Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cartoon of the Day - Rethug Voter Suppression With a Class Warfare Half-Tuck Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Signe Wilkinson, via gocomics.com)

Rahm-bo Quote of the Day

“I don’t know how he’ll handle the head of state job. He’s made a mess of being a tourist.” -- the inimitable Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, commenting on Willard "Mr. Mo' Shambles" Romney's gaffe-a-thon travels.

Rahm is one of the President's toughest, most aggressive and credible surrogates. The media doesn't mess with him, nor do seemingly the Rethuglicans. Teamed up with former President Clinton delivering Obama's message to blue collar whites, what a great one-two punch they can make.

Early "Mid"-Week Song

The Irish pop/folk quartet The Corrs have been making wonderful music for years.They performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics and won many fans in the States, and have gone on to release several albums that have gone platinum internationally. The band is made up of three very lovely sisters and their brother (playing acoustic guitar, and who happens to be celebrating his birthday today). Enjoy this lilting Irish folk-style cover of a Jimi Hendrix tune.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oy! Mitt Hits The Fan...Again

Well, London was a triumph for bumbling plutocrat Willard "Mr. Mo' Shambles" Romney, wasn't it? Not to worry, he followed up with a bungle or two at a fundraiser in Israel, the more significant one being insulting the Palestinian people as having their own culture to blame for their economy. After 45 years of occupation and restrictions on trade, the Palestinian economy is struggling mightily, something that Mr. Mo' Shambles apparently didn't take into account. No doubt the right-wing Likudnik audience at the fundraiser ate up the slur, including Macau gambling tycoon (and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act scofflaw) Sheldon "Smelly Shelly" Adelson, a poster boy for dual loyalties if there ever was one.

(image: h/t to tBogg's blog)

Free Pussy Riot!

The increasingly repressive regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin has its latest victims: three women punk rockers from the band [ahem] Pussy Riot. The three (Maria Alyokhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, and Yekaterina Samutsevich) went on trial today charged with "hooliganism" for a brief performance inside the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. During the performance, which was meant to highlight the close ties between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Putin regime, the three sang "Throw Putin out." The women could face 7 years in prison for what would be at most a misdemeanor (trespass?) in most civilized countries.

Putin promised to bring a "managed democracy" to Russia. Time is proving that the only thing that's being managed is the destruction of freedom and civil liberties.

Your Pierce-ing Quote of the Day

Speaking of the great Charles P. Pierce, here's a snip from his Monday morning review of the fools and knaves festival, also known as Sunday news shows:
"Can everybody on both sides of the big political dig please now come to the overdue realization that the president was not elected to fulfill your rosy dreams of what you believe America to be? He was a politician, more ambitious than most, who was handed the biggest dungburger of pre-existing political conditions of any president since FDR. Right now, his primary obligation to himself — and, I would argue, to democracy its own self — is to keep his job out of the well-manicured and grasping talons of Willard Romney. That he is doing so with enough vigor to give the vapors to the country's lycanthropic financial titans, and to the reporters who worship them, is what he's supposed to be doing. And, in doing so, I don't think he's gone more than a yard out of bounds to make his hits. If that disturbs nappy-nap time for people who thought the country voted for Martin Luther Ruxspin last time around, that's just going to have to be too bad."

Believe it or not, it only gets better from there.

The "Mistake"

Former (Vice) President and sharpshooter Dick "Dead Eye" Cheney has weighed in on Sen. John McNasty's choice of snowbilly grifter Sarah "Don't Know Much About History" Palin for the 2008 Rethug ticket. Dead Eye's verdict was a bit harsh:
“I like Governor Palin,” Cheney said of the former Alaska governor. “I’ve met her. I know her. . . . Attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test . . . of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”
Not surprisingly, Alaska's half-term Governor has recently lined up with the American Taliban and other homophobes in supporting Chick-Fil-A, whose CEO has come out (no pun intended) against marriage equality and other LGBT issues. "Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods" (as Esquire's great Charles Pierce accurately refers to her) is through politically -- she wasn't even invited to the Rethug convention -- but she'll continue to stand squarely on the wrong side of everything. A "mistake?" Yes, and one that America luckily avoided electing.

(photo: Stay classy!)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

How Do Republicans Win Elections?

They Lie (mendacious "Mitt the Twit" and the RNC);

They Cheat;

They Steal (hello Bush v. Gore!).

Any questions?

Sunday Reading

The Kaplan Daily has the always insightful Drew Westen looking back on the mistakes made by the Obama Administration that could translate to an election day loss. (Westen has often been way ahead of the curve in advising Democrats how to position themselves policy-wise and politically; it's too bad his advice was often ignored or followed too-tepidly.) While we still believe this is Obama's election to lose, it's frustrating to know that this needn't have been such a struggle. As Westen says,
"So, beyond the anemic economy, why do the latest polls show the former Massachusetts governor in a dead heat with the president? Because Obama’s administration made three crucial errors that enabled the Republican obstructionism that has tied his hands for the past two years, with GOP leaders shooting down any idea — even if it’s one of their own — that might have helped the president strengthen the economy. And those mistakes have made possible what was unimaginable in January 2009: that a private-equity baron lacking a sense of noblesse oblige, and preaching the gospel of deregulation and lower taxes for the rich, might actually win the presidency four years after those policies led to the collapse of the U.S. economy."

