You can’t wander far online right now without encountering fistpumping jubilation among rightwingers that four diplomats were killed and three wounded in Benghazi last month—just in time for their October Surprise!
... in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that’s—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today if you said, “We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon,” they’d go hold on. It’s really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
YAY! Something of that nature happened! Dead Americans! Opportunity!
Mitt Romney shared a remarkable story at a campaign rally in Iowa today, his voice wavering and cracking slightly as he described the tragic death of a former Navy SEAL he’d met years earlier. The young man was from Massachusetts; he died in Benghazi during the September 11 terrorist attack against the American consulate that claimed the life of US Ambassador Chris Stevens. Here is Mitt’s stirring and moving tribute:
Romney was visibly emotional during the story, and the video of the speech was repeated throughout the day on network and cable news.
But one of Glen Doherty’s best friends remembered Doherty’s impression of this meeting much differently.
Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.
According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.
“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”
Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.
“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”
The mother of Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attack in Libya, told a Boston TV station that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldn’t politicize her son’s death.
“I don’t trust Romney,” she said. “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”
Mitt’s claim, characterized by CNN as pointless, represents another unforced error- it was a stupid claim, easily fact-checked. The fact that Mitt included it in an allegedly “major” foreign policy speech reveals the depth of his ignorance and the breadth of his arrogance- did he not think that someone would research this issue?
I spent the weekend ass deep in sheetrock, tile and half-assembled cabinets, attempting to reconstruct my kitchen. While catching up on the blog this morning, I read that TBogg, LGM, DougJ, Mistermix and Balloon Juice commenters are Manichean monsters. Not that this is anything new, mind you: liberals who vote for compromised Democrats (and there is no other type of elected or electable official) are routinely—with cicada-like regularity, one might say—accused of heartlessly casting aside the poor, the innocent victims of pointless wars, the uninsured, the homeless, the mentally ill, women, the LGBT community, people of color, etc., as so many bumps in the road to 270 electoral votes.
Perusing the threads on this topic here and elsewhere, I was struck—as others were—by the resemblance to the arguments I myself advanced in 2000—back when I was the sanctimonious twit saying that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore. I was wrong. I learned my lesson. In my own defense, all I can say is that the consequences of my casting one of the 1,784 votes in Florida that was the official margin of difference between Bush and Gore were unimaginable at the time, at least to me.
And I’ve regretted it ever since and will until the day I die. Seriously. I number that vote among the worst things I’ve ever done as a human being on this planet, even though I’ve done more stupid and mean things than I care to remember, and despite the fact that my motives in that case were fairly pure.
I don’t expect my fessing up to this and saying I learned my lesson and regret my third party vote in 2000 will change anyone’s mind who is contemplating a similar move in 2012. It’s not only that I remember well my own self-righteousness 12 years ago, though I do. It’s that anyone who can’t draw the blindingly obvious lesson from that debacle—which isn’t exactly ancient history—is probably just not persuadable.
So what should the disaffected liberal do? Well, sack up, for one thing: Ridicule from someone on a blog isn’t exactly a Hellfire missile up the poop chute. Advocate for your goddamn position with facts and figures—at the grassroots level—even if someone is mean to you on a blog! Persuade the people who don’t currently give a shit, which is, sadly, most of the American public. Get involved in politics at the local level, where your voice is potentially louder. All these are good and worthy goals.
Empowering politicians who think the US isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Likud Party in Israel isn’t a good and worthy goal. It wasn’t in 2000, and it isn’t today. Your actions have consequences. Own them. And for Christ’s sake, quit whining about it.
Since the Democrats effectively disarmed the Republican lock on an image of toughness in the face of terrorism, the old PNAC crowd and their allies haven’t been able to do much other than gripe from the margins and express their desire for further foreign piratical adventures to anybody who’s still listening.
