Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last Call

Here's your scary Halloween story for the night:  The Most Wrong Man In America is predicting a Romney landslide.  And he actually used the term “landslide”.

Voters have figured out that President Obama has no message, no agenda and not even much of an explanation for what he has done over the past four years. His campaign is based entirely on persuading people that Mitt Romney is a uniquely bad man, entirely dedicated to the rich, ignorant of the problems of the average person. As long as he could run his negative ads, the campaign at least kept voters away from the Romney bandwagon. But once we all met Mitt Romney for three 90-minute debates, we got to know him — and to like him. He was not the monster Obama depicted, but a reasonable person for whom we could vote.

You have to love his awesome little bubble of unreality.

Or will the Romney momentum grow and wash into formerly safe Democratic territory in New Jersey and Oregon?

Nice choice of phrase, Dick.  And sure, Romney will get 350 EVs because ARGLE AND THE BLARGLE.  Even better, he’s calling for the GOP to pick up six Senate seats in the wake of Romney’s long, long coattails.

I mean, why wouldn’t we give Morris the benefit of the doubt over Nate Silver or this empty can of Diet Coke with Lime?  Morris has a long, long track record of being completely full of garbage.  But it’s a long track record, so Nate Silver is a wimp because SHUT UP LIBTARDS.

So yes, now that Toesucker here has called it for Romney, President Obama is spiking that there football.

Scary stuff.

Rocked You Like A Hurricane

I'm going to have to agree with Alyssa Rosenberg about the morbid practice of sending reporters into storms.

There was something supremely strange yesterday about the spectacle of CNN’s chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi, standing outside in Atlantic City and getting battered by the rain from Hurricane Sandy. It’s odd enough that news networks drop all other subjects, foreign and domestic, when a big storm bears down on the U.S. (not that such storms shouldn’t be covered). But there’s something particularly strange about the decision to focus on on-the-ground reporters, rather than on reporting on actual disaster management, most of the decisions about which are made inside government and non-profit offices, rather than at the edge of bodies of water. And it’s particularly strange that we’ve focused on making reporters take risks that carry with them very little possible information reward.

And of course it's not the information reward that matters,we just like seeing the poor miserable people on the TV screen get blown around and occasionally they might even die or something.  We're ghouls on Halloween.


Guys This Is Quality Denial Here, Not That Cheap Crap

The wingers have their new marching orders for the rest of the week:  early voting numbers that favor the Democrats don't matter, because SHUT UP LIBTARDS.

Democrats more than Republicans are getting their most loyal supporters to vote early, but with polls showing a close race among those who have voted so far, concerns are being raised about a GOP tsunami on the actual Election Day, next Tuesday.

According to a GOP analysis of early voting and absentee ballot requests provided to Secrets, the Democrats are turning out their most reliable, or so-called "high propensity voters" than Republicans, leaving fewer for Election Day. The GOP is pushing weaker supporters to vote early, expecting high enthusiasm to drive their regular supporters to the polls next week.

And on Election Day, no Democrats will actually vote

From the beginning, I've questioned the strategic choices of the Romney campaign. I think they've made dozens of wrongheaded decisions. They have completely failed to emphasize certain issues which would've helped them with key constituencies, they've reacted in knee jerk fashion to attacks, and they allowed Romney to be defined negatively in the late summer in a way which could still prove too large an obstacle to overcome. But as much as I question their strategic minds, it's been clear from day one that Romney's operational prowess is second to none, and getting out the vote isn't a question of strategy but operation. Even given that the state Republican parties are shouldering much of this effort, and even given all the advantages Team Obama was likely to have in that arena, if Team Romney could end up close to matching them in this respect, we could be looking at an undertow election like none we've seen before. This would reflect not so much a groundswell as a cave-in, one where independents did not shift to Romney but away from Obama, where the bottom truly drops out of the Obama effort, and the story the left focuses on for the next year is why in the world those people stayed home.

So yeah, Republicans figure all of us are going to just not bother to show up and let the GOP run the country into the ground.  This is in fact their master plan for winning next week.

This is really their entire plan.  If you consider all the voter intimidation and suppression, it's literally their entire plan.

Luckily, we actually can do something about it.

Privacy Stupidity - Who Needs Warrants?

CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that it was reasonable for Drug Enforcement Administration agents to enter rural property without permission -- and without a warrant -- to install multiple "covert digital surveillance cameras" in hopes of uncovering evidence that 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown.
This is the latest case to highlight how advances in technology are causing the legal system to rethink how Americans' privacy rights are protected by law. In January, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless GPS tracking after previously rejecting warrantless thermal imaging, but it has not yet ruled on warrantless cell phone tracking or warrantless use of surveillance cameras placed on private property without permission.
Yesterday Griesbach adopted a recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan dated October 9. That recommendation said that the DEA's warrantless surveillance did not violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and requires that warrants describe the place that's being searched.
"The Supreme Court has upheld the use of technology as a substitute for ordinary police surveillance," Callahan wrote.

Dangerous precedents are being set and upheld.  I don't want to get all tinfoil hat on you, but if we don't get some protection from our own government and police, we will never enjoy a private conversation again. This is unforgivable.

Stupidity Begets Stupidity

The child was hit with the taser probes during a demonstration earlier this year at Tularosa Elementary School, where Officer Christopher Webb spoke to groups of students in the school playground about gun and taser safety.
While Webb claimed the taser “accidentally discharged,” the victim’s lawyers charge that the cop was recklessly joking around with students when the boy was struck with two electrified barbs.
Webb reportedly asked a group of students who would like to clean his patrol unit. While a group of boys said they would, the victim--identified as “R.D.” by his lawyers--“jokingly said that he did not want to clean the patrol unit,” according to a Santa Fe District Court lawsuit.
In response, Webb allegedly pointed his taser at the boy and said, “Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.” The 44-year-old cop then fired his Taser X26 model.
You can't make this stuff up, folks.  The lawsuit seems a bit dramatic, but holy cow... what cop says something like that and fires a weapon at a child?  Aren't you always supposed to treat your weapon like it's loaded?

Idiot.  Jackass.

Snow White And The Seven Jawas

And Disney has bought Lucasfilm LTD for $4 billion and change, with the promise of a seventh Star Wars film in 2015.

Disney has acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The film studio was previously owned entirely by George Lucas, the creator of the iconic Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. Lucas will continue to work at Lucasfilm, serving as creative consultant.

Star Wars: Episode 7 is planned for release in 2015, followed by Episodes 8 and 9. Disney hopes to continue releasing new Star Wars feature films every two to three years.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas said in a statement. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime.”

Lucas said he was confident that Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will continue to successfully expand the franchise after becoming the new president of the film studio. Kennedy will report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

“Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products,” Lucas added.

It can't be worse than midichlorians, pod racing, and Jar-Jar Binks. I say, bring it.

The Kitchen Sink

Democratic party aligned Super PAC American Bridge takes off the gloves and goes right after tying Mitt Romney to the more odious Republican opinions on women.

The American Bridge spot ties Romney to Rep. Todd Akin's (R-MO) "legitmate rape" comment (used to justify oppostion to aboriton rights in the case of rape), Rep. Joe Walsh's (R-IL) contention that a woman's life cannot be at risk due pregnancy (used to justify health exemptions for a total ban on abortion rights) and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock's line about rape, conception and God's will. Viewers are directed to Bridge's microsite, which includes more videos on GOP positions on rape and abortion.