Also, the Kaplan Daily has an editorial about Rethuglican voter suppression - calling it, rightly, a modern version of the old poll taxes that were meant to keep minority voters away from the polls in the Jim Crow South. We need more media outlets to shine a light on this Rethuglican attempt to pull off an election day coup.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

War On Women - 10 Worst States For Women's Health

Mississippi. Arkansas. Idaho. Kentucky. Louisiana. Tennessee. Oklahoma. Texas. West Virginia. Wyoming. The 10 worst States for women's health, according to Health.com. What do these states also have in common? They're deeply conservative, Red/ Rethuglican states. Here's what data the survey was based on:
"To compile this list, Health.com used data from several sources, including the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Women’s Law Institute, and the Guttmacher Institute.

"We looked at more than a dozen indicators, including the percentage of women getting first trimester prenatal care, the percentage of women who were up-to-date on cervical and breast cancer screening, maternal mortality rates, and the percentage of women living in poverty.

"States that were in the top 10 on these indicators were most likely to be included in our list; states are not listed in any particular order."

Unless and until the American talibangelists and good ol' boys that run these states are defeated, don't expect this list to change any time soon.

Weekend Cartoons - London Olympics Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Top - Jeff Danziger, bottom - Clay Bennett, via gocomics.com)

Quote of the Day

"In the introduction to my book, I took note of a sick political culture where 'facts are so easily twisted for political purposes and where strange armies of ideological pseudo-historians roam the biographical fields in search of stray ammunition.' That sentence is now cited on right-wing Web sites as evidence that I hold them in contempt. True enough, one of the few accurate things that I’ve read from them. I do hold some of them in contempt, not because of their politics, nor because of their dislike of Obama. Political debate and disagreement are the lifeblood of American democracy. No, I hold them in contempt for the way they disregard facts and common sense and undermine the role of serious history as they concoct conspiracy theories that portray the president as dangerous, alien and less than American." -- Pulitzer Prize winning David Maraniss, author of "Barack Obama: The Story," in a Kaplan Daily op-ed (no link). If right-wingers don't like the facts in front of them, they'll create their own.


Take that, "Mitt the Twit"!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mitt's Mendacity, Continued

If it's Friday, it's another installment of the bald-faced lies of Willard "Mitt the Twit" Romney. We didn't have to go any further than #1 this week, the "you didn't build that" faux contretemps ginned up by Willard's campaign and its right-wing Wurlitzer to get the conversation off Willard's record at Bain Capital and his arrogant refusal to release his tax returns. Tune in next Friday for the next installment!

Video of the Week - The Anglo-Saxon Dog Whistle

Oh, They're On To Him All Right

"Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive." - spot-on commentary in Britain's The Telegraph. We ask again, how is this trust fund stiff getting in the mid-40's in polls??

Weekend Birthday Song Twofer

Yesterday was Rolling Stones founder and singer Mick Jagger's -- excuse me, Sir Mick Jagger's 69th birthday. This year is also the Stones' 50th anniversary as as band, one of the most important and successful bands in rock history. It was extremely difficult picking just two songs from their catalog (and these aren't necessarily our favorites), but as representative of Jagger and the Stones' work, they'll do just fine. (Please feel free to turn the volume up!)

First, "The Last Time" from 1965, with a brief cameo by British soccer legend George Best (this one's for you, Richie Poo):

And "Tumbling Dice" from 1972 (this one's for me):

Slice And Dice Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

We can expect more of the dishonest editing and spinning from the "I'll Do Anything to Get Elected" candidate, Willard "Slick Mitt" Romney in the weeks ahead. The Obama team needs to guard against minor slips like the one that allowed the Rethugs to lie about his actual words.

And The Tin Medal Goes To....

Outsourcing pioneer and international gaffe machine Willard "Prime Time" Romney, for executing a remarkable reverse quadruple belly flop in England yesterday:
1. Calling into question the preparations for the Olympics, resulting in some pointed return jabs from Prime Minister David Cameron, London Mayor Boris Johnson, and the British press;

2. Forgetting the name of head of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, and referring to him as "Mr. Leader."

3. Announcing to the world that he met with the head of Great Britain's super-secret MI6, a no-no that indicates Willard is unprepared for dealing with security matters.

4. Repeating the debunked canard that Obama returned a bust of Winston Churchill to the British Embassy (repeated today by professional dickwad and Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferer Charles "Kraphammer" Krauthammer in the Kaplan Daily). The bust's still in the White House, of course.
There's still time for weird Willard to garner more tin medals on his international charm offensive. Poland offers a target-rich opportunity for some good natured Polish jokes, and Israel shouldn't be offended if former Mormon bishop Willard offers to collect the names of deceased Israelis so as to posthumously baptize them.If only he were using the trip to look into new offshore investment opportunities...

(image: Congratulations, and may you earn many, many more!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Willard's Foreign Trip - Damage Control Edition

The campaign of Willard "Gaffe Machine" Romney thought it would be neat to send the outsourcing pioneer overseas to showcase his foreign policy chops. Well, Willard just landed in London and is already engaged in full-on damage control - chop, chop! Those furriners are going to grow to love Willard just as much as Americans do!

This could be the start of Willard's very own "apology tour!"

BONUS: Love PM David Cameron's put down of Willard's experience with the Salt Lake City Olympics: "We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."

