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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Worth 1000 Words - Obama Re-Election Edition

Nov 7, 2012

Sleep tight, kids.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Final Thought

Nov 5th, 2012

Image Via
Look, everyone who knows me knows where I stand.

I've blogged, I've argued, I've pleaded and I've explained.

I've fought steadily for what are basic progressive principles.

I slept in Zuccotti Park Liberty Square, for Christ's sakes.

That said, I've also backed many former GOP positions for years such as the health care mandate.

Watching the very party which birthed that fine idea use every means at their disposal to popularly pervert it into some allegedly "socialist scheme" is a testament to just how close our nation might be to the very end of a truthful exercise in Republican Democracy.

We are, as I have probably said often enough, through the looking glass.

After writing about politics nearly full time here at the Hand for three years, I don't have a lot to add.

I will simply say this...

Conflating the two parties, much as some very smart people I know insist upon it, is some seriously smug, destructive, self-serving and elitist horseshit.

I know many good Republicans.

For the most part, they're all smart enough not to be voting for the Republican Party this time around.

The reason for this is simple and obvious;

The contemporary GOP is a den of festering proto-Fascism in thrall to Dominionists and currying favor with tyrants who would have us all grovel while giving thanks for the privilege of dying at work punching holes in sheet metal for slave wages.


Obama is still a deeply flawed President, but he possesses greatness and has achieved much.

Romney is still a sociopath.

We haven't recovered enough from the Imperial trappings claimed during the Bush years to give the highest office in this country to a man so plainly monstrous.

There you have it.

I'm voting tomorrow and every other citizen should, too.

It's not a privilege.

It is my right.

It's also my responsibility.

The future of this nation depends greatly on the outcome of this election.

Whether or not, or perhaps in what manner, I continue this site remains to be seen.

See you on the other side.

-- Grey

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Mittiot Cometh

Nov, 1st 2012

There really has never been a candidate like this. For anyone to say that they know what he truly believes is sheer lunacy. Chait is right:
"The different iterations of his career differ so wildly, yet comport so perfectly with his political ambitions of the moment, that it is simply impossible to separate his panders from his actual beliefs, the means from the ends."
The following video drives home the point in a fashion that would be hilarious were the stakes not so damn high. 

Wake Up. There's A Connection.

Nov 1st, 2012

Higher top marginal tax rates correspond to higher GDP and they always have.

Worth Repeating

Nov 1st, 2012

Image via
"If the 1994 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney were running for president, I may well have voted for him..."
-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg from his just released endorsement of President Obama

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mitt Watch: What Sandy Tells Us About The Candidate And His Party

Oct 31st, 2012

UPDATE 4pm CST 11/1/12: In this piece, I made mention of Gov. Christie's very public praise of the President's management of the disaster response. The GOP has begun to savage him for it. That didn't take long.

Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath are perfectly legitimate political issues. That anyone would argue otherwise is ridiculous.

Chait puts it best:
"What you are going to see over the next week is an overt effort by Democrats to politicize the issue of disaster response. They're right to do it. Conservatives are already complaining about this, but the attempt to wall disaster response off from politics in the aftermath of a disaster is an attempt to insulate Republicans from the consequences of their policies."
The GOP has directly targeted our national disaster response mechanisms, having gone so far as to threaten a total government shutdown last year while seeking a nearly forty percent cut to first responders. The outright elimination of FEMA has become a central position among the party's leadership.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Worth Repeating

Oct 26th, 2012
Note: I have changed the "Quote of the Day" to "Worth Repeating." Daily posting has become difficult do to my ongoing issues with my eyesight. Thank you. -- Grey

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Oct 17th, 2012

"Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."

-- Erich Fromm

Monday, October 15, 2012

Quote Of The Day - Here And Now Edition

Oct 15th, 2012

Image via
"Walsh is an insecure bully who needs to point out that Duckworth is more of a woman than he is to overcome the fact that she's also more of a man than he is."

