Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picture of the Week

President Obama and Gov. Christie in New Jersey today. Meanwhile, the public is giving the President high marks on his handling of the storm disaster so far.

Trick or Treat Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

An even scarier thought: if this dishonest, untrustworthy plutocrat becomes the 21st century's Richard Nixon, we're screwed as a nation.

(cartoon: Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Stormy Mid-Week Song

In the deadly aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we're dealing with the enormous task of recovery and rebuilding, which will take years in some areas. Our thoughts are with the millions impacted by this historic storm.
I want to know,
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know,
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin' down on a sunny day?

Pre-Election Reading

Here's some pre-election reading for you, courtesy of the Kaplan Daily:

Dana Milbank on Willard's lying campaign;

Harold Meyerson on voting for the future or the past; and

Ezra Klein on how the Rethuglican obstructionist strategy may have worked (alas).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Joy of Bob Ross

"Happy little trees." "Happy little clouds." If those phrases seem at all familiar, you probably are aware of Bob Ross, of the Public Broadcasting System's popular "Joy of Painting" series. The often-parodied Ross, who would have been 70 yesterday (hence Google honoring him with a Google Doodle), died at the too-young age of 52 in 1995. His program couldn't have had a more appropriate name; with Ross you always felt the love and joy of what he was doing, all in the space of 30 minutes. Here's PBS' loving tribute to the man:

Quote of the Day

"Mr. Romney not only believes that states acting independently can handle the response to a vast East Coast storm better than Washington, but that profit-making companies can do an even better job. He said it was 'immoral' for the federal government to do all these things if it means increasing the debt. It’s an absurd notion, but it’s fully in line with decades of Republican resistance to federal emergency planning. FEMA, created by President Jimmy Carter, was elevated to cabinet rank in the Bill Clinton administration, but was then demoted by President George W. Bush, who neglected it, subsumed it into the Department of Homeland Security, and placed it in the control of political hacks. The disaster of Hurricane Katrina was just waiting to happen." -- today's New York Times editorial, which is worth reading in its entirety.

The problem with the right-wing Rethug "philosophy of government", to the extent that it's coherent, is that it runs into a wall when you consider what would happen if individual states -- or worse yet, for-profit corporations -- were solely responsible for disaster relief in their jurisdictions. Disasters don't follow state and local boundaries, and disaster relief shouldn't be coin-operated. But then again, that's the way right-wing Rethugs think.

Gov. Christie Praises President Obama's Leadership on Hurricane Sandy Relief

Credit Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) for praising President Obama's leadership in responding to the Hurricane Sandy disaster in his state (at around the 2:30 mark in this vid). Maybe this will inoculate the President somewhat from Rethuglican attempts to inflate this into "Obama's Katrina" or a dastardly plot? (Naaah!*)

Later, on MSNBC, Christie said:

"The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit. I've been on the phone with him, like I said, yesterday, personally, three times. He gave me his number at the White House, told me to call him if I needed anything, and he absolutely means it. It's been very good working with the president, and he and his administration have been coordinating with us great. It's been wonderful."

We've often ripped Christie in the past (and likely will in the future), but on this occasion he deserves big props for his honesty.

BONUS: When interviewed on the hyper-partisan "Fux and Fiends", Christie shot down the idea that a phony photo opportunity with Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney was likely, after being prompted by resident jackass Steve "The Douche" Doocy.

(*h/t Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief Brian)

Monday, October 29, 2012

What We're Facing

This monster storm spans the northeast quadrant of the U.S., from Michigan to North Carolina to Maine and beyond. Winds here in the Middle Atlantic region are steadily increasing, along with a constant rain for many hours now. Later today and tonight should be a major challenge as far as power outages and high wind damage. Keeping our fingers crossed.

(satellite image from NASA)

Magical Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Sadly, there are many middle class voters that will buy the magic act, and are only hurting themselves in doing so. Favorite line: "A good magician never reveals his secrets...and certainly not before he's elected."

Let's Play Romnopoly!

We still have power!

Hurricane Warning

To our astute and valued readers: Hurricane Sandy is now making its way into our area of the Middle Atlantic seaboard. Widespread power outages are expected as the storm makes landfall and heavy rain and winds bring down trees. If you notice a sudden, unexplained dearth of Hackwhackery, it's probably because we lost our power, not because of a lack of blog-tastic material! Wish us -- and everyone in Sandy's path -- luck!

BONUS: It's worth noting that sketchy Willard "Well Lubricated Weathervane" Romney advocated dismantling FEMA and shipping the pieces to the various States during the Rethug primary debates. No doubt he'll find time for a photo op with FEMA workers during the response to Hurricane Sandy.

BONUS II: Here's Charles P. Pierce on the posturing and play-acting already appearing on the right:
"The problem, of course, is that a good piece of the political opposition doesn't recognize this president as president when the sun's shining. The people who will tell you that disaster relief is best left to the states, or to the private sector, are going be howling at the White House if some cat isn't brought down from a tree in Cape May in less than five minutes. There are a thousand things that can go unavoidably wrong in a situation like this. It is the most fertile environment imaginable for unpredictability. The good news for the president is that he's in charge. The bad news for the president is that he's in charge, and the opposition is still truthless, and demented."

"Why Obama Now"

This is just a wonderfully informative, brilliant 3-minute summary of what this election is all about. Please pass it along to all you know.

