMA’s budget requests when disasters are more expensive than predicted, or have demanded that other valuable programs be cut to pay for them. The Ryan budget, which Mr. Romney praised as “an excellent piece of work,” would result in severe cutbacks to the agency, as would the Republican-instigated sequester, which would cut disaster relief by 8.2 percent on top of earlier reductions.

Does Mr. Romney really believe that financially strapped states would do a better job than a properly functioning federal agency? Who would make decisions about where to send federal aid? Or perhaps there would be no federal aid, and every state would bear the burden of billions of dollars in damages. After Mr. Romney’s 2011 remarks recirculated on Monday, his nervous campaign announced that he does not want to abolish FEMA, though he still believes states should be in charge of emergency management. Those in Hurricane Sandy’s path are fortunate that, for now, that ideology has not replaced sound policy."

Sandy

Expectations: Sandy Will Be Severe
 updated on: 05:46am, October 29, 2012

"Many meteorologists agree: Hurricane Sandy is going to be severe with strong winds, flooding, and power outages, at the very least.

Sandy is a large, slow-moving storm. Many people who have listened to the hype of other storms (which turned out to be quite weak in comparison), are skeptical about the warnings coming about Sandy.

However, the weather models on which meteorologists base their forecasts, vary little. As of now they say central New Jersey north to Rhode Island, including Philadelphia and New York City could get the worst hit."






"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) put aside his campaigning for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Sunday to praise President Barack Obama for his responsiveness to the Garden State's needs in preparing for Hurricane Sandy.

During a briefing with emergency personnel, residents and press, Christie thanked Obama for holding a conference call with him and governors of other states expected to be impacted by the storm, the Star-Ledger reports.

“I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey,” he said."




Governor "It's immoral." Romney would send FEMA back to the states?  Apparently he doesn't understand that the poorest states are the states that solidly support him, and that he believes poor states like Mississippi and Louisiana would be able to handle a disaster without federal help.  Is he that naive?  It's just  more of the same "I've got mine, screw you!" mentality, and it's everyone for himself.

E pluribus unum. 

And we're all in this together.

Be safe, everyone.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Night Music

I had the pleasure of attending a concert today at the Isabella Stewart Gardner's Calderwood Hall where Musicians from Marlboro presented a gorgeous program featuring works of Franz Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn, and a contemporary piece for violin, horn and piano by Gyorgy Sandor Legeti.


Here's a sample of this great group of musicians.  Enjoy!:



The Economy is slowly recovering.


New York Times Endorses President Obama 10/28/2012:

The economy is slowly recovering from the 2008 meltdown, and the country could suffer another recession if the wrong policies take hold. The United States is embroiled in unstable regions that could easily explode into full-blown disaster. An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.

[skip]

In the poisonous atmosphere of this campaign, it may be easy to overlook Mr. Obama’s many important achievements, including carrying out the economic stimulus, saving the auto industry, improving fuel efficiency standards, and making two very fine Supreme Court appointments. ...


Mr. Obama prevented another Great Depression. The economy was cratering when he took office in January 2009. By that June it was growing, and it has been ever since ...

If re-elected, Mr. Obama would be in position to shape the “grand bargain” that could finally combine stimulus like the jobs bill with long-term deficit reduction that includes letting the high-end Bush-era tax cuts expire. ...



David Leonhardt:
"The housing bust finally seems to be over. Health care costs have slowed. The unemployment rate has fallen below 8 percent, much sooner than forecasters were predicting a few months ago. Consumer confidence has reached a post-recession high.There is still no guarantee that the economy is on a stable path to recovery, given its structural problems and the false starts of the last few years. But the odds that the recovery has finally begun have never been higher. Which is one more reason the presidential campaign, for all the groaning it has inspired from left, right and center, matters so much."





 

Or this...




GOPer Charles Fuqua of Batesville, Arkansas, author of "Christianity in Retreat,"  says "there is a strange alliance between the liberal left and the Muslim religion."

 "Both are antichrist in that they both deny that Jesus is God in the flesh of man, and the savior of mankind. They both also hold that their cause should take over the entire world through violent, bloody, revolution," the post says.

 In a separate passage, Fuqua wrote "we now have a president that has a well documented history with both the Muslim religion and Communism."