-- Columnist Edward McClelland on the notorious Rep. Joe Walsh (deadbeat dad, lunatic) and his tactics against his challenger, Tammy Duckworth (war veteran who lost both legs in an act of heroism).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Oct 14th, 2012

"You are not angry with people when you laugh at them. Humor teaches tolerance."
-- W. Somerset Maugham

Bringing Back The Journeymen

Oct 14th, 2012

Responding to a personal charge in Shawn Gude's interesting if overly floral argument on how we might reach "full employment" and what that would actually mean for the American worker's relationship with management, Matt Yglesias writes:
Much as consistently applied full employment policies will achieve many liberatory aims without employing especially radical means, centrist elites ought to consider that matching workers with in-demand job skills really ought to be the kind of thing a market economy can do reasonably well. Rather than skills-mismatch explaining high unemployment, it's the absence of full employment that explains skills-mismatch. If you want workers to learn to do something, you try to teach them to do it and if necessary pay them more money. 
Long story short: Full employment policies are great and we ought to be demanding them from our macroeconomic stabilization policymakers rather than accepting excuses about how it's hard. 
When the U.S. was actually creating jobs in far greater abundance, it was due neither to a massive distribution of diplomas nor to the stimulative effects of public spending alone; it was because job growth was largely a product of on the job training.

Indeed, what has happened to the journeyman path? One of the repeated explanations offered by our elites in explaining the stagnant job numbers is that we just don't have a qualified workforce for as many as three million open positions. What's never discussed is the fact that the managers who cannot fill these positions always blame someone else for the situation.

Everyone knows that the current metrics in our tax code richly reward outsourcing and off-shoring. Recent attempts to reverse these policies were, of course, filibustered by the GOP. In part, this opposition might be because we simply have to sweeten the pot enough for the lobbyists to get other marching orders. If our central policy makers were proposing benefits even a fraction as attractive as those received by, oh say, our petrol giants, a movement towards fuller employment might have more traction.

The again, maybe not. Gude's arguments key off of a radical 2010 essay written by Micael Kalecki the implications of which demand that we ask whether or not America's private power brokers aren't perfectly happy with the way things are?

It's not necessarily that macroeconomic policy isn't addressing this, as Yglesias argues. It's an ugly truth but the general stagnancy in our labor force and the desperation it has spawned are regarded as plainly beneficial to management.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Sept 30th, 2012

Image via
"Can I see another’s woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another’s grief, and not seek for kind relief?"

-- William Blake

Friday, September 28, 2012

In A Nutshell

Sept 28th, 2012
Clay Bennett's brilliant work can be found HERE

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Sept 27th, 2012

"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both."

-- Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitt Watch: Ugly Deals And Not So Blind Trusts

Sept 25th, 2012

While everyone is debating either the fairness of the rate or the bizarre and hypocritical over-payment revealed in the release of Mitt Romney's 2011 tax returns, there are some darker and more complicated issues raised.

After reminding us that it was Romney himself who stated years ago "you can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do," FT reports that his investments in Chinese energy concern Cnooc, a group with direct dealings in Tehran and a history of human rights abuses, seem to have been made and sold with suspiciously convenient timing regarding his political ambitions.

The short version: his "blind trust" invested in Cnooc after their practices were raising eyebrows and under investigation here in the U.S. but divested late in the Summer of 2011 just before candidate Romney made talking tough on China one of his campaign's talking points. More on this HERE

The next time we hear anyone from Team Romney refer to the "morality of capitalism," it's worth asking them just what the hell they think they're talking about.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Sept 24th, 2012

"Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike."

-- Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In A Nutshell

Sept 23rd, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quote Of The Day - Here And Now Edition

Sept 22nd, 2012

"The Romney campaign has to get turned around. This week I called it incompetent, but only because I was being polite. I really meant 'rolling calamity.'"

-- Peggy Noonan on the increasingly unglued display.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Sept 21st, 2012

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed."
-- Herman Melville

Thursday, September 20, 2012

In A Nutshell

Sept 20th, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quote Of The Year Nominee

Sept 19th, 2012

As succinct a response to this piece of news as we've seen so far.