DOUBLE BONUS: The Daily Mail's conservative political writer James Chapman tweeted on weird Willard's complete flop in his meeting with the British Prime Minister:

Video Clip of the Day

Jon Stewart looks at the selective editing of President Obama's remarks by the campaign of serial liar Willard "Anything To Be President" Romney concerning the role of the public sector in supporting businesses. Aided and abetted by the right wing Wurlitzer (Fux primarily), the idea was to make the President look anti-small business. The ending of the clip is priceless, as Stewart juxtaposes Mendacious Mittens' own words with the President's.

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democalypse 2012 - Do We Look Stupid? Don't Answer That Edition - Grammatical Gaffes
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Class Warfare - Romney's Offshore Tax Evasion Edition

How does outsourcing pioneer Willard "No New Tax Returns!" Romney's use of offshore tax havens and his refusal to release his tax returns (and thereby face questioning on them) relate to income inequality issues in America? Mark Braude says, in part:

"Mitt Romney’s brazen attitude toward Bain Capital’s dealings in Panama, coupled with his refusal to release his tax returns, shows he is more than out of touch with the causes of the men and women he would serve. He is openly at odds with their financial well-being. How is it that someone can talk relatively openly about having potentially taxable income parked overseas and remain a viable candidate for the highest public office? How often, really, do places with lax banking regulations such as Liechtenstein, or Andorra, or Switzerland enter our national dialogue? [snip]

"[W]hen all of those individual [American plutocrat] offshore accounts are considered as a whole, they present a resoundingly clear and alarming picture. All of that potentially taxable income sitting in tax havens amounts to billions—some estimates say trillions—of dollars lost from the American tax pool. For local communities, this translates into a host of government services and programs that won’t be launched because the revenue that would have funded them has been lost forever."

It's important that the American people see that this is an issue of responsible citizenship, and that Randians like Willard are having a negative impact on their nation's economic well-being -- imagine any part of the hundreds of billions (or trillions) parked by the Willards of America being used to create jobs instead of just more obscene wealth!

(Photo: "Get a move on, my good man! My plane is leaving for the Cayman Islands in a few minutes!")

Sally Ride

We have been remiss in failing to note the untimely passing of a great American, former astronaut Sally Ride, who passed away Monday at the age of 61 from pancreatic cancer. A multi-talented scientist and athlete, Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard the Challenger space shuttle on June 18, 1983. She completed a second space mission, also aboard the Challenger, in October 1984. After her retirement from NASA, she was a physics professor at the University of California - San Diego.

May she rest in peace.

Consequences of Rethug Voter Suppression

Harold Meyerson's piece in today's Kaplan Daily is worth a read. The voter suppression actions of Rethuglican governors in a number of states is an unprecedented assault on the right to vote, intended (to extrapolate from what the Rethug state house leader in Pennsylvania said) to insure the election of Willard "Corporations Are People, My Friend" Romney. Emboldened right-wingers and their plutocrat sugar daddies see this election as possibly the last opportunity to permanently change the rules of the game when it comes to who can vote in this country, to lock in their reactionary agenda. We know this causes the Rethugs absolutely no moral dilemma, since they adhere to the Randian philosophy that they are the rightful, enfranchised voters and those who don't share their view, or economic status, or ethnic, religious or racial profile, etc., should have their voting rights taken away or circumscribed to the greatest extent possible.

Mid-Week Song

The lovely bluegrass/country singer Alison Krauss sings today's song, "Paper Airplane," with her group Union Station. Krauss has won a record 27 Grammy Awards, starting in 1991, when she was the second youngest artist to win the award. Enjoy.

Assad Launches Air Strikes on City

The Syrian regime of Bashir al-Assad has launched air strikes on rebel civilian targets in Syria's second-largest city of Aleppo. The use of military aircraft marks a new level of savagery and destruction by the embattled Syrian dictator.

New reports that elements of al Qaeda are attempting to gain a foothold in the civil war illustrate the complexity of the struggle, and one in which the U.S. needs to keep pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies without committing our military assets. We need to shun the reckless impulses of the neocons, who are once again urging U.S. military intervention in a situation that is ripe for unintended consequences.

(photo: USA Today)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stormy Picture of the Day

(click to enlarge)
According to the HuffPo, the quote from Greek playwright Aeschylus should have read,"I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship." In the immortal words of Preznit Dumbya, "is our children learning?"

That Far Away Look

The New York Times' Frank Bruni has a scathing column today on Minnesota loon Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann, who has been engaging in some McCarthyite smearing of late. Not satisfied with questioning the loyalty of Huma Abedin, Secretary Clinton's top aide, with the spurious suggestion that she has links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Crazy Eyes has moved on to fellow Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, himself a Muslim. It's gotten so bad that even Rethuglican leaders (John "of Orange" Boehner, Marco "Polo" Rubio, and John "McNasty" McCain) have walked away from Crazy Eyes this time.

But that's not all she's done. Bruni goes after her claim of being a devout "Christian," and cites numerous instances of Crazy Eyes' rabid statements on the President, gays, and generally people that she disagrees with:
"What I find most fascinating about Michele Bachmann — and there are many, many more where she came from — is that she presents herself as a godly woman, humbly devoted to her Christian faith. I’d like to meet that god, and I’d like to understand that Christianity."
The whole column is worth a read, because it captures the essential hypocrisy and dementia of the far right, especially those that style themselves as "evangelical Christians." It's a pity that she doesn't practice what her religion preaches.