And this:

Here’s the key passage from Fuqua’s 2012 book, “God’s Law: The Only Political Solution“:
The maintenance of civil order in society rests on the foundation of family discipline. Therefore, a child who disrespects his parents must be permanently removed from society in a way that gives an example to all other children of the importance of respect for parents. The death penalty for rebellious children is not something to be taken lightly. The guidelines for administering the death penalty to rebellious children are given in Deut 21:18-21:


In his 2010 book Letters to the Editor: Confessions of a Frustrated Conservative, Arkansas State Rep. Jon Hubbard (R-Jonesboro) revealed that he believes slavery was a blessing in disguise and that African Americans do not value education:

“… the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. The blacks who could endure those conditions and circumstances would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.” (Pages 183-89)

If you think slavery was bad, you should have seen Africa:

African Americans must “understand that even while in the throes of slavery, their lives as Americans are likely much better than they ever would have enjoyed living in sub-Saharan Africa.” “Knowing what we know today about life on the African continent, would an existence spent in slavery have been any crueler than a life spent in sub-Saharan Africa?” (Pages 93 and 189)
Black people are ignorant:

“Wouldn’t life for blacks in America today be more enjoyable and successful if they would only learn to appreciate the value of a good education?” (Page 184)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Who knew? Sununu! Because he's BLAAAAAACK!

UPDATE:

Hilarious!  Video of post-Boca Raton debate interview by Triumph, the insult dog.

John Sununu runs away!


Remember when former GOP Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell said he'd be voting for President Obama only because he's black?

  No?    Me neither.

But that didn't stop Very Big John Sununu from flapping his very pink, glossy gums and spreading his very white foamy spittle all over cable and network news saying former GOP Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell is voting for President Obama only because he's black.

But like all common loud-mouthed bullies, Sununu had to retract his racist slur against General Powell after decent people told the feckless swine to go back to hiding in his bronze jar.

General Colin Powell:

"You know, I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I'll be voting for he and Vice President Joe Biden next month," he said on CBS' "This Morning." Asked whether it was an endorsement, he said, "Yes." Powell praised the president's handling of the economy and ending of the Iraq War. "I think we ought to keep on the track we are on," he said. Powell said he had the "utmost respect" for Mitt Romney, but criticized his tax plan. He said Romney's foreign policy was a "moving target." "One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan, but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal. Same thing in Iraq. On every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Gov. Romney agreed with the president with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign."


Of course that stung the Romney/Ryan campaign, so their surrogate Sununu's first line of attack against the former Secretary of State was to impugn his reasons for making his decision to endorse President Obama FOR THE SECOND TIME. 

It's always about race, isn't it. 

I can't count the number of times I've read on conservative blogs that the only reason people voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 was because he is black, and people wanted to feel good about themselves for voting for America's first black president.  Those folks who've repeated this lie all through Mr. Obama's presidency have no self-awareness on how racist that thinking is, for by repeating it, as they have over the last 4 years, they reveal their underlying assumption:    That no one would vote for a black guy based on the issues and his job performance:

Charles Blow of the New York Times 10/27/12:


Charles Blow:
"We have a very racially divided electorate. As The Washington Post reported Thursday, “Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll.” 
The report pointed out that nearly 80 percent of nonwhites support Obama, while 91 percent of Romney’s supporters are white.
 
I worry that Sununu’s statements intentionally go beyond recognizing racial disparities and seek to exploit them.
 
What does that say about Romney, and what does it say about his campaign’s tactics?
 
Remember: A man is known by the company he keeps."
 

"Haven’t they just spent four years telling the country that he’s “foreign” with a MUSLIM middle name and what is almost a totally for sure phony birth certificate? Obviously liberals (and Colin Powell) are only voting for him because he’s black and looks like a skinny little crackhead or maybe a monkey. And because lazy, shiftless black people want free stuff."--Justin Rosario


Roland Martin, CNN analyst:

"As a distinguished military man who has worked for four U.S. presidents, he has witnessed up close and personal what it takes to be president of the United States and commander in chief. It is ridiculous to assume Powell would be so shallow as to think race is the only determinant for him. The suggestion is beneath him.
 