In A Nutshell

Sept 19th, 2012

Things We Can't Make Up

Sept 19th, 2012

The world sure is going to hell.

Lately, it seems like just about anything is possible provided, of course, that it's miserably ill-conceived and will lead to more misery. It was with this in mind that I avoided the morning presser with Jay Carney. I just couldn't do it. I needed a break from it all while I deal with more immediate crises such as the looming prospect of living in my car while thousands of people steal my music on the internet.

Upon my return to the computer, this was the first thing I saw...
Well. Okay then.

Along with most folks, I wondered if some new Onion/Politico nexus had formed.

Then it struck me. Not everyone would find this absurd. So devoted are the haters, the reactionaries and the outright loons that debate has probably already begun in earnest somewhere over when the attack will begin.

"Yeah, laugh now. You won't be laughing when the tanks roll through WaWa, Ontario and the bombs start falling on Dildo, Newfoundland."

Yes. There is a Dildo, Newfoundland.

Sleep tight and, as Abraham Lincoln so wisely warned, "don't believe everything you read on the internet."

Friday, August 31, 2012

A "Career Politician" Without A "Real Job"

Aug 31st, 2012

I am referring to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), of course. This is how Ryan's own brother, Tobin, referred to him during a chat with Fox News' Megyn Kelly on Wednesday.

The GOP Convention - Over At Last

Aug 31st, 2012

In 32 years of watching political conventions, I've never seen an emptier, more dishonest display. Outside of the Michael Dukakis debacle, I've also never seen a less likable candidate. Yes, that includes Bob Dole.

With just over 2 months to go before the election, the big message of the GOP's final night was that Mitt Romney is actually a human being. They are genuinely concerned about this. They set out to prove it. They also spent about half of the evening trying to rehabilitate the public image of Bain Capital.

A noticable portion of the ceremony was used to soothe fears regarding Romney's Mormonism.

Dave Weigel writes:
"Nineteen years after he started running for office, Mitt Romney schedules references to his religion throughout his biggest night. I can't recall anything comparable for other candidates who broke the WASP barrier."
There was plenty of New Testament but no Joseph Smith. Romney was referred to more than once as "clergy" but the new doctrines of the Church for which he spent so many years as an elder were completely absent. Let's face it, it was weird.

That they found all this image management necessary and Romney still could win this is a testament to the success his party has achieved in sabotaging any recovery and keeping our nation on its knees.

This brings us to getting the economy moving again.

Ezra Klein was justifiably annoyed by the lack of specifics and noted an interesting coincidence:
"The only policy idea he described in any detail was his five-point plan “to create 12 million new jobs.” The plan is more domestic energy production, more free trade agreements, more skills development, more deficit reduction, and cutting taxes and regulations. It is difficult to see how these policies — most of which would take some time to work — would address the jobs crisis we’re in right now. But perhaps they don’t have to. Romney’s target of 12 million jobs over the next four years happens to be the same number of jobs the economic forecasting firm Moody’s Analytics expects us to add even without major policy changes."
The real problem with the Romney jobs promise is not that it cynically parrots existing projections. It's that actually passing his tax plan would likely prevent us from reaching them. Assaulting demand with an average middle class tax hike of $2000 annually will grind whatever growth we might see to a halt.

Pete Suderman is more blunt:
"It's kind of amazing, actually. Romney managed to say even less about what he would do as president than he usually does. Despite Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan's promise earlier today that Romney would discuss his plans for the country in "granular" detail, Romney offered almost nothing in the way of a governing vision, much less specific legislative goals. Instead, he criticized Obama for running up too much debt, and, in practically the same breath, for cutting spending on Medicare and the defense budget. Vote Republican!"
Agreed. There was nothing there. 

If the GOP's plan was an actual product, like a car or a refrigerator, their pitch would be called false advertising at best and criminal misrepresentation at worst.

