Vulture/Voucher 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

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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Thursday, October 25, 2012

I was just polled by Americans for Prosperity!

First, my lovely and highly productive hens:

image

Now for the poll: A volunteer from the Koch-sucker AFP group called me awhile back and asked if I thought President Obama’s policies had made the economy better or worse. I said I thought they had definitely made the economy better after Bush and his pals trashed the joint.

She then asked me if I planned to vote, and I told her I certainly did. She asked if I planned to vote early, and I replied that I would have already voted if I could have, but thanks to Tea Party-backed nitwit Governor Scott’s villainous attempt to exclude as many working people as possible by cutting the early voting period, I’d have to wait until tomorrow.

I then said I would be at the polls bright and early to cast my ballot. She wished me a pleasant evening, and I wished her the same.

Open thread!

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 10/25/12 at 04:37 PM
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Categories: CrittersPoliticsElection '12MittensVulture/Voucher 2012

McCain Seethes While Powell Endorses Feckless Guy! Wait Till Walnuts Sees WashPo

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Via TPM:

“General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime.”

Thus spaketh the Emperor Walnuts, depicted above standing a heartbeat away from noted foreign policy expert Winkerbelle Von Putinspotter.

Curiously, at that very instant, thousands of miles away, in a luxury Dallas condo, another scion of a more accomplished father woke up from a nap, choked up a pretzel, and called, “Laura, git me a Q-tip er somethin—there’s fire ants in mah ears!”

Delicious chewy Washpo endorsement quotes below the fold. Mmmmm. Yummy.

read the whole post »

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 10/25/12 at 12:39 PM
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Conservatives Cannot Comprehend Consent

Conservatives cannot comprehend the concept of consent- this is evident in their parsing of the word “rape”, their inventing categories of the crime in an attempt to trivialize a woman’s role as a moral agent.  Conservatives have a problem distinguishing consensual sex from rape and see a sinister sexual agenda in harmless, indeed harm-reducing policies.  They employ crude, violent sexual imagery to describe the voting decisions of popularly elected officials.  Even while conservatives spout their creepy, sexualized characterizations of “Obamacare”, they attempt to pass laws that mandate invasive, coercive “medical” procedures.

Yes, conservatives have a problem with the concept of consent to the extent that the Republican vice presidential (and a Wisconsin congressional) candidate considers rape merely “another form of conception”:


If the GOP ticket wins, legislators who wish to redefine rape won’t receive credible opposition from the executive branch- this should give pause to any voter who values an individual’s right to self-determination.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 10/25/12 at 06:22 AM
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RW Bloggers Frothing Over Facts of Obama “Horses and Bayonets” Statement

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.

read the whole post »

Posted by marindenver on 10/23/12 at 05:51 PM
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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope. It’s a deflated gasbag!

Or possibly an omen?

Earlier today:

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Romney blimp turning heads in South Florida
Mitt Romney leads President Obama in latest Florida polls

MIAMI - Flying high in the polls, Mitt Romney was also flying high over the streets of South Florida Friday morning.

A blimp with the headline “America needs Romney” was seen flying over Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

The blimp is the first sign that South Florida will take center stage in the political universe over the next few days.

This evening:

Mitt Romney blimp makes emergency landing near Fort Lauderdale

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.

The Sun Sentinel adds:

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.”

Oh the humanity!

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/21/12 at 09:34 PM
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ADD Wars

This, the first post-Citizens United American election, has been one long experiment with democracy. It’s too early to call any firm conclusions so far, and superPACs’ activities aren’t restricted to paying for advertising, but it’s becoming apparent that success cannot be measured purely in terms of the amount of money you can throw at the media.

A few days ago, The Atlantic published an article about the differing effects of the two campaigns’ advertising, citing a study by researchers Qualtrics (PDF) and Evolving Strategies:

They found that Obama’s ads were working to sway swing voters, while Romney’s were not—and the Koch Brothers-backed GOP super PAC, Americans for Prosperity, didn’t help Romney either.

