Friday, August 3, 2012

Last Call

You know what they say:  six of one, half a billion of another.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and outside groups that support him will spend more than twice as much as President Obama's campaign on television advertising this week, according to sources watching the advertising market. But Obama is making down payments on the future, spending tens of millions of dollars on advertising that won't run until September and October.

Republicans will spend a total of $30.3 million on television advertising this week. More than two-thirds of that money will come from Restore Our Future, a Romney-backing super PAC; Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) organization that doesn't have to disclose its donors; and the Republican National Committee. Romney's campaign itself is spending $8.75 million, the data show.

Obama's campaign is spending $13.6 million on ads running in nine states this week, while Priorities USA Action, a pro-Obama super PAC, will drop another $1 million into five battleground states.

Republicans are now spending $4 million and change per day on ads, more than double what President Obama and the Democrats are using.  And every bit of that advantage is coming from the SuperPACs.  $22.5 million per week in SuperPAC spending for Romney, $1 million per week for Obama.

But the two campaigns are identical, right?

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Well, you have to admit, if you're going to be an anti-Obama SuperPAC, you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd., a new Super PAC registered with the Federal Election Commission this week, makes no bones about its aim. It intends to run an attack ad that it says will hit President Barack Obama for “his disturbing, yet crystal-clear pattern of tacitly defending black racism against white folks before and since being elected president.’s founder and treasurer is Stephen Marks, a well-known Republican opposition researcher whose 2008 book Confessions of a Political Hitman detailed his work in what he called “the dark side of politics.” In 2000, he launched an attack ad under the misleading name “Americans Against Hate,” attempting to tie Al Gore to controversial comments by Rev. Al Sharpton. Another Marks spot in 2004 attempted to link John Kerry to convicted murderer Willie Horton. He was forced to retract a claim in the book about then-Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), acknowledging that “the information was not accurate.”

We really are just weeks away from the ni-CLANG moment, folks.  Can you feel the anticipation?

Worse Dems Than Kentucky

I didn't think it was possible, but Tennessee's Democrats have now easily claimed the top spot from Kentucky Democrats (and edging out West Virginia) as the Worst Democrats In The US.

Mark Clayton believes the federal government is building a massive, four-football-field wide superhighway from Mexico City to Toronto as part of a secret plot to establish a new North American Union that will bring an end to America as we know it. On Thursday, he became the Tennessee Democrats' nominee for US Senate.

Clayton, an anti-gay marriage activist and flooring installer with a penchant for fringe conspiracy theories, finished on top of a crowded primary field in the race to take on GOP Sen. Bob Corker this fall. He earned 26 percent of the vote despite raising no money and listing the wrong opponent on his campaign website. The site still reads, "DEDICATED TO THE DEFEAT OF NEO-CONSERVATIVE LAMAR ALEXANDER," whom Clayton tried to challenge in 2008. (That year, he didn't earn the Democratic nomination.)

On his issues page, Clayton sounds more like a member of the John Birch society than a rank-and-file Democrat. He says he's against national ID cards, the North American Union, and the "NAFTA superhighway," a non-existent proposal that's become a rallying cry in the far-right fever swamps. Elsewhere, he warns of an encroaching "godless new world order" and suggests that Americans who speak out against government policies could some day be placed in "a bone-crushing prison camp similar to the one Alexander Solzhenitsyn was sent or to one of FEMA's prison camps." (There are no FEMA prison camps.)

To repeat, Mark Clayton is the Democrat in this race, and I wouldn't vote for the man.  Yes, that's right, there exists a Democrat I wouldn't vote for against a Republican.  In this race, current GOP Sen. Bob Corker, is actually the sane person and the Democrat is the Tea Party assclown, and this really is an example where banking minion Corker is no different from his Democratic opponent.  This really is Evil vs Stupid.

Oh well.  Good luck with that, Tennessee Dems.  (The same assholes that gave us Harold Ford, Jr. I might add.)

You make us here in Kentucky look good.

Train Of Thoughtlessness

(CBS) LIVERMORE, Calif. - As shortcuts go, this was an expensive one.
A Livermore woman caught walking across railroad tracks near her home got a $6,000 fine for trespassing, which she's vowing to fight, CBS San Francisco reports.
Laura Rensink, a veterinarian and mother of three, said that during her lunch break on June 7 she crossed the tracks on foot.
"I went over here and crossed this way to get home," Rensink told CBS San Francisco.
While it only took her a few seconds to cross the tracks, Rensink said a Union Pacific officer issued her a ticket.
When Rensink showed up in court, she was shocked when a judge issued her a $6,000 fine. She wasn't just cited for crossing the tracks; Rensink was also cited for trespassing.
I had no idea it was against the law to cross railroad tracks.  Especially when an essential service, such as groceries, or one's home was on the other side.  What alternative does this woman have?  It is trespassing to drive over the tracks?  How can it be trespassing without signs clearly stating that it is a crime?