This has been reflected in Francophile draft-dodger Mitt Romney’s tendency to slip into his public pap-burblings his wish to oversee an “American Century”—most recently in an interview today for the Daily Caller:
In foreign policy, I am guided by one overwhelming conviction: This century must be an American Century. In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.
Form an orderly queue over there for the dancing rainbow-farting ponies dole-out.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney took a shot at President Barack Obama late Monday night after it was reported that the president has attended fewer than half of his daily intelligence briefings.
I dunno. It seems to me that if you have a competent staff, actually bothering to, you know, read daily copies of these briefings and listen to their advice rather than chortling over books on goat husbandry and dismissing those advisers with “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now” is probably a step up the scale of administrative competence, but what do I know? Dick has the track record—amirite? Boggle now as he performs a double pike with full pirouette to segue into another hoary campaign talking point:
“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden,” Cheney told The Daily Caller in an email through a spokeswoman.
I won’t respond to such blatant trolling by expressing my wishes for the just fate to befall this revolting shameless war criminal, but it can’t come to soon.
I know I shouldn’t be surprised by anything Dick Cheney says, but sweet, weepin’ Jeebus:
“When I think about the kind of individual I want in the Oval Office in that moment of crisis, who has to make those key decisions, some of them life-and-death decisions, some of them decisions as commander-in-chief, who has the responsibility for sending some of our young men and women into harm’s way, that man is Mitt Romney,” Cheney said, according to The Associated Press.
Let’s review, shall we? The largest terrorist attack in US history occurred on Bush-Cheney’s watch, and they responded so ineptly that the cornered mastermind was able to escape to Pakistan while US troops were ensnared in the longest war in US history. Then Bush-Cheney trumped up another war with a country that had fuck-all to do with the 9/11 attacks, a war that killed tens of thousands of people and drained the US Treasury to no good purpose (unless you’re Halliburton).
And now the wizened old reptile who orchestrated this world-historical clusterfuck has the unmitigated gall to not only dis the dude who is cleaning up his fucking mess, but to render an opinion on who else is fit to send “our young men and women into harm’s way”?
Now we know why Cheney has a bum ticker: His heart was overworked from a lifetime of trying to circulate blood through his freakishly massive balls. Chutzpah? That doesn’t even begin to cover it. Lack of self awareness? There isn’t a negative scale large enough to capture it, even if it extends into infinity.
I’m pretty much a free speech absolutist, but I would make an exception in Cheney’s case. He should be fitted with a shock collar that zaps him every time he utters the words “9/11” or “crisis” or “war” or “commander-in-chief” or “decisions” or “harm’s way.” Better yet, it should just zap the bastard if he opens his yap at all.
Romney’s next fundraising stop: the federal pen in Butler, North Carolina, where he will dine in the prison mess with Bernie Madoff and receive Madoff’s glowing endorsement for his financial acumen.
Vice President Joe Biden kept up the heat on Mitt Romney’s investments at Bain Capital in companies that outsourced on Wednesday, telling a crowd in Dubuque, Iowa, that it went to the core of the governor’s economic philosophy.
“After days of saying nothing in response to our criticism for that policy, the Romney campaign responded, I think yesterday, by saying we just don’t get it, we don’t understand the difference … between offshoring and outsourcing,” Biden said. “If you’re looking for work, that’s a pretty cruel joke.”
He continued with an image straight out of a New Yorker cartoon: “I can picture one guy in my old neighborhood standing next to another guy in the unemployment line and saying, ‘Hey John, did you get offshored or outsourced?’”
Arguing that Romney put outsourcing into practice in public policy, Biden went into an extended riff on a bill he vetoed in Massachusetts as governor that would have prevented state contractors from farming out operations overseas. At issue was a $160,000 contract with Citigroup, which used call centers in India to help manage the state’s food-stamp program. Biden called the measure a “cruel irony.”