(h/t Wisconsin Cousin Kathy)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Endorsement Update

It's good to see a traditional conservative paper like the Chicago Tribune support President Obama's reelection, joining the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Miami Herald, and many more.

On the entertainment front, we've already noted Bruce Springsteen's supporting the President, along with Katy Perry, Madonna, Beyonce, and many other musicians. Add to the list singers Miley Cyrus and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, who gave a nice endorsement on CNN.

It's funny that humanoid replica and 1950s cultural throwback Willard "Who Let The Dogs Out" Romney can only count on talentless hacks like Ted "Out of His Head" Nugent and Meat "Pinch A" Loaf.

BONUS: Check out the full list of Obama endorsements (some surprises in there, including "the Gladiator," "James Bond," and "Eliot Ness").

T-Shirt of the Day

T-shirt seen by Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Brian (being worn by a middle-aged white guy!):

We'll be sending these to the editorial board of the Des Moines Register. No wonder newspapers are in their final throes.

Hurricane Sandy's Message

Over the past decade, with right-wing media and Rethuglican politicians trumpeting the talking points of the fossil fuel industry on climate change, the public has become skeptical about man's addiction to carbon fuels being the root cause of the change. The increasing frequency of extreme weather -- from record widespread droughts and mega storms to extreme heat waves and polar ice cap melting -- should be a wake-up call for all but the most delusional wing nuts. It won't be, of course, and that's the perverse success story of right-wing propaganda, backed by unlimited polluter resources.

So as we hope for the best, but prepare for the worst as Hurricane Sandy approaches, we have yet another (pun intended) "canary in the coal mine" forewarning of what we face if we continue to ignore the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels, and not some cyclical occurrence as the fossil fuel industry and their coin-operated Rethuglican politicians want us to believe.

Sunday Cartoon -- The Rethuglican Hospital

(click to enlarge)

(Signe Wilkinson, via

Saturday, October 27, 2012

McNasty's Lingering Bitterness

After Arizona Sen. John "McNasty" McCain went down to a decisive defeat in 2008, instead of assuming the role of elder (very elder) statesman, he retreated into a bitter pattern of undermining President Obama. It certainly must have stung in 2008 when former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell supported Barack Obama over him, and now that Powell, a Republican, has "re-upped" with the President, McNasty is beside himself with anger. He's accusing Gen. Powell of getting us into the Iraq War, as if McNasty and the neocon Bushies had no role to play. Powell is a man of honor, and never would have presented the misleading and false information to the U.N. had he not trusted the neocon apparatus. Powell rectified that error by leaving Dumbya's administration after the deception was revealed to him, to be replaced by Condi "bin Laden Determined to Strike" Rice at the State Department.

McNasty will hold on to his resentment of Powell and the President for the remainder of his blighted life, no doubt. We can only be thankful that the majority of voters rejected him in 2008.

UPDATE: While McNasty hasn't yet used the racist dog whistle, Romney campaign co-chair and former NH Gov. John "Screw You" Sununu hasn't been afraid of using a racist bull horn. Screw You recently claimed that Gen. Powell's endorsement was based on his racial identification with the President, rather than policy. The closer we come to election day, the less these thugs will try to disguise their racism.

Willard Romney Fails the Character Test

"The Momentum Behind a Misleading Narrative"

We speculated the other day as to why the "mainstream media" stays on its "horse race" and "Mittmentum" narratives ("Don't believe your lying eyes, Romney's peaking I tells ya!"). Brendan Nyhan offers an inside look at the phenomenon in the Columbia Journalism Review, and why it's a disservice to the public for the media to stay with its misleading narrative. Here's a brief snippet:
"The notion that Romney still had 'momentum' weeks after his early October gains in the polls has now been debunked by numerous commentators and academics. And while that pushback is increasingly reflected in campaign-trail accounts, it is worth taking a closer look at why coverage of Romney’s 'momentum' went wrong and what it tells us about the weaknesses of campaign journalism."

UPDATE: A perfect example, ripped from the pages of today's Kaplan Daily: "Most polls at this moment suggest GOP nominee Mitt Romney is in the lead nationally." Oh, really, Karen "Lying Eyes" Tumulty? Looks even to us, and if you discount the outlier Gallup and GOP-driven Rasmussen polls, Obama is ahead in 5 out of 8 nationally (not that it matters -- it's the electoral votes that count, and Obama has an easier route to 270). But reality would undermine your narrative, so NEVERMIND!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mitt's Mendacity, Cont.

One of the benefits of the election being a mere 11 days away is that we will soon be free of the obligation to bring you Steve Benen's weekly chronicle of the toxic bilge coming out of the lie-hole of Willard "Charge of the Lightweight Brigade" Romney. Here's this week's sad litany of Willard's struggles with the truth. But first, Benen relates this joke (which none of the esteemed "fact checkers" in the media would get):
"[A] man dies, goes to heaven, stands before St. Peter, and sees a huge wall of clocks. The man asks what all the clocks are for and St. Peter explains, "These are lie clocks. Everyone on earth has a lie clock. Every time a person lies, the clock hands move."

Pointing to one, the man says, "Whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's," St. Peter answers. "The hands have never moved, indicating she never told a lie."

"Incredible," the man responds. "And whose clock is that?"

St. Peter responds, "That's Abraham Lincoln's. The hands moved twice, telling us he told two lies in his entire life."