The terrible, obscene lies of last night were replaced with bland, general falsehoods. Some fact checking can be found HERE and HERE.

In the end, they weren't pitching their own ideas as much as they were challenging the opposition to defend theirs.

I have never seen it done that way.

On a side note, although I find the pile on Clint Eastwood is now enduring to be both vulgar and cruel, there is a sum up in it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

GOP Convention Live Blog

Aug 30th, 2012

10:25pm CST 

And there we have it.

An empty suit with no core values who thinks we can magically alter our financial agreements with China, drastically lower taxes where there is actual revenue, raise them where it will cripple aggregate demand, and retool for a battle against the Soviet menace might be the next President of the United States.

Back later with reactions and round ups.

Quote Of The Day - Batshit Crazy GOP Edition

Aug 30th, 2012

"In 2010, when I was running, everybody said 'No, you're too extreme.' But now look, it's where everybody is going."

-- Notorious GOP whack job and former candidate for the U.S. Senate, Sharron Angle

Did Any Of Them Build This?

Aug 30th, 2012

For all of the mileage the GOP is getting from what is shaping up to be the all time gaffe of President Obama's career, they still just don't seem to have thought this thing through.

The Only Thing They Did Build
"We Built It."

Okay. It's glib but clever. Obama handed it to them. Here's the problem with this theme for the week; it's beginning to look like they didn't actually find anyone to speak at the convention who didn't benefit from public investment.

The Ryan Acceptance Speech, cont...

Aug 30th, 2012

Sally Kohn notes that what Ryan "didn't say" is nearly as remarkable as his stunning deceits:
"Ryan didn’t mention his extremist stance on banning all abortions with no exception for rape or incest, a stance that is out of touch with 75% of American voters.
Ryan didn’t mention his previous plan to hand over Social Security to Wall Street.
Ryan didn’t mention his numerous votes to raise spending and balloon the deficit when George W. Bush was president.
Ryan didn’t mention how his budget would eviscerate programs that help the poor and raise taxes on 95% of Americans in order to cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires even further and increase — yes, increase —the deficit."
Nope. That would have been the real Ryan, the heartless, spoiled, Objectivist child trapped in the body of a man and eager to do whatever he must to secure the accolades of the party of "no."

Now We Know Why Romney Picked Ryan

Aug 30th, 2012

In an election year which has seen one of our country's two major parties nominate the most remarkably dishonest public figure in living memory for the presidency, everyone had an opinion on why that liar picked Paul Ryan as his second. 

Some said it was Ryan's "seriousness." 

Others said it was his "grasp of budgets." 

There were even those that said it was a calculated move to appeal to young, conservative women. After all, Ryan does P90X. He is buff.

We were all wrong. Every one of us failed to see what Romney saw. Paul Ryan, as it turns out, is actually capable of lying with a straight face nearly as well as Mitt Romney himself.

Quote Of The Day - GOP Convention Reaction Edition

Aug 30th, 2012

"Paul Ryan demonstrated that he is an appealing, energetic campaigner comfortable with the sort of looseness with facts voters perpetually reward."

-- The Economist's Will Wilkinson on the stunningly dishonest spectacle that was Paul Ryan's acceptance speech for the VP nomination.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Convention Live Blog

Aug 29th, 2012

10:10 pm CST The motion to adjourn is made and it's a wrap. Back soon with a round up and my thoughts.

10:05 pm CST Ryan's attempt to portray himself as some sort of deep, devout man of scripture is, quite literally, nauseating. He says the truest measure of every society is how it cares for those in need. He's a Randian. He's been one his entire adult career.

It's like a two-decade, full-blown alcoholic preaching temperance.

"Legitimate Rape"

Aug 29th, 2012

There's an ad touting the benefits...

Mitt Watch - Puncturing The Myth Of Bain

Aug 29th, 2012

Team Romney has consistently told a tale of rugged, independent capitalist dynamism when describing the GOP nominee's record at Bain. 

He is credited with nearly singlehandedly saving it from collapse. 

