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January 18, 2012


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Sully keeps referring to Romney receiving $26 million from Bain Capital years after he left the company. I'm not sure if that's income over years or if it's annual income from an ongoing holding of shares of Bain Capital stock.


And since you've created a new open thread I'll add these two links I posted in the earlier one:

Reasons to believe Pennsylvania (& other rust belt states) may not vote for Obama this autumn:

...It seems that in 2012, there may be a close election determined by a world beyond the suburbs of Philadelphia, turnout in Cleveland and the trends of the Florida panhandle — and how it all plays out might make the new political map a little more permanent.

Must read for Sir C (& possibly Prup) if no one else. It's a welcome reminder that for the last 30 years or more the white working class has by and large rejected voting for candidates who help them via the government and has instead voted for those most devoted to making their lives worse.

low-tech cyclist

I'm very heartened by the news from Wisconsin: over 1 million signatures on the petition to recall Scott Walker.

And apparently they also have enough signatures to recall the Lt. Gov. and three GOP state senators - one of whom I knew in high school, incidentally.


My own guess about Romney is that the reason he's reluctant to release his taxes isn't because it's going to turn out he pays a 15% income tax rate, but rather because it's going to turn out he pays a much lower rate than that once all the loopholes are figured in.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Thanks, oddjob, I was going to keep the colloquy going on the older thread, but better here. Before I do, though, a personal note. Does anyone know any group in New York that can use about 20 shopping bags filled with (very) miscellaneous books that I have realized I'm not likely to be reading in the next couple of decades, or are duplicates, or the like. They are a very mixed bag, fromn old comic books and erotics -- ostly "FORUM=type" letters magazines -- a couple of which have stories I sold in them -- through ancient diaries that were reprinted as books -- and the reprints are substantially older than I am -- to some stuff actually worth reading or referring to, imcluding duplicate mysteries and sf, my old Barbara Michaels books, etc., and can arrange to pick them up?

I just shiver in horror at the thought of putting an intact, readable book in the garbage, I want them to do some good and find some good homes, but I don't want to pay a friend to carry them away. The pile is growing as I do this library project -- part of a whole major house cleaning -- and I really will be glad to see them leaving.

(And if I miss the occasional day here, the library and housecleaning is one. If it were just a case of resorting and reshelving, the project would be done already, but everytime I clear a shelf or a plastic milk carton, I am washing the (literal) grime of decades before I reuse it. It's worth doing, but it takes a long time, the metal shelves need water, brillo and cleanser, the milk cartons have tons of nooks, each one of which need scrubbing -- abd that's along with my regular domestic duties. The results are already well worth it, the clearing away of a dining room that went from a storage area to a visual representation of the city dump is now almost done, but it's haard work!

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

On the running colloquy, first, if anyone else is interested, please read the series of posts I made on the "It's Mittens" thread. Not only did I lay out my position, I believe, more clearly there than I have in other posts, lots of details but less Pruppish verbal fog, but I've also suggested three "campaigns" that I believe the blogosphere is particulaly suited to wage. They aim at an area that we can be almost certain the DNC/Obama campaigns will avoid, they are doable by people as individuals, they don't take huge organizations to put out, and the whole cost for them, at their most elaborate, would be less than running one tv ad in a medium sized state -- an ad that will be, in many houses folowed by the sound of flushing. (People fast forward through ads anyway, but political ads are even less likely to be watched.)

And remember that Sir Charles and I have no disagreement on the goal we want, the strongest possible Democratic swing in the election, the most states won, the most seats won back -- and at least holding our own (plus defeating Senator Centerfold) in the Senate. We differ as to what the best way is to achieve this, but I see no conflict even there. Both an Obama-centered campaign and a 'district-up' campaign could go on in the blogosphere without getting in each others' way.

Actually the only arguments I can see against running my 'capaigns against hate' would be that, in a close election they might drain effort and money from Obama's campaign -- and I deny all parts of that -- or that, by bringing up 'controversial subjects,' they might inspire a backlash and give strength to our opponents -- and that has been the same reason the Democrats have been using for taking their constituencies for granted for the last forty years. Results? One failed Presidency (Carter) and two major disappointments (Clinton and Obama -- so far), and the memories of Kerry, Dukakis, Mondale/Ferraro, etc. (Just clearing away some underbrush. Ferraro's racism wasn't as overt in 1984, but it was talked about even then -- and the only reason she wasn't looked at closely, over this, her husband's corruption, and other problems, was -- I'm sorry to say -- because of her genitalia. And the reason we didn't look closely at Obama and find out if he really was as inexperienced, naive, and conflict-averse as he was accused of being was because of his melanin level. If he'd been Barry O'Bama, 'black Irish'man with a 'great tan' we would have looked much more closely at the clues we had.)

