There’s no reason for me to believe that this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner will be as interesting as last year’s, what with President Obama’s digs at the billionaire birther Donald Trump after having released his birth certificate (the moneyed gent in question having made priceless faces of discontent), and with the events that followed being, well, what they were. This one doesn’t have the same narrative—but oh, well.
This whole Media Villager/Celebrity/Politician shmoozeapolooza makes me uncomfortable—and yet I must watch. So I’m following the stream on C-Span and Twitter. And, yes, self-loathing. Did I need to mention the self-loathing? Did you see LiLo and Kim Kardashian? OMG!
So, I guess what I’m saying is—if you’re also vicariously hitting the Nerd Prom hard and want to commiserate: I’m here for you and with you.
Those lovely delicate flowers are extremely deceptive because there is nothing delicate about bindweed. It is a horrible pest and I usually get sick of pulling it every day by August and just let it go, which no doubt compounds my problems with it.
I once sat through an hour long and very boring gardening show on the TeeVee because they kept tantalizing me with an upcoming segment that was going to give us the seekrit and fail-proof method of getting rid of bindweed. And their secret was (TA DA) PULL IT!! I kid you not.
Then a friend of mine once spent the whole day carefully painting each strand of bindweed in her perennial bed with weed killer then slipping a plastic baggie over it and securing it with a twist tie. And it worked! All the bindweed died! For about, oh, a month or so. And then it sprang from the earth as good as new. Bindweed is truly the honey badger of the plant world.
If you’ve got any ideas for getting rid of the stuff please share in comments. Otherwise consider this an open thread.
In many religions, when an iconic figure dies, it’s customary to commission works of art and music to celebrate their life and legacy. Over the centuries, this has produced some of the most sublime artworks known to humanity.
This is not such an occasion.
[h/t HumboldtBlue in the Rumper Room. Please direct any brickbats at him.]
Nope, I’m not dead. But I have been dealing with some old-ladyish health problems, even though I’m not really old. (And some churlish individuals might dispute my claim to being lady-like.)
Anyhoo, chicken update: I moved the critters to the coop. My kid had the genius idea of activating the record feature on her iPhone and propping it against the side of the coop to capture the half-grown chicks in action at their eye level:
They’re all pretty tame, and one flies up and sits on my arm like a parrot. What are you up to this weekend?
The Romney Campaign seemed to have walked straight out of the cold war era into a phone conference intended to stress Willard’s foreign policy creds. The results were, well, a little weird. Kinda like Willard come to think of it!
In comments that were eerily reminiscent of John McCain’s frequent gaffes in regards to Czechoslovakia, Romney’s surrogates warned of the “Soviet” threat and Obama’s failure to protect the free world:
Obama is “withdrawing from leading the free world in maintaining stability around the world,” Lehman said. “What Obama calls ‘leading from behind.’”
One of the worst examples, according to Lehman, is happening at the top of the world.
“We’re seeing the Soviets pushing into the Arctic with no response from us. In fact, the only response is to announce the early retirement of the last remaining icebreaker.”
Prosper warned Obama was abandoning America’s eastern European allies — some of which haven’t existed for decades.
“You know, Russia is another example where we give and Russia gets and we get nothing in return,” Prosper said. “The United States abandoned its missile defense sites in Poland and Czechoslovakia, yet Russia does nothing but obstruct us, or efforts in Iran and Syria.”
The conference call, which was apparently timed to rebut Veep Biden’s speech today touting Obama’s actual foreign policy successes, didn’t do a whole lot to increase my confidence in Willard’s potential foreign policy leadership. But no doubt Snowflake Snooki will be all over that push by the “Soviets” into the Arctic!
“I think it’s very effective for President Obama,” she remarked later. “I personally do not agree with the highest office of the land, the most important figure in the world going on these comedy shows. I think it lowers the status of the office.”
After all that Fox has said about the O-man over the past five years, lowering the status of the office is obviously a BIG no-no.
