Under The Bus

 Posted by on November 3, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Nov 032012
 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thanks President Obama for his rapid response to Christie’s requests  for disaster relief 

HuffPo teases a story about the Romney campaign’s disquietude with human bowling ball Chris Christie‘s effusive praise of President Obama’s response to Superstorm Sandy:  Romney Insiders Throw Christie Under The Bus.

I feel sorry for the bus.

(Too soon?)

 

Romney’s Parallel Universe Machine (Update)

 Posted by on November 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Nov 012012
 

For the man who has everything (except the presidency) , this handy device takes less energy than an Etch-a-Sketch to alter reality

The fallout from Mitt Romney‘s lies about President Obama shipping U.S. jobs to China continued yesterday as General Motors spokesman Greg Martin told The Detroit Free Press:

We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days. No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

Huffpo describes  it thus:

Mitt Romney’s round of highly dubious television and radio ads suggesting that Chrysler and GM are shipping American jobs to China has managed to offend both car companies….

The day before, meanwhile, Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne penned a letter to the Detroit News insisting that there was no validity to the idea that the company was shipping Jeep production overseas. Instead, he noted, the company was looking to open new factories in China to meet increasing demand there.

Used to be that when a political campaign got caught with its pants down, it would mumble an apology or at least have the good sense to STFU.  Not this generation of Rethugs. Instead, they double down, drop their undies and moon  the world.:

The Romney campaign has showed no willingness to back off the suggestion that American Jeep workers may end up losing their jobs. In fact, the campaign has released a radio ad in Ohio to complement the one it has on television there that repeats the insinuation.

Which of course is entirely consistent with their adoption of the Big Lie strategy that Goebbels found so effective. What really makes it work though is constant repetition, made possible by Citizens United and the unlimited amounts money provided by plutocrat billionaires like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson who think so much of themselves that they’re intent in re-making the US in their own distorted image.

At the close of Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

  “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

What we are witnessing this election is no less than a battle for the very soul of the country.  We are right at that tipping point Franklin referred to.  Will we continue to be an admittedly flawed  representative government, where the democratic principle of one person, one vote prevails, and the belief that free speech is not measured in personal and corporate wealth?  Or will be become just another oligarchy run by greedy and power-hungry billionaires who have more in common with Ayn Rand than the Founders, who promised “to promote the general welfare” at home and maintain “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind” abroad.

The prospect of four more years of The Black Man in The White House is enough to send the Rethugs over the edge, despite record corporate profits and huge increases in the personal wealth of the top 1%.

The Koch Brothers spent $25 million between 2005-2008 alone, fighting every attempt to regulate climate-changing green house gases, the byproduct of their energy extraction companies.  The results are super-storms like Sandy that just killed some 74 people (and counting), traumatized millions more, and wreaked $50 billion (and counting) in property damage.

And now they’re on the cusp of getting one of their own into, arguably, the most powerful office in the world.  A say-anything politician and his Darwinian running mate that want to privatize FEMA disaster relief by further cutting the social safety net to pay for it.  How’s that for Bizarro World logic?

Somehow I think that when these traitors to the planet are called to account for their crimes they will have so deluded themselves about their assumed natural superiority and moral rightness that they will find no contrition in their hearts, and thus no need for mercy from the real Powers That Be.

 But when mercy is exhausted, when the “memory” thereof testifies to its depletion, then does justice prevail and righteousness decree. For mercy is not to be thrust upon those who despise it; mercy is not a gift to be trampled under foot by the persistent rebels of time.

The Urantia Book

I want to be around for that.  Meanwhile, a little justice and righteousness would be a good thing right now.

[Image found here.]

UPDATE: (11/1 @ 1:25 pm) Exxon and Shell just announced they made $16 billion in profits during the last quarter alone.

And here’s a reminder of what a dick Romney is on the issue of climate change.

 

A Teabagging Fool

 Posted by on October 31, 2012 at 7:47 AM
Oct 312012
 
The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Donald Trump’s October Surprise
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Stephen offers Trump a million bucks to demonstrate the origin of the word “teabagging”

Neither tragedy nor good sense will prevent the The Donald Dumpster from stealing every ounce of publicity he can.