Romney favors eceptions to abortion bans in the case of rape, incest and when the mother's life is at risk, but his attempts to moderate himself against the most conservative voices in his party on the issue have been difficult thanks to the Akins and Mourdocks of the world as the Bridge ad illustrates.

You think?

And no, there's no daylight between Mitt and Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock.  Mitt Romney himself has made that perfectly clear.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last Call

Jonah Goldberg decides he's all manly and stuff and demands to know why the media hasn't impeached President Obama over Benghazi yet and crowned Romney king.

If you want to understand why conservatives have lost faith in the so-called mainstream media, you need to ponder the question: Where is the Benghazi feeding frenzy?

Unlike some of my colleagues on the right, I don't think there's a conspiracy at work. Rather, I think journalists tend to act on their instincts (some even brag about this; you could look it up). And, collectively, the mainstream media's instincts run liberal, making groupthink inevitable.

To recap, the author of the book "Liberal Fascism" wants to know why his incomplete and misleading media narrative (created solely by groupthink, mind you) hasn't led to total vindication of his viewpoint yet, thus vindicating his viewpoint totally that the media is biased against conservative groupthink.

This is the media critic equivalent of constructing an entire book out of the sentence "The liberal acknowledgement that the federal government has a place in modern American society is admission of their complete guilt in helping that government destroy all freedoms."

Which, Goldberg actually did, and was paid money to do so.

He then goes on to complain that the media covered Bush's drunk driving incident 12 years ago, which is proof of everything he's ever said, Q.E.D.  You know, except for the part where it prevented Bush from being elected so that he couldn't actually use the federal government as a tool to destroy freedoms over the next 8 years.  He ignores that, of course.  But he ends with this critique of NBC'sDavid Gregory:

I am willing to believe that journalists like Gregory are sincere in their desire to play it straight. But among those who don't share his instincts, it's hard to distinguish between conspiracy and groupthink. Indeed, it's hard to think why one should even bother trying to make that distinction at all.

I know going after Jonah here is pretty much like hitting a pinata the size of a Canadian province with a sniper rifle at a range of roughly 2 feet, but it doesn't mean there's not sweet candy inside that must be liberated from its oppression.  I mean, it's really not hard to get a large white t-shirt, write KING OF ALL PROJECTION FOREVER on it in black marker, and then put it on the guy.

But these things must be done.

Queen Ann And Education

When's the last time you heard a potential First Lady talk like this about America's schools.

I’ve been a First Lady of the State. I have seen what happens to people’s lives if they don’t get a proper education. And we know the answers to that. The charter schools have provided the answers. The teachers’ unions are preventing those things from happening, from bringing real change to our educational system. We need to throw out the system.

But of course, the Romneys are going to be moderates.  When's the last time you heard a First Lady slag teachers as the problem in the US?  That's crazy, crazy stuff...but Queen Ann has spoken.

We need to throw out the system.  Because if teachers get paid less, that's sure to attract more qualified people to become teachers, right?

Jesus.  These people are mad.

Personhood Non Grata

The US Supreme Court punted Monday on Oklahoma's state "personhood" constitutional amendment being struck down unanimously by the state's Supreme Court.

The Liberty Counsel appealed the case to the Supreme Court on behalf of Personhood Oklahoma after the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down the proposed ballot initiative earlier this year.

The ballot initiative sought to amend the Oklahoma Constitution by granting fertilized eggs and embryos the same constitutional rights as people. If ratified by voters, the amendment would have completely outlawed abortion under any circumstances.

“The issue is not about the merits of personhood but about whether a state court can interfere with the rights of citizens to gather signatures to amend their constitutions. On the issue, the Oklahoma Supreme Court decision is wrong. But this is by no means the end of the road in Oklahoma. Personhood initiatives will continue to expand throughout the country,” Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel said.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the ballot initiative violated the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the right to have an abortion.

Legislation similar to the “fetal personhood” ballot measure passed in the Oklahoma Senate in February by a 34-8 vote. However, Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele and the State House Republican Caucus decided not to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

The problem of course is that eventually one of these cases will end up in front of SCOTUS, and there's four built-in votes to grant personhood and end abortion completely, not to mention to set up the criminalization of contraception and miscarriage.  Should Romney be elected, that number will increase, and then it's game over for most of the civil rights based decisions of the last century.

Of course, the number of women who will still vote for Romney will be in the tens of millions next week, something to keep in mind.

Betty McCaskill Dies At 84

Claire McCaskill's mother, Betty, passed away yesterday.  She was 84 years old.

Sen. McCaskill said of her mother in a statement from her campaign: "For some time, mom's health has not been good, and our family takes comfort that she is now at rest. People all over the state have asked about her, and their prayers and concern have been greatly appreciated. Mom never met a stranger and lived life with enthusiasm that none of us could match."
Betty was an active figure in local politics, and Claire McCaskill has always referred to her mother as a major inspiration.  She had taken time off quietly to share her mother's final days, and hasn't said when she will resume her scheduled appearances.

All That Glitters

British police arrested convicted sex offender and former pop star Gary Glitter on Sunday as part of an investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, media said.
Glitter was released on bail some 10 hours later. But the arrest -- the first to be reported in the case -- widened a scandal that has already damaged the reputation of the publicly-funded BBC and the legacy of Savile, a former DJ who was one of the broadcaster's top show hosts and a prolific charity fundraiser.
Accusations have moved Glitter from place to place.  It's not know whether he's guilty, but it's certainly known that he has a past that will eventually catch up to him.  Though he's made it to 68 without any serious time, I suppose anything is possible.

Outbreak Break Out

Exactly how many people have to die across the country due to a fungal meningitis infection in back pain medicine, all caused by lack of oversight of the pharmaceutical industry, before this article saying that it "may" lead to more protections for consumers becomes "should" or "must"?

Inconsistent state oversight of specialty pharmacies that mix their own medicines, like the one linked to the U.S. meningitis outbreak, shows the need for greater federal oversight, Representative Edward Markey said.

State pharmacy boards focus on licensing activities and pay little attention to safety enforcement, said Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, where the pharmacy linked to 25 meningitis deaths is located. Markey, in a report released yesterday, said the federal Food and Drug Administration does a better job making information publicly available that may help consumers avoid dangerous medicines.

Markey plans to introduce legislation that would require compounding pharmacies to register with the FDA and comply with minimum safety standards. The move adds to other legislative proposals and two congressional investigations related to New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc., known as NECC, which this month recalled more than 17,000 vials of a steroid for back pain after tainted doses were linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that has infected 354 people, including 25 deaths.

“The tragedy of NECC is clearly just the tip of an industry iceberg that has long needed reform and federal oversight,” Markey said in a statement. “This tragedy demands the strongest response from Congress and federal and state authorities to ensure safeguards are in place to protect patients.” 

And of course Republicans will say no new oversight is needed, and that New England Compounding will be put out of business by the hand of the free market, and that the problem solves itself, right?  Surely the industry will police itself now.  Which is of course, how we got into this problem in the first place.

Yeah, sure, a dozen or so people had to needlessly die, but you break a few eggs and stuff.

Moving on.

The Brains Behind Mitt

Firefly creator, filmmaker and TV writer Joss Whedon thinks Mitt Romney's the best candidate for driving America forward...