UPDATE: Here's the Muslim Brotherhood's response to Crazy Eyes' charges:
The Muslim Brotherhood can’t even penetrate the Egyptian government,” said a Brotherhood leader in Egypt’s Daqheleya province, Ibrahim Ali Iraqi, in response to the accusations his group had infiltrated top US agencies.

Monday, July 23, 2012

"The Choice"

For those tepid "centrist" pundits and politicians who think the President has been a big ol' meanie to poor defenseless Willard "Slick Mitt" Romney, here's an antidote that should soothe them, while still driving the political point home.

NCAA Sacks Penn State

In the wake of the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, the NCAA announced strong penalties against the school including a $60 million fine, barring post-season bowl appearances for four years, and allowing current players to transfer to other colleges. This weekend, the statue of long-time football coach Joe Paterno was removed from outside the Penn State football stadium, reflecting the judgement of the commission looking into the sexual abuse scandal that Paterno was involved in a coverup of assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's child rape.

Just as in Wall Street banking, collegiate sports has had a "too big to fail" mentality in which successful athletic programs are protected at all costs, due to their national profile and ability to generate revenues for the college or university. Hopefully this case and the criminal penalties that followed will compel institutions of higher education to ensure that this shameful episode won't be repeated.

(photo: Workers remove statue of former coach Joe Paterno)

"Feets Don't Fail Me Now"

A couple dozen fans of "self-help" con artist Tony Robbins recently got the hot foot at one of his "If I'm rich and you're not, it's your fault" seances. Walking barefoot over white-hot coals can do that to you. But do those whose tootsies got second and third degree burns blame Robbins? Course not! To paraphrase their take away: "the fault lies in ourselves." No More Mister Nice Blog explains:
"Because a lot of us are much too willing to believe whatever a rich, successful guy tells us -- especially when he tells us that our problems are exclusively our fault and not the fault of people like himself. If a guy is rich, and he tells us he and his class are helping us when they're really hurting us, a lot of us just believe him -- after all, he helped himself, didn't he? If we're not being helped, it must be our fault."
Or, as the great Charles P. Pierce (who gave us the title for this posting) succinctly puts it:
"He's a fake and you're all morons.
Bailiff, bring in the next group."
(Image: Robbins and ...(sigh) Oprah)

Cartoon of the Day: Dick- , Uh, I Mean Romney-In-A-Box

(click to enlarge)
(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Blind Squirrel Finds Nut" Tweet of the Day

Perhaps he could pass the word to his wingnut employees at Fux, etc. who push the NRA's positions.

Reflecting On The Aurora Tragedy

"The people we lost in Aurora loved, and were loved. They were mothers and fathers; husbands and wives; sisters and brothers; sons and daughters; friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future and dreams that were not yet fulfilled. And if there’s anything to take away from this tragedy, it’s a reminder that life is fragile. Our time here is limited and it is precious. And what matters in the end are not the small and trivial things which often consume our lives. It’s how we choose to treat one another, and love one another. It’s what we do on a daily basis to give our lives meaning and to give our lives purpose. That’s what matters. That’s why we’re here." -- President Obama in his weekly address, July 21.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Why We Won't See Any Action On Guns

The tragic events yesterday in Aurora have become familiar in American life, so much so that the so-called National Rifle Association (the "Gun Manufacturers Association" would be an accurate title) will bide its time, counting on a national numbness to prevail. They are confident that after years of massacres nothing will be done, since they have the Rethuglicans in their pockets and the Dems afraid of taking action after decades of setbacks on gun control. The first thing the NRA says after a tragedy like Aurora is "don't use this tragedy as a political tool to force gun control," and no one pushes back anymore.

Even the Onion has a piece of black humor to illustrate what we've come to expect from the most powerful interest group (hat tip to the Silver Spring Bureau Chief).

Late Night Laughs

Courtesy of Daily Kos, here's a sampling of last week's late night humor:
"At a basketball game, the President and Michelle Obama got caught off-guard on a Kiss Cam. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney was caught off-guard by the Show Us Your Tax Returns Cam."
---Conan O'Brien
"Mitt Romney says he doesn’t know where his financial records are because he doesn’t manage them. He would have said more but he had to go give a speech on why he's the perfect guy to manage the economy."
---Jimmy Fallon
"I was just the guy with the smoke-screen'ish yet still-legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least one hundred thousand dollars a year to do what, according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing! And that's the kind of common-sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House."
---Jon Stewart, channeling his inner Mitt
"Wall Street says they prefer Mitt Romney for president. And, by God, who could question Wall Street's judgment?"
---David Letterman
"I don’t know why, but Mitt Romney has gotten this reputation as a guy who can't identify with the common man, no matter how hard he fires them."
---Stephen Colbert

Thanks for Not Coming (Whew!)

Former Preznit George "Dumbya" Bush has decided not to attend next month's Rethuglican convention in Tampa, no doubt prompting a huge sigh of relief from the Romneybots running Willard "Retired Retroactively" Romney's coronation. Imagine the scene inside the convention if the man responsible for botching the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, for upping the debt by trillions, and for presiding over the worst financial failure and economic collapse since the Great Depression showed up to take a bow or two. Those are reminders the Romneybots would have us wipe from our short memories.

It's said that weird Willard's economic and foreign policies would be like Dumbya's on steroids, but a reminder of that fact by Dumbya's presence at the convention would have been awkward in the extreme for the Romneybots.

