Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Last Call

And Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu advances the ni-CLANG clock closer to midnight.

In a brutal campaign conference call Tuesday organized by Mitt Romney's campaign, several of the candidate's surrogates went after President Obama with fiery attacks accusing him of socialism, and being un-American.

"I wish this president would learn how to be an American," said former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said toward the beginning of the call. Asked later to explain his comment, Sununu said he was referring to Obama's economic philosophy, and apologized for not being clearer.

Sununu also said that by asserting Romney had committed a felony, the Obama campaign was inviting an investigation into its own "Chicago-style" politics. He concluded the call by calling Obama's campaign "clearly and unequivocally liars."

Among the other jabs at Obama were Kyle Koehler, an Ohio tool manufacturer, accusing the president of supporting socialism, and Renee Amoore, a Pennsylvania small business advocate, delivering a passionate diatribe about how her shared race with the president wouldn't win her support.

"Well, I've been black for a long time and he won't get my vote," Amoore said.

Awesome.  The Romney campaign responds to "We have legitimate questions about your tax returns which you refuse to release" with "President Obama is a pot-smoking Kenyan socialist and even black people hate him."

They're swirling around the drain now, folks.  It's getting bizarre now.

Mark Halperin: Professional Douchecapacitor

I’m trying to figure out what Time’s Mark Halperin’s problem here is this morning with his bleating about Bain and how Mean Old Obama shouldn’t be trying to win or anything and should assume the position like a good Centrist Dem, but then I recall that the passive-aggressive Halperin is a douchecapacitor that stores grudges against the President and occasionally discharges his anger in order to keep from overloading and detonating like he did with the whole unfortunate “Obama is a dick” incident.  Here’s the opening of his salvo today:

Pause for two beats and pay Prizzi’s Honor-style homage to the ruthless killing machine that is the combined White House-Chicago operation.

Just no.  We’re really saying Romney’s decade-long self-inflicted gunshot wound to the foot is Obama’s fault, ten years after the fact?
They have parceled out their opposition research in a manner both strategic and tactical, selecting specific news organizations at times of their choosing to maximize the drip-drip-drip of the twin stories. They have used left-leaning Web outfits as recipients of over-the-transom gifts as effectively (cumulatively) as the Romney campaign uses Drudge. And they have seen the Boston Globe use its credibility to drive a ton of news.

Remember, there’s no difference between Drudge and MSNBC, they’re both full of propaganda partisans, unlike me, Mark Halperin.  You can trust me, not those awful lying partisans who are not Mark Halperin.  Remember, I think that Obama is just as bad for pointing out Romney’s idiocy as Romney is for being an idiot.  I’m a Centrist.
The Obamans have dominated numerous consecutive news cycles since the last unemployment numbers came out. And there is more to come for sure. The Gang of 500 is confident it is just a matter of time before Romney relents and puts out additional years of tax returns, an eventuality that the Obama campaign will drag out for days. When some said that the Bain issue was burning out through its use by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and others in the nomination fight, Chicago was quietly confident the matter could be easily revived with new information and heavy advertising — and Chicago was right. And, make no mistake, the Obamans are sitting on even more research that they will unfurl down the road.

The rest of the GOP Clown Car Cavalcade couldn’t stick the knife in like that dick Obama. He’s just as bad if not worse than they are.  You should be careful around him or you’ll get CHICAGOED by OBAMANS.
From the President, to Joe Biden, to senior White House aides, to the entire re-elect operation — there has been impressive coordination on every one of their Bain-tax return hits, and there’s no reason to think that the teamwork will stop.

Teamwork is another word for thuggery.  CHICAGOED BY BIDEN.
So why is Halperin working the refs here when Halperin is the ref?  Real simple, he has to make up for this:
Halperin tweeted Sunday that he was uncomfortable with his image being used to back up a political point from the Romney campaign.
“To echo what NBC News’ Tom Brokaw said in January, when his image and voice were used in a Romney campaign TV ad, ‘I am extremely uncomfortable with the use of my personal image in this political ad. I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign,” Halperin said in a series of tweets.

So yeah, he can’t be IN THE TANK FOR OBAMA, so we get this mealy mouthed passive-aggressive bullshit.  The Douchecapacitor strikes again.  And now he has credibility where he can say “Hey I stayed out of this mess!” while continuing to attack the President he loathes.

It’s a good job if you can get it.

Statistics, Damn Statistics, And Libor

Remember folks, the Libor rate is the main international rate for determining borrowing costs from everything from car loans to your adjustable rate mortgages.  And for quite some time now, Barclays Bank has been playing that rate to benefit itself at your expense.

A top Barclays executive who quit over the bank’s rigging scandal told British lawmakers Monday that he was instructed by his former boss Bob Diamond to manipulate key inter-bank lending rates.

Jerry del Missier resigned two weeks ago over the scandal, which has also claimed the jobs of Diamond and Barclays chairman Marcus Agius and rocked the City of London, one of the world’s top financial hubs.

It had emerged that del Missier told Barclays traders to manipulate the bank’s submissions for the Libor and Euribor rates in a bid to make it seem as if other banks were more willing to lend to Barclays than they actually were.