Now despite his weaknesses, there's no question that Obama must be reelected. I would argue it is no less important that we win the House and save what he have left of the Senate -- and that we can, if we actually wake up, do even better than that by exploiting both Romney's weaknesses (okay, he will probably get it, the slimeball and the altar boy don't look like they can prevent it, but I still expect him to win even favorable states by pluralities and not majorities, and that we start with a nice advantage in that Republicans aren't going to gather behind him -- particularly in the redder states and he has, by now, lost all appeal for centrusts), and Republican racism, hate, and other repulsiveness -- which will cost them even more votes from Republicans who, in all sincerity, don't realize what their party has been doing.

MR Bill

Well, can't find a link, but The American Prospect on Facebook has the Breaking News that the Obama Admin. will reject the Keystone XL tarsludge pipeline.
Hope this is true.

Here's the Facebook link..

MR Bill

and now WAPO sez the Keystone is rejected, but they can reapply...

Nothing settled, can kicked down road again.

low-tech cyclist

Prup - can't you just take the books to a used bookstore? Rumor has it that NYC has its share of those. They might not take the 'Forum letters'-type stuff, but then again, they might. And if they don't, that sort of stuff can be left in any guy-friendly environment, and they will find people to take them home.

Can't tell you what to do about transport, though. Rent a Zipcar, maybe?

low-tech cyclist

Mr Bill - it was almost universally conceded that the Administration couldn't legally approve the Keystone project within the deadline given by Congress. So this is no surprise.

It's generally believed that the Administration would like to approve the project, but would for obvious reasons like to wait until after the election. I've never been clear on why the GOP threw this absurdly expedited deadline at the Administration, though.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

l-tc" the local used book store wouldn't take them, they are too dusty and many are too uninteresting. (Some f them were also library books -- sold to me by the library which used to have a regular sale shelf -- which they won't touch. There isn't any other reachable, and I would like to see someone getting more use out of them, some group behind OWS or the like or a political group. But the main problem is that I've considered places to just drop them, and there aren't reachable ones within travel distance. I have a friend who also makes money by chauffering me -- and other people -- around, not like a car service. He helps me by actually doing some of my shopping, etc. But I don't want to pay anything to pass them on if I don't have to.

But thanks anyway for giving it a thought.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Let's start with the 'close election' question. Uh-uh. Romney has already peaked. Barring some totally unlooked for catastrophe, or blundering by the Democrats or Obama so bad that even we might agree he didn't deserve reelection (not imaginable, but needs mentioning), Obama has the election in his pocket, and Romney may surpass the last ex-Governor of Massachusetts to run in his ability to lose votes and states.

We know the factors, Bain Capital, Romney's elitism and the way he views his wealth, his proven lying (somebody, please use the "Joe Isuzu of politics" bit in a sketch or ad), his position changes and general untrustworthiness, his "Plastic Man" persona and total personal unlikability. And, even though nobody on our side should use this deliberately, the "Mormon thing."

(Writers are going to get curious about the church, look at it more closely, and, I'm sorry, not like what they see. I agree that the question "Is Mormonism a form of Christianity?" is the same as asking "Is Islam a branch of Christianity? -- a point made by a liberal commentator at Religion Dispatches." Both religions use the stories of the New Testament, both religions respect and honor Jesus, and both added a 'new prophet' and 'newer testament' to the original and claimed it was the Christians who were misinterpreting his message.

(And while plenty of people on our side wil use the JFK example, it really is different in numerous ways. JFK insisted his religion would not affect the way he did his duties, Romney's argument is that his Mormonism will make him use his religion in precisely the same ways the evangelicals would want a candidate of theirs to. And if, to an atheist like myself, all religions have a zero 'truth value' Mormonims has an 'absurdity value' higher than even Scientology or the Unification Church. But enough on the sidetrack.)

Romney is simply going to turn off so many people that even a lot of Obama haters will stay home rather tah vote for him. And he has no appeal left for either disaffected Democrats or Independents. He's staked out so many extreme positions, lied, and shown the other Achilles heels (how many Achilles heels has a centipede) that the notion that he will 're-flip' and govern like the "I'll be more liberal that Teddy" version, or even the gubernatorial version has lost its credibility. (And, a point I made a while back, he doesn't dare 'run towards the center' because he can't count on the base staying with him.)

