Truly, YouTube is a pharaoh’s treasure horde of groundbreaking cultural Ur-media. Here is my ancient friend Ron Hankison, known in those days by his recording talent moniker “Ronnie Wasp.” The cut is from his ‘80s album Nolo Contendere, a disk on which only lunatic survivalists like this outer space ant-farmer would dare make wretched jokes about human/ant fornication (or is that formication?).
All in all, an epic song by a prodigious creative mind.
As America lurches toward the “fiscal cliff,” 90 or so of the most powerful and civic-minded CEOs in the country have banded together, in a patriotic little cabal called “Fix the Debt” to save us all from our profligate ways. Ostensibly these guys know more about money—how to make it, how to use it, how to make it grow—than anyone else in the country, so they are “natural-go-tos” for making the debt go away . . . right? Well, maaaayybe.
I’m no economist but when politicians start talking about cutting Medicare, Social Security or Medicaid to keep a bloated defense industry afloat, and corporate tax breaks in place, CEOs’ brains are not the first ones I’d choose to pick for balanced solutions. These are guys who make obscene amounts of money finding ways to keep their bottom lines meaty, come hell or high water. They are rewarded by their shareholders, specifically, for elevating single-minded self-interest to an art.
And when they volunteer to help the administration solve its problems, and pony up $60 million to “socialize” their ideas, you can be sure they have not taken their eye off the prize for a second. These particular CEOs have presided over the most enormous declines in private retirement pension plans in US labor history and those who still provide traditional pension plans for their employees have looted them and left their plans seriously underfunded.
With their own employees retirement plans far more uncertain, these are the guys relentlessly arguing that the president needs to lead by cutting back on the only piece of retirement planning that is reliable—Social Security and Medicare. They suggest raising the retirement age and lowering retiree expectations (i.e., cutting benefits). The Institute for Policy Studies has gathered all of the gory details in a report that they subtitle “Pension Deficit Disorder.”
It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.
Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.
I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.
Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.
I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.
Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…
Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.
Once volunteers signed up, they were invited to take part in daily conference calls, but rather than focusing on training, these tended to be cheerleading sessions, with any tactical considerations reduced to answering questions such as would it be OK to wear a red sweatshirt to the polling place. Then there were other minor problems such as this:
On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.
It got worse:
At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement.
It’s worth giving Ace of Spades the click and reading the rest of Ekdahl’s article if you’re amused by descriptions of extreme ineptitude, but here’s his signoff:
The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that..
Let’s start with the obvious—Romney’s Campaign is not suspended. You can tell, because they are still lying about stuff. They’ve decided to pretend they are also doing some “relief events”, because they will be taking non-perishable items that no one wants and send them to—where did the worst of it hit—oh, that’s right, New Jersey. I’m not kidding:
On a day when millions of Americans face serious hardship as they recover from Hurricane Sandy’s damage, Mitt Romney clearly decided it would be crass to campaign in a conventional way. So he turned a scheduled rally in Kettering, Ohio, this morning into a “storm relief event,” and posed before piles of donated canned goods.
“We’re going to box these things up in just a minute and put them on some trucks, and then we’re going to send them into, I think it’s New Jersey,” he said, according to the Washington Post. “There’s a site we’ve identified where we can take these goods and distribute them to people who need them.”
You can feel the love in the above picture, that’s for sure. I’m not even going to dwell on Mitt Romney, because there’s more examples of disaster bringing out the best in people—like the Obama Administration getting advice from an old hand at dealing with bad situations: Former FEMA Director Michael Brown.
You might wonder what Bush’s FEMA head—famous for being the guy who did a “heckuva job” during Hurrican Katrina—had to say. After all, if folks learn from mistakes, he probably has a lot of wisdom to impar—meh. Here’s him:
“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown says. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”
Wow. Look at him pairing a weird criticism (Obama reacted too quickly to a natural disaster—which is kind of time-sensitive if you want to save lives and stuff?) with a partisan smear. You go, Michael Brown! I mean seriously. You go, now. Heckuva a job staying under a rock, dude.
Oh, and finally? I wasn’t going to give this guy attention, but here:
He obviously needs some kind of attention—like a gangrenous appendage. (Amputation?)
