Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Various

Dumb DNC: Obama is scheduled to speak on Thursday in an open-air stadium, in North Carolina -- at a time when scattered thunderstorms are considered quite possible. Christ, don't these guys know about summer storms on the east coast? Besides, opening up the show to 65,000 "average people" only increases the possibility that someone in the crowd will misbehave.

Michele Bachmann's crowning moment of crazy: She declares that Obama is "too wealthy" to attract voters. That's why they'll go for Romney.
"He and his wife have been wealthy for a number of years, and so I think that’s really the issue. President Obama is wealthy, what does he understand about the common man right now?”
There's video. Trust me -- context doesn't make her seem less wacky.

Burton got it right:  California Democratic party chairman John Burton compared Paul Ryan's cavalcade of fibs to Goebbels' doctrine of the big lie. Team Obama spanked Burton for playing the Hitler card. I say that sometimes the Hitler card is the correct card to play, and that Burton got it right.

Y'know what's even more Goebbels-esque? The right's maniacal insistence that Ryan's lies -- which appalled even Bush's strategist Matthew Dowd -- were not lies. They've decided that any fact-checker who says anything that might puncture the right's hallucinations must have a liberal bias. I guess that would include Dowd.

No rats at Skydancing: Dakinikat's blog cites Cannonfire as an inspiration. Her writing is quite impassioned...
I’m all fine with the support of third party candidates but any one that tries to send me propaganda that Romney is a feminist based on hiring a few women years ago back in Massachusetts and therefor deserves my vote can frankly sell their frigging uterus and announce themselves a neutered slave imho. You’re going to be deleted from contact with me on Twitter and Facebook and you’re not going to be very welcome here either.  I will not watch everything I care about–our immigrant heritage, our appreciation for the rights of minorities, women, GLBT communities, and others and our heritage of doing right by the least among us–be destroyed by greedy Vulture Capitalists who lie.  I don’t care how mad you are at Obama, if you’re encouraging this group of race-baiting, women-hating, middle class destroying, religiously intolerant Republicans then be prepared to axed from my list and be moderated into byte hell here at Sky Dancing.  Again, I’m fine with any one that wants to tell me about Jill or Rosanne even though I will argue if you live in some states we should have a frank discussion about Al Gore and Ralph Nader eventually.  But, I do not–under any circumstances–want to read any one that tells me that the Romney/Ryan ticket are our friends.  I don’t care if you decide to skip the presidential ticket either.  Although, again, I’m not sure if I could do that if I lived in a swing state.  I am all happy with you criticizing POTUS because on many, many issues, the man deserves criticism.

But, I cannot think of ANY circumstances under which Romney or Ryan are going to be a friend to working people, teachers, firefighters, forest rangers, women, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, transexual and bisexual people, animals, the planet earth, children, or the general welfare of the United States of America.
I'll add this. In 2008, the "racist dog whistle" argument struck me as entirely bogus. But this year, the dog whistles are so loud and so continuous, my pooch Bella can't sleep at night.

Taibbi: If you haven't seen it yet, Matt Taibbi's story "Greed and Debt" is a must-read.
By making debt the centerpiece of his campaign, Romney was making a calculated bluff of historic dimensions – placing a massive all-in bet on the rank incompetence of the American press corps. The result has been a brilliant comedy: A man makes a $250 million fortune loading up companies with debt and then extracting million-dollar fees from those same companies, in exchange for the generous service of telling them who needs to be fired in order to finance the debt payments he saddled them with in the first place. That same man then runs for president riding an image of children roasting on flames of debt, choosing as his running mate perhaps the only politician in America more pompous and self-righteous on the subject of the evils of borrowed money than the candidate himself. If Romney pulls off this whopper, you'll have to tip your hat to him: No one in history has ever successfully run for president riding this big of a lie. It's almost enough to make you think he really is qualified for the White House.
More -- and this offers an insight into Romney's character I have not seen before:
To recap: Romney, who has compared the devilish federal debt to a "nightmare" home mortgage that is "adjustable, no-money down and assigned to our children," took over Ampad with essentially no money down, saddled the firm with a nightmare debt and assigned the crushing interest payments not to Bain but to the children of Ampad's workers, who would be left holding the note long after Romney fled the scene. The mortgage analogy is so obvious, in fact, that even Romney himself has made it. He once described Bain's debt-fueled strategy as "using the equivalent of a mortgage to leverage up our investment."

Romney has always kept his distance from the real-life consequences of his profiteering. At one point during Bain's looting of Ampad, a worker named Randy Johnson sent a handwritten letter to Romney, asking him to intervene to save an Ampad factory in Marion, Indiana. In a sterling demonstration of manliness and willingness to face a difficult conversation, Romney, who had just lost his race for the Senate in Massachusetts, wrote Johnson that he was "sorry," but his lawyers had advised him not to get involved. (So much for the candidate who insists that his way is always to "fight to save every job.")

This is typical Romney, who consistently adopts a public posture of having been above the fray, with no blood on his hands from any of the deals he personally engineered. "I never actually ran one of our investments," he says in Turnaround. "That was left to management."

In reality, though, Romney was unquestionably the decider at Bain. "I insisted on having almost dictatorial powers," he bragged years after the Ampad deal. Over the years, colleagues would anonymously whisper stories about Mitt the Boss to the press, describing him as cunning, manipulative and a little bit nuts, with "an ability to identify people's insecurities and exploit them for his own benefit." One former Bain employee said that Romney would screw around with bonuses in small amounts, just to mess with people: He would give $3 million to one, $3.1 million to another and $2.9 million to a third, just to keep those below him on edge.
Hard Right: Two stories on The Real News coalesce into the same story....

First: Wall Streeters now back Romney
Even though many on Wall St. understand need for regulation, most want a free-for-all and damn the consequences
Second: Police are killing miners in South Africa.
...the argument from the ANC will be that South Africa needs to be competitive in this globalized economy, that South Africa needs foreign investors, it needs them to have confidence in the mines, the mines need to produce, a certain amount of royalties go to the South African society, that's where things are, and these miners are being unrealistic, and this new union is just causing trouble.
At root, these two stories are the same story. Unfettered neo-liberalism leads to national suicide.


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