(image: "Abudee, abudee, that's all folks!")

Friday, July 20, 2012

More Mittens Mendacity

It's Friday, so that means another installment of Steve Benen's chronicles of Willard "Mendacious Mitt" Romney's sickening sewer of lies. This week, our choice is number 17:
"Look, President Obama attacks success, and therefore, under President Obama we have less success."

Citation? No? Video? No? Tape recording? No? What Willard is referring to is the fact that people don't like his weaseling about his Bain "retroactive retirement," his outsourcing jobs, his offshore accounts, his arrogant refusal to release his tax returns, etc., etc. Oh, yes, and the tango horsey.

Right-Wing Brand Alert

For your consideration as you ponder how to spend your hard-earned money, below is a listing of 23 brands that are bank-rolling right-wing attack ads and politics.

(click to enlarge - best image and background on each brand is at linked site)

Weekend Songs

Of Monsters and Men (h/t Richie Poo):

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

Another Mass Killing

We've been following the awful news about the early morning rampage inside an Aurora, Colorado theater that has resulted in 12 shot dead and as many as 50 59 wounded, several critically. News reports indicate that a lone gunman, dressed in black with a helmet and bullet-proof vest opened fire on the midnight premiere audience of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises". (As a side note, the movie has been the subject of far right conspiracy theories, since the movie's villain's name is "Bane"). No motive has been determined by police, who are being augmented by State and Federal law enforcement personnel, who have the 24 year old white male gunman in custody.

Aurora is a suburb of Denver, and only 30 minutes from Littleton, the scene of the Columbine shooting in April, 1999. Perhaps the NRA can simply change the dates and locations and reissue the same "guns don't kill people, people kill people" press release from those days.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Are You A Romney?

Take the test!

(Photo: A Romney (left); "you people" (right))

Quote of the Day - Original Republican Edition

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." -- Abraham Lincoln, December 3, 1861. Republican common sense 150 years ago; Rethuglican heresy today. Sic transit gloria, GOP. (h/t Driftglass)

Retroactive Taxes Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
While most of the speculation about what weird Willard "Retired Retroactively" Romney is hiding in his tax documents focuses on what he paid (or didn't), it's probably more toxic than that. How about a situation where Willard was heavily invested in China, or another major U.S. competitor? How about investments in companies or products that don't square with the general public, or swing voters in particular? Those situations seem more likely to cause weird Willard to withhold tax info. We already know he uses "carried interest" tax rates, and that he uses tax shelters. But what if he had investments in, say, the Chinese military/industrial complex?

UPDATE: Weird Willard's aristocratic spouse, "Queen" Ann Romney, tells a national audience that, "we've given all you people need to know" about their finances. And if "you people" ask for more, OFF WITH YOUR HEADS!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Court Rules Against WI Voter Suppression Law

With multiple Rethuglican-controlled State legislatures passing laws intended to suppress Democratic voter turnout, we're seeing some victories in the court system, to wit, a Wisconsin judge declared Wisconsin's "voter ID" law would place undue obstacles to voting. While the decision will be appealed, the ruling (along with two other undecided cases pending) almost certainly delays a final hearing by the Wisconsin Supreme Court until after the November elections.

It's a good day for democracy.

Retired Retroactively Romney Clarifies Things

We're all-videos, all-the-time today. Here's one from the Obama Truth Team mocking one Willard "Retired Retroactively" Romney's lawyerly word salad "clarifying" things about his Bain Capital retirement days. Love the Insp. Clouseau-evoking music throughout and the woman's laughing and saying "That sounds very suspicious" starting at about :45. Ouch. That's gotta hurt, Willard.

Retired Retroactively Romney's Horsey Tango

The Democratic National Committee shows the evasive job creator tap-dancing (or is it a horsey tango?) around the topic of releasing his taxes:

Photo of the Day

To those angry, apoplectic wingnuts like pill-popping Rush Limpballs and Cuban-born John "Who Knew?" Sununu, here's a picture to chew on as you contemplate Willard "America The Beautiful" Romney's recent implosion. Har har.

(photo: The President and First Lady are captured by the Kiss Cam at Verizon Center in D.C. during a warm-up game between U.S. and Brazil Olympic teams, as daughter Malia checks out the Jumbotron. Getty Images)

Mid-Week Goin' Back Song

A belated happy birthday to The Byrds' founder and vocalist/lead guitarist Roger McGuinn, who turned 70 (wha?!) last Friday. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group led the folk rock movement of the '60s, and were later pioneers in country rock and even psychedelic rock. McGuinn's electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar was one of the unique sounds in rock music. Here The Byrds perform Carole King/Gerry Goffin's "Goin' Back" on the Smothers Brothers show, with the mustachioed McGuinn singing and on lead guitar.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Your "Retired Retroactively" Romney Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, via gocomics.com)

What A Campaign In Full Panic Mode Looks Like

John "Who Knew?" Sununu, Cuban-born spokesman for the increasingly desperate campaign of "Retired Retroactively" Romney, said in a call with media representatives that President Obama needed to "learn how to be an American." Judging from the quick walkback and subsequent damage control, the Romney campaign must wish Sununu would learn how to be a surrogate.

You can see the flop sweat starting to ooze out of the collective pores of these bums.