Last night, Mittens was widely acclaimed as having sewn up the GOP nomination, winning all five primaries at stake. Again, turnout was extremely unenthusiastic. Not that you’d have gathered this from some of the adulatory press coverage that’s greeted his “A Better America Begins Tonight” victory speech in New Hampshire.
Taegan Goddard at Politicalwire awarded him a cherished plaudit:
—Mitt Romney, quoted by the New York Times, in a victory speech to supporters after winning five primaries.
The line reminds me of the apocryphal story that has Bono standing onstage, clapping his hands slowly and intoning, “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies,” only to be heckled: “Well, stop fucking doing it then!”
“Americans are tired of being tired,” Joe Biden said. “It’s clear that the American people have decided it’s time to get up. They’re tired of being told that we’re in a long, slow drift.”
What else you could hear of the speech (video after the fold—Teleprompters and all!) above Mittens’ hired bonehead chorus’s chanting in the closest approximation to enthusiasm money can buy was short on specifics and any tangible vision beyond reducing public employees to a level of penury to match that of the rest of the population in order to address “unfairness,” and long on criticism of President Obama’s inability to completely transform the American economy in the face of concerted Republican obstructionism. Not that the role of the GOP in failing to improve anyone’s lot—including their own—featured at all in Mittens’ mythology. Nope, it’s all down to the man in the White House:
“Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?” Mr. Romney asked, ticking through a litany of challenges facing Americans. He added, “If the answer were yes to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements and rightly so, but because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions and distractions and distortions.”
Fair enough: after all, it can’t be anything to do with Mitt himself, since he hasn’t held down a job in living memory.
In the coming months, steel yourself for the reprise of old hits:
The Romney campaign is aggressively looking into all aspects of the Obama administration, with a plan to present the president as a nice and likable but unsuited to solving the country’s economic challenges.
While you’re doing that, beware of incoming:
Mr. Romney will also begin introducing himself to a wider audience of voters who have yet to focus on the general election. In addition to having him talk about his background and business experience, the campaign will increase the presence of his wife, Ann, and five sons on the trail.
An actual quote from an actual Woman of Great Privilege, Ann Romney:
I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.
Mrs. Queen Ann Romney, who has been dispatched by the Romney campaign to go forth and charm the vajayjay crowd so they see just what a great wimmen loving guy Willard is and how the wimmenfolks should totally vote for him because he does NOT wage war on them like SOME Republicans might have, sort of, kinda done, tells us how cute and wonderful poor ladies who have no choice but to work and take care of the kidlings are. She luurrvvves her women without the choices she has.
But it’s OK because Willard completely values “those people” too! All he wants for them is to work hard and achieve dignity!
And I agree that sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us. I know that Ann has struggled with MS and breast cancer and I wouldn’t wish those diseases, or any others, on anyone. But she doesn’t seem to have learned from her struggles either that those cute, feisty little working moms that she just loves are perhaps having things a tad less easy than she does for the most part.
But by all means Ann, continue on your Journey of Privileged Cluelessness. I’m probably not going to lose much sleep worrying about Willard cleaning up on the women’s vote now.
Facing strong criticism, Fox News host Steve Doocy on Tuesday morning corrected a quote by President Obama that he partially fabricated last week, conceding on air that he “did some paraphrasing.”
“Last week President Obama talked about not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth. That was interpreted as a big dig at Mitt Romney,” Doocy said toward the end of Fox & Friends. “When I was interviewing Governor Romney on this show I asked him about it. However, I did some paraphrasing that seemed to misquote the president. So to be clear, the president’s exact quote was, ‘I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.’ And I hope that clears up any confusion.”
Coming to terms with the gripping prospect of five more primaries today, in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, Politico got me off to a rocky start this morning with a mental image I didn’t welcome and couldn’t stomach Photoshopping (no need for thanks, really):
With Mitt Romney and the national press corps now focused on the general election, Gingrich is hoping to become the Christine O’Donnell of the 2012 race ....