The trouble is that this is likely to become so obvious so early that the already depressed turn-out (next comment) will be even smaller -- and that is what hurts us in the down-ballot races.

More later -- if this is annoying people or I am hogging bandwidth, please tell me to shut up -- but probably after cat medicine, feeding and a nap.

kathy a.

prup -- my community has a free book exchange at the recycling center (a raging community issue is booksellers who pick off the good ones) AND a free book store (which sells the more valuable ones online to support its expenses). this may be unusual.

a local secondhand bookseller may agree to pick up all 20 bags, sight unseen, because they can figure out how to sell them. a craigslist ad might bring you a number of responses from booksellers. (i've heard of freecycle but never used it; i assume it works the same way -- put up an ad, and people respond.) be sure to say they need to get the whole lot. the one bookseller you located cannot possibly be the only choice.

our local library also accepts donations, using what they can for the shelves and selling other items at their book sales. libraries often have volunteers, and one might come out to get your books. but i'd call the library anyway -- they are the book experts, and if they can't use them, they can find out who can.

kathy a.

prup, as to your other point, about people just not turning out for the next prez election -- you and i and others have said before that we need to be setting our "get out the vote" sights on the other candidates and issues that will be on the november ballots. congressional races; state and local races; ballot measures.



On this date in 1862 former US President John Tyler died in Richmond, VA at the age of 71, shortly before having the opportunity to be sworn into the Confederate Congress, to which he'd been elected....

low-tech cyclist

Prup - I'm not ready to take it to the bank just yet, but I think there's a certain logic to your argument that Romney has already peaked.

I think right now, he's the equivalent of 'generic Republican' in most people's minds. And I think that's as good as it gets - there's no Republican out there, most definitely including Romney, who looks any better to most people than a hypothetical generic Republican does.

Barring bad economic news, the best he can hope for is to maintain his current levels of support. And the evidence we have so far is that the more people get to know Mitt, the less they like him - and there's an abundance of reasons to dislike him.


NPR is running a story right now ['Boots for Newt'] about a fundamentalist Christian mom who is going door to door with her three children, having traveled 22 hours from Lubbock, to campaign for Newt in SC. The home-schooled children, pre-teens and apparently quite blond and 'adorable', are enlisted to ring the doorbells and hand out pamphlets which they've *created*. They will stay through the weekend and then back on the road to Texas.

I may faint. The level of cognitive dissonance necessary in order for these folks to knock themselves out for the Newt escapes me. Gingrich! (Now promising a 'major' place for the deranged Sarah Palin in his administration). major?' as majorette?, as I saw in a tweet earlier.

And I agree with Prup about Romney peaking. Listening to him, also on NPR, all of his problems can be heard in his voice, delivery, choice of words and sense of humor -- making jokes about Al Gore 'inventing the internet'. Unbelievable and kind of bizarre -- tired-saw-boring-meme bizarre. Yeah, Gore jokes -- 'that oughta do it.'

Prup -- fwiw -- Our no longer wanted/needed books have gone into a box left in the vestibule of our local bookstore with a note 'free'. Maybe you could shed them in batches that way. Or try Powell's buyback service online.

SirC -- Hope you're still standing.


SirC-- 'standing' -- that would be figuratively. Actually hope you're able to have a celebratory glass of something restorative. Postprandial, of course.


I think Romney may be peaking also; he's incredibly unlikeable, and Jamelle Bowie had some data on the AP website showing that the more the public sees of him the less they like him. All the stuff about Bain Capital, his taxes, and his general elitism is wearing very thin.

HOWEVER--this election could easily end up being about events in Europe that we have very little control over. If the Euromess becomes catastrophic, it'll pull the world back into a recession--possibly even worse than this one--and then Obama will probably be toast, like any incumbent would be under those circumstances. So let's not be popping any corks just yet.


P.S. The blizzard has indeed been impressive. The hospital that my husband and I both work at was closed today to everything but emergencies. We've had a pleasant day off. My bassets weren't quite sure what to make of it--it threatened to engulf them a few times.


I'd be worried about the projection. A recent survey of independent voters who voted for Romney said they pretty much are depending upon him to flop again on his Tea Party corporatist rants.