...driving us forward into the zombie apocalypse.

“I don’t pretend to see the future,” Whedon says. “No one knows for sure if they’ll be the super fast ’28 Days Later’ zombies, or the old school shambling kind. But they’ll be out there, and they’ll need brains.”

He continues: “So, whether you’re a small business man just trying to keep his doors open; a single mom so concerned with her son’s welfare that she’ll run to embrace him when he’s clearly infected and going to bite her; or a strung out ex-military type who’s been out there too long and is taking the same kind of damn fool chances that’ll get us all killed — you need ask yourself, ‘Am I ready… for the purity and courage of Mitt Romney’s apocalyptic vision?’”

“Mitt’s ready,” Whedon concludes. “He’s not afraid to face a ravening, grasping horde of subhumans, because that’s how he sees poor people already. Let’s all embrace the future, stop pretending we care about each other and start hoarding canned goods, because if Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the zombies will come for all of us.”

Well played, Mr. Whedon.  Well played.

Robot/Zombie '12?  More like Zombie/Zombie '12.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Last Call

As Hurricane Sandy ravages the East Coast today causing rain, wind, and snow damage from Columbus, Ohio to Augusta, Maine, keep in mind what President Romney's response to the storm would be.

During a CNN debate at the height of the GOP primary, Mitt Romney was asked, in the context of the Joplin disaster and FEMA's cash crunch, whether the agency should be shuttered so that states can individually take over responsibility for disaster response.

"Absolutely," he said. "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 the opposite question, what should we keep?"

"Including disaster relief, though?" debate moderator John King asked Romney.

"We cannot -- we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids," Romney replied. "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."

Privatize FEMA because disaster relief is immoral unless we cut something else from the budget.  So if you live in Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, where your vote is crucial this year, you might want to keep that in mind.  At best, his plan is to leave national disasters up to states to deal with.

You're own your own under a Romney administration.  Nothing united about these states in a disaster.

Your choice, America.

Marines Prepare For Zombie Apocalypse

SAN DIEGO — Move over vampires, goblins and haunted houses, this kind of Halloween terror aims to shake up even the toughest warriors: An untold number of so-called zombies are coming to a counterterrorism summit attended by hundreds of Marines, Navy special ops, soldiers, police, firefighters and others to prepare them for their worst nightmares.
"This is a very real exercise, this is not some type of big costume parry," said Brad Barker, president of Halo Corp, a security firm hosting the Oct. 31 training demonstration during the summit at a 44-acre Paradise Point Resort island on a San Diego bay. "Everything that will be simulated at this event has already happened, it just hasn't happened all at once on the same night. But the training is very real, it just happens to be the bad guys we're having a little fun with."
Hundreds of military, law enforcement and medical personnel will observe the Hollywood-style production of a zombie attack as part of their emergency response training.
In the scenario, a VIP and his personal detail are trapped in a village, surrounded by zombies when a bomb explodes. The VIP is wounded and his team must move through the town while dodging bullets and shooting back at the invading zombies. At one point, some members of the team are bit by zombies and must be taken to a field medical facility for decontamination and treatment.
"No one knows what the zombies will do in our scenario, but quite frankly no one knows what a terrorist will do," Barker said. "If a law enforcement officer sees a zombie and says, 'Freeze, get your hands in the air!' What's the zombie going to do? He's going to moan at you. If someone on PCP or some other psychotic drug is told that, the truth is he's not going to react to you."

It's a smart way to teach teams how to react when faced with the unexpected.  With the face gnawing going on recently, it couldn't hurt.  From destabilized populations to fast-spreading infections, we need to be prepared to handle anything that comes our way.

I love me a good zombie story.  Sleep well, knowing our military may be  having a bit of a joke but moving in the right direction to keep us safe from the unexpected

Waxing And Waning Stupidity

Couples may argue, but when the argue about being evicted from their home...well, that's just a different ball of wax. 
Denise Harris, a 39-year-old DeLeon Springs, poured hot wax on her boyfiend's face and hair and bit him in the jaw -- after a heated discussion about their impending eviction, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal. 
When the boyfriend pushed her off him, she reportedly punched him in the nose, the report states.
It gets worse, but I think the worst of all is when I saw the picture I would have sworn she was a dude.  Which would explain the hot wax and punching a lot more than anything else I could come up with.

As for biting on the face... what the hell is up with this new trend?  I don't think in my entire life of reading news I could think of a dozen cases of face gnawing and now it is practically mainstream.

More suspicious news on face biting coming at 7 PM Zandar Standard Time.

Jackasses Abound

A family in Woodstock, Georgia, learned a difficult lesson about the dangers of posting an online advertisement. The Vercher family, who recently lost their home of 20 years to foreclosure, posted an ad on Craigslist on Tuesday night, informing people that a yard-sale-style giveaway would take place at their home the following day.
Well, on Wednesday morning, people turned out in droves. However, instead of just taking the free furniture that the family had placed outside, crowds ransacked the house, taking nearly everything inside. The Verchers tried to stop people from walking off with their belongings, but their pleas were ignored.
Everything is gone, including items of sentimental value.  I'm not sure how someone could claim a misunderstanding, I would think pleading for them to stop would be a red flag.  What kind of jackass could take from a family that had lost almost everything?  Apparently, an entire crowd of them exist.

School Teaches Kids How Shakedowns Work

A Mississippi town is facing a lawsuit for operating schools that handcuff and send children to prison for minor classroom infractions like violating the dress code or talking back to teachers.
Students in the town of Meridian sometimes spent days in a prison 80 miles away from their school without a probable cause hearing. They were not read their Miranda rights and sometimes spent more than 48 hours waiting for a hearing, which violates their constitutional rights.
Meridian police routinely arrested students without determining whether there is probable cause of an infraction or whether the school wants to press charges. Handcuffed, the students were sent to Rankin County youth detention center, which is about an hour and a half away by car.
Students were jailed for “dress code infractions such as wearing the wrong color socks or undershirt, or for having shirts untucked; tardies; flatulence in class; using vulgar language; yelling at teachers; and going to the bathroom or leaving the classroom without permission.”
Furthermore, all of the imprisoned schoolchildren referred to court were minorities, the lawsuit states. More specifically, the “school-to-prison pipeline” mostly affected African-American children and those with disabilities.
After being arrested, students are usually put on probation, sometimes without appropriate legal representation, the lawsuit claims. Students who are already on probation and violate more school rules could face suspension – time that would be spent at the detention center rather than at home.
Federal civil rights lawyers filed the lawsuit two months after the Justice Department warned local and state officials that they had 60 days to cooperate with an eight-month investigation into the jailing procedures. The Mississippi town failed to cooperate.

The town is clearly in the wrong, and their failure to see that and to pretend to give a damn is appalling.  Kids should be learning their legal rights in school, but not through having them violated and those actions upheld by the town.

This is what happens when abuse of power goes too far.  It's also what happens when government fails to see the difference between serving the people and controlling them.  Kids are constantly learning, even when they don't realize it.  In this case, the lesson is what you see when government goes wrong.  Let us hope they eventually learn better.

This is nothing less than conditioning our young to give up their rights, to be afraid to speak up when their rights are violated.  We simply cannot allow this to happen.

Racing Around The Country

The outstanding Goldie Taylor brings it on race and this election.