Smelly Shelly's Foreign Dealings

Gambling tycoon and Rethug sugar daddy Sheldon "Smelly Shelly" Adelson has promised to spend whatever's necessary of his $20 billion plus wealth in the service of the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party to defeat President Obama and Democrats. Smelly Shelly was about to go bankrupt just a few years ago when he struck a deal with some officials in Macau, China to open a vastly lucrative gambling operation. The problem with the deal is that Smelly Shelly may have bribed those officials in Macau to get the path cleared, a felony violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Las Vegas Sun has the details on the investigation into Smelly Shelly's foreign dealings, and they look very, um, interesting indeed.

(photo: "Job creator" Smelly Shelly Adelson enjoys creating jobs in Macau.)

Videos of the Day

From yesterday's Daily Show, a perfect deconstruction of what average Americans find dishonest about weird Willard "Corporations Are People, My Friend" Romney's gyrations about his Bain story. At about 3:50 into the clip, we get this priceless line from Jon Stewart (imitating Willard):
"I was just the guy with the smokescreenish yet still legal title of CEO and managing director who was paid at least $100,000 a year to do... nothing. And that's the kind of common sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House."

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democalypse 2012 - Bain Damage
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And Part Deux:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democalypse 2012 - Bain Damage - Romney's Blind Trust
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Quote of the Day

"Mitt Romney has every right to cloak his personal and professional finances in secrecy — and voters have every right to assume he has something embarrassing to hide. If this seems unfair, Romney has only himself to blame. Through a series of miscalculations, Romney has managed to turn what should have been a minor hiccup into what may be a defining moment, and not in a good way. Attacks by President Obama’s campaign serve mainly to draw attention to the train wreck." -- Pulitzer Prize winning Eugene Robinson in today's Glenn Kessler Kaplan Daily. For Millionaire Mittens to go through the fire he's going through on not releasing multiple years of tax returns indicates far worse things would happen if he did. Could it be some profitable betting against the U.S., or some barely legal international transactions with unsavory entities? It's very possible.

Something To Hide, Willard? Cont'd.

As if on cue, the Obama campaign's new video poses the question of what is Willard "Outsourcer-in-Chief" Romney hiding in his tax returns. The Dems are finding their groove...finally.

Please, Willard, pleeeaasse maintain your arrogant tax secrecy, dig in your heels and tell the voters they have no right to know about your past financial dealings, but should elect you President anyway. Pleeeaasse!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Something To Hide, Willard?

"The Obama people keep on wanting more and more and more. More things to pick through, more things for their opposition research to try make a mountain out of and to distort and to be dishonest about. We’re going to put out two years of tax returns." -- That's Willard "Believe in America, But Don't Pay Any Taxes" Romney on today's Fux and Friends. Despite the likes of fellow right-wingers George "Quill" Will and Wee Willie Kristol telling him to release all his taxes and fess up to his Bain role, Willard insists on sounding like someone with something to hide. Maybe that's because he is. We're guessing he paid no taxes in multiple years, he was drawing salary from the company he "retired retroactively" from, he somehow managed to bend the law to get a $100 million IRA, and some of his investments overseas would, um, raise eyebrows. How's that for a start?

Offshore Mitt's "I'm Rubber, You're Glue" Campaign

(click to enlarge)

The desperate saps are already at it. UPDATE: Then had to take it down. Har-har.

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Will The Tea Party Miss Its Alice?

The Rethuglican convention in August will certainly have its share of kooks and flaming wingnuts parading around in Revolutionary War getup. One of their idols is tea bagger favorite and former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah "Pay Attention To ME!" Palin, and she apparently won't get an invitation to Willard's coronation. Here's the reason, according to the Daily Beast:
"The Romney campaign prides itself on a slavish adherence to script, and Palin cannot be trusted to avoid the impulse to go rogue. That is why, perhaps, the Romney campaign has not asked Palin to speak at the convention nor contacted her about even attending the party’s marquee event in Tampa."
We can't wait for the snowbilly grifter to roll up in her touring bus in the parking lot of the convention, uninvited, making a scene as she speaks in her customary word salad to the teabagger goobers. You know she's not going to go away quietly. We're lovin' it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Retroactive Retirement

You can add the term "retired retroactively" to the growing list of risible Rethuglican word salads invented to divert the villager media and rubes in the Rethug base. We have former Enron stooge, former RNC chair and advisor to Willard "Offshore Mitt" Romney Ed Gillespie to thank for using that term to describe Offshore Mitt's status in the years 1999-2002, when Offshore Mitt was supposedly "retired" from Bain Capital while running the Salt Lake City Olympics, but continued as sole owner, president and CEO of Bain, according to SEC filings, and documents filed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Or as Balloon Juice's John Cole put it:
"In other news, immediately after hearing the phrase 'retroactive retirement,' Penn State University officials began drafting paperwork to retroactively retire Paterno and Sandusky in 1997 so as to avoid any civil litigation related to the Nittany Lion child rape regime."

As Andrew Sullivan said the other day, he's not waving, he's drowning.

Run, Virgil, Run!

We saw a report in the Kaplan Daily that former ConservaDem turned Rethuglican Congressman Virgil "Be Bad" Goode may siphon some votes from hyper-wealthy humanoid Willard "America the Beautiful" Romney in the Commonwealth of Virginia in November. To that we say, "Run, Virgil, Run" since Virginia promises to be a key swing state. Virgil Be Bad is running on the Constitution Party ticket, which is Teabagger bait for sure.

