Sunday, November 04, 2012

Waiting in the Wings: Dick Ryan

I’ve been taking some time out from blogging in this last week or so before the Poll To End All Polls.

This was partly out of deference to the savage storms whose aftermath some of you folks are going to have a hard enough time living through without some anonymous smartarse from Scotland looking out his window and muttering, “60 m.p.h. winds and horizontal rain—barbie weather!”

It also took a while for Ms. YAFB to rev up on the runway at Glasgow airport through one canceled flight and eventually jet stateside to visit her own version of Republican Mom/Lefty Daughter Hell, with Thanksgiving and eventual escape a long, LONG way away when you’ve the prospect of no heating, phone, Internet, or lights. She’s now safely landed, picked her way over of the NY State relics of the storm and people’s livelihoods and dreams, and miraculously somehow managed to have power restored to her mom’s house within an hour of arriving, so some of our Brit can-do stiff upper lip has obviously rubbed off over the years. If you get a GOTV phonebank call from an excitable jetlagged woman with a faint Scottish burr, a tendency to profanity, and a pathological distaste for Mitt Romney, treat her kindly.

I’ve also been wary of reenacting the Guardian‘s infamous Clark County Project of 2004. This predictably disastrous experiment in transatlantic diplomacy rallied well-meaning lefty readers to write to undecideds in Ohio in the hopes of drumming some British common sense into them along the lines of “Quit voting for Bush, WTH are you thinking?!”, garnering reactions ranging from “Have you not noticed that Americans don’t give two shits what Europeans think of us?” through “Please be advised that I have forwarded this to the CIA and FBI,” to “KEEP YOUR FUCKIN’ LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN’T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT’S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON’T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT!” and beyond.

Oh, I’ve still been keeping apace with what I can glean from various online resources, and from what I can see from that limited perspective, Mitt & Co. look like they’re resignedly scaling the first steps of the Kübler-Ross model. But a lot of what’s been cooked up in the way of late gamechangers from the Mittens camp and hangers-on is just desperate replays we already covered a month or more ago, like Fox news’s Benghazigate drive, all of which have been overshadowed by meteorology and President Obama opportunistically acting all presidential and competent and hanging out with his BFF Chris Christie. Indeed, other than a few flurries of stupidity that have leaked out from some public speeches, it looks like Romney and Ryan have largely been trying to keep their heads down, presumably for fear of forgetting which of the policy positions they once proclaimed they’re now abandoning because they’re running for election, for Pete’s sake.

In among all this, I’ve been marveling at what a total damp squib Ryan’s been on the stump, given the rapturous welcome that greeted his pick as the HAWTNESS on the ticket. Last I looked, even Free Republic was back to revolting against the Yoke of Mittness. With just a few longer-form interviews as support from his running mate, Mitt’s been driven to serve as his own attack dog throughout, slinging zingers and recycled lies from his windy vantage point on the roof, and ostentatiously dispatching stocks of his own hot Groundhog Day fudge to the needy in New Jersey and points west where echoes from his denunciation of FEMA are drowning out his recent sudden change of heart. If I compared being attacked by Ryan or Romney to being savaged by a dead sheep, I’d not only risk angering flyover country, I’d be underestimating the viciousness of zombie sheep (not to mention ripping off one Denis Healey).

It’s probably been a frustrating few months for Ryan, doomed to beta male groupie status and hampered by a near total lack of charisma in trying to shake off the utter rout that was his VP debate performance. He’s been seeking succor by doodling on napkins what the future might hold if his prayers are answered and he finally escapes the deadend daily drudgery of serving as the Republican Party’s fiscal boy wonder among the grizzled congressional rabble, as the gloriously named Trip Gabriel at the NYT managed to shake out of nameless gabby “aides” yesterday:

... if the Republican ticket prevails, Mr. Ryan plans to come back roaring, establishing an activist vice presidency that he said would look like Dick Cheney’s under President George W. Bush.

Now THAT’s what I call a lede! They’re going to be hiring White House caterers, by the sound of it:

Mr. Ryan would dedicate most evenings to dinners with senators and House members of both parties, aides said, as he steps into the role Mr. Romney promised: architect of a Romney administration’s drive to enact a budget that shrinks the government and overhauls programs like Medicare.