So, why did Sununu say it? Because it's easy to dismiss an accomplished black man who just praised another accomplished black man. By boiling it down to race, it's easy for others who think such a thing to say, 'Oh, that's it!'
 
Unfortunately, we see this type of thinking in America all of the time."


This isn't the first time Sununu insulted the president:
 



Meanwhile, back on the campaign, Mitt Romney continues to be the Sybil of American politics:






ROMNEY "MISSPEAKS" AGAIN!


October 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

Romney picks up incorrect story about Jeep production moving to China



Romney was apparently responding to reports Thursday on right-leaning blogs that misinterpreted a recent Bloomberg News story earlier this week that said Chrysler, owned by Italian automaker Fiat SpA, is thinking of building Jeeps in China for sale in the Chinese market.

The Bloomberg story, though accurate, "has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. work force. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats," Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri said.

"Let's set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It's simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world's largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation."



Thursday, October 25, 2012

BREAKING NEWS! STEPHEN COLBERT HAS A COUNTER OFFER FOR THE DONALD!

ROMNEY ENDORSES OBAMA!




FLIP-FLOPPING PASTOR ENDORSES FLIP-FLOPPING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

That's more flip-flopping than you'll see at a Ringling Brothers acrobatics' convention.

We know that Willard has no allegiance to principles, because he changes them as often as he changes his socks.  But we didn't expect the Protestant version of The Pope, Rev. Billy Graham, to abandon his belief--that Mormonism is a cult--so quickly and cynically as Willard has abandoned his core values.

"The prominent Christian evangelist Billy Graham has taken public steps to embrace Mitt Romney for president this week, removing Romney’s Mormon religion from a list of cults on his website and taking out an advertisement that appears to urge people to vote for Romney.

Graham’s Evangelistic Association removed the word Mormon from its website, where it used to be listed along with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientology as a cult.

The move comes just a week after Romney visited Graham at his home in North Carolina."  --ABCNews

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world out there.  One minute the Protestant Pope calls Mormonism a cult; the next minute he's embracing Mormonism and Willard and telling us to vote for candidates "who base their decisions on biblical principles" :

“As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election may be my last,” Graham says in the ad. “I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman.”


What Graham stated above is contra to everything our Founding Fathers set forth in the Constitution--especially this part:

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."


We don't expect a doddering old man to remember the bedrock principles on which this nation was founded, but we do expect Americans to wholly reject the idea that they base their electoral decisons for public office on "biblical principles."

Religion-based politics is a bad idea.  Just look to the Middle East for proof.






Wednesday, October 24, 2012

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...

and so bizarre that it can only have come from the Preening Jackass of the Republican Party, Donald Trump.



photo h/t RN-USA



Why does Willard associate himself with this cringe-inducing clown?  As George Will so pithily put it a few months ago when Romney accepted Trump's endorsement and support:


“Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics,” Will added. “Again, I don’t understand the benefit. What is Romney seeking?”


Here's the latest Trumpfoolery. 

Hey, GOP and Willard!  Embarrassed by this venal con artist much?











Hey Donald!  You're fired!

No. Wait.     Where's all that AMAZING stuff your "investigators" in Hawaii were finding out about President Obama and his birth certificate?   Where's your big announcement on all that?  Oh, goshers!  Let me guess...hiding under that bitchin' comb-over?  Heck, I thought you were going to give us somethin' really, REALLY, BIG--like a newly discovered film of Obama speaking to a black person or his REAL father, Saul Alinsky.  Damn!


Laugh at The Donald, and carry on.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"...he will sell your ass out to the highest bidder..."


The incomparable Charlie Pierce, writing for Esquire, tells us about "The Well-Oiled Weathervane," otherwise known as Willard Romney:


"You have to give Romney and his campaign credit. They said they were going to do it. They telegraphed the punch five months ago. They told the entire nation that there would come a day in which everything Willard Romney had said about anything in his entire seven-year quest to be president would be rendered, in the memorable word of Nixon White House flack Ron Ziegler, "inoperative." They told us quite honestly that their entire campaign was going to be based on an ongoing argument between the Willard Romney who ran for the Republican nomination and the Willard Romney who thereupon would run for president. They told us he would renege on his previous positions, and he has. They told us he would reverse his field over and over again, and he has. They told us that the only real principle to which the man will ever hold firm is that he will be utterly unprincipled."