The ability of Republican voters to willfully believe the opposite of what is true about their politicians...


I had to sell my father's books to an online book-dealer in bulk. He didn't want most of them. In the Bay Area, they'd have been worth far more, but... I'd already taken them to Powell's and exchanged a small portion of them for a small sum which went to my sister's school books.

Sir Charles

Long day today and an evedn longer one tomorrow. Another full day of hearing and then back to DC from Connecticut.

I think that Gallup's analysis tends to be a bit rightward biased and not nearly sensitive enough historically to the issue of race.

Having said that, I am by no means taking this election for granted and I do think the Philly and Cleveland suburbs will prove important in the way that they typically do -- Florida as well. I think the one advantage that we have going into 2012 in some of these states is the ability to run against their right wing governors. I suspect Kasich has helped the Dems immeasurably among the white working class in Ohio and I don't think Rick Scott or the dude in PA are any great shakes in that regard either. I think Wisconsin is going to be incredibly energized and I think Michigan will be safely in the fold -- the guy who authored the auto bailout against the guy who denounced it as a travesty on the Op-ed pages.


I am all in favor of a vigorous 50 state campaign. I can't see a downside really. But I suspect that the top of the ticket will have much to say about its outccome.

Although I am certainly not fully pleased with Obama's time in office, I do not think that he has been a failure and I still think he is the most talented guy out there. I don't think my assessment of his talents was that far off.

May not be able to weigh in until Friday so keep the thread rolling.


'thread rolling' -- small part -- the suburban vote with here totally flipped the November election here to the GOP. First time, and it's a disturbing shift. The pattern for the presidential won't matter, blue state WA guaranteed by King County, but locally, it's trouble. Hidden moneygrams and voila -- a new local government off to the races for...more money and higher office, congressional seats preferred.

Hope the 'Boots for Newt' Texas mom and her brood get back home and out of radio range before Marianne Gingrich dumps her story all around. Not many more teaching moments left to be culled. Well, on the blindly saccharine 'he's sought forgiveness and repented' side anyway. Conversion story a bit rough for Newt to continue to sell under the circumstances. I imagine a lot of Catholics are quite unimpressd. Calista writes children's books? For whose children?

Heave ho Sir C. And take care.

Scary blizzard arriving here. Just hope any power outage is short-lived. Camping in the living room around the gas-fireplace makes for cranky family-life in a short time. [100 mph winds on the Oregon coast and we often get the backdraft this far inland, funneled up the Columbia].

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Not what I wanted to get to today, but time slips away.

First, thanks to all of you for your sugestions on the books. Most of them had problems because of factors I didn't make plain. The book store is just at the very limit of my ability to walk unaided, and I don't bring shopping carts on buses. I'd have to use my friend or a car service for the trip. And the key is I want to spend as little time or trouble on this as possible -- I have more important or more interesting ways to spend time.

And these books are not my library but my 'culls.' Some, the Barbara Michaels books that started everything moving, some duplicates that have turned up, maybe the erotica, might have general interest, but most of the rest, well, despite my shrinking at the thought, it's a question how much would be lost if I did just put them into the recyclables. They are obsure, unimportant, and dated non-fiction, mostly studies of current events, political systems, or international changes from the sixties, and almost all have been made absurd by the actual passage of time. If I didn't have this fantasy of, for each, five people in the country who would just love to have them, and this hatred of destroying any usable book, I probably would put them out the next dry Monday night.

As for President Obama, I don't exactly consider him a failure, but a disappointment. Yes, and a good part of that comes from our own creation of a 'fantasy Obama.' We made our own picture of who we needed him to be, remember the 'obama as Superman' t-shirts, the NEW YORKER midnight dawning a new day, remember the fucking Nobel peace Prize before he'd done anything. We were bound to be disappointed, but he shouldn't have turned out so different from our expectations. (We had a few warnings, claims he was too inexperienced, too naive, complaints that he never battled back against McCain's (and particularly Palin's) slanders until he had no choice, worries that he talked about 'hope and change' but was skimpy on the details. But we dismissed them or explained them away.)

