Sunday, November 4, 2012

Last Call

Where's Paul Ryan been?  He's certainly been very quiet it seems over the last month.  There's a reason for that:  Romney's been hinting that he won't really give in to GOP House austerity hysteria...but he picked the author of that budget with trillions in cuts to social programs and health care as his veep.  And should Robot/Zombie '12 prevail on Tuesday, you can bet that the Ryan budget will be the only game in town.

Representative Paul D. Ryan may have largely disappeared from the national spotlight down the campaign homestretch, ceding attention to Mitt Romney. But if the Republican ticket prevails, Mr. Ryan plans to come back roaring, establishing an activist vice presidency that he said would look like Dick Cheney’s under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Ryan would dedicate most evenings to dinners with senators and House members of both parties, aides said, as he steps into the role Mr. Romney promised: architect of a Romney administration’s drive to enact a budget that shrinks the government and overhauls programs like Medicare. 

On a grinding schedule in the election’s final hours, rushing to as many as five states in a day, Mr. Ryan avoids specifics in his speeches about his duties if elected. Behind the scenes, he speaks at least weekly to the office of Mike Leavitt, the former Utah governor who leads the Romney campaign’s transition team. 

The prospect of a deeply engaged vice president was described in interviews with campaign aides, close House colleagues and the few times Mr. Ryan has discussed his potential future job. Asked by a reporter last month if he expected the kind of broad responsibility for the economy that Mr. Cheney held for national security — as an aide suggested — Mr. Ryan said, “I do.” 

So yes, the Ryan budget will be America's budget, and that means trillions in cuts to health care and social programs, trillions in tax cuts for the richest Americans, and trillions added to the national debt.  Imagine Paul Ryan with Dick Cheney's power over domestic issues and you're getting close to the screw job that awaits if these clowns win.

You can do something about that, you know.


Self-Service At Its Finest

If you're like me, you're looking forward to this election being over.  If you're pundit and former Bush 43 speechwriter/press hack Ari Fleischer, you want this thing to last forever, hence this tweet earlier today:

Seven states in recount?  Chaos for weeks, if not months...and of course plenty of TV appearances for pundits like Fleischer (despite the irreparable harm it would do to our voting process, not to mention the American psyche.)  Then again, that's the point, isn't it?  Only our pundit class would be able to navigate America through these rocky shoals, and they could shape the nation for years to come as a result.

So yeah, Ari Fleischer wants recount chaos.  It directly benefits him, not to mention 5 of those 7 states have GOP governors.  Me, that sounds like a nightmare scenario followed by the Supremes handing the election to the Republicans again.

Self-service in every sense of the word.

Pastor, Heal Thyself

BROOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan pastor accused of beating and strangling his fiancee's daughter to fulfill a sexual fantasy had asked church members to pray for the young woman before police found her body, a friend said Friday.
Ex-convict John D. White knew the victim, Rebekah Gay, 24, and regularly watched her 3-year-old son while she worked, friend Donna Houghton said. White even told investigators that after killing Gay and dumping her body, he returned to her mobile home to dress the boy in a Halloween costume before taking the youngster to his father, authorities said.
White was in jail without bond Friday, a day after he was charged with first-degree murder in Gay's death in a rural area in Isabella County, 85 miles northwest of Lansing.
White said he drank four or five beers before going to Gay's mobile home and repeatedly striking her head with a mallet and strangling her with a zip tie, according to a court filing. He said he stripped her but does not remember if he carried out his fantasy of having sex with Gay's dead body.
It was not his first crime.  Church members and neighbors are all stunned to find out that White confessed.  Though his reasons are flimsy at best,

Yankee Hospitality

When faced with a dilemma, a hotel manager in New York City made the right choice.

At first the hotel was telling guests that they would have to leave by Thursday, because they were sold out with marathon runners. But on Thursday morning, Nicotra's guests were in tears at the thought of checking out, he says.
"On Thursday morning, people were begging me and crying saying 'You can't throw me out. I have no place to go,'" he says.
Nicotra said he then contacted the marathon's organizers, the New York Road Runners, because they had a contract for rooms and told them "we have a problem here" and that "we can't just throw them out." Nicotra said he gave the group other options, including setting up a temporary dormitory in the hotel's 10,000-square-foot ballroom, which can house up to 500 people with cots.
"As Hilton says, hospitality is what we're all about. If we can make everyone happy we will, but if we can't, the choice is easy," Nicotra says. "We need to take care of our neighbors."
And take care of the neighbors, they did.  Valuing compassion over profit is rarely a wise business move.  These were some extreme circumstances, and it allowed hundreds of people comfort at a time they really needed it.

The Tang Of Desperation

How badly is Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted trying to throw the election for Romney?  Badly enough that on Saturday, in violation of a judge's order, he plans to throw out potentially tens of thousands of provisional ballots.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, whose decision to try to restrict early voting was thrown out first by an Ohio judge, then a federal appeals court and denied a hearing by the U.S. Supreme Court, will be back in court again this month after he issued a last-minute directive on provisional ballots that not only contradicts Ohio law but is also in violation of a recent court decision and the opposite of what Husted’s own lawyers said he would do.

As reported by Judd Legum at ThinkProgress, Husted ordered election officials not to fill out a section of the provisional ballot that verifies what form of identification that the voter produced and that, if it is incorrectly filled out, the ballot will automatically not be counted. However, under the law establishing the provisional balloting procedures, according to the lawsuit filed against Husted on Friday, it is election officials that are supposed to record the type of ID provided, not the voter — and that election officials are supposed to attempt to resolve any questions on the spot.

Husted has until Monday to respond to the suit, and the court has said that it plans to resolve the issue before provisional ballots are counted on November 17, 2012.

So yes, if Ohio is close, and close enough to decide the election overall, then this is the story right here that will determine the Presidency.  It amazes me that this guy is repeatedly allowed to violate federal court judges and Ohio state law, and do whatever the hell he feels like doing.

I personally hope President Obama's electoral tour de force rolls Romney so hard that Ohio is just another icing state on the 350 electoral vote cake.  But no matter what, Husted's actions here are odious, repugnant, and oh yeah, illegal.  It's voter suppression to help the GOP, period.  Let's call it what it is, folks.

The good news is at this point the extraordinarily desperate GOP is resorting to patently obvious nonsense like this, and it's being discovered before Tuesday's vote.  People are at least aware of it, especially here in Ohio (I hope).

We'll see.  The obvious remedy to this is VOTE.
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