Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last Call

Here's some nice depressing news before we go for the night:

The average Bush tax cut in 2011 for a taxpayer in the richest one percent is greater than the average income of the other 99 percent ($66,384 compared to $58,506).

You see why the GOP will do anything to protect the one percenters from the rest of us.  A whole lof ot Republican fat cats on Capitol Hill fall into that 1% to boot.

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

An Open (Wide) And Shut Case

I'm trying to figure out why we need a blue-ribbon commission here to determine what happened in the UC Davis pepper spray case, but that's the way the UC Davis admins want to play it.

Former LAPD Chief William J. Bratton will head a UC-sponsored investigation into the controversial pepper spraying of student protesters last week at UC Davis, university officials announced Tuesday.

Bratton is to lead an independent review of the incident and report results within a month, said UC President Mark G. Yudof. Bratton, who also served as police chief in New York City, now heads the New York-based Kroll security consulting firm.

The goal is to provide “an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis,” Yudof said in a statement.

The results are "Lt. John Pike pepper sprayed a bunch of students sitting on the sidewalk like they were offending weeds growing between the cracks" and that Chancellet Linda Katehi should resign.  It's not really that hard, guys.  Katehi's too busy blaming her campus police to take responsibility.  Funny how that works.


Mittens Goes All In On The Media

The Romney campaign response to their latest false attack ad?  You paid attention to us, ergo we win.

The offending moment comes when Obama says "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." That was a quote from a way-too-honest McCain adviser that Obama loved to repeat on the trail. By evening, the ad had been attacked, derided, parodied, and ruled "pants on fire" worthy by Politifact. The Romney campaign could have cared less.

"We want to engage the president," explained Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom in the spin room. "We look at him as our rival. It's all deliberate; it was all very intentional."

Romney adviser Ron Kaufman, an RNC committee member and longtime operative, simply said that the ad "worked."

"They always squeal the most when you hold a mirror up to them," he said, "and they overreacted, clearly. All they did was make the ad more effective."

"There was a time when the Obama campaign had real discipline," joked Stuart Stevens, a senior Romney strategist. "Today was a total meltdown. You had the press secretary to the president of the United States talking about an ad that was running on one station in New Hampshire. There was a time when Jay [Carney, a former reporter for Time] wouldn't even have written about this. Total meltdown. It's as if you have somebody on a witness stand, accused of anger management issues, and he jumps off the stand and comes after you."

If the President's camp ignores the lies, Team Romney claims victory.  If they respond, Team Romney claims victory.  No matter what, Team Romney claims victory.  It's how spin works.

Why is anyone surprised that the McCain-Palin campaign model is exactly what Romney is following, with a year left to go?  Prepare for more as Romney continues to declare himself the default GOP candidate.

Of course, the far right isn't exactly going down without a fight, either.  The Village's response to Romney's victory lap?  Ugly.

Representatives for leading social conservative groups in Iowa held a secret meeting Monday as part of an effort with one main goal: find and support a Republican presidential candidate who can stop Mitt Romney in Iowa.

The idea: avoid splintering the conservative vote in the state by rallying around one GOP rival who could win Iowa's Jan. 3 caucus and then challenge Romney in New Hampshire and the other early voting states.

Many social conservatives and other religious leaders in the state have openly labeled the former Massachusetts governor as a "flip-flopper," a criticism the campaign frequently beats back, while others have seen Romney's Mormon faith as an issue. And many of them have openly hoped for someone to emerge as a viable alternative to the former Massachusetts governor.

CNN reached out to the Romney campaign for reaction to the secret meeting and the overall anti-Romney effort.

Anybody But Romney is now officially pulling into high gear, and right now that "anybody" is Newt Gingrich.  Should get interesting here.

The Newest Fear Regarding Gay Marriage... Marrying The Eiffel Tower?

One of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to scaring people into not supporting gay marriage is using the "slippery slope" method.

You tell people that if gay marriage is made legal, it's only a matter of time before the state or country will be full of polygamists or men marrying turtles, as Bill O'Reilly has suggested, or, as Michele Bachmann's new Iowa campaign Co-Chair, Tamara Scott, is warning, women marrying the Eiffel Tower.

In a new video, brought to our attention by, Scott, who also serves as the director of Iowa's Concern Women for America chapter, speaks with Bob Vander Plaats, the head of The Family Leader.

Because that's a real concern. A slippery slope I'd like to see is what we would have if the GOP stopped telling people how they should conduct their private lives. Let that slip into people making decisions, and slip into people being responsible for their decisions, and the next thing you know we would have independent adults who can (gasp) make their own choices.

I would be ashamed to have my name attached to this as anything but the person who mocked it publicly.


Bachmann: The Musical

NEW YORK -- Jimmy Fallon's house band The Roots appear not to be fans of Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann.

As Bachmann strode on to the stage for an appearance on Fallon's "Late Night" early Tuesday, the show's band played a snippet of a Fishbone song called "Lyin' Ass Bitch."

The song begins with a distinctive "la la la la la la la la la" refrain - the only words audible before Bachmann, smiling and waving to the audience, sat down. The song itself, about a relationship gone wrong, isn't political.

So I'm old and out of touch with new music.  This might be enough to bring me back and support The Roots, just for having a  rocking sense of humor.

The Latest Pyramid Scheme

Egypt's ruling military council is promising to turn things over to a civilian government next June rather than December 2012, but that's not good enough for Cairo protesters who wisely aren't buying it.

Egypt's army chief, seeking to defuse street protests that have left 37 dead, promised a swifter handover to civilian rule but failed to convince thousands of hardcore demonstrators, some of whom battled police through the night.

One man was killed in clashes early on Wednesday in the second city Alexandria, one of several towns that saw unrest.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who has run the ruling military council since mass protests unseated his long-time ally Hosni Mubarak in February, made a faltering televised address on Tuesday in which he promised a civilian president would be elected in June, about six months sooner than planned.

Confirming Egypt's first free parliamentary election in decades will start on Monday, the council also accepted the resignation of the civilian prime minister and his cabinet, who had incensed democrats with a short-lived proposal that the army remain beyond civilian control under any new constitution.

But Tantawi angered many of the youthful demonstrators on Cairo's Tahrir Square and in other cities by suggesting a referendum on whether military rule should end earlier - a move many saw as a ploy to appeal to the many Egyptians who fear further upheaval and to divide those from the young activists.

Egypt's protesters want civilian rule ASAP.  June's not going to cut it, either.  This is going to get ugly, fast, folks.

Through A Teleprompter, Dorkly

At this point we've taken a right turn at the evil mirror universe and ended up in the really, really sad reality where a major party "frontrunner" is lying about their own name.

Responding to Wolf Blitzer’s own self-introduction — in which Wolf said “and yes, that is my real name” — Romney began: “I’m Mitt Romney — and yes Wolf, that’s also my first name.”

Except Romney’s first name is “Willard,” and “Mitt” is his middle name.

Franz Kafka would have cracked by now, Francis Bacon would have run from the room screaming, and I'm pretty sure Oscar Wilde would have chewed off his own leg after just three of these debates.  Makes me feel pretty good about my being able to continue to stomach the Abyss here, but it's not just staring back, it has position papers written by Cthulhu.

It's enough to drive a man mad.


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