Apparently, Newt may pull off a surprise and win Delaware; then again, he may well not. If he doesn’t, he may suspend his campaign by the end of the week; then again, he may well not. Go sit on the naughty step if you thought he already had. I’ll budge up to make room for you.
Ron Paul’s campaign is still working on its convention strategy to gain some primary delegates to add to caucus ones he’s managed to finagle in order to cement his place in history by nailing the underpants gnome vote.
Zombie Rick Santorum is still on the ballot, and may gain some votes from diehard supporters or folks who just don’t follow the news.
Meanwhile, Mitt plans to shake up his Etch A Sketch, hitch up his pants, and segue from being the presumptive to the presumptious nominee:
Voters in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania will cast ballots Tuesday. But Romney won’t be in any of those states Tuesday night. Instead, he’ll return to New Hampshire, the state where a sweeping primary victory in January set him down the path to the GOP presidential nomination.
From the Radisson Hotel downtown, Romney plans a speech he’s titled “A Better America Begins Tonight.” The general election speech, aides say, will represent a definitive pivot away from the primary contest and toward Democratic President Barack Obama and the general election
So what will you be focusing on to distract yourself/try to cope with the suspense on this most auspicious of days?
A few days ago, poor old Mittens was bereft at the prospect of the campaign ahead:
“There will be an effort by the, quote, vast left-wing conspiracy to work together to put out a message and to attack me,” Romney said in an interview with Breitbart.com’s Larry O’Connor. “And they’re going to do everything they can to divert from the issue people care about, which is a growing economy that creates more jobs and rising incomes. That’s what people care about,” Romney said.
A few things strike one from this quote, “Welcome to politics, Willard,” “You can dish it out but you can’t take it,” “WTF is a prospective president doing hobnobbing with a bunch of deranged racebaiting death-cultists who can’t write for toffee?” and “Don’t get me started” being just a few of the more obvious. Romney found eager ears at Breitbart.com for his complaints about their favorite “vast left-wing” boogeyman Media Matters, of course.
As Jason Easley at Politicususa observes, at the weekend David Gregory at NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Candy Crowley at CNN’s “State of the Union” grilled David Axelrod—a rare non-Republican among the weekend pundit lineup—about the beastly Obama campaign’s “grinding negativism” in the face of what Axelrod had the audacity to describe as the beleaguered Romney campaign’s “grinding negativism” in the primary and beyond—a complaint I believe we may have heard from a few of Mitt’s opponents from time to time.
And as noted elsewhere, the New York Times’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane joined the fray:
“Now, though, the general election season is on, and The Times needs to offer an aggressive look at the president’s record, policy promises and campaign operation to answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?” Brisbane wrote. “Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008.” Brisbane lamented that “a strong current of skepticism holds that the paper skews left ...
I just love that “many critics” from a supposed ombudsman, as if his own unsubstantiated views from his exalted position can’t stand up on their own without the anonymous cavalry galloping along in support of them.
We’re waiting agog over here in Scotland for Mitt Romney’s BFF Donald Trump to come and “give evidence” to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee on Wednesday.
I covered the background to Trump’s efforts to develop a “world-class” golf resort on the Menie Estate near Aberdeen in an earlier post, along with his threats that the proposed installation of the Vattenfall experimental offshore windfarm some miles from his new gated golfing community meant that he wouldn’t go ahead with the second phase—the construction of a hotel and major housing development. As I pointed out at the time, this is all utter humbug since back in June 2011, we saw the announcement:
Donald Trump has been forced to postpone his plan to create the “world’s greatest” golf resort in Scotland, complete with five-star hotel and luxury villas, because of the global financial crisis.
The billionaire property developer flew into Aberdeen on Monday on his latest luxury jet, a Boeing 757-200 fitted out with a master bedroom and five kitchens, to announce that his championship standard 18-hole golf course overlooking the North Sea would open for play in July next year.
... the tycoon said that the full scheme, a £750m complex featuring a luxury hotel, Trump Boulevard, a golf academy, a second course and timeshare apartments, had been bunkered by the recession.