“We are not as divided as our politics suggests,” Obama told us. Whites and blacks alike hitched their wagons to the hope of a new day.

An Associated Press poll released Oct. 27, tells a much different story. Rather than quell, our racial tensions have flared. According to the study, “The number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election.”

Jon Krosnick, a Stanford University professor who co-developed the survey said, “As much as we’d hope the impact of race would decline over time…it appears the impact of anti-black sentiment on voting is about the same as it was four years ago.”

Regrettably, white poll respondents attributed stereotypical terms like ”violent” and “lazy” to blacks and Hispanics.

“When we’ve seen [racial] progress, we’ve also seen backlash,” said Jelani Cobb, professor of history and director of the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Some believe that backlash could cost Obama the election. In fact, if John Sununu and Donald Trump are any gauges, Republicans are still banking on “white fear”— the same fear that drove Reagan democrats to the polls in 1980. The late North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms used the infamous “Hands” ad during his 1990 campaign, to stoke white fears of losing employment opportunities to blacks because of affirmative action.

Unfortunately, history tells us that those campaign tactics can be successful — especially in an economic downturn when everyone is scrapping for a job.

If you want to know why this race is close, it's because race is always close.

Romney Up Against The Wall

With just over a week left, an increasingly desperate Romney has now descended into "McCain knew he lost" territory from four years ago and is now pulling out all the stops in the rapid-fire lying department here in Ohio.

Of course, the ad is a total and complete pile of lies.

1. “Mitt Romney has a plan to help the auto industry.” No specific plan is referenced in the ad, and Romney’s campaign web site does not include a plan to “help the auto industry.” In 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times editorial titled, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” and he re-upped his call against the auto rescue during the Republican primaries this year.
2. “[Romney] is supported by Lee Iaccoca and the Detroit News.” Chrysler Chairman Lee Iaccoca has indeed endorsed Romney. The Detroit News, a self-described “conservative newspaper,” endorsed him last week. But in that endorsement, the paper slammed Romney’s “wrong-headedness on the auto bailout.”
3. “Obama took GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.” Obama did take both companies into a managed bankruptcy, the path Romney says was originally his idea. Romney, however, supported private sector financing of the bankruptcy, a plan that was “pure fantasy” at the time since no private lenders could lend to the companies in the middle of the financial crisis. Without federal intervention, the companies would have almost assuredly collapsed, costing 1.3 million jobs, according to industry estimates.
4. “[Obama] sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” This week, Romney claimed he read a news story that said Chrysler was planning to “moving all production to China.” The Bloomberg News piece he referenced, though, made it clear that Fiat, the Italian company that now owns Chrysler, was opening new factories in China to make Jeeps for Chinese consumers. No American plants will be closed, and no American jobs will be lost. The ad’s claim may not be as false as Romney’s previous statement, but it is certainly misleading.

But it doesn't matter.  He gets to lie with impunity.  And at least 45% of the state, if not 47%, will vote for him anyway.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Last Call

PJ Media's Roger L Simon becomes the first to call for President Obama's immediate impeachment after the election.

If Barack Obama is reelected, will he face impeachment over Benghazi — a yet more unpleasant and far more wrenching result than to lose an election?

It could happen — and in my estimation should happen — the way revelations are playing out over the bloody terror attack that took four American lives and has led to weeks of prevarication and obfuscation.

The scandal thus far has at least tarnished and quite possibly implicated everyone from the CIA director, to the secretaries of State and Defense, to the UN ambassador and, of course, the president himself — with no end in sight, because Obama, normally loath to expose himself and even less so in an election season, refuses to answer questions on the subject.

It’s not the crime, but the cover-up, we learned in an earlier impeachment, only in this case the crime may be just as bad or worse.

If you think the insanity is over just because the President will most likely win and keep a Dem Senate and GOP House status quo, you have anything thing coming.

The insanity is just beginning.  Ask Clinton.

All Knotted Up In Ohio

Supposedly.  The paper of record here in Cincy has a poll showing a 49%-49% tie with one percent undecided and one percent third party candidate.

The race for the White House continues to be too close to call in Ohio, according to a new Enquirer/Ohio News Organization Poll that shows President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each with 49 percent support from likely voters.

That’s a slip for the president, who took 51 percent of likely voters in the newspaper group’s September poll.

Romney’s support grew among males, among high school and college graduates and among respondents in every age category except 18 to 29.

The two candidates also tied in scaring voters – 29 percent of poll respondents said they’d be scared if Obama won, and the same amount said they’d be scared if Romney won. Half said they were very enthusiastic about voting, 21 percent said they were not so enthusiastic or not enthusiastic at all.

Your mileage may vary on the poll's accuracy, but they do get the next part right strategically:

“In the final days before the election, both campaigns will focus on turning out their bases, appealing to independents and attracting the few undecided voters that remain,” said Eric Rademacher, co-director of the University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research, which conducted the poll. “Absent any more twists and turns, a remarkable presidential campaign may end with the campaign that executes the best  ‘ground game’ narrowly delivering Ohio for the next president of the United States.”

Needless to say, Josh Romney's involvement in voting machines here in Ohio is even more important, as is continued early voting.

Christina Aguilera Embraces Her New Body

Levine, 33, even goes so far as to stand up for Aguilera, 31, who has been the object of criticism for her weight. He says the naysayers should "grow up." 
"The one thing about the culture right now, celebrity culture particularly, is people feel like they can just say nasty things about other people whether it's Christina or whether it's me," he says. "She gets a lot and it pisses me off. Of course I have her back and of course I defend her."
Aguilera herself recently spoke out about her body, telling PEOPLE, "I've always been one to make it very clear, love me or hate me, take it or leave it, this is who I am. I embrace my body, and I embrace everything about myself."

Good for her.  First, for showing what it means to own yourself, and secondly for refusing to apologize.  She has gained weight, but not so much that she's a health risk or unsafe.  She doesn't owe the world a perfect ass forever.  Why would anyone feel she has to explain this phase of her life?  I say she's worked out her entire life, if she wants to laze a bit and enjoy carbs with her new motherhood, so be it.

1,000 Pound Pig Saves Gumbo

Three days after a fire blazed through a New Hampshire farm on Sept. 6, the only thing more devastating than the physical damage was the presumed death toll: 14 horses and three cats. 
But if there was someone who hadn't lost hope, it was Colby, the farm's 1,000-lb. pig. 
After breakfast, the Bedford, N.H., Perry Hill Farm mascot, characteristically slow and sluggish, started wandering into the woods nearby. 
"She was on a mission," her caregiver and farm owner Harriet Finks, who followed the pig, tells "For her, it was quite a distance." 
The 9-year-old pig, sniffing around the woods, led her caregivers to Gumbo, one of the cats they never found after the fire.
Gumbo survived and is doing well.  He has been reunited with a sibling and other survivors.  Losing so many animals would be devastating, any good news is better than expected.

Prof. Stoller, In The Salon, With The Self-Inflicted Gunshot

Matt Stoller erupts into feigned relevance again like the political emoprog herpes he is as he takes to Salon to convince people to abdicate voting.  He officially veers off into unintentional comedy in paragraph three with a chart on corporate profits:

So why oppose Obama? Simply, it is the shape of the society Obama is crafting that I oppose, and I intend to hold him responsible, such as I can, for his actions in creating it. Many Democrats are disappointed in Obama. Some feel he’s a good president with a bad Congress. Some feel he’s a good man, trying to do the right thing, but not bold enough. Others think it’s just the system, that anyone would do what he did. I will get to each of these sentiments, and pragmatic questions around the election, but I think it’s important to be grounded in policy outcomes. Not, what did Obama try to do, in his heart of hearts? But what kind of America has he actually delivered? And the chart below answers the question. This chart reflects the progressive case against Obama.