This is ridiculous.  Six thousand dollars is a lot of money for normal people, and is in no way in proportion to the crime.  If there was a crime at all, I'm still having problems digesting that.

What say you, readers?  Are you familiar with any cases that might give this one some context?  I have to say, based on the information given, I'm completely in the woman's corner.

Model Behavior

Tired of models and the industry encouraging anorexic behavior, a French model decided to live to her own standards.  She has found a modeling agency that got her on the French cover of Elle, and she doesn't look bad.  If this is what they call curvy, I'm all for that.

In another brilliant move, they have started designing lingerie that accentuates and works with curves instead of masking them.  Women who are in double-digit sizes (and folks, that's not overweight in all cases) can now feel like they are dressed up instead of hidden and stifled.

And that's just the point. The UK brand's Hidden Allure and After Hours Glamour lines, with sizes ranging from 8 to 20, are far from girdles. These lacy bras, undergarments and animal print slips, aren't about reigning in waistlines but vamping them up. For now the mid-priced line (think $20-$40 range) is only available in the UK, but according the Boux Avenue website they "do their best" to accommodate international requests over email.

From an industry standpoint, Robyn's campaign is proof that Victoria's Secret skinny Angels aren't the only skimpily clad models with cross-over sex appeal. (Remember when those runway models were considered "normal" because they had muscles?) From a consumer's perspective, it's also a sign of what's to come: lingerie designed for showing off your curves, not hiding them.

I'm the same clothing size as the model they are talking about (granted, she's three inches taller).  I could lose a few pounds.  This woman looks fabulous, and would look sickly if she dropped any more weight.  It's not about size, it's about what is right for your body.  It's not about looks, it's about health.  It's about darned time someone got the message.

Dear America:

"Barack Obama is doomed.  Mitt Romney will win this election running away, and anyone who says otherwise is a liberal moron in the tank for Obama.  I don't care if the polls show Obama ahead, I don't care what Nate Silver thinks, I have my own model and it shows he gets crushed.  So suck it, doomed libtards!  I HAVE SPOKEN."

--Jim Pethokoukis

Bonus Verbatim Stupid:

Reading [political scientist Douglas] Hibb’s entire paper, I get the sense he is not thrilled with what his model is telling him. He even mentions that he’s a big fan of betting markets, and they show an Obama win. But the model says what it says — even he kind of gently suggests Romney is another stiff, just like Dole and Gore.

Hibbs indeed at Romney winning by 5 points based solely on economic and war conditions (the "bread and peace" index, Hibbs calls it.)  But Hibbs also admits this model may not apply here in the first hyper-internet, Twitter-saturated, mutliple news cycle per day election with unlimited SuperPAC money.

Funny how that works.  Into the Future Stupidity files you go, Jimmy.

Harry Plotter And The Prisoner Of Rafalca, Part 2

The Romney camp is going bugnuts over Harry Reid's insistence that Romney used various tax shelters and dodges to pay zero federal taxes for ten years, to the point where the Romney campaign is now asking Harry Reid to release Mitt Romney's taxes.  Or something.

"Well, it's time for Harry to put up or shut up. Harry's going to have to describe who it is he spoke with because of course, that's totally and completely wrong," Romney told Hannity in a radio interview. "It's untrue, dishonest, and inaccurate. It's wrong. So I'm looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources and we'll probably find out it's the White House. Look, the Obama campaign is going to do everything in its power to try and talk about anything besides the president's record. Home prices, median American incomes, gasoline prices, 23 million underemployed or unemployed."

Harry Reid, who apparently has now just stopped giving a damn about how Romney feels, is punching back a third time on this.

When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.

It’s clear Romney is hiding something, and the American people deserve to know what it is. Whatever Romney’s hiding probably speaks volumes about how he would approach issues that directly impact middle-class families, like tax reform and the economy. When you are running for president, you should be an open book.

I understand Romney is concerned that many people, Democrats and Republicans, have been calling on him to release his tax returns. He has so far refused. There is only one thing he can do to clear this up, and that’s release his tax returns.

Harry Reid is free, people.  Unencumbered.  And he's piledriving Mitt into the ground.  Once again as I said yesterday I didn't believe Reid at first, but the Romney team's screaming nutjob reaction to Reid absolutely has convinced me now that Reid is correct and is on to the truth here.

And Reid is right.  Mitt Romney can prove if Reid is a fool right now.

Why doesn't he?


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