Friday, August 17, 2012

Last Call

The incomparable Steve Benen on the Romney vs. Obama Medicare fight, folks:

In 2012, once we get past all of the talking points and attack ads, we're left with this: Romney/Ryan wants you to believe they're the liberals. No, seriously. Think about what the Republican presidential ticket, Fox News, Krauthammer, Donald Trump, and the Republican National Committee have been saying all week: those mean, rascally Democrats cut our beloved Medicare and voters should be outraged.

In other words, the argument pushed by the most right-wing major-party ticket in a generation is that Barack Obama is a left-wing socialist who wants government-run socialized medicine and that Barack Obama is a far-right brute who wants to undermine government-run socialized medicine.

If you care about protecting the popular system of socialized medicine, the argument goes, your best bet would be to put it the hands of conservative Republicans who steadfastly oppose the very idea of a government-run system of socialized medicine.

The questions voters should ask themselves, then, are incredibly simple: putting aside literally everything else you've heard this week, why in the world would a Democratic president want to "gut" Medicare? Why would liberal members of Congress and the AARP join a Democratic president in trying to undermine the system Democrats created and celebrate?

And the answer of course is that Republicans think voters are too ignorant, apathetic, or hateful to care about even considering the question.  For the most part, they're right:  right enough to keep these same Republicans within 3 Senate seats and a White House win from controlling the federal government despite all the awful things they do on a regular basis.

The bottom line is we don't give a damn, and a disturbing percentage of those of us who do have decided to join them in the vain hopes they'll punish everyone but the people they care about.

That's Above Your Clearance, Citizen

Greg Sargent flags down the Romney/Ryan campaign plan:  You don't need to know any specifics, but trust us.

Advisers say the campaign has no plans to pivot from its previous view that diving into details during a general-election race would be suicidal.

The Romney strategy is simple: Hammer away at Obama for proposing cuts to Medicare and promise, in vague, aspirational ways, to protect the program for future retirees — but don’t get pulled into a public discussion of the most unpopular parts of the Ryan plan.

“The nature of running a presidential campaign is that you’re communicating direction to the American people,” a Romney adviser said. “Campaigns that are about specifics, particularly in today’s environment, get tripped up.”

Shut up and vote, peon, before your betters notice you and make an example of you.  If you were supposed to know the Romney/Ryan GOP plan, they would have told you.

Oh wait, they did.

National media attention has focused on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) drastic restructuring of the Medicare program, detailing the Vice Presidential candidate’s efforts to transform the current benefit guarantee into a “premium support” program for future enrollees.

But Romney/Ryan’s most devastating changes would impact programs that serve society’s most vulnerable citizens. Americans who rely on Medicaid, food stamps and Pell grants won’t be afforded the luxury of retaining their existing benefits, should Romney and Ryan implement their plans; these programs would experience immediate reductions if the Ryan budget becomes law.

But trust us, the budget we passed making these cuts two years running won't really be the budget we pass...if you got rid of the Kenyan, that is.  Know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink?

How Dare The President Try To Win

If only the President would surrender completely to Mitt Romney, says former Dubya speechwriter Michael Gerson.  How dare he try to beat Mitt Romney and run such an awful campaign!

In the innocent, bygone days of February, President Obama told NBC News that the campaign would get negative against him, but provided this assurance: “I think that you will be able to see how we conduct ourselves in the campaign. I think it will be consistent with how I conducted myself in 2008 and hopefully how I have conducted myself as president of the United States.”

Not since Gary Hart urged reporters to follow him around because “they’d be very bored” has an assurance been more of an indictment. The Obama campaign has targeted and intimidated Republican donors on an Internet enemies list. It has engaged in the juvenile mockery of Mitt Romney’s singing. It has suggested, without evidence, that Romney may have committed the felony of falsifying Federal Election Commission documents. It has speculated, without proof, that Romney has avoided paying taxes. When Joe Biden engages in racially charged hyperbole, he is awkwardly but accurately reflecting the spirit of the 2012 Obama campaign. 

Remember, this is a Dubya speechwriter accusing the Obama campaign of intimidation and racism, and screaming that there's no proof on Mitt's taxes because there's no way to know what his tax returns look like.

It's hysterical.  Republicans have openly accused the President of being a Islamist terrorist sympathizer, an America-hating Manchurian Candidate, a foreigner committing crimes by lying about his birth certificate, a tyrant, a race-war breeding white-hating racist thug, a criminal running a Chicago-style organized crime syndicate and a jackbooted fascist Nazi.

But the problem here is the tone President Obama is setting by saying Mitt should release his tax returns.

Gerson is a fool and a liar, which goes with being a speechwriter for Dubya, of course.  But this may be the worst nonsense I've read in years.

For the Obama campaign, this is not an aberration; it is a culmination. The demonization of Romney is a main element of its strategy, pursued by Obama’s closest associates and former employees, not by loosely affiliated partisan groups. Deniability is not even remotely plausible, but it doesn’t remotely matter. Even when exposed, the Obama campaign never retracts, never apologizes — convinced that the news cycle will quickly erase inconvenient memories. 

Gerson should really just stop talking now before Donald Trump calls Obama a Kenyan again, or any of the myriad Romney supporters call the First Lady "Moo-chelle" again, you know?