Yeah, Obama has in fact crafted an entire society in just 45 months.  Let's give a pass to the Republican's effect on the Body Politic, causing a heart attack and an collapsed lung of an economy and two broken legs.  We get all that fixed, and Dr. Obama is a terrible President because we're doing 5Ks on the slow end and not running full marathons.

But then Stoller veers into Privileged White Guy territory towards the bottom of his screed:

Now, it would not be fair to address this matter purely on economic grounds, and ignore women’s rights. In that debate with Ellsberg, advocate Emily Hauser insistently made the case that choice will be safe under Obama, and ended under Romney, that this is the only issue that matters to women, and that anyone who doesn’t agree is, as she put it, delusional. Falguni Sheth argued that this is a typical perspective from a privileged white woman, who ignores much of the impact that Barack Obama’s policies have on women, and specifically women of color. And even on the issue of choice, you could make a good case, as she does, that there’s less of a difference between Obama and Romney than meets the eye.

Yeah, you have the white guy going after a personal friend of mine because supporting the black president is actually damaging to women of color.

Falguni Sheth's argument, by the way, is complete tripe.  It assumes that there's no stated functional difference between Romney and Obama because Congress has Republicans in it, and since Obama has yet to declare himself dictator for life (which is hypocrisy because DROOOOONES) then there's no difference.  Which means Sheth is as full of emoprog crap as Stoller is.  Surprise!

It really is tiring to see any/every emorprog "case against Obama" boil down to the paragraph above, but it still apparently must be pointed out because they keep doing it constantly.  But for Stoller to say what he did is such massive assumption of privilege that it borders on the tragic.  It's based on the assumption (there's that word again Matt, pay attention here) that persons of color AND women are too stupid to see how "awful" Obama is for them, when the opposite is actually true.

Stoller's cool because the "marginal" difference on policies that actually affect him where he is allows him the privilege of it not mattering to him regardless of whom is elected.  For a great many of the rest of us, we live on that margin.  We don't have the luxury of "Oh well, it doesn't matter."  We don't have the luxury of the 40 year progressive plan for a new society.  We need to get things fixed now, and I'm going with the guy fixing them as opposed to the guy going back to the same things we did in 2001-2008.

Yes, the macro-level stuff is horrible.  Inequality?  Unacceptable.  Climate change?  Being ignored.  it's awful.  But I know for a fact Romney won't make any of that better, and Obama will at least try to correct the micro-level stuff so that the macro-level stuff can be fixed later.

Those are my two choices.  And I live in Kentucky where my vote for President is utterly, utterly meaningless.  Doing it anyway out of patriotism and to honor those before me who fought and died for my right to vote.


Get over yourself, Stoller.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last Call

Hurricane Sandy's transformation into the Nor'easter From Hell over the next few days really could cause serious problems for anyone north or east of where I am in Cincy.  Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, up through the mid-Atlantic and into New York, Boston and New England could be hit by inches of rain and/or several feet of snow before it's all over, and if there are still sections of Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania especially that still don't have power by Election Day, we could have chaos on our hands.

Hurricane Sandy, currently on a direct course for the East Coast, is sending residents across multiple states scrambling to prepare for heavy wind, rain, and snow. The Obama and Romney campaigns are surely taking stock of its effects as well.

The implications for the election are uncertain, as is the path and extent of the storm’s damage. But given that it’s projected to directly impact such states as North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, there’s plenty of potential for disruption.

In Virginia, the storm is already poised to wreck a scheduled joint rally with President Clinton and president Obama on Monday. Romney has already cancelled a Virginia Beach event for Sunday. Early voting is less widespread in the state than others like Ohio, since Virginia only accepts absentee votes, so the impact could be minimized at the ballot box if things are back to normal by election day.
That said, if there’s major flooding or snow, where it hits could have an influence. While the coast is evenly divided between swing counties, other regions are more polarized.

“It depends on where it hits and how much, it’s just impossible to say in advance,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told TPM. “If Obama were directing the snowstorm it would be in the Shenandoah valley and Southwest Virginia as they want as low a turnout as possible in those rural areas. If Romney were directing the snowstorm, it would go right down the corridor from Northern Virginia into Richmond, which is where Obama’s votes come from.”

The Dems' lead in early voting in Ohio now looks even more important should the storm shift to the west and hit the eastern half of Ohio up into Cleveland.  Sandy could play just as important a role in the swing states as early voting does.

We'll see.

The Return Of Making Work Pay

The White House is kicking around the return of the working-class tax cut for Americans used as part of the stimulus:  Making Work Pay, a $400 tax cut ($800 for couples) off the top.

The White House is weighing the idea of a tax cut that it believes would lift Americans’ take-home pay and boost a still-struggling economy, according to people familiar with the administration’s thinking, as the presidential candidates continue battling over whose tax policies would do more for the country.

Obama administration officials have concluded that the economy, while improved, is still fragile enough that it may need another bout of stimulus. The tax cut could replace the payroll tax cut championed by President Obama in 2011 and 2012, which was designed as a buffer against economic shocks such as the financial crisis in Europe and high oil prices. It expires at year’s end.

As David Dayen points out, the flat $400 tax cut would be far more progressive than the current 2% payroll tax cut, andfor more effective for lower-income Americans.

Making Work Pay, the name of the stimulus-era tax cut, was actually a better deal for the working poor. The flat $400 tax credit provided a bigger boost at the low end to anyone making under $20,000 a year than the payroll tax cut, which gave back 2% of income to everyone on the portion of their income affected by the payroll tax, around $110,000. This made it a more stimulative tax cut, since it provided more money to those with a higher marginal propensity to spend. Employers accomplished the tax cut by taking less out of withholding, making it kind of a hidden tax cut that workers didn’t know about. But it did raise their take-home pay.

Gonna have to agree with D-Day here.  This is a solid idea, it was a solid idea when it was used before, and makes a concrete pledge to cut taxes for working-class Americans with real numbers and a real world benefit that people will see and use.

Which means House Republicans will kill it, of course.

Well, after the election.

Great Scott, It's Your Kids, Marty!

As Scott Lemieux points out, this is the Mitt Romney who was Governor of Massachusetts:

Romney hadn’t even previously fathomed that gay people had children. Boston Spirit magazine reported last month that when gay activists met with him in his office in 2004, as Romney was backing a failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state, Romney remarked, “I didn’t know you had families.” Julie Goodridge, lead plaintiff in the landmark case that won marriage rights for gays and lesbians before the Supreme Judicial Court, asked what she should tell her 8-year-old daughter about why the governor would block the marriage of her parents. According to Goodridge, Romney responded,”I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years.”

Severely conservative.  

But there's nothing Mitt can do or say for the 27% who will always vote GOP, and the 20%+ who will vote against Obama for whatever reason, enough to make him competitive (and depending on red state turnout, more than competitive in the national vote totals.)

Great guy, huh?