Trump said “the world has crashed” since he first bought the Menie estate and dunes in 2005, provoking a long-running battle with local residents, councillors and environmental groups about his proposals, which has involved heavily altering the legally protected rare dunes.
In fact, as early as December 2008 there had been persistent rumors that Trump’s extravagant scheme would have to be scaled back because of economic considerations. When he proclaimed plans to build a mansion for himself on the land:
The announcements follow strenuous denials yesterday by the businessman’s company that they were scaling back the development in the face of the economic downturn and a series of legal and financial dismissals.
George Sorial, the manager of the Menie project, reiterated Mr Trump’s commitment, stating that any rumours of cutbacks were “just not true”.
Earlier this year, though, Trump had changed his tune and began a characteristically blustery vendetta against the Scottish Government’s drive for renewable energy, claiming that this was the reason he might shelve his plans.
Or: Don’t knock Republican theocracy. It’s sex with someone I love. (possibly obscure allusion explained here.)
The title of this post is lightly stolen from the movie Broadcast News. A favorite movie for me, and the source of the most important political monologue outside Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. I’m talking, of course, about the Tom is the Devil speech:
Aaron Altman: I know you care about him. I’ve never seen you like this about anyone, so please don’t take it wrong when I tell you that I believe that Tom, while a very nice guy, is the Devil.
Jane Craig: This isn’t friendship.
Aaron Altman: What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I’m semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance… Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen. And he’ll get all the great women.
That, to my ears, describes Paul Ryan. A good looking guy, and arguably one of the most slightly less-than-Hitler people on the planet. But, very polite, and as he reduces the more sensible teachings of Christianity to pablum, he does so with a certain élan: (my emphasis in the text)
Over the past few days, professional rabid wingnut blabbermouth Dana “Drop Trou” Loesch has been working herself into even more of a frenzy than usual. This time, it’s over allegations that somebody at the DOJ referred an enquiry from credibility-starved hack-hive startupThe Washington Beacon to a “site accused of antisemitism.”
The Beacon‘s edited by Bill Kristol’s underemployed son-in-law Matthew Continetti, the alleged “journalist” whose back copy includes The Persecution of Sarah Palin: How the Elite Media Tried to Bring Down a Rising Star. It’s quite possible that the DOJ has better things to do than help feed the Beacon‘s hysteria mill by responding to its request for a comment about a book with the transparently impartial title Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover Up, but Loesch needs the page hits and something to do with her days now the boss is six feet under and evidently staying there. Her subliterate headline reads:
Loesch and her crew have been trying desperately to link the words “antisemitism”—a favorite of the Breitbartlets, an antidote to “raaaaacism,” if you will—and “Media Matters” in the same way that Jim Hoft loves to pair “thugs” with “union” or “OWS.”
The “misrepresentation”—and yet again hilarious accusations of “selective editing”—in this case concerned Loesch’s remarks that Martin Bashir, being a furriner and all, should go back to jolly old England and keep his nose out of American politics. Loesch doesn’t seem to feel this advice should apply to her colleague, South African-born Joel Pollak, but then you may be gaining the impression that consistency isn’t really part of her makeup.
And now, dick-obsessed Lee Stranahan steps into the breach:
I don’t need to tell you all that Delaware is a small state. It really isn’t a place to make one’s line in the sand unless, well, you’ve milked as much attention and money out of a campaign as it is humanly possible to do. And that is where Newt Gingrich’s campaign currently stands.
Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said they are “optimistic” about the results in the state.
“Because Delaware is a small state it has allowed us to campaign effectively,” Hammond said.
“We are looking for a bounce from Delaware and, with a good showing in the state, we will spend a lot of time on the phone with donors.”
The campaign originally said late Friday night that the speaker would spend Monday campaigning in Delaware and then would head to Virginia (where Gingrich lives) for Tuesday. Just 30 minutes later, the campaign said Gingrich would be in North Carolina next week instead.
Campaigning effectively in Delaware is like pacing effectively in a phone booth. You show up. Done.
What Gingrich’s campaign has not done, however, is suspend itself. Oh, no.