Promising a major announcement last week that would shake up the presidential election after his Teabagger inspired Birther investigation flopped, Trump offered President Obama $5 million for the charity of his choice if he would release his college transcripts and passport applications by Halloween at 5:00 PM, an offer that earned him well-nigh universal ridicule. (Obama explained to Jay Leno that Trump never got over being humiliated by Obama on the soccer fields of their native Kenya.)

Doubling down yesterday, Trump extended the deadline to Thursday at Noon. Apparently, the fact that in the wake of Superstorm Sandy the president is helping get his and the other eleven Atlantic City casinos  back in operation has earned him a few extra hours.

 But Trump’s good friend Babwa Wa Wa has had enough:

“Donald, you and I have known each other for many years, and you know that I am your friend and I think you are a brilliant businessman and you are great on television and you have a fascinating personality. You’re not hurting Obama, you’re hurting Donald and that hurts me because you’re a decent man. Stop it. Get off it, Donald.”

Friends don’t let friends drive the rest of the world crazy.

The Onion probably said it best:

In a blockbuster announcement today, Donald Trump announced that he is a very sad man who has nothing to live for other than drawing attention to himself.

‘I’m a sad, pathetic human being and a complete waste of life,’ said Trump, adding that he lives an empty existence, and that he is nothing more than a corporate shill, as well as a failed husband, father, and human being.

I am the piece of shit you stepped in on your way to work. I am the vomit that hurls out of your mouth when you are sick. I want to kill myself very badly. Thank you.” Trump then slit his throat from ear to ear.

Fortunately, the comedy gods intervened and Donald is recovering nicely after being rushed to an emergency room where the straw was stuffed back into his neck.

Risky Business (Part One)

 Posted by on October 24, 2012 at 4:03 PM
Oct 242012
 

During Monday’s foreign policy debate, President Obama accused Mitt Romney of “being all over the map.” While that is metaphorically true, underscoring as it does Romney’s attempts to impose his notions of American exceptionalism on the rest of the world, it also has a literal component— geography.

ROMNEY:
“Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.”

Er, Willard, any 7th grade geography student knows better than that.  Ever heard of The Persian Gulf? The 97,000 sq miles of ocean that is the most strategically important waterway in the world?

At some 650 miles in length, Iran’s coastal exposure is about half as large as the entire West Coast of the United States (1293 miles).  Additionally— we hate to break it to you— but Syria and Iran don’t currently share a border.  There’s a little country called Iraq separating the two.

Maybe it’s the word “Persian” that’s throwing you.  Long before Iran was known as Iran it was called— wait for it— Persia.  As in The Persian Empire, which was one of the world’s largest empires, thanks in large part to— wait for it— its navy

Xerxes, Immortals, and Persian Naval Forces at Salamis observing the Naval Battle.

Maybe you were thinking about what the map of the Middle East looked like 2500 years ago, when the Persian Empire extended to the Eastern Mediterranean and included modern day Syria.  You really should trade in your old Risk game board for an updated map of the world.  If you do find yourself in a position to bomb Iran, you might want to locate it on modern map first.  Just sayin’.

On a related note, you decry the number of US naval vessels as being less than what we had during World War I, using that little factoid to criticize Obama as somehow being weak on defense.  As President Obama was quick to point out, you seem to be unfamiliar with the concept of capability, quipping that we have less “horses and bayonets” in our arsenal as well.  Would you really trade one modern warship for two or three WWI vessels?

A poster of numerous U.S. Navy vessels sailing in New York Harbor during World War I entitled “Uncle Sam’s Big Fighting Ships.”

I’d be willing to bet that a single modern day missile cruiser, armed with over the horizon radar and enough Harpoon missiles, could destroy the entire fleet pictured above in less time than it would take your car elevator to fill up your garage.

The last thing we need is a geographically challenged, militarily ignorant Commander in Chief who thinks that Russia is “our number one geopolitical foe.”  (I hear that Sarah Palin‘s contract with Fox News is up at the end of the year. Maybe you can hire her to keep an eye on the Ruskies for us.)