This a a huge part of their argument for a corporate presidency.

Is it true? 

Not by a long shot writes Tom Dickinson:
"The federal records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Romney's initial rescue attempt at Bain & Company was actually a disaster – leaving the firm so financially strapped that it had "no value as a going concern." Even worse, the federal bailout ultimately engineered by Romney screwed the FDIC – the bank insurance system backed by taxpayers – out of at least $10 million. And in an added insult, Romney rewarded top executives at Bain with hefty bonuses at the very moment that he was demanding his handout from the feds."
He didn't build this.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's Official. The GOP's New War Is Actually On Facts

Aug 28th, 2012

It's one thing to note for the umpteenth time that Team Romney lies regularly and without shame. Steve Benen has found that to be a full time job. It's quite another to see what has happened today; the "conservative" movement has actually rallied around a war on facts.

When GOP pollster Neil Newhouse declared earlier that Team Romney is "not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers," it was not some isolated gaffe. As far as the "conservatives" are concerned, it wasn't a gaffe at all. In fact, it seems to be part of a coordinated effort to discredit the provable.

There is a stunning piece of venom from the Weekly Standard. Mark Hemingway smarms:
"Perhaps if we all ignore PolitiFact, they'll go away. But for the time being, the supposedly independent organization continues to crank out skewed and partisan work. There's no better example of this than the the current jihad the "fact checking" organization is waging against the Romney-Ryan health care plan." EMPHASIS OURS
Roll that one over for a minute. Bill Kristol's magazine is likening the act of trying to determine the veracity of political pronouncements with irrational superstition and violence. Specifically, they are coding it with a term designed to evoke images of Islamic supremacists.

They are not alone in this campaign against "fact-checking." 

NRO's editors are carrying Romney's water as well:
"The website PolitiFact is going to be truth-squadding the Republican convention speakers this week, delivering verdicts on which claims are “mostly true” and which deserve a "pants on fire" rating. Our advice: Pay no attention to those ratings. PolitiFact can’t be trusted to get the story right." EMPHASIS OURS
We are witnessing one of the only two major parties in America, the one with deeper pockets I might add, openly sneer at the truth.

Put aside the fact that Rachel Maddow's ongoing battle with PolitiFact puts the lie to arguments that they are some sort of shifty, leftist cabal.

That's not the point. The right is not suggesting that the electorate should take PolitFact or even "fact-checking" with a grain of salt or, perhaps, even do their own research.

Team Romney's mouthpieces, both official and unofficial, are signalling to the base that it is acceptable to dismiss facts altogether.

That's what they are counting on. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Quote Of The Day - GOP Flashback Edition

Aug 27th, 2012

"Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress."

-George Romney, letter to Barry Goldwater, 1964

Want To Save A Trillion Dollars?

Aug 27th, 2012

It's simple. End the "Bush Tax Cuts" for the top quintile.
via CBPP

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In A Nutshell

Aug 23rd, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Charting Blame

Aug 22nd, 2012

Calling the aughts the "lost decade of the middle class," PEW has released the results of some recent polling. Their sample was asked to assess "blame" for the general collapse of American upward mobility. The numbers are probably providing Team Obama with some confidence as the public lays responsibility for what ails us at the feet of congress over the President by nearly a two to one margin.

In A Nutshell

Aug 22nd, 2012

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Aug 20th, 2012

"The split in America, rather than simply economic, is between those who embrace reason, who function in the real world of cause and effect, and those who, numbed by isolation and despair, now seek meaning in a mythical world of intuition, a world that is no longer reality-based, a world of magic."

-- Chris Hedges

Friday, August 17, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Aug 17th, 2012

"Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear."

-- William E. Gladstone

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Everybody's Choice!

Aug 14th, 2012

Ryan Watch - A View From The Base

Aug 14th, 2012

With a little bit of a wink and a nudge from Roger Simon:

"This is what the base likes. This is what the base needs. We haven’t been this excited since McCain chose Palin. OK, bad example. We haven’t been this excited since Dole chose Kemp. OK, another bad example. We haven’t been this excited since George H.W. Bush chose Quayle. Ha! Gotcha, there.