“You pick up the phone to call the state of Massachusetts line, a woman picks up, she lost her job, picks up the phone to call the state of Massachusetts about her unemployment benefits and she ends up talking to someone in another country who has a job she could be doing and not have to seek unemployment,” Biden said. “I know it sounds so crazy, but that’s literal. Literally!”
1) Ranked 47th in job growth
2) Suffered the second-largest labor force decline in the nation
3) Lost 14 percent of its manufacturing jobs
4) Experienced “below average” economic growth and was “often near the bottom”
5) Piled on more debt than any other state
For all fans of irony, Pema Levy at TPM describes the Romney campaign’s efforts to spin all this:
Romney Camp Defends Poor Jobs Record: He Inherited A Bad Situation
So I guess we’ll hear no more from them about President Obama playing the “blame game” by referring to the mess he inherited when he took office.
John Bolton, Mr Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, said it would not be helpful for the Republicans to more vigorously defend the former president’s record, which Democrats have sharply criticised.
Mr Bolton urged Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee to face Mr Obama in November, to focus on the future and resist arguing over whether their last president left behind “a big mess or a little mess”.
“I think people would agree with Obama that he was left with a mess,” Mr Bolton told The Daily Telegraph. “They’re not arguing about that, and that’s why it doesn’t pay for Romney to argue whether it was a big mess or a little mess.
Instead, Mr Bolton said, when faced with the prospect of re-electing Mr Obama, “people are saying OK, you inherited a mess, well what have you done to fix it?”
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!
Breitbart Big Ho editor / Hollywood flop John Nolte dislikes the film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” because – get this – it “exploits 9/11:”
The film’s biggest problem is that, to put it bluntly, it exploits 9/11. Thomas could’ve died just as easily in a plane crash or boat accident without a single element of the story having to change. For Daldry (working off a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer) to use one of the biggest crimes ever committed against this country as a “device” is truly repulsive and a symptom of a Hollywood bubble so impenetrable that a group of people with the power to make a multi-million dollar film actually thought it was okay to say 9/11 is all about …. me.
God, that’s funny, in a “Union Carbide Bhopal executive complains about worker flatulence” kind of way. Has there ever been a group that has exploited a national tragedy to silence opponents and enact a radical, ruinous agenda as efficiently as the modern GOP humped 9/11 for fun and profit? If so, I was mercifully not alive for it.
John Nolte, whose writing recalls the elegance of Nick Nolte’s mug shot, goes on:
According to [Director Stephen] Daldry and company, what 9/11 is about, though, is the opportunity for a nine-year-old “amateur inventor, Francophile, and pacifist” to trot off on a narcissistic journey of self-discovery while banging his precious tambourine and providing his precious voice over and meeting all the precious people in the precious city of New York. And in the film’s most racially patronizing scene, meeting a group of precious Christians who are of course, Black.
And there you have it in a nutshell, ladies and gents. Wingnuts despised New York City before 9/11 for the same reasons they hate Hollywood, and their grievances against it would match up point-for-point with the Talibans’. Except the Taliban probably don’t hate “the Blacks” as much.
(RRNN) Former president and ultramasculine smooth-talker by comparison George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney at an event Thursday in Houston.
Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the candidate will appear and speak to reporters with the former president, who will seem like a gifted extemporaneous speaker and he-man for the length of the appearance.
Formal backing from the 41st president, who will briefly exude virility and a way with words, is another sign that the Republican Party is uniting behind Romney as pressure builds on challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to leave the race. The onetime chief executive is not planning on giving an inspiring barnburner of a speech or making female attendees swoon with his rugged manliness, but will, due to relativity.
The elder Bush has offered encouraging words to Romney throughout the primary season but had withheld a formal endorsement. Former first lady Barbara Bush has formally backed Romney. She recorded automated telephone calls for him during the primary in Ohio before turning to her husband and.breathlessly intoning “hey, lover, I forgot how sexy that voice of yours can be… you can take that shirt off or I can rip it off, your choice.”