You know, Mitt, if for some ineffable reason, the real Powers-That-Be determine we haven’t suffered enough on this Veil of Tears, and you end up being installed as the leader of the free world, I fear that you won’t be able to distinguish the game of Risk from the real thing.

———–

To be continued. Part II will spotlight Romney’s bogus tough talk on China, featuring his personal investment in a Chinese sweat shop.

Metamorphosis Mitt

 Posted by on October 23, 2012 at 6:06 PM
Oct 232012
 

President Obama schools Metamorphosis Mitt on the nature of modern warfare

During last night’s final presidential debate, it soon became apparent that, in the arena of foreign policy, Willard Mitt Romney is playing fantasy football while President Obama is grinding out the real thing.

Obama is studying the opposition, meeting with his coaches, drawing up and revising game plans as circumstances require. He chooses the starters, putting his faith in his players whether they are in the State Department, the CIA, or the military, then sends them out to the field. He trusts in their professionalism and experience to move the ball forward, to stop the opposition, and ultimately, win the game.

Meanwhile, Romney is just making shit up as he goes along, shifting positions faster than a fantasy football fan/atic trades his virtual players. He even threw most of his foreign policy advisers under the bus, some 70% of whom are Bushie neocons, including chicken hawks like Dan Senor and Robert Kagan who’ve never seen a war they wouldn’t start or send somebody else’s kids to fight. Heck, Romney tacked so far to the left that he sounded like he was channeling John Lennon:

“…[O]ur purpose is to make sure the world is more — is peaceful. We want a peaceful planet.”

Even with plenty of advanced warning to his advisers that he was going to shake his mighty, all-forgiving etch a sketch once again, John Bolton’s head must have exploded, if even out of just one side.

On record for criticizing Obama’s decision to set a 2014 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan? No problemo. Just inhale a heady dose of Romnesia , and voila– Romney is suddenly on the same page as Obama, despite his earlier characterization that setting a withdrawal deadline was a grievous strategic flaw that only empowered the enemy.

But it wasn’t just Obama’s Afghanistan policy that Romney suddenly found himself embracing. (A growing majority of Americans are sick to death of the longest war in US history, so that has to be counted as a no-brainer.) Add Willard’s support for the Administration’s role in the overthrow of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Mohamar Qadaffi; the killing of Usama bin Laden, despite the violation of Pakistani sovereignty that previously had Willard’s magic underwear in such an excruciating twist; the cautious approach to the civil war in Syria; the imposition of increasingly ruinous sanctions against Iran; the handling of the Benghazi incident; and other gimmees like unconditional support for Israel and the increasing use of killer drones around the world—Obama and Romney might just as well have been kissing cousins.

The political calculation of Romney’s debate strategy is painfully obvious. While maybe a million people at any one time are exposed to a given campaign speech or a targeted media buy, alight as they are with inflammatory, hyperbolic rhetoric, the number of people tuning into any one of the four televised debates is [at least] an order of magnitude greater. A perfect venue to re-invent a candidate from a “severe conservative” into a controlled, reasonable moderate that would appeal to undecided voters, including a large swathe of the coveted female voter demographic, with whom Obama continues to enjoy a substantial lead.

Gag me with a bayonet.

[image found here.]

RomBot5000 Severely Moderate 2.0 Download

 Posted by on October 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM
Oct 082012
 

Yeah that was my first thought, too:  “Does that junk work?”   “It has an off button??”

WASHINGTON, D.C.— In the face of what looked increasingly like an inevitable blowout by President Obama, Washington beltway wags were ecstatic this week after the nearly powered-off Rombot5000 provided the presidential race with an all-important infusion of high-grade lithium energy.

The surprising up-tick came immediately after an emergency software update just prior to the first presidential debate, dubbed by anonymous programmers as “Severely Moderate 2.0.”  Romney Campaign spokesman, Ben Dover, refused any characterization the update was emergency in nature, saying, “This was a planned incremental update, anticipated by Mr. Romney long before his main operating chip had become inarticulate.”

Dover was also tight-lipped about who actually writes and authorizes the downloads, referring all inquiries to the “Billionaires For Romney Consortium.”