The fact is that Paul Ryan has spent virtually his entire adult life in politics, and, therefore, is insulated from time-wasting side issues like understanding how ordinary people live.

He has seen life from the top, and the top is where you want to be. Believe us. We are the base, and we know the difference between coach and Premier Executive seating.

Does Ryan lack any real foreign policy experience? Yes. So what? How much did George W. Bush have when he plunged us into a tragic and unnecessary war for mythical weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

But let us tell you the upside: There are a lot of people who made out like bandits on that war. They made fortunes. And they are up there flying in first class. Or on their own jets.

And that is the real lesson that any kid from Wisconsin knows: You only go around once in life, so you’ve got to grab for all the gusto you can."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Aug 13th, 2012

"People striving for approval from others become phony."

-- Ichiro Suzuki

Say What You Will About Paul Ryan But...

Aug 13th, 2012

The story that broke earlier today suggesting that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) may have been among those who traded on insider information at the outset of the financial crisis to make personal gains has been proven untrue.

Benjy Sarlin reports:
"Peter Schweizer, the conservative Hoover Institution fellow whose investigation of insider trading by members of Congress prompted the STOCK Act, said Ryan’s trades bore no resemblance to those by lawmakers like Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), who shorted finance stocks after high-level meetings."
There is still something to be learned about the man GOP leaders are parading around as a numbers genius and some sort of budget wizard. Brad DeLong took a long look at the disclosure documents at the heart of the matter before arriving at this takeaway:
"The impression I get from these 27 transactions in individual bank stocks in 12 months, 17 of which involve not net injections or withdrawals but rather switches between banks, is of a guy who simply does not know what he is doing."
There you have it.

Mitt Watch - The Most Brazen Hypocrite In Presidential History

Aug 13th, 2012

Well, Team Romney today released the latest ad smearing the President and misinforming the electorate about new flexibility allowed to the states in the administration of their benefit programs. There is coverage HERE and HERE and the ad is at the bottom if you are interested.

What makes this lie more egregious than almost all of his others is the fact that Romney fought hard as governor of Massachusetts for states to have the very latitude that he now attacks. Below is a screengrab from the RGA document, bearing his signature, pleading with then President Bush to support "increased waiver authority" in America's welfare system.

I don't expect any comment from Romney or his team explaining the hypocrisy as the entire campaign has become a surreal exercise in the mendacious.

Forget for a moment that the Obama order comes at the request of desperate Republican governors grappling with the ongoing financial crisis. This was something Romney thought was good policy when the economy was comparably strong.

None of this matters to a campaign which has shown its willingness to rile their own base by any means necessary. If that means preying upon white fears and coding propaganda with classic, right wing imagery of shiftless, lazy poor people (psst, "blacks") then so be it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Aug 11th, 2012

"No man is rich enough to buy back his past."

-- Oscar Wilde

Thursday, August 9, 2012


August 9th, 2012

Following up on a profile  in The Nation of Mike Huckabee and his radio program, Noah Kristula-Green takes a look at the blowback the former governor has received for, well, his general decency and politeness:
"For some, the best indicator of your conservative values is how loudly you shout and how much you scream. Huckabee's situation is actually very similar to a problem Jon Huntsman faced when he ran for president. Substantively, Huntsman was a very conservative governor but because he did stoop to name-calling and radical accusations, he never caught fire with the conservative base."
This sums things up pretty well. A demeanor that is anything less than overtly vicious is now deemed impure in some conservative circles.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Aug 3rd, 2012

"Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all."

-- John W. Gardner

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

August 2nd, 2012

This is arguably the most amazing convenience store incident in history.


August 2nd, 2012

Not as far as I can tell.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Quote Of The Day

July 30th, 2012

"I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security."