Their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Romney last week, then called his brother, 43rd president George W. Bush, to give him long-overdue credit for taking a swing at their lionhearted, machismo-dripping father and living to tell the tale.
Word is that former Vice-President Dick Cheney is recuperating after receiving a heart transplant, which at his age, shows impressive access to health care. Regardless of how I, and likely everyone here, feels about the old bastard, I’m sure we can wish his whole family well: his well-educated anti-intellectual Wishnik troll of a wife, and his two daughters, the whiny torture enthusiast and the gay quisling who supports anti-gay politicians. And hopefully, when Cheney is feeling well enough and has recuperated adequately, he can go f…ind something to do with himself.
The RNC’s all-female preview audiences were described as having positive feelings about the ad, but those test results can’t be called definitive as it’s difficult to turn the dial on a Perception Analyzer® when it’s shoved up your hoo-hah.
David Ignatius at WaPo released some tidbits from Osama bin Laden’s personal papers, which were seized after the SEAL team waxed the terror kingpin. I don’t know what I was expecting—a good old-fashioned Batman villain, maybe. But Osama comes across like the Brand Manager of the Sanitary Napkin Category at a backwater Koch Industries health and beauty products division. He fretted about consumer perceptions and brand equity, dispensed fancy titles like “Deputy Emir” to underlings and pulled together annual reports. The banality of evil still surprises.
After President Obama reversed Bush Administration policy and stopped using the phrase “Global War on Terror” to describe the twin clusterfucks in Iraq and Afghanistan and assorted US meddling worldwide, al Qaeda seriously contemplated a corporate identity overhaul in response. They felt that the more narrow focus on their own organization diluted the pan-Muslim jihadi image they were trying to project. It was like everyone was unfriending them on Facebook or something. Score one for President Obama, I suppose.
The big revelation: bin Laden wanted to assassinate President Obama because, according to bin Laden, “he is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency… Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis.” Somewhat hilariously, the papers also reveal that al Qaeda believes Fox News lacks “objectivity.”
The Wingnutosphere isn’t sure what to make of the first revelation. Some are all, “O’dumbo is teh most unpreparered o’neegro evar at leest O’biden is wite thx for nothing o’sama u r a looser!” To a man, they are gleeful that al Qaeda dissed Fox News because obviously it follows that Fox News is the only network that embodies Judeo-Christian values. Or something like that.
One hopes further document dumps don’t reveal Osama’s fondness for “Walker, Texas Ranger” or “WrestleMania” reruns; the resulting plummet in nunchuck and novelty singlet sales might endanger the fragile economic recovery.
Here was my key takeaway from the Osama Papers: The Bearded Boogeyman who caused so much pain and suffering was, at heart, a middle-management marketing hack who happened to traffic in death and misery instead of cheap consumer goods. Had he possessed any true strategic acumen, bin Laden would have sent anonymous gift baskets to the Bush Administration and Fox News, who did more to check “Destroy America” off the al Qaeda to-do list than a thousand bumbling “Deputy Emirs.”
By Gil Mann, Men’s Health Editor (would prefer to be just “Health Editor,” but lady parts, amirite, guys? God knows what’s goin’ on down there)
So after three months you’ve decided it’s time to make good on one of your New Year’s resolutions: a thinner you! That’s great, but in today’s fast-paced world we’re all looking for shortcuts, and it can be tempting to go for a short-term victory instead of doing what’s best for you in the long run.
The key to losing weight is to do so gradually. A precipitous drop in body-mass can result in heart disease and other organ failure; even if such drastic results don’t occur, there are other negative ramifications to consider. By starving yourself you’re putting your entire being into “fight or flight” mode, basically teaching your body to stockpile calories, making it all the more likely that you’ll put the pounds back on, and quickly. This is fairly common knowledge; less well-known are the adverse psychological effects of rapid weight loss.
L-R: Huckabee in 2003, Kevin Spacey in 2010 “Huckabonkers!” SNL skit