They were true, and it should have been a major alarm bell to us and to anyone around him when -- after running on 'universal health care' for two years -- he didn't have a plan 'ready on Day One' and didn't announce it with the statement "Here's the framework to work from. I want to hear your ideas, and I mean Republicans, Progressives, and everybody, and will work them into the final product where I can, but we start from here." (Any other President would have done that with his signature issue, been ready for the day after inauguration day. Instead, it took months of 'open discussion' with little cue from the hite House, before a plan was ready. This gave Republicans plenty of time to prepare and use the melange that came out against him. But most unforgivably, even after the 'death panel' cry had begun to seem like a joke, when end-of-life counseling was in the bill, he decided to have it pulled -- yanking the rug out from under those who were using it against the Republicans and as a prime demonstration of Palin's lying.)

More tomorrow, the fumes I'm running on just disappeared. But one last comment. How does Obama make even his successes come across as failures or compromises?

low-tech cyclist

Interesting stuff in the latest GOP primary polls: apparently the Newt got one hell of a bounce from his debate performance the other night (Jan. 16). A Gingrich win in SC isn't out of the question.

Polls taken on the 17th and 18th are looking like this:

South Carolina:

An NBC-Marist poll taken Jan. 16-17 shows Romney 10 points ahead, but that was 15 points on the 16th, and only 5 points on the 17th.

A Politico poll taken Jan. 17-18 shows Romney with a 7-point lead, although the internals suggest it's a lot closer (look at Q1, and the definitely/probably/lean breakdown in Q9 at the link).

An Insider Advantage poll taken on the 18th shows Newt ahead by 3.


A Rasmussen poll on the 17th shows Romney's lead over Newt down to 3 - within the MOE.

I still don't see how Newt can actually win the nomination, but if he can win SC, he can keep the game going at least into March, given the back-loaded nature of the GOP primary calendar. And that's all to the good.

low-tech cyclist

And Rick Perry is dropping out of the race as of today. He's been polling only in the 3-4% range in SC, which explains why.

While picking up most of Perry's supporters obviously wouldn't be a huge bump for Newt, it might be enough to push him over the top, given the way the race in SC is tightening.

Can't believe I'm saying this, but: Go, Newt!!

Paula B

The Newt's ex tells all. I love it.

kathy a.

oh, south carolina conservatives are gonna love this.


They might not like the open marriage, but they sure seemed to love the race-baiting at the debate. Ugh. What a lovely choice: the candidate of the 0.1% vs. the candidate of the Confederacy.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Blimp punditry of the dy: (sadly) Steve Benen wrote a piece asking why people were making the Gingrich revelations into a big story, because

But I’m not quite clear why this is considered new. Marianne Gingrich did an interview with Esquire nearly two years ago in which she told the magazine the same thing — the powerful Republican lawmaker “asked her to just tolerate the affair,” she said at the time. The interview was widely noticed, and I remember writing about it.

Perfect example of "I know it, and my frends know it, and my readers should know it, so it's nothing new." And how many copies does ESQUIRE sell in SC to Republicans? And how many SC papers covered the story then?

Meanwhile, as Steve and oters also tell us, after the recount, it turned out Santorum actually (well, 'probably maybe' since 8 precint totals have dusappeared irretrievably) won Iowa. Romney's record of winning both -- and the 'boost' he got from the 'win' -- seem to have been undeserved.

paula b

It's news as long as a substantial number of people missed it the last time it was news.


Typepad seems to have taken a dislike to me today. I get the time/date stamp and 'comment posted' message but nothing. x4 Tried changing mailboxes too. Anyone else?


Stay tuned to Esquires's Charlie Pierce on the road here. There doesn't appear to be any end to the comedy gold provided it seems:

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Oh, god help us, no. NBC has unleashed Tom Brokaw, the Man Who Invented World War II, on the voters of South Carolina. He "spent two days reporting" among former Bush-Cheney hacks, Huckleberry Graham, and even some Ordinary Folks, to discover that tonight, we will see "what Mitt Romney is made of."

(The answer, of course, is "money." And "Velveeta.")

"This is rock and roll for the next 48 hours," concluded Tom, who knows.

What has eluded Tom, but what will likely be very obvious to all of us who are planning to watch the 40 billionth of 230 billion scheduled Republican presidential debates, is that we are finally down to Willard and a pressurized shining diamond of pure crazy. Rick Perry has finally found the ripcord. (And, yes, the barstools are full of men who were presidential frontrunners in July.) He dropped out this morning and threw his three percent of the electorate — and, more important, his fat financial database — behind N. Leroy Gingrich, who very likely comes into tonight's encounter competing with Willard in the vital category of public agita. And so Willard Romney has Governor Goodhair lining up with Newt, who, for his part, will walk off the stage in Charleston just in time to watch his second ex-wife disembowel him on Nightline.