-- Jim Garrison

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quote Of The Day

July 29th, 2012

"We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

-- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quote Of The Day

July 28th, 2012

"Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy." 

-- Sir Isaac Newton

The Force Is With Them

July 28th, 2012

And you thought you were a big fan:
"In 2009, Casey Pugh asked thousands of Internet users to remake "Star Wars: A New Hope" into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. Contributors were allowed to recreate scenes from Star Wars however they wanted."
The entire film was subsequently remade, shot for shot, using contributions from all over the world. Enjoy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Headline Of The Year Nominee

July 27th, 2012

It's one way to get out of military service...

Diplomacy 101

July 27th, 2012

"If you ask me if that suit makes you look fat, I’m not going to tell you it does even if it does, Brian."

-- A visibly annoyed Chris Wallace attempting to communicate to Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade why Romney deserves every bit of criticism he's received for yesterday's spectacle.

Quote Of The Day - Hilarious Flashback Edition

July 27th, 2012

"The Obama campaign can’t bear the thought that the well-traveled Mitt Romney will make a nice impression on his overseas tour."

-- Washington Post "writer" and Mitt Romney groupie Jennifer Rubin on 7/23/12

Mitt Watch - An Idiot Abroad, cont...

July 27th, 2012


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mitt Watch - An Idiot Abroad

July 26th, 2012

In the American right's fantasy narrative of the Obama presidency, the most pernicious alternative to reality continues to be their portrayal of him as an inept diplomat. It is on this count that the "anyone but Obama" crowd is today experiencing a rude awakening. Barely out of the country on his first international tour as the GOP nominee, Mitt Romney has managed nothing less than the instigation of a minor diplomatic incident over sport. That's just for starters.

Before the day began, Team Romney was already in defensive mode over the jaw-dropping and racially explosive "Anglo-Saxon heritage" remark attributed to an aide. The irony here is rich. That remark smugly asserted that Romney would somehow naturally, even magically, usher in a closer, smoother period in our "special relationship" with England because of certain racial cultural characteristics.

Today's events do not lend much credibility to the claim.

In a matter of mere hours, Mitt Romney did more to undermine his perceived capabilities as a potential commander in chief than the opposition has accomplished in a year. 

He first insulted the English by insinuating that they weren't adequately prepared to host the Olympics. 

This provoked a rousing public dressing down in front of a crowd of 60,000 from London's mayor and star of their Conservative Party, Boris Johnson. 

It also drew an understandably abrasive response from Prime Minister Cameron which has, in turn, sparked a feud between Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker and, well, England. 

In other news, Romney seems to have casually disclosed the rough location of the head of MI6 to the public which is, to say the least, a serious breach in protocol. 

While his gaffes continued to mount, his meeting with the Prime Minister apparently went so poorly that it has resulted in leaks from sources present comparing it to a "car crash" and stating that Romney was "worse than Palin." 

The cherry on the cake was his awkward meeting with Labor Party representative Ed Miliband during which he appears to have forgotten Miliband's name

Oh, and he referred to the United Kingdom by the wrong name.

One really has to hand it to him for uniting the members of Labor and the Conservative Party in mutual disgust.

This was all before dinner.

He managed to pack this much incompetence into a single day.

You can't invent this stuff.

What makes this spectacle all the more amazing is that Romney arrived in England with plenty of baggage. This is a candidate who has a long history of glibly dismissing America's most important military and political partner.

In his book, No Apology, Romney notoriously wrote (H/T):
"England is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions."
So much for honoring Britain's historic courage.

Ahead of the last presidential contest, Romney singled out England as a nation in decline and called it "second-tier."

In spite of what some folks are saying, this was a pattern and it is a big deal.

Romney had to be perfect today. This trip is his one chance before the election to prove himself as a statesman rather than just another partisan American opportunist. Instead, he has so far rendered himself a laughing stock at best. At worst, he's coming across as so un-skilled at international relations that it presents some serious security concerns.