By the way, this is the same guy who worked for an administration that openly called dissenters and critics, anti-American traitors.  You think he's projecting?


That Must Be Cottage Cheese

Because jam doesn't lump up like that.

Yeah, take a long look at Hulk Hogan's ex making a complete ass of herself in Ricky Romance's "MILF" video.  She's 52 and looking every day of it.

You know you gotta be messed up when your own kids plead for you to return to the real world... and if you saw any of their reality show you realize their world wasn't all that normal.

For what it's worth, there's nothing wrong with having a booty, or imperfections.  There is something wrong about dating someone the same age as your son, bending over a table for a video, and thinking you look good when in fact you made people gag.

Look out, Tokyo... Skankzilla is on the loose and headed your way.

Sly Answer

Sylvester Stallone is finally speaking about the death of his son Sage ... calling it a "horrible situation ... but it's something that is reality in life."

Stallone just appeared on "GMA" to promote his new "Expendables" movie ... when the reporter asked how Stallone was "hanging in there" since Sage passed away last month.

"It's tough it's very very tough," Stallone said ... adding, "But if you have good friends and your family’s support, it's just something that’s a horrible situation but ... hopefully it will heal and you try to get through it but it's something that is a reality in life."
It's a no-brainer to say that it is devastating to lose a child.  Sage had suffered from several problems in his short life, including living up to the reputation of the son of Sylvester Stallone.  It's realistic that life has to go on, but the timing was awful for a man about to take on a publicity tour.  Already, there are grumblings from people who don't feel he mourned long enough.  I say, he mourned, and it's not like I am privy to his emotional state.  I think he's working because it's what he does, and there is no less love for his lost son.

Evolving Into A Real State

Ahh Kentucky.  And people wonder why the state's aggregate IQ drops by a measurable amount when I cross the Ohio River to go to work in the mornings.  Stories like this just depress me.

Kentucky's Senate Republicans pushed successfully in 2009 to tie the state's testing program to national education standards, but three years later, they're questioning the results.

Several GOP lawmakers questioned new proposed student standards and tests that delve deeply into biological evolution during a Monday meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Education.

In an exchange with officials from ACT, the company that prepares Kentucky's new state testing program, those lawmakers discussed whether evolution was a fact and whether the biblical account of creationism also should be taught in Kentucky classrooms.

"I would hope that creationism is presented as a theory in the classroom, in a science classroom, alongside evolution," Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, said Tuesday in an interview.

To recap:  Republicans insisted the state meet new national education testing guidelines to comply with NCLB.  The state hired a company to write the tests specifically to improve education to make the state's students better educated and more competitive in the global marketplace.  Three years later, Republicans are horrified to find out the tests teach evolution.

The GOP response is pathetic.

Givens said he and other legislators have been contacted by a number of educators with concerns about Kentucky's proposed new science standards, which are tied to ACT testing and are scheduled to be adopted this fall.

"I think we are very committed to being able to take Kentucky students and put them on a report card beside students across the nation," Givens said. "We're simply saying to the ACT people we don't want what is a theory to be taught as a fact in such a way it may damage students' ability to do critical thinking."

Yes, because if you don't also teach the "theory" that invisible beared floaty guy built the Earth on a giant Sims program 6,000 years ago, you're a close minded bigot.  I demand Catholic schools teach Islam, Daoism, Shintoism, Judaism, Pastafarianism, and Pagan studies in science class or they're close minded bigots too.  See how this works?

Last time I checked, biology was a science, not a comparative religion course.

 Oh, but it gets worse.

Another committee member, Rep. Ben Waide, R-Madisonville, said he had a problem with evolution being an important part of biology standards.

"The theory of evolution is a theory, and essentially the theory of evolution is not science — Darwin made it up," Waide said. "My objection is they should ensure whatever scientific material is being put forth as a standard should at least stand up to scientific method. Under the most rudimentary, basic scientific examination, the theory of evolution has never stood up to scientific scrutiny."

You sir are the dumbest mofo on Earth, and I am offended that you are an elected lawmaker in the Commonwealth.  Your ignorance is so astounding that I have to believe you actually don't exist, because nobody can be this stupid and survive without collapsing under the density of their own idiocy.

Seriously, evolution has "never stood up to scientific scrutiny"?  When you refuse to get involved in elections and local politics and the world around you, these are the people that get elected, Kentucky. My job is to fix that.  I have a lot of work, of course.

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Playing Small Ball

Mitt Romney has a message for you people asking for his tax returns:  You're small-minded and you should just shut up already.

During a press conference at the airport in Greer, South Carolina, the GOP hopeful told reporters that he couldn’t understand why people keep asking about his taxes.

“I just have to say, given the challenges that America faces — 23 million people out of work, Iran about to become nuclear, one out of six Americans in poverty — the fascination with taxes I paid I find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues that we face,” Romney explained. 

Mitt Romney fully expects that he'll never have to make those returns public, and he expects to win in November.  Both of those can't be true.  But Mitt thinks they are.

My question, given 63% of Americans still think Mitt should release those returns, and that partially that number has to include a significant number of both independent voters (67% agree) and Republicans (28%), is "are you going to tolerate Mitt considering you small-minded and still believe him?"

Your choice.  What's he hiding?


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