In Lundtspeak, of course, “shrink” translates as “render totally inoperable and thus irrelevant” and the “overhaul” is likely to resemble my babyhood tendency not to consider any toy truly played with till I’d reverse-engineered it into a messy pile of component parts destined for the trash. But where did that Dick Cheney comparison come from? Are we in HuffPo headline territory here?

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 11/04/12 at 10:09 AM
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Friday, November 02, 2012

Hungry For You—Mitt Romney’s Ode To Obama’s Swing State Poll Numbers

OK, let’s see: 5 days to lift-off, hours of cheesy synth tracks; a third-rate Captain Spaulding chasing a minstrel in blackface, and a crappy word puzzle that nobody cares about. Yep, that’s Mitt Romney in the Home Stretch…with nothing to hope for, except maybe that everyone else won’t forget about him. Good luck with that one, Mitt.

(by StrangeAppar8us, as dictated to Mrs. Polly)

read the whole post »

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 11/02/12 at 06:57 PM
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GOP ROI: The Blossoming

Is Turd Blossom pre-spinning a Romney loss? Maybe:

“If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney’s] advantage,” Rove told The Washington Post.

If President Obama wins this election (and I think he will), what does that say about the power of Super PACs? Here’s OpenSecrets.org’s total Super PAC spending broken down by ideology:

image

Conservative groups have outspent liberals two to one. For nearly four years, their political operatives in Congress have worked very hard to sabotage every attempt President Obama has made to deal with the crappy economy so that they could run as the out party during a persistent economic crisis, and their 2012 standard bearer promised yesterday that unless he is elected, Republicans in the House will continue to fuck America up the ass for having the temerity to elect a Democrat as president.

And yet it looks like there’s a pretty decent chance that they’ll not only fail to unseat President Obama, the Dems will retain narrow control over the Senate and pick up some seats in the House. What does it mean? Dr. Krugman thinks it might reveal a so-called political genius as a common grifter:

Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove? We’ve been seeing him as a man dedicated to helping angry right-wing billionaires take over America. But maybe he’s best thought of instead as an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires, who believe that he can help them take over America. It’s not the same thing.

And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.

If this scenario comes to pass, the biggest losers, of course, will be the billionaires who have spent astonishing sums to purchase our democracy fair and square—with bupkis to show for it on November 7. Sheldon Adelson and family will be out $53.69 million. The Koch Bros. will be $36.66 (number of the devil!) lighter.

They’re businessmen. Maybe they’ll conclude it would have been cheaper to just pony the fuck up on their taxes? Hahahaha!

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 11/02/12 at 06:50 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersBushCoElection '12MittensNuttersTeabaggery

Low-Info Voters Rally for Romney

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.  W. B. Yeats

h/t: New Left Media

Posted by Bette Noir on 11/02/12 at 06:01 AM
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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Trumpth

The incomparable comedian and writer Steve Allen coined a useful term “dumbth” as a measurement of the willful ignorance of the (particularly) American people as a part of his book of the same name which suggested ways in which education could be improved. I humbly suggest “Trumpth” to mean the kind of willful ignorance that only the Donald Himself displays the way he does, and which is naturally personalized with his very own name, just like one of his buildings. It was his dumbth that made the Donald a birther; but it’s sheer Trumpth to think that his ignorant Twitterings could or should make President Obama render information like his school records—that no president has really ever been asked for before—public.

It’s an illness with me that I pick at things. A hangnail. A bugbite. Donald Trump’s stupidity. Indulge me.  Because unless I totally explore the joke that is Trump’s awkward foray into politics, I can never really expand adequately on the joke that is Mitt Romney (Mr. Clean! snerk) and Donald Trump (bad cop?) in an alliance against President Obama. Because that—is what I’m staring at—

See, from the time that Trump endorsed Mitt to the time that it became clear that Trump was way down the rabbit hole on birtherism (contemporaneous, natch), I wondered when a more sober and circumspect Romney would distance himself from the iron grip of a genuine nutter. And then he didn’t.  In fact, it looks like Mitt is pleased enough that Trump is willling to repeat the shameless lies of his advertisements:

even though they are quite clearly wrong; so long as Donald Trump will lend his CEO of a particularly (un)helpful 1980’s, art of the deal, greed is good, lifestyles of the rich and infamous cache to the campaign—in the form of everyone’s favorite form of campaign communication, the robocall, Romney is quite willing to embrace this kind of dumbth—the Trumpth, for all it’s worth.