Diamond has said that del Missier did this after “misinterpreting” a phone conversation between Diamond and Bank of England (BoE) deputy governor Paul Tucker in October 2008.

But asked by the British parliament’s Treasury Select Committee on Monday whether the phone call was “an instruction” from Diamond to cut the submissions, del Missier replied: “Yes, it was.”

Diamond, who stepped down as Barclays chief executive hours before del Missier on July 3, previously told the committee he had not instructed del Missier to manipulate the rates.

In other words, Jerry Del Missier knows where the bodies are buried, because he was the guy with the shovel.  He says he was acting under CEO Bob Diamond's orders at the time.  You're mad if you think that Barclays wasn't the only bank to shave points like this too.  they had every incentive to do so.

The Libor scandal basically works like bidding on valuables on one of those online auction sites.  Everyone names their price and they go from there, but if you knew ahead of time what the price was going to be by hacking the site, you could make your bid higher or lower to benefit yourself and then lie to everyone else about what your bid was, then pocket the difference.

You could say you bid $100 for that pair of shoes or whatever, actually pay $80, keep the $20 for yourself and nobody's the wiser.  The guy on the other end of that sale got stiffed $20 and he didn't know any better, too.  Barclays did the same thing only they skimmed a bit off the top of the daily Libor trade every day.  It added up to big, big money, and you and me were the guys getting stiffed.

And keep in mind Barclays' crime was getting caught.  The other banks?  I'm betting they did it too.  In fact all of us too that particular bet, and we lost billions playing.  That's the problem.  The purveyors of free market economics say we need less regulation in order to unleash the power of capitalism, and every time we do capitalism comes along and makes it a sucker bet in a rigged carnival game.  Libor is just another game rigged by the house so that the players always lose.

And as bad as the Dems are on this subject, always remember the Republicans want even more of that.

Now Those Are Some Long Odds

As a geek, I have zero athletic skill.  None.  For the most part I'm cool with it, but I do wish I could play golf.  I love walking the courses, and the satisfaction of hitting a ball Just Right is enough to keep me at the driving range.

I've never met this guy, but he'll be a legend on local golf courses.  Forever.  He just had his 13th career hole-in-one.  That in itself is amazing, especially for a great golfer but not a professional who just has sheer numbers going for them.

Now it gets crazy.  It's his third in 43 days.  It's his fourth in a year.

I'll be the first to admit I suck at math, but I can't even wrap my brain around those odds.  I know my odds better than to put money against him, though.

Celebrity Sighting, Springfield Style

John Goodman caught a Cardinals game in Springfield Friday.  He was in town for the Tent Theatre 50 Year Anniversary.  Goodman, a Springfield native and MSU graduate, has always been generous in supporting the arts and the community. It is rare for him to get out and be so social, however.

You can see Goodman in the shots of the game over here.  He's looking good, much healthier than the last several times I've seen him.

Eyes were peeled for Kathleen Turner and other famous Springfield citizens, and of course Brad Pitt.  So far reports were mum, but the odds are they'll turn up in random shots in the background.

It's not that we have famous people who have hailed from Springfield, but that they come back long after they have moved on to bigger cities and globe-trotting lifestyles that makes me happy to live here.  It reminds me that humble beginnings can lead to big things, and that I come from a place that is so awesome they still come back.

If nothing else, I figured Pitt would say a word about the new movement to decriminalize marijuana in Springfield.

Oops! FDA Spied On Employees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration's secret monitoring of its staff raised hackles in Congress on Sunday after lawmakers learned their own offices were apparently targeted by the surveillance operation.
Six current and former FDA scientists and doctors filed a lawsuit in January claiming the agency tried to repress warnings about potential corruption in device reviews.
Documents detailing the surveillance operation suggest it was large-scale and that the FDA kept a list of targets including lawmakers and their aides, The New York Times reported on Sunday.
"It is absolutely unacceptable for the FDA to be spying on employees who reach out to members of Congress to expose abuses or wrongdoing in government agencies," said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

Well, it doesn't feel so good when it hits home, does it?  Citizens have suffered incredible losses on the privacy front, and with less reasoning than what's going on here.

The FDA is going to have some uncomfortable moments in the coming weeks or months as this is investigated.  So far, the information coming in points towards a serious, widespread problem.  It will also draw a line and force an updated decision on what is reasonable, and what rights to privacy government employees can expect.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

OK, this is just about half a mile past too much on the Road to Oblivion, anyway.

A female relative accused George Zimmerman, charged in the murder of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, of sexually molesting her from age 6 to 16, according to new documents made public on Monday by prosecutors.

The female relative's name and exact relationship to Zimmerman was deleted from an audio tape version of her witness statement that was released to the media. Identified only as 'Witness #9' she would be aged about 27 now.

A spokesman for Zimmerman's lawyer Mark O'Mara told Reuters the defense team was preparing a response to the molestation allegations to post on its website later this afternoon and had no immediate comment.

Seminole County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Lester ordered the document released under Florida's public records law.

I need a drink.  And I don't drink.   Seriously, this is just completely bonkers now, John Grisham on meth and Doritos couldn't write this legal disaster.

Is there anyone who George Zimmerman has met whose life he hasn't turned to a flaming pile of crap?


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