Yahoo Chooses To Ignore "Do Not Track" On IE

Yahoo! has been working with our partners in the Internet industry to come up with a standard that allows users to opt out of certain website analytics and ad targeting. In principle, we support “Do Not Track” (DNT). Unfortunately, because discussions have not yet resulted in a final standard for how to implement DNT, the current DNT signal can easily be abused. Recently, Microsoft unilaterally decided to turn on DNT in Internet Explorer 10 by default, rather than at users’ direction. In our view, this degrades the experience for the majority of users and makes it hard to deliver on our value proposition to them. It basically means that the DNT signal from IE10 doesn’t express user intent.
Microsoft finally got one right and decided to help users protect their privacy.  It's not rocket science to disable or change security settings, so there is no reason for Yahoo to ignore the default setting.  The reality is, if someone isn't computer savvy enough to change their browser settings, they should be cautious by default.  The crap about this setting being abused is absurd.

You can read the entire policy statement here.  It isn't very long, and after a ridiculous plug for their proprietary solutions and expecting us to be grateful for being told why certain ads were selected, they make no valid point as to why they are ignoring the privacy setting, just informing us that they are.

Nice move, asshats.  Because you really needed another public black eye, right?

Arizona Jail Stupidity

PHOENIX — The family of a prisoner who died in one of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging officers beat the mentally ill man and shot him with a stun gun in an unprovoked attack that marked another example of the "culture of cruelty" in the lockups.

The suit states the 44-year-old Atencio had an altercation with Phoenix police and jail officers while he was being booked on an assault charge on Dec. 15. He was found unresponsive and died five days later, after his family took him off life support.

The sheriff's office said last year that Atencio was combative when police brought him into the downtown jail, and he was placed in a "safe cell" to calm down after fighting with deputies.

The agency said Atencio was found unresponsive 15 minutes later, even though he was being monitored by medical staff.

The lawsuit, however, painted a picture of teasing and abuse at the hands of officers who made fun of Atencio's inability to follow directions and encouraged him to make funny faces while his mug shot was taken.

One officer allegedly said authorities should make it the "Mug Shot of the Week," referring to the sheriff's online contest in which people can vote on their favorite booking photo.

Atencio was attacked later by two Phoenix police officers after he refused to take off one of his shoes in a holding tank, the lawsuit states, adding that some of Arpaio's jail officers joined in and formed a "dog pile" atop the prisoner.
He was mentally ill and they dog piled him.  I had no idea refusing to take off a shoe was a murder-worthy offense.  I now understand the gravity of such an order.  Too bad Atencio was unable to understand the trouble he was in.  Or perhaps he did, and simply couldn't do anything about it.

By the way, since 1993 the county has paid over $24 million has been paid out in claims.   Imagine how many claims fell through the cracks over the years, especially before the full extent of their barbaric treatment was known.  But nah, just another person dying for no reason.  There's nothing to see here, Citizen.  Please move along in an orderly fashion.

The De-Legitimization Of An Obama Win Now Starts In Earnest

Jim Garaghty at NRO spells out a scenario where President Obama gets to 270+ in the electoral vote, but loses the popular vote by several million.

We can debate whether those remaining undecideds, ranging from 3 to 8 percent in most of these polls, will break heavily for the challenger. In 2004, George W. Bush and John Kerry split the remaining undecideds roughly evenly. But the one scenario that political scientists deem virtually impossible is one where undecideds who have declined to support the incumbent all year suddenly break heavily in favor of him. For most of the remaining undecideds, the choice is between voting for the challenger and staying home.

The polling currently suggests President Obama has a hard ceiling of about 47 percent, perhaps 48 percent. Let’s take the 50–47 split found currently in the Rasmussen, Washington Post, and Gallup tracking polls. Presume that most of the remaining undecideds stay home, and that the vote for third-party candidates amounts to about a percentage point. Under that scenario, we would see a 51 percent to 47.9 percent popular-vote win for Romney.

Steve M. predicts the result:

I think Obama will win the Electoral College. I can spell out a scenario in which the right then steals the election (by persuading us that 2000 is irrelevant to now, by hypocritically demanding that "the will of the people" be obeyed, by digging into the pasts of obscure electors). But it's not clear that will happen, and maybe it's the kind of thing that even the right-wing noise machine can't pull off.

Nevertheless, if Obama wins a second term in a split election, the media will treat him as a loser who backed into office and doesn't really deserve to be there. That wouldn't be true for Romney if he won the presidency this way, because the press has now decided it likes him more than Obama, and because, well, he's Republican Daddy -- just like George W. Bush twelve years ago. Oh, sure, if Romney somehow wins this way, the press will ask him, very politely, to live up to the tone of his debate appearances and govern from the center -- but if he then charges hard to the right, the press will just sit back and speak with awe of his "bold" moves.

The press, treating a split Obama victory as a loss, will demand that he tack right in response to the circumstances of his win. This is what Obama will face going into his second term.

I'll go further:  a scenario like this guarantees President Obama will be impeached.  And with the Senate including outright anti-Obama Democrats like WV's Joe Manchin and either Republicans or very conservative Democrats who quietly ran "Obama who?" campaigns this year like Montana's Jon Tester and North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, not to mention independent Angus King in Maine, and it's not entirely impossible to come up with a scenario where there are 51 67 votes in the Senate to convict without having to wait until after the 2014 election.  Extremely unlikely, but not impossible.

VP Biden would be asked to resign as a result.  President Boehner rises from Speaker of the House.  Harry Reid, in a bone to Dems, is named VP.  They would guarantee the country that tey wouldn't seek re-election.  2016 becomes wide open...after, of course, "serious bipartisan electoral college reforms" join "serious bipartisan tax, entitlement and health care reforms" and the GOP gets everything they want to maintain power for the next generation, changing demographics or no.

That's where the logical endpoint of this crazy little scenario goes.

So, no, I'm not "relaxed" and "confident".  Not with the GOP around.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last Call

Girls creator Lena Dunham is too clever by half (as she usually is) with her latest little slice of obnoxiousness, but at least she's trying to get out the vote.

President Obama teamed up with the most divisive 26-year-old in the world to make a suggestive ad encouraging young people to vote, but it seems to have upset some old conservative men on Twitter. Lena Dunham, famous for her HBO show Girls and her movie Tiny Furniture before that (don't ask me to find any other reasons she's famous), stars in the Obama campaign's latest ad talking about her "first time."

Your first time, "shouldn't be with just anybody." It should be with, "someone who really cares about and understands women." The consequences are, "huge," she warns. You want to do it with someone who, "cares whether or not you have health insurance, and more importantly birth control," she advises. Remembering the wondrous night of her first time, she says "before I was a girl, now I was a woman." Oh! You thought she was talking about SEX! Your pearls, let go of your pearls. You do not need to clutch them so tightly. She's talking about voting. Her other lines like, "you want to do it with the guy who got the troops out of Iraq," and "you don't want to do it with a guy who says 'oh hey I'm at the library studying' when really he's out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act," should have given that away? Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Yes, it's snarky to the point of me wishing it had been done by Sarah Silverman or Lizz Winstead or Martha Plimpton or any other of a host of actually funny women, but her heart (and her vote) is in the right place.  Besides, it's the first actually worthwhile thing she's done in her career, so there's that.

Another One For The (Future) Fire

Newt Gingrich is weighing in with his 2012 election predictions, and they're about as plausible as the rest of his 2012 statements.