You know, I think my title may be misleading. I meant, “OMG the assholes.” Sorry about that.
PeaceOut Bobblehead Mittkins™ is the most trustworthy Mittkins™ yet! Just like a real beauty contestant, he wants world peace and knows where the cool Syrian beaches are, sort of. Peaceout Bobblehead Mittkins™ loves Barack Obama’s foreign policy THIIISSSS MUCH. Stand him on your shelf next to Primary Mittkins™, Offshore Mittkins™ and Massachusetts Mittkins™. No collection is complete without him!
Each Mittkins™is fully positionable. Binders, bayonets and beliefs sold separately.
A blimp-like aircraft emblazoned with an “America Needs Romney” message made an emergency landing near a Davie park this evening, much to the joy of many voters in Broward County, one of the most-liberal places in Florida.
There were no injuries, Davie police said. Except, perhaps, for Republican pride.
Two people were on the 160 foot aircraft but no one was injured, said Davie police spokesman Capt. Dale Engle.
Engle said high winds forced the aircraft to land in the Parkside Estates development around 7:10 p.m., near the Robert H. Bamford Sports Complex.
“The winds were so strong it was pushing them west,” he said. “They were trying to drive east but they couldn’t push into the wind.”
LIFE magazine has been delving into its archives, and pulled out this feature:
GOP WOMEN PARTY HARD, 1941
“On the evening of May 20,” begins an article in the June 16, 1941, issue of LIFE magazine, “members of the Young Women’s Republican Club of Milford, Conn., explored the pleasures of tobacco, poker, the strip tease and such other masculine enjoyments as had frequently cost them the evening companionship of husbands, sons and brothers.”
Thus the storied weekly and photographer Nina Leen chronicled the shenanigans that erupted when a group of GOP women got together for an old-fashioned “smoker” (noun: an informal social gathering for men only) on one long, memorable night in southern New England.
You can find 15 more snapshots of the pre-War On Women GOP here. Giggity.
Yes, that is Sir Thomas More over the shoulder of randy smugstudly Dinesh D’Souza, who just didn’t know that affiancing yourself to your next before filing to divorce your ex is only cute when Henry VIII does it:
“I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings,” said D’Souza. “Obviously I would not have introduced Denise as my fiancé at a Christian apologetics conference if I had thought or known I was doing something wrong”.
And even Henry didn’t hit on other monarch’s wives, whether or not he’d axed the last angry queen. Henry also had the sense not to parade Anne Boleyn around the Vatican. He made up a new religion instead, which is a route we heartily recommend to Dinesh, whose talent for making things up is unquestionable.
King’s College promptly accepted the resignation they had D’Souza write, so that he could “take care of his personal and family needs,” which is darn snarky for a Christian college board, so well played, and enjoy not having to pay your do-nothing president any more millions!
New bride Denise Odie Joseph II (not a typo~~she got married in December 2011, so hey, she is a new bride!) is just as sweet as you’d expect her to be.
“Obama, last night, especially when Libya came up, and he turned suddenly and he fixed his opponent with this basilisk stare and he began to talk to him very quietly but with seething anger underneath because he’d been accused of politicizing…[clip of that moment]….at that moment he became a hero, and he was also very presidential. I think America is now faced with a very clear choice. Do they want a president or a boss?”
~~Ed. note: “Voorzieniphen raedt” translates to “weasel.” If you’re happening to want one, the Romney campaign has a binderful.~~
Binders full of women, what an enchanting idea, Mitt—but of course it, too, was a lie. Gosh! The Governor of the Commonwealth did not look around him and say, “Whillikins, what this Commonwealth needs is a woman’s touch around the office~~minions, fetch me Captains of Industry and Furrow-browed advisors who have heard of competent women, and let their recommendations be compiled into the 3-Ring Book of Wimmin, that I may stock our cabinet with female brains! For how else to find them, I haven’t the faintest.”
Sad to say, Mitt has told another whopper, albeit one with potential. For instance, a binder full of LOLwomen: I AM IN UR KABINET IMPLIMENTIN UR DECISHUNS. Wouldn’t Lilly Ledbetter hork up a lung laughing over that?