Good to see someone having proper fun with this. [Don't miss the after-comment from the USC frat-drear complaining about the humor he doesn't appreciate so there]

Last try -- maybe blockquotes are getting caught? Or the link was broken?


Here a stand alone link to Pierce that I hope works.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

nancy: I got that a while ago. The way to find out what happened is to do an immediate F5 and refresh. If the message got through, the browser will go to the end of the thread, if not, it will open at its beginning. Check anyway. If the message isn't there -- I assume you try to remember to copy every comment before you hit 'post' -- close COG and reopen it, since you still have the copy in memory. Then insert it and it usually works -- but I've had to resubmit one post a total of seven times before it 'took.' Typepad does have advantages, but it gets even crankier than I do.

Very funny piece, btw. But the writer insults Velveeta -- which actually has some real cheese in there, it only tastes like it is made out of plastic. There is nothing real inside Mittens, just air, like with most mittens.

And paula, you and I know that, but the blimp riders change it to

"It's news as long as a substantial number of US missed it the last time it was news. Because it ain't news till we say it's news."

kathy a.

whatever. a busy person with other things to do cannot possibly be expected to remember all the citations over the years for "why i think newt is a complete jerk," so i think it is fortunate that the media reminds us now and then.

do you think callista will be able to do her nancy reagan impersonation? this is the night he needs it the most!

lots of south carolina may be newt country, but i don't think so much in charleston. when i lived there, many charlestonians pointed out that the city was a port city, much more sophisticated than other areas of the state, comparable to san francisco.

charleston harbor might be where the union started the war between the states by firing back, according to a certain point of view, but it was also home to people like septima clark, a true and sturdy leader of the civil rights movement. i actually met her once, not long before she died. newtie might have a rough time at the debate tonight.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

A brief, totally OT thing, but I tend to ignore local news. so I'd missed the fact that my corrupt, hypocritical, closeted homophobic bastard of a state senator, Carl Krueger was finally caught, arrested, and forced to resign. Now we may have a decent Senator, and one that won't fight gay marriage. (The Republicans are running smeone who seems to be somewhere between a LaRouchian and a Ron Paul supporter. If he wins the special, highly unlikely as that is, watch out. (He's also got strong support from the Russian community, he is Russian, which scares me a little.) If my part of Brooklyn goes Republican a second time -- after Turner succeeded Weiner -- don't tell me about how we are a lock to win the down ballot races elsewhere if Obama wins big. We are in real trouble and need to work hard at fence-mending, everywhere.

Prup (aka Jim Benton)

Yes, Krueger is the guy who used his lover's mother as a beard.

big bad wolf

coopt this, he seems to be singing


bbw - so bossy. thanks much. :)

kathy a.

excellent, BBW!

kathy a.

oh, my dears. krauthammer has come out and said the GOP is suicidal, that it is shooting itself in the foot, that obama's gonna win because the candidates in his camp are idjits.


Note that Krauthammer continues the Republican Big Lie with this: "Concurrently, he has vastly increased the scope and reach of government with new entitlements and oppressive regulation, with higher taxes to come (to offset the unprecedented spending)."

Last I looked, Obama was trying, to liberals' dismay, to limit entitlements. It was Krauthammer's side which created Medicare Part D, not Obama. And many of the regulations Krauthammer whines about are ones that were first thought of in the Bush Administration (does he have a clue how long it takes to write new rules, what with the processes they're required to go through?). The Bushies were told by SCOTUS that EPA had the right and obligation to regulate greenhouse gases in Mass. v. EPA back in 2007, and only now are those rules starting to go into effect.

Sir Charles

Jesus, what a day I picked to be away from the intertubes.

Have to rush off for a meeting, but hope to weigh in on the target rich environment later.

David Brooks today, by the way, shows you the living definition of courtier. Jesus, it must be horrid to live a life with no self-respect whatsoever.

Mr. Cabbage Mallet, on the other hand, is a straight up Republican propagandist, but even he is having trouble swallowing the freak show that is the Republican field. These are four deeply damaged individuals left in this race.

kathy a.

colbert + cain rally at the college of charleston today. large turnout expected.

newt cancels scheduled appearance in charleston.

low-tech cyclist

Here a stand alone link to Pierce that I hope works.

nancy - thanks muchly! I had to stop reading that halfway through because I was having a hard time keeping from laughing out loud, and it was getting all too evident that whatever was on my computer screen, it wasn't any of the projects I'm working on. Fortunately, lunchtime is coming up.