Former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich predicts that GOP hopeful Mitt Romney will receive “more than 300 electoral votes” to defeat President Barack Obama on Nov. 6.

Speaking to Fox News host Greta Van Susteren on Thursday, the former House Speaker offered to “end the anxiety” for Fox News viewers.

I believe the minimum result will be 53-47 Romney, over 300 electoral votes, and the Republicans will pick up the Senate,” Gingrich said. “I base that on just years and years of experience.”

Let's keep in mind that in order to win 300 electoral votes, Romney would have to win every toss-up state (OH, NC, VA, FL, CO, NV, and NH) but he'd have to win at least one or two states well into Obama's hands right now, like Wisconsin, Michigan, New Mexico or Pennsylvania.

On top of that, he's predicting that the GOP will win all 7 Senate close races, too.

There's no evidence of either other than Newt saying it's so.

Into the Future Files you go, Newtie.

Deep In The Heartless Of Texas, Again

The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals has given Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry his wish:  the end of Planned Parenthood in the state and the beginning of over 100,000 women without affordable health care.

As a result of Thursday’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Gov. Rick Perry (R) said that state officials will “immediately” begin defunding clinics operated by Planned Parenthood, which does not actually perform any abortions in the state.

Perry announced earlier this year that he’d made defunding Planned Parenthood a priority for his administration, triggering months of legal wrangling with the clinics and the federal government. Federal law requires that states not discriminate against health providers in distributing federal funds, but a court ultimately ruled that Texas could forgo federal assistance entirely and set up its own health program.

That’s precisely what Perry is doing, passing on more than $40 million in federal assistance and directing the state to exclude Planned Parenthood, which provides health care services to more than 130,000 low-income women in Texas. Planned Parenthood has 49 health centers across Texas, many of which will be forced to close due to Perry’s decision.

As an experiment, pro-choice activist Andrea Grimes said in September that she spent six hours trying to locate a women’s health clinic in Austin that isn’t Planned Parenthood but does accept Medicaid. Despite a list of 181 clinics on the state’s website, Grimes said she found just 13 actual doctors in the whole state who perform the necessary procedures and accept Medicaid, explaining that the other listings were repeats, radiology centers, labs and doctors who didn’t take Medicaid at all.

To make matters worse for many low-income women, the Kaiser Family Foundation says that Texas has one of the most restrictive Medicaid programs in the country, requiring that a family of three earn less than $188 a month to qualify for assistance. Under the president’s Affordable Care Act, however, Medicaid was slated to expand dramatically to cover nearly all low-income Americans, but Perry also said he will turn down more than $164 billion in federal money that would have been used to provide health care to 1.2 million Texans through 2023.

So as a result, 130,000 working poor women will lose their health care just to punish them for the crime of being poor in Texas.  But of course, that was the entire point.

There's no GOP War on Women though.  That's just preposterous.

Third Time Is The Charm For Mobile Meth Lab

Last week wasn’t the first time Springfield Police found what they believe was a mobile meth lab in Marshall Rhea’s pickup truck.
Rhea, 31, of Springfield, has been charged with multiple counts of manufacturing or intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
Police say they pulled over Rhea for failing to stop at a stop sign in the 700 block of South Fort Avenue. Rhea allowed officers to search the black pickup truck, according to the court documents.
In the bed of the truck, officers found what they believe were components of a particularly volatile type of lab — one that uses the chemical red phosphorous to synthesize the drug. According to the documents, a rubber glove had been placed over a glass container to capture phosphine gas — a highly explosive gas that is also lethal if inhaled.
On the passenger floorboard of the truck, officers found an empty package of 48 pseudoephedrine tablets, according to the documents.

Gee, I wonder if the publicity from this will be hailed by the City Council as they pretend to debate whether to take action against the evils of Dayquil.

We have an idiot with a jar full of explosive gas running stop signs.  Good catch on the part of the cops, too bad they've had to do it three times so far and the dude is still free.  Perhaps we have found the real problem with meth offenders.  

Teen Dies From Caffeine Toxicity

(NECN/WRC: Jim Rosenfield) - The parents of a 14-year-old Hagerstown, Md. girl who died in December are suing the maker of Monster energy drink, claiming caffeine in the product contributed to her death.
Anais Fournier went into cardiac arrest after drinking two 24-ounce Monster drinks within a 24-hour period, according to a complaint filed Friday in California Superior Court in Riverside.
Hers is one of five deaths and a non-fatal heart attack the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating in connection to the energy drinks.
Fournier was rushed to the hospital, but never regained consciousness. 
She was later pronounced dead.
Investigations don't prove the drinks caused the deaths or Fournier's heart attack, FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess said.
An autopsy found that Fournier died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity that impeded her heart's ability to pump blood.

We have a major problem with caffeine as a society.  We drink it to wake up, drink way too much to compensate for lack of exercise and stay up too late, which means we will hit the coffee before opening our eyes the next day. Kids are becoming exposed to this at a younger age.  The line between parental responsibility and consumer safety further complicate the issue.  In this case, an unknown condition aggravated the situation, but there are plenty of kids sucking down energy shots and energy drinks, and then washing it down with soda.

Regardless of who is ultimately responsible, this is going to get worse until some common sense is applied.

The Threats Are The Rite-Hite

Add Rite-Hite Safety Systems' CEO Mike White to the list of business owners threatening their employees to vote Romney or else.

The list of corporate CEOs and owners who have tried scaring their employees into voting for Mitt Romney got a bit longer this week thanks to Milwaukee businessman Mike White.

White, the owner of the industrial equipment firm Rite-Hite, sent his 1,400 employees an email this week warning them that they needed to “understand the personal consequences to them of having our tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which was sent a copy of the correspondence. The email goes on to warn that Rite-Hite would consider dropping its contribution to the workers’ retirement plan, blaming tax hikes that White says are on the way if Obama wins a second term, and that workers will lose their health care.

But don't take my word for it.  Take Mike White's.

“The tax rate we pay is not 17%, as Warren Buffett would have you believe; with state taxes it is roughly 45%. President Obama has announced that our planned tax rate would increase to roughly 65%, reducing our after tax income by 36% and dramatically reducing, if not eliminating, your and my RSP contributions.”

As a result, White said the company’s profits would not be reinvested. Instead, he wrote, “the money will be sent into the abyss that is Washington, D.C. So, on top of the burden of having your personal taxes increase dramatically, which they will, your RSP contributions and healthy retirement are also at risk, all for the sake of maintaining an over-sized government that borrows 42% of every dollar it spends.”

P.S.:  White is a big Republican donor.  How would you feel if your boss sent you an e-mail threatening you with the loss of retirement and health insurance if the wrong guy wins?  And remember, this was an e-mail he sent out to all employees publicly.  This wasn't under the radar.

But don't you dare call it class warfare, right?

Oh, and looks like Mike White broke Wisconsin law.

We Come Not To Praise Teabaggers...

...but E.J. Dionne at the Washington Post has come to bury them.

If conservatism were winning, does anyone doubt that Romney would be running as a conservative? Yet unlike Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, Romney is offering an echo, not a choice. His strategy at the end is to try to sneak into the White House on a chorus of me-too’s.