I’m a cynical person. I do not understand this. Why does Romney want to embrace the success of tehstoopid? Is this the signal that “willfully dumb” is the new Republican smart? Is that why Unskewed Polls is so popular? And does anyone on that side suspect this is the sort of thing that even makes smart Republicans think of endorsing Obama because of odd factors like functional government and acceptance of science?

And p.s.—really? Is Donald “You’re Fired?” Trump the guy you want to represent you to the same people you’re trying to convince you aren’t the kind of guy who benefits from the auto-bailout while you are an outsourcer?  So very tone-deaf and so totally Romney.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/01/12 at 11:09 PM
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Romney, Wrong on Disaster Response

Sitting in the dark on the job for two days, one has time for contemplation.  Because I was sitting in the dark as a result of a major storm, disaster response has been on my mind.  I’m going to riff off of one of the last blog posts I read before losing the electricity, Bette Noir’s “compare and contrast” post about President Obama’s approach to disaster relief and Mitt Romney’s statements about disaster relief in one of the primary debates.  Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of the debate, hosted by CNN’s John King:

“FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney’s response: “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.

“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut – we should ask ourselves the opposite question,” Romney continued. “What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot ...”

King interjected: “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney replied: “We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”


A quick glance at the map of Superstorm Sandy demonstrates the stupidity of Mitt Romney’s proposal for diminishing the role of the federal government in disaster response.  Hurricane Sandy was a vast storm which ravaged the Atlantic Coast of the United States from North Carolina to Massachusetts, with lesser, though significant effects felt as far west as Ohio.  Simply put, the storm was too vast for any single state to be able to handle disaster response and relief.  Damage to the infrastructure within a state hampers the coordination of relief efforts.  Even now, days after the storm, there are communication problems (I have electricity, and I am having problems getting through on the phone for various reasons, those without power are even worse off).  In much of the New York tri-state area, gasoline is in short supply.  To put the burden of disaster relief on the overburdened states is asinine.  Just because I want to twist the knife, so to speak, Mitt Romney’s record as a governor responding to a natural is not a good one.

In times of disaster, it is important to remember the original motto of the United States, E Pluribus Unum, which is Latin for “out of many, one”.  Combined, the states form a more powerful whole.  In times of natural disaster, the federal government can coordinate the response more readily than the states which have been hit.  The United States is a vast country, the nature of disasters differs from location to location- while different states can concentrate on their areas of expertise, a central coordinating agency is better able to marshal resources that will be needed after local resources are exhausted. 

To compound Romney’s idiocy, his assertion that he’d rather have the private sector administer disaster responses is truly a howler.  Of course, Romney’s not really an idiot- he’s the sort of sociopath who would prefer that there’s an executive skimming off the top when funds are allocated for disaster aid.  If Romney gets elected president, expect well-connected wealthy insiders to get even wealthier on the misery of disaster victims.  In anticipation of such a (literal) windfall, Jeb Bush has founded a for-profit disaster response corporation.  If disaster response is privatized, there will be a two-tier approach to relief and recovery operations- the rich folks will be whisked out of the disaster area in luxurious helicopters with fully-stocked bars while Joe and Jane Schmo will die horribly… the executives have to make a profit, after all.  I imagine Jeb Bush’s privatized disaster response will be just as successful as his brother George’s privatized war.

In the ‘90’s the town of Rye Brook, New York decided to experiment with privatized firefighting services.  The private firefighting corporation cut corners with wages, ensuring that the workers were poorly-trained and had a high turnover rate, and they refused to engage in a mutual assistance agreement with neighboring municipalities, and the result was disastrous.  Imagine how poorly a private corporation, with an eye towards maximizing profits, would handle a disaster of the magnitude of a Sandy.

Hopefully, the example of Sandy will wake voters who would vote for Mitt Romney out of spite.  Romney is unfit to run the country- Chris Christie, a man I can’t stand, has praised President Obama’s disaster response and is being lambasted by his former admirers for it.  Former Republican and wishy-washy “third way” flack Mike Bloomberg has endorsed President Obama’s candidacy.  In the face of disaster, real leadership and a genuine desire for public service is needed.  Mitt Romney is a callow, hollow simulacrum of a man, and his history of failed disaster response and putting personal profits over the public need renders him unacceptable as a President.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/01/12 at 05:58 PM
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