They told us that, sooner or later, everybody who supported him through the primaries because he
was the only Republican candidate who didn't sound like he belonged in a padded chapel would find themselves under the bus. And nowhere in his campaign was Romney firmer in his resolve than he was to a modernized version of the neoconservative agenda that so thrilled the world under the leadership of C-Plus Augustus. A full 17 of his 25 primary foreign-policy advisers had been deckhands on that particular plague ship, Sailing Master Bolton chief among them. And, at the end of the day, they all just turned out to be the last people to go sliding under the wheels. For the full 90 minutes of the foreign-policy debate at Lynn University here on Monday night, whether it was the president speaking or Romney, neoconservatism's breath barely clouded the mirror."


[skip]

"Romney was for bilateral diplomatic solutions. Romney was for comprehensive reform packages for the entire Middle East. Romney likes what the president did in Libya (at first), in Syria, in Egypt, and what the president is doing with his flying killer robots in a dozen places. In fact, the president drew clearer foreign-policy differences between himself and Beau Biden's father than Romney did between himself in the president. The most spectacular reversal came on Afghanistan, when Romney appeared to commit himself to the same 2014 withdrawal date over which he has been belaboring the president in practically every speech since he left for Iowa a year ago.

It was purely surreal, and it was not made any less so by the fact that Romney was clearly uncomfortable with his new moderate foreign-policy programming. (That was plain early on, when he completely took a pass on the opening question, which concerned the events in Benghazi.) Romney was sweating and stumbling through enough passages to reinforce the fact that he and his running mate, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from Wisconsin, are going to have to leave anything that happens overseas to their coterie of advisers — if, of course, any of them are still speaking to Romney after he sold them out so egregiously just now.

That is what history always has told us about the career of Willard Romney: sooner or later, he will sell your ass out to the highest bidder and walk away whistling in the general direction of anything to which he feels entitled. In this case, that would be the leadership of the Free World."


Monday, October 22, 2012

"...Obama is wiping the floor with him on substance..."


Andrew Sullivan:   "...Obama is wiping the floor with him on substance, and Romney has basically fled neoconservatism as quickly as he would a liquor store. Romney is now endorsing Obama's withdrawal from Afghanistan."




Here's  what President Obama did to Mr. Romney in the last debate on foreign policy, (Mr. Romney's in the blue shorts; President Obama's in the gold):





Photobucket




"Obama told Mitt Romney that he was out of touch on his criticism of the current military structure, at the foreign policy debate. "You mention the Navy, and how we have fewer ships than 1916. We also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed."

BUDDA-BING!

Get Ready for the Last Debate and...



Mitt Romney's foreign policy blunders, which will be broadcast from the appropriately named, "Mouth of the Rat:





"...Romney’s new “military advisory council” that comprises, in part, of decorated veterans that support Romney has a simply astonishing number of ex-military officials that work now as consultants and board members for large-scale weapons producers.

Think Progress quotes:

  “While many of those on the Council are clearly decorated veterans,” boldprogressive.org’s Zaid Jilani observes, “one curious aspect of the list is how many of these military figures left the government only to become highly paid consultants and board members to major weapons makers.”

The point is, of course, that Romney plans on giving the military an additional two trillion dollars of unasked-for money, which would likely end up in the pockets of military contracting companies to build weapons or other tools of war. With a board of advisers made of up what practically amounts to representatives of those companies, the connection isn’t that difficult to see." --Addicting Information


Who’s Advising Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy?

"It's deja vu all over again!"  Welcome to the new bosses, same as the old [warmongering] bosses:

"Romney keeps a large group of foreign-policy advisers, eight of whom participated in the early neoconservative group Project for a New American Century think tank, founded in 1997 and headed by William Kristol, the Nation’s Ari Berman reported in May. In the same month, The New York Times’ Magazine’s David Sanger reported on discontent within that big team, with some complaining that Romney only listens to John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador under president Bush.