"Where is Mitt Romney's clock?" the man asks.

"Romney's clock is in Jesus' office," St. Peter says. "He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Once again, how is it that this thing is polling in the mid- high 40's?

The "Obama Haters Book Club"

John Avlon has an interesting, and very disturbing, survey of the scores of vile Obama-hating screeds that have been published in book form in recent years. Avlon's whole "review" is worth a look because it serves to remind us how un-hinged and radical the far-right New Confederate/Rethuglican party and its shills have become. Beyond hate radio and Fox "News" spewing lies and misinformation about the President and his administration, there's a fairly healthy cottage industry of these fact-free, paranoid "Tales of Barack Hussein Obama, Scary Socialist Black Man." Here's a fragment of Avlon's piece:
"Over the past four years, no less than 89 obsessively anti-Obama books have been published, as now catalogued by The Daily Beast. I’m not talking about cool statements of policy difference, but overheated and often unhinged screeds painting a picture of the president as a dangerous radical hell-bent on undermining the Republic by any means necessary. It is hate and hyper-partisan paranoia masquerading as high-minded patriotism.

"Here’s the worst part—this steady drumbeat of incitement is having an impact on this presidential election because it has poisoned the well of civic discourse for many voters and those in their radius of damage. It has helped divide the nation beyond reason, distorting the president’s real record beyond all recognition."
Photo: We're sure she's read all of those books - at least we think she can read.

Weekend Dear Lady Birthday Song

Today is our great Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's birthday, so we want to salute her with this 1962 ska/reggae-flavored hit by Gary "U.S." Bonds. "The doctors agree/So I've been told/Do the Twist/And you'll never grow old."* Here's looking at you!

*Statement not approved by the FDA.

Mitt Mouse Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Understanding that a Romney/Ryan ticket stands for reversing economic, health and social gains made by women in the last century will be a true test of how many will be persuaded to vote against their own interests. We've seen blue collar workers ("Reagan Democrats") vote against their economic interests for decades. Will it happen in 2012?

(cartoon: Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

A Supreme Concern

Much of the coverage of the stakes in this election have focused on domestic economic policy and the potential for new war in the Middle East. What's often not discussed are the ramifications of appointments to Federal courts and the Supreme Court itself. Right wing legal figures are salivating over the potential for a Willard Romney presidency to appoint more Scalias to the Supreme Court, given the likelihood of a couple of liberal justices leaving the Court in the next four year. This would give the right their long-desired opportunity to dismantle social and economic programs dating to the early 20th century, from Social Security/Medicare and labor rights to environmental legislation and civil rights. It would be tragic and ironic for that to happen, especially after decades of right wing criticisms of "activist judges."

From the prospect of a new war of choice to turning back women's rights 50 years, add the potential for a "severely conservative" Supreme Court for the next 20 years to the list of horrors that a Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney presidency, with a tea bagger-controlled Congress, would bring.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colbert on Fox "News" Libya Coverage

Stephen Colbert walks us through (hee-hee) the way the death of the American ambassador to Libya and three other Americans last month is being covered by the Rethuglican shills and mountebanks professional journalists over at Fox "News:"

Thank You, "Mainstream Media"

A propos of that "Mittmentum" phantasm we addressed earlier, in every election the "mainstream media" -- more specifically, Beltway Villager analysts and "reporters" -- has a vested interest in establishing a "close horse race" narrative. Simply put, a race that's painted as going down to the wire keeps the public tuned in to news outlets to a far greater extent than they would if a race were depicted as a blowout. News outlets are, first and foremost, business operations. They need readership/ viewership to sell advertising. So, when you see startling headlines about "Mittmentum" based on outlier polls (for example, a pollster as unreliable as Gallup), keep in mind that the outlet is simply reinforcing the media narrative that happens to be most advantageous to its bottom line.

Please don't take this to mean we think President Obama has the election in the bag (we have only to remember President Dewey to see how foolish that would be).* We need Democrats, independents and thinking Republicans to show up on Election Day and vote for Obama/Biden. That brings up the value of this narrative to our side: the more Obama supporters hear this is going down to the wire, the more motivated they are to show up, stand in line, and vote. Everyone agrees this will be a turnout election, so the more the "mainstream media" promotes the neck-and-neck narrative, the better it is for the President's get out the vote effort.

So, thank you, "mainstream media." For once your narrative manipulation is coming in handy.

*Even though Nate Silver has the President's re-election odds at (ahem) around 70%, thanks to his holding the line in the "battleground" states.

Colin Powell Endorses Obama...Again

Lifelong Republican and former Bush Administration Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell today on the CBS This Morning:

"You know, I voted for him [Obama] in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I'll be voting for he and Vice President Joe Biden next month."

Gen. Powell is what we would call a sane Republican, the kind that is practically extinct (think Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, former Missouri Sen. John Danforth, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to name a few). It must be especially painful to these people to see how their party has gone so far off the rails that they've been left behind or, in some cases, left the party behind.

Here's Michael Tomasky on why Powell's endorsement matters.

About That "Mittmentum"....

It seems to have stopped, as the New York Times' expert Nate Silver notes. Indeed, the President's numbers are ticking upward slightly.

So, what should we make of shape-shifter plutocrat Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney claiming that he has "momentum?" As VP Joe would say, "malarky." It's a common tactic to try to juice the undecided voters into thinking your candidate is inevitable, so go with the winner. It's going to be a close race, no question, and Willard's bravado is like so much of his campaign: he'll say anything to get elected.