Those interested in the race to unseat Senator Centerfold will find this article interesting. It does a good job of showing why he appeals to male blue collar conservative Democrats (he's one of them, despite his political affiliation, and they instinctively know it the moment he opens his mouth).

That Scott Brown is a born member of that tribe is a huge part of why he won last time around and why at this moment (and assuming Warren wins the Dem. primary) the two major candidates for the seat are running too close to each other in the polling for anyone to predict the outcome. It's also why he's a popular senator and why a decent number of prominent local Democratic pols (including Boston Mayor Tom Menino) like him and aren't yet wholly convinced about enthusiastically working to unseat him if his challenger is Elizabeth Warren (whom they don't know as well).


re dr. krautzenjammer -- pm carpenter says it better than most i think.

kathy a.

oooh, nancy. such a takedown.


nancy, that's magnificent!


AFSCME has purchased a statewide bloc of ad time to slam Romney's time at Bain Capital during the FL primary. (Bain Capital founder Romney was on the Damon Corp. board of directors during part of the time that now FL Gov. Scott was scamming Medicare although Romney isn't implicated in those crimes. A recent poll puts Scott's approval rating in Florida at 38%.)

"...The ad represents just how scrambled the political calculus has become, now that Republicans have been attacking Romney’s business background in terms identical to those being employed by Democrats. A major union is now perfectly comfortable amplifying one of its own attack lines against Romney — in an effort to sway GOP primary voters, in addition to those who will vote in the general."

Sir Charles


I read that story about Brown and think I should have followed through with my ambitions to go back to Mass when I was young and run for office -- hell, I could outbullshit him in any fire or police station or union hall any day of the week.

Strangely enough, I think a 38% approval rating for Scott is an improvement -- I think he was down in the mid-20s last year.

I wonder what the AFSCME ads are trying to accomplish. It is a pretty interesting attack.

big bad wolf

SC, you'd have been great. and you'd have won all the have-a-beer with him votes.


bbw. true, true. the two of you would be a good team i bet.

Open thread: This NYT piece , which I'm not sure I trust, should probably be left for another day, but I didn't want it to disappear from the radar screen. Protestants, according to the piece, are increasingly coming to the conclusion that an objection to contraception, in 2012, is perfectly understandable and laudble. If this is true, and they really wish to return to pre-Griswold then we're well on our way back to the sentiments of The Scarlet Letter -- my deep sigh is the saddest one I've made recently about my 'sisters'. Surely this can't be:

“Our understanding of hormonal birth control methods — the pill, the patch, the ring — have changed,” said Dr. Paris, alluding to those who believe, on scant evidence, that these methods of birth control can contribute to long-term infertility. “Abortion politics have changed. Views of women in the workplace have changed. Feminism has changed. All that has contributed to a number of evangelicals embracing a no-birth-control policy, or at least making it comprehensible.”

As Dr. Paris suggests, much of the new birth-control skepticism comes from the suspicion that contraception is allied with more nefarious practices. In the 1970s, abortion became a central issue for evangelicals; now some worry that the kind of woman who controls her fertility is the kind who would abort an unwanted fetus. Antifeminist Christians worry that secular culture both encourages women to take the pill and leads them into the work force.

Of course, what's not mentioned in the article is that all of these babies that should be born with no thought of contraception, ever, are supposed to be pale.

kathy a.

nancy, i caution against pushing all protestants into the wacky evangelical nook. this little sample of preachers does not reflect everyone's thinking.

Sir Charles


It's amazing -- virtually every woman of child-bearing age in the U.S. has used contraception as some point. It's somewhere in the neighborhood of 90%.

It's this kind of stuff that makes me so crazy when the firebagger types suggest that there is no difference between the parties. The guy who just won the Iowa caucuses for the GOP believes that states have the right to outlaw birth control.

Think about that -- Santorum is not a marginal character in the Republican Party. He represents a significant constituency within it.


kathy -- this little sample of preachers does not reflect everyone's thinking.

No indeed it doesn't. But this sort of pandering to the world of Santorum by the NYT I find deeply troubling. This story's inclusion in the 'US News' section says something to us all. Where's the story about faithful snake-handling, speaking in tongues, or quiet Mormon multi-marriage in the neighborhoods of small town Utah. Well no, they aren't there because those would be off-stream stories. Inserting this thing into the section where it was printed puts this thinking out in the forefront as newsworthy of all of our attention.
Or maybe i'm just missing something about today's Times. Perfectly possible.