Romney has long sought to distinguish himself from the president by drawing a contrast between weakness and strength, and his posture is reflected in the team he’s chosen, peppered with luminaries from the Bush administration. The “special advisers”–who do not comprise the entire foreign policy team–are listed on Romney’s campaign website:
Cofer Black
Christopher Burnham
Michael Chertoff
Eliot Cohen
Norm Coleman

John Danilovich
Paula J. Dobriansky
Eric Edelman
Michael Hayden
Kerry Healey
Kim Holmes
Robert Joseph
Robert Kagan

John Lehman
Andrew Natsios
Meghan O’Sullivan
Walid Phares
Pierre Prosper
Mitchell Reiss
Daniel Senor
Jim Talent
Vin Weber
Richard Williamson
Dov Zakheim
Michael Hayden served as CIA director under president Bush, who nominated him in 2006. Michael Chertoff served as Bush’s second Homeland Security secretary. Jim Talent and Norm Coleman are former Republican senators.



To President Obama:   "In boca al lupo!"

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Night Poetry

I wrote a series of poems for children. 

Here's one of them:


Agouties

If you love agouties
and want to pick them up,
be careful of the cooties

in their booties!
They'll jump on your clothes.
No one knows
how they got those cooties!


Agouties are not beauties,
they have a funny snout
that curls like a fandootie,
especially when they pout.
Now you may ask, my cutie,
"What the heck is a fandootie?!"


Well.

It's the thing that an agouti
ties around his bootie
when he dresses to go out!



 

A Sermon for Sunday

Friday, October 19, 2012

GOP Voter Fraud and Voter Intimidation

Here is a definition of voter fraud from Project Vote,

“Voter fraud is the “intentional corruption of the electoral process by the voter.” This definition covers knowingly and willingly giving false information to establish voter eligibility, and knowingly and willingly voting illegally or participating in a conspiracy to encourage illegal voting by others. All other forms of corruption of the electoral process and corruption committed by elected or election officials, candidates, party organizations, advocacy groups or campaign workers fall under the wider definition of election fraud.”--Politicususa

Arizona's largest county listed wrong date for the election on voter ID cards (but just in Spanish)





9 Florida Counties Report Faked Voter Registration Forms From GOP-Backed Firm

A GOP-backed consulting firm may have submitted "hundreds" of faked voter registration forms in Florida, according to the Florida Department of State.

The GOP cut ties with the third party voter registering company Strategic Allied Consultants on Thursday after the Palm Beach County elections supervisor flagged 106 of the firm's registration forms for having similar handwriting, incorrect addresses and incomplete information.
Since then, elections officials in nine Florida counties have unearthed hundreds of possibly fraudulent registration forms.

Chris Cate, a spokesman for the Florida Department of State, said the state does not yet know the exactly how many forms were allegedly faked. While it is not unusual to get reports of incomplete registration cards, Cate said it is rare for the state to have so many forms with false or wrong information.

"We are concerned about any cases of voter fraud," Cate said. "In this case, it has to do with most allegations regarding bad information on voter applications. We don't know the extent of how it could impact election, but we will let the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determine full extent of the problem."



Virginia GOP Caught Destroying Voter Registration Forms-


Related Link: Investigation Launched Over Trashed Voter Registration Forms
Rockingham County Sheriff's Office
Press Release

The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office has made an arrest in the investigation of voter registration fraud that began on the afternoon of October 15th when law enforcement received a citizen complaint of voter registration application forms being found in a dumpster behind a business in the City of Harrisonburg.

The following individual has been charged:

Mr. Colin Small, 31 year old male of Phoenixville, PA
Voter Registration Supervisor employed by Pinpoint, an independent private organization contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia for purposes of general voter registration.
The following charges have been placed:

Four (4) counts of Destruction of Voter Registration Application, Class 1 Misdemeanor, Section 24.2-1002.01, Code of Virginia
Eight (8) counts of Disclosure of Voter Registration Application, Class 5 Felony, Section 24.2-1002.01, Code of Virginia
One (1) count of Obstruction of Justice, Class 1 Misdemeanor, Section 18.2-460(A), Code of Virginia



REPUBLICAN VOTER INTIMIDATION AND THREATS:

Koch Industries sent letters to 45,000 employees warning them of possible job losses if Romney was not victorious, and David Siegel, founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts, sent an email to all of his thousands of employees, insinuating they would be fired of Barack Obama is reelected. In 2008, Siegel sent a similar email to employees prior to the election warning that “if you lose your job, it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, and if that happens, you can find me retired, with no employees to worry about.” Siegel is wealthier than ever.