BONUS: Sam Wang at Princeton Election Consortium agrees with Nate (and takes apart David "Bobo" Brooks in the process).

Picture of the Day

Wearing a flattering ballot dress, singing star Katy Perry rocks out at an Obama rally last night in Las Vegas in front of 13,000 fans. No hanging chads there. Good for Katy and all of the other talent that are stepping forward to support the President's re-election.

P.S. Happy 28th Birthday today, Katy!

(photo: Getty Images)

Colbert's Challenge to Rump Trump

This is a classic slap-down by Stephen Colbert of silver spoon buffoon Donald "Rump" Trump's overhyped and underwhelming "October surprise" which fell flatter than Rump's head. A naughty challenge, to be sure, but one that needed to be given.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Donald Trump's October Surprise
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

As Colbert says to Rump:
"Nothing, nothing would make me happier than to write this check and nothing would make America happier than have something going into your mouth instead of coming out of it."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Question of the Day

From the HuffPo:

Was Donald Trump's Announcement A Gigantic, Pointless Waste Of Time Promulgated By A Venal Con Artist?

Yes, as is any time spent with that vulgar, egomaniacal buffoon.

"He's Got It Right"

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, President Obama's most valuable surrogate:

"Horses and Bayonets" Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Willard "Charge of the Lightweight Brigade" Romney
strikes, uh...confusion into the hearts of the mullahs as well as the rest of the world. (Willards's tango horsey -- nice touch!)

(Matt Wuerker/Politico, via

Post-Debate Twit Tweet

In case you missed it, here's Willard Romney supporter (M)Ann Coulter's post-debate twittery:

Could someone please get this vicious creature back into her spider hole and seal the opening?

Special Olympics athlete John Franklin Stephens had a wonderful response to Coulter. Here's a small fragment:
"Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor. No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much."

Mid-Week Song

Austin, Texas' Sarah Jarosz is a new star in the bluegrass/folk music world with her beautiful voice and instrumental talent. On top of that, she's a fine composer and only 21. Here she is, accompanied by the lovely Allison Krause, with her song "Run Away."

God's Little Gift To The Rape Victim

Rethuglicans want everyone to ignore the fact that their policies would negatively affect women, from equal pay/equal work to involuntary transvaginal probes and pushing "personhood" amendments into law. Now, joining Missouri Rethug Senate candidate Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin in the war on women hall of fame is teabagger-backed Indiana Rethug Senate candidate Richard "Monster" Mourdock who said in a debate Tuesday:
"I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Having a man tell a woman who has been raped that she can't terminate the pregnancy is repugnant in the extreme. Even Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney's campaign distanced itself from Monster's statement (but Willard hasn't taken back his endorsement of Monster). It's hard to believe that this clown would get a single vote from a woman, but no doubt he will.

Monster beat sane conservative Sen. Richard Lugar for the Rethug nomination, mostly on the support of tea bagger radicals. Monster was also noted for defining "bipartisanship" as follows:
“I have a mindset that says bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”
No way, jackass. No way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Images Of The Day

Perhaps nothing better captured President Obama's demolition of Willard "Horses and Bayonets" Romney's foreign policy credibility than his answer to Willard's charge that we have fewer Navy ships than in 1916. Creative minds didn't waste any time in illustrating Willard's folly:

And, weaving in the New Confederate Party angle of today's Rethuglican Party:


The President's campaign didn't waste any time in presenting his "closing argument" after his clear win in last night's debate. The positive theme of this video reminds voters that, despite an economy that the Rethugs wrecked and then refused to help rebuild, the President has achievements to point to and run on. Well done.

Obama's Victory

President Obama won the final debate hands down last night, while international man of shambling Willard "Horses and Bayonets" Romney floundered and embraced many of President Obama's positions for the first time. Willard seemed lost and flustered for much of the evening, as he debated the President on the President's strongest turf. Here are a couple of memorable jabs that the President threw at Willard:
“Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
"You mention the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. We have these things called aircraft carriers and planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
The post debate polls and commentary clearly gave the President the win. The neocons that support Horses and Bayonets must be wetting their Underoos today, with their candidate trying to be the "peace" candidate, avoiding all of the bellicose rhetoric that he's engaged in for 18 months. We've rarely seen such a cynical, phony re-make of a political candidate at the last minute as with Willard. If anyone needed proof that he lacks a core and will say anything to "close the deal," last night should have provided it in spades. It's come down to character, and Willard can't fake it anymore that he doesn't have any.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Willard's Limp Blimp

A small blimp carrying the message "America Needs Romney" (ed.-- like it needs more wars and billionaires) crash landed near Davie, Florida last night. There were no injuries.

Maybe there's some symbolism here: Willard's also full of hot air, and will crash land in November.

Pussy Riot Update

Via Reuters:
"Two female members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot convicted of protesting against President Vladimir Putin in a cathedral have been sent to prisons far from Moscow despite requesting to serve out their terms in the capital, a lawyer said on Monday.

"Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, were convicted of "hooliganism motivated by religious hatred" in August and sentenced to two years in jail, a punishment that many in the West said was too harsh. [snip]

"A third convicted member of Pussy Riot, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on appeal when a court suspended her sentence after her lawyer argued that she had been pulled away from the cathedral's altar before the protest song began."
More Putin "Managed Democracy."