Maddening no matter what the background. The original headline was 'More Protestants Oppose Birth Control' later changed to 'Evangelicals'.

And yes SirC. All women fleeing from our imperfect Democrats...well here's your story.

kathy a.

on the other hand -- birth control? really??? this is crazy crazy talk. and dangerous to all women.


The Times has now changed the headline on that story again. Today it's 'Many Evangelicals See Something to Admire in Candidates' Broods'. [changing headlines three times in one day] Is that a common practice? I've never noticed it before.

The story has been gnawing at me all day. Questioning the use of contraception takes the war on women still one more rather large step and shows that it's working. There are regular diatribes about the evil of Planned Parenthood which show up in the Letters of my newspaper. Then there was a rash of announcements that licensed pharmacists should be permitted to refuse to fill Plan B prescriptions on religious grounds. Next logical step would be to see if they could refuse to fill birth control prescriptions on the same grounds.

The mere fact this is in the air confirms this isn't just us/them coded verbiage that no one need take seriously. These people mean it. Although I always wonder -- didn't any of them notice that June Cleaver and Donna Reed and Harriet Nelson each had but two children back there in their ideal US of A of yesteryear.

Paula B

Nancy, it's not unusual for a newspaper to change headlines during the day. The story may have been updated, altering it enough to necessitate a different hed. If the story drops down (or goes up) in importance as the day goes on, that change in position may require note. In the old days, newspapers replated certain pages (usually the front pnes) of sections while it printed, so at least some readers got the latest version of an updated story or the entire paper. Sports scores might come in after deadline, or something happens half way around the world that dwarfs what was planned for a page at 4 the previous afternoon. Replated pages generally were marked in some way, so readers would know they were getting updated news. Now, news stories use time/date stamps, and might have a note about corrections or updates at the end.

Sir Charles


Well that seems about right -- they had sex twice and had two children. Anything more would have been unseemly.



Don't know about June and Harriet, but I'm guessing Donna had a diaphragm tucked away in the drawer. The one in the bedside table between the twin beds.


Thanks Paula -- As I look closely, it looks like events forced the Times to change the subject it had created with the original two headlines, when the administration made its Saturday announcement -- insurance companies will be required to include coverage for contraception. They did intend to stir the pot with the piece though, and I don't know quite what to make of that. The Duggars?? 19 and counting. Tell me these people can support all of those children without resorting to reality television contracts. More topsy-turvy messages from real America. Food stamp-president scoffers all.


Amanda homes in on this story today in an entry she's titled 'The anti-choice fight for dog-women'. If you haven't linked to the Times story yet, it's worth reading what she has to say about its photo accompaniment.

What Oppenheimer doesn't talk about. but that picture illustrates so well, is what anti-feminists really feel is lost with what they call "contraceptive culture": men's god-given right to have a woman---perhaps several (though in a row, mostly)---who follow them around, worshipping their every move, submitting completely and joyfully. I suspect this fantasy never was a reality, but I suspect a lot of Christian fundamentalists have convinced themselves that giving women the power to say "no" to men is what made us so maddeningly unwilling to play the supplicant. No to sexual overtures, no to marriage, no to demands that we wait on you, and most importantly, no to letting your magical seed plant itself in our bodies whenever it wants. That's why I believe that modern conservative Christians don't worship Jesus so much as Sperm Magic. The last few paragraphs of this piece makes that clear:
When the differences between fundamentalist Protestants and Catholics were about things like the worship of saints and transubstantiation, well, there were real differences there. Now they're coming together to worship their true god---Sperm Magic---in basically the same way---fighting against women's rights---and so there aren't any theological differences to fight over. The chumminess that follows is predictable enough.

'Sperm magic'. A phrase is born.


'Sperm magic'. A phrase is born.

Or in another context:

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.


kathy a.

a friend passed along this blog piece, excerpting satiric poetry from about 1915 about "are women people?" the context then was whether women should be allowed to vote.

kathy a.

oddjob is making me look this up. it is a literary reference.


odd job -- you need a ™ .

kathy -- i'd forgotten about hairpin . thanks. that Times poem could have been written over the weekend. :) excellent stuff -- who says feminists were all humorless. she's quite the predecessor.

and reading the twain remarks, it's hard to imagine the sounds that might have come from his audience. or not..

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