The study exposed 2,300 voters to Romney and Obama ads on three themes—Medicare, economic plans, and economy-based attacks on the other candidate—as well as the Americans for Prosperity ad, “Disappointed.” A control group didn’t see any ads. All the respondents were either pure independents or weak partisans; none were strong Democrats or Republicans.

Obama’s ads overall had the desired effect: They increased his share of the vote by six points while decreasing Romney’s share of the vote by 8 points on average. Romney’s ads, meanwhile, had no statistically significant effect on the survey respondents. The survey sample began the experiment favoring Romney by a 47-42 margin; after watching both candidates’ ads, they favored Obama, 48-41.

This may go some way toward explaining the split that national pollsters are finding between the north and the south, where it looks like Romney’s winning hard in the Republicans’ southern heartland, but not so much in the swing states:

There was a silver lining for Romney, however. His ads didn’t convert swing voters, but they did persuade voters who picked John McCain in 2008 to vote for Romney this time around. Obama’s ads had no impact on his supporters’ enthusiasm.

In fact, some of these ads may be backfiring:

As for the super PAC [AFP], with friends like these, Romney may not need enemies. The Americans for Prosperity ad features testimonials from Obama voters who say the president has let them down. The study found it had no effect on the vote overall and actually hurt Romney with women voters. The only positive effect of the ad was a large increase in enthusiasm among males who voted for McCain in 2008. “Surprisingly, the ‘Disappointed’ ad is terrible as a soft-edged appeal to swing voters, but seems to be very effective red meat for male voters in Romney’s base,” the study notes.

When it comes to Web ads, the aims are different. Obviously there’s a hope that some will go viral and peel off some undecideds via social media etc., but generally they’re aimed at bolstering the base and helping GOTV efforts. With ads of the quality of this one doing the rounds, we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out:

Posted by YAFB on 10/21/12 at 07:42 AM
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bottom of the Birther Barrel

Just when you think Mitt Romney can’t sink any lower, he manages to outdo himself… this time by inviting right-wing conspiracy-theorist whackaloon Jerome Corsi to join his press corps.

For those unfamiliar with Jerome Corsi’s oeuvre, he is a senior writer for right-wing paranoid site World Net Daily, characterized by Salon’s Alex Pareene as the biggest, dumbest wingnut site on the web and known pejoratively as World Nut Daily.  Corsi is also a staple guest on late night lunatic radio programs. 

Corsi first gained notoriety for his slanderous hit piece on John Kerry, and has kept up the sliming during President Obama’s term in the White House.  He then went full birther boogie on the president and assembled a posse conmantatus to investigate the circumstances of the Kenyan Usurper’s birth.  Corsi has also written articles and recorded videos claiming that Barack Obama is gay, and was married to a Pakistani man.  His latest book is a pseudoscientific screed claiming that “abiotic oil” production is feasible... funny how right-wing cranks see no contradictions in citing Soviet authorities or even, at the risk of a Godwin’s Law violation, lauding Nazi science.

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.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 10/18/12 at 04:57 AM
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mitt Romney Endorses Electoral Fraud.  No, Seriously.

So this is the hot, new, secret thing Mitt Romney said when he thought only his selected audience was listening:

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…

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/17/12 at 09:34 PM
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Standing on the Corpses of Giants Part III: The Transcript Truthers

Having invested so much effort in seeking to exploit the tragic deaths during the 9/11 Benghazi US consulate attack over the past few weeks, Mitt Romney and his followers thought he had president Obama cornered last night during the second Presidential Debate. It ... didn’t work out so well (transcript from TPM).

MR. ROMNEY: ... I think it’s interesting the president just said something which is that on the day after the attack, he went in the Rose Garden and said that this was an act of terror. You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed.

MR. ROMNEY: Is that what you’re saying?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please proceed, Governor.

MR. ROMNEY: I – I – I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Get the transcript.

MS. CROWLEY: It – he did in fact, sir.