The executive director of the Montana Republican Party, Jake Eaton, resigned Tuesday "after a failed attempt to challenge registration of voters in some Democratic strongholds," the Helena Independent Record reported.

According to the paper:

"Republicans raised concerns with registered voters who live at addresses that differed from the addresses listed on their voter registration information. The party asked that county election officials ask voters to prove their current addresses.

Montana Democrats, charging it was an attempt to suppress voter turnout, went to federal court to block the effort.U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula didn't rule in the case, but issued a strongly worded order blasting the Republicans."The timing of these challenges is so transparent that it defies common sense to believe the purpose is anything but political chicanery," Molloy wrote.

As a result, Eaton was shown the door. However, the state Democratic Party cautioned that the scandal wasn't limited to one rogue operative.

"After the efforts of the Republican Party to suppress the rights of 6,000 Montana voters, I think it was clear that a change in management was needed," state Democratic Party spokesman Kevin O'Brien said.

"However, this should not lead anyone to believe that Mr. Eaton was acting independent of his party's leadership. And it doesn't change the fact that that the Montana Republican Party owes voters an explanation for why they attempted to undermine the democratic process and cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in the process."



MORE ON VOTER INTIMIDATION:

"Recently, several CEOs have issued missives to their workers saying that, if President Obama wins reelection, their jobs might be in danger. One CEO wrote in an email, “The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration.” Another wrote, “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come…I am asking you to give us one more chance to stay independent by voting in a new President.”

In audio uncovered by In These Times’ Mike Elk, Mitt Romney himself got in on the action, telling a group of business owners, “I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections.”

And now House Republicans are joining in. In video released by the Chicago Sun-Times, filmed by the CREDO SuperPac, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) instructed business owners to threaten employees with the loss of their jobs or their health insurance if Obama wins. --ThinkProgress


Right-wing candidates file as Democrats in Ravalli County races



A Recent History of GOP Voter Suppression in Florida


"...the Florida GOP committed voter registration fraud while undermining the right to vote for everyone else—particularly minority voters, who have been historically disenfranchised in the state and are key supporters of Barack Obama and Florida Democrats. The common thread between these different voter suppression efforts has been to make it more difficult for minority voters to cast a ballot.

• Data from the 2004 and 2008 elections in Florida show that “African-American and Hispanic citizens are about twice as likely to register to vote through drives as white voters,” according to Project Vote.

• African-Americans in Florida were twice as likely to cast ballots during early voting in 2008 as white voters. According to University of Florida political scientist Daniel Smith, 800,000 voters in Florida cast ballots during early voting hours in 2008 eliminated by the GOP. A federal court overturned the law in the five Florida counties covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

• An executive order by Scott mandating that felons convicted of nonviolent crimes wait up to seven years before receiving their voting rights disenfranchised nearly 200,000 Floridians who would have been eligible to vote in 2012. Blacks are 13 percent of registered voters in Florida, but 23 percent of disenfranchised felons. (See Brentin Mock’s excellent new story, “Has Florida Created a Trap at the Polls for Ex-Felons?”)

• Eighty percent of the so-called “non-citizen” voters on Florida’s inaccurate and discriminatory purge list were people of color (only one non-citizen on that list of 2,600 was found to have actually voted). Florida has restarted the purge on a reduced scale—but election officials may once again refused to implement it.

So remember this: Republican voter suppression efforts in Florida have been far more destructive than simply handing in a few hundred fraudulent voter registration forms.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Elizabeth Warren Up By NINE in Massachusetts

Scott Brown won Senator Kennedy's seat in 2010 because he ran against a very weak candidate.  This time he's up against a really strong woman who has wide appeal and the ability to connect with the voters. 

Brown made a big mistake going after Warren over her heritage claims.  The public didn't like his tactic, and it badly backfired.  The most recent misstep in Brown's campaign was claiming Warren used paid actors in an asbestos campaign ad, and then having to apologize for making the false claim.


