Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday July 25


I'm amazed they're going to get away with this again:

Mitt Romney promised "complete transparency" when he took charge of the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Olympics, a pledge that included access to his own correspondence and plans for an extensive public archive of documents related to the Games.
But some who worked with Romney describe a close-to-the-vest chief executive unwilling to share so much as a budget with a state board responsible for spending oversight. Archivists now say most key records about the Games' internal workings were destroyed under the supervision of a staff member shortly after the flame was extinguished at Olympic Cauldron Park, after Romney had returned to Massachusetts.

"Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there," said Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns. "Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent."

According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul, "Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records."

You know, the truth is no one knows how Mitt Romney managed the Olympics, because they destroyed all the records. Now that it's become clear that Romney was less than truthful about his role at Bain (despite the claims of the various fact-check franchises that rushed to his rescue before waiting for the facts to come out) I think his claims about the Olympics deserve scrutiny.

Romney and his campaign hacks sound like they're sitting at a deposition when they're asked these very simple questions. There's this insane reliance on specific dates, where Mitt Romney was or was not "actively" running things, or retroactively retired, or whatever.

I'm almost looking forward to the part where we get to Romney's Massachusetts record, so Andrea Saul can tell us Mitt Romney had left Massachusetts by the time "X" occurred, to begin running for President. She wasn't laughed out of the room with this Olympic denial, which is virtually identical to the Bain denial. Why stop there? Why not try it for Romneycare? Was Romney "actively governing" at that point? Put the fact-check franchises on it, and see what they come up with. It may be another grey area.

I'm not asking for much here. My hope is the fact check crew can hold off on exonerating Romney and give the Boston journalists a chance to find some facts on Romney's role in destroying records. They don't have to DO anything, the fact-checkers.Just wait for someone else to get a chance to do their job.


Asshole of the century

James Taranto, the WSJ rightwing nutjob whose job is the Best of the Web feature, which invariably means reposting whatever Glenn Reynolds or the halfwits at NRO write every day:

He is, of course, referring to the reports that a number of men used their bodies to shield their loved ones during the Aurora massacre. Most of us thought of this as a noble and amazing sacrifice, but to the American Taliban, these may have been slutty slut sluts who use birth control (or even worse, vote for Democrats!) and make their own decisions, so whether or not they deserved to be saved is up to wingnut judgment.

You know who got to make the decision whether their lives were worth it, Taranto? The three heroes who ate bullets saving their loved ones, not some fat scumbag neocon filth sitting comfortably with a glass of bourbon while wanking on twitter from the comfort of a wingback chair in Manhattan.

These people are sick. I thought once that Derbyshire had been shitcanned from the NRO we might make it through a national tragedy without this kind of crap, but I was wrong.

James Taranto, go fuck yourself.


Only white people can relate to England

Open mouth, insert foot:

As the Republican presidential challenger accused Barack Obama of appeasing America's enemies in his first foreign policy speech of the US general election campaign, advisers told The Daily Telegraph that he would abandon Mr Obama's "Left-wing" coolness towards London.

In remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity, one suggested that Mr Romney was better placed to understand the depth of ties between the two countries than Mr Obama, whose father was from Africa.

"We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special," the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: "The White House didn't fully appreciate the shared history we have".

Give Willard a microphone, and sooner or later he always shows his true colors. Whether it's "Corporations are people, my friend" or "I'm not concerned about the very poor...we have a safety net there", or "I should tell my story... I'm also unemployed." said to a group of actual unemployed people, or "I get speaker's fees from time to time, but not very much", said about the $374,000 in speaking fees he made in just one year, sooner or later (usually sooner), Romney always reveals what he is: a believer in the privilege of white males who inherited a name and money from their fathers, a rich asshole whose "job creation" record consists of sucking huge fees out of dying companies while decimating them interspersed with a very few instances of sustaining, not creating, a bunch of minimum-wage service jobs, a racist, elitist fuck for whom the presidency is nothing more than another thing he can amass in a vain effort to fill the giant black hole in his soul that nothing can ever fill.


Lobbyist Richard Hohlt, a bundler for Mitt Romney's campaign, was the "go-between" for Karl Rove and the late Bob Novak in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Politico reports. And another one is a registered foreign agent for Hong Kong. A 2007 law requires that federal candidates disclose the names of any registered lobbyists who bundle large amounts for their campaign, which of course, Willard has not done.
"[I]nequality is much, much worse than official statistics show, but politicians are still relying on trickle-down to transfer wealth to poorer people," said John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. "People on the street have no illusions about how unfair the situation has become."
Texas congressman Louie Gohmert casts aspersions on potency of John McCain's scrotum
Look, his head is like a dick!
Yes, you are the newest supernova in the Wonket Cavalcade of Stars, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, but are you burning too bright? Having just in the past week joined in Michelle Bachmann's search for Arabs under the bed, and then gotten it just right with his explanation that Aurora was caused by Jealous Jeebus, Louie Gohmert is now calling out John McCain for not hating Muslins enough, and questioning the fullness of his sac full of swimmers. But at least he has not called for McCain to take "a final dirt nap" — you know, a dirt nap OF VOTES! READ MORE »
larry bird, we guess
Why is our socialist Kenyan Marxist Muslim president being so NEGATIVE, hmm? The richest 1% of Americans are doing great! Corporate profits are at an all time high! It should be champagne and caviar for EVERYONE but NO, Obama is insisting on talking about something called the "Middle Class." Of course, as Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) points out, the existence of such a class is a total fiction because of rising income inequality because there is no such thing as "middle class values." Even if there were (but there aren't!), you shouldn't run around DISCUSSING them, in PUBLIC, when you are the President, because it is un-American! And when you do it, you pit the middle class against people like Michael Jordan, which is bad for everyone. Jon Kyl kindly explained this to his colleagues and to the American people during a speech he made Monday on the Senate floor.