It will be very interesting to watch the GOP attempt to recover from all this. The relative silence of the right wing's fear factories today gives the impression that they understand how bad this is. It's the smart move not to start the pro-Romney spin in earnest just yet. After all, there's no telling how much damage he can do on day two.

Quote Of The Day

July 26th, 2012

"Dishonesty in government is the business of every citizen. It is not enough to do your own job. There's no particular virtue in that. Democracy isn't a gift. It's a responsibility."
-- Dalton Trumbo

Worth A Thousand Words

July 26th, 2012

Romney shortly after his meeting with British Prime Minister Cameron today. Coming on the heels of his gaffe-a-minute approach to the trip (foreign press coverage HERE, HERE and HERE), I find his expression unsurprising.
Image via

Monday, July 23, 2012

Moyers Takes On The NRA

July 23rd, 2012

He calls the contemporary interpretation of the 2nd Amendment a "license to murder." He's absolutely right.

Quote Of The Day

July 23rd, 2012

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

-- Albert Einstein

The Biggest Tax In History?

July 23rd, 2012

That is how the GOP is portraying the penalty in "Obamacare" (examples HERE, HERE and HERE). How hyperbolic is this?

Via the CBPP

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mitt's Total Disconnect

July 11th, 2012

While speaking to the NAACP convention today, Mitt got booed severely when he reaffirmed his commitment to the total repeal of "Obamacare." Did he try to recover? Well, yeah. But his pivot was to a "survey of the Chamber of Commerce."

You cannot make this stuff up.

Quote Of The Day

July 11th, 2012

"The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles."

-- Plato

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mitt Watch - What If He IS A Sociopath?

July 10th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

It's time for us all to start admitting that the alarmists may be right. Mitt Romney may actually be a high-functioning sociopath.

I no longer think it's some of sort of exaggeration.

I am not being willfully hyperbolic. 

I mean it.

Mitt Watch: The VP Chatter, cont...

July 10th, 2012

Of all the names that seem to be on the short list for Romney's VP slot, Rep. Paul Ryan's seems to elicit the most excitement from GOP loyalists. They would be wise to examine why he's on the short list of most progressives as well.

Overlooking the obvious baggage on budgets and Medicare in particular (reminders HERE, HERE and HERE), Jeffrey H. Anderson over at NRO indulges in nothing short of delusion as he writes:
"...picking Ryan would clearly connect Romney to the post-Bush era of Republicans. It would be awfully hard to talk constantly about Bush-Cheney when running against Romney-Ryan."
You just read that right. GOP sympathizers are actually of the opinion that Ryan can be used to separate candidate Romney from the disastrous Bush legacy.

Daniel Larison is stunned:
"Bush was in the White House for most of Ryan’s thirteen years in the House. For six of those years, Ryan belonged to a Republican majority that was closely aligned with the Bush administration on both domestic and foreign policy issues, and Bush and Ryan’s careers overlapped for eight years. Ryan voted for every major piece of legislation that the Bush administration favored that came before the House. He voted for the PATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, the Iraq war,Medicare Part D, and the TARP. Ryan’s voting record is a perfect example of Republican support for the expansion of the size and role of government when their party is in power. His voting record is typical of a Bush-era Republican. He is a product of the Bush era. Nothing would be easier than to link Ryan to the Bush era, because he actively contributed to all of its greatest mistakes.
Let’s also think a bit more about Ryan’s “widespread appeal.” He is apparently not all that popular statewide in his own state. I have no idea why he would be very popular anywhere else in the Midwest. Portman probably wouldn’t move many votes in Ohio into the Republican column on his own, but he would presumably be more appealing to Ohio voters than a Congressman from Wisconsin. Ryanmaniacs consistently overestimate Ryan’s appeal because they find him extremely appealing. They never attempt to check their assumptions that a nationally obscure wonkish House member with a lot of Bush-era baggage is a major political sensation." EMPHASIS MINE
Please, Mitt. Pick Ryan. We're very eager to see that ticket.

Quote Of The Day

July 10th, 2012

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its
old dimensions."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.