“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:
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!
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.”
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.
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.
So this cute little ad has been making a stir of late:
Maybe it’s just me, but my first time in the voting booth ended up meaning more to me than my first trip between the sheets. I’m probably not the only person who can say that. For one thing, I gave it more thought. For another, it was an assertion of who I was as a political person. I’d been an open, committed liberal since my mid-teens, and I had talked about my decision with my parents. They had approved of my decision—but even if they hadn’t, I’d have still gotten behind that curtain and pulled a lever for Bill Clinton.
That was my first.
Anyway, wouldn’t it be neat if one’s first time in the voting booth was as much a right of passage as losing one’s virginity? Or even more so? And that everyone kind of felt like it was the cool, adult thing to do, and paid a lot of attention to not just doing it—but making it special? I think it would. Seems like right wingers just think the ad is kind of dirty, though:
Now, that’s just Erick, son of Erick, and he’s kind of a blunt instrument of unimpressive size, but really? One’s first time is “fallen” and “depraved”? Because FWIW—folks have always been totally having sex and that’s how we all got here—oh wait.
Nope. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the problem might be that women are sexual creatures whose consent is continuously required to govern and and whose right to vote should also be considered sacrosanct. (Even some conservative women seem to have a hard time with that one. )
(H/T: Political Carnival)
Kid Malarkey believes in traditional values, and what could be more traditional than a Republican VP candidate with a slush fund? Paul Ryan seems to have given it a novel twist by using his congressional reelection bid as a means to funnel resources to the Romney campaign. The famed budget-slashing Randian whiz kid blew through seventy-five thousand dollars of his House reelection money at the four day Republican National Convention, where he had a total staff of…five. What, besides beer and brats, could the Wisconsin Slasher have bought in Tampa for that amazing amount of money? Hotel rooms—lots of them, particularly in the Romney campaign’s hotel, where the Ryan House campaign wasn’t staying.
In case the blurring of funds between Kid Malarkey’s house and VP bids doesn’t seem like a big deal, it’s enough for Ryan’s campaign director, Kevin Seifert, to turn into John Lovitz while talking to the Observer’s investigative reporter:
Republican legislators in Pennsylvania are attempting to pass a bill which would deny increased TANF (aka welfare) benefits to women who delivered a child while receiving the benefits unless they can prove the baby was conceived as a result of sexual assault and that they reported it to the police.
Oh. Good. Grief.
So in the Republican scenario an unmarried women should not be allowed to choose an abortion if she becomes pregnant through consensual sex (and probably shouldn’t be allowed to get the contraceptives that would have prevented the pregnancy in the first place) and, as icing on the cake, she will be denied the ability to financially care for the baby.
Oh! Well, that’s all right, then. Stating that God wants women to go through forced pregnancy after rape isn’t extreme when you think about it, as Richard Mourdock has. After all, God loves life, and every woman’s womb could be stocked with life all the time, if women weren’t so abysmally dedicated to saying when. So will you leftie b*tches just leave the man alone already? Mitt Romney’s still exhausted from distancing himself from Todd Akin, and now he’s going to have to dodge and weave his way around poor Richard. Paul Ryan is going to have to distance himself, too, but at least we know he can do it in record time. Stop martyring poor Richard Mourdock! You’re making Michelle Malkin simply furious!
OK. Quick test of listening comprehension. Does President Obama say “no horses and bayonets” or does he say “fewer horses and bayonets”? (Apologies for the commercial.)
OK, so obviously this is a trick question because of course Obama says “fewer horses and bayonets”. Right wing bloggers, however are not known for reading or listening comprehension, to wit, executive editor at Tucker Carlson’s Bucket O’ Fail Daily Whiner David Martosko’s sad attempt to “fact check” the claim. And reports back that bayonets ARE still used by marines and, and in the early stages of the Afghanistan war some soldiers rode, wait for it, wait, HORSES!!! FACT CHECK FAIL, RIGHT!!
Well not so much if you are actually blessed with reading and listening comprehension but, again, we’re talking about right wing bloggers here.
O.M.G. you guys. So, OK, Obummer DID say "Act of Terror”, duh, on the next day but, but, he should have said it sooner, RIGHT, RIGHT ??!!!11?!! Becuz waiting four. whole. minutes!!! into his statement meant that it truly was not an admission that it was really, really an "Act of Terror" because, well BECAUSE!! 9/11 RIGHT!! So, OK, as if that’s not enough to conclusively prove that Barry was in deep cover-up mode he shouldn’t even have said "Act of Terror", he should have said “TERROR ATTACK”! Or it doesn’t count. Srsly, listen:
What’s that thing that someone said once? Have you no shame? Yeah, I think that’s it.
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.
If Mitt Romney is truly moving toward the center politically, why is he cozying up to a birther, flat-earther right-wing lunatic like Jerome Corsi? Perhaps his failure to gain a real, sustained bump from his “victory” in the first debate (and his son’s failure to kill Barack Obama with his preternatural powers) has convinced him to consult one of the most vicious character assassins in the right-wing Legion of Dumb. It’s a desperate, despicable act by a guy who’s scraping the bottom of the barrel in his campaign for the presidency.