I'm happy to report these very, very nice poll numbers for Elizabeth Warren at this point in the campaign:



From: Tom Jensen, Director of Public Policy Polling

To: Interested Parties

Subject: Warren takes largest lead yet in Massachusetts Senate race

Date: October 17
th, 2012

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Massachusetts finds Elizabeth Warren with her biggest lead in the race to date, 53-44 over Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Warren’s gained three points since last week we found her ahead 50-44.

Key findings from the survey include:

-Brown’s approval rating has dipped to just 46%, with 45% of voters unhappy with his job performance. Meanwhile Warren’s favorability numbers continue improving as the campaign progresses. 52% of voters now have a positive opinion of her to just 43% with a negative one.

-Warren is now leading Brown with both women (55-40) and men (50-48). She also has the advantage with voters in every age group. She’s cut Brown’s lead with independents almost in half over the last two months, from 26 points in August to now just 15 points. And she has the Democratic base pretty unified around her with 81% planning to vote for her compared to only 14% who are siding with Brown.


Go Elizabeth!



 

Does America Want a Boss or a President?

James Lipton summed it up pretty well last night on Hardball with Chris Matthews by posing the question:  "Does America Want a Boss or a President?"


I know I want a president. 

A country is NOT a business. 

Remember how well America did under our last MBA president? Now think about repeating that with Mr. Romney, because he's selling himself as a CEO-in-Chief.  A CEO of America who has so little faith and trust in this country that he stashes his money in foreign banks and not in the country he wants to lead.  A man who is so desperate to be the CEO-in-Chief, that he politicized, then lied, about the tragic killings in the attack on our consulate in Libya, and then lied about how President Obama reacted to the killings claiming it took Mr. Obama two weeks to call the killings an act of terror.

I know I don't want a president who would callously write off 47% of America because they won't vote for him.

This photo tells us all we need to know about CEO Willard Romney's allegiances and values:




What do you want? 

A president of all the people?  Or a guy who, as America's CEO, would take care of his Board of Directors rather than all of his employees?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Insidious Liar: Mitt

UPDATE:

Mitt Romney's "Binders Full of Women" lie:

According to the Boston Phoenix's David S. Bernstein, the "Binders Full of Women" story isn't even true, as presented by Romney. More details:

First of all, according to MassGAP and MWPC, Romney did appoint 14 women out of his first 33 senior-level appointments, which is a reasonably impressive 42 percent. However, as I have reported before, those were almost all to head departments and agencies that he didn’t care about — and in some cases, that he quite specifically wanted to not really do anything.

None of the senior positions Romney cared about — budget, business development, etc. — went to women.

Secondly, a UMass-Boston study found that the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006. (It then began rapidly rising when Deval Patrick took office.)

Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?





President Obama clearly won the debate last night, keeping Willard on the defensive and correcting his blatant lies, with help from Candy Crowley's fact-checking.  Willard didn't get away with fabrications and lies this time:



"Presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley fact checked Mitt Romney after the Republican presidential candidate charged that President Obama failed to call the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi an "act of terror."

More than an hour into the debate, an undecided voter in the town hall forum asked the president about the recent attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three additional Americans.

When Romney responded to the question, he charged that it took Obama days to call the Benghazi attack an act of terror. Obama called the incident an "act of terror" during his remarks on September 12, just one day after the tragedy.

"No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for," Obama said in the Rose Garden. "Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America." --HuffPost




"Obama clearly prepared for his Libya response. Romney makes a dumb mistake: Obama says he spoke in the Rose Garden after the attack and called it an act of terror. Romney says "no you didn't." Obama says "get the transcript." Crowley says "he did." THE AUDIENCE APPLAUDS CROWLEY LIVE FACT-CHECKING ROMNEY. Like, twice. They applaud twice. Romney stutters through the rest of his response, and it doesn't matter what he says: He just got f*****g destroyed. By the audience, basically." --Andrew Sullivan's blog

Another lie by Willard:

Romney said that Obama quadrupled regulations on small businesses. Here's what Bloomberg has found:
Obama’s White House has approved fewer regulations than his predecessor George W. Bush at this same point in their tenures, and the estimated costs of those rules haven’t reached the annual peak set in fiscal 1992 under Bush’s father, according to government data reviewed by Bloomberg News. The average annual cost to businesses under Obama is higher than under his predecessors, the Bloomberg review shows. The increase is estimated to total as little as $100 million or as much as $4.1 billion, or at most three one-hundredths of a percent of the total economy.
 