The Final Presidential Debate

Most voters are not focused on foreign policy issues, unless one candidate or another is a flaming bomb-thrower who can't be trusted with the nuclear football. So, tonight's final Presidential debate should be "advantage Obama" given some demonstrable successes, which he'll hopefully have the good sense to highlight.

For his slippery opponent, pathological liar Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney, the job becomes one of repeating "apology," "appeasement," and "China" over and over again. Here's Ed Kilgore's take on the match up:
"Perhaps the strategic calculation of the Romney campaign is that having drawn even with Obama via mendacious positioning on domestic issues, his job tonight is to look 'responsible' and reduce the impression that he’s going to bring the exact same crowd that gave us the Iraq disaster back into power, just as determined to launch a war with Iran right now as they were to launch a war with Iraq when they gained power in 2001. But in a campaign where foreign policy has simply offered Romney martial background music for his main pitch, focusing on it for 90 minutes without visibly frothing for war or looking like a stooge for defense contractors or his friend Bibi won’t be easy. My guess is that he’ll spend much of the debate trying to change the subject back to the economy under the tired but ever-ready argument that America is getting sand kicked in its face on the international beach because of its economic puniness. So we need a good strong domestic austerity plan to buff ourselves up. It makes no real sense at all, but the good thing about Mitt Romney as a candidate is that he can say the most astounding things with a straight face."
Obama might want to ask Willard who is advising him on foreign and national security policy, and see if the names John "The 'Stache" Bolton and Dan "Bibi's Bud" Senor come up.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cute Pic of the Week

Here's the new arrival at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo: a baby lowlands gorilla nestling in its mother's arms. Mother and baby are doing fine.

(h/t: Little Green Footballs)

Mendacious Mitt Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Serial liar and empty vessel Willard "Binders Full of Women" Romney knows that honestly stating his proposed policies would drive voters away. He's comfortable with lying about his positions (and those of his reactionary running mate), as long as they move him closer to being elected, and it's working. He's being rewarded by a bump in the polls.

This is the price democracy pays for its low information "swing" voters (and a cynical, compromised political press corps that rarely calls the Rethugs on their lies for fear of being labeled "biased").

BONUS: A good related piece on the problem the entire Rethug party and right wing have with reality.

(cartoon: Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times-Free Press)

George McGovern, 1922 - 2012

Former Sen. George McGovern passed away early this morning at the age of 90. Sen. McGovern was the 1972 Democratic nominee for President, losing in a landslide in the 1972 elections to Richard Nixon, who set the Watergate crimes in motion and insured his own resignation two years later. McGovern was one of the most prominent liberals of his time. Under John F. Kennedy's administration, McGovern ran the "food for peace" program, and was a decorated World War II bomber pilot in Europe. Daily Kos has a nice article this morning on Sen. McGovern's life and passing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"Please Proceed, Governor"

OK, everything about "Romnesia" is in a brilliant category of its own, and may be the most memorable line of the election (if "Etch-A-Sketch" doesn't' beat it out). But in one moment of exquisite timing, during the second debate, the President invited arrogant, clueless Willard "Binders Full of Women" Romney to "please proceed, Governor" just before Willard ran off the cliff of dishonesty with his false claims about Obama's response to the Benghazi attack, only to be fact checked by Candy "From Strangers" Crowley.

As Wile E. Coyote might say, "Yee aaaa who whooo whoooooooo!

Will Bachmann Lose?

As one of the most unhinged, radical right-wing members of Congress, Minnesota loon Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann is a prime target for defeat for Dems. Now, it's looking better and better for her opponent, Jim Graves, a successful businessman, who is running neck-and-neck with Crazy Eyes. Helping Graves is a decided advantage among independent voters, who are apparently sick and tired of Crazy Eyes' paranoid conspiracy theories and theocratic view of America. It will be a close race, no doubt, but this is a race no one thought would be this tight six months ago. Here's hoping Graves can pull out a victory.

Cartoon of the Day - Fairy Tale Edition

(click to enlarge)

We're not the only ones who think Willard's numbers don't add up. When you've lost the Rethug-bastion Forbes magazine, you might as well throw in the towel. (h/t Balloon Juice)

(Ben Sargent, via

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mitt's Mendacity, Cont.

Gag. Eh. Bleaaah. It's still weeks before the election and we don't know about you but the Romnesia's made us rather sick. But once again, as a public service, Steve Benen chronicles the bald-faced lies coming out of the lie-hole of gilded turd Willard "Human Weathervane" Romney. Looksee if you dare.

It's Why We Call Them Rethugs, Cont'd.

You'll remember a few days ago that Ayn Rand zombie and Eddie Munster look-alike Paul "Lyin'" Ryan barged in on a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen and proceeded -- without permission -- to wash already clean pots and pans for a staged photo op. When the media looked into the phony photo op, and Lyin' was ridiculed, Rethugs went ballistic.

Now, the Rethugs have taken their rage one step further by withdrawing financial support from the facility. Wow, the exhibition of thuggishness and hate is breathtaking, but so typical of the lizard brain that rules the true believers on the right. It's another reason why we call them "Rethugs."


The President today at George Mason University in Virginia:

"Romnesia": don't catch it!

Weekend Song

Here's the musical half of the "Bruce and Bill" show currently touring the Midwest for President Obama. Enjoy the powerful song and have a powerfully good weekend.