So let me – let me call it an act of terrorism – (inaudible) –

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Can you say that a little louder, Candy? (Laughter, applause.)

Now, for some reason, after the event moderator Candy Crowley felt she had to walk back her devastating factcheck of Romney’s claim.* Media Matters has already covered the flailing post-debate pushback about this issue from the usual suspects—Malkin, the Breitbartlets, Fox News, Romney’s own camp—calling them “Transcript Truthers”. Judge for yourself.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/17/12 at 12:43 AM
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Live Blogging the Presidential Debate Here!! At Rumproast!!  Tonight!!  Tune in Y’all!!

Live coverage will begin around 8:30 ET.  For those feeling a leetle skittish about Mittbot’s seeeming surge of late, let the Big Dawg explain the flawed math behind Romney’s great tax plan and soothe your nerves a little:

Still have questions?  John Cole has found a valuable source of information regarding the specifics of Romney’s plan right here.  Heh.

Drink if you must (and I’m not sure who mustn’t), grab some popcorn and a cushy seat and tune in later this evening for some Roastie comaraderie.

Posted by marindenver on 10/16/12 at 04:09 PM
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Standing on the Corpses of Giants Part II: Politician Takes Responsibility—Republicans Astonished

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!

Mitt Romney, from the Mother Jones “secret video”:

... 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!

Form of a human—Mittbot transform!

Romney Chokes Up Recalling Fallen Navy SEAL

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:

Pesky humans:

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.”

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/16/12 at 08:38 AM
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Malarkey? Why Mr. Ryan, You’re Soaking In It

Shining On The Voters


Big plans for cutting funds for WIC, Food Stamps, and voucherizing Medicare? What could be a smarter move for ingratiating yourself with the organizations you would overburden than barging into a soup kitchen and pretending to clean stuff for the cameras? Oh Gods Of Metaphor, you must be laughing like Scranton Joe.

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 10/15/12 at 11:10 PM
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Romney Camp: Standing on the Corpses of Giants

ThinkProgress catches Romney surrogate Rudy “A Noun and a Verb, and 9/11” Giuliani being just a tad too candid from the safe confines of Fox News.

BILL HEMMER (HOST): David Axelrod made the claim Mitt Romney is doing his best to exploit this. Is there argument to be made there? How was this handled on?

GIULIANI: He should be, he should be exploiting it. I mean, there is real chance, there is a cover-up here. They’re trying to run out the clock. Hillary Clinton appoints a commission that will investigate. They will not report until next January or February.

The appropriate course of action would naturally be to come to conclusions before bothering to conduct any investigation, following the lead of Darrell Issa.

Meanwhile, Fox Nation has apparently outsourced its content provision to Babelfish:*

WaPo Juices Another Poll for Another Obama Nothing

In the third-from-the-bottom paragraph in the Washington Post’s article — the 17th paragraph — on its new poll out this morning, showing President Obama leading, 49 percent to 46 percent, among likely voters:

Partisan identification fluctuates from poll to poll as basic orientations shift and with the sampling variability that accompanies each randomly selected sample of voters. In the current poll, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nine percentage points among likely voters; the previous three Post-ABC polls had three-, six- and five-percentage-point edges for Democrats. The presidential contest would now be neck and neck nationally with any of these margins.

Any help on this ... Jennifer Rubin?

Jennifer Rubin @JRubinBlogger

under the Post’s poll manipulator if you go to D +3 (still very generous) Romney is up by 2 where just about every other poll is

Me neither. It seems a rather wordy translation of WAAAAH.

Talking of running out the clock, Mitt Romney is rapidly running out of quiet Fridays on which to drop his tax returns—at this stage, just one full set is obviously far more than you people deserve.

Too much crazy out there for me to cover right now. HALP!

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/15/12 at 09:06 AM
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

If You Knew Mitt Like They Knew Mitt: Republicans Slam Romney

Posted by YAFB on 10/13/12 at 10:29 PM
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