Another:

 “And coal, coal production is not up; coal jobs are not up.” 1,500 coal jobs have been created under Obama. 




Another:

I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Romney’s claim that he will create 12 million jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.



Another:

“And the president’s right in terms of the additional oil production, but none of it came on federal land. As a matter of fact, oil production is down 14 percent this year on federal land, and gas production was down 9 percent.” 14 percent is a one-year number. “Overall, oil production on federal land under Obama is up from 566 million barrels in 2008 to 626 million barrels in 2011, a 10.6 percent increase.” Compared to the last three years of President Bush, there have been 241 million more barrels of oil produced from public lands in the first three years of Obama."






Sleazy Mitt:

"In his closing statement, Mr. Romney said he "served as a pastor" in his church for 10 years. This was intentionally misleading. It was a way of saying "See, we Mormons are just like you - we have pastors, and I was one." The LDS church does not have clergy, only lay leaders. It does not use the title "pastor" or "minister." It uses "bishop" to indicate a lay leader with designated spiritual responsibilities. Stake president is the leader of a group of wards, which are local congregations. None of these positions require formal theological education nor are the people in them "ordained" for vocational ministry as are Catholic priests or Protestant pastors. In the LDS, a bishop or stake president is chosen for a period of time and none of them work as vocational clergy.

Mr. Romney left the impression - intentionally - that he worked for 10 years as pastor of a local church. I would think many LDS members were troubled by the remark, as they do not, ever, use the term "pastor."



The Fix:

WINNERS

* President Obama: It was a near-certainty that the incumbent would improve on his mystifying bad first debate performance. And, he did. But he also did more than that. After coming out a little too hot — Obama seemed to be on the wrong side of the angry/passionate divide in the first 15 minutes — he moderated his tone to the sober/serious yet forceful persona that he needed in this debate. Debates are about moments — the moments that get replayed again and again the after-action analysis — and President Obama had three: 1) his line about how his pension wasn’t as big as Romney’s 2) winning, against all odds, the scrap about the Benghazi attack (with an assist from moderator Candy Crowley) and 3) his strong close in which he used Romney’s “47 percent” comments as a cudgel to beat up his rival. Obama’s performance wasn’t flawless and he didn’t score a clean win as Romney did in the first debate. But, he was the better performer this time around.

LOSERS

* Mitt Romney: The Republican nominee absolutely had his moments in this debate. He was excellent when laying out the case for why we aren’t better off than we were four years ago and for why his record as a jobs creator was far superior to president Obama’s. But, as we noted above, these debates are about moments. And Romney thought he had one when it came to what President Obama said on the day after the Libya attacks. But, in trying to catch the incumbent in what he thought was a clear mistake, Romney was hoisted with his own petard by Crowley in what will be the single most memorable (and replayed) interaction of the debate. Yes, we are aware that there is considerable controversy already over whether what Crowley said regarding Obama’s statement was right/accurate but remember that the average viewer simply isn’t going to read everything ever written about the subject to get to the bottom of it. (If you, gentle reader, want to get to the bottom of it, you should read this amazing piece by the Post’s Fact Checker.) They are going to watch the debate and think: “Obama looked strong there, Romney looked like he didn’t have his facts straight.” Allowing Obama to win — or come damn close to it — on what should have been his weak spot in the debate was a miss by Romney. And, he was clearly jarred by how the Libya fight turned out; he didn’t regain his footing for 10 minutes or so afterwards.





Biggest, most hilarious, over-the-top, lying-his-privileged, comes-from-wealthy wealth arse line of the night:


Mitt Romney: “Our party has been focused on big business too long. I came through small business. I understand how hard it is to start a small business.”




cnn debate poll: 46% obama; 39% romney
@jcpolls via web


CBS News Instant Poll: Obama edges Romney in second debate (CBS News) http://t.co/...
@OpinionToday via web




Colorado voters give Obama a 48/44 victory in the debate- more importantly 58/36 among independents. Sample is R+3
@ppppolls via web