Brown Knows Phony

Desperate Rethug empty suit Sen. Scott "Centerfold" Brown is falling behind Elizabeth Warren in his attempt to retain his Senate seat from Massachusetts. So what's an absolute phony like Centerfold to do? Accuse his opponent of being phony. His absurd charges questioning Elizabeth Warren's Cherokee background were silly enough, but now Centerfold has leaped head first into a sh*t pit by assuming that everyone's as phony as he is.

Elizabeth Warren has been running some extremely effective ads regarding Centerfold's refusal to assist victims of asbestos exposure at Massachusetts plants. The ads use the actual families of the victims in making the case for Warren and against Centerfold, but Centerfold called the real people in the ads "paid actors." The reaction was swift and furious from the families. John English challenged Centerfold thusly:
“Let Scott Brown tell me to my face that I am nothing but a paid actor, and I’ll set him straight on what it was like to watch my father suffocate to death.”
Centerfold has issued an standard apology, but can't face the people that he smeared. One of them might take a swing at him, and Centerfold needs to preserve his face for modeling jobs after he's defeated.

(photo: Pretty as a picture.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tigers Yank Yanks

From the sports desk: not only did Detroit not go bankrupt, but the Tigers just swept the New York Yankees in four games, winning the fourth game tonight 8 - 1.

Is it good karma that President Clinton and Bruce Springsteen are on a roll (see posting below) in blue collar Ohio and the midwest, and that revitalized Detroit is in the World Series? Sure it is.

"A Message From Bruce"

Bruce Springsteen on why he's supporting President Obama for re-election, and why he's campaigning for him with Bill Clinton in Parma, Ohio (above) and Iowa this week:
"Right now, there is a choice going on in America, and I’m happy that we live in a country where we all participate in that process. For me, President Obama is our best choice because he has a vision of the United States as a place where we are all in this together. We’re still living through very hard times but justice, equality and real freedom are not always a tide rushing in. They are more often a slow march, inch by inch, day after long day. I believe President Obama feels these days in his bones and has the strength to live them with us and to lead us to a country '…where no one crowds you and no one goes it alone.'”
He also throws his support behind Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Elizabeth Warren, the next Senator from Massachusetts. Springsteen has always been a principled person, in his music, his career and his social consciousness. He's a great one to have on your side.

(Photo: Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call Newscom)

You're A Bad Man, Gunga Dim

Rabid wingnut and Obama smearer Dinesh "Gunga Dim" D'Souza is out as the head of The Kings College in New York, after it was revealed that this self-promoted paragon of virtue was diddling a younger wingnut* to whom he somehow got engaged despite the inconvenience of already being married, with a teenage daughter no less. The college is a self-described evangelical institution which apparently doesn't look kindly on adulterers serving as their president.

Gunga Dim is responsible for the hate-filled film "2016: Obama's America," a classic in the genre of right wing fact-free propaganda. He's a proponent of the violent neocon "clash of civilizations" nuttery that is on a mission to engage in war wherever we can manufacture an excuse. He, of course, has never served in the U.S. armed forces. As a true wingnut, Gunga Dim doesn't believe the rules the rest of us follow apply to him. It's good that he got caught and canned.

* UPDATE: Turns out the mistress was married, too. Dontcha love those traditional values Christian Rethuglicans?!

(photo: A face that only a fellow wingnut could love)

Willard's Bind-er

It was hard not to find a cartoon about arrogant plutocrat Willard "Binders Full of Women" Romney's clueless statement in Tuesday's debate. Not only did his response not answer the specific question about his position on equal pay for equal work, he lied about asking "women's groups" for resumes as Massachusetts Governor-elect. The resumes were prepared prior to the election for whomever won. Here's a sampling (click to enlarge):

BONUS: Read Amy Sullivan's take on "Mitt the Jerk" and how he represents much of what women dislike.

(cartoonists from top: Mike Luckovich, Tom Toles, Signe Wilkinson)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavor - Thru the Streets of L.A.

A fabulous time-lapse video of the Space Shuttle Endeavor transiting through the streets of Los Angeles, from L.A. International Airport to the California Science Center. Under eaves, around trees, down streets and avenues. Amazing. View it in full screen mode!

Obama's Closing Statement from Last Night's Debate

This is how you "close the deal" with the American people:

Smug Plutocrat Quote of the Day

"The one thing nobody can ever say now is that they didn't know the exact character of Willard Romney, and exactly how he feels about The Help, including that member of The Help who currently holds the job that Romney believes should have been his by virtue of his god-kissed, golden life.
'You'll get your chance in a moment. I'm still speaking.'
Put all those Romneys together and that's what they sound like, even when they're talking to the president of the United States. It's the voice of the bloodless job-killer, the outsourcing Moloch of the industrial midwest, and the guy who poses with his Wall Street cronies with dollar bills in his mouth. People who claim to be interested in 'character' should remember that." -- Esquire's estimable Charles P. Pierce on the smug, arrogant cyborg known as Willard "Binders Full of Women" Romney's debate performance, which revealed Willard's numerous character issues. Read his whole article.

"Phil"-It-Up Mid-Week Songs

Fifty-three years ago this week, Phil Phillips had a number one hit with "Sea of Love," a song covered by many artists and featured in a movie many years later. Another Phillips -- Phillip Phillips -- has a hit with "Home," and we're bookending these songs for our mid-week selections. Enjoy.