Asked if the Rombot5000 would be performing in the next debate with the same upgrade, Dover said it didn’t really matter. “Our polling indicated we would not only win the first debate, but also that we would easily win all three debates, as well as the November 6 election.”

Pressed on specifically how their polling results were anything more than just the biased opinion of a few hundred Republicans, Dover said he wasn’t going to answer hypothetical questions, but that he did have an unspecified quantity of sodium chloride we could “all go and pound.”

 

Debate Post-Mortem (Update)

 Posted by on October 4, 2012 at 2:47 PM
Oct 042012
 

Big Bird responds to Romney’s promise to carve him up for Thanksgiving dinner

As the debate post-mortems flood in, the overwhelming consensus is that Willard Mitt Romney won, at least on style.  Charlie Pierce begins his critique of President Obama’s performance with a boxing analogy:

The thing is, if you’re going to play rope-a-dope, sooner or later, you have to come off the ropes and throw a punch. You bounce off the ropes and land the left and then the right over the top, and then the other guy goes out of the ring in a blanket. Otherwise, it’s just a way to get yourself punched in the stomach a lot. Along about the 48-minute mark of Wednesday night’s debate, it became clear to me that the president simply was not going to do that.

And, because of the president’s unaccountable lassitude — is it possible that the whole angry-black-man kerfuffle ginned up on the right on Monday got into the man’s head a little? — Willard Romney was able to portray himself as a firm, principled national figure of what passes for the rational center. I didn’t think that was possible.

In my view, a better metaphor would be a mixed martial arts match. Obama entered the cage with heavily padded 20 ounce boxing gloves while Romney opted for 4 ounce MMA grapplers that allowed him hit a lot harder and wrestle and pin O to the mat. As for the re-release Monday of a 2007 vid of Senator Obama delivering a public critique of the Bush Administration’s of post-Katrina aid to New Orleans, I do believe it was a deliberate attempt to get inside O’s head, muting his natural instincts to throw some elbows lest he conform to the angry black man racial stereotype that the right is always ready to smear him with.

Style issues aside, Mitt make up a number” Romney offered nothing of substance. Unless his performance as a substantial liar counts. Big Orange has started to make a list:

Romney lied:

When he claimed that “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” They’re not.
When he said that President Obama had “cut Medicare by $716 billion to pay for Obamacare.” Obama didn’t.
When he denied proposing a $5 trillion tax cut. He did.
When he said President Obama had “added almost as much to the federal debt as all the prior presidents combined.” Not even close.
When he resurrected “death panels.” That was called “one of the biggest whoppers of the night.”
When he stated that half the green energy companies given stimulus funds had failed. Only if three out of nearly three dozen is half.

Stay tuned. These just scratch the surface.

ThinkProgress uses a less confrontational term– “myths.” Some 27 of them delivered in a mere 38 minutes, to be exact. Romney’s biggest whopper remains his promise to balance the budget while raising defense spending by $2 trillion; and by extending the Bush tax cuts and implementing new ones that overwhelmingly favors the uber rich and corporations. Kaching-- add another $5 trillion debt to the US Treasury.

Now, Romney claims that it will all be paid for by cutting costs in discretionary programs (sans defense), and by closing tax loopholes and eliminating exemptions. But he has adamantly refused to identify which loopholes and exemptions he would eliminate. And the only cut out of the discretionary budget that he identified was to end the public subsidy of the Public Broadcast System, which includes among other programs, debate moderator Jim “call me a feckless whimp” Leher‘s Newshour, and Sesame Street.

If Big Bird becomes the main course for the Romney’s Thanksgiving spread, expect the appetizers to include Kermit frog legs, served up by a submissive staff of former educators: Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and  Mrs. Sparklenose.

 

UPDATE 10/5:  Huffpo quotes Rick Santorum on killing Big Bird:

“I’ve voted to kill Big Bird in the past,” he said when asked about his position on the issue. “So, I have a record there that I have to disclose. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Big Bird. I mean, you can kill things and still like them, maybe to eat them, I don’t know.”

Pass the gravy.