We're hoping that Virginny's true conservatives / Confederates vote for Virgil Be Bad to take some critical votes away from weird Willard. However, we draw the line at wearing American Revolution garb...or flying the Confederate flag.

Sunday Reading -- We Feel Your Bain

Two excellent articles on why the Obama campaign is right to target Willard "Believe in America, But Invest Overseas" Romney's bidness history at Bain Capital, and his overseas tax shelters, as part of a larger policy narrative:

-- Vanity Fair's James Wolcott talks about the most recent Obama killer ad, "Firms":
"What's brilliant about 'Firms' isn't so much the way it mails home the irony of Romney murdering 'America the Beautiful' with his toneless, tuneless voice on the soundtrack as info flashcards remind us of all the jobs Bain Capital shipped overseas and how much money Romney's stashed in tax havens such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, though it is a clever, damaging juxtaposition that takes Romney's chief asset as a candidate--his halo of executive achievement--and hangs it around his neck like a choke collar. Very Rovian, that."

-- NY Times' Paul Krugman writes on the tie-ins the Obama campaign is working on:
"[Romney's] policy proposals amount to a radical redistribution of income away from the middle class to the very rich; he’s also being highly dishonest about budgets and just about everything else. How to make those true facts credible? By associating them with his business career, which involved a lot of profiting by laying off workers and/or taking away their benefits; his personal finances, which involved so much tax avoidance that he’s afraid to let us see his returns before 2010; his shiftiness over when exactly he left Bain."

That squealing you hear from the Very Serious People and the Romney munchkins? It just means the campaign is working. Keep pouring it on!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quote of the Day II -- Willard's N.A.A.C.P. Aftermath

If you read nothing else today, read this short piece by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone about what a disaster Willard "Millionaire Mitt" Romney is as a candidate and human being. Here's a brief taste:
"Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. [snip]

"But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? Man, is he a disaster. It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy."

That this guy is polling in the mid-40's is a commentary on a large swath of the American electorate.

Cartoon of the Day - Job Creator Mittens Edition

More Mittens...

(click to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, via gocomics.com)

Quote of the Day -- Bain Capital Edition

Josh Marshall at TPM analyzes the corner Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney has been backed into:
"Romney had absolutely nothing to do with Bain after 1999, no responsibility for anything it did, barely even knew what it did. Only he was the owner, the Chairman of the Board and the CEO. At least according to all the official documents, many of which he signed. Only he wasn’t any of those things, says Romney.

"Partisans can be walked through the arguments of how this might be true, just as you could explain what John Kerry meant by saying he was for a bill before he voted against it. But it still makes no sense. And doubling down on nonsense makes you look silly and trapped. That’s especially dangerous for someone already saddled with a reputation for shifting his stories and positions to suit the moment."

And the media? Romney-leaning, "both-sides-do-it" pundits and fact-checkers (like the Kaplan Daily's pathetic Glenn Kessler) always can be counted on to miss the forest for the trees.

Obama Campaign Ad Mocks Willard's Patriotism

The Obama campaign is out with a new ad this morning, that mocks plutocrat humanoid replica Willard "Corporations Are People My Friend" Romney's false patriotism with his offshoring of jobs and his offshore finances. We love Willard's off-key rendition of "America The Beautiful" playing while the screen shows his tax-dodging, job-shipping record.

UPDATE: In the past two days, this ad's been getting a lot of thumbs up, from Vanity Fair's James Wolcott (see our July 15 posting) to this review by Wonkette:
"Watch this new Obama campaign ad and have your mind blown because, my god, wow, it’s actually a perfect ad, and we’re going to be talking about its ice-cold haunting killer beauty perfectness for years to come."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mitt's Mendacity, Continued

Once again, Steve Benen chronicles 25 instances of Willard "Corporations Are People Too" Romney's lying through his foie gras hole. Our whopper this week? It's always a tough choice, but we have to go with Number 25:

"The great majority of small business -- 54% of American workers work in businesses taxed as individuals. So when the president wants to raise taxes on individuals as he's proposed from 35% to 40%, he kills jobs. If your priority is crushing people, vote for him."

As Benen notes: "Only about 3% of American small businesses would be affected by the higher rate, and there is literally no evidence to suggest Clinton-era top rates on the wealthy 'kills jobs.'"

Rethuglicans To Uninsured: You're On Your Own

Matt Miller in today's Kaplan Daily tells us what the real Rethuglican health care alternative is read the whole column if you can:

"The Republican message to uninsured Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling couldn’t be clearer: You’re on your own.

"The party may not have officially adopted the 'let him die' policy of right-wing hecklers at that CNN primary debate, when Ron Paul was asked what should be done when an uninsured man shows up at the hospital. But as a practical matter, Republicans are in pretty unsavory territory. What other conclusion can we draw when Rick Perry, who presides over a state where one in four people lack health coverage, makes swaggering indifference to these Texans’ plight a point of sovereign pride?

"Fifty million uninsured Americans would be the immediate casualties of the GOP’s 'let them eat the emergency room' mentality. But all of us would be at risk. In America — alone among wealthy nations — everyone is a pink slip or job change or new illness away from finding they have lost coverage or are uninsurable.

"This is the shameful reality behind the GOP’s rhetoric on health care. Republicans don’t want to spend a penny to insure the uninsured.