Obama Charges Back

What a difference a few days makes. President Obama flipped the narrative on plutocrat weirdo Willard "I'll Say Anything" Romney in last night's debate and won it convincingly. Willard grew increasingly rattled as the debate progressed, as the President challenged him on every falsehood and spin. Obama talked about all the issues he let slide in the first debate: equal pay for women, the auto loan success, Willard's "47%" smear, and so on.

Weird Willard looked peeved and edgy when the President pushed back on his economic and tax proposals, at one point saying that Willard didn't have a "5 point" plan for the economy, just a one point plan: allow the people at the top to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. When Willard pointed to his record as Governor in hiring women, it came off as ridiculous when he said he got "binders full of women" looking for positions. The comment went viral.

Perhaps the most telling -- and damaging -- moment for Willard was when he attempted (again) to make political hay from the Benghazi attack. President Obama looked him in the eye and called his move "offensive", and when Willard tried to claim that it took Obama 14 days to call the attack an act of terror, Willard was fact checked on the spot by moderator Candy "From Strangers" Crowley. You could sense weird Willard's sphincter shutting after that spanking.

On to the third and final debate on Monday. If the President performs as well as he did last night, weird Willard might want to check on his Cayman Island investments.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Tonight's Debate

Courtesy of Rabbi Hillel, via Harold Meyerson, here are three questions that President Obama should ask himself before tonight's debate with shape-shifter and plutocrat grifter Willard "47 Percent" Romney:

If I am not for myself, who shall be for me?

"If I am only for myself, what am I?" and

"If not now, when?"

Oh, and one more thing - please bring your balls. A lot of people are counting on you.

Day after update: Balls... check!

Bill Clinton Explains...

...what the media are too afraid/ lazy/ stupid/ corrupt (your choice) to cover:

BONUS: Here's another way of explaining it.

Photo Op Of A Phony Campaign

(Photo: Mary Altaffer, AP)

From the Kaplan Daily:
The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week "ramrodded their way" into the group's Youngstown soup kitchen so that GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan could get his picture taken washing dishes in the dining hall. Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, who stopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University. "We're a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations," Antal said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. "It's strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors." He added: "The photo-op they did wasn't even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall."
"He did nothing." Yep. That just about sums up what Romney/Ryan/Rethugs will do for the "47 percent," those they consider to be parasites in the world of the "job creators" -- the impoverished, the working poor, the unemployed, the under-employed, the elderly, veterans, people underwater on their mortgages, etc. What a perfect visual metaphor.

Final Word on the VP Debate

Last night, Jon Stewart had the final word on last Thursday's VP debate. The right wing Wurlitzer wanted to make it all about VP Joe Biden's interruptions/smiling/malarky-calling, but Stewart reminds us that Biden effectively fact checked Paul "Lyin'" Ryan on every point. Watch:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democalypse 2012 - V.P. Debate: Battle for the Historical Footnote
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

A Pre-Debate Question of the Day

Does it matter anymore whether a candidate lies openly, since the media isn't concerned with a candidate's honesty? Charles P. Pierce has this to say about it:
"Far too many people in this business have accepted the Etch-A-Sketch argument to the point at which whether something is true or not is measured by its effectiveness as a tactic. 'He had to run to the right in the primaries and then 'pivot' to the center in the general' — that's something that makes the political wiseguys look smart, but, taken literally, it means that the entire election process in the world's oldest self-governing republic is a contest to find out who can most smoothly move from one set of lies to another, and it is also a recipe for depriving the people who ultimately will make that decision of the kind of information they need to do so."
We're at a tipping point in more ways than one. The most dishonest candidate in modern times is close to winning the election from the incumbent, and the Beltway media is focused on body language and tactics. Shame on them, and on us for not demanding better.

Monday, October 15, 2012

John Glenn Obama Ad

It's nice to see American hero and former Sen. John Glenn (D-OH), 91, in this ad airing in Ohio for President Obama. He looks and sounds great.

The Republican "Mind"

(click to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Quote of the Day

"The Romney-Ryan position on health care is that many millions of Americans must be denied health insurance, and millions more deprived of the security Medicare now provides, in order to save money. At the same time, of course, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are proposing trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy. So a literal description of their plan is that they want to expose many Americans to financial insecurity, and let some of them die, so that a handful of already wealthy people can have a higher after-tax income." -- Nobel laureate Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

If President Obama can somehow cut through the dishonesty that soulless Willard "Mendacious Mitt" Romney will certainly bring to Tuesday's debate, perhaps the "undecideds" will move back in his direction. We've seen that the political press can't be counted on to evaluate anything other than the body language, smiles, and eye contact of the candidates.

Taking a Dive

Austrian Felix Baumgartner, yesterday, breaking the sound barrier in his skydive from a record 24+ miles above the Earth:

Plutocrats Using Extortion to Elect Romney

A pattern seems to have developed in the world of high-rolling far-right plutocrats: extorting their employees to vote for fellow plutocrat and outsourcing pioneer Willard "I Like Firing People" Romney. The threats of job loss if President Obama is reelected are coming from the likes of the Koch Brothers (owners of Wisconsin's Governor), David Siegel (owner of Westgate Resorts and would-be Louis XIV), and Arthur Allen (head of ASG Software Solutions).

It would not be surprising if more instances don't surface of CEOs threatening their employees with job loss. It's merely an extension of what the far right plutocrats and their minions have been up to -- we have already seen that Rethuglicans have spent the last 4 years sabotaging the President's efforts to turn the economy around (after spending the previous 8 years wrecking it). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Club for Growth, and other Rethuglican-front organizations have been fully engaged in promoting policies that enrich the wealthiest Americans at the expense of those who work for them. These are soulless people who firmly believe Willard's "47 percent" crap about makers and takers. They care nothing for the people who work every day to make them wealthy; they only care how they can be manipulated to do the plutocrat's will. This is how they prove it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Akin's Evolution

The last time we tuned in on lady parts expert and Rethuglican member of the (not kidding) House Science Committee Todd "My Ass Is" Akin he was expounding on his theory of "legitimate rape." We know how that went.

Now, My Ass Is Akin is questioning evolution, saying,
"I don’t see it as even a matter of science because I don’t know that you can prove one or the other. That’s one of those things."
Yes, one of those things. The congressman may have something, though. Looking at him, how can anyone say he's the product of evolution, right?

(image: New logo for the Rethuglican Party?)

Some Things Never Change

From Dave Remnick (The New Yorker) via Balloon Juice, this clip from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 pegs the evasive dishonesty of the Rethuglican party that's been it's hallmark ever since:

Amazing how their DNA remained constant over the decades.

Sunday Reading

Newsweek / The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky has some advice for President Obama's next debate:
"I hope that someone can say to him, 'Mr. President, 70 million or more Americans are counting on you. They voted for you, they’re planning on voting for you again, and they want you to fight for them. If you lose, you let them down horribly—and you damage their lives. They’re 47 percenters, a lot of these folks. They need you. If the other side gets in, you’ll be fine, but they’re screwed.'

Obama put himself in the position of being the one person in the country all these people depend on. So he has to be their defender. And this is how I’d hope he spends his preparation time—not thinking about how he can look smarter than Romney or score this or that point, but how he can communicate to middle-class people that he’s eager to fight to protect their interests, and why his ideas will do that and his opponent’s won’t."
He can't afford to look either detached or angry, just passionate about defending the middle class against the predators that are backing Willard "Corporations Are People, My Friend" Romney, and their army of the religious Talibangelists who will take social and women's issues back to the '90s -- the 1890s, that is.

Your Alternate Reality Presidential Debate

If there's any good to be taken from the first Presidential debate, it's that it provided the raw material for this "Bad Lip Reading" version:

(h/t Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Brian)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Your Racist Dog-Whistling is Working, Willard!

(Photo: Getty; taken at a Romney/Ryan rally in Lancaster, OH, Friday.)

Headline of the Day

"Bruce Springsteen, Bill Clinton To Campaign For Obama In Ohio"
The Boss and the Big Dog. It doesn't get better than that.

"The Moderate Mitt Myth"

Editorial in today's New York Times:
"From the beginning of his run for the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney has offered to transfigure himself into any shape desired by an audience in order to achieve power. In front of massed crowds or on television, he can sound sunny and inclusive, radiating a feel-good centrism. His 'severely conservative' policies and disdain for much of the country are reserved for partisans, donors and the harsh ideologues who clutter his party’s base. This polarity is often described as 'flip-flopping,' but the word is too mild to describe opposing positions that are simultaneously held.

"The best way to judge candidates is not by the popular way they describe their plans near the end of a campaign; it is by the most divisive presentations of themselves earlier on. A candidate’s political calculations when fewer people are watching is likely to say far more about character than poll-tested pleasantries in the spotlight."
The editorial is worth reading in full. (We just got back from a drive in the country, where the lawns were littered with Romney signs. The dissonance is hard to take.)

Today's Photo Quiz -- Paul Ryan Edition

How many dumbbells do you see in this picture:

(Photo: the once-adequate Time Magazine)

No Joy In Mudville....

....both the Nats and Orioles lost in their quests for the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, respectively, last night. Especially galling was the Nats' collapse in the top of the 9th inning, when Nats pitcher Drew Storen blew a 7-5 lead, allowing four runs and a Cards victory, 9-7. Storen may need to hire a food taster from now on.

(photo: Nats star Bryce Harper sits dejectedly after the unbelievable loss. He had a home run and triple in the game.)

The Peril of Valuing Style Over Substance

Charles P. Pierce on how a low-information, "undecided voter's" view of the VP debate might turn on the wrong "style points", and the consequences of that writ large:
"If you believe that Thursday night's vice-presidential debate was a 'draw' because Joe Biden was 'rude' and 'disrespectful' while Paul Ryan was obviously being disingenuous and uninformed, or that you've decided to go with 'disingenuous' and 'uninformed' because its manners made it more 'likable' then you deserve the inadequate health-care voucher that's coming your way in 2014, as well as the letter from the Social Security Administration that your benefits will be down to 85 cents a month because International Embezzlement LLC went belly-up and took your retirement with it. Tough luck, kids. Them's the risks of an Opportunity Society."
In this, the New Confederate/Rethuglican party has an accomplice, as Pierce and Matt Taibbi (below) point out -- the superficial, "both-sides-do-it" media that focuses on the atmospherics to keep people reading and tuning in and for fear of offending the crackpot Rethug base's well-incubated pathologies and paranoia.