I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.
Sure, sounds all nice and innocent, doesn’t it? Just inform them. That’s all.
Funny how some employers have been taking it on themselves to not just inform their employees about who they think is a better candidate for teir economic interests—but have also leaned on their employees to let them know it is really, really in their economic interest to vote for the guy their employer picks. As in, vote the way we say, or you may get fired.
It sounds extortionate to me—and it is. Economic threats are a form of voter intimidation, and that, in turn is electoral fraud. And that is some serious business. People marched, went on hunger strikes, faced lynch mobs for the right to vote in this country. They were burdened with poll taxes and subjected to harassment for their desire to participate in our democracy—
And here comes the Mitt Romney answer to that history—if you are employed by someone else, well screw you and your so-called right to vote. You like eating, don’t you? You like a paycheck don’t you? Then don’t come crying to Mitt freaking Romney if you peons are too dumb to know what side your bread is buttered on. It’s his turn, don’t you know!
After all the cracks from his surrogates regarding whether the president is American enough—let me just come out with it: Who’s got the funny idea about what America stands for? Who thinks the right to vote should be subject to the whims of one’s employer? Who stood in front of a crowd of coal miners (prolly the same folks he mentioned in last night’s debate) who were compelled to be there without pay? Who says he will create jobs with one breath and that he likes firing people with the next? Whose old company is making American workers train their foreign replacements?
I think you can see where I’m going with that. But you know, it’s not like I’m the boss of you, so…
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”
~Jedi Philosopher and Teacher, Yoda
This is a couple of days old, but it’s been stewing in my neurons looking for a place of ventilation:
No, Ma’am, you study it out (is this a colloquial thing?) The woman in the above clip believes, much in the fashion of Alan Keyes or Victoria Jackson, that our President, Barack Obama, is in fact, a cryptocommiemuslimofascist. She can’t quite put her finger on what makes him a communist, and yet she knows. He’s also, for what it’s worth, not an American—no matter where he was born.
Which I think has always been the point. There’s a very particular definition of communist” and “American” at work here—and it’s always been beyond irony. It’s impossible to pwn, being self-pwning, solipsistic, tautological, and f’d up. The mental progression goes a little like this:
1) Anything not conservative (Republican) is communist.
Conservatives are determined to avoid the spanking they received in the 2008 presidential election especially after their 2010 mid-term elections success strengthened their belief that they are still a viable political force in 21st century America. As most politicians will tell you, though, mid-term elections are decidedly not reliable barometers of general election success. So, the Republican Party is taking no chances in 2012 and has kicked a well-orchestrated, well-funded national effort to suppress Democratic voting into overdrive.
Conservative legislators have been busy introducing and passing legislation that: create new barriers for those registering to vote, shut down early voting periods that allow more blue-collar workers to fit voting into their schedules, impose new requirements for already-registered voters, and even rig the Electoral College in select states. Of course the architects of such measures to disenfranchise as many potential voters among certain groups, such as college students, low-income voters, and minorities, as possible don’t call it disenfranchisement - that would be un-American. They call it a civic-minded attempt to prevent “voter fraud” a nearly non-existent problem in this country, as many have already pointed out.
Up until recently, America has had a fairly good reputation for augmenting voting rights rather than constricting them. Seven separate Constitutional amendments have been enacted over time to improve our electoral system and to expand the pool of Americans eligible to participate.
But suddenly, in 2011 and continuing into 2012, 38 states have introduced legislation designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process, with over a dozen of those states succeeding in passing such bills. Many of these laws are being drafted and spread through corporate-backed entities such as the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. ALEC charges corporations such as Koch Industries Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and The Coca-Cola Co. a fee and gives them access to members of state legislatures. Under ALEC’s auspices, legislators, corporate representatives, and ALEC officials work together to draft model legislation.
Indeed ALEC’s model Voter ID legislation, which was approved by the ALEC board of directors in late 2009, has been cited as the legislative model from groups ranging from Tea Party organizations to legislators proposing the actual legislation such as Wisconsin’s Voter ID proposal from Republican state Rep. Stone and Republican state Sen. Joe Leibham.
Even earlier Republicans like George W. Bush actually prioritized the conviction of voter fraud to the point where two U.S. attorneys were allegedly fired in 2004 for failing to pursue electoral fraud cases at the level required by then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ashcroft’s efforts produced only 95 defendants, nationwide, charged with election-fraud. Nevertheless, news reports from 2007 pointed out that simply “pursuing an investigation can be just as effective as a conviction in providing that ammunition and creating an impression with the public that some sort of electoral reform is necessary.”
Numerous civil rights organizations, like the ACLU, have realized some success in blunting Republicans’ legislative efforts and preventing many new laws from affecting the 2012 election by forcing lengthy judicial reviews, however, that does not mean that those laws are ultimately overturned.
Most Americans have become aware of these legislative attempts to suppress voting because, to some extent, they are personally impacted. On the other hand, not that many Americans are aware of the massive ground-game that is going on and that they had best prepare themselves for election day . . .