"We have a president who talks incessantly about class, particularly the middle class," Kyl said.

"I just think the whole discussion of class is wrong. It's not what we do here in America," said Kyl, the Senate minority whip. He added, "I don't think there's anything called 'middle class values' that are different from the values of other people in this country. Tell me what's different about the values of someone who the president identifies as middle class?"…

When Michael Jordan came, after he established how great he would be, he was given an enormous, almost unheard of salary. Did the other players say, 'That's not fair?' No, actually all the other players got big salary increases, too," Kyl said. "The whole franchise did well, the people selling popcorn, the people parking the cars … made more money than they ever would have had Michael Jordan never came to the team."

Oh yeah, the NBA cheerleaders who still earn between $50 and $135 per game and the minimum wage workers who sell popcorn at the Chicago Stadium and the janitors at the Chicago Stadium and the little kids in China who make the Nike shoes that Michael Jordan eventually got the opportunity to act as a highly paid spokesperson for — well, even though their wages didn't exactly go UP because of Michael Jordan's salary, they weren't jealous! Not one bit. So let's all just calm down about this "class" business, and go back to worshipping our economic and social betters as though they are the Michael Jordans of the economy, which they totally are.


The first U.S. church official convicted of covering up sex-abuse claims against Roman Catholic priests was sentenced Tuesday to three to six years in prison by a judge who said he "enabled monsters in clerical garb ... to destroy the souls of children."

I hope this is the first of many.


The current congress has been the most useless one in history, sending only 54 bills to the White House (14 of them renaming post offices), showing that the only thing that matters to the Right is making sure that black Kenyan Muslim doesn't get a second term.


Fundraising! - Now you too can have an assault rifle just like the one used in Aurora! Missouri Rep. John McCaherty's campaign is auctioning a .223 caliber AR-15 semi-automatic "assault" rifle Aug. 27 to raise money ($25 per ticket). Everyone is cashing in on the tragedy. (Midwest Democracy)


Wisco: GOP's Brand of Fiscal Restraint is Really Expensive


Why does Greenland hate America?

Unprecedented melting of Greenland's ice sheet this month has stunned NASA scientists and has highlighted broader concerns that the region is losing a remarkable amount of ice overall.

According to a NASA press release, about half of Greenland's surface ice sheet naturally melts during an average summer. But the data from three independent satellites this July, analyzed by NASA and university scientists, showed that in less than a week, the amount of thawed ice sheet surface skyrocketed from 40 percent to 97 percent.

Greenland and NASA are part of the conspiracy. Obviously.


This will solve everything.

"It's been insane," Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo employee Jake Meyers told the Denver Post in reference to the marked increase in gun sales across Colorado observed in the wake of Friday's deadly shooting in Aurora.

According to the Post, Friday to Sunday saw a 43 percent jump in background checks approved by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation over the previous weekend.

On Friday alone there were 1,216 checks — 43 percent higher than the average number of checks requested during the previous two Fridays.

More guns! Go!

I have absolutely no doubt the rush came from people convinced that the shooting would lead to the government banning guns. They buy it every single time. They've been buying it for decades. Suckers.

Newsflash: no one wants to completely ban guns. We just don't think you need assault rifles or 100-round drum magazines.


This is Mitt Romney's latest selectively-edited ad attacking the president for saying "you didn't build that."

Beyond the obvious edit job of the president's words, there's something else wrong with this ad

via ABC News

The New Hampshire Union Leader's John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, Gilchrist Metal, "received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority 'to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment'…" In addition, in 2011, Gilchrist Metal "received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008…"

The businessman, Jack Gilchrist, also acknowledged that in the 1980s the company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling "somewhere south of" $500,000, and matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.

The star of the ad has received tax breaks from the local government and contracts from the federal government. He was also subsidized by the Small Business Administration! But, you know, the president is "attacking success" when he mentions that private business didn't build the roads or the infrastructure that makes doing business possible.

You can't necessarily rely on most Americans to put 2 and 2 together, however. From my experience, the average American has no idea that they're neck deep in socialism every single day of the lives no matter who they are or what ideology they subscribe to. We're all socialists, some are just in denial or in the proverbial closet.

With that said, Team Romney has been screwing the "you didn't build that" chicken for several weeks now and it doesn't seem to have done them any favors. The latest round of polls show Romney trailing in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, and even Florida. President Obama now maintains leads in every swing state except North Carolina, and Romney would have to perform a near sweep of the swing states to win.


Link: Republican opposition to raising the debt ceiling increased the government's borrowing costs
by $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2011, and costs will continue to rise in the future, a report found.

The U.S. Treasury was forced to take varying actions to avoid hitting the debt limit before Congress
raised it in August, forcing borrowing costs higher on multiple Treasury securities, the report found.
And because many of those securities "will remain outstanding for years to come," the borrowing
costs will continue to rise in the near future. The debt limit fight also caused the first-ever downgrade
of America's credit rating, which Standard & Poor's blamed on Republican unwillingness to raise
taxes as part of a debt reduction deal.




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