"We know this because back during the original debate over Obamacare, the 'boldest' GOP alternative would have extended coverage to 3 million of the 50 million uninsured, versus Obama’s 30 million (which still leaves us 20 million short of behaving like every other civilized nation, mind you). [snip]

"You may have noticed that Republicans have been struggling to come up with a credible alternative to the Affordable Care Act once they repeal it. Why is it so hard? Because Obamacare WAS the Republican alternative. It was the conservative-designed mandate and subsidy approach. Republicans are in such an intellectual cul-de-sac on this issue that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) actually blasted Obamacare for being a sop to the president’s 'cronies' in the insurance industry. Oy!

"I feel like a broken record, but some truths bear repeating. Only in America could a Democratic president pass Mitt Romney’s health plan and fund it partly through John McCain’s best idea from the last campaign (taxing some employer-provided plans) and be branded a 'socialist.'”

Weekend Song Twofer

He's My Brother She's My Sister is a Los Angeles based indie group with a unique feature -- a tap-drummer. We have it on good authority they put on a dynamic live show. This is a clip of them performing at the recent South by Southwest show in Austin, TX. Then, tomorrow, we have the 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, a seminal figure in American folk music. Enjoy the weekend.

The Willard and Dead Eye Show

Presumptive Rethuglican nominee and small varmint hunter Willard "One Percenter" Romney held a cozy fundraiser with fellow gazillionaires yesterday with former (Vice) President's Dick "Dead Eye" Cheney in Wyoming. It's the "we're V.I.P." crowd with tacky Western outfits.

No word on whether quail hunting was on the program....Oh, and Willard, if they yell "duck," they're not referring to the bird.

Weird Willard has surrounded himself not only with Bush-era neocon advisors, but with Papa Neocon himself -- Dead Eye. They are absolutely itching to repeat the failures of the last Administration by sending our troops to war with other countries in the Middle East if, heaven forbid, Willard's elected. They're even floating the name of Condoleeza "My Husband George Bush" Rice as a top-tier VP candidate (of "mushroom cloud" fame). So, if you just thought Willard would bring Bushonomics back and put more right wingers on the Supreme Court, add a couple of wars in the Middle East to the mix.

(image: "Oh Wabbit, Willard Wabbit, where are you?")

Assad's Massacres Mount

Almost every day, there's a report of a new atrocity committed by the regime of Syria's Bashar al-Assad on his civilian population. Today's New York Times, reports a yesterday's massacre of some 200 civilians in Tremseh by Assad's forces using tanks and armed helicopters. If the figures are correct, it would be the worst massacre in a series of them over the past few months.

Evidence that the atrocities are affecting Syrian elites is apparent in the defections of military leaders and diplomats in recent months. The keys to toppling Syria's butcher certainly will be his power base crumbling, and also in the actions of his most powerful Muslim neighbor, Turkey, and of the Arab League. So far, the support from these groups has been in delivering small arms (including RPGs), medical supplies and funds, but as the severity of the atrocities increases and the Assad regime grows more desperate, these Muslim neighbors will have to consider direct intervention.

(photo: Tremseh under attack)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tweet Pic of the Day - Mitt's Horsey House Edition

Check out the digs Romney's Olympian tango horsey lives in:

Mahvelous, darling!

"What Is Mitt Romney Trying To Hide?"

A question we ask every day in our masthead:

Believe in America (but bank overseas)!

Fightin' Joe

Vice President Joe "Big F***ing Deal" Biden has been hitting his campaign stride in back-to-back appearances before major groups: Tuesday at the National Council of La Raza and today at the NAACP convention in Houston. As we've noted, plutocrat and man-who-will-say-anything Willard "The Outsourcer" Romney's appearance at the NAACP was greeted by boos and bad reviews, after he delivered a speech not aimed at the audience, but at his radical teatard base.

Today, Biden fired up the house with a strong speech to the NAACP membership, ticking off the President's accomplishments -- from the rescue of the auto industry to killing bin Laden -- in the face of Rethug obstruction, and noting the current efforts by Rethugs to disenfranchise minority voters in key states ("did you think we'd be fighting these battles again"), much as Southern racists tried to bar blacks from voting in the '50s and '60s. At the same time, he demolished Willard's dishonest claim that he would have better policies for African-Americans.

Keep up the good fight, Joe. Your passion, your authenticity, and your simple honesty serves the President and the country well.

(hat tip to AZ Gail)

Another of Willard's Falsehoods Exposed

The Boston Globe is reporting today that serial prevaricator Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney has been misrepresenting his time at Bain Capital as CEO and sole stockholder by three years. According to the story, weird Willard left Bain in 2002, not in 1999 as he's claimed, which would mean that he was involved in the bankruptcy and layoff of workers after 1999, an important fact that he was trying to hide.

Once again (and tomorrow we'll have a wrap-up of the lies he's told just in the last week), Willard can't seem to tell the truth about something that's easily fact-checked. He's counting on a lazy Beltway media to glide over the story and instead focus on whatever shiny object his campaign can distract it with. But the cascade of questions about his finances, taxes, and core beliefs continue, and the steady production of lies from him and his campaign won't work in the end.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

They Don't Like The Smell Of What Willard Is Cooking

He tried his best to rush it by his NAACP audience, but while the term "Obamacare" was still fresh in handsomely insured Willard "Millionaire Mitt" Romney's foie gras hole, he had to pause and hear some un-moderated reactions: