Friday, August 31, 2012

Last Call

The trees are the right height.  Also, the flooding is the right depth.

Mitt Romney looked to capitalize on the Republican National Convention on Friday, rallying supporters in Florida and making a surprise visit to storm-battered Louisiana.

The freshly and formally nominated Republican candidate traveled to Louisiana after a traditional post-convention rally in Florida, shelving plans for a second rally in Virginia and meeting instead with storm victims in a move that his campaign hoped would reinforce a convention message to the country that he’s more than a dollars-and cents-businessman.

Romney toured Jean Lafitte, La., where emergency responders have been helping people hit hard by floodwaters from Hurricane Isaac. He met Gov. Bobby Jindal and local officials, asked questions and discussed evacuation procedures. “Did the water come from the sky, or the rivers, or the ocean?” Romney wondered. Reporters couldn’t hear the answer

Mitt.  Get some sleep, man.  Take a day off or something.  You actually managed to screw up a hurricane appearance with a friendly governor.   Sheesh.

Who says weird stuff like that?  I mean when you're obviously making a political ploy out of Louisiana's pain after telling them to go screw themselves last night in your big speech because global warming is soooooooo goddamn funny, and then you show up and botch it with some garbled nonsense where you then ditch the press pool to go riding around in a flood zone.

You're not President yet, Mitt.

And lord knows you won't be.

Read more here:

Ask A Question, Get An Answer

As part of their most recent poll, the Washington Post included the question: "What's the main reason you think most black voters support Democratic candidates?"  The biggest answer among Republican voters, independents, and Democratic voters?  "I don't know."

However, the Post cataloged the top five responses they got after that.  They're pretty much exactly what you expect as you can see in this graphic here:

Voters on why blacks pick Democrats 

The Democrats' answer can be summed up as "We're the party of civil rights." Republicans sum it up as "Black people are lazy and stupid." Independents edge towards the GOP position slightly.

Yeah, that's about par for the course for the body politic.

Autopsy Confirms Sage Stallone Died Of Heart Disease

People magazine explains more in the full article.

Heart disease, not drugs, was the major cause of Sage Stallone's untimely deathearlier this summer at age 36, the Los Angeles County coroner announced Thursday. 

After conducting an autopsy as well as a full toxicology screen, the coroner cited atherosclerotic coronary artery disease as the cause of death, and said that the drug test was negative except for a small, "sub-therapeutic" level of hydrocodone, more commonly known as Vicodin. 
There's no good way to lose someone you love, but there are still things that bring you comfort.  Knowing his son's death wasn't intentional or brought on by drugs will bring them some small relief.  What will bring them even more relief is just knowing the truth.  Closure is important.

My heart still goes out to him.  After watching (and loving) The Expendables 2, there were a few themes and things that brought a tear to my eye knowing the loss he suffered after filming.  But yeah, not to throw a spoiler, but if you know his son died a few scenes are touching.

Vote Of Confidence In Ohio

A federal judge has overruled Ohio GOP Secretary of State Jon Husted and has restored early voting for all Ohioans on all days, including weekend voting, that were available in 2008.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Peter C. Economus ordered Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted not to enforce a state law passed last year that closed that window to in-person early voting to anyone but members of the military and their families.
"This Court notes that restoring in-person early voting to all Ohio voters through the Monday before Election Day does not deprive (military) voters from early voting,'' wrote Judge Economus, a Clinton appointee. "Instead, and more importantly, it places all Ohio voters on equal standing.
"The only hindrance to (military) early voting is the Secretary of State's failure to set uniform hours at elections boards during the last three days before Election Day,'' he wrote. "On balance, the right of Ohio voters to vote in person during the last three days prior to Election Day -- a right previously conferred to all voters by the State -- outweighs the State's interest in setting the 6 p.m. Friday deadline.''

This is pretty massive, folks.   The full decision (PDF) is here, and super bonus points for justifying the injunction having the merit of the OFA argument succeeding in higher courts by citing -- get this now -- Bush v. Gore.

The right to vote is protected in more than the initial allocation of the franchise.  Equal protection applies as well to the manner of its exercise.  Having once granted the right to vote on equal terms, the State may not, by later arbitrary and disparate treatment, value one person’s vote over that of another.   It must be remembered that the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise. 

Well played, Judge Economus.  Well played, indeed.  Your move, Mr. Husted.

[UPDATE]  And Husted and Ohio GOP Attorney General Mike DeWine have indeed made their move, immediately appealing the case to the 6th Circuit here in Cincy.  The optics of Republicans going to court in order to stop people from voting in a swing state like Ohio?  Is DeWine crazy, stupid, evil, or all three?

Priest Says "The Younger Is The Seducer" In A Lot Of Cases

(Reuters) - A Roman Catholic priest in New York expressed sympathy this week for some clergy who sexually abuse children, saying that it is often the "youngster" who is the seducer, then later apologized for his remarks.
Comments by the Rev. Benedict Groeschel, 79, co-founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in Westchester County outside New York City, in which he expressed sympathy for convicted child rapist Jerry Sandusky, drew strong criticism from the Archdiocese of New York and the support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
"Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer," Groeschel said when asked by an interviewer from the National Catholic Register, the nation's oldest Catholic newspaper, about his work with priests who abuse children.
Yeah, and surprise, he apologized.  He didn't say he was wrong, mind you, he is clearly the expert.  Just that he isn't as clear as he once was.

I just don't even know what to say about this.  I have some Catholic friends who are appalled by the actions of their church, and yet keep hoping for change.  I thought honestly that nothing could surprise me anymore, and yet here I am... slackjawed and unable to find the words to express my outrage.

Bugger kids, cover it up, blame the kids when caught, and speak as the authority on what is holy, right and pure.  And in the end it will just disappear, because we are hurtling towards some sort of spiritual brick wall, where little boys getting nailed is like a delicacy and nobody can stop them anyway.

I can't think about it anymore.

What The Hell Just Happened?

"I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on"

--Gorillaz, "Clint Eastwood"

"They were saying,
I just thought,
this was great.
Everybody is trying,
Oprah was crying."

--Actual Clint Eastwood, last night at the Republican National Convention

Yeah. This happened.

Clint Eastwood, the secret guest at Thursday’s closing night of the Republican convention, surprised everyone with a head-scratching, ad libbed speech in which he pretended to talk to and make fun of an invisible President Obama on the stage.
In an eleven-minute speech, Eastwood bashed Obama for everything from failing to turn the economy around to proposing that terror suspects be tried in civilian courts in New York City. Eastwood, at times mumbling and fumbling over his words, held a mock conversation with Obama as represented by an empty chair on the stage with him, even pretending that the nonexistent Obama was telling him to shut up.

“I’ve got Mr. Obama sitting here,” he said, motioning to the chair. “And he’s, uh, I, I was just gonna ask him a couple of questions.”

The questions, however, did not go so smoothly.

“So Mr. President, how do you, uh, how do you handle, uh, how do you handle promises that you made when you were running for election?” Eastwood said to the empty chair. “And how do you handle it, uh, how do you handle it, I mean, what do you say to people?”

Andy Kaufman could not have done a better piece of performance art. Not with all of John Belushi's drugs and Richard Pryor's anger. Clint Eastwood trolled tens of millions of people by losing a ten minute argument with an imaginary Barack Obama. In fact, @InvisibleObama got thirty-seven thousand followers last night on Twitter. It was the greatest thing I have ever seen. Ever. Of all time.

Mrs. Mojo Rice In (2016)

If the measure of the competition in 2016 is "Which speech at the GOP Convention was given by the the best liar" then Condi Rice is clearly the person to beat.

Rice began her speech by recalling the September 11 terrorist attacks, which lead to the invasion of Afghanistan.

“This young century has been a difficult one,” she said. “I will never forget the bright September day, standing at my desk in the White House, when my young assistant said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center — and then a second one — and a third, the Pentagon. And then the news of a fourth, driven into the ground by brave citizens that died so that many others would live. From that day on our sense of vulnerability and our understanding of security would be altered forever.”

Rice, who was deeply involved in the Iraq war, said that the world no longer had a clear idea of where America stood on international issues like nuclear weapons in Iran and the uprisings in Syria. She insisted the United States needed to reclaims its status as the custodian of world power.

“When our friends and our foes, alike, do not know the answer to that question — clearly and unambiguously — the world is a chaotic and dangerous place,” Rice continued. “The U.S. has since the end of World War II had an answer — we stand for free peoples and free markets, we are willing to support and defend them — we will sustain a balance of power that favors freedom.”

“And I know too that there is weariness — a sense that we have carried these burdens long enough,” she added. “But if we are not inspired to lead again, one of two things will happen — no one will lead and that will foster chaos — or others who do not share our values will fill the vacuum. My fellow Americans, we do not have a choice. We cannot be reluctant to lead — and one cannot lead from behind.”

Nowhere in the speech did she mention Osama Bin Laden.  But she quietly took the radical elements of the GOP to task towards the end, speaking to the "sensible center".  It really is too bad that the one sane Republican left in the GOP party hierarchy is a blood-drenched war criminal and inveterate liar.  Condi Rice is frightfully intelligent, which compounds all her many sins, denials, and oversights in allowing this country (if not actively leading us) into two bloody wars that never should have happened.  You can bet that if she's allowed anywhere near the halls of power again, tens of thousands will die and millions will suffer.  We're still paying for her "vision of leadership" more than a decade later.

Of the most dangerous people at the GOP Convention that I fear in 2016?  This dark-winged angel of death is at the top of the list.  For the GOP, she is a stark reminder that the Dubya era happened, something they've been pretending didn't.  There's a huge gap in US history for the GOP from the years 1790 to 1980 or so, and 8 years missing from 2000 to 2008.  All Republicans will ignore that first massive gap, but the second more recent one is something none of them can go near without being irradiated with Dubya's complete failures.  That's a huge anvil around her neck if she goes forward in 2016.

But there's no doubts she can never be allowed to be part of another President's administration again.  Hell, she should be rotting in The Hague if there were any justice on Earth.

Pretty clear that's not going to happen.


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