The right is going along because its partisans know Romney has no other option. This, too, is an acknowledgment of defeat, a recognition that the grand ideological experiment heralded by the rise of the tea party has gained no traction. It also means that conservatives don’t believe that Romney really believes the moderate mush he’s putting forward now. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if the conservatives are forgiving Romney because they think he is lying, what should the rest of us think?

Almost all of the analysis of Romney’s highly public burning of the right’s catechism focuses on such tactical issues as whether his betrayal of principle will help him win over middle-of-the-road women and carry Ohio. What should engage us more is that a movement that won the 2010 elections with a bang is trying to triumph just two years later on the basis of a whimper.

It turns out that there was no profound ideological conversion of the country two years ago. We remain the same moderate and practical country we have long been. In 2010, voters were upset about the economy, Democrats were demobilized, and President Obama wasn’t yet ready to fight. All the conservatives have left now is economic unease. So they don’t care what Romney says. They are happy to march under a false flag if that is the price of capturing power.

I like E.J. Dionne.  I think he's a smart guy and solid political analyst and pundit.

But he has never been more wrong in his life.  Ever

The fact that E.J. is writing this column is empirical proof that he too has been taken in by Romney's Etch-A-Sketch campaign.  Dionne sees meaningless blanks.  I see a President far more compliant than Dubya ever was.  He will do exactly what he is told.  It will be the Dubya years all over again, only worse.

And should Romney lose, we will see an even more wingnut crazy candidate in 2016.  Santorum.  Huckabee.  Who knows?  Ryan even.  Madness.

No, what this election represents is the death of GOP moderates.  They are gone from the party for good.  And Romney is their puppet.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Last Call

So what about the Senate?

A couple of months ago I would have said that the Dems were in serious trouble.  Now?  With less that two weeks to go, it's looking more and more like the Dems will not only keep the Senate, but actually pick up a number of seats.  Of course, to the Washington Post, that means that the races are "essentially tied" and that "Republicans are very optimistic."

In the battle for control of the U.S. Senate, there are now at least eight critical contests in which polling shows essentially a dead heat, encouraging Republicans’ hopes that they may yet snag the chamber, which very recently seemed beyond their reach.

Some of the GOP boost is coming from the top of the ticket in the form of Mitt Romney, whose recent surge in the polls seems to be helping Republican candidates across the country.

Democrats still have an edge in their effort to keep control of the Senate, and they may have been helped Tuesday when Republican candidate Richard Mourdock in Indiana suggested that pregnancies resulting from rape are God’s will, possibly damaging his chances to succeed Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R).

But both parties agree that many of the most important races have become more competitive in recent days, and their outcomes harder to predict.

Really?  Let's take a look at the WaPo's own predictionsRight now it has the Dems getting to 50, with 6 toss-ups.  That means in order for the Republicans to get control, they would have to win all six toss-up races and Romney would have to win the White House, making Paul Ryan the tiebreaker.  How is that in any way "optimistic"?

There's no evidence that Romney's surge, being based on Obama's shortcomings in the first debate, had any effect on the Senate races at all.

I don't see it happening.  Even the guys at Power Line, who all but have crowned Romney an easy win in November, are not seeing the GOP takeover of the Senate.

I still say the Dems will pick up a couple of seats.  They could pick up 4, maybe even 5.  It's just as likely as the GOP picking up the six they would need, right?

Pretty Flight For Some White Guys

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll has some pretty grim crosstab news for the Obama campaign:  Mitt Romney has a massive 33-point lead among white male voters.

The clearest loss for the president is among white men. In 2008, Obama lost white men by 16 points, according to the exit poll. This year, Obama trails Romney double that margin — 33 points — larger than any deficit for a Democratic candidate since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 landslide win over Walter Mondale.

After splitting their votes 47 percent for Obama and 49 percent for McCain in 2008, whites who identify as political independents now favor Romney over Obama, 59 to 38 percent. Nearly half of all of those who supported Obama in 2008 but Romney in 2012 are white independents. (Overall, whites make up more than 90 percent of “switchers.”)

A key element of Romney’s advantage among all whites is that by 55 to 39 percent, more white voters say he, not Obama understands the economic problems people in this country are having. Among whites without college degrees, Romney is up 58 to 35 percent on this score, expanding what was a narrow gap just a few weeks ago. This advantage comes even as 44 percent of white voters say Romney, as president, would do more to favor the wealthy; 38 percent say he would do more to for the middle class.

Do you see now why the Romney campaign has been blaring the race air horns for the last five months, portraying the President as a con artist and a thug who cares more about minorities and women than white men?

Romney's been able to come in behind the President and sell himself as the candidate of middle-class white male America.  And guess what?  Still enough middle-class white male voters to give Romney the win.  He's just credible enough to be a viable alternative to the President, and that's all these switcher voters need.

Having said that, the electoral college math still favors the President.

The way the term “momentum” is applied in practice by the news media, however, it usually refers only to the first part of the clause — meaning simply that a candidate has been gaining ground in the polls, whether or not he might continue to do so. (I’ve used this phrasing plenty of times myself, so I have no real basis to complain about it.)

But there are other times when the notion of momentum is behind the curve — as it probably now is if applied to Mitt Romney’s polling.

Mr. Romney clearly gained ground in the polls in the week or two after the Denver debate, putting himself in a much stronger overall position in the race. However, it seems that he is no longer doing so.

If Romney is winning states like Alabama and Kentucky by 25 points instead of 15, it's not going to make a damn bit of difference in the electoral math unless there's gain in states like Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.  And right now, the President is continuing to hold on to those states by 3-5 points.

It's going to be a close race.  But electorally, I still see the President winning.

Grinding Out The Ground Game

The Atlantic's Molly Ball foresees an election so close that the President's Obama For America turnout operation could very well be the difference between a win and a loss.

Four years ago, Barack Obama built the largest grassroots organization in the history of American politics. After the election, he never stopped building, and the current operation, six years in the making, makes 2008 look like "amateur ball," in the words of Obama's national field director Jeremy Bird. Republicans insist they, too, have come a long way in the last four years. But despite the GOP's spin to the contrary, there's little reason to believe Romney commands anything comparable to Obama's ground operation.

And this time, Obama may actually need it.

Though he trounced John McCain organizationally four years ago, the irony was that Obama didn't really need his sophisticated field organization. Riding a wave of voter enthusiasm and Bush fatigue, and crushing McCain with fundraising and TV ad spending, Obama almost certainly would have won the 2008 election anyway. The political operative's rule of thumb is that organization can increase your share of the vote by two percentage points; Obama won the national popular vote by seven points. One academic study looked at Obama's edge in field offices and concluded they probably put a couple of extra states in his column, but he would have won without them.

This year is different. The polls are so close that a lively partisan meta-fight has broken out over which side actually has the upper hand going into the final stretch, with Romney claiming momentum is on his side, while Obama clings to slim leads in enough swing states to take the Electoral College. In an election that's tied in the polls going down to the wire, Obama's ground game could be crucial.

In the closing days of the race, "we have two jobs," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said Tuesday. "One, to persuade the undecideds, and two, to turn our voters out." The former is the job of the president and his TV and other media ads. As for the latter, "That's the grassroots operation we've been building for the last 18 months." 

I've said all along that this election will come down to turnout, turnout, turnout.  Molly Ball agrees.  I'm putting my money on OFA making the difference in Ohio, Virginia and Colorado to get the win.
Related Posts with Thumbnails